Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Day My Cigar Went Out in the Rain (v.2)

The Day My Cigar Went Out in the Rain (v.2)
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he puddle had been there so long there were polliwogs in it.

She squatted above it, her muddy hiking boots perched on the cement culvert. She looked directly down into the puddle, where she was gently probing with a long, leafless twig.

The ragged 60 year old full length mink she'd found in a thrift store was muddy on the hem. Her waist length, heavy black hair disappeared under it, but her bare arms poked out the sleeves, rolled back in bulky cuffs to just below her elbows.

Her eyes were narrowed in concentration and for once he respected that, moving quietly down next to her.

The cigar he'd been lighting on and off the whole afternoon, a nastily sweet index finger sized liquor store special, was clamped unlit and soggy in his mouth and he thought compulsively about lighting it. Instead he put it back in the pocket tobacco tin he often carried and followed her gaze into the puddle.

Finally he saw why she was transfixed.

Beneath a large clump of trash and leaves, in a dark and muddy crevice, was what appeared to be a crawfish. It stumbled around a bit and receded into the muddy darkness that was evidently its home.

She pushed the twig tentatively toward the opening but didn't push it into the hole. She often seemed to him to be cautiously balancing her aggressive scientific curiosity with a self-conscious respect for other entities' destinies (as he imagined she might say it).

"Did I see a crawfish? In a winter puddle on a city street? That's weird."

"Crayfish," she said almost silently.

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You were wrapped up that day
in an old fur coat
we were splashing in puddles
in the lane

that was one day
I won't never forget
the day my
cigar went out
in the rain

I was going to send
for the letters I wrote
to see what life
was like in the past

The times that we laughed
and the times that we cried
fall away from the light
so fast

Friday, February 03, 2006

Under Elms (Instrumental)

Under Elms

There's a bit of late fall in this instrumental guitar improvisation -- and maybe the suggestion of late afternoon, the rapid flight of birds, deepening shadows.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

I Can See Myself in My Guitar [v.2]

I Can See Myself in My Guita

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The guitar in the perhaps familiar graphic to the left is not the guitar I was writing about when I wrote that song. A photo of that guitar graced the previous AYoS version of Guitar and was the subject of that day's blog entry.

This guitar to the left is not just the AYoS logo, it's actually pretty much the AYoS guitar, providing all but a few of the guitar parts on the songs so far. (The others I've used were my $75 12 string and my $50 3/4 size guitar.) It was sitting on a stand in my living room when I shot this. I glamorized it a bit in my photoeditor. There aren't really fluffy clouds in my front room. As a rule.

The car in the second verse of this song was my first car, a Karmann Ghia that started out yellow (a great color for curtains in the breakfast nook, maybe) but got painted a cool smokey metallic grey when I plugged half a week's wages into an impossibly cheap (yet still not cheapest) paint job.

At the time I wrote this, the grey paint was still shiny -- a few moments within a narrow sliver of time when I actually almost felt cool in my Ghia. (But, actually, after the paint oxidized in that first, single season, it had a kind of naturalness to it that ultimately felt pretty comfortable.) I loved that car but I put it through hell. I sold it for a few hundred bucks just at the dawn of that peculiar era when Ghias actually did gain a certain sort of geek hipster cool. I guess.

Anyhow, I did love that car. We went everywhere together.

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I Can See Myself in My Guitar

I can see myself in my guitar
I can see myself in my guitar
It's getting kind of old but it's shiney
I can see myself in my guitar

I can see myself in my car
I don't care what anyone says we'll go far
I can see myself in my car
out in the country, we'll go far, we'll go far

I can see my self in everything
ain't nothing cosmic, it's just there
I can see myself in you
and you know I see you everywhere

(C)1973, TK Major

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

So Much More Love



It's such an ugly word.

I prefer to think of this track as the mix I was working on when I realized it was almost midnight and I needed to get an AYoS song posted.

The original version of this, from my (one man) band, one blue nine, was released in 1999. It was a busy, somewhat funky trip hop thing and it did pretty well on the old, rising into the trip hop top ten for a brief period (No. 7, if I recall correctly).

The piece is built around the found sound of a 60's survivor retelling some of her experiences in Haight-Ashbury in the Summer of Love.

It was a time when love was in the air and you had to be careful what was in the Kool-Aid. A time when clowns were kings, when saints were sinners, cops were criminals, and a wise man often played the fool.

A word to the wise: don't try this in your century.

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[A note on this track. With drums, bass, keyboards, and found audio, this is a very different track for AYoS, more typical of my 'band' work with one blue nine. It does not represent a new change in direction for AYoS, although I have started sneaking a few more elements into the simple acoustic versions I've been recording daily. Honest to gosh... I just lost track of the time and wasn't able to record a new acoustic track. (Yeah, yeah. It shouldn't take more than 5 or 6 minutes, I realize. But it does.) And then my cable net connection completely disappeared in the middle of uploading this track... Anyhow, it's done. I didn't add it to the now very long playlist of AYoS Radio, since I thought the sudden shift to a full band might be jarring in that context. Always thinking of you, gentle readers and listeners. Heh.]

