Blog entry

feeling better, thanks...

song of the day: china girl / david bowie
word of the day: abecedarian pertaining to the order of the alphabet; rudimentary
monk of the day: jesus

wow, who wrote yesterday's blog? some sleep-deprived maniac. some very grumpy dude. well, he's gone. i got sleep again last night, and i'm a new man. a new man hanging out with his awesome daughter and having fun. ara and i went for a stroll, played music together, worked on a new song together (deity freak), she banged on the piano, the guitar, she's already multi-instrumental. home depot delivered a huge shipment of stuff to us today., which means i'll be working on house stuff a lot this month. yikes.

working on the new song deity freak it's very clear to me how my process of songwriting has radically changed in the last ten years. it's still content-driven, but i write in almost an opposite way now vs. then. i used to begin with a concept, an agenda, some idea and a message or point i wanted to get across. then i would write the lyrics and form music around it or under it, like a platform or scaffolding to hold the lyrics. now it's almost always the other way around entirely. with deity freak, for example, i just hear the melody, the chord structure, the beats, arrangement, production, etc, before i even had any idea what it would be about. i've been "listening" to the song for months in my head without lyrics. many times i've tried to write lyrics to it, and i just quit because i think "nah, that ruins it..." and i didn't want it to get all heavy and didactic. i knew how the song made me feel, and i didn't want any lyrics to wreck the vibe. so i passed on the first five or six lyric ideas that came to me. except i knew that the song would be called Deity Freak. then, some lyrics to the bridge popped into my head, and i knew they were exactly right:

it was only eyelids
that kept me blinded
from all this

so i kept them. and then for a while i just had that bridge and the one line "deity freak" from the chorus. i would sing those, and not have any words for the rest of the song. more ideas would come, but i veto'd them all. then last night out of no where i started singing while i was doing laundry, these lines:

at first i
at first i bought it all
and then i
and then i fought it all
'til i just
i just forgot it all

and i knew it was the first verse. then i came out to the garage and some other lines appeared- just amorphous enough to be figures, but transparent enough to allow for many different interpretations. ten years ago i was so concerned that my songs not be "mis" interpreted. they were like these classical, realism paintings. you don't look at a Terry Redlin painting and wonder what it is. that's a pheasant, that's a barn, that's a sunset. period. look, appreciate. no interpretation. but you look at a Dali, and whao- what the fuck is going on here? same goes for all sorts of expressionist or abstract expressionist, surrealists, etc. all art has value, and my point is not to say one is right or wrong. but, to me a song like Glass may remain interesting and compelling to me in 30 years, whereas i really don't care if i ever hear or play some of my earlier songs again. or take a song like A Day In The Life. i will probably always be into that song. it still makes me wonder, as my mind (hopefully) develops and changes as i age, as does my soul, body, etc, that song remains intriguing and curious to me in a meaningful way now, as it did ten years ago, as it will ten years from now. 'meaningful' doesn't mean i know the meaning, or that the meaning is fixed, pre-determined, existing as some object in (inner) space to be apprehended and cherished like a trophy acheivment. and, it's not an either / or, all / nothing affair either. on the other side of the coin, i know what the song The Stroke (Billy Squier) is about, just like i knew what it was about the first time i heard it. i loved it then, i love it now, cuz it fucking rocks. it's not a deep experience for me, but who cares, it rocks. i may still listen to Don't Say No (the album its on) when i'm 80, i don't know. will we listen to it 800 years from now? 8,000 years from now? who knows. but the odds are very, very high people will still be interested in Bach. let's face it, Bach pretty much invented the WHEEL when it comes to music. we were all simple, ambulatory beasts till he came along, waved his wand- and POOF! there were wheels, vehicles of all sorts, and people have been transporting themselves ever since. doesn't matter who you listen to, Metallica, Yanni, Brittany Spears- they inherited everything from Bach.

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Davis’s music subtly sneaks religious dialogue into popular culture. Most surprisingly, the music is damn good. (Critics, you can sigh with relief.)

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