Tuesday, April 20, 2021

A Thousand to One

It's actually one to a thousand, but that didn't sound as good.

Today's songs that I would like to share with you both come from earlier albums. They also both happen to be sitting quietly at exactly 999 listeners on Spotify. No joke. I think that at a thousand, they start getting added to automatically-generated playlists. 

Either way, I'd like to see them cross that threshold, if only because these are about the only metrics that I see, and I sometimes obsess a little over these kinds of things.

Plus they're both good songs that I play fairly often. My neighbors can attest to this. 

The first is called Don't Forget Who You Are, which comes from my 2017 album Good Night, Fahrenheit. It's basically about how old friends are always with us, because they helped shape the people that we are today. It's also about the things we wish we could say when it's too late to say anything: the conversation that could have been.

    Share your mind, share your heart
    And let yourself be free
    Because only you know who you are
    And all the possibilities...

Here's a video that I shot of me playing it completely unplugged in my sunroom a few years ago, not long after I wrote it:

The second track comes from my 2019 album Better Days. The cover art features the back of my son's head in the Chicago Art Museum. I said at the time that this image was an album cover waiting to be, but it took several years to get there. I wasn't even writing music at the time.

Make Some Noise! (Summer of '99) is about power chords and one summer in particular when I played a lot of music. This song is more or less what it sounded like in my head while my ears were ringing in the sweet cacophony of those smoky basements full of feedback and drum fills. Good times.

I worked in a bar that summer. There was a piano upstairs that was essentially used as a prop. Somebody had screwed the cover on the keys shut. One time when I had a break between shifts, I took the screws out and played the damn thing in what amounted to an extended set for no one. I also played a lot of chess against myself that summer, largely because I was allergic to a long-haired cat that belonged to one of my roommates. This song is not about any of that.

    Sitting alone in my tiny room
    I know it's better to create than consume
    I changed my habits and I changed my strings
    And I taught myself to play a few things
    By Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder
    And eventually, I started getting better... 

As I've mentioned before, this is one of two songs that I have written with an exclamation point in the title and one of two songs with a parenthetical thrown in there. It is the only song that I have ever written that contains both. It's even got an apostrophe. (Did I mention that I also teach English to college students?) 

Thanks for listening to my music. If you like it, please share it with others who might, too. As always, thank you for supporting independent art. 

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