234. Walk With Me #1 (Sam McCormally, composer)

DAY TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FOUR

Sam McCormally (Ugly Purple Sweater @ Bloombars, DC – April 2011 – Kristian Whipple)

There is a musician you need to have in your regular musical vernacular.  His name is Sam McCormally.  He is the voice of Ugly Purple Sweater (who have recently released a beautiful new album).  Sam and I have collaborated on the 365 many times, released a song on a Pearl and the Beard EP, and continue to admire and support each other’s work in the real world.

As the 365 is a journal of sorts of my musical life, I would be amiss if I did not include two beautiful pieces written by Sam McCormally (playing guitar and piano) on which he asked me to play cello.  He is not only a talented songwriter but scores for film as well.  These two compositions I’m posting for you were written for a film he was working on, but, like most film scoring, a piece is bound to not make it into the final score.  In this case, one of my favorites that didn’t actually make it into the film was recorded in a stranger’s house earlier this year.  I am going to post the first of his two compositions today, as he just sent me the final mixes yesterday afternoon.  I hadn’t heard them in months.

He and I played this live together, but the quality of the piano Sam recorded on didn’t quite capture the piece as he had envisioned.  However, it still stands as a great testament to Sam’s fine musical ear and talent for tone color.

At the time of this recording, I had been doing so much songwriting and improvising that coming together with another musician to play off of a score was so refreshing.  Every kind of activity uses different parts of the brain and body – this was muscle memory I had been neglecting.  I miss collaborating musically over a score in this way (like a classical trio or quartet might do) and working with Sam in this way was especially rewarding.

Walk With Me #1 (Piano & Cello)


Written by Sam McCormally

Sam McCormally, piano

Emily Hope Price, cello

193. Neverfound (Jim Altieri)

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND NINETY-THREE

Jim Altieri at The Bell House

This is a collaboration!  Jim Altieri is a good friend of mine, a fantastic composer, violinist, accordionist, guitarist, and all around hilarious conversationalist (of additional note: this guy is probably the most dependable guy I know outside of my own house.)  You can hear is compositions here – http://tweeg.net

Jim can do a million different kinds of musics: silly songs, sad songs, serious songs, atonal pieces, tonal pieces…the sky is the limit with Jim, and he’s a very selfless musician, which can be hard to find nowadays.

I went to his house and found that Jim had just obtained some very nice, new mics, so I was lucky enough to get to break these in with a collaboration for the 365!  The first thing we did was do some free-improvisation.  (It’s very freeing and I would suggest it to anyone.)  After some walnuts, Jim decided we should:

1. Lay down an accordion drone

2. Stack cello and violin on top, a few tracks of each

3. Put vocals on top.

The only rules: we could only do one take of each.  I like the danger behind knowing you can’t take things back once you’ve done them.  Mistakes don’t really exist in this realm for me because everything is just a part of the music and you use those things for good, not bad!

The lyrics: Next to Jim’s bed is his dream journal (which he doesn’t write in anymore).  We opened it up and found a dream he had written about and used what he had written as our lyrics!  The words we used are almost word-for-word from this book though we cut and changed a few lines and moved things around to keep the flow.

My one observation: In improvisational mode, I’m noticing that I use a particular interval in my vocals.  I think I could go back to other songs I’ve done improvised vocals for and pick it out.  What’s that from, I wonder?

In any case, we finished up and Jim did a really quick mix and sent it my way.  He has such a great musical imagination: I hope you enjoy!

Neverfound


By myself at night
Remote control cars on the sidewalk
Bare feet keep me from food I want to eat
Karen left me gifts and surprises
Band-aid folded up in bed
Note on inside of my blanket
“By honey, have fun.”
Tapes a book to the ceiling
I would never find

98. Suite (Master Lee)

DAY NINETY-EIGHT

When I came to New York to come to school, I expected my life to be nothing extremely different from what it had been anywhere else.  Sure, I’d meet new people and experience new things, but I really wasn’t prepared for the kind of people I would meet in New York City.  The second I walked into the Sidewalk Cafe for the first time in January 2008, I introduced myself into a life of people and music that is so colorful and so full of richness that there are times when I really don’t believe it could exist.  I met Mr. Rick Patrick and Master Lee at Sidewalk Cafe in those early winter months of 2008.  They really are honest men, fascinating storytellers, musicians, and all around good people.

