It’s the summer you left home, and you’re thinking about it thirty-ish years later. Thinking of what that summer seemed to promise: a little bit of the shine is still on it, some of it got worn away by vicissitudes and whatnot, and some of it did what it ought to and got used up making a life for yourself.
This is my synth-based anthem cover of the song by singer/songwriter Danny Schmidt. This version is an earlier draft from 2018, mostly from a whirlwind month when I was trying to get as much done before my trial of Ableton Live ended. Me on vocals, synth/loops. Many thanks to not_on_display for the arrangement idea and feedback through multiple iterations. Basically I made this to help myself feel better, and I figure it's something I could share especially now. [more inside]
I'm happy to present my collaboration with not_on_display: this is our version of a neat little tune that was included in The American Songbag (a 1927 folk song collection by Carl Sandburg); the song there was itself derived from a late 19th-century song by William S. Hays. [more inside]
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.
A brand new song I really wanted to record right away, even though I didn't have any instruments with me. So I used a plastic water bottle... Rubbermaid brand, I believe, and recorded it straight to video with my new camera, which has a pretty decent mic on it, as it turns out. The video's at YouTube.
Quick solo acoustic cover of the My Morning jacket song. [more inside]
Lyrics [with handy reference links!] and more information inside.
Here's a song from the RPM '07 CD that I just popped into the mail today. In the end I was able to get 8 presentable tunes together within the space of the month. Whew!
In a slow count of 5, here's some kind of convergence of Burma and the blues, or thereabouts. "scissors cut paper / paper blows away / stone smashes scissors / and so it goes / another day / but it's all downhill from here / at least that's what sisyphus said /ah you're fucked six ways from sunday / with the blues wrapped round your head"
Out of several tunes in various states of completion for the RPM project, this is the most presentable. In use for this track are: voice, talking drum, bells (metal and wooden), guiro, synth bass and organ. Every so often I write a song which is overtly political (a protest song, for want of a better term), and this is one of them.
Here's my version of this most haunting of American folk songs. It's very stripped-down: just voice, drone, a bass drum and a shekere. In the time-honored folk tradition, I've made a few minor lyrics changes here and there, and the melody I'm using is different from the Dock Boggs or Stanley Brothers versions of the tune. Anyway, it's one of my very favorite traditional songs. Hope you enjoy.
"i blew across the great plains like a plastic bag / from the broken heart of town to the dock of the bay / there ain't that much to say about the wide wide world / people everywhere just sleepwalk in their own little way / and ain't no hope of waking up / until you kiss me babe"