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Soot will fall from passing planes…

February 8, 2010

Hey no one!

Long time no see!  I’m glad you read my blog considering how erratically I update.  In any case, I have a brand new song!  It’s less than a day old and I’m posting it now, well ahead of its older cousins.  Sue me.

Here is a song that pleads you to sit and listen to a street band and take in the warm summer street:

Street Muzak

If you lay back against these bricks
and let them bite at the back of your head
a boomin’ black, beaten drum
will press the air around your face with it’s thump

If you had plans, well you might forget
and spend some time on the beat of your chest
Kick your feet across these steps
and we’ll keep playing till they make us quit

You know we’d never regret it
we’ll be happy just to have had it

If you sit back against that tree
the bug munched leaves should stencil your cheek
falling soot from passing planes
will likely land all among your hair and your face

If you stayed for all these songs
picks and bows and strings and tones
the humid air will feel like oil
and we’ll keep playing til they make us go

You know we’d never regret it
we’ll be happy just to have had it

Don’t forget to check out my other youtube stuff, folks.  There is quite a backlog of old originals and covers of all quality levels!

Tidbit of the Entry: The Blow is a duo from good Ol’ Oregon who do some interesting folkesy electronica, which is the only way I can properly describe it. If you’ve heard of them, you probably heard at least “Parentheses,” which is good.  But I love “True Affection” more.  Video’s not official.


And Now the Music Begins

November 10, 2009

Ladies and gentlemen, as I said in a text message to my good friend and fellow Der Dey Goer, my musical break is officially over. I’ve completed all the worst and most time consuming school work now, and the rest of the semester will leave me some time to do tunage!

I’ve got a song in the works that steals quite a bit from an Pomplamoose song, who’ve exploded on the interwebs music scene.  I really love the vocal stylings, and between the Pomplamoose chick and Thao Nguyen I’m going to be inadvertantly influenced to writing some differently styled vocal melodies.  Ok, well I’m going to help the “inadvertant” part along and make it a little more… advertant. So as it goes, this weekend I wrote a song with some nice little airtap bits in it about Atheism.  I finally got it to where I could start recording it and lo and behold the first take took!

Finally, some announcements that I promised a few posts ago:

First, I’m in what is currently a two piece (which may expand) called Der Dey Go.  We’ve actually got quite a few originals between the two of us, and we’re planning on doing some real recording at some point.  There may even be a full album in a few months, depending on how things progress.  As soon as I’ve got any internet goodies to show you, I will.

Second, on December 3rd at 8 o’clock, be at Public Space One.  We’ll be playing at the first ever Stoop van Patten Music Collective show.  The name may change, but the concept should start repeating once a month or so (skipping january because of the lack of students/I might be living in a dilapidated house in Cedar Rapids doing carpentry).

The basic rule for booking is no solo acts.  You must be local musicians that have either never worked together, or that are in a very recent group together… no veteran bands.  The whole point is to increase the collaboration in Iowa City to the point that we actually create a music-collective! In the end, it may just be a cool place to play music once a month, but it could be something very righteous.


And now, before you play this new song of mine, a note:  just like with “Paul’s Letter” I didn’t want to get too blatant or forceful on what a song might mean, but again… to hell with it.  This is not an anti-religion song, but it’s meant to give a bit of passion and love to “the other side.”  Atheism is seen by many, many people as a heartless and cold opinion, but it’s not.

For the song itself, the lyrics are the product of throwing out about 95% of the things I wrote, but I’m still not quite happy with all the lines.  It gets more difficult when you want to “say something.”  Also, as this is a very new song I don’t know exactly how I’m going to sing it.  A few of the lines worked, but sometimes I end up sounding like I’m forcing it.

So, drumroll….

