Week 7 // Counting Up From One

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Mount Everest - Counting Up From One

Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
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Another lifetime was the curse
We were so young
The day the decade dashed our hopes in old ’01
And what we lost back then
We’ve only just begun to understand
We built the wall, we bought the gun

It’s not just innocence we’ve given up this time
No New Year’s resolution will suffice for us
Ten years now we’ve given to the night
Well, not again, this year I’m putting up a fight

Watch this world breaking
Our hearts give
We were mistaken
It’s just one decade lost to the wolves
And it’s over now

Get the kids to say
Get the kids to say we’ve changed our ways
And all us old folk
We can all just fade away
And let the world move on
It’s better off this way

And all us young folk
We’re killing for the cause
And raising kids who will never know just what they’ve lost
They’ll never know who stole from them
They’ll never know the cost
And we can care for them and envy them

Watch this world breaking
Our hearts give
We were mistaken
It’s just one decade lost to the wolves
And it’s over now

What becomes of us now?
What of all the young ones?
What of all the old ones carrying the young ones?
Just what will become of us?
When the light is there in front of us
When the score is here to settle us
When the road is all ahead of us
We’ll be living by the gun
My God, we’re counting up from one

What becomes of us now?
What becomes of us now?
Just what will become of us?
Just what we’ll become
To see the world in front of us
To learn from all the old ones
To learn from all the young ones carrying the old ones
We’re counting up from one
We’re counting up from one


Notes:
 width= Happy New Year from Mount Everest! As the New Year is by far my favorite holiday for it’s spirit of renewal and celebration, I could not help but run with that theme this week. At a New Year’s Eve party on Friday night I couldn’t help but notice how often conversation drifted toward emerging from not only the last year, but the last decade as a whole. There was some debate over whether or not we’d already left the decade a year ago, but I think the catharsis that people were feeling stemmed from finally escaping the ten year stretch that started in 2001, the year that everything changed. To look at ourselves as a collective whole before and after that year, it is hard to imagine that ten years have really gone by since New Years 2001.

This song is about stepping out of the rubble of a failed decade, rubbing your eyes in the sunlight and looking around. You are still covered head to toe in the dust and refuse of the aughts with it’s wars and it’s disasters, it’s terrorism and our national loss of innocence (and a generational loss of innocence for us so called “Millennials“), and it’s financial meltdowns and oil spills and the list goes on. This song doesn’t presuppose that the next decade will be any better for us. In all likelihood the paradigm has shifted for the long haul. What the song does suggest is that this is a time for reflection, a time to look at the past and think about the future. For my generation, it’s a time to stop pointing fingers at our parents’ generation and find out what we can learn from them, because it’s coming up on our turn up to bat. It’s a time to pull together to make this new decade a lot better than the last one. If that sounds idealistic, then good. We’ve counted to ten on the last decade, and 2011 affords us the chance to start count again. I don’t know about you, but that has me feeling pretty good.

Here’s hoping your decade doesn’t totally suck.

~Jesse

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Week 5 // In The End We Are All Pictures

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Mount Everest - In The End We Are All Pictures

Featured Performers:
Nick Mastors
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
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Your name they should have known
But for your beauty you were left alone
And in your lonesome way you came alive
But for the color and the weight you had to die

It was an honest life
Some kind of sacrifice
With your most holy eye
You set upon their love
And their desire
Oh their very fire
You saw what no one would admit
You saw the spire

Could you let the standard lie? No
Could you bear all the meaning in what’s alive?
Could you measure the love you saw in light? No No
Could you bury the burden you held inside?

Could you lend me some light?
Could you lend me some life?
You could lend me some color
You could give me your sight
You’d be unburdened
But for all your love you could not be denied

Was love the only thing you lost?
The way you called out in the night
The way you fought
The poison in your thoughts
You were a man of God
You were a man of heart
Embedded in your art

Good God they fought you from the start
And you felt it so
And you held it so close

Could you let the standard lie? No
Could you bear all the meaning in what’s alive?
Could you measure the love you saw in light? No No
Could you bury the burden you held inside?

Could you lend me some light?
Could you lend me some life?
You could lend me some color
You could give me your sight
You’d be unburdened
But for all your love you could not be denied

God loves you


Notes:
This week’s song is for Vincent Van Gogh. His passion and his mental illness enabled him to see the world with a veil pulled away. It tortured him and turned him into a social pariah, and eventually it lead him to suicide. He endured all of this so that the rest of us would eventually see what he saw. He once studied in seminary, where his illness and social peculiarity denied him a traditional ministry. He said about his artwork (and I will paraphrase) that some men tell the word of God through stories, but he could only tell it through pictures. He was able to change the world, but it was a burden that would weigh too heavily. But did Vincent Van Gogh really change the world? Yes, of course he did. That is a central assumption that I will make here, and it is not one that I care to defend. He left the world a better place because he made pure art.

