The short story of “Best Neighborhood Band” (in ten easy installments)
Wound Too Tight
‘I’m wound too tight’
‘and I’m tired of waiting’
The song began as a very brief vignette consisting of a single groove. Well, first came the riff, then the groove, and then these enigmatic but direct lyrics.
The lyrics perfectly capture how I was often feeling during the period I wrote it. While the longing, frustration, and tension were palpable, their source was veiled.
Longing in its myriad forms seems to be a primary characteristic of young adulthood. There are many things that can be elusive and inspire longing during this period: companionship, validation, comfort, success, stability, etc.
This feeling of anticipation could also stem from a desire more broad or vague such as wanting Peace; or perhaps it relates to a situation more narrow and particular such as eagerly awaiting an illicit drug provider. Now almost a decade after I wrote those lyrics it occurs to me that many if not most of us are often ‘wound too tight’ and/or ‘tired of waiting’ irrespective of our age, or our personal circumstances in general.
While wound too tight acknowledges the ubiquitous and thoroughly modern themes of anxiety, dread, neurosis, it also insists on flourishing in spite of them, and for a few fleeting moments even provides the cart.
This song was originally written for a large improv band that I never really got off the ground called plundered ghost ensemble. The repertoire of this project consisted mostly of chanted or shouted lyrics, loose and extendable arrangements, and themes very similar to the bobby blunders project. It in many ways was a precursor.
The early bobby blunders recordings were all models or microcosms of what the jams were supposed to be. I found the recruiting and managing of a large ensemble to be difficult. I think for me personally, I wasn’t ready yet to be at the helm. I couldn’t gather momentum.
What I did find momentum with was making these models. I became enthralled with making demos and playing at arranging. bobby blunders the nameless, faceless, hapless, and supposedly arbitrary ‘leader’ of plundered ghost ensemble was now his own bizarre little star.
Since wound too tight came of age during this transition, it bears a greater resemblance to the previous project than any other song on the best neighborhood band record.
Each section of the arrangement seemed to reveal itself just as it became necessary. As the parts continued to arrive, wound too tight became the most elaborate demo for a plundered ghost ensemble piece. Interestingly I maintained the basic chronology of these sections. This arrangement seemed to have a nice, natural arc for mirroring some sort of collective communion.
Obviously, as the song began to stretch in length it would need more lyrics to carry it. The lyrics that arose for the second half of the song, despite being presented with fervor and conviction, are not offered as prediction, promise, or prophecy, but instead as meditation.
This listing of the personnel below is not merely a formality. Every last one of these players and vocalists made indispensible contributions to the piece, bringing a long-gestating idea to fruition. Thank you to them.
And thanks to you for listening.
wound too tight
i’m wound too tight
and i’m tired of waiting
something had to give
but i’m still standing by
we’re still standing by
it’s gonna happen
it’s gotta happen
justice is coming
splendor is here
don’t ever wonder
whether you deserve
any lover will tell you
we are our own reward
i got this feeling
that justice is coming
i get the feeling
that splendor is here
guitars – Michael J. Salter
vocals – Tiffany Davy, Ahmad Butler
drums – Ryan Reiff
percussion – Robert Lopez
horns – Darian Momanaee
bass – Aeron Archambault
organ, bass synth – Mark Yamada
manipulation – Mattisse Ibarra
ensemble vocals – Rudy de Anda, George Glikman, Amanaka Yancey, Mattise Ibarra, Jeremy Davy
violin – Laena Myers-Ionita
guitars – Jesse Carzello[adrotate banner=”4″]