Uncut (New Tunes 2019-2020)

Wrote a bunch of new ones.  Check ’em out if you wanna.

The writing jag began last July but really kicked into daily gear in December.  By early June it was clear I’d better turn off the tap in order to edit and record what I already had in the journal.  On July 24 I finished laying down one-mic, quick and dirty Pro Tools versions of the tunes with no cutting, pasting, arranging or adding instruments.  Hence, The Uncut Collection. 

Thanks for listening to any of them that pique your interest.  They are listed below in “most recent to oldest” order.  Duration of the tune follows the title.  The light/heavy designations let you know whether you’re in for a depressing slog or a joyful ride.  Sort of.

Prove Me Wrong. (1:53)  Heavy. My son shared his views on human nature and ended by saying he’d be happy if the world up and proved him wrong. 6.01.20


Eighty/Twenty.  (2:00) Heavy.  I wondered the other day if my post-pandemic songwriting efforts were fairly well balanced between light tunes about springtime and heavy tunes about trauma.  This is what happened. 5.30.20


Drama.  (1:42) Heavy.  Thoughts on the various layers of trauma we’re feeling these days. 5.29.20


Common Ground.  (2:34) Heavy.  Lament for an iconic venue we played and had a ton of gigs set up for this year that closed in late May because of the virus. 5.28.20


Angel.  (2.25) Heavy.  Lament for poor old dual-natured humanity.  If you’d like to offer suggestions for the last two lines, go for it!  5.27.20


Sprung.  (2:09)  Light.  A reflection on the eight seasons (Spring, Sprung, Summer, Simmer, Fall, Fell, Winter, Wanter). 5.26.20


Parisite.  (2:11)  Heavy.  An attempt to address those regretful thoughts that haunt me on a daily basis like malarial flies.  5.22.20


Rascals. (2:37)  Heavy.  Tried to write song where the listener couldn’t tell if the villain was the virus or the pig fucker neo lib fascists.  5.21.20


Adoration.  (2:58)  Light.  A birthday song for my sweet wife. When my friend, Al, wrote a beautiful love song for his wife, Rhonda,  several years ago, she listened to him play it for her, thanked him for his efforts then asked, “Would it have killed you to get ‘Rhonda’ in there somewhere?”   I learned from that.  5.19.20


If We Ever Gig Again. (2:26)  Light.  A melancholic speculation. 5.15.20


Observation. (1:27)  Light.  this song is like the TV show Seinfeld in that there is no plot.  It’s not about anything.  It’s also like the fantastic Gahan Wilson cartoon below.


Napping. (2:33) Heavy.  In Mid-May it became obvious we were incapable of staying inside and distancing ourselves one minute longer.  Sigh.  5.12.20


Birds and Trees.  (2:34) Light.  Cheery reflection on the glory of spring. 5.09.20


Whither.  Heavy.  (2:06)  Written in shock as I continued to grapple with the pandemic lockdown. 5.06.20


Coping.  (1:55)  Light.  How we are getting through thee pandemic days.  5.03.20


Entropy.  (1:58).  Heavy.  It all falls apart.  5.2.20


Vernal Pandemic Pastoral (Fucking Snow). (2:46)  Light.  The title sort of says it all. 5.01.20


Essential. (1:50).  Light.  Who’s essential?  What’s essential?  (5.01.20)


Here on Out. (2:28) Heavy.  Again with the pandemic shock! 4.26.20


Granite.  (2:46)  Light.  An homage to the passing of heros and a celebration that the granite ain’t been laid down yet that’s fit to bear your particular epitaph.  4.22.20 based on a line written on 2.16.20.


Festival. ( 3:13) Heavy. Lament for the lost summer festival season this year. 4.21.20


Killing Time. (1:41)  Heavy.  More of the same…pondering how so many folks could be working so hard doing dangerous stuff as I sat here writing about it.  4.20.20


Waiting. ( 3:17)  Heavy.  Written in shock as I continued to grapple with the pandemic lockdown. 4.15.20


Portal.  ( 1:51)  Heavy.  Written in shock as I continued to grapple with the pandemic lockdown. Tip of the cap to Arundhati Roi for her inspired piece of pandemic writing. 4.13.20


Dissonance.  ( 2:28) Heavy.  How can I be having it so good when everything else is going to hell in a hand basket?  4.04.20


The Next One. (2.40) Heavy.  The optimistic slant of Opportunity from a few days before gave way to this bleak prognostication which I swore, upon completion, would never see the light of day. 3.30.20


Opportunity. (2:12)  The first of the pandemic tunes, written after a walk around the neighborhood where we encountered, from the then-weird and now somehow normal distance of six feet, a few neighbors who were (already!) also out trying to beat the lockdown blues.  3.22.20


Comfort. (2:02)   Light.  A pre-pandemic reflection on how good life was.  3.07.20


Kicks. (2.22)  Light.  Me and a buddy speculated during a rambunctious email conversation about whether or not the universe gets its kicks by watching us struggle to create stuff.  2.25.20


Memory. (2:29)  This one is a love song to my memory, where I will come to reside someday. 2.26.20


Granddog. (2.25)   Yeah.  It’s a song for my dear Granddog, Luther, based on a bumper sticker I once saw that read, “If I’d known grandkids were so much fun I’d have had them first.”  Kinda long for a bumper sticker.  Musta been a big car. 2.22.20


