Week 35: The Sidewalk

Press Play
Mount Everest - The Sidewalk Download it on Bandcamp
Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
View Lyrics

So I crawled over the places I have been
And in the traces of the world I found my friends

And the continent was bursting at the seams
So like my heart at first I thought it was a dream

I’ve felt this country burn like coals
Underneath my fingernails
By God it feels like home

And it’s real and it feels you
And it comes and goes
Like I come and go
And the feeling grows
And I’ll leave
And I’ll breathe
What I’m feeling I just don’t know

I was standing by myself and I had this thought
That I’m like everyone who ever stood upon this spot

I was thinking about the sidewalk
I was thinking about the paths that must have crossed
Right on this very block

And would that we could ever know
A million hearts pass by and there they go

And it’s real and it feels you
And it comes and goes
Like I come and go
And the feeling grows
And I’ll leave
And I’ll breathe
What I’m feeling I just don’t know

Notes
 width=This week I started off reflecting on a long drive I took last week to North Carolina, but I quickly keyed in on a single moment as the focal point of this song. The moment was when I walked out of a basement parking garage on the lower east side of Manhattan, stood on the sidewalk, and looked around. This was the first day of a trip where I would look for friends in the nooks and crannies of America (my friends have worked their way in deep and you can find them in a lot of places). I stood there not quite knowing what to expect, and I saw a city so much like the country she calls home: big in an unwieldy sense, and filled with people trying to do their best. When I am confronted with humanity on this scale I usually write a song. The central questions: who are all of these people? What are they feeling, and who felt what when they stood just where I was standing? These are the kinds of questions that interest me. I’m fascinated by the concept of the individual in the context of the whole. Humanity en masse has no concern with what a single person thinks or feels, but every person who has ever lived felt just as deeply as any other person. I’m amazed at the number of life-stories never told. I think this song seeks to acknowledge that if you step outside of your house and look around, you might not learn the details of these stories, but the sheer number of stories might impress itself upon you. To what end will this impress upon you? I’m not sure, but personally, I just marvel at it.

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!

Pin It

Week 34 // When We’re All Grown Up

Press Play
The Durham Dirt Danglers - When We're All Grown Up

Download it on Bandcamp

Featured Performers:
Alex Selby
Miguel Williams
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
Holly Keating (Pie Chef)
Bear (Dog)
View Lyrics

If you draw rings upon your hand
oh oh oh
stick it straight up in the air
but no one calls on

You grab the bottle off the shelf
one more time
to give yourself some help
but if you’re lucky
it’s already
it’s already
under you

Breathing in when there’s no air
oh oh oh
suckin hard to say a prayer
where is the meaning

Behind the way we spend our days
waiting
for the man to give a grade
we don’t need it
to be defeated
we can feed it
anyway

And when we’re all grown up
We’ll be feeling ten feet tall
With our backs against the wind
Earn respect from all the small minded creatures
Who have sinned against us
Leave the trenches once an for all

Oh it would be so fine
To cure my madness on the run
To ease my burden on the road
To find my purpose in the sun
To know my golden years have begun

And when next you see my face
You’ll know the truth
That decisions found me turned around
Confounded in my youth
And now distinction’s sounding out for me
I’m bound to find the meaning in the silence
And I’ll finally change the rules

And I’ll be a gentleman
Who knows not the burden
Of feeling uncertain
Of reeling and hurting
Of reaching out for more

And I’ll be a wealthy man
Of class and importance
Competitors thwarted
And opinions distorted
By the figures I’ve recorded in my bank account
The heights to which I will amount
I’m walking through the door

And when we’re all grown up
We’ll be feeling ten feet tall
With our backs against the wind
Earn respect from all the small minded creatures
Who have sinned against us
Leave the trenches once an for all

A pirate a landscape
A crime-fighter in a cape
A hopeful inventor
A love-letter sender
Someone to remember

Sometimes vacations feel like a sun dance
Pick your ends and find your means to make this song last
But in the end all my daydreams are discontent
And I won’t defend
‘Cause it’s back to work again

And when we’re all grown up
We’ll be feeling ten feet tall
With our backs against the wind
Earn respect from all the small minded creatures
Who have sinned against us
Leave the trenches once an for all

