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Story Behind The Song - CAN'T STAY HERE 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

 Episode 6 : CAN'T STAY HERE

I set out from the start to write a moody song. Mission accomplished, I think! Ha ha.

This character hopefully is right on the edge of changing his ways and turning his life around. In my younger days, or wait..... or as a working musician, you are at the gig till the end - closing time. I guess I've heard this phrase more than once- "Don't gotta go home, but you can't stay here!!"

Probably been written before, but silly me said, "Hey, let's write another!" 

On the technical side, the "virtual" drums inside the Logic software gave me a realistic palette of drum kits and fills for me to work with. This is the first song I've put out with the new "gear".

A professional critique i got on this was "classic rock". I suppose the electric guitar lent itself to this. I loved the "Brian May" (Queen) guitar tone I discovered and I couldn't resist not using it!. There was no guitar amp in the room. It's all computer software doing it's magic. My Elton John roots did cross my mind as well as I was working on this one.

All vocals and instruments performed by me. Recorded and mixed with Logic X on an iMac.

Get the album "III" HERE

To see past song stories, CLICK HERE


***** LYRICS *****

CAN'T STAY HERE

The spark of a tongue
Saying you're done
Then you slam the door

Look at you now
Closing it down
Watching the whiskey pour

The barmaid's barking like a buccaneer
Don't gotta go home
But you can't stay here

A flood of regret
Muddles your head
Like an empty glass

Love on the line
Losing your mind
Used to hurt so bad

All you wanted was to disappear
Don't gotta go home
But you can't stay here

And as you're spilling off that barstool
Empty hand around your phone
You reach out for some blonde to break your fall

Hit with the lights
Nothing to hide
Nothing to feel at all

Except for the hole
Shaking your soul
Like an altar call

The spirit's willing, but the flesh can't steer
Don't gotta go home, but you can't stay here

© 2018 Steve Probst

Taxi Music Forward - Urban-Based Tension Instrumental 

..Which means: “Hey cool track, I'm going to pass this on. It may be usable to the TV/Film pro that will hear it next."

URBAN-Based TENSION INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a European Music Library that's expanding and needs lots of new music. 

They’re looking for Mid-To-Up Tempo Instrumental Cues in the stylistic ballpark of the following examples below: 

Basketball Wives (0:13 – 0:53) 

Love & Hip Hop: New York (2:09 – 2:39) 

Please send them contemporary sounding Instrumental Cues, built around a rhythmic Urban/Hip-Hop beat that would support tension-filled scenes in Reality-based TV shows. Build your Cues around a central melodic theme, while adding and subtracting layers of instrumentation as they progress to create dynamics, interest, and forward movement. 

TAXI Tip: Please avoid anything that’s overtly busy, as it could potentially interfere with dialogue. 

All submissions should be at least 90 seconds long (give or take). Non-faded, buttoned/stinger endings will work best. Please do NOT copy the referenced examples in any way, shape, or form. Use them only as a general guide for tempo, texture, tone, and overall vibe. Broadcast quality is needed.

Story Behind The Song - A GIRL AND HER DOG 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

 Episode 5 : A GIRL AND HER DOG

One summer day at a New Jersey park for load-in and soundcheck, I spied, across a wide open green expanse, a girl and her....dog...interacting under a tree.

Purely on thinking it was a good title, I went from there with any kind of story line this song might take. At the time of writing this I remember thinking this one as breaking out of the normal type of song I would write. It was fun coming up with the soft brass and woodwind lines in the chorus. (All sampled instruments -  meaning, not played by real players, at my house, in front of a microphone - all from the computer). I'm really happy with the outcome.

All vocals and instruments performed by me. Recorded and mixed with Logic Pro on a MacBookPro.

Get the album "III" HERE

***** LYRICS *****

A GIRL AND HER DOG

Looking out across the green
Not a soul to be seen
Just a girl and her dog

Just like any other day
Till my thoughts began to stray
Toward the girl and her dog

We spend our lives tugging on the leash
Whatever's out of reach looks so inviting
We wag our tails until the bitter end
Every now and then we think get our way

I turned away to watch the clouds
Dancing shadows all around
The girl and her dog

CHORUS

Like a bulldog with a bone
I can't leave well enough alone
And so this song
About a girl and her dog

© 2012 Steve Probst

Taxi Music Forward - Pizzi-Based Instrumental 

..Which means: “Hey cool track, I'm going to pass this on. It may be usable to the TV/Film pro that will hear it next."

"Pizzi" is short for "Pizzicato Strings" With a short, plucking style of playing, they can sound sneaky or kind of cute, depending on the track. 

