Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Impasse

I've created workarounds. At some point, I learned that songwriters were not musicians, per se, but if one could fit lyrics, a vocal melody and a set of chords together, one could always find enough musical monkeys to make a song sound like a song. I used various metacognitive strategies after something would spill out of my unconscious- should I change the rhythm? Use new inversions? Change the key? The tempo? Pull my guitar out of the recordings? I'd like to think that I hid my tracks pretty well, although they all probably sound like my songs, regardless. Some chord suggesting apps have pro-longed the feeling of endless fecundity, but now, after 200-300 songs, I think I gotta finally surrender to the music police. I can't surprise myself anymore with my current knowledge base. This is where some people hang it up. Other people realize, this is where it's time to learn. The challenge with learning is that our lives move too fast at times to pause them or stop them altogether. We're adults. We're supposed to be experts. But it's all about the feeling, right? The music can't lie. If you can't feel it, no one else will. It's time to learn, to school yourself. There are apps, tutorials, youtube clips...no reason to embrace the arrogance of ignorance.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Saying goodbye

It was a rocky relationship. It reminded me of a teenage romance I had with a fretless. I somehow got it in my head that, without theory, switching to a five-string bass would give me more possibilities. It was a sexy instrument; I liked looking at it. When I picked it up though, I got confused and stayed that way. Was the low B-string too fappy? Possibly, but no, it was rather that the instrument stopped being intuitive for someone who played by ear. I thought I'd be sad, but now I feel relieved that it's gone.

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 (Gb?)



singing is embarrassing for adults
kids on the subway won’t shut up
singing is for children 
yet somehow we never forget 

static builds up everyday
everything shocks us strange
who are these singing people 
what is this feeling that won’t go away

we’re barely here 
here in one piece
conversation takes us  
then we need to sing

vibrating insides 
to feel alive
as the night spins dreams 
that haunt our lives

we grow up we put things aside
we sacrifice for a productive life
we remember being happy children
then have them and educate them 

residual effects remain in us
we think of singing as entertainment
but what if it’s as necessary
as eating, sleeping, or love?


Abm(maj7) | Abm9 | Dbaug | Gb
G# | A#7 | C# | Gb7
Bb7 | F7  

B7sus4 | Dm7 

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
alas, 
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.