I Will Be There – “Cold Killers” – Part 10 of 10

New Album, "I Will Be There" Available on Randm Records!

New Album, “I Will Be There” Available on Randm Records!

Imagine a house.
Just a house.
It’s black outside.
Night.
You see a figure walk into the house.
You see two flashes.
You see a figure walk out of the house.
It’s black outside.

That’s a poem I just wrote about how bad-ass I feel this song is. It’s intense. It’s got a story. Something’s going on, and we’re not sure what, but it doesn’t feel good. Today is the last day of my “Behind the Music” for the new record, and I couldn’t think of a cooler way to end it.

The Story
I’ve always wanted to be in a rock band. It’s never really worked out, and I probably have a lot of guitar practice ahead of me before that would happen, but if I was in a rock band, I can tell you who we’d sound like… Little Hurricane. There’s not a doubt in my mind. I first saw Little Hurricane a few years ago and the Voodoo Stage at the House of Blues and my jaw dropped. They had a swarm of people at the show, and I was blown away by the songwriting, musicianship, and showmanship.

They play a type of blues/rock that just makes every song sound badass. Even songs that are sweet and about old ladies just sound hard core when Tone is singing and Cici is slamming the drums.

The night that I saw them play, I walked up to them after the show and said, “Hey… if there is anything I can ever do to help you guys get anywhere, I’m in… I’ll learn bass… just say the word.” I’ve been friends with them ever since. (And thank GOD they haven’t asked me to play bass yet… I’d be done with my career in a second and part of their band quicker than you could say, “Please.”

I went home after the show and wrote a song. I don’t remember it, but I sent it to Tone and said, “You guys inspired this.” and he was super cool about that. I dunno how I’d react if some dude saw me at a show and then wrote a song and sent it to me after my show, but Tone played it wicked cool.

When I lived in LA. I had a terrible time. At one particular moment, I was living in Sherman Oaks, and had just been told that I didn’t qualify for the San Diego Music Awards because I wasn’t a “San Diego Artist”. Tone and Cici were living about 10 miles north of me and had just been nominated for a couple awards, and we all laughed about how unfair that was… but when you’re THAT good, people will make exceptions…

Tone invited me over to write a song, and he said, “Every hook you write is like a Disney song… How are you so catchy?”  I’ll never forget that. I think it’s a compliment. We wrote a song, and I don’t think any of us loved it, but it’s probably my fault for trying to add an, “OOOOO Baby….” But it was another one of the couple memories that I loved about LA.

Finally… I accidentally wrote a riff. It became the opening riff to the song, and the song took off from there. I had the idea of a baddass, gunslinger- Clint Eastwood type, who was just riding around on his horse and shooting down people for no reason. And that’s where it came from.

I immediately sent it to Tone. “Dude”, the e-mail read…”You guys HAVE to record this song with me!!!” Unfortunately, they were on tour, and it didn’t work out, but I guarantee that this song wouldn’t have happened without their style of rock and friendship with me. When I sent Tone the album, he replied with, “…real cold killers don’t look back…” You can’t measure the satisfaction that an artist receives when an artist he appreciates digs his stuff.

When I showed it to my producer, Mike Butler. He dug it. We had started recording it like a blues rock tune, but somewhere, it turned a little more Louisiana swamplands sounding. Kinda like the first season of True Detective. I dug it. We kept it. Put a little Dennis Kaplinger on the banjo in there and game on!

The Lyrics
I don’t know how I got here, or how I grew bad

But I’m running from the law with crosshairs on my back (I love the idea of running from the cops… I probably wouldn’t do it, but It’s so fun! haha!)
If you see me out your window, you better just run
No sweet talking lawyer could reason with my gun (Sweet talking lawyer? Talking with my gun? BWAHAHAH… that line is a classic Josey Wales kinda line.)
I said, “Something inside of me just snapped.”
I said, “Real cold killers don’t look back

Real cold killers we don’t look back.” (The imagery of killing without it even affecting you, is nuts. It’s not who I am, but that’s mostly cause I’ve got terrible aim with a rifle…)

