Melissa Etheridge’s eponymous first album was kind of brilliant. There are a lot of terrific, crunchy songs on it, just as much fun to play as they are to hear. The jam band I play with actually got some of its start playing “Bring Me Some Water,” which just rocks the hell right along. I’ve always wanted to try to cover some of these songs, and the fact that my left hand is just trashed right now (violin practice for a musical + lots of practice and playing time on my ol’ monster Epiphone = a pretty bad left hand) gave me the perfect excuse to try one: an intriguing a capella bit called “Occasionally,” which she apparently wrote while driving her car and beating out a rhythm on the steering wheel. It’s a regular feature of her live shows (or it was, anyway, for a number of years), and it’s still a really striking piece of singing. It was a cool song to cover!
I am not as cool as Melissa Etheridge. Sadly, I cannot chew gum and walk at the same time, musically speaking — I can’t tap that rhythm out and sing at the same time. So pathetic! So I didn’t. I banged away on the back of my Epiphone (revenge for its tendency to tear up my hands) and then recorded the vocal separately. It occurred to me that it might be cool, visually speaking, to get video of nothing but the percussion, so that’s what I did, running in photo-negative. I kind of like the effect.