Rockin’ Like Joan Jett

I don’t know what made me do it, maybe it was listening to the fabulous music on the Music City reality TV show, or maybe it was the rejection email for “She’s Not That Good” proposal, which was a relief because I totally wanted to take the story a different direction, but I started thinking about Joan Jett and how my character should be on that trajectory. I listened to “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” and had to record a bit of chorus as inspiration, thinking rock might be my genre.

In last night’s TAXI TV show with Grammy award winning music producer Rob Chiarelli as guest, my ears perked up when he talked about the stages you go through in your music. That you start imitating some of your favorites before you move onto creating your own music of that calibre. I think I’m still in the imitation phase. My own music isn’t quite there, although “Everybody Lies” is close.

My version, vocals on chorus only, music from free Karaoke site:

 

 

Cool Comments on my FAWM Songs

I experienced my first FAWM (February Album Writing Month) this year and going in, I thought it would be like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – you post your words but nobody sees them). But for FAWM, the whole point is to write an album and get comments, collab, and connect with other musicians.

This has turned out to be so cool! Some people are still hanging around and posting more comments so I peek in now and then to see what some are saying about my music and to discover other people’s music.

The interesting thing to me is that the two songs I thought were just too far out there have been getting compared to David Bowie (and Laurie Anderson) so I guess I’m not too strange after all. 🙂

Take a listen for yourself – strictly work tapes:

Wise Woman (Wisest Woman I Would Ever Know)

I Missed the Train

Ode to John Madison

During FAWM, I wrote these poetic lyrics here.

And then before the month’s end I came up with a demo. It was inspired during Race Week in Daytona with its roots in rum runners with a tribute to those who came before me: musicians, car racing, and rum runners.

John Madison (#poem)

No planes, no trains, just automobiles
A giant collage of a Ferris wheel
Round and round goes the track
Whirring dervishes give no slack

Rum runners scurry in the night
Grandpa’s Ford hides the blight
Carving instruments in the day
Passing down music to those without say

Sleepless twilight trumpets my head
Clock ticking and nights I now dread
Cats howling in time like a drum
Dancing on pillows their paws do strum

Callings have consequences, not all are good
Great grandpa makes music in hands with wood
Would he smile or be surprised
To know that I, a descendant of John Madison, am now alive?

Electronic Publishing to Electronic Music

We’re just about halfway through FAWM (February Album Writing Month – similar to NaNoWriMo for novelists), and I’m getting clarity on where I’d like to move forward in music and it comes as no surprise really. EDM. Electronic Dance Music or maybe just Electronic Music.

It’s a natural fit. I started my career in electronic publishing in San Francisco back in the day when that was the new shiny thing. I totally loved it. And it took me to Silicon Valley. Writing about technology. That led to writing novels. And now it seems I’ve come full circle with Electronic Music.

I earned a certificate in “Modern Musicianship,” including music production, which is so cool because I use my technology expertise and blend it with my love/gifts in music.

To kick this off, I’ve enrolled in a Synthesizer class and I can’t wait to get started!

One comment I got for one the songs I was experimenting with Synth I posted on FAWM:

It’s cool to see this type of songwriting with this production. I like how experimental the synths sound.

My first song, Everybody Lies, isn’t quite EDM but it shows signs of moving onto that path. So now I know what kind of music to work on for my first album.

Kentucky Flame (FAWM)

Kentucky Flame (FAWM)
Songwriting Challenge: No Chorus

Lyrics, copyright 2018, Kathy Holmes

I searched for an old friend the other day
I met him in California in the sixth grade
I never expected to find him that way
When I saw the obituary of my old Kentucky Flame

I remember the day this Kentucky boy met this California girl
You never forget the first to call you on the phone or carry your books home from school
We listened to Elvis records on my record player in the garage
He said he loved me and chased me around my front yard

He played guitar and I wrote songs
He said he’d never seen the ocean but he’d seen it all along
Seems like yesterday we played those innocent kissing games
How could the light go out for my old Kentucky Flame?

3 Drinks Later (Dancing with Travolta) (#FAWM)

My first complete song I posted on FAWM (February Album Writing Month – similar to NaNoWriMo for writers in November), inspired by the opening of the new Edison bar and lounge at Disney Springs.

