The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'the softies'
It was pretty formulaic; I’d pretty much write a song and then take it to Jen, and then we’d write her guitar part and harmony together. We’d never collaborate lyrically. One person would write, and so it was never super collaborative, but that extra guitar brought so much. Sometimes we’d actually write Jen’s part note by note by note. Like, I would point to the fret board and say, “That one!” because there was one specific note that I wanted to hear right at that time. Sometimes it took a while, because the parts were quite complicated and weird, seeing as they were just a series of notes. But I love her sense of humor about it. I know how difficult it must have been for her to deal with me trying to get these specific notes, so I appreciate that she can laugh about it now.
During the beginning of the Softies, our rule was that if we couldn’t recreate it live, we didn’t do it on the record. I hate the production end of songs, and a lot of what I do is more accidental. On the last Softies record [Holiday in Rhode Island (KLP119)], we made a conscious decision to add more things, but it was really just for fun. That continued with my solo stuff, but still I really just want the songs to be recorded.Rose mentions that, while she has been playing instruments in other people's bands recently, she is still writing songs, and hints at new Softies material. She and Jen recently played the first Softies gigs in 12 years at the Chickfactor 20th anniversary shows in the US (subtitle: “Doing It In Spite Of The Kids”), and said that they enjoyed playing together again so much that they are thinking of writing and recording more songs together.
Harvey Williams was great; he first part of his set he played on an electric piano, doing mostly newer songs (i.e., from his 1990s album on Shinkansen; there wasn't a raft of new material), though he then picked up an acoustic guitar and played a bunch of older songs, including You Should All Be Murdered and I'm In Love With A Girl Who Doesn't Know I Exist. It was great to see him performing these songs.
Then there was Rose Melberg's set, which was sublimely lovely. She played acoustic guitar and sang, with a friend from Vancouver (where she lives now) accompanying her on vocal harmonies (much in the way that Jen Sbragia did in the Softies). They played for about an hour, doing recent songs, a few older songs (including The Softies' It's Love, which many in the audience sang along with), and some covers. The highlight of the set by far would have to be the cover of The Field Mice's The Last Letter; Rose started it almost apologetically, concerned that she may be committing sacrilege of a sort, proceeded to play a beautiful version (imagine said song as a Softies song and you've got it) and finished to rousing applause. Anyway, there's a video here: