Week 29: A Gathering Of Friends

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Mount Everest - A Gathering Of Friends Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
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I made my way back home
I left my friends behind
I thought of all the ways
It’s hard to say goodbye
Taking little pieces with you on the drive

She danced to bid farewell
In the language of her home
By the ocean in the sun
For the people she has known
And our hearts were spilling over to the bone

And the lives that we lead these days
Do conspire to keep dearest friends away
And we’d meet in better circumstances

Perhaps when next we meet again
We’ll toast the wedding of a friend
Perhaps new life will prompt the day
A gathering of friends another way

A tribute to a life
Lived in the rarest form
A celebration, yes
But the hardest kind of course
And her spirit kept away the coming storm

And blessed would we be
To have these kinds of friends
And family abound
And the messages they send
To receive them in the end

And the lives that we lead these days
Do conspire to keep dearest friends away
And we’d meet in better circumstances

Perhaps when next we meet again
We’ll toast the wedding of a friend
Perhaps new life will prompt the day
A gathering of friends another way

Notes
 width=My weekend was spent in the pursuit of remembrance. I attended an “Irish Wake” and a subsequent memorial service. I have to say that it was the most beautiful service of its kind that I have ever been to. The Maine coast was sun-drenched and windswept. Those who gathered for the service were clad in bright colors, and brought with them a spirit of celebration. It was a sombre yet hopeful occasion to be sure; much different than the festivities of the night before. Many tears were shed, but nowhere were the dogmatic ritual, or artificial theatrics of a typical memorial service. It was so very genuine and fitting of the wonderful woman that we had gathered to remember. Some thoughts struck me as I spoke with old friends who were in attendance. People kept saying things like “It is so good to see you… If only it were under better circumstances.” I considered these sorts of remarks and wondered if similar circumstances would be prominent in my continued contact with certain friends. In my heart I know that I have many more weddings to look forward to in the near future than funerals. But saying a final goodbye makes you think about everyone who is still here. If we’ve got friends that we might not see if not for a funeral, perhaps we aren’t making the best of the time we’ve got with friends. This song is about saying goodbye, and recommitting to those who are still here.

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

If you “like” and “tweet” this song I will be grateful because more people will hear my music!

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Week 28 // I’m So Full Of Shit

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Mount Everest - I'm So Full Of Shit

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Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
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Everywhere I’ve gone is nowhere at all
And everything I’ve done is nothing at all
And everyone I know is doing it all
And look at what I’ve seen, not looking at all

And I’m so full of shit
Do I hear myself?
All the doubt amounts to nothing
And the worry is something I could do without
Just this one time 
I’m gonna be on my own side

I don’t try hard enough to get anywhere
I never stand up to show that I really care
I don’t really listen, I just sit and I stare
Don’t know what I’m missing because I’m not even there

And I’m so full of shit
Do I hear myself?
All the doubt amounts to nothing
And the worry is something I could do without
Just this one time
 I’m gonna be on my own side
Just this one time 
Let me be on my own side

Notes
 width=This song is about being hard on yourself. It is about the necessity of calling yourself out when you are being too hard on yourself. Much of life can be filled with self doubt, and sometimes it can be easy to put yourself down. For example, this week I found it pretty hard to get motivated to write a song. This happens to me every now and then, which is altogether unsurprising considering that I record a new song every single week. Sometimes I just want to do something else. As the week wore on and I still hadn’t written anything, I began to get down on myself. My reluctance to get started suddenly reflected on everything that I had ever put off in my life. I was positive that I was about to let myself down in a big way. I was reminded of previous failures of all kinds, and I was getting to be sure that I was a pretty big jerk. At the very least I was way less good than everyone else that I know. Then I listened to the thoughts I was having, said a few of them out loud, and upon hearing them I understood that I was completely full of shit. Then I wrote a song and everything was fine! So when you feel like you are probably a really big jerk, and you are sure you are about to fail, I recommend you take a nice big breath and say “I’m so full of shit” and then get on with your life.

