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JOIN THE CIRCLE by Mot Juste
 Moderated by: Troy33, RainyDayMan, HankTheTank
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 Posted: Sat Jul 25th, 2020 06:51 pm
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motis
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LISTEN TO THE SONG HERE: http://motisbeard.bandcamp.com/track/join-the-circle-demo1

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My bandmate Justin Tyler Reed and I operate under the name MOT JUSTE; we are currently amassing and refining demos, so that we can get into a studio and record them properly. Here's one of our songs; I hope you enjoy it, and look forward to hearing what you think of it. . . PLEASE don't be afraid to give constructive criticism; I'm not a baby and don't require coddling.

NOTE: This is a compositional demo, not meant for distribution. I don't mind at all if you point out shortcomings in the recording/engineering quality, but it probably won't be relevant.

Justin and I both contribute to all aspects of all our songs, but it varies from song to song, so we have decided to just share credit for everything under our band name, for simplicity's sake. . . otherwise the liner notes would be a Dostoyevsky novel!

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JOIN THE CIRCLE
© 2020 by Mot Juste (Beard/Reed)

It's been years since he moved out to the city
He hasn't made a single friend
No one seemed to get him and nobody cared
'Til now, 'til now

Ellie, her nametag just says Rigby
a longtime cashier at the carwash
needed a roomie 'cause cats don't cough up rent
yeah that's how they found her

Heidi hiding in the coat room
Honey, they all know you're gettin' high
So so long for forever, for
she's found a better way
She joined the circle today. . . AA.

Put on the robe and drink the kool-aid
Say goodbye to everyone you know
Welcome to the family, Leader loves you so
He's gonna take us home

Mark felt lost with nothin' to believe in
No reason to engage, no one to fight
His TV lit up brighter in an election year
and he was found, he was found

Rhea's reality was lacking
nothing sparkled, everything seemed grey
They filled her head up with sacred psychic woo
magic healing crystal visions

They worried that nobody would love them
Nobody'd try
That's all there ever was,
is that all that there would be?
Join the circle and you'll see

Put on the robe and drink the kool-aid
Say goodbye to everyone you know
Welcome to the family, Leader loves you so
He's gonna take us home
Take us home.

Last edited on Sat Jul 25th, 2020 09:07 pm by motis



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 Posted: Sun Jul 26th, 2020 12:54 am
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samiamiamsam
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Cool song man! I like the story you tell in the lyrics.
Great guitar picking with creative changes.
Vocals sound great. Nice harmonies.



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 Posted: Sun Jul 26th, 2020 01:51 am
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RainyDayMan
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Really interesting song, and a tough subject to tackle.

Good fingerpicking there which I always enjoy.
Some nice chord choices and progressions, kept it interesting.

I like the guitar only intro, but was hoping for more instruments to come in as the song progresses. The lack of bass notes stood out to me.

The verses are all independent fragments, which I'm sure is intentional as all these lives would be prior to joining "the circle". But I do think they have to all point towards the chorus somehow. Verse 1 does that with the "'Til now, 'til now" line, and V3 explicitly references the circle, but V2 with Ellie seems weaker. It doesn't seem to point to a specific personal problem that she is dealing with (I guess poverty is implied) and the "yeah that's how they found her" could be interpreted as finding her dead body or in various ways. I don't think that verse really progresses the story forwards. "needed a roomie 'cause cats don't cough up rent" is a great line though. Would be a shame to lose that. Perhaps move this verse after the chorus to establish a context beforehand?

Heidi hiding in the coat room
Honey, they all know you're gettin' high

Another great pair of lines

The vocal harmony in the chorus is a strong choice. Gives it some emphasis. You might even use that again at "Welcome to the family, Leader loves you so" - it might sound like the circle talking. And possibly remove it for "say goodbye to everyone you know" to emphasize the isolation/loneliness there.

Not keen on the guitar FX at 1:36. Maybe it's there to emphasis how weird the group is, but to me it doesn't gel with the overall sound of the song. Whereas the circus music is cutting and ironic, but also fits the picking style you've already established.

I'd like to hear another round of the chorus. Maybe ahead of the bridge, as well as after it? I think the chorus is tying everything together in this song, and you need to keep returning to that - and it's also a strength of the song and well worth hearing again.

The ending seems a little indefinite, though that might be just because this is a worktape, but a clear ending picking pattern would help it resolve.