The Atheist Hymn

A man and his son on the edge of the world
Digging their hands in the sea
The son pulled his net to the boat and he groaned
Is this how it always must be?
There’s never enough to eat

He cursed the oceans and he cursed the gods
He swore the gods cursed him back
The man gave a chuckle and opened his net
Fish flopped to death on the deck

The man told his son as they gutted their catch
Scream not of lucifer’s fall
Scream at the gods and their fury and games
You’re screaming at nothing at all

What of the agony here on the earth?
Who do we look to for help?
We must be passionate fearless and wise
There’s nowhere to look but ourselves

And Oh, the sky did crack
And Oh, those two roared back

Some say I’m crazy and some say I’m blind
But son, we agree on the truth
The things we must do are not for anyone
But they’re still the things we must do

So keep your eyes open and head screwed on straight
Look at the world and be meek
You’ll be more righteous than anyone’s gods
Chosen ones, prophets or priests

“Haha!  That went way better than I thought it would.”  Youtube cut me off again.

Tidbit of the Entry: Do monkeys like bongo music? I was shown Manu Chao by the folks over at the FranCalebGabeCalebLarry abode, and after 2 seconds was texting myself to download some of his tunage.  A lot of his songs are very classical spanish folks songs, but here and there he does hip-hop, pop, and all other manner of things.  Plus, he speaks many languages and there are fabled songs sung in Arabic, which I’ve yet to find.  Anywho, here’s the king of Bongo Bong:

Music Shows Abound!

November 3, 2009

Ok, after another justified hiatus, I bring you another song!  It’s oh so pretentiously called “Paul’s First Letter to the Americans.”  I was going to try to veil it’s meaning, but what the hell… everyone knows I’m a hippie so I might as well go for it, right?

In any case, Aaron and I played the Anomy House Halloween party this weekend, and it went smashingly well.  Now, tonight I have an open mic at the Mill, tomorrow I play at Piano Lounge (my first honest-to-god paid musical performance), and the next day I expect I’ll be down at open jam at the Yacht Club!   You can see why my hiatus is justified!

Paul’s First Letter to the Americans

Take a little seat in the middle of the log by the body of the tree you killed
Protect your ears from the splitting and the screaming in the streets because dollars are the only thing that’s left that’s real

Listen real close to the stories of pain from the wrinkled old lips you know
Because the dawning of the age of water bearing sign isn’t coming til we’re all just boxes dirt and bones… with nothing on our heads but hefty stones

And nothing in your lies will change his mind
And nothing in these trials will make me cry

Gather all the rage in your gut for the people on the other side of chance’s game
For soon the things we’ve built strike back with a power of beaten bloody master’s playthings unchained

Wiggle all around in the little wiggle room that you’ve made to justify your sins
And keep that wicked little jig to yourself when we stumble into judgement for the things we thought and what we did… with nothing left to bless this floating rock but dead

And nothing explanations wont change his mind
And the coming lamentations wont make me cry

So maybe down the line when the sounds of machines squeel ugly little throes of death
And all the little flecks of gold like gifts on the ground will be given to the freezing winters that we left

The world is damned old place with a mass too big for the legend of a map
So when we send our bodies to the dirt and the rocks, oh the little green sprouts will raise unthinking heads… and all of this will come to be again

And none of your late pleading will change his mind
And thinking of your ends will make me cry

Tidbit of the Entry: We all love Regina Spektor.  We all want to be/marry her, and many have heard of Sondre Lerche.  Have you heard their duet they made for Dan in Real Life!?  Well, I don’t know if it was made for the movie specifically, but it was in it.  It’s a wonderful classic and playful jazzy number, and I’m guilty of singing it over and over when I walk around downtown.  Anyway, prepare to swoon.

P.S. Dear Youtube, stop being artsy with my videos.  You suck and I’m going to find a website to upload my things to that doesn’t twist every single video I upload in some unique and interesting way.  Sometimes they’re choppy, sometimes the audio’s out of sync and one time (and only one) you added a black border around my video.  >:C

My Time is Soooooo Valuable!

