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Lee Shapiro

New Song: "In 2020"

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Another new song. This year hasn't started out so great.  Between politics and  medical issues, I wanted (needed) to write a song that purges some of these negative emotions, in a cathartic kind of way. The song has kind of angry, depressing lyrics, but I think the music (instrumentation and arrangement) turned out pretty well.
It's a long song, with some jamming at the end, weighing in at a whopping 7 minutes and 30 seconds.  (I never could write short 3 minute songs)
(You can read the *lyrics on the song's info page)
*Explicit  Lyrics - NSFW

In 2020

Edited by Lee Shapiro
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Great job on this mix! How much of the instrumentation is VI? Your piano and guitar work is really good, and I like the drums/percussion as well.

Dan

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6 hours ago, dcumpian said:

Great job on this mix! How much of the instrumentation is VI? Your piano and guitar work is really good, and I like the drums/percussion as well.

Dan

Thanks Dan.
   All of the instruments are "virtual".  I've got a pretty decent collection of VSTi's. 
For this song I used: Superior Drummer 3, Scarbee Rickenbacker Bass, Pianoteq Stage Piano, Orange Tree Evolution Rock guitar,  Blue3 Hammond Organ, MusicLab's RealGuitar,  and NI's West Africa percussion.
And I play them all on my M-Audio Oxygen 88 keyboard (touch sensitive, weighted keys) 😁

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6 hours ago, mark skinner said:

Sounds like you Really needed to get this one out. I know the feeling ..  Hope you feel better soon.  Great job.   ms

Thanks Mark, I appreciate it.  Thanks for listening.

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Exorcising demons is an important role of songwriting. Hope this helping! A little noodling at the end, your song, your production. Really liked the “live” feel on the drums. What are you using for drums? Bring us on another...

t

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9 hours ago, DeeringAmps said:

Exorcising demons is an important role of songwriting. Hope this helping! A little noodling at the end, your song, your production. Really liked the “live” feel on the drums. What are you using for drums? Bring us on another...

t

Thanks Tom, I appreciate it.  
In some movies, there's sometimes a scene of a live band heard playing in another room.  It's got that distant, echo-y sound.  I like that sound (but obviously not exactly for a finished track)  Anyway, I tried to recreate that sound for the drums.  I use Breverb - the preset is "Drums -> Alive"  It duplicates that live band sound.  I set it at about 50% for the drums.    Although sometimes less if I want to have the kick drum and bass guitar sound really punchy.  I find a happy medium.
Oh yeah, and I use Superior Drummer 3.  Also mixed in is NI's West Africa percussion.

Edited by Lee Shapiro
additional info

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A song made and delivered with great feeling and godda agree with Toms thinking Exorcising demons is an important role of songwriting ...

ATB

 

Steve

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12 hours ago, SPAK said:

A song made and delivered with great feeling and godda agree with Toms thinking Exorcising demons is an important role of songwriting ...

ATB

 

Steve

Thanks Steve.  Yes the process of writing the lyrics and recording the song is very therapeutic.  And when it's all done I feel like a lot of weight has been lifted off my shoulders. 
Especially when I'm feeling overwhelmed with what's going on in the world and in my life, it seems the only way I can get through it sometimes is to work it out in a song.

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Hey it reminds me of the feel of some of Bruce Springsteen's songs, and I think your excellent drum programming helps that along. I could hear Clarence Clemons wanting in on this. I believe he's deceased, however. Got any other sax possibilities?

I liked the fading outtro as well, a very cool touch.

The lyrics actually I found quite depressing!😭

overall nice one Lee!

cheers,

-Tom

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11 hours ago, Lee Shapiro said:

Thanks Steve.  Yes the process of writing the lyrics and recording the song is very therapeutic.  And when it's all done I feel like a lot of weight has been lifted off my shoulders. 
Especially when I'm feeling overwhelmed with what's going on in the world and in my life, it seems the only way I can get through it sometimes is to work it out in a song.

I couldn't agree more and as a lyrics guy more than a musician (If I can call myself that) I feel you on this one ...

Steve

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Lee

Really like the overall minor key sound.  Great vocal and production.  And I so relate to the political and medical lyrics .

Take care.

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Its aleady been said above , and I concure . but i still have to say I loved the whole thing , production was superb 

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Thanks again for all the great feedback.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

Here's a little "inside scoop" about writing this song.  I've always been a huge fan of Rickie Lee Jones (not Chuck E's in Love, but her other stuff), particularly her Pirates album.  I love the dynamics of her songs, they go from quiet and mellow, to a louder and catchier beat, then back to quiet and mellow.  Listen to any of her songs on Pirates and you'll know what I mean.
With a few exceptions, I always attempt to write songs with those kind of varying dynamics.  I try and stay away from normal "verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, etc" types of song constructions.  But I don't usually succeed.  In fact most of my songs usually end up nothing like what I originally envisioned in the RLJ style of writing.
But THIS song came pretty darn close.  It's one of the few songs I wrote that actually ended up sounding like I planned.  You can hear a little RLJ in the piano parts and percussion specifically.  So I'm pretty happy about that.

The other thing about RLJ songs are her lyrics.  She writes about friends and places that are very personal and tell a story.  Kind of mysterious because you don't really know who or what she's talking about, but she also has a special way with her lyrics that paint a picture you can see in your mind.   This song also attempted some of that but it was really the music that succeeded better than the lyrics.

One quick example of RLJ lyrics.  In her song "Living It Up" on the Pirates album, one verse goes:
You might meet me tomorrow
As all the lights are blooming green
And you're feeling a little lonely,
A little sad, a little mean.

If you ever drove in Manhattan, and stopped at a traffic light along a long straight avenue, where you can see all the traffic lights for many, many blocks.   They are synchronized and timed to turn green one after the other, with 2 or 3 seconds delay.  So as you look down the avenue you can watch the lights as they all "bloom green" one after the next.  
Just a little example of her clever and picturesque way of writing lyrics.  Again something I often try to emulate.
Sorry for the LONG post, but thanks for reading it.  And thanks for letting me share what often inspires me!

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