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Hold On (w/ Komrade K)


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Description
This is the 8th track from my new album released on The Lost Records label, A BIT OF LIGHT. It features hip fiddling by Martyn Kember-Smith, alias Komrade K. This is a slight departure for more, both stylistically and lyrically. I think its why Neil thought the album had a "Dave Matthews vibe."

Many thanks to Martyn, I enjoyed mixing in his great playing. Other tracks featuring Komrade K: Can't Complain.

A BIT OF LIGHT is progressive folk fusion, a mixture of rock, jazz, folk and prog. The packaging is by Alimar, other MJ contributers musically are: McBoy, TEXASFEEL (John Luper), Thoddi (Thor Oliverson), bbarner (Bill Barner) and other NYC friends, including the excellent jazz sax player Donny McCaslin. I'm really happy with the results.

This track was remastered and appears on my 2007 release, A Bit Of Light, available through CDBaby.
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Lyrics
Hold On (to the thread of love)

Drive down the road to the Morse code
of the taxi horns, in my crown of thorns
dripping golden blood... if I only could
I’d be rich today. I’d be rich today.

See lovers kiss, speak private bliss;
I walk away, no words to say
out from these lips... if just one slipped
I’d be rich today. I’d be rich today.

Kids in the park, fresh off the ark,
too young to know how hard it goes
for those who try just to stay dry.
If I only knew why, I’d be rich today.

Hold on, hold on, hold on
to the thread of love.
Hold on, hold on, hold on
to the residue of living.

Sex sells, sex kills, sex wells up and nearly fills you
then slips from your hands, and you wonder,
What is this sticky mess? What is this sticky mess?

Freedom sells, freedom kills, freedom wells up
and nearly fills you then slips from your hands,
and you wonder, What is this bloody mess?
You look back and wonder,
What is this bloody mess? Yeah, cuz you know

Winning sells, winners kill, winning wells up and nearly fills you then slips from your hands,
and you wonder, What is this sweaty mess
pooled all around you? What is this sweaty mess?

But still you
Hold on, hold on, hold on
to the residue of success.

Drive down the road.
Don’t feel the cold.
Don’t fix the blame.
Don’t speak the name.
Just do your best,
Let go the rest, and try to

Hold on, hold on, hold on
to the thread of love.
Hold on, hold on, hold on
to the residue of life.

Hold on, hold on, hold on
to the thread of love.
Hold on, hold on, hold on
to the residue of living.

©2007 Tobin James Mueller
Song Stats
Hits: 5399
Comments: 47
Fans: 23
Plays: 321
Downloads: 166
Votes: 17
Uploaded: Oct 05, 2007 - 02:23:42 PM
Last Updated: Apr 13, 2010 - 08:03:16 AM Last Played: Mar 21, 2017 - 11:13:36 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-ShareAlike

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Violin: Martyn Kember-Smith
Vocals: Tobin Mueller, all other instruments
Software:
KK uses GB, I think
Comments
Scott Carmichael said 3697 days ago (October 5th, 2007)
a melting pot of influences
there is so much going on here... It is much like an old "Yes" release, in that, it may take several listens before the whole thing sinks in... I love the relaxed almost conversational vocal delivery, although I recognise your voice, itseems your doing something new... the harmonies are dead on... I would consider carving out a notch for them to sit it (EQ) so they don't take up the same space as the lead vocal.. alll the vocals together kind of overwelm the sound scape... No clipping though... nothing like that... the POWER when you sing "hold on" is very like a horn section....

I appreciate the work that went into the lyric too... your not just throwing rhymes out there... but well crafted and thought out lyrics... that skirt around the subject as you paint the abstract...

your work is always note worthy
Check out my latest song called Dogwood
TobinMueller said 3697 days ago (October 5th, 2007)
Busy street scene
I wanted to create the sense of a busy city street, the chaos of traffic and crosswalks and too many thoughts, layered memories and worries and tomorrows and distractions. I wanted my vocals to get swamped, metaphorically; the violin too; yet occasionally pierce thru, like momentary (and temporary) insight. Very cool that you thought the vocals were like horns, I was actually going for a trombone section feel to balance the trumpet. Thanks for your careful listens and thoughtful words.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
thoddi said 3697 days ago (October 5th, 2007)
timing
If anyone has it... you know exactly how to keep a tune interesting all the way.

