Just Talk | Sleepless

from Just Talk | Sleepless by All Tiny Creatures



A one movement cover of "Just Talk" by A.C. Marias and "Sleepless" by King Crimson.

From All Tiny Creatures' Thomas Wincek:
"Just Talk" is a song I was introduced to by writer Mike McGonigal when he posted it on a popular social networking platform we are both a part of. When I first heard it, I sort of filed it somewhere along the shoegaze spectrum, even though I found out later that it was released in 1986. In fact, despite it being a pretty simple song (Bruce Gilbert of Wire plays the same guitar part throughout the duration) it's remarkable for how many 90s trends it manages to foreshadow. The ice-y, breathy, cooing, vibrato-less voice of Angela Conway could have served as the template for Kevin Shields and Belinda Butcher. And everyone from Smashing Pumpkins to Liz Phair used the open low string guitar strum throughout the 90s. When I listen to it, it sounds like a lost song from my youth.

Singing it was an interesting challenge, as it's well out of range for my natural voice, so I had to do the whole thing using falsetto. I also had to really step up my mic technique, because my volume was so inconsistent. I also really wanted to turn the reverb-ed out chords that appear as a break to the singing in the original as more of a "chorus" type thing in the song, so I tried to really accentuate them, and layered a bunch of different instruments and synths together to get the sound.

"Sleepless" is a song from 'Three of a Perfect Pair,' an album I've had since high school. Most people are dismissive regarding this era of King Crimson and seem to prefer the 'Court of the Crimson King' era. For me, though, the Adrian Belew era band just seems to continue to resonate more. Especially Belew's hybrid guitar / synth playing and unorthodox textural style. I listened to the record a lot, but it was only later on (after watching a live video from the 1984 support tour) that I realized very few sounds on the album were created using keyboards. It was almost all (save for a few bass tones for which Tony Levin used a Moog keyboard) Fripp and Belew using processed guitar or guitar synthesizer. And while I assumed that much of the drumming was programmed drum machine, it was revealed that it was actually Bill Bruford (and at times Belew) playing a battery of Linn Drum pads hooked up to a variety of different sound producing synths and samplers. I continue to find this idea of the augmented band very inspiring. Not simply the obliteration of any trace of humanity practiced by Kraftwerk (which I also love), but a way to go beyond acoustic and human limitations by grafting on technology and utilizing electronic processing.

Both "Just Talk" and "Sleepless" feature the sort of feeling of carried dread that was pervasive in a lot of music made during the cold war, and that I feel is reappearing currently (in a slightly different context). Lyrically, "Sleepless" embodies this most clearly, as Belew sings about a terrifying night of primal anxiety and irrational fear keeping him awake. This could easily stand in for the way nuclear threat terrified us on a very personal level during this time, down to the ghostly image of a submarine --something we all understood to be the most likely way a nuclear apocalypse would be delivered -- making an appearance in the second verse.


A.C. Marias "Just Talk"

It was all talk
Yankee doodle dandy man
Sell me my words
All the time I didn't mean it
Just a tick tock

Who shall spell it out?
Johnnie says Frankie pays
They were lovers
But the gun wasn't loaded
Just a tick tock
God is that the time

Its heart throbs heart jobs
Inca Gods
Your leave has been cancelled
The shark has no teeth, dear
Just a tick tock
You've just run out of time


King Crimson "Sleepless"

In the dream I fall into the sleepless sea
With a swell of panic and pain
My veins are aching for the distant reef
In the crush of emotional waves...

Alright, get a hold of yourself
An' don't fight it, it's over your head
It's alright, the rumble in your ears
It's alright to feel a little fear
An' don't fight it, it's over your head
It's alright, you wake up in your bed...

Silhouettes like shivering ancient feelings
They cover my foreign floors and walls
Submarines are lurking in my foggy ceiling
They keep me sleepless at night...

Hey, can you picture the sight
The figures on the beach in the searing night
And the roaring hurt of my silent fight...
Can you pull me out
Of this sleepless night
Can you pull me out? ...


from Just Talk | Sleepless, released December 6, 2012


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All Tiny Creatures Madison, Wisconsin

experimenting with electronics and other instruments in rock/pop structures.

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