*************

ORIGINAL, PIZZICATO-BASED INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by an A-List Music Publisher/Music Licensing Company with a long history of placements in Film, TV, and Commercials. They're eagerly looking for simple Pizzicato Instrumental Cues that would fall in the generalstylistic ballpark of these examples they provided to us: 

Dad’s Who Play Barbie (Starting at 0:16 - 1:16) 

Did You Know 

Please send simple, well-composed Pizzicato String Instrumental Cues that could work for many kinds of happy, optimistic, and lighthearted moods in commercials. Instrumentation that could work well for this pitch includes (but is not limited to) Pizzicato Strings, Timpani, Light Percussion, Piano, Oboe, Warm Sustained Strings, or Drums. 

Your Cues should be built around an optimistic central melodic theme while layering instruments in and out as your Cues progress to create a nice developmental arc. You’d be smart to avoid submitting anything that’s frenetic, overly quirky, or just plain silly. 

All Instrumentals must be 1:00 in length (including ring outs and reverb tails) with non-faded, buttoned/stinger endings. In this context, we think One-Minute really means 59.5 seconds. That makes it more usable for TV Commercials! Please do NOT copy the referenced music in any way, shape, or form. Use them only as a general guide for instrumentation, texture, tone, and overall vibe. Broadcast quality is needed.

Taxi Music Forward - Dramedy-Style Instrumental Cues 

..Which means: “Hey cool track, I'm going to pass this on. It may be usable to the TV/Film pro that will hear it next."

DRAMEDY-Style INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a legendary, Major Music Library with tons of top-notch placements in TV Commercials, Hit TV shows, and Feature Films. They’re looking for Mid-to-Up-Tempo Dramedy Cues in the general stylistic ballpark of the following examples:

KUWTK (From 0:29-1:24)

Love & Hip Hop: New York | VH1 \(From 0:48-1:12\)

Please send them well-composed Instrumental Cues that could be used in a variety of quirky, playful, mischievous and comedic scenes in Reality TV Shows. Build your Cues around a central melodic theme while adding and subtracting layers of instrumentation as it progresses to add dynamics, interest, and some forward momentum. You’d be smart to avoid submitting anything that’s overly busy for this pitch, as it could distract from a scene’s dialog. All submissions should be about 2 minutes long, give or take. Non-faded, Buttoned/Stinger endings are encouraged for this pitch. Do NOT copy the referenced songs in any way, shape, or form. Use them only as a general guide for feel, texture, tone, and vibe. Broadcast quality is needed.

 

Story Behind The Song - MAMA GONNA WHOOP YOU 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

Episode 4 : MAMA GONNA WHOOP YOU

There isn't any long, inspirational story to this song. My good friend and one-time traveling buddy, Kevin, with Hotel California, told me how his mom used to say "Mama's gonna whoop you" or something to that effect. Naturally, heard a song title right off the bat, wrote it down for later. 

Later arrived and so did the song in all it's uncomplicated blues/rock mischievousness.

Anyway, MAMA GONNA WHOOP YOU has been released to the masses! 

Get the album "III" HERE

Taxi Music Forward - Dramedy Style Instrumental 

..Which means: “Hey cool track, I'm going to pass this on. It may be usable to the TV/Film pro that will hear it next."

DRAMEDY-Style INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a hot European Music Library that’s expanding their reach and catalog size. They’re looking for Mid-to-Up-Tempo Instrumentals in the general stylistic wheelhouse of these examples: 

WARNING:  The subject matter in some of the reference videos might require Viewer Discretion. 

“KUWTK” (From 0:29 – 0:50) 

“RHOC” (From 0:00 – 0:26) 

“Little Women: Dallas” (From 2:21 – 2:35) 

Send them fun Dramedy Instrumental Cues that could work for silly, funny, or sneaky scenes in Reality TV Shows. Instrumentation that could work for this pitch can include Pizzicato Strings, Marimba, Xylophone, Clarinets, Whistles, etc. Structure your Cue around a central melodic idea, while layering instrumentation in and out as your Cue progresses to add dynamics, keep it moving forward, and to keep your Cue from sounding too repetitive. Simpler is better for this pitch! 

TAXI Tip: Tastefully adding an instrument that isn't often heard in this genre could help your music stand out. Stick to something that works well in context, and doesn't make end users say, "OMG!" when they hear it. Try things like a touch of bassoon or maybe a tiny little pinch of mouth hard here or there. Whatever you try, do it sparingly... don't overdo it! 

Your submissions should be around 90 seconds long, give or take. Non-Faded, Button/Stinger endings will work best for this pitch. Do NOT copy the referenced artists or songs in any way, shape, or form. Broadcast Quality is needed.

