Spark This Shit Flaming

Spark this Shit Flaming is a song that is over 5 years in the works. When I was in high school in Berkeley I used to practice with my band in my parents’ basement. One day I recorded myself playing a simple drum line thinking I might use the recording sometime in the future.  Over 4 years later in 2010 in Seattle I cut up the drum line and had the homie Clarke play an organ part. I also added wah-wah guitar and a bassline. I wrote the verses in Spring 2011. I finished and recorded the chorus on the day of posting on September 19th, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.

Here’s the finished track. You can find the instrumental and a capella version below.

Instrumental

A capella

Search for the spark to start this shit flaming/ Burn the house of cards down all in and sick of playing/ Then flip the table over all the chips fall down/return to the night before the dawn clouds

I was sure she was like the nicest one around/ Both in a new place but from the same town/ So we stood that night spoke on the steps/ But she wavered sometimes just hope for the Best

And it’s like that/ and repeats the same way/ Fight back with verses I gain strength/ High above the surface shed its dang weight/ free of the smog of this bog we call days/ unlearning how to feel down forget she’s not calling/ Replace the brain better thoughts like fresh poppies/Turned into narcotics/ File  failure away/ Collects dust like prophets who silently strayed/ Levitate with predicates hooked on phonics/ The subject takes a hit/  Adjective’s awesome/ rather be that then vapid/ Or hide my love away like cup cakes and fat kids/ but I’m breaking down the door to fatness/ Thinking these 20-minute runs put muscle where flab is/ Feel pain right where the calf is attached to the feet that beats down this path in

Search for the spark to start this shit flaming/ Burn the house of cards down all in and sick of playing/ Then flip the table over all the chips fall down/return to the night before the dawn clouds

I was sure she was like the nicest one around/Both in a new place but from the same town/ So we stood that night and spoke on the steps/ But she wavered and sometimes just hope for the best

Something I used to believe/ Everyone else is doing great/ Sandra comes up and into her arms she shakes/ She found love and so did Sandra/ They’re happy with their plugs and poka-dot bandanas/ And thank god they are/ They prefer the charm of happiness for those drama and scars/ Pharmaceutics preferred by college students/ Campus is a water bed designed by dr. Seuss’s/ Green eggs and ham themed fraternity party/Roman attire twisted to turn naughty/ sophomores perform Pilates on dance floors that tomorrow be more sticky than potties/Half the house wakes up with no belongings/ Cell phone been in that bowl since he texted that hottie/ Passed out before he send it now she’s off to Johnny’s/ She’s lost forever and his hangover’s throbbing

Search for the spark to start this shit flaming/ Burn the house of cards down all in and sick of playing/ Then flip the table over all the chips fall down/return to the night before the dawn clouds

I was sure she was like the nicest one around/ Both in a new place but from the same town/ So we stood that night spoke on the steps/ But she wavered sometimes just hope for the Best (x2)

Reflection and Response

-P

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7 thoughts on “Spark This Shit Flaming

  1. whitney k says:

    peter you’re right on – i listened to a song from the black keys right before “mad megan” (retro title!) and i was pleasantly surprised at how many similarities there were in both sounds. we’ll throw some macklemore in there too. really sick sound, pete. great to hear this song in its finished state.

  2. David Adams says:

    I think what is remarkable about this music, is that it is able to fuse two divergent genra’s together under the artistic control of one individual, in what amounts to a well done and tasteful peace of art. Usually when rap/rock get mixed together, the result is confused and tacky, see limp bizkit. (with the glaring exception of red hot chill peppers blood sugar sex magic possible best album of all time). I think what enables these two seemingly incongruous forms of music to blend so seamless as a coherent art form, is Peter’s particular vocal style. Peter’s lyrics are delivered in a wild tangled frenzy of breathless wordplay, often culminating in a cathartic release. The result is authentic and unpretentious enough to legitimize his deviation from stranded “rap’ beats, and unify the songs as cogent peaces of expression. What other instances of rap and rock together are cool? Is it even rock and rap that peter is mixing?

    • Megan Branch says:

      Peter’s raw vocal style also reminds me of Issac Brock, lead singer of Modest Mouse. Although Brock doesn’t rap per se, I feel as though the two have similar staccato and as you said “cathartic” expression in their verse. Their blend of this with live instrumentals like RHCP makes it almost a genre all on its own.

      • david adams says:

        I agree with your comparison Megan, i think they both slightly lisp too.

        • Peter Muller says:

          Thanks for the reactions y’all!

          @David’s question about weather this is rock and rap. While I grew up playing rock on the guitar, rap for me has been the ability to spit my own lyrics. I consider it not a style to be “mimicked,” but a tool that has enabled my OWN voice to be featured on my own tracks. So I do consider my music to be mixes of rock and rap. But it took me 5 years of producing experience and twice that playing to get there. I think time and experience can be great ways to approach authenticity (which is always up for debate) as an artist. Not that what I do is “authentic rap,” but that MY definition of rap or the ability to spit lyrics, feels natural for me now. It takes balls to rap, but after years of feeling overlooked and dissatisfied it’s for me the only the way to feel complete and express the shit I feel.

          @Megan I feel like Brock also tries not to “mimick,” but instead uses his own vocal format. I’m not so sure he sings or raps as much as he EXPRESSES with his voice.

          In terms of other mixes of rock and rap: The BlackRoc album which mixes Black Keys with some East Coast legends leaves the listener feeling electric. Danger Mouse’s Grey Album. The Roots might be considered a single unit that does both. Same with RHCP.

          Does anyone else have experience with incorporating various genres into their styles over time? Don’t genres sometimes get in the way and just make it harder to explain our music/art/style to other people?

          • Vicken Donikian says:

            Guru’s “Jazzmatazz” records and Nas and Damian Marley’s “Distant Relatives” are some other examples of incorporating/blending different genres together. To respond to Peter’s question of genres getting in the way, I think it just depends on how YOU position yourself against them. P, like you said it took you over 5 years to get to where you are now in terms of creating this music. So I dont think genres necessarily get in the way unless someone thinks for some reason that their “boundaries” can’t be crossed. But I feel you that there is no specific “label” for the music you’re making, but that’s all good especially cuz the tracks you make vary from rap/rock sounds to more hip-hop sounds to argentine folk sounds – a wide range. David and Megan make great points discussing Peter’s vocal style and how this enables him to bridge all of these different types of music. The production also sets the stage for that to go down, with samples from various eras, artists, and countries.

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