Thursday, July 24, 2014

Solo Songs, Part 7: "PILL-POPPIN' COKE-SNORTIN' GIRL"

(For Part 1, and some background info, GO HERE.  For Part 2, GO HERE. For Part 3, GO HERE. For Part 4, GO HERE. For Part 5, GO HERE). For Part 6, GO HERE.



I'm not going to mention any names, but....(not to sound like broken record)....this song is 100% real.  I was apprehensive to even let anyone hear it, but....I really like how it turned out, even though it came out WAY darker than I meant for it to. Basically, it's sort-of my own personal take on a song like Guns n' Roses' "My Michelle", in that it paints a bleak picture, but...it's genuine, so...it is, as they (annoyingly) say, what it is.

Yeah, it's based on a former girlfriend that I was once "livin' in sin" with....which was a big fucking ACCIDENT!! And yeah, everything that I sing about in the song is true, more or less. But, I must stress that this song was NOT written in order to throw her under the bus, or to disparage her in any way. We are still friends, and I speak with her once in a blue moon. I wouldn't be the same person that I am if I hadn't known her, for better or worse.  Like I said, I just painted a picture of that shred of my life...and she was very prominent in it.  I actually started writing it when I was still with her (which must have been 7 or 8 years ago) as a joke, basically, and it was supposed be a mournful country ballad, like one of my favorite Gram Parsons songs.  (Somehow, I lost the original lyrics, except for the chorus.  I'm kind-of glad about that, because the distance that time brought on gave me a lot more clarity about the situation, and really, life in general).

It didn't turn out exactly like that, did it?

The truth is, though, that I say that the song is "based" on this girl because it isn't really ABOUT her, per se.  What the song is really about is life in the city, and how you don't notice how the every-day life that you just somehow grow accustomed to effects you, as does the passage of time.  It changes you as a person; it alters who you are, usually both in positive and negative ways. Life goes by REALLY FAST in this city of ours, sometimes so fast that you wonder what the fuck happened, and IS happening.  Sometimes you have no idea until..."suddenly you're five years older."  And let's face it, shit happens that would shock many, but....the toll that time and life takes on some of us teaches us to be shocked less and less frequently....even though, "Your wildest dreams are a flicker of lightning away."

I don't know what else to say about it.  It's pretty straight-forward, and pulls no punches.  But you can probably tell that whomever is singing it really CARED.  Hell...that's what we do.

The woman in question has heard it, and loves it, of course, for some reason.  Maybe it's because it's not sugar-coated, but I'm sure that I don't know.





Pill-Poppin' Coke-Snortin' Girl*

She fell into my life
With a flash of a knife
And lord only knows where she'd been
But I took what I got
With a beer and a shot
The next thing we're livin' in sin
She was just like a lover to me
We danced and sang 
Around the Christmas tree
Then as far as I can tell
It all went to Hell
Now where the hell could she be?

She's my pill-poppin' coke-snortin' girl
And she travels all over the world
Just to get what she needs
I beg, Darlin', please
Babe won't you please come home?

You'd swear she was never a baby
She don't know for sure who's her daddy
Her mama tried to stay hip
By crackin' that whip
No wonder she loved me so badly
In a city that looks over its shoulder
Every passing moment makes you colder
From that very first kiss
You forget what you've missed
'Til suddenly you're five years older

She's my pill-poppin' coke-snortin' girl
And she travels all over the world
Just to get what she needs
I beg, Darlin', please
Babe won't you please come home?

LA ain't no city of angels
New York City sleeps by the day
And in between
Your wildest dreams
Are a flicker of lightnin' away
If home is truly where the heart is
You're homeless if the heart isn't true
My friend, you see
It happened to me
And surely, it could happen to you

She's my pill-poppin' coke-snortin' girl
And she travels all over this world
Just to get what she needs
I beg, Darlin', please
Babe won't you please come home?

(ONE MORE TIME!!!)

She's my pill-poppin' coke-snortin' girl - girl
And she travels all over this world
Just to get what she needs
I beg, Darlin', please
Babe won't you please come home?

Baby, please come home!

 *Written, composed, and performed by Marty Erspamer for Benevolent Criminal (ASCAP)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Solo Songs, Part 6: "Take Control"

(For Part 1, and some background info, GO HERE.  For Part 2, GO HERE. For Part 3, GO HERE. For Part 4, GO HERE. For Part 5, GO HERE).


This is the first song I've written on my own, by myself....EVER. And it completely happened by accident. 

I had decided to stay in one night, late last Fall, and I was just sitting around, playing recycled old Sisters of Mercy and Janes Addiction bass lines backwards on my acoustic bass. I started digging the groove I had heard in the riffs, and laid down a demo track with the bass lines that I'd made up, on the spot.  I then thought that it could use some kind of "junk percussion" (ala Cop Shoot Cop), so I took these Vic Firth mallets that the company sent me when I got my endorsement with them, and banged out the percussion part on this steel stool of mine.  I put the drum machine track on it much later, and I think that the combination of the straight-forward, simple, "four-on-the-floor" drum machine groove, combined with the sort of raw, machine-shop, tribal part that I got out of a fucking CHAIR sounds pretty fucking cool! Hahahahaha!!!

I did and redid the vocal part at least three times.  You might not know it, but I scrutinize the holy hell out of my vocals on this stuff.  The original vocal that I put on it was ok, and had an edge, but...it just didn't cut it in terms of what I heard in my head; it didn't sound POWERFUL enough.  But I think I got a lot closer to what I was looking for with this last pass that I made. It's not perfect, but...fuck it, it's a goddamn demo.

So what about the lyrics?  "Sometimes I think about you when I'm lost into the night..."  I just basically combined a couple of my favorite lines from my favorite Only Ones and PJ Harvey songs with that very first line, and the rest of it flowed from there. With that first verse I just wanted to create a picture of the forlorn lover, walking through the Lower East Side, and connecting the sites & sounds of the city with the presence he feels of someone in his heart.  Coincidentally, I had begun....quite the "entanglement"....with someone around that time, and....yeah, I WAS thinking about her.  So, the picture that I was trying to paint was, as always (with any luck, for better or for worse), 100% fucking REAL.  And speaking of painting pictures, one of my favorite lines I've ever written ends this verse: "And every tear you cry paints a picture of my heartbreak"...ya know, it's that classic, Your-Pain-Is-My-Weakness sentiment.....