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

If you “like” and “tweet” this song I will be grateful because more people will hear my music!

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Week 27: Banking On The Rapture

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Mount Everest - Banking On The Rapture Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
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If today we met the truth head on
Would we bow to it?
If the truth is not the truth we want
Are we to turn from it?
And if we’re not the chosen ones
What was the point of it?
And if he chose the ones we’ve shunned
Are we abhorred for it?

We’re so sure, so righteous and sincere
So on the mark, his choice is clear
And we who cast our eyes so low
To place his judgement, we who know

And all my bile and focus shone
On the sins of others as we approached
And all the souls I’ve saved
I’m close to heaven on the backs of those
Who I’ve convinced that God’s not love,
And not forgiveness, he’s wrath above
He is the fire for fire’s sake
The word, and you’re his mistake

We’re so sure, so righteous and sincere
So on the mark, his choice is clear
And we who cast our eyes so low
To place his judgement, we who know

Notes
 width=Like most people I was amused by this weekend’s “Rapture Prediction” but I did not take it seriously. I am hoping that very few people did. I thought of that select minority and wondered what it would be like waking up so disappointed on Sunday morning. I created a character in my mind that was a bitter Rapture believer who was wondering what had gone wrong. Perhaps the chosen were so few that nobody noticed the Rapture had even happened. Perhaps the kind of people who predict Raptures, who proselytize and proclaim God’s judgement on others, were never candidates for the Rapture in the first place. This character became bitter and disillusioned, and he called to my mind the greatest misgiving that I have about Christianity at large; the thing that often makes practicing my own religion so challenging to me. I have written about it before on this website way back in Week Two: Made In Man’s Image (again, I swear that this is not a Christian rock blog!). I am frustrated with people who presume to speak for God. Those who would warn us to repent in advance of the Rapture number among the most frustrating to me. Widening the circle from those who actually thought the Rapture would happen on Saturday, I move on to those who merely ponder judgement day constantly in their every day lives, and fear God rather than taking strength from the concept of God. This gets me even more frustrated. These are the people who collect heaven-points for converting sinners. These are the intolerant masses who “hate the sin and not the sinner,” thus hating nonetheless. I wrote a song in their voice the day after they did not go to paradise. God forgive them.

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

If you “like” and “tweet” this song I will be grateful because more people will hear my music!

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Week 26: Twenty Six

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Mount Everest - Twenty Six Download it free on Bandcamp
Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
Nick Mastors
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Here I go
Here I’ll live, and I’ll die, and I’ll grow
And what’s left for us God only knows
Fall asleep in my clothes
And dream all night about dreams

I am new, I am fresh on my feet
And my country is vast and complete
Human beings, hearts that beat
They break and mend in us

Now awake and alert to the sound
And aware of the forces we’re bound to
Like we’re drawn to the ground
Oh time is so irresistible

Ooo Little children there’s a terrible lie
Goes that the bigger you get
The less you’re worth if you cry

Oh And it kills me when we tell you about life
And sure its some kind of hard
But you can fill it with light

These amends
Always speaking in tones, future tense
To be coursing and straining against them
Oh the self, recompense
There’s no one left but you

And the specter of aging is there
And it follows us each unaware
Twenty-six, do you dare?
Do you have the heart for this?

Ooo Little children there’s a terrible lie
Goes that the bigger you get
The less you’re worth if you cry

Oh And it kills me when we tell you about life
And sure it’s some kind of hard
But you can fill it with light

Ooo Little children there’s a beautiful lie
Goes that the older you get
The more you’ll know about life

Oh And it gets you more the harder you try
And sure it’s some kind of hard
But you can fill it with light

Notes
 width=Not only is this the 26th song from Mount Everest (marking half a year of new music every Monday!), but on Friday I celebrated my 26th birthday. Twenty-six seems to be chasing me this week like a cosmic anomaly that I cannot explain. So this week I am here to reflect on this number in all of its complexity and mundanity; its significance and insignificance.

