801-6-TEXT-CM Send in your questions via text message!
HAILEY!!!! HAILEY!!!!! HAAAAAAIIIIIILLLEYYYY!!!! Sorry, Hailey isn’t here right now, can I take a message?
Hey Chris! I first want to say that you are just about everything I love in a musician. Keep up the good work. As for my question: What is it that prompts you to make songs in these wacky time signatures? The only reason I’ve seen anyone anything other than 4/4 for any reason is if it’s an adventure song, in which case they tend to use 6/8, or a song that has the soul purpose of teaching the young musicians to play those other time signatures. – Derek Awesomesauce
First of all, congratulations on sending that enormous message via text message. I would have given up half way through. Man, you know, I LOVE odd times, but not in the “prog” way you’re mentioning. I don’t think there are many artists doing it. Popular music, and even ‘indie’ music has hit this brick wall of innovation….odd time signatures are so fun, and so emotional, and such an open canvas that hasn’t been touched. I loved guys like Frank Black always….he’s the only one I know really that uses odd times consistently to serve the melody. Why restrain yourself to 4/4? I just don’t get it. My only rule is it has to sound natural, or at the worst, unnatural to serve the mood of the song. Like, I never say, I’m going to do this in 7/8….it just feels good. Ballads in 7/8 and 5/8 are my new jam. Pulse, This Is Your Brain On Carl Sagan, Poor Places….can’t wait to record them properly. I have this new one in 11/8 too.
What time is the show today?
10 PM tonight!!! Check out the TOUR page!!!
Your fans ever get on your nerves? Ever tire of being called genius? Would you think it weird to accept a monetary advace from a total stranger ?
Well! Soon my hat won’t fit! HAHAHAHA!!!! My hat!!!! Get it?? Won’t be big enough to fit on my head, because you are making my head so big!!!!! HAHA!!!!
Oh. Questions. Do my fans get on my nerves? No way. My mom only calls me like once a week, so it’s fine. BAHAHAHA! Ever tire of being called a genius? No. In fact, I get tired whenever someone ISN’T calling me a genius. I literally just fall asleep wherever I am. I usually get in 22, 23 hours of sleep per day. And as for the last question, I’m not sure if you are saying “monetary advice” or a “monetary advance”. Either way, I don’t know what impression you have of me, but I’m loaded with cash, so nothing is needed, thank you very much. What threw you off? My hundreds of songs about being broke? HA! That was just a dirty lie to maintain struggling artist credibility! BWA HAHA!!!!
Ok, I’ve got to go now. I’ve got to see if I can wrangle $2.50 in change from the couch to get on the subway.
Reminder. Show Friday. Our joint in BK. A proper friggin’ party. Come one and all.
Good things afloat!
Speaking of awesome shows, though, I’m playing a show with brutally excellent bands The Mommyheads and The Philistines, Jr. at Arlene’s Grocery in October.
I’ll do a post on both bands! For today, The Philistines Jr.
from The Philistines Jr. website bio:
The Philistines Jr. are brothers Peter and Tarquin Katis along with drummer Adam Pierce (Mice Parade) and an ever-expanding extended musical family.
Actually, in recent years Peter has gained some fame as an in-demand producer, having produced acclaimed records for Interpol, the National, Jónsi (of Sigur Ros), Frightened Rabbit, Tokyo Police Club, Mates of State, the Swell Season, Fanfarlo, Jukebox the Ghost and many others. No wonder the Read More …
&%$# it, Dude. Let’s go bowling.
Anthem For Evolution
Here’s something cool that I forgot to show you guys. Chris Merritt (that’s me) featured in Magnet music magazine.
Fountains Of Wayne’s very own Adam Schlesinger had some really freakin’ nice things to say. Which is really cool because FOW is one of my favorite bands of all time. Adam writes some of the best songs ever, and not just for Fountains Of Wayne. He also wrote That Thing You Do (the song for the movie) and the awesome Colbert Christmas stuff. Plus he’s in Ivy, and a band called Tinted Windows. Etc., etc. He’s just the most efficient rock star on earth, basically, and everything he touches turns into melodic cleverness.
Speaking of Fountains Of Wayne, though, if you haven’t heard their new record Sky Full Of Holes you should really check it out. It’s their greatest record to date. It’s immediate, but has depth, which is exceedingly rare. It’s pure concentrated melodic heartache. The songs are dark and funny, even more so than their other records. Plus, it really feels like a rock record, like the early records from the band, with matured, dense songwriting and modern but tasteful production. All in all, it’s too smart for a stupid world, and the great Fountains Of Wayne are at their best and most uncompromising. Check out tracks on their Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/fountainsofwayne. Check out Summer Place. Sorry if it gets stuck in your head for the next month.
