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August 6, 2011 / John Sieger

No Other Girl

Click: No Other Girl

Double negatives are to be avoided. Except when they are funny. In this song they are funny, but the song isn’t—it’s pretty. Can your mind hold the two conflicting concepts without twisting into a knot? I usually treat the humorous elements in Mike’s lyrics with respect, they juist seem to work better when delivered with a straight face. I don’t know how funny he was trying to be with this, I suspect he wasn’t going for any big yuks, because the rest of the lyric is pretty straightforward.

Part of the Semi-Twang story is we were some sort of early pioneers of alt country. I’m not sure how true that is, I certainly wouldn’t make that claim. If you hear anything vaguely country about this please let me know. I hear a pop tune, probably Beatles inspired on some level, at least harmonically. I think the “Semi” part of the band’s name was more important than the the “Twang” part. I never wanted to put steel guitars or fiddles and banjos on my songs, didn’t ever want to align myself totally with that camp. I knew I belonged neither here or there, “there” being the soul and R&B I also loved. Is there a world in between, a thin overlapping edge that shares something from both worlds? I like to think there is, because that’s where I think things get interesting. What I like about both country and soul is the grown up sense of fun. Taking problems, dreams, disappointments and heartaches and making something entertaining and maybe true from them. When you don’t declare your citizenship, you have the freedom to dip in here and there. While I have the ultimate respect for artists like Dwight Yoakam and James Hunter, The Daptones and Gillian Welch—they have such a clear identity and true commitment to a particular style—I’ve always grazed. Commercially it’s ill advised, but I never was a marketing major.

The chord changes and melody to this song are something I’ll always be proud of. The arrangement got very complex as we worked on it with Mitchell Froom. It made it very hard to perform live and that was one of the problems we encountered after making the CD. It seemed we were then trying to re-create, rather than create, and live music is something that requires more than a rote run-through of tricks you worked out in the studio. If you want to present the recording exactly as it sounds when you made it, the best way would be  lip-synching to prerecorded tracks. While Semi-Twang would never stoop that low, we now know others don’t mind so much.

© 2011 John Sieger/Michael Feldman

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