Background to our Songs: Starin’ at My Shoes
Written by Jimmy
Starin’ at My Shoes is a song that has gone from the jungle to a quirky little girlie love song. And there’s still her stinky grumpy brother hangin’ out in the studio.
Four things you might want to know about this song:
- We introduce Charlotte to all of you on this song. It’s her first lead on an SMCC album, but we have a lot of lead vocals from her floating around. But they’re covers where we need record label permission, but we’re stuck in various departments of various labels, mostly with various e mail exchanges where they keep giving us progress reports for the wrong band and cover. Who said the music industry isn’t thriving?
- The song is real simple now. Just a little song about a girl who likes a boy (Oh no. How many of you see Julie Roberts in a bookstore?) but is too shy to tell him. Musically, it’s in an odd time signature, which mainly had the effect of driving Charlotte to the Looney Bin.
- The song used to be a lot more complicated. For a while, and we’ve got to share with you an alternative take at some point, this was a guy loves girl song, where the guy imagined during the middle 8 that he was George of the Jungle. We had a fantastic middle 8 with Jungle drums and lots of tribal oh ya’s and bang a bugga’s. All on the cutting room floor sadly. But now that we our studio is filled with our Brazilian drums, I think we will get a bit o’ 4 bell agogo on the old version and we’ll blow you away.
- And the song has had more lives to it then Sat out the 15th. So we can’t really figure out this song writing business. But we know one thing. Once born, songs really live their own lives. You just try to guide them this way and that, but they go where they want to. All you can really do is keep them off albums until they behave. So Starin’ at My Shoes was a little thing in Jimmy’s head where he had it all kinda sorted except for Middle 8. It was a little acoustic number that fit very nicely against One in a Trillion. Then Jimmy told Ed it would be good if we could give it a bit of funkier feel and Ed came up with a very cool riff. We tried to fit Starin’ at My Shoes into the new Ed riff for a couple weeks but it refused. Threw the riff out of the room and it landed on She Knows. Andy brought it back to the original song with a little funky middle 8. the middle 8 then wanted to grow and grow and grow and grow and grow until it became the massive Bungle in the Jungle thing we mentioned in point 3. Gus took over lead from Andy and we recorded it in all its glory. But the middle 8 had gotten so It got so big that we forced the versus and chorus to divorce it. Painful for all. But by this time, no one could sort out what to do with this song – it was just different and we didn’t like it so dropped it from the second album, Misery Marmalade and Other Spanish Jams. It sulked around in the studio, all male, smelly and grumpy and no one would talk to it. Then the band decided to have fun, change the time signature and do it again. Mainly they wanted to be musically entertained. But it kind of work and with a bit of different step, the song started walkin’ around the studio a bit more cool and confident. And then charlotte came and after only 207 goes with the ridiculous time signature we nailed it. Now it’s a girl song, pretty step, very simple but quirky, without the brashness of the middle 8. And we let her come out and meet you on the third album. But there’s still the smelly, grumpy, brash Gus driven alternative take hiding in the studio. Beware.