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Audio Logic Music My Songs

Just Released a New Single “A Magic Lake”

My new single “A Magic Lake” went live today on all digital platforms.

Spotify:

Apple Music:

Youtube Music: https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=blXM0cN8Zk0&feature=share

Regular Youtube:

This Hypeddit Landing page has links to most of the places it is available for streaming or purchase. The top two, Spotify and Apple Music, I think account for something like 90% of music consumption these days, but as I come across others, I’ll add them both to that page and this one.

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Audio Garageband Logic Music My Songs

Just Released Two New Songs On Spotify

My latest single just dropped on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube Music, Amazon Music, really every streaming platform on Earth by way of Distrokid. It’s also on regular old Youtube.

It’s called “Just for a Moment,” and the B-Side is “Union Street (Hold On).” Give me a listen, like, and follow if you’re a fan.

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Audio Logic Music My Songs

Pre-Save My New Single “It’s Nowhere” on Spotify

https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/stephenpickering/its-nowhere

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Audio Music

Song of the Day: A Song to Help You Sleep – Josh Rouse

Man, chose a doosey today! Musically it’s easy. Just a lot of lyrics to memorize. That’s the irony: The hard ones musically tend to have easy lyrics and vice versa.

Oh well. What was the spark that made me choose this one? I was sitting around last night watching TV, strumming some chords, and out of the blue, what I thought was an original, cool sounding riff came to my head, and I thought, “Oh, finally, this could be an original song!”

But the more I strummed it, I realized it was this Josh Rouse song. Hate that when that happens. You think you’ve come up with not only something original, but also something that is actually good, and then you realize it’s someone else’s.

At least it got me interested in this song, which really I’d only heard a few times before. If it weren’t for Spotify, I don’t think I would have ever heard it. I didn’t realize there was so much material both on “The Best of the Rykodisc Years” and “The Smooth Sounds of Josh Rouse” that wasn’t on any of his previous official “albums” or EPs.

Anyway, like I said, musically it’s easy. Just four chords: Dmaj7 – Amaj7 – Gmaj – E7. It begins on a Dmaj7, and the dominant riff of the song, both verse and chorus, is a back and forth between the Dmaj7 and Amaj7. The G-E change comes in every so often as a sort of “turn around” as they call it in the business.

These are the kinds of songs I really encourage for beginning guitarists who need encouragement. They are easy enough to learn, but they’re also good and fun. They keeps you motivated to play. I remember when I was a teenager, I was going to quit guitar altogether.

And then I found Bob Dylan. Those songs were easy enough to learn, but I knew they were good, and I loved playing them. It was that spark of fun that kept me at it.

Oh, well, I’m going to get at memorizing these lyrics. I’m sure it’ll take a couple or even few days for them to “sink in.” I’ll have to come back to this post, to official mark that I’ve got them down.

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Audio Music

Song of the Day: “Imaginary Girl” by The Silver Seas

Actually I’ve learned a couple others since the last “Song of the Day”, but they both took a couple or three days for the lyrics to really sink into  the “officially” memorized zone, and by that time, like the irony of life itself, I sort of lose interest in them, and end up not blogging about them. But I really do need to put them down in a blog post, or something that tells my subconscious that “This song is official. You can put it in the books. I know it by heart, and I can play it live.”

Anyway there are a ton of songs that I’ve learned in the past and I know at the present moment, say 75%. But I sort of need a spark to get me to actually learn it 100%.

Here’s an example of such a spark: I was watching the video of Daniel Tashian’s “I’m the One” song, and I was learning the chords, and writing down the lyrics. I was getting it down, but I was getting a little depressed because I actually couldn’t sing the Chorus. The high notes. That was discouraging. I’d always thought I could imitate Daniel’s voice pretty well. I hate to make excuses, but it could be that he just knows how to do “Falsetto” and I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know. Or maybe its just a bad day for my voice. Anyway that discouraged me from blogging about that song today at least. I will still learn that song and get it down 100% even if I can’t ever play it live, because it’s just such a good song.

Oh, I forgot about the spark. When I was watching that video, I noticed in the recommended videos a video of the lyrics of the Silver Seas song, “Imaginary Girl” from their 2nd album. That was one of those “75%” songs for me. And I knew I could sing it pretty well. Also, I knew there was one or two little pieces of lyrics for that song, that I wasn’t sure about, and it looked like this video had them right. So that was all the spark I needed. I’ll post that video below. I’ve gone through the song 3 or 4 times now on the live P.A. system, and I feel like I’ve got it down now, that I can put it in the “100% Club.”

