SONG: Answering the Call
ABSTRACT: It didn’t occur to me, I promise, until just now that the Marlon Brando character in A Streetcar Named Desire is named Kowalski. I just thought, Oh, koalas are supposed to be cuddly and chicks dig ‘em but they’re really kind of cranky and bestial and oh there’s something downright bestial about him…. So, this is a guy yearning for a girl who’s fallen for the full-throated koala love bellow because she’s a little crazy.
I suppose I should have started with the lyrics and the guitar chords and added things to that by way of ornamentation, but I did everything backwards. The first thing I put together were the synth pads. I knew if I had a simple figure in a specific key, they’d sound good looping over any sequence of chords in that key. Then I stuck a drum track in there. Then ukes (repitched to guitar range) then a guitar (detuned into bass range), then words and finally, to fill in the corners, a little hulusi. Always sounds like trees to me. If I’d have started right way ’round, I have a feeling this would’ve been yet another Neil Young-influenced folk-rock murky thing and the world doesn’t need that, does it? No. It needs mopey electronic indie rock with Chinese woodwinds! Naturally!