The 53 Best Moon Is No More Songs - The "Sitting On The Fence" Songs - 30-21

As we get higher on this list we get into some very murky territory. It becomes even harder to differentiate rank at this level. That's why I'm calling this batch "Sitting On The Fence." In all reality, it is quite possible that half of these songs could jump much higher and end up in the final cut. For now, they're probably out.

Between posts I found my Moon Is No More MP3 CD and have had a chance to give a lot of more obscure songs a listen. This has definitely helped revise the list, though there weren't many changes to the songs from the previous posts. Last Resort, Part IV was not what we thought and it moved down to 39.

Let's get to it.

30. The Gradual Progression Of Loss, Part I

As was mentioned, I found the Moon Is No More MP3 CD. As I mentioned in my original post regarding this song, if my memory was jogged this had the potential to move. With the additional information provided therein I did feel the need to bump this song up a few spots. Somehow we made the song with no melody work. That alone has to be worth at least two places on this list. The full band rendition featured a great mid-song change from brushed bongos to full drums that works really well. The lyrics make for an interesting bit of poetry (their original intention) but a less-interesting song. On the other hand, the lyric file for this song contains one of my favorite notations under MUSIC: "Chan style: C". Hopefully you know what that means.

29. On Account Of The Abuse

This is a slow jam that Joshua really seems to love. For me, it's OK. There's definitely something trippy about it and we've only played once to my knowledge. That makes it kind of hard to judge. It has some good potential, though. The lyrics are off the wall and feel somewhat disconnected throughout. "I am ill."

28. Ghetto Gap Gay Guy

4G's. In our original recording this song was far too repetitive. However, it had a nice alternate part near the end. If this were mixed together a little more effectively we might have something.

27. Last Resort, Part II

When I originally wrote the lyrics for Last Resort, Part I and Part II I always thought I would like Part II better. It seemed to snap better. Alas, it was not to be. Part II eventually turned into a nondescript punk-pop song that lacks pop. It still has a nice flow but it's lost some of it's effect over time. It isn't as re-listenable as most of the other songs. In this song we see the reuse of the "when all else fails / try avoidance" line which kept popping up in my lyrics. I thought the harder rock song would deliver a better delivery on that chorus punch, however it turns out that Part I's slow, but more heartfelt, delivery tops it.

26. G.O.D.

Stands for Guaranteed Overnight Delivery, which is a delivery company. I really have no right to say I have anything to do with this song. It was recorded long before The Moon Is No More was a twinkle in anyone's eyes by Joshua and J. Michael Palermo, Part IV. It did not get mixed, however, until The Moon Is No More was in full force. I threw in some "perhaps / perhaps / perhaps" vocals that you can barely hear. This song has staying power, but it's frailty lies in the fact that it's a throw away song at 40 some odd seconds. On the flip side, everyone seems to love it. It's an easy song to grasp. That means that it could go as far North as 1 or as far South as 53. Instead, I've placed it firmly in the middle of this list.

25. Allowing Oneself To Neglect Responsibility

Another song that was originally just a poem. This song features cool callback vocals between myself and Joshua, followed by a cool little jam. I always liked this one.

24. It's The Children That Are Hurt The Most, Part I

I can just see Joshua getting scared as he reads that title. Don't worry, we're talking Part I here, not Part II. I wish I could remember the original title of this song, back when it was written 2 years pre-The Moon Is No More. This was my follow-up to Come & Gone. The original intention when writing the lyrics was for this to be a slow little ditty, probably conjuring up images of Sparklehorse. It even features a Sparklehorse line, "the flowers of evil," from Gasoline Horseys. When it came time to put this to music we just ripped on through it like a cowboy rock song. Joshua did a lot of good work on the music and official recording intended for Jeffrey L. Allen. He made it very palatable and interesting. It features a bass, guitar, and drum mini-solos. And that's saying something because solos were not something we did very often. The final version always had a little hard hitting country feel to me, in a good way. Maybe this should be higher.

23. La Fin, Part II

When I first made my list this one was quite a few spots lower, bordering on the 30s. After listening back to it I had to make a move on it. In fact, given time, this could move even higher. All I really need to say about this is that Joshua sings it in French. Maybe The Arcade Fire are having too heavy an influence on me, but that sounds like a darn good idea to me. In a later version he sang French while I spoke English all at the same time. That does not sound like as good an idea. But with Joshua in French it had a great melody and simple acoustic guitars. That's the way this song should forever stay. "c'est normal / c'est normal." When we were slated for three-discs this was going to be the final song. On a side note, was this some sort of weird precursor to Tim Nm, CPA and Days Of Being Wrinkle Free? I'll let the reader be the judge.

22. Quality Over Quantity

Here we go. The first song written specifically for The Moon Is No More. To call it a song might be an overstatement, given that it's mostly spoken word. It's possible I'm ranking this too high on a purely nostalgia basis. In a way, though, this is a historically important song because it set the tone for what The Moon Is No More was going to be about. We were not simply going to deliver "normal" music. We were going to do what felt right for us and make music along the lines of what we would like to listen to, even if no one else would want to listen to it. With time this song matured and Joshua did a lot of fine work revising the music. My favorite versions featured dueling vocals and a Karate style guitar/bass.

