These Are the Days

These are the days music is given back to me; not always in the way I like or expect it. But who am I to make demands? I guess it’s better to settle with what is there than to complain.

WatchTower put out a new song and went on to play a fantastic gig at the Keep It True festival. Now a few weeks later I get the news that Alan is no longer in the band. So instead of hoping for another album or tour any time oon I now treasure the memory of the concert even more.

Änglagård reissue their second album “Epilog” with a proper recording of “Rösten”. I have no idea why they had to add a bonus cd for less than four minutes of music. But those precious few notes and chords are achingly beautiful. One couldn’t imagine a piece of music fitting the atmosphere of the album more perfectly. It’s both amazing and shocking to learn that it took basically years to complete the recording of just this tune. So instead of hoping for another album or tour any time soon I now treasure the wild and strange creativity of Änglagård even more.

The Hooters just played a series of shows in Europe. I’m truly lucky to live here. Last Friday they even played in my birth town. The band keeps coming up with new material, the majority of which is really great. Still, they tend to stick with the songs I like less. Another change I regret the lack of jamming on stage. I remember long improvisations in “Twenty Five Hours a Day”, “Deliver Me” and “Mr. Big Baboon”. I loved it when they inserted Beatles or Elvis tunes. Needless to say I was happy that at least some of that spirit returned with Tommy Williams in “500 Miles” this time around. So instead of hoping for another album any time soon I now treasure the live shows even more. And I keep the memory of their previous tours, especially the incredible show in Stuttgart in 2004 and the then new songs they played in 2005.

Jutze 52 #16 – Statistics

This is a little homage to WatchTower, written in anticipation of their show next Friday.

Eleven years ago I wrote a song called “Golden Future” for From Thy Ashes (my band back then). It was an attempt to combine a whole bunch of complicated parts. The result wasn’t very impressive. But I figured back then that the ideal unit for writing such material wasn’t a couple of bars; much rather does it boil down to chunks of maybe three or for notes. If you have a big simple thing and start adding details, the music just gets weary. So this time I didn’t really bother with the big picture and concentrated on making every single note count.

I started out with the drum track, programming some wild, odd bars of hectic noise with only very vague ideas of guitar riffs in my head. I have little (meaning no) advanced harmony knowledge, so I just played what I’d never play in an ordinary e minor setting. Half-step runs? Yes, please. I wrote pretty much every single note by trial-and-error as I went along, recording the tiniest bits separately, one by one. I was baffled how flawless it all sounded once I stuck everything together. I played the bass on keyboard, as usual. At that point I was close to keeping the song an instrumental. Most of you probably wish I had. But then I figured I could mirror the title of WatchTower’s third album, Mathematics, by singing about my profession: statistics. I dare to say that it all made sense in the end. At least to me. I know, I sound somewhat ridiculous when I try to channel Alan Tecchio’s vocal style. Still, I’m very happy with the overall outcome!

#16 Statistics

When I say what I do for a living
The response is silence
Statistics: misunderstood and ignored
Statistics: valuable and powerful

I love data
I love Stata
Statistics: misunderstood and ignored
Statistics: powerful and valuable

(words and music by Johannes Schult)