832. Words

Don’t laugh when I tell you the thing that made me feel instantly better was playing some music.

I know. I know. This is the thing, though. I didn’t know how long that feeling would last because if I pushed too hard or went too long I knew what was going to potentially happen was my hand would seize up and, to paraphrase Han Solo, that would put an end to the trip real quick.

It helped that at first it was just me and Chris and Bart and we worked on an opening jam. I didn’t sing. I didn’t plan to sing on that number at all. Chris had an octopad and a bunch of samples and he could make it sound like he was playing a dumbek and tambourine and zils all at the same time. The Middle Eastern percussion gave the song a kind of bellydance vibe even though my part was more flamenco and Bart’s cello made it entirely something else. Once we’d worked out the basics of it — it was built on one of the songs on the Star*Gaze demo, of course, but we were messing around with it — we brought in Flip.

Flip, who was actually nervous as hell, I think, but hiding it well. But then once he got playing, then he felt a lot better, too.

Life sure would be a lot simpler if the solution to every problem was shut up and play guitar.

And one jam number did not a set make, but I liked it, at least.

The way that studio was laid out there wasn’t one particularly huge room, but the main room such as it was is where Bart, Chris, Flip, and I were gathered, while everyone else who had tagged along was sitting around on couches and chairs in the control room with Jordan. We weren’t recording so people could have been anywhere but that’s just how it shook out by reflex, I think.

We decided to work on a ballad next, because my hand was giving me warning signs, and a slow song was probably going to be easiest for Flip to learn. I figured I’d not play at all if I could help it for a song. So Jordan played us back the song called “Shape of Space” to remind us how it went and so we could figure out if any of what we’d previously recorded, which Jordan still had as separate parts, could be lifted or looped.

“Honestly,” I said, “the part I wish I could just do with a footpedal now is the lead vocal.”

“Who are you and what did you do with Daron’s body?” Bart asked with a gasp.

“What are you talking about? You know singing isn’t my favorite thing.”

“Yeah, but,” he looked on in mock horror, or maybe that was real horror, “you think lip synching is a mortal sin.”

“It is. Who said I’d lip synch? I wasn’t going to pretend to sing at all. Just trigger the vocal parts from a controller.”

“There are chorus parts and stuff like that in Nine Inch Nails done that way of course,” Jordan said. “Because Trent multitracks himself singing all the parts.”

Yeah, but this was not that. This was a sorta Pink-Floyd-esque/Bowie-esque slow song about how when Ziggy and I were apart I felt like there was a void in the middle of my chest.

There’s a hole in my world
and I don’t know what to do
The shape of the space
is the shape of you

That one. I was somewhat embarrassed that to remember the words I had to write the lyrics out on a piece of paper and then sit there staring at them while singing. I sat on the floor crosslegged with a mic pressed against my mouth and the lyric sheet in my other hand, with my hair hanging in my eyes so I could still read the words but not really see anyone’s reactions.

We left a gap where I could put a guitar solo later when my hand was better rested. I wasn’t worried about that. Now I was worried about the fact that I couldn’t remember the words to this song.

I had started writing it in Spain, where I’d sometimes play it on the street, but I was still tinkering with it then. It was more like the idea for a song than an actual song at that point. Then Bart and I had played around with it a little and then added Chris to the mix. In the studio that time with Jordan it had come rushing out and then I’d promptly forgotten all about it.

Being in that same studio in the middle of the night might have helped me return to the mindset I’d been in when we recorded the demo, actually.

Then we worked on another one, a song entitled “What You Said.” It was another five minute long song with very minimal lyrics. It didn’t really have a chorus. It had a hooky, almost power-pop riff that made the verses more like choruses, and a prog bridge that had another lyric in it that was also chorus-like but wasn’t a chorus.

I’ll give you the lyrics here, but this makes it look like a simple song. Really it’s just that the lyrics were a very minimal part of it.

Listen to what you said
I can’t wait
I can’t wait
to get on the stage
That’s what you said

Look at what you said
I cant wait
I can’t wait
for us to make it big
That’s what you said

But I can’t wait
I can’t wait around

I can’t wait
I can’t wait around

Time is like a river
In it you can drown

I can’t wait
I can’t wait
I can’t wait around
(end bridge)

Hear what I said
I can’t wait
I can’t wait
for you to come around
That’s what I said

Anyone who knew the history between me and Ziggy was going to interpret that as being about us, right? What’s funny is sometimes when I look at it I’m not sure if I’m me, though, or if he’s supposed to be the “I” in the song and the one being waited for is me. I guess you could interpret it either way.

I didn’t think power pop would be that tough for Flip to grasp but I’d forgotten how polyrhythmic the song was, too. If we had a couple of days to work on it, no problem, but once again our problem was that time was the one thing we didn’t have. I ended up playing the riff myself into a loop box that I could play into and then trigger to loop live, and then Flip joined in on that while I went to add some other flourish to it. But it took us well over an hour to get to that point.

