Witchka
Words & music by S. J. Tucker
Guitars, bass, vocals, percussion: S. J. Tucker
Cello: Betsy Tinney
Tracked & mixed by Ginger Doss, Eagle Audio USA

"Witchka" is one song that grew to be something entirely other than what inspired it. It started with the words of a small child and ended with the image of a beautiful goth girl/priestess-in-training who's coming of age, stealing hearts as she goes. I wrote it in December 2006, in Ann Arbor Michigan. It was inspired by a story that [info]yuki_onna told me about [info]justbeast 's young niece Nika, and the first time Nika watched Sleeping Beauty. (They had to pry her away from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which she loved for all of its scary parts, such as when the forest attacks the mildly annoying soprano heroine and the owls go for her face.)

I am told that in the Russian language, "-ka" is one of many diminutive suffixes that you can add to a word to make it mean "cute little _________". My friends who speak Russian tell me that you can just keep adding and adding diminutives to a word, one after another, to show affection. (The first time [info]justbeast called me Soojinka, I melted. Still do.) In this case, [info]justbeast 's niece Nika, at the wise age of four or so, looked at Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty's lovely black-and-purple, dragon-making villain, and called her "Witchka". Nika is my heroine, for life.

About the recording:
I never thought I'd go out of my way to buy a tambourine, but I decided I needed one for "Witchka", for lack of a badass drummer with a full kit. In the end, a rock drummer might have been less trouble to find. There I was at a SamAsh store in Tampa Florida, being looked at by the staff as if I'd grown eye stalks and scales because I asked for a tambourine in the key of G or D. "They don't tune tambourines," I was told. So I thanked them and started walking around on my own. I just played with every tambourine in the place until I found one that had a good sparkly sound and was, in fact, tuned close enough to fit a song in the key of G. It didn't actually take very long.
This is part of why I only go into guitar stores when I absolutely must.

"Witchka" was tracked in Texas, Kansas, and Florida. I tracked guitars and most of the vocals in Austin, I tracked the rest of the vocals and all of the percussion in Melbourne Florida (see above story about the tambourine), and I tracked the bass part, along with the bass part for "Neptune", in the stage right green room attached to the concert pavilion at Camp Gaea just outside of Topeka Kansas, during Heartland Pagan Festival. You literally can record just about anywhere these days, thanks to digital recording gear.

Interesting facts:
There's a goth industrial version of this song simmering in my mind, with live drums, gorgeous crunchy beats and
wah pedal guitars, but that will come when I'm not as impatient to get this song out into the world where you can hear it.
People have been asking me to record "Witchka" for over three years now.
When my cohorts and I perform "Witchka" live, it's anyone's guess how many other songs will make cameo appearances
at one point or another before we end "Witchka".
The list so far:
Personal Jesus
Are You Gonna Be My Girl
Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)
The Hand That Feeds

Why? Because they all fit the same tempo and feel, with a little bit of creative license on the part of my bandmates and me. It's a fun game. Modern music is an entertaining thing, even in the details. Also, we are incorrigible music geeks and we're proud of it. I want to thank [info]vixyish and [info]stealthcello for being so game to jump into wacky cover territory with me there.

Here's a vid of us performing "Witcka" live (with bonus Alec! Also background noise. Sorry.) at the Mandolin Cafe in Tacoma back in March. (including things from that cameo list up there.) Nah, we're not having fun at all... :D



To abuse the vernacular...Witch, please. Where my Witchkas at?!?

Lyrics posted in this entry.



Special thanks to [info]gingerdoss , [info]stealthcello , [info]yuki_onna , [info]justbeast , [info]celtic_elk* , [info]otterkin , the Cooks, all my Witchkas (you know who you are, my wicked and dangerous dancing goth girls. Please don't ever stop dancing), and of course Nika.
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