Songs from the past

This list of songs was transferred from my old site. Rather than uploading each song individually, here is an archive of the entire list. It spans songs from the last 8 or 9 years. Enjoy!

Wet Town 5.7 MB

Wrote the first set of verses while living in Seattle. Finished the final section after moving to Boston. A nostalgia tune that incorporates Sam Russell style of ‘too many overdubs’ as well as some of his melodies. This one’s been finished for a while, but I waited to get some Bass and Drum additions – as added so kindly by Adam Cat and Matt ‘Cutty’ Foster.

Just Fine 3.7 MB

Lyrics I wrote a while ago. Michal and Oliver were out of town so I took a few hours to record it – trying out some Tom Waits vocals.

Ocean View (version 2) 2.7 MB & Ocean View 1 (original) 3.2 MB

I had this melody stuck in my head so I wrote it down and added a B part. When the lyrics wouldn’t come, I asked Michali for some help. She gave me a general idea, including the first few lines. I recorded it and she thought it was too slow and boring. So I recorded it again (with some lyric tweaks) with her feedback in mind. It was a great exercise and I hope it will convince her to help me more often :)

Danehy 3.5 MB

Ghia, Au Bickle and I were leaving Danehy park at the end of our daily walk and I noticed a shiny new Saab with a couple making out. It looked suspiciously like a lunchbreak workplace fling – two 30/40 somethings in a parking lot? I recorded a couple verses just to get the idea down. Matt and Keri Rankin came to visit and Matt helped me fill out the rest.

Dynomight 2 MB

I just got a new midi-controller/keyboard (keyrig 49). Michal left with Oliver for an hour so I wrote this ditty to test out the various features – drum sampler, synthesizers, etc… It sounded very Napoleon Dynamite to my ears, hence the name.

Oh My Darling 5 MB

While looking into getting more into recording, my buddy Bo Boddie suggested I try Cubase. This is the first song I recorded completely using the software. The main melody has been in my head for a while now.

Go Easy 2.9 MB

First song of 2009. New resolution to write and record at least two songs per month… Famous last words, eh? For a couple days I had some extra time to work on music. What I found was that the more I did it, the easier new stuff came along (melodies, lyrics, etc…). Its easy to see why full time musicians can be so prolific – and frustrating to see ones that are not.

Power Outage 2.3 MB

The power went out at home (therefore the office too) and Michal took Au Bickle to her Mommies’ group. I used the free time to write this little ditty.

Hello 2.9 MB

Set of ideas that came up after the birth of our first son. Originally written as a slow waltz, Michali thought it was boring so I sped it up.

Hey 33 5.7 MB

Woody Guthrie’s song ‘More Pretty Girls Than One‘ talks about how there are so many pretty girls in various locations. This is an exploration of how there’s pretty women in various age groups. Then it diverges into the timeless – I want you, show me a sign, I won’t give up – courting theme.

Remind Me 5.7 MB

Wrote this after watching the PBS American Masters Bob Marley documentary.

Happiness 3.0 MB

Michali went to Cedar Rapids for a work trip. I took the opportunity to write this song. Trying to play out the idea of how validating your actions is what happiness is all about. For example, if you really want something, you can usually find a reason why you ‘need’ it.

If I’d Known 3.7 MB

Shortly before moving to Boston, Creeping Time did some home recordings. This is a Greg Brown song that we played live a lot and tried a couple takes during recording. A rough mix, but it conveys the energy pretty well.

Au Bickle 3.9 MB

An attempt to write some music independently of the lyrics, yet still have a lyric based song. Started the recorder, threw down some ideas and then spliced together my favorites. The lyrics were very difficult thinking that I could write about anything. That’s just too much room to play for a flip-flopper. Inititally I tried some real ‘worldly’ ideas, but then settled on singing about personal issues.

Sunshine 3.4 MB

I’ve always enjoyed songs that are real toe-tapping and smile enducing – until you listen to the lyrics. Then you realize that ‘wow, that is pretty depressing/scary/etc…’. Michal calls it bitter-sweet. Though she would note that overtly bitter-sweet is not cool at all; sorry Big Head Todd. Also, I tend to use songs as an outlet for the darker things that roll through my mind and cop out at the end by writing a hopeful final verse. This time I intentionally let it end sadly like a good foreign film.