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Too Much Trouble Christine (v.3)


Christine on a beach
Christine on a plane
Christine in a cafe with the boulevardiers

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Honest to gosh, I know I'm not supposed to say this, but I like the previous AYoS version of Too Much Trouble better. Not every firebreathing rocker works with the up close, sensitive, slow treatment.

You're Too Much Trouble, Christine

You're too much trouble, Christine
You're too much trouble, Christine
You're too much trouble, Christine
So Why do I love you, Christine

You're too much trouble, Christine

Christine on a beach, Christine on a plane
Christine in a cafe with the boulevardiers
Christine on the set Christine in my head
Christine in my heart and tearing up my bed

You're too much trouble, Christine...

Christine I'm terrified just holding your hand
Christine you twist me up like no one else can
Christine you're crazy but you got a plan
world domination begins with one man

You're too much trouble, Christine
You're too much trouble, Christine
You're too much trouble, Christine
So Why do I love you, Christine

You're too much trouble, Christine

Monday, January 30, 2006

Baby Said [part 2]

The question of just who "Baby" is has come up before and less than careful readers will be forgiven if they missed my suggestion that Baby is, to some extent, a composite of ex-girlfriends (mine and OP's) with a few of my own personality fragments thrown into the mix, too. If you're trying to create an antiheroine of mythic proportions, you have to draw on everything you have. And then some. Think a little bit Mata Hari and a little bit Janis Joplin as played by... Oh, wait a second... I was slipping into the screenplay pitch.

But, really, I have been toying with the idea of tying some of the Baby songs together with a flimsy excuse for a plot and I may sketch something out a bit later in A Year of Songs.

Sort of a blog opera.

I'm not the first to come up with that phrase -- but I've been doing a form of blog opera for much of the last decade. Last year marked the tenth year of my music on the web -- although the first download was an unlistenably lo-fi 17 second clip that took 2-1/2 minutes to download.

Since then, I've been posting music downloads and writing vignettes and backstories for the songs, usually combining text and download links with some kind of graphics.

(I've toyed with video/multimedia versions. It's a whole lot of work. More power to all you video artists and talented Flash animators. It's all I can do to string a couple of semi-coherent sentences togther.)

Anyhow, I've been doing this blog opera thing for a long time but -- now -- I have an irritatingly catchy name for it.

The first two versions of Baby Said appeared on AYoS on December 25, 2005. With regard to this version, for the record: yes, you are supposed to laugh. In fact, at this point in AYoS, if you ain't laughin' already, you better get that checked out.

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baby said she'd love me
she'd always stand beside me
baby lied . . . but that's all right
baby said forever
baby said never say goodby
she left that night

baby said a lot of things a
fool wouldn't buy
she got caught a thousand times
I sorta let it slide
baby said she loved me
I think she thought she did
baby said a lot of things
she was such a crazy kid...

baby said honey
you ain't got no money
I like that so
my old man's made of loot
and it don't buy no truth
and Baby knows

baby said a lot of things
it was such a crazy time
Baby said remember
cause I'll see you when you die
baby said its over
over and over again
baby said forever and then we
just begin again

baby said save me
sometimes I think I'm crazy
She'd say anything--even the truth
But once you surrendered
it really was forever and
there wouldn't be nothing anyone could ever do

baby said a lot of things a
fool wouldn't buy
she got caught a thousand times
I sorta let it slide
baby said she loved me
I think she thought she did
baby said a lot of things
she was such a crazy kid...

(C)1991, 2000, TK Major

Sunday, January 29, 2006

When You Look Through Me [redux]

When You Look Through Me

Brown leaves drifted down from nearly bare branches, the last sun of the day came over the hill, a few shafts coming through the trees, catching a few fluttering leaves.

He barely noticed.

His stride was long, as though he was going somewhere. But he wasn't. Eventually, he would go home. Now he was just walking, drawing the cold air down into his lungs and trying not to think.

Because if he thought, he'd get mad. And if he got mad, he might do something. And that would surely change something. And the last thing he wanted was more change.

Not now when sullen anger ran like cold mercury through him. Not now when his world seemed about to be knocked from its already wobbly orbit.

This version is a bit more aggressive than the first version.

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You ask me where I've been
I wonder what it matters
I wonder why you should care at all

I wonder what you see
when you look through me
I feel like a ghost in my own home

Oh but weren't the old days grand
our lives together like love letters in the sand
raise a glass to the past
but don't look through
to a time when you loved me and I loved you

I go out walking
you stay home talking
those people on the phone know more about me than I do

I hear your laughter
I don't hear what you say after
but I hear that I'm a joke in my home town