Blitch Bango

Love Songs for Cheap Women
(and Condescending Men) Song Notes

The LSFCW(ACM) sessions started out with one basic rule: a "classic" rock lineup - two guitars, bass, drums, and vocal - songs easily played by a four piece band with little embellishments other than things that can be reproduced live: reverb, doubling, and occasional subdued echo. With a couple exceptions, the songs remain faithful to that rule. A couple other guidelines were also followed: From the Brian Eno school of "honor thy error as a hidden intention," when interesting mistakes are made, they are kept or worked into the song. And, a conscious decision was made to keep the distortion on the guitars to a low level (by today's standards) partly to honor and emulate favorite post-punk and new-wave artists from the late seventies.

A good sum of songs were written with the idea that the best of the batch would be focused on and receive lyrics. As a result, most of the songs were written music first and lyrics added later. This is not the usual practice with Blitch Bango songs; lyrics generally come first or simultaneously. In many cases the music was honed to a particular progression and lyrics made to fit. In other instances, music was written with certain verse, chorus, break, and bridge parts in mind, and these components were shuffled and altered to fit to lyrics (when lyrics wouldn't fit without unnecessary additions). In still other instances, chord progressions were kept, and beats, tempos, or styles were changed. As no lyrics were written for many of the songs, temporary titles were given to the songs, usually reflecting their tone or mood.

One other general rule was observed: the subject and content of the lyrics were written to follow the concept of “love songs for cheap women (and condescending men),” focused on male/female relationships with respect to dating and marriage. The lyrics may sometimes be juvenile, sometimes chauvinistic, and sometimes downright arrogant and rude, but keep in mind the protagonists of these songs are not real people, certainly not the songs' performers. However, all the lyrical content is based on observations of real people, “based on true stories” if you will. It is up to you to decide if the subject matter is the social norm, or the consequence of a “Grab 'em by the...” political culture.

One final note of trivia: the songs in this collection were written over the past several years, some prior to, and some coincident with, the Space Time and Strange Trains sessions. But, hey, they're new to you.

The songs (in no particular order):

Cocktails at Ten: This came out of an impromptu jam, and pretty much went down on the recording first take. Then the lead guitar was added in lieu of a vocal part. This is one of the few songs that breaks the "classic" rock lineup, due to the lead guitar part (but still playable by a four piece band with subtle arrangement changes). Originally the song had a one word lyric: the word “and.” I can't stand when a song's lyrics begin with the word "and." It is like starting a conversation with the word "and." To retaliate, a song was written with only word: "and." The lyric was dropped when it ceased being amusing, and did not fit the intended lyrical content of the other songs.

I'm a King: This is probably the oldest song of the batch, and the one with the most trial demos. The original demo was recorded just after YSSS, and was recorded as an acoustic rock song with several layered guitars, and even a harmonica part. For the first electric demo, the song was stripped down to two simple guitars and a rewritten bass part, with the tempo and chord progression identical to the acoustic demo. This didn't work well, so a faster, pop-flavored demo was recorded, which ended up less desirable than the previous attempt. Next, a jazzy version with the timing switched to 4/4 was recorded, and finally a reggae-influenced version. The jazzy version was decidedly best, and the version that finally stuck. This is one of the few songs in the batch where music and lyrics were written simultaneously (though the jazzy arrangement of the song came much later as mentioned).

Stale Sheets: The original demo of this song was a kind of sloppy country song, again played out with acoustic guitars. The song was re-recorded faithful to the demo, albeit with electric guitars, and sloppiness provided by the end of a long, virtual-alcohol-soaked recording session. Several versions of lyrics were written, lost, and rewritten. Only after the final lyrics were settled on did older versions re-emerge (only to be left unused). A working song title came from a first set of lyrics, even though many of the interim incarnations of lyrics only tangentially related to the title. The title finally changed when final lyrics were chosen.

I Can't Get Over the Fact: Another older song, and another demo recorded with acoustic guitars, though the intent was to make this an electric song. Rerecorded with electric guitars, keeping all parts faithful to the demo. Lyrics written at about the same time as the music.

An Hour's Worth of Love: This song's form started as a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-middle, etc., but as the lyrics were written none would fit to the chorus. So the chorus was dropped in favor of the quick chord triplets to break the verses. Also the chord progression of the verse and middle 8 were combined to retain the best parts of the two. There was a unique chord progression as the song's ending, but this was dropped in favor of repeating the verse chords. That was finally dropped in favor of repeating the chorus chords for the ending. Trivia: This is one of the few songs in the Blitch catalog that has a proper fade out.

I'm All You've Got Tonight: This song started out sounding very "London Calling" Clash-y, so the original guitar part was dropped in favor of the softer ringing chords. The bass part was also toned down to remove that marching-into-battle feel, though the song still retains some of that aggressive stance. The lyrics were inspired by looking from the “other side” of The Cars' “You're All I've Got Tonight.”

