A Misunderstanding

If you’re wondering why I do any of this, this is as close of an answer I can give you.

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Quiet Gusto 4 001

Tonight from 7 to 9pm, I’ll be playing music at Brick House Coffee and selling copies of my new EP.

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Tonight I’m playing music from 6 to 9pm at the Edinboro Hotel bar!

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Oh Hallowed Ground

In 1976, Billy Joel released the album Turnstiles, which featured hits like New York State of Mind and Say Goodbye to Hollywood. One of the B sides from that album is Summer, Highland Falls, which opens with the lines

“They say these are not the best of times, but they’re the only times I’ve ever known,
And I believe there is a time for meditation in cathedrals of our own”

Everybody needs a cathedral. Everybody needs their hallowed ground where the can go to feel at peace when the world gets scary than usual.

I think it’s an important to remember now as some people have their cathedrals shattered and others are traveling far from home in hopes of finding new ones.

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A song that has since been performed with Strangers and Liars, “Lost” was sort of the sequel to “Only Made a Bad Thing Worse“. There are plenty of times in life we have to watch good things come to end. When those times come, it’s important to know when to walk away from them as apposed to clinging to them. Otherwise, you may watch something you once loved turn into something else entirely, and having to live with the reminder of seeing something great brought so low can be worse than leaving it behind.

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So in Love With You

Listening to Roy Orbison and trying to capture that 50’s charm is what this song is all about. This song takes me back to the days of not knowing how to talk to girls I liked and having crushes on ones in relationships. An excavation if there ever was one, it may honestly be around 7 or 8 years ago since I’ve played this song. It did not make into many performances, even in the time shortly after it was written. The unearthing process is certainly one of the more interesting facets of the project.

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Bad Luck

This song was my stab at blue grass. Four verses of bad luck. Also, I was very proud of the chorus line “six feet fall and I’m still underground”.

Verse 1: I got double booked for a gig, and since the other act had two people instead of one, and they were already setting up, I conceded to letting them play without making a stink. I was pretty upset at the time, though.

Verse 2: A bar owner at an open mic I frequented offered to buy me drink on my birthday, but only if it was whiskey. I did not need a whiskey that night, that’s for sure.

Verse 3: I got told I was too nice by girls quite a lot through high school and college. Looking back now, I think it was their polite way of saying “too quiet and weird”.

Verse 4: Being a musician, you keep company with a lot of night owls. If you see me out and about and it’s going on 1am, consider it a testament to my dedication to music someone winning over my love of my bed.

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The Price You Pay

There’s a good number of popular musicians biographies that seem to follow the same trends. There’s the chapter about the troubled home life growing up, the chapter about the big break, the chapter about the first marriage going wrong, the chapter about the descent into substance abuse, the chapter about the second marriage going wrong, etc.

One of the recurring themes that stuck out to me is that in the beginning, there’s always someone on the business end of things trying to take advantage of the naive young talent. And while it’s always encouraging to read about these music legends triumphing over their crooked producers, managers and labels in the end, it does create some nauseating curiosity regarding how many musician that we never heard of lost their chance to make it big because of some greedy music industry stiff?

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Somewhere in Between

I heard (or read? Maybe it was a TED talk) every 10 years of adulthood, you are a completely different person than you were 10 years prior. It was implied that what comes before that, in your highschool/early college I’m-legally-an-adult-but-not-really years, nothing is set in stone yet. I think the generally accepted term is “finding yourself”, or perhaps for late bloomers like my wallflower self, “growing into yourself”.

I don’t recall having much a personality in my teens and early twenties. I’ll save the speech about how music showed me the way to becoming who I am (it did do that, but that shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. Niche finding is a thing). As opposed to every 10 years, it felt like I was redefining myself mentally every 10 months, eager to leave behind what I had just “become”. I think the reality of it was that I had a lot of figuring out to do, and that I spent quite a bit of time in between philosophies and potential ways of life.

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Our Hands

This is an uncommon act for me but it’s something I want to do, so I hope you’ll bear with me.

The shootings in our country have troubled me. They anger me and they sadden me, but more than anything, they frighten me. My sister and I saw the last Batman movie on opening night, the same night on the other side of the country there was the shooting at the opening night of the movie. And who doesn’t have loved onesĀ in college or loved ones that go to church? It just feels like the danger is everywhere.

I’m frightened that the plan of action as I understand it is to vote for people who say they will push for gun control reform, and should they be elected, we have to hope that our trust is not betrayed. I know that there is no guarantee that gun control reform will instantly solve our problems, but I am more than eager to support the idea, not knowing how it couldn’t at least help the situation.

What frightens me about this plan of action is that it requires us to wait till election time, where many candidates will do what they have to do and say what they have to say to get the most voters they can to vote for them. I am frightened because when it comes to electing officials, I don’t know if I’ll make the right choice, or if there even is a right choice. I’m frightened because in the meantime, it feels like there is nothing for us to do but wait for the next monstrous tragedy to occur. I’m frightened because even if we elect “the right people” who make “the right choices”, I don’t know if it will be enough to make a difference.

My sympathies go out to those who already have lost and suffered. I cannot imagine what they have gone through, probably because the thought of it is part of the long list of what frightens me.

I want to stop being scared. I think writing this song, and making this post is my step in that direction, because I’ve hesitated to share it. I don’t want to be self righteous, I don’t want to be preachy and I don’t want to act like I have the answers. If anything, these is me looking for answers. This is me trying not to be scared.

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