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#1132803 - 11/25/17 12:43 PM Pretty Smart Sister  
Joined: May 2017
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Gavin Sinclair  Offline
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Conover, North Carolina, USA
A silly song that just kind of came to me as I was lying in bed. It's a work in progress, so all suggestions are very much appreciated. I can imagine making quite a few changes for the final version.

https://soundcloud.com/gavin-sinclair-5/pretty-smart-sister/s-2hiyf

I know the title is kind of buried in the chorus, but it seemed like the catchiest phrase and a lot more likely to draw a potential listener than my original tile, “Tell Me.”


PRETTY SMART SISTER

Tell me why you can’t put on mascara
With your mouth closed?
Tell me why you think you love me
Tell me why….you don’t

Tell me why….you won’t leave me alone
Tell me why….you’re leaving me
Tell me why….are you still here?
Tell me where….did you go?

CHORUS
So much that’s a mystery, mister
So much that’s crazy as hell
You look like you’re pretty smart, sister
Hey can you tell…
... me…

...what has he got that I haven’t got?
Tell me where….do I get it?
Tell me why….would I want it?
Tell me why….do you?

Tell me why I don’t want to go to bed
Tell me why….I don’t want to get up
Tell me why this song doesn’t rhyme
Tell me why it does some of the time

CHORUS
So much that’s a mystery, mister
So much that’s crazy as hell
You look like you’re pretty smart, sister
I bet you can tell…

...me…

...when….did time start?
Tell me what happens… after it stops
Tell me what lies beyond the edge of space
Tell me who…..made God

And if he made man in his own image
Tell me who made Donald Trump
Tell me why… are your fingers in your ears?
Tell me why….are you crying?

CHORUS
So much that’s a mystery, mister
So much that’s crazy as hell
You look like you’re pretty smart, sister
Hey can you tell…

...me…

... how much is that doggie in the window?
How many puppies are at the pound?
How much do they pay Kim Kardashian?
How old was that boy who drowned?

Tell me what was the best thing before sliced bread?
And the night they drove old Dixie down
Why were all…the people singing
Na na na na na na na na na?

CHORUS
So much that’s a mystery, mister
So much that’s crazy as hell
You look like you’re pretty smart, sister
Hey can you tell… me…why, what, when, who, how

#1132826 - 11/26/17 02:29 AM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Deej56 Offline
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Gavin,

I like the sound of this and the idea behind it; really inviting, fun tune, and nice production supporting this. I do think the lyrics can use a bit more focus; there’s a lot of good here (more than a lot, actually) but, well, for me at least, it falls into stream of consciousness at points, particularly at the end. BTW, love the sax in the background—awesome and a total keeper (Is that you playing?). Hope the comments help.

Best regards,

Deej

#1132836 - 11/26/17 11:31 AM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Thanks for listening, Deej. Stream of consciousness was what I was going for. The idea was that the song should drift from the mundane to the more fundamental questions of life without a change of tone and with little connection between the questions. However, I'm not sure that it's such a great idea! It's certainly radically different from anything I've done before.

I wish I could play the sax like that! Actually, I wish I could play the sax at all. Come to that, I wish I had a sax.

#1132840 - 11/26/17 12:42 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Moosesong Offline
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I LOVE it. The melody and production fit the mood of the lyrics perfectly and the lyrics are great. Couuldn't help but snicker and smile.

and these mysteries of life fit in with the 'mysterious beings' group name.

If I were to change anything, it would be the mister/sister part. is it that your asking anyone who will listen? anyone you meet on the street? if so that could be a little clearer.


Since these are obviously the types of questions that leave a person awake at night, I would prefer the chorus to be more about why does your mind pester you at 4 in the morning. something about
Thoughts that go bump in the night.
or
things my soul asks while my brains half asleep
or
Dear God, if you weren't going to give me any answers, why do you always wake me up with these questions at 4am.

(or maybe I'm obsessing because I've been awake since 4 in the morning)


David Hunkins
Music page
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=707030

There is only one "best", the best you can.
#1132842 - 11/26/17 01:06 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Conover, North Carolina, USA
Thanks for the kind words, David. You make some good points. I really like the chorus in itself, because it is catchy and memorable (at least, I think so). I'm loathe to ditch any of it because I want to keep the singalong feeling and the sound of the words themselves, independent of their meaning. I also like the fact that it uses the second person - the mister and the sister are the listeners.

