15
Apr

Someone Somewhere Sometime (iPhone Demo)

iPhone demo of new song, 4/14/14 (palindrome date!)

Lyrics:
Someone Somewhere Sometime
Somehow, something might go right
someday the cold will turn to spring
you’ll see the light and the hope it brings for
Someone Somewhere Sometime

Anyone anywhere anytime
anyhow, anything can fall in line
any house on any street
anyone you’d like to meet is
Someone Somewhere Sometime

No one nowhere no time
nohow, nothing, no auld lang syne
no matter what, no compromise
no turning back and no deadlines
Someone Somewhere Sometime

Everyone everywhere every time
every way, everything’s your own design
every fool has his day
always gives his heart away to 
Someone Somewhere Sometime

11
Apr

Squelchtown (or Bust)

This song is the result of loving Strand of Oaks’ new single, "Goshen ‘97." New favorite songs always make me want to go write a song of my own—to enter the conversation. I want to walk around in that song. Mine certainly isn’t an “answer song”—that song needs no answer from me. Heck, that song is the answer. Still it got me to write this new song “Squelchtown (or Bust)” and I’m thankful for that.

We had our own Goshen in ‘97—East and West Goshen are just between where I grew up in Malvern and where I live now in West Chester, PA. Like the Strand of Oaks song, we had basements and Casios, and my dad had an old tape machine—although by 1997 I had already moved out for good. 

My old band, Missing Palmer West, played a show with Tim from Strand of Oaks and The Mural & The Mint, back in 2010 at Johnny Brenda’s in Philly. It was just Tim and a guitar but his voice just about knocked me out. My former colleague Kathy came and watched that night—fresh from retirement. She came by herself but never looked lonely listening to those songs of his. 

Years ago, still in the basement, we used to refer to our suffocating suburb as “Squelchtown.” I swear my friend Matt came up with that term, but he wasn’t able to confirm that fact recently. It was an apt term—it’s a good way of describing any old, familiarly worn-out place. 

I couldn’t take Tim’s cue to remove any metaphors. I fell in love with a line I came up with— “you’d follow the lights but they’re wrapped up in kites”—and I was done for. I could pretend that I mean it literally, but that’s besides the point now. 

But given the choice of Squelchtown (or Bust), I’ll choose”bust.” That’s what “Goshen ‘97” does for me. It makes me feel like running down the street and tearing down some banner stretched between two street lights—or something like that. 

11
Dec

Top 11 Songs of 2013

Here are my favorite songs of 2013: (in no particular order)

1. Neko Case’s “Man” — That woman is more of a man than I’ll ever be.

2. The suite of 4 songs that opens Laura Marling’s “Once I Was an Eagle” — stunning sequence of songs

3. Buried Beds’ “Stars” — Like stars above us we’re all on fire — my favorite combination of stars and fire since Star’s “Set Yourself On Fire”

4. Okkervil River’s “Down the Deep River” — I point at things when I listen in my car. 

5. Wesley Stace’s “The Dealer’s Daughter” — I will follow these zeugmas anywhere. 

6. John Grant’s “Glacier” — Brace yourself for this kick in your gut. Seriously. 

7. Jason Isbell’s “Stockholm” — God, this 6/8 shuffle should never end. 

8. Mikal Cronin’s “Shout It Out” — The most unnecessary rhetorical question: “Should I shout it out?” 

9. Iron and Wine’s “Caught In The Briars” — Such a happy place, though not quite as happy as…

10. The Spinto Band’s “What I Love” — Is there a song that made me happier? 

11. Foxygen’s “San Francisco” — Wes Anderson montage.

08
Dec

Todd Rundgren’s “I Saw The Light”—featuring a 1928 Tom Thumb piano and a Gulbransen Select-a-Rhythm drum box. Old Man Winter, vol. 3—two new and original holiday songs available and FREE here.

05
Sep

Ravine Road — new EP!

II’m pleased to present to you a new collection of songs, a 5-song EP called Ravine Roadnamed for a steep and twisting wooded road I used to drive back in high school. It’s not quite a mile but driving it was always an event. The woods and turns obscured any reminder that you were just going from your friend’s house to the movies. Half way through, there was a sign by an old single-lane overpass tunnel that warned you to honk your horn so the opposing traffic could hear you coming. It was an excuse to honk obnoxiously and so we did. It made a terrific echo against the walls of the tunnel. It was fun.

I hope you find these new songs on “Ravine Road” fun. They’re a bit looser this time around—which is a nice way of saying I recorded all the parts by myself this time, in my home studio, without obsessing over every little detail. There was still a lot of obsession but I was more interested in capturing little live moments rather than fussed over ones. And so, armed with that approach, a somewhat limited understanding of proper recording technique, and some recently acquired vintage instruments—some from the auction of the estate of Josiah Hibberd, my late seventh-grade Social Studies teacher—come these five songs.

In addition to the title track, there’s a sort of Broadway Danny Rose-premised song about climbing into the action of an old movie; a chase song (if that’s a thing) about someone trying to shoot me with a poison arrow; an Aimee Mann-tweet-inspired song about Milwaukee, its statue of the Fonz and history of moonshine; and finally, a ukulele love song about death.

Stream, listen, and purchase here!

Plans for the end of year include, Old Man Winter Vol. 3, two new SongSmith songs, and maybe a preview of some of the songs I’m writing for the musical “Page Two.”

Cheers!

 

03
Jul

The video for “Love Potion #10” off Crooked Earth—filmed at the West Chester Public Library.

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West Chester, PA --
songs since 1986

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