Week 405 // Extras

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The morning’s alright
The evening’s usually better
I try to get errands over with

All over the block
Confetti turns to litter
The streetlight turns to glitter
In the rain and it’s raining again

All over the town
The doorways are like temples
And I’m giving you an earful

I follow you home
You catch me at the corner
My senses dull in summer every year

And we’ll be extras
We’ll get paid to walk in circles
And drive a vintage model
In a costume on HBO

All over the town
The doorways are like temples
And I’m giving you an earful

Notes
Earlier this month, Rebecca and I reached three years living in our current apartment and neighborhood. That milestone solidifies this as my longest running home after the one in which I grew up, although that milestone was technically reached some time ago (at two years, one month, and one day to be precise). Lately I’ve been feeling at ease here. The familiarity is a comfort to me. Knowing what to expect around the corner holds a kind of romance. I think that’s part of the seduction home. Your mind holds a picture before you open your eyes. You open your eyes and the picture is the same. This song is trying to capture some of the romance of the familiarity I feel in my neighborhood while leaving room to be surprised from time to time.

~M.E.

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Week 206 // The Way Down

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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 204 // Curious Lullaby

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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 202 // The Bridge

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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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Notice:

Beginning this week (Week 30) all of my new songs will be posted at 3:00pm (eastern) rather than my traditional noon post-time. I have noticed (through some complex and sophisticated statistical analysis) that my site traffic doesn’t begin to pick up until after 3:00 on Mondays which makes my noon launch seem rather early. This change will allow me a few extra hours to make sure my song rocks. If my calculations are correct, hardly anybody will notice that I have changed anything at all! In the spirit of transparency: I have pondered making this switch for months, but I am compelled to do it this week because I am extremely doubtful that my new song will be finished by noon. So sue me!

Here’s hoping that the three hour span between noon and three doesn’t suck,
Jesse

P.S.
If you are a loyal listener who feels that I have somehow betrayed you by making this decision, please let me know! A sizable donation to my PayPal account might convince me to change my mind! See the button to the right.

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Thank you!

On the occasion of six months of new music every week I would lake to say a few thank-yous, because I have had a lot of help on this project over the past half of a year. Thank you to Nick Mastors who co-wrote and performed numerous songs with me, and without whom this website would certainly not exist. Thank you to Miguel Williams who lent me his talents when I needed help writing two songs in rush, and for making it so much fun. Thanks to Alex Selby and John Goodridge for providing me with unparalleled levels of feedback. Thank you to Jake Aron for all of the recording advice. Thank you to James Atwood, and Brian Kipruto for driving an absurd amount of traffic to this website (amongst many others who are too numerous to list!). Thank you to everyone who has listened, commented, and spread the word. Thanks to Steve Skop for teaching me everything I know about music. Thank you to everyone that I forgot to thank (I am sorry!). Most importantly, thanks to my parents for more reasons than I could possibly say!

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A Call to Visual Artists!

I would like to write a song about your artwork and feature it on this website! If you would like to have your artwork featured on this site as a song illustration, fully credited with links to your own website, I will be taking submissions for the next two weeks, and intend to choose four pictures based solely on my personal preference and level of inspiration. I will take submissions in any form, be it painting, drawing, photography, digital mishmash, etc. Send me something you really love, and I’ll do my best to turn it into a song.

Submissions should be sent in .JPG format and should be at least 700 X 700px. You may submit as many as you like. I’ll warn you ahead of time that everything will be cropped into a square and fitted with a neon yellow-green sidebar. Please send submissions to this email address. Thanks in advance to all who make submissions. I hope I get more than four!

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Merry Christmas

I am in New Hampshire with my family enjoying a quiet Christmas Day. Being here surrounded by loved ones, I feel very fortunate. I wish to pass along my feelings of yuletide contentment to you and all of your kin today (regardless of your religious affiliation!). This is a time of year to enjoy the company of people who make you happy. I hope you are doing just that.

I do not have a Christmas song for you to listen to today, because I’m afraid of sounding like a monster from the shopping mall. I do, however, have a recommendation: this morning my family enjoyed listening to Sufjan Stevens’ multi-disk Christmas album: Songs For Christmas. It is a nice departure from our usual selections (but don’t get me wrong because I still loved listening to Willy Nelson’s Pretty Paper last night).

Enjoy the rest of your holiday, and I’ll see you all back here Monday at noon!

~Jesse

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