Sometimes when I’m writing a song I’ll wait and wait and wait to finish the last line of the last verse, unbelievable procrastination, and I think there are a few reasons why. First, I LOVE writing songs, and I never want it to end, it’s like a delicious meal where you never get too full. And second, I need to make sure the song is really finished, so I figure if I take a little longer, the best possible idea will have had time to percolate. Third, what if it sucks?! What if it sucks. And fourth, sometimes I just get too busy to make time to be focused enough to say “it’s done!”
Well, I decided yesterday to be finished with a new song, ‘As Good As It Gets’, and we debuted it tonight and it got one of the biggest applause of the night. I can’t wait to hear Mary Ann sing it.
Come to a show soon and see if you dig the new tune, I think it has some pretty cool bits in it:
PS. And thank you Oliver for letting me spring a new song on you on stage at a show, you’re a champion!
I spent my Saturday afternoon doing homework. Learned the last verse to a Gordon Lightfoot cover I’m going to try. Decided what my new song is going to be about, and it’s kind of fun, can’t wait to hear how it ends up. Now listening to The Byrds live records and to the sunset. Fragmenting and running on sentences. But there’s this:
Songwriting makes some mornings feel like Christmas. I wake up, and the first thing in my head is the song I was working on before I went to sleep, so I get right up and move straight to my guitar. It’s kind of like I remember asking Santa Claus for a bike for Christmas, and I was pretty good all year, so there’s a reasonable chance it’ll be there Christmas morning, but you never know, because sometimes Santa is a prick, but then you rush down and you see the shiny bike by the Christmas tree, and all is righteous in the world.
When I woke up and went straight to my guitar this morning and picked it up with a little anxiety that maybe I forgot what I was playing, but it all flowed right out, and it was still pretty good so I smiled and played it through a few times. Santa really deserves some credit though, it’s not even Christmas, and I haven’t been that good this year.
Thank you, SC!
I have a new song for you to check out, it’s a song I wrote for a couple of good friends of mine. They got married a while back and I couldn’t be at their wedding so I wrote this song for them as a very belated wedding present:
It’s just a rough acoustic demo, but hopefully you get the idea.
I love a lot of The Smiths songs, and this is a cool story about Johnny Marr writing one of them, ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’:
What he says is definitely true, sometimes the guitars help you write the song.
Today was a very satisfying day of songwriting.
I’ve been working on a bunch of new tunes, and it’s always so much fun to see where they lead to, it’s kind of like raising kids and watching them grow up.
I’m on a short break right now, clearing my head. Hopefully when I get back these kids will still be well-behaved.
Over the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of songwriting, but without a muse, which hasn’t happened for a while. It’s very very different this way, and in a few ways, much better.
It is much more liberating to write about whatever it is you want to write about rather than being fixated on one of your muses. Without a muse though, it’s more challenging to have the ready-made emotional depth of what a song should mean, it’s not impossible though, and again, it’s very liberating because you can put the song into whatever emotional context you want. And it can also free up your personal life when your art isn’t attached to your romantic endevours.
I’m also writing now a little bit more with my new band in mind and that’s really fun, they’re great players and I can throw anything at them. Like this Friday night coming up at our show at Bubba’s Roadhouse, I’m going to put two songs they have ZERO clue about into the set list. I’m not even sure about them, but I know they’ll work out sounding awesome.
Come and hear the new band and new songs at an upcoming show and let us know what you think: https://www.sjatr.com/shows
Zen and the Art of Songwriting.