Thermal, CA: home to the #1 song of the '80s.
During the '70s and early'80s, the small, arid farming town
was home to Freedman Co., run by Mr. Steinberg and his son, Billy
, who ran vineyard operations. Billy also made music
, time permitting. After his demo was secretly given to a star
, he went to L.A., and met his musical collaborator, but the farm pulled him back. He kept writing in Thermal, though.
"I remember writing the lyrics. . . while driving around in a red pickup truck that I owned and I was driving around my father’s dusty desert vineyards. I had been involved in a very emotionally difficult relationship that had finally ended I had met somebody new... I came up with the line, ‘I made it through the wilderness...I was beat, incomplete, I’d been had.’ All of the lyrics just poured out"
That was Steinberg & Kelly's
first #1 hit
... followed by four more
, along with other hits
you might not suspect.
posted by markkraft
on May 11, 2012 -
"Sometimes less," he says cheerfully. "Sometimes I get two hours. Someone comes over at three, we have a cup of tea, chew the cud for a bit, go: 'All right, shall we write a song?' And by six, they've gone home and we've done it. Chasing Pavements, that took two or three hours." The life of today's pro songwriter
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on May 19, 2011 -
How I Wrote
is a series of videos from The Guardian where musicians perform a song after talking about it a little bit. Among the artists who've taken part are Rufus Wainwright
, Kristin Hersh
, Corinne Bailey Rae
, Laura Marling
, Keren Ann
, Patrick Wolf
, Gruff Rhys
, Cee Lo Green
, Antony and the Johnsons
, P. J. Harvey
and Emmy the Great
, who sings a song about the Royal Wedding, appropriately enough for today (though I suppose the Cee Lo Green song is appropriate too).
posted by Kattullus
on Apr 28, 2011 -
16 year old Yonlu
music that ranged from bossa nova to 8-bit music from the sounds of desktop printers, never knowing that he would someday make the pages of Paste
, and Rolling Stone Brasil
. He posted It's Not Another
(later titled A Boy and the Tiger) to a gaming forum, where it was
met with praise. More songs
soon followed, which included English songs (I Know What It's Like
), and also Portuguese songs (Estrela
). Perhaps suffering from depression, Yonlu took his own life via carbon monoxide poisoning in 2006, just a few weeks before his 17th birthday. His
parents only learnt of his songwriting from a CD he left behind for them, with a note telling
them to listen to the CD "whenever they felt sad".
posted by Xere
on Jun 9, 2010 -
Measure for Measure - How to Write a Song and Other Mysteries
. Blog from The New York Times: "In the coming weeks, the contributors to this blog - all accomplished songwriters - will pull back the curtain on the creative process as they write about their work on a song in the making." Contributors: Andrew Bird, Darrell Brown, Rosanne Cash and Suzanne Vega (only the Andrew Bird one is up right now).
posted by Ira.metafilter
on Mar 31, 2008 -
The Brill Building
, located at 1619 Broadway in the heart of New York's music district, is a name synonymous with an approach to songwriting that changed the course of music. Housing legendary songwriters like Carole King, Jerry Leiber, Neil Sedaka, and Burt Bacharach, the Brill Building created some of the greatest hits
of the rock'n'roll era
. [more inside]
posted by rocket88
on Dec 29, 2004 -
25 years old and I pretty much had made it. The critics’ darling was now a success. So what happened? Why is it that many of you here today aren’t quite sure who the hell I actually am, aside from Rufus Wainwright’s father? Why is finding a CD of mine akin to archeology? Where were the follow up hits to "Dead Skunk," funny animal songs like "I Met Her at the Pet Store" and "Stay Away From My Aardvark?"
My Cool Life by Loudon Wainwright III
posted by dodgygeezer
on Sep 25, 2004 -
How lyrics work,
offered up by one of my favorite singers and songwriters. No, you won't learn who she was really singing about in "You're So Vain" but it's still a fascinating read about a topic she knows a thing or two about.
posted by MAYORBOB
on Nov 4, 2001 -