This is very pro done. Production, performance, everything. Cool fiddle Komrade, and good placement in the mix.

And timing... did I mention that? That is something I think of as a thing that seperates the pro from the amateur, the cool from the naive, and so on. You have great timing:)

I'm not a too big a fan of the midi/synth substitute sounds of brass instruments... But then again they act as a temporal object, placing this song in time.
Check out my latest song called The King has left
TobinMueller said 3677 days ago (October 25th, 2007)
Layered trumpet
Thanks for your comments about timing and subtle additions. I appreciate when people notice the little details. I layered the midi trumpet so that I like it now, even tho I too didn't like the midi muted trumpet at first. I'd wanted to have a real player redo that part, but when that fell thru, the layered horns (Symphonic Instrument from MOTU) had an urban feel that worked for me. I think I used 3 different horn patches, panned, to create a trumpet I liked.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Feter said 3697 days ago (October 5th, 2007)
Hold On
you realy hold an incredible way to orchestrate
and arrange your songs to sound anything you want
the street and sunny and full of action and all
look rundom but very rethymic .. always impressed
by KK fiddlin ..he s the man with this ..KUDOS !!
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
thetiler said 3697 days ago (October 5th, 2007)
Cool jazz, Tobin style!
"I wanted to create the sense of a busy city street, the chaos of traffic and crosswalks and too many thoughts".

love the busy concept of this as you mentioned so well. Nice stuff. Great ending too!

WAy to go!
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
TobinMueller said 3033 days ago (July 30th, 2009)
Crazy Story
Thanks. I also do this with another song posted here: CRAZY STORY.
http://www.macjams.com/song/21974
Please check out this busy street concept too.
I wish I had a video of HOLD ON with me walking down the street singing. Always wanted to do something like that.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Godchaser said 3697 days ago (October 5th, 2007)
Much to take...
in and much to take away.So much coming at the listener here that one pass just will not suffice.I just love the synth and violin passes that weave in and out from start to finish.Their strikes meshing with and punctuating the fine vocal work is great stuff.A quality and a feat I always admired Peter Gabriel for.Plenty of fine playing,production and surprises throughout this piece make for a nice listening experience.Thanks for sharing the gift!

Blessings,
Check out my latest song called sOur GrapEs
TobinMueller said 3098 days ago (May 26th, 2009)
...weave
Thanks for noticing the weave of of violin and synth hits, like Peter Gabriel pushes and pulls. I think the trumpet lines are my favorite weavings, and the violin flares outside the groove.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 3697 days ago (October 5th, 2007)
Hey now
Yes, there is lot going on here. Maybe too much happening with the bass and deep ceramic drum. They are fighting the higher harmonics.

The vocals and vocal harmonies are good. I love that violin of MKS. Awesome.
peacepiano said 3697 days ago (October 5th, 2007)
RIch
I like the rich sound. Your synth dynamics and intonation are a good match for Komrade K's violin. The vocal style is really cool.


Thanks
Bill
Check out my latest song called Beat SoloMe-O
buckhorn said 3697 days ago (October 6th, 2007)
Sorry Mr Mueller
I'm too ignorant to comment on this in a meaningful way, but I like your singing here alot. I can't exactly put my my finger on why. Perhaps you sound totally uninhibited in this performance? Any how It sounds good.
Regards
Check out my latest song called when you smile
TobinMueller said 3098 days ago (May 26th, 2009)
Lyrics determined vocals
I rarely write lyrics with this sort of contemporary edge, so I needed to sing in a way that went along with them. Kind of a talk-singing and then head thrown back chorus thing. I tried to create slight changes in the rhythmic chatter through changing the speed of my enunciation, if that makes sense. I'm glad you liked it. I always imagine how much better my songs would sound if someone else would sing them...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
echoroom said 3697 days ago (October 6th, 2007)
Massive
As Scoyy says, so much here, and I've been playing the album and it's all this good. Great melodies, fantastic off kilt lyrics, wonderful production. The chorus refrain has been in my head for 2 weeks ... great work.

