reflections on songwriting 1

still somewhat stuck on these recordings, as my vocals for one song were so shitty as to put me off the entire endeavor.

my impetus for finishing these though is that I'd like to try whipping up a new batch of tunes but then these will *never* get recorded.


Got 14 songs cooking - a "septadeuce" of tuneology ready to set a new standard for low-T shut-in popsong nonsense.

Was pleasantly surprised to see that the tempos were spread nicely across the BPM spectrum, lyrics are solid - this might be my last post from obscurity.


If I could arrange a threesome with me, Linda Ronstadt and Nicolette Larson circa 1973, I would do it.


Post - Reclamation Project

We'll say the RP is on hiatus, but I doubt there's anything else to dredge up from those tapes; most of the remaining tapes date from back before I could really write a proper song. Maybe one day I'll revisit for kicks but it's time to move on.

I'm glad to have rediscovered so many forgotten songs that I am proud of in various ways, but I still think my last is my best, like all proper musicians except Chicago.

So here's the last three songs I coughed up.

guy with tits
peak eerieness
the desert


Reclamation Tape #40: Felt Balls (Gaseous Design/Gaseous Stance)

Lotsa stuff here that went on to greater fame as finished versions to be found on chuckzak.com - including a couple ("Your Hell," "John's Letter to Jane") that could really use a re-recording. No undiscovered gems however.

Side B is interrupted by a long take of some drum-and-bass song that I liked at the time, repeating the words "love the one you're with" over and over. Very fetching, and an example of my embryonic interest in electronic music and its particular compositional strictures. I had clearly mastered pop music by this point, so it's no surprise that I was ready to move on as a listener.

So, at this point, it might be a good idea to namecheck some of the remaining songs I'd like to find on these tapes. I can't truly consider the reclamation project complete until I do. They are:
  • Not Again
  • Who are You Here to See?
  • Too Much Love
  • Dionysian Volume #1
  • Dionysian Volume #2
  • Hurricane Party

Of those, the last was probably recorded after I abandoned the worktape model and began using my phone. As for the rest, I could probably remember "Not Again" without hearing the demo, and the two versions of "Dionysian Volume" aren't crucial, if my dim memory of them is correct. I don't remember "Too Much Love" at all, and "Who are You..." is another slooow song, of which I have too many already, though it's a good one, at least based on what I recall of it.


Reclamation Tape #39: Ivied Melodae Grown Over (Conceptions/Executions)

The reclamation project giveth and the reclamation project taketh away.

This tape was a standout of disappointment, not only because it squandered one of my favorite worktape titles; not only because the entirety of side A was previously-heard studio stuff (to be fair, this was predicted somewhat by the tape's clever subtitle), but because what remained was almost uniformly half-assed and boring.

"Lambeau is not Normandy" is the biggest exception, and that mainly due to the title and general idea of the song. Otherwise, there's a neat keyboard riff at the very end of side 2, and NPR's Nina Totenberg is chatting somewhere in the background of one of these flimsy song ideas.

But really, I have to ask: have we passed peak reclamation project? There still remains a few songs I'd like to find, but I do think at this point the majority of the songs I was looking for have been found.

We will continue however. The remaining tapes appear to be of the pre-Y2K era, possibly; that doesn't bode well necessarily. There are also a few 90-minute tapes that I'm loathe to wade through - 60 minutes is plenty long for a worktape.

Hard times may lie ahead. We shall see...