Tomorrow 3.4 MB

Michal and I just uprooted ourselves and retransplanted 3000 miles away. Never living on the east coast (and having lots of perceived notions) I had many apprehensions. The ideas in this song try and deal abstractly with the transition period. Seattle treated us very well and its all too easy to get caught up in the nostalgia. How to move forward? I’ll let you know as I figure it out :)

Love to see 4.7 MB

Michal went to a dinner party so I stayed home and wrote/recorded this. I did a little browsing through myspace and got some inspiration from a couple wacky tunes.

Insane 5.0 MB

My new phone has an audio recorder and a lot of memory. Melodies most often come to me during dreams and walks with me doggie. Last week I used my phone to record a couple melodies that came on in the ravine. When I got home I linked them together for the music. The lyrics are some odd ideas thrown in for good measure.

Burn 2.7 MB

Ben Ireland, Tom Rooney, and I stayed up late both nights playing music during a weekend tour with Ockham’s Razor. On Saturday night, in Idaho, Ben and I wrote this song. Truly a collaborative experience. Hopefully soon I can get Ben to come record his parts – maybe redo the vocals and acoustic guitar?

Rest Stops 5.7 MB

This was written a while ago and even posted below. Then Creeping Time had a recording dream and it was recorded again with the band. After longing for a duet version, Laurie Katherine Carlsson finally came in and saved the day! Its still a very rough mix, but I love the track, especially with Laurie’s vocals!

Doin to Me 3.2 MB

Matt Rankin came over and we decided to record a song. The lyrics were inspired by Matt’s comment that all good songs are about getting laid.
All spontaneous ideas in this order: Electric guitar (Matt). String section (Michael). Shaker and Guitar case percussion (Matt & Michael). Shakers (Matt and Michal). Kazoo and noseflute (Michael and Matt). Acoustic guitar (Michael). Ad-libbed vocals (Matt and Michael). Mix down and uploaded to Monkeystack (Michael). There you have it. A turd in just a few hours. And doesn’t that smooth polish just shine?

Instrumelk 2.5 MB

Most of the recordings here represent what I like to record – fancy that. But the bands I play with usually play a lot of significantly faster material. Also, I tend to be more of a ‘music’ guy than a lyricist. Hell, it can take me 6 months to get through a 400 page novel. Think how long it takes to write 400 words! Anyway, this is an attempt to get back to the roots. Uptempo tune – ala last weekend’s gig at the Snorting Elk – and instrumental. Maybe one day this will morph into a larger song or get some real drums on it…

Prodigal Son 6.2 MB

I’ve always wondered what it must be like for my parents (or any parents for that matter) once the bird is out of the nest. What are they doing, why don’t they call, are they taking care of themselves, etc? Originally written in the first person, I tried to turn it on its head and write it from the parents’ perspective. This is also an attempt to break out of the habit of writing solely first person. While listening to Ian Moore’s songwriting, I noticed that he uses a lot of ‘you do this’, and ‘you act this way’, whereas I get stuck only thinking about my own personal perspective. Next song will be life changing universal message that preaches peace – look out Michael Franti… If you listen close, the main riff is pretty much a copy of a riff from the Avett Brothers’ “Living of Love”.

Hole in my bed 3.1 MB

A little ditty started on the plane. Very bluegrassy chorus. The overdone number of voices and instruments was inspired by some groups at Northwest Folklife – just a bunch of kids singing and banging their hearts out. Good music made from brute force. Yes, it could use a better mix, but this is demo-time!

Camp Drums 0.8 MB

After a long spell of not playing my own compositions I took out my frustration on all the objects I could find on the shelf. Not too pretty, but it sure felt good recording :) Can you smell a jam circle forming? I hope so…

Empty Parking Lots 3.3 MB

A song by Sam Russell. He played the guitars and sang it. I then resang it after he left, added some fiddles, banjos, drum track, and plenty of reverb :) He wants me to sing it at shows. He must not know my pension for forgetting lyrics… UPDATE: This one has had a lot done to it – new tracks, deleted tracks, etc… It is about to go under Conrad Uno’s fingers and end up on The Harborrat’s new album.

