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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Handsome Devil



Album 2: Hatful of Hollow
Track 6: Handsome Devil

I remember when I first heard this song it seemed so scandalous. To sing the lyrics out loud was to risk dieing of shame and embarrassment! Of course, it might also have something to do with being the sheltered daughter of a Baptist minister. The closes thing to secular music that I heard at home was Al Green, Dave Brubeck and Joan Baez. I eventually got over all that silly embarrassment nonsense as I made my way through high school. In true "rebellious pastor's kid" style, I began to dress like Edward Scissorhands every Sunday to play praise choruses in front of the entire congregation- with the sincere hope of causing heart attacks and/or oxygen tank malfunctions. Ah, the good ol' days. Here's hoping I don't shelter my kid too much.


photo of my son by my loving boyfriend (swank106)

Monday, March 22, 2010

These Things Take Time




Album 2: Hatful of Hollow
Track 3: These Things Take Time

This was my first try at adding "violins" and I think it came out pretty good! I'm finding new things I can do with my voice every day and it's really exciting to hear how the songs turn out, considering I don't normally have a thought-out game plan before starting each piece. So in a way, I'm as curious to hear how these songs are going to turn out as you probably are.

I would write more but I am seriously in the groove working on a handful of new songs as well as some other non-Smiths-Project-related collaborations which I'll be telling you more about in the near future.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Quad, Boston University's Independent Online Magazine

This Charming Man: The Legacy of Morrissey & The Smiths
by Renee Trilivas

Link to article which features Jose Maldonado, myself, and Pete Yorn. Thank you to Renee for including me along along side these wonderful musicians!

xoxo

Monday, March 15, 2010

William, It Was Really Nothing



Album 2: Hatful of Hollow
Track 1: William, It Was Really Nothing

William gave me a hard time. I really like the song and wanted to do it well, but I ended up giving myself a month-long mental block instead. I wanted to find a way to incorporate the guitar rhythms which is a very difficult thing to do with voice.
First version: doo doo ta dos = Bobby McFerrin hot mess.
Second version: vocal “guitar strumming” ding ta dings = um, no.
Third version: *bang head on wall* = ugh, not enough zest.
Fourth version: fancy volume edits to create rhythm? = ok!

It got to the point that my boyfriend began referring to it as "Still Will," as in, "What song are you working on... Still Will?" grrrr.

But hoo-ray! It’s done! I'm curious to hear what you think of it.

Somehow, this picture pretty much sums up the whole experience.

(photographer unknown)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Janice Takes A Bow

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Janice Takes A Bow
by Simon Goddard


There’s a young woman called Janice who, unlike Dionne Warwick, knows the way to San Jose (she must do: she lives there) where, since the first week of January, she’s been devoting her spare time to an extraordinary feat of “apostledom”. By the stroke of midnight on 31 December 2010, it is Janice’s aim to have recorded a cover version of the entire Morrissey/Marr Smiths songbook via the power of some crafty computer technology but mostly the melodious set of pipes she was born with.

So far, Janice has been doing roughly one song a week and posting the resulting mp3 on her blog called simply The Smiths Project. The bad news for Janice is that there are only 52 weeks in the year but something in the region of 70 Morrissey/Marr songs (instrumentals included). Unless she gets those proverbial skates on, the chances of her bagging the lot by Hogmanay are a bit slim.

The good news, though, is that her efforts thus far has been remarkable. This week she celebrates the first major milestone in her quest having now covered 1984’s The Smiths album in its entirety...


Now, obviously, any old fool could sit in their bedroom and sing unaccompanied Smiths songs, badly, and share with the rest of the world with no skill or charm whatsoever. But Janice isn’t any old fool and what she’s done is so skilfully charming that I really would urge the world to listen. And I say that as somebody who, as a rule, doesn’t really like Smiths covers.* (As somebody once said of their hair, “Why meddle with a masterpiece?”)

Our Janice, however, has the voice of an angel, albeit one that’s been trapped in the catacombs. By accident, design or a divinely eccentric combination of both, so far she’s made those top 80s pop picks What Difference Does It Make? and Hand In Glove sound like pagan sacrifice. If ever a singing voice came wearing a cassock, it is hers. Listen carefully to her Miserable Lie and in the distance you might hear Edward Woodward being burned inside The Wicker Man. Janice’s You’ve Got Everything Now might sound like Jacqui McShee doing vocal warm-ups in an airing cupboard but the aroma of flaming torches prevails. Just to be perverse, her Suffer Little Children is as dreamy as a fabric softener commercial. There is something of the Pre-Raphaelite about Janice in as much as a part of me would like to believe every night she lowers herself to sleep in an icy brook. For her and her loved ones’ sake, I hope I’m wrong.

All this I mean as sincere praise. Janice has said some very kind things about my writing and she certainly warrants a gigantic, garland-strewn return of compliment. More than anything I applaud, not only her singing, but her near-radioactive joyous devotion. Talking of which, last week I interviewed an ageing bona fide “rock’n’roll legend” who also salivated in awe of The Smiths. “So much of that which has earned duckets in the rock industry of the late 80s plods,” they said. “The Smiths did not plod!”

More of that encounter next time, but for now congratulations to Janice. 11 down, another 59 to go (not including cover versions, the Cilla song, unreleased bits of fluff et cetera).

Check, and marvel at, her Smiths Project blog by visiting thesmithsproject.blogspot.com ...


(* - But I make an exception for Jeff Buckley’s I Know It’s Over)

http://simongoddardwords.blogspot.co...takes-bow.html

Simon Goddard blogs about The Smiths Project!


Janice Takes A Bow


There’s a young woman called Janice who, unlike Dionne Warwick, knows the way to San Jose (she must do: she lives there) where, since the first week of January, she’s been devoting her spare time to an extraordinary feat of “apostledom”. By the stroke of midnight on 31 December 2010, it is Janice’s aim to have recorded a cover version of the entire Morrissey/Marr Smiths songbook via the power of some crafty computer technology but mostly the melodious set of pipes she was born with.

Read more...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Suffer Little Children

I have to say, this was not an easy song to sing. Most people don't enjoy singing about dead children, but after becoming a parent, it's especially hard to keep from personalizing it and seeing your own child in your mind's eye. UGH. But after several takes, the sting eventually wore off and I was able to get through it pretty easily.

I also added a guitar pedal to my studio set up on this track: I'm using the Danelectro "Chili Dog" octave pedal for the bass that comes in half way through the song.


And did I mention it's celebration time!?!? This is the last track on The Smiths first album. For those of you keeping track, that's 11 down and 62 songs to go! Sounds nuts, but I have another 10 songs in various stages going in the studio so it's not so bad. I have my spreadsheet and a yellow hi-liter to keep me motivated. :)

Anyway, here it is! I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Don't Owe You Anything

This is the second track that was played on Indie 103.1 a few weeks back. Remember to listen to Breakfast With The Smiths: The World Of Morrissey every Sunday from 9-11am PST, hosted by Smiths tribute band Sweet & Tender Hooligans lead singer, Jose Maldonado! www.indie1031.com/
Listen on your iphone with the INDIE 103.1 app!


This song just reminds me so much of being in high school when I lived in Joshua Tree, CA. I used to go out with my friends at night, drive down some dirt road to the perfect spot, and drink illegally-obtained alcohol while listening to music. The desert provided silence, endless pitch black skies with millions of stars, and the feeling that nobody else in the world existed but us. Nothing mattered but the moment and the music. And this was the music.


Taken from my front yard. The slight blur in the top left of center is the Milky Way, clearly visible to the naked eye.