In a panic with nothing to talk about tonight (again), I decided to change all four songs on my MySpace page. Dig it. Check them out.
It felt weirdly painful to delete a couple of them, even though I don't listen to my own page, or even my own songs much. And if I did, I still have them on my hard drive.
The first track is not showing up in my profile at the time of this post. Hope it'll be up by morning, as it also won't let me delete and start over for some reason. It just says "processing" in angry, judging red letters, like it thinks I've done something wrong.
Anyhoo, the new songs are:
Girl 7, Song 3: This song was untitled, and then it had several titles which never felt quite right before it was named somewhat tongue-in-cheek after the notion that since all our songs were supposedly about breakups and women, I should consider employing a numbering scheme to keep things simple. So this rather serious song got a jokey title, which seems to suit it fairly well for reasons passing understanding.
This was the first song I wrote with Craig, in the late summer of 2000. I remember being nervous and a little awkward presenting ideas to him, and I fled the house and hid on his front porch smoking cigarettes and watching the rain while I wrote the lyric in my notebook.
It was also one of the first times I wrote a song during an event rather than waiting to get some perspective. I knew she was breaking up with me, our Girl 7, that very night, and I raced to her apartment with a cassette tape in my hand in the futile hope that the song we had written would change everything. Hence all of the questions. She said she thought it was beautiful, and then she said farewell. It seems pretty obvious in hindsight that I knew this was going to be the outcome, since it is clearly an ending song. Maybe I should have written something more like "Let's Stay Together."
Time to Leave: The first song I wrote by myself, sitting on my bed with my acoustic bass in the late spring of 2001. I showed it first to Craig and then the band with a sort of "this sucks but here it is" attitude that they fortunately ignored. This song was saved from purgatory twice: first by Craig's guitar, which seemed to transform my awkward noodling into an actual song; second by Kerry, who kept expressing how much he liked it until he had somehow talked the song into inclusion on our 2001 demo, from which this recording (and "Girl 7, Song 3")was taken.
When we got the song into the studio, we tried a few weird things with it. I recall recording an entire take via telephone. The backing harmonies over the last verse never fail to astound me. I simply cannot believe that's me (and Craig, and one or two more of me).
This is why: Another song sketched out on the acoustic bass, although this time in my living room. I wanted something cacophonous underneath the melody, and Craig did not disappoint with this version, a demo recorded to serve as a guide when we were making what would have been our second album.
The lyric tells of an afternoon spent with the same woman as "Girl 7, Song 3" (who got entirely too many songs) looking out the open doorway of her studio apartment at the skyline of Chicago. Sometimes not having anything to say is a beautiful thing. This was one of those times.
Bed: Written on my baritone guitar, and intended for what I imagined would be a solo album. This was the only track recorded for that project, however, and I never even recorded the main lyric for some reason. This track would probably be pretty dreary if not for Craig's piano, especially at the end. I'm pretty sure I played everything else, so blame me for when the backward drum doesn't hit right. Turns out backward drums are harder than I thought. Still, I like how this song feels: dreamy and almost wistful. I think now that it would seem bizarre with the lyric in place, which was yet another depressing set from what seems like it must have been a pretty tough time for me.
The lyric was:
Has fallen into disrepair
And I would like to find the tools to get things done
Not just from this pounding in my head
I'll take aspirin
I'll take acetaminophen
And I'd be better if I just went back to bed