You're Gonna Lose That Girl: This song came out of a conscious desire to emulate late seventies pop-punk/new-wave. The verse chords are quite similar to a song which shall remain nameless, and the chorus and bridge were written around it. Several sets of lyrics were attempted with different subject matter, until the words finally settled down to those used. This is quite possibly the most positive song of the bunch.

Rebound Girl: Another song that came out of a simple jam around the main chords. Then the bridge chords were worked out, and repeated with a minor variation at the end. Lyrics were written to fit the original song structure.

Excess Emotions: This song came about while messing with the lead guitar part around the G-chord. Additional chords and a chorus/bridge were added, and the song fell into a reggae-influenced groove with the drum and bass parts, which stuck. Lyrics were written in a stream-of-consciousness style, and reduced to fit the music.

Away From That Girl: Another jam-based song. However, the bass break in the middle was a later addition; the middle bars were originally G-to-A, A-to-G chord slides with no continuous bass. The bass break sounded better in rehearsals, so it was worked in instead. Lyrics were written to fit the original song structure.

Anytime Soon: This was another conscious desire to emulate pop-punk of the late seventies, though no specific song was in mind. Started off as a jam, then a final song structure of intro, 2 verse, bridge, 2 verse, outtro was settled on. Lyrics written to fit the music.

I Can't Stomach Your Love: Another jam-based song. Originally started as a fast rocker, then the bass and drum tempo were cut in half, to give the song a funkier feel. Solo guitar was incorporated into the song late in the development process to add another song with a solo (The songs in this collection were purposely written without bombastic solo opportunities).

You Make Me Laugh: This started out feeling very fifties. The tempo was sped up, and given more of a ska treatment for the final version. Lyrics inspired by a Monkees song, but with a malevolent twist.

A Perfect Girl: This came out of a softer jam, and the song was structured on the spot. Lyrics were fit to the chord progression. Another song with lyrics inspired by a Monkees song, but this time with a more absurd twist.

That's When I Knew: This song started out as an idea of the initial rhythm guitar progression, then was shelved for some time. The idea was pulled out later during recording, and the additional instrumentation was worked around the original rhythm chord progression.

She's Got a Lot to Learn: This song went through four incarnations, starting from a "do wa ditty" song structure (a little too close to be honest), and three attempts to distance the song from that original structure.

Après un Regard: A weird jam. Originally had a rambling lead part, but this was taken out early on, as it did not fit the song very well. Then it was returned, but cleaned up a bit. Words added as part of an effort to provide at least one song with French lyric.

She's the One for Me: This one started out quite a bit slower, then was sped up to get a poppier feel. The song structure remained the same despite the tempo increase, except for a third spastic drum verse added late in the song. Chorus melody is a nod to early Police, and lyrics again based on a Monkees song, pushing the idea to an extreme.

I Know How it Feels: Another weird jam occurring around the time of “Après un Regard”. Melody is a bit of a nod to early Television.

Take: This song went through the most "unique versions" changes than any other in the collection; the song completely changed chords, progression, and tempo multiple times. First a slow version was started on a riff around A. Then a faster version of the A song was tried, with an added lead guitar riff, changing to a lead riff plus dissonant soloing. A completely different approach was then tried, using an E to F chord progression. Next, a different riff around D was tried, and this version ended up being used as “What’s I Do.” Then, the A chord progression version was revisited, cutting the drum beat in half, and trying a more soulful feel; this became the version that finally stuck. A third, lead guitar part was added due to the sparse lyrics, similar to what was done for "Cocktails at Ten." The original song title (which was the only lyric) was worked out well in advance of the music; the only musical requirement for the song was inclusion of a few short breaks to shout the song title. However, once a stream-of-conscious rant was belted out over the whole song, new words were captured as the final lyric.

She's Looking My Way: This song started out as kind of a jazzy, shuffly, eighth-triplets arrangement The feeling of the song didn't seem to fit the feel of the rest of the songs, so the arrangement was changed to a straight-ahead half-time-chorus, 4/4-verse, with only the slightest bit of the original jazzy feel left in the verses and bridge. The chord progression remained largely unchanged, except another verse and chorus were added after the bridge, and the song ending on a G to A progression similar to that before the break.

What'd I Do?: As mentioned, this song started out as a trial version of "Take," however, it sort worked in it's own right, and was promoted to being a distinct song. The first version was slower than the final version.

I've Got My Eye On You: This song came about after a couple month break from writing music. The genesis of the idea was from the clicky chord playing and E to D progression toyed with several years ago. Once this was demoed, the rest of the song gelled from it in a jam. Originally the middle eight was a different chord progression, but did not fit the feel of the song, so it was replaced with a new (the current) one. Lyrics written to fit the music.

You Should've Known Better: The music of this song originated with the “Experiments in Terror” session (which ultimately became the songs for Space Time). A simple jazzy chord progression was worked on with the intention of filling it out for a complete song. However, the song was left as its demo progression - short and sweet - once lyrics proved the song didn't need to be any longer.

Nooner: This instrumental was banged out in a jam as an idea early on, and returned to when another song was needed to balance out the “virtual” side one of the recording. It has a nice, live feel.

Impossible Odds: There is no recollection of the writing of this song.