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Happy OLD YEAR's eve!

listen to "New Year"s Eve"

picture of fireworks

I'm still working on my new album, so I'm digging into the bin of nostalgia for a recording for you from way, way back when I was in college, with long hair and sandals, oh-so-sensitive and a little pretentious, wanting to write a poignant Paul Simon/Leonard Cohen-esque breakup song. This is a song from my first CD, "Nocturnal" which dates back to... wait for it... 1997!!!

A wiser man might refrain from sharing songs from a period when I was still pretty green as a songwriter and writing songs riddled with flaws. Foolish? Perhaps. Self-indulgent? Well, isn't all nostalgia? You know, I might have to make this a bi-annual tradition, digging into the nostalgia bin and exposing my embarrassing songs of yore. Just you wait 'til I share the first punk rock song I ever wrote with a buddy when I was 13. It's called Fuck the Nun. Because punk rock is... confrontational!!!

This song, this folky ballad with the lite-rock bridge, is so cute... it's impossible for me to listen to this without a certain amount of embarrassed condescension. And yet - I have to admire the intent. Even if I didn't quite succeed, I was trying super hard to make poignant statements, man, I was trying to be a poet! Have I lost this ambition? These days, do I only aspire to entertain?

The lyrical tone of this song is a mix of confessional and worldly. I'll chalk up the confessional tone to youth, but the worldliness is pretty funny for a sheltered college kid, and could explain why I was sometimes accused of being pretentious. I was dating a freshman at the time, however, and I was a senior, so yeah, maybe I felt worldly (I've always been good with my hands.)

The worldiness hits its peak (as does the song) with lyrics like "you envision... a world of true escape where everyone is equal... and everyone participates... well, that is not the world I know nor the one we can acheive." I still relate to that: it's about the conflict between idealism and ruthless realism, a theme that works its way into lots of my lyrics (when I'm being philosophical and pretentious, anyway.)

And then there are overly melodramatic lines like "I would rather DEFY MY CONSCIENCE" and "I HAVE GIVEN UP MYSELF IN THIS CONFUSION."

And my buddy Anand wrote the chords for the bridge and there are just way, way too many chords, it's ridiculous. Young songwriters, let this be a lesson to you. Like Sufjan Stevens once said to Philip Glass, LESS IS MORE. (True story! ...I think.)

But there is something touching about an older worldly guy feeling vulnerable as he dates a young ebullient creature and knows it won't last. Man, it's like the FBI guy in season two of Dexter. I think thats an interesting relationship dynamic. Somebody should write a song about it.

Click here for the lyrics

Thanks for reading. New songs coming soon.

Dec 21, 2010

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