Yesterday, I dropped by Mr. Patrick’s house and did a bit of recording with storyteller (also a juggler, comedian, musician) Master Lee.  I met him some time ago through Mr. Patrick (a musician and storyteller who will appear in a collaboration tomorrow).  We set up the mic in Mr. Patrick’s beautiful Harlem home, played around with the positioning and recorded it about 4 times before we really felt like it was finished.  I played the cello standing next to Master Lee (I found myself wishing I was sitting as I forget playing classically comes with needing more balance than what I play now…).  There are sections of Bach Suite Preludes and improvisation as well.

Master Lee and Mr. Patrick perform everywhere.  Not only do they perform, but they started a monthly storytelling event called Talkingstick.  (They have been in the New York Times as well…)  Talking Stick takes place in the Rubin Museum of Art.  The Rubin Museum of Art is a nonprofit cultural and educational institution dedicated to the art of the Himalayas.  I’m including a video link to number 98 of the Talking Stick here: http://blip.tv/file/1310511/ Talking Stick is a wonderful way of fusing art and music, and I would encourage those of you in town to attend!

About Talkingstick, in their own words:

Talkingstick was founded to give the truth a safe place to be told. We speak to universal truths by telling deeply personal stories, stories that changed our lives. We have learned there are guidelines to help us achieve this goal. They are:
- Tell the truth
- Speak from the heart
- Go deeper
- Mix the tribes
Speakers include storytellers, poets, comedians, writers and musicians. We’ve been to the Friends Meeting House, Tibet House, St. Mark’s Church, Bowery Poetry Club, Rubin Museum of Art, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Taliesin Spring Green. Talkingstick events float between locations because these truths belong to us all.

Master Lee and Mr. Patrick are fascinating people.  I am honored to present you with a 365 installment from each of them for the next two days.

Suite



83. Momma (Abbie Gardner)

DAY EIGHTY-THREE

Abbie and her Dobro

Abbie Gardner is a fantastic musician, and when she asked if we could do another song, I was thrilled.  I went to her house in Jersey City on Thursday morning and asked if she had anything she was working on that we might look at.  (Ending in prepositions! Ah!)  Abbie brought out this song, Momma.

Originally this was a simple outline of a song about a girl in love with a boy who kissed just right and loved just right so much so that she went straight to her momma and said, “I’m in trouble I love this guy so much.”  Well, we took a look at it and talked about this relationship between this girl and her mother.  We found that the song isn’t really so much about a love between a man and a woman, but the relationship between a mother and a daughter.  We talked about what kind of mother this woman is: is she caring and totally helpful?  Or a bit apathetic?  What kind of reaction might she have to this girl who has obviously been in trouble before?

We decided we didn’t want to focus on the daughter’s problem with her man in this song.  We felt like we didn’t need to spell it out for the listener, but that capturing a single moment between a desperate daughter and her mother was more important to us in the span of a three and a half-minute song.

One of the best classes I ever took in college was a course called Theater Analysis.  I have no idea what lead me to it, actually.  I mean, I think I was mostly done with my music credits as a performance major and just needed some more of… something.  I’m not sure.  We studied Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie among many others.  And though I don’t remember our text, I remember this was the first time I was introduced to the word “aesthetic” because it was in the title of the book we were referencing for all the work we were reading.  I remember the teacher being really good and very interesting.  We used various tools to look at each work: deciphering movement, cause and effect of each character and how the playwrite used word choice and other tools to create his or her vision.

I think I use the tools I was taught in this class on songs, too.  In the case of this song, we addressed the daughter and mother’s own history not only together, but as individuals.  We came up with the idea that the mother had a similar history of rebellion and relationship trouble that the daughter was creating for herself which is why the mother reacts in such a, “I can’t do anything for you, child” kind of attitude.

Instrumentation: Abbie started playing this song on her Dobro, and I love the sound so much, I left my cello at home!  It’s so awesome and makes me want to learn how to play it!

Writing: Took place on Thursday morning.  The bulk of the “Momma” chorus’ were already in place, and I just came in and brainstormed ideas.  We worked on the general  storyline and Momma’s verses together.  Abbie had the idea of a kind of call-and-response towards the end, which I really like.

