Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Segue

Like a mixtape, you try different orders and combinations of songs. "Am I creating a fully cinematic experience?" Your creativity works in two parts. You spill out the guts of the id, then the ego goes picking through the morsels, looking for bargains. You rewrite some choruses here and there. You reverse the entire ten-song sequence, imagining responses from an unknown audience. You fall asleep thinking you need to write two more songs in the third person to convey a much more certain sense of place. However, upon waking, you see that things have held together and your creative half hasn't received the word yet from your editor half that the turkey is done.

Monday, August 18, 2014



singing is embarrassing for adults
the kid on the subway won’t shut up
singing is for children 
but somehow we forgot 

we vibrate our insides 
to feel alive
the night spins dreams 
that haunt our lives

we barely stay here 
here in one piece
conversation takes you somewhere 
then you need to sing

declarations with no explanation
sermons for a roomful of heathen
vibrations can't be sublimated
bodies bursting with contagion

static builds up 
shocks us strange

who are these singing people 
what are they playing at
what is this feeling
that won’t go away

like a child at play, 
a nun at prayer
dog in heat,
ice cream melting

rusty zipper on your pants 
money flying off a cliff
sing, that’s what you do
here comes your chance

Gdim | Cdim | Eb | Ebdim 

D | Bm | C | Em

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Desperation Points

you'll grow up 
into these blues
decades cut, 
loneliness names you

open your mouth 
hear the sound
your voice becomes 
these songs

about heartbreak 
just guess
pencil in the spaces 
you'll later color in

you desire experience
there are no child prodigies 
in this business

decades rolling 
with these blues
for a few years 
of best work

you’ll return then 
to the wind 
to become a notion 

for someone else

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Retreat (never surrender)

These chords will not yield up a song. I'll go to bed early and attack them in the morning while they're still asleep.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Musical Mother Tongue

I have no scientific basis for this; in fact books like This Is Your Brain On Music would claim it’s your adolescence, but I’ve noticed that when I’m working out songs in my head, my template seems to be the decade of my pre-adolescence (the 70’s) rather than my adolescence (80’s). In fact, I consciously avoid anything that sounds like the 80’s regardless of the fact everyone says my music reminds them of David Byrne or someone else (perhaps that’s just the sound of restless white dudes without a schooled music background. Anyways, for me the platonic ideal/default setting is mid-tempo funk with jazzy chords and horns and strings. Like everything on AM radio or Sesame Street back in the day. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Waiting

Will the mixing engineer do the work? Will the guitarist accept $300? Did you approach the right vocalist for the track? Can you afford you credit card payment this month, plus the effects boxes? Will your job leave you too exhausted to practice? Will anyone come to the show? Will someone other than your friends come to the show?

Does any of it matter?

Work in a way that doesn't leave you broke. If you're really compelled to do this, the indifference of most people shouldn't phase you. If you continue to improve yourself, be inspired by other artists, research, practice and question your practices, things should run (relatively) smoothly.

I think only the writers last, though. It's too problematic to be a drummer or a bass player, schlepping around refrigerators for gigs for too many years. The back gives out. Writers don't have a choice, or many other options. They're fucked :).