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Any critique appreciated
Old 21st November 2019
  #1
Gear Addict
Any critique appreciated

Soundcloud.com/rocky-lavine
Warning some violence in the song,
Dead Stick Rage x mixed by paul.

Cold Tight Dead Stick Rage
An account of a sharing at a Men’s Anger Group

She invited me over
despite the restraining order
I went cause I’m bound to that woman
like a brick is to mortar

I went along the back way
didn’t want nobody to see
cause we’d raised so many rows (pronounced rowels) before
the neighbors would recognize me

Through the backdoor we kissed like friends
had I suffered enough had I made amends
I felt like I licked it
like I’d made a real change
like I’d never act out again
in a cold tight dead stick rage

She made a fine dinner
we were happy at the table
we laughed at our past fights
like they was only in a fable

we ate desert
and we drank some wine
I’d not felt this at home
for a very long time

She took a call
gave it all her attention
sounded like another guy
with a sexual intention

She laughed and talked
while I stewed in place
till the tightness took me
and I punched her in the face

I can still hear her screaming
through the rising of my bile
the red blood running down
the white bathroom tile

I left there and I came right here
to tell you fellows what we have to fear

Through the backdoor we kissed like friends
had I suffered enough had I made amends
I felt like I licked it
like I’d made a real change
like I’d never act out again
in a cold tight dead stick rage

We all looked down and sighed
as the cops came in
he looked so helpless
as they handcuffed him

and to this day
I think of this visceral story
a constant reminder
of how things can get stormy

and I wonder about that
fragile little catch
that stills my anger
when I get the itch

Can’t take much credit
for what the angels gave
the shut down valve that
grants me a save

but
Through the backdoor he kissed like friends
had he suffered enough had he made amends
He felt like he licked it
like he’d made a real change
like he’d never act out again
in a cold tight dead stick rage
Old 22nd November 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
Ok, the subject matter and most of the content doesn't work for me at all. So, perhaps a few questions would be the most useful critique I can contribute. Keep in mind that I mean no offense by them. They are questions I ask myself.

Why are you creating this? Why is it important to you?

Who exactly is your audience?

Why will this set of lyrics be of high value to them?

In media, most people want to be entertained, inspired and/or informed. How specifically does this set of lyrics accomplish that? To what extent does it succeed? Mildly or big-time or not at all?

Think of the previous question in terms of other art you love - not just other lyrics. For example, what movies do you love? Have you mapped out the emotional journey you experience when watching those movies? How will your lyrics compare to such a ride in the minds of your audience?

What do you want to accomplish in life? What is important to you?


Hope this helps,

Ray H.
Old 22nd November 2019
  #3
Gear Addict
Thanks for the response.

Ok, it's a dangerous song, my only one.
Some years ago I joined a mens anger group.
One day a very upset guy came in and told that story, ok I added a little drama.

It was the best thing I learned in the class, a parable of loss of self control.
And that guy was not a one off.
I wanted to help some people with the song, as the story helped me.

Audience, don't know, I don't write to targets (maybe I should), I'm working on my own therapy, and trying to create something new.
I know of no other song like this, about a violent incident (is this really a taboo subject?), loose connection to Cash's Folsom Prison but I didn't think about at all.

I you don't mind a few questions for you,

Did you listen to the music or just read the lyrics?
What part didn't work for you, and did you understand the story?
If so was it just aversion to the subject material, my wife hates it, lol.

Thanks for your help.
Old 22nd November 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
Did you listen to the music or just read the lyrics?
I read the lyrics at least 3 times through. I read parts of it several times - because I was having more trouble in some spots than other spots - and I tend to do that anyway.

I did not listen to the music, only read the lyrics.

What part didn't work for you?
I will often walk up to a keyboard and push down on some number of random keys all at once, as if to play a complex way-outside chord. Then I do a few things. Here are a couple:
  1. I try to think of where that chord will fit into some tune I already know. Interestingly no matter how bizarre the chord sounds in isolation, I always find a tune where it is the perfect fit.
  2. I take the individual notes from the chord and try to find some great [great for me, at least] melody. I always can. And I usually find other wonderful melodies from tunes I already know.

Success with these exercises is not a result of talent, it is because the music was always there in those notes just waiting to be [re]discovered.

Some of your lyrics could work for me, but I think we are at a similar level where I would have to invest time to play with them.

