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Bait & Switch: Song 9: Bad Moon

Like I mentioned in my last blog, getting inspired and writing a new song (a good one, that is) takes some soul searching. I was sensing that my roll with lyrics and story telling might be soon ending. Just like waves, songs come in sets. And the best ones come out of adversity. Blues is the music of adversity.

All Rock music is based on suffering African people in the Deep South. It's written in a Pentatonic minor scale. And that makes it sound sad. Country music, which mostly derives from Scots-Irish and French folk (Cajun) is written in a Pentatonic major scale. And that makes it sound happy. (Zydeco mixes Afro-Carribean beats & French folk). The difference between these two scales are two notes, the 3rd and the 7th. If the 3rd and 7th fall naturally in the major scale, it sounds happy. If the 3rd and 7th are don't' fall on naturally on the major scale, and are flat, the music sounds sad and unresolved. The thing is I didn't want a completely sad song. So, I kept the 3rd naturally falling in the scale, and flatted the 7th only. This is called a "Mixolydian Mode", a seventh scale. The Beatles used it, as did U2. It can lead to some interesting and grand music (Norwegian Wood).

Covid-19: Looks like an evil moon from outer space

Credence Clearwater Revival wrote a song I loved called, "Bad Moon Rising". The song was written about the coming apocalypse. It's unfortunate Coronavirus hit China just as I finished the song around November. The virus is sort of moon shaped, and that led me to relook at Creedence Clearwater Revival.

I really wanted to put a deep cut into my album. I wanted to gut check how far we've come since Bad Moon Rising came out. I also wanted to leave a little room for the refrain, to maybe take it in a different direction. If you listen to the bass part in the refrain, it's similar to "Young Lust" on Pink Floyd's "The Wall" album roughly at 2:07 in the song.

Once I laid down the musical foundations, guitar riffs and bass, which sounded very powerful, I began writing the lyrics. But I wanted the lyrics to bounce back to CCR's Bad Moon Rising. CCR's song starts off with an assumption: something bad is going to happen sometime in the future. And I challenged the assumption. I wrote:

I heard a Bad Moon was Rising, and I should live in fear

Heard hurricanes and lightening, the end was comin' near

There ain't no use in lying, the truth is plain and clear

There ain't no Bad Moon Rising

The Bad Moon is here."

Did a whole lot of nothing, but fight war after war

Made riches off the suffering, kept the flames and wanted more

The measure is the blooding, Roger up and volunteer

There ain't no Bad Moon Rising

The Bad Moon is here."

The rest of the song discusses global climate change, and how people should prepare because governments have failed them.

Better get yourself together and get away from here

You're a meatball in the grinder

A deer in the headlights

It's the headlights, and you're the deer

The mountains rain down fire,

The glaciers disappear

There ain't no Bad Moon Rising

The Bad Moon is Here.

After I wrote the song, and recorded the vocals, I laid down the sickest guitar solo of my life. There's no way I'll ever be able to repeat it. All one take, too!

If you haven't heard Bait & Switch, pick up your copy today.

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