Overall this is a good song and really interesting!
I'm looking forward to hearing more of your work.



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 Posted: Sun Jul 26th, 2020 02:23 am
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motis
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RainyDayMan wrote:
I like the guitar only intro, but was hoping for more instruments to come in as the song progresses. The lack of bass notes stood out to me.

I hear you! The lack of instrumentation is because this is just a compositional demo, like everything on my Bandcamp page. The tracks vary a lot in completeness and recording quality, but they're all going on the album when we're ready and can afford some time in a real studio with an engineer to lay them down 4 realzies.

The verses are all independent fragments, which I'm sure is intentional as all these lives would be prior to joining "the circle". But I do think they have to all point towards the chorus somehow. Verse 1 does that with the "'Til now, 'til now" line, and V3 explicitly references the circle, but V2 with Ellie seems weaker. It doesn't seem to point to a specific personal problem that she is dealing with

I think I snuck one by you there. . . the first line of that verse is "Ellie, her nametag just says Rigby," a reference to the Beatles' song Eleanor Rigby, whose chorus is "aaah, look at all the lonely people." Ellie's specific personal problem -- like the unnamed guy in the first verse -- is just loneliness; she is in danger of becoming a crazy old friendless cat lady. The people who found her are just any old unspecified cult that preys on lonely folks; pick one. $cientology, maybe, or Heaven's Gate. Or worse.

Not keen on the guitar FX at 1:36. Maybe it's there to emphasis how weird the group is, but to me it doesn't gel with the overall sound of the song. Whereas the circus music is cutting and ironic, but also fits the picking style you've already established.

That was a quick 'n' dirty (and heavy-handed) application of the phaser effect in Audacity, as a placeholder for a better job of it later; the idea behind it was to make the sound sort of shimmer back and forth, as an audio analogue to that thing you see in movies when the scene shifts to a dream sequence and the video gets all wavy (you know what I mean, right?). I agree, it's pretty inadequate; hopefully at some point we can figure out a better way to achieve the effect I was after.

You've given me LOTS of excellent feedback here, and I really appreciate it! Most of it is stuff I agree with 100% and already had in mind (like: the song needs more iterations of the chorus, because it's a good chorus and the song is too short); that's the way these compositional demos are. . . but even when it's something I already have in the works, it doesn't hurt a bit to hear someone else confirm my own feelings on it.

Ha ha ha, you'd have been absolutely CRUCIFIED at the site I just fled for making any one of these suggestions. It was so awful; nobody there could stand to hear anything that sounded like criticism at all, no matter how helpful or well-intentioned. I'm glad to be here already!

Last edited on Sun Jul 26th, 2020 02:25 am by motis



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 Posted: Sun Jul 26th, 2020 02:50 am
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RainyDayMan
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Yep, I missed the Eleanor Rigby reference there - and maybe others will too. Very sneaky!

Glad to hear the feedback is helpful.
And very much looking forward to hearing more of your work.



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 Posted: Sun Jul 26th, 2020 02:57 am
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motis
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RainyDayMan wrote:
Yep, I missed the Eleanor Rigby reference there - and maybe others will too. Very sneaky!

I AM VERY, VERY HAPPY TO HEAR IT, actually; I was afraid the reference might be too obvious and clumsy. I'd much rather it be something that most people don't notice.

Glad to hear the feedback is helpful.
And very much looking forward to hearing more of your work.


I've got lots to post, but the rules here say to keep it to one song a day. You'll be getting one every day for a while!



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 Posted: Sun Jul 26th, 2020 09:15 pm
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ASecretMeaning
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I really like this one motis.

I did get the Eleanor Rigby reference, and actually I think the whole song has a Beatles quality about it. The instrumental bit in the middle is quite "Sgt Pepper"

The lyrics are subtly telling a story but if you weren't listening to the story they still work as a song.

Is it you that sings? There's a real nice rasp to the voice on the line "No one seemed to get him".

Musically I personally think this one would work better being a bit fuller sound - drums, bass, guitars, and maybe a little rockier - but I know you said it is just a compositional demo at the moment. I definitely want to hear the finished version though.

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 Posted: Sun Jul 26th, 2020 09:17 pm
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motis
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ASecretMeaning wrote:
Is it you that sings?

Yes, I am the singer.



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