September 14, 2009
This is a song I recorded last weekend called “Lose Control” which is about losing control and how I can’t ever seem to do it in the way I want to even though I really want to sometimes and also the ephemeral and powerful and confusing nature of feelings in general. The idea for the song, as usual, came out of “control,” out of the formal constraints I used to make myself write it; I decided that I had been playing too much guitar in my recent recordings and that my sonic aesthetic was getting tired because of this choice and so I wasn’t going to allow myself to play any guitar on the song. This is kind of hard for me because I’m much worse at playing keyboards than guitar and also I only have a 25 key MIDI controller, which, playing it is like playing a three string guitar and trying to make it sound like a six string. In the end, I “lost control” and cheated on my “no guitar” rule a little bit (the falling star accents in the breakdown, some fake bass playing), but overall I kept to it pretty well. There were originally more verses but I cut a lot of the lyrics (i.e. exerted “control”) because the song was just too long (it’s still too long) and anyway the best parts are the parts without words, I think. The little biographical vignettes about Dante and Casanova in the second verse were inspired by parts of the Kenneth Koch poem “So You Want A Social Life, With Friends,” a poem which I saw in this Youtube video a while ago and thought was so sad and funny and good and relevant that I bought his Collected Poems off of Amazon right after I saw it. His collected poems aren’t so great, in my opinion, but I’m still trying to read and enjoy them anyway; I will say if you want to read something of his you should really look for a used copy of one of his old books and don’t get the paperback of the collected poems that I got because there is this painting on the cover of the book (above) that might look neat at first but will make you embarrassed to carry the thing around in public because you feel like you are an extra in a Wes Anderson movie or something. There was a long part here where I talked about Kanye West’s concept of “real pop culture” as enunciated in his post-”incident” blog post last night and the distinction he draws between Taylor Swift (the teen-pop auteur) and Beyonce (the dance diva), extrapolating this in my normal bloggy way into a bitter takedown of Ellen Degeneres and how her being chosen as a judge on American Idol represents the death of criticism and the triumph of the middlebrow, but, you know, who really gives a shit, I just can’t be bothered today, I already made you a song.