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Life is a Terminal Disease

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Yes, I know I uploaded an alternative version of this song a few weeks ago (http://www.macjams.com/song/58957), featuring my struggles with sampled drums. This is just a guitar-voice take, less "produced" by far. Would love feedback on whether this works better or less well: more effective and cohesive, or boring??

In general, I'm having a "sound" crisis: should I be embracing the guitar-voice "thing" or pushing my arrangement horizons? So this is an experiment in one direction at least.
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Song Stats
Hits: 2853
Comments: 18
Fans: 15
Plays: 174
Downloads: 76
Votes: 0
Uploaded: Mar 01, 2010 - 07:50:21 PM
Last Updated: Mar 01, 2010 - 07:50:21 PM Last Played: Jun 11, 2019 - 11:01:53 AM
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johnwhitehead said 3401 days ago (March 1st, 2010)
Love the stripped down version--especially on the bridge. Previous version had its charms, too. I'd vote for some sort of middle ground. Voice & guitar with bass and drums--but stripped down like on 1st verse. The you can bring in another acoustic guitar or maybe string part later on...but no more. The biggest it would get is like "I see you watching satellite TV" passage in previous version.

Lovely song btw-- and worth the effort of multiple versions!
Check out my latest song called Wandering Blues
crissew said 3401 days ago (March 2nd, 2010)
Life is a Terminal Dz
Well done vocals. I like this arrangement but the thing is, you cant have all the songs with just a guitar and vocal. Would work for a select few songs. I think you can do a very transparent sounding mix even with drums and a bass. I think you need your songs to be transparent so your vocals shine through. Make sure the panning and eqing keeps all the instruments in their own space and you will get the best of both worlds. Very well written song and well executed.
Check out my latest song called Runnin' On Empty
Relic67 said 3400 days ago (March 2nd, 2010)
Ah yes, I remember the first version. I think both have something good.
I don't think there's anything wrong with just guitar and voice if the song is good. which it is!

Also, I think the simplest arrangement can be hooky. One of my favourite examples is Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" with the short, single note piano run in the otherwise just guitar-and-voice song.
Check out my latest song called Dead Archive
lengold said 3400 days ago (March 3rd, 2010)
Really enjoyed
the previous version - but this, to my mind, doesn't detract the listener in any way from those superb lyrics and intimate vocal.

Check out my latest song called Decent Girl
tempie said 3400 days ago (March 3rd, 2010)
this is you dude. took a good song and made it great. there's really nobody doing this right now...you've got your indie bon iver types but there's nobody doing ADULT tunes...different kind of angst lol. this is terrific.
Check out my latest song called The Double Helix
ramonaji said 3400 days ago (March 3rd, 2010)
great vocals!
and lyrics! Very lovely all around! Not boring at all!
Check out my latest song called Trump's America
Skean said 3400 days ago (March 3rd, 2010)
You don't need "Logic" you sounds so great now.
Sweet song, enjoyed it a lot.
Check out my latest song called Dawn
shavingronaldscar said 3400 days ago (March 3rd, 2010)
Really nice singing, lovely touch on the guitar. Things that might not necessarily come through on a more produced version. They need space!
Check out my latest song called Adelaide
Jim Bouchard said 3399 days ago (March 3rd, 2010)
I don't know why
I don't know why you can't have just a guitar-voice album. Especially with such tender vocalizing and well thought out changes to make the guitar sing like this. This is better than the other version. If you have a band together and they have arrangement ideas it could be okay, but I often feel like when you're recording by yourself, it sometimes a bit distracting and mannered to add all sorts of other instruments. I'm probably the worst offender at this but I have delusions of playing in a band and don't like the way I sound by myself most of the time. I hope you don't feel that way, because you are quite talented as a solo singer songwriter. One of the reasons why this one in particular works in a solo setting is because this is such a personal song.
Check out my latest song called Big Yawn (Apogee One mic demo)
fasteddie said 3399 days ago (March 3rd, 2010)
This is very good
I really like the simplicity. You have a great voice and the guitar playing compliments that very well. I like the way you have this mixed this time as well.

The bridge is very tasty by the way.

Very cool Michael!
Check out my latest song called On Borrowed Time
carlajpatterson said 3399 days ago (March 4th, 2010)
Had to come hear this - great title!
I like this arrangement and that it's just guitar and voice, personally. I really love the intimacy, especially for a song like this with lyrics which need to be right there in your ear and in your mind as you're listening.
Check out my latest song called Sounds from the Carlaverse
DWL said 3399 days ago (March 4th, 2010)
I don't think
I've ever found your songs boring Mike.

The lyrics are always excellent and this works perfectly with just the simple setting.

Great work.


Check out my latest song called I'm Right, You're Wrong (with Hickling-Stan)
TobinMueller said 3398 days ago (March 5th, 2010)
Better version
I think the intimate lyrics are much more suited to this singer-songewriter alone with his guitar style. You also dropped the backing vocals that weren't tight enough and the other distractions. Now there is only the story, your presence, your fabulous voice, and the emotions swirling and glowing, so well created. As to it being boring, I'd say the verses are not boring at all; however, the break ("I don't try" section where you strum instead fingerpick) holds less interest in my ears for some reason, the only part I thought didn't work as well... or, I should say, didn't work better. I tried to think what might make that section work in my ears and wondered if a second guitar line, an acoustic lead or continuum (or a fiddle) might lift that section, make it more compelling. Love your voice, your work.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
VicDiesel said 3398 days ago (March 5th, 2010)
Works well
Your guitar work is far better than plain strumming up and down, so I have no objection to this arrangement at all. It is definitely not too simple: there's a lot of sophistication in this simplicity.

I'll check the other version to compare.

Check out my latest song called Ten minutes
Ed Hannifin said 3397 days ago (March 6th, 2010)
Good Lord, man...
This puts the song and the emotions that go along with it right in the listener's lap....

I wouldn't add anything for its own sake. You've got the voice to deliver a song sparely, and while I don't think you have to have everything just guitar-and-vocal, by any means, I think that simplicity works for you.... Simple bass, when you use it, simple drums, single cello line... that sort of thing....

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
kassia said 3367 days ago (April 5th, 2010)
i agree
with everything Ed said. this is gorgeous.
Check out my latest song called Greensleeves
Gaylen75 said 3278 days ago (July 2nd, 2010)
This is what it is all about, a great voice and a guitar.
Check out my latest song called A Good Day For A Throw Down
michaeljayklein said 3278 days ago (July 3rd, 2010)
I could not wait for you to post a new one! Glad I checked this out Michael.....excellent work here!
Check out my latest song called There Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens!
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Name: michaelkoppenheffer
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