Sunday, March 26, 2006

Easy Like a Sunday Morning


Any time you can work Lionel Richie into your blog, you have to smile... and then throw up.

 It's a sunny Sunday and I managed to sleep until almost noon... mostly because I was out until about 3:00 in the morning celebrating the fact AJ got into U of Chicago business school. Good... nay, great times.

Then, on the way home, Greg and Kirsten and I stopped for tacos at Taco Burrito Palace. The jury is still out on whether or not that was a good idea from a digestive standpoint.

But you might say that we almost stayed out "All Night Long" (All Night). (Smile) (Barf) We celebrated down at AJ and Sarah's place in the south Loop, and it was a good collection of people including a talking bird that didn't talk.

People weren't getting too crazy... it's not like they were "Dancing on the Ceiling" or anything. (Smile) (Barf)

Okay, enough of that nonsense. Today holds some music and some relaxing. The writing continues to happen at a fairly furious pace. And the band's reaction to the recent tunes I've brought in has been strong and positive.

It looks like what we're working on now will turn into another full length album, which will come after the EP we'll be trying to record in May. Being this productive is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it excites me and keeps things moving in a forward direction. A curse because I've got about 8 or 9 new tunes which most likely won't be recorded until... who knows when unless somebody decides to give us some money to record.

Hmmmm. I'm hoping to finish up this new tune called "St. Scarlet" this week. I'll post lyrics when they're sufficiently crafted.

Until then... "Goodbye." (Smile) (Barf)


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A to "Z"

I was thinking about how I used to get an album and just wear it out.

Like back in high school and college when the new Phish album would come out, or Big Head Todd, or Ben Harper... I'd run out on the very Tuesday it was released, bring it home, and listen to it in every spare moment for weeks on end. Maybe it's the lack of time or energy I have these days... maybe it's the fact that my ears are more discerning and I listen to things more critically... maybe I've just jaded... but I find that fewer and fewer albums capture my attention so wholly as albums did in high school and college.

Some exceptions of the last few years would be: "Want" - Rufus Wainwright "A Ghost is Born" - Wilco "The Mysterious Production of Eggs" - Andrew Bird "Magnolia Electric Company" - Magnolia Electric Company

And you can add to that list the most recent release by My Morning Jacket, simply entitled "Z". I got this album a few weeks ago and it hasn't left my car's CD player yet. It is exactly the kind of rock record I aspire to make someday... it has variety, it has polish, it has faults... great production, great playing, great guitar tone... it's the perfect length... I really can't say enough about it.

It just sounds like musical integrity to me. And the more I analyze the disparate types of music I enjoy, "integrity" is the mysterious uniting principle between Mozart and My Morning Jacket, Palastrina and Miles, Bob Dylan and Kanye, System of a Down and Arcade Fire...

And, hopefully, Burn Rome Burn.


Thursday, March 16, 2006


This thing you mortals call "sleep"... I think I like it. We're on day three of the great Ambien experiment here, and so far, so good. No instances of eating in my sleep, or cooking in my sleep, or driving in my sleep... just three nights of solid slumber in a row... a first in I don't know how long. And I feel pretty good for it. Recharged.

The key has been setting myself a bedtime, enforcing it, and then making sure I get up about the same time everyday, regardless of what I have to do. Sounds simple enough. And now I'll just be trying to build on the last few nights and stay consistent until, hopefully, my body starts to regulate itself. In other news, we seem to be building on a good week for Burn Rome Burn. More CDs going out to "important" people, a gig at Double Door as part of the Shoeshine Boy Productions Anniversary party, an in-store appearance/concert at Tower Records on Clark Street, a spot as guest DJs for a two hour program on Fearless Radio, and a possible high profile opening gig which I won't jinx by mentioning.

Although I probably just jinxed it. Add to that the fact that I put together a tape with 7 new songs, and our rehearsal today should be pretty spirited. In terms of new material, it's getting pretty silly. We've got a collection of 5 tunes together which we'd like to record this spring as a quick n' dirty EP. And then, I've got a group of 9 (9!) tunes that sound to me like a good starting point for another full-length album. The group of 9 are cohesive yet still diverse and lyrically I think they all just kind of fit together in a way that I haven't written before.

They're all (for the most part) pretty simple and straightforward, and they'll challenge us to play in a new way in that they demand extremely restrained playing from everybody. So that's good. I'd like to add a couple more tunes to the 9 I've got so far and then see where we're at.

More news as the week wraps up. Think lovely thoughts. And dream.


Monday, March 13, 2006


So... it's been a long week, with little time to write entries here... a lot going on, a lot of work... Writing songs, however, has been extremely productive. Songs falling out of the sky like, well, you know what. And right now, it's pouring outside.

It's a Sunday night and it feels like it. There's lightening striking very close by, and our windows which let in generous sunlight during the daytime hours, seem to be taking back the low light from our warm house, pulling it into the storm and intermittent darkness. But we're safe. There's pheasant stew in the crock pot, barely 4 hours into a 10 hour simmer, and it's filling the house with all sorts of amazing aromas. Comforting aromas.

