[audio mp3="http://petercase.com/wp-content/uploads/04-Cant-Stop-Shakin-Demo.mp3"][/audio] In New York City, the club was the Bottom Line, over near Washington Square Park. At The Bottom Line, dressing rooms were small, but the mirrors were ringed by bulbous white lights, like you would imagine seeing in a Broadway backstage. The Bottom Line equals "making it in the big town." The Village Voice gave my show a pick, New York magazine raved about the new album, the writers were out front, even the reviewer from the New York Times. All the DJs were there from Fordham University, and KNBC. Paul from The Nerves showed up, with a
Peter Case left home when he was 16, taught himself to play country blues on the streets of San Francisco, and was in a couple of signal L.A. rock bands: The Nerves and the Plimsouls . For the last 25 years Case has worked as a singer-songwriter, building a lauded catalog of songs and a reputation as a musician’s musician. Springsteen and Prine and Ely are fans. Sir George Martin tapped him to play Beatles songs at the Hollywood Bowl. He returned from open heart surgery with 2010′s Wig!, a pummeling collection of blues, punk, and garage rock. We talked after a
[audio m4a="http://petercase.com/wp-content/uploads/10-Many-Roads-to-Follow.m4a"][/audio] The Nerves played the Daryl Starbird Hot Rod Show at the Cow Palace in early 1976. The place was huge, it was one of our first gigs, and we were anxious, even though nobody was paying any attention to us—they were all there for the cars. But Daryl Starbird himself gave the introduction to the crowd, in a loud, clear voice, over the PA, heard throughout the hall, “Ladies and Gentlemen, now, on our main stage, I'm proud to present, for your listening pleasure, THE NERDS!” I just about fainted. The other guys were looking at me like
[audio m4a="http://petercase.com/wp-content/uploads/03-Hanging-On-the-Telephone.m4a"][/audio] 'Don't leave me hangin' on the telephone...' I was living in San Francisco's North Beach, and on my spot in front of the Swiss American Hotel one night in 1973, playing the 13th Floor Elevators song 'You're Gonna Miss Me, ' when I noticed this skinny white guy, about my age, leaning against the no parking sign, smoking a cigarette, watching me. He had short curly hair, wore old blue jeans, white deck sneakers, and a blue/green wooly sweater. At first look, he didn't really fit in with the scruffy Broadway outlaw scene. I watched as he
Assignment Zero: 25 titles, names of songs you might write someday, appealing word combinations, subjects etc but compressed into one short phrase. Song Assignment 1 1. Write a song based on a desire, about a person, place or time that you long for: someplace you would like to be, someone you would like to see, a time, or something you long to do. Compose the words as vividly as possible, so as to make a very clear picture of your subject, that appeals to the senses. Examples of this type of song are the Byrd's Chestnut Mare, the Beatles's Strawberry
WHERE MY SPIRIT IS, I AM : Magical Aspects of Songwriting "Painting isn't an aesthetic operation, it's a form of magic designed as a mediator between this strange hostile world and us, a way of seizing power by giving form to our terrors as well as our desires. When I came to that realization I knew I had found my way." - Pablo Picasso "If you get an idea you just elaborate on it. If you're singing about a house, you talk about the shingles, you talk about the door, the window... there aren't any rules." - Lucinda Williams "
I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things. "I know a girl, she been married so many times, she got rice marks all over her face" "She was sharp as a razor and soft as a prayer" "I did my time in the jail of your arms" "I've got a bottle for a trumpet, a hatbox for a drum..." One look in his eyes... and everyone denies... ever having met him." Even Jesus wanted just a little more time, when he was walkin' spanish down the hall" "I stay in a place called 'Rooms'... There's a whole chain of them."
Clamping the mind down on details. some exercises and then a song. or two. William Carlos Williams: "It is in things that for the artist the power lies, not beyond them. Only where the eye hits does sight occur" --haiku, I think, is a clever method to get ourselves to write/see/picture simultaneously. First, most people during early school years actually did write some form of it, and might recall it with fondness or joy, or embarrassment and scoffing. Either way, many of us can remember the act of really writing, before we began an endless series of quizzes and bubbles
Once you’ve got a first draft down… 1) a. Is the melody defined? Is there a note for every syllable of the lyric? b. Is the rhythm defined? c. Do the chords support the melody? 2) Is there contrast between sections? Or do the same musical ideas repeat in different sections of the song? This can often hold a song back. The different sections need to be different musically, creating sympathetic contrast. Also, a middle eight needs to get far enough away from the verse that the verse feels and sounds fresh again when you return to it. 3)