Recording: Took place on Friday (yesterday) morning due to parking restrictions on Thursday.  I only had 2 hours on each day to park before I had to move my car, so we just did it in shifts on two different days.  What a pain!  But it actually made it kind of nice to have a time frame with which to finish.

I’m so glad spring is starting to peek through the cold lately.  Outside our window is a huge rock where trees grow.  In the spring, the trees start growing their green leaves and make a nice shade into the house.  It doesn’t feel like we’re in the city, but we certainly are!  New York.  What a place.

May your day be well and spring be where you are, too.

EHP

Momma


Momma, I’m in trouble this time
Oh Momma, oh momma of mine
momma, i’m in trouble this time
oh my child, what you gone and done now
oh my child, don’t let your daddy find out
oh child, what you gone and done now
momma, he said he was going clean
thought we were in love, but he lied to me
(I) stole daddy’s gun, won’t you help me please
wake up child i can’t save you this time
this is your story, but it sounds just like mine….
but i love him, momma
oh my child
I’m in trouble this time
what you gone and done now
oh momma
oh my child
oh momma of mine
don’t let your daddy find out
oh momma
my poor child
I’m in trouble this time
yeah you’re in trouble this time
I’m in trouble this time
Big trouble this time
i’m in trouble this time
oh my poor child
alternate call & response:
won’t you send me a sign
you got to run and hide
don’t waste no time
child my hands are tied
now my hands are tied
had no choice this time
I’m in trouble this time
You’re in trouble this time
Momma/Child

82. Nor’easter (Jonathan Clark)

DAY EIGHTY-TWO

Good morning or evening or afternoon to you; whichever it may be right now.

Taken this past Sunday night at Bryce Canyon, Utah by a very kind stranger who put the memory card of our camera into his very nice camera and took our picture. I had never thought of that before, but, man, how nice!

Today is a special song written me and Jonathan Clark.  I did the uke playing and Jonathan did the singing and lyrics.
Jonathan and I sat down with the baritone uke, found some chords, and improvised the rest.   This was a good exercise in improvisational lyric writing.  Jonathan had written the first two lines while we were trying to find a good uke part, but the rest was all improv.  I think he did a splendid job.  It’s funny how revealing improvisation can be if one empties one’s mind and puts it out onto the table.

Yesterday, I was reading an interview Charlotte Gainsbourg did with Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth.  It was super interesting, and Kim Gordon talked about how she wrote lyrics and music and such.  It  made it all the more interesting to find that even the great artists get stuck with lyrics now and then.  Bon Iver does some mumbling and improvising to find his lyrics, too.  It’s an interesting process.

We recorded this in about 15 minutes, I’d say.

May your day be wonderful today…

EHP

Nor’easter


I don’t know what the bad news brings
All I know is it brings me to my knees
I find it hard when the sun don’t shine
I will eat lemon pie
(whistling)
Yesterday was just a day away
But it feels like three lifetimes past
We just keep on moving forward
(whistling)
The wind does blow in this cold time
The wind does blow all the time
But it keeps me from thinking about the past
It keeps me moving, keeps me dreaming
It keeps me all the time
Keeps me moving, keeps me dreaming
It keeps me here.

More Pearl and the Beard Tour Pictures!

This is a huge painting that hung on the wall right behind us as we performed in Memphis at: The Buccaneer.  What can I say? It was perfect.

Pearl and the Beard played in Memphis in a bar called The Buccanneer. This was a huge painting that hung on the wall right behind us. How could I not capture this (about 5 different times!) on film?! AWESOME!!!

Lost in the Trees

If you haven't heard of the band, Lost in the Trees yet, today is the perfect opportunity. This was one of the most amazing live show experiences I've had. Virtually a chamber orchestra of sounds and goodwill. Look them up, buy their work, love it, too. Shot in Austin, TX during SXSW while we were there on tour.

Pearl and the Beard

We played in Greensboro, North Carolina for a Monkeywhale Productions presented evening. It was awesome. Jocelyn is shown here mimicking her picture on the poster. The picture on the poster is from a video we shot during our last tour with Harvey Robinson for Harvey's Kitchen: a guy who has bands visit him and shoots a live video of them in his awesome kitchen. He did our song Vessel and Lost in Singapore. Look it up! It's truly amazing!

