Ships that I can't board... Well, ladies and gents and what have you, it's Wodnesdæg meaning it's Song for Odin time. It's also Spy Wednesday in Holy Week, which is a traditional designation that was, as far as I know, completely excised from the hippy dippy Godspell and Dylan church and attendant education I attended as a kid, which is a shame because I'd have liked knowing about Spy Wednesday when I was a little kid. (The spy in question is Judas, by the way. Just learning all this stuff now that I'm old.) Anyhow, here's today's song for Odin (and, I guess, Judas): And yeah, it's another one of those finger-picked "classics" recorded casually on the laptop just for fun. I say "just for fun" but I'm all thumbs when it comes to real picking and getting through a whole song without choking too bad is extremely challenging and nerve-wracking for me. Not exactly "fun," strictly defined. Nonetheless, I just about managed it here so yay me. This song appeared as an entry in the very early stages of Song for Odin, when I was posting a whole lot of songs from that November 1998 show at the RKCNDY in Seattle pretty rapidly with minimal commentary. (And not the lengthy personal essays that started to happen as the "series" dragged on.) The link is in the notes below, but here it is in entirety: "If I am remembering correctly, this was one of two Love Is Dead that tracks we more or less threw together while mixing at Hyde Street, because we'd run out of time during the tracking at Bay Records. (The other was "That Prozac Moment", and I think you can hear the slap-dash-ness in both, though it suits TPM a bit more than ILYBSAN, I'd say.) For what it's worth, that "I'm Like Yeah..." recording is way too fast. We were in a rush, I guess, and I'm sure we saved a few minutes of mixing time thereby. "That opening arpeggio guitar figure owes a bit to "A Quick One..." by way of "Mirror Star," I suppose. The song is solid, and certainly one of the most popular of my songs. One thing I like about it is that it takes that "like" / "all" / "going" conceit, which could easily have descended into lazy ridicule, and uses it in aid of "characterization" instead. I love it when that happens, and it turns out it works in narrative fiction as well." I don't have much to add to that, other than to re-iterate that it's too fast on the original recording. But I have also learned that people like things to be too fast. Plus they like the recording tempo because they're used to it, such that when we do play it at the proper tempo some people get mad and do the "thumbs down" sign at us and such. The way I look at it is, all your songs can't all be the same speed. You gotta vary things or else they'll sound even more the same as each other than they already do. But it's a lot harder to play slower. Playing too fast covers up problems and creates the illusion of extra energy (though as I said, there are diminishing returns there as you stack more and more songs that do that cheap trick next to each other: they all blend together, and it doesn't make for a good set, or sequence.) Worst is, though, possibly a bit paradoxically, that's the swiftest path to losing the rock and roll. Which is a common enough tragedy, but it's still a tragedy. I'll admit that when I'm on stage, gauging tempos can be a challenge for me. I have a lifetime of tempo snafus in mind and I'm always second-guessing and sometimes overcompensating in one direction or another and it's hard to have the right perspective in the heat of the moment. But I can always tell when this one's too fast because then I can't manage to play the arpeggio thing, quite apart from the inhibiting of the rock and roll which is also a side-effect. Finally, this is another example of the most popular songs just happening to be the ones that work best as solo guitar instrumentals. It's all about the melody, I believe. It has to be coherent and well-composed enough to work on its own without the words. And though I don't think many people are considering the melodic coherence and well-composedness in the faster and louder heat of the moment, either at a show or while listening to a record, it seems to work subliminally or unconsciously. At least, it's not a complete coincidence. Basically, I'm starting to think that if I can't do a solo acoustic fingerpicked version of one of my songs it probably means the melody must not be good enough. Which is an exaggeration I'm sure, but maybe also kind of true. That's all I got. Like share subscribe upvote comment etc. Have a great Spy Wednesday and we'll see you next week. notes: -- Original recording: -- Previous Song for Odin write-up on this song: --The Who - "A Quick One, While He's Away": --The Fabulous Poodles - "Mirror Star": -- Songs for Odin playlist: #music #songs #guitar #fingerstyle #minds