Like the new background?
This is a newer song, though it’s about someone who’s in my life for several years now. Sometimes it takes that long to find the right words to for who someone is in your life. Especially if its a special somebody. The word play was a lot of fun in writing about my love of a girl with her heart in New York City. So I’ll take the time to run through it for anyone curious.
“…sleeps like a jazz club, hardly ever at night”- She likes staying up late, and she likes jazz clubs that don’t close until the sun is up.
“…dance with Fitzgerald and she’s singing with Cole”- Ella and Nat are two of her favorites.
“…she’s acting like Chekhov”- she is in fact, an actor, and would love to perform in Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters some day
“…she’s reading like Baldwin… her dreams and desires this time lit the fire…”- James Baldwin is one of her favorite authors, The Fire Next Time being her favorite of his works
“…she runs like the G train…”-just a subway reference. I think she lived off the G train for awhile but I’m not positive. G just happened to be the syllable that felt right to sing.
Yeah, I listen to NPR. Saturday Matinee is my jam. Car Talk re-runs, The Dinner Party Download, This American Life (when it’s not too depressing), Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, pretty much everything is good.
Anyway, they’re doing a contest! All sorts of NPR programs play music, talk about music, have musicians on, so why not have a contest for musicians? So the idea is you make a video, and there’s a desk in it, and you play a song you wrote. After a quick room check, I discovered I have a camera, a desk and a song. Win.
I wrote “Dull Razors” around the time the Occupy Wall Street movement was happening. I knew a handful of people who had been traveling to the city to be part of the movement, but the appeal was lost on me. I understood the desire for economic reform and want for justice against the 1%, though I didn’t understand how people standing around in the streets of New York was supposed to accomplish this. Now years later, we have a potential presidential candidate gaining popularity that has been outspoken against economic injustice for his entire career. So if the Occupy movement is part of what got us here, I’ll happily admit to my short sighted-ness on the issue.
The song has been a point of some pride for me though. Not only did it live in an excellent light as a Strangers and Liars song on our first album ‘Five Seat Concert Hall’ (props to guitarist Justin Anderson who came up with that little intro lick I’m playing at the opening), it also earned some minor acclaim as an honorable mention for American Songwriter‘s lyric contest.
There was some lyrical restructuring that came along with this one. Another trip back to an old rarely visited song that turned more successful than I thought it would.
Story tellers start young. The importance of being read to when you’re little comes out in so many ways. Aside from all the help it gives you when it comes time to read for yourself, planting the seeds of imagination is one of the most noble causes of a good story and tale.
One of the things that have been difficult in being heavily influenced by an artist like Bob Dylan, one who is as much a poet as he is a singer songwriter, is dealing with any inclination towards being poetic.
I have not played “To Be” in years, and looking back at it came with struggle. It was hard to recapture what I had been trying to convey, hard to take myself seriously while being so vague.
Right along side my earlier song “I Never Asked the World to Wait”, this song comes with pretty much the message. It just has a little more tongue in cheek, and a slight Mic Jagger in impression to go with it.
Take things one step at a time, try to remember that just about everybody is as uncertain about things as you are and never be afraid to take a mental health day.
Tonight, from 9 to Midnight, Erie Ale House Acoustic is going down. The line up features Dionisio, John Boling and myself.
Although this song was written well before I was in a band, the feeling of togetherness from like minded musicians inspired this song. While I did play music with some people during my college experience, I didn’t find very many people who were looking to play the music I was planning, nor did I find many people interested in what I was writing.
After I was out of school and old enough to go to bars, I scoured open mics and found the camaraderie I had been missing out on. The Erie music scene was in a prime of singer songwriters and friendly collaborations. The early days of my open micing led to lasting friendships, local music idols and eventually the start of my own band.
Excitedly for the holiday, I share with you my first original Christmas song. In hopes that within the all too common stress that can burden the holidays, I wish for you the simple joys that can transcend it to make your day magical.
My family and I used to spend a lot of the summer in a neighborhood in Ohio on the Lake Erie Shore. There was this big hill you would go down to get to the beach, and along the top of the hill, the path was lined with little street lamps.
We were friends with one of the residents that lived right on the water, and he often complained that the glare from the lights ruined the view of the night sky over the water. One year, he took to opening the little lamps that held the light and put little slats of cardboard to block out the glare.
So while the lights weren’t actually broken, I admired his ingenuity in bringing back the stars.