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!
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