The Greatest

This, my city folk friends, is a fancy chicken–a chicken who could easily qualify for a grand champion in a chicken show.

Download: Kelly_Raines:_The_ Greatest
This is an experiment I just finished. Listen to it, don’t listen to it, stick your fingers in your ears and say “LA LA LA LA LA.” I enjoyed the hell out making it and, as I always say, I’m my biggest fan. I really like how this turned out.

I enjoy recording songs I like and I’m not too elitist to not dip into other writer’s ponds to take in the waters. I record it, rearrange it, try something different, and see how that messes your baby up, leg. There’s a discipline at work as well. In keeping the habit of sitting at my workstation, mashin’ the red button, and creating an ungodly tangle of cords, instruments, and chaos, keeps my muse happy.

But I don’t have to explain or defend this song or any others. I’m an American, dammit, and I can sing and play and record whatever, when ever, by golly!

Yes, anyway. I had an idea in my head which started from a corrupted mp3 file of a Cat Power song. It was her doing a stripped down version of this song on French TV.

The file corruption made this strange echo/tremolo effect when it diced the song into second or so chunks and then repeated them 10 times or so. When I first heard it, I was angry because my beautiful rendition of Chan’s song was wrecked. Then, almost as quickly, I realized the corruption revealed a sort of melodic depth not present in the song under normal conditions. I listened to it over and over and over, mesmerized by the crazy tremolo echo time stretching file fubar.

But, Chan Marshall isn’t Justin Bieber and her lyrics don’t always have an even meter or rhyme or any of those things which make singing along easy. My attempts to capture the sound were hampered by the simple fact that I couldn’t get the song’s non-linear structure in my head.

Then I had the shazaam moment walking from my car to my office a week or so ago. Suddenly, the whole song was playing in my head and I could remember the lyrics, the odd phrasing, and everything else.

That night, the whole thing came together in a flash. I rather like the way it turned out. I was certainly fun.

Gear Geeking:

If there are excesses, it might be the heavy use of effects. I considered many vocal treatments and ended up with one that is not very subtle. However, the echoing, trance-like sound was the sound in my head and what I was after. Overly obvious effects almost always seem to sound stupid in retrospect. Then other times, it’s perfect. There’s a fine line between brilliant and stupid and who knows where it is at any given point? Not me.