Take Control....where the hell did that come from?  I don't even know!  I just started singing it, and it worked.  I kind-of ripped off Alex Chilton a little bit with the lyrics in the chorus, but it turned out WAY different, so who cares?  Sure, it sounds like, from the chorus, its a big sexual rampage song, which.....well, yeah, that's part of it.  But what it's really saying is: just get your beautiful ass in gear and get over here, and let's see if we don't have the time of our lives...and maybe even make each other change for the better somehow (which - I think - is what the whole "make me rise above you" & "rise above me" business is all about...but again, I don't even know. I'm sure some would accuse me of ripping off Black Flag with that one, hahaha).  I mean, sure, I'm a man, but....I can't do EVERYTHING, ok?!!!  Hahahaha.  I like how it turned out, anyway.  

[By the way, I screamed my head off when I re-demoed the choruses....I apologize to my neighbors at the time!]

The second verse, is a little bit more direct, yet less so, at the same time.  "When I look into your eyes, Baby, you take me to another place..."  Hopefully the listener has given me long enough to get to the second verse....because that's where I'm really hoping to engage you!  The girl in question shows up, and you're looking at her, and kissing her, but she's acting unsure.  But, she showed up in the first place, didn't she?  So...let's cut the BS and not waste any more time.

I really wasn't sure what to make of the song after I wrote it, at first, and I added a lot to it after that initial demo that I made, etc.  I listen to it now, and I can say, at the very least, that it moves me when I hear it, both in terms of the way it flows, and in terms of what it's saying. Like I've said before, if I'm not completely sure about a song, if it doesn't ring 100% true, or I find something off-putting I don't bother posting it anymore.  If I can't feel it, then why should anyone else. I definitely feel this one, which is pretty good for a first self-written song, but...I could be wrong about that! Hahahaha.




Take Control*

Sometimes I think about you
When I'm lost into the night
I can feel your heart beating
With every flickering light
I hear the city scream your name
With every step I take
And every tear you cry
Paints a picture of my heartbreak

Take control - and make me like it
Take me home - don't you deny me
Take control - and make me love you
Take me home - make me rise above you
RIGHT NOW

When I look into your eyes, Baby
You take me to another place
But you feel, oh, so cold
When my lips touch your face
You said the clock is tickin'
They're the only hands you see
I say, nothing matters
But tonight and you and me, yeah
  
Take control - and make me like it
Take me home - don't you deny me
Take control - and make me love you
Take me home - make me rise above you
Yeah

So take control (Take control)
And make me like it
Take me home (Take control)
Don't you dare deny me
Take control (Take Control)
And make me love you
Take me home (Take me home)
Make me rise above you (Rise above)
Take control (Rise above)
And make me love you (Rise above)
Take me home (Rise above)
Make me make love to you (Rise above, YEAH, C'MON)

(Rise above) Rise above me
(Rise above) Rise above me
(Rise above) Rise above me, Baby

*Written, composed, and performed by Marty Erspamer for Benevolent Criminal (ASCAP)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Solo Songs, Part 5: "I'll Be Wearing Black"

(For Part 1, and some background info, GO HERE.  For Part 2, GO HERE. For Part 3, GO HERE. For Part 4, GO HERE.)

 "Gone are the days of hula hoops at dusk...."  What the hell does THAT mean, you might ask?  Well....that dates back quite a way. Back in my college days, I used to work at the Greyhound Bus Station, selling tickets, answering the goddamn phone, doing Western Union...you know, shit like that.  To put it mildly, I used to cross paths with some interesting characters. One such character, I recall, was some drunk dude, whom, for some reason, I enjoyed talking with.  I don't remember much about him, or even his name, but he said something that I'll never forget as long as I live.  He was talking about his ex-wife and kids, whom he was clearly estranged from. He looked me in the eye and lamented, "Yeah, Man....I had the American Dream....wife, kids.....hula hoops at dusk, ya know?" My jaw dropped, I was so dumbfounded. I just loved that image, as sad as he was. It indicated regret for a loss of innocence, or something to that effect.  And it's still with me all these years later. 

I guess that's how I feel about the prospect of not being with the girl whom I wrote 95% of this song about (writing 100% of anything about just one person has gotten to be too goddamn painful for me lately, hahahaha), because when I sat in the corner of the bar to write it last week, that's basically how I started it. Sometimes, someone just strikes you....like "an earthquake heart attack."  She can be as precious as she is alluring....as disarming as she is maddening....as gorgeous as she is confusing.  But, as Dylan would say, ain't that "just like a woman"? Of course it is, but....as Sam Kinison said, "What are we gonna do, give SHEEP the vote?!!" Hahahahahaha!!!!

It's not EVEN a break-up song, at least from my vantage point, but it is a lament for a relatively brief, intense affair of the heart that sort-of got torn apart by circumstance...and I guess an assertion that there's still at least one torch being carried for it....and maybe two, from the look in your eyes (whatever color they are). The fact that you aren't "with" someone doesn't necessarily mean that there isn't something major going on between you. It can feel deadly.

It's hard to describe your feelings to someone in any sort of articulate manner, and it also takes a lot of courage, I think.  With that said, I think it's best to say what's on your mind, because someone like that deserves to know.  And honesty in a song is paramount as far as I'm concerned. That first verse basically says that...someone made a choice, I think it sucks, but I support it, but....it fucking hurts. The second verse is basically about....dealing with and escaping that pain, by trying to drink and carouse it off the mind, etc....the way immature people do, I suppose! The third verse sounds pissed off, but....it's more about frustration, confusion, mixed messages/emotions, and maybe questioning if the whole goddamn thing was for real in the first place....after all, as the Darkness sang, "Love is only a feeling anyway," right?  In the end though, the answer is a resounding yes, because I feel it right in the pit of my chest, so....let's have another drink, shall we? But also, a feeling like this doesn't come along very often, and....it seems wasteful to let it just fall by the wayside. But, who the hell knows....maybe it's a blessing in disguise?  Maybe not. Only time can tell. Life is full of maybes.

So what about the title? I remember a few times when I've made arrangements to meet someone somewhere, as a joke, once we've agreed on the plan, I'll text them, "I'll be wearing black," which usually beckons a response along the lines of, "No shit, Sherlock!"  But I actually got the seedling of the idea to write a song with that title from a gorgeous song called, "I'll Be Wearing Blue" by a criminally overlooked band called the Broken Homes. But what I mean when I say "I'll be wearing black", is....that, just as I live and breathe, and am who and what I am, I'm going to miss you...just as surely as I'll be wearing black, which I do every day.