79. Bicycle Built for Two (Wynn Price)

DAY SEVENTY-NINE

The Prices in 1984

This is day three of the Wynn Price catalogue.  I have been working on a song I’ve done with field recordings I took from Panguitch, Utah.  I have come up with an arsenal of sounds and songs I’ll be posting for the 365.  Admittedly, with all this traveling, I’ve been able to get a few days ahead because of all the fortuitous meetings I’ve had with people.  I arranged another song with my dad while I was home.

This is one of the first songs to which I remember memorizing all the words.  I even remember being taught it in music class in elementary school.  I have a hard time remember words, but I remember these!  I played the mandolin on this song (since my dad has one).  Though the mandolin and the violin have the same tuning, and I feel I have no excuse, I don’t know how to play it that well.  It’s a hard instrument for me to play.

Jonathan and I returned this morning at 2 am from Utah.  The burial of Jon’s dad, Thomas Cecil Clark, took place yesterday morning in Panguitch, Utah.  It was so hard and sad… but happy at the same time: remembering all he was and all he symbolizes.  Because it was in Panguitch, as his dad requested, Jonathan was able to take me to Red Canyon and Bryce Canyon.  So beautiful.  I will post a few pictures later today.  As Jonathan and I flew home, I realized we had become that couple on the plane you see who sit really close together and whisper quietly.  I have seen couples like this before, sitting very close.  There are times when I’ve, very rudely, mentally rolled my eyes and thought, “Get a room.”  But maybe they were coming home from burying one of their parents, too.  Maybe I shouldn’t have judged them so quickly and harshly.  As a person who currently has both her parents still living, it’s hard for me to fully grasp the surreal nature of losing a parent who was close, who was so influential.  All I can do is hold his hand and hug him all the time.  So, on the plane, that’s what I did, not realizing at first that we had become the couple on the plane I had seen.  I thought back to all the times I had flown.  I wondered, “How many of those people had just returned from burying someone they loved?”

I do remember one time when I was flying home to Pittsburgh from Salt Lake City.  A young woman got on the plane, sat down immediately across the aisle from me and immediately got on the phone before take-off.  I could hear her talking about a grandfather and funeral arrangements. When the plane was up in the air I looked over after a while and, in the darkness, I could see her, head in her hands, crying.  What an odd experience for me, though I might be construed as the eaves-dropper: interrupting her private moment, subtly, with my eyes and ears.  I guess I never thought that girl across the aisle would be me, and, last night, it was.

Sending you lovely thoughts for a hopefully lovely day.
EHP

A Bicycle Built for Two


74. Layin’ On A Pillow (Jasper Christmas and The Band: Laying On A Pillow)

DAY SEVENTY-FOUR

Meet 4-year-old Jasper Christmas and his musician father, Jeff Christmas .  They live in Knoxville, Tennessee.  We stayed with them while we were there, and they just happen to be the coolest people ever AND we all joined Jasper’s band: Laying On A Pillow. Jasper and his dad are great song writers:  They performed several songs for us while we were there.  Jasper is actually a huge inspiration for Pearl and the Beard’s newest song!  So, keep an ear out for Jasper’s debut.

Jasper is playing the banjo in this song!  It’s awesome!

I waited to post this until I had enough time to fix the video I took of us doing this song, but I will just post the mp3 for now.  We are dashing to Austin today and need to get there by 1:00 and still have 5 hours of driving to do!

See you in Austin!

Layin’ On A Pillow


73. Ven Aquí, Mi Amor (Pearl and the Beard)

DAY SEVENTY-THREE

We played a very, very small show in Memphis, Tennessee.  Though it was small and ill-attended, we met some really great people.  Smokey bars really suck, however.

Today’s song is something Jeremy started singing as he was trying to get to sleep.  Joc and I kept him up by attempting to record something else, so he just started singing this, and I went with it.  I like the laziness of the sound of his voice because 1) he is trying to sleep and 2) he is laying down.

The other problem I’m having with recording is that I’ve lost my headphones at a house in DC and Jeremy’s headphones broke today, so all mixing and tracking has to be done with headphones that only have the left ear working.

