The Wagtunes Corner

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What CD Would You Like To Hear Me Do?

Modern Pop (Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, etc.)
5
4%
Classic Rock (Stones, Beatles, Who, Zep)
8
6%
Prog Rock (Yes, Genesis, Kansas, etc.)
12
9%
Show Tunes Style (Sound Of Music, My Fair Lady, etc.)
3
2%
Country (Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, etc.)
3
2%
Disco (Bee Gees, Tramps, etc.)
16
13%
Metal (various sub genres)
14
11%
EDM (various sub genres)
16
13%
80s (various genres)
10
8%
Your Music Sucks. Please Stop Making It
40
31%
 
Total votes: 127

User avatar
addled muppet weed
80510 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:14 pm

pa: nice work on that lead, love the pitch bending :tu:

User avatar
KVRAF

Topic Starter

20446 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:20 pm

vurt wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:14 pm
a lost elo demo tape? :tu:

actually sounds really good to me, it's those little mix "issues" as you call them, that make it more alive!

good stuff indeed, and nice to see you sharing again, even if it's an oldie to you, it's new to us :D
This was one of those songs that I knew as soon as I wrote it that it wasn't a throw away tune. All these years later, it's still one of my favorite tracks.

In the meantime, I've got 5 tracks left to do on my current CD that I started on February 23rd.

I still can't believe it.

User avatar
addled muppet weed
80510 posts since 26 Jan, 2003 from through the looking glass

Post Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:27 pm

must be working for you though, to stick at taking the time with each one.

User avatar
KVRAF

Topic Starter

20446 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:57 pm

vurt wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 4:27 pm
must be working for you though, to stick at taking the time with each one.
Well, I'll let you be the judge when it's finished. I have mixed feelings but I'm probably too close to the project.

User avatar
KVRAF
1548 posts since 19 Aug, 2008

Post Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:16 am

Nice, a good honest song. Reminded me of the Cheers theme tune at the beginning, but your's is a different tempo etc.
Can't comment on the mix since I am on my laptop.
I did expect the usual clever bridge, but it never came. Most of your other songs do have an interesting bridge. Hmmm.
Anyway, good to see you posting again.
:tu:

User avatar
KVRAF

Topic Starter

20446 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:42 am

Bansaw wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:16 am
Nice, a good honest song. Reminded me of the Cheers theme tune at the beginning, but your's is a different tempo etc.
Can't comment on the mix since I am on my laptop.
I did expect the usual clever bridge, but it never came. Most of your other songs do have an interesting bridge. Hmmm.
Anyway, good to see you posting again.
:tu:
The song is AAB form. AAB form songs don't have a bridge. If you listen again, you'll hear the B section.

The song itself is 11 years old. I just posted it because it was one of my old favorites.

Anyway, thanks for the listen and the feedback.

KVRAF
2089 posts since 22 Jan, 2011 from near Los Angeles

Post Thu Jun 24, 2021 5:54 pm

wagtunes,
"Here We Go Again": This has a 70's vibe for me. On the intro, it reminded me of the Cheers theme song, even if it has nothing in common. Yes, your audio quality has improved a lot since 2010. Also, your timing has gotten tighter since 2010. Maybe you use a sequencer more extensively now. The song is quite good and has nice melodies. Vocals are nicely layered; singing is good. It sounded better on second listen. Kind of a "Rockford Files" theme song lead synth. Nice song! :). I saw "The Sparks Brothers" movie in the theater. I didn't know it was an R-rated movie before I saw it; there are a few f-bombs, but not too bad otherwise. I only became familiar with Sparks after they started using synths: I like several of their popular 80's songs. In this movie, they play some pre-synth songs: they had kind of a weird show tunes vibe back then. Last third of the movie dragged a little bit for me. Overall, I think you'd like it if you are a Sparks fan, and don't mind a bit of naughty language.
You can hear my original music at this link: https://www.soundclick.com/artist/defau ... dID=224436