Check out my latest song called Heaven is Waiting
TobinMueller said 3098 days ago (May 26th, 2009)
"The chorus refrain has been in my head for 2 weeks"
Way cool. Thanks for plugging the whole CD, too. It is still available on CDBaby. (Search: Tobin Mueller.)
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 3697 days ago (October 6th, 2007)
HOLD ON !!
A song full of energy, there are many great sounds here Mr. Tobin, the beats so cool and i'm enjoying your vocal here very much ! Thanks for sharing, draw a big smile

Take Care
==============
Yeman Auf Al-Rawi
BranDaMan said 3696 days ago (October 6th, 2007)
what a...
top notch collab here! Great production. Great songwriting. Everything comes together for a magnificent display of musicianship. Wonderful concepts here.
Check out my latest song called Giving Up (Instrumental)
paul f. page said 3696 days ago (October 6th, 2007)
The range...
...of your compos is amazig. Here's another beautifully orchestrated and mixed number. Enjoyed he energy throughout...To my ears/taste, the fiddle is a distraction, but I love the brass and the esp. the mantra-like "hold on" throughout. Counterpoint is cool, too, with every voice clear. You've got your levels right, Tobin, so that nothing gets buried or lost in the whole. ... "Hold on...!" last measure: struck me too abruptly. This seems like one of those "fade out" numbers rather than a "this is it" tune. But, hey" De gustibus non disputandum est." My thoughts notwithstanding, this is 10s all the way. Great listen.
Peace.
Paul
Check out my latest song called Invention No. 76
TobinMueller said 3677 days ago (October 25th, 2007)
The end
I played that end over and over, considered a fade, but I rarely like fades and decided I liked this better (an ending I added after my first draft didn't have it, by the way). Fades are awkward live, and I imagine all these songs performed on stage. There were originally 3 repetitions of the ending chorus and I cut the middle one (after KK played all 3), which was a touchy editing moment. It's hard to decide to be done with a track. I'm glad this is out as a CD... I can't mess with them any more!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
J.A.Stewart said 3696 days ago (October 6th, 2007)
Very Hip!
Very cool, Tobin.

This has a great feel and vibe to it.

Scott and I were of similar minds, but reading your response to his initial comments I would say the vocal parts where the harmonies come in should stay put, but I think the lead vocal should come up in the mix where it stands on its own. The lyrical message deserves a fighting chance in the mix. Perhaps that would even be an interesting way to approach the audio mix... to ride the gain on the lead vocal... as if it is screaming out to be heard above the cacophony of the city. ;)

--- Joe
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
TobinMueller said 3695 days ago (October 7th, 2007)
Buried in the traffic
I agree about the vocals. This is one of those tracks that survived as a draft mix CD I burned, and then I lost 2 drives in one week and all the pieced were gone. So I overdubbed new singing to certain sections, which necessarily created a phasing or chorused effect on those vocal lines. Certain lines I wanted solo, un-doubled, but they were forever too soft, unless I restarted from scratch, which would have been to painful. So I rationalize it all with imagery and a desire for variation. (I did imagine the singer driving thru traffic: I thought this song up while in a taxi.) Also, if I liked my voice better, I'd be more apt to push the levels, but I cringe when I hear myself, most days. Thanks for your comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Stun Nutz said 3696 days ago (October 6th, 2007)
zaggedy jig
Such an interesting blend of prog-folk funk jazz here... I like the spoken word/rap style delivery of the lyrics. Speaking of lyrics... you had me reading them, which I don't normally do! My favorite part was where you tied in the three concepts of sex, freedon, and winning. Great violin as usual, Komrade K!
Check out my latest song called stagnation
TobinMueller said 3677 days ago (October 25th, 2007)
Speak singing
I tried to utilize a more melodic line for the verse, which I actually had in mind, originally, but I was unable to bring the text alive tat way and eventually abandoned it in favor of what I ended up with. Funny how the meaning of a piece dictates to you, a life of its own.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
said 3696 days ago (October 6th, 2007)
Building up

This is very rich . I separate the song from the orchestration .
I hear one part : the song with the bass ,drums , rythmic sounds ,and the vocals . This part is very good in itself .
Then I hear 2 instruments played nearly all along the song from the start . I think they should come later , and not together . Or they could be used to generate more contrasts , more progression in the building of the song .
It's only my taste .
This is a very original music/song I enjoyed a lot listening .
ziti said 3696 days ago (October 6th, 2007)
more great
and original TOBINTUNES....you have a sound and style that ties all your work together, no matter how many different directions you go in.

