‘Messin’ With The Music’ Part 20 – ‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’

It’s been a while since we worked on a cover for our Messin’ With The Music series. We’ve come back with the song ‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’ by Pixies. It was on their 1989 album ‘Doolittle’. One style that Pixies are known for is the ‘loud versus quiet’ dynamics included in a lot of their songs. You will definitely hear that if you listen to the original version of ‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’. Pixies as a band are usually included in the ‘alternative rock’ classification – to which people usually ask “alternative to what?”. We’ve discussed before the difficulty in labelling music. Is it ‘alternative rock’, ‘indie rock’, ‘college rock’? Some music does fit in to definable categories. Some bands make their music sound a certain way to fit in to a category of music they are fond of. But labelling is often limiting. When we post music on sites they often ask for the category of music you think your band fits in to. And usually you have to pick from a list. We usually take this task on with a heavy sigh. I understand the need – they want people to find the style of music they are interested in. I also understand the lists. Imagine if everyone came up with their own style name – you’d get things like ‘Mutant Tuna Hillbilly Sea Chanties’. Anyway….. As usual we made the song as acoustic as possible. The bass is still electric as I haven’t bought a stand up double bass (and probably won’t in the near future). The main riff is on acoustic guitar, doubled to put in the left and right channels. There’s bass and a banjo part. The lead guitar is covered by two different mandolins playing harmony parts. We actually ended up cutting parts down as we recorded to make a starker change in dynamics since we don’t use a drum kit or electric guitars. One thing that has always drawn me to this song is the environmental message it sends. Nature is finite and pretty easy to destroy. In the small list of things I’m very passionate about – my friends and family, music, photography – the outdoors and saving our environment is on the list. Yup, I’m a tree hugger. I’m getting to spend more time in amazingly beautiful places like our national parks. If you time things right (hike EARLY) you can be in these places by yourself or with a few like minded people (and remember the outdoor rule – leave no trace). Life doesn’t get much better than that. I’ve included some photos from our trips in the video for the song.

Published by churchhousepro

Musician, Sound Engineer, Producer

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