Bright & Shiny

A few years back I started recording an album with the local band Bright & Shiny. It appears that the album is now on Production Hell and may never see the light of day.

I was given temporary tracks to record along to. This was helpful but frustrating at the same time since the main songwriter likes to play “free-time” with fluctuating tempos. As the drummer, being the one who is in charge of the tempo, I was concerned with this. I have spent my life trying to have a more consistent tempo and now I’m having to fight that. That being said, I tried to get the tempo to be more consistent while allowing the songs to have the varying feel that the songwriter was after.

Since these songs may never see the light of day, I decided to share the video performances here in hopes that it might generate enough interest in this project to get it finished. I was working on videos that show the main drum performance along with little pop-up videos of the backing percussion. Sadly, I only got this far with the first song, but this is why there is a black border around the videos.

I’ll present each song along with some notes on each one. Keep in mind that the tracks I’m playing along to are not the finished performance from the rest of the band.

Soothsayer

This is one of my favorites. As such, it’s the one that I got the furthest with. This song is inspired by the character of Lodz from the HBO show Carnivàle.

I created a tempo map for this song. The first half is played loosely to a click in that the beginning of the chorus speeds up a bit then slows down towards the end so it lines back up on the click as the next section starts. Once the song changes about halfway through, the tempo goes all over the place, speeding up then slowing down, then speeding up again with no rhyme or reason, never getting back on the original click. I had to do my best to keep it sounding smooth and intentional.

The Places We Must Go

I really like this one and I would love to hear how it would have ended up. I had some pretty big plans for this one, percussion-wise.

Crooked Tree

I got a chance to dust off my brushes for this song. I have since done a lot more brushwork so I cringe a little bit when I look back at this video. Still, I think it sounds pretty good.

Christopher and Anna

The backing vocals are missing from this scratch track so there are some awkward pauses here and there.

Fallen Trenchcoat

This song starts out pretty mellow but builds in dynamics towards the end. If memory serves, this song is about three-ways.

Don’t Take My Meds Away

They pulled a fast one with this and added an extra section after I had finished my recording. I had to splice in a previous take of different section at the end when it starts to fade out.

Genesis Story

This was the first song I recorded for Bright & Shiny. I was really fighting the tempo on this one and I chose to keep it tight with the click. As a result, it doesn’t flow very well. What I should have done was what I ended up doing with the rest of the songs which is meet in the middle, acting as a bridge between a tight click and the loose “sloppy” sound of the wavering tempo.

I like the chorus because I get to play a driving Charlie Watts beat like the one he plays in Midnight Rambler in the faster section.

Your Face Is Upside-Down

I tried to take a different approach with the beat for this song. To match the title I turned the beat upside-down by swapping the kick and snare parts during the verses.

The End Holding Your Hand

There are some rather tasty double-bass triplets at the ending buildup in this song.

This Waiting

There are some decent driving beats in this song as well as some subtle hi-hat pedal work.

That’s all..

I would love to finish this project but it seems to have died. If anyone is interested in seeing this get finished, let me know and I’ll pass this along to those involved. Maybe we can generate enough interest to make it happen.

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