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June 10, 2007

Song-A-Week #19: Hold On

This one's called "Hold On." Not sure how I feel about that. I kinda like the lyrical concept.. but this is now the 2nd song-a-week that uses the phrase "hold on" sort of as a chorus - see also "Worlds Unknown." But anyway, its different.

I've been thinking about something lately, and this song is LOOSELY related to it... America has not been a country for a long time, and we're a nation of immigrants. If you aren't Native American, if you trace your heritage back far enough, one of your ancestors came over on a boat. We don't have a lot of aspects of national culture that other nations do. There aren't really many physical characteristics that I would say are "American" yet, aside from, erm, obesity. We talk about our country different than other nations do. French people say "I am French." We say "I am an American." And we've got a long history of travel. From the Mayflower, to Lewis and Clark, to Conestoga wagons, to the space race, to unexplored Alaska, we've got a long, deeply ingrained fascination with moving somewhere else. There's Jack Keroac's "On The Road," and there's Brittany Spears' "Crossroads." We've got a fascination with the road. I've been thinking that its really one of the few strong definable national traits we've got. And I don't think its just because our country is large. I think its about as close to being literally "in our blood" as it can get.

If all of that is true, we've all got a little wanderer in us. And the downside to that is the desolation that comes with the road. And that's more or less what this song is about. That idea hasn't been appeased though, so expect a song or twenty revolving around that in future.


Hold On
(C) 2007 Matthew C Good

You might feel at home in North Carolina
You might feel right in the middle of the sea
You might not get along in all of your travels
People feel alone in the best company.

If you found a place
where you belong
you'd better hold on, better hold on

Cuz you might lose control in Las Vegas
It's happened to more reasonable men than you
you might lose yourself in Mesa Verde
You'll never feel the same if you do

If you found a place
where you belong
you'd better hold on, better hold on

Cuz you're not getting any younger
You're not getting any stronger
Hold on
Hold on.


FYI, I want to add some more lyrics I think in that sorta D section at the end. And more ambiance and more accent pieces and a westerny guitar solo in parts

Technical notes... Ummmm I didn't do a lot interesting on this song. There are two acoustic, one normal and one capoed at 7, which is pretty high.

Posted by pedalboy at June 10, 2007 11:57 PM | TrackBack

I feel like this song is us...

Posted by: Chase at June 11, 2007 5:37 PM

I might like this song the best so far... the melody is so good.

I think it's very, very strong. The lyrics in the chorus are killer. I don't know if they make you think of our community that we've left behind, but to me they surely do. And because of that, I think it makes the verse lyrics seem a bit disconnected, though not at all bad in themselves. Mostly verse 2.

The original idea is good, though this song doesn't really touch on it as much as you want, like you mentioned in the disclaimer. If I were you, I would save that idea for other songs, and to to bring out the idea of the chorus.

I like the instrumentation. I think the ending is kind of incomplete. It seems like the ebow wants to fade out toward the middle of the end, leaving acoustics alone, but further listening makes me think it's only a mistake in performance. I think you should capitalize on that mistake, and make everything fade to the acoustics, then (once drums are in, and I'm thinking ethan for this one, yet more epic, dynamic, and building than he normally plays) do a build with some eighth-note tom action and strumming (you know, building...) Once everything gets huge I feel a good double-picked guitar solo a la Explosions in the Sky performed by JB or myself would be great. This could be a very good album closer, or mid-album song.

I think this song is incredible Matt.

Posted by: Chase at June 12, 2007 12:33 AM

I think this one is one of the best so far. I agree with Chase, "I think this song is incredible Matt."

Posted by: Kristina at June 12, 2007 6:50 AM

Great song. I want it to be on a movie soundtrack. I'm half considering filming a movie just to put this song in it. The movie would probably suck, but then this song would start playing toward the end and everyone would be like "man, this is great song" and forget about how bad the rest of the movie was and then i'd look good.