User avatar
KVRAF

Topic Starter

20446 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:03 pm

aaron aardvark wrote:
Thu Jun 24, 2021 5:54 pm
wagtunes,
"Here We Go Again": This has a 70's vibe for me. On the intro, it reminded me of the Cheers theme song, even if it has nothing in common. Yes, your audio quality has improved a lot since 2010. Also, your timing has gotten tighter since 2010. Maybe you use a sequencer more extensively now. The song is quite good and has nice melodies. Vocals are nicely layered; singing is good. It sounded better on second listen. Kind of a "Rockford Files" theme song lead synth. Nice song! :). I saw "The Sparks Brothers" movie in the theater. I didn't know it was an R-rated movie before I saw it; there are a few f-bombs, but not too bad otherwise. I only became familiar with Sparks after they started using synths: I like several of their popular 80's songs. In this movie, they play some pre-synth songs: they had kind of a weird show tunes vibe back then. Last third of the movie dragged a little bit for me. Overall, I think you'd like it if you are a Sparks fan, and don't mind a bit of naughty language.
Hey Aaron, thanks for the listen and the feedback. Much appreciated. Will definitely check out the Sparks movie.

User avatar
KVRAF
2672 posts since 28 Aug, 2012 from Melbourne, Australia

Post Sat Jun 26, 2021 1:37 am

"Here We Go Again" is a lovely track that would be great in a musical. Well done!
:)
Bandcamp
Music with progressive intent.

User avatar
KVRAF

Topic Starter

20446 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Sat Jun 26, 2021 2:26 am

Allomerus wrote:
Sat Jun 26, 2021 1:37 am
"Here We Go Again" is a lovely track that would be great in a musical. Well done!
:)
Thanks for the listen and the feedback. It is much appreciated especially as I'm struggling to finish my latest CD now going on 4 months.

User avatar
KVRAF
2672 posts since 28 Aug, 2012 from Melbourne, Australia

Post Sat Jun 26, 2021 2:34 am

Good luck with it! I'm sure you will get there.
Bandcamp
Music with progressive intent.

User avatar
KVRian
1253 posts since 23 Nov, 2018 from Birmingham, UK

Post Sun Jun 27, 2021 1:33 pm

Here We Go Again:

Yet again a song that showcases your firm grip on how to write a catchy, hooky melody!!!

A lot of people could seriously learn from these pieces...not too many different notes...don't be afraid of repetition (with a bit of variation) and put some bloody well judged gaps in there!

Good listen! Very 'John Miles' at times!
Mark Taylor, Chameleon Music - Professional composition and sound design for all media since 1994.

https://www.chameleonmusic.co.uk/

User avatar
KVRAF

Topic Starter

20446 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Sun Jun 27, 2021 5:12 pm

ChameleonMusic wrote:
Sun Jun 27, 2021 1:33 pm
Here We Go Again:

Yet again a song that showcases your firm grip on how to write a catchy, hooky melody!!!

A lot of people could seriously learn from these pieces...not too many different notes...don't be afraid of repetition (with a bit of variation) and put some bloody well judged gaps in there!

Good listen! Very 'John Miles' at times!
John Miles. Wow, did I love his music. In fact, his song "Music" is one of my all time favorites. Many times I wished I had written that one.

Anyway, thanks for the listen and the feedback. Whenever I sometimes feel like I'm writing "crap" I listen to some of my "catchier" songs to remind myself that I can occasionally come up with something memorable.

User avatar
KVRAF

Topic Starter

20446 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Mon Jul 12, 2021 9:55 am

Long Post Coming!

The Beginning

In 1977, I wrote my first song and recorded my first album, "Gas: A Rock Opera". It was done on a Teac A3440 4 track recorder. I had a couple of keyboards and my guitarist Rich. I also had a drum set. That was it. Obviously, the songs were very bare bones. Additionally, I had zero mixing skills, could barely play in time and my writing, quite honestly, sucked.

In short, the album was beyond horrible.

