Well, it’s about time for another Hockey Project tune! This one is a combination of the type of metal from the first tune and the subject matter of the second one, but this combination has resulted in something completely different.
Today’s new song is what I like to call a musical approximation of a hockey fight. There is no singing and speed metal is abound here. But what’s really different – and also solidifies the theme – is its length. Since the vast majority of hockey fights are over in 30 seconds, this song is also over in 30 seconds. In fact, this song is shorter than the introduction in either of the first two songs. It’s fast and ridiculous… and it was a lot of fun to make. Enjoy!
There is a far-reaching history of punk and metal with this sort of song length. In metal, it’s a whole sub-genre called Grindcore – my favorites are The Locust and Puig Destroyer. In punk, I tend to look at bands like Minor Threat and Black Flag, but there are plenty of other examples (one of my favorite really short songs is “I LIke Food” by Descendents). Have fun in that little rabbit hole and I’ll see you next time.
Allright, NOW it’s officially a project! Finish one song and that doesn’t really solidify things. But two songs? Yep – project time. This one is a few days late, but that’s because this song took more time than I expected. Oh well – it’s a good problem to have, really…
Musically, this was a pretty tough one. I have been a bit out of practice on the drums, (no) thanks to my time in Ohio, so this song was more difficult than I anticipated. BUT I got through it and they turned out allright. As for everything else: I like off-beats. A lot. Music would be boring if everything was on the beat, you know? But besides that, I wanted this heavy, groovy thing in 4 through two verses and two choruses, then drop all of it and have the rest of the song be completely different. Sure, that caused the song to clear the six-minute mark, but I’m still really happy with how it turned out. The ending section was definitely inspired by the band Tesseract (one of the absolute best “djent” bands out there now) and I guess is the minor key equivalent of the 50s progression. I like how it starts quiet and builds right up until the end…
That ending section also helped dictate where the lyrics went. The chorus was written first again. I’ve always been fascinated by “The Code” – it’s hockey’s version of baseball’s “Unwritten Rules.” As I went on, I started writing from the perspective of an enforcer… and that drastically different ending helped write the rest of the lyrics. He does something bad in verse two, gets thrown out of the game, and starts to deal with the repercussions in the ending. The weird thing, though? The John Scott Incident between the Sabres and Bruins happened within 48 hours after I wrote these lyrics. My brother thinks now I need to write a song about the Sabres winning the Cup…
So, here you go. Enjoy!
See you next time for a MUCH shorter song than this one… that’s, oddly enough, also about fighting. Hmm…
Ten years (and one month, but whatever) ago, I unwittingly embarked on my first sports project. Dubbed “The Football Project”, I would write and record a song – or, in a few cases, a bizarre sort of soundscape – while watching football. I was a senior at SUNY Purchase at the time and it seemed like the thing to do while being bored on campus on Sundays. Not that I’m a big football fan – I enjoy it, but it’s not my favorite fall/winter sport. Well, ten years and eight sports projects later, I’m finally taking on my favorite fall/winter sport. Introducing: THE HOCKEY PROJECT!
Here’s how The Hockey Project will work: There will be a brand new song about hockey on this here site every two weeks throughout the regular season. When the playoffs start, I will make one song per round. In total, I will (or at least should) finish with 18 tracks when we wrap up in June.
So, when does the first song go up? Well… NOW. A little bit of the Canadian national anthem, a little bit of speed metal, and a long intro are in the mix for this song. Lyric-wise, I decided to write about the drastic spike in “guys getting kicked out of face-offs” that started last season. I started with the chorus, then wrote everything else after that. Seemed to work pretty well… Anyways, please to enjoy and I’ll see you in two weeks.
One of the best things about creating your own music is the simple fact that you can do whatever you want. As long as it “works” and “makes sense”, your songs can be about anything. On the same token, it’s a little known fact that songs don’t have to be in 4/4 time in order to work. This little guy here is a case of both.
Lyrically (What? Lyrically?! Yes, this track has lyrics!), this song is based on a true story. In what must have been a truly harrowing scene, my brother was out for a run one morning when he was slapped in the face by a rogue leaf. As soon as he told me about it, the phrase “vicious leaf attack” popped up and the song started to write itself.
