Song of the Week

Song of the Week #23: “Alberta”

Song of the Week #23 Snow-covered truck

This song, “Alberta,” was written this afternoon and inspired by the photo at left, taken by Canadian photographer Christopher Martin.

Come see my new band, Juno and Jupiter, play it’s first show this Saturday, January 5th at the Drunken Unicorn. We go on around 9:20pm; please come check us out!

“Alberta”

You’re not what you were before
I see you still have your old beauty and your charm, but
You’ve been left out in the cold for oh so long
I’ve not forgotten the way you were before

Roaming the hills of Alberta with you, my old love
Our first summer after college we said fuck it all
Taking only what we could carry on our backs
Oh, I still see you, I still see you, I still see you among those apple trees

It doesn’t feel like it did before
Me so naive to think I could catch those moment in a jar
Now you’re just a sign for someone else’s message
Chucked off to the side and fenced off, kept apart, ohhh, so far

Roaming the hills of Alberta with you, my old love
Our first summer after college we said fuck it all
Taking only what we could carry on our backs
Oh, I still see you, I still see you, I still see you among those apple trees

Furry with snow about a half mile from where we would go
To swim without clothes, sounds of insects and birds
would follow us home

Roaming the hills of Alberta with you, my old love
Our first summer after college we said fuck it all
Taking only what we could carry on our backs
Oh, I still see you, I still see you, I still see you among those apple trees


Song of the Week #22: “Thank You”

Song of the Week #22

I started writing this song, “Thank You,” the day before Thanksgiving in hopes of posting it that week. I still don’t have the melodies finalized – again lyrically lagging behind.

The song is about being up against it, running and gratitude. Here is the first verse:

The rain is coming down but I just have to get out of the house
to feel the air against my skin and sweat my demons out.

As I pour over the asphalt the past is running through my mind
but those things they stay the same no matter how fast I fly.

But the streets are drying out as I make the turn toward home,
and the sunshine is breaking through the clouds.

We’ll be playing this and other new songs at Juno and Jupiter‘s first show on Saturday, January 5th at the Drunken Unicorn. We go on early; please come check us out!

“Thank You”


Song of the Week #21: “Do You Remember?”

Song of the Week #21

Richard Milne has long been a musical institution in Chicago. His show on 93XRT, Local Anesthetic, is the longest-running local music show in Chicago and has been on air for over 20 years. As part of his program, Richard annually hosts the Local Anesthetic Holiday Spectacular (now in it’s 21st year), in which local bands send in 30-45s snippets of original holiday-themed songs. You can listen to some past samples here.

This week’s song, “Do You Remember?” is Juno and Jupiter’s entry into the 2012 holiday show, airing on XRT on December 16th and 23rd. The link below it, “Holiday Song,” is a song that my Radio Mango bandmates and I put together 5-6 years ago for the program.

“Do You Remember?”

“Holiday Song”


Song of the Week #20: “Ain’t No Sunshine”

Song of the Week #20

Many of you may have heard this one before. “Ain’t No Sunshine” was one of the first electronic songs I worked on. It’s also one of the only covers I’ve ever played.

“Ain’t No Sunshine”


Song of the Week #19: “Let’s Go Out”

Song of the Week #19

I’m struggling to keep up lyrically with the musical ideas I’ve been creating lately. I’m excited about this one, nonetheless. We will play it – with vocals! – at our show at the Drunken Unicorn on Saturday, January 5th. In the meantime, enjoy. I will post a new demo once I finish the lyrics. Wait for the hand claps.

“Let’s Go Out”


Song of the Week #18: “Le 14 Février”

Song of the Week #18

Just playing around today. If you are looking for something to do in the ATL tonight, come see Danica and me play at the Drunken Unicorn.

“Le 14 Février”


Song of the Week #17: “Drifting”

Song of the Week #17

I was hoping to post a brand new song today, but I just haven’t been able to finish the vocal parts. Hopefully, it will go up next week. Instead, I’m posting a demo of an old song, “Drifting,” which I recently resurrected. It aptly describes how I’ve been feeling lately: a bit untethered.