Jeremy and Jocelyn both speak spanish (well, at least Jocelyn speaks pretty fluent spanish; I’m not sure about Jeremy actually).  I did nothing but study french, so I’m useless, though I do want to do a song in a different language for sure.

Jeremy recorded first, then Joc, then me.  It was an experiment in remembering and responding.  We recorded everything once.  As you’ll hear, Jeremy gets a little…. well.. Jeremy in the middle of it, so we had to work with that, too.

We have a show in Little Rock, Arkansas tonight.  I’ve never been this far south, and I’ve never seen so many places to eat fried food in my life.  Hoping you are well today!

Ven aquí, mi amor.
Ven aquí, por favor.
Porque yo quiero besarte.

Ven Aquí, Mi Amor


72. The House that Humble Built (Justin Tam)

DAY SEVENTY-TWO

We are in Nashville.  Nashville is the home of two of the most lovely people I’ve met.  Justin Tam of the band Quote and his beautiful fiancée Kacie have put us up for the evening.  Justin sat down with us, despite having to get up at 7 in the morning for work, after our Basement show and stayed up until about 1:30 in the morning and goofed around with his really awesome, 10-string, uke-like, Peruvian instrument (of which I now forget the name).  It got a bit out of control, so I had to create some order to the chaos and edit this song.  His brother walked in on us recording and said, “Oh.  There’s a lot of people here.”  This became the main lyric, and we just went with it.  Because this is a live recording, and we really didn’t have time to do this more than once, it clips, but you get the idea of the general energy.

I wish I had had more time to develop something really cool and more structured because Justin’s voice is so beautiful, and he has such a wonderful instinct for melody.   But, because his voice is so awesome, I got some unaccompanied clips of him singing that I’ll use later on.

Observation: I generally find myself becoming shy in large groups, and it shows in this song.  I held myself back and only really sang in the chorus.  I like syncopation and glad I was able to slip it in here…I’ve felt quite disjointed with news of current events and not really having any alone time starts affecting my thinking processes.  It’s a strange mix for me.  I’d like to have a nice quiet hour to write, but being on tour can be hard.  I’ve had such a nice time and Jocelyn and Jeremy have been so supportive of me and Jonathan.  I love my band.  I think I’m just not looking forward to a funeral.  You know?  Not at all.

Justin Tam: You are fantastic.  I got him performing a song for us he wrote himself that I really wanted to post for you to hear.  It’s a beautiful song about Kacie.  They are getting married on April 24th.  Many lovely congratulations to them!

We are in Memphis tonight… and I am going to try to make these guys go to a movie today (I’ve been deprived).

The House that Humble Built (Or “There’s Too Many People Here”)


Sweet Southern Seamstress (Justin Tam’s Song)


69. Telemann Canonic Duet for Two Celli (in Memory of Thomas Cecil Clark)

DAY SIXTY-NINE

Photo courtesy of the Cobras after long day of filming PatB Will Smith Medley all around Brooklyn.

My friend…I am having a hard time writing today for a number of reasons.  I will post a short entry, but more news will come soon.

This is a recording I made with my very dear friend Brittany Gardner who is a wonderful cellist.  When I lived in Salt Lake City, we played together as a duet on occasion.  I love playing with her.  We made this recording for a sample CD we made.

This is what’s called a canonic duet (a canon: Piece of music where one voice repeats the part of another, throughout the whole piece.) which means that the two parts being played here by the two cellos are exactly the same except offset a few measures.  First, you hear Brittany start the piece, and I come in a few measures later.  It’s quite a wonderful musical device.

Pearl and the Beard have been driving all day from DC to Stroudsburg, PA and back to DC.  (We had a 5 minute performance there.  Ha!) We need to be in Greensboro by tomorrow night.  We are so tired of driving.

I have been writing lyrics and recording, but have decided to break the rules today.  Today, I am allowing a recording into the 365 from a while back as a very special dedication to Jonathan’s father, Thomas Cecil Clark.  He loves classical music, and I only wish I could play for him in person.  I don’t think he will hear this, but I wanted to post it for him anyway.

I love you, Cecil.

Telemann Canonic Duet for Two Celli


Update to those of you who knew him or know Jonathan: Jonathan’s father passed away this morning in a hospital in San Diego.  I don’t know what else to say.  We love him and miss him.

