Brick

from by Mal Webb

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about

I wrote this song in about 1994 when my sister Cath struggling with the idea of putting on an exhibition, whence I got the idea for an "inhibition" of art, presented in a hidden cupboard (very hipster, in a post modern way!) She did exhibit in the end, with great success. Essentially Brick is more about communication struggles in relationships. Yes, the word "Brick" is often missheard as "prick", but that kinda works in the song too! I arranged it for the Oxo Cubans in a clumsy ska groove and we played it many times but never recorded it. Around 2003 I came up with a guitar version, around which all the chords are the notes A, B and E with different bass notes undernaeth (every note is used except Bb, which is horrid!) But I really got excited when I came up with the idea of the shifting loops. The 3 beatbox loop layers (spitty crunch, cloppy clicks and straight Ps and Bs) are 16 beats long and run for the whole song... simple! BUT the "one" (the first beat of the groove) is shifted by what the voice and other instruments do, such that throughout the song, nearly every one of the 16ths is felt as the one as at some point! And the middle instrumental section goes from 16 to 15 to 14 to 13 to 12 to 11 to 10 to 9 to 8 beats (Kylie and I had to practice that part A LOT!) But my aim was to make it so that all the complexity washes over you until you actually listen in for it. Let me know what you think! Oh, and the ambient loop is 17 beats long... just for fun!

lyrics

There’s an exhibition of my inhibition
Showing in a cupboard in the room down the hall
Hopes of selling out have come to no fruition
Probably ’cos the paintings are all face into the wall
But I find her so appealing that I can’t make my appeal
And you can’t say what you’re feeling when you don’t know how you feel
It’s no fun being in love with a brick
Maybe if she got to get to know me better
She would see it’s me that her life really lacks
Maybe I should try to write it in a letter
But then I wouldn’t get to see the way she reacts ...
Maybe I’ve just got a dodgy transmitter
My kisses and hugs seem to bite her and hit her
And that leaves me feeling all worthless and bitter
But maybe she’s just got a dodgy receiver
She says that she cares, but I don’t quite believe her
’Cos each time I leave her it seems to relieve her
There’s an exhibition of my inhibition
But I doubt that I’ll ever get a red dot
Due to recent showings, it’s in poor condition
’Cos inhibitions hate being stared at a lot ...

© Mal Webb 1994-2012

credits

from Not Nor Mal, released September 2, 2016

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Mal Webb Melbourne, Australia

Vocal adventurer, multi-instrumentist, looping beatboxing songwriter Mal Webb sings his songs about all manner of stuff, using all sorts of vocal techniques (like sideways yodeling) and plays guitar, bass, mbira, slide trumpet, trombone, chromatic harmonica, bass and piano. He's like Bobby McFerrin, Aphex Twin and Cole Porter playing scrabble. Ani DiFranco said to Mal: "You're a freak!"
Noice.
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