Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Simpler Times, the song

Here are the first songs State Birds have played for a live audience. 

"Simpler Times" is an instrumental written by Cory, our former organist, named for his favorite beer at the time. Like Cory (once accurately described as "a force of nature"), the song is uptempo, a straight-ahead rocker that we pretty reliably nail.

When Cory moved to Chicago for grad school, Jay (drums), Taylor (bass) and I felt his absence, but good fortune soon smiled on us in the form of Elliot (guitar, vocals) and Nick (trombone, quips).

As we jammed and slowly pulled a set list together over many months, it occurred to me that "Simpler Times" lay dormant, so I transposed the organ parts to guitar and re-presented it to the new quintet. Fortunately, everyone was on board (two no votes spikes any song suggestion), and the rest is history.

The structure is basically my opening with the main theme, everyone joining in for the verse, then a chorus, then Nick, Elliot, and I taking solos in succession, followed by a verse and chorus to close. In this video, I remain mostly out of the frame until my solo at 2:32, when the cameraman shifts right to take me in.

Next up is "Pants," one of Elliot's songs. Jay and I have played in various formations (with different people) since 2003, and 95% or more of that time, we did instrumental jams. This was loose, and fun - and on those occasions when we really jelled, transcendent - but not a
format that we could necessarily gig with.

So we were lucky to inherit Elliot and his catalog of sing-songs, of which "Pants" is one of the strongest. I like the loud-quiet-loud vibe (shades of Nirvana and the Pixies) and the contrast to the other songs in our setlist. If we ever released a single, this might be it.


  1. Great job Dan, but I wish the camera person could have gotten a bit closer--I really wanted to see if you made toilet faces a la SRV during your guitar solos! Aimee

  2. Great job Dan!! Good tune and a nice video. I hope all is well.

  3. Thanks for sharing & congrats!

  4. Dupee bobes, a long way from air guitars with pool cues on Franklin street. Ebbs

  5. Some good grooves! I see that you're cut from the 82 bar guitar solo down to 32 bars :) Could you put the drummer further back into the corner? : Poor dude stuffed in the corner.