Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Virgin sings the blues

#4 Never Have I Ever: Recorded a song.

I hate hate hate being showered with attention if only for the fact that criticism and rejection scares the ever loving shit out of me. However, I do love to sing but rarely by myself or in public -- and never without liquid courage. I always grab a partner and a Screwdriver when hitting up some karaoke. While I don't believe ignorance is bliss, in this case it's freakin' euphoria. Oh, did I hit a flat note? I'm sorry, I can't hear over the rhythmic glug-glug of this fine bottle of Charles Shaw chardonnay.

I'd like to think I have a pleasant albeit low voice but middle school and high school choir is as far as my technical singing abilities go. Needless to say I was surprised, flattered, and anxious as all hell when Hermosa asked me to sing a duet with him.

The Down and Dirty: Hermosa invited me over to record a cheerful little diddly he wrote about self-righteous pilgrims. I really couldn't turn down an offer like that.

As I watched as Hermosa set up the equipment in his makeshift studio (a Macbook, Pro Tools, and a bad ass microphone in his bedroom) my feet began icing over. Now, I was totally game on my drive over. I had some time to study the lyrics, get the the rhythm down pat, and exercise my voice. But as I stared into the condenser mic my mind went blank, my trembling limbs couldn't keep a non-River-dance tempo, and my voice was going to either squeak or growl uncontrollably at any given minute.

I needed liquid courage. STAT. So we each had a glass of wine. And then another. And then a couple beers on top of that. I think one of us suggested that we start recording before our slur starts speeching. What?

We hit record and went through the song a few times before I got a chance to hear any of the tracks. I already knew I was off but I had no idea what to expect. What the hell was that? Was that me? Seriously?! I've been told I have a low, smokey voice but have I always sounded so... drag queeny?

We tried to forge ahead but the damage was done. I was like Punxsutawney Phil who saw his shadow and fled back down the hole to drown in self-deprecation and an unholy amount of discount Ferrero Rocher chocolates. I wasn't quite willing to give up until I had something decent to show for my efforts but this pilgrim business was working as well for me as it did with Pocahontas.

Hermosa suggested we switch to a more mellow, almost bluesy number he had written. Well, hot damn! Maybe the song fit my range better, or perhaps it was my fervent frustration, or it could've been because I was finally sobering up -- but I didn't sound too shabby this time 'round. I wouldn't go about posting it on YouTube, but I wouldn't mind playing it ever so quietly alone in my room when I know that my flatmate is gone for the weekend so that I can scream into my pillow when my vomit-inducing chagrin finally spills over.

The Afterglow: The sound of my own voice still provokes a full body shudder of mammoth proportions but it also baits my inner perfectionist to create a piece to be proud of. Recording is actually heaps of fun if you don't take it too seriously. I'd love to have another go at it; perhaps sans alcohol. Ha, who am I kidding?! Pass the pinot noir, please!

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