A few days late but, we made it.
This weeks cover release was actually supposed to be Splat Out Of Luck but I couldn’t for the life of me decide how I wanted to tackle it, because I sort of want to reshape it a lot more than any of the covers I’ve done so far but I don’t want to completely pull it out of its skeleton because that would be gross and we’re no where near Halloween.
So I opted to jump into Sure And Certain instead.
Listen to Jimmy Eat World’s original recording below.
Now check out my cover.
I could have taken this cover a lot of different directions but I’ve been itching to have a bit more fun on the bass recordings for this project and this seemed a great track to try some movement with.
That decision is the basis for the production direction of this cover, because once it was in there I really wasn’t too keen on muddying up the mix any with too many guitars or other arrangements. The bass line really moves the entire track along every step of the way and everything else is set to serve it rather than the other way around.
To be honest I’m not super keen on parts of my vocal line for this one and I almost convinced myself to re-track the verses this morning but I decided to keep it as is for now. It’s just a little too rough and abrasive and it sticks out compared to the bass groove and lead guitar line. It’s not awful but I know it can be better.
There’s really not much to speak of as far as the mix goes on this one, it’s super limited. Other than some additional modulation effects on the lead guitar (because the tracked clean tone seemed just ever so too…clean), and the tiny bit of vocal processing you hear on some of the backing vocals, everything here is as recorded with a tiny but of EQ to help it sit better together, and a nice spacious church reverb to give it a home.
Okay, let’s hop over to lyrics!
I feel like this is another recurring theme in the Jimmy Eat World catalogue, with Jim often musing about all the things he needs to do or can do to better himself and his own experiences or situations while battling the idea that some things, or many things, are often out of his control entirely. This song is still pretty recent as far as releases go so it seems this is an ever-constant that he might never be able to climb away from, lyrically speaking.
The verse continues on with the same theories. You know, we might all be happier if we come to terms with all that we cannot change and focus less on existential questions like this and more on just doing whatever it is we can or feel is best for ourselves. I say this as though I’m not exactly the type of person that this lyric is speaking to and even now as I type this am thinking about all the things I need to work on to improve myself and living situation when this blog is complete. Because as much as I relate wholly to these lyrics, I tend to still stand firmly in the camp of, “there is surely more I can be doing,” than the “let things fall where they may,” side of the equation.
I mentioned this in the livestream but, I find this chorus a little funny. I flirted with the idea of changing the order of the phrases here to be, “Sure and certain, wonder ’til we’re old; Lost and lurking, wander ’til we’re cold,” so much that I kept accidentally saying those when I went to track the chorus vocals. I just think my version makes more sense; Of course, I’ve spent a-many-a-nights wandering around my city/hometown in the dead of winter until it becomes so unbearably cold that you just have to call it a night and go home – and that’s what I’m reminded of here.
And other than that, I’m highly attracted to the idea of having someone with you til your last days that you feel comfortable wondering these exact types of things with. Philosophies, theories, whatever you call them. I’m a person who can rarely sit still long enough to even finish a project because I’m so eager to move on to another thought or idea because there’s just so much in this world for us to think and wonder about. For all the things I do try to change about myself, I hope that thing remains a constant.
I tend to believe that the moment you stop wondering about the world and your place in it is when your spirit truly dies, meaning it doesn’t necessarily happen after you’ve passed but rather, before.
And that cryptic thought leads us casually into the next verse where perhaps that’s exactly what’s happened. I’m not sure how common it is but I imagine most people have had an experience where someone they talk to suddenly seems to disappear off the planet without giving them a heads up. I know that things get really overwhelming at times and it can just seem easier to disconnect entirely until you’re ready to tackle… whatever it is you’re tackling in that moment, but whenever people do this so suddenly as to not tell those they’d normally be in some contact with, it’s really quite concerning.
The funny thing about this is that it doesn’t even have to be someone you’re necessarily super close with although you’re probably quicker to notice if your best friend starts ghosting you compared to that neighbour 8 doors up from you that usually says hi to you on their way out the door, but the confusion and the concern doesn’t just magically disappear for those around you.
Because I grew up in the 90’s and computers were suddenly a huge thing, this happened a lot with online friends in particular. You’d become super close to someone that you had never met and then suddenly one day you realize it’s been weeks since they logged on and you haven’t a clue what happened or if they’ll ever be back.
It makes it difficult to make the argument for building real connections in life this way but this is definitely where our society is sitting right now. It’s almost more common to meet people online now than it is otherwise, which is insane to think about.
This type of situation is a perfect moment to reflect on exactly what we’re talking about here. You can’t control other people or other situations as much as you might want to and no amount of dwelling on the issue will necessarily help any. You have to learn when it’s alright to let go of that desire and focus on what’s best for you – the only thing you can really control after all is your own self.
I really like the simplicity of Sure And Certain. For all that it allows you to think about, it stands firmly in what’s really just an important lesson for any of us to remember. Focus on what you can do, not what you can force upon anyone else. But remember that even those of us with the best of intentions cannot necessarily inspire change – some things just are the way they are, so know that it’s okay to let go if whatever you’re trying to achieve isn’t working for you on some level.
On that note, now seems a good a time to any to fill everybody in that my initial game plan of completing a cover a week with a release every Friday isn’t quite working out.
I tend to do really well when I give myself personal deadlines that are between me and my agenda, but as soon as I go ahead and make that deadline public it feels like the universe pulls me back down to reality and forces me to reconsider what I’m doing.
Much of last week I was super low-energy and just generally not in the greatest of mind sets and the ever looming deadline just made me feel a little worse with every day that led up to it and the days that passed it.
So I’m nixing the schedule and I’ll just keep doing these spontaneously because that works a lot better for me personally.
That said, I don’t fully know when the next release will be because I need to take some time to focus more on my physical health than anything else right now. My diet is still is shambles and I want to focus more on getting out on some runs, good hikes, enjoy some sunshine and time with my dog now that the weather’s getting a little better over here. Canadian winters take a toll on you every single year – you’d think it’d get easier but it really doesn’t!
Thanks for your understanding & see ya soon!