October 21, 2009

My fingertips are turning to stone, but my brain has been turning to mush.  I fear I’ve over extended myself.  I have school, and a new 3-piece group that I’m playing with.  Stuart Erb, Aaron Mueller and I are forming what I consider to be the first incarnation of the Stoop Van Patten Music Collective, known (probably) as The E Sharps.  We’re trying to cram together music for the Anomy House Halloween party in a week, and a more solid set for a show that I’ve scheduled at Public Space One.  More on that later.

The point? I’m making excuses for why I only have 4  songs written when I was planning on having at least 8 or 9 by now.  I refuse to abandon this project, as it’s solely responsible for my recent guitar improvement, but it is slow going.  In the mean time, enjoy a rough cut of my new song!  It’s called Tree Rings.  Some of the words will probably change, but I’ve spent way too long on this song, and it’s time to move on.

Tree Rings

I remember when this room was white
and you brought color swatches home most every night

I remember the paint escaped the can
and I remember the newspaper it spilled in

I remember how the frost formed on the glass
And we were huddled by the radiator fast asleep

And I remember you in every corner of this room

I remember vines around the round windows,
20 feet each year, you kept the winter growth

I remember the water pipes that froze
the growing piles of leaves and petals on the floor

I remember all the shattered words that day
we drew curtains to keep the howling cold at bay

And I remember you in every corner of this room

Tidbit of the Entry: Many months ago, a friend pointed me to Fionn Regan.  Obviously influenced by Bob Dylan and other folk dudes, his beautiful song Snowy Atlas Mountain is a perfect example of his work.

More posts sooner than later.  For real this time!

Week 2’s Songs, Much Late!

October 9, 2009

My fingernails are worn, my hands feel like they’ve been smashed with hammers, and it’s becoming a chore to write and play guitar.  I knew this would happen, but it still sucks to have to power through something you should be enjoying.  Don’t worry though, I haven’t stopped playing way too much!  All last week I was practicing for my cousin’s wedding songs so I wasn’t able to make any posts, but I was able to start two new songs and finish another.  That and a new cover song I was fiddling with made the week relatively productive, even if I am a bit behind schedule.

I’ve decided not to post any covers on this blog, but I would like to point out that my youtube page will have a few covers up in the next week (Stand By Me and a little Peter Frampton for your listening pleasure…).  The page will have every video I post and already has some of the jamming and first recording I did with Josh!

I haven’t posted for more than a week, and that’s just terrible.  However, to make up for it I’ll be posting two new songs on this Entry! I’ll be posting a song from week one (A Curious Conversation in Cloverdale) and the finished one from this last week (Sorority).

I’ll be posting again very soon, I’ve got a couple of great little news bits to tell, but I didn’t want to clutter this post.

(Audio isn’t synced, don’t ask me why)

They say that the apple don’t fall very far from the neighborhood where it was born
and the neighborhood where she was born was a cold blooded one
She’s coming home, she’s coming home for you, kid.
She’s coming home, she’s coming home for you.

She was doubting the look in his eyes when he tried to explain the faint smell of perfume
and you’d better know god damn well she knows who…
She’s coming home, she’s coming home for you, kid.
She’s coming home, she’s coming home for you.

They say that the weight of the world at your back is no excuse for the weight of a gun
but the weight in her hand kicked back a black spackle of smoke
She’s coming home, she’s coming home for you, kid.
She’s coming home, she’s coming home for you.

The roof of her mouth is holding tight to her tongue, her sweat collects inside the crease of her hand
and the creases of the hands of the man she loved ran red
She’s coming home, she’s coming home for you, kid.
She’s coming home, she’s coming home for you.

The gravel and guilt in her gut keep her warm for the very last thing she must do
You’d better run big sister will be here soon
She’s coming home, she’s coming home for you
She’s coming home, she’s coming home for you
She’s coming home, she’s coming home for you

A Curious Conversation in Cloverdale

Can I take a picture of your dog?
Can I take a picture of your dog, she said.

