Posts Tagged ‘shakers’

25 halloween freakout!

by on Saturday, October 31st, 2009

Eric Balint -25 halloween freakout

freakoutit’s a halloween freakout!

guitar: yamaha hollowbody electric x’s two
bass: beat ass harmony
organ: hammond
shakers and random noisemakers
vocals x’s four

19 william telling

by on Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Eric Balint -19 william telling

william_faulknerever since learning “Something Stupid” by Frank and Nancy Sinatra (which is one of my all time favorite songs)  i’ve really been loving the Am6 chord. i was strumming on it this morning and started interplaying it with a Gmaj7 because i liked the way the F# appeared in both, and that was how this song came about.
the lyrics are meant to have a bit of a bite to them…but…they probably don’t make sense anyway

guitar: yamaha hollowbody electric, zanny’s generic classical
bass: beat ass harmony
snare drum and splash cymbal played with fingers
organ: hammond
vocals x’s 2

i am not the kind to coddle
elephants scream at a mouse
random house don’t want your novel random bombs blow up your house
they’re not buying what your selling
like it’s sweating in the south
it’s like you’ve gone william telling
with the apple in your mouth
today, today
you will listen now
the walls of that town
will never hold out
but we will show you how
to build anew
i will not cut with precision
i’m no surgeon, you’re awake
take the fruits of your decision
ande feed them to the snake
today, today…

08 confetti

by on Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Eric Balint - 08 confetti

tomconfettii don’t know…it’s about leaving home…it’s about the road…it’s about missing those who have left
…it sounds like mexico
…i enjoy small percussive things
…that’s about it  i guess

guitar: zanny’s generic classical
bass: beat ass harmony
various shakers, tambourines, scratchers, and castanets with monkeys on them

all the way through the southeast yesterday
now we’re in ohio
hope to make the great lakes
before we eat and settle for the night
then the big turn west will happen
and we will try to catch the sun
out the window went our maps ’cause
there’s no such thing as
getting lost on this run
i will miss the way you used to make
nothing will ever be the same
now that we’ve left
i know that that’s the truth
but there’s nothing i can do
the highway’s a callin
but i will write to you
before we scatter over the world
like confetti
let’s take a moment to make
sure we’re ready
to let the distance between us
get so far
if i were to venture a guess
i don’t think we are

(note: my fade out faded out better before i got here. now it kind of cuts off. oh well.)

01 Big Strange Dog

by on Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Eric Balint - 01 Big Strange Dog

dog_headi wrote the basis of this song pretty quickly in the morning…it only has three chords after all. then i threw it down and started adding layers. normally i’d probably still be tooling over it and cleaning it up, but this being a song each day, i’m putting it up as is. please excuse any sour notes or lack of punch.

the lyrics too were spit out pretty quick. i guess the idea behind them is keeping someone safe from being afraid

two guitars: yamaha hollow body electric
zanny’s generic classical
bass: harmony
various shakers and a snare drum
microcassette recorder

big strange dog
but don’t run away
you’ll just give it
something to chase
is the world we left dying
is the world we left you dying
the water’s cold
and past your feet
but what is wasted
pasted to your seat
is the world we left dying
is the world we left you dying
…a stand up
law abiding
god fearing man
a calm water riding
helpless little lamb
everybody is watching you
but everybody is watching you
is the world…

(note: i’ve been running the songs through a volume boost program so you could, you know, hear them. this one reacted to it with some strange muffles, but, what are you going to do?)

Song 21: “untitled 3”

by on Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Here is Song #21 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 21 untitled 3

21 ShakersThis was another case of me having a bit too much fun with my old Casio keyboard – I played some chords and a little melody on top…and that was it. Once I had a basic rhythm track recorded, I played the melody over it with the Casio, and then banged on some drums to fatten it up. Ultimately however, I opted to leave the drums out of the mix (it was a bit too much!) and just used shakers instead.

I finished it up with a little toy piano interlude in the middle, and a vocal track that just popped out!

