Sunday, December 31, 2006

Morgan, Of Course

haha !

morgan came up to portland for new year's eve and we recorded four or five songs over the course of the afternoon.. most of them were songs morgan had written, a few were real loose jams with the banjo and acoustic guitars and such. this is one of those. the whole 'song' was about seven minutes long, so i decided to trim it down a little.. which is a shame, 'cause the whole first three minutes are morgan(guitar) and i(banjo) noodling around, and morgan has all sorts of cool little guitar licks.. but i cut that part out, in favor of the half of the song with singing.. but trust me, the first half was like a solid gold spaghetti factory..

Morgan, Of Course


Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bisons is Bisons

morgan and matt and i are playing songs, 'cause they came over. and that's pretty much what i do. this is what i did after emily went to work (around 1pm) and i think it turned out pretty well.. whew. i wanted to wrap it up quick and all, but i don't think it suffered too much for it's celerity. ha!

bisons is bisons
a penguins a bird
and when it comes to 'us' babe
'us' is a four letter word
yeah i got your letters, i tried not to read
'cause being 'round you
keeps me high for a week
but i'm gettting older
sometimes all i want to do is sleep

this ain't no intervention
whatever that means
there's already too much sunlight
on the dark sides of the earth

bisons is bisons
or haven't you heard
when it comes to cocaine
that penguins no bird

cocaine is a hell of a drug
bison is a bison
until you turn him into a rug
i'm on the floor
couldn't ask for much more
unless you cutting up another round

Friday, December 29, 2006

Perfect Math System

mercury all day today, king hen practice tonite, not a lot of time for songs.. i did most of this yesterday and last night, going back and forth between a few different instruments.. emily takes a little solo in the middle on the guitar. whew.. tiring stuff, all these crazy songs. i wish i had a drumset and a piano. that'd be nice.

Perfect Math System

i'm looking like i'm in charge
thinking i can see an icy ghost
staring at the star charts
writing out the math in a brand new way
laughing at distance
mapping out a way for us to be
seeing my mistakes on the tv
nothing good is easy
we can build to excess
a palace now: to float between the moons
decadent and epic

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Dodging Low Moans

last night after evil alien practice i came home and pretty much finished this one up.. i had the chorus chord progression for awhile, i like the major/minor idea it has.. neat-o. and i had a lot of fun taking the outro chorus solo on guitar.. even after i had the solo recorded, i kept fooling around just for fun. good stuff.

when i get inside i win for life
i dont search carpets for your lies
no soft scratching,
i'm going barefoot
with an optimistic eye upon the ashtray

this is not like life
one long day is not like life
took a break from cars and crumbled
from sandlots to schoolyards
they're screaming the chorus

and after -
i admit a charged fascination
digging boxes & dragging lakes beds
dodging low moans and arrows from the void,
driving south.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Second to First

Second to First

i gotta go to evil alien costume practice right now, but this is a song matt wrote a few days ago.. he came over this morning and we recorded the acoustic guitar and some vocals, then emily got home from work and we sang and played keyboards and guitars and accordions and such. i also made some click clack percussion noises. whoa.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Wolf Buddy

Wolf Buddy

this song is mostly me playing this little descending lick on acoustic guitar, something i wrote while watching tv with emily.. it's Em , D , C , C with a Gflat..

i think it's kinda neat, so i recorded that one day all by itself.. that was the verse.. the solo bits are all ripped off of a king hen song that i'm really into, and i kinda just wanted to solo over those rising changes in this big 9 measure phrase. fun stuff.

i'm real into the idea of crazy old men living in the woods in frontier america becoming part of a wolf pack and running through the woods like a lycanthrope of old europe. bizarre old west witches living in caves, dealing in gold dust. yeah - that's good stuff.

today i worked for the mercury.. cold and wet all morning, but the sun came out this afternoon while i worked downtown. that was nice. i need a coffee grinder.

Monday, December 25, 2006


we're going over to the kronser's for japanese christmas! moshi moshi! kudasai!


merry christmas.

special hello's for james in montreal/pennsylvania.. jacob and lance in houston.. andy down in la, morgan in sf.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Super Construction Paper

more weird songs.. more guitar solo wankery. good times, waiting for emily to get home from work. sunday, coffee and puttering around a handful of instruments and a drum machine. and a wah pedal.

this song is about super heroes, and convincing people to become super heroes, and all that. you know.

Super Construction Paper

and it's christmas eve! my family has been known to celebrate christmas eve before..

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Cokebottle Moses

just saying, but moses was a cokebottle
i'm rocking white shoes
the ocean is cloying
we can all be replaced

god's washing dirt?
well i slaved for ages:
"i made a thing, it don't float!"

Cokebottle Moses

this song has me playing that odd out of tune chord organ morgan gave me.. it's tough, 'cause it has super slow action, and is really flat, so it's uses are kinda limited. but i liked the lyrics and setup and robots and all that.. maybe i should've used the talkbox on it. ha.

i really like this one movie, cool hand luke. that's good stuff.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Never Look Back

so you say your the youngest
and you made a mistake
now you're building a rocket
and taking to space
gimme that smile
say your goodbyes to earth at last
never look back

i can't explain over coffee,
but mom is not the same
she keeps mumbling death threats
and sneaking away
she gave me her word
(she had her hands behind her back)
she gave me a laugh

i had to just write this one really fast last night, as i don't think i'll have any time today to do any song work.. i gotta go to the mercury all day, (where they might celebrate my birthday!) and then i get to go celebrate wes' masters degree (congratulations wes! it's about time!). it's a big day, with precious little time for songaday. wow.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Now That I Got Her

wes shirley came over yesterday and threw a few lines at me, which i tried to turn around and write into this pop song i'd just started putting together.. thanks wes! hopefully he'll come over again sometime.

sold my last drop of blood
didn't make a cent
somebody somewhere knows what that meant

now that i got her
i want her to leave
i love her, but need to be lonely

i feel like i've been on a roll lately, doing all sorts of good song writing/recording work..

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

At Christmas

whew.. even after the marathon session of yesterday, we had enough left over to come up with this little ditty.. it's almost entirely matt's work, with emily on the plastinet and i'm playing my brand new ukelele (yeehaw!).. i think it worked out really well - it's all live 'round one mic, very simple and warm and such. it's also got a nice depressing air about it, which makes it one of the better christmas songs already.

At Christmas

it's for colleen, who left matt here in portland while she went back to see her family. poor, poor matt.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Aaron's Birthday

today is my birthday, and matt and emily and i are all hanging out, celebrating and making music.. i gotta get back to it, but i wanted to post this.. for the record - i wrote it today. i woke up this morning, 'round 9:30-10 and got some half and half, made some coffee, and started working on this.. the entire thing happened over the course of 11 hours or something.. which has got to be some kinda record, at least for me. i'm giddy and pround, kinda. also drunk on wine, ha!

Aaron's Birthday

sometimes potatoes have eyes,
like tornadoes and needles
dr. jones likes it clockwise
some folks like to get high
marching along
to the sun on the sea
take a seat at the helm
steer the ship to the end of the world
thanks for getting born
so we can all laugh at what you do.
eyes, eyes.
eyes, eyes.

gotta run.

Monday, December 18, 2006

It's Only A Party

ooh, i really like this one.. i wrote most of it over the weekend, i guess, but today while i was at work emily swept in and put all sorts of cool things on top. she played a keyboard track, sang a few times, plus sang via talkbox and keyboard, and played the 'plastinet' - a sort of melodica thing with buttons, shaped like a clarinet. matt gave it to emily for christmas and she likes it a lot. funnily, it has a little bit of a bum note near the end of the register, which reminds me of the cool chord-organ that morgan gave us, which is about a quarter step flat. ha!

i live a fever, and you said
"It's only a party...
sit in the corner,
or on the sofa."

try and imagine

now i'm ready
to live my life on duty
crush the neck of another cigarette
now i'm ready

like/crush/love disaster
i wonder at the laughter

now i'm off to king hen practice!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Spaces In Between

don't confuse your friends with who you know
we've been on the road a long time now, we must be close
they can have the stars, we'll take The Spaces In Between
they can have the stars, we'll take the darkness in between

umm... i didn't see Apocalypto yesterday, but i heard it was good and violent. i also didn't see akron/family last night, so you can see how much i give up. oh, i suffer terribly.

nah, i'm kidding. life is beautiful, joshua.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

One Smart Decision

whew.. last night was matt and colleen's christmas party, and i got pretty lit up, i tell ya.. it was a pretty great time, what with the white elephant gifts (i got a talking cow!) that being said - today was a slow and painful day for the most part.
however, the upside of all this:

One Smart Decision

i managed to work pretty hard on this new song, and i think it turned out pretty well. blah blah. a little bit of acoustic guitar blip pop, sorta postal service-ish.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Apple

friday friday friday.. big day today, you know.. matt and colleen's christmas party and such, should be great. i bought a gift, which is pretty good, but emily's got an even better gift, so it should be great.