I've said too much already.....



I'll Be Wearing Black

Gone are the days
Of hula hoops at dusk
Lost in the haze
I surely wish you luck
But do you know what's at stake?
It may be your mistake to make
But it's my heart for you to break
And it's more than I can take

I'll be wearing black
It's the only thing I see
I'll be wearing black
The way that you still look at me
I have to face the fact
I may never get you back
It's my earthquake heart attack - yeah
I'll be wearing black

Dark are my nights
But blacker are my days
Shooting down the Sun
Pulling in the strays
Whatever it takes to get me through
Thinking about forgetting you
I only do these things I do
Because you never asked me to be true

I'll be wearing black
It's the only thing I see
I'll be wearing black
The way that you still look at me
I have to face the fact
I may never get you back
It's my earthquake heart attack - and that's why
I'll be wearing black

Speak the words your actions deny
You just can't make up your mind
And it hurts to look in those dark green eyes
Ya know, a love like ours was so hard to find
Perhaps I need to question my taste
Our every embrace is made in haste
And it's such a fucking waste
Pass that bottle 'til my mind's erased

I'll be wearing black
From sea to shining sea
I'll be wearing black
I still feel your love when you look at me
I have to face the fact I might never get you back
It's my earthquake heart attack, yeah
I'll be wearing black
I'll be wearing black
From sea to shining sea
I'll be wearing black
I still feel your love when you look at me
I have to face the fact I might never get you back
It's my earthquake heart attack, yeah
I'll be wearing black
Wearing black
Wearing black
Wearing black

*Written, composed, and performed by Marty Erspamer for Benevolent Criminal (ASCAP)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Solo Songs, Part 4: "Sunday Lover"

(For Part 1, and some background info, GO HERE.  For Part 2, GO HERE. For Part 3, GO HERE.)

What's kind of funny about this song is that I wrote a song with Sunny Climbs TEN YEARS ago with the same title, the lyrics of which I wrote about a girl back home (which I still like, and may use pieces of for something else later).  It occurred to me that I'd only been "in love" once at that point, and that a LOT has happened to me since then.  Experience makes us different people than we used to be, after all, especially after that long.

I've definitely been "in it" a few times since then, but I'm not going to get into numbers (and, really, the lines are kind of blurred, if you know what I mean). Sunday is always sort of seen as a "sacred" day, for a lot of people, from birth.  So...if I've been in a "situation" with someone "special", Sunday has always been all about having a nice time with that person.  And, no, I'm not religious....at least not in any traditional sense (but that's for another blog entry at another time).  

I don't usually plan what I'm going to write - it just happens...and when it winds up being good, it's kind-of like a perfect date, if you catch my meaning. With this song...I started the song sounding, perhaps, a bit smug, arrogant, and brash. Hell, I go so far as to say it sounds like I'm being a self-congratulatory braggart, but that was sort of by design.  I thought that to introduce the song, I would get the fun, tawdry, "whiskey and ice", "paint these four walls red" business out of the way first.  I mean, I think that it makes a great contrast with the sort-of tender, solemn, and appreciative tone of the rest of the song, and by making that contrast, it gives the main point that I'm trying to make with the song more depth. I began the song by introducing myself, I suppose, as if you never met me.  Beyond that, into the first chorus, I'm trying to assert myself as bit of a protector, I guess.  After that, the whole vantage point changes; I begin talking about someone else.

The subsequent verses/choruses, again, by contrast, aren't about me at all, really.

Who are they about?  Well, they aren't specifically about any one person, necessarily, but....I wish and hope that perhaps they could be.  Without getting too specific, sprinkled in the song, there are characteristics, images, references, etc, of a few people who have been special to me over the years, and each has been important in her own way. OK, nobody ever really, literally, "picked me up off the floor and carried me up the stairs" (although I've done that a few times, hahaha) but....that doesn't mean, metaphorically, that I haven't been carried through many a cold dark night by the strength of someone else. FAR from it.  Every specific image that I use in verses 2 and 3 (and for that matter, verse 1 as well) happened in some form or another with someone.  

So, what I wound up with, I guess, is sort of a composite sketch of some of the awesome qualities of some of those whom I found myself in "the thick of it" with...whether those situations ended well or not...or whether they really began or ended at all, more or less (again, the lines are unclear sometimes....that's just life).  There was some reason why I was there in the first place, and I sort of thought about those reasons, and by doing so, maybe painted a picture of a perfect...."Sunday Lover".....if indeed she exists (as Paul Westerberg sang, "I'm in love with someone that doesn't exist").  

The song also is about hoping that I would bring similar qualities to the table for someone as well.  That is an important point to emphasize.  Like, if I wasn't filling someone's heart the way she filled mine, I would want to skip the whole thing. I don't want anyone to do me any favors. I think that the best (only?) reason anyone should ever be here is that they WANT to be here.

The last thing I'll say is, hopefully, like all of my songs, it is 100% honest, in terms of where it's coming from.

Enough said...



"Sunday Lover"*

I'm your late-night caller
Bearing whiskey and ice
Resident enthraller
Baby, roll those dice
I'm the one with whom
You paint these four walls red
And when the morning's through
I'll still be in your bed

I'm the one who makes it alright
The one who gets you through the night
I'm the one who makes you say
You're glad to see the light of day
And by the say I say to you
You do the same for me too
Unlike the others
I'm your Sunday Lover

You picked me up off the floor
And carried me up the stairs
You threw me in the bath
And kissed away a thousand cares
When it all came crashing down
Your eyes still made me shine
I poured out my heart
And Honey, you poured the wine

You're the one who makes it alright
The one who gets me through the night
You're the one who makes me say
I'm glad to see the light of day
And by the way I say to you
I hope I do that for you too
Unlike the others
You're my Sunday Lover

Your light is always on
Your keys are in my pocket
So many memories
Like charms in a silver locket
I made my trail of broken hearts
When I lost my way, it's true
I was never sure about much
But I'm always sure about you

You're the one who makes it alright (I realized what we had)
The one who gets me through the night (When I put you in that cab)
You're the one who makes me say
I'm glad to see the light of day (Baby, you'll never know)
And by the way I say to you (How you made my heart explode)
I hope I do that for you too
Unlike the others (Someday, Baby)
You're my Sunday Lover (Someday)
You make everything alright (If I only)
You get me through every night (Possessed the Sun & the stars)
And you make me pray (I'd bring them all)
We live to see the light of day (Home to you)
And Babe, I say to you (But all I have)
I hope I do that for you too (To give to you)
Unlike the others (Is my heart)
You're my Sunday Lover (That's all)
Baby Lover....
 *Written, composed, and performed by Marty Erspamer for Benevolent Criminal (ASCAP)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Solo Songs, Part 3: "Mind This Time"

(For Part 1, and some background info, GO HERE.  For Part 2, GO HERE.)

