Week 49 – Deja Vu Day by The Glad Stones ft. BBS

I’m sure we all have experienced a deja vu moment at some point in our lives. It’s that weird and sometimes eerie feeling when you encounter a particular situation and suddenly say to yourself: “Hey, I think I’ve been here before”, though you can’t really be sure if you have, or if you are imagining things. It’s an unmistakable feeling and once it hits you, you immediately say “deja vu”…

The idea for this song came to us as a pseudo-deja vu moment. We were sitting somewhere trying to think of what to write when a woman dressed in a bright pink blouse and long black skirt walked by. Then, a few moments later, the same woman walked past us again in the exact same manner, and I couldn’t help but say “deja vu” – even though I knew it wasn’t really one. That incident sparked off the whole idea behind this song…

Déjà vu Day

I’m having the weirdest day of my life…

Doo wop doo wop déjà vu day (X4)

There was nothing that special about my double shot latte
Was an OK day till you knocked over my glass
The next thing I knew I was looking right at you
And you said I’m so sorry and my mind went flash

Oh no, I think I’ve been here before
Same green dress that no one can ignore
Oh no, I think I’ve been here before
Why have you come knocking on my door

CHORUS
Mr deja vu
You hit me like a shoe
And now I can’t remember who that was
I have seen her face but my mind is in a daze
I’m just stuck in this familiar place

Through the crowd I see you waiting there for me
A long forgotten dream from the depths of the sea
Like a summer breeze impossible to seize
I’ll never figure out who you are to me

Oh no, I think I’ve been here before
Same awkward situation could there be more
Oh no I think I’ve been here before
So I’m gonna follow you out that door

Week 48 – Ain’t On The Radio by The Glad Stones feat. BBS

This song is another collaboration between The Glad Stones and rapper BBS.

It started with a rather intense-feeling chord progression that Jaye came up with; and then he suggested writing a song about the pitiable state of music on the radio these days. We wrote the chorus first – talking about how radio has lost its soul and become over-commercialised, etc… and I came up with the verses after that.

There was only time to record the video on Sunday morning… so we started as early as possible: 8am (no kidding!). But because all of us were terribly sleep deprived, we kept screwing up (even deleting a perfectly good take by accident at one point), and only finished everything mid-afternoon – one of our longest sessions ever!

Well, we finally got it done  – complete with a hilarious blooper at the end 😉 Also, I really like the rap, and the amazing thing about it was that it was written on Sunday morning itself!

Everything we want to say about music on the radio is in the lyrics. ‘Nuff said.

Ain’t On The Radio

There is music, music everywhere but not a drop to drink
Crashing, smashing waves of sound, but I don’t feel anything
Songs on an assembly line, a stale monotony
Clearly I believe the airwaves are all but dead to me

I’d listen to your soothing voice just before I’d fall asleep
You were by my side through lonely nights, you joined me under the sheets
Now I’m deaf to all your overtures, you cannot fill my heart
You turned your back on music, when you put it on a chart

CHORUS
Radio, oh no
Where’s your soul
Radio, oh no
My ears are closed
Radio, oh no
It’s outta control
So that’s why I turned you off
A long time ago

One size, one skin
A big commercial drum machine
Don’t need to sing
Whatever sells, the same routine
Where did all the good songs go (x3)
Don’t know, but it ain’t on the radio

It’s safe to say that music ain’t what it used to be
Abused to please at the whim of slavery
And the flavor be bland and shallow
Function without the head like sleepy hollow
Impervious it be, subservient; it’s permanent
Insentient, limited by the bonds of impediment
Pumping through the waves with subliminal imagery
I turn the page to a chapter with sympathy
As I collide with discolored eyes
It’s colonized with no function to harmonize
You’re blind till you open your eyes
And see how the radio used to be
Abused to please at the whim of slavery
It occurs to me that nothing’s gonna change
The brain controls the hand and the hand controls the waves
And restrain the unrestrainable
Re-train the untrainable
And say what the radio has to say

(Repeat Chorus)

If you wanna be something real, go get you a guitar
Said the music man to the girl next door, who wants to be a star
They’re eighteen, nineteen, channel surfing, and they don’t care
Lapping up the Top 40 radio fare

Week 47 – Sky Skating by The Glad Stones

Everybody wants to see the world… And “Sky Skating” is a phrase we came up with which means just that – going round the world as easily and freely as if you were on a pair of skates.

It’s certainly a fresh way to say it, and the good thing about writing a song is you have the license to create a new phrase just for the heck of it 😉

When we were composing the verses, I thought it would be a good idea to write about some of the places we’d like to see; and so we sat down on Friday afternoon to come up with list of dream destinations – not an easy task considering there were so many of them! Well, you’ll hear all about it in the lyrics.