Notes
 width= Greetings from Durham, North Carolina! I am happy to be the guest of my wonderful friends Holly Keating and Alex Selby who I am visiting along with frequent Everest contributor and superfriend, Miguel Williams. Today Mount Everest presents the Durham Dirt Danglers with their debut single When We’re All Grown Up. This song was co-written with Alex and Miguel in an epic 24 hour writing session to beat the band. We each took the reigns on one verse allowing each songwriter’s particular sensibility to take center stage. The song is about barreling ever deeper into adulthood, and the expectations, hopes, and fears that are inherent therein. In addition to sharing vocal duties, Miguel rocked a mean rhythm guitar, Alex found his muse on the mandolin, and I amused myself on the banjo. This was one of my favorite writing experiences ever. So much thanks is due to these guys. We all sincerely hope that the Mount Everest listening audience appreciates a brief respite from all the robots and lasers that usually populate this site. We hope that the dulcet tones of the southland that were our inspiration please you as much as it pleased us to invoke 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!

Pin It

Week 33 // 201776

Press Play
Mount Everest - 201776

Download it on Bandcamp

Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
View Lyrics

I’m dying to believe
That someone knows the truth
That it’s only history
That’s keeping people cruel
If we forgot what kept us captive we could change the rules

And everyone who knows
What’s keeping us alive
Is holding something close
They’re getting something right
They’re on your street and in your building holding up the light

You’ve got your country in your heart
And days like these will run you through
We tore the continent apart
It’s not too late to rescue you

And every time I cry
It’s like being made brand new
America should try
It’s the best thing she could do
She’d let it out and watch the decade pass to comfort you

You’ve got your country in your heart
And days like these will run you through
We tore the continent apart
It’s not too late to rescue you

Notes
 width= Happy Independence Day! Today’s holiday is the thematic inspiration for this week’s song which is called 201776. The song is meant to be an optimistic answer to the broad pessimism that exists within, and about America these days. Sure, times are tough out there, but it is in no way too late for America. I choose to celebrate Independence Day as a recognition of the ideal of this country, rather than the often imperfect manifestation of that ideal. There are good, kind people all over America, and that is awesome. At several points, the song is sung to a personified version of this country. I sing to her and I encourage her to have a good cry. I reassure her that it isn’t too late for her to be rescued. I acknowledge that she’s had it tough, and I try to empathize. With no hint of irony, I would like to take this moment to reflect on how amazing it is to be in America. I promise to try my best to treat her well. I hope you do too.

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!

Pin It

Bonus Track!

Press Play
Cameron Parks - Love Story (By Taylor Swift) Featured Performers:
Cameron Parks

Today we have a special bonus track! This is Love Story by Taylor Swift as sung by my young niece, Cami. She is very talented. At such a young age it is evident that she has a great career ahead of her. Way to go Cami!

Pin It

Week 32: One Square Inch Of Silence

Press Play
Mount Everest - One Square Inch Of Silence Download it on Bandcamp
Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
John Goodridge
View Lyrics

Every time I think about the consequence
Everyone but me
And every now and then we’ll try again to fill it up and then
Hurry back to sleep

If you give it an inch
If you gave it your all
You’d be taking a mile
And all the time that you’ve spent
And all the places you’ve been
Might show you what it all meant
If you could listen a while

And all the time I think about the government
What is that to me?
And all the silence left to fade
The world is like an elephant
Full of memories

If you give it an inch
If you gave it your all
You’d be taking a mile
And all the time that you’ve spent
And all the places you’ve been
Might show you what it all meant
If you could listen a while

Notes
 width=This week’s song takes its name from an extremely compelling conservation project called One Square Inch of Silence. The project is the brainchild of Gordon Hempton, a “sound tracker” who makes recordings of ambient noise both in cities and in the wilderness. His goal is to protect one square inch of land in Olympic National Park (Washington) from all man-made sound pollution. By lobbying to reroute air traffic and limit road development in the area, creating a silent square inch actually protects hundreds of miles of land. You can go there and hear something you will not hear in a city, or your home town, or in most natural settings. You can hear pure, un-altered natural silence. As it turns out, this natural silence is full of sound, and you can listen to all of it without interruption. If you want to know more about it, visit the project’s website, or check out the book by Gordon Hempton and John Grossmann.

My song is weird! The lyrics are a little strange, and the concepts are broad. Also, I must thank John Goodridge who provided some percussion on an electric drum kit during the chorus sections.