The Apple
now i'm looking for the king
and when i find him i'm gonna set him on fire
and then i'll start to sing
my chest'll open, bones'll bend to reveal the choir
i've been hiding

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Least Favorite Winter

i don't even know her, but i wish that i was over there,
i gotta make her believe
i thought the earth was starting to crowd, didn't think i deserved,
the worst is the loss of her laughter when she looks up and sees all eyes on her.
so i went back to her, and those six months are a blur
worth having and losing
but she had that faraway look as we drove back from the ocean. she is gonna say goobye.
i'm not so stoic, when i get high i start thinking of her
and who did just what to blow it, and why we said goobye, my Least Favorite Winter

no robot voices in this song, sadly. i have a headache, sadly.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Loose Waves Lazy Ocean

last night at King Hen practice Paul let me play his standard gibson les paul.. it was pretty sweet. i can't really consider myself a gearhead or guitar freak or anything like that, but a really nice instrument goes a long way. every now and then i get to play a really nice drumkit and it can be so satisfying.. that being said, i felt like i had to baby it a bit. the stealth guitar i play everyday doesn't get much coddling.

Loose Waves Lazy Ocean

tethered to the box that gets me home
one thousand swallows
namweN .J dlanoD
ranimeS melborP A
look at you:
clothes held up by the wing of an unhappy bird
i'm pushing buttons now, right?

ha! i'm pushing buttons now, right? ha! get it??

i need some more coffee.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

We've Seen Enough

jenny soaked the pages
but she could own the alley
she's just held back by her scene

she likes this kid named david
and then it's me she stays with
she could get away with anything

ten thousand years ago
when dates went poorly
luckily we've seen enough

she climbs in and out of windows
she was free to go
but she couldn't get away

oh man.. i saw GUNS N ROSES last night! ha! it was pretty fucking great, all things considered. i got gifted an invitation/ticket as i was leaving work yesterday, and it was for a spot in this skybox (wow!) and everything.. i got there about halfway through Helmet (who i liked as a kid, but they didn't sound so great in an arena) and then saw Sebastian Bach, and then GNR. pretty cool.. it took some time outta my songwriting and recording, but it was worth it. and how.

thanks a lot to Scott, who arranged the whole thing.. and by proxy, the portland mercury.

Monday, December 11, 2006


this song was a headache, pretty much from the beginning.. i'm working without a piano and a drumset, these days, in our little apartment.. so i'm limited by a lot things that i've taken for granted. blah blah.. in any case, this song has at least three new experiments all thrown into it, and i really started to like it again near the end of it's birth.. it's an odd bird. super ripped up guitar sounds, twitchy little percussion bits, swirling keyboard bits, and robots. oh man.


to the slaughter of the gods:

should i stop? (this left unconquered)
stabs and gasps
hooray i'm gonna be famous
instantly and obvious

lets take our hats off to the lost
come back with the latest fashions
we can't scratch back into why,
but we get frail before our time
our bones grown random

we feel our hearts burn through gauze,
with thin lines that bind the things we believe and what they cost
we cant come close enough to say
climb up into nothing and bring back those old fashioned ways

so lets take our hats off to the loss
should i stop, this life unconquered?
stabs and gasps, hooray i'm gonna be famous

to work!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The New Boss-Man

man.. i saw gwen stefani on SNL last night.. it was awful. i was a little surprised, actually.. not that i'm such a big fan of hers, but i was under the impression that No Doubt worked real hard for a long time before they started to succeed, and that wasn't really apparent from her show last night. and she looked funny.

The New Boss-Man
i didn't really need to tell the truth, if it left you black and blue, i wanna live the life of someone else, the whole time leaving clues back to me, i'm sorry. i'm not living on the edge, i'm taking up too much room.

this song has a lyric that references 'before the fall' - a song morgan wrote a few years ago in the Volumes that is just gorgeous... so thanks, morgan.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A New Romance

yesterday was a pretty good day, even if i didn't get much songwriting done. after working all day at the mercury, emily and i went to the friday afternoon Mercury birthday/drinking party, and hung out and talked for awhile, then i went home and got to "work" while emily went to a business meeting for school, and then we went to Erik's ski lodge party.. for two years straight Erik Becker has had an ice sculpture, which still kinda blows my mind. that's classy. then emily went to work at 7 in the morning. wow. i'm a jerk, drinking coffee and thinking about music.


A New Romance
just open your bones,
let the sun explode,
the weight you unload,
all the monsters you know
the man with ten thousand hands is watching

the marks and whats told,
just tantrums to throw
as we wrestle with souls,
with pills to soften the blow
you gotta believe him, the system found a new friend: the entwinings, the bees who eat crow
we all sleep alone, afraid and hiding from our secrets
a wasted day, hope is broken,
it'll all be new tomorrow.

Friday, December 08, 2006

i got a love

i got a love for a pony with wings.
i got a love for a pony that sings.
she's cries the saddest songs while traveling.
her wings cut through the air, her voice is gonna tear your heart away.

we love to fly about and see the country,
we're always looking sharp and making friends.
we often say goodbye, but we often mean to try and come back again.

last night was a Peabody's show at Satyricon.. it was alright, i suppose.. the other bands were attentive. ha! 48 Thrills really kicked ass last night, despite going on last to a handful of people. great songs, great energy.. and Scratch always does fine, and we spent a good bit of time at Ground Kontrol, where they actually serve beer. it was a pretty good night. i should have gone to the Color Lab and said hi to Pat and celebrated the studio opening, but i couldn't rally. i'm sure it was a good time, and the Color Lab looked great, and Pat's a good guy.

ski lodge party at Erik's tonight. yeehaw!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Warmest Tundra

super collider, really scratching their heads.

lets see here.. this song has me and matt singing sad and hopeful. and it's got references to Ender's Game, which matt and emily and i have all read. ha!

The Warmest Tundra

congratulations to g. tony jacobs, he gave a master thesis speech yesterday on fractional chromatic numbers and graphs and such. linear programming, i guess. and then we celebrated, so that was cool.. celebrated straight into Evil Alien Costume, where tony was cool enough to play the bass and jason played the maxi-korg blah blah blah. i think i beat matt at star wars, also. it was pretty fun.

congratulations, tony!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

a very sharp lemon

here's a song:

a very sharp lemon

worried by the burn, thinking of the sea
fog light heat
god needs my machine

it's a very sharp taste
and me, i don't want to play
it's a very sharp place

stalked off in the firs
curtain on the scene.

there's a guy missing out in the mountains/forest, but his family has been rescued.. i guess he left the car looking for help after 7 days stranded in the car. wow. having never been lost in the snow, i can't claim to know much about hypothermia. i have a friend, Matt, who says you go crazy and stupid at the same time and get real hot 'cause your blood goes up to your skin, so you gotta get naked, sometimes. matt's also very concerned that i express well-wishes and sympathies, of course. it is sad.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The MythMagic Special

The Sons of Ja'rel are pleased and proud to present their twelfth album, THE MYTHMAGIC SPECIAL.

Recorded by and large while Jacob was in Portland, and mostly over the span of a day and a party, it's an epic work.

7 songs.

21 minutes.

1 - Seedless Watermelon
2 - Cat Masquerade
3 - Sabrina Sings
4 - Bird Flu
5 - Business Math
6 - Give Yourself A High Five!
7 - Sabrina Speaks

most of the 'music' is me.. most of the vocals and lyrics are jacob, with emily doing some singing and writing also. sabrina did all her own bits, while i wasn't looking.. so did matt. kaylor and shook figure into it also, i imagine.


Monday, July 31, 2006

evil alien costume

here's some EAC stuff we've been working on.

6th Planet Malaria

Last Train

We Got Twins

i mostly just play drums on it, and sing a bit.. and harmonica. JonPaul does the bass and moog stuff, and sings. Matt sings and plays guitar, Emily plays keybords and accordion, and trumpets and chimalong. Zach plays trumpet and does a lot of push-ups.

it'd be nice to record more songs, but i'm not sure how much time we'll have.. we gotta pack up the studio here on morrison st and move outta the house, find a new place to live and such. it's possible the studio will change dramatically in the next month or two. i'll have to see what kinda songs i can write then. i might have to lose the piano, which would be sad.

evil alien costume on MySpace

Monday, July 10, 2006

These Simple Machines

well my assemly work is through
and somehow word got back to you
i'm inclined to agree to see the sky as "blue"
if you're saying you're sorry
then maybe he can call me on the phone
i'll sing my favorite song:
oh oh oh oh oh

i'm a rock tasked to plumb the sea
the ocean floor is conscience clean
and these simple machines perform like you won't believe
that broke-spine book on the floor
are the instructions you're looking for

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Drama's a Rot


Drama's a Rot

do do de doo doop

with your win i'm torn under and left alone, is that right? i don't think so. we can all be replaced. it's all a dream, like we put on faces and lace up. i've ended it through and through, the lies i told were true, i'm gonna sing:

" " " "
this drama's a rot, but it's here whether i like it or not

rising local tension

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Matt's Birthday

monday was matt's birthday - true story. we had a barbeque, it was lovely. i ate a hot dog, drank some beer, played a bit of lawn bowling. it was lovely.

in addition, the friday prior was a final Volumes show, at tiger bar. it was lovely.

yesterday i had the day off, so i started playing piano and came up with this funny little chord progression and ascending bass line bit.. by the time emily got home from work i had just about finished the song. it was a bit of a headache figuring out the lyrics, but i think it worked.

