Frog Talk with Cory

Here’s a lightly edited and excerpted email I had with Cory during the recording of Frog On The King’s Head.

2023 April 23 – From: Howie – To: Cory

going to be listening to a version of the full album for the ** first
time ** tomorrow!  4 songs are missing vocals, that’s next, but i’m
super psyched to hear it all as a piece.  i think my first sequence is
pretty good, too.  “farewell my lovely” is the beat i keep coming back
to.  -h

2023 April 24 – From: Cory – To: Howie

So psyched for you my dude! I love that we have Chandler represented on this birch, let me know how you feel after

2023 April 24 – From: Howie – To: Cory

i feel awesome, i have no idea what this **is** (not that it matters) but i dig it.

i’m ready to read at least one more chandler this summer, not sure which, but i’ll just grab one and go for it. probably the earliest one i haven’t read, i guess.

finding some hooks in chandler has been a really important piece of unlocking this mode of expression. the blank page was just so intimidating, having something to latch onto and use was a huge boost and taught me some things about what works and what to look for. gave me a jumping-off point. and as you’ve seen from texts and whatnot, it’s starting to sink in and i’m bringing in stuff from other sources, and sometimes coming up with something fresh and original (in the sense that it’s not pulled from anywhere).

[tom] robbins, actually, is another ingredient that i may not have said anything about; just the approach that style ** can be ** substance. i think that comes intuitively to some but coming from my headier space, i had to think myself to a zone where when i’m working on something, i can ask myself “well, what would sound cool?” and then chase that without thinking about whether the chords are interesting and unique enough.

ha, this is not news to you, but through at least signs.comets my main concern was You Have Not Heard *These* Chords Before!!

2023 April 24 – From: Cory – To: Howie

“Style can be substance” is something I am still trying to really know. It always feels like there has to be some big heart to a piece of art for it to mean something or evoke emotion, but sometimes stuff just sounds really badass or unexpected or whatever, and that’s thrilling! Obviously there’s got to be some sort of idea or seed in there, however small. Otherwise it’s all effects pedals and no riff, but I have to remind myself all the time that it’s OK if something mostly works because it feels/sounds neat. Jamie is really good at that – synth and bass riffs that work well because they sound badass, and you can build a plenty meaty song around that! 

2023 May 5 – From: Howie – To: Cory

I’m filing this away to blog at some point, but here are some other thoughts I noted down a couple weeks ago…

sometimes by following the trail of style-as-substance, i *find* substance, either because the style touched on or expressed some intuitive, pre-conscious reservoir of meaning, or because meaning attaches itself later through repetition or new connections/insight.  a previously style-only expression becomes entwined with something meaningful.