Song Stories

Maps for Sleep started out +/- 2008 as an attempt to update my favorite songs from previous bands and recording projects from 4 track cassette to digital recordings. After one ep of these do-overs, I was writing new songs again. Here is the story in words and music, in no particular order. All DIY all the time unless otherwise noted.

Striptease was released as a 3 song teaser to a full length CD of new material. The CD never happened.

Striptease was inspired by the fan furor over a certain celebrity who probably couldn’t even brush his teeth in private for a while there.  The whole theme of the Celebrity Boyfriends album is the weirdness of celebrity culture and how as fans we feel like we know these people, like we own them, like they owe us something more than their art.  We expect them to reveal everything. But in reality, the celebrity only reveals what they want, often carefully choreographed.

I probably spent more time on this song than any other, recording a few different versions. I recruited my husband to strum a few power chords for me.

Rock star vs. model is a little tongue-in-cheek look at how the ugliest of rock star boys seem to attract the prettiest of models…and mixes that notion up with the brevity of many celebrity relationships. I had begun to re-think my arrangements with this song, deciding not every song needed guitars, something that continues to this day.

I wanna be a punk rock singer

I wanna be a punk rock singer. For some reason, I can’t embed this from Soundcloud. This may be my favorite of any song I have done. The off-kilter guitar, more tongue-in-cheek lyrics, and that arpeggiated synth. If the theme of the never finished “Celebrity Boyfriends” was the weird relationship we have with celebrity culture, this one flips that on its ear and says, why chase celebrities? Become the celebrity and let them come to you.

Ben n’ me by the riverside. Michael Stipe once said it was much harder to write a happy song than a sad one. He was right, there is a lot of angst set to music, and not too much joy. This is a little ode to the end of summer.  Two people messing about on a summer day along the river.  A song of carefree happiness.  The guitar “solo” was inspired by April Wine and their dual guitar solos.

Tame. This was originally a Turnpike song and would have been on Timid Pop Songs Vol II if I hadn’t gotten sidetracked writing new material.  I changed the lyrics a wee bit for this version because 20 years later the original lyrics were just too embarrassing to sing.

This song was influenced by Liz Phair and I put a fair bit of time into the original recording. This version came together much more quickly–I was about to be interviewed on a local radio station and needed one more song to bring.

This EP was supposed to be the first in a series of 3 volumes that re-recorded my favorite old songs from Turnpike, Virginia Creeper, and beyond.  After not recording for almost 8 years I thought the creative bug had disappeared, but what happened is I discovered it was just buried.  While recording these songs I started writing new songs, and so Vol II never happened. Maybe it will someday. We’ll see.

3 minutes to seldom. My favorite on this ep.  The shy girls dilemma of never quite having the nerve to approach that cute fella. This was first recorded as a Virginia Creeper song, and the variations on the theme of the unrequited crush were rampant at the time.

Captain, my captain. One of the last songs I wrote with Virginia Creeper.  Finally a song by me that has a bit of energy. I think we played this at our last show and I got a few compliments on my songs afterwards, including from this guy named Ben who went on to become pretty famous. As I recall though, he went on to compare my songs to a certain very twee girl band from Vancouver that I didn’t like much. Not proud of my cold response to that.

Moonshake. Another shy girl unrequited love song. This time, what happens when you suddenly find yourself in love with a friend and you know it is not a good idea. This was also originally recorded as a Virginia Creeper song. On this new version, Jocelyn from the band Late Tuesday was gracious enough to come over and lay down an acoustic guitar track. She nailed it in one take, but did another one anyways.

Windshield Wipers. Another personal favorite.  On the original 4 track recording I got my synth to sound much more like a set of windshield wipers going back and forth. Of course I didn’t write down the exact settings and wasn’t able to replicate it.  I love it when the music kind of captures the scene–in this case driving on a dark rainy night headed for who knows what or where.

There’s three more songs on this ep. Here is the link to listen to the rest on Bandcamp.

Here are their stories:

Some girls–Of course this defies all logic as an opening song. Your best material should come first, right? But it has some weird charm to it, at least to me it does.

Trouble gets all black–Another Virginia Creeper song that never got recorded.  Perhaps one of the more personal songs I have ever written.  Captures the feeling at the time of “What about me? What’s wrong with me?”  Pretty damn depressing to listen to.

Swirl–A Turnpike song from the early 90’s.  I took a music business class at BCIT taught by the program director of CFMI (at the time).  For the last class, we all got to play a demo of one of our songs to the class. Both the teacher and the class were a bit surprised by what the quiet girl in the back row came up with.  I believe the response was something like: good song, crappy recording. This re-do tries to improve on that.

Celebrity Boyfriends. This would have been on that full length CD of the same name. Celebrity crushes–we don’t really know this person, we just latch onto a few things they say in interviews and fill in the rest to create the ideal partner.  We feel like we know them, and one day we will magically meet them and it will be perfect.  It is so safe, we can take their face, their body, and a snippet of their public persona and fashion it into the ideal partner, and…fall in love with that ideal.

Idaho (explicit) Originally recorded as Turnpike in the 90’s by recording the guitar part backwards to forward on the B side of the cassette in the 4 track, then flipping to the A side and recording the rest.  Same concept recorded digitally.  This was a contender for the Virginia Creeper 7″ but I didn’t want my mom to hear me say f%$&

When I go to a show, it’s not about drinking and “partying,” I am there for the music. Just the music.

I have been to so many shows where people are standing around chatting and drinking beer and barely pay attention to the band on the stage.  Why buy an expensive ticket for that? Just go to the local pub.  This song was more specifically inspired by going to see a show and getting held up by the people I was with while they had “just one more drink” before heading over to the all ages venue.  We missed the first 20 minutes.

I can’t decide if I like this song or hate it. There is definitely some Arcade Fire Neon Bible era influence at work here.

A cover of Gary Numan’s classic Cars with a heavy drum beat. I have always loved this song and probably shouldn’t have attempted this, but I did.  Forgive me. (Licensed via Limelight)

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