Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Life is strange.

The winter solstice... 3 years ago yesterday I heard the first inkling of what Paper Arrows would become... a rough mix of the radically reworked Look Alive.

This winter solstice was my first day in a new life... a life completely rooted in playing and teaching music.

I have a lot more to say about that and a host of other things...

I hope this new life will allow me to write a bit more often here... 

I hope 2010 will be as wonderful and exciting as it seems like it will be.

I... hope.



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Echo in Disguise

You're never alone if you've got me So let's fly to the coast and sleep on the sea I opened my eyes and saw you were there Reading the news and breathing the air I am paralyzed An echo in disguise That's alright What you say, I'll say (You say, I say) Word by word Day by day by day...


Thursday, October 15, 2009


Wow... Where have the weeks gone? Looks like 2009 will be characterized by barely-monthly postings here. We did the Chicago Triathlon in August and I thought once that was over, I'd have more time and energy to dedicate to this... But, alas.

So... In sum: We licensed the second Paper Arrows disc to a bunch of shows on a couple of TV networks (MTV, E!, Oxygen).

We signed with a college booking agent for 2010 and are hoping he gets us out on the road.

We (not Paper Arrows, but rather Andrea and I) did the Chicago Triathlon... and it was an incredible and successful experience.

We traveled to NYC (twice) and Vegas for weddings.

Quell initiated and finalized plans to release a couple records in the next six months not by Paper Arrows.

I've been continuing to plug away at writing the next Paper Arrows record... mostly writing early in the morning, routine I started back in the spring... I have to say, it's been challenging. I have about 15 or so songs done... very few have come easily. I keep waiting to kind of turn a corner on this group of songs but it hasn't happened yet...

I'm usually a two-for-one writer, i.e. I need to write two songs to get one that is good enough to record... meaning I'd like to have about 20 songs done before I think about recording... out of the 15 I have, maybe 6 or 7 are what I would consider strong enough... so I'm pretty close to the two for one ratio... Still... this record hasn't quite crystalized yet... the other two Paper Arrows records, maybe just by default and subject matter, had very clear turning points from a writing standpoint... songs I wrote that kind of focused the projects...

Although, upon further reflection... I do think I have the first and last songs written, the bookends... and that's something. So... I will keep pushing in the mornings, keep writing on the train... keep on looking for what this record will be... I know it will show itself.



Thursday, September 03, 2009

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Sweet Fragment

Time won't wait for us The sky might open up But I Will keep you dry Until we're gone


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Still Got You

Can you tell That I've been down and out My heart's a bell And it's ringing, ringing loud Been up all night Sleeping on the couch In the blue light Waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting now Things change And that's okay We're still here once the heartache fades Still got you Still got you And nothing's gonna take it, take it away Now we dream Of when it fell apart How they beat These skyscraper hearts Feel the dawn Swallowing the dark See the sun Following the stars Things change And that's okay We're still here once the heartache fades Still got you Still got you And nothing's gonna take it, take it away Where the streets Mark memories and goodbyes We've planted seeds And they're growing to the sky From the cracks In the pavement of our eyes Coming back Now, proof that we survived Things change And that's okay We're still here once the heartache fades Still got you Still got you And nothing's gonna take it, take it away


Monday, June 29, 2009

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

(Mostly) New Things

Please, Please Near (When You Wake) Yesterday's Light In the Morning (Dirty Engine) Smoke and Ash Lonesome Town (Light) Hold On Resurrection



Thursday, May 28, 2009


What a blur... The last few weeks I mean. Seriously. Our release party on the 17th was a resounding success... I will have more fallout from that event to report very soon... I hope.

Of course, there has been the inevitable let down... which, in this case, has taken the form of some bizarre spring cold, which has been harassing me for over a week now... and has cut into my morning writing time... every last bit of sleep has become more valuable so staying in bed has taken precedent. 

