So... yeah. I write songs. I usually only do it around The Rapid Response Team but lately I've become interested in taking it up as... well... a hobby I suppose... I have Garage Band, an analogue synth and a tape recorder. I can't play guitar, I haven't taken a piano lesson in... hm... thirteen years. I was a drummer in high school, but quit doing it seriously after my kit was stolen in college and I realized I was developing some low-grade hearing problems.
So it's not like I have a cool set up or some bitchin' mad skills. In fact, I have trouble singing and playing at the same time. This is one of the many reasons why having David Hanlon be a part of the Team is such a godsend. Dave is, quite simply, a musical prodigy, and as long as I've known him he's been able to write music and harmonize a whole score from a melody in a matter of minutes.
But anyway... I'm writing two songs for the Rapid Response Team's next show (MARCH 21st, Galapagos, BTW), which I won't spoil the fun by describing, but one thing I've noticed is how the artifice of song allows you to be so much more straightforward. I couldn'tve written a monologue last time where I just said "Hey, Anne, it's snowing outside, and that's got me to thinking about how awful the world is but if we just love each other maybe we'll be lucky to get through it". First of all, not interesting. Second of all, way too short to be a piece for the team. Third of all... well... it's a little pedestrian, isn't it?
But put a rockin' Wilco-meets-Belle-and-Sebastian presentation behind it and whammo, you've got yourself a song. My songs are always pretty much this straightforward. I wrote three songs for the Team's 2004 season-- "Love Solves All Your Problems" (with Chris Mancini), "I'm Feeling Tense" (a musical theater number about the 2004 election) and "Expatriate's Lament", which was a very straightforward breakup song, where ther girl is America if it reelects Bush.
These two new songs, one about consumerism and one about being a liberal in 2006 America are both very very straightforward. They make their point with some rhyming and then they're over. But somehow, when you sing it, it works. It works in a way that my short plays (which do pretty much the same thing) don't particularly work. There's a bluntness when you speak it that isn't there when you sing it.
I don't really understand how this whole thing works. Anyone got any ideas?