92. All The Good (Or When You’re in a Buick) – Julia Mecham

DAY NINETY-TWO

Julia Mecham

Julia Mecham is a dear friend and a great songwriter.  She is a particularly amazing guitarist as well.  I’ve known her for a long time, and, in fact, she has been part of the 365 already as an example of an ode.  We did an interesting exercise last night for a new 365 song.  Coming home from visiting with friends, I stopped by Julia’s apartment to write.  She has roommates and it was already 11 pm.  Waking roommates the day before an early class might not have been such a friendly idea, so I invited her into our borrowed tan 2002 Buick Royal to write a song.  She sat in the back, I sat in the front, and Jonathan was in the driver’s seat (such a patient man).  It became our little universe of non-judgmental song-writing.

The Exercise

  1. The car is a totally different world from where we just came: it is a peaceful, perfect, ego and insecurity-free zone.  School and work don’t exist in the car.  There is only you, us, and me.
  2. We each alternate in writing a line.
  3. When singing the song, we sing the other person’s line.

Writing: We started writing this song at almost exactly 11 pm and finished at almost exactly 12 am.  After alternating writing lines back and forth, passing the computer around each time, we found we had to do a bit of juggling with them, so they aren’t necessarily in written order, but it might make it a little interesting for you to guess who wrote what.

Julia played the uke in a guitar tuning (top 4 strings).  We spoke casually about the meter, but I wanted Julia to come up with something organically and then I’d base the melody from what she created.  (Yes, I consciously borrowed a piece of this song for the opening line melody.  Subtle, yes.  Admittedly, there’s a little bit of Mr. Mischievous, too.  If you can’t steal from yourself, what good are you?)  I woke up early this morning and put a quick bass line with cello on it, but lost the time to do anything more.  I’m late in posting because I couldn’t find internet (what an excuse!).  This is a draft, obviously, but I think this has potential to be an interesting song, at the very least a great memory in a tan Buick Sedan.

Recording: Yep. In the car. It was a little awkward, but it worked. I must also comment on the fact that writing and recording in a strange and unfamiliar space helps a lot in the creative process.  It reminds me of the song I did with Lady Lamb in a cemetery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire back in January.  Such a memory as well!

All The Good (Or When You’re in a Buick)

The north wind’s on your breath again
I can taste the dirt on heels of hands
Spit it out with the tip of your tongue
Your spare tire I will be
Tens on tens of revolutions
Made all of glass and man-made parts
Please, oh please, I’ve lost all the good
Leave, oh leave, never thought you would.
A soul of cellophane taken in the wind
Will lose its way but find it again
Someday standing on the shoulders of gray.
Please, oh please, I’ve lost all the good
Leave, oh leave, never thought you would.
Please, oh please, I’ve lost all the good
Leave, oh leave, never thought you would.

4 thoughts on “92. All The Good (Or When You’re in a Buick) – Julia Mecham

  1. I love this song sooooooooo much! I keep listening to it over and over again. There is a therapeutic, earthy quality that resonates throughout it.Emily you are truly inspiring me to get my butt in gear. I love your honesty, and the experimenting and that you are putting the whole creative process out there.

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