Week 250 // Pixilated (or) What Are We Made Of?

August 31st, 2015

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Pixilated and I’m heading home
Bits and pieces in the air
Blown around but see
The colors make a whole
Anywhere

Pulled apart the little molecules
Each constituent remark
Stow away the bits of memories
We’re left
In the dark

Take whatever you want
What are we made of?
What parts are we counting on?
And will we find them in the dark?

Reconstructed and I look upon
The face of every friend we’ve got
Reassembled in a different part of town
Around the block

Take whatever you want
Take whatever you want
What are we made of?
What parts are we counting on?
And will we find them in the dark?

Notes
Okay, so I’ve done this 250 times now and it feels really great. I’m a huge fan of comic books, and in that culture it is customary to offer a huge blowout anniversary special issue whenever a series achieves a nice round number like this. Mind you, they are counting months, and I’m counting weeks, so 250 issues of X-Men means something different than 250 Mount Everest songs. Recently I’ve preferred to make a big stink about this project’s yearly anniversary, rather than tooting my horn just for reaching a multiple of 50. I’ll certainly be throwing you special freebies and extra content this November when the 5 year mark is finally achieved. For this particular milestone I’ll just note that Mount Everest is now one quarter of the way to 1000 songs. Isn’t that something?

If you’ve been to this website in the past few weeks, you might remember that my wife and I have been preparing to move to a new apartment. I’m the kind of person who takes any opportunity to turn a routine life event into an inward spiral of existential bewilderment. This song reflects on the particular unease that I experience when I dismantle my life and put it together again. I completed this song on Friday before things got really hairy, when I was still anticipating the apocalypse. I’m feeling pretty great now on the other side of our move, so it occurs to me that a better point of view for this song might be our poor suffering cat, Lucy. Unlike us, she has no understanding of what has happened to her. The entire universe was destroyed, and she was flung into a cacophonous void. Emerging somewhere on the other side, her destination was incomprehensible. The sensation of total unfamiliarity instantly overwhelmed her limited faculties, and she retreated to the darkest, most remote corner of the landscape. I understand what Lucy is feeling far more than I should admit, although I am adjusting far more quickly than her. Life continues for both of us nearly unchanged, she just hasn’t caught on to that notion yet. We’re still figuring out where we’ve landed.

Thank you sincerely for listening to all of these songs, and giving me a reason to write so many of them. You are really cool.

~M.E.

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Week 249 // Shimmering

August 24th, 2015

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Hold me down love
I get like this
I work my blood so much
I’m tasting it on my lips

Feel the highway
The summer wanes
Apocalyptic Rain
The thing is it never came

Everything is shimmering now
And I gotta move
Everything is coming around

Hold me up dear
I get locked down
I waste my charge, so what?
You’re keeping me off the ground

Fine intentions
I’m making good
I’m climbing canyon walls
I’m giving it what I should

Everything is shimmering now
And I gotta move
Everything is coming around

Notes
The picture accompanying this track was taken in my apartment. I staged it in no way whatsoever. This is actually what my apartment looks like right now. I can’t see the shape of this room because of the boxes we’ve accumulated. Soon we’ll fill the boxes and move them somewhere else. This isn’t a song about moving, just as last week’s song wasn’t a song about apartment hunting. This song is about chaos and anxiety, juxtaposed with sparkling optimism, partnership, and the smell of possibility in the atmosphere. My wife and I took a break from our project of deconstructing and reconstructing our lives this weekend. We traveled to help my old friends get hitched, and the event absolutely sizzled with possibility. In some ways it felt like revisiting our own wedding three weeks ago, which was one gratifying and wonderful aspect of the weekend. More than that, It was potent celebration of the possibilities in life, and it made me excited to keep building, to grab hold of the crackle in the air and make use of it. That’s sort of what this song is about.

~M.E.