Now, I can’t face the carnage I’ve caused
I’m on every “wanted” poster from here to Arkansas (I’ve never tried to rhyme a word with Arkansas… that was kinda fun. I think that the word “Applesauce” would be another good rhyme…)
Nobody move, nobody scream
Don’t be a hero, get shot on the scene(I always think about this… Why would anyone try to stop a gunman? Just let him go… He’s not interested in you… goober.)
I said, “Every part of me is bad.”
I said, “Real cold killers don’t look back
Real cold killers, don’t look back”

That’s pretty much the gist of it. :-)

For those of you who are anti-violence, I really hope this doesn’t offend you. As a story teller/songwriter I like to venture outside of my own realm and write things like this. I don’t promote gun violence. I’m not even a huge fan of guns! (And my family is about as Republican as it gets!) All I can say is when you let your imagination go, cool things happen, and I believe this song is one of them.

Conclusion
I hope that you enjoyed the last two weeks of hearing about the songs! Please feel free to share these tracks and stories! I had a fantastic time writing these and still have a few more that DIDN’T make the album that I can’t wait to show you. The next “big step” is the music video that will be coming out around November for the single, “Just Give Me A Call”. I hope that you like the story written for the video in that as well!

Thanks for reading. Here’s your final track.
-j

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Will Be There – “How I Fall in Love” – Part 9 of 10

New Album, "I Will Be There" Available on Randm Records!

New Album, “I Will Be There” Available on Randm Records!

Here’s another gut wrenching song… My bad, ya’ll…. :-) I actually got a letter from my grandaunt the other day asking me if I was okay, after listening to the record. I assure you… I am. I was just writing really, really, good “sad” songs. (If I do say so myself…) :-P

The Song
I can’t remember exactly where I was when I got the idea for this song, but I do remember that I had just finished the opening guitar riff and thought, “I really like that… but it’s gotta go with a sad song…” And wrote it. I think this is one of those songs that I had to really work at when I was going through a songwriting rutt. Sometimes, as a songwriter, you have to force yourself to just sit down and make things happen. I remember multiple times where I wrote what I thought was absolute garbage, but got a good line or note, and so it was all worth it. 

Of all the songs on the record, I feel particularly proud of this one, because of the continuity and matureness in the lyrical content. I think this was the second track that I sent my producer, Mike Butler, and convinced him to record my record.

In my head, I have this gut feeling that whenever I fall for someone, something is going to get in the way and mess it all up. I imagine a music video, in which the main character sees the girl he’s about to fall for, and everything goes in slow motion. His imagination takes over, and he lives out the entire relationship in 3 minutes and 30 seconds. In the end, they break up, and so he never actually asks her out, because he already “knows” how it’s going to end. Don’t you love negativity? Sigh…

The Lyrics
Mama always said not to fall in love (Just for the record, I’d never call my mom, “mama”… She laughed when she heard that.)
She said, “Boy, you better take your time…”
Don’t show ‘em your hand, Don’t move too fast
Save yourself some trouble down the line 
(To be fair, she has always been someone who I’ve thought thinks with her head, whereas, I think with my heart. I often wish I was more like her in that aspect.)

Well, I guess that’s a lesson that I never learned
Cause I got a heart full of battle scars (I don’t like to brag… but I think this may be the best line on the entire record…)
I’m no good at games, Ain’t got no poker face
When I fall in love, I fall real hard (That’s wicked true… Although, I probably do have a poker face… or maybe I don’t. I play with some friends a lot… and I never seem to win… hmmmm….)

(Chorus)

I’ll notice that I’ll miss her smile, when she’s gone
I find myself wishing on every single star (I like the idea that one wish/star wouldn’t be enough…. give me the whole sky!!!)
And I could have the whole wide world
But she’d control my heart (Absolutely true. It’d be amazing that someone could control your mind, regardless of how great life is going… I’m a sucker…)
That’s how I fall in love
That’s how I fall in love

My friends’ll say she’s no good for me
They’ll say, “Man, she’s gonna leave you blue.”
Don’t let her close, but they already know
That there ain’t nothing that I can do (I often think of my friends in high school, who could always tell when I was falling for someone… I’m not very good at the whole, “I like this person… keep it a secret…” thing… If I liked someone… it would come out immediately… and then continue to circulate, cause I’d just stare at them during every class… ugh…)

(Chorus)

And I’ll get shakey hands
When I see her again
And I won’t find the words to say (Totally me… Believe it or not, there was a time that I was so scared to tell a girl I liked her… Now I literally open with, “OMG!!! You’re beautiful!)