67. Murdered In DC (Pearl and the Beard Song Sketch)

DAY SIXTY-SEVEN

We have arrived in DC.  The District of Columbia.  We are playing a show in a venue tonight called The Red and Black.  I’ve had several friends tell me that the area this venue is located in is super sketchy, and a few friends aren’t coming because of the high number of murders that have occurred in the area.  How depressing.  We don’t want anyone to be murdered, but we want people to come to our show.  What a quandary!  Happy show to us!   Yay!

Writing: In the discovery of this murderous news, we did a sketch song!  I almost didn’t use this recording, but I felt, and Jocelyn agreed, that this is a good way of showing you another way a song can be written, especially within a collaboration. We were all sitting around a table in Baltimore yesterday afternoon and someone just started singing this as Jeremy was playing his guitar.  We did this twice: once just goofing around and once again to make sure we got it on tape.

Recording:  Because this is a sketch, it was just recorded using the external mic on my computer.  I hate the external mic, but it’s a really fast way of getting things down, so I can’t complain.  Hey, at least there is a mic, right?

This is actually how Pearl and the Beard writes some songs; not all, but some.  Sometimes we’ll sit around and improvise like this and a song will come out.  We’ll record it and revisit it later and make it a proper song.  We’ll give each other visual cues to change strum patterns or start a different section as we go.  It’s important too that everyone gets a chance to participate.  It’s also important to see it out: we’ll keep going until it either peters out or we all intuitively end it together.  It can be a really fun time (as you can tell).

Jeremy’s School of Park and Dark Rhyme:  Nothing rhymes with park but dark.  Nope, not shark or lark or stark.  This is a constant joke within Pearl and the Beard, and now you’re in on it, too.

You know, on this tour, and on previous tours, I’ve thought to myself: I’m the luckiest person alive.  Jocelyn and Jeremy are the funniest people on earth.  When we were on tour with Ugly Purple Sweater and all packed in their van, we actually had to pull over a few times because we were laughing so hard.  That’s what it’s like driving with them now.  I am the luckiest person alive.  I love these guys.

Murdered in DC



(It’s recording)
Can’t wait to be murdered in DC…
(I don’t remember how it went)
(It doesn’t matter, don’t think about it)
Be stabbed in the face by a big gay hillbilly
Get murdered in the face with a big old machete
Murdered in the face, get stabbed by a guy named Eddie.
Get murdered in the face,
Murder me.
Can’t wait to be murdered in DC!
Can’t wait to be murdered…
In DC.
I’ve never looked so fabulous before!
My mom called today and then she said, “Hooray!
You’re coming, you’re coming, you’re coming to town!”
Then she said, “Oh friend, I got a bag for you,
It’s got rocks in it so put it down.”
So my dad… Go ahead.
So my dad called, oh wait, he didn’t call at all.
He never calls.
Jeremy has no dad/father.
Maybe that’s the guy who will be the very guy
To implicate our martyr.
Can’t wait to be murdered in DC!
Can’t wait to be murdered…
In DC.
The wind was a flash of lightning
Over the town!
Bullets and lightning bolts and rabbits were flying (Pshoo pshoo! Laser sounds)
All around and around and around!
Oh, my hair went flying off!
The blood soaked my dress
And off it came into the street!
We went to the park and indeed it was dark!
So you held my held my hand until you understanded,,,
Can’t wait to be murdered in DC!
Can’t wait to be murdered…
Dixie Chicks never saw it comin’!
Here comes Pearl and the Beard
Comin’ atcha!
In DC.
Love, I’m gone,
I’m gone the way of the dodo.
Yeah, done!
Apple S that.

66. Sebastian (Kelly Neel)

DAY SIXTY-FIVE

Tonight, Pearl and the Beard played in Baltimore… in this city lives a girl named Kelly Neel (UKE PLAYER!!!).  She is a good friend of ours and has been so kind to house us on our tour to Austin.  Before our show we all went to dinner and ate Maryland Blue Crabs (okay, well, I opted for a salad instead of partaking in the crab smash fest, but it was still entertaining to watch Jeremy crack a crab for the first time in his life.  Kelly was a fantastic teacher as she has been eating crabs nearly her entire life.  What a mess!)  We couldn’t help remarking how sad we all felt as these little creatures laid on our table, awaiting our stomachs… (or their stomachs, I suppose…I did have a small taste, and I must say, it was tasty.)

