Stupid human tricks
My friend M. has asked (via email, he’s intimidated by the comments — why don’t you all say hello and make him feel at home?) for a demo of the new guitar. I recorded an intro of me talking about it, but about halfway through, I crossed my legs in a rather unladylike way (with the added bonus of alarming sound effects made by my denim skirt), so in the interest of preserving some shred of dignity (although after the performance you are about to hear, you may argue that I preserved nothing) I had to axe it. So you’re stuck with reading it instead. The new guitar is still a junk guitar, but it’s a better caliber of junk than I was playing before. It has a bigger sound, more sustain, and it’s easier to play. On my old guitar, I can almost never get a bar chord to sound. On this one, I get it about 50% of the time. This is making me feel like a better guitarist.
I’m apparently getting cocky, because I actually attempted to play The New Pornographers’ “These are the Fables” for you. Of the strummed pieces I’ve been working on (as opposed to finger-picked songs like “Blackbird”) it’s one of the most challenging. There are a lot of chord changes, and a lot of bar chords (although it’s actually just the same bar chord over and over again, so I suppose it could be worse). I was hoping to play “Adventures in Solitude” for violet, but I still haven’t figured out the singing part of the second half. I always have it clear in my head when I sit down to play, but when arriving at the section, I find that I have no idea how it goes. I’m not sure how to account for this selective amnesia. “Adventures in Solitude” is actually easier to play than “These are the Fables,” although they share some chord progressions.
In “These are the Fables,” my selective amnesia applies primarily to the words. New Pornographers’ lyrics are hard to remember in general, because they often don’t make a lot of sense. On the plus side, if you start making up the words as you go, there’s a good chance no one will notice. Can you tell where I’m making up the words in this song? How many wrong notes do you hear? When did you stop counting?