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The Mudville Gazette will turn five years old this week. What better way to start the birthday celebration than with the latest version of my music video:
What's new? Well, thanks to folks who hit that paypal button I've begun checking out mixing software. This means I've spent a lot of time over the past week learning to use the program - it also means the above effort began with a return to square one in the audio mix. (Actually the same basic raw components re-compiled in new and better software, then a lot of learning by trial and error.) Other than that, not much new in the actual music, though hopefully you'll notice significant improvement in the overall quality.
As for the video...
From the time I began this project I knew I wanted to include Mike Yon's iconic photo of Major Mark Bieger and Farah. Yesterday I emailed him for permission - his response was quick: "yes you can use that photo!."
Of course, I then realized Mike had a second photo that represented the other end of the spectrum of experiences of Americans in Iraq, one he'd used as the centerpiece of his story Thanks and Praise. Permission for that one followed, and I've nothing but thanks and praise for Mike.
There are great stories behind every picture in this compilation. Hopefully this week we'll have time to review some of them here.
In the meantime, for background on this song, start here. (Short version: I wrote this while in Iraq as part of "the surge" in May, 2007, carried it around in my head for months and finally began recording it when I returned home. Hope you enjoy...)
Sometime later this week I'll post the latest audio version for download...
The Free and the Brave
Over in America, home of the free
Land of unlimited opportunity
People in the streets protest whatever they can
While over in Iraq and Afghanistan
The brave, far from home, are standing tall
and toeing the line, so they can have it all
Some try to complicate it but it's simple to me
They're making noise, we're making history
Osama'd like to think that we can't get it done
And some would like to tell you it's time to cut and run
Me I like to finish something once I've begun
And I don't think I'm the only one
Here making history, hearing the noise
of things that divide and things that destroy
Things you'd never ever want to see on your street
Things you might call the price of defeat
So excuse me if I come home a little annoyed
If while I was making history, you were making noise
We're making history
They're making noise
We're facing the fire
They're playing with toys
Nobody ever said
That it would be easy
They're making noise
We're making history
- Iraq, May, 2007
And thanks for leading the way...Posted by Eagle1 at March 10, 2008 03:31 PM
Happy Birthday! The hard work done by you & Mrs. G on this site is much appreciated. I like this version of the song much better 'cause I can hear the words. ;)Posted by MissBirdlegs in AL at March 10, 2008 05:49 PM
Happy Birthday!Posted by Jeff at March 10, 2008 08:54 PM
Much better. I could hear the words loud & clear. Happy Birthday Mudville!Posted by Grannylu at March 10, 2008 10:23 PM
The video reminds me of how often Japanese anime have opening and closing theme songs that are choreographed to the actual scenes.Posted by Ymarsakar at March 11, 2008 04:38 AM
Happy Birthday to Mudville and thanks for all the info and hard work by you both to get the word out.
Curious, what software/hardware are you running?
Voice audio is clear this time and lead guitar is a good addition if it was not there before.Posted by Michael at March 11, 2008 12:35 PM
Quick answer for Michael:
Guitar and vocals recorded through Line 6 Guitar Port/Riffworks. Drums are from GearBox (comes with Guitar Port)
Original vocal (on version one) was recorded using a cheap little computer mic (that I've since replaced with a Shure - lower-end version but acceptable) plugged straight into Audacity recording software. Final mix of first and second versions were also done on Audacity.
Mixed (and tweaked) the latest version using Cakewalk Sonar. I took the original wavs from Riffworks and started the entire mixng/engineering part from scratch.
I boosted the lead solo with a bit of reverb but it's otherwise the same solo that was on version one. (all guitar parts are). But with sonar I've been able to get more of the air-raid siren edge to the solo. I've got a version I haven't put up that will make your ears bleed.Posted by Greyhawk at March 11, 2008 10:17 PM
Thanks Greyhawk, now I understand completely.Posted by Grannylu at March 12, 2008 02:41 AM
Badass! I noticed one of my wife's photos, the one with the guy crouching under the rotor blades. Love the song, the sentiment, and the photo montage.Posted by Decurion at March 13, 2008 05:25 PM
Good stuff Hawkmeister. Great to hear a lyric from a GI's pen and perspective. The 'noisemakers' have been a bit of a pain lately-friggin loud too.
Keep 'em coming.
..ooops - I forgot the "happy birthday" part.Posted by James Hooker at March 17, 2008 07:28 AM
I'm working over at Moblogic.tv and today's video asks "Where's the Call to Action" concerning the war in Iraq.
We just wanted to let you know that we've linked to your site in our corresponding blog.
Please check it out and feel free to let us know what you think, good or bad.