Matt's Birthday

the mirror ghosts can start the show and celebration on my knees
i won't fight back, i didn't really bring the meat you know
if that's the case then santa fe'll be right back
i was superb, i was sleeping and safe
your eyelids are a likeness
as you can see, the song's about me

"lets go to las vegas" - find a way to trade places
"ching ching a ling" - you oughta know, you gotta sing out on your birthday

you used to be our favorite daughter, now your bag shakes out make believe
i can never lose 'cause the wind is on my team
just 23, what have you seen? a lotta tv, entertainment ain't free
born aloft on the steam, a bird lost at sea

so lets go toe to toe

her eyes have the steam of an ancient machine rusting
she puts on one hell of a show
i gotta confess that that zipper dress haunts me
you put on one hell of a show, she's got me singing

hugged up to the mother, glad she wasn't fit to set you free
i can always win 'cause the universe will bend to my belief
just 23, what have you seen? a lotta tv, entertainment ain't free
steer into trees, maybe death sets us free

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I Couldn't Really Give A Fuck


so, i wrote a few songs the other day, (one glorious sunday, actually).. and of the three, this one really stands out as hilarious fun-time stuffs.

I Couldn't Really Give A Fuck 3:34

i think it makes a lot of sense.

it's got some backwards guitar, which is pretty cool.. i spent some time working on it, trying to play with the song in reverse and such. it's some head-trippy stuff, bra. i also love all the harmonica on it.

i've been listening to the theme song from mr. belvedere a lot lately. and WKRP.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tumblin' Down

i've been pretty busy, working on music.. lots of piano and guitar and drums.

in addition, the new mexican revoltion finally got the new cd out, Theories of Sun & Rain.

it was recorded last year (wow!), and entirely finished before i even started the song a day project, so it's nice to finally get it out. hopefully it will make me lots of money and i can go back to making music.

here's the second song off the album, a sad country number. wes and i play guitars, tony on bass, jana on clarinet.. i play organ, and emily plays violin, but those are both kinda subtle.

Tumblin' Down

so, go checkout and such, we have a bunch of songs up over there, and pictures and such. i have a ukelele.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

sons of ja'rel

i had to kill the song a day project. it was quite a monster.

i wrote 118 songs.

which is about 70 or 80 more than i thought i could do.


anyhow, jacob and i used to record a good deal of stuff together, as the Sons of Ja'rel. i suppose we still do, but we've been on a long break lately.

to console me in the wake of the project's death, i started listening to old songs.

It's As Important As Relativity

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Lottery Stubs

solo artists hold a special place in my heart. it's not just that they're selfish, or self-centered or what have you.. it's more that they've confronted a lot of the problems with artistic collaboration, namely, that you sacrifice the strength of your 'vision' with compromise. some bands are a little more than the sum of their parts.. or maybe two people really feed into each other and become better through the relationship (mccartney, or springsteen, etc..). but i think those things are the exception. a talented individual is often buried by the friends they keep.

or something.

i think bands have to be careful, the lowest common denominator is much more likely than lofty new heights.

or something.

i just rant, i guess..

emily and i just got back from helping our friends kristin and zack work on their documentary contest/project.. it's about the rollerderby league here in portland. pretty amazing stuff, and i've only seen two teams practice. i think it's a good topic for the project, also.. i hope it works out well. and they want our help tomorrow, and saturday night, so my song writing time is already sorta squeezed out. so emily and i wrote this just now. i love the lyrics.

almost pretty is enough for me
remember deep inside
feeling potential die
failure is all you've got, but it's proof that you tried
open hands are empty hands
so clutch the dark for glass and sand
you're a catchy tune that came whistling through
we keep getting older
i keep thinking of you
i can't stop thinking of you
we said goodbye with our eyes on the sunrise
we said goodbye
lottery stubs and tattoo wings
were all we had to fly
but man did we get high.

poignant stuff. ha!

She's A Witch

well, this was possibly my last day off for awhile, so i've been trying to get a lot of work done.. the more i get started, the easier it'll be to come home from working all day and put effort into songs. hopefully. we shall see.

so, today i woke up and wrote this. it's a cute little number that i thought up laying in bed this morning, the whole odd-time guitar riff thing, with the handclaps to round out the phrase. i had written the lyrics last night, staying up late thinking thoughts.. it's a short one, too, no need to muck it up with a bunch of parts. besides, yesterday's song was a real long one.

She's A Witch, burn her!


emily'll be home any minute now, perhaps we can work on another song today. i have this little piano thing that's been floating around for almost a week now, i'm kinda stuck.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Gilded Cage

having some time off is a good opportunity to write more epic songs, with more elaborate orchestration and such.. i still don't have much time (a song a day!? crazy) but it's easier to layer things and re-record things if you have the whole day off..

anyways, i wrote the bulk of this first thing in the morning, on acoustic guitar and piano. i recorded drums and such, but then went out to lunch with megan, which was nice, and saw taya again. i haven't seen either of those girls in awhile now, and that was cool. it doesn't seem like much has changed. ha!

when i got back emily and i kept working on it.. she did the violin while i wrote lyrics, and we ate dinner and just finished it up. i think it worked out well. the lyrics are sorta about the songaday project, but it's just what came out. you can't force it, and you can't fight it. the world is perfect/life is cruel.

Gilded Cage

hmm.. in other news, it looks like the new mexican revolution is going down to the bay area to play a show at the sonoma film festival, which sould be quite an event.. i think the van needs some work before then, though. cross the fingers, people.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Any Three Things

we were in this together, you know
and it's a long way home
so sooner or later we'll jump into headlights, for now
leave it alone
you gotta realize: creation is painful
and sometimes i need to clean house, just scratch
regret and potential both leave marks on the bones

we were in this together
laughter and leather (don't go!)
i'll believe any three things that you say right now
(don't go!)
'cause you seem like your straggling
am i wrong to think your wondering how to start a fire?
i saw you eyeing the lines while we wait in the car

i didn't have to work today, so i worked on this all morning.. it's got the full treatment, more or less. a lot of guitars fooling around with Dmin6 chords and such, plus some vocals, the moog,, a neat piano track, trumpets by emily, bass.. percussion, and some samples from television.. ha! almost everything.

it started off as a less creepy latin sorta tune, but started to develop into something else once i put the samples on there.. it kinda reminded me of Beck, that guy seems down with ripping latin music and samples of people talking. then i started to get lyrics, working with a creepy ex-girl friend vibe.. i seem to be doing that a lot lately. huh.

other than that, i didn't do anything today. i'm gonna go over to Erik's and play the drums later tonight, that should be fun.. and i've got a neat idea for a song in my head, for the national high-five day soundtrack, but it's a ways off still.

Monday, March 20, 2006

My Favorite T-Shirt

drunk on your front porch, hoping you'll open the door
jesus, you kept singing but i couldn't hear anymore
so tired today, i could barely get up off the floor
horns were blowing, bringing the waves to the shore
i saw you on the street last night

powers out - we can have our way with the store
don't be afraid, just keep your eye on the door
apples have feelings, but peeling just reveals the core
the lies i've lived are nothing i'll need anymore
you were wearing my favorite tshirt

did i see too much? when i opened the door?
you knew i was watching, but you didn't know what for
you forgot my name, but we weren't keeping score
it's a good thing too
i guess you were right not to smile

this isn't exactly what i had planned.. but you can't fight it. i was up last night, thinking i would write another song, a country tune. and this thing popped out, fully formed from my head. yes - like athena. i liked it enough to spend some time on it, i even had to re-record some of the things, because i was playing super quiet at night.. too quiet, perhaps.

in any case, i like it. it's a little deceptive, and there's not a lot of fat to trim. i had it in my head that the very end would have an accordion bit, almost carnival-esque, but you *cannot* play the accordion quiet enough in the middle of the night. impossible. i suppose i'll just have to write another song.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Why Do They Leave?

this is a little gem from Ryan Adams, called Why Do They Leave?. ?. hmm.