We finished dinner, went to our show, and got home at about one in the morningish.  I still had to write a song, so dear Kelly agreed to stay up with me and write a song.  It is now 3:25 am, and we are still awake together!

Writing:  Luckily, Kelly plays the uke!  I had her pick her three favorite chords, and we were off!  We wanted to write an ode to the dear sacrificed lives of the crabs at our table.  This is a dual narrative: one crab in sea pleading with another to stay home where it’s safe, far from our mouths.  We also did a little study where we used the same chords, in the same order for both the verses and the chorus.  The challenge was to find a new melody different enough that you would buy that it was the chorus.  I find when people do this in songs, if it’s done well, I don’t notice that the verse and the chorus use the same chords.  Did we fool you?  The lyrics were fairly quick and Kelly was shooting them out like they were sunflower seeds… it went very quickly!

Recording: We practiced it once completed all the way through and recorded it twice.  This is the second take.  It went very quickly despite the lateness of the hour… and Kelly has to leave for work at 9:30 in the morning, so I’m very grateful for her help and total inspiration!  What a great collaboration, even after a show and crabs and a full stomach and sleepiness, sleepiness!

We head to DC tomorrow to see dear friends and play at The Red and The Black on Thursday night!

Crabs to you!

EHP

Sebastian



In the sea, in the sea
The sea’s where you’d rather be
And you could come home to me
Just tonight, tonight
Just tonight
You’d be such a welcomed sight, tonight
Stay, stay with me
Don’t, don’t you go, my dear
Stay, stay with me
Don’t you leave me here
Let me go, let me go
I’ll be better off you know
Just need some space to grow
Some day soon, Some day soon
Your eyes, they will catch the moon
And I’ll be home to you
Wait, wait for me
I’ll, I’ll be home, my dear
Wait, wait for me
I will, I will soon be near
If he is gone, then I am gone
I will search until the dawn
But he will live on and on
Stay, stay with me
Don’t, don’t you go, my dear
Stay, stay with me
I will be here
I will be right here

65. Tender, Tender (A Song Study On Lyric Immediacy with Jocelyn Mackenzie)

DAY SIXTY-FIVE

Jocelyn Mackenzie

Pearl and the Beard had our first show of the Rebus McEntour 2010 in Philadelphia tonight.  It was awesome and sweaty.  Now, Jeremy has gone out with the guys (which Jocelyn and I encouraged because he will be spending two weeks with two girls in a cramped SUV- he needs to get guy time whenever he can get it.)

Jocelyn and I stayed in after the show, met some really great people and wrote a song for the 365.

Writing: Things happen when it’s late at night and you’re exhausted.  Jocelyn and I alternated writing each line.   Jocelyn had a sparkle on her face, so I wrote that as the first line.  Joc did the second, I did the third, etc.  The “santa on my blue, blue pants” links Jocelyn’s pajamas to this song: she has Santa lobsters on her blue pajamas; and “fragrant roses on your sheets” is the print that’s on the sheets on the bed where we’re sleeping.  “Egypt calling to my heart” is about the shirt Jocelyn was wearing to bed: it had Egypt on it.  All you need is some stuff and a way of singing about it, no?  I’ve talked about Jocelyn’s uncanny ability to write lyrics very randomly and quickly, and this is a good example of her influence in this song.  We wrote this in maybe 5-10 minutes or less.

Recording: We ran through it three times and recorded it once.  It peaks on the loud parts, but it’s okay.  This is a good exercise in just doing it… just do it!  Sometimes really interesting things come out, even if it won’t win awards, I now have a good memory with Jocelyn about tender, tender meats!

I hope your tender meats are so tender right now!  Stay warm and relaxed, and have some meats!   – EHP

Tender, Tender



Sparkle on your face
Sparkle in your eye
I don’t want to talk about it
I want to know why
It’s just a confusing mess
It’s a paradox of life
Candy colored rainbows
Make a unicorn my wife
Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow
Stab me in the chest you rugged beast
How, how, how, how, how, how, how
Tender, tender are your meats
Santa on my blue, blue pants
fragrant roses on your sheets
Egypt calling to my heart
Tender, tender are your meats
Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow
Stab me in the chest you rugged beast
How, how, how, how, how, how, how
Tender, tender are your meats
Sparkle on your face
Sparkle in your eye
I don’t want to talk about it

62. Get Out Of The Car (RPM)

DAY SIXTY-TWO

Pearl and the Beard leaves on tour on Monday!

