Monday, August 29, 2011


A phone call. I accept the offer and now question myself. Walking through the back halls, the lonely sound of my tambourin striking my guitar case echoes for miles with every step. I shouldn't be here. Looking out from the stage, I've stared for an hour now across a vast, empty room full of more chairs and tables than faces. I've played here before. I'll play here again tomorrow. Tomorrow they'll scream. But tonight; tonight's different. The few distant bodies across the room seem nearly as lifeless and apathetic as I. There might be a dozen patrons; all of which look near collapsing. It's smoky here. Few people are left but for some reason a tobacco lined heavy fog fills the room. I prod the hopeless crowd with as little expectancy as result. Nothing works. I laugh a little to myself and mutter faithlessly through a routine of whatever I desire. No one's listening. I'm fine with that. I'm exhausted; It's all slow songs from here, darlin'. I mutter thanks into a broken microphone and exit to an equally smoky downtown. I've had this lingering feeling of nothingness today. I want to be alone. I find a place I used to sleep. It's beautiful out here, beneath the pines. It's dark here. It's nowhere. I strum my guitar and play through the same few songs I'd played shortly before. Only this time they seem to matter more. Nothing matters here; that's what makes it flawless. Bats flutter from tree to tree while smoke from some ambiguous location fills the leaves. I can't seem to escape smoke tonight. I want a pipe right now. I feel restless. It's 12:15am and I want to stay here all night. Maybe I will. At some point I realize I'm hungry and leave the serenity for mouthfuls of MSG and emptiness. I'm killing myself. It's peaceful tonight. I'm apathetic to the world but at the same time everything is perfect. I collapse on my couch and pick a banjo until there's nothing left worth watching on a muted television. It's cold in here. I lay on the floor, finding patterns in the ceiling and wondering why I'm awake. Restlessness. A flash. Words pour like fountains across a notepad while fleeting melodies find their way to my guitar. I'm three songs deep now. I like nights like this. Empty soda cans rattle on the floor while I stomp the ground and mumble the words to my recently born creation. I found it. The TV flashes again. The Rangers won. I smile. Hamilton homered. I've been awake for days. It's beautiful here; being alive. I turn out the lights and noisily walk to my room. I won't sleep. It'll run through my head relentlessly and until I awake to everything I've dreamed I can't turn it off. I think awhile and laugh briefly at the vast array of suspenders hanging from my closet door. It's tomorrow now. It's been tomorrow. I wonder what joy awaits me...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Anchors Aweigh, My Soul

"...the world would be perfect if it wasn't for nudists..."

Everything that chases me hasn't caught me. Everything I chase I haven't caught. Life's a twisted paradox, full of irony and unforeseen changes; a strange blend of emptiness and perfect fullness that leaves us with the choice of picking which we want to embrace more openly. Not that we're honest about it. We were all meant for the stage; some massive collection of thespian plastics faking our way through the role we're cast in life. It's an improv comedy show where the actors suck and you rarely get what you went there expecting. I guess that's the best kind of show in a way. I'm tired of watching people feel desperate and pretend otherwise. What good is life if we aren't meant for something? Perhaps it's born of relentless parental prodding but I can't help feel like I was meant for something more than the complacent life most seem satisfied with as their own. I don't want to talk about heroes across the dinner table when I could be the hero families are talking about. Who were those heroes when they were my age? No one. Little, "No-One-Gives-a-Crap-About-Dwight-David-Eisenhower" grew into something timeless, didn't he? Hopeless? Nonsense. Fight for something. It's not always comfortable but when was the last time someone built an empire from an easy chair. Empires are born of calloused hands and dreams are reached through warfare. It was made brilliantly clear in conversation the other night that the only difference between wanting something great and being great is doing it. Anyone can do anything; they just have to do it. More often than not, we get in the way of our own aspirations and blame everyone else for not handing us our destiny with milk, cookies and a bedtime story...

I finished recording last week. Although I was unable to lay down everything I planned to track, I'm considerably happy with what got done. Initially I intended this to be a chronicle of the last 18 months as a sort of final kiss goodbye through a lyrical journal entry of death and reconstruction. As I didn't have time to track the whole thing, the concept sort of got condensed and wrapped up as a horribly broken, three track finale explaining it all. It hit me. I cried. It's built up so I took down my walls and, dear Lord, it hit me. I'm extremely aware that it was a vocal catastrophe but I pray to God the emotion carried into it. From a live recording of "The First Time" to a painful memoir recounting my life followed by the cries of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and concluding with a two minute declaration of strength, peace and restored confidence through the lines //I'm not broken any more my love/I guess I'm stronger than you thought I was/I'm not torn, I'm not crushed/I'm something beautiful...// I've never felt release the way I did. I'm almost scared to listen to it. I guess we'll see. My sister was amazing. She flew in from a summer in Holland and tracked vocals for two songs she'd never heard in her life one take each. I've never seen anyone hear a song for the first time, hum a few bars to herself, roll the track and belt it into a microphone with such confidence and precision. She's a beast to say the least and my ears had a vocal feast. "You'll Find Love"...I'm excited to hear her on it...and we anxiously await...AH!
Florida was beautiful. I saw the faces I'd been missing and caught up with the dearest of friends. They amaze me. I shouldn't have gone; I realized how much I still miss about being there.
  //One day soon, my old dear friends/we'll meet again, we'll meet again...//

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oh! For Love

Boots: buy 1 get 2 free. Who's clever business strategy was it to sell boots buy 1 get 2 free? Sales are up but for some reason we're in the red. Speaking of red, I landed a pair of sweet red boots out of the deal. Nevertheless,  I still feel like somewhat of a boot pirate afloat on the high seas, seeking quality footwear and pillaging villages at every chance without concern for the local business' profit margins or commission rates. Seriously though, I walked out of a boot store with a pair of $200 red gun-slinger boots for free though...and when it comes down to it, that's all I really care about. I guess, technically, they're "Oxblood" but who's concerned with specifics. I have AIDS; well, not really, it's actually a minor cut on the end of my finger; same thing really though. See, specifics don't matter. Point made. I wrote a song the other night about an abandoned circus performer falling in love with an orphan who peddles knives by an estuary. They both watch each other for days; her from a tree she always climbs and he from his cart; but because of their previous hurt they're too scared to confront each other until one night he leaves a note stuck in her tree inviting her to a gypsy dance with him. As she doesn't have anything else beautiful to wear, she puts on her mother's wedding gown and rushes to the waterfront to meet him. To her dismay, when she arrives, she witnesses a crowd gathering as a group of men are pulling his body from the water. In tears, she rushes to his side and finds that the water gates had broken and he had drowned saving a group of children from the flooding waves. She feels heartbroken and is hugging his dripping body when she suddenly realizes that he had helped her find love and hope in a world where she had previously felt abandoned. As the townspeople see her crying over him in a wedding dress, they assume that she was his fiance and accept her as as one of their own. Finding a family in them, her faith in humanity is restored and she continues her search for love strengthened and renewed. It's kind of a strange gypsy tale of sorts but I'm pretty sure the world needs more of those...

                                                                      ...although I'm not really sure why...