Thursday, October 8, 2009

Breaking Down "Smash Smash Bang" Part 4.

Sorry it took me so long to update this again. We were having website problems. But we are back with a vengence.

So, our favorite hip hop blog Hip Hop Infinity (which is on our blog roll -- check it out!) gave us the honor of Underground Track of the Week! for the fourth song on Smash Smash Bang, entitled "Matchbooks."

This is the song we will discuss next. Also, there is a Tim Young directed video coming for this song berry berry soon. It's funny.

I had had the idea for music like this a long time ago. In my head, it was room-mic'ed stomps and claps and piano and rapping all at the same time. Like if you were listening to it in headphones you would just be in the same room with the music.

The stomps and claps are me and Sentence. We did a bunch of takes and at the end our hands hurt a lot. When we were writing the piano part, Stine heard that the stomps had a tone to them, and figured out that they were in the key of G Sharp. He has a much better ear than I do. I just heard stomps. So the song is in the key of G Sharp. Which is kind of weird and cool I guess.

Stine and Sentence then convinced me that if we didn't add anything else to the track it would be boring and repetitive, and I think in the end they were right. It's not easy for me to admit when I'm wrong. So Stine added the bass and the organ for the hook, and switched up the piano part for the second eight bars of Sentence's verse. Then Sentence and Stine came up with the idea to add feedback-y guitar to the end -- Sentence gave Stine the reference point of "Misunderstood" by Wilco, which is one of my favorite songs. And so Stine put the guitar on the end as well, and I think he nailed it.

The song itself is pretty easy to decipher. I won't speak for anyone else in Metermaids, but I will say that 2009 has been a particularly tough year for me. And with the recession, etc., I imagine it has been difficult for a lot of people. This is a hopeful song yo. Mad hopeful son!

Here are the lyrics:

This morning's cigarette tasted like last night.
And last night like the one before.
I made my bed in the morning when I woke up.
I picked my clothes up off the floor.
I rode the train like a ghost in the graveyard.
I walked the streets like a criminal's son.
I pulled my hat real low.
I had apologies for everyone.
I wished I could make the city silent.
I wished all I could hear is my breath.
I would lay myself down on the sidewalk.
Let the city whisper secrets as I slept.
I called my sister up long distance
To see if she remembered me now that she's grown.
Her laugh sounded just like our mother's.
And I wished that I was going home.

It's gonna get so much better
Everybody's gonna get their turn
Count the matches that's left in the matchbook
One of these is gonna burn

Leaving like the first day of summer
The stars are getting restless hiding out of sight
I've never seen a bus or a train in the daytime
But this one's gonna get me home tonight

Everybody's leaned back with their eyes closed
My fingernails are dirty like I dug out of a prison
And I try not to think about what everything could mean
'Cause I've never been much for symbolism

I've seen this street too many times now
And the trees all nod like they agree
I leave the door open on my way in the apartment
Like somehow that's enough to make me free

And the last thoughts I have are the pretty ones
The last split second I'm awake
And I've never been afraid and the dark don't scare me
'Cause some things you can never take away

It's gonna get so much better
Everybody's gonna get their turn
Count the matches that's left in the matchbook
One of these is gonna burn

And here is the song:

<a href="">Matchbooks by Metermaids</a>


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