I couldn’t think of anything to say.
I couldn’t think of anything to say, I said.

Why do you want a picture of my dog?
Why do you want a picture of my dog, I asked.

I guess because I think he’s really cute.
I think that little fucker’s really cute, she said.

Well, only if you ask me on a date.
Only if you ask me on a date, I tried.

Can I take a picture of your dog?
Can I take the god damned picture of your dog, she growled.

So I let her take a picture of my dog.
I let her take a picture of my dog.

I don’t even even own a fucking dog.
I don’t own a single furry dog.

Tidbit of the Entry
:  Someone got funk in my hip-hop!  Someone got hip-hop in my funk!  Lyrics Born has been melting my headphones and mind lately, and I’d like to share!  If you like Aesop Rock or Del, you’ll see the appeal here.  Welcome to the Lyrics Born variety show:

Song number II, my fingers hate you

September 26, 2009

Lately I’ve been playing a lot of guitar.  Between learning the songs for my cousin Charise’s wedding, beginning practice for a new three piece with Stuart and Aaron (Aafrastu as I like to call it), and this songwriting thing, I’ve literally played for at least 4 hours a day, sometimes a little bit more.

So when I say one song has been occupying half of my guitar playing, it means that a couple hours a day I would fiddle with this slippery eel.  I was beginning to worry that I sinking all this time into one song would grind this little project to a halt, but then last night I figured it out.  I have one other song written this week, but I’m going to post it later (I’ve got to post some youtube videos for wedding song approval!

Also, I was able to fix the choppiness, but apparently the only solution was to put a black box around the video.  Something’s amiss…    Anyway, without further ado:

These Days

Someone’s on the cordless phone
These days, Maggie’s on the phone a lot
She gets off the hook each time
These day, Maggie’s on the hook a lot

Waffle cones and whipping cream and a bottle of burgundy rum
Bitter baker’s chocolate and brown sugar on her tongue

And when I asked her simple questions
She always gave the same reply,
“On to the fire with you,
On to the fire with you.”


I’ve been on my feet for years
These day, the bottoms of my feet have turned to rock

Waffle cones and whipping cream and a bottle of burgundy rum
Bitter baker’s chocolate and brown sugar on her tongue

And when I asked her simple questions
She always gave the same reply,
“On to the fire with you,
On to the fire with you.”

Tidbit of the Entry: I stumbled onto Band of Horses several months ago.  They have a pretty cool sound, I like their drones. They have written one phenomenal song in The General Specific.  This is the youtube video I first saw (not the official video, I dunno if they have one)

Drumroll Please…

September 22, 2009

I’ve done it!  Ok, technically I only finalized this song yesterday but I’m going to let it slide in under Week 1’s songs.  It’s much bluesier than I usually write, and it’s only two chords (Gm7 and C7) but I really like the “refrain.”  Also, I can’t help grooving just a little bit when I listen.

In any case, here’s the video of it (though for some reason ewe-tube makes my upload all choppy.  Until I fix it, the audio’s sufficient).  It takes me a solid minute to actually get a hold of the rhythm.  If I try to fully produce all these songs, it will triple my work load, so I’ll probably be posting a lot of stuff that isn’t practiced enough for a real performance.  Oh well, you guys can still hear what the song is.

And in all seriousness, please feel free to critique or comment.  The whole point of this is to get better and it’s really hard to self-critique.

42nd Avenue Jump

I need you to fill me up
I need you to pour one more
I don’t feel right, I can’t sleep and I can’t make it through this mess

I need you to f*ck me up
I need you to bring me down
I can’t see straight I can’t walk and I can’t make it to the bridge

I need you to cut me off
I need you to bring me home
I can’t see straight I can’t walk and I can’t make it to the 42nd Avenue bridge

Tidbit of the Entry: For those of you Iowa City folk who were mildly impressed by my paltry beginner’s airtap, prepare to be WAY more impressed by the legendary Joshua Owens.