12. Fifteen Pieces of Flare

I read something today that implied (only implied, saying that something else was manageable…) that this 365 Project of mine was unmanageable.  For the first time since starting I felt defeated.  I know the comment wasn’t meant at all to offend me personally, but I took it personally and became discouraged.  I don’t want to think in terms of manageable and unmanageable.  This is part of my work, part of my study.  Isn’t it?  Is bathing and grooming yourself every day unmanageable?  Is parenting unmanageable?  Loving someone unmanageable?  Are these examples unmanageable?  (For some, yes.)  I’m just foaming now… Anyway, I started four different projects but all of them failed miserably.  (Yes, I used the word failed just then… okay, not failed, just not going anywhere…ugh.)

So, Discouragement: Kiss this.

Fifteen Pieces of Flare: I am dedicating this song to Rachel Lord of Ugly Purple Sweater and Jocelyn Mackenzie of Pearl and the Beard. And, yes, I love the movie Office Space.  I love the idea of “Pieces of Flare” actually being required.  So funny.  It’s almost a shame how long this song took me.  Since I’m leaving for a show tomorrow night in Biddeford, Maine, I had today to work and work, so I had time with which to write and record this one.  I have no excuse nor explanation for the theme of this song: it just came out like that.

I’m putting this song out there, and think that it came about being because I let myself just play and go along with what my cello said to me back without feeling stupid about it.  I’ve also done some pretty sad songs lately and felt it was time for a pick-me-up.  Someone said after hearing it, “Well, that came out of left field…”  Sure, but you can’t always write serious songs when you’re not always a serious person, right?  (Joc?)

Another point: this is done with voice and a single bowed cello, something I really dislike (See Day 3 Gloria).  I really believed it was against my better judgment to do it this way, but with all the other stuff on top, I don’t mind it at all.

The vocals were something else totally.  Really?  Make this voice public?  Hell, yes!

RHYMING!!! Ahhh! I HATE RHYMING!  So I just decided to do it ridiculously.  I only hate it because it doesn’t come naturally to me, and it’s really hard.  Want an example of incredible rhyming talent?  Please visit the myspace of Jocelyn Mackenzie and Jim Alteri: Poo Poo Jim & Pee Pee Girl.  Jocelyn is in Pearl and the Beard with me and Jim is the uber talented wonderfully gifted musician/social genius who is in love with Jocelyn (Joc: is that okay to put into print?)  Joc has this unbelievable gift for lyrics and rhyme: she can do it constantly and on the spot, being totally right on every time.  It’s amazing.  Come to a Pearl and the Beard show and you’ll witness it first hand!

Queen Lacey of the Laceykins

Basically everything was overdubbed.  Every. Thing. It. Took. For. Ever.  The thing I’m finding the hardest about this is my desire to make good recordings, not just always a demo per se.  By good, I mean, at the very least feigning hard work and make it something I want to listen to and play over and over, therefore hoping you feel the same way.  So I figure if I can work as hard as I can with what I know, it will at least be worth it to me when I’m 75, should I live that long, and if you like it, too: Awesome.

At the end of it, my dog, Lacey came and put her nose at the end of the bed and sighed into the mic, as if to say: “Will you please be done already?!”

Yes, Lacey.  I will be done.

