27 February 2010

Videos of "Rule," Both Versions


Hey, so there are actually two versions of "Rule": the ukulele version, which is in a minor; and the piano version, which is in a-flat minor and has a huge modulation to c minor in the chorus. The chords throughout are somewhat different as well.

Since I got the Casio I've been practicing it mostly on ukulele with the Casio rock beat in the background--a 4/4 beat, and then the 3/4 ukulele part over it (there'll be video of that too, soon).

P.S. I just re-inherited a Fender practice amp I bought with Forest, which makes the solo live arrangement complete for larger spaces. And in under an hour I'm practicing for the two shows next weekend with an awesome group of old buddies: Chris Caputo on drums, Noah Davis on guitar, and a crazy combination of Bo Riley and Kris Oprisch on bass (actually, they're just each playing one of the shows, not that interesting). Bo also may be sitting in with baritone ukulele on "Plain," which will be an adventure.

ALSO, for those of you who live in the New York area, I'm playing solo at Goodbye Blue Monday in Brooklyn on May 15th with Liana Stillman, Land of Dreams (Ben Richter), and Deborah Says Play from the Netherlands. Check it outz0r.

26 February 2010

Song of the Day #39: "Things"


We have a song called "Thing," but it used to be called "Same," until there was another song called "Same," but that song was written by Forest so now "Thing" is going back to being "Same" and this song is called "Things."

I guess it would help if I didn't insist on giving all my songs one-word names, but I hate naming things--songs, paintings, everything, I'm just bad at it--and picking words out of the lyrics is just easier. Plus I've been doing it for months, I can't stop now.

39. Things

I have things in my room
That I bought with my money
That I want you to see
And you'll laugh, 'cause I'm funny
And I'll show what they do
And be saucy and sexy
And you'll like me so bad
Because I've got the prettiest things
And we'll do it on the carpet
Surrounded by all of my things

24 February 2010

Substitute for Song a Day


Today will be my day off from songwriting. Instead, I'm gonna go political on everyone's ass (everyone, like the 2 people who read this).

Today I saw this, writ by an old buddy, in my news feed on Facebook:

let me make this simple for you: if I can see your ribs, you are too fucking skinny. If you take up two seats at a plane, you are too fucking fat. Find a goddamn medium you are happy with, and you've found healthy. Jesus tap-dancing christ, is it REALLY that difficult to understand?

Now, being a person whose ribs have been pretty clearly visible my entire life, this person was obviously telling me as well as anyone else with my body type that I am unhealthy.

I also happened to read this almost immediately after eating an egg sandwich with cheese and ketchup, with a good handful of Whoppers for dessert (left over from my stay-at-home movie night). And in fact, not two days ago, a woman in the break room at work watched me eat my lunch and commented, "How can you eat all that and still have that figure?"

Well, because as my personal experience not to mention years of medical studies have indicated, it's not so much what you eat that makes you fat or thin, or even the amount or type of exercise you get, necessarily. It's Who You Are.

I can't stand skinny-hating because it applies to me; and I can't stand fat-hating because although I've never been fat, I eat what I like and don't see why I should be allowed and other people shouldn't because when they eat what they like, they happen to get fat. Not to mention that I've known countless fat people who did NOT eat what they liked, but were constantly dieting, and were still fat. Because it's Who They Are.

And instead of yelling at fat/skinny people to Be More Like "Us" and Find a Medium, why don't people just shut up and stop paying more attention to other people's bodies than they do to fucking anything else in the world? IT'S NOT YOUR BODY. It's not your BUSINESS. You have no RIGHT to judge people, no matter why they are fat or thin.

Song of the Day #38: "Wrong"


And another judgmental song, because who doesn't love judgmental songs? This one's secretly political, though; it has less to do with taste and more to do with how I don't understand why people (including women) enjoy entertainment that degrades women. See: all reality TV show.

Meanwhile my mom gave me a typewriter today. It's old and really dusty and a friend of hers had it lying around, but it works, and now it's mine.

Another thing: since I got that amazing Casiotone CT-102 (whom I named Elvis), I've been working on my portable solo performance, which so far includes the Casio rock-and-roll beat, the organ sound, and my ukulele. I'm going to make a case for the keyboard, with a strap, and then I'll be able to take it on the bus, which means playing shows in places that don't have pianos.

38. Wrong

How can you enjoy those movies
How can you enjoy that song
Can't you see you're watching garbage
It's wrong
You're doing it wrong

22 February 2010

Song of the Day #37: "Go"


I don't even know what this is about, I just know that I had to leave for work in 45 minutes when I started writing it...and now I have to leave for work in 25 minutes.

37. Go

Baby, I've got to be somewhere at
Seven o'clock but you don't care
What's doing?

I couldn't say how many times you've
Broken the screen door, hit the wind chimes

I've got to go

21 February 2010

Song of the Day #36: "Swing"


I just bought this '80s Casiotone CT-102 from a couple who'd advertised it on Craigslist. Casiochord is amazing.

