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"Make Em Purr" official video
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21577
"Make Em Purr" official video  Reply with quote  

http://youtu.be/bjxHy8WTgTs





I wanted to share some of the song's backstory. It's been one of the most discussed songs from the new album, and the most popular question I get asked on tour is, "How's your cat, man?" If you haven't heard it yet, here's a link:
http://strangefamousrecords.bandcamp.com/track/make-em-purr

"Make Em Purr" didn't even exist until a day before my final recording session. In fact, I considered the whole album to be finished save for one legal issue I had with "Thank You." Out of fear that I wouldn't be able to use the original music, I harassed a bunch of producers to see if they could come up with something totally new. Buck 65 is the main superhero who leapt into action to save the Francis in distress, bless his kind Canadian heart. He sent me several great beats, but none of them worked quite right for "Thank You". The last beat he sent me was too somber sounding for for it -- but the sad piano, pulsating low notes, sparse percussion and stripped-down feel of the music…it all hit me in a very particular way. It inspired me to write. I told Buck that I'd have a new song for him to hear the next day.

Up until that point I thought that I had said everything that needed to be said on the album. I was very wrong about that, and I'm grateful I figured this out before it was too late. Although many parts of Copper Gone touch upon the grief, depression, solitude, and disappointment that I've experienced in the past few years, along with the efforts being made to push forward, I had yet to speak about what I was dealing with in a plain manner. I've become very guarded as a person and as an artist over the past 15 years (and, in my own defense, with good reason.) Although that shit can protect you from the wolves, it can also hinder your relationships as well as your art and well being. The goal was not to write about cats, illness, or anything in particular. I simply played the beat on a continuous loop, put my pen to the paper and transcribed an inner-debate I was having. I started the song off with a stark naked truth and let the rest of it fold out from there:

"I was a lot more comfortable being vulnerable and open,
When I was younger and it wasn't clear if I was or wasn't joking.
But so much has broken…I'm just like fuck it, the fix is in.
If I can't hide in plain site anymore, I'll just stay hidden."

At that point in the writing process the entire spirit of the song basically took shape, and I kept writing until I landed on the final four lines of the song:

"My 20's were a roar.
My 30's were a blur.
My 40's, I'm not so sure…
but I'm a make em purr."

That was that. Though there wasn't any time to make revisions, there wasn't really any need. It encapsulated everything I was feeling and thinking at that very moment, which was at the tail end of shitty period in my life. I stepped into my studio, recorded the vocals, sent it over to Buck and let him put the finishing touches on the arrangement. I can hardly believe that Copper Gone was almost released without this song on it. I believe it elucidates the meaning of so many other lyrics on the album, and without this song I wouldn't feel as proud as I am of the entire project. So, again, many thanks to Buck for helping make this happen and a major salute to my lucky stars.

Lastly, contrary to what some reviewers have ascertained, this song is not *about* cats. However, if the main thing you get out of it is that I almost gave up all hope due to a dying pet, and you can relate to that situation on some level, that's good enough for me.

The cat is doing great, btw.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Shirts available now:
www.tinyurl.com/MakeEmPurrShirt


Last edited by Sage Francis on Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:59 pm; edited 5 times in total
Post Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:47 pm
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Neuro
A champion of Kurtis SP


Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 7776
 Reply with quote  

aupheus animation?!?
Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:11 am
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T-Wrex
p00ny tang


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 6402
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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Your tortoise shell cat reminds me of mine.

Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:10 am
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Jesus Frank



Joined: 12 Jul 2002
Posts: 2312
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
 Reply with quote  

Nice to read your clarity of mind about the song and its placement on the album, Sage. It definitely seeps into the other songs and raises all the stakes. Then the switch into "Vonnegut Busy" immediately after, that sequence encapsulates the show of strength that the album is perfectly.
Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:16 am
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Limbs



Joined: 04 Feb 2011
Posts: 902
 Reply with quote  

It really is incredible you even considered this album done without this song. I think you said it, it's the fucking linchpin. I can't get over that.

I felt the "best sage album" stuff was too quick to judge but man they might be right. It's perfectly executed. It's a perfect album and it's unimaginable how it would work without make em purr.

Personal Journals remains my favorite tho.
Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:08 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21577
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Limbs wrote:
It really is incredible you even considered this album done without this song. I think you said it, it's the fucking linchpin. I can't get over that.