See you tomorrow,


I went to heaven but you weren’t there
Guys from Hell said that your presence was rare
Your mom was wearing 15 pieces of flare
If your mom was there and you weren’t I don’t know where you’re going.
I went by our favorite restaurant
You won’t believe me, at that very moment
Struck down I was, a violent ailment
You’ll be sorry if this is the last time you’ll ever see me
Oh, darling, oh, sugar
It’s a constant battle of, a constant battle of
Oh baby, oh honey
It’s a constant battle of me and you.
I couldn’t help it so I went to your house
Record was playing, I believe it was Strauss
Walked right in, you were there like a louse
Whitey-tighties and what?! You got on my blouse?
Oh, darling, oh, sugar
It’s a constant battle of, a constant battle of
Oh, baby, Oh honey
It’s a constant battle of,  a constant battle of
Oh, peachy, gosh it’s funny
It’s a constant battle of me and you.
You coulda told me, you could’ve announced it
Always something missing from the back of my closet
It’s totally fine, and it always will be,
Just wish you would have told me!
Didn’t know your taste was eclectic
See I was worried, mornings always so hectic
Wardrobe missing made me apoplectic
Getting ready was anticlimactic
Oh, darling, oh, sugar
It’s a constant battle of, a constant battle of
Oh, baby, Oh honey
It’s a constant battle of, a constant battle of
Oh, peachy, gosh it’s funny
It’s a constant battle of me and you.

10 thoughts on “12. Fifteen Pieces of Flare

  1. Manageable? Hell, you’re kicking this project’s ass. More sounds and ideas have come out of the last two weeks than I would have expected to come in many months.

    One of the towering strengths of an exercise like this is the freedom to stretch and explore and that is one of the best roads to new creations.
    Full speed ahead, friend. 🙂

  2. and she can write musicals…MY FAVORITE!

    Your talent will never cease to amazing me. This is such a fun blog, and I am thrilled you have taken on this challenge. Keep on, keeping on!

  3. Emily. Hope. PRICE!

    AMAZING! You’ve done it again! Thanks for the link to PPJ&PPG, and I’m glad we can be an inspiration for you! And yes, of course it’s okay to publish that Jim’s in love with me… LET THEM ALL READ IT! WE ARE IN LOVE!

    Anyway. Is this song about cross dressing?

    Also just wanted to tell you that your rhymes in here are REALLY impressive! I had to look up a word or two, and there were some really nice unexpected ones. This song actually features one of my new favorite rhymes of all time: “restaurant” and “moment…” the way you pronounce “moment” is just classic and hilarious! Love it.

    I love that you’re pushing yourself outside of your box and going with things that make you uncomfortable. If you don’t do it, who else will? A guy in a back alley somewhere? By then it will be TOO LATE!!!!!

    PS: For more ear-bending great rhyming, listen to Lily Allen’s “Everything’s Just Wonderful”, Collin Hay’s “Overkill (Acoustic)” and anything by They Might Be Giants.

    PPS: It may also be good to keep giving yourself exercises to make sure you’re STAYING outside of your comfort bubble… looking up random bands on Myspace that you never would have listened to and trying to write a song in their style with their imaginary instrumentation… plucking with your left hand and fretting with your right… playing a song you’ve already written backwards and writing a new line on top… the possibilities are endless, and I can’t wait to hear what you come up with!


  4. i really love you. and this.

    upon looking up the definition of manageable (that which can be managed or controlled), i think something like this really isn’t “manageable” in that one must relinquish control. many of us (certainly me!) are too obsessed with control to ever let go of it enough to see what fertile ground lies beneath it. i think that is what is so admirable about what you’re doing–that you have the discipline to let go and allow yourself to create and be “out of control.” maybe that’s why so many of us can’t love completely, parent in a healthy way, be consistently creative–because we’re in bondage to our insecure need to control. how could control be as progressive, moving, as humble as what you’re doing?

    god bless you, ehp.

    • You my friend, have humbled me…I didn’t mean to spout away at it all in heat, it’s just what it was at that time… and your response has made it all the more better… thank you jules.. you’re doing absolutely wonderful yourself. I love what you’ve been up to over there…

  5. It is interesting how feeling discouraged can be a powerful ally in accomplishing things that are difficult. I fully agree with Melanie, the quirky lyrics and catchy tune are remarkable. Your perseverance with this project is inspirational. Keep it up!

  6. Genius! Mash it into my soul and let it take up residence! The rhyming is delightful, the off-kilter vocals are amusing and the melody is enchanting! I shall exclaim once more with exclamation points! Huzzah and hooray!!


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