Posted by: mallio at June 12, 2007 3:43 PM

I'm right there with chase on this one. I think this song is great. the explosions building thing is exactly what i was thinking too. I think the beginning of the song could use a little sparser instrumentation and maybe less ebow and more something like a little bit of mandolin or banjo-ish sounds. Also, the harmony of the chorus should be a female voice (i'm thinking some of the stuff that ryan adams did with emmylou harris).

Posted by: john at June 13, 2007 1:11 AM

i loved this song for what it is about, matty. thank you for expressing a feeling that has meaning to me. i thought the whole song was very beautiful.

i think you should make the chorus sound more separate from the verses. there's something that's kinda long and sustained (electric guitar?) that goes on the whole time. but the words of the chorus (Refrain?) have too much punch to drift away into the verses; it should be different sounding. and i, too, think part should be sung by a female voice, b/c you always sound good with that addition.

Posted by: kate at June 13, 2007 7:09 AM

I like the female voice idea too.

Did anyone else got the same feeling from the chorus as I did? I mean, to me it's like Matt is singing directly to the disconnect I feel from all of you.

Posted by: Chase at June 13, 2007 4:00 PM

yeah chase, this song is sortof about that, but through a little more physical of a metaphor. And with that in mind I propose another verse:

Cuz sometimes loved ones, they go disappearing
some of their promises run out of truth (or: stop being true)
doesn't seem right that they are their own person (or: how can they be their own person)
when they are such a vital part of you.

I've got some ideas for some editing of the song. It definitely needs some tightening up and a third verse which will probably be something along the lines of the one I just posted. I think i'm going to move some verses around and choruses and some surprising things... I think it will be good. More on that later.

I'm thinking of doing an EP, with this as the closer, I'll take your advice and do the explosions in the sky thing and the build thing. And I would really like to get Ethan in a big room for the drums... Drums the size of the kit on Coldplay's "Fix You." But I may have an opportunity to get seth to play, so we'll see. but i think this is more of an ethan song too.

I wonder what katie would sound like on this song? I was actually thinking that the harmony should really be a girl while I was recording it. Maybe seth knows some really good voices down here. doubt it though.

I am going to put in lots of strings and i wouldn't mind having a really good brass section but that's really just wishful thinking. Listen to "No Cars Go" from the last Arcade Fire record and then listen to this song and you'll get it.

Proposed EP:
Worlds Unknown
The Way Off The Ground
Hold On

"The Way Off..." is a bit of an oddball on there currently, so whatever is track 2 would have to bridge that gap, and maybe another bridge in between that and Drive. But I really like that song and it fits with all the desolation and loneliness malarky.

I need 1950's sci-fi art for this one. Comment on the verse, the song arrangement, and the proposed EP - please!

Posted by: matt at June 13, 2007 4:41 PM

I like the proposed EP idea, and I mean... I like it BUNCHES. And of course I would sound awesome on this song... like I do all the time. Gimme a break! And I pretty much agree with everyone... so maybe that sounds a little lame. But I'm leaving it in the text box. This is one of your best songs because it MEANS something to you. Remember that.

Posted by: katie knows best at June 13, 2007 11:20 PM

P.S. I miss you too...

Posted by: katie knows best at June 13, 2007 11:21 PM

I like the intent in the proposed verse, and think it could work but not too much with the other verses. 1 + 2 with 3 seem disconnected to me. I would revise the first two, but it's your song.

More later. Maybe.

Posted by: Chase at June 14, 2007 5:12 PM

holy freaking crap matty. the newly proposed verse is EXACTLY RIGHT.
but i agree with doesn't exactly fit with the song the way it is. your song is, i think, profoundly hopeful coming from you at this time in your life,(b/c place also = person) while the last verse is that drippy unresolved feeling that lurks at the corner of our minds. it's a subtle but important difference.

Posted by: kate at June 15, 2007 3:39 PM
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