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Archive for August, 2009

The Devil and Chuck Berry

August 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Man…..that opens up all sorts of possibilities doesn’t it? Another mis-translated lyric….this one from a song by one of my favorite bands (The Hold Steady). I was hoping I got it wrong so I wouldn’t feel like I was stealing. And let’s just say I got it way wrong. So that’s pretty cool.

The Devil and Chuck Berry. Chuck is a bad man….by every definition and meaning and pronunciation of that word. So far I’ve got 7 verses written and I still don’t think it’s done. But it sure is fun.

In a bit…

–tf

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Noel?

August 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Can it be? No more Oasis? Noel Gallagher has announced he’s quit the band. I saw it on the ticker at the bottom of the screen on CNN, during the Ted Kennedy memorial coverage. Odd place to find out that one of my favorite bands is no more…..but then we live in an odd world. Word must get out about such things.

Another punch-up between the Gallagher brothers apparently. No real news there….as they’ve been bashing each other’s skulls in for almost 20 years. They’ve managed to make the Davies brother’s look like Nick and Joe Jonas. But this time Liam apparently obliterated one of Noel’s guitars backstage. You don’t mess with a man’s guitars. That’s why I think this split is for real. Noel has quit the band at least 3 times previously, but never with the sight of a splintered Les Paul burned into his retinas. A ghastly sight that must be.

The man is 42, and just happens to be one of the greatest pop songwriters to ever draw breath. He’s been saddled with a drunken, boorish lout of a brother 6 years his junior, and truth be told has put up with Liam longer than most could or would have. Noel doesn’t need Oasis. Noel is Oasis, so I still look forward to his next batch of songs. I really don’t give a shite what name is on the cover. But it still takes some getting used to.

Ok, I’m used to it.

Good luck Noel. I’ll be waiting.

In a bit…

–tf

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Autumn’s chill

August 28, 2009 Leave a comment

Autumn’s chill is in the air. Not sure how long it’ll last, but it feels good. The heat of summer drains me. The snap of the fall, along with promise of the explosion of the leaves, leaves me strangely energized. Or at least less slothful than usual.

And so it goes. Much planned today, and absolutely nothing accomplished. Life gets in the way when you wish to spend much of the day with a guitar and/or pen in your hand. Life particularly takes up more time if the guitar and/or pen aren’t paying very well. Or in my case, at all.

But that’s just routine grumpiness. I still manage to doodle daily in a handwritten journal, and try to fill in the cracks of time with assorted outlandish schemes destined to make me rich enough to live in the woods surrounded by a large moat and a stone wall.

Was thinking about the war today. Or the war’s actually. Anybody remember them? Men are still dying. It doesn’t make it less so because it’s reported on page ten and not page one. Blood is still red, flesh is still flesh, and dead is still dead. And more and more soldiers are coming home alive, but in pieces. Both physically and emotionally. And yet, it’s become so distant. Like background noise. The music they pipe into the supermarket….or the elevator.

Surely it’s not that people don’t care. It’s that people literally don’t remember. War loses it’s luster after a time….especially when there’s no defined finish line. And without the red white and blue shine (or sheen?), it begins to seem as close as a meteor.

I wish we could reach out and touch the sky. Maybe we’d allow them to come home then.

Maybe a song there.

In a bit…

–tf

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The process

August 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Have a new song I need to demo today. Then I’ve got a few lyric ideas I’d like to try out. I’ll splatter the words on my legal pad and see if I can coerce some sort of meaning out of the jumble. Sometimes this means moving verses around, or switching lines from one side of the page to the other. For some reason I’m sure the head-shrinkers would have fun with, the lyrics for the bridges in my songs are almost always scrawled sideways on the page, which means when I’m recording demos I have to jerk my head to the right like a dog that hears a whistle in order to read them. After long batches of recording I look like something out of a George Romero movie.

But I do love it so. The process. The writing and the self-flagellating and the strumming and the picking and the aching fingers and the manic highs and lows and the ways that some songs stand up the next day and say “You like me! You really like me!” while others are sent alternately kicking and screaming or rather gratefully to the shredder, where nobody will ever be the wiser that I wrote such worthless piles of dung and actually considered them  worthy of the record button. ‘Tis a glorious thing, all of it.

Imagine if I actually got paid for this? The mind reels.

In a bit…

–tf

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NOFX

August 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Ok, it took me way too long to figure this out, but NOFX are the greatest punk band ever….and Coaster is the greatest punk rock record ever….and Fat Mike is one of the greatest punk songwriters ever.

I’m a little slow, but I eventually get there.

I’m not sure why all this matters, but trust me. It does.

In a bit…

–tf

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Understanding

August 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Have a lyric but no melody. I hope to have this resolved by the end of the day. One is not much good without the other, unless you are a poet or Yanni. I am neither, thank God.

Poetry to me is like paintings. Art-wise, I can’t tell the difference between what hangs in the ritzy museums and what hangs in the average hotel room. And reading a book of good poems and reading a book of bad poems seems a very similar experience. In fact, I avoid reading any poems whatsoever, especially the ones that don’t rhyme. If you’re going to write poems that don’t rhyme, you may as well just write obtuse prose and market it to college professors. They eat that shit up. And if you’re going to write poems that rhyme, why not add a melody and a screaming guitar? It sure is a lot more fun. And you’ll get more girls.

On the subject of not understanding, I could go on forever. But I’ll end with jazz. I’m tone deaf when it comes to jazz. I’m sure there’s such a thing as good jazz and very bad jazz, but…..and I know this is heresy and all that, but to me the lounge dudes at the Holiday Inn and Miles Davis all sound sorta the same. Out of tune, out of time, and totally stoned on something.

I also don’t understand why “Wednesday” is spelled the way it is. No wonder everybody is speaking Spanish these days. English doesn’t make any sense.

In a bit…

–tf

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Comfort

August 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Trying to get comfortable so I can focus. Mind is wandering at the moment. Books of all sorts are piled high on my desk….waiting to be read or in some cases, re-read. Lyrics are sprawled all over nearby legal pads, also demanding attention. My guitar sits in it’s stand, smirking as usual. My Ipod now contains over 6000 songs, and in the wee wee hours I try to digest almost all of them. And all the while assorted deadlines loom, some self-imposed to be sure, but for me these are the worst kind. I’ll blow off anybody but myself. This is some sort of disorder that hasn’t been named yet. I wish there was a pill for it, but, alas, you need to name something before you can create a pill for it. The day I heard that my annoying propensity for bouncing my legs up and down is actually considered an official medical condition and not just the muscular ravings of an over-caffeinated insomniac, I found hope for all my assorted maladies. So who knows? Is the 21st century great or what?

Still and all, I’m amazed by the brain’s capacity to absorb all I throw at it. Maybe “absorb” isn’t the right word. That of course suggests it’s not entering in one hole and sneaking out another. Perhaps “accept” is more fitting. When acceptance stops, madness starts. That’s my theory anyway.

And so, back to my books and my legal pads and my guitars. But first a quick check to ensure the doors are locked…

In a bit..

–tf

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