Songs that do not belong to a concept album or otherwise fit into a larger grouping.

These are experiments: doodles in tone, texture, style, and technique.


Track Notes

1) “Mars Bar Sweet” – Written for my church choir, this is the file I recorded for the singers to learn their notes.

Here’s the original text.

2) “Dance Each Time” – This song is 99% MIDI, so it breaks the Basement Classics rules. The “real” 1% includes the mangled vocals and the bass drop that rolls down to 26Hz.

It turns out that dance music requires even more sparsity than anticipated.

3) “To The Moon” – Either tapping a steady beat on a phone drumset is hard or I have no rhythm.

4) “Hammond H-112 Fantasie No. 1” – There’s a lump of walnut and gears in my basement that weighs 445 lbs that makes fun sounds…

5) “Hammond H-112 Fantasie No. 2” – (Basements with organs) > (Basements without organs)

6) “Festivus Waltz” – Here’s a piece I wrote for my church choir for our UU 2015 Festivus service. This is the funnest choir in Canada by a Manitoba mile.

This recording is one of the note-learning recordings I make for singers who don’t have degrees in note-reading.

7) “Hammond H-112 Fantasie No. 3” – The time has come for this organ to go to a new home. It leaves this basement in 2 days.

This is the sound of the sadness of the cat who will no longer have his Hammond staircase to the dining room.

8) “I Hate Jazz” – Possibly my first complete songwriting experience from composition through to recording. This is either from grade 8 or 9 following a school jazz band trip. I remember feeling especially clever about the slowed-down blues solo bit.

At the end of the track there is a brief slice from the hours of two-track guitar solos I recorded using Dad’s reel-to-reel tape recorder, most of which is now lost. I think the jazz song was recorded on tape too, but I’m old enough by now that some memories aren’t as clear as they once were.

Luckily for me, songs like this take me straight back to feeling 14 again. It’s funny – I can imagine the struggle of playing that crappy Canora electric guitar like I just put it down. There must have been a gap of 2 cm between the strings and the neck…

Profound text:

We went to Bemidji
with our school stage band.
It was not exciting
It really was quite bad.

We listened and we listened
To people who did suck.
I wonder how we beat them?
We must have had good luck.

I hate jazz.

There were these big jazz experts
Who thought that they were cool
When actually in real life
They were just stupid fools.

After the whole weekend
We all deserved some stogs
But we were under some surveillance
Being watched by some old fogs.

I hate jazz.

Don’t you know it drives me crazy?
Something I can’t ignore.
Three long days of listening
I can’t take it anymore…

We slept in a motel
Beside a restaurant
But we all had big headaches
No more jazz did we want.

The music got annoying
The CDs didn’t sell
We told those dumb musicians
That they could go to hell.

I hate jazz.

I hate the stupid trumpets
I hate the dumb trombones
I wish that I could kill them
With big huge ugly stones.

I hate all the offbeats
I hate the harmonies
I hate the directors
That pay the entry fees.

I hate jazz.

Well, that’s enough time spent on Basement Classics for today – I think I’ll head out to The Jazz Room and check out tonight’s show…

9) “88 MM” – 88 beats per minute and as much slow groove as I could muster. There’s a sparse texture, one 15 minute phrase, and sub-phrases of about 80 seconds each.

Everything about this track is artificial. I picked and assembled several hundred Lego blocks (loops), but the sounds are all courtesy of Apple Jam Packs.