Party Without Me

  • Submitted on time! Feb 25, 2024
Dream Weaver

I always thought recurring dreams were made up, or at least exaggerated. Like maybe you had a similar dream once or twice or something. But starting around the beginning of the pandemic, I started having a specific dream about once or twice a month. Then, around the time my son was born, I started having that same dream maybe 4 times a week. I think it’s probably the easiest recurring dream possible to psychoanalyze. 

Here is a very simple description of the dream (it’s nearly identical every time):

It’s a group trip! And it’s sometime between 2016 and 2019! The gang’s all ready to go. We’ve got an airbnb booked and we’re ready for a Friday thru Sunday of partying, board games, cooking, skiing (or waterskiing), and it’s gonna be great. But oh no, I’ve either double-booked, forgotten to cancel an appointment, or bitten off more than I can chew responsibility-wise! Ugh: I promised someone I’d help them with something on Saturday evening; I have a family thing Saturday during the day that I forgot I already said I could do; I have to finish a huge thing for work that’s due Sunday night; I need to feed the cat I’m catsitting! Oh well, I’m gonna still go on the trip, and I’ll just leave early Saturday morning to do my thing, then hopefully just come back either late Saturday, or super early Sunday blah blah blah. It’ll be fine. It’ll be worth it! Sometimes it’s as doable as Western MA —> home to Boston —> back to Western MA. Other times it’s NYC —> home to Boston —> back NYC. Once it was Cuba —> home to Boston —> back to Cuba but with a stop in Miami. 

Ok that was too much description of a dream. From the bottom of my heart, I apologize. But at least I didn’t describe the actual weird things in a dream (“and you were in it, but it wasn’t you. Then we realized we were at school, but like, it was a different version of school…”) I just explained the concept. Right? Right?

The only main variations from dream to dream are:

high school crew or college crew?

ski trip or lake/beach trip?

That’s literally about it. Usually it’s a ski trip.

Interesting similarities in every dream in this series:

gross bathrooms at the airbnb;

an artistic video game or Indiana Jones style birds eye view animation of my vehicle on a map whenever I’m traveling;

when it’s a ski trip, and on the rare chance that I actually successfully get to ski, the mountain is mostly mud and grass and rocks. Very minimal snow coverage.

These are incredibly stressful dreams and I have them constantly. They’re not super vivid, but they are memorable.

It’s interesting because I’ve definitely done this in real life maybe once or twice, when it was absolutely necessary.

I need a vacation. Anyone wanna ski before winter’s over?

Music section:

I was away for work for the first week of this assignment, so I did something for the first time: Wrote the entire song while walking down a street by signing into my Voice Memo app. Lyrics, melody, form, estimated chords, and a couple notes to myself. (Assignment rule #3)

When i got home, i kind of tracked it very quickly and didnt think too much about production, writing, sounds, instrumentation. Just wanted to experiment by getting everything out of my head and voice memo, and into Logic.

As for rule #2, I wanted to interweave what I heard in my head while writing it with what was possible to actually record. That left me with a fast funky highhat groove, accompanying a fairly subdued vocal and chord performance. And theres some organ. Organ is circussy. Dreams are circussy. So, organ.


Everybody’s here and they’re staring at me weird cuz we’re leaving

Ya were peacing out from there for some reason I forget

Tell ’em that i’ll be back (and)

Just party without me til I sneak back


These Friday Sunday things don’t leave a lotta free time to make a bee line

To shuttle back to Beantown and to get myself back just in time for the cleanup

Ya i just want

To hang out for a weekend

(Just a weekend)

Ya i just want

To have that middle day be free

i just need

To find out what it means

this inability to ignore

responsibilities while I snore

Is it me?

Am I asleep?

Looking for feedback on

did the interweaving elements come thru?


Rmal March 4, 2024 8:00pm

Loving the jam band groove – thinking The Big Woo. Such a cool snare – the whole kit sounds studio. Especially love the the funk Guitar at 1:42 (I think that’s the time left in the recording). Great mix – so subtle but impactful.

alechutson March 2, 2024 6:51pm (edited)

I love this, from the first lyrics all the way through the end. Very relatable *social faux pas* dream ahaha. I think you did a great job with vocal processing and arrangements here, and your guitar/drums/bass are on point as usual. It was nice to hear some back and forth with whistling and guitar solo. Great job dude!

juliapiker March 2, 2024 3:12pm

Fun fun fun!

There is a quality about this that feels like something is repeating- which speaks to the “recurrence” of a dream. Oh gosh I love the chord change at :47 “B Line”. I love the way you drop out at certain moments as well- it really highlights the dynamics in your arrangement and writing style. Really cool and beautiful.

nick March 2, 2024 10:09am

what fun. and really a great submission/song in general. It’s up for debate whether the priority of NCBC is following the parameters (at the risk of potential weirdification) or just using them to create a “good song”… but regardless, I think this is one of your “best songs”. A tempered amount of loony-ness, and lot of solid arrangement. “Make a bee-line” over that chord change is very dreamy (both dreamlike and just awesome). For feedback, I first listened to this in my car, and the hi-hats were just a little too loud and pointy. Performance is great, so just some real simple smoothing out in the mix would go a long way. It wasn’t as intense with my headphones, but I think would still benefit from a mix tweak. Curious how others heard it. Nice job!

EliasSZ February 29, 2024 7:35pm

The chord progression is just so catchy throughout this tune. And your vocal delivery is great too. Realllly loved those “I just want/need” pauses – didn’t expect the third one and it felt great.

The interweaving comes through, but I think interweaving is a bit subjective in the first place ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Great song!

Carseat February 26, 2024 11:36am

She’s so cute! I want to listen to it blare from my speakers while snuggled in a blanket with some broccoli cheddar soup.

Ben February 29, 2024 2:17pm (edited)

in fact, trader joes broccoli cheddar soup is like 70% of my two-year-old’s diet.

The very same two-year-old that is at least somewhat the inspiration for my subconscious mind craving a c. 2018-style ski trip.

Tengo February 25, 2024 9:45pm

oh baby this is just a delight! agree that the drum sounds are just so cozy. love the processing on your vocal that compliments such a relaxed and easygoing delivery. Gimme those lil bass licks at the end of the tune in my dreams every night please.

Ben February 27, 2024 10:30am

thanks! the bass parts were recorded at 8:30 sunday night. I wanted a little somethin somethin in the outro. Originally, i was gonna have that whole second half of the song have lyrics, but eventually decided to make it just a long fade-out with whistling. Right before submitting, i decided it need a couple tiny parts to pop out, so i rerecorded the bass and added some bassy things

Ryan February 25, 2024 9:11pm

What a lovely dark snare sound. How’d ya get it?

Love the subtle circus sounds here, as you mentioned. Organ, funky hi-hats, disco geet, some slippery guitar/bass underneath some whistling? Fun. The interweaving elements didn’t come through on first listen, but upon a few more spins, I hear how the hats are playing around with the snare and the geet. Works for me.

Dig that you wrote this while walking around. Made for a very catchy verse.

stonewindow February 26, 2024 10:53am

The interweaving comes through.

‘I like the playful vibe despite the anxiety of the dream.

the whistling and guitar riff is cool.

Ben February 27, 2024 10:32am

Snare is tuned a little low, got one of those rings on it, like 10 pieces of blue painters tape, and a t-shirt draped over it.

Ben February 27, 2024 10:34am

re: the interweaving:

mostly going for smooth, dreamlike, floaty lyrics/vocal performance mixed with a disco, funk rhythm section