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Horse, Horse, Tiger, Tiger (The Wolverine Song)

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This is song 4 in my comic book cycle. The title comes from the Chinese phrase for ‘so, so’ - ‘ma ma, hu, hu’ or ‘horse horse, tiger tiger’. The story is that once an artist painted a picture of a horse head with a tiger’s body. His son then shot a horse, mistaking it for a tiger, and so the artist had to pay the owner of the horse. Then another son saw a tiger and mistook it for a horse and was killed trying to ride it. After that the artist destroyed the painting. There’s a lot going on in that story - abstract vs. real, metaphor vs. simile, and of course animal mutation. Which brings me to Wolverine, one of my favorite comic book heroes. Or rather anti-hero, because the best thing about Wolverine is that he has no compunction to use his abilities to better the human condition - if anything his abilities magnify his human nature, rather than improve it. I love this idea, because as someone who’s life is intertwined and has always been intertwined with many animals - from hunting to husbandry - I KNOW that people are animals. And it’s one thing to say that but another altogether to know it. And I’ve probably said this before but one of the surest ways to fail at interaction with any animal is to forget what it is, to mistake a horse for a tiger or a tiger for a horse. Someone will ask me about a horse - why did he do that? Because he’s a horse. He will do that 99.9 percent of the time because that’s what horses do. You can’t train a horse to not be a horse. And I look around and it seems to me that our society is bent on training people to not be people. To be something better, possibly, which I guess is noble, but I don’t see a happy ending. People are people. We made it this far because of what we are, not despite it. When our unique animal qualities fail to provide food, shelter, and reproduction then I assume we’ll evolve into some other animal. Or die out altogether. But whatever happens, it will have very little to do with what we WANT to be, and everything to do with what we ARE.

So back to Wolverine. He’s human, but he’s not. He lives between the worlds we call animal and human, and he proves the point that the difference is only conceptual. And aside from the philosophy, his back story is much richer than the usual super hero. He’s from the Canadian Rockies, there are a lot of Cree mythological references in his story (animism), and because his lifespan is much longer than the average human due to supernatural healing powers, he’s written as kind of a historical ‘man on the scene’, tying generations and historical human milestones into a bigger perspective. Also, he’s cool! LOL. I SO want to be Wolverine. The dude is a badass. And all the analytic bullshit aside, THATS what makes a comic book hero a hero - the fact that you turn the page because you want to see what happens to YOU…

Dorsey did the art. I have it hanging in my office. Musically, I want this to have the wild, natural vibe of the Canadian wilderness, and the euphoria of shape changing, and then a kind of zen element that runs through the center of all of it, a kind of ‘be what I be’ stillness. I just kept tweaking it until it felt right. Whether or not anybody else gets it I don’t know - it’s kind of different.
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I saw a shooting star
it woke me up in bed
it brought me to the window
and this is what it said
i used to get looks
a blushing batted eye
from hopeful smitten virgins
and men about to die
now it's lonely as a funeral
and i'm afraid it's mine
yours and mine and everything
that creeps and keeps a separate time

oh, i want to run
heart in mouth
snow on tongue
yeah, it fills my lungs
the crackle
and the hum
the crackle and the hum

i heard the water under ice
the athabascan flow
like air under a whiskey jack
like a mouse under the snow
i used to get a listen
a respectful inclined ear
from those who tread upon my banks
and rode me far and near
now its lonely as a funeral
and i'm afraid its mine
yours and mine and everything
that creeps and keeps a separate time

let the animal out
horse, tiger, tiger....
Song Stats
Hits: 1653
Comments: 16
Fans: 12
Plays: 104
Downloads: 30
Votes: 0
Uploaded: Nov 25, 2013 - 07:39:52 AM
Last Updated: Nov 25, 2013 - 07:39:52 AM Last Played: Jan 09, 2018 - 12:21:18 AM
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Macbook Pro, Delta King, Hillbilly Strat, stuff that makes noise when you bang on it. Some heavy breathing. Stack of comic books.
GB brand spankin' new version. Because it's the right price (free).
alackbass said 1545 days ago (November 25th, 2013)
Horse, Horse, Tiger, Tiger (The Wolverine Song)
Your tracks are always a treat. Very cool lyrics. Digging when the bass went all heavy and distorted. Nice mix of guitar and synth tones. Tremolos, auto wahs, heavy distortion (all very cool). The a cappella interlude was very well done. Led nicely into the coda.
Check out my latest song called Mean Miss Teacher
tempie said 1545 days ago (November 26th, 2013)
man i was listening to an interview with krist novoselic for some kind of nirvana anniversary where he said grunge is just pretty much the bass player plugging into a rat pedal and so i thought hey, that's what i'll do lol...
Check out my latest song called The Double Helix
magnatone said 1545 days ago (November 25th, 2013)
Horse- Tiger
Hey Craig - wowzers, this is awesome! So cool to read the song description as I'm listening. You are equal parts gifted musician and thoughtful philosopher. Love the wah and that cool break at 1:56. The song art from Bob is (as usual) fabulous. I think this might be my new fave from you and I dare say it's among your best - congrats and happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! (and thks for the D/L!)
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
tempie said 1545 days ago (November 26th, 2013)
and neither pays!!!
why couldn't i be equal parts gifted financial planner and trust fund baby? Lol! Really glad you like it thanks!
Check out my latest song called The Double Helix
bud said 1545 days ago (November 25th, 2013)
great song - excellent production too
there's so much going on here without getting cluttered. i get the stillness you talk about - also a little oriental feel to the movement of the melody. cool
Check out my latest song called new leaf 123117
tempie said 1544 days ago (November 26th, 2013)
thanks bud
my favorite part of the song is that little reverby guitar lead in the chorus. i love when you mix a bunch of effects together and then get the sound that you didn't know you were looking for. glad you got the stillness part, thanks for the listen.
Check out my latest song called The Double Helix
Lennon714 said 1545 days ago (November 25th, 2013)
Animal out
A Tempie song submission has, to me, the same yard-drawing power as Fergie's milkshakes. So many killer lines in this song. "hopeful smitten virgins and men about to die", "heart in mouth/snow on tongue", "lonely as a funeral". And finally the kids are using "athabascan flow" in their rock tunes. I listened on a mobile device and for whatever reason that gives you 2.5 plays of every song. Which is perfect for your tunes because they require repeated listens. From the imagery of the lyrics to the landscape of the music. Everything means something and it takes (idiots like me) days to get comfortable with it.