"I decided...to get back on my feet, And I'm willing....to shoulder the weight."  I had this image of Sisyphus spending his life, pushing a huge rock up a hill, only to watch it roll back down once he gets it to the top.....forever.  What a hell of a metaphor for life!

The fact is that this song is another one that floated around my head for years.....and actually, for the better part of 10 years! It's obviously very influenced by Richard Ashcroft and the Verve; I'm certainly man enough to admit that!  The lyrics are pretty much exactly as I wrote them, on a slip of paper at the Cafe Pick-Me-Up in the East Village, back in....2003, maybe?  Sometimes, you just get it right on that first draft.  It's a very simple statement about making that painstaking decision to move on.  It could be about moving on from any situation, and looking forward to the future, whatever it may bring....because you have to find out just what that is. It's a positive thing, but that doesn't make it any less painful, or risky.  It takes a lot of courage and belief in one's self to pull it off.  You can even try to tell yourself that you aren't scared, but you know deep down inside that you surely are....but even scarier is the prospect of sticking with the status quo, so....in the end you have no choice. Some things are inevitable.

The only part of the lyrics that I changed was the bridge. I had some cheeseball lines written about sailing off into the horizon, or some shit, but...that didn't ring true to me.  It sounded like I was trying too hard to say something that could be said more simply, and consequently, more powerfully.  That's when the "look away" lines came to me.  I thought of Tony Bennett's version of the Rogers & Hammerstein classic, "Love, Look Away", and thought THAT was the simple, direct, relevant statement I was looking for, so I stuck that in there instead, and I like it a lot. It was completely a spontaneous idea, but it's remarkable how often those work!!




Mind This Time*

I decided to get back on my feet
And I'm willing to shoulder the weight
So take the circus just one mile down the river
And take heed

I'm not changing my mind this time
I'm not changing my mind this time
I'm not changing my mind this time, Baby
I'm not changing my mind this time, no no

I'm not afraid to steal away on my own
The truth lies, Baby, even when I'm alone
But these circumstances don't grant second chances
And that's all

I'm not changing my mind this time
I'm not changing my mind this time
I'm not changing my mind this time, My Love
I'm not changing my mind this time

Look away - look away, look away
Love - look away
Look away look away

I'm not changing my mind this time, no way
I'm not changing my mind this time
I'm not changing my mind this time, no no
I'm not changing my mind this time - this time

I'm not changing my mind this time
Time has a way of moving on
I'm not changing my mind this time
Sometimes the singer ain't as important as the song
I'm not changing my mind this time
Look away, look away
I'm not changing my mind this time, this time
Look away look way
Look away

*Written, composed, and performed by Marty Erspamer for Benevolent Criminal (ASCAP)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Solo Songs Part 2: "Let It Go"

(For Part 1, and some background information, go HERE.)

This song, "Let It Go", has been floating around in my head for about 7 or 8 years now.  My original idea was for it to sort-of be my version of Led Zeppelin's "Since I've Been Loving You", at least conceptually speaking. I wanted to make a song through which I expressed, perhaps, similar sentiments, (take, for example, my lyric, "They say that love is blind, But I've seen it all with you, I'm so goddamn sure of myself, Then I don't know what to do"), but through a different context. So, the idea was, if I would have sung that Zep song, what would my lyrics have been? I certainly didn't wind up with a Blues song, I don't think, by any means.  But what I did come up with, hopefully, is something sentimental, evocative, honest, solemn, and 100% straight from the heart.  It's important for me to feel any song that I'm going to show the world, to my very core.  If not, I scrap it for a rainy day.

I do love this song very much, because, even though it's only the second song I've written by myself.  By writing this song, I learned that I had the ability to create something that truly reflected how I felt in my heart, and do so by myself.  That's some cathartic shit, and there's nothing in the world like that.  Whether it comes across, or matters, or is even any good, is up to the listener.

Vocally, some of my friends seem to think that I'm coming from Tom Waits territory, which is fine (I'm a huge fan), but I disagree.  It's hard to compare one's self to another singer at all, I think, and also....I mean, the singers that sort of influenced where I was coming from here are so above and beyond me that I hesitate to even mention them.  But let's just say that I was listening to a lot of Leonard Cohen at the time, and a lot of Mark Lanegan...which are two singers whose every word I believe 100% when they sing. 

I ask myself, what does this song even fucking MEAN?  I can tell you that it's not about any ONE person, like a lot of my songs, but is a sort of combination of thoughts about various situations I've been in.  The date in the opening line is very significant, as are the "blue curtains" and the "Indian Summer Sun".  Those parts weren't in the original 12 drafts of the lyrics that I made over the years. I changed the lyrics at the last minute, ultimately, because, as old as the song idea was, I wanted that first verse to reflect what was happening at the time I first started recording this demo, which was late last year (2013). I thought that gave the song more depth, and it added context; it made it that much more REAL. I had someone special on my mind, and I thought that incorporating that was a great way to set the tone of the song.

The second verse, I completely wrote on the fly at the last minute as well, because there weren't three verses in my original drafts, and I felt like I needed one more.  It's essentially a general reflection on a few situations that I've been in (and, likely, so have you) in which....you're blissfully happy with someone, and then....you wake up one day, and you're miserable.  So, you claw your way out of it, which sometimes takes quite awhile for some of us...and then you're left in an empty room, missing someone whom you know you're probably better off away from anyway....but you're STILL wondering just WHAT the FUCK HAPPENED!!! 

With this aforementioned 3rd verse, I had an image of....walking through the streets on a rainy night, wondering where someone is, but having too much pride to pick up the phone.  We've all been there, haven't we? The lyrics are mostly the same as they always were, with the exception of the last two lines, which I came up with at the last minute. And these two lines really tie the entire song together, and put it in even more of a defined context: "I know tonight might be the night, Baby, Hold me one more time." There's that glimmer of hope in the thick of all of this darkness, plus....it references the line in the first verse ("Come back to bed, you said, Baby, Hold me one more time"), which I think was a clever little trick, but....then, again....maybe I'm off my fucking rocker.

