Saturday, September 24, 2005

Only the Dance

Only the Dance

This song has always escaped my grasp in the past and this time is no exception.

Let's call this recorded version a sketch and I'll promise to come back to this song and get a proper version -- say, one with all the lyrics -- posted a ways down the road.

It was the first waltz I wrote. And that wildly exotic time signature used to flummox this poor, ignorant ex-punk rocker... you may hear some echoes of that discomfiture in this... sketch.

hi fi [broadband]
ourmedia song page [often slow]
AYoS Radio [AYoS so far [and a bonus track]

Only the Dance

Partners will come, partners will go
waltzing off into the past
the music goes on, long after we're gone
in the end there is only the dance

Music plays from far away
let's give it one more chance
why should we stumble, why should we fall
you know you know how to dance

I stand in the middle of the everything
and I'm hooked up to it all
I tried so long to be everything
and now I'm nothing at all

Music plays from far away
let's give it one more chance
why should we stumble, why should we fall
you know you know how to dance

The echo of that music box
the one that you got in Spain
I hear it at the river's edge
and I hear it in the rain
I hear it in the whisper of
the evening wind in the trees
I sing it in the thunderstorms
and I scream it down on my knees

music plays from far away
let's give it one more chance
why should we stumble, why should we fall
you know you know how to dance


blog within a blog...

I found out yesterday that my favorite DJ, Sam Fields of KKJZ, my hometown radio station (formerly known as KLON to jazz aficionadi around the world) passed away midweek. Sam's voice was big and cool and calm. His knowledge was deep and nuanced. He wasn't a flashy hipster like his (equally beloved) late colleague Chuck Niles -- but he was quietly hip and very cool. I miss the heck out him, already.

Friday, September 23, 2005

A Star Is Bored

This recording of this song aspires to what I believe the music press likes to call "amiable sloppiness."

I thought it was important to deflate any unreasonable expectations of slickness -- or even competence -- early on.

A Star Is Bored was a frequent part of my sets back when I was doing the acoustic post-punker thing in the late 80s and early 90s. I virtually never read the rock press but I was stuck in an airport or train station on a backpack tour through Europe back in '86 and picked up a Spin magazine. In it was some kind of article about some rocker. The writer couldn't seem to get over the burden of this rock star's crushing boredom. The rock scribbler was pouring out empathy for this multimillionaire.

Now, I'm as compassionate as the next jaded old cynic, but somehow I was having a rough time wrapping myself around this rich rock star's life dilemna...

Anyhow, this is what spilled out...

download [2.5 mb]
hi fi listen [broadband]
ourmedia page [slow response server]

AYoS Radio [broadband]


A star is bored
prowling empty hotel hallways
He's never alone
so how come he's always lonely

Nothing gets him down
it's all just the same
saying "If you think you're bored,
then you should see me!"

Down in the bar
leaning into a smokey corner
trying not to catch her eye:
"Say, cowboy, why you dressed like that?"

And it always seems to
go down about the same
It kills a couple of hours
but it don't kill the pain

Tell him a story
make it long, make it lonely
Lots of starstruck summer nights
and the moon's reflection on the river that runs through

Nothing makes much sense
but he guesses that's just life
Ya play a few songs
and then they turn out the lights

Yeah, nothing makes much sense
and he guesses that's just life
You have a couple of laughs
and then you call it a night

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Girl Named October

A s this first entry is being posted, the sun will be crossing the celestial equator. Today, night will be about as long as daytime. Autumn will have begun. And summer will be over...

download [2.4 mb]
hi fi [broadband]
Ourmedia page
'studio' version


I couldn't help fall
for a girl named October
her eyes like the sky
when the day's almost over
her voice like a song
you almost remember
from some other life
some other forever

Why did I lie
why did I say -- I didn't love her
I knew just what that meant
I knew right there and then
that it was over...

ten thousand times
I thought that I might see her
a million nights I lay awake
and remembered
ten billion stars
go on forever
not one chance
we could stay together

Why did I lie
why did I say -- I didn't love her
I knew just what that meant
I knew right there and then
that it was over...

download [2.4 mb]
hi fi [broadband]
Ourmedia page
'studio' version

W hen I was a kid, summers stretched on lazily. I worshipped summer. Long days at the library or playing pool at the Boys Club, and later, hitching down to the beach, body surfing and just hanging out looking at girls and talking about life... the life that didn't seem to have begun yet.

But, sooner or later, fall would start to sneak into the air and a wistfulness, a longing would overtake me. You'd become aware of the faint perfume of fallen leaves or distant fires (yeah, not only could you hitchike back then, people actually burned leaves to get rid of them... it was a long time ago... don't try it in your century). And, even when I was a boy, I would feel... old.

And filled with complex feelings I never understood.

The first time I fell hopelessly, obsessively in love -- I was 10 -- was on a fall-like day at the end of summer. Autumn hung over that day so heavily, I found myself drawn down to my locked-up-for-the-summer grade school. I took the wooden boomerang my dad and I had made in the garage (from instructions in a Reader's Digest kids book... another thing that'll never happen in this century. Have you ever been hit by a wooden boomerang slicing in from 120 feet in the air?)

For a few idle hours, I threw the 'rang in the various ways I'd studied, sending it scooping low to the ground and then watching it rise suddenly, but predictably to come up and back around, running to where it would land as often as I ran away from it as it bore down on me.

There I was toward the end of the day, the sun slanting in, eucalyptus trees wiggling their long, finger like leaves, the distant sounds of other kids on the sprawling grounds and I saw her...

It wasn't that I hadn't seen her before. She'd been in my class since 2nd grade, maybe first. But there was something about her long hair and her slim athleticism as she chased her family dog... something I'd never seen before in a girl my age, something that talked to me on an altogether unfamiliar level... something that talked to my genes...

As fate would have it, it was an unrequited love. I even tried getting to her through her best friend, a cute blond I'll call Lauren. Of course, even though I didn't know that was how the plotline always goes, I found myself drawn farther into a sweet and innocent puppy love... with Lauren.

For almost two years we were inseparable -- except at school, where I had to keep up the fiction that I hated girls. But for endless hours we would walk and talk or just lie next to each other on the grass, looking up at the trees above us.

We ended up going to different middle schools (back then we called them junior highs) and, not too long after, my family moved away. I saw her again when I was 17 and totally full of myself. She was very cute. I thought for a few moments that she would surely fall for the new, self-consciously hip me but it wasn't to be. I never saw her again...