much respect

z
Check out my latest song called The Viconian Cyclist
michael2 said 3696 days ago (October 6th, 2007)
very cool
almost reminiscent of Howard Jones, love the violin and the vocals laid atop the 80's horns and synth stabs. very cool tune.
Check out my latest song called Jazz Glitch Dub Experiment
TobinMueller said 3695 days ago (October 7th, 2007)
Howard Jones
I remember seeing a solo Howard Jones concert on MTV, back when they specialized in whole concerts (early 80s), and he blew me away. So cool how he set up grooves on one synth then traveled to the next and added on. I get the comparison, thanks. I wonder what ever happened to him?
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
jiguma said 3696 days ago (October 6th, 2007)
One of my fav tracks ..
.. on the CD Tobin. Martyn plays beautifully, and the whole thing sounds so well produced. I get a Talking Heads meets Yes vibe, with some jazz thrown in - all good.
Neil.
Check out my latest song called We End Up Being All The Same (42)
TobinMueller said 3695 days ago (October 7th, 2007)
Talking Heads meet Yes
Totally cool, Talking Heads meets Yes. I always loved the way Sting incorporated the jazz stylings of Branford Marsalis. That was what I was going for here, with Dave Matthews thrown in, with a Paul Simon kind of talk-melody running thru like s-o-c commentary. I'm really glad you liked this track. It was actually a track I wasn't going to add to the CD until Martyn came up with his fiddle that made me rework the vocals, add some organ, thus tweaking the mix in a way that pleased me. Sometimes it takes collaboration to make a piece gel.

Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
djdrshaman said 3696 days ago (October 7th, 2007)
cool fusion art
your music really cannot be categorized. the lyrics are amazingly deep - reads like poetry - and can stand as poetry without the music. this song has a strong social conscience, and the blend of several styles testifies to a universal trend towards synchronization - one that makes isolation all the more pronounced.
Check out my latest song called The Stoning
TobinMueller said 3695 days ago (October 7th, 2007)
Social conscience
Thanks for mentioning how difficult it is to categorize my music. I try to blend styles with a smidgeon of originality to create something not quite heard before. Altho I consciously try to do that, I also hope that when I unconsciously let myself create in an honest way, it comes out like that naturally. (One hates to think of oneself as an imitative soul.)

That the lyrics read like poetry is also something I try for, so thanks again. The social conscience, and the blend of several styles testifying to a "universal trend towards synchronization" making the "isolation more pronounced" is something I never consciously thought of, but I see you point, totally. It is what I appreciate in others when they are merely trying to say something personal yet it resonates with me. That's why I wanted to set the piece inside a taxi, to heighten the sense of isolation, which is always how I feel when I'm in one. Apart in so many ways. I really appreciate your comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Komrade K said 3693 days ago (October 9th, 2007)
Hip?
Never seen my fiddle playing described as hip before but I think I could get to like it! I really liked this track when I first heard it and I remember wondering how I could get the fiddle to work with it coz my sound tends to be quite raw (I'm not a classically trained player). Anyway I had a go and I'm really pleased with the final result (like the effect you've put on the fiddle too what is it?) Staggered that the fiddle changed your approach to the song (fresh vox and all)!

KK

---
Latest track: <a href="http://www.macjams.com/song/35136"> Lakes of Cool Flynn </a>
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
Komrade K said 3693 days ago (October 9th, 2007)
Whoops!
Meant to add my previous comment after your previous comment - might make more sense then.

Also just wanted to add how much I liked the lyrics - I go for that stream of consciousness approach - emotionally brave. The 'singer' seems bewildered and overwhelmed but somehow the will to live carries them along.

KK

---
Latest track: <a href="http://www.macjams.com/song/35136"> Lakes of Cool Flynn </a>
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
TobinMueller said 3677 days ago (October 25th, 2007)
Singing as a character
Thanks for your comments about singing from a point of view, like a character, as opposed to always singing as yourself. Of course, it is an aspect of self, and "emotional bravery" is an element of that. I am often bewildered and overwhelmed but have momentum and optimism and sense of self that transcends, or I've been able to so far. I love the words you chose.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
lengold said 3694 days ago (October 8th, 2007)
Absolutely
fantastic lyrics. I love this - so much to listen to. As said above needs to be heard a few times to be able to grasp it all.
Cheers
Len


Check out my latest song called Decent Girl
TobinMueller said 2763 days ago (April 26th, 2010)
fantastic lyric
Thanks. I was in a groove creating lyrics on the go one song after another when I wrote this one. I've always liked these. I like the way they build from stanza to stanza. I appreciate your comments.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
DWL said 3694 days ago (October 8th, 2007)
David Byrne meets errr .. Tobin?
A complex arrangement that need a few listens to fully appreciate the way this works on different levels.