Come sky skating with us, won’t you? And do tell us about the places you’d like to visit too 🙂

Sky Skating

There are so many places I’ve never been
No, you can’t see the world through a TV screen
Pack up our music and leave this shore
‘Cos I ain’t going to stay here no more, let’s go explore

First stop Tokyo, next bullet train to the sumo show
Hula dancing, ukulele in Hawaii
Beating the drums in Rio when the carnival comes
Strike the jackpot on a neon bright Vegas night

Chorus
Don’t be waiting
Don’t be debating
Troubles start fading
When you’re
Sky skating
Around the world we fly
Sky skating
Won’t stop until we die

Go pack your bags
Let’s get jet lagged
My legs are numb
But it’s just so fun

Sipping coffee by a street in Paris
Rowing a boat down romantic Venice
Pretend I’m like an Egyptian king
Watch 99 penguins play on the South African bay

There’s just too many sights I have to see
My Gladstone bag is all I need
When you’re sky skating, your truly free
There’s no reason to stay where you don’t wanna be

Week 46 – Love Over Love by The Glad Stones feat. BBS

Watching the tragedy unfold in Japan the past week, we felt compelled to write this song.

Love Over Love” is all about celebrating the spirit of giving, spreading the love, and paying it forward. It’s about love and goodness building up with each good deed, again and again, until the world becomes a better place.

Our hope is that it will inspire you to do something to help the ones who need it most.

For this song, we collaborated with the extremely talented rapper, BBS, from Jaye’s hip-hop duo New Fro Matter. (Btw, he wrote the rap in about 10 minutes, just before we recorded the video!)

Love Over Love

Your heart’s down, but you’ve got friends around you, let the love
surround you
You’re lost we’ve found you, got your back
Gonna get you off the ground

Don’t cry, but if you do you can dry your tears on my sleeve
I won’t leave you hanging, don’t you fear my friend
In the end, love grows over and over

CHORUS
Love, over love, over love, over love, over love
It’s more than enough
Love, over love, over love, over love, over love
When life treats you rough
Love, over love, over love. over love, over love
Rays shine from above
When love gets together, bet’cha things will get better
And you’ll never haf’ta stand on ya own

The world’s too small to ignore all the people left behind,
Open the door, let your neighbour in, not them but friends
For us for all

More than the thought that counts, it’s what you give, a chain reaction
A spark of passion, start a flame, small actions
Go round again and again

There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the power of love
Beaming like the sunlight
A gift from above
Let’s share it and spread it
And so I shall declare it
Love is the solution for everything I merit
And so we declare
For everything fair and righteous
We might just get through the problems and fight this
And I’ll risk everything for life is a gift from His Highness
So spread the word and spread the vibe
Heal the world and open your eyes
Hear your heart and your mind
Love will keep us alive

Week 45 – Fedora Swing by The Glad Stones

This is one of those for-fun songs. You know, the kind that you write for no other reason than to make you feel gooood 😉

I had this idea of picking a random object and writing a song about it… and after a moment Jaye said how about a fedora hat? (Which is not surprising because the dude owns dozens of hats and caps!)

We ended up writing a swing, because it’s just so infectious. I mean, you can’t help but snap your fingers the moment the swing beat gets a-going!

And that’s how this song came about. Feel free to dance 😉

Fedora Swing

I don’t want no blue suede shoes
And those Ray-Bans ain’t no use
Won’t spend money on Armani
‘Cos all I need is you
And my fedora

Calvin Klein won’t get my dime
Ain’t drinking no Bordeaux wine
No Rolex to tell the time
‘Cos all I need is you
And my fedora

CHORUS
I adore ya, and my fedora
You put the shoo-wop ba-dup in my heart
And the bebop ba-dip in my feet
And the swing-a-ling-a-ding
In everything single thing
I do
All I need is you and my fedora

You are my coronet
The one thing I won’t forget
You chase away the blues
I stand tall with you
And my fedora

Don’t need no bling to make me sing
Don’t need to live like a king
So why don’t you just give me one thing
Actually two, all I need is you
And my fedora

Introducing… The Glad Stones!

Yes, that’s us! That’s the name we’ve come up for our duo – after thinking of and rejecting dozens of ideas (most of them pretty silly!).

There’s a story behind every band name, no matter how crazy it is… so here goes.