I realized I didn’t have you hear this…it is a part of the RPM Challenge I did with Guy.  This song was written by Mike Wolcot.  He did guitar and vocals, sent it to Guy Capecalatro who added 2 tracks, then I got it and added two tracks.

I feel this song is appropriate for a Saturday morning, as you may have experienced this event even last night: who knows! (*Those of you with sensitive ears- there is one f-word in this song.  If you’d like, you can master the art of censoring by using your mute button with a quick hand…or cough on cue.)

My favorite line? We both have opinions and both of them stink…

I hope your weekend is shaping up to be a tremendous one! Working on multiple songs can make you forget what you’re really working on… but it’s a good mental workout.  Have you seen Tim Burton’s Alice and Wonderland yet?  I can’t decid whether or not to see it.  I’ve got some mixed emotions about the trailer, but I felt that way about Avatar’s trailer and loved the movie… But, man, that Johnny Depp…

EHP

Get Out Of The Car


Get out of the car, let go of my hand

On the hook forever
For every mistake that I made in the past
You’re stalling for time now
Taking cheap shots trying to cover your ass

Our place is like quicksand
The harder we fight here the lower we sink
You never listen
You’re talking so much I can’t hear myself think

CHORUS

I’m so fucking angry
I’m trying to leave without working this out
In less than a week’s time
I won’t recall what this fight was about

When something’s on fire
We both have opinions and both of them stink
I never listen
You’re talking so much you can’t hear yourself think

60. I Miss The Snow (RPM)

DAY SIXTY

This is my new tatoo.

Day sixty and it’s nearly 2!  Yay!  Tardiness!

Anyway… well, Jonathan and I have had a long few days.  I just returned home from driving him to the airport.  While he was still at work today I bought him a ticket to San Diego where his dad is in the hospital in the ICU hooked up to a ventilator.  It’s all very sudden and worrisome.  I hope you understand me being so late in the posting today… Some things take a back seat when  things like this happen.  I have never purchased a plane ticket on the day the flight was to take off: what an exciting purchase… if you can call it “exciting”.  I packed him a bag, he rushed home from work, and we were off.  Luckily, the cheapest ticket to San Diego was leaving from Westchester Airport: a very clean, tiny, tiny, tiny, airport with absolutely no traffic.  So, now, I am home.  With Lacey.  Thinking.  Trying to work.  We have just eaten turkey sandwiches and a black and white cookie.  I concentrate on why the white icing on the cookie is so hard and the black icing is so soft…

This is a song from the RPM Challenge I did with Guy.  I spent a ton of time working on a song-study on rhythm and perfect fifths, and then this whole thing kind of collapsed on us.  I will finished that song today and get it ready to post: on time!  I have the whole weekend alone with Lacey.  I will get her to help me on a song, too.

Pearl and the Beard have a show tomorrow night at Webster Hall and then we leave for tour on Monday!  Jonathan will still be gone…I will keep you updated on life’s progress as I post…

Oh, Life: you are a cruel, yet tempting mistress.

Recording:  I made 2 tracks of cello loops and sent them to Guy and Mike.  Guys lyrics are always so appropriate and haunting.  I like them.  Mike’s piano is perfect… I mixed this one because I initiated it.  I wanted to bring Guy’s voice up front: he has a tiny insecurity about his voice and usually pulls it back, but I love it, and think it’s right where it should be.  Thanks Guy and Mike!

I Miss The Snow


Down here the trees look weird
And the leaves don’t turn to copper and then fall
I put whiskey in my coffee
Just to take the edge off
Because around here the days are sharp enough to cut you
On Sundays I feel so listless
Cause no one here prays the way we did
Though I don’t know your phone number
I still dial to hear them talk the way we do
If I could just hear even a moment
Of you breathing I might somehow be all right
I miss the snow and I miss Melissa
I miss her sister who screams in her sleep