#1
http://www.myspace.com/theratsinthewalls

This is my band, The rats in the walls. We're trying to do something interesting by mixing music and poetry, but how well do we pull it off?
I'm concerned the lack of melodies (vocal wise, and the fact theres just me to provide music, so it's either chords or melodies) will put people off after the first song, which seems to be the case by the listens to the first song compared to the rest.
Basically, my question is not if we are a good band, because bands improve over time, and we've just started. I'm more asking if you think the idea and way were going with it is good. We began to doubt it when our best mates started telling us how bad we were and asked us not to play the upcoming school gig.
Sorry for the bad home recordings and the incomplete Myspace page.
Last edited by davibrods at Jun 15, 2008,
#2
I'm not sure HOW you would mix poetry and music, but I'd say check out As Cities Burn's "Son, I Loved You At Your Darkest" album.

If you don't mind the religious overtones in some of the songs, this could be helpful. The lyrics are written more like poetry than lyrics, but they manage to find melodies in it.
#3
Thanks, I'll check it out. We've both listened to some John Cooper Clark who mixed poetry and music, but he was alot more poetry orientated. He was more poetry with additional music, not a band with poetry instead of singing.
#5
I think he's talking about lyrics that are written to be simply poetry, I.E. not necessarily rhyming or having a set rhythm. More free-form.

I could be wrong though.
#8
Quote by davibrods
Thanks, I'll check it out. We've both listened to some John Cooper Clark who mixed poetry and music, but he was alot more poetry orientated. He was more poetry with additional music, not a band with poetry instead of singing.

Check out ex Black Flag singer Henry Rollins too. He mixes poetry and music
#9
Hadda Be Playing On The Jukebox - Rage Against The Machine

Zach De La Rocha reads an Alan Ginsberg poem over music and it is electrifying. I suggest you look at that so you don't end up doing poetry over ambient music.
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#11
Ok ok ok. Were not doing anything new, I'll get rid of that bit.

Thanks for the list of bands, I'll check them all out when I have a bit more time. Not really what I was looking for though. Do we pull it off? Is it listenable? Is it boring? Is it interesting? I just want some unbiased opinions on our music.
#12
Music and poetry....ummm rap/hiphop? Haha.
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#13
I like your voice, but the guitar is a bit to bright in my opinion. To match your voice you need a dark, kinda post punk/goth style guitar. Good overall though.
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#14
www.myspace.com/gnade

spoken word over music. really really good.

i guess the fundamental problems here were that the poetry was pretty awful and the music was too widdly and lame.
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#15
I personally found the first song boring and didnt wanna continue after listening to half of it. I elected not to listen to the others due to this.

This is the problem you are faced with. Many people will be doing this. You dont quite pull it off to be honest. You need more structure to the songs, in that more than just the one person playing it im afraid.

Check out 'The Gift' by Velvet Underground. Its technically a story read over music but it pulls it off just a little better than you do.
#16
I know that Jim Morrison/The Doors put out at least one whole album with this general concept: Jim's poetry set to music. Dunno which one it is, but it's something to look into, I think.
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#17
Check out some of The Clash's spoken word stuff.
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#18
It looks to me like you have two basic song types. Spoken word laid over backing music or music accenting spoken word. One review of each.

Somnambulist: The vocals need some rhythm or melody or something. I was never sure whether I should listen to the music or the poetry. The backing is either too active or the poetry doesn't lay over it very well, take your pick.

Beautiful: Better. The music works around the spoken word parts, which prevents them from clashing. The music suffers for it but I think the combination is easier to swallow.

Check out King Crimson's "Elephant Talk" and "Indiscipline" on youtube. Both are somewhat in the spoken word style and I think they are effective.
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Last edited by Free to Guitar at Jun 17, 2008,
#19
Quote by FeiRei
I like your voice, but the guitar is a bit to bright in my opinion. To match your voice you need a dark, kinda post punk/goth style guitar. Good overall though.


Sorry if you don't like the music style, but I'm not going to change it; I don't play or like post punk or goth.

Quote by darthbuttchin
I personally found the first song boring and didnt wanna continue after listening to half of it. I elected not to listen to the others due to this.

This is the problem you are faced with. Many people will be doing this. You dont quite pull it off to be honest. You need more structure to the songs, in that more than just the one person playing it im afraid.

Check out 'The Gift' by Velvet Underground. Its technically a story read over music but it pulls it off just a little better than you do.


Yeah, the first half of the first song is pretty boring - my attempt at some form of post rock.
I agree we need more structure to our songs, but I just take Sam's poems and put music to them (behind them, with them, ontop of them, whatever). We will take it into account when writing new poems, maybe structure them like a spoken word song?
Just us at the moment I'm afraid, and thats not likely to change anytime in the near future, if at all. We enjoy the dynamic we have going at the moment.
I'll be sure to check out that Velvet Underound song to see what one of the bands I like do with what were trying.

Quote by Gurgle!Argh!
www.myspace.com/gnade

spoken word over music. really really good.

i guess the fundamental problems here were that the poetry was pretty awful and the music was too widdly and lame.


I really dig his stuff, thanks for the link.

Quote by Free to Guitar
It looks to me like you have two basic song types. Spoken word laid over backing music or music accenting spoken word. One review of each.

Somnambulist: The vocals need some rhythm or melody or something. I was never sure whether I should listen to the music or the poetry. The backing is either too active or the poetry doesn't lay over it very well, take your pick.

Beautiful: Better. The music works around the spoken word parts, which prevents them from clashing. The music suffers for it but I think the combination is easier to swallow.

Check out King Crimson's "Elephant Talk" and "Indiscipline" on youtube. Both are somewhat in the spoken word style and I think they are effective.


Thanks for the critisism, it really helped. I suppose you have a point, and will try to recreate something similar to Beautiful again for a future song. King Crimson are one of my favourite bands aswell.
Last edited by davibrods at Jun 17, 2008,
#21
Quote by Sid McCall
http://youtube.com/watch?v=QqfTcPKjjXM

this is the best mix of poetry and music, imo.


I did like it, and like the idea of sung choruses between verses. The music suits it well to. Sam says 'it sounds like Wierd Al doing us'. I guess he disagrees.
#22
Quote by davibrods
Thanks for the critisism, it really helped.


I'm always happy to bitch.

I suppose you have a point, and will try to recreate something similar to Beautiful again for a future song. King Crimson are one of my favourite bands aswell.


I don't want to discourage you from making songs like the Somnambulist song. I think it probably had the greatest potential of everything I listened to. I would just work on finding a way to lay the song out so the poetry is either melodic or the backing gives the poetry some breathing space.
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#23
Quote by Free to Guitar
I don't want to discourage you from making songs like the Somnambulist song. I think it probably had the greatest potential of everything I listened to. I would just work on finding a way to lay the song out so the poetry is either melodic or the backing gives the poetry some breathing space.



Yeah, I feel the link that the link Gurgle!Argh! posted is a very effective mix of music and poetry. By giving the poetry some breathing space, I guess you mean me soloing through the first verse; we decided it sounded a bit boring and dull on the first section, so decided to spice it up with some widdley stuff. Besides, it'll leave me something fun to look forward to playing live, I know i get to have an improvised guitar wank throughout most of that song.
Last edited by davibrods at Jun 18, 2008,