Michelle gave me this song some time ago, at the end of a mix cd.. i totally loved it, but i guess i lost the cd at some point.. and just had the idea of it in my head for the past year or two. it seemed a pretty perfect choice for this next week of song-a-day projects.. great song.

i played the guitars, banjo, and harmonica. emily did the piano and violin.. i think it worked out pretty well. we're getting better all the time, i have to admit. ha!

it's been a pretty good day. it was gorgeous weather here in portland, sunny and getting warmer.. emily did a lot of yard work (i did a tiny bit) and then i auditioned for Gruesome Galore, a local portland band looking for a drummer... i think it went alright, but i'm not very familiar with their material, so we didn't acheive much. oh well.. i think i'll get another chance.

back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Angel From Montgomery

whew.. it's been a slow recovery for our post-st. patrick's day. i didn't actually get outta bed until about noon. wow. and then we did some yard work and went to the grocery store and such, and decided to tackle this over the course of the day.. it's a gorgeous song, and it's hopefully the start of a bunch of songs like it.. i wanna try and go a gram parsons/emmy lou harris sorta thing, and work out a bunch of country-ish stuff.

we'll keep our fingers crossed.

in any case, today was Angel From Montgomery, written by John Prine.

emily played guitar and sang, i played banjo and sang.. it was real nice, but i felt like i had to add stuff to it, flesh it out and all that. so we spent a lot of time trying violin, accordion, even trumpet.. nothing was working. if i had a harmonica in the right key, i would've tried that.. in the end, i just did a few little slide guitar noises in the spaces. it's much better if you just leave it alone..

and i like the idea of me and emily just hanging out, singing and playing together.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Swords and Violins

friday friday.. whew. it's been a long hard week, but all sorts of good news now, so i can rest easy.. umm, tomorrow. i can rest easy tomorrow. i'm all done with that landscaping job, and should have some days off next week. that'd be nice. and i have a few more ideas for songs.. the floodgates.

todays song is Swords and Violins, which i was really happy to work on yesterday. i wrote it when i got home from digging that rock out of the ground, and the piano seemed nice and inviting.. but i didn't have too much time, so i just kinda kept working on it, but had to run errands and eat dinner and all that. i did all the guitars in the middle of the night.. and most of the vocals, for that matter. that can be tough.. playing quietly and singing quietly and all.

emily ended up recording piano for me on this one, which was great.. it's got lots of odd phrasings throughout, and i would've had a hard time with it.. she also sang some poppy background vocals for the outro. i love those epic outros.. they sometimes make me feel like i'm flying.

i think that today (st. patrick's day) is also Colin's birthday, over at 305 SE 3rd.

happy birthday!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Unusual Morning

man.. does unusual really have 3 u's in it? that's bizarre. overloaded.

so, of all the tortures in the world, i only have to face a few minor ones.. i have a great life.

but i still find a way to suffer from it.. i was trying to plant a tree today, on the side of a hill, in ground that is mostly rock, and then a little clay, and some mud. did i mention it was raining? 'cause it was. hooray for portland. hmph. and so - i'm digging this hole, and i hit a big rock almost immediately, and don't think too much of it.. i just figure i'll dig it out, and i dig and prod and push and pull and rip and pound and heave. stupid rock was huge, and probably quite happy in the hole. hell, maybe it held up the house or something.. worst thing ever. i finally dig this giant hole, so that i can see the whole rock, and it's big, and heavy, and at the bottom of a hole. i was climbing down in the hole, covered in mud, in the rain, trying to lift with my legs and such.. wow - i'm tired just remembering.

like i said, i have a great life, but this morning was tough.

Unusual Morning is a little thing emily was working on awhile back, but it lost momentum somehow. we actually considered deleting it (we don't do that a lot here). i've been staying up late for about a week working on different layerings of harmonies and such.. using voices and keyboards and computer pitch-shifting stuff, and this song has some of that in it.

Josh, from Plants mentioned he was using a bunch of bells (like hand bells, that you ring, salvation army style) to form chords, i guess.. he had found the ones with pitch, and figured out the pitch and layered them, or something.. anyway, i don't have any bells, so i just started trying stuff.

fearless pop.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

was i hoping too much?

my birthday falls on the same day as you!
coincidence does not make it true.
you stood upright, so hard/so long
that you forgot how to kneel
so proud of the things you can do
you forgot how bad you can feel
it doesn't seem real anymore
dumping these pills on the floor
was i hoping too much?

i wrote this song last night and this morning, in a coffee-fueled fever. it's more skewed-pop experiments, with some nice minor 9th chords, and even a 13th chord in there somewhere.. plus it's got mandolin, which i had tried not to play for a week or two. i guess i originally wrote it on keyboard, but i don't think any of that made it on to the final version.. a few guitars, bass, lots of singing..

i gotta take a shower and clean up a bit, and then go to work for awhile.. it's already been quite a day. songs don't write themselves, you know.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Very Sad Sunshine

how long can you smile? twelve times.
around in a circle, it's perfect.
why would it be a race?
the sand rises up, takes shape, takes stare, takes a step
it's perfect.
takes a step, gives a call to slamming doors for eternity
she wrenches away and stares back at me beautifully
i'm a very sad sunshine, all washed up.
you gotta forgive me.

last night was new mexican revolution practice, but we never got around to recording anything, so i worked on this before work this morning and just came home and finished it up. it's got a lot of keyboards, bass and banjo, a few guitars, a lot of me singing.. umm.. and some drum machines. i think that's about it. this one took awhile, 'cause of all the parts fitting together oddly at first, and weaving them together and such.. pains.

it's also got a neat reverse drum track near the end.. i really like that.

my whole body hurts, even my finger(tip)s. whew. landscaping kinda sucks. and by landscaping, i mean carrying rocks down three or four flights of stairs. that sucks.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Don't Sweat It

Don't Sweat It, we can pay you for all the hard work. You're a very holy man.

Thanks, it's a lot of work. Now I am very tired.


i've been reading this collection of Kierkegaard's writings, and it's some pretty interesting stuff. he's always railing against the disappointments of (his) modern christianity, in a beautifully direct, unflinching style. i'm sure he made a huge difference, 'cause i can't find any fault with today's christian church.


speaking of which, remember:

if you're not catholic (and you know if you are) don't take communion.

those rituals are prettier from a distance, anyhow.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


life is all a confrontation
we're just another rock/roll station
looking for members.
and your body gets old
as the blood dries up
and interest turns cold.

gonna do like you try to:
make it all fresh and new
when your mind starts to wander
and the rapture takes hold
i'll carefully water
all the weeds in your soul.


whew.. got pretty lit last night, partying with the revolution, but somehow managed to wake up early and eat breakfast, drink coffee, change a flat tire and write this little song, although emily did all the actual work. she played guitar and sang the hard harmonies at the end. i just did bass and banjo, and that snare with brushes track. all in all it's kinda neat, and it has a message from the devil up front. ha!

my body is kinda sore from moving all those rocks and flagstones. i should get packmules or something.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

things should be in the open

things should be in the open

first things first.

this is post 100, which means i have at least 100 songs.. i think more, 'cause i did a few for a christmas present. for the record, that's much more than i ever thought i would do. i was hoping for 30 or 40. good work aaron. thanks.

i took a week off or so, in the midst of all this, when i travelled back to colorado to see my family. that was the only break i took. and i missed the project terribly, and wrote a bunch of lyrics. i've managed to stay focused.. discipline is funny stuff.

so i'm kinda proud of myself for that.. a lot of work, you know.

but now i've got new mexican revolution practice/party.

i think i'm gonna drink tonight, in celebration.

thanks to everyone for checking the songs out.

Friday, March 10, 2006


i finally woke up, and found this IOU in my pocket
take your time - think about where you've been
grow and weed forever
my roof is leaking, and you want me to stand in the river?
standing on a frozen line, watching the sun rise
that whole time we both talked like we knew
felt an acute abuse and paid millions in dues


last night Erik Becker (from the King Hen) came over and hung out with me and emily, played a song or two and talked recording.. i had planned on doing more recording with him, 'putting him to work' as it were, but we didn't actually accomplish much. no big deal. he did bring over a bottle of maker's mark. wow!

so, after he left, emily went to bed, and i recorded this little guy - real quiet-like, huddled over the microphone. i had a banjo track in my head, and maybe a violin, but it just seemed too much for such a small, vulnerable song. ha!

now i gotta drive around for the mercury.. friday is the big day, you know.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Back To Battery

we're all looking for ways to get back to Battery, Kansas
the preacher has the stomach, he just needs a drink
he sleeps at night with barbed wire around his chest,
these guys have seen it.
my conscience hurts, i just need a drink
i'm gonna watch that car wreck.
i'm gonna watch that sunset.
let it slip right through me.
staring at our mothers and their hungry pout
bleach to wash our mouths out
you havent been good.
take the man's test -
he's got cages for ladies and buckets for men
nobody is perfect
we could all use a drink
we're all looking for ways to get back to Battery, Kansas

it's snowing in portland right now, and has been since i woke up. that's pretty nice.. coffee and potatoes, songs, no work. thats a good morning.

this song, Back to Battery, is mostly around this fingerpick guitar bit and this story of the Preacher. then it just kinda kept mutating.. i used harmonica and moog on it, bass and guitar, and a few drum loops.. plus bass drum. and piano. ha! i think that's it.

yesterday i spent all day at the mercury office, answering phones and such. it was odd.. i just sat there, for hours. practically doing nothing. i read a lot, and ate my lunch, and made jokes with whoever stood by the desk. i also sorted through the archives of old issues, looking at cover art. that was neat.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Doctor Alexander

did you hear? no one goes near that house anymore.
just leave your letter on the porch.
for the birds all in a line
from perfect endless circles to terrible screaming dives

the doctor hates mistakes
but amy was too late
we're sorry for the loss
but mary can't move on

Doctor Alexander threw his tools to the floor

now mary never lost her friend
just opened her heart to a wind
amy smashed back through brick
with half-dead and you make me sick.

