Saturday, November 13, 2010

In Country

I'm in Nashville, landed at BNA around 2:00 local time. Got myself situated and went out for a drive and food.

Going out later to hear some music at some writers' locations -- not the downtown strip. I'm a little hampered by not having had any coffee today, but I can't just sit here and stare at the walls, that would be counterproductive.

Nothing on the schedule tomorrow, so I will force myself to write something. In the evening I'll be seeing Coles Whalen at The Listening Room.

More as it occurs.....

Friday, August 27, 2010

I Try To Keep Control

Who knows why I haven't posted since June? OK, I probably know, but it's not terribly interesting, when you come right down to it. Music has taken a vacation this summer, along with me. Here we are at Fall, and me about to go to my high school reunion. I could tell you which reunion it was, but as Number Two said so often, "that would be telling."

Here's a song I wrote with two (2) composers, Josh Dodes and Adam Blau. Josh is an NYC denizen, had a band, did all the Lower East Side venues, and now does more straight composition. Adam is LA-based, and does film work. I've met Josh, and when I called him to work on a song to pitch, he brought in Adam. The song is "Constant" and it's a swell song -- the guys did a kick-ass job on the music and the recording.

I went up to NYC to see Rachael Sage perform, and she was sharing the bill with her friend and partner Seth Glier, whom I met that night. Seth and I struck up a conversation, as we all wandered the Lower East Side, and several of Rachael's friends went to get crepes.

The creperie across the street from The Living Room is tiny, and is staffed by a couple of women in very tight t-shirts. The air in the creperie was heady with all sorts of desire. Hell, it was a Saturday night, and the whole neighborhood was alive with young people, wearing little clothing, exuding hormones. Electric.

Seth was writing a note to someone, I assumed a girlfriend, but I couldn't be sure, and he wanted a metaphor for being constant. He was musing, looking for input...."...constant as......constant as....." I didn't have an answer right there but I kept thinking about it.

The crepe girl. The lust-filled Lower East Side populace. The girl at a distance that one needed to be constant for.

That's the background to the song. Hope you like it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Not Autobiographical. Really

Here's another of the new songs that were written for a pitch. It's an energetic defense of laziness. An ambitious ode to lack of ambition. It's called "I'd Rather Sleep."

I've had this lyric kicking around for a while. I forget why I wrote it in the first place, but I had fun with it. Early in my collaboration career, one of my other (now) regular collaborators tried it and we didn't see eye to eye. Finally, he confessed that he thought the guy singing the song was sort of a jerk. Which I can't disagree with.

Jordan, who wrote a couple other songs with me that I just love hearing over and over, has a great pop voice and sound, and he came up with a really fun setting to the song.

I had a crisis of confidence about this song, when I revisited it being set to music. I rhymed Mona Lisa with Tower of Pisa. All very well and good, but it hit me that Cole Porter had done the same in "You're The Top."

I thought about changing it, or taking out those lines. But then I thought, hey, is he the only guy who's allowed to rhyme those two things if they work? And Cole Porter wrote that song in the 1930s. Seventy-Five years later, I think I may get a pass on using them again.

I hope.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Another Fish Story

A year and a half ago, I had the opportunity to pitch some work at a high level -- at the highest level. I had some lyrics, matched with some music, that cleared early hurdles to be considered for a big project. But, as happens too often, the project changed, the players changed, and the work never got to the artist in question.

Recently I had a similar chance to pitch to a debut CD for a well-known performer. I gathered a few of my favorite partners who I thought could hit the mark, and we came up with several songs. Unfortunately, this time the work just wasn't what they were looking for. I thought I had read the pitch correctly, but I think there was a difference between what they said they wanted, and what it turned out they actually did want.

Anyway, I've got five new songs to post and here is the first of them. "Jessica Nye" is a jazzy and jaunty pop ode to a woman (fictional) who has decided to stop living the life she was living, and is breathing in a brand new day. It has strains of "Georgy Girl" and the "Mary Tyler More Theme" in it.

Music by Carlo Pocklington.

It's all good, Jessica Nye.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring Awakening

Hey, where have I been? Nowhere, mon frere. Just hibernating, trying to get the juices flowing.

Well, Spring is here and there are green shoots. Songs to pitch and collaborators to pitch them with.

For now, a very busy week here in Philadelphia, with four out-of-town friends descending to perform.

On Sunday, April 18, Jen Foster is back at the Tin Angel at 8pm.

(In the afternoon, you could catch Manchester (UK) folk singer Zoe Mulford at the Swarthmore Fun Fare in Swarthmore, PA, at 3:40pm.)

On Wednesday April 21, you could see Seth Glier perform with Maia Sharp at 8:30pm. That is, is you weren't over at World Cafe Live seeing ambeR Rubarth open for Jason Reeves. I have no idea what I'm doing that night.

On Saturday, April 24, you could head up to Phoenixville to see Zoe Mulford at Steel City Coffeehouse.

Plenty going on in Philly......see you there?

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Cat Who Plays the Bass

Let it be known that Aly Cat is headed in the studio. For reals, for true and finally.

Aly has been hitting the Philadelphia circuit hard for years, with an always-good but frequently changing band. And she has been carrying around a demo CD of three songs (with two additional radio mixes). Always meaning to get to writing those new songs, and take her music to the next level. Well, it’s time.

If you’ve caught Aly – at Tritone, at Burlap and Bean, at Blinkin Lincoln, at street festivals everywhere, and of course frequently at Fergie’s – you know how much talent she brings to the table. The fierce bass-playing, the irresistible hooks, and the bold voice. Her band includes two new guitar players (including the extremely talented Christie Lenee) and Blondie who plays the trumpet, the bongos and whatever else needs playing. Chrisie and Aly have been performing with the Angel Band lately.

I was happy to be at the kickoff party at Aly’s house, to toast and celebrate (where Victoria Spaeth gave quite a dissertation on the architecture of Manyunk). Hopefully 2010 will be the year you get to hear the new sound.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Catching Up, Turning the Corner...

Writer’s block is a funny thing. When one is not writing any songs, one seems to not write any blog posts as well. But writing about writer’s block is as self-indulgent as it gets, and as about exciting as watching wallpaper peel (see, for instance, the film BARTON FINK, about a writer with writer’s block, in which the Coen brothers actually make you watch the wallpaper peel…..)

But after a long empty winter, it’s 2010, and time to get moving again.

There have been a few musical highlights over the last few months, including:

Attending the EPNSAI’s (Eastern Pennsylvania chapter of the NSAI) annual Christmas celebration

Having The Lyra Project in my home after a party, performing songs for some of our friends

Writing my first decent draft lyric in a few months at the comfortable and raffish Mojo 13 in Delaware

Seeing Christie Lenée perform at Seven Stones tonight in Media, watching her play the guitar like it was a harp, a banjo and an otherworldly zither

I think my biorhythms have been cycling low for long enough. I’m ready for a new decade……