But yesterday and today have been better, and I've been able to resume my dawn-lit creativity... It is such an interesting change writing first thing in the morning... I think I mentioned, but most of writing up to this point in my life has been evening writing... or late night writing... So stumbling out of bed into a cup of coffee and my guitar as the sun rises has been like discovering a different way to write.

So far, I've pushed (and not without some effort) out 5 or so new tunes, 2 of which are really strong, and a bunch of additional pieces and fragments. The new stuff is... different. As it should be. I'm still not really sure where it's all going, but I'm starting to get to the point at which the material starts feeding back on itself, creating a little echo chamber... where themes start to emerge and in turn further influence the subject matter and musical content of the even newer writing.

Maybe the best of these new tunes (maybe the best song I've ever written?) is a quiet and sweet ballad entitled Near. Enjoy...

NEAR Restless dreams Are taking flight Along the darkness Of a quiet night On the heights Of the avenue We make our lives Within these rooms Close your eyes I'll dry your tears When you wake I'll be near In the sky Beneath the planes You breathe in time I try to do the same We rise at dawn We ride the trains And dream of growing old And of trembling again Close your eyes I'll dry your tears When you wake I'll be near When you wake I'll be near


Monday, May 04, 2009

In the Morning

A couple weeks ago, I decided to try a new approach to writing. With Things We Would Rather Lose out, press starting to come back in, our college radio campaign successfully underway, and the release show almost upon us, I realized that it had been awhile since I had written anything I liked... anything with any substance.

Part of that comes from being so busy with all things record release. Part of it comes from the fact that I hadn't put in the time to figure out how to properly write in our new place... which, given that we've been in since July... well, it gives you an idea of my writing drought. Some of that comes from the uncertainty and disarray of our living arrangements from almost the time we moved in until just a couple months ago and some comes from the fact that since about July, recording and releasing TWWRL have been first and foremost on my mind and taking up the majority of my creative energy. 

And it's not like I haven't been writing at all... I've come across music I like and I've jotted down plenty of words and bits and pieces of song ideas over the last nine months... I just haven't really finished anything I liked all that much, and didn't really have a sense of what comes after TWWRL... TWWRL was so easy in part because of what I was going through at the time it was written and how naturally it followed Look Alive... I had so much material to work with and songs were jumping out of me on such a frequent basis... hence the 25 songs we narrowed down to the 9 that made the record.

Now, it feels like... kind of a What Comes After the Blues question to borrow a phrase. So two weeks ago, I felt the need to try to start to figure out 1) how I was going to write the next record, and 2) what the next record will sound and feel like and be about. It's always a little scary getting started writing again after a time in which you've been dry... I always wonder if the magic and the inspiration is going to be there... if I can write songs that live up to and surpass what I've written previously...

With TWWRL this feeling was even more pronounced because I feel like that record is just... well, really good and really powerful. And I feel the bar has been set pretty high for me as a writer and for the band as a project. So what I set out to do was to turn the creative process upside down a bit... to try something new. In the past, I've written primarily at night... after work, later on... and on the train, especially coming home from downtown in anticipation of more writing later in the evening.

So for the new writing, I decided to take a page from Tennessee Williams and Jason Molina and write as early in the morning as I could bring myself to get out of bed. Which is 5:30, the time Andrea gets up. So over the last two weeks, I've solved the riddle of the timer on the coffee maker, rose at the sound of the alarm on the other side of the bed, and stumbled out into the kitchen to a fresh pot of coffee. After delivering a cup of coffee to Andrea in back, stepping around a still-slumbering dog, I set up shop in our living room with the sun just barely starting to creep in through our giant east-facing picture window... coffee in front of me, guitar, and writing book.

I write for a little more than an hour, sometimes with a song already in mind, sometimes just looking for an idea on the guitar, sometimes just sitting and writing words. After cleaning up, getting ready and taking the dog out, I've ride the Brown Line downtown, grabbing a seat and letting it carry me all the way around the Loop, continuing to write and work on whatever inspiration I found at home in the new light.

