Hello and welcome to another Song for Odin. Believe it or not, the flu (or whatever) that I was complaining about last week is still hanging on though it really does seem to be in the final stages. And I've also got a foot injury, meaning that if you've seen a guy around Oakland in a Buzzcocks shirt hobbling around with a cane, that was probably me. A cane, seriously. Actually it looks kind of cool. Probably. In other words, the caladrius bird is still on my chest, staring into my eyes, but it's taking its sweet time about taking flight and carrying the illness away with it to be burnt by the sun. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, one struggles manfully on. And by that I mean, one presents the Mr T Experience of 1988 doing "Disconnection" at Gilman. https://youtu.be/NUYPbhKabUg In some ways this is fairly typical for its place and time: an earnest, not to say Quixotic, attempt to conceive and play a pop song against all odds and in a potentially hostile environment, a singer who can't really sing, an irregular drum beat with so many "accents" it can hardly be called a beat at all, everyone on stage almost managing to keep up with one another in a song that ends twice as fast as it started. We were a young band. Though these issues would persist long past that excuse's expiration date... contriving and administering a band is harder than you probably think... in our case, for many years, you just hung on to the weird, sloppy, slippery beast as best you could while you tried to keep the plates spinning. And hoped for the best. But there is, for all that, a genuine song in there and though it is a bit crude and unpolished it basically does what a song should do, though the guy who wrote it hardly knew what he was doing and didn't particularly notice the way that it was arguably a bit better than the others. I could have done worse than follow this basic plan for the songs to come, though as it happened it was to be some time before I understood what was required. Verses, choruses, a bridge, a clear topic with some kind of emotional resonance, a sense of direction and development through the verses under the overarching theme re-iterated in the refrain... and only when you've established that mastery of those traditional elements do you consider messing things up and being all innovative and shock of the new or whatever. The quirky, absurd, outrageous elements should be a "bit of extra" that sort of decorate or adorn a structure that is solid enough to bear them, and the structure has to come first or it's liable to come crashing down. As it so often did. In this case, the "bit of extra" is not much at all, just the decision to replace the final chorus with a guitar line rather than sing it through. It adds a lot more, somehow, than it should, for some reason. But it wouldn't do that without the established architecture. It's pretty weird that it took me so long to notice all this pretty basic stuff, but I suppose it's even weirder that so many people still go merrily on their songwriting way without realizing that their songs don't quite have a solid architecture. Solid architecture will always be where it's at. The moral of the story is, it's the song that matters, and a good, solidly-conceived song can withstand and survive almost any ill-treatment by inept musicians, misguided producers, or even its own writer. Okay, I'm out. Gimme fever. Put your little hand in mine. And let us pray for the due commencement of the flight of the caladrius bird toward the heavens. It's about time. #music #songs #video #mtxforever #minds
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