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!

Pin It

Week 31 // Ten Billion Truths (The Tender Part Of Your Soul)

Press Play
Mount Everest - Ten Billion Truths

Download it on Bandcamp

Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
View Lyrics

In the early days
We found the proof
Ten thousand years
Ten billion truths

And human beings
We’ve got so much more
We got animal parts
With hearts that soar
And hearts that rage
In the dead of night
We got so many ways
To describe the light

When something pulls
At your barest soul
And you leave it behind
Well it leaves a hole

Fill it with the pieces that you brought with you long ago
Dig it like a tunnel to the tender part of your soul

And one of these days
We might understand
That the things we’ve done
Have stayed on our hands

And I’ll sit in the rain
Feeling every drop
I can’t stay the same
Though I tried to stop

If your mind forgets
All the things it knows
Something must hang on
You’ll fill the holes

Fill it with the pieces that you brought with you long ago
Dig it like a tunnel to the tender part of your soul

Notes
 width=This week’s song is about the feeling you get when it is time to give up something that has been a huge part of you. It is about the hole that is left in you when you give up a big part of yourself. I thought for a while about how particular that emotion is; how specifically human it is. The very existence of this emotion is wrapped up in how we construct our identities. This is something that seems to be unique to us in the animal kingdom, so I began to wonder about the first people who could truly feel this. Perhaps that was the moment when we first became human. I thought of all the billions of people walking around with these feelings, and those who preceded them, and I started to realize that with so much collective experience with having a hole in one’s heart, there is bound to be somebody out there who knows how to mend it. In the context of this song, that is the meaning of hope: that in all the combined experience of mankind and our ancestors, somebody knows how to properly deal with a hard feeling. The song is written in broad conceptual strokes, which seems to be appropriate since the topic of the song is so broad and conceptual. Of course it comes from a specific place, but I won’t get into it so you can superimpose your own specifics over it. I worry that if I always describe in detail exactly why I wrote a song, I’ll rob listeners of extracting their own meaning. Do you have a hole that you are trying to fill in? It’s okay, I think most of us do.

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!

Pin It

Week 30: I Am My Evil Twin

Press Play
Mount Everest - I Am My Evil Twin Download it on Bandcamp
Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
View Lyrics

Oh see the sun
Oh the sigh
Oh the light
Everyone
Earns the right
To be kinder
To be right

And I am my evil twin
At least it’s a phase I’m in
I gotta look out for me
I’ve got no sympathy
I’ve got something deep inside
And it’s good It knows where to hide
And it’s hard doing what is right
It’s hard enough being alive

Oh come to me
Other half
I am we
And perhaps
Earn the right
To be righteous
To be right

And I am my evil twin
At least it’s a phase I’m in
I gotta look out for me
I’ve got no sympathy
I’ve got something deep inside
And it’s good It knows where to hide
And it’s hard doing what is right
It’s hard enough being alive

Notes
 width=It’s hard to believe that I’ve been at this for thirty whole weeks, but it’s true. Today I submit a song about the duality of the state of being human. It is called I Am My Evil Twin, because in a way we all are (except for those of you who literally have an evil twin — Jon and Andrew I’m looking your way). What do I mean by this? I mean that nobody can be good all of the time, especially when some people struggle to be good any of the time. I don’t mean that people are inherently bad, I mean that they are fundamentally imperfect, and try as we might to do the right thing, we are bound to screw it up now and then. When we do screw it up, it will probably be totally avoidable. If there is a message to this song, it is to try to identify your better half and your worse half. This won’t necessarily mean that you’ll always listen to the little angel on your shoulder, but perhaps you might learn to recognize from time to time that it is really the little devil in disguise.

New in this song? Two basses at once! I had to make up for the complete lack of bass guitar over the past month or so. To give it a purpose I am pretending that it was intended to represent the struggle between good and evil taking place inside of us all. But really, all basses are evil.

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!

Pin It

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.

Pin It

Week 29: A Gathering Of Friends

Press Play
Mount Everest - A Gathering Of Friends Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
View Lyrics

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!

Pin It

Week 28 // I’m So Full Of Shit

Press Play
Mount Everest - I'm So Full Of Shit

Download it on Bandcamp

Featured Performers:
Jesse Mitchell Lindsey
View Lyrics

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!

Pin It