Dessert.  (4:09)  Light.  Musings that sprung from a fridge magnet my sister gave me decades ago:  “Life’s uncertain—eat dessert first.” 2.17.20


Pyrocene. (3:04).  Heavy. You’d think from my recent track record that at least one of these new tunes would be about climate change.  Nope!  Since coming to terms with that issue a while back, I’m finding I don’t write about it anymore.  But I did read a great essay by a guy named Stephen Pyne who studies fire and I was taken by his assertion that we ought not be calling this new era the Antropocene…instead, he says, we should cal it the Pyrocene since the way humans use fire has changed utterly during the past couple of hundred years and that change has sparked (see what I did there?) massive changes in the natural world.  Now that’s something new to write about, I’d say! (2.16.20)


Attention.  (1:54) Light.  Maybe writing all these new tunes and having a need to share them fucked me up.  Whatever—I need to get a handle on how my need for attention and approval from others intersects with my being a songwriter.  2.13.20.


Faith Hope and Love.  (1:39 ) Light.  “…and the greatest of these is fear.”  2.13.20


Problems. (2:34) Heard myself say over dinner with friends that the massive problems being faced by so many of us are no longer mine to solve.  Was it an admission that I was suddenly over the hill?  Had I grown callous?  Did it reflect my having come to terms with the inevitability of massively disruptive climate change?  Don’t know.  But it didn’t sit well with me and made me think about “problems.”  2.11.20


Crazy Old Star. (1:47)  Light.  A jazz tune love song to the sun. 2.10.20


Are You Sick Of It Yet?  (5:14)  Light.  Written as a humorous take on being shut in during winter snowstorms then appropriately appended in light of the pandemic…then again appropriately appended in light of the Black Lives Matter protests  2.09.20, 4.05.20, 6.11.20   


Less is Less (2:01)  Light.  My brother and I traded some emails about economic theory containing the phrase “competitive consumption.  2.06.20


Drifting.  (1:49) Light.  A sleepy wintertime song. 1.29.20


Yes I Built It.  (3:11)  Heavy.  Personal song about where my life’s at written at a bit of an ebb, I suppose. 1.21.20


Doctor Procrastination.  (2:40) Light.  So, having prepared myself for a writing session, the phrase, “Papa likes pasta and Porta Bella pizza” popped into my head.  Rather than rejecting that as a silly first line for a song, I followed it to its logical conclusion. 1.19.20


Compatible Devices.  (3:10)  Light.  Love song to my digital things.  1.12.20


Shadow. (3:20)  Light.  About giving up trying to figure out all the heavy shit going down.  1.08.20


Poor Hearted Stranger.  (4:04) Unclassifiable.  I woke up two years ago with the melody and a couple of lines in my head from a dream I’d been having.  Recorded the dream snippet into my audio device.  Found the audio snippet a few months ago and fleshed it out.  I do not know what this song means.  I really love it.  So does my son. 1.05.20


On The beach. (2:30).  On New Year’s Eve the news featured pictures of Australians who had fled their latest infernos right up to the ocean’s water line.  Apologies to Stephen Bishop, Jimmy Buffett and Robert Earl Keen. 12.31.20


Reliability.  (2:52) Light.  Grappling with the inevitable. I really like it.  12.29.19


Muse’s Blues.  (2:07) Light.  Reflections on my new songwriting practice.  Pairs well with Happy Old Year which references dog shit on my shoe. 12.26.19


Solstice. (2.45).  Sort of a year-end report.  12.21.19


Busy Being Born. (2:52)  Light.  Started out calling it Inner Dylan. 12.06.20


Bring it Home.  (2:58)  Light.  A personal gift to my dearest old friend and infinite musical co-conspirator, Al Rose. 11.11.19


Happy Old Year.  (4:06)  Light.  Musings from the end of 2019. 11.05.19


Moment.  (2:51)  Light.  Love song for my wife based on the importance of noticing. 10.17.19


Open up the Curtain.  (2:56)  Light.  Abstract consideration of the idea of being ready for what comes next. 10.10.19


Stolen Thunder. (1.26)  For a friend who suffered mightily. August, 2019.


Johnny’s Last Beer.  (2:26)   Heavy (to me).  Written in that same after-aftermath ,and recorded after a couple beverages on the birthday of my friend who died. 8.19.19


The Kindness of Kilbride.  (1:57) Grateful.  Written in the aftermath of the aftermath of a friend’s unexpected death in tribute to the kind folks who didn’t know us from Adam and Eve but helped us through some tough times.  8.19.19


Fear/Time.  ( 1:35) Heavy.  Written in the aftermath of a friend’s unexpected death.  August 1,  2019.


Creek Done Rose. ( 1:35)  Light.  This one came from a bastardization of the countrified phrase, “god willing and the creek don’t rise”.  July, 2019.


All at Once.  ( 3:10)   Unclassifiable.  Surreal.  Figure out what it means and win valuable prizes. Like Tequila Cafe and last Night of the Summer, not from the recent songwriting binge.  September, 2018.


Last Night of the Summer. (3:01)  Light.  Also not from the recent binge.  Standing outside on the Autumnal equinox outside The Alchemy.  (9.20.18)


Tequila Cafe. (3:43)   Light.  Another dream-inspired tune about a wastrel  lost in his life choices somewhere in Mexico.  Written in August, 2018, this one isn’t from the new stash of tunes.