# # Don't Like Neighbors (Stop Staring At Me!) - CAE song demo

Brother, I Can See Your Skull.

Brother, I Can See Your Skull. - The Coreyshead Blog

Don’t Like Neighbors – demo track

“Don’t Like Neighbors” sprang into existence as a one-off, a lark, back in the summer of 2007 – and prob’ly shoulda stayed there.

As with most of the music I produce, “Don’t Like Neighbors” started out as me screwing around with interlocking rhythms via my now long-dead Digitech RDS 8000 Time Machine (gawd, I miss that thang). Something in the knitting suggested lyrics and I leaned over to the old cassette boombox I used to document said noises and began intoning: “I don’t like neighbors, don’t like neighbors, don’t like neighbors, stop, stop staring at me.”

It was short and stupid but I had to admit I really liked it – sort of like America’s relationship with Tom Cruise. That being said, it was just a fragment of improvised silliness and, once recorded, I walked away from it.

Yet, when digitizing my home recordings, “Don’t Like Neighbors” was one of those tracks that stood out. Dumb as it was, there was something compelling about the recording. Maybe it was the lo-fi production (yes, I do lower fidelity recordings than what I serve up here – impressive, eh?) or the intimacy of the almost whispered vocals. Whatever the case, zoom forward to 2020 and the concept randomly bobs to the top of my “songs to reapproach” pile.

Don’t Like Neighbors

The original recording only repeated the “don’t like neighbors” line a couple of times over the backing riff. I knew the public version needed more meat on its bones.

One of the first thoughts I had was: “I wonder if couldn’t fit a quote from Mr. Rogers’ old ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor’ in there somewhere?” Well heck, I sure could!

“I can’t go outside
in my own backyard
without them staring
over the fence.
Suppose I want to pee
behind a bush?
Gonna put out that
arc light with a gun …”

Further lyrics came easily.

For one thing – I am an introvert who would really rather his visible neighbors were trees and vistas, rather than other humans. For another, I do like a backyard that’s private enough for one to just whip it out and water a bush without fear of being seen. Finally, the neighbor where I was living when I conceived the piece had a huge, buzzing and glaring arc light outside my bedroom window.

Yes, I wanted to shoot it out. No, I do not own a gun.

I considered adding more verses but decided to keep the song short and unconventional in its structure. (That almost makes me sound like an artiste. In truth, I found the tune to be grating after more than a couple of minutes, so kept it short.)

I tried the nearly whispered vocal approach first but it didn’t work. Consequently, I decided to go with a more stagey approach, assuming a character and delivering the lines with their emotion. Most of the verses were recorded separately, rather than in one long go, so they could be expressive and overlap.

I also decided to sweep the vocals and some of the guitar parts back and forth with the rhythm. I love how it sounds in headphones and other, smaller speaker spreads but out of my TV via Youtube? Eeeeeccccchhhhhh. Maybe not such a good idea. I have a lot to learn about recording.

Oh, well – that’s why it’s called a “demo,” right?

All samples, bass, guitar, and vocals by CAE

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply