Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cold Wind Coming


I don't know if you remember the night of December 21, of 2010 but it was the winter solstice and it occurred simultaneously with a lunar eclipse, also known as a "blood moon". According to NASA the last time these astronomical events took place in sync was on Dec. 21, 1638, and it won't happen again until at least 2094. That was the night I wrote the original lyrics for Cold Wind Coming. The song opens with that setting:
Pale moon rising, through clouds of amber and grey. 

I had set an alarm for 2:30am. I built a fire out in the back. The trees were bare and there was a thin coat of snow.

I didn't finish polishing the lyrics until I went to Santa Cruz the following spring. I knocked off 5 half finished projects there in one week with the aid of the magical coffee from LuLu Carpenters and daily sessions of Bikram Yoga.

When I returned to NY and introduced it to the band we had a hard time with it. I had envisioned it as a Reggae number but I had a difficult time singing and playing on the upbeat so it turned into like some kind of metal thing. I was fine with that for awhile and thought "well, lets explore it."

We struggled with it for some months and it never seemed right. About two weeks ago we discussed it and I reminded everybody that it was originally intended to have a Reggae beat. We spent about 15 minutes analyzing and discussing what exactly makes Reggae sound... like Reggae. Then we broke it down and each of us kind of spoke sang what we should be playing.

I told Kosi that she should sing it. She knew all the words already and it would make it a lot easier for me. (Actually, She knows the all of the words to every tune we do. She's just that way.) She looked at me blankly however.

"Are you talking to me?" 
"Who elses job is it to do the singing in this band?" I asked her.
She shrugged.

We tried it in rehearsal right before the following gig. It clicked. I knew it was a good piece and we were finally on the right track. We even tried performing it that night. The sky didn't even fall.

This week I spent hours crafting a solo for it. My hands were so sore that I went down to Chinatown to see if I could get a massage for them. The brute assaulted me. He pounded away at my back and feet and didn't even touch my hands.

Despite the cramping I really enjoyed working on it. It's interesting to take the techniques I developed to learn other peoples material and apply them to my own work. Hope you can come hear it. -Rene


  1. Kosi [singing]: Leaves are shaking... and... [blanks]
    Rene: The line is "Trees are shaking and leaves have ceased to fall."
    Kosi: Oh. Oops... You never sent me the words, you know!
    Rene: But you already know them!
    Amos: Clearly, she doesn't.

  2. You're mistaken, but still don't deign to call...


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