October Air
by Cody Weathers

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"October Air" is maybe my favorite Cody Weathers song. It's a great hook. The chords are fun to listen to and even more fun to play. There are so many possibilities for vocal harmony. The transitions from the verse to the chorus and back are each driven by a unique, irresistible four note bass hook, which I have emphasized and remade in places.

I actually imported the original version from the album Songs You Hate into my recording session and created a similar drum pattern on MIDI and added two acoustic rhythm guitars, but when I created that arpeggiated stride piano part I decided to use it for the whole thing, not just as a slowed down intro and outro. I abandoned Take 1 with just that MIDI beat and two rhythm guitars. I started over with a slower tempo and the piano part.

When Cody visited Minnesota and Wisconsin and played some shows with us in August 2019, he described The Mississippi Seven's slow performance of "Sailboat" at the Driftwood Char Bar as "sticky". It was a nice compliment and really changed the way I thought about that song. I had always thought, "Oh it's so wordy and people just want to get through it." I had always encouraged the band to speed it up or tried to. But that thoughtful compliment changed the song for me. I could take it slow and have all the time in the world to tell that ridiculous story and make it clear and funny and make every line meaningful. The slow, loping beat could draw people in and make them wonder as they sang along.

Well, obviously that applies to more than just "Sailboat". I like to think I hit on a similarly "sticky" beat for "October Air" and that people will be hypnotized and mesmerized by this slow version; that the words and the melody, which varies from verse to verse, will be given full expression and attention. It's sort of a philosophy similar to that of The Grateful Dead, where a song could go for 20 minutes, as long as something musical and meaningful was happening.

As for the lyrics, I love the contrast between the sort of hyper, scolding verses and the chill chorus. In my interpretation here, I was thinking of the verses as the narrator scolding/advising someone, then the chorus as that same narrator telling himself in an aside to just relax and let it go.

This and "Disco" are the electric side of this week's Livestream EP, sort of like side A of Bob Dylan's "Bringing It All Back Home", which I listened to this week.

Re: this beat. I noticed a while ago how amazing the drums on David Bowie's cover of Cream's "I Feel Free" is on his album Black Tie White Noise. I believe it is because he usually left the "and" of beat 1 totally empty. There is a huge space and when the snare hits on beat 2 after what feels like an eternity, it is immensely powerful. I tried that here and on "Disco" and in my music in general since that epiphany.

Enough blah blah blah. I hope I didn't ruin it by talking about it.

Seriously, though, get Songs You Hate, a 2 CD collection of Cody's early work with ROQUE and Flip Nasty. If you've still not begun listening to Cody's work, Songs You Hate is a great starting point. If I can convince just one person to acquire Songs You Hate or Monkey Eat Monkey, this whole series of livestreams will have been a success.

Visit Cody on social media here:

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Lyrics:

When you were young, oh so young, you had your dreams but now
you've got to live your life however you can make it work, and I
I can't wash away your problems with a single potion
And I can't take you where you've never been before.

Let it go like the autumn leaves as they fall to Earth in October air
In the spring, you will grow new leaves that will feed you 'til the cold October air

Stabbed in the back, but you still persist. Do you even know what the conquest is when
you have wasted all your options on frivolities?
If I can't make you see the light, guess you'll have to say goodnight because life
doesn't give a damn if you don't give a damn about yourself

Let it go like the autumn leaves as they fall to Earth in October air
In the spring, you will grow new leaves that will feed you 'til the cold October air

Sometimes you must let go to hold on to your sanity
Sometimes you have to take a brand new direction
You've got to give up what destroys you and start again
I cannot help you when you're bringing me down, bringing me down

Let it go like the autumn leaves as they fall to Earth in October air
In the spring, you will grow new leaves that will feed you 'til the cold October air

When life deals the cards, you can't always hold the aces
Sympathy made me weak to a hundred falsehood faces
I'll never let the day come when I let jealousy tear me apart
because nothing ruins friendships more than jealous, broken hearts

Let it go like the autumn leaves as they fall to Earth in October air
In the spring, you will grow new leaves that will feed you 'til the cold October air

Previous song: (Don't Worry About) The Disco

Next song: I Have Committed Murder in My Heart

Oh! Last thing, I promise; I always think of this song when I sing the harmony line "October Air!" during Karl's song "Ghost Train". I wonder if Karl put that in there on purpose.

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