“Space Oddity” and the Power of the Story Song

“Space Oddity” and the Power of the Story Song

Exploring the brilliant techniques Bowie used to populate his Major Tom saga In my songwriting classes, I assign a week where the students are to write a “story song” — a piece of music with a character that develops and takes us on a journey of some sort. The students generally look at me cross-eyed. Once, upon hearing the assignment, a student asked, “You mean, like…Meatloaf?” To which another asked, “Who’s Meatloaf?” A third cleared things up by offering, “No, he means kinda like ‘Stan,’” referring to the Eminem song from their distant collective childhoods. Yes. Like “Stan.” At the moment, songs — and I’m generalizing, though popular charts do bear this out — tend to hone in on a particular moment and expand upon a fixed sensation. For instance, Adele’s “Hello,” the most popular song at the time of this writing, pushes out from a personal phone call to reveal her anguish over a past relationship. Songs with a wider lens use the first person plural (“we”) and are addressed directly to audience members in hopes of generating a rallying cry — the all-powerful “anthem.” (Fun’s 2011 hit “We Are Young” comes to mind.) EDM and electronic genres sidestep the whole concept of story by either eliminating lyric completely, or relegating a vocal part to a sampled and repeated hook. In this case, the music serves as a personal soundtrack that can be interpreted in ways that are not limited by language. Its inherent vagueness allows it to scale as others fill it with meaning, as if it were the audio version of Facebook. None of this is...
Mike Errico Holiday Sale: Full Digital Discography

Mike Errico Holiday Sale: Full Digital Discography

The Mike Errico Holiday Sale Shop at Bandcamp and get the full digital discography – all 11 Mike Errico releases – and save 30%. This is material that is not available on any other site, including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify,Pandora…anywhere. Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Vicious Circle, Wander Away [Instrumental Version], “Daylight” (Feat. Leah Siegel) from the film “That’s What She Said”, Tonight I Drink You All, Pictures of the Big Vacation [Deluxe Edition], Skimming [Deluxe Edition], All In [Deluxe Edition], Songs from “Lift,” by Kelly Corrigan, Wander Away [Deluxe Edition], The Mike Errico Podcast, and Free Downloads From Mike Errico. BUY NOW: $37.10 USD or more (30%...
Books Worth Reading: “The Circle,” by Dave Eggers

Books Worth Reading: “The Circle,” by Dave Eggers

“The Circle,” by Dave Eggers: The book didn’t surprise me as much as it should have, but I think that’s because this work of “fiction” describes a data-driven dystopia we are, in many ways, already living. I Keep a Pinterest board called Books Worth Reading. There are good books there, if you’re looking for...
The Mike Errico Holiday Show, Dec. 9th At Joe’s Pub, NYC

The Mike Errico Holiday Show, Dec. 9th At Joe’s Pub, NYC

I’m psyched to see you all at this extended-family tradition. Great band, new songs, surprises, and, oh yes, the HOLIDAY OMENS. (Newbies: check it out here.) The room is filling up but a question remains: You coming, or what? The Mike Errico Holiday Show December 9th, 9p | $20 Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater 295 Lafayette St., NYC Purchase Tickets Online Box Office: (212) 967-7555 (10am – 7pm M-Sat, Noon – 6pm...
Mike Errico, “You Could Be Anywhere”

Mike Errico, “You Could Be Anywhere”

Wander Away [Deluxe Edition] by Mike Errico All In [Deluxe Edition] by Mike Errico Have I been mistaken To believe that you’re even out there to find Haven’t I been patient Have I waited long enough to have seen a sign All I know Is that I am here and all alone And you could be anywhere Are you just a rumor A thought that crossed my mind While thinking up ways to pass the time Are you wishing I’d thought of you much sooner While you force a wounded smile For one more store-bought Valentine High and low I’m searching but I just don’t know And you could be anywhere I’ve been sleeping on my feet I’ve been all the secrets I can keep inside me I don’t know what more I can do If I can’t find you Will you find me Buy it on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/mike-errico/id3567281 or Bandcamp: http://mikeerrico.bandcamp.com/track/you-could-be-anywhere Appears on “Wander Away,” by Mike Errico As seen on MTV’s Teen Mom Episode 3 Finale, and elsewhere. Mike Errico: Vocals, guitars Matt Beck: Guitars Ethan Eubanks: Drums, percussion Jeff Hill: Bass Bruce Kaphan: Pedal steel guitar Ari Hest: Backing vocals Tune in for music, shows, announcements, giveaways, videos and all that stuff, here: Facebook || Twitter || YouTube || Bandcamp || Pandora Tallboy 7, Inc. Box 20463 NY NY...
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