Lonely Fool 2.9 MB

This song was written about a year before it was recorded. The song explores the hopelessness of an outsider with an unrealistic hope of breaking into a social circle. It was inspired by a group of ‘beautiful people’ that showed up at the Snorting Elk during a weekend gig as well as countless other life experiences.

When I’m Gone 3.7 MB

Several sections are inspired by Carlos Tullos’ sampling with Undersea Passage tunes as well as ‘chopped and screwed’ techniques. Michal and my new banjo also make debut appearances!

Instrumental – Olde Timey(ish) 1 MB

A short tune intended mainly to get a recording with a Jaw Harp and a Dulcimer. The Jaw Harp was a present from Michal’s parents and the Dulcimer is on loan from Dave Forrester (his friend built it).

Michal 5.10 MB

This song’s more of the classic alternative country heart-breaker song. Though its not sad, just real slow. The drums were added by Dave Forrester of Creeping Time – one take on a new set of drum microphones.

World Turns Around 4.51 MB

Another theme that’s been in my head a long time. The story’s not exactly true, but the gist is: a good friend that strays, wanting to relive the past, realizing that its gone.

Friends 3.69 MB

This theme has been in my head for a long while. After moving from city to city, job to job, etc… its always a bummer to either lose contact or even have limited contact with people you’ve loved and lived with throughout the years. Musically speaking, it was an attempt to record the piano as well as create a more luscious string sound.

Easy 6.93 MB

After getting a new machine, I wanted to try something without the same instruments and phrasing as most of the songs below. I’m hoping to get someone to fill out the solo section in the middle… Please don’t mind the drums – hopefully there will be real percussion on this as well.

Rest Stops 3.63 MB updated 10/06 – Dave Forrester added live drum tracks

An attempt at that old songwriting technique – taking a metaphor to its limits (think “The Race is On“). I chose an easy one – a car ride and a relationship. This is the first song recorded with my new toy – Korg d3200

Traveling Alone 4.15 MB

Inspired by the Muhammed ‘cartoon riots’ as well as the everyday issue of being motivated by perceptions of what other people think. Relating to the cartoon riots, it seemed to me that, all too easily, masses of good people acted horribly on the advice of a few zealots. Similar damage can occur when we act on relationship advice from external sources. Finally, the offered solution of developing an understanding between the people whose interests are at stake and leaving the advice of the ‘crows on a wire’ to the wind.

Straight Tracks 2.3 MB

This one started as I tried to play more with metaphors. Its easy to say things concretely, but to say concrete things with soup is more difficult for me. Then I got real excited about the theme and it just went from there. In all, it was written during a 45minute walk with Ghia at our local park.

Seattle 3.78 MB

After spending months and months working on albums with Creeping Time, Sam Russell, Nathan Wade, and Undersea Passage, and working long hours to keep up with a job change, I finally got the itch – and time – to write some new songs. After much tormenting and a number of foul balls, I finally got a couple hits. This one touches on a number of themes that have consumed my thoughts for many years.

Rough Water 4.16 MB

This song originated as a poem written by Gary Howard for his son, Benjie. Adam Boesel put it to music. Creeping Time performed it over the years and recorded it on their first album, Down that Muddy Road. I love this song and I’ve missed playing it, so I went ahead and recorded it myself. I personally like the genealogy here – written by person A, modified by person B, recorded by person C.

Grey Eyes 2.61 MB

Music pieced together from a couple riffs that were caught in my head upon waking up. It is also an attempt to mix up the instrumentation a little – use different instruments for different parts and get the electric guitar involved a little.

Gone 3.72 MB

Spring time is great in the Northwest – comes early and strong. While being so caught up in my work and projects, I realized I didn’t even notice the new buds, flowers, smells, etc all around me. This got me thinking and gave rise to the themes in the song. The chorus had been floating around my head for a while.

Hawazz 1.54MB

On a trip to Hawaii, there was a great up-tempo song that Hilo Hattie’s used in their TV commercial. This was the mutant form that ended up in my head. Michal says it sounds like a theme from Super Mario Brothers – I’ll take that as a compliment :)

Miscommunication 1.94 MB

Back to the basics on recording – sit on the floor with the minidisc player. This is an attempt to write something more upbeat. It was inspired by a full day of listening to Creeping Time over and over and over…

Moon Beams 3.68 MB

This is not a true story. But I did get misty eyed writing it…

The Hunt 4.04 MB

Written about the Seattle fun guys and gals.

