Archive for November, 2011

30-31. “Track 30-31: “Keep It Dark” / “All This Madness Could Be Ours”

Two songs this week, both written in the past half year for soundtracks, both received enthusiastically, both unused in the end. But we walked away with two new songs, so all’s good. They’re not quite standard T-Dolls material — we weren’t thinking at all about our album-in-progress when we recorded them — but they’re still very much us. We’re stretching!

We submitted “Keep It Dark” to a director who doesn’t like to define her work too explicitly; she likes audiences to create their own meanings. In that spirit, let’s just say the song is about some people who don’t want to tell you some things, and some people who don’t want to know some things.

“All This Madness Could Be Ours” was for a friend’s still-in-production sci-fi web series, and it seemed kind of cliched obvious that we should make a slow, spooky ballad with an electronic beat. The lyrics were an attempt to convey the series’ theme and setting without actually using anything from the series; we wanted it to sound like a song the filmmakers would have randomly found rather than one written to order. (And, yes, the “parking cars” reference in the final chorus is an allusion to the most beautiful song ever written about things in space, Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love.”)

Track 29: “Masters of Cock”

 

This one had its genesis in an epithet that someone we don’t know wrote about someone else we don’t know in an email to our friend and former bandmate Michael Taylor. The epithet was “cockmasters.” Altered to “masters of cock,” it became the phrase of the week around Michael’s house, which we’ve been using as a West Coast base recently. (What, you say you don’t have your own West Coast base? That’s too bad, what with winter coming and all.) The song pretty much wrote itself, which we wish happened more often. That’s our friend and former bandmate Michael Taylor screaming maniacally in the final chorus by the way — his first appearance on a Trouble Dolls track in a very long time.

Track 28: “Spider Sabich”

Spider Sabich was a ski racer in the 1960s and ’70s. He was OK, nothing special, in the Olympics, but made a name for himself slaloming side by side with the likes of Billy Kidd and Jean-Claude Killy on the pro circuit. He was a free spirit and a playboy, and with his good looks and charisma, he had a lot to do with popularizing skiing in the U.S. This song isn’t about him, though. It’s about the woman who killed him, singer/actress Claudine Longet. She served 30 days in jail for what she claimed, somewhat unbelievably, was an accidental shooting. Then she married her lawyer. Her real punishment was karmic: She has never performed again, and she remains largely a recluse to this day. That’s 35 years of darkness, and counting.

One more thing about this one: We have a fetish for songs about real people, especially songs whose title is that person’s name and nothing more. A strange fetish, we know, but what fetish isn’t? Here’s a Spotify playlist we made of some of our faves. And here’s another.