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11 January 2012

EGBDF - The Album - Dedication

This is the third in a series of posts about my album, EGBDF, which you can find on iTunes, Amazon.com, etc. You may or may not find the series interesting. It gives background about the songs, how they were recorded, etc.

Dedication

This is probably the most heavy-handed song I've written. It's about drug use as escapism; trying to get away from worries in the real world. "Dedication to Hallucination" would be the extended title.

I noticed that a large percentage of the songs on the album (it's an EP, really) are stories about people. This one features Mary in the first verse and Bill in the third verse. I don't know a Mary or a Bill that had issues with drugs, just to be clear. I wish I'd chosen a name other than Bill (no offense to the legions of people named Bill who bought the album).

Factoids: you can sing "Mary had a little lamb" to verse 1 and it works pretty well. I was trying to subtly refer to cocaine in the chorus with the phrase "when you draw the line." I thought I was being really neat in the third verse by saying that Bill had been rescued from himself 2,000 years ago but prayed last night. Not hard to figure that out, though.

The original final mix had a different chorus at the end; a resolution to the situation, really, but it sounded very corny and awkward lyrically so I spliced in a couple of the previous choruses for this version. If you listen carefully you can hear the edit between the last two choruses (or chorii, as I like to pluralize the word) as the guitar plays a descending lead part and it's a chord that suddenly becomes single notes.

I recorded this song before the Meat Puppets did "Backwater," by the way. The 7th that the vocals do in the chorus are reminiscent of that song.

Instruments used:
The electric guitar and bass used on this tune were the same ones used on "The Answer Song". Strings on the electric were in decent shape for this one, though. I used a cheap Takamine Jasmine acoustic (maybe an S35 or its equivalent model of the day; can't recall) during the verses.

I had the bass too loud for the first five notes of the song but liked the mix well enough to not bother mixing it again. I do wish I'd gotten a less-muddy tone for the bass in the mix. It's one of my favorite bass parts on the record.

Drum sounds were a combination of the Roland R-5 and my Roland Rhodes 660 keyboard. The 660 provided the drums and the R-5 was used for cymbals (I mixed in some of the 660's hi-hats because I liked their crispiness at the time).

Recording gear:
The little Fostex R8 1/4" reel-to-reel eight track and the Fostex 424 mixing board got the song to tape. Matter of fact, the gear list is identical to that of "The Answer Song".

I forgot to mention the awesome panty-hose-and-coat-hanger pop filter. Cheaper and every bit as good as a Popper-Stopper (TM).

The low-fi vocals on the two bridges were accomplished by jacking the EQ around a whole lot.

Speaking of EQ, I wasn't happy with the overall EQ on the mix. Treble slices too much and there's no punch in the bottom end.

On that wonderful note I'll wrap up the background of "Dedication". Four more songs to go!

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