Musing, mutterings and music: the blog

Decide To Stay and Swim - Song #9: Killing Time In The Doubt Department 

Part of an ongoing series where I revisit 2003's record, Decide To Stay And Swim

I have a soft spot for this song as it takes me to a time and place. While music often has the power to do that for us, it's not always the songs you create that can work that kind of magic. 

The lyrics start off with 'A cafeteria surprise, was a 4-track spitting lies', which is really the genesis of the song: The line recalls how excited I was to get my first 4-track cassette recorder.

One of the earliest songs I recorded on it, using an old Boss drum machine and the distortion from a Tom Schultz 'Rockman', was the Dead Kennedys 'Too Drunk Too F*ck'.

At the time, I shared it with some close friends in my high school's cafeteria. But in one of those awkward teen moments right out of Freaks and Geeks, to my embarrassment, someone started sharing the headphones around the tables to anyone who would listen. It ended up getting passed around to a few older kids who had no idea what to make of the noise and mocked me for my strange and 'horrible music'. 

The seed of 'Killing Time In The Doubt Department' was planted with that memory. Ultimately this is a song about high school and the struggles we all went through, finding a place to belong.

Lyrics:

The cafeteria surprise 

Was a 4-track spitting lies 

Things were looking good 

And only getter better. 

I read her record buying guide 

And welled up somewhere deep inside 

A thought of her and rock n roll 

And consummation 

Now I feel like a stoned stun gun 

And I know that's impossible 

If the wait's still on 

I swear, I'll get back you. 

A sweetheart gesture coincides 

With the springtime in her eyes 

A dress-up custom built charade 

Was almost waning 

And if I get too close to you 

With lightning rods and paper glue 

I might find a simple plan for your attention. 

Now I feel like a stoned stun gun 

And I know that's impossible 

If the wait's still on 

I swear, I'll get back you. 

So linger on 

Your hopefuls half a million strong 

Collide tonight. 

So linger on 

Your hairspray and sentimental songs 

Dissolve tonight. 

They'll dissolve tonight.

Listen along and follow me on Spotify:

And the original 'Killing Time', from 2003:

Acoustic show with Vancouver's PARKLAND and Ottawa's Flecton Big Sky 

After a long winter of hanging out with the humidifiers, my old acoustic guitar will be thrilled to be let out of hibernation to play some songs for you at this fun show at Pressed in May. We'll be playing a few songs from the latest Decide To Stay And Swim Again project as well as some other new tracks I've been working on during these sleepy, and painfully lengthy, winter months. 

My old friend Flecton Big Sky will be joining the bill along with Vancouver's amazing Parkland, who are touring the LP and film 'Bleeding Daylight'.

As always with Pressed, this is an early show with music wrapping up by 11pm, so come and celebrate Little-Friday-before-the-long-weekend with us!

 

Decide To Stay and Swim - Song #8: One Projectile From The Sun 

Part of an ongoing series where I revisit 2003's record, Decide To Stay And Swim

A reflection on new year's resolutions as winter melts away and we wager words and wilt with blame.

Here's the new version of 'One Projectile From The Sun':

Lyrics: 

I caught a cold for this new year 

Can I park my car out here 

And finish off this toast 

That's meant to keep me home. 

To wager words or wilt with blame 

When gin and tonic makes some gains 

To save the day but set me back 

10,000 more. 

And I'm only one per cent under the gun 

That's only one projectile from the sun. 

A trophy wins a trophy's charm 

With catatonic false alarms 

Focused on the past 

And waiting here for you. 

I caught a cold for this new year 

So can I hang my jacket here 

And finish off this toast 

That's meant to keep me home.

And I'm only one per cent under the gun  

That's only one projectile from the sun. 

Listen along and follow me on Spotify:

And the original 'One Projectile':

 

Solo set at Irene's in Ottawa on February 23 

Oh cool...a rare solo show!

It seems like its been ages since I've played a solo acoustic set, so I'm really looking forward to this Saturday February 23.

We're also raising money for the Ottawa Food Bank, so please bring a few extra bucks and/or a non-perishable food item or two. We'll ensure it all gets to the Food Bank post-show.

See you at Irene's!

Decide To Stay and Swim - Song #7: The Sympathetic Slur 

Part of an ongoing series where I revisit 2003's record, Decide To Stay And Swim

During the rollout of this 'Swim Redux' side project I've talked about how this idea came to me one cold winter night in 2018, but I upon hearing song #7, I realize that the seeds were planted much earlier.

Sometime around 2013 I was in the midst of recording my solo LP, "Volume Vs. Voice". I had isolated myself in a cottage in Quebec for a few days to see what it would be like to record an album in a fairly secluded location. The fact cell phones didn't work and there was no internet connection really helped me to focus in a way that was incredibly therapeutic.

During that session, I warmed up with a few covers including 'The Sympathetic Slur'. At the time I even considered putting this track on VVV.

I don't recall much about the inspiration for this song, but I do remember playing it live whenever I had the opportunity to play a quiet room.

So I'll let the lyrics speak for themselves.

Have a listen to the new version here:

Lyrics:

A 16 hour drive 
For 15 minutes live 
14 years of slow, eroding ties 
13 circus acts unload their gear and then purport to read my mind 
All lit up.

Listen along and follow me on Spotify:

Hear the original version of 'The Sympathetic Slur' here:

 

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