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Get it on CD for free at the show tonight:
Meet our newest composition–”The Lucky Suite” by Songs From The Moon.
My favorite band ever is The Who. Ever since I heard “A Quick One, While He’s Away” I’ve wanted to write a Who-style medley, or “rock-opera.” Though I doubt I’ll ever craft anything as epic as Tommy or Quadrophenia, I do have plans for a number of extended, multi-part and multi-layered musical pieces. Here’s my first. This one took me about 13 months to create.
It started one day when I was walking down the street, jangling my keys, and heard a melody in my head. I sang it to myself that entire day as “my deedle-eedle own again.” I had no idea what to do with it but that little melody stuck in my head for a couple of weeks. Then I took a road trip to Virginia, and while I was driving somewhere in silence I sang the first thing that came into my head, loudly, and kept going: “I’m lucky to be alone again / this one would never-a come without the solitude.” Then I added the “among the multitude” later after reading the poem of that name in Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. I decided that was plenty, and that it accurately summed up what I was trying to communicate in the song–a celebration of being an artist, and having the freedom to work on my creations.
I wrote the rest of the piece when I got home from Virginia. I wanted it to sound like a blend of ragtime-honky-tonk, the Melvins and the Pixies. Really it just wrote itself, and is all based around the same melody and chords. Surprisingly, I realized months later that the music is very similar to “Brave Iranians,” just down a half step, and with some lingering moments. It’s also based on the same “one-two, one-two-three” beat that I tend to use a lot (but have also moved away from).
Shaun Wisniewski, Dan Clark and I had an acoustic show booked at the end of May, and I had the idea of turning it into a split cassette release party for Matilda and SFTM. So we quickly recorded the “Suite” for it. It was very hurried, and was my first home-recording for SFTM. I had no idea what I was doing really, and didn’t even have a keyboard to use. I borrowed a lot of things to make it come together. The tape version is much more stripped down, more acoustic-based, but this is always how I intended it to sound. Producing the Get To Know Mine EP and “Morning Sun” single, I learned a lot about home recording and felt confident enough to give it another go. I had acquired some tracks over the year from a couple of sessions at Ryan’s, and Shaun and I re-did most of pts. 1, 3 and 4 from the ground up over the last couple of months. I gave “Lucky” a nice digital dusting as well, and actually recorded some new parts for it that I didn’t even end up using.
I missed my arbitrary personal deadline for its release, but overall am very pleased with how it turned out. A writer I know said it sounds like “ELO from Hell.” I think it also has hints of Black Sabbath, KISS, and Mount Eerie–three more of my favorites.
Jonathan A. Berz: vocals, piano, electric guitar, synthesizer, drums
Shaun Wisniewski: electric guitar, bass, drums
“Lucky To Be Alone (Again)”
Jonathan A. Berz: vocals, piano, acoustic guitar
Ryan Looney: drums, percussion
Dan Clark: electric guitar
Sara Grosky: bass
Jonathan A. Berz: piano, electric guitar, synthesizer
Shaun Wisniewski: electric guitar, bass
Ryan Looney: drums
“The First Amendment”
Jonathan A. Berz: piano, electric guitar, bass, synthesizer, drums, percussion, vocals
Shaun Wisniewski: acoustic guitar, drums, percussion
Ryan Looney: drums
recorded at our homes in 2011 and 2012
written and produced by Jonathan A. Berz
Next up–a solo EP, and 4-part instrumental EP called Humors.