I’ll jump the gun again
End up alone and then
I’ll have no one else to blame (That’s always been my problem- jumping the gun on the relationship. I always want to cannonball into love… no tip-toeing…baaaaahhhhh…)

(Chorus)

The End
I don’t always go into relationships this way, but after enough breakups, it can start to wear on you. I think the best thing to do is never go into a relationship if you’re not over the last one. It’s just not fair to the other person. The best thing to do in any relationship is make sure that you care about the other person’s feelings above your own. If I feel like I’m going to hurt someone, I tread very carefully. Dating is hard enough! Why make it worse?

Tomorrow’s the last day, and it’s going to be totally different! Hope you dig it!

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

I Will Be There – “I Never Want to Say Goodbye to You” – Part 8 of 10

New Album, "I Will Be There" Available on Randm Records!

New Album, “I Will Be There” Available on Randm Records!

After that depressing post yesterday, I think you’ve got to be in the mood for something a little more positive, don’t you think? Today’s post is about the last happy song on the record.

The Story
The story is pretty basic. I was dating my ex, and we were getting ready to go on the US tour last year. (She was planning on coming with me to Seattle, before I left for the rest of tour.) It was definitely a high time in our relationship, and she gave me one of the best compliments I’d received. One night, when she was leaving my house, she kissed me and said, “Ugh… I never want to say, “Goodbye” to you!”

I literally said, “I’m stealing that!” And started writing. I think the song took about 20 minutes to write. I liked the idea of a “Dean Martin-ish” type of song. I can imagine this song being recorded in the 60′s with a big band behind it, but I’m completely satisfied with the “country” version of it as well!

The Song
I never knew

I could have someone like you
Who makes all of my dreams come true
And makes me feel, Alright (I have this way of thinking… I need to change it… but for some reason, sometimes, I feel like I’m not going to fall in love/something is always going to get in the way. Anyways… back to the song.)

I never dreamed
That this could happen to me
Now it’s all peaches and cream
And I feel, Alright (Heh! I don’t think I’ve ever had “Peaches and Cream”… It sounds good though!)

And I never wanna fight,
And I never wanna cry
And I never wanna see you with another guy,
Oh, I never want to say “goodbye” to you. (You can’t tell me that chorus isn’t catchy!)

I never thought
Someone could make me fall
Heel over head like you doll
And now I feel, Alright (I liked the idea of mixing up “Head over Heels” because that seems normal… “Heel over head”??? Now THAT’s love!)

I never thunk
I could be so far awestruck
Spiking my heart with your love
And now I feel, Alright (I like two parts of this. One- Using the word, “Thunk”. My mom’s an ex-English teacher… So that was fun. Two- the idea of love being so intoxicating, that it spikes the blood. The little girl inside of me gets all giddy with that idea… Carry on…)

(Chorus)

And all I wanna do is kiss you
And all I wanna do is hold you tight
And all I wanna do is love you    
And make your world as good as you’ve made mine (I imagined that first line having a bunch of girls go, “AWWWWEEEEE” but in reality, if all you wanted to do is kiss and hug, it would be really weird… Maybe for a little bit, it would be cool…. but that’s a long, long time…:-P

So that’s it! That’s the depth of this one. I appreciate those of you who have told me this is your favorite song on the album! I think it’s incredibly cute, and why hipsters don’t like me.  See you tomorrow!

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

I Will Be There – “Not Yours” – Part 7 of 10

New Album, "I Will Be There" Available on Randm Records!

New Album, “I Will Be There” Available on Randm Records!