so i didn't work all day tuesday, and got some good songwriting in.. and emily came up with this cool piano part out of nowhere yesterday. awesome stuff. i kinda like the lyrics to this one, also.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Great Big Opportunity

at least back in santa fe
i had life underneath my fingernails/tips
these wails through the days dont seem to pay
my memory of you is that time you fell
for the dress you wear/wore
for the secrets you share
we're going to war

but the men are tired, life stuck between and cut against their teeth.
it belies belief, but are they liars?
that the rain in the sky can set them free?
the o.e.s. tells us what to do in our jars
so we're going to war

but see it as A Great Big Opportunity, when the 'winter'
from florida to portland
seems just like june to me
if the ways we have to hate start getting/seeming strange
just give 'em a new name
the world is always at war

now i gotta eat something.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Suicide Is Painless

well, i'm not quite convinced loudon wainwright wrote this.. but we had that in mind. plus burt bacharach. i don't know how you spell that.. WWBBD? latin, i think.

a great new mexican revolution practice, i think.. we learned a lot. it was an experience, worth having. i drank some tea.
Suicide Is Painless is a pretty amazingly sad song, once you learn the lyrics. we did about half of it here.. wow.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Get Off The Label

your royal flushed cheeks are fading
all the scratching at your chest
won't get off the label
you led the birds right to me.

i just saw 'walk the line' that johnny cash movie. it was pretty good.. reese can really sing, i was impressed.

i worked on this one all morning, but ended up leaving in the middle of the afternoon before i could post it (the whole process can take almost an hour).. it's got a good major key epic guitar thing going on, with an octave pedal effect on the main line.. i like that a lot. i ended up playing everything on this one, emily was cleaning the house and cooking breakfast while i worked.. i'm a brute sometimes. all that scratching at your chest won't Get Off The Label. on the other hand, she wrote the first line, which brought everything else tumbling out of me.

i also really like the drums.. they're pretty active, rolling around smashing stuff. it was fun to play. no hesitation.

it's also got this bizarre overly complicated chord structure.. i wrote that last night drinking a beer with jana and emily, watching them sew. rock and roll, people.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Pin You To The Sky

man oh man.. last night was a great show, i think. sounded great up on stage, looked pretty, and we all had a good time playing. good times..

and then i had to work all day today, but i think i'm basically done with the landscaping thing.. for now.

so after work today i came home and wrote this, kinda while eating dinner and such. i think it turned out pretty well, the lyrics are the best thing.. Pin You To The Sky with lies, pin me to the floor with truth. i've been on a roll lately, i'm sure i'll hit bottom sometime.. anyhow, good lyrics. and a neat little shifty chord structure.. emily played that super awesome/cheesy synth sound. i told her it sounded like a song from the top gun soundtrack.

i wish. i like top gun. i used to have the old nintendo game, and i'd play it for hours. i got pretty far, but i never beat it. it was hard.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Stay Wild

friday friday. no landscaping for me. no no non ono.

instead, i work for the mercury for awhile and then play a show at mississippi studios. sounds like a good day.

and i have a song done! yeehaw! i finished this last night, after posting 'i was so turned on'. man, i really love that tune. might be one of my favorites.

but today we have Stay Wild, which was a bit of a headache. it's supposedly an exercise in structure with the drum machine.. but i'm not too capable with all that stuff, so it was really clumsy at first. then it just got weird. which was much better.

it's also a little schizophrenic, which i really like. most of these songs seem to sit in place too long, i think. this one can't hold still, so that's different. it's got a hardcore mandolin solo at near the end, a reggae/dub influenced break in the middle (for all of 15 seconds or so), a really pretty little ethnic guitar solo at the end.. a funky bass line in a dorian scale. neat stuff. all crammed in together, for two minutes and forty two seconds. wow.

breakfast and coffee. lovelove.

this is an old picture of me and tony.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

i was so turned on

i only worked a half day today, so i was able to finish this guy up.. and it's a good thing, too. time is gonna be short all through the weekend, i think. work work work. plus we play a show friday at mississippi studios, that has to kick ass..

anyhow, i was so turned on is an awesome song, i think. i got turned on.

i really like all the guitar lines, funky minor ninth things, really cool noises. i had meant to play drumset with this (i wrote it in the middle of the night, when you can't use the drumset) but i didn't manage to find time. that main riff that starts the song was gonna be a mathrock sorta moment. oh well.

and the bass! oh man.. i think that's easily the most comfortable i've felt on the bass.. 3 months later, i'm starting to get the hang of it. it really starts to loosen up near the end of the fadeout. i think the reason i let the song go so long was 'cause of the bass stuff. groovy.

and i'm the news caster of rap. mc pseudonym. ha!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Forces of Lonely

man, working all day is wrecking havoc all over my song writing time. i had to be at work at 8 am today.. geez. so i stayed up late last night working on this song and another, with headphones and drum machines and such. then, this morning, i was able to play some guitars and such and take off to work..

blah blah blah. work work work.

then i got home, tired and muddy, and we worked on this some more, and now we're going to celebrate our anniversary. three years, apparently.

it's called Forces of Lonely 'cause in the song i join an army, the losing team, that is against them. the forces of lonely. the pamphlets were perfect, with needle, thread, and stitches we made war on the line between 'each other'. an ocean, a feather, to victory! may we never say goodbye.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Heidi in her military coat.

so last night was a great new mexican revolution rehearsal, made me feel really good, but i didn't have time to work on anything for today. that's big trouble...

so i woke up this morning and started on this, singing the middle bit with the guitar, just trying to come up with something. i had those odd chords on the guitar, and the odd turnaround phrase. so i listened to that for awhile and wanted to bookend it with something, so i started tuning the guitar in silly ways and got these neat sonic youth-style moments, all in 10 or 5, with the drum machine doing all the little details.
i figured i'd have to stop there, 'cause i had to go to work, but jill called and put off work for another hour, so i had time to play the moog and that slide guitar part. i think that's about it. oh, and the accordion. it's droning in the back like an organ or something.. e and b and a. ha!

i just love the sound of Heidi in her military coat. ha!

i got pretty muddy at work today, that can be fun.

Monday, February 27, 2006

music editor blues

today: a day of awkwardness and loathing and teenage tantrums. go with it.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Inside Out

whew.. so obviously, it's getting kinda late.

emily and i woke up and got to work on another song, which was coming along nicely, but i just couldn't get anything for verses.. it was very frustrating, so much that we decided to give it a rest and take a break. i ended up watching two musicals, hedwig and the angry inch (which was great) and gay pur-ee (which was not). so we didn't get home and working again until about five, maybe later..

and we decided to just write another song.. all things considered, it was a good idea. i was stuck.

we came up with Inside Out, which has this really confounding harmonic thing going on.. a bunch of dominant seventh chords or something, it's a little odd.

like a lot of good things, once the ball got rolling it couldn't stop.. it's mostly piano and drums and vocals, which is nice. i've been on a kick with mandolin and chimalong lately. emily did a kick ass job singing all these harmonies at the end, it's the best part of the song. she's a genius.

now i get to share a drink with morgan. it's his birthday. or tomorrow is. whatever.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

One Hundred Flowers

whew.. after drinking late last night with jill and wes and julia and jeff, we went to work landscaping again this morning. ugh..

anyhow, i love this new song. One Hundred Flowers blooming at the same time. i started it last night, just playing the drums as a kind of joke experiment.. back in college i was real into south african drum ensembles and such. so it started off vaguely traditional.

then i put banjo and slide guitar.. bass, things like that. and started to figure out some lyrics..

but the real magic started today, after work.. i was kinda tired and cranky, but the song just kept getting better and better. the poppy la la la sections, then the big sung outro.. i was falling in love, love love. then i had this hole in the middle, and i couldn't figure out what to do with it. stupid g major solos.. but once i figured out what the hole lacked, i was smitten all over.. little frustrations, big rewards. it was awesome.

i actually jumped around and danced when it was finished i was so happy.

Friday, February 24, 2006

so this is an island?

ahh, friday. it means i dont have to do any landscaping/yard work today. i get to work at the mercury! yeehaw!

and, in more good news, i think i'm gonna finally get that high-speed internet everyone is always talking about. that should be good.. it should increase my productivitiy by at least twenty minutes a day. perhaps i can use that extra time to get to the theatre early. ha!

anyhow - last night i got home and ate dinner and wrote some lyrics, sorta dancing around the idea of making your parents proud, but being kinda mean and they don't know it. that and nikki put a comment on myspace that "sometimes your songs make me cry" - which i think is a good thing.. i hope.

so after dinner emily started playing piano and came up with this, which is pretty neat. it goes back and forth with Cmaj and Cmin in a really subtle way, sounds great.. then we sang three rounds of harmonies (wow) and a little tag at the end, so this is an island?.. and then we recorded the lonely dog across the street. emily played ukelele, making a pretty hip almost jazz sound come out of it. that's talent.

i think the dog can hear us make music and he wants to join in.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Try Not To

so, i've been working hard suddenly, doing landscaping work with jill in the sw hills of portland. man, i'm tired and sore and dirty.. it's a bit of effort just to come home and think, let alone write songs.

luckily, emily picked up all the slack for me.