BUT you're not the first to wonder about how well it fits with the verses. One the one hand, the idea is that the various parts of the song should be only loosely connected - a kind of chaotic stream of consciousness thing. On the other hand, I don't want to leave the listener frustrated and confused. Your suggestions have given me a lot to think about. Thanks for that.

#1132854 - 11/26/17 06:15 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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David Snyder Offline
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North Carolina

Hey Gavin,

There is a lot of incredibly funny stuff in this song. I can see this as being a favorite at bars.

smile

The one line about the boy being drowned kinda threw me though. It felt sort of out place in the comic scheme.


I actually think the songs starts winding down after this..


...when….did time start?
Tell me what happens… after it stops
Tell me what lies beyond the edge of space
Tell me who…..made God

And if he made man in his own image
Tell me who made Donald Trump
Tell me why… are your fingers in your ears?
Tell me why….are you crying?

CHORUS
So much that’s a mystery, mister
So much that’s crazy as hell
You look like you’re pretty smart, sister
Hey can you tell…


[Na na na na, na na na na]

tell me what's on the edge of space

tell me what is happening to the human race....

slow fade.....


????

Just a thought.


David Snyder, Composer, Author
Singer-Songwriter, Producer
Regional Chapter Coordinator, NSAI
www.davidsnydermusic.com
www.reverbnation.com/davidpsnyder
#1132861 - 11/26/17 06:30 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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lane1777 Offline
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south of the mason,dixon line
Hi Gavin...listened to the music ...I like it! good, writing and performance in this piece. Lane


"Grace always pours from a closing wound"
#1132862 - 11/26/17 06:32 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Conover, North Carolina, USA
Thanks David.

Yes, the line about the boy who drowned could be a problem. It's an allusion to the little Syrian refugee whose photograph went all round the world - kind of a stark contrast to the wealth sucked up by the Kim Kardashians of the world in the previous line. However, I must admit, not all that many folks are going to get the allusion and in a year or so, nobody at all will. I should probably ditch that one.

Good suggestion about where the song could wind down. The idea was to go from silly to slightly darker, but then I drifted off to the silliest line of all about all the people singing na na na na. The whole thing is a bit chaotic.

I've had some good feedback here. Thanks to all who have chimed in.

#1132865 - 11/26/17 07:01 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Conover, North Carolina, USA
Thanks for listening, Lane. Glad you liked it.

#1132872 - 11/27/17 05:50 AM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Posts: 19,466
Calvin Online content
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Calvin  Online Content
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Okeechobee, Florida U.S.A.
Hello Gavin,


Very catchy & entertaining.


Calvin


http://www.soundclick.com/bands/0/calvinstewart

#1132880 - 11/27/17 10:18 AM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 10,898
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Kendal, Cumbria .UK
Hi Gavin
Liked the sax intro and quirky lyric great idea for a song. Thumbs up
Travis

Last edited by Travis david; 11/27/17 10:18 AM.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde
#1132889 - 11/27/17 02:28 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Gavin Sinclair  Offline
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Conover, North Carolina, USA
Thanks Calvin and Travis. And thanks to everyone who has commented on this so far. I have had some very helpful feedback.

#1132890 - 11/27/17 03:07 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 13,207
Michael LeBlanc Offline
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Michael LeBlanc  Offline
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Louisiana
this is a really cool song,Gavin.i like it a bunch. Mike

#1132895 - 11/27/17 04:13 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
Joined: Jul 2006
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Michael Zaneski Offline
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California
Hi Gavin,

I started out fully engaged and like it overall but observed my attention drifting and thought (at that point) that there's too much here and that a little preening would help out a lot.

I think maybe, though, you were going for it to be a comedic effect from the barrage of questions?

