Blitch Bango

You Said She Said Song Notes

As has become custom, I present my collection of song notes for the You Said She Said release, to give you, the listener, a glimpse into the making of the music.

In keeping with custom, I'm limiting the information to that of the music, and not elaborating too much on the lyrical content. While I may have a particular subject or theme in mind when writing a song or compiling a collection of songs into a release, I find it much more interesting for listeners to interpret the subject or theme themselves. Apply your own experience into the lyrics, and draw your own conclusions about the subject of the song, and the overall theme of the collection. Only know that songs are typically written in the first person, though songs are not about co-songwriter M. Tailor or I personally. Like a good mystery, subjects may be based in fact, but characters are fictional.

Most of the songs from You Said She Said were written and recorded in the three years prior to the release of Broken World. I took a short break from working on these songs in the summer of 2005 to write and release Broken World, partly because I felt it was becoming too long of an interval between the release of Twilight and whatever would be next. To break up that stretch, Broken World was conceived, recorded, and released as an internet-only collection. Once that was completed, I focused back on You Said She Said and completed it in mid-2006.

The songs are ordered below in a manner that I will not disclose.

"Goodbye" - After writing the lyrics for this, I grabbed my guitar and quickly wrote out and recorded a chord progression for an arrangement demo. To this, I worked out a simple vocal melody, and a somewhat harmonizing counterpoint guitar melody. After recording the demo, I went back, re-recorded the guitars, and added bass and drum parts. I decided that the bass and drums distracted from the guitars and I removed them. However, the final recording lacked the sincerity and immediacy of the demo. What was recorded as the demo became the song included on the CD. (Good thing the guitar was in tune when I laid down the demo tracks.) This was the last song recorded for the collection, before I decided to yank two songs from the lineup (see "I Don't Want To Be Without You" and "Get Over Her").

"We Get Together Sometimes" - This was one of those songs that pretty much wrote itself, and the lyrics and music were born together. Originally, this song was in a lower key (D) and quite a bit slower. When I completed the song, I realized that is was too sluggish, and the key was wrong for my voice. So, I re-recorded it at a faster tempo, and up a step. One thing of note: this is the first song I ever recorded while using a capo on the guitar to change the song key to one better suited to my vocal range. I used to shy away from the capo for some reason (thinking perhaps it was a "cheater" - used to play/write in a different key without learning new chords). Now I use the capo frequently, especially when playing live.

"I Don't Want To Hold You Down" - I don't really remember much of the recording of this song. I suppose it was fairly straightforward. I really ought to write down the song notes for songs like this when the recording is still fresh in my mind, rather than wait three years when I'm working out the website updates for the release. Oh well. I do remember that I was inspired to write this after repeated listenings of a critically-proclaimed "last great album" by a certain popular band I'm often compared to (I'll leave that up to you to figure out).

"This Moment" - I think I wrote the lyric and music to this song right after viewing The Royal Tennenbaums and Rushmore. I was working towards a 60's British acoustic melody and feel similar to some of the music in those films. I'm not sure if that is what I ended up with, but I'm pleased with the result.

"I Don't Want To Be Without You" - I had originally planned to use two other tracks in this CD, one called "I Don't Believe You Anymore," and another called "Summertime Getaways." The first song had a similar theme to "Lies" and "What Keeps Me Going" (a sort of combination of those themes), and would have been placed between those songs. I felt that its inclusion was redundant. The second was a nearly seven minute exercise in guitar layering that fit the CD musically, but not thematically. I found it difficult to place this song in the lineup. After excising these songs, I felt that I needed a couple more songs to complete the collection, and to fill out the scope of the theme. "I Don't Want To Be Without You" was written specifically to be placed between "This Moment" and "Sinking" to tie those songs together thematically, and to provide another uptempo song early in the lineup. It was written around a guitar idea demo I had tracked previously. A couple guitar and percussion parts recorded for the song were eventually cut. I sometimes put down several tracks on songs that are not used, as was the case here. I find that building a song down from several tracks of different ideas is just as fruitful as building them up from a single idea. The acoustic guitar part remains faithful to the idea demo.

"Sinking" - I originally put this song down to be a simple arrangement: acoustic guitar and vocal. On this, I tracked a bass and drums to see how they would fit, and liked the direction the song was going in. I then added lead guitar, piano and vocals. I think this is the first song I've recorded where I sing falsetto (in the chorus background vocal).

"I Already Know" - I wrote this around the beginning guitar riff, and went from there - music first, then lyrics (though I had the opening lyric already written, and fit it to the music). Pretty sparse and straighforward arrangement with two acoustics, and minimalist bass and drums. I added some slide guitar, piano, and fake harmonica for ambience.

"Love Is The Protector" - This song started out as sort of a dark folkish tune, a la "Eve of Destruction." When I was recording it, I was listening to Nick Cave's The Boatman's Call quite a bit, and I initially made decisions (either conscious or unconscious) to keep the arrangements sparse. Consequently, I stripped out the folk acoustic strumming, and kept the electric guitar and piano parts as simple chords and scales. Bass, drums, and vocals were then added. I wanted to add some harsh guitar to the song, a sort of background solo behind the final verse. What resulted was an incomprehensible mess of notes, feedback, and bombast that was virtually unusable. However, I cut short snippets of this solo and used them as loop samples that were arranged into the final verse solo that now exists in the song. I also added several layers of e-bowed guitar, organ, strings, vibes, and other instruments, building and playing on the piano and guitar scales. I stripped out all but one or two of the e-bowed guitar parts and the organ. In the process of stripping, I excised some of the piano scales to simplify the arrangement. The result sounded a bit sparse, so I re-recorded the folkish acoustic strumming, albeit in a more streamlined manner. Parts of this were recorded during a rain storm - some of which can still be heard.