Notin Rag 1.89 MB

Written by Ken Nottingham in high school, Kjell and I got to add some flavor. Now we’ll be able to remember the parts as well :)

Kjelleriffic 1.82 MB

Based on a Kjell Riff, this version is a test of various ‘C&D’ sections

City Song 2.87 MB

Lyrics written by my old friend, Sam Shirk, currently living in Denver, CO. Stay tuned, we might get him to divulge the song’s meaning and I may get a better version posted…

Don’t Think Twice 4.4 MB

Wanted to record something after downloading Audacity, the open source multitrack recording and editing software. Michal suggested this Bob Dylan classic. Kjell Anderson, from Creeping Time, helped out with the fiddles.

Instrumental 1.73 MB

A fully mandolin piece. Wanted to mess around with funky chord progressions

Dreams 2.37 MB

Got inspired to write a new song after performing at the Tumbleweed Music Festival.

This Girl 2.11 MB

This tune got stuck in my head while walking Ghia. I rushed to write it down and the only thing I could think of was Michal, hence the lyrics. Bass lines and extra vocals provided by Matt Rankin of MBlue – Disclaimer: these were all first takes :)

Instrumental 1.28 MB

A little ditty written to see what multiple mandolins and fiddle would sound like. Possibly a tester for a larger piece

Suddenly 5.12 MB

The Billy Ocean Classic. I love this genre (Lionel & Commodores) and I couldn’t wait to record my own version.

Recovery 2.38 MB

Lyrics by Dave Delmar of Undersea Passage, music by me (this was done to see what a lyrics/music collaboration might sound like)

Kept On Walking 5.37 MB

Written by Tim Obrien and performed by Tim, Tommy Coon and myself.

She Did 3.31 MB

Written because I couldn’t get Bob Dylan’s “Ballad in plain D” out of my head.

For Me 3.90 MB

Written by Tommy Coon and performed by Tommy Coon, Tim Obrien and myself.

Instrumental With Tommy Coon and Tim Obrien 2.83 MB

Written by somebody else.

By way of sorrow 2.27 MB

Originally written Julie Miller, this is the two verse version. Vocals by Audrey White.

Come on by

Written while living at my parents in my old home town after college. 3.50 MB

Congratulations 2.39 MB

Written under the influence of Mefloquine, aka Lariam, aka antiMalarial drug.

Instrumental with Bro

Written and performed by Joe, my Brother, and myself to see what we’d sound like. 2.86 MB

Instrumental Small Room 2.31 MB

Written to test out the acoustics in my house.

Mary Jane 2.92 MB

This song is about the ski area, not weed.

Daledah 1.02 MB

A really pretty song with the electric guitar.

Something Bad’s Going to Happen 2.21 MB

Though originally another experiment with the drum machine, a couple last minute losses by Chris Kress’s favorite sports teams inspired the last minute additions. Bonus item: My dog pumpkin barking…

Drum Machine 2.08 MB

I once again borrowed my brother’s equipment, a drum machine, for this one. Thanks again, Joe.

Backwards 1.74 MB

Experimenting with recording backwards tracks on the Tascam.

Minor Plus 1.46 MB

Derived from a chord progression I couldn’t get out of my head after hearing a David Grisman song from years earlier. The track is ~ 3/4 speed on the final mix.

Relaxin 3.29 MB

One of the first songs recorded on my Christmas present – a new Tascam 4 track

Good Night 0.85 MB

My attempt at including multipart vocals. An old traditional that the Grateful Dead often closed their shows with.

Violins/Piano 2.61 MB

One of my favorites :) A song that has violins, guitars, a piano, and a serendipitous backwards event at the beginning.

Slow song 2.54 MB

I wanted to write a song that was as slow and sparsely instrumented as possible but still be powerful.

Happily Ever After 2.6 MB

Inspired after cutting off a long distance relationship. My first ever attempt at writing lyrics.

Instrumental 1.05 MB

First attempt at making a”pretty” recording.

Violin/Guitar Duo 1.34 MB

First attempt at recording with the violin.

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