the placebo effect

So I was noodling around on Mom's electric guitar last weekend when I went up to Elgin to visit, and came up with the line "I believe in the placebo effect", over a series of E-form chords that sounded bluesy. The line struck me as super cool, and I became determined to write this song and actually finish it. Over the past month or so I've gotten a boatload of first-verse-and-a-chorus fragments that I couldn't figure out how to complete. Maybe the idea's not strong enough to carry a song, maybe I'm not mentally in the right place to finish them--maybe I've just been spending more of my creative energy on other stuff. Who knows. This one, though, turned out pretty well.
I realized, practicing this the day after I wrote it, that it contains not one but two shout-outs to Radiohead songs: where I end and you begin, and I might be wrong. I've changed the tune in those spots accordingly, and it actually fits!:)

If you want an invisible friend
you've got to grow yourself a phone
and listen carefully inside your head
for any voice that's not your own
I say "operator, operator!"
but there's only music on the line
when I start singing on it later
cause it's stuck inside my head, it sounds divine

operator, player to be named later
I'll take whatever, whatever I can get
cause I believe in the placebo effect
I believe in the placebo effect
and it's working for me
working for me
working for me
ain't done yet

when the fear inside me rose up to my neck
I was relieved to be alone
there were just two things I was sure I could expect
to be rejected or be owned
now I know better; I've stopped trying to draw the line
down where I end and you begin
I try to sit back and appreciate
the miracle--we let each other in

come my friend, believe we'll never reach the end
of peace and harmony, love and respect
cause I believe in the placebo effect
I believe in the placebo effect
and it's working for me
working for me
working for me
ain't done yet

fake it till you make it is
a strategy that doesn't get much props
but taking on the world's only pretentious
if you haven't got the chops
no shame in just believing something good
just don't forget, you might be wrong
still every now and then and every now and then
reality will play along

change yourself
grow yourself
no one else
knows yourself

till you rise up, make them lift their eyes up
like the first raindrop that leaves your forehead wet
I believe in the placebo effect
I believe in the placebo effect
cause it's working for me
working for me
working for me
ain't done yet.


Amber E said...

Hello Dear,
Sounds like you are continuing metaphysical pondering. Did you see this month's books being published by Baen? I was checking out the books trying to decide whether or not to buy the webscription and the book The Science Behind the Secret made me think of you because he mentioned that Penrose guy you read once. I can't remember if you liked Penrose and disliked his prose or the other way around. Hope you are having a good day.

Fiat Lex said...

Indeed, indeed! And muah, I am having a good day and hope you are as well! I did like Penrose; I thought his prose a little thick in spots, but this was not entirely unjustified by his subject matter. Which was mostly math. ;) So while he was a bit on the sententious side I was willing to put up with it for the sake of the ideas.

That book looks fun, a little easier to read than Penrose and a little less touchy-feely on the subject than Gary Zukav, who kind of annoyed me the first time I tried to read him so I had to wait awhile and come back to him.

Another good one, which comes at the topic tangentially, is Schneider's "A beginner's guide to constructing the universe". That one I don't remember if you read or not. It rules cause it doesn't delve so much into the weird stuff that makes some authors make crazy-sounding claims with the quantum physics; it's more about numbers themselves and the patterns in nature that show how numbers are used by life. Which is way more useful to know for actually taking advantage of the quantum physics stuff. XD not that the physics people will tell you that. They're more all about, "oo, this is theoretically possible and the math supports it and it's shiny!" Though I spose if they did try to tell you useful tech, they'd be afraid of getting lumped in with those spongy new-agey types who heard about the science and then leaped to a bunch of crazy conclusions and expect people to take their unsupported word that "this is how you do it."

Which is a freaking shame because it seems to me this stuff is like the latest, coolest instance of science advancing sufficiently to include what was once called magic. Stuff which is part of the reality where we live should be studyable with science and careful thought, so people can use it, for good or for awesome!

The Woeful Budgie said...

This is a very cool song. It'd be great to hear it performed. (So when you start touring, lemme know when you're hittin' up the San Francisco area, mkay? :))

Actually, that brings me to something I'd been meaning to ask you (and if I'm bringing up something that's anathema to you as a musician, please forgive me, I plead total ignorance here!) but have you thought about performing your songs as videos and posting them online? Some of my favorite music is stuff I've discovered that way (Pomplamoose and Julia Nunes come to mind)---and they've ended up playing live gigs because of it.

Fiat Lex said...

Heya Woeful,

Aye, I have thought of it. XD Sadly I lack two important things: a camera and a microphone. If I were in possession of a microphone you can bet I'd've found a way to post my mp3s, if not here, then at least on my MySpace. (To which I haven't logged in in like...a year?) I did once have a chance to record a couple tracks, but I was nervous as all get out and I think I sound lame, so no demos for everyone just yet.

If you happen to have spare audio equipment you would send me in the mail, though... :D

The Woeful Budgie said...

If I did, I would totally send it to you. It'd be wasted on the likes of me! :)