My friend Wesley sent me a text a few weeks ago from a mall near my house. It included the words suburban and consumer and nightmare. There are a pair of upscale malls close by, and I have a complicated relationship with both of them. They’re seductive and depressing. They’re comforting and soul-sucking. Malls are not what they seem to be; they’re not placid retail oases. They contain something weirder.
I wrote a song about it, which I’ve been calling Mall Song, and the name has stuck as things will do when you don’t change them. I recorded it on the Danelectro with GarageBand’s Dreamy Shimmer effect. A friend asked me if I use the effect to mask my lack of expertise, and I told him that I use it because I like how it sounds, but I wonder. You can’t have a good guitar player but here, have Dreamy Shimmer!
The structure is odd: four verses, a drone-y chorus, and an entirely new section at the end. It drags. I’m figuring out how to sing. Let’s call it work in progress.
Mall 11 by Jason Brockert