Friday, January 28, 2022

4-60 AC

A friend of mine with an old car once told me that it had 4-60 AC. When I asked what that meant, he said that if he drove 60 mph with all four windows down, then this was the closest that his car had to actual functioning air conditioning. Hence 4-60 AC.

Not to be confused with blinker fluid, which needs to be changed every five years or fifty thousand miles, whichever comes first. 

Today's songs that I would like to share with you are both good for playing loudly with the windows down. I have tested this myself and can confirm. That said, I should also note that the first of these songs made me inadvertently drive faster when I turned it up. 

This was one of (if not the) first songs that I wrote when I picked up solo songwriting again about five and a half years ago. It's still one of my favorite songs to play. It's called Gravel Roads, from my 2017 album Weather Patterns. It's about the unexpected places that life takes us and the winding, often bumpy roads that take us there. [In reference to the article above, this song also features a progression that was born in Micronesia.]


The chorus goes like this:

    Where do we go from here?
    It could be anywhere
    We don't know where we're going
    Until we get there

The other of today's songs comes from Petrichor, the album that I released in June. It's called Dandelion Wine (If Only...). It has since become one of my favorite songs that I have written. Crank it up with your windows down and see if you agree.


If you want to sing along with the chorus, it goes like this:

    Planted like a wallflower
    Sipping dandelion wine
    Daydreaming about tomorrow
    When everything is fine
    If only...
    If only in my mind

As a bonus track, I'll share one more for today. This song is also from Weather Patterns. It's called Meand'er (and here is a live unplugged video of it). This one actually is about going for a drive with the windows down, so it made sense to include it here, even though it is the only of sixty-five songs that I have released over the past four years that does not have a drum track. As such, it may not rock quite as much as the other two. In other words, you might have to roll your windows up.

Thanks for listening. If you like what I'm doing, please share it with others.

Also, there's no such thing as blinker fluid.



Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Make the Most of What You've Got

In today's songs that I'd like to share with you, the album recordings were all played primarily on my teenage kid's $250 Casio keyboard:



Original Miles is by far my most played song to date on Spotify, with over fifty thousand streams and counting. It comes from Embers (2021), the album that I released in January. Both the main electric piano part, as well as the bassline, were both played on the aforementioned keyboard, pictured above.


Next is Holiday, from Petrichor (2021), which I released in June. Same story in terms of how it came into being. In case you were wondering, petrichor is the word for the smell of fresh rain. It's kind of an ugly word for what it is, but it seemed an appropriate name for this album. If Embers is about destructive endings and nebulous beginnings (which it is), then Petrichor is nature washing away the dirt to expose the intrinsic beauty within. 


Finally, here is Haunted (2021), also from Petrichor, and also played almost entirely on that same keyboard. 


Art is what you make of it. As an added bonus to support this idea, here's the no-budget feature-length documentary that I made about fifteen years ago:



(Special thanks to Ryan Walker for carrying a lot of the weight in editing this thing.)

As always, thank you for supporting independent art. If you like what I'm doing, please share it. Then go make your own art with whatever you've got. Everyone has something to contribute to the discourse of what it means to be human, and I tend to believe that we're all better off because of it. 

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Swear Jar

Today's songs that I would like to share with you come from my "casual swearing" collection, where each of these tracks was labeled explicit on Spotify and Apple Music, often because of a single swear word that I wrote into a verse for emphasis. This might be the only context in which my music could be categorized with the work of 2 Live Crew.

It's called artistic license, damn it. Yeah, that's right. I said damn. Take that, the man. 

These songs also all happen to come from my 2017 album Good Night, Fahrenheit. I won't include embedded links to the lyrics of each song this time. I'll let you see if you can find the naughty words all by yourself. I guess the main thing is to not let them corrupt you. 

The first track is called Life Preserver.  It is about always wanting to save the people you love. I've said this before, but this is probably my best example of "dad rock," and I think that this opinion is supported by both the rockin' guitar solo and by my purposeful wielding of the F-bomb in the last verse.

Track number two is called Carry On. It's about getting through it, whatever it may be. 

The third track that I am sharing with you today is called Modern Inconveniences. It's about bullshit; I'll let you unpack it from there. In addition to spotting the only swear word in this song (but not this article), you get a bonus point if you can find the allusion to the work of French philospher Guy Debord.

As a bonus track (with bonus cuss words), here's a song called Begin. It's the last track on Weather Patterns, which I also released in 2017. I often like to close sets with this song, in part because I like the idea of ending with a song called Begin, but also because the last line gives the audience something to chew on as I exit the stage.

Enjoy the music. Share it with your friends and add it your playlists if you dig what I'm doing. As always, thank you for supporting independent art. 

 
 

Friday, January 7, 2022

Song #3

Sometimes when I write a song, I know right away where it's going to land in terms of the tracklist of whatever album I'm working on. Certain songs just feel like a track seven or a closing track, for example. 

The songs that I would like to share with you today are each the third track on their respective albums, which I knew they would be as soon as I wrote them. 

From Better Days (2019), here is my song Entropy:


From Embers (2021), here is Living in Oblivion:


...and from Petrichor (2021), here is Rat Race:


See if you can find the commonalities. Thanks for listening.