And the verdict? So far, so good. Due to a couple days I spent the morning running downtown (a story for another entry), I probably gotten a solid... 7 days of morning writing in over the last two weeks... and currently there are 4 (and counting this morning, 5) new songs to show for it.

And there's something a little different about the songs... both musically and lyrically... as it should be. The songs aren't all done yet, but they're at least a couple verses, a chorus... enough to know that I should finish them, that they are strong enough to start to take the shape of the next record...

So... A lot more new lyrics coming very very soon... Here's to the morning and all the hope and promise it brings in all sorts of different ways.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Come She Will

Could it be any more of an April Monday in Chicago? Cold, rainy, windy... I'm listening to Bon Iver, my current musical obsession. Really really moving stuff. And somehow perfect for today.

We've been so busy with more busy in the forecast... a big college-radio promotion to get out in the next week and a release show on May 17th to coordinate, rehearse for, promote... Not to mention various visits and outings and travel and training over the course of the spring into the summer... All very exciting if not a little overwhelming...

Especially on a coldrainywindy Monday in Chicago in April. Don't know why some lyrics I wrote back in... 06? 07? popped into my head this morning: Time is passing as we sleep The days are falling into weeks And I'm still disappearing Slowly


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Costello-ing Creativity

This article made me very very happy... In general, the release of music made by Elvis Costello is cause for celebration. The details of his new album seem to confirm this will again be the case... from the roster of talent, to the producer, to the tunes, to the actual name of the album... Secret, Profane & Sugarcane Say it out-loud.


The link in the article to Elvis' website/journal is even better... there's a fantastic, song-by-song (perhaps these are the liner notes even?) and player-by-player breakdown, ostensibly written by the man himself. I just love reading what creative people write about creativity... it's no substitute for actual creativity obviously, but it does provoke ideas and allow one to perform a kind of self-analysis of one's own creative process, one's own goals and agenda...

From this particular piece, two quotes stood out (where have I written that before?):

"Sometimes I think it actually steals a little from the listener to say exactly what a song contains." 

"There are undeniable threads and themes of rivers and oceans traveled, of bondage and guilt, of shame and retribution, of piety, profanity, lust and love, though only the last of these is absolute. There are always contradictions. The music offers the way out. It offers the way home."

Regarding the first... I feel like I've been wrestling with this idea since the Post-Modern Philosophy class I took in college called The Death of the Author... in which we examined the idea of who determines the meaning of a piece of art: the author or the perceiver. As this blog evidences, I lean towards disclosing as many details about the art I create as I feel comfortable... but I sometimes wonder if it's better to just leave it up to the listener to interpret with nothing but the actual piece of art. 

Regarding the second quote... Really, what more is there to say? The King has spoken.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Motown, No Problems

So I was emailing with an old and important friend last week, and we were discussing what music we had been listening to recently... I was telling him I had been kind of obsessing over the Marvin Gaye/Tami Terrell duets album... and my taste for Motown had spread to rediscovering the Four Tops.

My friend wrote that he thought Motown was a little sappy and sentimental and couldn't listen to it without thinking about Barry Gordy and some of the politics that surrounded the creation and marketing of the music. Which are all good points.

The thing is... when I listen to, for instance, Standing in the Shadows of Love... I don't hear any of the politics, any of the exploitation... anything in the least bit calculated. I just hear a great song with simple but deceptively dark lyrics performed by a killer band with a great (and underrated?) singer supported by superb backgrounds and production...

Ditto a song like Bernadette... sure, a love song, but I've always thought there were not-so-subtle overtones of infatuation in the lyrics and the incredible, almost desperate vocals. And Ain't No Mountain High Enough... I mean, it's a relatively simple love song lyrically... but if you read a bit closer, it seems pretty poignant to me... not complex, not heavy, not Bob Dylan... but direct and honest and startlingly moving.