Try Not To is from jesus christ superstar, which is pretty cool. i've been watching all these musicals, trying to figure 'em out a bit (and write our own) and that's one of the better ones. the first act of into the woods is really good too. al jolson's the singing kid, not that great.

anyhow, it was pretty much perfect to come home and hear the lyrics. seems appropriate. like i said, she did most of the work. i think i put a keyboard track in the background this morning before going to work.. but honestly, i can't hear it now. i may have messed up somehow. ha. (that's 'cause i'm tired)


i think the biggest revelation from this song was the backwards stuff, we spun the whole thing around and listened to it like that a few times, almost called it done like that - it was just beautiful. i think we'll do some more work with this...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bluebird Liquor

awhile back i mentioned i was turned on to these mp3 blogs, and i still am.. i like reading 'em, browsing idly. they're all a little different, with different focuses and such. anyways, Said the Gramophone had a little contest with some lyric writing and a Cat Power CD giveaway (or something, i apparently missed some of this).. and now they have a british ton of lyrics all around this one theme. some are funny, some are sad, some are just odd.. but i collected the four or five winners and one or two others in the list and made a song out of it.

Bluebird Liquor turned out to be (in emily's words) sorta tropical, sorta country. which doesn't sound that great at all, ha! but i like it. it freely mixes old folky bits with much more modern stuff, like swirling delays and variably filtered oscillators. or something.

i was re-reading old copies of the new yorker, drinking coffee and such, when i came across an article on jake leg, and the short and intense period of blues/country songs it inspired (close to twenty songs in three or fours years). so coming across this reminded me of that, and i jumped in. perhaps it'll be part of a canon.

in this case, i played everything on it. emily worked all day and then we ran errands and ate and went to bed, not a lot of time. it's got some acoustic guitars, banjo, accordion, mandolin, bass, drums, moog, birdsong... harmonica, and me singing a few times. i think that's it. one of the vocals in the outro has me singing through a cell phone, but the effect wasn't quite right.. oh well. i think you'll be able to pick that one out clearly.

oooh - i almost forgot. there are some really good lyrics in here (the motivation, no less). i don't think this one was a winner, but i like it a bunch:

"she sipped till she shimmered, till her soul fit to shine
and to wit whispered "hither" and collapsed into mine"

i love that.. there's also about 100 more on Said the Gramophone.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Backdoor to Heaven

yesterday was a banner day, it seems. the new mexican revolution is finally gonna get our album out, Theories of Sun and Rain. we all checked the artwork out for the packaging, and it looks great.. Daniyel (from Cicada Omega) did a great job for us, it's pretty exciting. it just got mastered, and now we're gonna send it off to get printed up.. i think a little over a month or something.

then we had a rehearsal over here, where we've been playing some quieter material for our next show (saturday at mississippi pizza pub). it went well, and at the end of the night we recorded this as a celebration.. it's an old song that the Sons of Jar'el wrote, it seems like an age, now. it wasn't recorded that well - that's my fault, i wasn't thinking too clearly by then, and i can only record with two mics at a time (thats why the drumset is always the way it is, kick and overhead, down in the basement).

whatever - jana plays tinwhistle, emily on tambourine, i play piano, wes played guitar, i think. tony on bass, and jeff on drums. we all sang, i think.. except maybe jana, and jeff. i don't know, it turns out. celebratory.

Backdoor to Heaven

Monday, February 20, 2006

Awake & Adream

yesterday afternoon, after emily and i finished 'cross country' we went for a walk, enjoying the sun and cold and such. when we came back, i sat down at the piano and wrote Awake & Adream, just playing the piano and trying to make up the words as i went..

on the walk emily and i were talking about bands who write super-short songs, all those punk bands with minute and a half songs and such, and i wanted to try that out. so once i had the song in my head, we just recorded it live with my singing and playing piano. that was tough for me, i'm a big fan of click tracks and drum machines and blah blah blah..

anyways, then i went and took a shower and cleaned up for a dinner party with lisa and scott (thanks!), and emily added the violions and trumpet, and it was done.. pretty neat.

we went to holocene last night to check out what the 'church of psychedelia' was up to. it was weird, alright. we didn't really stay long enough to see too much, unfortunately.. but it was weird.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cross Country

sunday afternoon, another song finished.

this one i started to write in bed, in that neat between sleep/awake dream spot. i had all the ideas and structure, more or less.. got up, started the coffee and emily and i figured it out. she played this real funky bass, i played guitar and mandolin and drums.

the whole thing didn't take too long, it wasnt a sunday super-sudoku puzzle or anything. ha!

last night we rolled all over town, saw a movie (mystery train) and went to a show, where we saw GTR LKR (i think) and the first song of Monstrous. not bad.. that GTR LKR guy sang into a gasmask rigged up with a mic, that was pretty cool. emily described it as weirdio foolio. true story. then ended up at the goodfoot with Matt and Colleen.. those kids are the best. hopefully matt'll come over this week and we can make some more noise.

Saturday, February 18, 2006



this song was a terrible pain to birth. emily and i started it a few days ago, with just the piano. i had written a bit of it, but didn't have any idea where it should go. it was too weird for me, i think. wow.

on the other hand, emily got a burst of enthusiasm and really started working on it. she played all the piano bits and structured the thing, then laid in violins and trumpets and keyboards.. wow. i played drums and guitar, we both sang. i got up around 10am or so, and it's now almost 4pm. thats a pretty good days work for me.

i got really cranky near the end, and started to hate the song.. but now that it's all wrapped up, i like it. most of the lyrics are inspired by the Sufi tradition, but i'm not really a scholar. back when i was in school, i was reading 'The Mysticism of Sound and Music' by Hazrat Inayat Khan, and i've carried around these half-formed ideas about sufi-ism ever since. i hope it's not too irreverant, i enjoy the bits i know/remember. maybe i should read it again.

i was up late last night, austin city limits had 'death cab' and 'my morning jacket'.. i love that show. both bands weren't terribly impressive, though. death cab was pretty much note-for-note, but really low energy, and ben didn't sing so well. (who am i to criticize? he did great!) and my morning jacket was really cool, better than death cab, but not very inspiring. oh well. i still like all those guys. they do great stuff.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Waiting for the Doctor

friday friday friday. another week down.. i don't feel much older.

it looks sorta cold and windy outside, but clear. sometimes the sun can make all the difference, but it looks kinda sad out there.

in any case, for the past few days i've been working on a wide variety of stuff, just bouncing around from one to the other, trying out ideas and experimenting with toys and ideas. this is certainly a product of that. Waiting for the Doctor reminds me a lot of the beastie boys (!) - but only their instrumental stuff off of check your head and ill communication. those were great albums.. if i remember correctly, ad rock played guitar and mc a played bass and the drumset was mike d and eric 'bobo' something-or-other.. (who also played awesome percussion all over stuff) and the fucking fantastic money mark on all manner of keyboards and such.

that was a golden age.

so they got into doing these instrumental jams.. some of them were loose, some were pretty tight, but by the end they had enough for an EP (?) called the In Sound From Way Out.

this song is definately a nod in that direction.. i think they even have a song called Sneakin' Out the Hospital, but i don't remember if it's an instrumental or not.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Bridge Is Wanting

whew.. i wrote this last night, in the middle of the night, emily had just gone to sleep. so i played real soft, on acoustic guitars i had all these sorta open/ringy A minor7 things floating around. it was pretty and a little ethereal, in the middle of the night.

i woke up this morning and got right to work on it, but i couldn't preserve the airy feeling it had. not with all the instruments i started trying out. in any case, it started to go in it's own direction which was cool. i tried to sing another harmony line, at the very end. i think this one came out a little better. the main vocal melody, all the verses were so frustrating.. maybe today was just a bad singing day, but i don't know if i have good days. ha! maybe the lyrics are just too convoluted to work with.

it's got a bunch of references around the idea of sacrificing children by throwing them off a bridge, to appease the gods for somthing terrible the captain did.

