Week 161 // Firestarter

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You burn it to the ground
You do it ‘cause it’s easy
You do it ‘cause you don’t care
To find another way

It floats into the air
They watch because they like to
They watch because they can’t bear
The thought to look away

And somewhere in the night
And scratching at the morning
Tending to the ember
To light another day

And grows inside of you

And you wonder why
All the lights went out
With all the fires burning
Throwing shadow monsters
As you move about
What delight you take
In taking down the house

And out into the street
To look on your creation
To marvel at the moment
Your will can here undo

And standing in the cold
All soot and contemplation
You search for consolation
It never comes to you

And you wonder why
All the lights went out
And all your neighbors
Pointing fingers at you
Cursing as they scream and shout
And still you celebrate
You dance across the town

And on your clothes
The smell of kerosine
Some little part of you knows they’ll get you
Wonder what it means?
You wonder: will it hurt to face them?
Guess you’ll see…

Notes
This week’s song isn’t really about arson. Despite the fact that arson as a metaphor never gives way to a clear annunciation of purpose in this song, I’m really writing about self-destructive behavior, which is something that I know a fair bit more about than arson. One of the things that I’ve learned over the years, is that self-destructive behavior is really just destructive behavior. It isn’t possible to undermine, sabotage, or harm yourself in anyway without doing the same thing to other people. The two go hand in hand. I’ve had it out for myself a few times in my life, and it has always resulted in other people getting caught up in it. You might think that you’re just hurting yourself, but you’re really setting fire to everything around you, and sooner or later you’ll have to face the people you’ve burned.

Here’s hoping your Monday doesn’t totally suck.
~M.E.

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Week 160 // Don’t Get Down Get Up

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Just got to get through December
You feed the engine, it’s a breeze
And everything you remember
Will be hiding up in the trees

And my skin got hard like a diamond
Been tapping on it, what’s the use?
Been lighting up like a siren
And I’m likely to run out of juice…

I’m telling you
Don’t you get down…
You get up!
We’d really hate to leave you behind
And anything you tore to the ground
We’ll make right
We’re stacking up whatever we find

And scheming everyone get out of here fast
Like we could hitchhike to the county line
And dreaming everything is simple at last
And waking shaken by the strangeness you find

And what’d you think in November?
Was there a glimmer there? I think there was
But it’s getting hard to remember
So you’re fixing on it just because

I’m telling you
Don’t you get down…
You get up!
We’d really hate to leave you behind
And anything you tore to the ground
We’ll make right
We’re stacking up whatever we find

Notes
I got the title for this week’s song from Becca Horton, my badass roommate, who uttered it perhaps without realizing that she was saying one of the most poignant and encouraging things ever. I’ve been holding on to it for a long time, because I wanted to wait until I could do something with dance beats, thereby making ‘get down’ a double entendre. If you think about it, saying you’re ‘getting down’ when you’re dancing is weird, because dancing usually requires both an upward mood and an upright body position. So in this tune we’re getting up instead of down.

I’m exhausted. A lot of people I know are exhausted, physically or emotionally. This song is about people being on the edge of collapse and deciding to pick each other up instead of letting everyone fall. People do that for each other because they are amazing. To get all of this across, I made up bleak verses, and a chorus that will lift you up again. So if you’re feeling at the end of your rope, don’t get down, get up! You can do it! I know you can! Because you’re great!

Also, please excuse the laziest artwork ever this week. I’m in the middle of finals at grad-school, which I believe says it all.

Here’s hoping your Monday doesn’t totally suck.
~M.E.

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Week 159 // Faceless

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All these weary creatures
Got me feeling like a lion in the rain
Soaked and weighing down his mane

If you never knew me
When you pass me would you look me in the eye?
Like a spark and then goodbye

If you never love
And if you burn your bridges down
Could you ever be so faceless in this town?

And as a feature gets me
It has me walking on the surface of the moon
Kicking rocks in my balloon

And have I ever known you?
And I insist to you I don’t forget a face
But you’re somehow out of place

And if you’re ever moved
And if you ever turn around
You could never be so faceless in this town

Notes
This week’s song is the final entry in my sub-project that I’ve been working on for the past few months. For those of you who haven’t been following along, I’ve been working through all of the instruments in my apartment, writing songs that only feature one instrument at a time, as well as my voice. I have allowed myself as many overdubs and interlocking parts on each instruments as necessary, but the point has been to work within only the possibilities inherent in each individual instrument. This week I’m wrapping up the sub-project with a tune featuring only the human voice, and next week it is back to business as usual around here. I have constructed a chorus out of myself, singing a chord progression in three-part harmony, with a fourth voice providing the lead vocal. The tune is about the feeling of facelessness that comes along with the rain in New York. Everyone is hurried and anonymous, and it feels as though not even a familiar face could be recognized. This song is about seeking out the familiar, and giving yourself a face.

Here’s hoping your Monday doesn’t totally suck.
~M.E.

Sub-Project
I’m working through my arsenal of instruments, featuring only one per week until I’ve written a song on each one. After that, it’s back to business as usual. Feel free to prolong this project by buying me more instruments.

melodica, banjo, tenor ukelele, guitalele, nylon stringed acoustic guitar, steel stringed acoustic guitar, mandolin, electric guitar, electric bass, synthesizer, and human voice.

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