36. Swing

With easy swings, my toes touch your back pockets and you turn and grab my heel
You skinned my knee, I sit and lick the blood that's dripping down my shin
I feel like holding your shoulders and kissing your nose

20 February 2010

Song of the Day #35: "Winter"


I have cabin fever. But it's almost March! And March is usually when we get our first day of 60-or-above weather, and after four or five months of frigid tundra-like conditions I usually celebrate by running around barefoot in a long, flowy skirt and eating picnics all over the place. Can't wait.

35. Winter

Fuck winter
Got a longing for springtime
Gotta get to the ocean
Sun, sky, sand
And a folk band

Fuck snowstorms
Precipitation needs thunder
And a porch to get under
Mint sun tea
Come on, make me

Also note, I finally bought the domain sneakymister.com and am working on a new WordPress site so this blog'll be migrating over there pretty soon. Also, I fixed all the Song a Day links, so everything is downloadable again.

19 February 2010

Song of the Day #34: "Try"


This song is selfish and judgmental as shit; but you know you feel the same about some folks, don't lie. I've had a few different jobs that have made me feel this way. The first was when I was canvassing for mandatory paid sick leave in Columbus. I can't count the number of upper-middle-class white polo-shirted folks who whined, "Well if we give them sick days they'll just take advantage," because of course low-wage workers are all slackers, but you, you with your salary and therefore technically unlimited sick leave, who wouldn't trust you?

And the second is my current job, where I have to listen hour after hour, day after day, to more upper-middle-class white polo-shirted folks (these ones from Orange County, even better) who believe that if you yell loud enough, you will get what you want, even if what you want is literally impossible.


34. Try

Weddings are stupid
Your children are stupid
I can't try

Private schools -- stupid
Social skills -- stupid
I can't try to like you

Growing old -- stupid
Staying young -- stupid
I can't try to like you

Song of the Day #33: "Happy"


Other people must feel like this. Also, I'm going to do another song for today really quick soon.

33. Happy

I shouldn't feel happy at all, but I do
Well how can I help myself at all when I do

18 February 2010

Pre-Song a Day Gibberish


I was working on a song for today called "Happy," and pretty much finished it before deciding the vocals sucked, so I'm gonna have to redo it tomorrow, but promise I'll put up two to make up for it. This is, obviously, very important, but only to me.

Meanwhile as I'm at work I want to brag about my computer.

The computer's temporary name is Mac. I think I've felt too awed lately to give it a real name. Suggestions are very welcome. It's a 13" Macbook Pro with 4G of RAM, and I put Final Cut Pro and Ableton Live on it, and also this really cute handy software for keeping track of my bills, and a dashboard widget that shows you going down a rollercoaster, and--

Anyway what this means is that Song a Day is going to generally get less lo-fi, and also I'm going to start making videos for everything.

My goal since I got re-employed has been building my studio, which is an exciting continuous task and should be done in just another month or two. And it's SO exciting that I'm going to share.

Stuff I need:
  • serger (a heavy-duty sewing machine, which does that multi-thread work you see on clothes you buy at the store)

  • dynamic and condenser microphones

  • shelves...holy god, I need shelves

  • speakers, because I seriously don't have and never have had speakers, just headphones

  • block press (super easy lo-tech press for making prints with soft linoleum blocks)

  • Polaroid film for the Polaroid camera I got for $3 at a secondhand store

  • a typewriter

Stuff I've managed to acquire:
  • mixer/DI box, mostly for live use; and I just ordered a tiny Behringer mixer for studio use

  • this MIDI keyboard, which I haven't used to its full capabilities at all, yet

  • a pretty cheap commercial HD camera and tripod

  • a typewriter...yeah, that's on the above list too 'cause the one I got from the thrift store didn't work. And I spent $50 to learn it was a lost cause

  • a dressform, red, named Miss Blossom (bonus points if you get the literary reference)

Which is all very lovely, and I'm definitely looking forward to moving it all to Boston in the fall. Which is sarcasm. But also not, because I love having the stuff I need to do the stuff I love, and I'm also going to love being in Boston. So.

17 February 2010

Song of the Day #32: "Fan"


Inspired by the magic of Facebook, and all the bands I've loved 'til they made me throw up.

32. Fan

I became a fan of you
I bought everything you made
And I listened to your songs over and over until I hated them
Then I played them on piano
And I played them on guitar
'Til I couldn't write any songs of my own anymore

Big Changes


Hi everybody who don't read this, sorry, for awhile The Sneaky Mister got kinda hijacked by the band The Alphabet, which recently dissolved. Now thankfully Tha Mister is back in business, re-bequeathed with all its original songs, about to do its first live performances and release its first album, Is This a Thing? by June (hopefully; it's practically all recorded, but you should SEE my to-do list; it's in outline format, with sub-lists and everything).

"Song-a-Day" shall recommence beginning tomorrow. It's almost 1 a.m. and I can't play the pianee when everybody is a-sleeping.

If you're in the Columbus, Ohio area at the beginning of March, check me out on the 5th at Circus on High Street with Couch Forts (you can't not love a band called Couch Forts) for $5, and on the 6th with Jonathan Hape at Carabar for free.

Meanwhile here is a video I made: