Distressed home
The distressed jeans of Ramones
Pre-distressed jeans
Naturally distressed wood
Unnaturally distressed guitar




I’m thinking about the methodology of music-making on this blog. The way of sending acoustic melodic playing through the blender.

Does it add authenticity or take it away? What are my motivations? To be more authentic than I really am?

Emotionally it adds distance. The mix is reticent.

Sonically it adds complexity. It makes more out of the limited supply of sounds in the source recordings.


I distress my sounds a lot. I do it because I distrust them.

Paint in distress
Damsel in distress

I would like to make a sound in distress.


She was 29 when the cancer she had beaten at 18 came back.


MP3: https://playingintongues.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Missing.mp3

The samples on this came from contributors to Freesound. They are the same as for Comrade Pas Belle-Mere. See https://playingintongues.com/colophon/#comrade. I did a bad job of linking back to each source page. Instead, I just took a screen shot. Eventually I intend to fix that.


My not-exactly-stepmother and I embraced, maybe for the last time, and I said: “goodbye, comrade.” At the last possible moment, I had found a title for my father’s girlfriend of 42 years, someone whose formal relationship with me was never clear.

Download MP3

Thanks to all the Freesound people who made the samples I used. See the colophon to learn about them, and for sheet music.

I don’t suppose I’ll be back here, daddy


My mom and aunt and uncle and brother and I were just done burying my grandfather.

We were in North Carolina, where my grandfather lived and died. The cemetery had dug a hole a couple feet deep and left us to do the ceremony. We took the plastic bag of ashes from the crematorium out of the cardboard box and laid it in the hole. We used our hands to shovel dirt over the bag. The dirt was wet red clay.

There was no other reason for us to be in that part of the country. My mom and aunt had moved away after high school, and my grandmother had died ten years before, leaving my grandfather to have a fling with her sweeter-tempered rival at long last.

When the bag was covered we stood back. My mom said to the pit “Goodbye, Daddy. I don’t suppose I’ll be back here again.”

And she was right. Dirt is just dirt. Move along.

His name was Edward Scheidt.

Youtube: https://youtu.be/1pP2MkUl3vI

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/playing-in-tongues/i-dont-suppose-ill-be-back-here-daddy

Thanks and praise to Soil Science, InspectorJ (also), Motion_S, Trebblofang, kwahmah_02, GameramPC, GowlerMusic. And Moonglow!