But....what do I mean when I say, "Let it go"?  I don't even know myself, sometimes. I think that it probably means, let's do each other a favor and get the hell out of this situation before it kills us....but that doesn't mean that I don't still care about you...a LOT.  But on the other hand, maybe it means, we should let all of this bullshit go and be strong, and rise above it.  That seems less likely, I think, but it's another interpretation. I guess it's up to you.



Let It Go*
The twelfth of October
Indian Summer sun
Behind blue curtains
We breathed as one
My hazy eyes
Grateful that you were mine
Come back to bed you said
Hold me one more time

Baby Baby let's just let it go
But I'm here just like I was before
My Baby, let's just let it go
But I'm here just like I was before

(You know that it's true
I know that you do)

It seems like years ago
Could have happened today
What the hell happened in between
I guess no one can say
Saturday night in my arms
And Tuesday we're strangers
Paralyzed by black and blue eyes
We didn't sense the danger

Baby Baby let's just let it go
But I'm here just like I was before
My Baby, let's just let it go
But I'm here just like I was before

They say that love is blind 
But I've seen it all with you
I'm so goddamn sure of myself
Then I don't know what to do
I search the streets and skies
For a call or a sign
I know tonight might be the night
Baby, hold me one more time

Baby Baby let's just let it go
But I'm here just like I was before
My Baby, let's just let it go
I'll be here - I've always been here
My Baby, let's just let it go
But I'm here just like I was before
My Baby, let's just let it go
But I'm here - I'll always be here 

*Written, composed, and performed by Marty Erspamer for Benevolent Criminal (ASCAP)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Solo Songs Part 1: "Just Another Stranger"

Some Background: I've been drumming for almost my entire conscious life....and certainly have made my contributions to every band I've played in.  But, aside from bringing in some riffs here and some lyrics there, it occurred to me that I haven't shown the world complete song ideas.....which has been frustrating for me, because, I hear songs in my head all of the time, and I have for years - lyrics, hooks, colors, shades, vibes, melodies, dreamscapes, and what have you.  But, the only person who can hear the songs in your head is YOU. What good is that?

So, late last year, I finally got fed up. I figured out (what I pretty much knew all along) that I could teach myself how play what's in my head on bass (I've had an acoustic bass that's been collecting dust for years), figure out the corresponding guitar chords, lay down a drum or drum machine (or both) track, and sing my lyrics over the top of it.  The ideas are fairly simple, but....they have depth, or at least I hope that they do.

The concept that I'm kind of going for, in a musical sense, is....sort of like Vision Thing-era Sisters of Mercy meets Mother Love Bone....or....Cop Shoot Cop meets Hanoi Rocks....or, what if Billy Idol sang for the Lords of the New Church, with Wayne Hussey from the Mission supplying some additional guitars, with Mark Lanegan producing, with some consultation from Topper Headon from the Clash?!! I don't know....and I don't know if I'm even coming close to achieving any of the above, but you never know until you try. Like David Lee Roth said, "RAISE that flag, let's see who salutes, Baby!!!" But in any case, it's dark, decadent, and deep, with any luck.

So....I came up with the name Midnight Crisis....and I want to call the first collection of tracks (I hesitate to call it an "album" at this formative stage) Heart Beatings.  I haven't yet decided how many tracks are going to be on it, but I'm thinking around 8.  So far I've finished 5 (complete with guitar tracks) that I like enough to use (with 1 in progress - I think). 

(I've written about 13 of them, but....if I don't feel that they're good enough, I don't bother using them, so....I pulled more than half of them).

This first song has been in my head for about 8 years (no shit), and is called "Just Another Stranger."  It may sound like it's about being an alcoholic slut or whatever. But what it's really about is escapism. It's about escape from your own worries, pain, loneliness, uncertainty, etc. And, as fun as it is to escape from all of these things and have a big party and forget about everything, you never really know what you're getting into...even if you do fall flat on your face in love. I mean, it takes a lot of doing to even get to know yourself, much less someone else. So...it's a big, potential gamble. Is it all worth it? I think that the song says that ultimately, it is, because....what the hell else is there, really, besides those inspiring moments that you forget yourself?! That may be as meaningful as it gets....



JUST ANOTHER STRANGER*
Making my rounds
On the dark side of town
You know it don't matter much to me
It's something to do
I know it's where I'll find you
I'll be your latest casualty
The world outside 
Is along for the ride
But they can see we're taking flight
So take me home
Baby, let me know
Why I show my face daylight

I'm just another stranger
Lying in your bed
Just another stranger
Livin' inside of your head

Drinking down
Just to drown my memories
There's so much more to life
Shattered screams
Forgotten daydreams
Fine lines at the edge of a knife
Comfort and pain
Such a said refrain
Shadow's refuge from the sun
Cold as stone
Scared to be along
And tonight, Baby, you're the one (YEAH)

I'm just another stranger
Lying in your bed
Just another stranger
Livin' inside of your head

Love is abandonment
And Love is pain
It's too goddamn much to bear
Scourges and scars
And Spanish guitars
How could they say that all is fair?
Wistful eyes 
Under starry skies
They get me through the day
Reaching for hope
At the end of my rope
I don't have the faith to pray

I'm just another stranger (Who could it be?)
Lying in your bed (Who could it be?)
Just another stranger (I never know)
Livin' my life inside of your head 
I'm just another stranger (I never know)
Lyin' next to you (Who's lyin' next to me)
Just another stranger (With the lights on)
Until my heart turns true (I just can't see)

*Written, composed, and performed by Marty Erspamer for Benevolent Criminal (ASCAP)

Monday, January 13, 2014

As Close to a Rant As I Have Ever Posted And Hopefully Ever Will

I generally maintain my blog on an "up" note, because that's also how I choose to approach my life. But, that being said, there are certain types of people that really crawl under my skin a little bit....not much, but enough that I would remark on it....and that is people who feel that they are in a position to pass judgements on other people. 

I see it all the time, and maybe more lately than ever. But to illustrate what I'm talking about on....neutral ground, I'll refer back to a column in the New York Post back when Heath Ledger died, written by some so-called journalist (whom I won't bother naming) who clearly has no moral high ground, nor any insightful knowledge into the guy's life, to judge or even comment on it. What happened to Ledger & the aftermath aren't even any of her damn business....although keeping New Yorkers, etc, buying, reading, and seeing ads in this toilet-paper tabloid IS her business. And ultimately, that's what's going on here.