I wanted a happy-sounding name to reflect the nature of our music – fresh, rhythmic, feel-good, and all that… So, we spent a few days throwing ideas around over SMS. I remember suggesting something like “The Happy Project”, and then we started thinking of synonyms for “happy”.

Naturally, the word “glad” popped up – and in a totally random string of events, the iPhone’s auto-correct function changed “glad” to “Gladstone”! We thought that was a really cool word, and of course we Googled it… and well, a Gladstone is a small and sturdy travelling suitcase – the kind you’d bring with you around the world. We loved it.

To make the name a little more fresh – after all it refers to a product that was invented in the late 19th Century – we split the word into “Glad Stones”

Pretty random, yes. But that’s us all over.

It’s now Week 45 of my song-a-week project, and we’ll continue the rest on our very own YouTube channel:  http://www.youtube.com/thegladstonesmusic

Do check it out, and don’t forget to click subscribe!

Week 44 – Sleeping With A Memory

First, a disclaimer. If you’ve watched this video (thank you!) and felt it was full of flippant cutaways and more clowning around than usual – we had no choice!

Ideally, we’d have liked to record everything in a single take, but it was past 3am on a Friday and everything seemed to be going wrong.

It took us literally dozens of takes before we finally got something decent – BUT the camera decided to mysteriously stop recording about halfway through that one and only good take! It’s happened before and boy, we need to straighten out that camera…

So, we spent another hour shooting random videos to fill the gap – basically everything you see after 1:40. Plus, the camera kept going out of focus, but at 4am, we were too tired to care!

Forget the good things I said about Windows Movie Maker earlier – it sucks big time. It could barely function when we tried to edit multiple high-definition videos (at around 5am). In the end we gave up and I went home.

Fortunately, Carol’s Macbook has iMovie ’09 installed and it worked so, so much better with the video – which I only got down to editing today. The only thing that I couldn’t add were effects like sepia, soft focus and things like that, but I’m certainly not complaining.

Lessons learnt: Fix the camera (or get a higher-capacity SD card because I suspect it ran out of space at the end), and use iMovie, or a better video editing software from now on.

Okay, back to the song…

“Sleeping With A Memory” is a song about loss.

It’s about someone you are no longer with, but you just can’t stop thinking about her – so much that you keep dreaming about her.

You can’t bear to wake up because you don’t want the dream to end.

Sleeping With A Memory

The hands of night
Cover my eyes
I imagine you are there
Next to me
Can almost feel you
Wide awake but dreaming
Sleeping with a memory

CHORUS
Dreaming
Spend my life dreaming
Stay in bed all day
Just to be with you

Wake up
Don’t want to wake up
Sleeping with a memory
Is all I wanna do

I keep thinking
It was a moment ago
When the sun set
And we parted ways
It’s been so long
My heart still beats your name
Your face is so clear
In my mind

CHORUS
Dreaming
Spend my life dreaming
Stay in bed all day
Just to be with you

Wake up
Don’t want to wake up
Sleeping with a memory
Is all I wanna do

I remember loving
Holding your hand
We shone like stars beside
The dimly lit moon
Those sweet parades
Are now just a haze
Oh, how I wish it was just yesterday

CHORUS
Dreaming
Spend my life dreaming
Stay in bed all day
Just to be with you

Wake up
Don’t want to wake up
Sleeping with a memory
Is all I wanna do

Week 43 – Catapult

It was past 1am on Thursday night. Jaye and myself were sitting by the Singapore River just outside Central Mall, trying to come up with a song from scratch. We had left it till late in the week – so I was slightly worried, but pretty hopeful we’d come up with something!

We were opposite the reverse bungy attraction at Clarke Quay – you know, the one where you pay an insane amount of money to be catapulted into the air at a great speed.

Simply put, you are strapped inside a capsule (or pod?) at ground level. The contraption is attached to rubber cords which are stretched upwards to a height. Then the pod is released, shooting you into the air. You bounce up and down a few times before being gently lowered back into the safe hands of Mother Earth.

Well, they were still taking rides at that late hour and with the screams of the riders echoing across the river, we said –  let’s call the song “catapult”. (Don’t think anyone has called a song by that name before, but do tell us if you know of something!)

And that was the random inspiration behind this song.

It’s got a happy, bouncy feel to it, but don’t be deceived – it’s really a breakup song about someone wanting to “catapult” out of a bad relationship as fast as possible.

