52 of 28 » Archive

Just couldn’t come up with words for this song (although I gave it a couple days), so it remains an instrumental. But I’m fine with that; now “second to last (52-32)” won’t be so lonely. I didn’t have any specific idea about the song when I wrote it, but “almost twenty-nine” seemed fitting, with my age being part of the whole 52 of 28 title and theme.

I’d rather be a who than a what. Whatever that means. Also, this crazy party got busted down the street, and there were cars and people everywhere, the cops shouting through megaphones. Some jerk threw his plastic cup and whatever liquid in our yard, and another person (maybe the same one?) had a broken muffler. Carrie told me some guys were fighting out front, but I guess I slept through that. Also, I’m very excited to be playing a show on Groundhog Day.

spent so long in this empty room
you know i always have space for you
sometimes my voice echoes off the walls
and i’m never saying anything

spend a lot of time thinking about nothing
spend our lives amounting to what we’ve been
is it who you are or what you are

spent some time watching the flashing lights
these kids they party and fight all night
their voices and cars echo down the street
but they’re not saying anything

spend a lot of time talking about nothing
spend our lives amounting to what we’ve been
is it who you are or what you are

I’ve been trying to be on time, really. I had the idea for “dust” kinda going through my head for awhile, and I came up with a few lines while listening to Woody Guthrie’s Dust Bowl Ballads on my most recent trip to New Mexico. Although I’m no expert on it, the Dust Bowl is a period in history that has always fascinated me. I wrote and recorded the rest of it late at night in the bathroom (my favorite “natural acoustics” area) with my portable recorder. I thought, sonically, it would fit pretty well.

I can’t get enough of travel songs, so here’s another one in “drive with me.” When Carrie and I drove from Richmond, VA to Raleigh, NC we decided to skip the toll roads, resulting in a lot of pretty scenery.

dust filled the sky and covered everything
it never really asked as it blew so black
dust filled the sky and covered up the sun
it never really asked, just ate up anything
in its path

the ground it shook like mad and tore up everything
it never really asked as it swelled and cracked
the ground it shook so bad and made some mountains
it never really asked, just tore down anything
in its path

who has seen these things and not believed
it was the end of the world

the rain it soaked deep down and flooded everything
it never really asked as it ran and it crashed
the rain it soaked deep down and made some oceans
it never really asked, just flooded everything
in its path

won’t you come out and drive with me
we can go somewhere we love
or somewhere we’d like to see

there’s a city here and we’ve seen plenty of those
there’s more country than we think
we can easily skip the tolls

this desert drive doesn’t seem to be so long
when i know i’m headed in your direction

This song was almost called “say anything,” with the last line of the chorus being “you can say anything,” but I decided to change the one word to avoid association with the motion picture (which I liked), and because it makes more sense. That’s probably the most editing I’ve done in a song in a long time.

i’ll press down my fingers till i hit the right notes
i’ll push these keys until it all sounds the way i feel
there’s a name for everything, a word for every space

and i want you to sing this with me
you don’t have to know the words
you can sing anything

i might not hit the tambourine in time
i’m not quite sure if this guitar’s in tune
but i guess we define everything by everything else

and if you want you can sing this with me
i didn’t really write the words
you can sing anything

i can put these noises all together
or let them each live separately
there’s a home for everything, a spot for every space

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