Background on Songs by Karl Wiegers

Okay, there aren't really three bands. In fact, there aren't any bands -- I made up the band descriptions just for amusement. For instance, one band is called Me 3! because the members are Me, Myself, and I.

Except as noted, I am doing all of the vocal and instrumental parts. I play all of the lead and rhythm electric guitars (Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster) and acoustic guitars (Guild steel-string and Rodriguez nylon-string), as well as the bass guitar (Schechter Stiletto four-string). I program the drums and other percussion parts in the Cubase recording and production software that I use. The software capabilities are just amazing.

I use a MIDI keyboard for all piano and organ parts, as well as various other instruments: strings, cello, saxophones, oboe, flute, banjo, etc. A MIDI keyboard looks like a little piano keyboard but it produces electronic signals that can be captured in the software and assigned to sound like any instrument you like. I can't actually play keyboards but I can play just enough to capture some chords or melodies and then finish developing the parts by editing the captured MIDI data in the Cubase software.

My "recording studio" consists of a Windows 8.1 PC running the Cubase software, two monitors, and a little audio interface box into which I can plug guitars and microphones. The bass is normally plugged directly into the audio interface. Acoustic guitars are recorded using a microphone. To record the electric guitars I can plug them directly into the audio interface, plug them into an amplifier and then mic the amp, or plug them into an amplifier and take the line-out signal from the amp into the audio interface. It depends on whether I want to get the sound of the speakers in the amp or just the sound of the amp itself. The effects on the guitars (reverb, chorus, flanger, delay, tremolo, etc.) can be done either with the software or with external effects pedals.

Notes on Individual Songs

"All My Tuesdays Feel Like Mondays": My friend Joy recently said, "Man, my Tuesday feels like a Monday." I said to myself, "That's a country song." So I wrote my first country song, something I never thought I would do. This poor guy had a really rough day.

"I Want You To Be Mine": I wrote this song when I was 13 and had just been playing guitar for a few months. I knew four chords so it was time to write a song. I finally got around to recording it when I was 57. This version sounds better than the original from 1966.

"Perfect": This is another of my songs combining classical (nylon-string) guitar with electric guitar (Les Paul). It tells a story of an evening that didn't go as planned. I like the guitar licks.

"Whipped": I won't tell you which person of my acquaintance was the inspiration for this song, but I think you'll get the point.

"The Supplemental Blues": When I was dating my wife, Chris was one of the top-level secretaries in the Kodak Research Laboratories. They had been using some temp secretaries, called supplementals. Some of them didn't work out so well, so I wrote her this song. It is the first song of all of these that I recorded. I called Chris one evening, told her I wrote a song for her, and played it over the phone, I'm not sure this is what she was expecting.

"The Many Moods of Monday": This song tells the story of a typical Monday. The alarm clock wakes you up, you frantically get ready for work and fight the traffic in. Things go okay for a while and then the first crisis strikes. You enjoy a relaxing lunch, things are okay for another while, and then the second crisis hits. You fight the traffic on the way home, pull into the driveway, and have a pleasant dinner. Day is done, a rock opera in 3.5 minutes. There are 8 tempo changes: something for everyone.

"Sweet Sunday Morning": Continuing this "days of the week" theme, you wake up gently on a quiet Sunday morning, think about getting up, maybe even get out of bed and look out the window for a minute. Then you get back in bed and go back to sleep because there's just no good reason to get up yet.

"Saturday Samba": My friend from Brazil tells me this isn't really a samba, but that's okay, I like the alliteration. It's an upbeat tune that combines electric and nylon-string acoustic guitars playing jazzy and Brazilian-sounding chords with a piano part.

"Thinking of Thursday": Along with "Window" and "You Might Think" these are my attempts at writing bossa nova songs, but with electric guitars included where you might not ordinarily hear them. The chords in Brazilian songs are so much more interesting than those in rock or country songs. "Louie, Louie" has 3 different chords; "You Might Think" has 28. Thanks to my great Brazilian-style guitar teacher, Ronnie Robins, for doing the vocal on "You Might Think".

"Tranquility Base": Chris once took a "gong meditation" class. After she told me about it, I wrote this New Age-y song for her with a couple of gongs, chimes, wind sounds, cellos, other strings, acoustic and heavily distorted electric guitars, and electric piano playing the background riff and bass parts. This might help you fall asleep.

"Lament of the Rain": I don't really know how to classify this instrumental tune in a genre. It has some interesting chords and kind of a haunting feel to it, with the electric piano and acoustic guitar doing most of the work. When I hear this song I imagine a movie scene with a high-angle downward view from a mountain, looking down in late evening on a car driving on a twisty road in the rain, headlights reflecting off the wet road surface. I don't know why.

"Tell Me What I'm Thinking" and "Tell Somebody Who Cares": At heart I am a rocker. These phrases popped into mind one day (a few years apart) and I just tried to think of lyrics that might fit with the title phrase. Even if it dates me back to the 70s, I like the effect of the harmonizing distorted electric guitars on "Who Cares" and some of my other songs.

"Spread It Thin": I had played around with this riff since the early 1970s, no idea how it got into my brain. Eventually I decided to turn it into a song and this is what resulted. I don't have any idea what "spread it thin" is supposed to mean.

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