Catapult

Time is running out
And I am getting down
Can’t hold up my wooden heart
Crashing to the ground

I am no stranger to
Your highs and lows
I’m sick of this rollercoaster
I’ve got to go

CHORUS
My heart was caught by you
But now I can’t love you no more
Oh my dear
I’m gonna catapult outta here
Can’t stop me from leaving you
I gave you way too much
Oh my dear
I’m gonna catapult outta here

I was enslaved
By the queen of hearts
Now I’m doing a jailbreak
To get outta the dark

You had me all wound up
Tight as a knot
I needed sweet release
I had to get out

Week 42 – Chica Escandalosa (Scandalous Girl)

Since I’ve started collaborating with Jaye Foo in my “song a week” project, the support and comments we have received on YouTube has been tremendous. (Last week’s song, “Mystery Girl“, is the most popular so far ;))

It’s been really encouraging to have people you don’t know telling you they like your videos, and of course we are inspired to carry on writing!

In a collaboration, it’s always different. Like I’ve said before, when two contrasting musical styles combine, magic happens. What we’re doing is irreverent, random and fun. The best part is – we’re not out to prove anything – we’re just making music 🙂

This week’s song began with a Spanish-sounding chord progression we were working on one day. I asked Jaye what he’d like it to be about, and he said something like “a scandalous senorita”.

Should be interesting, I thought.

Neither of us knows Spanish, by the way, so when I sat down to write, I went to Google Translate to see what “scandalous girl” was, and “Chica escandalosa” had such a nice ring to it that I had to use it in the song.

The result was this.

It’s a love song, of course, about a man who is madly in love with a woman who, as it happens, has many men in her life. But he wants her so badly he is willing to close his eyes and look beyond her actions, just to have her come home to him every night.

During the filming, the camera battery ran out just before the end of our final take, and so we had to shoot some random videos to fill the gap at the end – which explains the slightly offbeat ending (if you get that far) 😉

Do let us know if you like it. And thanks for listening!

Chica Escandalosa (Scandalous Girl)

Broken hearts lie at your feet
You cut ’em down like a field of wheat
We are but dogs beggin’ for a treat
You make us howl your name in vain

Last night I made you happy
Tonight I don’t know which señor you’ll see
Poured out my love, gave you my key
And you shoved it down the drain

CHORUS
Chica Escandalosa
You cast your net and then you draw me closer
Next thing I know you’re telling me to go, sir
What am I supposed to do?
Chica Escandalosa
You leave me hanging like an old bill poster
I’m a bun inside your red hot toaster
Burnin’ for you

I dream to be your only one
The two of us lying under the sun
I’ll close my eyes and let you have your fun
If you come home to me

One day my dear you’ll find
Out of the other guys you left behind
I won’t rest until I get what’s mine
Oh, please be kind

Week 41 – Mystery Girl

It all started with a bass line.

Jaye had a really cool bass riff he wrote some time ago which he had never put words to. This week, when we were jamming and thinking of a song idea, he played the riff for me. I thought it’d be fun to make it into a song –  and that’s how this collaboration called “Mystery Girl” came about.

You know, sometimes we guys have a “fantasy” girl that exists only in our heads. We hold an image of the perfect woman in our minds, and sometimes we dream about her. This song is about that “mystery girl” – but it goes one step further – she becomes real in the end! Yes, the lyrics are a bit abstract (deliberately so) – but you get the gist!

We had a lot of fun recording this video in Jaye’s new home studio. To capture a good sound, we positioned a condenser mic in the middle for the vocals, and two instrument mics at our guitars. The arrangement worked pretty well in getting a mix of sounds which we thought gave the recording a lot of depth.

For the video, we used Windows Movie Maker – and to my surprise, that basic software can create some really cool effects!

I like the way our individual styles are blending together – Jaye’s rhythmic progressions and my generally more flowing music.

All in, we were very pleased with the result. Let us know if you like it 🙂

Mystery Girl

There is this girl
She lives in a corner of my mind
Sometimes she visits me
In my melodies and rhymes

She’s been made by angels
With a touch of red hot chilli pepper and I let her do whatever
She wants to me (X3)

CHORUS
Has anybody met this mystery girl (X3)
Can anybody make her real for me cuz I need her in this world

Dreams are dreams
And life ain’t never as it seems
Everywhere I turn
She’s just out of reach

Wish I had a clue
Someone tell me what to do cos she’s flying up
Into the blue (X3)

CHORUS
Has anybody met this mystery girl (X3)
Can anybody make her real for me cuz I need her in this world

So I call out her name
Hoping she won’t walk away
I reach out my hand
Thinking I’m asleep again
Then I feel her skin
The moment I’ve been dreaming of each night
She’s walked out of my dreams and into my life

CHORUS
Has anybody met this mystery girl (X3)
Can anybody make her real for me cuz I need her in this world