“The world stops for no one”
That always seemed a little dramatic to me. The message or metaphor is easy enough to get. Yes, my singular problems are not enough to warrant the rest of humanity taking a day to acknowledge me. It’s supposed to make the world sound unforgiving in a sort of realist’s way, but I also think it’s supposed to be a little passive aggressive towards the recipient.
I’m not big on change. My phone is old. Most music I listen to was written before I was born. I don’t like being busy or hurried, or be in big noisy cities where you only get to see slivers of the sky at a time. I’ll stick with a laptop and you can keep your tablet. I’ll stick with a book, and you can keep your kindle. The world changes, and I’ll change too, but I’ll do it when I’m good ready.
The world stops for no one, not that I asked it to
As you might have noticed, this post is on a Wednesday instead of a Friday. Wednesday is going to be the new regular post day so that aside from the song of the week, I can post if anything is going on this weekend. So here we go!
Opening night for season 4 of the Songwriter Sunset! The show is from 7 to 9 at the Edinboro Lake Resort, featuring Gabe Poland and Jay Baumgardner
I’ll be playing solo at the Edinboro Hotel Bar from 6 to 9pm
Strangers and Liars will be playing from 7 to 10pm at The Edinboro Lake Resort
There’s only so many things you pay to have repaired in car before you give up on it. It can be hard to give up on a long time vehicle, but once you’ve changed the brakes, the tires, the power steering unit, the radiator, the upholstery and half of the engine, when does it become a completely different car?
I bring this up, because this week’s song of the week is one that wasn’t just changed, it was salvaged. There are plenty of older songs of mine that I had given up on playing live, but getting the chance go back and retool these songs is part of the reason I enjoy this on going project.
The song “Here’s to Next Time”, even after the make over, is still all about the same thing. A college relationship gone wrong, and in the aftermath, wondering if it was for the best even though it may have been a messy end. A sort of personal “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” minus the prolific edge of Bob Dylan.
I realize I did a post with a beach side theme to it not but a few weeks ago. But with this gloriousness of the recent weather, I couldn’t help but throw another one out there.
You have a job here listener. You’ll notice a very repetitive theme to this song. Should it ever be recorded in a more professional capacity, it will be a group vocals affair. So get your practice in now, listener, on those “down on the old beach road” hooks. Because it could be I call on you when the time comes. Now go enjoy some sunshine!
Originally title “Letters We Don’t Care to Write”, it was shortened to just “Letters” after finding new life as a Strangers and Liars song.
Pretty cut and dry, this song came from a darker place. I was hitting a lot of the frustrations one runs into while starting out as a live performing. “People sit there in their five seat concert, for all they know the music never played” sums up where the nerve was struck. I was used to people coming out to my shows so I could watch them ignore me five feet away from my face. At the time I took it personally, and it took sometime to figure out how to get past that.
There are of course, still nights when a full room will be without applause at the end of a song, and it can always be deterring. That’s why songs like this exist to help get through.
The line that started it was during a conversation with a friend, when he told that while people say life’s too short, sometimes it’s too long. I realize that sounds pretty dark out of context, which I why I rearranged it to make it more musical and to better capture the feeling that went with it.
My friend and I were not discussing a desire to die, but more a frustration with where in life we were at the time, as opposed to where we wanted to be. Sometimes life just feels like so much waiting. It can become very deterring, especially when you have the perspective how fleeting life can be to remind you how futile it seems, with the things you “have” to do getting in the way of what you want in life.
I don’t play this song on my own very often. It was quick to become a Strangers and Liars song after it was written, and reside in our repertoire as the resident barn burner. We plan on having it appear on our upcoming album, the release date of which remains TBD.
More than one of my songs have been a theme for Lake Erie. Growing up near Presque Isle State Park in Pennsylvania, and spending a great deal of my childhood summers at the lake both in PA and Ohio make it a prominent figure in my life, so it’s only natural for it to creep up in my music.
Earlier this week, some friends and I made a visit to the nearly thawed lake. Though still frigid, the view speaks for itself. Here’s to the upcoming summer!
I don’t write as much as I used to. A few years ago, I seemed to have a pretty steady stream of songs coming and when the dry patches came, they wouldn’t say long. But this past year has been a quiet one for the pen.
I was nervous about that at first. Nobody wants to lose it, whatever “it” might be and it’s hard to ignore that fear initially. However as time went and the scarce new songs emerged here and there, I started making my peace with it.
I wrote “The Hard Way” a few months ago. It’s sort of a “memo to self” song. I have some songs that I forced because I felt I needed to write something, or it had been too long. They never sound as good, and more importantly, never feel as good. I think right now I’m just not in a place (in life) that calls for as much writing. When I get there, I get there.
I assume this kind of thing happens with any performer or artist in just about any field, where after a particular creation, they look back and say “huh. Well that’s different.” It’s not that this song feels like something I wouldn’t play, but it doesn’t always feel like something I would write. Which I guess is a question of trying to view oneself in the third person, and therefore a solid sign that one is severely over thinking things.
So moving on, this was a fun little song about the hang ups shy guys like myself have when we’re trying not to prematurely doom a budding romance. The song is out to express the same vibe I have in those situation: an attempt at charming, while remaining completely obvious that I have no idea what’s going on.
So it’s 25 weeks later since I first started throwing a song up once a week on this page. For all you readers and listeners, I want to say thank you. This has been a great exercise in a lot of ways. It keeps me doing at least some sort of musical production once a week, it helps me keep my original material fresh, and it gives me a chance to go back and see if I can find life in songs I gave up on.
I can’t guarantee that every song I have ever logged away will appear here before the end, but I hope keep this going for awhile longer.
Be sure to keep an eye on Strangers and Liars and solo performances (the upcoming gigs list is up to date currently), and be ready for season 4 of The Songwriter Sunset to start up in another month and a half. Thanks again readers for tuning in!
A short story for a short song: back in 2010, a friend of mine let me know that an independent film maker in the area was looking for original music submissions for their project. I looked into, read the premise of the movie that was given, wrote this song for it and submitted. They never got back to me so I assume it wasn’t picked.
I never did see the movie when it finally came out, but I feel like the song turned out alright. So there’s that.