The Backstory
I’m about to sound like a crotchety and bitter old man…

For those of you who don’t know the story, I guess you need to know the backstory- I fell in love with a girl at a show. Like… Immediately. I saw her outside when I was playing at Queen Bee’s and I was, believe it or not, hanging out with my buddy, Seth Combs. I told him straight up, “I’m going to meet that girl.” And I sang my set, she came up to me after the show and I took her out the next night. During that time, I had started writing my “Song a day” and had planned on doing thirty days. I wrote a song called, “Stay” while she was sitting next to me on the couch, and I still remember her kissing me right after I finished writing the song… One of my most favorite moments.

She graduated from college and moved to Los Angeles. We talked every day and every night. After 5 months, I contemplated moving, and she and I decided that I should. I quit my job, got a temp job in LA and planned on easing into the move. Unfortunately the day that I got to LA, she stopped answering her phone. I tried to figure out what had happened, but figured that she had a problem with her phone. I finally talked to her roommate who gave me the couple of things of mine that she had and with an, “I’m sorry”. closed the gate on me…. One of my least favorite moments.

This song was written a few months after this story.

The Cowrite
I’ve sat on this song for about three years. It’s another one of those incredibly personal songs that I had the opportunity to share with another songwriter. Melissa Polinar is, and has been one of the most talented people I’ve ever met. Her latest album is one of my favorites, and I’d encourage you to give her a listen. (My personal favorite is, “See the Stars” a three-part harmony song with my friends Ernie Halter and Matt Cusson.)

I had tried to write with Melissa a few times, but scheduling was a problem. (She lives between Dallas and LA, and when you’re as good as she is, you get good shows…) :-) I had just finished moving to LA and gone through the worst and hardest, non-closure type of breakups I’ve ever experienced. When I told Melissa about it, she sympathized like an old friend would. I think of all the things I like about her, that’s my favorite- she has the ability to really care about you, even before she knows you. (Tied for second is her voice and songwriting!) The original version had a rad three part harmony the entire way through the song, but we scratched it in this new arrangement- (didn’t really work with the sound on the record.) I’m so into this version of it! I hope that you are too.

We sat down and wrote this song at the SESAC building in Los Angeles. It was exactly what I needed at the time. I had gained 50 pounds from the depression and lack of motivation and hadn’t written a good song in weeks. This song immediately kicked off a dozen songs that would end up being most of my last album, “Hope”. I had a disagreement with my last producer on this song, and so we ended up not using it. However, when my producer for the new record, Mike Butler heard it, he told me it was an immediate, “We have to record this song!” and when he told me that, I knew I wanted to work with him, immediately.

Melissa and I have never really talked about where the lines came from, but I can tell you my side of it. So here it goes:

Why does it seem so hard
Why is my heart a mess
Why is it difficult to breathe 

There were nights where I was literally so heartbroken, I couldn’t breathe. It blew my mind that someone that I had cared about, so much, that I would plan with her to move out of a city I loved and start over in LA, was absolutely crushing. I’ve never felt that bad, and I hope I don’t again.

When will I ever learn
When will this ever end
When will I finally be freed

More of the same. It felt like I couldn’t escape it, no matter what I tried.

I thought I was over you                 
But I guess you went and proved me wrong

Probably the worst part of being a writer, is the idea that my brain doesn’t shut off. When I sleep, I write. I can’t tell you how many times, even now, she’ll show up in my dreams, telling me that it was such a mistake, and that she wants me to come back. I’ve woken up in tears more time to count and it all comes rushing back when I finally get to hold her… then wake up and realize it was a dream, and I’m all alone. That’s got to be the single worst torture a heart can have.

(Chorus)        
Take me out of this prison
Break these bars and let me go 
Cause I’m not yours

Don’t make me drink from your poison
Baby, I’d rather be alone
Cause I’m not yours, Anymore

To me, the chorus is basically an affirmation that this is done. Similar to an exorcism, I am casting her out, and she is no longer allowed to haunt me.

How can I justify?
Another restless night?
Of dreaming dreams for you

(See above… sigh…)

Why haven’t I realized
After seeing through all your lies
That my dreams will not come true

(I guess I’m good at repeating myself, huh?)

I want to be over you
But I hear your song calling me back

Did I mention she was/is a singer? Her voice reminded me of Leanne Rimes. I don’t listen to her, anymore…ever. I also can’t watch Reese Witherspoon movies, and don’t even get me started on the show “Nashville”. I can’t see Hayden Panettiere and not think about this girl. So frustrating! We’re talking 4 years later? There’s definitely something wrong with my head.