I’ll probably post a video of me playing it live at some point. Until then, if you’re reading this and you would like to know the chords, let me know, and that might be the “Spark” I need to publish those.

 

Categories
Audio Music

Song of the Day: The Western Isles by Josh Rouse

 

Update 05/22/13 : I just heard Josh do a live interview/ 3 song session on a Radio station in London. He did play this song, so I listened closely to the lyrics during the refrain/bridge part. Sounds like I got the “Black Greece Tea” part right. I guess there is such a thing as Black Greece tea. The second part I didn’t have right, but I could hear him clearly and it’s “Maybe we’ve been daydreaming.” 

I should warn you. Probably about 90% of these songs are going to be Josh Rouse. He’s been my favorite singer/songwriter for the last going on 7 years now. So I’ve spent a lot of time trying to pick out his chords and enjoying singing his songs. I really should try to broaden out my repertoire though. REM, Smiths, Replacements, Police, really just anytime I hear a song I like, I should at least take a crack at it. Can’t hurt.

Anyway today’s song: “The Western Isles” by Josh Rouse. It’s the 9th track off his most recent album “The Happiness Waltz.”

What made me pick it, was not only did I love the song, but something reminded me that it was a Google Play Music pick of the day a few weeks ago. That’s all I need. Plus I couldn’t get it out of my head.

First off what’s interesting about this song is that it is in the Key of A, but there’s never an A chord in the song. It starts out on a Dmaj7 then to an Emaj. The main riff kind of swings back in forth between those two chords, as well as the verse, with an F#m thrown in for an accent. Another interesting thing about this song: It has a bass driven riff. So, that’s one reason I sort of steered clear of it. I thought that within the context of me just playing with an acoustic, and maybe a harmonica, that I really couldn’t present that main riff motif. But I found that with an A harmonica, I can sort of imitate that bass riff, which itself is echoed, during the songs’ interludes, by a lovely sounding organ in the original recording.

Also, it’s one of those Josh songs where he sings something, I just can’t decipher, and apparently no one else can either, because when I did a lyric search, all the sites that have the lyrics for this song have a “?” by this same passage. The best I can decipher it, and you’ll know the part I’m talking about if you listen to the song, is “Cigarettes and black Greece tea.” Oh, speaking musically, this is on the refrain part of the song, which begins on an F#m, and then kind of stays on that chord with a half step down bass line F#-F-E-Eb- at which point when it arrives at the D it just goes into the D chord itself for the “Could we…” and the “feel at” is on top of the E chord, back to the D chord for “home”

On the second time that it does that refrain it repeats the passage with words I totally can’t understand. I mean the “Cigarettes and black Greece tea” sound like they almost could be right, or have a chance of being right, but this second passage, I just have make something up, which I know is wrong, but still work to get me through the song: “Maybe we’ve been patron leave.”

This leads me to a rant: Why is it so damn hard to get the lyrics and or liner notes to these albums nowadays?! It makes me crazy. Why doesn’t Josh and all the other acts publish these things on their websites or whatever? Damn, it’s frustrating.

Anyway, I’ll publishing the words as I’m doing them at this moment. Maybe these artists think that’s part of the fun of it, part of the “mystery” of being a Shamanesque type of figure. Maybe. Whatever.

 

The Western Isles by Josh Rouse from The Happiness Waltz

Verse 1:

All day, I can see the life from the western isles

Faded in white like a western smile

We could live here, you know.

Nobody’s saved, caught up in a life that is based on lies

Struggle and strife from the nights of fire

Just getting by, you know.

Refrain:

Cigarettes and black greece  tea…

could we feel at home?

Verse 2:

Far, far away,

I can hear the birds on western isles

Singing in the night like an ancient choir

‘Oh how I love you so’

Don’t worry baby,

You’ll be alright with the western smile

Maybe there’s a life on the western isles

In a few years or so.

Refrain #2:

Cigarettes and black green tea

maybe we’ve been daydreaming.

And we’re almost home (This is sort of a “Middle Eight” part where, instead of going back into that D chord, he uses the F#m with the walk down bass riff)

Almost home…

(And then back in into the Dmaj7-E back and forth for the ending lines to fade out and echo on.)

Headin’ for the western isles

We heading for the western isles

We heading for the western isles

We heading for the western isles

Oh where do we wanna go?

Oh where do we wanna go?