(you can always click this picture for the video, or wait until the link within the entry so it makes sense)
YouTube link added 10.25.07
11:59 PM, Sunday, December 24th, 2006:
'Twas the night before Christmas,
And inside Keith's house,
Two creatures were stirring,
Like one Richard Strauss,
Composing a cover,
No one would expect,
Making doubly sure,
Not a note to neglect,
 A name for their group,
They couldn't decide,
So "The Journey Players"
Would have to abide,
Now they offer to you,
A fresh Christmas scene,
Of one Fiona Apple's
Extraordinary Machine...
How fun was this?!!?
So for the first time, I hear Fiona Apple's "Extraordinary Machine" that came out last year and I'm just enamored. It's quintessential Fiona, but with a whimsical production that balances her dark lyrics and dischordant chord structures and melodies. It's also quite a difficult piece to both sing and play as off-notes are all over the place and you really to know the piece to attempt it.
I tried it on piano...it was OK, but didn't feel right. Tried it a capella, and I just couldn't pull off the bass presence with my voice. Then it hit me - let's show off Keith. I knew he could play the hell out of it and has that perfectionist streak in him to get everything as intricate as possible. What I didn't realize was just how weird it is to play on bass. With a piano, you're used to transposing all sorts of songs that aren't piano songs...
...but bass doesn't usually fall into that category. As well, bass usually acompanies other instruments, so to try and fill the musical landscape without anyone else is quite a challenge. Luckily, Keith and I both like challenges. :-)
So last night Keith and I worked it out for about 4 hours, doing as best we could pull off in 24 hours. I was completely exhausted as it's one of the more athletic songs I've ever sung. So we taped it tonight, live, and the result is pretty fun. Keith and I could probably put together some cool songs if we put our heads together. We're very similar in how we approach what we do. There was very little ego involved as we tried to piece together the song on the bass. We were just trying to get it as good as we could on a deadline and also do the song justice. I think musicians will appreciate this more than anything because it's just so strange. Keith could sit there and do bass riffs that would make your jaw drop, but any solid bass player can do that. Pulling off this however, is a challenge unlike any other...
....as was singing it. Finding a place to breath is one thing. Finding a place to put your testicles when trying to hit the high G an octave above middle C in your head voice? That's challenging. What a fun song. I hit it, but I gotta tell you - I can hit that like 6 times in a day, and then I guess my body misses its manhood 'cause my voice just won't go there. 4 octave range for an old man is pretty good.
Not sure what will become of this. I'll upload it to the normal sites and see if anyone thinks it's cool. Would be great if Fiona heard it. Gotta be flattering to her, and I doubt she'd think of it being covered like that. Oh and to get back to reality - her version is gorgeous. Her voice is so effortless as it dances around the melody. It's obviously a bit more work for me.
So there you have it! Merry Christmas to all! Expect a Christmas entry up tomorrow catching you up on some loose ends. That tends to happen when you're this damn busy...
...and I wouldn't have it any other way.