Friday, January 8, 2016

My Little Red Book

I recorded this song by mistake. I knew that Gavin O'Keefe was a Jimmy Webb fan and I vaguely remembered a song from 1965 by the LA band Love called My Little Red Book that was by Webb. Or so I thought. But it turns out to have been written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach. I had my unlikely folkrock songwriters mixed up. I didn't discover that until I had recorded it and sent it to Gavin, who said he had never heard it before, but found it catchy.

I used my Casio WK-200 keyboard for the muddy drums and chugging bass. Gavin added some viola chugs on the right and left. It's a little slower than the Love version and the compelling rhythm set up by the accented 8 beat is more insistent because of it, I think.
A kind listener mentioned to me that I've been mixing my vocals lower lately, making it harder to understand the lyrics. This is probably true, and this song certainly is guilty of having the vocal challenged by the instruments. I always use headphones at home and in the car I have 4 speakers so I can really hear the separation. I imagine that the music I make sounds pretty muddy on a 2-inch computer speaker system. Or any speaker at a low volume. I don't do any "mastering", which is the last stage where the wizards make every instrument stand out perfectly at any volume on any speaker setup. I just make them sound good in my headphones. And since I identify more with the Rolling Stones than I do Frank Sinatra, I mix the songs accordingly.
I spent just about every night during the years 1970 - 1987 at a bar playing and singing and when I hear music I hear it pretty loud. Not necessarily loud in volume, but loud in feel. If you can't understand what I'm saying, then crank it up a bit. Hey, it's a bar. No one will mind.