Instruments used:
Casio keyboard (80’s thing)
Toy Piano


Song 14: “Boredom Sets In”

by on Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Here is Song #14 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 14 Boredom Sets In

14 CasioThere’s not nearly as much to say about the process of writing this song as there has been about the others – it really took about 5 minutes of screwing around with my 80’s Casio keyboard’s arpeggio feature for this one to pop out. Basically, I just played a few chords and the Casio did the rest! The only funky thing is that the output jack of the Casio has long since stopped working – so I had to put it in front of a microphone to record it.

I then layered some ukulele picking on top, and then some shakers, and then finished it off with a pretty simple vocal part.

Honestly, this song was totally just a fun excuse to do music more like I used to back in the late 90’s. I think I’m going to use that as inspiration to get nostalgic with the next couple of songs; maybe I’ll try to revisit some more of my previous styles of songwriting….

Instruments used:
Casio keyboard
Baritone ukulele
Shakers & sticks

Boredom is setting in
And I can hardly stay awake
Fools are here to entertain me
But time crawls…you might have to detain me
I thought this was supposed to be the place to be
But I can’t find my way out fast enough
Blank stares come back at me
Empty smiles and laughter

Song 13: “Crappy Band”

by on Friday, August 14th, 2009

Here is Song #13 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 13 Crappy Band

13 ChimChimI can honestly say that this song just kind popped out of nowhere. I sat down with my baritone ukulele to noodle around for ideas, and the two main chords from this tune just fell together; I think it was a D and some G derivative. The vocal melody practically wrote itself shortly thereafter.

So, I just recorded the ukulele part (along with a simple 2-chord change at the end), and then some percussion (drums and shakers). At that point, I wrote out some lyrics about how it sucks to be onstage in a poorly-chosen venue; you are up there singing your songs and nobody gives a shit because you’re not playing covers. When I sang the lyrics, I also added some deliberately random whistling at the end to imply a lack of caring.

After the vocals, I noodled together a xylophone interlude for the middle – I ended up with two tracks blending together, playing thirds. As I was sitting on the floor recording the xylophone parts, one of our cats was all up in my business – she thought that the little xylophone mallets were her playthings. It is a miracle that she allowed me to even got those two short parts done. So, I stuck a microphone in her face and she sang along at the end of the song (and you can even hear her clawing at the mic’s shock mount too around the 2:50 mark).

Also, as was the case in a few of the earlier songs, you can hear my clothes dryer running in the next room…and the ukulele mic picked up my mouthbreathing as well. In ‘real’ recordings, I’d edit this crap out – but not here!

Instruments used:
Baritone ukulele
Floor tom & Snare (small Yamaha thing)

Give up
Stop trying
Shut up
Stop talking
No one wants to hear your song
Because it is crap
Watch the room clear out
Go home
Stop singing
Get lost
Stop playing

Song 11: “Instrumental, w/Dog”

by on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Here is Song #11 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 11 Instrumental, w/Dog

11 ThereminThis song started out with a simple little ukulele part, and morphed into something I could imagine hearing in the background of an American commercial for a French product. You know – kinda a faux Parisian sound; my friend Jeffrey Butzer would laugh at me for this song. Anyway, I recorded a simple A-B-A-B repetition of the uke parts first, and then overdubbed some shakers. Next, I decided to bring back the ol’ coffee thermos from Song #2; I just did some simple percussion with it as well.

Once the foundation was done, I still did not have any vocal ideas at all. So, I opted to make this one an instrumental cut; I grabbed my 1980’s Casio keyboard, selected the crappy “Electric Piano” sound, hit the record button, and just noodled around. The result is a nice, but uneven, keyboard lead – I was happy enough with it, so I kept it.

Here’s where it got interesting. About a year ago, I ordered a toy Theremin kit from Japan – the instructions were in Japanese and I kinda just had to wing it as I assembled the thing. I first heard of this Theremin kit from this hilarious video:, and I just HAD to hunt one down afterward, with the intent of using it for the same purpose as in the video. Once I had it assembled, I learned pretty quickly that it would be useless to me as either an instrument OR a cat toy, mainly because (as you’ll see below) my dog goes absolutely bananas anytime I even go near the thing.