One by one my peers turn twenty-six years old, and one by one they say the same thing: this one just doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter?! Shouldn’t all of them matter? But what does it mean to be twenty-six? We assign an artificial meaning to many ages. I’m 18! Now I can vote and smoke! I’m 20! That’s 10×2! I’m 21! Let’s drink! I’m 25! Holy smokes, I’m a quarter of the way to 100, plus now they’ll let me rent a car! I’m 26… I can… reflect introspectively… on stuff… which is of course exactly what I have done. This song includes my musings on aging. It is about the inescapable reality of time. It is about holding on to being young. It is about answering to the expectations of our childhood selves.

This weekend I brought this song to Nick Mastors, and like he always does, he rocked the house all over it. He concocted beats and synthesized like there was no tomorrow. It was awesome.

To celebrate SIX MONTHS! of new music every Monday I have decided to offer the entire Mount Everest catalog for download for a limited time! All together it makes up a sprawling 26 song super-album that I have titled Thought Christmas. Please enjoy!

Download Mount Everest: Thought Christmas (113.5 MB)

Thank you so much to everyone who has listened, spread the word, commented, and criticized over the past six months. I hope that you will be back next week.

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

If you “like” and “tweet” this song I will be grateful because more people will hear my music!

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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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Week 25: Set To Burn

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Mount Everest - Set To Burn Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
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One morning I was set to burn
I’ve been learning not to learn
Am I what I’d hoped to be?
This way no-one gets to me

I’d move like a burning sun
I’d trust like I’d just begun
I’d lose like I’d been outrun
I’d love like I kept someone

In the silence someone waits for me
I’ve been stuck in history
I’ve been up against a wall
I’ve been trouble to us all

I’d move like a burning sun
I’d trust like I’d just begun
I’d lose like I’d been outrun
I’d love like I kept someone

Notes
 width= This week I go a little darker in tone and outlook. “Set To Burn” is a song about the concept that the longer you are out of love, the harder it is to find your way back in. It has been a long time since I have been in love, and sometimes it is difficult to relate to the concept of being there again. This is a song about having a lot to give, and not really knowing where to put it. The music alternates between a kooky/off kilter verse, and an open and longing chorus. The guitars at the end, when the chorus repeats, were a fun change of pace and were meant to symbolize a possible change in outlook, and perhaps an oncoming optimism. By the way, you should definitely come back next week because this blog turns six months old! In all likelihood there will be something free, and at the very least there will be new music!

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

If you “like” and “tweet” this song I will be grateful because more people will hear my music!

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Week 24: A Saturday Night On The Earth

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Mount Everest - A Saturday Night On The Earth Download it free on Bandcamp
Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
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I want little bits of another life
To compare with the biggest pieces of mine

I want people to see what they leave behind
The impressions we leave on each other’s lives

I want to dial a number I’ve never called
To find out if who answers believes in God

There’s a place in my house that I’ve never been
With a crack in the wall that could suck you in

It’s a Saturday night on the Earth
And nobody knows what it’s worth to you
Nobody sees what it does to you
And everyone knows how it feels
To ponder the void you can stare into
To summon the form you can breathe into

I want to break the rules
To learn what within me could be so cruel

I want sky above me and earth below
I want truth within me and room to grow

I had a vision one night of a mushroom cloud
It swallowed us whole, didn’t make a sound
When it took us in like a soft embrace
I heard everyone’s heart beating in one place

It’s a Saturday night on the Earth
And nobody knows what it’s worth to you
Nobody sees what it does to you
And everyone knows how it feels
To ponder the void you can stare into
To summon the form you can breathe into

