SONG: Glassy Carbon Rods

SONG:

Glassy Carbon Rods [Download]
.”

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE:Big improvement to brain-computer interface,” Science Daily, 17 Feb 2017, as used in the post “Brain-electronics just got better.

ABSTRACT:
I wish I knew how these things fall together as easily as this one did, so I could replicate that process. I mean, I am growing old – you’d think I’d have figured it out by now.

I just diddled with a guitar on the couch for five minutes and got the main guitar figure, then played it a few times while humming not a melody but a drum beat. Then made that beat, recorded the thing without any idea what the lyrics should be and very little concept of choruses or breaks. The first couple choruses are a thing I stole from the Repo Man soundtrack back in the 1980s – Harry and I used to play with that weird little dissonant progression in different ways. The second couple choruses (or bridges, though there are two of them) are the kind of pop progression that just feels right.

Spent not much time recording it as an instrumental. Threw in some harmonics because, hey, why not? Easy to do, always sound kind of pretty. Then… sent myself that instrumental as an mp3, and listened to it on a loop for a little bit on the way to work and, yeah, in the office too, until I had a good idea of what the phrasing would be. And then just made words fit.

I knew this was going to be a song about glassy carbon electrodes this month, and I kind of knew how it should feel – a little bit like wanting a thing that’s out of reach, a little bit like waking up, and a little bit like an alien world. I’m not sure if the narrator here is paralyzed, or if he’s just ready to move beyond a regular body and into an accessorized electronic-compatible post-human consciousness, thanks to more efficient brain electrodes.

I mostly just like the feel of “glassy carbon rods” on the tongue… which made me think about how they’d feel sliding into my brain… although since there aren’t sensory neurons in the brain, you wouldn’t feel it sliding in at all. Making the hole to get it in – that, you’d feel. The electrode itself? Nah.

Which is a little weird.

(And yes, I know they probably wouldn’t literally be “rods,” but like I said, I like the mouth-feel of that word.)

I like this one. I suppose if I was to do anything different (besides the usual full larynx transplant), I’d set aside more ALONE TIME IN HOUSE to do the solo with acoustic instruments – I was thinking hulusi, actually, but it’s too loud to goof around with in the living room while people sleep. But I’m pretty happy with the organ and mellotron backing and forthing. The 16th-note thing on the hi-hat during the bridge parts is a trick I learned from Jon Wilkins, he of The Postmarks and Grand Theft Otto, who did something similar when he sat in on drums during one of my very rare public performances. Slow, sparse song took on a new angle with that nervous tappy-tappy-tappy beat propelling it forward like caffeine.

Hope you like it, too.

LYRICS:
VS:
There should be some new sensation
As it slides into position
Like a fuse seeking ignition

CH:
It slips beneath the gyrus
Lights flash in the silence
Between the brain and body
Glassy carbon rods

VS:
There should be some kind of pain up there
When things will never feel the same down here

CH:
It slips beneath the gyrus
Lights flash in the silence
Between the brain and body
Glassy carbon rods

VS:
The cranium is opened wide
The gap has been anesthetized
I should be terrified
I turn it on, now.

BR
I feel the numbers flooding in (glassy carbon rods)
Through artificial myelin (glassy carbon rods)
I feel the feedback from my skin again
From glassy carbon rods
Glassy carbon rods

VS/SOLO

BR:
I feel the numbers flooding in
I feel the feedback from my skin again
I turn the screen to face the wind on my own
I start to move my withered limbs
With glassy carbon rods
Glassy carbon rods

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