44 Years Later

I decided that I wanted to do a sequel to this album. I wanted the sequel to stay true to the original (crude rock, minimal arrangement, etc.) but I wanted it to be better. I wanted it recorded better, sung better, mixed better and hopefully, the songs themselves better. That was my goal.

The Results

I took a very long time to record this album of 16 songs. I started on 2/23/2021 and finished on 7/10/2021. That's about 4 1/2 months to finish this album which, for me, is a very long time.

Here is how long it took to do each song.

Overture From Gas II - 15 days
Top Of The Mountain - 8 days
What Waits Below - 11 days
The Drugs - 10 days
The Hooker - 10 days
The Mobster - 3 days
The Halls Of Casino Hell - 9 days
Life On The Streets - 11 Days
Land Of Decadence - 10 days
Going Down The Rabbit Hole - 9 days
Trapped Inside My Head - 3 days
Meditation 1 - 9 days
Is This My Hell - 7 days
Meditation 2 - 3 days
I See The Light - 11 days
Back On Top Again - 8 days

The songs, while played better, recorded better and mixed better, were uninspired except for maybe a couple. I would consider them generic rock album tracks. Two songs stand out. Ironically, "Trapped Inside My Head" which only took 3 days to do (so much for spending more time makes better songs theory) and "Back On Top Again" which is actually a partial cover of John Waite's "Back On My Feet Again." More on that later.

Of the 51 albums I have done since 2016, this one comes in at number 36. Yes, I rate my albums. Not the worst but certainly far from the best.

In fact, here is the list of all the albums I've done since 2020 and how they rate compared to the rest.

Killer Covers - 1
Mad Scientist - 3
Jerry And Company - 4
Restoration - 7
Girls II - 8
RPM II - 9
Disco Everywhere - 10
The Facebook Chronicles - 11
Time Travelers II - 18
Smorgasbord - 21
Outtakes II - 23
2020 - 25
RPM - 27
Gas II A Rock Opera - 36
Hammers And Nails - 40
Hop Skip And Jump - 41
Celestial Navigation - 47

So, as you can see, I haven't done a lot of stuff worse than my latest.

Production wise, they're certainly decent enough. But they're missing that spark that makes them more than just another ho-hum piece of music.

In short, I'm pretty much burnt out. This happened to me in 2003 when I stopped writing until 2008. How long I'll be taking a break for this time is anybody's guess. It could be a week, a month, a year or it could be for good. All I know is right now I have absolutely no desire to write another song.

For anybody who wants to listen to any of this stuff, below is the playlist. Don't expect anything to make you go wow but there are a couple of decent tunes.

"Back On Top Again"

Staying true to the theme of the album, where the star crashes and burns but then fights his way back to the top, I wanted to do a cover of John Waite's "Back On My Feet Again" for the last song, but the words weren't quite right. The star wasn't just back on his feet but back on top. So what I did was I took the John Waite's chorus, rewrote the lyrics, and then wrote a completely different song around it. So I'm not exactly sure what you'd call this. It's not a cover but it's not original either. Other artists have done things like this but I'm not sure what the genre is called.

The song itself came out really good and was different from the rest of the songs as it is more pop than rock and has a fuller arrangement. The other decent tune is "Trapped Inside My Head" which only took me 3 days. Go figure.

Anyway, here is "Gas II A Rock Opera" in its entirety.

https://soundcloud.com/steven-wagenheim ... rock-opera

User avatar
KVRAF
5690 posts since 18 Jul, 2008 from New York

Post Mon Jul 12, 2021 9:37 pm

Your post is quite an example of anti-promotion. :)

I am not sure why you feel the need to finish songs or a project if you are not happy with the direction they are taking.

Anyway, I listened to the first song "Top Of The Mountain." The production is clear and punchy. One of your best rock mixes I think. The guitars sound pretty convincing.

I think the best bits are towards the end when you added backing vocals. I would have enjoyed more of that throughout. The lyrics are straightforward setting up the story to come.

Overall, I think it's a very good song easily exceeding the low expectations I had based on your description.

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