I struggle with lyrics, wanting them to appear from some magical muse rather than being the product of some crafty process. Music seems to come to me this way, with little effort or craft to it. Some large chunk of my recordings are improvisations, where I babble sometimes incoherently and not typically able to string together many rhymes. Another portion of my recordings has gone mining all the recorded improv for bits to re-use in a structured, pre-planned song. Sometimes that has been pulling out loops of instrumental music, as I did for most of the produced tracks on the 1990s studio albums flipping bits, leave a trace, and solar. But, as much as I enjoy trying to transcribe an improvised lyric and psycho-analyzing myself, I don't do it much, and there has been a lot of stuff boiled up out of my subconscious and captured on tape that I haven't really revisited carefully.

This song caught my ear recently because the improvised lyrics get into a bit that sounded really familiar: "what do you want to do? / who do you want to be?" That's the chorus of "leave a trace"! I checked the dates, and sure enough, that song had its verses in late 1995, but didn't get its chorus until April 26, 1996, six days after this improv! And, confirming the connection, the last lines of this improv are "what kind of trace do you wanna leave / when you're through?" Cool to see I did listen to these tapes at least once, enough to latch onto a cool concept like that which became the anthemic chorus of a song I play a lot live at open mics these days.

Jon plays drums, PeBo plays congas, Tommy plays blues harp, and I play electric guitar and sing. Recorded live with two mics into a cassette deck on 20 April 1996 at Albrectsen Road Studios, Ithaca, NY. It was basically a Killer Whirlpool improv night without Tim. Released on the 1996 album sharksteeth and synapses.

Thanks for listening!

-Andy

ant jobs

I got ants in my pants and I want to dance, come on!
got ants in my pants and I want to get down
ants in my pants and I want to get funky
ants in my pants
drum it for me

got ants in my pants and I want to dance
got, oh yeah
ants in my pants and I want to dance
got ants in my pants

I was looking for a job
scanning down the want ads
so many different kinds of jobs
what do you want to be?
what do you want to do?
what do you want to be?
who am I today?
who are you?
what do you want to be?
what do you want to do?
don't ask all these questions
it's just why, why, why?
we got to live it up
cause someday you're just going to die

want to be a garbage man
or do you want to flip burgers at the burger joints
do you wanna sell frozen yogurt
door to door
or do you wanna be some kind of manager
do you wanna 
boss people around
do you wanna
fix cars or 
sell things or
push things on down the line 
well I
don't know about you 
but all these jobs sound kinda weird
you're either too qualified or not enough
nothing's going to pay

what do you want to be?
what do you want to do?
I guess we'd better think of something pretty soon
but 
what would that 
accomplish and
what would that do
what kind of trace do you wanna leave
when you're through?


lyrics improvised by Andy Wyatt on 20 April 1996
music improvised by Andy Wyatt, Jon Morse, Tommy Whittle, and Pete Bosanko on 20 April 1996
©1996 The Andy Band
posted on 2017.07.16