I remember in Napoleon Bonapart's "They're Coming To Take Me Away' (I was a big Doctor Demento fan) that they raise the pitch of his vocal (while he does his main rant) so it sounds cartoon-ish by the end and thought, maybe you could have fun with this song in a like manner. I was imagining the tempo constantly increasing until it was practically unmanagable towards the end. You could try that with the overall finished file but that would do the Napoleon Bonapart thing to you vocals. If you kept increasing the tempo in BIAB it would sound like YOU all the way through, and could be pretty funny cuz you would sound more and more harried and manically inquisitive as you sang through the material.. And if you did that, I'd recommend keeping ALL the words.

Just some random thoughts on the breadth one is allowed when producing novelty tunes..I've done my share, LOL..

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 11/27/17 06:13 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1132956 - 11/28/17 11:08 AM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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E Swartz Offline
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Ohio
Hey Gavin,

Entertaining. You took me back to the mid-60's with this folk/pop type song. I like the randomness of the subject matter, as it conveys someone's sporadic random thoughts, then bang, you have a few sarcastic remarks that evoke humor. In the golden folk era, I could see someone utilizing more of that sarcasm within a song like this. A fun song, certainly enjoyed it!

Nice work Gavin!

Post Script: (This song made me think a little of Stevie B, as it had a little of his style with vocal delivery--hope you are doing well Steve, we miss you posting)!


steady-eddie

#1132960 - 11/28/17 11:47 AM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
Joined: Nov 2010
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Vicarn Online content
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UK
That was fun. Great idea for a song.

My teachers at school would have thought it was written about me. :-)

Vic


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.
http://www.soundclick.com/vicarnold

http://soundcloud.com/vic-arnold
#1132983 - 11/28/17 06:00 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Michael Zaneski]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Gavin Sinclair  Offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Zaneski
Hi Gavin,

I started out fully engaged and like it overall but observed my attention drifting and thought (at that point) that there's too much here and that a little preening would help out a lot.

I think maybe, though, you were going for it to be a comedic effect from the barrage of questions?

I remember in Napoleon Bonapart's "They're Coming To Take Me Away' (I was a big Doctor Demento fan) that they raise the pitch of his vocal (while he does his main rant) so it sounds cartoon-ish by the end and thought, maybe you could have fun with this song in a like manner. I was imagining the tempo constantly increasing until it was practically unmanagable towards the end. You could try that with the overall finished file but that would do the Napoleon Bonapart thing to you vocals. If you kept increasing the tempo in BIAB it would sound like YOU all the way through, and could be pretty funny cuz you would sound more and more harried and manically inquisitive as you sang through the material.. And if you did that, I'd recommend keeping ALL the words.

Just some random thoughts on the breadth one is allowed when producing novelty tunes..I've done my share, LOL..

Mike


Thanks for the detailed response, Mike. Much appreciated. In an earlier response, David Snyder also suggested that it could do with a little pruning, so I'm going to think about that. I had actually thought of speeding it up towards the end and making the vocals more and more manic. It occurred to me after I finished and listened to it. I'm not sure if I can carry it off vocally, but I might give it a try. I'm not sure if there is a way in BIAB to gradually increase the speed the way a live band could or whether I'd have to do it by importing a whole lot of versions of the same track at slightly increasing speeds and use them for successive sections of the last verse, hoping that the ear interprets it as a gradual increase in tempo.

Thanks again for the feedback.

#1132991 - 11/28/17 08:14 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: E Swartz]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Thanks Eddie. Glad you liked it. I don't know Stevie B although he is a very near neighbor of mine. He welcomed me when I joined here and mentioned he was in Hickory, NC, which is basically the same little town as I live in.

#1132992 - 11/28/17 08:17 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Vicarn]  
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Thanks Vic. I promise I've never met your teachers, at least not to my knowledge smile

It's funny, this song that I just kind of threw together in a day has had more feedback than all the ones I've spent weeks fretting over.

#1132996 - 11/28/17 09:32 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
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Michael Zaneski Offline
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California
Hi Gavin,

You can change tempo bar by bar or even more. Your only constraint is the number 255, I believe..255 as in the number of total bars in your song.

To change the tempo of any bar, right click in the middle of that bar (in the default BIAB GUI) and you will see "Bar settings" in that menu. Left click that, and then carefully change the number to the right of "tempo change to" to whatever tempo you want. BIAB will continue to play at this new tempo until a new tempo change is given in a later bar. Of course, it will play in the original tempo when you start the song and continue in that tempo 'til it comes to your change.

