Songs Are Like Children

Songs are like children. Sometimes they’re like twins. When I’m on a spree, writing a bunch of songs all at the same time, I notice that perhaps two of them are (in my head) the same damn song. It’s completely accidental, but for instance, right now I have two 12/8 waltzes going. No, they’re not in the same key. No, they’re not even the same tempo. But I was shaving and humming one of them and then when I wasn’t paying attention, I had switched and I noticed I was humming the other one. I’d never thought of them as even remotely similar until then.

Now, the twin thing is interesting. Sometimes one of the songs will eat the other one and there’s only one song left (two songs enter; one song leaves). The stronger one consumes the weaker sibling, uses it for parts, and maybe grabs a couple of lyrics from the weaker one, maybe a bridge or something too.

Other times, I end up with two songs. And maybe I’m the only one who thinks they’re the same, maybe not. But then I play them very far apart during a show so (in my head) nobody will notice that they’re the same damn song. When I was preparing songs for TABLE 10, I played a bunch for my producer Jon Nolan and I told him I was going to play two songs that are the same damn song. He didn’t hear it. He did not hear them as the same song at all. They didn’t both end up on the CD (actually, did either of them end up on the CD?) and I do play them both live. And, based on his ear, I no longer think of them as the same damn song. He wouldn’t lie to me or be wrong.

This leads me to a confession. “Broken Wheels” is an example of a stronger twin. The two memorable hooks in that song came from another song that I now can’t bother to finish because I’ve already used those two memorable hooks in “Broken Wheels.” So, “Average Love Song” will remain on the scrapheap. It’s kinda too bad. I had higher hopes for that one than “Broken Wheels.” Oh well.

Facebook Messaging and Me (and You)

So, you’d think that a facebook “page” could send a message to everyone who “likes” the “page.” Well, you’d be wrong. But don’t feel bad; I’m pretty sure it’s them, not you. The logical Plan B would be for the “admin” of the “page” to be able to send a message to everyone who “likes” the “page.” Again, you’d be wrong. And again, I think it’s them, not you.

I ran into trouble when I tried to implement Plan C. I (the “admin”) started sending individual messages to everyone who “likes” my “page.” I was just getting started when an angry red window popped up, telling me that I was behaving inappropriately and potentially bothering people. Something, something, something, block your account, something, to avoid disruption, something, something, must slow down immediately, something …

All this is by way of letting you know that if you’re a facebooker who “likes” my “page,” I’m trying to “message” you with something cool. I hope I’ll figure out the pace that will let me get to you all without forever losing my facebook privileges.

New Lyrics Contest

So, I’m working on a new song for the past couple of days. I think it’s called “Falling.” It has all the earmarks of being a song that I will a) finish, and b) put on the next CD because it c) should be a hit. And I have a contest for you: I’ll give you a line. It’s not a typical line for me. The first to guess correctly what my twisted little brain thinks comes next (close enough within reason) gets a copy of the first demo I do when it’s finished.

The line is: “This ain’t my first rodeo.”

I do not write songs about rodeos. This song is no exception. And believe me, nobody is more surprised than I to hear a line like this coming from me. But, there it is.

So, have at it. I know the next line. Do you? Lemme know.

VH1, Carbon Monoxide, and Me

So, I was watching VH1 the other day, waiting for the fire alarm guys to upgrade my CO detectors, and I saw a video that made me think, “I could do that.” Hmmm.

I talked with a guy last summer who said nice things about my songs and my stage performance (!) and such and he thought a video out there on the interwebs was in order. He had a particular song in mind, but it’s a song that I haven’t recorded. So, I’ve been hemming and hawing and putting off this whole video thing. But ya know what? I have a whole CD of perfectly good recordings. Duh!

This realization has kicked me back into “I should make a video” mode. So, I’m gonna chat with my pals in the video business and see what we can do. One thing I can promise you: there will be no kissy-face in this video. Nor will there be a tire-swing or a blonde in a white dress with the sun behind her.

So, in addition to the RPM Challenge in February (that’s coming up pretty soon, isn’t it?); making another full-length CD with the guys; and making this website more interesting (freebies, blogs, videos, witty observations about airline food, outtakes, stuff like that); now we’re making a video. It’s gonna be a good year. Stay tuned!

Happy New Year!

So, the wheel has spun its way ’round again. It’s a shiny new year. I’m looking forward to this one. I hope to see many more of you much more often this year. I’m particularly looking forward to the RPM Challenge in February (and perhaps sharing the tunes with you this time) and dragging the guys off to the Milltown Recording Company again to record another full-length CD. I also hope and expect to post more stuff here and let y’all know how the music’s going and put up some more tunes and stuff. Just to keep it interesting.

This challenge has already paid for itself!

I just thought I’d check in and let y’all know what’s what. So, I can make noise on Sundays for a few hours. That’s it. I haven’t taken the month off from work or chores or anything and I spent last night figuring out how Audacity works and I’ve got exactly one song “on tape” with guitar, vocal, and maybe bass. And so far, this is AWESOME!

The plan was simple: write 2.5 songs per week; record them on Sundays; burn it all to CD and put it in the mail on Monday March 1. I’ve got two really good new songs in this, the first week. Played ’em live on Friday and folks dug ’em. 🙂 And I’ve got some idears for more songs that are showing some promise. I’m fascinated because I’m much more familiar with writing when the lightning strikes…

The gear: LarrivĂ©e OM-09 acoustic guitar; Fishman Loudbox 100 amp; SM58; SM57; small Behringer unpowered mixer; MacBook Pro with Audacity installed (yup, it’s all going in through that poor 1/8″ stereo jack; no USB, no nuthin’); Precision Bass; Strat; noisy ol’ Fender Pro Reverb amp. Sometimes there’s drums around. We’ll see.

So last night I learned that I can a) get the bass into Audacity and b) find the “time-shift” feature to make the tracks line up. Whew! I also learned that I can, in fact, actually play the bass a little. This challenge has already paid for itself…!