A Bridge Is Wanting.

true story.

i also, in my downtime, wrote this really haunting piano thing, i'm just waiting for emily to get home so i can show it to her, maybe we can come up with something.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

King of the World

so the old testament is a crazy book, you know? full of wrath and vengeance and inexplicable powers of heaven. confusing stuff, to be sure.. and i never understood why the devils and demons and cast-off angels were never more successful, here on earth.

so i wrote a song about it, kind of. the rapture comes and i get passed over (i'm not that diligent on my church-going, you know) - and the angels warn me that the end is in a few days, and i should warn people. then the demons come and offer me the goods if i just keep quiet. so i do. keep quiet, that is. and i become King of the World, because the demons kept their promise. of course.

it started off on piano.. even all the odd time bits, although i couldn't really play 'em. then some acoustic guitars and bass, and mandolin.. i kinda like the mandolin on this one. then emily worked on the piano and accordion for a bit, and i wrote the lyrics and played harmonica. i think that's it.. she was thinking about violin, which i was all for, but we had too little time. oh well.. i think it came out nice.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

You Said It Better

happy valentines day!

normally i'd do an appropriately themed cover song, or something.. but not today.

i just finished this one, and i like it too much to let it sit. it's got some more of that sonic youth influence, i suppose. but it's all in this odd-tuned scale, and i play the drums on it, and have this cool guitar line at the very end, all epic guitar rock. it's even got a tiny little moog part in the middle that i just love.. and a feedback swell! ha!

those are hard to do on that little vox practice amp i use.

anyhow, You Said It Better has a little something to do with love.. but it's more about getting out of a bad relationship than anything. oh well. happy valentines day. now i gotta retune all the guitars.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Influence of Ages

yesterday was a big day for me, i suppose.. i woke up and worked on the little sadistic waltz with emily, and when she went to work i made Influence of Ages, this weird sorta pop-rock tune.. i kinda reminds me of pixies/smashing pumpkins style dynamics, but not overwhelmingly. it's got a lot of guitar lines and keyboard lines, moving around, which is cool to do.. a lot of fun to record.

at the very beginning it was just acoustic guitar and drum machine and lyrics, and i kinda liked it.. so i layered a bunch of sci-fi keyboards and spacey guitars around.. that changed it. then i put the real drums on it, which i thought was kinda like the flaming lips' 'kim has got a watermelon gun'. i love that song.. but it didn't come out quite right. oh well.

i got this new song that's all in a floating D mixolydian drone style thing. it's pretty neat.

breakfast and work.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Little Sadistic Waltz

soo.. erik sent me some lyrics the other day, with a short little note describing it as a 'Little Sadistic Waltz'.. and it's true, the lyrics were already waltzing, right there on the page. emily and i just fleshed out the background a bit. she got mad at the accordion today, and i got mad at the banjo. and the moog.

i had a hard time playing the moog today, it got all screwy and wouldn't make any noise other than a static-filled wave. it was fantastic at first, but i couldn't make it stop. so that bummed me out a bit.. instead of a moog, i ran that cheap little keyboard into some time delays at the end. then it got real interesting and i wanted to keep going, with a big sci-fi sorta section with bouncing delays and this ominous descending guitar/bass unison lick.. a big live drum take at the end, rocking out. probably a guitar solo.

that would've been awesome, but i ran outta time. so much stuff to do.. songs take forever to make, sometimes.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

For Plants

hope a little harder sweetheart!

man.. somehow i got kinda drunk last night, at this weird rock and roll show starring the King Hen and Shatterville. i don't know quite how it happened, but i suffered today. which was tough, 'cause emily had plans to go out into the mountains or woods for a drive, first thing in the morning.. ugh. but i saw some nice waterfalls.

anyhow. i made soundscape For Plants, that portland local band/friend of mine that opened for Akron/Family. i don't think they'll like it though - it turned out a little tense and anxious feeling, and i had planned on a more pastoral thing. oh well. the muse does what it wants. when i saw plants play live the other day, they had three different droning song/pieces, and they were kinda pretty.

i take a face melting moog solo in the last 45 seconds or so. that's my favorite part.

Friday, February 10, 2006

You Hit Your Head

whew.. sometimes i get carried away with work and fun and forget to post songs!

well, almost forget. emily's in charge from now on.

i'm sorry that You Hit Your Head is a pretty cool sorta funk tune. i guess it's a funk tune - it's got a wah-fueled guitar. ha! wah-fueled. at one piont i thought it was gonna be a hiphop sorta tune, but i couldn't make anything happen.. luckily emily stepped in and finished it all up.

it's got about 8 different drum sorta loops running around in it.. that was a big experiment that worked out alright. then keyboards and bass and guitars. for a short time in it's birth it was gonna be a jamming sorta song, with mandolin and accordion taking solos with the guitar, but it turned out to be a real pain in the ass to play all those instruments really well, ripping awesome wicked solos everywhere. that's tough to do.

rock on chicago, rock on detroit

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pink Elephants on Parade

last night i went out to Towne Lounge and saw the most amazing band: Akron/Family. most amazing thing ever. kinda made me feel bad about what i've been doing, just kinda bumming around, taking it easy. those guys were great. they were so good, in fact, that after getting home and emily going to bed, i stayed up late working on music. inspirational.

the opening band, Plants, has a friend of mine in it.. and before the show we talked a little about shows, and he mentioned he had some 'different' shows in the future, where it'd be more soundscapes and noise and less pop stuff. that got me thinking about my ol' college days, when i was a lot more arty. so i was working on noise bits.

but thats not what i have today.. Pink Elephants on Parade was going to be for the new mex rev, but we never really got a handle on it, and we're not a band to force anything, or work hard.

so i went home and did it myself.. the best part is probably emily singing, and cracking up right at the end. good stuff. when i was recording all the marching snare drum stuff, it became apparent that i haven't been playing the drums for awhile.. i lost a lot of finesse and control. that was sad.

drunken mice, drunken elephants, dancing.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

the Ocean Will Sing

it's hard enough to make it through the day
without your letters
they can't keep up
we were fools to think that words could make it better
all the people that i used to be
are coming through and out of your memory
things that i didn't want to see
so i'm a quitter
the world will keep on going, but without me
i can't keep up
i was a fool to think the world would hug me softly
it's all a rock in my chest that'll never stop till i hit bottom
the ocean will sing "we finally got him"

sooo.. yesterday, after i posted the song, i sat around waiting for Emily to get off work and wrote this on piano. i didn't mean to, it just happened, but i'm not complaining. it's got a weird chord thing going on, a Fsus4 or Bb thing.. i'm not sure. apparently it doesn't matter on guitar too much, but does matter when you play the bass or piano or mandolin. or chimalong.


anyways.. i like the lyrics to this one. i like the idea of the ocean with a vendetta against me, or something. old greek god vindication. i like sitting around with the guitar playing it. it's got five or six chords in one song!


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Phone Call Rockets

i'm not a very complicated man. my pleasures are simple. i like to move slow, drink coffee.. read in the sunlight, listen to music. emily brought the first (i think) arcade fire album back from pennsylvania with her. we both really like the other album, and so this was cool to check out. and i've been reading old issues of the new yorker.

this song started last week, i think. when matt came over to drink coffee and whiskey with me. it seemed daunting whenever i listened to it, so i let it set until this morning, when i started to hear the bits that weren't there yet. mostly it's an open tuned E maj that matt banged out on guitar, we both sang on it and gave it a bit of structure, and we both played keyboards on it.. this morning i sang some more stuff, straightened out the lyrics and bit, added bass and the twiddly guitar.. that might be it. i call it Phone Call Rockets because matt's lyrics seem to be about setting up a date that might fall through, and i'm singing about how later, hindsight allows you to see what fell through.. bad conversations seem like such a big deal.

it's gorgeous in portland right now.. the sun is out, but it's still a little cold. it's wet, but not raining. i probably won't do anymore work for awhile.

Monday, February 06, 2006

the Whole Plane

i wish i could play this live somehow. thats what i was thinking while i made it. i don't always have those thoughts.. but this one was special. ha!

it's clearly a nod to sonic youth and that new sleater-kinney album, but i don't have a band to reheare it with, so i just started making it. it's got a big ol' outro that i ended up fading out, i just imagine playing it for five minutes on stage, letting the freakiness simmer. good stuff.

it's about leaving town suddenly for your ex-girlfriends funeral, but you just met this other girl last week.. a bad mental space, perhaps. and you're all dazed and upset, and the whole plane seems to be staring at you.

confused and angry and sad and in the burgeoning throes of love. (burgeoning throes? huh?)

and confrontational!

a girl i haven't heard from since i was 14 or 15 found me online the other day. now that's freaky.

For Our Best Friends

hmm.. i must be slipping. i wrote this song and posted it on saturday, febuary 4th i guess.. but i can't find the blog entry. could that be? did i forget? i have vague memories of writing it, but i have vague memories of everything. nothing is true, everything is permissable. i was in such a daze trying to finish songs and get ready for the trip.

For Our Best Friends, we played shows.

this song is neat, but a mess.. now i'm sure i've written about it before. it's all coming back to me. it's got me trying to do rounds and weave melodies in and out and convolute the phrases. which doesn't work nearly as well as i had hoped. but it's also got a few parts weaving in and out, a lot of piano and guitar and drums.. with odd maps underneath, mostly to interior spaces.

hmm.. well, it's possible i wrote about it somewhere, i'll have to go looking.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Not Yet

sunday evening.. i kinda just got home from the show, turned on the super bowl and finished this guy.. Not Yet started a long time ago, i figure.. i was doing some stuff on the piano with odd times and click tracks, and emily put the first bit on there - which is basically 'phlip' from the new mexican revolution. wes wrote that. it's pretty.
it's also got some world class tin whistling, which i ran through delays and pitch shifters.. it's pretty. weird. ha!

i'm not sure how much more work i got in me. the show last night was really pretty good. everybody at the club was really cool, Ian was a nice guy. i had a real good guitar night, and the sound was good on stage.. good times. hooray for arcata and the alibi. but now i'm tired.

