For this special theme show, each of the hosts presented a song with “unusual” or hard-to-decipher lyrics. We delved into a discussion around understanding the intentions behind and interpreting the songs. Download the lyrics here: Unusual Lyrics
Neel’s selection: A Self Called Nowhere by They Might Be Giants
Bruce’s selection: McArthur Park by Jimmy Webb (performed by Donna Summers)
Janice’s selection: Paranoid Android by Radiohead
We talked about:
The notion that once your song is released to the world, it’s no longer yours and open to multiple interpretations
Having been immersed in the wonderful world of singer-songwriters during my time at Song Talk Radio, I’ve attended quite a number of gigs and open mics over the past year.
Everyone I’ve seen perform has great talent in singing, playing an instrument and writing music.
However, I find there’s a lot of variation in a performer’s ability to make an emotional impact on me as an audience member.
A singer may have an amazing voice, but if every song in their set (or even a single song) is delivered in the exact same way and with little variation in emotional expression, I might leave thinking: “That was a good show”, but not feeling that my mind was blown or heart inspired.
So, I’d like to share an exercise – the Song Interpretation Exercise, to be exact – that may help in taking your performance up a notch in the mind-blowing, heart-inspiring department.
From the moment Blair Packham started to speak, we knew we were in for some great lessons from a master songwriter and experienced teacher. If You Were Mine featured a great bridge and instrumental break. In Her Dreams started out as a story of a woman in a call centre and moved to a daughter caring for an ailing mother. In our wide-ranging conversation we also touched on the following:
who are you writing for?
does the song connect emotionally with the listener?
collaboration is good
ask for feedback and use it
write from your creativity
the new singer-songwriter accent (Shawn Mendes song Stitches for example)
Often on Song Talk Radio, this question arises. Sometimes, it’s fun for the hosts to try and guess. “Your song sounds very cerebral,” or “Your song sounds very intuitive.” The guests themselves tell us how well considered every decision in their songwriting process is, or tell us “It just came to me.” This question of process in creative endeavour is as old as the creative endeavours themselves. On Blair Packham’s show, he talked about his own journey on both the intuitive and the cerebral roads.
Mark Martyre is a Canadian writer and musician. His prolific song writing has produced 3 full-length studio albums since 2012: Down, Record (2012), London (2013), and Red Letters (2014), as well as several live records, and bootlegs. His music and lyrics have garnered critical acclaim and attention both nationally and internationally. Mark is currently working on his fourth full-length studio album, as well as a book of poems and short stories, to be released in 2016. On December 8 he filled our studio with a laid back set of three tunes. With “I know What It’s Like” he plays with simile very effectively… – “like a story”, “like an old deck of cards”, like a movie”. His lyrics flow in an almost spoken style on top of solid rhythmic guitar work. On “Long Goodbye” listen for surprising images (“sleepy trees”), tasty harmonica fills, and cool bridge. “I Never Knew” traces the musician’s process and resonates for anyone who ever set out to play gigs only to discover it was a lot harder than they thought. Mark is an accomplished songwriter worth checking out at any of the links listed!
One in the Chamber (Mike Baise – vocals, rhythm guitar, Cecil Eugene – lead guitar, vocals, Christian Dotto – bass, Gerrod Harris – percussion) join us to discuss their songwriting process as a band. We talked about:
bringing a song to the band to be fleshed out
singing lead vocals with lyrics written by a bandmate
to be or not to be wordy
rock and roll
With influences streaming in from all eras of rock, One In The Chamber is a unique, modern rock outfit. Driven by roaring vocals, slinky guitar work, and fueled by driving bass lines and tight, deep grooves, One In The Chamber are able to bring together elements from the 60’s to present day into one tasteful flavour. Hailing from Mississauga, Markham, and Richmond Hill, One In The Chamber can proudly call Toronto and the surrounding cities home, and are excited to perform at your next big event. Be it Friday night in the club, a summer festival, or your block party. Drawing inspiration from the past, while keeping things fresh, One In The Chamber is your new favorite band.
In our first Apps Review Show, we take a look at Idolumic’s Rhyme Genie and Harmonic Sense’s Chordmate Apps.
First up was Idolumic’s Rhyme Genie a fully cross platform (PC, Mac & iOS) program that boasts over 330,000 rhymes and more rhyme types than you’ve ever heard of. The desktop versions are brilliant and much better than any online rhyme services I’ve found (it even give you Feminine Pararhymes – so you know, there you go).
A great interface too. It lets you select “similarity of sound” of the rhymes, gives you filters for adverbs, adjectives, nouns, verbs, etc, and lets you select how many syllables the rhymes have.