First the lyrics followed by a work tape on SoundCloud:

3 Drinks Later (Dancing with Travolta)
Copyright 2018, Kathy Holmes

Verse 1

I was starting my winter vacation
Flying to my destination
Then somewhere over Bermuda
Halfway to Antigua and Barbuda
Over that famous Triangle
To a disco in San Francisco

Chorus

3 Drinks later and I’m dancing with Travolta
Another Sunrise, and a classic Rum and Cola… a classic Rum and Cola

Verse 2

I was starting to get my groove on
A mustache was tickling my abdomen
Then somewhere after the Hustle
Travolta turns into Kurt Russell
I’m bumping on the floor with Goldie
A waiter is passing out Stolis

Chorus

3 Drinks later and I’m dancing with Travolta
Another Sunrise, and a classic Rum and Cola… a classic Rum and Cola

Verse 3

The disco ball is spinning on the dance floor
Heading from the front door to the back door
A red Camaro is waiting
Driver is someone I’m dating
Road 24 with Aunt Ola
I think my name is Lola

Chorus

3 Drinks later and I’m dancing like Travolta
Another Sunrise, and a classic Rum and Cola… a classic Rum and Cola

i Saw Him on a Video (#FAWM)

I Saw Him on a Video (copyright 2018, Kathy Holmes)
Songwriting Prompt: Retro

Verse 1

I saw him on a video, his name was Clay Mills you know
I jolted out of my seat and stared at a familiar face
He was much younger, his name was that of his grandfather
But if his dad was who I think he was, it couldn’t be erased

Chorus

I saw him on a video
My heart beat a little bit faster
I remembered those nights in the backseat of his Camaro
Nine months later
I said goodbye to the only boy I would ever love in 1985
I saw him on a video

Verse 2

It was like living in a small town, it was us vs them now
His father was a big shot, his mother a busybody gossip
They whispered their sweet offer to my poor mother and step father
Treating me like I was some kind of mid century trollop

Chorus

I saw him on a video
My heart beat a little bit faster
I remembered those nights in the backseat of his Camaro
Nine months later
I said goodbye to the only boy I would ever love in 1985
I saw him on a video

Bridge

I remember the day he went away
It wasn’t his choice, he lost his voice
When that evil killer called cancer claimed his life
His son was given away, and I lost two that day
The day the father and son were one, I was someone else’s wife

Chorus

I saw him on a video
My heart beat a little bit faster
I remembered those nights in the backseat of his Camaro
Nine months later
I said goodbye to the only boy I would ever love in 1985
I saw him on a video

Chorus

I saw him on a video
My heart beat a little bit faster
I remembered those nights in the backseat of his Camaro
Nine months later
I said goodbye to the only boy I would ever love in 1985
I saw him on a video

Last Night (#FAWM)

Last Night (copyright 2018 Kathy Holmes)
Songwriting Prompt: Last Night

Verse 1

Last night I almost froze to death
Retracing my past, shadows on my breath
Fears gone wild like an animal caged
Bouncing off the ceiling like a woman crazed
You reached for me, offering saving Grace
With a simple word when you said, “Stay!”

Chorus

Last night like that first night was the best night I’d ever had
You light up my heart like a mother’s son out of rehab
You caress me out of my cave with no need to hide
Last night, yes last night, so thankful to be alive

Verse 2

Today is uncertain, tonight is just a tease
We might go to Heaven, we might run off to Belize
The cats might keep us awake
The earth could move like a San Francisco quake
But one thing I know for sure
Your love is as sweet as a Christmas brunch liqueur

Chorus

Last night like that first night was the best night I’d ever had
You light up my heart like a mother’s son out of rehab
You caress me out of my cave with no need to hide
Last night, yes last night, so thankful to be alive

Bridge

Stay just a little bit longer
Stay for a lifetime
Last night was the best night
Making our love stronger and stronger

Chorus

Last night like that first night was the best night I’d ever had
You light up my heart like a mother’s son out of rehab
You caress me out of my cave with no need to hide
Last night, yes last night, so thankful to be alive

An Every Day Narcissist (#FAWM)

An Every Day Narcissist (Copyright 2018 Kathy Holmes)
Songwriting prompt – Narcissist

Verse 1

“You’re so vain” Carly Simon sang
Remember when you thought that song was about you
The way you combed your hair
The way you moved down there
You played for the crowd in the mirror’s view

Chorus

Oh, Vanity, where have you gone?
Painting your image in the morning sun
You replaced conceit in the day of innocence
Now you’re just an every day Narcissist

Verse 2

You asked me out assuming, I’d go
And so I did
But when you went away I began to pray
That when you returned I’d walk away
I’d become like you ruled by my Ego’s Id

Chorus

Oh, Vanity, where have you gone?
Painting your image in the morning sun
You replaced conceit in the day of innocence
Now you’re just an every day Narcissist

Bridge

Vanity is like a drug
You pass it on, feeling so smug
It grows and grows just like a weed
Concerned with yourself and only your needs

Chorus

Oh, Vanity, where have you gone?
Painting your image in the morning sun
You replaced conceit in the day of innocence
Now you’re just an every day Narcissist

(*Carly Simon, 1972)