21. Standard Issue

Lyrically, this was written during a boring Arizona summer-time (again, pre-The Moon Is No More) with references to various objects around Joshua's house. Musically, this was part of the William Donovan Junior creative burst that took place on the Cape. Later it came to include either bongos or brushed drums with a creepy violin layered on top, courtesy of yours truly, with the help of the Hooper borrowed violin which we kept for like 3 years. One concern I would have for this song would be if I could recreate the violin solo. It was probably about 6 strokes long but, not being classically trained in violin, I'm not sure exactly what string or where my finger placement was. I wonder if we ever wrote that one down. I could easily see this slipping into the "Dangling Off The Ledge" songs.


Joshua Provost said...

30. The Gradual Progression of Loss, Part I - I like this song for the bongo/drum transition as well. It was a change up from our normal light drum/heavy drum model. It's one of those songs that really needs to be done hypnotically. It doesn't have a lot of interesting parts in it, but done right it could be a very pleasant break in the mega-album. Room 203, Part I is much of the same, not a lot of interest, but a nice song nonetheless.

29. On Account of the Abuse - One of my favorite songs. Everyone really had a part in this. Carl played good bass and jumped in randomly on the vocals, Vin was tossing in some high harmonies. It was a just one of those sitting-around-in-a-circle Pearl Jam moments. I'm confident much of it can be repicated, though. Perfected, even. This is my kind of song.

28. Ghetto Gap Gay Guy - This one is a winner. A Little Tykes touch at the beginning, and it has such a airy feel to it. What it needs is to be cleaned up, so it's not so long, with the guitar parts interspersed throughout. It needs a stronger or more varied melody.

27. Last Resort, Part II - I guess I agree on this song. I think this is one that suffers most from the lack of real drums. Real rock songs need real drums. However, the riff just isn't very strong for a rock song. Not very listenable to me, I'd put this down near the very bottom.

26. G.O.D. - In the single album context of JLA, this song had a place. In a mega-album... not so sure.

25. Allowing Oneself to Neglect Responsibility - This is AKA Heaven Express, right? Never found an appropriate jam for this one. When you do the whole song with just a single chord, switching it up seems weird. As with all hypnotic songs, it needs some atmospheric noise in the background. Some ambiance. This was always part of our original plan, to use ambient samples and loops, but we never did.

24. It's The Children That Are Hurt The Most, Part II - The original acoustic recording is a classic. The song took such a different turn in the recordings, that I don't feel like it's even nearly the same song. We suffered from trying to add drums and full instrumentation to all of the recordings. Some songs just need to be on their own.

23. La Fin, Part II - It sounded good to us, but what about to the French. Though it'd be an easy song to record and include, I can honestly say I have no feelings or sentimntality about this one at all.

22. Quality Over Quantity - For an initial effort, I'm surprised at how good this could be. It had a variety of guitar parts and a cool riff at the end. It was best when we did it as a band, and all four members sang along. In a way, definitely a proto-type TMINM song.

21. Standard Issue - We'll have to see when I make my own quicky list of top songs, but this would be in my top 5, I think. This is one of our songs that had a very creepy, nighttime feel to it. In my head, I can hear a version that incorporates the awesome random drum style that Micah added, with your sweet violin solo, and the atmsosphere of Angie cheering in the background. I even added another guitar part when we worked it out with Micah. If TMINM could be one song, this is the song I would have it be.

PS - Check out the Add Comment page on this. You'r use of Writely has created no line breaks, and so it's one big smush of text.

Jeremy said...

That darn Writely! Foiled again.

28. Ghetto Gap Gay Guy - I figured for some reason that you were going to want this higher. You have a real affection for those Cape Cod songs.

25. Allowing Oneself To Neglect Responsibility - Yes, this is the song formerly known as Heaven Express.

24. It's The Children That Are Hurt The Most, Part I - See I tend to like the album version better because the music came together rather nicely. My main issue with it is the vocals. Not one of my vocal recordings for this was any good so we ended up just throwing a bunch of them layered together. That makes the bad vocals a little better, but they're still bad.

23. La Fin, Part II - Go back and listen to the two versions of this a few times. I think you'll get into it. At this point I can't get it out of my head.

21. Standard Issue - Wow! Top 5? That's a bold statement. I knew this was coming. Once again shows your bias towards the Cape Cod songs.

Joshua Provost said...

Well, kick out the rest of your lists as soon as you can. I've got my list ready. I started by ranking by album, and then by once I had that estbalished, merged the lists and worked it around a bit.

I think what we should do is start a new blog just for the song discussion. We'll do a separate post for each song. I'll post up all of the lyrics and alternate lyrics, and a selection of our recordings. You can add you background info on the source and meaning of the song, and we can work some things out.

What do you think?

Jeremy said...

If that's what you're into. Should I finish my list on Try Avoidance or at http://themoonisnomore.blogspot.com?

Joshua Provost said...

Finish it up here, I'm not so sure about that other blog. I want to do it up and make a custom-designed blog reminiscent of the band, but that might be tough.