So, for this song I opted to lock my dog out of the room, set up a mic, and play the Theremin knowing full well that my dog’s barking outside would surely be picked up in the recording. Just as I expected, that was indeed the case. But, Stella has been harassing me to let her do some guest vocals on one of my songs, so I figured this was as good a time as any to appease her. So yes – that is indeed my yapping dog in the background of the song.

Here is a video of her freaking out over the thing, right after I had finished the song:

Instruments used:
Baritone ukulele
Coffee thermos
Casio keyboard
Toy theremin


Song 07: “A Younger Man”

by on Saturday, August 8th, 2009

Here is Song #7 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 07 A Younger Man

07 TambourineThis song was originally intended to be kinda spacey – I felt like maybe I could write a shoegaze-type song like I used to back in the early ’00s…. Once you have a listen, you’ll hear that it really didn’t turn out that way!

The first thing I recorded for this song was the drums – I just beat on a floor tom and snare that I borrowed from the crippled AFTTD drummer. I had no idea what sort of melody to do – I just played 3+ minutes of drums and hoped something would come to me. Something eventually did come, but this song was (so far) the hardest one to get right.

I ended up doing a kinda typical guitar-bass-drums-vocals thing for this tune; kinda boring, but it works for the song. A couple of random percussion tracks and some harmony vocals round out the song. The final result is certainly a desert-driving type of song…and my lyrics reflect that. They tell the story of an old man who gets a bit confused and drives out into the desert to meet his girlfriend, only to sober up and realize that he’s just drunkenly reliving something that happened to him years earlier.

Instruments used:
Electric guitar (Gretsch)
Drums (Yamaha tom and snare)
Tambourine (a tiny wooden thing I bought from a toy bin at a flea market)
Shakers (egg-shaped thingys)
Electric bass (Fender Jazz bass)

Drive all night
Under the dark and heady sky
Drive yourself
Crazy as the road comes to an end
Ready as you find the diner you seek
Fit to find the moon tends to hide her face
Forget all you left behind in the city
Stop the car and dust kicks up from your heels
You can’t help but think this looks like a film
You might have seen when you were a younger man
Her skin just like silk at your fingertips
The way she smiles with smoke seeping from her lips
The drinks you had have ruined your life
Now you are alone in an empty lot
That was a decade ago

Song 04: “Turn to Stone”

by on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Here is Song #4 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 04 Turn to Stone

04 Casio adThis song originated with a simple 3-note melody on my Casio keyboard – I honestly had no real direction…I just wanted to play the Casio. I didn’t want to over complicate the song by adding another part, and I wanted it to be reminiscent of older Magnetic Fields stuff…so I just made it a little over a minute long. Once the Casio track was recorded, I played a simple little Melodica melody over it – but it sounded like shit so I left it out of the final mix. Next was a simple little strummed ukulele part, and then I topped it off with some shakers.

During the course of recording the other parts, a vocal melody had emerged, but I had no theme for the lyrics. So, I flipped through my notebook looking for random lines that might inspire me; I like to scribble down random sentences or phrases that come to mind and then use them later. I found a little scribble that said “I will turn to stone, and you will turn to gold – until we both decay.” I thought I could make a song out of that, so I just went with it.

Once the vocals were done, I doused the mix in swirly echoes, and it was done! Also of note – my dog and cat would not leave me alone while I worked on this song, so I put my camera in their faces and made the music video below.

Instruments used:
Baritone ukulele (1950’s, no name)
Casio keyboard (CasioTone from the ’80s)
Shakers (those little egg-shaped things)

Snow turns from white to blood red
And in the field or ice and rain lay more
Of those who stayed, and I can’t be like them
And if I stay, I will test your faith
With trials and hoops to leap through
I will turn to stone and you will turn to gold until we decay
What a mistake it was to leave here, I was at home
What a mistake it was to go
Born to leave, but doomed to stay