The poor guy was DEAD, and his body wasn't even COLD yet, and she's sitting in judgement of him, like she does to so many people every day. I remember reading that, and thinking that this sort of "death by misadventure" could have happened to people I've known and loved....and if she would have written a column about any of them, I would have HIT the fucking ROOF! I bet this columnist probably doesn't have any friends at all, much less friends who might have been in a position like that. So much for empathy. However, deep down inside, this person must feel that she's far beneath this talented actor who fell victim to a substance addiction, and likely, depression...and perhaps has her own skeletons in the closet that nobody would even venture to care about....so maybe it makes sense.

And speaking of friends....I've never met any of the ones she refers to, but...I suspect that they were probably devastated at what happened to him. Do they need this thrown in their face, especially so soon after the fatal incident? How about his wife and child, whom she so classily refers to in her column as well? Do THEY need to see this crap? I don't think so. The sort if feigned outrage is so transparent, isn't it? It simply doesn't add up.

I'm bringing this up to illustrate a point. With Social Media seemingly being a permanent fixture of many of our lives, some people just needs to hear a piece of gossip, make a judgement on it, and then broadcast it as fact (and maybe even tweak it...just a little - they have to get their own editorial in there, you know) to whomever will listen, so to speak. And there's always an agenda to it, just as there is with the aforementioned tabloid trash-peddlers as well as religious crank-jobs. And oftentimes, TOO often, people will believe anything they read. It's laughable, more often than not, and usually reflects badly on whomever is perpetuating it, but....that doesn't make it any more pleasant, does it? In fact, it's pathetic and fucking embarrassing to even know about.

I personally choose not to pay much attention to it.  Most of the shit-talkers and gossip-mongers that hang out in the rural outSKIRTS (no pun intended) of my (usually-solid) circles are filtered out of my feeds, so....I can just choose to avoid that noise, more often than not. I do hear about it from other people, but....I don't usually let it get to me. I mean....who the hell cares?!

But it does beg the question...why the relentless insistence on constant negativity?  Is it jealousy? Envy? Bitterness? Stupidity? Lack of talent? Lack of direction? Lack of focus? Lack of progress? Mommy/Daddy issues? Feelings of inadequacy, perhaps? All of the above? I don't know, because....well, I am not that way, so...I cannot relate.

Maybe it's because I was so relentlessly bullied at school when I was growing up, by a lot of hypocritical people who came from families with "good, Christian" values. You see a lot of that from religious extremists of every denomination, and they often sound like the columnist I referred to above, after a fashion. As Neil Young once sang, "Don't forget what your good book said." And, within the context of what I'm talking about here, the good book said, "Judge not, lest ye be judged."  I remember that from Catholic school, and I'm not even religious!

Sure, I'm no saint, and I'm no prince (and I'm certainly no PRINCE!) but....I do try to improve myself. And, more often than not, I err on the side of dwelling on & accentuating the positive, if I can help it. Sure, I've made lots of mistakes, many of which aren't worthy of repeating, but....I'll say this: those of us with the most checkered pasts often make the best friends and confidantes....because the most self-aware and intelligent of us know that WE DON'T HAVE ANY RIGHT TO JUDGE. And that fact, coupled with the fact that those of us in that position have often "been there", will often inspire trust and confidence from our friends. Anyone who's watched Sex & the City might understand the concept. (Yes...I like that show & always did! Judge away!) And if there's anything I've ever wanted to be for my friends, it's been to be one of their best. I am many things, and many of them may leave something to be desired, but jaded and judgmental, I am not, and refuse to be.

I learned a long time ago that being bitter or indignant towards the successes and fortunate events of other people only winds up hurting yourself. And, the same goes for wishing for or gaining satisfaction from the missteps or unfortunate events of others. And, to that point, dwelling on the weaknesses or shortcomings that you perceive (whether reasonably & accurately or not) in others, rather than in yourself, really isn't fair...even to one's self....because we all have our own problems. And, to me, these are merely very convenient ways of blaming everyone but one's self for one's own troubles. 

Does that mean that we have to LIKE EVERYONE?! NO!!! But we also don't have to constantly talk shit on them either.  And if I've lost a close friend or two in the past few years, you can bet your sweet ass that this sort of thing had a LOT to do with it, at least from my end of the spectrum...and a colorful one it is! 

There just comes a time when there's no getting through to some people, but I guess that's a blessing in disguise. Being free of dealing with the burden of trying to be around someone like that is like the weight of the planet Saturn off your shoulders....as well as the fucking rings! And it also frees up your time to hang out with other people who can take life more in stride....which can be very enlightening and inspiring, indeed. There's always a light if you look for it, but you often have to be in the darkness to see it, I guess.

That's about all I have to say about it. I'm now going to go back to my regularly scheduled transformation of chicken shit into chicken salad!!!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

....and to think that they had to cut down trees to make the toilet paper that we threw up into the trees.....

This one takes us WAY back....

I was NOT the popular kid back in high school. I got a multitude of shit for being different, and it was mostly unpleasant to say the least....but in retrospect, it almost makes me feel honored at this point....but that's another story.

There were a LOT of trees in my family's front and back yards....and for some reason, during my sophomore year, it seemed like a weekend wouldn't go by without some jerkoffs toilet-papering the trees. After this happened a few times, I grew tired of it....and it just so happened that I heard through the grapevine who was behind these toilet papering shenanigans. I aimed to retaliate!

So...I got a couple of my friends together, and we went to the grocery store and bought....well, a SHITLOAD of toilet paper. The funniest part was, when we went to pay for it, my friend Dan said to the lady behind the cash register, "Um.....yeah.....we all REALLY have to GO!" Ahahahahahaha!!!!!!

This douchelord who was the target of my wrath lived on the outskirts of town, in a fairly heavily-wooded area. PERFECT! And nobody was home. EVEN BETTER!!!  

We papered the entire area around this crankjob's house with meticulous artistry!!!! And none of us could hold back our laughs as we did so. It was fucking hilarious!!! I can see, now, why those shaft sanders had so much fun in MY yard! HAhahahaha.

The best part, though, was running back to my friend's car, and driving by, to examine our handiwork. It was gorgeous! All of that toilet paper, waving in the trees like ghosts in the breeze! It still warms my heart to think about it!

Anyway....please don't squeeze the Charmin!




Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Winter's Tale or Just Another Metaphor For Life

This one goes back a little bit....

....to right after I graduated from college, and moved to smack-dab in the middle of an Arctic Tundra known as Minneapolis, MN....right on I-94, equidistant from Uptown and Downtown, if you're familiar with the area. I had a view of the modest skyline of Downtown, and found the sound of the traffic from the highway to be comforting for some reason.

