Saturday, December 20, 2014

Garden of the Dead First Run

Garden of the Dead

This song was born on the job at a machine shop.

I was at work at the steel saws when a co-worker and friend, Sean, who knew that I wrote songs and jammed with friends, came to me with the first verse of this song and said he was hearing something punk in his head.

 It caught my imagination, and I began to work out a melody and some possible riffs along with the rest of the words. Brent and Alan delved a bit and came up with the riffs and bass line you hear in this tune, and I think my son Levi developed a great percussion for the song.

Lyrically, it was greatly influenced by an experience at a concert by a local Norman Oklahoma group. I'd left my fiancĂ©e's house early because she had to put kiddos to bed and bid me farewell for the evening,  and I wasn't even close to wanting to head back home to my cat and my record collection.  So I went to a neat venue called the Opolis and listened to these guys who were awesome, the Pool Boys.

While I was in the crowd enjoying the music and having a beer, I overheard these kids standing next to me. 

Okay, not kids...when you're 43 people who are 19 and 20 seem like kids. But they are actually the world's adults.

Anyway, they were talking about a mutual acquaintance and one of them said, "Oh yeah, I met her the other night. She came over to my boyfriends house and we almost got in a threesome."

For some reason that comment influenced the direction of the song. And I think that's kind of cool, that a random comment overheard accidentally by a stranger is woven into the process of a song. 

Made me think that that happens alot with singers, poets, authors, painters and film makers, and if that's so, it shows that we are all alot more connected on a subconscious level than we might think at first glance, because  all of us are in an artist's art in some incalculable fashion. There's this ethereal web connecting us and endlessly creating itself anew. 

Some old guy was probably the inspiration for the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band song "Mr Bojangles". Music was the way the Universe took such a strange character in bittersweet straits and made him live forever for as long as that song is heard. All because a songwriter noticed such a guy, or heard a story about him--I don't know the history of that song but even if it was pure invention, I'm sure it had a thread of a likeness running through it somewhere.

But I digress to strange philosophizing. Must be the hour.

Anyway, we are at odds in the band about song length...some of us want some tracing music and others think the tune is too long and want to compress. Erick wasn't with us when this video was made but he has been helping develop the tune very nicely. 

Don't judge the mistakes here too harshly--this vid is fairly old and we are working hard to get a cleaner and more melodic upload--the finished product as it were. We would like some electronic effects mixed in too, to help carry the listener along, something to kind of relax you for a second before the final wave, kind of like, well you know. Yeah, we're not right, as Brent would say.

But overall, though you can tell we were still feeling our way through parts, we feel the song has chops. Some friends have told me it's too long, I see their point, but we have an end in mind, and for me, I like the instrumental section of this song, even if we had a bump getting into it. I love the long lead with it's little beeps and the bass dancing underneath. 

As an interesting side note, the sudden primal scream you hear come in alongside the second verse was not scripted--it came about because another musician named Brian was in the Bourbon Shed with us watching the OU game. OU had just scored a touchdown and Brian vocalized his elation in a manner that would not interrupt our recording. You can see our bassist Alan, also a big OU fan, look up and watch the game even as he continues to hammer along. Hey, it worked out, the scream is very cool, I think. Brent, Alan and Brian are part of another band called Reverend Gunn along with Alan's nephew Wes.

Thanks for reading.

Garden of the Dead Lyrics

I was walkin down the street
But my head was in the sea
Where I found you underneath me
In that Garden of the Dead in that Garden of the Dead.

In the Garden plant a seed
Is it a flower? Is it a weed?
Is it something understood?
Is it evil, is it good?
Is it what you like? Is it what you need?
Either way, you're gonna feed
Either way, you're gonna bleed
In that garden of the dead, in that garden of the dead.

I saw a beast in the garden of the dead
Had two backs had two eyes in it's head
It had two souls but it only had one will
It lived to die, it died to live, it had to kill
It gave a hiss it a gave a roar it gave a moan
It had a heart of flesh that slowly turned to stone
It was well fed but it always wanted more
Youre a sinner youre a saint youre a whore

In that garden of the Dead!

Such pretty petals in the Garden of the Dead
Too bad they cut you like a knife
Lets make a Garden of Love instead
Lets make a Garden of Life