Friday, December 20, 2013

WEEK 99: Fool With Bookbag On (Demo)

Hey kids!

I'm never sure if the title of this should be "Fool With Bookbag On" or "Fool With A Bookbag On"

ANYWAY...This is one of my favorite (unheard) songs of mine, a very sad (funny though, to me) song about a kid waiting to be picked up from elementary school and thinking (correctly?) that no one is ever coming. This was a pretty common fear after school back in the day for me, and I think for others as well. 

I'm considering putting a version of this song similar to this on my first album, but I'm not sure if it will slow things down too much. I really do like it though. I am also not sure whether to repeat the chorus at the end or not. I mean, usually you do in a song, but I really like the song ending suddenly with that last scary line. WHAT TO DO?!?

Here are the lyrics:

No one is here to pick me up today
And no one, no one ever will
Every boy and girl is being taken away
With loving arms and big cars

Stood like a fool with bookbag on
The afternoon is almost gone

Everyone is double, triple parked
A honk let's them know which one
I will be here forever
I will be the last one

Stood like a fool with bookbag on
The afternoon is almost gone

The streets are starting to clear out
The fuss is giving way to calm
Crying, I'm going to give up
I'll get in the next car that stops


Or preview it:



Thursday, November 21, 2013

WEEK 98: Bowtie Guy (Demo for band)


This is a crazy super rare thing that nobody has ever heard. 

This is a demo of an old song of mine called "Bowtie Guy", about an annoying guy me and my friends saw at a party one time. There are a lot of different versions of this song, including a really, really rough and early demo that I am too embarrassed to put up. But...

This demo was made around 2005 to show a drummer and bassist what they should be playing for the song. So this is a very stripped down recording - just acoustic guitar, fake bass, fake drums., with the rhythm section cranked way up in volume. 

Unfortunately, there WAS a ton of other stuff originally on this recording, tons of electric guitars, accordion, keyboard, even 4 guitar solos by my friend and bassist Dave Fox...but all of it got lost when my old computer crashed years ago. So the only thing that exists from that incredibly time consuming demo is this early, stripped down version.

As you can hear the bass part is really elaborate and the drums are really specific. I had big plans for this song. But I must have had second thoughts and I don't think I even ever let them hear this MP3. But now you can!

Preview the song here:

Or download it by right-clicking here!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

WEEK 97: Chicken Feet and Diamonds

Hey guys!

This is a song done for a customer of my website! I was too proud of the song to not be able to share it with the world, so here it is.

I won't go into the details about the request from the customer, but he wanted a song for his friend that kind of makes fun of a shirt he always wears, with a chicken feet and diamonds pattern. He said he wanted it as a singalong, so I layered upon layered vocals of me, my friend Daniel and my girlfriend Kristen singing the chorus. There may be around 15 or 16 vocal tracks there.

This was an incredibly taxing and difficult song to record and mix. But I am really proud of the end result. Please enjoy! And listen to it on headphones, it's more fun that way.

Preview the song here:

Or download it by right-clicking and saving here!

See ya soon!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

WEEK 96: Mean To Me (Demo)

Hello everyone!

This is one of my more accomplished demos. In fact, with a re-recorded vocal and some slight re-mixing, I feel like it could be good enough for an album.

Lyrically, there's a lot here to go into. But long story short, this song is based on a brief relationship I had that was very confusing and an all around bad fit in every way. I wrote a handful of songs about this girl (here's one and here's one), because there was just so many things wrong with us together, and so many different angles to approach it from. This song is probably the most direct summary of the whole thing.

Musically, I just love this demo. The back up music changes constantly. Reverb-y acoustic twiddling, synth oboes and woodwinds, organs, lots of cool vocal FX. It's a very old demo, but it feels like I knew exactly what I was doing. Also musically, I like the song. It's got a strange structure, no chorus but lots of bridges. I like the relaxed tempo and rhythm.

Here are the lyrics!

I can't say what you mean to me
Every day it's changing
I see you on my TV
First I scream and then breathe

A sigh of relief 
For I am nowhere near you
Then I'm completely surrounded

There's a face in my school
It looks just like you
Faces move and blur into the wall
But this one stays still

Enough to make out
With that sad mouth
And dazed I stroll down
SMACK into a wall now

Call me, but don't
Cause I really don't
Want to know what you're up to

I hope that it's
Much better
Than what I picture

You're sad
That's too bad cause I'm uncomfortable with that
I don't know what to do with that

I can't say what you mean to me
Every day it's changing
You were pretty mean to me
But you still were pretty

Download the song by right-clicking here!