Notes
 width= “A Saturday Night On The Earth” is a somewhat disjointed stream of consciousness that is tied together by the concept of a Saturday night. In all honesty, none of these thoughts are particularly saturdayish, but I like the atmosphere and the color that Saturday lends to each of them. I tried a new method to create the lyrics this week. Normally I work meticulously under a particular subject, but this time I wanted to loosen up. I wrote down whatever came to me over a designated period of time, and roughly within a designated meter. I then picked apart what I wrote, threw away most of it, and what was left became the lyrics to this song. What I saw on my paper were musings about the nature of spirituality, concepts of identity, and at least one gentle apocalypse. What they create together is widely up for interpretation, but that’s okay. I’m being aloof and mysterious!

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

If you “like” and “tweet” this song I will be grateful because more people will hear my music!

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Week 23 // 1000 Times a Year

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In case you’re there
Beyond the automatic doors
I check my style
And smooth the wrinkles in my outerwear

And in my mind
I cannot help but to rehearse
The line I’d use
To break the ice there in the dairy isle

For all I know
You are the only one for me
Right there beyond the produce section
Where you’d laugh just like a symphony

Where did you go?
Where did you take your auburn hair?
To grace the patrons of some other chain?
If so I’ll take my business there

1000 times a year
I lose my heart and then she disappears
The feeling’s brief but nonetheless sincere
I’ll fall in love again

I search the aisles for any sign of you
Perhaps today you’re handing out free samples with a golden smile

And if you’re there
An awkward glance cast toward your name-tag for the secret it reveals
Is more than I would dare

What should I do?
We would heat up the freezer section with the warmth of our affection
If I had the nerve to speak to you

Where did you go?
Why did you leave me here to wonder
how a girl like you wound up here underneath the harsh florescent glow?

1000 times a year
I lose my heart and then she disappears
The feeling’s brief but nonetheless sincere
I’ll fall in love again

Notes
1000 Times A Year is the number of times each year that I become completely infatuated with a total stranger only to forget about them as soon as they are out of my line of sight. Every now and then I see one of these total strangers again and again, and damn it if I don’t develop a little crush. This song is for the beautiful woman who used to work at my local supermarket. I have no idea what happened to her, but she stopped working there before I got the chance to introduce myself. It might as well be dedicated to every beautiful woman who ever used to work at a supermarket, considering that I have never introduced myself to any of them.

Although I never worked up the nerve to strike up a conversation with this particular woman, (perhaps while she was giving out free samples of guacamole, or restocking cereal boxes) it was fun to take the tiny little crush I had and blow it completely out of proportion in this song. The lyrical focus of this song was in part an effort to lighten up a little bit. I often wonder what to write about, and somehow I have come into the habit of believing that I have to relate some earth-shattering human truth each week. Not only is this impossible, but I have noticed that in my effort to do this, I have begun to dilute whatever profound truths I do have a handle on. So I decided to do something I hardly ever do: write a love song. Not being a normal human being, my love song turned out to be a completely ridiculous synth-pop ballad about a pretty girl at a grocery store.

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

If you “like” and “tweet” this song I will be grateful because more people will hear my music!

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Week 22: Future Is A Loaded Word

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Mount Everest - Future Is A Loaded Word Featured Performers:
Nick Mastors
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
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What are we to do now?
Perhaps tomorrow came too soon
Perhaps the future was immune
To all the girls and boys
In little rockets to the moon

What are we to do now
With all the pieces on the board
And all the actions we abhorred?
Useless is the concept
there were paths that we ignored

And ain’t it just like the future?
And is it just like you thought
When you were a little child?
Pitch a fit and you wait a while
Guessing this is the best we got

And now that it’s coming to you
Ain’t it strange the way it starts
Not a burst to fill your heart
But a simpler kind of art

And everyone’s so careful
As the cracks begin to spread
And there’s someone on the line
Carrying a signal with our faces in the sky
And it starts

And ain’t it just like the future?
And is it just like you thought
When you were a little child?
Pitch a fit and you wait a while
Guessing this is the best we got