Friday, February 03, 2006


geez.. i'm the most foul mood. a mood most foul?

anyhow.. it's been a tough day. i just dropped home real quick to eat something, but i'm still working - and it hasn't been fun. hmph. i'm so moody sometimes. and i'm a jerk.

yesterday Timothy told me he's leaving..

this is a neat song. i'm kinda proud. it's got this thing called a 'chimalong' that matt brought over for me.. i put it to good use right away, and it worked out well. i've been thinking puppets and shadow puppets and gamelan music and such, so that was a neat chance to nod in that direction. composing a puppet opera is hard work, it seems.

umm.. i don't know. i'm in a bad mood.. the epic outro for this song was fun. i did the drums a few days ago, and the rest of the stuff yesterday.. singing, guitars, piano, bass. on and on.

i suppose it'll be nice to just sit around by myself tonight. maybe it'll be quiet. that'd be nice.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Death of Spain

spending time alone is kinda hard, i gotta calm myself down sometimes..

i stayed up real late last night, kinda working on this song.. mostly watching television. but i got all these lyrics from last nights sporadic work, and that's good news. the song is mostly this convoluted guitar chord thing, that i did a mock spanish fingerpick thing.. i don't have a nylon, or any ability, so that's as far as i went with it. it's got some cool drum tracks shifting around underneath, the main one is a samba groove from the machine, and there's a tamborine and cowbell, and a spare kick drum bit.

i had in mind a much more dramatic ethnic-feeling song.. and i wanted a trumpet, if i could. but i can't play the trumpet. oh well.

pinned up against the wall, you got your eyes on the land
do the math though it twists and turns
"sign him up, tonight - how much time do we have left?"
you don't know him like i do
i'm riddled with prints and my heart hums blue
in the mess of the effort, you spit up
like a wife you can't get rid of
much like it's a bad way across, it's the Death of Spain

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Going Down


matt came over and we drank some whiskey and coffee and made some music..

here's Going Down, a cool hipster country pop tune. i like it,, it's sorta pretty. matt can sing a note or two, and i got a chance to play piano. other than that, it's mostly matt doing guitar and vocal. i play livin-room drums. he plays moog.

there's also a psychedelic bride in the middle, 'cause we can't play a harmonica in g minor, or any key. it's got a swirl of suggestive lyrics.

now we're out of beer and whiskey.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Other Country

ha! i finished a song..

today was a pretty great day. i sat around all morning working on music, mostly this song.. then we went out to eat with two lady friends of emily. i suppose they are my friends too. we had thanksgiving, or christmas, or both together. i ate too much and raced back home to finish this guy. sorry about leaving so soon, michelle. pretty good evening, pretty good day.

anyhow, the Other Country. heh.. this song was cool to put together. it started as a lil guitar bit i was trying to use for this puppet opera music.. but i liked it too much, and kept screwing around with it until it had four guitars and two keyboards. that made me laugh, so i paused for awhile and thought up some lyrics.. it's about this guy, Eli McPhay, who lives up in the mountains, who started loving some wild animal, like a cougar or wolf or bear, even.. and has all these beast demon children, then the humans place a bounty on the monsters, but they're intelligent and cunning, and create a new political empire with their strength, or something.

and it's got me and emily singing some major chord harmony stuff near the end! whoohoo.

Monday, January 30, 2006

We Don't Want

ugh. mondays are tough.. for everybody, i suppose.

i'm kinda excited, 'cause i'll be driving around listening to The Woods, the new Sleater-Kinney CD i got.. it's pretty great, full of noise rockish guitar and sonic youth-style stretches of rock. it's just tough to sing along with. ha! but i'm excited, it should help me navigate the streets of portland with a new artistic abandon.

i got a bit of work done over the weekend, with bits and pieces of stuff all over the computer.. i've been spending a lot of time figuring out odd voices and re-tuning the guitars and such. it's made for some neat noises and atmospherics and such. of course, i dont think that has anything to do with this song. We Don't Want was recorded yesterday afternoon/early evening.. admist bouts of television.. i wrote it pretty fast while idly strumming the guitar, i even came up with lyrics before i was finished with the music. once i had a few guitars and the drums on, emily jumped in with two accordion tracks and violin.. then i put down bass. i think that'd be it.. i thought about organ or harmonica, but it already seemed so busy, better left alone i suppose.

then we went back to watching televison.

ahh sundays.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Saint Patrick's Day

ha! so i stayed up kinda late last night working on this lil' guy.. it was actually pretty cool, i was layering pretty guitars and organ sounds and such.. and then we woke up this morning and stayed in bed, drinking coffee and watching rambo: first blood. that's a good movie.

anyhow, as soon as that was over, we got up and put down violins and tin whistle, and then a few percussion tracks.. emily played the big drum part, which i really like.

i think that was pretty much it.. emily's getting a lot more confident on the violin, it wasn't hard at all, i didn't freak out and delete them in a frustrated fit. i think that's a good sign.

if you're going to make an irish tune, it seems obvious to find one called Saint Patrick's Day. but that's only because there wasn't one called 'James Joyce'.

we're still kinda lazy today.. moving slow, emily's making spanakopita in the kitchen while i type. i think i can work on a few more songs today before i give up and watch the television some more.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Her Majesty

man oh man.. last night was a big night. those march fourth marching band kids get kinda groovy..

clowns and people on stilts and puppets and Myshkin's bass player had a new upright bass.. i broke a string in Tramp, and ran off to restring the guitar during Paranoid, and while i was tuning the string snapped. jeez. so i just played the rest of the set without.. it happens. oh! plus Heroes & Villians did a great cover of Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite..

so here you go: Her Majesty, also by the Beatles..

it wasn't much of a day today.. emily and i worked on some irish tin whislte tunes, which i think i'll record. i played the harmonica a bit. my fingers really hurt, my eye hurts.. i broke my glasses, somehow.

it was a big night.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Fuck the NW Fest

friday is finally here! the new mexican revolution is gonna rock tonight, i can feel it.. and there's gonna be some crazy clowns, and the march fourth marching band.. wow. it should be a spectacle. the mercury wrote it up, the willamette mentioned, it should be a big night.. probably the single biggest night in the entire month of january, in portland. probably.

anyhow.. yesterday i went out and saw king kong, which i had wanted to see for awhile now. i like big movies on big screens, i like the loud sounds and overwhelming visuals, and popcorn. it was cool.

then i came home, and had really no time to do anything, so i wrote this rap song! ha!

it's funny, and doesn't have any noise rock guitar solos anywhere.. it was actually a loop experiment to begin with, lifting a little bit of emily playing the piano and making it fit into this midi grids and such.. i think it worked, for what it was.. and the bass started out live, and i looped it. i'm getting better at this stuff.. i don't have a sampler or anything, so i'm moving blocks of digital audio around to create it..

and then i rapped. emily heard it and called me a dork.

Fuck the NW Fest - i really did play one time, years ago with the Volumes.. but i've been turned down every year since, in two different bands that were both good. hmph. but i don't have any actually bad feelings about it.. portland is chock full of great stuff, and i'm sure nobody even knows who i am, let alone has anything against me. hmph.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Flowers Lonely Girl

whew.. i'm so jacked up on coffee right now. i feel like balzac.

or how i imagine he must've felt.

today's installment is a nifty little number.. Colin sent emily and i some lyrics and we spent some time just staring at 'em, trying to figure something out.. it was hard. some times things just spill out of me, some times it's like pulling teeth. so i sat at the piano for awhile, and wrote some neat things, but couldn't get anything to work. frustrating. finally, yesterday i guess, i started to put things down on the computer and built up something close.. it had me playing guitar and bass with a drum machine, and harmonica.. it wasn't that great.

then emily came home! and played this crazy piano stuff all over it.. and i felt better, and basically re-did the whole thing.. with live drums and all that. i had the idea that i wanted strings on it, but then i realized i was jacked up on coffee, and i let it go. i feel sick, and need to eat food.

Flowers Lonely Girl is the title, but i don't remember if colin gave that to me or not. i think it was just written at the top, or something.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Goddamned Man

ahh.. rock and roll. i like it.

the new mexican revolution is working on a song (sporadically at best) called 'god fearing man' or something similar.. at least that's the lyric that gets repeated. for awhile i thought he was saying 'i'm a god damned man' over and over. i really liked that, and was sad when it wasn't the real lyric.

so i took it for my own, and wrote this.

i'm a Goddamned Man! yee haw!

i worked all morning on three different songs, but couldn't be happy with any of 'em, so i wrote this instead. it made me happier in less time than all the others. stupid songs, they're so frustrating.

emily should be home from work soon, and maybe she can breathe new enthusiasm. she's like a gently rising water of happy.

i gotta practice some stuff for the show this friday at dante's, and it's started to stress me out a bit. ha!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Baby Shakes


not going to work is the best.. i worked on two songs, and wrote this! and it's only 2:30!

well, actually.. jacob wrote these lyrics awhile ago, and i've just been sitting on 'em, trying to find something.. then, this morning, after working on pink elephants for awhile i wrote the guitar bits for this..

it's got bass, a bunch of guitars, moog, drums.. umm.. maybe that's it. i was definately ripping off smashing pumpkins early on, but i think it's got it's own life.

Baby Shakes

this is the note jacob left at the bottom of the lyrics:

----I've been doing a lot of work with Aristotle lately, and the names of the "girls" are these weird mideval mnemonic codes for certain forms of's all in the vowels. For instance, "Barbara" a-a-a, is of a dedeuctive form: all A are B, all B are C, ergo all A are C.

i don't get it.