Andy Fite | The Thing On My Mind

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The Thing On My Mind

by Andy Fite

Adolescent fantasies and mature obsessions. Jazz Comic Philosopher Andy Fite with his voice and guitar, a guest shot by singer Amanda Ginsburg, help from Cajsa Zerhouni, and a few tastes of the Guitar Kaleidoscope.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. I Really Need Your Love Tonight
3:10 $0.99
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2. The Thing On My Mind
4:10 $0.99
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3. A Pleasure
2:55 $0.99
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4. It's Not Gonna Work
3:27 $0.99
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5. Suddénly (feat. Amanda Ginsburg)
3:22 $0.99
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6. About Tourette's
0:54 $0.99
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7. Look, I Have Tourette's, Okay?
2:14 $0.99
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8. Did You Ever Lose an Argument?
3:54 $0.99
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9. It Was Love At First Sight
2:26 $0.99
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10. Skinny in the Arms
3:00 $0.99
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11. Crazy Little Woman
4:38 $0.99
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12. Waiting
3:19 $0.99
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13. If This Isn't Love
3:00 $0.99
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14. Prelude to a Ha Ha Song
1:43 $0.99
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15. The Ha Ha Song
3:51 $0.99
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16. I Suck
2:17 $0.99
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17. Would It Mean You Didn't Love Me?
1:58 $0.99
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18. What's On a Man's Mind
3:20 $0.99
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19. How Many Times Do I Have to Say I'm Sorry?
3:42 $0.99
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20. We Met Last Night
3:14 $0.99
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21. A (#440)
4:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Here is an album I didn't expect to do this season, but as I looked at my backlog of recently written songs, I found I liked them better than I thought-- and then I found I had already recorded quite a few of them and didn't remember doing it! So the album was already half finished before I even knew it was an album. Some new songs came, and these I added. It came out long, but I can't see anything that I would want to cut. 65 minutes might be more than you want to bite off all at once, but I guess I'll say, for the long walk in the woods, or the drive to another city, the program works, for me anyway.

Here are some notes on the songs:

1. I Really Need Your Love Tonight.
A plea for attention, whether from a lover, or perhaps, a distracted audience.

2. The Thing on My Mind.
This was my song number 500, and I wanted it so badly! I hammered on countless abortive ideas for at least a couple of hours before I thought of the jazz tradition of writing a line on a standard tune, but when that popped into my head, the whole thing poured out, words and music, in about 45 minutes. As to the Thing, it is always on my mind, as reflected by most of the other songs in this collection as well.

3. A Pleasure.
A daydream, nothing more. Sad to say.

4. It’s Not Gonna Work.
Here is a song that was born in a lecture I gave to group of songwriting students in Stockholm. A very useful way to uncover the real principles of the art form as I try to practice it is to propose to write something from scratch and to discuss every idea that occurs to me, and every thought I have about it. Why this works, why that won’t, what is needed now, how to make sense of that, how to get from here to there. Et cetera. In this case, the idea proposed and accepted by the students, I got a small panic attack. Hence the title! A good strong title, I thought. And so from there, a scenario is needed. Hopeless love naturally suggested itself, and from there I followed the rhymes and the dictates of melody, and, though it took shape purely from these disciplines, perhaps the story is true enough after all…

5. Suddénly.
A strong focus for me as a songwriter is to use the sound, shape and rhythm of normal speech as a primary source of my melodies. Not only does this give you a lot of melody you might never otherwise have found, but it makes it so much easier for a listener to understand what the hell you’re saying. I have no patience anymore with songs that ignore that connection—most of the songs being written these days, it seems. I think for example of Katy Perry’s recent hit “Un Cundi Shun a Lee”, which I think is Max Martin, right? Preposterous. And yet, not only do people ignore this once basic principle of songwriting (check Rodgers & Hart, or Rodgers & Hammerstein, or Burke & Van Heusen, or Cole Porter or the Gershwins, and see if you can find even one misaccented syllable!), but at least a dozen people down through the years have said they thought it was too easy to do it my way. EASY! Wow. They haven’t tried, is my firm belief. And so I set out to prove to myself the conviction I have that it’s not so much a clever twist they’re giving it as a cop out conceived in laziness, by setting out to write a song with EVERY syllable accented wrong. What came out was indeed pretty twisted. And somehow, from there, I got the idea to portray the frustration someone might feel who had a lover who actually talked this way! So I wrote it out into a duet, and called in the great young Stockholm singer Amanda Ginsburg, and she really nailed it!

6. About Tourette’s.
I had a realization as I was putting this album together. There are some songs of mine that I seldom if ever perform without a few words of explanation. But it has never felt natural to put a spoken introduction on a studio recording. And then, I think, I understood what will be the future meaning of the technique I’ve been developing over the last few years and which I call the musical kaleidoscope, which I used most recently in my album We the People, and previously on From the 20th of January: Presidential Psychedelia, 1961-2009, From the Book of Revelation, The Prince: New Readings from Machiavelli and Don Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa, and my album based on Colin Powell’s infamous speech at the UN in 2003. From here on out, I believe perhaps I am through setting other people’s texts in this way. I’ve got things of my own to tell you, and to make odd music from.

7. Look, I Have Tourette’s, OK?
In Copenhagen it’s a hit every time. In Stockholm, it has never felt quite comfortable…

8. Did You Ever Lose An Argument?
This one is a true song about a real person, but why name names? We’re all like this sometimes, I fear.

9. It Was Love at First Sight.
A little love song, and true, as far as it goes.

10. Skinny in the Arms.
Caught a look at myself in the mirror coming out of the shower…

11. Crazy Little Woman.
Purely a fantasy, I promise.

12. Waiting.
That moment, or hour—you know it—when you’ve declared yourself, and you’re eaten up with anxiety about how it’s been received.

13. If This Isn’t Love.
It is though.

14. Prelude to a Ha Ha Song.
The guitar kaleidoscope again, introducing a song that definitely wanted explaining, if not an outright apology.

15. The Ha Ha Song.
A song that wrote itself, as it had to, because I would never have written this one! I am indebted to my friend Cajsa Zerhouni for adding her voice and her laughter to the last couple of refrains. It was fun.

16. I Suck.
Inspired by Paul Gorman, who had a talk show on WBAI radio in New York when I was living there. Handled a nasty caller one day with truth and elegance. Words can mean so many things.

17. Would It Mean You Didn’t Love Me?
To balance freedom with devotion is, for many of us, a hard thing. For myself, I believe in both.

18. What’s On a Man’s Mind.
You may wonder, but really, I think, you don’t want to know…

19. How Many Times Do I Have to Say I’m Sorry?
So many of my titles, so many of my best lines, come just from listening when I’m talking to myself. When I heard myself say this, I was talking back to my disapproving conscience—disapproving over what that particular time, I have no memory at all. But he speaks to me every day of my life, and at some point there’s no response possible but to sing, again, this song.

20. We Met Last Night.
Another song born in a songwriting lecture, and a great surprise to me as it unfolded. In a world as rich and diverse as this one, it may well be a true story, but it has never yet happened to me!

21. A.
At the end of 2010, I wrote my song number 439. And then, faced with number 440, I got stuck for several months. Clearly it had to go in A, and then sure enough A was the title, and A, well that’s me also, and then I had to write about the letter A, and to use as many words starting with A as possible. In the end I think the number is 93 out of 192 words in the song. So, an exercise, and a crazy one to complete. And now when I hear it, it just seems true. It’s not an accident, by the way, that a small cluster of B words makes its appearance at the end…

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