Or merely preview it:


Friday, September 27, 2013

WEEK 95: I See A Mountain (Demo)

Hey again!

This is kind of an embarrassing demo from 2007, but it's one of my favorite songs I've written. It's a touch sentimental, kind of purposefully and blatantly so, but it's not bad to have a few songs like that, to contrast with your 100 coldhearted cynical songs.

This song is based on a road trip I took with my friend Matt, when we went to see The Rheostatics in Canada. It's just about the freeing feeling of getting the hell out of New York City, and the "joke" is that it was really only like 45 minutes of driving till we were upstate and saw a mountain. It's so close yet so far. I also threw in some allusions to being at a stuffy office job, to help hammer the contrast home.

The bridge is meant to have a somewhat sexual double meaning, hopefully it's not too gross. I think a possible other interpretation for this song could also be about I told you it's sentimental. When I wrote this I was painfully single and basically no matter what kind of song I was writing, those feelings would creep in without me knowing it. Anyway, I'm really proud of the line "3 day weekend, forever smile." I feel like that could be a state motto or a slogan for a tourist destination. But it's really sincere, I still smile about that 3 day weekend.

OH one more thing about the lyrics, the first line refers to stolen food. It's cause I did steal a bunch of food for the trip. At a temp job I was working at that week, I grabbed tons of snacks and threw them in my car. Hehehe.

As for the recording, it's an ultra late night low quality awkward demo. It's the first time I ever tried singing the song so my timing is off and I don't quite know the melody yet. So please listen with that in mind. Or don't listen. I think this song would rock with a full band.  Imagine it more confident, with electric guitars and organ and stuff. The problem is it's very similar rhythmically to another song of mine, more than I'm comfortable with.

Here are the lyrics:

We've got all our stolen food stowed away
Stashed in the dash and crushed by our feet
Get some gas but not too much
Just enough for a running start

I see a mountain once the traffic is gone
I see a mountain with shuffle mode on
I see a mountain
So let's climb on

This ain't a joke I've never seen one before
Just in posters hanging on the office door
Just on TV where some character escapes
Just in dreams when I can barely stay awake

Now all you mountains, better open wide
Cause I'm comin' right inside
I'm thinkin' I might stay awhile
3 day weekend, forever smile

Hills on the highway make the road fade in
Such a strange image, like special effects
I'm so enthusiastic, you can't even tell
Never been able to express these feelings well

I see a mountain, I see a mountain
It was only 45 minutes away

Download the song by right-clicking here!

Or preview it:


See you soon!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

WEEK 94: I Am Happy Here, Aren't You My Dear?


This is one of my favorite instrumentals, for a few reasons:

1) The title can be perfectly sung with the main repeating melody. "I. Am. Happy here. Are. N't. You my dear?"  It's fun! TRY IT. NOW.

2) When you leave out bass, it becomes all the more startling and even emotional when it comes into a song. The bass showing up at 30 seconds in always moves me...It's a strange feeling that I can't quite put into words, but it feels like everything becomes more significant and also that it's settling down and resigned. Does that make sense?

3) The sllllllurrrrrrrrpppp wooooshhhhy thing that I do with my mouth in the 2nd half of the song. It's not as gross as it may seem. It just really fits the music, and I am just proud of myself for thinking of such a strange but appropriate layer to add on. They don't teach that sort of thing.

4) I feel like there's a lot of meaning that can be inferred from the title. The idea of someone in a couple being happy but not being sure their significant other is also happy. This was written at a time when I had a new girlfriend and I had some of those fears myself. All of these instrumentals I did are all pretty meaningful and specific to me. If anyone cares.

5) I like the little marching drum.

Anyway, enough of this. Check out the song! It's from May 30th, 2003.

Download the song by right-clicking here!

Or preview it here:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

WEEK 93: Not Gonna Stop You (Demo)

Hello. This "week's" MP3 is an old demo of an old song called "Not Gonna Stop You."

Keep in mind this was January 2002, before I really played guitar very smoothly (I am really HITTING the strings hard) and my throat had yet to be removed of some very large tonsils that made my voice fairly congested sounding.

But the point is to put up an old rough demo, cause I feel like doing that.