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Week 248 // Mirror City​/​Life in Other Dimensions

August 17th, 2015

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A wall of water
Coming down on us
A stolen moment
In the pouring rain
A new reality
I think because
Some tiny detail
You can tell has changed

And later on
We catch the colors move
We barely see it
But we know it’s so
And through the trees
I’m standing next to you
And past the clearing
Where we’re bound to go

And on the other side
From where we live
A mirror city
Close enough to touch
And every animal
And plant the same
Yes each identical
Except for us

Notes
What could be more exhausting than navigating the Brooklyn rental market? Pretty much nothing, as it turns out. It has a been a grueling week looking for a new apartment, and now as we’re nearing completion of this most unpleasant of tasks, I’m astounded at the weary miles my wife and I logged on foot, the trickery we encountered, the many different cities we traversed in just one borough, and the pure pulsing life that we encountered everywhere we went. This song isn’t really about apartment hunting. That’s boring. It is about a series of moments that emerged out of that mundane task, and a growing optimism that began to convince us that we were no longer walking the streets of the same city. Where were we? Perhaps a neighboring reality, a dimension just next door, where everything is the same, but just a bit nicer, where the colors are a little different, where we can accomplish something daunting, and where the future is maybe, just maybe, on our side.

~M.E.

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Week 247 // On Account of I Love You

August 10th, 2015

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I’m here today to call you, darling
What you truly are to me
I shall always write you love songs
Trace tiny circles when you sleep

And I shall always be your friend
And I will dream and walk beside you
Oh what a fool I might have been
You’re the one I’m sticking to

Here I am
Oh what love can be
Just take a leap of faith
Rough around the edges
Grasping at the change
Written in our fate

Through my worst and your worst, darling
Through my best and your best too
The strength I didn’t know I needed
The joy I lacked, I have with you

We will laugh when the going gets tough
Head to the sky, your easy truth
And never will I give up on us
Take to heart that I’m with you

Here I am
Oh what love can be
Just take a leap of faith
Rough around the edges
Grasping at the change
Written in our fate

Notes
After winding our way through New England, getting married along the way, then mini-mooning in Northern Maine, and the Jersey Shore, Rebecca and I are home in Brooklyn, and we are definitively hitched. Last week’s song was recorded in advance of the nuptials, so this song is the post-wedding reflection that I’ve been looking forward to writing for so long. Marriage is a collaboration, so there was really only one way to do this song right. Here I present a true duet with my new wife, old friend, and best collaborator in life. We adapted the lyrics to this song from our wedding vows. Recording with Rebecca was the perfect way to put a cap on our wedding experience, and just the right way to calm our impending nerves as we prepare to attack an apartment search on top of our job searches already in progress. This is an exciting and unpredictable time for us, and this song represents the steady thing that will take us through all of what life has in store. This is the kind of song that makes me so glad I have this project in my life. As an artist, a standing record of this era of my life will be something to hold dear in the years to come. Thanks for being here with us.

Again, the photograph accompanying this song is by the amazing Jessica Oh, and you can find her work at jessicaohphotography.squarespace.com.

~M.E.

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Week 246 // Pieces of Moment

August 3rd, 2015

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There’s a warm breeze
Blowin’ down the sidewalk
And I can ride it
Darlin’ all the way to you

There’s a picture wall
Tiny pieces of the moment
I love to look back
But looking forward’s all I want to do

And if our next stop is around the corner
We could keep our places
Little things we do
But we could spin the globe
And drop a finger too
‘Cause baby all I need is you

There’s a wildcat
Sleeping in the corner
Yeah, she’ll bite and scratch
But honey she’s in love with you

And from my silent perch
I’m watching you intently
Arranging knick knacks
I’m studying the things you do

And if our next stop is around the corner
We could keep our places
Little things we do
But we could spin the globe
And drop a finger too
‘Cause baby all I need is you

Notes
Wow wow wow! We got married, and I can’t believe how awesome it was! Many of you have told me how excited you are to hear my post wedding Mount Everest song. That is going to have to wait another week, because in preparation for our nuptials and mini-moon, I pre-recorded this week’s tune. This is one final pre-wedding reflection. It is a serene little number about sharing space with somebody you love, and looking forward to the future. This song takes place in our little apartment. It is a place we have built into a private world which we will take with us no matter which walls surround it in the future. I am excited to reflect upon our amazing wedding in song, but this little offering functions as a much needed moment to catch my breath after a transformative weekend. The photograph is by the inimitable Jessica Oh whose incredible work can be found at jessicaohphotography.squarespace.com. Filled with love from the open road, signing off until next week.

