Week 210 // At the Center of the Earth

November 24th, 2014

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At the center of the earth
Not far away from here at all
The buried rocks beneath the dirt
And the hot fire ball

When molten rocks push through the seam
To scorch the surface of the earth
We’re never asking what it means
We only ask how it works

Notes
This is a steady, patient little slow burn of a song. I suppose it’s about our modern proclivity to quantify the world around us, rather than searching for deeper meaning. I must have developed some frustration with this phenomenon during my time in graduate school. It isn’t so much that people never search for deeper meaning. That’s the whole project of the arts after all. I guess my problem is that qualitative perspectives are so easily sunk by numbers in our culture. They amount to nothing but a nice addendum to the figures. It isn’t right. Data drives us so deep down that our critical minds, and perhaps even our very hearts, are losing authority. Reader, Listener, please never cede the authority of your heart.

~M.E.

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Week 209 // Serene

November 17th, 2014

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Feeling safe
Hiding right behind them city walls
But a wall’s a cage
And it captured us all

Feeling strange
Hiding from the rain
Now should it fall
And the streets fill up
And the strangers call

And those lights in the window
Mean nothing at all

Serene
Serene

Feeling frayed
Hide behind your eyelids when they fall
When you lose your edge
And collapse and crawl

Ain’t it plain
Right inside the silence of it all
There a slight refrain
And it’s just so small

And the crack in the doorway
Means nothing at all

Serene
Serene

Notes
In a lot of ways this track is the exact reason this site exists: to compel me to write and record music under circumstances when nobody in their right mind would write and record music. Pardon me, my throat is ragged from a week’s worth of chest cold, and I’m delirious for lack of sleep. I felt compelled to reach for my melodica because it’s been a while, and because I needed to hear it. It calms me down. This song is about a bad week, and under the circumstance I can’t complain about how it came out. Although the vocals are strained, I like the harmonies. Although the melodica has fallen out of tune toward the high notes, it still has it’s authentic earthiness. I’m relieved I squeezed this one in just before Tuesday. Goodnight.

~M.E.

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Week 208 // Kingdom of Circumstance (and FREE download)

November 10th, 2014

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Only one part’s over
Pretty good trick
Convincing us we’re older
Who’d have thought
This would be the year
With the right thought
Anything can happen here

I was alive when
Half the world was burning
It was a crime to
Think that stopped us turning

Watch this moment
When I slow down
I’m sure that she can hold it
She’s got burning ways you see
Through the fire she
Came in on a wave to me

There was a time when
Kindness was worth learning
That was a moment
Earnestly returning

I was alive when
Half the world was burning
It was a crime to
Think that stopped us turning

Moonlight gets away
Was a child when
Last I tried to see this way
Oh the kingdom of circumstance
Once believed that loving was a consequence

This is a moment
Wrapped up in this yearning
Hooked to a comet
Brightest light and learning

I was alive when
Half the world was burning
It was a crime to
Think that stopped us turning

Notes
This week marks four years that I’ve spent making music as Mount Everest, four years of never missing a Monday, of writing music all the time. 208 is a lot of songs. After all, four years is nearly five years! Isn’t that something? When I hit an anniversary, I usually take stock, and this year was no different. On airplanes and subways and interstate highways I have recently revisited much of the now daunting catalogue. There was a time when this undertaking was much easier. These days, I can never make it a quarter of the way through, so I skip around randomly sampling ideas that I used to have, and thoughts that I used to think.

One thing really struck me this time. I’m always writing about how old I’m getting. To be clear, at 29 I am literally not old. It’s probably a function of such a linearly autobiographical project that I keep returning to this concept of aging. Watching the weeks tick by on this website, it’s no wonder I start to feel more than my age. The problem is that I am writing about my life like it’s over, when it has barely even started. This song attempts to redress that error of perspective. It has taken a year that has represented seismic beginnings in my life to recognize that this concept that my youth is behind me is a big trick I’ve been playing on myself. Sure, I’m not getting any younger, but youth is a perspective I’m not yet willing to cede to the next generation.

It is my custom to give you presents for Mount Everest’s birthday. If you click the image below, you will download a compilation of my favorite Mount Everest tracks from the past year.


Thank You for being here!
Here is your free download:


It is a 23 track album; about an hour and twelve minutes of heartfelt thanks for lending me your ears, and (in many of your cases) your collaborative talents, your emotional support, your love, and your friendship. I love you all so much. It means the world to me that you come here to listen. Please come back next week as I kick off year five. The coming 12 months are shaping up to me monumental in my life, so anticipate sounds you’ve never heard!

