Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Song Remains the Same

This is a photo of a much younger (and skinnier) version of myself, circa 1988, performing at a Christmas party with my old schoolmate and musical partner, Ken Cadmus. I reminisced a bit about Ken at the beginning of this blog, which you can read about here. I joined his 50s-style band in the tenth grade, and by the time I was attending art school we had begun seriously writing songs. Most of them were awful and forgettable, but there is one I have kept with me all these years. It's called "Into the Night", and it has been a part of my life longer than some of my friends. Ken wrote the simple one-note riff that intros the song, as well as the progression for the chorus, and I wrote the rest, including the lyrics.

In 1995 I met my next major musical partner, Rob Flowers, with whom I wrote and recorded several very awful songs (the awful part being my doing, not Rob's) and we revived "Into the Night", which became a 'ska' number after the band had played it that way for a joke. It works, but I have always lamented the lack of a straight-ahead rock version, the way Ken and I had envisioned it in 1986. It has been dusted off and put back into play, this time by Dave and myself, and we are currently exploring a new and more basic approach to the song.

It's possible I have held onto this song out of nostalgia or sentiment, but I doubt it because as I wrote above I have an entire catalog of horrible songs that will never again see the light of day. I think what "Into the Night" has going for it is an interesting if basic progression, an emotionally charged transition in the chorus, and the room to build and diminish dynamics to dramatic effect. It also expresses lyrically the difficulty I sometimes have being understood in my intentions and my message, especially in crucial, emotional moments. I truly have no idea how good a song it is, but it's been a part of my life for so long that I couldn't imagine leaving it out of any performance catalog of mine.

Here are three versions: a 2007 solo acoustic home demo, which roughly reflects the 'classic' version we used to do in the old days; the Thirty Thieves 'ska' version, and the most recent band version, which is a  rehearsal version recorded in June.

Into the Night Solo
Into the Night 'ska'
Into the Night recent rough

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