Friday, August 15, 2008

Music Mode

So there's probably some of you out there who are wondering WHY I'm not the most prolific songwriter ever. I mean, I have a proven track-record of being a not-so-bad songwriter, so why am I not constantly sitting around with my guitar in hand bashing out pop gems for the ages?

I'll tell you why. Music Mode.

When I go into Music Mode, it's like I'm in another world. People who've had the misfortune of living with me will attest to this. I'm distracted. I constantly have "websurfing" voice when I talk, like I'm really paying attention to something else and am just cursorily replying -- which is true, I am paying attention to something else. I'm going over and over some melodic fragment or arrangement choice in my head. I don't sleep, because I'm constantly thinking of a better way to end this verse or that verse or the other verse. At work, I listen over and over to certain songs that I think will help me solve some songwriting dilemma. If I had to describe the feeling I get, its a combination of mind-numbing pain and constant distracting adrenaline rush.

But, see, I've discovered something else. I have the power to turn this songwriting mode ON AND OFF.

Once I switch it on, it's hard to turn off. I have to totally IGNORE what I'm doing for, like, a week solid, and then I'm able to relate to normal society for a while until I start it up again. And it ain't easy to start up again, either -- I have to spend a couple weeks thinking about MAYBE sitting down to write some songs. But listen: if I *didn't* shut it off occasionally, I would have no normal human relationships whatsoever which explains why so many songwriters don't.

The only time I can leave it on constantly is when I'm distracted by WORSE PAIN -- which is why most of my best songwriting coincides with periods of crippling depression.

The reason I mention this is that I'm currently not in a period of crippling depression, but I am in songwriting mode. I've been recording some songs for a 2nd Silvergirl album (yeah, I had a first one, it just sat around on my computer until I posted it on the blog!) and my brain feels like jelly. Trix has noticed. She'll ask me something, and I'll kind of respond but she knows FULL WELL that I have no idea what she just said, and if she asked for a play-by-play I wouldn't be able to respond.

So, see, I love Music Mode, but I hate it at the same time, deeply. I have a feeling THIS round of Music Mode might end with me starting a LIVE VERSION of this band, but rehearsing and playing stuff that's already written and arranged doesn't hurt NEARLY as bad. Music: the cause of, and the solution to, all life's ills.


MissTrixi said...

Well, at least you didn't talk about the horrible screaming matches that ensue when you are in 'Music Mode' - haha.

I KID people!

No, it's been an interesting week. Jonny has this constant look of distraction and I think that he's mad at me half the time because he isn't running his usual babble from morning till night (it's very charming and sweet babble that I volley back at every phrase).

These moments of music writing are important. This 'Music Mode' is part of jonny's genius at work. And LOVE to see the progression of a hummed line or two as it grows into the full 6 part instrumental with 4 part harmony. Musik, he gots it!


Prince Gomolvilas said...

I fully encourage Music Mode!

(But listen to me when I'm talking to you!)

Chris Hill said...

I've heard a couple songs, and they are exactly the genius you would expect. But I want to help. Dammit I need a Minneapolis to LA stargate. The new songs have more of a rock feel than the old Silvergirl stuff.

Hey when you're in Music Mode you should still respond to emails you bastard. Then again, sometimes I send a lot, especially when I'm in Creative Mode myself. Did I ever tell you how much I love Depeche Mode?

Kelly said...

Ha! This is the story of my life. I'm glad to know there's someone else out there irritating their friends and family in the same lunatic ways.


P.S. - I'm totally stealing the term "websurfing voice."

Febrifuge said...

Right at the moment, I would sell my grandmother to get into "Homework Mode," but my brain insists that I deserve a three-day weekend before I start my next thing. Meantime, the last thing is not actually over yet, because shit is due. Stupid brain. I want the fun kind of ADHD.

Anyway, what I mean to say is, that 'locking in' phenomenon you're experiencing is a very cool thing in many ways. That you are able to command it is pretty frickin' sweet. I know you will use this power wisely and well.

Silvergirl rocks! Eventually I wanna be on one of these records, too, like I said I could before I moved and stuff.

ashley said...

Since you are in music mode, I assume its appropriate to say: Your time has come to shine.
All your dreams are on their way.

LAP said...

I love all the Silvergirl stuff, I am happy to say listening to that disc gives me as much pleasure in high summer as it did when it was as cold as fuck and I could pretend I was in CA myself. Now just consider also recording a cover of "I Wasn't Born to Follow" and I will be happy.