~M.E.

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Week 207 // When it Goes

November 3rd, 2014

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I fill my capsule in the dark
I close it tight so it stays sealed
I dream of home and then I start
To pick apart the bits I’d steal
And when it goes
Ain’t it strange
To pick the bones
And beg the rain?

And out tonight into the dark
To search in vain for this made real
If out one moment goes a spark
What’s up ahead must fingers feel
And when it goes
Is it strange
To love the cold
And fear the flame?

And goodness knows
That it ain’t strange
That when it goes
We’re not the same

Notes
My parents are in the final days of selling my childhood home. It’s happened to a lot of people, now it’s happening to me. It isn’t a devastating loss. My life isn’t going to change all that much as a result. How many times a year do I even go there? What it illuminates is more about what’s changed already, which is pretty much everything. Certain aspects of this hit me really hard, but mostly it’s this numb acceptance, which is weird. If I ever go in there again, it’ll be something else, somebody else’s. If I ever go in there again it won’t be home. I suppose one pervasive aspect of this is a feeling of coming unmoored. There’s been a long tether between the Boston suburbs and me for as long as I’ve lived. I’m not sure it will be there anymore. Will I just drift off in the current? What does it mean to be from somewhere when you’ve got no place there to go back to? Maybe a lot. Maybe nothing. Sometimes I think this is really going to hurt. Other times I suspect I’m already over it. That house did its job for us. It did it really well. I love it like a family member. I love it like a parent. Maybe it’s good that it can do that for somebody else now. This song is about all of that stuff.

Next week is Mount Everest’s fourth anniversary! Wow. Please come back to celebrate with me.

~M.E.

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Week 206 // The Way Down

October 27th, 2014

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Bet you watch the weather
Bet you climb all spring
And think you reach the top
Some summer day
Bet you brace yourself to fall each autumn
And curse the day you reach the bottom
And there’s nothing to wake up for on the way

The way down
The way down

Bet you never notice
‘Cause it’s lost on all who think
The Sun is all that shows us love
Yes, its light’s so fine to see each other
But the darkest days are made for lovers
To reach out and embrace
They’re on the way

The way down
The way down

Notes
All around me, people are revealing their devastating lack of character. They’re complaining that the weather is getting colder. I’m going to be mean for a moment here: if your favorite season is summer, you were born without an imagination. If you need the brightest sun to show you the beauty in the world, your beauty receptors are malfunctioning. The last thing Mount Everest needs is another song praising autumn, yet here’s one that praises autumn and winter, and condemns summer as typically being substanceless fluff. Don’t get me wrong. I love summer. This past summer in particular was often a work of art. But we get to the real meat of humanity when the temperature drops. With the weather shifting, I find myself looking forward to my fiancée’s wintery return from the Middle East. If she returned any time of year, it would be a momentous and beautiful moment, but she’s coming home when we’ll need each other’s warmth the most. The winter brings people closer together. The summer’s too sweaty for a hug half the time. Anyhow, here’s a little song.

~M.E.

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Week 205 // Prove It

October 20th, 2014

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I can’t believe it
What’s in my hands
Sat on the gravel
With something bleeding
And watched the movement
Across the street

And somewhere sacred
Like in the past
White lights are blinking
And no one’s moving
And there I’m thinking
Are we to blame?

Can someone show me
Whatever you’re thinking?
I’ve got to know it
Or really I’m ruined
It’ll get me through it
Or I’ll explode

What have you
What have you
What have you
What have you got to prove?

Notes
This is a song about the rambunctiousness of youth. But isn’t Mount Everest all about the trials of getting older? Not today, it isn’t. Sometimes you have to look behind you and puzzle over it. Sometimes you’ve got to appraise the indefatigable urgency of yesterday to make heads or tails of right now. I’m on the precipice of my 30s, I’m getting married pretty soon, and somehow I like the idea of responsibility, even if I haven’t really nailed it yet. But once I was 19, and I was really really 19. I think I did 19 about as well as anybody ever did it. I’ll tell you, my being was on fire, and I was fit to burn the house down. I’m pretty relieved I didn’t. This song isn’t about a specific moment in time, or a thing I did or was done to me. This song is the atmosphere of my youth. It’s about the way my skin vibrated like so many barely rendered pixels. It’s about being partially cooked. I suspect that in ten years I’ll write another one just like it about right now. If only I knew.