Did you understand the story?
I did take note of the line: 'An account of a sharing at a Men’s Anger Group', and read the lyrics in that context. But I didn't understand what you were trying to accomplish with them, for me.

I expect I was never intended to be one of the people you are trying to help with the song. . .so it just didn't resonate with much of anything for me, personally. This isn't the only reason for the questions though. I ask myself similar questions when I am trying to compose most anything.

Was it just aversion to the subject material?
Well, there was [for me] an aversion to the subject material. But I don't think it was just that.

As to notions of audience, I think it useful for creatives to be explicit about this - even if the audience is just yourself [as it often has been for me], or others you want to help. And I'm interpreting your response as a 1st layer answer to my question. The question was much less concerned with thinking about genres or large audiences.


Best wishes,

Ray H.
Old 22nd November 2019 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Addict
Thanks Ray, I learned something from that.
I asked about listening to the music because it is not a country song, more like a Django sort of thing.
Some people have an aversion to country style tunes, I'm an old folky who took a lot of jazz lessons.

I do a similar thing on the guitar (classical type), play a weird combo then adjust.
I've written whole songs from that beginning, but nothing I think is very good compared to the ones that come from either accident or intention.

I'm glad you are not in the intended audience. An act of domestic violence occures every 9 seconds in America.

When I was a freshman in College my first paper came back covered in red ink. I got some help, it seems I didn't know how to put on an objective, virginal brain when proofreading my writing. Once they showed me how to do that I was able to pass the red ink test (keep in mind this was in the days of the Underwood Upright manual typewriter). I'm trying to learn to do that with my songwriting, and also in my recording work.

Ray, if you want, direct me to some of your stuff, words or songs.
If we can be honest with each other maybe we can both get better.

Thanks again for taking the time.
Old 26th March 2020 | Show parent
  #6
ccg
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolavine View Post
Thanks Ray, I learned something from that.
I asked about listening to the music because it is not a country song, more like a Django sort of thing.
Some people have an aversion to country style tunes, I'm an old folky who took a lot of jazz lessons.

I do a similar thing on the guitar (classical type), play a weird combo then adjust.
I've written whole songs from that beginning, but nothing I think is very good compared to the ones that come from either accident or intention.

I'm glad you are not in the intended audience. An act of domestic violence occures every 9 seconds in America.

When I was a freshman in College my first paper came back covered in red ink. I got some help, it seems I didn't know how to put on an objective, virginal brain when proofreading my writing. Once they showed me how to do that I was able to pass the red ink test (keep in mind this was in the days of the Underwood Upright manual typewriter). I'm trying to learn to do that with my songwriting, and also in my recording work.

Ray, if you want, direct me to some of your stuff, words or songs.
If we can be honest with each other maybe we can both get better.

Thanks again for taking the time.
Some people (not really aiming this at anyone in the thread) get their feathers ruffled when songs are about serious issues. Even more so if you present the story like it was something you did or were directly involved in. If you want to sing the lyric "domestic violence is bad" they might be okay with it. This doesn't make for very compelling storytelling though. Nobody would read a novel, story or poem like that. Nobody would watch a film like that (unless it as a documentary, perhaps.)

There are a lot of people you need to not worry about if you are interested in telling these difficult stories.
Old 26th March 2020
  #7
ccg
Gear Addict
And yeah, I do know that this thread is old.
Old 2nd April 2020 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccg View Post
Some people (not really aiming this at anyone in the thread) get their feathers ruffled when songs are about serious issues. Even more so if you present the story like it was something you did or were directly involved in. If you want to sing the lyric "domestic violence is bad" they might be okay with it. This doesn't make for very compelling storytelling though. Nobody would read a novel, story or poem like that. Nobody would watch a film like that (unless it as a documentary, perhaps.)

There are a lot of people you need to not worry about if you are interested in telling these difficult stories.
Thanks,as of yet I'm not capable of generating the energy to write a song about small things or to copy. I do it because I love the process and being able to create something I can show. I do it for me, to connect with the muse that has been teasing me my whole life, and I know there is no shortage of critics that can't create anything worthwhile. But I want to know their minds.
Old 19th September 2020
  #9
Gear Head
 

I didn't like most of the rhymes. Felt contrived to me.
I would obfuscate some of the details to appeal to a wider group.
Also, that is a lot of lyrics. Unless its sung fast that is going to one long song. Unless the music was magical I doubt I could make it to the end of the song.
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