(Chorus)

You have no power over me
Now I’m finally, fine on my own

Last chance- last affirmation. This is the final straw. One of the biggest bummers to me was when Melissa and I recorded this song on my Macbook, I completely missed these notes. I probably would have released the song lo-fi if I hadn’t. I love the desperation in the last notes of “own”. It just trails off- almost like throwing my feelings off of a cliff and watching them fade away. If it was that easy, I probably couldn’t write. But alas, I have to repeat the chorus again… even more pathetically so you understand that I am really hurting… Ha!

(Chorus)

The End
Wow… after re-reading this post, that was pretty personal. I hope you guys don’t feel bad for me or hold it against me. I believe life is supposed to be the highs and the lows. That’s what makes it beautiful. If you always have okay to good times, you don’t experience everything in it’s full color. If you always have bad times, you’ll be a bitter old man. I may still end up as one, but not because of her- because I choose to be. I’m working on it. Leave me alone. And get off my lawn.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I Will Be There – “The Day That You Left Me” – Part 6 of 10

This was probably the most anticipated song on the record. I have met more ladies who could not wait to have this song on their iPods after hearing it at a concert. “That song is PERFECT!!! I must have it!!!” Poor girls. I wrote it after a breakup as a joke, and I didn’t think it was going to be as funny/perfect for breakups as it apparently is.

Here we go…

When you broke my heart
I nearly died
Sat on my mama’s porch
And I cried all night
My father said, “Son,
You should be wild and free.” It’s actually kind of funny, there’s no way that I’d do that… my mom would tell me to get over it… AND my dad would never tell me to go be wild and free… that’s just not how they view life.

Yeah you had a lot of nerve
When you kicked me to the curb
I started swearing like a sailor (Nope… I wouldn’t do that.)
Using every dirty word
So I guess what I am saying,
Is you really left a mark on me

Cause I started having fun
The day that you left me (That might be true…)

I started playing banjo
Cause I know that you like Jay-z (Cause that’s ridiculous…)
I grew out my mustache
When you said it looked bad on me (I don’t think it looks that bad on me…)
Got myself a new tattoo
When You said you like your men clean
 (Yeah, I’d probably do that…)
I did everything I wanted
And I never ever felt so free
Yeah, I started having fun
The day that you left me

I started smoking cigarettes (No, I didn’t… that’s bad for you.)
You said you didn’t like the smell
Got myself a motorbike
Cause you’d worry if I ever fell (I’d be sad for me too…)
I started watching baseball games
When you said that it was boring as hell (Baseball is AWESOME!)
Oh, I did everything I wanted
And I’ve never ever felt so free
Yeah, I started having fun
The day that you left me

Sure I still miss you sometimes
When I think of all the fun we had
Watching all those daytime soaps
Instead of watching Breaking Bad (NOBODY is in charge of my viewing schedule…)
Cuddling every night
Instead of going out with my friends
Wait… did I just say that I missed that?
Cause, I don’t. (I can’t believe that Randm Records let me record this song… That’s a silly lyric…)

Got myself a kick ass band (I did!)
Started listening to Duran Duran (Totally didn’t…)
Bought myself an RV and (I’d like to!)
Went camping on Lake Michigan (That just rhymed…)

I danced my ass off every night (Nope… I’m a Baptist.)
Lost a tooth in bar room fight (Come on… Who’d wanna fight me? I’m far too nice…)
I just started living life
And kissing every single girl in sight (HA! I wish!)

Yeah I started having fun
Yeah I started having fun
You know, I started having fun 
(Okay… we get it…)
The day that you left me

So that’s the song! Light and fluffy… And now you can hear it! :-)
See you tomorrow!

