Brand New Car  –  listen[mp3]

Here’s a song for the super-sized Brand New Car Songfight.

Some notes:
- There are 6 guitars playing at the end, all of them stereo tracked. Call it a tip-o’-the-hat to Johnny Marr.
- The bass guitar tone is a product of Carol Kaye’s felt muting trick.
- The slide guitar solo runs backwards under the second verse.
- This song is on Waking Up In August, remixed and properly mastered.

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Not safe for work: The explicit content, and only the explicit content of NWA’s Straight Outta Compton.

Not safe for your eyes: Lucy in the Sky with Shatner

Not safe for yogurt: Yogurt Dance

Not Safe for mailbox vandals: “… the tube breaks and transfers some of its “skunk oil” onto the bat …”

Bananas are not:
   - going extinct
   - poisonous when frozen,
   - hallucinogenic when smoked,
   - going to kill us all.

They are also, however, not without secrets.

We Lit The Night  –  listen[mp3]

Some day, I will form a band called, and release an album entitled, The Milwaukee Gas Station Incident.

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It Could Be Worse  –  listen[mp3]

Deshead wasn’t feeling himself, so Figure 8 recorded and submitted this track to Songfight.

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Shut Up And Sit Down  –  listen[mp3]

I wrote this for the Shut Up And Sit Down Songfight. I made a few changes after submitting it to Songfight - most significantly, the lead guitar is fatter and sits better in the mix.

I’ve never known what to call the genre in which this tune belongs. It’s like a slew of my favorite songs, all built around a variation on Em-B7-A-C7, but none of them quite fitting the same HMV category. There’s Big Rude Jake’s Song For Lilly Christine, which is close to straight-up swing, but also close to Stray Cat Strut which can probably safely be called “swing punk”. The Stray Cats, in turn, have a sound like the Old 97’s Just Like California which is closer to rockabilly than anything else, yet also similar to Ron Hawkins’ Three Penny Operator, especially the live version, which is what? … Blues?

The songs, mine included, all have a resolution (with key adjusted) from C7 to B7. Strip away the trumpets and saxes and Setzers and Millers, maybe that’s what ties them together. So, VI7-III7-a-billy?

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Failure And Regret  –  listen[mp3]

I wrote this for the Failure and Regret Songfight. The mix in this version is subtley different than the Songfight submission: that version lacked bass, and the vocals in the chorus sounded harsh. (They were too loud and ended up squashed by the compression on the final mix.) This mix is more even.

I wanted the song to sound like straight-up Canadian folk rock, so I used two of the genre’s defining elements: 6/8 time, and a Lowest Of The Low-style instrumentation. (Though Steve Stanley’s guitar tone is an elusive beast.) The decision to add Sarah, and all the reverb on her voice, came after I’d arranged the song. It needed more Ireland in it, or something.

Also: St. Brendan’s Way is my favorite song on Shakespeare My Butt….

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You’ve just delivered your punch line, and wish to inform the audience it’s time to laugh. How many beats should your drummer knock out?

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Prep School  –  listen[mp3]

I wrote this for the Prep School Songfight. I tried to create something American and folksy, imagining the guitar parts on a Dobro and a lap steel as I composed. The end result lacks Dobro-ness because I don’t own one. I also wanted to use a traditional melody, something familiar-sounding like a lot of mid-west folk music. The verses either nailed this or succeed in blatantly ripping off some song I can’t place.

NOTE: This song, remixed, remastered, and retitled Pushed Around is on Waking Up In August,

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Fell Out Of The Sky  –  listen[mp3]

This was a Songfight title (we didn’t win,) though really I wrote this song for Sarah to sing. She’s a great singer, but the dearth of recordings that feature her voice hides this from the rest of the world.

Inspired by Roymond, I kept rough takes of the song as it evolved so I could document the process.

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