~M.E.

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Week 204 // Curious Lullaby

October 13th, 2014

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Swing this chariot low
Hallelujah
It carries me home

Hear the hours tick by
Such a curious lullaby

See my serious friends
Seeds we plant here
And later will tend

What of years as they go?
It’s a good thing
We’ll see what we grow

Sounds like this
Tick tock sung from my wrist
This time, such precious lullaby

Time’s a serious friend
It reminds us
What’s good has an end

What are we ever to do?
Shape the moment
And carry it trough

Sounds like this
Tick tock sung from my wrist
This time, such precious lullaby

Notes
I just returned home from an annual gathering of friends that I rely upon to recharge my emotional battery, to take stock of my life and friendships, and to orient my life’s compass for another year. It is chiseled on my calendar because the friendships that are cultivated and renewed there are much of the vital glue that holds my life together. This was the fifth anniversary of our original reunion, and as time passes, our lives change, our characters evolve, and our interactions deepen, it becomes clearer to me that this event both reveals the passage of time, and suspends and reverses it all at once. The things that remain the same become heightened, but they also reveal the march of time, and the preciousness of every minute that one can share with such valued friends. My watch is pretty loud. I can usually hear it. It is a constant auditory reminder of the preciousness of time, and what we do with it. This weekend was time well spent.

~M.E.

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Week 203 // Listen, You’re the Ocean

October 6th, 2014

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Once I tried to hear the ocean
In the faintest whispers in a seashell
Once I thought I heard you laughing
On the breeze that blew across the ocean

Notes
This is a buzzy robot ocean love song. I’ve written an ocean love song before, but never a buzzy robot ocean love song. This song is not only thematically, but melodically the sequel to Week 195 // Look, You’re The Ocean. There’s a similar slow unfolding lilt to the lyric, but this time it’s the same simple poem repeated twice. I’m listening for my ocean darling in a shell, on the breeze, wherever she may be. I’ve been near the ocean lately, and it’s a place I associate with her now. Going there without her leaves me listening for her, way way over on the other side somewhere. Now when she listens for me she’ll hear this.

~M.E.

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Week 202 // The Bridge

September 29th, 2014

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Whatever you must get across
The bridge the bridge will take you
And however you’ll be better off
Cross here and it shall make you
And whatever reasons you may have
And whatever season it may be

To hell with the current
Heaven please
Never wet my feet

But whatever you’ve been walking on
A bridge you may find broken
And will you turn away or set upon
The rocks and depths they’re soaked in?
And whatever reasons you may have
I implore you never utter this:

To hell with the current
Heaven please
Never wet my feet

Notes
This week’s song is about the bridges we take in our lives. Bridges take us from one place to another, across obstacles and over difficult passes. A bridge can also be a shortcut. Sometimes it’s okay to take shortcuts, but other times we are confronted with moments when there isn’t a bridge in sight, or the bridge we hoped to cross is broken down. What do we do? Do we turn back for fear of the obstacle, for fear of getting our feet wet? Or do we forge ahead? If it wasn’t already clear, this is all metaphorically speaking… by the way.

~M.E.

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Week 201 // Counted

September 22nd, 2014

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Born within the sound of a bomb
You’re always waiting for one more to go off
So it does
It’s in a signal playing on
Pin it on, ’cause it’s all on you

And you’re standing in a target alright
So it makes sense you keep an eye on the sky
‘Cause it might hit where you’re standing
And you’re standing in line
Pin it all on you

A field of roses
Electric building
A thing that grows
And the man who kills it
That we’d be counted
And then forgotten
And by the morning light
It’s like we never showed up for the fight

Notes
I never imagined that I’d write such a cynical song about such a beautiful and fulfilling event. Truthfully, I’ve never placed a lot of faith in the power of contemporary leftist demonstrations to be catalysts for meaningful systematic change, but that hasn’t stopped me from periodically participating in them, or from seeing the value of standing up to be counted. The People’s Climate March was breathtaking. Some 400,000 people flooded Midtown Manhattan with passion for their Mother Earth, and the message seemed to ring loud and clear; that climate change is an issue of social justice. This song is a bit of a hangover from that enthusiasm. I’m so glad I was there, and I’m ecstatic that it happened, but unfortunately it is exceedingly simple for the world at large to turn a blind eye to what 400,000 left-wingers are up to in New York City. Today on the Fox News website the only mention of climate change was this. Clearly, we’ll need to demonstrate a bit louder.

~M.E.

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