So... what's my point? Not sure I have one. It's just hard to argue with the formula of good writing, good production, good musicianship, and good vocal performance...

And James Jamerson.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Fostering Creativity

For the last few weeks, I've been obsessing over this article in the New Yorker about David Foster Wallace. The story is packed with quotes and insight and not a little tragedy.

These two quotes have been echoing around my head a little louder than the others...

“I want to author things that both restructure worlds and make living people feel stuff.”

“It seems like the big distinction between good art and so-so art lies . . . in be[ing] willing to sort of die in order to move the reader, somehow. Even now I’m scared about how sappy this’ll look in print, saying this. And the effort to actually to do it, not just talk about it, requires a kind of courage I don’t seem to have yet.”

I mean... Really.

A couple of things about the first quote: I love the sentiment and also the expression of this sentiment... the idea that you can strive to make art big and important enough to "restructure worlds" while still maintaining its capacity to move individuals on a personal level... I love the use of the word "stuff" and more broadly the phrase "feel stuff." Wallace had as big and complex a vocabulary as anybody... and I love that he chose the word "stuff." Just so... messy and beautiful... and perfect somehow for this idea. 

A couple of things about the second quote: The more I think about it, the more I think that Wallace has managed to distill everything one needs to know about making art into this one sentence... I love the distinction he draws is between "so-so" art and "good" art... implying, I think, that one can make competent pleasing art without "being willing to sort of die" but that in order to make special art, there needs to be a different level of vulnerability and commitment. I love the line "willing to sort of die in order to move the reader, somehow." Again, with the kind of throw-away messy wording of "sort of," "somehow."

On first blush it seems to have sinister even eerie connotations given that he hung himself... but really, this idea is completely unrelated to his tragic end... I love his awareness that it sounds kind of sappy to put it that way. Which it does. But that doesn't make it untrue.

Lastly, I love his self-analysis... and the idea that it's so much easier to say something of this magnitude than it is to actually put it into practice. I think this whole article in general and these quotes specifically have so much resonance for me right now because I'm trying to write again after finishing a project... and that's usually a somewhat tricky time for me creatively. I'm still reacting to what I've just finished but trying to break free from it and start something new... I'm usually acutely aware of what I've just finished, and what I like about it and what I want to try to do different.

And finally, and most importantly, I'm still stuck in a conceptual frame of mind rather than a directly creative... I'm not thinking "how can I move the listener" or "what am I feeling and trying to express," I'm thinking "what should I try to express" or "what would be cool to try to express." If that makes sense.

It's hard to break free from the conceptual frame of mind, because that's what making a set of songs into an album is all about... you look at the collection of songs you're recording and piece together what they're about,the common themes, etc. If you're like me and you write the songs mostly in the same period of time about a certain time in your life, it's pretty simple. Themes naturally tie the material together... But even then, there are some surprises and a lot of different shades of meaning and complex emotion...

So, the new album could have been many different permutations of the 25 songs we started with... but the cool thing is, and I've never said this about a project before, Things We Would Rather Lose turned out exactly the way it should have... really, exactly the way it had to... I can't imagine these songs about the last two years of my life being any different, from a writing standpoint as well as recording standpoint.

That doesn't mean people will like them or really that they're any good... but they couldn't have been anything different than they are... And that's pretty cool. So... right now, I'm stuck thinking about what I should write rather than just writing and sorting the conceptual piece out later... I'm sure I'll get through it... I always have before... and maybe I'll have the Wallace article to thank.

Somehow. Sort of. And stuff.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

What Light?

So these last few weeks have been a bit hectic... But there's a light (what light?)... And the light is a weekend away, wineries, massages, and gambling.


On top of the more immediate weekend light, I feel like there's a bigger light up ahead... many things wrapping up, and many things just beginning...

