Sunday, September 23, 2007

Many Matters of Business

(From the brain, fingers and computer of Andy G)

If I was a smart mans, I would do something like, such as, split this post up into many postings. However, I decided that I could just address many matters of business (hence the title) in this one post. So here goes it ...

I saw a comment from my good friend Drew who was wondering what a songwriting appointment looked like. I am now going to pretend that Drew was not feigning interest and that the rest of you care as well. The good news is that if you really don't care, you can easily scroll to the next "matter of business".
When I was a staff writer for a publishing company, the songwriting appointments basically consisted of meeting someone at around 10AM, chatting for a bit, then throwing out ideas for songs. If there was a particular artist looking for songs at that time, we might try to write in that direction. Many folks would have a notebook with basic song ideas or song titles that you just throw out until you find something that you can both agree to work on. Sometimes something would click and we would be done with a song in an hour or so. Other times we would work all day and only end up with part of a verse or a chorus. In that case we would just schedule another appointment to finish the song. (If you didn't really "click" with the co-writer this was a great opportunity to just say "Let's touch base later and figure out another time to write" while silently agreeing never to call or e-mail each other ever again.)
This particular songwriting appointment last week was for a girl named Jaime Jamgochian. I got a call the week before asking if I would help her and my friend Matt Stanfield (who is producing some of the songs on her record) finish a song that they wanted to track for her new record. These are my favorite kinds of writing appointments because they already had a chorus to the song and there was a good chance of it actually getting recorded. Matt sent me an mp3 of the basic chord structure to the song - leaving the verses blank and singing the chorus so I headed to Matt's studio space in Franklin with a couple of ideas. When I got there we first figured out the melody to the verses and then wrote the lyrics for a couple of them. We left that day with everything but the lyrics for the last line of the 2nd verse and the bridge. I just e-mailed some ideas for those missing lyrics to Jaime this morning. Hopefully the song works for the record.
Writing appointments take a little while to get used to. You have to learn how to be confident enough to throw out ideas - and tough enough to not get your feelings hurt when they don't like some of those ideas. It is also a good idea to write with people that you wouldn't mind just hanging out with. That way - when four hours go by and you still have nothing, you can just look at it like you scheduled four hours to hang out with a friend.

Once again, I realize that I am probably writing to less than 5% of the people who read this thing. But I (unlike two other writers on this blog who shall remain nameless) am interested in reporting the whole truth and not just the information that is popular or pertinent.
After Week 2 in the Fantasy Football season, I am sitting 2-0 and 0-2 in my two leagues.
In my church league (where I am the commissioner) I am sitting in 2nd place behind my pastor. I can thank Chad Johnson and Carson Palmer for my undefeated record. Those guys have been awesome.
In my "Men's Club League" that I have been in for many years with mainly college friends, I am sitting squarely in last place. I can thank Donovan McNabb, Laurence Maroney and Larry Fitzgerald for that. This week I am starting Hines Ward instead of Fitzgerald and considered starting Favre instead of McNabb - but I think I will give Donovan one more week to be awful. I am having flashbacks from 3 years ago with Daunte Culpepper.

Things have been a little slow in the video department lately. This next video might explain why.


josh said...

Man i'm doin the exact same thing in my fantasy leagues... undefeated and 3rd palce overall in one and then dead last with an 0-2 record in the other. Just out of curiosity, who was your first round draft pick in the league you're doin good in?

josh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zach Delph said...

yeah i'm 1-1 both leagues I play in...I'm also seeing poor performance from Maroney...But Phillip Rivers is finally having a good day today after 2 horrible weeks.

Joy from the Prison said...

Hey, forget the leagues, but let me tell you where I go instead of "Titantic." I come to this blog. It's too funny... especially the videos, Andy. I was just sitting here laughing my head off with the newest addition. THANK you.

Blessedman said...

<---part of 5%...couldn't lose today with Donovan OR Favre...both went guns blazing...congrats! I gave up on Maroney a couple weeks ago and traded him away and yet I'm sitting 1-2...but I still have hope. What fools we are!

Flo Oakes said...

I found this blog a few months ago, and got excited..then forgot about it, then found it again today, and got re-excited about it, because I thought I found it for the first time. Then I realized I had seen it before, but because of major mom brain, I didn't remember, so I felt silly. And I don't usually like commenting on people's blogs I don't know, except for Zach Braff's because I don't think he really reads all the comments.

Um...anyway, all that to say, I am glad I found the blog, and I found the songwriting portion really interesting, but not so much the football part, because I am married to a computer geek and we seriously don't watch sports. Ever.

Drew Scott said...

Thanks so much for the explanation of writing appointments. It's great to see how folks construct their songs, especially together. I imagine most songs start with some idea or group of words. Do you usually create chord structure and melody before you flesh out the lyrics?

I'm struck by the amount of humility a songwriter must carry.

If you'd like, I can mail you my copy of the Dances with Wolves director cut - over 4 hours of productivity...well spent.

uwhmv. My verification word is also a sound effect.

lyndsayslaten said...

thanks for the details about the songwriting appointments. i love knowing about stuff like that!

i'm going to ask a question that might get me stampeded if everyone reading this was in the room with me...ready? what's fantasy football?

Rebekah said...

*whispering* I don't get fantasy football. AT ALL. I guess that makes me normal (i.e. not part of the 5%), but I still feel like it should be whispered here. ;)

*talking in a normal voice* So that video was stinkin' hilarious! How sad is it that I want to watch Titanic now? So very, very sad, methinks.

Thanks for the laughs!


Peter said... I may be the only guy reader here who *doesn't* do the fantasy football thing... but Titanic? Really? At least pull out LOTR or something (plus you have a whole 12 hours of movie to fill up the slow times).

Let me echo the thanks for the writing appointment bit; there's a whole lot about the creative business that I just don't understand, and the insight is always welcome.

LisaBeth said...

Does someone want to enlighten the masses and explain fantasy football to us poor souls who haven't discovered the wonders of it as of yet? :)

Chris said...

How glad are you that you started McNabb? I am sitting 0-3 in my league, which I can thank someone else drafting my team for me (I was out of the country). Cant wait to hear the new record

Peter said...

To Lis and others wondering, I present this link.

LisaBeth said...

Peter rocks!! Muchos gracias! I am very enlightened.