 

Story Behind The Song - PHOENIX HOTEL 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"  

Episode 3 : PHOENIX HOTEL

I believe this tune of mine is the oldest on the album, as far as the writing part is concerned. It's from my personal experience of staying at an actual hotel in San Francisco called the Phoenix Hotel. Hotel California was in town for a corporate show and they put us up in this "boutique" establishment. 

I’m singing real life here: hearing happy couples, sipping free coffee in one of those always-too-small throwaway cups; slippers from home; cozy wall heater, lonely heart…. I think caffeine refills were at the breakfast bar outside under an overhang overlooking the pool. 

Oh, and this is song 1 of 2 set in picturesque San Francisco. 

[“Let’s Take The Stairs” from my album “Window Seat” is also a "San Francisco song" thanks to the “City by the Bay”. Which brings a thought that I haven’t done song stories about the previous album.] Hmmm...

Get the album "III" HERE

Story Behind The Song - MY HAPPY PLACE 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III" 

Episode 2 : MY HAPPY PLACE

The seed of this tune came firstly not from artistic inspiration - "Oh, I must capture this song immediately while the muse flows freely through my ever-sensitive creative soul!!" - Oh no, my friends.

There's a song that I really like by Christ Stapleton called, "Whisky and Me". I decided one day to take the form of the song, rhyme scheme, etc and just write something in the same pattern. As an exercise and a way to "jump start" the writing process. First thing I did was search for a title with the same syllables as "whisky and me" from list of title ideas I'm constantly adding to. I decided on "My Happy Place". I then flipped the sentiment - the former song was sad, mine would be happy.

Click play:

I just started my usual "just writing anything until something sticks" (if anything even would that day). I remember sitting on the floor, "reaching" for the possible song that might be floating around "in the room". Stuff started appearing on my yellow pad:

"Fridge is humming" ?- We have an older fridge thta keeps chuggin along!
 "Browning onions smell like heaven in a pan"? True story. Love it.
"Pillow laying on the floor" - There it was to my left, the couch throw pillow
"That Christmas present that never made it out the door"? There it was, over to my right. 
"Puppy paws" - 2 dogs, 8 paws in the household!

The "tie comes off" bit is a bit of a fabrication. I don't wear a tie and come home from the office every day. (Although I've been know to wear one onstage)

In many songs, the "hook" comes right at the beginning of the chorus. I let "My Happy Place" close out every verse.

The stuff about Disney and New York City in the bridge? That's me. My happy places. But the bridge closes out with very best kind of "happy place"

And of course, the ultimate "happy place" in Verse 3.

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It was suggested in a songwriting critique session to rewrite the bridge. But I left it as is to move to another song. Someone else may not want to recorded it, but it has a whole not of "me" in it, so I figured I'd keep it for myself.

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There you have it! A song that might never have been born that day if I hadn't practiced a little pro-writer discipline and shown up to the solo "writing session"! 

Check out the photo below. I was surprised to be reminded in my scribblings that "My Happy Place" started at the beach but ended up in the living room! 

I love songwriting! How about you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's the song pattern inspiration for "My Happy Place":

Get the album "III" HERE

Taxi Music Forward - Inspiring, Elegant Instrumental Cue 

..Which means: “Hey cool track, I'm going to pass this on. It may be usable to the TV/Film person that will hear it next." 

Using some new sounds and trying to make it sound as real as possible, I'm always learning something new.
My daughter calls this my "Hallmark Channel" track. :)


INSPIRING, ELEGANT INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a boutique Music Library with tons of credits in big Feature Films, countless TV Shows, and TV Commercials. They’re searching for positive, Mid-to-Up-Tempo Instrumental Cues in the general stylistic wheelhouse of the following reference that we got from our client: Instrumental Reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFyAzXSe9Oo&t=75s Please submit elegant-sounding Instrumental Cues that have a modern, inspiring feel and vibe. The client is looking for a crossover of modern and acoustic instrumentation that has an “advertising-friendly” sound and could also work well as background music in a variety of other media. Build your Cue around a central melodic theme and mood while adding and subtracting layers of instrumentation as your piece progresses to add emotion and dynamics. Also, please avoid anything that’s overly busy or frenetic, as it might distract from dialogue. Quoting The Music Library: “Your Cues don’t need a prominent melody – rather, nice musical motives that work well as background music, with some sense of forward movement.”
All submissions should be around Two-Minutes long (give or take) with non-faded, buttoned endings. Do NOT copy the referenced example in any way, shape, or form. Use it only as a general guide for tempo, tone, and overall vibe. Broadcast Quality is needed (great sounding home recordings are fine).