Sometimes it takes an incredibly strenuous circumstance to make you realize how the fuck everything fits together. I thank my lucky stars for that.

"Best of Times" was created in a similar way, as it was written one day before the final recording session, but I don't think it tied the whole project together. In that instance I'm just glad that the "producer" didn't have the opportunity to fuck it up by having all of the music replayed in a totally different way. But you didn't hear that from me.
Post Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:04 pm
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Limbs



Joined: 04 Feb 2011
Posts: 902
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I remember you said ode to 2005 set off the creation of HTDD and make em purr feels like that for this album. Not the linchpin but the setting.

I like imagining you talking to your mom about your house falling apart and she says "knock it down, Paul".
Post Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:54 am
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21577
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Heh. She's said that a few times.
Post Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:00 am
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Bring that Beat Back



Joined: 20 Mar 2007
Posts: 854
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Not that I haven't loved you forever but THIS song...<3 u

Post Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:39 pm
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MYOWNCLICHE



Joined: 25 Jan 2004
Posts: 3886
Location: In side YOUR head
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Love, Love, Love This and You!
This album is one of my favorites..it's so you :)
Post Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:46 pm
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DeadAwake



Joined: 17 Feb 2007
Posts: 575
Location: Aus.
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I feel i will be parroting and probably misinterpreting, but here is what arose me in relation to this song and what has been said about it according to my current level of understanding.

The form of exposition definitely preserves the flavour of active self-contemplation, so necessary for people in these times of ephemeral, superfluous and expedient thought. There are a few times in my life, of scant quality, when i have sat down and properly reflected on my past and considered the future, which in addition to what has just been said, this song represents to me a kind of self re-evaluation in this vein. But not exactly, i dont think it is entirely a re-evaluation. These contemplation/evaluations have been aroused in me previously due to the cognizance of the shortening of my own life, my nearests, or mortality in general, a kind of intense shock from a roll of strenuous events or from periods of continuous dissatisfaction or a blend of all these aspects. When the music hit you in a particular way it reminds me of how this process requires a special state, a certain friction/tension, for it to unfold in a meaningful way.

Many people fear to be alone, some try to avoid it with determination. But it is a need, at times at least, for self-maintenance but taken to the extreme can lead to oblivion. The other extreme can lead to one confusing the masks one wears for their own face.
Post Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:21 pm
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xGasPricesx



Joined: 23 May 2008
Posts: 1544
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DeadAwake - I think I understand some of what you are trying to say, but you couch your words in so much jargon it's hard to know for sure. I understand the desire to speak eloquently, but at a certain point you are hurting your ability to communicate your thoughts and ideas. I just feel like the way you are phrasing things here is pushing people further away from understanding what you are saying, and I don't think that's your intention.
Post Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:33 am
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DeadAwake



Joined: 17 Feb 2007
Posts: 575
Location: Aus.
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Now that i have re-read that, i can see how the way the words are connected makes it difficult to interpret. What im talking about i dont completely understand myself and cannot be transmitted entirely through words. I imagine everyone has experienced it to some degree, at least whoever is capable of feeling deep dissatisfaction. Which everyone is, but whoever runs from their dissatisfactions blocks themselves from it and on the other hand those who are too 'negative', who think the world owes them something (for instance) block it as well.

Once more, I would describe the phenomena so: "the struggle to be sincere with oneself, recalling what is significant in order to review and re-evaluate, so that things are put in their place clearing a view for the future."

I hope that's better on the side of jargon and ambiguity. That is the best i can do for now to summarize the process (i dont like this word, but it will suffice) the song reminds of, that the song has the flavour of.
Post Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:19 am
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Limbs



Joined: 04 Feb 2011
Posts: 902
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Sage admitting he's going to die on record is unprecedented, no?

"Alone but never lonely" resonates hard with me.
Post Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:02 pm
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Jesus Frank



Joined: 12 Jul 2002
Posts: 2312
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
 Reply with quote  

Good exchange, DeadAwake and xGasPricesx.

I've got to say, I was wary of a video at first but it really works through and through... It has the haunted black/white feel of bad memories but remains warm and grounded enough to not come off like a scary movie. A lot of the literal interpretations work beautifully as well. If I watched the video a few times with no sound and then heard the song to it, it would fit perfect the same way.
Post Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:39 pm
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