~M.E.

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Week 245 // The Candle and the Compass

July 27th, 2015

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I wandered like I was condemned
Through shallow seas and canyon walls
Until it struck me

A piece of you was on my mind
For years or more it whispered words
And so we spoke them

I’ll be there right beside you
Weightless, carrying the candle
Way above the earth
Hand in hand we’re falling
Landing like we’re feathers in the grass
And up again

The future may not ever be
A picture in a crystal ball
But this I’ll tell you

It feels like a familiar place
A verandah and a warm embrace
The sound of rainfall

I see you right beside me
Darling, carrying the compass
Way above the earth
Hand in hand we’re falling
Landing like we’re feathers in the grass
And up again

Notes
This is the last Monday before I am a married man. On Saturday we will wed and begin a brand new chapter. I wanted to offer a song that speaks to the serenity I feel with Rebecca and the beautiful optimism that the notion of our marriage evokes in me. This song plays the future against the past a little; they’re both hazy in detail but the future is far more inviting. It didn’t always seem that way. I am going to keep this write-up short, opting instead to focus the remainder of the evening on my wedding vows. Love to you all, and wish us luck!

~M.E.

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Week 244 // When August 1st Arrives

July 20th, 2015

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You sent me back to sleep
Late this morning
And something I could keep
Was right there with me
The end of old July
Won’t come faster
When August 1st arrives
I’ll kiss you on the mouth
And tell you all about
The years all comin’
The seasons in your stride
I’m following you

Notes
I’m battling a fever today, so I must admit that this offering ended up a good deal less ambitious than I had originally conceived of it being. I had imagined three verses, with organ and electric guitar overdubs in the second and third, and perhaps even an additional layer of vocal harmonies here and there. Perhaps it is for the best that some inconvenient (and hopefully brief) summer bug got in the way of this song’s excessive ruin. I like this minute-and-a-half long haiku of a song. It says what it means to, and then it stops saying it. It’s a tiny love poem of a song about wanting to get on to the main event of this summer, which is of course our wedding. I also give you this portrait of a tiny little bird that came right up to me and asked me to take her picture. She seemed dissatisfied with my first few attempts, as she kept returning to let me try again. That, or she wanted a bite of my quinoa veggie burger. I didn’t give her any; I’ve been accused recently of being a reluctant food sharer. Please have a great week, beat the heat, and wish me a speedy recovery!

~M.E.

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Week 243 // Don’t Fear the Sky

July 13th, 2015

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When I was smaller
I spotted faces
In the stars

I can’t remember
The names I gave them
But they always worked me up

They reached down to me
It terrified me
To be small

So I held my eyes
And for nights and nights
How I prayed my voice
Could be big enough
To clear out the room
To keep back the dark
and to scare the faces away

The earth was bigger
A spinning record
Underneath

It talked right to me
Ever so quiet
Told me don’t fear the sky

So I held my eyes
And for nights and nights
How I prayed my voice
Would be big enough
To clear out the room
To keep back the dark
and to scare the faces away

Notes
Like most people, I remember being fearful of the dark when I was small. I slept with a little lamp shining. It was wooden and there were happy people on it. Part of it spun and perhaps it played a song. I think maybe it looked like a tree, or a house or something like that. But I wasn’t quite so afraid of the dark in my room. I was terrified of the dark out my window, of the massive abyss in the sky. There were definitely things to fear up there. Aliens, vampires, ghosts, you name it. My window shuttered closed and fastened with a latch, but that didn’t seem secure enough. I tied it tight with a shoe string which remained for years. The earth was safe, and the sky was filled with danger. That much I knew. I’m not sure what interested me in exploring the fears I had when I was small, but something in the music spoke to that subject. I can hardly relate to being little anymore, and along with my grownup size I have developed grownup fears. Few of them are hovering in the sky, but perhaps I can take a lesson from my younger self. The lesson is that the world doesn’t change when you tie the window shut with a shoe string. Fears are overcome when we open up the window and find there is nothing coming to get us.