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I Will Be There – “It’s Hard to Make a Heart Forget” – Part 5 of 10

This is a song that a lot of people have told me is their favorite track on the new record. I had recorded a version of it for the last album, “Hope”, but that album already had 17 other tracks on it, and I thought it better to sit on this one a little bit longer. I’m glad it was worth the wait! :-)

The Story
I had been invited by the folks over at GreenRoots in Los Angeles to attend a songwriting meet-up. They would take 15 writers, split them up, and then after a couple hours, everyone would come back together and share the songs that they had written. I love cowriting, as I said the other day, and this sounded awesome to me. At the same time, I was pretty nervous about who I would be matched up with. (There are some people that I don’t necessarily get along with in LA… if you didn’t know…)

We all met up at Mikal Blue’s studio, Revolver Studios, in Thousand Oaks, and were put into groups. I won the lottery and got in one of the biggest rooms with two of my favorite people in the entire world- Nina Storey and JT Spangler. This would be one of the best nights that I had when I was living in LA.

We all sat down in our room- Nina at her keyboard, and JT and I across the room with our guitars and started getting to work. JT started with sharing a line he had written- “It’s hard to make a heart forget…” and Nina and I both coo’d “OOOOOOOoooooooo…” We started with the chorus, and it took about an hour. I was feeling a little down about it taking so long, but I felt good about it, because we stuck to the format, and it fit really well.

We then moved to the verses. JT was the one who’s voice we were writing for, so it was a little out of my range, but he had some great ideas like when he said, “I like to throw in a line that throws people off, like “It took all my composure…” I don’t think people say things like that… Nina and I agreed.

We all threw lines back and forth, and eyes were getting pretty teary in there. Nina and I had just gone through breakups and it was fresh for both of us. (JT would go through a break up soon afterwards… but I doubt it was cause of the song… but I’m not going to rule that out…)

We finished the first verse, and we had about an hour and a half before we were supposed to be finished. There is a funny joke that we started where if someone needs to leave for the restroom, they say something to the effect of, “I need to use the restroom… finish the song while I’m gone and put my name on it…” It was a JT’s turn to use the commode, and I told Nina to write down whatever I sang. I started freestyling the second verse and…. I don’t want to brag… but KNEW that I nailed it, when I looked up and saw her absolutely sobbing behind the keyboard. I ran over and gave her a hug, (made sure she actually HAD written it down…) and we cried it out. JT came back and said, “Are you guys done?” and we both looked up and said, “Kinda…” I played it for him, and he said, “Brilliant!” and we worked on the bridge.

When we went into the meeting room to play our song for everyone else, we went second to last. I think we all felt pretty confident, because all three of us loved our song- However, when the other artists started playing their songs, they were all positive and happy! I started feeling pretty awkward and whispered to Nina, “We are totally going to ruin this party…” Sure enough, when we played, I can still remember tears in Angelique Sheppard’s (Owner of GreenRoots) eyes when she said, “This is exactly why we do what we do.”

And here’s your song!

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Will Be There – “Tennessee” – Part 4 of 10

Tennessee. I dig it. Kinda.

The City
I’ve been able to spend a bit of time in Nashville, Tennessee during my career. I have even thought about moving there a few times! The first encounter I had with Nashville was in 2008, when I was selected for the top 30 for a TV show on NBC called, “Nashville Star”. I was nervous, self-conscious about my weight, and ended up ultimately psyching myself out while being sequestered in my room during the auditions. I can honestly remember it being one of the lowest, most depressing moments in my career, when I was told that I didn’t make the show, and was flying back to California.

I think of that moment often, when I come into parts of my career that feel like setbacks. You have your imagination be let free by the possibility of getting on a show, only to have it come crashing down when some producer doesn’t think you’d be the right “Fit”. As I’ve gotten older, and with the help of my label, Randm Records, I’ve seen that those types of shows, (American Idol, The Voice, Etc…) Aren’t really what music is about. For some reason, somewhere down the road, it became about that- and it’s ruined the entire music experience/industry for me.

Some could say, “You’re just crying about sour grapes, cause you didn’t make the show…” But is it? I’ve auditioned multiple times and been called back and ultimately not chosen, but do I really want to be some pre-taped/canned version of myself, or would I rather do it my own way, with my own words. In a way, I guess that’s what this whole blog is about. You know that those TV shows would HATE to have me say what I really was thinking backstage… And doesn’t the same, “Oh whoa is me… I’ll never make it in the music biz, because I’ve gone through this and this…” into, “I’m just so happy to be here!!!” into, “I can’t believe I won!!!” get old after a while? I just want to say this. “I did my best, wrote the best songs I could, and performed them for people who were feeling the way I do.”

