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Month: November 2006

Negley Ave.

Negley Ave.

I wrote this song shortly after moving to Pittsburgh. It’s during my bluesy/clasic/punkabily rockish stage… I’ve since moved on and pretty much settled for Indie-folk… but this was a good building stage for me. It includes ukulele and drum machine and me with a scratchy wierd voice.  I hate my voice on this…
I’m busy as heck with final papers for school now so there will be original songs from the archives unless I get some spare time.

William Edward Muller

William Edward Muller

I recently did a study of Trinity Episcopal Cemetary in downtown Pittsburgh. The cemetary has some rpetty unique history. It used to be an Indian burial mound and was then used by the French, English and Americans as they occupied this land. But a church was built ontop of it and a city was built around it and now it is a hemmed in little green spot amid skyscrapers and such with many marked burials dating far back into American history. William Edward Muller is one of those buried there. He died in the early 19th century and what struck me most about his grave was the beautiful inscription on the gravestone. It reads…

“Beneath this stone repose the mortal remains of William Edward Muller, who was cut off by the hand of a wise but mysterious Providence in the twentythird year of his age the week before his expected nuptials in the morning of life happy in the warm attachement of his friends and the general esteem of society strong in health–bouyant in hope and with every earthly prospect brightening before him. His death was occasioned by a severe fracture of the leg followed by a swift and fatal mortification. The efforts of medical skill and the watchful assiduities of friendship were all exerted in vain. And a lapse of seven days closed the scene. And compelled him to resign the promised festivities of the bridal for the awful stillness of the tomb. He endured his acute suffering with heroic fortitude and met the approach of death with a degree of calm resolution and ferverent piety.”

I love the wise but mysterious providence part… and the “strong in health–bouyant in hope and with every earthly prospect brightening before him” part. It is a very sad tomb. I feel like he could be me in some way. So I wrote this song. The lyrics are made up of pieces of the inscription as well as the phrase “I’ll never know where my green grass grows(refering to his grave) and you’ll never know how my leg got broke (refering to my ignorance on that matter)

Guitar, Drums, vocals… totally loop-pedal-able

Sounds to sooth my terrible temper

Sounds to sooth my terrible temper

At the beginning of this I threw my headphones across the room and they hit my ukulele.  I was planning on recording another song but this came out as a sort of theraputic lullaby sound to calm me down.  I really geta  terrible temper sometimes when recording these songs.

Progress (part two) Complacency (and three) Collapse

Progress (part two) Complacency (and three) Collapse

Thisis the continuation and finale of the progress song from a week or so ago.  This is about fat-cat people with pools and spas and how they go bankrupt after they take progress as though it were static.

The collapsing part sounds pretty darn rusty and clammourish… just like a 1930’s factory.
A startling conclusion I came to while writing this song is that corporate successes during the 19th and 20th centuries were often not backward and forwards compatible…. scalable, I guess, would be the word.  Things like steel mills and heavy industry is a whole lot less scalable than todays economy of abstracted technology.  Hopefully we won’t have any of this collapsation happening as it did back then in the depression.

I used some piano on this… that’s pretty rare for me.

The Scene

The Scene

this depicts various scenes from life that I’ve encountered Western, City, Family, College, Childhood.  You may recognize some of the lyrics as something you’ve been a part of or can relate to.

This is one of those songs with just one guitar and voice… it’s been a while since I did one of those… ok I lied there is backup vocals.

Progress (part one)

Progress (part one)

This is one of those building loop-pedal-able guitar things.  It it about the industrial revolution and paraketes.  Those two points are much more related than most folks realize.

–Just guitar in this one.

(Roy_G_Biv) Green

(Roy_G_Biv) Green

This is a real throwback… I recorded this back in 2000… this was probably the first instrumental guitar track I ever recorded… I only learned how to play like a few months before. This was to be part of a ROYGBIV album with a song for ever color of the spectrum… this felt like green. I love how the delay and flanger culminates into a tightening wave at the end of the second section. That was just luck… it came out that way… this is just guitar no click track or anything..

The Flood Made of Blood mixed fine with the Mud

The Flood Made of Blood mixed fine with the Mud

I hope you can get past the intentionally nauseating and disharmonious beginning… It’s about the merging of chaos and monotony in the final days!  This has been a novel thougth I’ve been kicking around lately… The song is pretty friendly starting around 1min 20 sec… pre-apocolypctic earthashakings… a trip to heaven… accidentally paving the highway to hell with gold… here are the lyrics… This is the F-ing quadrangle if I’ve ever heard it!

first the was a thunder clapping over
our heads as red rain come all falling down
the puddles formed and quickly changed to oceans
with whirlpools and waves where folks’ll drown
and then the tides… came surgin in
and scrapped the ground of everythin
they ebb and flow and swell and grow
and take the dust from out below
here there was a door for us to open
we did and saw it lead to higher ground
we followed stairs away from yonder ocean
and found a floatin dumptruck in the clouds
and it was full of of peoples souls
dumpin them all on down below
but it was stuck… on streets of gold
we popped the clutch and let it roll
we filled the cracks along the tracks
and paved them…
with golden asphalt workin on the roads
Saint Peter was our foreman and he shouted
who paved the highway to hell with our gold
then all at once we crashed the truck
he chased us off shoutin all at us
we had enough, of this heaven stuff
taking our chances, we choose to jump
we fell in depths of leaky souls a floatin
and swam to islands we found in the sea
and built a fort from pinecones and the notion
that goodness should be inside you and me
and we wrote some books… sold them to crooks
they stopped and took… a closer look
inside their gut, there is a flood
made of blood all mixed with mud

Mineshafts and Folly

Mineshafts and Folly

Pride and stuff. Mineshafts… empty cups… get it? haha. Probably not. This is one of best of recent recordation. And of course it comes at a time when I am busiest with work and school.  The original liner notes of this song were repatriated from the indian graves from whence they came but an adequate forgery of such notes are in a manila folder clapped inside of a breifcase which is handcuffed to the ladder on the side of a railway frieght car which is at this very moment on its way to Saskatoon.  Good riddance!
In this I play, Drums, guitar, jews harp, glockenspiel, bass, electric trout anus!