Where the HELL you been, Uncle Chris Merritt? Where’s my sporadic demos and ranting? Did you ever decide on a name? Why aren’t you playing shows?
Hey. Slow down there, cowboy. Before I answer your questions, let me ask you a question. Do you think these four men can make the best record ever made by humans?
Brett Ripley – DRUMS. Pictured below on the right…I mean left….I mean right?
Sonny Ratcliff – GUITAR. ARPITS. VIBRASLAPS. SWISS ALPENHORN.
Robert McCullough – BASS GUITAR.
And yours truly, Chris Merritt – PUTT PUTT GOLFER.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Are you ready? Those undies I’m sporting at the 12th hole? I’m wearing that exact pair as I type this.
I’m hearing lots of music lately. It’s all 4/4 and it all has the following chord progression (I, V, vi, IV) and it all sucks. Except some of it, which is beautiful beyond words and doesn’t get the name it deserves. Bon Iver. The new Fountains Of Wayne. David Bazan. David Mead.
What is your point, Uncle Chris Merritt? Quiet, you. Your questions will be answered soon. In the meantime, know this: I am ready to make my masterpiece. I have 30 of the best songs I’ve ever written ready to record. The band and I will be recording all 30 and whittling them down to a 10-or-11-track record. They will be about science and ethics. Religion and girls. Evolution and cartoons. There will be new, used, and rare time signatures, heartbreaking melodies and…….well, now I’m rambling, ain’t I?
Here’s my point. Always bring an extra pair of undies to the golf course. You never know, you may get a hole in one.
Sonny and I made a demo with wine
I need your opinion and ideas. I have a new theory for your consideration – when it comes to musical artists, band names are more marketable and more fun than dude’s names. Johnny Assface And The Wieners is better than Johnny Assface. Umm….okay, bad example, but you get the idea.
This notion has been sloshing around in my meat computer for a few weeks and recruiting neurons to it’s cause. I’ve only become more convinced after having a conversation about it with two of my musical heroes (both hyper-intelligent heavy-hitters in the Rock And Roll Unifactor). They both agreed that The Chris Merritt Band or Chris Merritt And The Guys or Chris Merritt And Fart Factory is something worth considering. But, you know, an actually good band name.
This goes right along with some books I’ve been reading lately on society and the human psyche. Malcolm Gladwell’s books, especially The Tipping Point, Chabris/Simons’ The Invisible Gorilla (amazing/scary), and Richard Wiseman’s books. Often, subtle flavors play a big part in what catches and retains attention. My reasons for liking the group name idea are as follows:
Those are the reasons I think band names work, but on a personal level, here is what I like about the idea:
There are reasons I don’t like a band name too. For example, when members change, it feels like you have to write a new thesis and change the organization’s title. I also don’t love the idea of “Jonny Blah And The Blahblah” as a name, but I want to retain “Chris Merritt” or “Merritt” in the name somewhere. I have a tiny eensy beeeensy bit of name recognition now that I’ve built over five years.
I briefly considered going back to Paperface. Even with Paperface, I saw how the fans got a little more cult-ish with the band. But I don’t know, I like the idea of Chris Merritt And The Something. It sounds quirky and fun. A lot of people don’t like bands with names in them, but this could be different. Weird enough to work. Here are some ideas (thought up by me, the band, or awesome friends):
Chris Merritt And The Supercolliders / Chris Merritt And The Virginia Squires / Chris Merritt And The Killscreen / The Chris Merritt Tabernacle Choir / Chris Merritt And The Fundamentalists / Chris Merritt And The Non-Opera Singers / Chris Merritt And The Tokens / The Chris Merritt Conspiracy / Chris Merritt And The Moving Targets / Chris Merritt And The Virgins / Chris Merritt and The Imaginary Guns / Chris Merritt And Superstrings / Chris Merritt And The Space Monkeys / Chris Merritt And The Quantum Leaps
So here’s where you come in. I want your honest opinion. What do you think? And most importantly, can you think of any great band name ideas? You guys always come up with better things than I can! Think science. Humor. Virginia. Whatever.
There are wonderful things afoot, my friends. News will come your way in due time. But first, I need a name that will kill people on utterance.