Archive for February, 2008

the weakness weakness

February 28, 2008

the weakenss weakness” (mp3)


i’ve been thinking recently about my Christian faith, and about the Christian church more lately than usual. in part, having been reminded how lazy (wimpy) i am about knowing WHAT i believe and why. i won’t get into my theology here in the blog, but this thought process has inspired the lyrics for this weeks song, “the weakness weakness.”

the main idea behind the song is that myself and so many people have opinions and beliefs that we know so little about, but still tote around and try to have firm stances on. we do it with politics, religion, etc…the BIG topics that we feel are important. important enough to take stances on, but i think rarely more important in our daily lives or pursuits than television, diet, drinks with friends, our jobs, money, etc…

i had a conversation about this with a friend last night, and it inspired the phrase “everyone’s arguing on things they havn’t read about,” which doesn’t appear in the song, but is kind of a thesis for it. here are the lyrics:

in AD 2008 (twenty 08)
i don’t know You

Anno Domini i’m a
busy dude

can’t read
don’t read
i wouldn’t know
don’t sing
until the show


but now i know i don’t know now
but as we speak i’m getting through
to me…i think

i hardly know my family
without pictures

God has an uncle Larry
Holy Cow

praise god
praise god
grey saab
chase card
gay wad
hot rod

can’t read
don’t read
i wouldn’t know
don’t sing
until the show


the middle, “bridge section, of the song is my joke about how exclaiming “Praise God” can feel so meaningless when i say it or hear it…partly because those two specific words are just part of the Christian vocabulary, almost like slang. the motivation for proclaiming such a thing might naturally take different forms, but this one is easy, common, and widely accepted. my point is that it can be an example of not really engaging with your faith, but merely going through the motions. doing “the things christians do.” in my own experience.


i went for variety in this doodad. more material, more sections. it started with a decending guitar line that i doubled on piano and used in the intro. the guitar was my writing instrument on this one for the most part, laying out the groundwork, melodies and chords with it before arranging it for a bigger “band.”

listening to some of my older material recently, i realized that i don’t have a lot of patience with endings sometimes. they often just, sort of…end. i intentionally repeated the last phrase of this tune more times than i would probably have to combat that tendency, realizing that when i’m listening on my commute home in traffic i sometimes want that groove to just sit for a while. in this case it still feels a bit short to me, but the idea is there. the “boys choir” sample is pretty satisfying to me too, albeit a bit fake. 🙂

i hope you like the song! thanks for listening.

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jungle jon

February 20, 2008

jungle jon” (click it)

this is a song about travel, inspired by a combination of things.

1. the traveling i did last year helped me realize that going overseas is entirely realistic, more and more, and also outstanding.

2. i get to this point every so often where i could really use a break from my day-to-day and week-to-week and could stand some fresh air. somewhere far a way. some would call it a vacation.

3. i’ve been watching the Planet Earth series of documentaries recently, and they’re AMAZING. it’s really brought back my adventure and exploration bugs i knew so well as a kid, spending days in the woods near my house pretending to be looking for something, or just seeing how long i could survive before walking back home in need of a Popsicle and some cable TV.


not my favorite lyrics of mine. but they have moments. the verses are largely about some of these “normal” or common occurrences in my life here (somewhat ironically), and the choruses are my “well, who cares, i’m going to the jungle for a while.” which, is not yet true, but is very exciting idea to me. the interesting thing that i’ve realized while writing them though, is that a big part of the desire to go somewhere fascination and far away is that it requires your attention to the point where you have little leftover for yourself. gets your eyes OUT. that’s part of the draw. and, in THAT place, you can sort create or recreate yourself. you can be whomever you want in a new place (all based on your actual self of course). but there’s hope in that to me. there’s freedom in new environments to dismantle and rebuild yourself.


i’m excited about this groove. tribal exotica dance funk they call it (the experts). two different drum loops, orchestral percussion, two guitars, piano, upright bass (doubled), sine wav, horns, and a handful of vocalists that look and sound and feel alot like me. weird.

the main groove is a couple of diminished chords broken up. in this case: C Eb Gb A is the main one. up and down, up and down. the sine wav melody works more or less into that diminished scale but takes a couple of liberties with it. i love me that diminished business.

the “bridge” part is as follows:

C(dmin), C6, D(dmin), G7, Amin7, Eb6, D7, Eb6, D7, and G7

all broken up in the piano, and in three parts in the vocals. the guitars are also noodling a couple of simple parts underneath. this section was really fun to make, and a nice break from the raucous groove. actually, my favorite part of the tune might be the silence at the end of said bridge, which i left a couple bars long…(wondering now if it could be longer).

that’s all for now. feel free to comment or email with any questions.

thanks for listen, as always!


jungle jonny

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idle engine

February 15, 2008

idle engine” (mp3)

oh man.

this one is in some strange intrumental form. and is, by all means, by all accounts, completely finished. done.


not sure what else to say about it right now.

it was one of those weeks where you come up with 5 ideas and can’t manage to be satisfied with any of them. ack.

so, now i’m going for a walk.

six shooter

February 6, 2008

six shooter” (mp3)

i watched 3:10 to Yuma recently. and immediately began writing this song. i liked the movie, but was more generally inspired by the genre. i hadn’t seen a western in a while, and just love ’em. love love love ’em.

so, “six shooter” is my music for some version of the “final showdown” and/or “walk to the grave bravely” music.

i went for stringy stuff, guitars, etc. an effected piano that sounds a little tinny and scratchy, and a slow minor key progression, and some dirty-ass drums and other percussion. and bass. and whistles. and organ. and a church bell. those are all things that are in there.

well, i hope you enjoy this one. imagine it with me as a tall skinny dirty cowboy determined to do the right thing even though it may cost me my life. and everything is brown.


brown and dirty