"The Things I'm Not Supposed To Know" - I think this was the first song I recorded for the CD. I remember getting a new effects pedal that has a vibrato effect, and that was the catalyst for the recording. I put down the acoustic part first, added the vibrato guitar, and worked up from there. That same guitar pedal has a tremolo effect in it, and I found I used it in many of songs recorded for this collection.

"Lies" - This song started out as a sparse acoustic solo guitar and vocal, but as it was augmented with layers of additional guitars and percussion, it slowly evolved into more of a droning, Yo La Tengo-esque rock number. I think I got a pretty fair mellotron sound out of the e-bowed guitars, highlighted at the end of the song. Play it loud.

"What Keeps Me Going" - Like "Sinking" and "Lies," this song started out as just an acoustic guitar and vocal, which I think captured the bleakness of the subject very well. As with nearly every recoding I make, even those I originally intend to be simple and straightforward such as this one, I add several additional tracks, to throw down ideas and exercise some musical muscle, as it were. I liked the bass melody I came up with and doubled it on acoustic. Then I added a simple electric piano part and jazzy drums, and I felt the song really came together. On this I added some background ambience to complete the song.

"It Ain't Easy" - This song is one of the oldest of the collection, second only to "Drive On Through." I had recorded a demo of the song many years ago, and even tried to incorporate the demo parts into the final recording (to no avail - they were much too noisy and hissy). The re-recorded parts ended up being superior to the demo, so all is not lost.

"Epilogue" - I think this was one of those songs where the lyrics and music came at the same time. I pretty much put it down as I came up with the ideas. Most of the instruments are the original ones performed in the demo. I think I just re-recorded the bass and the lead guitar parts. If you listen at the end of the song, you can still hear the noisy environment of the studio where the guitars were tracked for the demo. I usually try to eliminate this kind of noise, even in demos, but I think I was in a hurry to get the idea down, and didn't concern myself with background noise. I didn't want to re-record the guitar parts, and perhaps lose some of the immediacy and charm of the performances.

"Drive On Through" - Like "It Ain't Easy," I had recorded a demo of the song many years ago, and tried to incorporate some of the demo parts into the final recording, but couldn't due to their inferior quality. I thought I had nailed the solos on the demo, and was afraid I would be unable to reproduce them. Rather than try to, I recorded solos using a different approach, and I think they came out better than the original demo. Otherwise, the rest of the song was recorded faithful to the demo, with a few minor tweaks.

"Get Over Her" - One of the last songs recorded for the CD, this song has a similar history as "I Don't Want To Be Without You." I felt I needed another uptempo song near the end of the lineup, and this was written specifically to fit between "What Keeps Me Going" and "Drive On Through" to link these songs thematically, but musically and lyrically fit better between "Drive On Through" and "Goodbye." Like "I Don't Want To Be Without You," I scanned my backlog of song idea demos for an uptempo idea to form the basis of the song. The rest was written around it.

The Broken World Remixes

Originally, I had intended to include the two extracted songs "I Don't Believe You Anymore" and "Summertime Getaways" as hidden bonus tracks on the CD. I decided with some coercion from M. Tailor to instead include the Broken World tracks as bonus material on this CD. However, this presented a couple problems: one logistical and one personal.

The logistical problem was that a couple of samples included in the song "Mama's Little Secret" are released under a no-reuse-for-commercial-purposes license. This logistic problem forced me to remix this song. The personal problem was that I was not entirely satisfied with the mix of the song "Broken World" when I released it on the website. Knowing I need to remix "Mama's Little Secret" compelled me to remix "Broken World" as well. Consequently, I ended up remixing all the songs, just to add some variety.

Here are the songs, listed in the order I remixed them.

"Broken World" - As I mentioned, I was not completely happy with the mix of this song when I released it on the website. I felt that I over-produced it a bit, and looked to get the song simpler and closer to what I had originally invisioned. I ended up stripping out six guitar parts, leaving only the acoustic strumming and melody parts and the background drone. A synth drone, doubling the drone guitar was also stripped. There were two drum samples that I removed, and I simplified the existing main (not sampled) drum part. What results is closer to what I really wanted, and closer to the feel of the You Said She Said songs. Now I feel better.

"Mama's Little Secret" - As mentioned, there were two samples used in the song which I did not have commercial permission to use, so they needed to be stripped out. These samples - a sort of heavy breathing effect, and a mechanical clock-like sound - were used during the manic talking during the bridge and ending. Removal of these parts made the talking bits seem out of place, so they were stripped out as well. What is left is pretty much the same song, with just the talking bits removed. Oh yeah, I also stripped out one of the 15 guitar parts. Compare it to the original - I defy you to figure out which guitar part was removed (it was mixed low anyway). Drum sample "d_ir_98_43" licensed from Proloops (

"Black Sheep" - I felt this song was mixed 99% perfect. I had a slightly different ending on the original inception of the song, with the vibes and electric piano playing on the lead-out. I mixed this out for the Broken World release, and restored it for this one. Drum sample "bossa110i.wav" licensed from Platinumloops (

"Innocent Bystander" - I didn't think there was much to change with this one. I just brought up the ambience of the lead guitar a bit. Drum samples "rimmer90o.wav" and "sffly100z.wav" licensed from Breakbeatsonly (

"Messed Up" - Like "Innocent Bystander," I didn't think there was all that much to change here. I did shorten up the intro by a couple measures, and I brought up the end guitar solo a bit. Drum sample "tight100t.wav" licensed from Breakbeatsonly (

Happy listening!