I digress.....

I was looking for what the Replacements would call, a "Goddamn Job", when I came across an ad stating that a local dinner theatre company was looking for musicians for a Patsy Cline revue....I think it was called Closer Walk with Patsy Cline. They wanted a drummer who could also sing vocal harmony parts. "What the hell", I thought, "I could do THAT....and, I might LEARN something....and....who's going to have a COOLER first post-college job than THAT?! NO fucker, THAT's who!!!" I called the number in the ad immediately, talked myself up a bit (no shit), and set up the audition for that Saturday.

I remember it being colder than witch's lingerie closet that day. No matter, I got in the pick-up truck & drove to the suburbs for my audition. This would be a good time to mention that I was a TOTAL CHEAPSKATE when it came to keeping the tank filled with gas....so much so that I found myself tempting fate very often (much like our good friend Kramer). Well, this was NOT a good day to do that, as I admitted to myself when, right on the goddamn highway, with the gas gauge on "E" (usually my favorite letter, but perhaps not in this case), the engine just....petered out. I got out of the truck and tried a little trick that I used to use when this would happen, which was to take the gas cap off & keep it open. For some reason, this would often allow me to start the damn truck up again, and coast to the nearest gas station. Yeah....it didn't work this time, and I was getting late for my audition.

I grabbed the gas can (which, now that I think about it, I should have kept FILLED) from underneath the topper, and flagged down someone who was nice enough to drive me to a gas station (which was less than a mile away, of course) to get some gas. When I got back, I poured the gas into the tank, and then I reached for my keys......which....weren't.....there.

Yup, there they were....in the ignition, where I left them. And of COURSE I locked the goddamn door...and the other one. FUCK!!! WHAT the HELL was I going to do?! I was now more than fashionably late for my audition, and I didn't have any time for this crap! 

So....I did what any other enterprising, red-blooded, young American Rock n' Roller would have done. I crawled underneath the topper.....got on my side....brought my leg back with an angle so my boot heel was aimed just so.....and, with all of my might, I KICKED IN the middle panel of the back window!!!  Then I reached in, grabbed my drum sticks, and with them, flipped the lever on the side of the door and unlocked it. Then I grabbed the blanket that I had back there, and covered the seat with it (as there was no sense in getting cut by broken glass).

I finally pulled into the theatre company's offices, apologized profusely for being (at least) a half hour late, and explained how much of a DUMBASS I was!! Thankfully, they were totally cool about it. 

I did my drumming/percussion audition, my singing audition, and my doing-both-at-the-same-time audition (despite being as winded as Holy Hell).....

And.....to make a long story not QUITE as long......

....I GOT THE GIG!!!!!  BOOM!!!!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Are you happy, now?!!! How about....now?!!! Or.....NOW?!!!! or Some Fast Food For Thought

"Every time I think of happy I think of h-a-p-p-y. It's a funny word. I think of slaphappy. What's happy? There are feelings of well-being and comfort and peace, love, of feeling assured. I guess I was happy the day I got my Tome Mix cowboy spurs when I was six years old -- but on that same day my great-grandmother died, so..." - Al Pacino, Playboy Interview, December, 1996

I remember reading this when I was working at the Greyhound Bus Station, back in WisCONsin, a few years before I split to New York City. It really opened my eyes up, because I could relate to what he said 100%!

I remember being at my dad's funeral when I was 7-years-old, right? It just so happened that my new best friend was having his birthday party on the same day. After the service at the church, everyone gathered for refreshments or whatever in the church basement. And my Mom asked my sister-in-law if she would drive me to the birthday party. Her line of thinking was, "The funeral is over-with, so why does he have to hang around? He might as well go and have some fun with his new friends...." So, of course, I went to the party in my little suit & tie, and ate cake & ice cream, and I think I even talked about my dad a little bit with my friend's mom. You, know, it was alright. I think that, in hindsight, it was extremely cool of my Mom to have me go to that party.

Was I happy?  Probably not, but...I  probably laughed a lot. And....THERE's the rub!

But, essentially, what Pacino is saying, and I'm sort-of echoing, is that....for many of us, happiness seems to happen according to whatever the last thing is that happened.  I stubbed my toe....so I'm pissed....but, then a friend said something hilarious....so now, I'm happy! That's usually how every day goes for me. I have some wild mood swings every now and then, but I've never really found any sort of sustainable happiness, I don't think. But, with that said, I've found EVEN LESS sustainable UNhappiness. And I think that's probably the whole point, at the end of the day. If you find yourself feeling more good than bad, when it all boils down, you're probably coming out ahead.  I guess, it's all relative and subjective...and up to each of us as individuals, according our own experiences in life and our consequential perspectives, to suss out the difference.

It's funny, though. I know rich people who are miserable, and poor people who seem happy, and vice versa. I know married people who are happy, and some definitely not so much, and ditto for single people. I know happy drunks, and I know sober people who make me want to jump off a bridge. I know successful people who are thrilled as all HELL with their accomplishments, and those who don't appreciate anything...even themselves and their own hard work. I know people who have had some awful, traumatic shit happen in their past, who seem to have gained some kind of peace with it, and people who at least claim to have had smooth-sailing all the way who are totally lost. I've certainly seen content people who have struggled all their lives and and I've seen people with diamond-encrusted golden spoons for miles who are incorrigible at best. So, in summation, there's absolutely no blueprint!

(Now, granted, nobody REALLY knows what has happened in someone's past, no matter WHO they are or WHERE they came from...not to mention that nobody has a right to judge). 

So, money doesn't buy happiness (but I'll take it). Marriage & relationships certainly don't, necessarily (but the right ones will certainly help, if you can find them). So what is it? Drugs and alcohol? Nope. Big parties, every night? Hell no. (Not that there's anything inherently wrong with any of those things, either). 

Is it about having great people close to you? Now we might be onto something with that, for sure, at least in my case. No matter how many friends you have, what really matters is that the people close to you are real, and there for the right reasons...and for you be the same way to them. I've been extremely lucky in that regard, and hope my friends feel that they have been with me. Not everyone might agree that having people close to them contributes to their happiness, but...I just can't relate to that, and I'm someone who needs my alone time as much as the next guy. Love and understanding rank highly with me.

