Thursday, August 2, 2012

Song #225 of 9999 - Unnatural Disaster by Frankie Big Face

As mentioned in my post of July 20, I'm going to write about my own music for a few weeks as a way to get some song comments together for an updated website. My goal is eventually to have a few paragraphs written for every song on my website and I figured I'd start with all the Nur Ein songs I've written over the past six years. Nur Ein is a songwriting competition in the same vein as Song Fight!, wherein a title is presented each week and participants must write and record a song using that title. The songs are posted and listeners vote for their favorites. In the case of Nur Ein, there is a judging panel that ranks the songs and participants are eliminated each week until "only one" (nur ein) remains. There are also additional challenges that must be incorporated such as "lyrics in the form of a sonnet" or "guest rapper." Nur Ein has been around for seven years and I've entered four times and won twice. NBD. :D  This is post #10.


Song #225 of 9999 

Title: Unnatural Disaster
Artist: Frankie Big Face
Year: 2008
Album: Nur Ein 3

Click here to listen! 

Typically, I aim to write songs about complex feelings associated with the often challenging dynamics of relationships. This is not easy work. The wrong line at the wrong time can completely derail the sentiment of the song. More than anything, I toil over my lyrics even though they're usually the last thing people (including me!) notice when listening to a new song.

Which is why it's sometimes fun to just write something that is completely silly like Unnatural Disaster. The lyrics to this song are okay—there are a few clever lines about this death-cheating protagonist—but mostly they belong buried beneath the thick layers of noise and reverb that I used in the arrangement. This type of song is so much fun to play, I only wish that I had had time to bring in a real drummer to share in the RAWK. The chord progression is a bit unique, with all the chords related by minor thirds and the second part a mirror image of the first: E G E Bb | Bb G Bb E. The chorus has an interesting progression as well with three chords cycling over four-measure phrases: A C G A | C G A (F).

The break in the middle with the flute-y jazz rock is a gag to fulfill the Nur Ein challenge (prominent use of backwards recording) which is mildly funny the first time you hear it, but not so much afterward. (If you like the song enough to want to hear it in the future without the gag, here is an edited version: Unnatural Disaster (edit).) On the plus side, it gave me an excuse to break out my flute and do my best Ian Anderson impression.

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