“Drifting”


Song of the Week #16: “Little Bird”

Song of the Week #16

I wrote this week’s song, “Little Bird,” in a Seattle rehearsal space when I was prepping for a Vancouver show in June. Read more here. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I really love this song.

“Little Bird”


Song of the Week #15 (10/24/12)

Song of the Week #15

I was walking home from the train in Logan Square when I came up with the original idea for “If I Stole.” I went inside and made a one-minute snippet to get the idea down (first link below). I finished the original reggae version of the song a few days later (second link), which I presented in the songwriting class I was taking at the time with Steve Dawson at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. A few months after writing the song, I formed About A Girl and re-worked the song to include electronic sounds (third link), which is how we’ve played the song since.

“If I Stole (original snippet)”

“If I Stole (reggae version)”

“If I Stole (electronic version)”


Song of the Week #14 (10/17/12)

Song of the Week #14

This week’s “Song of the Week” demo is a work in progress about internal dialogue. The synth part on the chorus is saying: “Oh, listen to the words that you are saying. Oh, listen to the sounds.”

“Listen”


Song of the Week #13 (10/10/12)

Song of the Week #13

This week’s “Song of the Week” is about an older man I know. Unfortunately, every time I hang out with him he wears a sadness about the past that is almost visible. He talks about his regrets and simply doesn’t seem able to shake loose of his self pity to find what is still great in him.

This situation is even more sad because this person was once a buoyant personality, ever the jokester. This song, “Why Would You?,” is my musing out loud about helping him rediscover his uniqueness.

Come see About A Girl perform this coming Monday, October 15th at the EARL. We play at 8:45pm and open for My Jerusalem and Dana Falconberry.

“Why Would You?”

Song of the Week #12 (10/3/12)

Song of the Week #12

The first band that I put together was called Radio Mango. I had just left my brother’s rock band, Aya Sofia, wanting to play music that incorporated sounds from the various places I had lived and visited. RM played original music with heavy Latin, African and Caribbean influences. We did some great things, played some great shows, but after 2 years performing together, we decided to split up.

I then formed a new band. Unlike RM, this time I wanted to have no preconceptions about the type of music we would play. Thus, About A Girl. We have continued to keep the free-flowing, no preconceptions thing going now for 5+ years.

When I was young I had a Sony Walkman then Discman, and it was always one album at a time. In the age of iPods, however, when you can listen to 15 genres or 15 bands or 15 songs from 15 countries – whatever – in an hour AND in this age of singles, not albums, I only think it right, for me anyway, to do lots of different types of songs. What is a genre?

On to this week’s song, “Brother.” At the time I started About A Girl, my brother and I had a big disagreement. RM was doing pretty well and he thought I was being stupid to start playing an entirely different . . . → Read More: Song of the Week #12 (10/3/12)

Song of the Week #11 (9/26/12)

Song of the Week #11

This week’s “Song of the Week” demo was created last night and this afternoon and is based on a marimba riff (see below) that I created this summer. Honestly, I hated the riff but made myself record it anyway because it popped into my head. I keep everything and constantly go over old voice memos recorded on my phone, song ideas recorded quickly on garage band, etc. looking for ideas.

I hadn’t listened to the marimba thing for a while. When I was checking it out last night, I added some delay to the part and it suddenly became something that I thought was cool. Thus this song: “House on Fire.” The song name is the working album title I’ve been using with all of my new songs.

“House on Fire”

“Marimba Riff”

Song of the Week #10 (9/19/12)

Song of the Week #10

Early this summer my sister asked me to write a song for the first dance at her wedding. I can’t tell you how excited I was. During a layover in Pittsburgh in June for about 6 hours, I took a shuttle downtown with my guitar and ended up writing most of the song, “I Feel So Lucky,” while sitting on a park bench between a couple of office buildings. (I had thrown my guitar case down sloppily in front of me and one of the security guys ended up asking me to leave thinking I was panhandling!)

