I've been cranking out a lot of songs almost involuntarily lately and many of them seem to sort into a genre I think of as "Tragicomic Americana," a traditional mode of American blues, country, and folk songwriting that ruminates on heartbreaks and losses exaggerated to such dramatic extremes, the effect becomes darkly comic, like Hank Williams's "There's a Tear in my Beer," for example. Well, FWIW, here's my latest attempt to make a minor contribution to that grand tradition... [more inside]
A few weeks ago I was asked to play at the wedding of some friends. I don't really have anything appropriate, but was (against the odds) able to write something for it. This is it. [more inside]
This is a cover of a song my dad wrote (that I actually found via combing through his post history on Metafilter after he died) [more inside]
Another acoustic song! I'm really digging this thing where I limit myself to two strings, probably because I'm lazy.
Improvised acoustic guitar / singing. Recorded on phone. A bluegrass standard, but I'm playing it as a stream of consciousness improvisation. Usually these days my playing is pretty much by the book, but here I was thinking about ecstatic / outside players like John Fahey and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. No patching in. Only one take. No overdubbing. Get it right in the moment. Be real and accept flaws as long as they don't spoil anything important. [more inside]
Acoustic folk heartbreak. [more inside]
The first song from my new EP - Americana fingerpicked singer-songwriter folk-rock-ish type music
Satire. [more inside]
Just finished writing a new song :) I was trying an experiment using to convey a good part of the emotion in it. Oh also, playing with a new tuning I found while trying to learn a Nick Drake song. CGCGCG I like it but I'll have to play with it more.
I wrote this with my brother back in 1993 on a night we were thrown out of home and had no where to go. We spent the night sleeping on the steps of McPherson library in Philadelphia. [more inside]
An old Merle Travis song that I learned years ago when I first started getting into bluegrass. Another chance to break in the new resonator guitar, and do some fun chorus harmonies. [more inside]
I went and bought my first resonator guitar yesterday, a Gretsch Honey Dipper (evidence), and this seemed like a good tune to try and break it in on. [more inside]
My entry for the May/June 'City Songs' challenge. [more inside]
A quick recording of a way I've been messing around with approaching an old song. I think the time-signature change makes it seem a bit more bitter and a little less sinister, which is interesting, if not necessarily better.
Somewhere between Show of Hands and the Mountain Goats, we find this story of a man in a boat off the coast of Cornwall, drunk, armed and fearful. [more inside]
An arrangement of the traditional fiddle tune with its not-often-heard lyrics. Full album now streaming on Bandcamp. [more inside]
A friend of mine lost her pet black rabbit recently. A conversation about it led to me digging out this old (c. 2007?) recording. [more inside]
Where does one genre begin and another one stop? I'm asking myself the very same question every time I hear that this song is indie or pop rock or folk rock or dream pop. Well, whatever one calls it, I hope you enjoy this. [more inside]
Two minutes about my paralyzing self-consciousness about working on my music in the presence of other people. [more inside]
Sam Gamgee's song in the tower of Cirith Ungol. Words by JRR Tolkien, melody by Stephen Oliver. [more inside]
This song addresses the situation in Ferguson and the frightening militarization and violence of today's police forces across America. I made a video for it, which you can view here.
Here's a live recording of a song I premiered at a gig two nights ago (July 18, 2014). The bassist accompanying me is Keigo iwami, from the Swamp Root Jimmies. The song is anti-war, anti-greed, anti-death. Video here.
A waltz written by a friend of mine in honor of our fiddle teacher, Sarah. [more inside]
Another acoustic guitar, piano and vocal sample-based song.
An quickish acoustic one, with lyrics about my dad, his melanoma, and a couple of other things. Has probably the most acrobatic bridge bit I've ever done. [more inside]
A song concerning the September 15, 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. I made a video of historic photo images to accompany the song, which may be viewed here.
If you are anything like me, you sit in awe during all the 'musical moments' laced throughout any Fellini film (music composed by Nino Rota). Combine that with the unexplainable excitement during those lively Balkan snippets of any memorable scene of most Emir Kusturica films… that is what this song feels like… to me anyways.
I'm often inspired to write little songs and poems in Metafilter threads, as some of you here might have noticed over the years. I've decided that from now on, whenever time allows, I will not only post those kinds of things as text in a thread, but will record and post them here at Metafilter Music as audio, and in as timely a fashion as possible. This song was inspired by a comment posted by homunculus in a post I made about a statue of Jesus.
Wrote this about the execrable Supreme Court ruling of April 2nd, 2014. Video here.
It's just a live acoustic recording I made on my iPad but I enjoy listening back to it. Hopefully you will too. (my own song)
Written and recorded on the third anniversary of the Great Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011. Video here.
A song from my album that I've just released through Tunecore. If you like it there's more listen links at my site www.groklock.com. Let me know what you think!
As happens from time to time, a comment someone made here at Metafilter was the spark of inspiration for a song. This was the comment, and here's the song.
In memory of Pete Seeger, a two-uke rendition of one of his best-known tunes. Video here if you're interested. [more inside]
...cuts like harp strings.
The request: A slowed down version of I Will Wait. [more inside]
Just got a new zoom h6 to record with. Guitar, vocals, whistling, and a 1930's Dogherty pump organ. [more inside]
Just a cover I did right now of the Woody Guthrie song. Either a car or plane or a train going over the hellgate bridge at 1:32.
This is S&H, from a show we did just the other night here in Tokyo. I'm so digging working with percussionist Habu Hiroshi, he's really bringing the groove. Video here.
Cover of an old John Gorka tune. This is a quick demo version. I might record a more polished version later, so suggestions for improvement are welcome. [more inside]
Quiet guitar for a quiet afternoon. [more inside]
Well it isn't the first time I've posted this song to Metafilter Music. Nor is it the second, third or fourth. But, in my defense, I'd say that all of these versions are, well, rather different from each other, in their various ways. This fifth one is from my duo band S&H, and was recorded live at a little African restaurant in Shinjuku. Video here.
It's an acoustic folk song about how you must dance near the fire. The verses are ad-libbed. [more inside]
If you let your imagination drift towards southeastern Europe, somewhere wedged between Fellini's Italy and Emir Kusturica's Balkans, and then you put such wanderings into a soundtrack, this is likely what you would end up with - Balkanofellini :) [more inside]
Peter Gabriel meets Daniel Lanois and Chicane. Here in this song, I'd say that Ummagma comes closest to having a Peter Gabriel moment. Somewhere in between his Sledgehammer and Passion phase. Fortunately, the other elements making this track unique kick into play and it's hard to put your finger on anything else. So just listen instead...
Indietronic ethno-ethereal fusion is how I would describe this Ummagma track, which is the first Ummagma song you've heard here with male vocals. I feel like this tune has a strong gypsy fusion lifeline running to it from some mysteriously brilliant source, call it what you will. :) Once again, any feedback is appreciated. We've also ventured into indietronic a little here.
You've probably heard DragonForce's highly entertaining power metal piece de resistance before (maybe in Guitar Hero III). This is like that, only not. [more inside]
Acoustic tune for this month's challenge [more inside]