~M.E.

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Week 242 // Bend the Light

July 6th, 2015

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You’re driving through the rainstorm
I’m looking out the window
I trust you got this one
And peering through the forest
And somewhere past the wreckage
I think I see the sun
See how the light
Bends around everyone
See how your hand
Guides us back
To the sun

Do me one more favor
Yes, anything for you dear
Be only who you are
And do me one more favor
Yes anything you ask of me
Is granted in the stars
See how your light
Fills the gaps in my heart
See how your eyes
Bend the light of the stars

And can you remember me
The way I was before?
I sure remember you, dear
From so many years before
And can you remember me
The way I was before?
I sure remember you, dear
From so many years before

See how your heart
Bends the course of your life
See how the dark
Leads us back to the light

Notes
So the big thing lately is that in less than four weeks I’m going to get married! It’s a really big deal; the biggest deal. I think it is safe to assume that in the coming weeks this website is going to be a venue for much reflection on life and love. This week’s song is a part of that. The lyrics pick up during a wild rain storm that Rebecca drove me through a couple of weeks ago on our way back from Massachusetts, where we applied for our marriage license. She braved the downpour while I marveled at the twisted remains of the forest on the shoulder of the highway. It looked like a twister had come through. It dawned on me that my life was in her hands, and that I trusted her deeply with it. This song reflects on our long friendship and more recent love, and the deeply intertwined nature of our lives. My light bends towards hers, and hers toward mine. I think this song jumps around a bit through time and space, anchored mostly by a pretty gnarly bass groove, and a few moments of insight. Thanks for listening.

~M.E.

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Week 241 // A Dream Machine

June 29th, 2015

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I ain’t hip to all the latest shit
They’re playing on the radio
I ain’t counting on the relevance
Of anything at all
It’s against the rules
For me to act too cool
At this point

I smell the rain and I imagine
I’m the man I was an age ago
I count my blessings it’s a game
And that ain’t who I am at all
When I set a fire
I know I’ll put it out
At some point

And praying to the radio
And it’s the voice of god that’s singing low
And the frequency rolls over ground
And I’m reaching up to steal the sound
Like this

If I’m being real
You keep what you can steal
You’re in America
And guys like me
Have never stolen much of anything at all
It’s only petty crime
I think I can commit
This time

I’m in the forest
And I listen to it creaking like a radio
I’m in the city and for once
I don’t hear anything at all

It’s against the law
To say something bad
About New York

And praying to the radio
And it’s the voice of god that’s singing low
And the frequency rolls over ground
And I’m reaching up to steal the sound
Like this

Notes
I’m scaling back again this week to an acoustic song befitting of the New England forest from which I just returned. At a time like this when the contrast is fresh in my memory, New York seems so incredibly pointless. Absolutely nothing here is justified when there might just as well be fields and woods and streams. The only lake I can find here is fake. Really dumb. Yes, coming here changed my whole life in positive and self-affirming ways that I haven’t yet really begun to unpack, but the trees are stunted from exhaust fumes, and my cat has never seen a pinecone. The old part of me lives someplace up there, and some new part of me is a creature of concrete. There is a tension between those two men. Even as I marvel at this man made wilderness, I have taken to wearing a belt buckle with a picture of canoes on it. I look at it and long for something. I revel in how uncool it is, and I think about going back there. These and other things are in the song I wrote this week. And something about a radio.

~M.E.

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