No. You aren’t dreaming. And neither am I. It’s true: this is a post after nearly a year. I’m going to finish the 365.

Part of the incentive behind finishing is that I’ve had so many people come up to me and ask if I’m going to finish that I can’t ignore it any more. It’s a painful thing, in a way, to know you have a creature of your own floating out there in the vastness of internet space that’s incomplete. And I’ve had enough insomnia recently that I can’t put it off any more. Plus, I want to finish it. I miss the exercise of it, and I have felt its loss because I haven’t created anything in a long, long time. I just needed some… time, I guess. Some really wonderful things have happened in the almost year and half since my last song post. Some sad and bad things, too, but even those things can be considered a welcome creative push (in retrospect most of the time).

Let us begin:

Yeah. It kinda feels like that.

The Good Death. This song was initiated by a Pearl and the Beard writing session. I brought to Jeremy and Jocelyn sections of a uke part I had come up with a few weeks earlier on my own. We put things together and configured exact chords, verse melody, a chorus, a bridge, but didn’t have lyrics or exact form of the song at all. We took the bare bones sketch home with us after our session, and it sat. Months and months later, we put it back on the table, and Jocelyn worked out some really beautiful lyrics with the original melody we had designed. In a rehearsal last week, as much as I loved her awesome lyrics, I wasn’t convinced it was in the sweet spot. It just wasn’t there for me. So, I took it home myself as an exercise, throwing out the melody for the verses and the bridge while keeping the chorus melody we had liked. I redesigned the job of the original uke riff, making it more of an intro or ornament rather than it being the verse itself and wrote a new verse section with a brand new melody. The bridge was a different story. Jeremy and Jocelyn and I came up with this t00-hard-for-me-to-play-on-the-uke bridge but didn’t really know how it was going to function in reality. But we liked it so we left it. In this re-imagining exercise, I almost threw it out. I’m still undecided about its effectiveness, but I like elements of it, so it stayed.

I am posting this as an exercise. I wanted to show the development of a song and how deep it actually can go. The original, original version of this is actually a completely different song. We may go back to it, we may take this, we may throw out all versions all together. One can never predict what will stick and what won’t.

I had 4 focuses for this song:

1. Find cathartic, sincere lyrics. Mean what I’m saying while trying to avoid cliché but make it relatable. Maybe use ideas I’ve discussed recently.

Discussing “The Good Death” – From the internets: “There is no single definition of what constitutes a good death. The definition of a good death will vary for each patient. In 1997 The Institute of Medicine defined a good death as: ‘A decent or good death is one that is: free from avoidable distress and suffering for patients.'”

Also, yes. There is a reference to The Neverending Story.

*Personal note begin*

Have depression? Tension? Anxiety? This might be cliché in and of itself, but it totally works: Find an art or a creative outlet you think you might enjoy (baking [and then have a huge party and let your friends who love you enjoy the fruits of your anxiety], rock painting, cat photography, kazoo playing, etc.). It really doesn’t matter if you’re “good” at it. Create something. Anything. Look at it or sing it. Again and again. Or don’t. Burn it or throw it away. Running. Running also works.

*Personal note end*

2. What do you want to hear? Re-imagine the song keeping as many original elements as possible, but you don’t have to keep what you don’t want to keep.

3. Expect nothing. Possibility of disappointment is high when you’re putting yourself out there, especially if you’re writing in a team situation like Pearl and the Beard. This is a [personally cathartic] songwriting exercise using elements of a previously group-developed skeletal song. That’s all. If it makes it in, it makes it in. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Like Tom Hanks says, “It’s not personal. It’s business.”

4. And as always: No Pre-Judgements. None. Hell, let’s just say No Judgements. Ever.

365 Project alumni know that even if this ends up being used in any way by either me or the band, it will be totally different as a finished product. I mean, I went running the other day and already came up with a totally new verse, new tempo, etc. But displaying it in such infancy is why the 365 was developed. And like we say in sessions, “There’s no judgement in brainstorming.”

Oh. And there is no chorus yet. I have no idea what to put there that doesn’t sound like I’m 5. (Not that being 5 isn’t way bitchin’, cause it totally is.)

RECORDING: As I mentioned above, I have total insomnia, so it is now 4: 43 am. I recorded it at my kitchen table three times at about 2 am, just taking the last one because I think my neighbors could only stand it that many times so early in the morning.

Thank you for listening, reading, sharing.

THE GOOD DEATH (draft – missing chorus)

Give me the Good Death
Because I’ve called it willingly
Just give me the Good Death
Don’t hold it against me

Conjure The Nothing
I’ll contemplate my final breath
Inside your chest The Nothing
Loss always is where you look last


Reach in and eat a broken heart
Starving mouths make ill returns
Quiet now this lump of heart
I can’t escape what I deserve


Could this maybe be fiction using all your calculations
With the giants I’ll kill your lofty, genius intuition
Using arms of a dozen like it, there will be no complications
We’ll be strangers then.
Be strangers then.

Give me the Good Death
Because I’ve called it willingly
Just give me the Good Death
Don’t hold it against me

(Considering another chorus here)