Good times. Bright light.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

And I Ran

So... It's weird not having a TV this week... Nice in a lot of ways... We don't watch a ton of TV per se, but we do have it on most nights to help decompress from our long days. So with nothing to steal my focus and numb my mind for a couple of days (other than beer), I'm going to try to write about some of the things I've been saving up... things I've been meaning to write about...

The warmer weather over the last couple days has allowed us to run twice since Sunday... the first run, 5.5 miles, was fun and felt good in spite of the fact that we've run exactly three times since November... and none since early January. Needless to say, Monday was painful... hamstrings and calf muscles were displeased...

But we got out again last night (in shorts!) and took on another 5 miles, this time under a beautiful rising moon. It was tough... it reminded me of how my legs felt at the end of my longer training runs... the 18 and 20 mile slogs of last September... only this was at mile 4... But even factoring in the massive discomfort, it was just so nice to be outside running again...

I've missed it so much this winter... that's not to say that our break from running and embrace of swimming hasn't been a good thing... I love our triathlon aspirations and I know my body needed a break from running after almost three years of continuous distance training... It's still amazing to me to consider that before July of 2006, I had never run more than 3.5 miles.

And not even three years later I've completed two half and two full marathons. And I can't remember the last time we had a run of fewer than 5 miles. And over the course of training for my two marathons, I ran no fewer that twenty-four runs of 13 miles or more. The marathons themselves have been almost anti-climactic... mostly owing to the fact that the weather has sucked for both. It's really been the training that I've enjoyed the most...

So many runs stick out in my mind... epic runs in the rain... runs where I held a pace I thought impossible for 10 miles in the summer dusk, hurtling past surprised animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo, gritting my teeth as I reached for the homestretch, gutting out 7:30 minute miles, one after another... 

Probably my favorite were the long Sunday morning runs... I get up at 5:30 and out the door by 6:00 pushing through the deserted city streets in the dark or growing light... I come across the refuse of Saturday night partying, both inanimate and alive (barely)... people weaving on the sidewalks in bare feet, walks of shame... My body struggles to find its stride, my legs feel dead... what the fuck? Only three miles in... I tell myself that it's my body making me conserve energy, knowing I have a long way to go... As the day continues to break, I find myself at Belmont and Pulaski, or some such nondescript northside intersection... more cars on the street now... I'm getting close to my first water break and my first gel pack, a nice dose of carbs and a bit of caffeine... Even more cars and people... I'm through the water and gel pack, and now up on Lawrence where bakeries are starting to open their doors... it's after 7 now and I'm feeling better... my body's warm, my legs are starting to turn over... another water stop on Lawrence and all of a sudden I'm on Lincoln, the final stretch of the solo portion of the run... 9 miles down, 11 to go... I'm greeted by Andrea in front of our place... she's got another gel pack and some water for me, which I need badly, the effects of the first having worn off... We set off south and I am so grateful for the company... I no longer have to satisfy my verbal impulses by talking to myself and shouting at squirrels... I get a burst from running alongside someone with fresh legs... her energy makes it seem like a whole new run... we chat about what I missed at home in the hour and a half or so I was gone... usually nothing. As we wind our way through Lakeview and then Lincoln Park, the city has come fully alive... and we hit the park just north of the Zoo feeling good... we have another gel pack and some water and continue south... I'm at the half marathon point now, feeling pretty good... everything is automatic and the miles are starting to fly by... we continue south beyond the zoo, and then cut east to the lakefront... Now we're on the last two legs... 3 miles north on the lake shore path and 2 miles west to our home... Speaking of the last two legs, mine are burning... everything is still automatic, but I'm really starting to feel every muscle in my legs as I near the three hour mark of running... the path is crowded with runners and bikes... a lot of runners wear the look of having been out running as long as me, a lot of marathon training going on for sure... Our last water and gel pack is consumed just before we turn off the lake onto Irving Park... and now we're on a mission, so close to the end... the steeple of St. Ben's pokes into view and we know that we're so close... our pace picks up as we start to empty the tank of all remaining energy... muscles and feet are screaming now but we're finishing strong... we cut north for two blocks and then finish with a half mile on Berteau... and now we're walking with hands on hips, our bodies still in shock... Up the four flights of stairs on numb and trembling legs and greeted by the usual excited dog... I'm in the shower immediately, and then on to stretching as best I can... Andrea is making whole wheat banana pancakes, our staple post run food... we're downing Gatorade as fast as our stomachs can handle it and have just taken 1000 milligrams of ibuprofen... the smell of coffee runs through the house... And we're sitting on the couch, eating pancakes, drinking coffee, watching Meet the Press, and reading the Sunday paper... our bodies are telling us they've had enough and need to shut down... Slowly, the eyes close and the house is silent... the sunlight of the late morning shines in on three quiet souls, breathing in near unison... legs twitch, the coffee maker turns off automatically...

