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Caught The Strokes on Letterman tonight. (I was of course not tuned in for Letterman, but for the Craig Ferguson monologue afterward, which did not disappoint.) All their songs sound pretty indistinguishable to me. But I like that one song. I appreciated that Julian Casablancas treated it like it was a real rock show and performed the shit out of his front man duties. Most musical guests seem stiff and out of place, like they're a school recital version of themselves.

I recorded this song in the basement a couple weeks back (it sounds like I'm in a mystical cave, but it's the basement), which I mostly wrote eight or so years ago after Treehavn visited but didn't get around to finishing until maybe two months ago. This recording is a little cleaned up, with some levels equalized and some noise removed, because it turns out when you send something to Acevedo and he likes it, he fiddles with it in much the same way Ciro reflexively Photoshops my best pictures to tweak color balance and contrast. Which is in both cases pretty great.

Listening to my recorded singing voice I have seemingly the opposite reaction to everyone else's reactions to their recorded voices, in that I vastly prefer how I sound recorded. In my head, it's a lot muddier, and kind of meaty and strangled. Outside my head, it's something I would listen to, and if I'm walking into a room where it's playing and I'm not paying attention, I don't notice it's me until I recognize the song I wrote. I have asked whether it sounds so much nicer because of audio processing, but Ciro says I sound better live, so who knows.

Two interesting things about this track. At times, when I shift to a certain timber of my voice, I sound like I'm singing in unison in chorus with myself, presumably because of basement reverb that kicks in with waves of that shape. Second, on the second run through of the verse, I switch from singing in a tempered scale to singing in a just intonation, so the notes and intervals are ever so slightly different without being out of tune in either case. I don't do this to be fancy; it sort of happens when I don't specifically stop myself from doing it, or when I'm focused on something else, like fingerpicking. I don't have a strong preference for one scale of the other; it's essentially random which one I use when, and it's a little strange that I use just intonation at all, because I was never trained in it and have always played rigidly tempered instruments, like the piano. Physics and acoustical properties of pipes, you know? Crazy.


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August 2017



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