Saturday, November 22, 2008


Two more songs of mine. Both are very low-fi productions but hopefully the ideas are evident.

The first song is called "No Umbrellas." This was one of the first songs I ever recorded, back in my first year of graduate school in Pittsburgh. I think I literally wrote and recorded the song in an hour. I was still trying to figure out how to work the 4-track.

Joy - No Umbrellas [mp3]

The second is "Wake Up." I wrote this a long long time ago, probably in my junior year of college. Best way to imagine it is to picture yourself driving back home after a vacation for a few days out west and you're both tired and you're almost home and one of you is asleep. The car is moving silently on the freeway, there's the sound of the wind, the white clouds jigsawed on the blue sky. You hardly speak but you know that you're both there, and things have moved to the next level. You are undeniably happy but anticipating sadness. Or vice versa. I didn't like the version I recorded, so I made A. sing it. She has a lovely voice and really made it her own.

Almost there
Just a few more miles
Always felt like I knew
Where home was

Freeway's ending
The world gets smaller
Together that lonely feeling
In the both of us

Wake up, we're almost there
My fingers in your hair
You can dream today
Tomorrow's hope away...

Almost there
The sun behind us
No sound but the wheels
Since that station faded out

Home at last
Us over the years
Now we meet the choices
That we spoke about

Wake up, we're almost there
My fingers in your hair
You can dream today
Tomorrow's hope away...

Joy - Wake Up [mp3]

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Guyana Punch

So, the Judy's (not the Judys) were a band from Texas back in the early/mid 1980s. I found a few things about them here but generally they've been forgotten. They were this ultra-minimalist band that stripped down music to their bare essentials. In terms of their musical approach, they owed a lot to junk/pop art and 1950s pop culture and adding a lot of dada-ish vibes to that, you know, playing vacuum cleaners and pots and pans. They were really ahead of their time. Bands like Beat Happening came after and became a lot more famous. And the B-52s had better songs. But still, they are worth remembering if nothing else than for this song, which, for whatever reason, we used to listen to back in the late 1980s in Texas. "Guyana Punch" is about the Jonestown mass suicide in the late 1970s. I think the song was originally recorded in 1981.

I saw them once or twice at a place called Eastgate Live in College Station and as the song reached its climax, they would hurl punch from a tumbler on the audience. It was hilarious. The song is just as weird as ever and would never be a hit in any 'real' world, but for some reason was a hit in ours.


The Judy's -- Guyana Punch [mp3]

Next up: who remembers About Nine Times? Trout Fishing in America? The Pain Teens? All those bands from our childhood in Texas.

Monday, November 10, 2008

All My Friends

My favorite song of 2007.
I'm still listening to it all the way through 2008.
LCD Soundsystem's "All My Friends."

You spend the first five years trying to get with the plan
And the next five years trying to be with your friends again.
Where are your friends tonight?
Where are your friends tonight?

If I could see all my friends tonight
If I could see all my friends tonight.