So here I am with a few days off work, trying to record songs that have been around for several years in most cases. In some, I actually have to finish writing. This is my normal way of working, in which the inspiration-to-recording process spans many years (with one I began last night, almost 19 years!).
I’m in awe of people who work quickly. David Bowie, going into the studio where Eno and the band have worked up a chord sequence and backing track, and improvising first the backing vocals (!) THEN the melody and chorus, which became I Have Not Been to Oxford Town on Outside. Tommy MacKay, whom I visited yesterday, who can write, record and produce in half an hour. He’s just met a challenge to produce 50 songs in 90 days. Ulp! In response I’ve challenged myself to write five songs in nine years. That’ll keep me going to retirement.
Here’s another angle on it: some years ago, Momus financed an album by inviting fans to pay for a song about them. He spent time on those songs, working from interviews and biographical data about the fans. But in this gig shown below he did it live. Pay $10 and he makes up a song about you there and then. Any singer-songwriters reading this fancy trying it?
There are more, and his reflections looking back on it, on this recent blog entry.