Friday, 21 December 2007

happy birthday

Happy Birthday/Life As it Happens Pt. 1/The World's Most Harmless Vilain/Your Taste is Mellow/Life As it Happens Pt. 2/Wild Bird/All in Good Time/Delicious/Feeding Seagulls/Climbing the Walls/Life As it Happens Pt. 3/I Wake Up/Peasant Girls/Alluring Martha/And the Days Go By/Life As it Happens Pt. 4/Daddy's Perfect Little Girl/Gus of the Fire Brigade/Here We Go Again (Like Two Leaves in the Wind)/Hold Me So Near

Mark Mikel "I know the album is supposed to make you feel better about aging by the time it ends. It begins a little troubled though, no? Like everything's going way too fast.Scotty's four part "Life As It Happens" themes reflect birth (innocence), adolescence (wide-eyed discovery), maturity (awareness and acceptance), and death. Marky the K's "Your Taste Is Mellow" deals with the love that saves your mind from thinking about the inevitable and impending tradgedys we all face with time. It's for his wife Karen and she amazes us all.Chalmy's "Wild Bird" warns to find real love before you give it all away. I always felt that might have been directed towards me.Davey's "Climbing The Walls" is pure insanity. Basically saying that whatever goes on in your mind -good or bad-it's all yours. No one can take it away.I feel like my songs are pretty self-explanitory. Maybe except Peasant Girls. That song pretty much says that life is never a fairy tale even if you live in one.It really is our first concept album. 3-D could've been but it went off in many directions."

And The Days Go By was written very quickly and I don't remember much about the actual creation. It has a lot in common with the other songs on Happy Birthday...I mean, in the way it came about.Songs were in demand every Monday night in Mark Kelley's basment. This was an idea we decided to record because I hadn't anything else finished at the moment. It had only one chord progression and never deviated. There was no bridge or chorus, just a repeated figure that really went nowhere. This again was just Mark, Dan and me after the others left. Scott played a low synth line on the released version. It was an easy song to demo. Mark and Dan helped with the arrangement and we didn't slave over anything. I wrote the lyrics on demand out in Mark's driveway while having a cigarette.I was surprised when Scott Hunt chose this song for the album. Especially when songs like No Joke and In The End were passed over. I scored the strings for it and extended the length just to make it a bit more substantial.

Feeding Seagulls
Outside the studio there's seagulls...sometimes. I actually haven't seen them since I wrote the song so maybe there isn't anymore. So...(ahem)...yes...Once upon a time there used to be many seagulls outside the studio door. And I'd work at the studio alone and take breaks and feed them with whatever was leftover from my fast food- usually french fries. I thought after awhile that they were getting to know me. Some would let me get dangerously close. They became pets in a way. It was great inspiration for that song because the lyrics flowed pretty easily after realizing the concept. The things that run through your mind when you are alone can make you question your sanity sometimes. So it was one of those "AM I crazy?" know, for enjoying interacting with these birds.There used to be a different guitar solo at the end. Scott Tabner didn't like it but Scott Hunt did. SH dropped out of the Happy Birthday proceedings kind of early on and ST replaced it with a solo he liked. I could have gone either way.

The Happy Birthday Release Party

Your Taste Is Mellow
There's a demo of it where Mark Kelley playing and singing everything. Scott Hunt and I were heartbroken that Mark had lost almost all his voice by the time of the official take. Davey sang it trying to imitate Mark. But Mark had the right sound for it and with all due respect to Davey (who did a fantastic job) it would have been better with Mark singing.

Life As It Happens (Parts 1 to4)
Scott taped four separate ideas but we connected them by continuing off the previous bit. We discussed putting it out that way but it didn't flow really well -as Steve found when he tried connecting them. We decided to deliver what it really was- four separate ideas.

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Banner by Barb Petersen

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