And everything is good.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Hollowed Out Rooms

What a week what a week what a week... Sometimes I feel like my life is one big administrative task... I have all sorts of things about which to write and zero energy to write them.

I want it to be spring for real...
I want to be training consistently again...
I want the hundreds of press kits I have to get out this week to be in the mail and on their way to helping ears...
I want to know what people think of the new record...
I want to be back in our new home...
I want to be completely out of my old home...
I want these hollowed out rooms to be filled with someone else's things...
I want the echoes deadened...
I want to settle into a solid and safe home and a disciplined approach to my art...
I want to write an entire album of songs on the piano, and then not record them...
I want to promote and sell the fuck out of Things We Would Rather Lose so I can record the follow up as soon as possible...
I want to sleep better...
I want to buy a nice piece of art to hang over the fireplace...
I want to walk the dog more often...
I want to have a drink with Mickey Rourke...
Whoa. Where the heck did that come from?

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Blood?

Blood on the road And I'm thinking of you As the empire explodes And they're burning the dead In the name of the Son And we're trying to forget What we saw What we saw


Sunday, January 18, 2009


So I have it.

The album I mean.

Things We Would Rather Lose.

It's mixed and mastered and locked and loaded... The mastering job was worth every penny... I don't know how to describe the difference between the final mixes to the mastered product... we've listened to it a couple of times since Friday on a couple of different sound systems and... I really just don't have words to describe it. I've blogged a lot about it over the... well, it's crazy to say, but it's really the culmination of almost two years...

I started writing it, I guess, right after (or maybe even while) we finished the first Paper Arrows record... and it was written over most of 2007 and into early 2008... and we started tracking in summer 2008... and now... it's done.

It was originally conceived of as a double album called Skyscraper Hearts... I had 25 songs for it... it was going to be split into a loud record and a quiet record. Jay, thankfully, pushed it more towards a conventional record.

We picked 11 out of 25 and wound up recording 9 songs... some of the songs we left off are really really good... I don't know what I'm going to do with them, but I should do something. But where this project wound up... this particular collection of songs and the way we recorded and mixed them... It just feels like it couldn't (and shouldn't) have been done any other way... it feels right to me.

We really made it our mission to attack each song in whatever way we thought best... so we brought in different musicians including horns... we used different sounds... we had a bigger budget so we were able to record and mix all of it in studios, as opposed to Look Alive, which was tracked in the attic...

I could write about so many different things with respect to the final product... about the performances, about Jay's production, Manny's mix... each time we've listened there's been a new thought, a new angle, a new sound... and I love that through all the different sounds, the styles, the instruments... it is a album about recovery from loss and the lyrics are the thread that connect the sounds... and that diversity of sound, the eclecticity is the perfect way to describe, to convey how complex recovery is... jarring, disorienting, positive, negative, relieved, angry, sad, numb, confused, clear headed... all of those things... and they're all there...

The next steps are playing this House of Blues show on Thursday, and then getting to work on press for the release of the album... which is April 7. I've kind of put writing on hold until I heard the final product but... I anticipate now my mind will be free to start figuring out what comes next... And that's really the question...