And we're safe. Some of us... well, three of us, are asleep on the couch. The one remaining is contemplating his songbook and working on the computer, wishing that his diligence would stay the work week completely, but knowing sleep must (should?) come and the inevitable will arrive. Ah sleep...

When I last wrote something approaching a coherent entry, I was smack in the middle of what turned out to be a true sleepless night. Perhaps it was that night that broke me completely and lead me to seek professional help for my seemingly worsening sleep patterns. But whatever it was, this is the last night for a while that I'll be willingly embracing my insomnia.

Starting tomorrow night, I'll be actively (an ironic word when used to describe sleep-related activity, I guess) pursuing a rigid, pharmaceutically enforced bedtime, as directed and prescribed by my doctor. At my annual physical last week, I raised the specter of my insomnia. After I told him how much and when I slept, my doctor informed me that my sleep habits were a disaster. No shit.

He also informed me that I exhibited many of the signs of depression. And that my sleep habits and my moods were most likely related. I do trust my doctor. He's a smoker. Which actually comforts me, for some reason. I don't know why. Anyway, he suggested that we try addressing my sleep habits first, in the hope that it would clarify my "mental health issues."

So I'll be trying out a course of Ambien, the sleep drug whose mascot is, I believe, a fluorescent butterfly. It is worth noting that, according to the commercials for Ambien, one of it's side effects is "drowsiness." No shit.

Anyway... I gave it a try on Friday night and it worked wonders. So it'll be interesting seeing how it goes over a longer period of time. Other than that...

I do have a great story about an eating experience we had about a week ago. Simply the best (and most expensive) meal I've ever eaten. But I'll save that. I should go to bed now. So instead, I'll share my latest creation, a song called resurrection. This song was written in, literally, about 10 collective minutes. I wrote the verse pattern in a split second on Thursday night in the midst of a lesson. The first verse was written on the train on Friday morning. The chorus (both music and words) and the second verse were written in about 5 minutes on Saturday morning at work. When we get the chance to record our next full-length record (hopefully entitled "The Dark Before the Dawn"), I would like for this song to close it. And for it to feature a group of gospel singers.

RESURRECTION Take this blood For it's not mine Take this sea And make it wine Take this mark It's yours to wear Take this cross It's yours to bear I'm on your side I'm on your side I'm on your side I'm on your side Take this sand It's yours to walk Take this door It's yours to lock Take this air It's yours to breathe Take this heart It's yours to leave I'm on your side I'm on your side I'm on your side I'm on your side


Friday, March 10, 2006

Bridge to Words

And in the dawn as the darkness comes undone I open my mouth and let the lightening touch my tongue And suddenly I know exactly what to say And all the wailing walls, they just crumble and tumble and tumble Away... It's changed


Thursday, March 09, 2006


Time Is always on my mind And though I'm working hard Everything just seems to fall apart I heard He wouldn't take your calls He wouldn't let you hear His voice was full of tears And love begins to take its toll And diamonds start to turn to coal It's darkest just before the day But the harder we run the farther it gets away So I walked The miles turned to years The city burned to ash But the fires didn't last Sleep Was nowhere to be found I heard a mouring bird call The stars were in a free fall And love begins to take its toll And diamonds start to turn to coal It's darkest just before the day But the harder we run the farther it gets away


Monday, March 06, 2006

Why I Had to Fall

And so the waiting begins And so the winter settles in I'm still waiting on my wings And outside the twilight starts to sing It's why I had to fall It's why I had to fall We've all got something to make it okay But it seems like it works less and less every day So go to sleep and wait for dawn Or pack your bags and just move on It's why I had to fall It's why I had to fall They say "Sometimes you fly" They say "Hey, you're still alive" But while they're singing "Hallelujah" They'll put the nails right through you 


Friday, March 03, 2006


so it's after two o'clock in the morning here right now i just got back from an almost two hour walk in the fairly bitter cold i didn't realize how cold it was until i got home and my fingers were so frozen i could barely manage my keys hendrix however seemed like he could have walked for another hour he's like that with walks so you're wondering why i was out walking in the bitter cold at two in the morning well so am i have you ever had a certain moment where you felt like the world's axis was shifting like the magnetic poles were flip flopping moments like these usually happen after midnight and often in the cold of winter anyway i was having one of those moments mapping out the future replaying the past second guessing choices wondering what and who i can count on now and who i'll be able to count on in the future and i came to the conclusion that i me i am too considerate too earnest and too committed too sensitive too thoughtful and too compassionate for my own good most people aren't half as considerate as me and that's weird because i probably come off as pretty selfish and self-centered after all i write a fucking blog but i'm not really that selfish i tend to put other people before myself and it's hard when you feel like other people are knowingly or not taking advantage of your compassion or not giving you what you need or deserve especially when you love them moments like these are best contemplated alone or at most with your dog because a dog will always give you the love you need regardless the big question is how to fix all this thats the big question because i feel like if i just keep going along it's not going to get better on its own it's probably going to get worse so i'm not exactly sure what to do about it i guess i'll just keep plugging away and working hard and see where that takes me i'm too frozen to take another walk and it's nearly three o'clock and even hendrix seems like he's bedded down for the night maybe i'll follow his lead jbg