Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mean Standard Deviate

We are at the end of the songs recorded on the Yamaha MT100 4-track cassette deck during the fit of gumption that Knees showed in 1993 or thereabouts when he recorded just about all of the songs heard so far in the Midnight Rambles. There are still a few songs left but they were recorded earlier or later and on different equipment. Tonight's song was recorded on a 4-track Knees borrowed back in 1985 or so. He lost the 4-track master but kept a decent mono recording of it.

The main complaint Knees has about the coming songs is the electronic drummer he used. It was a Roland TR-606 Drummatix, one of the first programmable electronic drums ever. I bought it in 84 and it may be an antique by now. The cymbals and hi-hat were synthesized and sounded snitty and there very little oomph to the bass and snare drum. But it would play whatever I programmed it to play and it satisfied me until the 1993 sessions by which time I had a much more modern Roland that had sampled drum and cymbal sounds.

Now I've got a Boss BR-600 8-track digital recorder with 100 killer guitar sounds (patches) built in -- as well as great-sounding drums that'll play your song perfectly. It's super clean and has one of the best electronic sampled drum system around. So if I ever get around to rerecording any of the songs I should be able to make them sound even better than this re-mixing has. A couple of the songs I can't sing anymore and a few I've forgotten the chords to, but in general there's nothing stopping me from turning the Knees Calhoon library of humble songs into something professional.

Written: Gallagher Street, Las Cruces NM, 1984

Knees always liked jokes and stories that had a mathematical basis and decided to write a song about statistics. But once he got the title it sort of took off in another direction.

Ah’m yo mean standard deviate
Ah’m half as good as the best but lest yo fo’get
Ah’m half as bad as the wors’ an Ah goes firs’, So watchit.

Ah’m yo mean standard deviate
Ah wrap you up inna ball an divide by all
Ah’ll be trackin real close, dat ain’t no boas’,
You bes’ watchit.
Ah’m yo mean standard deviate
Almos’ made it through school, jus’ a li’l bit cruel
An befo’ ah’m through Ah’ll be jus’ like you.
So watchit.