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You Have to Care/ “The Cloud”

[wolf_playlist id=”1607″]

Why “You Have to Care” (by Natalie)

The brainstorming session for our album title was a perfect example of how our band works. We all shouted out ideas that built off of each other, with Jeanne adding in increasingly profane options, Teresa loving the most nerd-ily creative and punny, and Rebecca reeling in embarrassment at both. We all got very involved with the possibility of the album title being an anagram of “Kathy Bates” such as “A Tab The Sky,” and “That Ask By” (check out for hours of fun). We all love Kathy Bates, but we knew we couldn’t call the album Kathy Bates, because no one wants a lawsuit from Kathy Bates… although it would be good for publicity…  So, none of the anagrams quite worked, and we moved on. Rebecca loved “Markers Before Erasers,” and I have to admit that one had me for a minute. Jeanne wanted “Thunderclap,” because it could reference a storm AND the sound of thighs clapping, all in one swoop. Go figure.

I was dedicated to the idea that our album title should be a song lyric from the record, and one that also captured the essence of our band. Our band is not cool. We are not cool because, well, we care. And somewhere along the way (maybe forever?), not caring became cool. This band arrives to shows on time (even when we try to be fashionably late, we’re always there first, wtf??), we say please and thank you to the soundpeople, and we try to stick around for the next band. I have recently become disillusioned with a cultural and musical trend that seems to exalt apathy. “Hey whatever, I don’t care about you, I don’t care about your feelings, and shit, man! I’m cool.” I loved the idea of using the lyric “you have to care,” because it comes from the last song “The Cloud,” and it’s not super obvious where it comes from.

I like the idea because it’s telling someone to do something (which I like to do), and that something is caring. And you just can’t force someone to care. But you know what? We’re going to tell you to do it anyways. And while you’re at it, why don’t you care about our band? Can we make you care by making it our album title?? And lastly, there are so many things that we care about as a band. Feminism. Equality. Girls Rock Camp. Ladies Rock Camp. Stories. Collaboration. Personal Growth. MUSIC. Empowerment. So, even when we try not to care, we have to care. And so do you, because we said so.

Background of “The Cloud” (by Teresa)

I worked at a consulting company over the summer of 2010 between my first and second year in business school. As an intern in their marketing department, I spent a lot of time writing up case studies about cloud computing / Microsoft Azure and Sharepoint migration. When I looked at other case studies that our company had written, I found myself reading them, re-reading them, and re-reading them yet again in an effort to find actual content. “The cloud” is the perfect metaphor for this kind of marketing speak. I can’t touch it, it’s constantly changing shape, and I can’t prove that it’s real.

We’re building cities in the clouds
Like 1,2,3
Where superman is just a guy
We’re lightning speed

After spending two years in b-school and a summer doing marketing for a consulting company, I am very sensitive about meaningless business lingo. Business zombies say, “leverage your assets” and their zombie friends nod in agreement as if something of substance was stated. It’s lazy. I think people like the cloud because everybody’s supposed to like the cloud. Nobody knows what it is, but it will magically rain money.

I’ve got a tool that you can use
To synergize
It will increase your processes
They’ll multiply

I love the way Natalie sings the lyrics in the verses. I asked her to emulate the queen in Snow White, who is elegant, powerful, captivating, and EVIL. She played the part beautifully. “Why won’t you join us in the sky?” Isn’t her voice just tempting and beautiful? But people! Do not fall into that trap!!

When we named the album, “You Have to Care,” I had to divorce the meaning of the album title from the meaning in this song. I would often have this conversation with myself during my job, while taking the GMAT, etc:

Teresa: I don’t care
Teresa: You have to care
Teresa: I don’t care
Teresa: You have to care

And the truth is, when it comes to Microsoft Azure or the Adobe Creative Cloud, I don’t care. And I don’t have to care.

In other contexts, the album title does have meaning. You do have to care… about the real things in life. You can read Nat’s blog post about why “You Have to Care” is the 2012 APC mantra (see above).

Nat is also jumping in right now to add a few things about musical background of The Cloud:

1. This song started off as us trying to be/write like PJ Harvey. Currently we have started writing about 10 songs that have the working title of “PJ Harvey,” and we are completely confusing ourselves. “This is the PJ Harvey one, right?” “Yeah!” “Oh wait, not THAT PJ Harvey one, or that one, but the other one!” It’s comical.  

2. There are two drum kits playing during the bridge/whacked out part. David (who recorded us) instructed Rebecca to wail on the drums as if she were playing them like a 9 year old. It was an amazing sight, and now you get to have the sound, too 🙂

3. Teresa and I recorded our back and forth vocals (I don’t care/you have to care) at the same time. The last time we do it on the track, I was supposed to come in with one more YOU HAVE TO CARE, but I didn’t/couldn’t. I was cracking up at Teresa, who was screaming her lungs out to a degree that had all of us on the floor. We decided to keep it that way because the take was so good. So when you’re listening, imagine me saying “you have to care” one more time, as it was originally intended. 

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