Song 02: “Coffee Mug”

by CJ on August 3rd, 2009

Here is Song #2 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 02 Coffee Mug

02 Coffee ThermosEvery weekday, I carry a coffee thermos thing with me to work. I have developed a silly little habit of banging on the thermos as I walk to and from the parking deck; each day I try to make a new rhythm by smacking different parts of the thermos. As I was about to start work on yesterday’s song, I went to the kitchen to make coffee…and I saw the thermos on the counter and was instantly reminded of my weekday habit. I grabbed it, headed into my home studio, and a new song began life with a thermos rhythm as the foundation.

First, I banged around on the thermos until I found a nice simple rhythm I liked. I set a click track at a good speed (my sense of timing kinda stinks when it comes to percussion – just ask my bandmates!) so I could maintain a consistent tempo, and just recorded that rhythm for as long as I could before my hand got sore from hitting the aluminum. That turned out to just be a couple of minutes. Once that was done, I picked up a couple of metal rods (leftovers from some shelves I built a few months ago) and banged on those in a slightly different rhythm.

Now I needed some melody. I picked up my Stella parlor acoustic and luckily an idea came pretty quickly – I think it ended up being in B minor or F minor…I can’t remember right now. Anyway, once I had the two alternating acoustic guitar parts (one strumming, one picking on low strings), I started to hear a higher complimentary melody that might sound good on a ukulele. I fiddled around until I came up with the high ukulele part, and recorded it.

The vocals were kinda an afterthought – I had one more melody in mind, but no lyrics at all…so I just sang gibberish and mixed it to sound as though it was coming through an old AM radio. Also worth noting: any stray rhythmic sounds in the background are likely due to the laundry I had running in the next room…my dryer is kinda loud.

Instruments used:
Baritone ukulele (1950’s, no name)
Metal sticks (from old shelving unit)
Coffee thermos
Acoustic guitar (1940’s Stella parlor)


7 Responses to “Song 02: “Coffee Mug””

  1. joeylunchbox Says:

    Was I the dryer culprit? Sorry!! You should have told me you were recording!!

  2. CJ Says:

    Haha – no, I’m pretty sure it was my own laundry. I was multitasking!

  3. Parker Says:

    Dude, this idea is awesome. I’m already digging BOTH songs you’ve posted here. Keep up the good work! Check out some of my short stories on my site, they might spark an idea for a quick song.


  4. Beth Says:

    Wowzers, Senor CJ. This is seriously good. The percussion has some super fun stuff happening. Me likie 🙂

  5. Lauren Says:

    I love the playfulness that comes through the rhythms in this one! (The gibberish lyrics are driving my editorbrain a little nuts — it insists that words should make sense and would adore a future version with more of that.)

  6. Amin Says:

    Just as I was getting eiectxd about downloading your Away in a Manger tabs, I read your vulgar comment re the words .how sad and needless to say, none of your tabs for me .that was a real turn-off

  7. Essie Says:

    This intihgs’s just the way to kick life into this debate.

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