The guitar fills that don't resolve on that descending part are a nice touch. The arrangement is sparse, but eclectic and makes me wonder how you go about your writing/recording business. The mix is great, too. Excellent job all around!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
tempie said 1544 days ago (November 26th, 2013)
Fergie's milkshake
you are a wit-iliscious brother, brother.

hopeful smitten virgins. back in the old days every valley and woods and river had a god and people would look to them for signs. nowadays we think we know everything I guess but just look at the stars and you know that you are a tiny speck of universal belly button lint, no doubt. we don't have enough awe in our lives.

man i always start a song with a melody and a bass line that I like. then I record first take vocals, just bass and a kick/snare. Then I take a few weeks adding about 30 tracks of whatever. Then I take a real shot at the vocals, matching the phrasing to the instrumentation. Then I take another couple weeks and just start deleting things here and there to accentuate the phrasing whenever i get a chance so that i'm always hearing it with new ears. Then the last, real shot at the vocals. And if I don't like it then I scrap it and if it feels right then I send it to you and dorsey for feedback. Then dorsey sends back some witty comments and you forget that I sent it to you until I post it on MJ. you know, you need to get in touch with what's important in life. Raising a family, going to school, whatever - that's the kind of life experience that will always be around. Giving me feedback on my songs - that's the stuff of a life richly lived. Get your priorities in order man.
Check out my latest song called The Double Helix
Skunkwrx said 1545 days ago (November 25th, 2013)
Horse, Horse, Tiger, Tiger (The Wolverine Song)
Part new-wave story-ditty to classic rock to deeper darker rock anthem to Brian Nelson Pet Sounds to a cappella sonic landscape. Really ambitious and well executed. Takes active listening and participation in the journey. Really complex. This will take some repeated listens. Thanks!

Check out my latest song called Piezo
davisamerica said 1545 days ago (November 25th, 2013)
knocked out crazy
... you sir rock.
Check out my latest song called ok char2(Vic and Flatrock mix)
davisamerica2 said 1545 days ago (November 25th, 2013)
Horses and Tigers
They are fun to paint, but I guess we should pull back when we near life-like perfection. I'll pay for the horse, but wouldn't want to feed the tiger. There is so much in this song, I can see I'll have to return again and again until I've gleaned the last morsel. A download is a must, and thanks.
Check out my latest song called Road to Yourself/with Abandon Style
egobandit said 1543 days ago (November 27th, 2013)
a crackle and hum
like the change when you start singing you let the animal out cool art by 5 extra
btw I get it cool song!
Check out my latest song called Twilight Time
Vic Holman said 1541 days ago (November 29th, 2013)
horse tiger
stunning tune craig. so nicely layered and planned out. the acapella section is a nice addition to a already great tune
Check out my latest song called Artist
PeterB7858 said 1541 days ago (November 29th, 2013)
Horse, Horse, Tiger, Tiger
Alright, I am not a comic-book fan, Craig, but your music is always so interesting and well put together that I had to drop in spite of the title. And you haven't disappointed! A really cool track that is unique and musically satisfying. Thanks, Peter.
Check out my latest song called The Wings To Fly
kingbee said 1538 days ago (December 3rd, 2013)
tiger tiger
I thought it was going to be about Tai Chi or something...not Wolverine
Interesting angle and layout in song construction.
Never boring.
Mix a tiny bit low in volume levels.
Good artwork by Extra Arms too

Check out my latest song called No expense spared
Relic67 said 1511 days ago (December 30th, 2013)
another catchy one, enjoyed the arrangement, my favourite part is the wah sounding instrument (?guitar) that comes in at 1:24. very hooky.
wonderful lyrics esp about the whiskey jack and the mouse.
took me a while to get to this one but i'm glad i did!
Check out my latest song called Dead Archive
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Tempie is the 00's equivalent of an 80's Tascam four track project, started in 2002. For-fun D.I.Y. pop influenced by 60's Teen Scene, 70's AM country, and 80's pop. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Tempie-Sound/107862485916036?ref=t... [see more]

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