That’s the first part of what Tennessee is about. It’s about the disconnect between the actual music industry, and the glitz and glam of the “fame game” that it’s become. Why do I have to worry about people judging my appearance/care of some stupid radio dj likes my song? Why can’t I just be happy with playing a song I wrote at an open mic, and going back to where I was when this all began in 2006? I used to LIVE for showing up to gigs. Now, sometimes it feels like a chore. I do more behind the scenes, than the actual thing I want to do- play and write and sing. Randm Records has been doing their best to give me that opportunity again and I’m running with it.

The Girl
I mean… one of my songs that wasn’t about a girl??? psh… probably not gonna happen… right? :-P

I had a close friend who I had fallen for a few times… (The whole “Push Me-Pull You” effect…) And she ended up moving to Tennessee. When she did, she also changed. We talked regularly, and then out of nowhere, she just disappeared. I’ve tried to figure out what happened, but sometimes, you just got to let it go. When I refer to her in the song, it’s usually about the idea of friends who become too “big” or “busy” to still keep you as a friend. I don’t know if that’s what happened in this case, but I do know that this song has taken on a whole knew meaning since she started ignoring me. Here’s the play-by-play:

The Song
My dear, Tennessee 
(Tennessee being the Music Industry and the Girl)
Well, you’re just too big for me (Music Industry and Girl – not worth paying attention to me) 
Your neon lights lay heavy on my sky (Girl/ Your memory brings me down. Industry/ Your glitz and glamour brings me down)

Oh what have you done, 
What great city you’ve become (Girl and Industry – You’ve changed, congrats.)
To let the minstrels sing before they die (Girl – Thanks for the last hoorah, before you hurt me/ Industry- Thanks for letting us sing before you tear us apart)

Say a prayer for me
All you saints of Galilee (This is directed at all of my fans/friends/possibly even angels… Please think about me while I struggle with this- Mike Butler suggested this line, and I really dug it. I originally had said, “Saints and pixies”.)
Cause I don’t know who I will be tomorrow (This has to deal with my bipolar disorder- it basically means that I don’t know how I’ll feel about any of this in the future/tomorrow)

But once the night has come
I can drink until the sun (Tonight, I’m going to do whatever I can to forget about all of this)
Ruins me, the way it always does (Tomorrow, I’ll be depressed about you again- Both the girl and the music industry)

Oh Tennessee, Tennessee,
Won’t you pray for me
You’ve taken all, all I had to give (I gave this my best shot.)

When all the love is gone
I guess it’s time for getting on
But you’ll always have the center of my heart (I’m over this, but just so you know, I’m never going to forget about you)

Houses made of cards
And smiles filled of scars
Are all I hear, when you whisper name (Mostly about the music industry – The idea that what you’re showing/promising musicians is completely fake.)

Lines and promises
Empty kisses
All your pretty words, they all just sound the same 
(Mostly about the music industry as well – All of the fake compliments and half-hearted agreements you give are just the same old thing and I’m done believing you.)

Explanations
So a few further explanations- The music industry is a combination of DJ’s, other artists, producers, labels, etc… It’s not just some silly TV show- its the constant grind and posturing and backstabbing that goes on. (So you can blame LA for some of that too… It’s not all Nashville…) The problem I had with Nashville is that everyone had accents, and I couldn’t tell who was my friend and who wasn’t, because they all sounded like sweet, innocent people!

As far as my friend is concerned, I don’t know how she feels about anything, and at this point, I’m honestly over it. You can only do so much before you just have to let it go.

This song holds so much emotion to me that I wanted to name the entire record “Tennessee”, but that was vetoed. (Probably a good decision.) I don’t usually write in metaphors, but this was probably one of my favorite songs to write and sing on the album. The vocals on this track are also the original tracking vocals, and my producer Mike Butler liked them so much, that he kept them in. When the band that played on the record and I finished, we all sat back and stared at each other- we all loved this track. I hope you do, too.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment