Saturday, February 27, 2010

No Songs Left Behind

By the time Jody and I rolled around to this "Great List" idea, we'd been friends for a few years. Music industry friends, to boot. That means that we've been suggesting music to each other over the past few years regularly. A lot of what we both think is "Great" in contemporary music is music we've been talking about before the Live Debate began.

So, to honor THOSE great songs, I just wanted to throw up a few. I haven't consulted Jody, but I suspect each song listed below would meet his standards for the List. It's been a few years for each, and I love them all still. What songs have you loved over the last two or three years?

The National - "Fake Empire" Jody and I love this guy's voice, and pretty much every inch of this dreamy, heartfelt song.

Bloc Party - "Signs" This song is just awesome. The saddest dance tune ever.

Bat For Lashes - "Siren Song" Can you tell how sentimental and sappy I am? I love music that tugs at the heartstrings, and believe me, this one really does.

Beirut - "In The Mausoleum" The songwriter/producer is the today's composer. In Beirut, I hear the music Bela Bartok would be making today. I love how amazing they sound, just in a living room, just jamming, just on a handheld camera... The ultimate in Do-It-Yourself, right? You have no idea how much I want to be at that piano in this video.

Radiohead - "Reckoner" How on earth do you pick just one great Radiohead song? As I was trying to, I started up "In Rainbows" and I'm almost at the end of the album now. I think Thom Yorke will be remembered as one of this generation's greatest composers.

Is that enough gushing for one day?

Monday, February 22, 2010

When I go to check the news... is what I see:

Wonderful. It turns out that my state has no money.

Today, I played The Books for Jody.

We also rolled around to an obvious classic.

When you listen to it, think of us in poor, broke, mismanaged Illinois.

Friday, February 19, 2010

"Catch Fire" ending

Here is the ending that I was performing in the video, along with our first draft of the arrangement to go with it.

<a href="">Catch Fire (ending in progress) by The Live Debate</a>

"Catch Fire" video 1

The first song we began our little adventure with is called “Catch Fire.” It’s a weird song. It starts off as stable, piano-driven rock. By the end, the song changes into something of a grand march, with horns blaring and cymbals crashing. The song is still a work-in-progress, and we’ll be posting videos and music clips as time goes on.

This clip is rated R for language. We beeped it, but you can totally tell.

The footage is all from the first week of January, when this project was just getting started. Hopefully the next time you hear the song, you’ll hear a longer passage of music and drums (maybe even vocals!). Let us know what you think!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Imogen Heap, "Cumulus"

Jody doesn't know it yet, but this is going to be my submission of Great Music for the day. It's unusual for Imogen, if you know her. She's highly vocal, and usually less abstract than this piece implies. The piece rests on chamber instruments, beautifully composed, over lush electronic soundscapes. I find it both inventive and gorgeous. What do you think?

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Follow My Lead" and "Catch Fire"

More samples from our January in the studio:

<a href="">Follow My Lead (Verse Clip) by The Live Debate</a>

<a href="">Catch Fire (2nd Half) by The Live Debate</a>



Jody sent this interview to me a few weeks ago.

It's a great interview. It's mostly about "selling intimacy," which is an idea I'm very keen to. The last line, however really got me. It's where he writes:

"If it's great, let it go. You'll do fine. If it's not great, figure out what great is and do that."

So, we've decided to try and figure out what great is. We're working on this project every day together, and at the start of our days, each one of us has a song we play for the other. This song can be from any time, any country, or any musician(s). We offer each one up as an example of GREATNESS to the other, and analyze it, talk about it, and enjoy it.

We've been having a blast with it so far. I avoided rock music as a child for no discernible reason, so Jody's exposing me to Zepplin. Jody never went to school like the rest of us normal folk, so he's never heard any classical music at all. We're having so much damn fun with this project, though, we're gonna post the whole thing on the blog. Think you know a piece of music that will totally "wow" us? Post it! We love hearing and talking about great music.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Ambition," no vocals.

This is a small sample of the stuff we've been working on. Our work on this piece took place between January 11-15. We'll be coming back to it when we get back into the studio for a lengthy phase.

The track has no vocals now, but it will in the end. This song features several marching band percussion pieces. We hope to recruit local high school students to play our shows. What do you think?

<a href="">Ambition by The Live Debate</a>

The Live Debate

Hello everyone. This is Matthew.

Jody and I are starting a band and we pretty much want to take over the world. I hope you will want to help us.

We spend our days working on projects of various sizes. We want to complete a fantastic album this year. We plan to challenge ourselves with occasional mini-projects to keep our ears fresh and our skills sharp. And we will be exploring music, new and old, to try and pinpoint what it is that makes some music great, and some music merely good.

We're making our music from scratch; at the moment we only are two people in what will eventually be a four-person band, and we only have six songs written of the twelve we plan to finish by the end of the spring. But we've only just gotten started.

I'm excited to share as much of this experience as possible with you. Jody and I love the process of making music, and as we work, we'll be showing you as much of that process as we can (and you can stand). I'm excited to hear your thoughts, your comments, and your contributions as The Live Debate grows.

What is the greatest piece of music you've ever heard?