Remember that Real Tracks can sound fairly decent up to about twice their INTENDED tempo. Your song sounds like it's about 120 BPM, so to get the most out of the deal, realize that styles intended for a greater tempo (such as 140-160) will take you easily into the 280-300 BPM range with only instruments that have vibrato on them fairing poorly (that sax vibrato will sound way too fast and weird towards the end of the song--although maybe give it a Benny Hill effect?)

So you could gradually increase the tempo every bar, but probably every other bar would be less work and just as effective. Once you see how easy it is to do, I'm sure you'll come up with a plan that works for you, if you decide to go the 'manic inquisitor route'. Sounds like it could be a hoot.

EDIT: You can even use your already recorded vocal track by importing it into BIAB (Menu<Audio<Import Audio<Browse for file) and if you did this it's best to set up your vocal with the same amount of "lead in" as the rest of your BIAB tracks or your vocal track will be out-of-sync. The default is two bars. And unless I'm mistaken it will change your vocal's tempo along with everything else. I'm not sure if this would be a better choice than you actually re-singing the song, but just so you know..

Mike

Last edited by Michael Zaneski; 11/28/17 10:42 PM.

Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice

-The Divine Comedy (Neil Hannon)
from the song "Songs of Love"
from the album "Casanova" (1996)
#1133030 - 11/29/17 01:04 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,647
Ricki E. Bellos Offline
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Ricki E. Bellos  Offline
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Posts: 6,647
Wisconsin
Gavin, this made me laugh, mainly because of how disjointed it is. I can visualize this couple: she's on the verge of leaving him and his response is divided between heartbreak and totally inappropriate. Should he laugh or cry? Sounds like he's doing both and sometimes that can feel pretty reasonable. The only line that really did seem out of place is the one about the boy who drowned...but I suppose in his desperation, he's just saying whatever is in his head? Anyway, I found it very entertaining and unique and enjoyed my listen.

Ricki

#1133036 - 11/29/17 04:22 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
Joined: May 2017
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Gavin Sinclair  Offline
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Conover, North Carolina, USA
Thanks Mike for your really valuable advice. I intend to try this out, whether or not it ends up being the way I go with this song. For now, I changed the last line of the second last verse (the one with the boy who drowned) and the whole of the last verse to something that I think is lyrically much better. The result is that it stays closer to the rest of the song and doesn't dissolve into the same kind of chaotic silliness. I won't repeat the whole lyric here, just the last two verses that changed.

How much is that doggie in the window?
How many puppies are at the pound?
How much do they pay Kim Kardashian?
Did you lose this quarter I found?

Tell me who... in a firing squad
Wouldn't shoot to miss.
Tell me who... when a heart is breaking
Would refuse a kiss.

The revised version is here:
https://soundcloud.com/gavin-sinclair-5/pretty-smart-sister-2/s-IwBvt

#1133040 - 11/29/17 05:09 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,707
Dave Rice Online content
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Dave Rice  Online Content
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,707
Texas
Gavin:

I agree with the post about how this would be a really good listen in a bar environment. Well done and even though it's quirky here and there, it is really entertaining. Enjoyed! ----Dave

#1133044 - 11/29/17 08:40 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
Joined: May 2017
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Gavin Sinclair  Offline
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Posts: 226
Conover, North Carolina, USA
I'm thinking more of an arena with 50,000 screaming fans smile

No, you're right, Dave. This would be a good bar room song, although it would have to be a pretty big room to allow that sax to bounce off the walls without perforating the patrons' eardrums.

It's funny - a lot of my stuff seems suited to bars. The legacy of a misspent youth.

#1133045 - 11/29/17 08:43 PM Re: Pretty Smart Sister [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
Joined: May 2017
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Gavin Sinclair Offline
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Gavin Sinclair  Offline
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Joined: May 2017
Posts: 226
Conover, North Carolina, USA
Thanks Ricki. Glad it made you laugh. There's some serious stuff in there too, I suppose, but it's really just a chaotic romp of a song. I have no idea where it came from. I just woke up with it in my head.


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