And now that it’s coming to you
Ain’t it strange the way it starts
Not a burst to fill your heart
But a simpler kind of art

Notes
 width= When I was a kid, “future” was a loaded word. The concept was vague and exciting. Years like 2011 seemed impossibly far away, and they were filled with wonders that I could not yet imagine. To my developing imagination, this meant that the world would look exactly the same, except that every house would be covered in chrome, little kids would all have their own jet-packs, and there would be a McDonald’s restaurant on the moon. Perhaps these particular wonders still await us, but I was absolutely right that the future was far beyond the reach of my imagination. As a young boy I never would have imagined wi-fi, hybrid vehicles, global recession, iPhones, Glenn Beck, Twitter, Segways, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and a litany of other wonders and horrors as long as your arm. When I think back to the simple way that I once envisioned the future, I can’t help but mourn the loss of the future that I once believed would happen. We are living in a very futuristic time. But it is simultaneously shimmering and bleak. I chose to believe that it will not always be that way. Perhaps that is the last molecule of my childlike optimism holding on for dear life, and begging me to hope for an idealistic future.

Nick Mastors is back this week playing guitars and concocting beats. It was a pleasure working with him, as always. As for me: I got to play a bit of bass, guitar, and banjo. Watch out for the mellow epilogue at the end of the song. It is probably my favorite part.

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

If you “like” and “tweet” this song I will be grateful because more people will hear my music!

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Week 21 // Do The Best You Can

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Do the best you can

Ever get the feeling
If you shut your eyes
You’ll burst into flames?
And thinking of another way
You linger on what must stay the same

You’re sleeping in your boots
In case you’re leaving
In the dead of the night
You’re breathing in the dark
And thinking thoughts
About what’s wrong and what’s right
And that’s really what gets you

So you do the best you can

Way down in the earth
You’re taking shelter
Yeah you’re melting again
Down inside the rocks that squeeze you
Think of all the ways that you’ve been

You’ve been a night machine
You’ve been a killer
Yeah you’ve been a mirage
You’ve lived to please
You’ve lived to find your meaning buried deep in a cause

And that’s really what gets to you
When you know what you’ve got
And you wish you could show someone
Who could see who you are
Who could see through the walls you build

And that’s when you do the best you can

You’d run but you could get caught
You’d hide but you might get lost
You’d cry but you banish the thought
You’d love but you might get crushed
You’d run but you could get caught
You’d hide but you might get lost
You’d cry but you banish the thought

So you do the best you can

Notes
I am very pleased to present a new song called Do The Best You Can. This is a song about feeling hopeful despite feeling hopeless. It is a song about having no idea where you are or how you got there. It is about trying to understand something really big, and conceding that merely trying to understand is going to have to be good enough. It is about wanting to reach out to another human being, but being a little bit afraid to do so. It is about the desire to be understood. It is about staying the same even when you are trying to change. It is about trying to believe you are strong. It is about trying and trying and trying. It is about humans and love, and it’s probably a little bit about wondering what God is. It is mostly about being alive and how that is scary and wonderful. It is about doing the best you can!

I’ve been operating under the theory for the last couple of weeks that the less time I spend with a song, the better it will be in the long run. Of course there is a sweet spot for each song; a perfect amount of attention that it should receive. This song came fast, partially because I was busy and didn’t have as much time this weekend. I think it was fortuitous that I forced myself into a crunch and had to make rapid decisions. I like the decisions I made.

I have been falling in love all over again with my bass. As I am originally a bassist, it is strange that there are relatively few songs on this site that feature my bass guitar. My father pointed this fact out to me a few weeks ago, and I’ve been making a conscious effort to play it more ever since. I continued with the feel of last weeks song by stripping things down to bass and clean guitars. I’m sure my synth and folk instruments will return with a vengeance eventually, but for the time being, I am enjoying getting back to basics.

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

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