I have trouble with poetry. It's the foundation of what I do as a lyricist, yet so often when I try to read poetry, whether classic or contemporary, I just can't connect with it. The language often comes accross to me as ethereal, pretentious and removed from daily experience. Maybe it's my problem, I don't know. But I'm always happy to find a poem that I can connect with on first reading.
So, on the occassion of a freakish cold snap that started out yesterday morning as rain and ended up as a late-October snowstorm that lasted all day, as if Fall has been cancelled this year, I share with you a poem by T.S. Eliot that I stumbled upon in a book this morning.
I've posted 5 new songs for free download. They're free because they're the first new songs I've written since 2007 and I want to just go ahead and complete the cycle of write-record-release without having to get wrapped up in a new album project right now.
The recordings are straight-ahead solo acoustic performances, just guitar & vocal with no overdubs. It's a quieter approach this time and I've found that these songs work best late at night or very early in the morning, or maybe on cloudy & rainy days. These are the conditions under which the songs were written, after all. Don't take 'em to the gym or to the park on a sunny day...it won't work!
Each song title is also is a link to a lyric sheet that includes a little blurb about each song.
Songs are here. I hope you enjoy!
I’m moving back to New York this week after 7 years in L.A. When I get settled on the other coast I’ll finish mixing those 5 new songs I promised some months ago and I’ll post them here for download.
I was in a certain mega-bookstore chain this morning (doesn’t matter which chain…there are only 2 left in the world and they’re both the same) when I heard a song playing on the in-store sound system that convinced me that the end of Western civilization is indeed at hand.
It was one of those cut-and-paste, let’s-take-a-very-famous-oldie-hit-and-put-fresh-“beatz”-under-the-original-vocal-track-of-the-rock/jazz/soul-icon-and-call-it-Art (and make lotsa $$$) sorta things. Kinda like what Kenny G did to Louis Armstrong and what some other low-lifes did to Billie Holiday…but only worse.
This was Elvis Presley’s original vocal track for his version of “Blue Suede Shoes” put to, yes, a crazy new beat but also to some real cheese-smokin’, hot harmonica licks and –I kid you not- scratching. You know, like you used to hear on Run-DMC records 25 years ago?
A few months ago I got caught up in the mystery of the diner that inspired the iconic Edward Hopper painting Nighthawks. Did it exist? If so, where exactly was it? Was the building demolished or was it still standing?