Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Just Another Man, Man

Listen to Just Another Man

So it's come to this:

Writing about Just Another Man, the last song on the Paper Arrows' record Days of Getting By.

Somewhat ironic in that just this week we rereleased Days of Getting By through Quell Records.

It's available here.

We have another record that's done and ready to be released.  Not sure when that will happen, but likely by the fall.  In the meantime, I'll be playing out on my own quite a bit, learning the ropes of being a touring musician, splitting my time between playing the ever-expanding Odyssey and trying to crack the code of bringing Paper Arrows to the masses.  Or at least the crowds.  Or at least a couple of enthusiastic listeners at a coffee shop in Canton, Ohio, on a Friday night.

With one such mini-tour under my belt, I've discovered the following:

When in doubt, Super 8 over Motel 6.  8 is great than 6 so this should be a no-brainer.

If you want to take a jog in Erie, Pennsylvania, make sure you have use of a car to drive to a place you feel safe jogging.

If you like the smell of sadness, go to a casino in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Or just Erie, PA, in general.

Man cannot live on hotel continental breakfasts alone, but he can damn well try.

I drink less on the road than I do at home.  Hmmmm.

AM Radio may be the bell lap of human decency.  Holy shit.  The AM stands for "All Morons."

It's lonely on the road, even for a couple of nights/days.  It's just you (or rather, just me) and hotel rooms and the car.  And a couple of hours of performing (if I'm lucky) a day.  And a whole bunch of logistics.  Logistics everywhere.

Even for a couple days, it gets a little strange being alone with your thoughts and especially alone with your material.

This is maybe the most important thing with respect to the song Just Another Man.

Just Another Man is essentially about... well, about the material of being human.  Recognizing faults.  Recognizing your own faults and your own errors and your own idiosyncrasies and doing your best.  And being honest about when you're doing your best and when you can do better.

Which is really about all anybody can do.

Recording this one was interesting (it always is).

It started as a quiet fingerpicker and we revved it up pretty good with a band arrangement.  I played the guitar during the verses (which I'm really proud of) and Darren actually played the guitar on the chorus, which was cool.  Luke's playing is typically tasteful and Jay stepped up with some more muscular bass playing than is typically found on the Paper Arrows stuff.

If memory serves, I cut the vocals very very quickly and we all gathered around one microphone to sing the backups as a group.

Love the way it turned out and love it as an album closer.

Back to the idea of being human...

The Paper Arrows catalog has been and always will be a reflection of me and my humanity.

Part of what (I think) keeps me from playing out behind the Paper Arrows name more often is the rawness and immediacy of the material.  I write it to get it out of my system in some ways, to record it and sort of forget about it, and playing (playing it well at least) requires me to revisit some of the stuff and feelings that motivated me to write it.

And that's just something I have to embrace and get over or at least embrace if I ever want this thing to go anywhere.

So here's to Paper Arrows, the road, and being just another man.

For better or worse.

But lately more better than worse.


I want it to work
I want it to last
I want to find out what happens next
But I don't want to go too fast

I want to hear your voice
I want to touch your skin
I was to hold your heart in my hands
But I don't want to let love in

'Cause I found
Staying underground
Is easier than facing the day
I hope you understand
I'm just another man
Just another man

I want to feel the prayers
And I want to see the light
I want to know where we go in the dark
But I don't want to put in the fight

'Cause I found
Staying underground
Is easier than facing the day
I hope you understand
I'm just another man
Just another man

I want to fill up the sky
And sing into the blue
I want silver and gold in my soul
But I don't want to tell the truth

'Cause I found
Staying underground
Is easier than facing the day
I hope you understand
I'm just another man
Just another man