And then I just plain ran out of steam. No amount of coffee or drugs or anything was going to make me able to keep going. I know I ran out of steam because I ran out of patience with Jordan, who most definitely did not deserve to have his head bitten off. I don’t even remember what I said, only that I snapped at him like a turtle.

Jordan’s reaction was the usual–to indulge me. He let me get away with it and then got the whole three ring circus moving out of there, for which I was grateful.

When it was just me and Ziggy in the back of the car that Tony was driving, I started to cry.

Ziggy hugged me and said, “There’s a lot of heartbreak in the Star*Gaze stuff.”

I forced myself to stop sniveling long enough to say something. “That’s not even what I’m crying about.”

“No? Care to tell me what’s bothering you?”

Everything, I thought. I’m at the end of my rope with no deal left. But that wasn’t actually a useful answer. “Colin,” I said. “I’m really worried about Colin.”

Ziggy didn’t answer that with words. He answered it by running his hands through my hair and coaxing me to lie down in his lap (not in the Shakespeare sense, you pervs) and singing me a lullaby. He sang me a soothing song that actually worked to lull me. And then he took me upstairs and put me in bed.

Tomorrow would be the full dress rehearsal. God help us.

(NEWS NEWS NEWS! Okay folks, I’m making it official. There will be a real world DGC meetup on August 20th somewhere between St. Louis MO, Clarksville TN, and Louisville KY. I haven’t figured out exactly where yet. Basically, corwin and I are flying into Kansas City, MO to see the Royals, then we’re planning to drive across Missouri to the triangle described above to try to catch the total solar eclipse on Monday the 21st. [And then see the Cardinals play on the 22nd.] Please let me know if you’d like to come to the meetup so we can work on finding a place suitable. Suggestions welcome!

Additional news! More Kickstarter packages went out this week! About half the t-shirts went into the mail here. Another batch will go out by Friday. And next week the actual books will start to go. I gave up on trying to get a group of volunteers together on the same day and I’m just doing a few packages a day on my own.

LAST PIECE OF NEWS FOR TODAY: A reminder that I’m going to drop to one post a week just for May-June-July-August, like I did in the summer of 2015. I’ll be posting on Tuesdays, and I’m recruiting volunteers to write fan pieces for the Thursdays and to handle prepping the posts and making sure they go up, etc. Whether you write fic, make art, record songs, have a playlist to share, make videos, want to write an essay about why every time you hear a certain song it reminds you of Daron and Ziggy, etc… now’s your time to shine and share with other fans.

Kickstarter shirt packages going out!


  • marktreble says:

    Daron wouldn’t make it. Daron-cum-Jordan-cum-Flip-cum-Ziggy-cum-Carynne will, though.

    Did I miss reference to how the band sounds with two percussion sets?

    I vote for St Louis. Less wear and tear on c-squared (corwin & ctan), more centrally located in the U.S. Yes, I live less than an hour from Clarksville.

    • daron says:

      I don’t think I’ve even gotten around to telling you how the band sounds at all, given how wrapped up I’ve been in my own problems.

      My vote is for a pass through Loretto, KY where the Maker’s Mark Distillery is. (But only bc I think the Knob Creek distillery doesn’t give tours)

  • G says:

    God, I wish the movie in my head could do this story justice. I so want to do this dress rehearsal justice – the tails and hats and Ziggy in white…

    I’m glad you were honest with Ziggy about Colin. I just hope neither of you take your feelings as regret for making a commitment to Ziggy and you. You’ve been through too much to get here and even though Colin is kind of collateral damage, it shouldn’t lessen what you have. I’m hoping you can resolve this feeling and that Ziggy will help you.

    I like the idea of Loretto because it’s four hours from me in Columbus, Ohio. But I’m planning on being anywhere if it’s not too far. But I can’t hold my whiskey but I’ll watch you guys sample!

  • s says:

    There is a whole bourbon tour in Kentucky called the Bourbon Trail. Look it up. Most are fairly close together between Lexington and Bardstown. I hear the Woodford Reserve tour is the best. (I have only done the Jim Beam tour and that’s because I grew up near there and am distantly related. I don’t drink bourbon. How un-Kentucky of me. Lol)

    My vote (and Sanders would probably agree) is for Louisville so we don’t have to drive far. Lol. Also, I got a queen bed for my guest room and you are welcome to it if you want it.

  • chris says:

    If I remember my driving distance correctly it is about the same (distance/time) out of your way if your destination is St. Louis for a Cardinal game to travel to either Louisville KY or Clarksville TN. Are you wanting the best viewing for the eclipse, best tourist stuff (like the distillery), or for a fan meet up? For your convenience St Louis is probably the best option, but I will happily come to Louisville or any other destination!!!

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