I wrote an album of songs that were about loss... losing someone.

I wrote an album of songs that were about recovering from losing someone.

So what happens after you've recovered?

Because... I think I have. Some of the bits of writing I have done seem to be about what I've found in the recovery process... about faith really and not faith in god, more faith in people and love... So maybe that's it...

The one song I have yet to examine here is Skyscraper Hearts. While I'm glad the album is called Things We Would Rather Lose... the original title was Skyscraper Hearts for a reason... I knew I had something special with this song... it was one of those mysterious songs that just kind of... pours out of you... you know what you're writing about but it's something more... it's beyond the concrete thing about which you're writing...

The recording of Skyscraper was incredible... from the killer horn arrangement, to the guitar part Jay and I created on the fly... to the vocals, half of which were recorded on the very last day before mixing, and half of which were recorded on the very first day, the scratch track day...

It's almost too perfect in how the performance even surrounds the recording... listening to the demo version of me singing along to an acoustic guitar part in a tiny little isolation room... and then listening to the final product, which is one of the biggest sounding things we've done...

The phrase Skyscraper Hearts had been turning up here and there in my writing back into probably 05 or 06... it was one of those situations where you have an idea or an image but you don't have anything to which to attach it... it doesn't mean anything more than the words... so it just sits until you experience something that gives it meaning and significance...

And that something to me was the gut wrenching personal loss of separation and divorce... as well as meeting and connecting with someone who had gone through something just as gut wrenching if not more so...

And seeing and feeling what loss does to one... and level of despair to which it can push you... and how you fight to rebuild... and... I could try to write more on it... but maybe it's better to just let the words speak for themselves...

SKYSCRAPER HEARTS Your eyes They fall Upon the ground Your tears They crawl Upon my cheek We rise At night And breathe the starlight We rise At night As big as the sky And time is never there And time is never fair We dream Of empty rooms And moving trucks We wake To find That it's all gone They beat In cages Filled with silence They beat These skyscraper hearts Of ours And time is never there And time is never fair The light It comes when we are falling into dust The light It shines from where the buildings fall into a sea Of love It tries To drown us in our waking lives When in our hearts we're running out of Time is never fair And time is never there And time is never fair And time is never there


Friday, January 02, 2009


On New Year's Eve, before the full festivities (such as they were) began, we had a quiet beer and did an accounting of 2008... okay, we had a quiet beer after a quiet bottle of champagne...

And it was pretty striking how much we accomplished in 2008 and how much we set ourselves up to accomplish in 2009. From promotions, to artistic creations, to a new home... Sure, there were challenging moments and times... sure, everything didn't go completely as planned. But that's the way most years go. 2008 was also a year of healing... a year of the heart really and truly moving on.

It's weird how the recording process lags behind the writing process... the lyrics to the songs I sang in 2008 were largely written in 2007... and so, as I've mentioned here, it was strange to revisit them when I had clearly moved past a lot of the subject matter and a lot of the emotions.

Listening to the final mixes over the last week has been challenging and incredible... mastering happens next week, and I have in my possession the album packaging (which turned out amazing). It's weird how songs turn out... you never really know what they're going to sound like, even down to the very end... such is the mixing process.

Perhaps the best song to sum up 2008 is How the Heart Moves On. I wrote this song very quickly with 4 chords. The lyrics are super simple and direct... probably the simplest on the album. I was trying to capture some of the start and stop nature of healing... The recording turned out great... it's just a rock tune complete with a guitar solo... nothing out of the ordinary but, I think, very effective.

So... on to 2009... can't wait.

HOW THE HEART MOVES ON Slowly With hesitation Pulling away Trying In silent spaces What can be saved? And while we're sleeping Someone is leaving Someone is breathing In and out and in and out Sinking Into the hollow That swallows us in the dark Fighting Will desparation To hold on, hold on to the spark And while we're sleeping Someone is leaving Someone is breathing In and out and in and out