A powerful and interesting piece both lyrically and musically with my only nit being that synth sound that seems to go right through the song. Less would be more in this case.

Cheers

Dick


Check out my latest song called This Empire's State
mikkinylund said 3694 days ago (October 8th, 2007)
Very good and very much a surprise
I've been away for some time, not a long-long time, but long enough to come back to find musical treasures such as this one. I was quite baffled at the first listening. Did not sound Tobin, did not sound Komrade, did not actually sound like a mix of the two, but something different. This is first of all a very good composition, catchy, good vocals, good refrain etc.
The lyrics are bold, asking for an answer, or at the very least a contribution/participation. Musically I hear influences from Africa, but also Latin America (and Britain), which may make this song so unique. I think you managed to put things together - on purpose or not - and the pieces just fit like a puzzle. This song had many layers to it, every time I am listening to it something new occures.. /M
Check out my latest song called Rune XV
TobinMueller said 3677 days ago (October 25th, 2007)
Influences
Thanks for your return listening. Yes, influences from all over combining with a collaborative effort that doesn't really resemble anything either KK or I have done before. Thanks for noticing. I think that's one of the coolest things about working with others, how they both make your music into something new and make your performance into something fresh.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Mcboy said 3694 days ago (October 9th, 2007)
from
the taxi horns to the rap....a unique track...change of pace from what i usually hear from u..a touch of david byrne....but all u....the violin sits great in the mix.....love the energy on this one!!!!
p.s. thanks for the two CD's....just got them tonight...back in town....i'll be listening to "a bit of light"......
Check out my latest song called Bluesphemy (MJRF 2010)
guitapick said 3693 days ago (October 9th, 2007)
Polyrhythms...
...syncopations...masterful. Love the way they blend and move away. Like clouds and crowds...

Big fan of the violin...KK's a great touch...

"What is this bloody mess...", indeed...

I shall continue to hold on...great tune, Tobin...
Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
Ibstrat said 3677 days ago (October 25th, 2007)
Really cool
Very original.Nice mix of styles.Enjoyed very much!
Check out my latest song called What the
lavalamp said 3665 days ago (November 6th, 2007)
Feeling of the city
Think you captured the feeling of the city in this one with the jazzy-rock vibe. Very pro-quality.
I think the lyrics are some of the strongest I've seen on this site, and lyrics seemed to be a little underrated here at this site. To much importance is placed on production quality (although I think that's also important).
Also, thanks for commenting on my latest.
Dave
Check out my latest song called The Shallow People
TobinMueller said 3263 days ago (December 12th, 2008)
Feeling the City
Thanks. I was really trying to capture the feeling of walking quickly, obsessively over the city sidewalk pavement... and of being in an apartment with the buzz and rhythm of the pavement still inside my head. Thanks for noticing that.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
omnibus11 said 3640 days ago (December 1st, 2007)
ok
I don't know why but this reminds me of something.....that's not a bad thing I just can't put me little finger on what it is....nice clean sound.....dig the backing vocals that pop in and out.....the fiddle/violin part is a really nice and classy touch as well....good lyrical content with a great bouncing groove to dance to....good job....peace


Check out my latest song called Silver Light
TobinMueller said 3263 days ago (December 12th, 2008)
"You can dance to it"
I always wanted someone to say that about one of my songs! Makes me feel like I'm on bandstand. Thanks for making me smile... and for listening.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
davisamerica said 2776 days ago (April 13th, 2010)
Yep
... a bit of Dave Matthews indeed. Needed a quick pick me up and you always deliever ... thanks for the download
Check out my latest song called ok char2(Vic and Flatrock mix)
Artist Info
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Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
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I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

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The terms alternative rock and alternative music[1] were coined in the early 1980s to describe punk rock-inspired music genres which didn't fit into the mainstream genres of the time. At times it was used as catch-all phrase for rock music from under

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