My brother, Ryan, plays lead guitar in the video below along with Eric Davis, friend of the groom who also plays with About A Girl in Atlanta, and my cousin, Michelle Stevens. A few members of the band, Shimmer, also join us – Jay, Pearcy and Joe. Ryan and I did rehearsals piecemeal throughout the week prior to the wedding with each of the players. The performance was the only time we all played the song together. Enjoy the flashing cowboy hats!

“I Feel So Lucky”

Song of the Week #9 (9/12/12)

Song of the Week #9

I wrote and recorded the demo for this week’s Song of the Week yesterday afternoon. It was inspired by hearing someone say they wanted to have a relationship that made even going to the grocery store fun. I really liked that sentiment.

By the way, you can see my band, About A Girl, play in Atlanta on Monday, October 15th at one of my favorite venues, the EARL. RSVP on Facebook.

“Grocery Store”

Song of the Week #8 (9/5/12)

Song of the Week #8

I’m now set up back in the ATL. It was great to see everyone in Chicago! This week’s song is also a new one, written in California and performed for the first time at the Bucktown Arts Fest. I went out West to write and this was the first thing that came out. It’s about immersing yourself in nature and finding the words.

“Discovery”

Song of the Week #7 (8/29/12)

Song of the Week, No. 7

Thanks to everyone who braved the deluge this past Sunday to see us at the Bucktown Arts Fest. This week’s song is one of the new ones, written in California and performed for the first time last week. It’s about neighbors, love and, of course, gardening.

“Gardening”

Song of the Week #6 (8/22/12)

Song of the Week, No. 6

This week’s song is one I wrote a few years back. I plan on including it in twoheartstwo. Sometimes I forget about it and then stumble upon it to remember that I really do love this one. It was written after I had impulsively broken up with a girl and then regretted it. It didn’t work.

“Can’t Let You Go”

Song of the Week #5 (8/15/12)

Song of the Week, No. 5

This week’s song, “Not Like Tonight,” is the last one I will post from Truckee, California. I came out here to write and ended up creating demos for about 9 new songs, many of which will be performed live for the first time during our show at the Bucktown Arts Fest on August 26th.

Early next week I’ll be heading back to Chicago for the show. I’m sad to be leaving the mountains but thrilled about the chance to perform the new work for human beings. There aren’t too many where I am now!.

“Not Like Tonight”

Song of the Week #4 (8/8/12)

Song of the Week, No. 4

This week’s Song of the Week installment, “Boys and Girls,” is also a recent creation and product of the “Truckee Sessions.” It will be performed for the first time in public at the Bucktown Arts Fest on August 26th.

“Boys and Girls”

Song of the Week #3 (8/1/12)

Song of the Week, No. 3

This week’s Song of the Week installment, “How Dare You,” will also be on the forthcoming album, twoheartstwo. It is one of my most recent creations, a product of the “Truckee Sessions.”

“How Dare You”

Song of the Week #2 (7/25/12)

Song of the Week, No. 2

This week’s Song of the Week installment, “Saturday,” is an unmixed/unmastered version of a song that will be released next month on the album, twoheartstwo. The song is a late-night, post-going out musing about the people close to us and whether or not we’ve communicated our true feelings to them.

“Saturday”

Song of the Week #1 (7/18/12)

Song of the Week, No. 1

I am starting this Song of the Week (SOTW) series off with a silly double-shot. I confess to having done a good bit of online dating. While I consider myself a very good looking man, I decided to whip up a song for a woman I thought was particularly special in order to increase my chances of getting a date. I wrote something based on info I had pulled from her profile and sent it to her in my first email:

“krk1982”

She was hilarious. Her response was that “2” was much too easy a word to rhyme with, so she asked me what I would have written if her handle had been “orange.” Ha. So, I whipped up another song for her. Here’s that one:

“Orange”

I knew this was all quite a gamble, but I didn’t care. If nothing more, I would have some fun writing a couple of songs. In the end, that’s all it was, as we went on only one date. No real-life chemistry. Alas.