The first thing to show up was, of course, the main riff and chorus. I grabbed my trusty 8-string and started to play… and I had that riff within minutes. The fact that it’s in 7/4 made it even more fun for me (You know how I am with odd meters). So, as a result, the whole song is in 7 except for the “verse”, which is in 9/8 instead. Sometimes I think odd meters work better when there’s no 4/4 for contrast…
So there you have it – a weird prog-metal song about getting slapped around by Mother Nature. See? You really can write songs about anything. Enjoy!
Hey, look – a new thing! Instead of a full song, though, this is just a small little idea that I’ve had kicking around for a little while. GuessI just need to get back into the swing of things, so this little guy is nice fodder to get back into the ol’ habit. I think I actually came up with this idea in a dream… and woke up that morning with a headache. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.
I’ve always been fascinated by rhythmic displacement. An old formula of mine is to take a four measure riff/phrase and lop off the last eighth note to give it that sort of hiccup and keep the listener guessing. The displacement idea is also why I grew to really like Meshuggah. This thing here is sort of the best of both worlds. The last eighth note is lopped off in every phrase, but in true Meshuggah fashion, the pulse doesn’t move (the snare drum is the reference point). Instead of cutting it off early to round it into a 4 or 8 measure riff, though, I decided to see the displacement through right up to the point where it would reset… which is where this recording ends. Enjoy!
Wow…. been a while, huh? Sorry about that. I’ve been playing regularly, but I guess my job has kinda taken this stuff out of me. I’ve been coming up with all sorts of ideas and riffs, but haven’t actually taken the time to record any of it. I will, though, and soon.
NEWS PART 1: Distinct Kicking Motion will return – in fact, it looks like I have a bass player lined up! Now the hard part: finding a drummer… But the whole band idea is starting to gel even more and I hope to solidify the band and get it off the ground when I return to Rochester in the summer.
NEWS PART B: Yes, you read that right. I’m leaving my job – and central Ohio – at the end of June. So what am I gonna do? Well, I’m going to try to be my own boss. My new music education venture will start to trickle out online in the coming days/weeks/months. Stay tuned! I’ll keep you posted here.
Well, I think that’s it. See you all soon.
P.S.: Yes, I realize it’s April Fool’s Day. This is not one of those April 1 joke posts, though. Not intentionally, anyway.
Well, friends, it’s that time of year again. It’s Christmas time… and most of you know what that means. Yes, it’s time for me to dust off the ol’ Christmas music book and skewer four more songs! This year’s batch is one of the shortest I’ve ever done, only longer than the first real batch I did with Mike Huurman in 2008. Unlike last year, though, I’m way ahead of the game this time around, so I’ll update this blog with more detailed descriptions of these tracks. In the meantime, though, here’s the entire EP, free to download, in one convenient spot. Enjoy!
All of my Christmas recording traditions are here, including the harmonized guitar lead and the “holy crap” sound file… twice! This year provided its own set of unique challenges, though. Since I now live in an apartment in central Ohio, I could not use real drums this time – these drums are all as a result of Toontrack programs. Everything else is real. This batch also has a first for these things – a guest guitar solo! My friend Mike Sukhenko played the solo in “Winter Wonderland”. Thanks, Mike!
Instrument recording and Drum programming by Ed at Thea Partment, Columbus, OH, November 2012. Vocals recorded at The House, Rochester, NY November 23-24 2012. Additional vocals on “Winter Wonderland” by Rob Klingenberger. Guitar solo on “Winter Wonderland” by Mike Sukhenko. Mike’s solo recorded in Rochester, NY. Mixed at Thea Partment, Columbus, OH.
For those of you who don’t know, I teach private lessons as my main job. I’ve been doing this for years, but now it’s turned into a full-time gig and exclusively on piano. As a result, I’ve been subjected to variations on the same three chords for months. Whee (Take THAT, punk rock. Piano method books use THREE chords, not four)! This “primary chord” idea was bound to stick with me in some way shape or form… and here is the result. It started as a nice little clean riff using the minor primary chords…
Sometimes, music just expands in a way you don’t expect. That’s really the only explanation of how this guy turned into seven minutes. Clearly, two influences show in this song: Opeth and Dethklok. Love ‘em both, seen ‘em live once… truly amazing stuff. Opeth, in particular, is the band that really got me back into metal when I was still in college, so they’ll always stick with me. Enjoy!