186. West Coast (I AM BACK!)


HELLO, 365!

Phew!  This is the longest recovery time I’ve had to take after a tour… ever!  (What am I saying, I don’t remember ever having to take recovery time. Bah!)  But, here I am!  And the 365 continues on!

Hello, dear friend!  I have missed you, and I apologize for being away for so long!  Let us not mourn lost time!

Lots of things have happened, but I am here now!  When I started the 365, I swore to myself nothing would get in my way… and it worked for a long time, but I went on a tour that made posting impossible, and I fell behind.  I am here to tell you that there are some awesome things in store, and, admittedly, I really needed that sabbatical, so I hope you are still here BECAUSE I AM STILL HERE!  Let’s get going!

Today’s installment didn’t meet my expectations and gave me some big problems, but as a draft it’s ended up in an interesting place.  I had a totally different vision for this song when I started it.  I used several Garageband samples as a guide.  The most helpful aspect of this song was how I constructed it.  I had general outline of the song and its melody on paper and then built the percussion and beats around the skeleton of the song, using scratch vocals first, building the string parts and then doing final vocals.  Sound familiar?  Yeah.  That’s how it’s usually done in the real world.  I haven’t been using that technique to do most of the 365, so I enjoyed myself.

The main thing I would do differently is finalize the tempo BEFORE I try to change it within Garageband.  I have changed the tempo post recording before and haven’t minded the weird distortion it creates, but this time, it bugs me, but oh well!  The ending was totally different, and I had huge visions for it, but I had such a hard time managing it that I just cut it.

As far as the lyrics go:

These are various scenes which have occurred in real life (Note: the line: the Iron Door of the North Plain refers to the legend of The Iron Door from Malad, Idaho).  The idea was about someone trying to locate a person who is of great worth to them but is always constantly one or two steps behind.  I can identify a few events as directly happening to me sometime in the past, and there are a few sections that call out to a specific person.  So, we’ll see if they can hear me! (I’m winking through my words to you…)

I saw Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, Sharon Van Etten and tUnE-yArDs last night at The Rock Shop in Brooklyn.  It was such an awesome show.  I wrote an email to a friend afterwards describing the show, and I wanted to post a tiny bit of it here for you to read:

A friend of mine in grad school was getting his bachelor’s degree in industrial design.  Late one night, he drew a graph on a napkin outlining zones of the following: boring, exciting, and scary.  He argued that boring is where all appliances and household gadgets fall.  They are comfortable, affordable, ergonomic.  His preference was to create tools that bordered excitement and scary, never tipping over into scary completely, but allowing the user to feel the intensity of nearly reaching that limit.  He believed people experienced more and learned more in this more “dangerous” zone.

This is how I want to create music.  This is brave to me.  I want to be brave.  Let’s be brave.

West Coast

(headphones are recommended)

Did you know she burned your name into the sand on the West Coast?
There a tide, it took your shape deep underwater like a fine ghost
Did it feel like you’d survive; lungs both taking in their last hope
Sick are seas and martyrs made such easy prey with their own rope.
Soon, brother, soon
In a mount she hid her heart, the Iron Door of the North Plain
For a thousand years or more with rusted key, did you search in vain
Constant companion: horse of black and red with its sick brain
Ride until it died you did but seek her still again again again
Soon, brother, soon
From a window, does it seem to sound out?
Beat the glass in as if she could hear you
Only distant wind she hears and sleeps again
From where you are, is it like it sounds?
Can you feel the earth, it shakes again as it hears you
She will not, but lose her mind, oh what a strain just to undo
This cause of flux and shift when bodies ache as they come to
Your mind, the author, seals a kiss on lips as an adieu, adieu

5 thoughts on “186. West Coast (I AM BACK!)

  1. Great to have you back. I’ve missed you. I listened to ‘West Coast’ through headphones as recommended – several times. Brilliant. Brave. One of my favourites too.

  2. I am so glad you’re back. Every day, I went to check my e-mail and said “Where is Emily!?” and then I would remember you were on tour and smile because you were having a great time I was sure and that was a good enough excuse for me.
    Sharon Van Etten. I love her so much. I love you so much. This song is one of my favorites.


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