I struggle mightily with perfectionism (reminder: perfectionism does not make things perfect – it’s an extreme form of emotional stuttering)
But my word of the year is RELEASE.
So this is my new journey. The journey towards creating recordings I’m satisfied with – and releasing them – and I’m right at the beginning of that journey.
I want to share two of my first steps with you. Two of the first sketches I’ve recorded of a newish tune, so I’ve embedded them below for you to hear.
The song is called “Sous Chef,” it’s a blues – one of the Blues I’ll sing at my “Lose Your Blues” show later this month — and it’s really fun to sing – especially when you’re cooking . In concert the audience often yells their own racey lyric suggestions to me. Some of those lines probably even made it into the song — so if you hear something you shouted out, my undying thanks!
Here’s how I wrote the tune:
As some of you may know, I’m no great cook. In fact, I’m founder and curator of the Burnt Food Museum.
But my husband loves to cook, and I love being useful. So one day a year or so ago, when I was in the kitchen chopping a red-pepper into ¼”-to-½”-slices-but-don’t-make-them-too-thin-and-don’t-obsess-about-the-width, I just started singing this song.
I blurted out the first two lines, because it just says exactly how I was feeling — and the rest of the first verse stumbled over them a few minutes later. The other verses took time – some lines, like I said, were shouted out from the audience and stuck, and some of them came the usual way of juggling truth and language together until lyrics fall out.
These are early sketches – I’m still trying to find the right tempo, the right voice. I’m still working on the words for the ‘talking interlude’ — so you’ll hear me blathering out some stuff there just to show myself what talking would sound like there.
In the first one, I’m exploring how to sing ‘like myself’ only a little less … um … “Broadway.” You’d think it would be easy to sing like yourself, but I only feel ‘like myself’ when I’m actually on stage, so trying to do that in a recording studio is still and exploration for me. (Note: there are two audio embed files here – but sometimes they take a little while to show up)
In the second one I’m trying to sound like Marilyn Monroe.
I’m not looking for criticism or applause or feedback or suggestions on these. I’m just sharing my own journey towards eventual creative satisfaction.
But I would love to know if it’s helpful to read about this journey … and if it’s fun to listen to the sketches.
This is part of my “Blues Blog” Post Series in preparation for my Sat. Jan. 26, 2013 “Lose Your Blues” show at The Center for Arts in Natick, MA.
hehehe I certainly love the Marilyn version, naturally.
I like the first one better. It’s more “saucy”. (Pun intended)
Ha ha ha! I didn’t even get that ’til you wrote “pun intended” — I love it!
… the more I think about it, the more I think that pun might have a place in the song. I’ll let that thought simmer …
Love both renditions of Sous-Chef! Clever!
IMHO your “own” version sounds better. It’s more “you” 🙂
Thanks so much for posting these two takes. It’s great to get a glimpse at the creative process and to have a chance to observe a musical work in progress. Oh yeah, I love your new song, too.
Great Deborah! Thanks for sharing! Love it.
As a woman myself I like the tougher, louder, more gritty first version, ’cause that’s how I like to think of myself, tough, loud and gritty. The quieter, more docile voice is not for me! Sing it out. Make them a little nervous. They love it.
Oh, goody! Because I have an even tougher, louder more gritty version – that first one was my ‘soft’ version of me. Make ’em nervous. I like that! I’ll take that thought with me into the next sketch-recording session!
All the comments are definitely having a positive effect on feelings about sharing this process — all the comments definitely make the process more fun! Thank you!!!
The funny thing is I can picture your physical presence for each version from the sound of your voice. You are certainly wearing a “Fever” shirt in the first one, and perhaps a twinset in the second?
Blend the two versions…………………love them…………..getting hungry for more 🙂
HaHA! Indeed — “Hungry for more!”
Your singing voice sounds so great, Deborah! It has a clear sound even though gutsy, and slides so smoothly from one pitch to another. Like Joachim, I like the first version also. I love the innuendos in this song! …Keeps the audience smiling and listening. You’re so talented with the Blues!
First of all, enjoyed the concept of sharing with us your ideas, songs and even the story behind the idea.
Second… I simply love the picture of you as cheffing 🙂
Finally, I listened both sketches and loved the 1st one. And I gonna try to put in words why: Well, mostly because it have all the ingredients (yeah, an intentional pun here) to be very sucessefull. Why? My ears detected a perfect “moisturize” (another pun?) between the instrument and voice, it’s like a perfect marriage and both fit together. In the 2nd one the voice is great and smooth and also the instrument is well played, however, it’s like a mix between something sweet and sour, sometimes it works and sometimes doesn’t (culinarly speaking) 🙂
But, as you said, you still looking for the right tempo, maybe in another well elaborated version can work and in the end, you can have a bittersweet dessert 🙂
Hope I have helped you somehow!
Thanks so much, Anibal! I love how many great new cooking puns there are in these comments!! And I’m so happy you’re enjoying hearing the sketches. I must go back to listen to the sweet and sour of the 2nd sketch! I don’t know what “cheffing” means and I’m very interested to know! Thank you! -D
Oooooooh … I JUST realized what “cheffing” means … as in being a chef!!
Yeah. That word is written below your picture on this page 🙂 And thought that means “being a chef” too 🙂
You left me glacée-eyed. And of course, FZ would have said: “Don’t let yer meat loaf”….
Sounds like a winner!
Oh Thank You for sharing!!! I do like the first version better – muy caliente!
The first version is instantly recognizable as you…and it sizzles. The second sounds like an overfrosted cake – sweeter than the real, saucy Deborah. I hope you don’t take #1 too over the top – a little bit raw is good.
I think you’re gonna need a special wardrobe for this song…something very French.
I may steal the song and play it with my band. I like the idea of a guy singing it. If we do it I’ll send you a recording. It will NOT sound like Marilyn Monroe!
YES!!!! You have fallen into my snare!! What I REALLY want is to hear OTHER people sing it! You MUST steal it. I demand that! When’s your next rehearsal? I will expect a new soundcloud version from you forthwith!!!
What clever lyrics….. loved them. The second version is definitely sensuous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ah Joan! I see you’re a lover of the exclamation spice!!!!!!!!!! Thank you!!!!!!!
second one complements the harp better. first needs whinin’ electric guitar.
Aha!!! Must now explore whinin’ electric harp effects to accompany the first type!!
I LOVED both versions, but the first was my favorite, because I love YOUR voice. Nevertheless, hearing the 2nd version was fun. I was amazed that you can sound like 2 totally different people. When are you going to come to Washington DC for a concert? We want to hear you live down here.
Thanks Gary! I hope to be back to DC soon. I played at the gorgeous Byrd theater in Richmond earlier this year. LOVED that place!!!
I loved listening to this song. Fabulous lyrics!
What immediately struck me after listening to version 1 and starting version 2 is that I listened much more closely to the lyrics in the first version; they kind of became secondary to the Marilyn voice in the second one. I preferred the first for that reason, but I loved someone’s suggestion about wearing the twinset, and if it was me, I’d also combine them, starting off prim and getting wild throughout it. (And if I was acting it, my nice Stepford wives outfit would gradually get more frantically dishevelled, too as I went from stirring demurely and neatly to crazily crawling on the countertops! 🙂 ).
Blythe … I think you should definitely star in the video of this one. At the very least, I see you sitting firmly in the director’s chair.
I did like the first version better, but I must say, you had me hanging on every note out of the harp. Simply stellar use of flats and passing tones! Thank you for the enjoyment!