I will admit that I had not thought a great deal about Van Gogh recently until my brother, Eben Lindsey, begged and pleaded with me to watch the most recent season of the British sci-fi series, Doctor Who (wtf?). The Doctor is a time traveler, and in one episode he visits Van Gogh who helps to defeat an invisible alien that only he can see. Why can Van Gogh see it? Because he can see more than the rest of us. It is clever and cute, and in the end it is quite touching. The Doc tries to help Van Gogh by bringing him to the twenty-first century to show him what he was never able to see in his lifetime: that his work is beloved, and that humanity has been truly touched by his vision. But when returned to his own time he still takes his own life. Why? Because his madness wasn’t going to be cured by recognition. It wasn’t going to be cured at all. It was part and parcel to his gift, and I think that this silly British sci-fi romp hit the nail right on the head. Van Gogh’s madness was his vision and his vision was his madness. We all owe him a great debt of gratitude for suffering as long as he did so that the rest of us might get a brief glimpse into the mind of a man so passionate, a man who saw beauty and color and light all around him even as he battled a darkness so profound. So this one is for Vincent.

Nick and I composed the music for this song in less than two days of hanging out and eating pizza and drinking beer together. It was great fun, totally productive, creatively rewarding, and completely awesome. Nick proved himself a master of time much like Doctor Who, although here I am referring to time signatures and not time travel. We each laid down guitar and keys. I got to rock my bass, and Nick did most of the work with the beats. I was happy because I got to play a guitar solo. A simple one, but a guitar solo nonetheless.

Here’s hoping your Monday doesn’t totally suck,

~Jesse

I would refer you to fellow Massachusetts native Jonathan Richman who sang so lovingly “Have you heard about the painter Vincent Van Gogh who loved color and who let it show?”

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Week 4 // Katydid

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Mount Everest - Katydid

Featured Performers:
Nick Mastors
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
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You are alive
You are alive
And you’re convinced it never ends
You’ll never die
And all your creditors
And your competitors
Will age and fail and slip away
And you’ll survive

And you’re alone
You are alone
All of your life you’ve held the seeds
You could have sown
And you’re not suffering
It isn’t frightening
It isn’t anything

How you’ll reach your heart
You’ll eat your heart out
Eat your heart out
Eat your heart
You’ll reach your heart
You’ll eat your heart out
Reach your heart out
Reach

And you’re not there
You’re never there
And you’re amazed the absentee’s your nom de guerre
And your acquaintances
And your accomplices
All wonder when and where you’ll choose to reappear

And on your own
You’ll never know
The way your heart can break and mend and overflow
You are not suffering
It isn’t frighting
It isn’t anything

How you’ll reach your heart
You’ll eat your heart out
Eat your heart out
Eat your heart
You’ll reach your heart
You’ll eat your heart out
Reach your heart out
Reach

Look again
Look again
You can eat your heart out
You’ve been busy in your secret hide out
You’ve got some new friends
They can be the lookout
Keeping all the secrets in their secret hideout
Look again
Look again
You can see the stars out
1-2-3-4 eat your heart out

How you’ll reach your heart
You’ll eat your heart out
Eat your heart out
Eat your heart
You’ll reach your heart
You’ll eat your heart out
Reach your heart out
Reach


Notes:
Moons ago, before this website, Nick and I once played in a band called Lightning Bug with several wonderful friends. We played shows in the city of Philadelphia, and lived, recorded, and practiced all together all of the time. Perhaps that is why, when Nick and I got together in our native homeland of New England, and began to write music together once again, one of the first tracks we began work on was named after an insect – much like our dearly departed band. The name Katydid preceded the lyrical content of the song. In fact, nearly every song Mount Everest writes begins with a non sequitur working title that almost always evaporates before the song sees the light of day. In this rare instance, the name had much more staying power than usual, and although this song has nothing to do with insects, perhaps it is a thematically entomological homage to our late band which we loved so well.

A little more than a year ago I was afflicted with a vocal injury that had lasted for the better part of a year. It kept me from doing this sort of thing, and often made even simple conversations difficult. In the end, only a surgical procedure could restore my voice. The procedure was a success, but in the midst of my time spent with my injury I become frustrated with life, my bad luck, and my own sense of powerlessness over my situation. In my frustration I withdrew from a great many relationships in my life and became somewhat of an enigma to certain people, some of whom I regret to say I hurt. That is what this song is about. It is about being the enigma. It is about wanting to reach out but not knowing how. It is about trying to go it alone and realizing that not only is that impossible, but it’s reckless.

On a separate note: in the process of writing this song, Nick and I got into a spectacular argument! It made us miss the old days when there were multiple tie-breaking votes to dictate the outcome of our creative disagreements. Perhaps that is why the song still bears its insectoid moniker: to remind us of our past so we’ll remember that we’ve been getting along at this for a pretty long time.

Here’s hoping your Monday doesn’t totally suck.

~Jesse

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