I also think that it's just as important to feel inspired, engaged, and moving forward with your hopes, dreams and aspirations, and to feel like you have some kind of place carved out in the world, and that you are moving forward....or at least that's important to me, for sure!  And these things can evolve and change over time. Hell, part of growing is about finding new interests, new ambitions, and new talents....and new ways to apply your knowledge and experiences that you rack up all the time. I don't know if it's this way for everyone, but, again...for me, it's unquestionable.

When you sift through all of the bullshit, I think it's about self-awareness and how that coincides with the reality of this fucked-up world around us. And I think that the more time goes on, and the more rapidly the world changes, the more often it is demanded of us to adapt....and sometimes, that's a large pain in the ass. But, what are the options? Few, at best?

There's another conundrum that occurred to me the other day. I hope that we aren't faced with just two choices; to either wind up being jaded, cold, and callous.....or in a perpetual state of arrested adolescence?!  Shit, if given that choice, clearly, I'd choose the latter, but I hope that perhaps we can come up with something better than that!

I don't have any answers.....just more and more questions. If anything, I'm just thinking aloud, trying to make sense of everything that brought me to where I'm sitting right this very moment. 

But....you know, it's not bad....not bad at all.

Bundle up, everyone.....


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Here's to a whirlwind of a 2013, the soundtrack that underscored it, and high hopes for 2014 and beyond

2013 was a year that I will never forget. It included some of the most breath-taking highs, heart-destroying lows, and enough mid-levels to at least give me the ability to take a look around, reflect, and deal with it all. 

When the smoke clears, I usually like to emphasize and accentuate the the positive aspects of all of it, and approach life under the assumption that all of my experiences ultimately make me come out ahead.  I can only hope that I'm correct in that assumption, but so far, so good!

For example....a couple of bridges had to be burned this year, and that was really a crying shame, because that rarely has to happen in my world. Those of you that have known me for awhile know that. But, as they say, old doors close, and new ones open....so, consequently, I forged some AWESOME new and close friendships, and deepened a lot of the preexisting ones. And I have been having the time of my life, in that way! You all know exactly who you are, and I love you all to straight to hell and back. Would that qualify as a silver lining? Only if it has a golden surface! Hahahaha!!! Anyway, I'm grateful for that beyond any 75-cent words I can write here.



I also connected very deeply with someone so disarmingly beautiful and inspiring beyond description. And even though our time together has been relatively short, at least for the time being, it was very substantial. My perspective of the world over, as well as the world inside my heart of hearts, has been forever altered. The fact that I now know that someone like this person exists in the world, no matter where, has restored so much within me that I had long-since thought that I had lost. My time with this person has been so indispensable that I couldn't possibly imagine my life without it, nor would I want to. Again, I am eternally grateful.



Rock n' Roll?  Fuck yeah!!! 2013 started with the Dirty Pearls' first US tour!  I retook to the road like a second skin to be sure!!!  I loved not caring about what day it was, or even what time it was, save for what time soundchecks and shows were!  The long drives with my homeboys, listening to Howard Stern and watching stupid movies like HALL PASS and being at the butt-crack of every joke, seemingly, in human existence (which, of course, I don't mind...the operative term, of course, being, "TOUCHE', DOUCHE'!!!"). I loved my long walks by myself in almost every city that we played in, with my headphones on, getting lost in new places, great music, and impossible-to-foresee adventures! And the shows...I mean, at every gig, the band got more tight and ferocious than we were at the last one! Los Angeles....Vancouver....Iowa City...Las Vegas...Kansas City...Oakland....Chicago...Portland....etc....w/ friends and family at almost every stop! Playing in front of some of my oldest friends and immediate family in St. Paul was fucking TOPS....but singing happy Birthday to my MOM from the stage was even better!!!! Talk about beaming with pride!!! 



It was also very inspiring to watch my good friend kick ass the way she does onstage in front of houses packed to the gills with thousands of people....and having her point at me and shout, "HOMEBOOOOOIIIIEEEEY!!!" in front of those thousands pf people!!!! I doubt that my face ever blushed that many shades of Fire-Engine Red in my whole life!  But more importantly, it was just great to see this huge production, complete with excellent musicians, etc, going on, night after night. It's clearly a lot of hard work, but....it's great to see how my friend from the old bar's hard work came to fruition. It's great to see people make great things happen, and it inspires me to strive to do so as well.



It broke my heart a little bit when the tour got cut short a month early....because I really started getting into being a road dog.  I also wondered, and still wonder, what might have happened had we been able to stay out for that month. I think that it would have been a lot of fun, and surely there would have been great gigs, but....one can't really dwell too much on what didn't happen, by God! Plus, I got to go to my good friend's very spectacular and awesome wedding, which I had been sad that I was going to have to miss, so....there's that silver lining once again.



The Summer was a rough one, here in New York City. There was a collective black cloud that seemed to shroud everything.  And it certainly wasn't only because many of us lost our favorite meeting places, but....that fact certainly didn't help matters. I really didn't have the substantial tragedies that some of you, my best and brightest, had, but....I certainly always felt for it, and for you, for sure. 



With that said, that bummer of a Summer led to the most awesome Autumn that I can really remember. Not least of which was....I had a week-long (at least) birthday celebration that would have killed 15 normal men, from just the intensity and frequency of the laughs alone! I had SO much fun....and I HAD to be out that many nights in a row, because I was fortunate enough to have THAT many people to celebrate with! And if you were there....well, you know! And it was soon after that when I met someone that I mentioned above....



And the holidays? Forget about it....the celebration continued.....that's for sure. But it wasn't just a big, superficial drunk fest. I think that a lot of us were, more than anything, just celebrating our lives, and living each moment for its own sake. And they were good times!



As far as 2014 goes....so far, so good, I suppose. I have extremely high hopes for it on several levels. And a lot of things are really up in the air, and as it always is in life, could go in any direction. All I can do is worry about what I can control. I'm not the type to make "resolutions", because those seem to be made to be broken. I do have aspirations and goals, though. I'd love for the band to get back on the road, should the opportunity present itself. Aside from that, I certainly want to this to be my most fruitful year, creatively speaking, so....I want to keep writing songs, both by myself, and maybe even collaborate with some people. I also have other creative ideas that I want to explore. I really want to diversify my creativity, and make some cool shit happen. None of us are getting any younger, but....that doesn't mean that we can't create opportunities for ourselves, and maybe even some success. Wouldn't that be fucking AWESOME?!!  I think so. And my favorite thing to do in this world is, in my own way, to make things happen!!!!



PS-I was going to write this about my favorite music that I got into this past year, but I'll probably do that tomorrow. Stay tuned!