This song has somewhat simple lyrics, but I've always thought there was a lot of complicated denial and unreliable narrator stuff going on. This was written before I was ever in any relationships, so it's basically a fictional character kind of song, which most of them were at the time. The guy in the song doesn't want to quite admit that his girlfriend (wife?) is leaving him, so he's acting like it was his idea and that he couldn't care less. He even thinks that SHE thinks he's going to be chasing after her at the airport, but he's too lazy to even do that.

Mostly the narrator is not trying to stop the breakup out of spite. "Oh you think I'll beg you to stay, well fuck that, I won't."

I love writing songs about self centered and hugely flawed people, and having the lyrics be warped by that mentality, with only a few hints at the "reality" going on for people to discover. This song is the ultimate example of that.

This song is so easy and thus really fun to play live. It's all about those last few high notes. You know songs that have a really satisfying ending, it's all worth it just to get to the last 10 seconds? That's how I feel about this one.


You oughtta know
Before you go
I'm really really slow
I'm really, really slow

If you should run
And not for fun
You'd be the only one
You'd be the only one

And if you want to leave
Then you can go and leave
And you want me to let you
So I'm not gonna stop you
I'm not gonna stop you

And on the plane
You don't have to wait
For me to show up late
I won't be late

I'll be inside
While you ride
I will be inside
I won't be at your side

And if you want to leave
Then you can go to leave
And you say I won't let you
But look I'm not gonna stop you
I'm not gonna stop you

You may have left
But there's something that you did forget
I think you did forget
Your thoughts remain
With me over here
Not inside your brain
There's no thoughts in your brain

And if you want to leave 
Then you can go and leave
And you think I won't let you
But I'm not gonna stop you
I'm not gonna stop you


That last line is another favorite, he's trying to say a sweet thing like "I will always think of you" but it comes out as an insult. Wordplay, words all mixed up, the meaning getting confused, I love that stuff.

Download the song by clicking here

Or simply preview it, I'm not gonna stop you:

Thanks for listening, come back soon. I'm in the mood to put more old rare demos up.


Monday, June 17, 2013

WEEK 92: A Toast To Friends


I made this MP3 last weekend, once again as part of a score for a film submitted to the 48 Hour Film Festival. This was the end credits song. You can check out the entire multiple-award-winning film, "Platonic Parts", here:

For the end credits, they wanted an upbeat friendship song, with allusions to bread or toast. Well, voila. Here are the lyrics:

Friends till the end
Friends on the mend
I want you to be my friend
I want you to be my friend


Friends on a bed
Friends making bread
I want you to be my friend
I want you to be my friend


This song is basically a mix of The Smiths (the bassline and chorus guitars), Ween (the vocals), and...??? I used a new guitar fx pedal board for the guitar sounds and I think it's some of the best sounding guitars I've recorded. I also used a new drum program which I think worked perfectly for the song. 

Download the song by right-clicking here!

Or preview it here:



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WEEK 91: Bouncy TV Theme

Hi guys!

This week's MP3 is one of my favorite instrumentals. It's actually a remake of an old instrumental called "Banjordian," which I made with a banjo. But while this one lacks banjo, it sounds a lot better.

This was made as a possible TV Theme for a real tv show, though I pretty much knew as I was making it that this didn't fit the tone of the show at all. So I ended up really just making it for myself. 

This instrumental features a fake accordion, and also a real accordion. WOW!

Download it by right-clicking here

or preview it:

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

WEEK 90: Puddle Struggle


I'm going to try to update this more regularly.

This MP3 is an instrumental from April 9th, 2007. It's a dark somber piece and based on the title I kind of imagine someone falling in a puddle and thrashing around in slow motion melodramatically, trying to get back up.

I really, really love the music swell that happens starting at around 15 seconds. I think if this was a real orchestra and real cellos it would be quite beautiful.

Hope you enjoy!




Thursday, February 14, 2013

WEEK 89: Kristen (I Love You)

Happy Valentine etc!

This MP3 is taken from the same show as Week 77, which was a Trouble's Afoot duo show at Goodbye Blue Monday, with regular Sally drummer Will Kastner. I can imagine a lot of people have no idea what that sentence says.

Anyway, this was a little song I wrote for my girlfriend Kristen. In the spirit of the Valentine I'm posting it here today. The lyrics are self explanatory, I love Kristen (our 2 year anniversary is this weekend, and we now live together with our dog Penny and every day is the best day ever) and anyone who thinks I don't love her is dumb.

You can hear the surprise in the audience and from Kristen and her friends as I start this song. Not for those sensitive to intensely personal awkward things. Please enjoy.

or preview it:

See you soon!