Apr 24, 2013

She's Got A Hold On Me, Watching the Emptiness

Laying covered by a sea of spring
Drowning in the light
She moved like the dream I was inside
To my singing came a harmony
I never heard so right
She moved like the dream I was inside
She's gotta hold on me

Every song arrives at its own pace. Some flow in, running almost. I have to fight to keep all the words in memory until I can find paper. I've lost more than a few songs because I didn't make it in time. Quick songs make me feel powerful, like I can conquer anything. But others are slower, more difficult, and much more humbling. 

She's Got A Hold On Me, was one of the most humbling ones I have worked on. The closest analogy I can make is throwing a bucket into a well, and pulling up nothing every time. Every time disappointed. I think that is called insanity...





Sunshine rising, laughter starts to ring
A face that's just as bright
She never shown so right
She moved like a dream I was inside



When a song gets particularly hard for me, I stretch myself out on the floor. To an outsider, it's easy to mistake this for napping. My eyes closed, my hands behind my head in classic napper's pose. I may stay like this for long periods of time, possibly hours. But this is a deep meditation, and far from relaxing. I don't know if it is a good practice, but I have solved a lot of my most puzzling, frustrating moments this way. When I do finally get the answer I was looking for, I feel exhausted...how is that possible? Not to be too self-pitying, I know there are harder jobs out there than writing, namely all of them. And I have respect for everyone of them, but this is honestly how it goes.



She's Got A On Me was so tough to figure out that it took me a second to realize how special it is. Maybe because we felt it was a special song that we were so focused on getting it right.  The hook is fun to sing, the groove is heavy. The whole song is a delicious fuzzy bass-solo which makes it amazingly fun to play. Dan used a sans-amp to get the sound. I had never seen that before, but it sounded tremendous. The man has many tricks up his sleeves. The video was great too, a special thanks to everyone who made that shoot so much fun.


For the better part of the week, I found myself on the floor of my apartment, humming the melody. Repeating the lines. Playing the chords over and over in my head. Turning phrases, re-arranging them. Throwing away verses and choruses, and starting over. Like I was in a coma. The quiet. The isolation, because it doesn't matter what happens around me I am only in my head. Focusing to the dark of my eyelids like the ocean surface at night, waiting for a sign to surface.

*
writing on a noisy machine is actually really soothing for my brain


It isn't like traditional writer's block I've known, I've had that too,-- Which is best remedied by going out and participating in the world. Living fuels creativity-- because the words are there. Just not the right ones. I don't know what it is about a particular phrase that jumps out at me to say I've got it! Sometimes I'm lost among words. Never sure what I'm looking for. I am uneasy until things feel good. Like the puzzle is unfinished. There is more to discover. And diction is the key. 

I don't know if I've had a song as tough as this one since. I'm not really looking forward to it happening again. Here's hoping it won't... Maybe I have gotten better, maybe I need to be more critical... But I still work out tough spots with my laying meditation. Watching the emptiness for the right words to come along.




The flower that splits
I have a need to kick.
To clear my path
 of stones and empty cans.
What does the cat know about yarn
to make him claw it?
What does the mutt know about strangers
to make her bark when I pass?
And what does the rock know about 
the flower that splits?

-rene

* image from: http://oztypewriter.blogspot.com/2011/05/how-many-typewriters-will-it-take-till.html