Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mr. 3,000

Some odd theme of riffing on the odd elements of the now-purely-archival It's Rome, Baby! these days. Ah, when 300 seemed like a lot. Aaaaanyhoo.

Maybe I'm just overcompensating for my lingering sense of inadequacy that I blew off nearly a month of the original songs of the day project ten years ago writing a bunch of two word "songs". Though truth be told in posting them day by day the two word songs are actually sort of growing on me. They do represent a sort of distilled microcosm of my oeuvre. Which is a great thing to have handy, considering how doing this thing has gotten me absolutely nowhere and is of no interest to anyone. It has occurred to me that on some fundamental level I should refrain from these occasional outbursts about the general failure of my creative endeavor. I try to accept it for what it is, I really do. And on the other hand, since seriously nobody reads it, what difference does it make? If a whiny bitch whinges in the forest alone, does he make a pathetic, annoying little sound? Zen responds: who gives a fuck?

Anyway.

As I say, the It's Rome, Baby! content pops up, randomly, which got me actually reading some of it, which I definitely haven't done much of in a couple years... As the previous paragraph probably illustrates I lack the M.C. prerequisite skill of self-praise. But damn it, I still really like a lot of what I wrote back then. Obviously I have no ability at all for self promotion and presentation, but still. I am irate at the total silence it has all solicited sometimes. Which I hate, I absolutely hate, whenever I read some amateur passive-aggressively bemoaning their lack of recognition (begging to be contradicted, as it usually reads), I just feel embarrassed on their behalf. Maybe I need to really take the bull by the fucking horns and vow from this day forward to, if I am to speak of my writing at all, do so ONLY in that great Hip Hop Spirit of outrageous self-adulation.

So, in celebration of the season of Halloween and the announced release of the FINAL and 3D edition of cinema's cherished Saw series, allow me to return to my inordinately clever and hilarious take on the series produced five prescient years back. My textual recreation of a classic Rube Goldberg illustration is so damn awesome. I am an ever-loving force of nature, 'possums. Peace out.



...Oh yeah and I wrote the 3,000th song of the day last night I guess, number 1,999 of the second project, entitled "Party Like It's". Which among other things presents me with another cherished opportunity to point out the fact that the phrase "party like it's 1999" is now the melancholy refrain of the nostalgic middle-aged.

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

928 : 10/24/00 : Running Breathless (10/27 Two Word Songs)

Running breathless

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

922 : 10/18/00 : Affect Miser (4/27 Two Word Songs)

1,993 : 45 ?


Affect Miser

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

919 : 10/15/00 : Push Harder (1/27 Two Word Songs)

Push Harder

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

the dreaded enigma of the two word songs

In a move sure to fail to impress we now arrive at a period of 27 days in which each "song" I wrote contained 2 words.

I vaguely recall having at the time some half-baked ideas of fitting these substandard efforts into larger projects of music and recording that never materialized (any idea that you can only vaguely remember and came to no fruition is by definition half-baked) but as I view it from a decade's perspective the real underlying narrative is pretty clear. I'd decided by this point that I was going to stop at 1,001 songs (unlike the second project an endpoint was not built into the original conception of the first, its scope was completely open-ended for quite a while), and the end was in sight but still well off, and I wanted a vacation. This was the closest I could come up with while keeping to the letter of my self-imposed guidelines.

At some point in the past I developed the false memory that I'd initiated this series under the influence of that "Cellar Door" thing I first encountered in the movie Donnie Darko (I have since been modestly surprised to learn that there is apparently some provenance, although an ambiguous one, for this idea), but since I'm certain that I was introduced to the lore of that particular phrase by said movie, and since the movie came out in 2001, this clearly wasn't the case. However weak the effort of this near-month may have been in terms of the overall project, I do recall attempting to draw up two word phrases with a certain resonance.

I have now no doubt written more words about these songs than are comprised by the lyrics themselves. Bonus for feed readers is that up through the tenth of November, once you've read the title you've read the song. Onward and upward.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

918 : 10/14/00 : Circle Round the Sun

Draw a circle round the sun
with your finger trace the bend
draw a circle in your mind
no beginning and no end
look at my face through a circle
made with your finger and thumb
here’s a circle made of light
assured to make your heart succumb
3-6-5 world makes another
circle round the sun
trace once again the circle
where it ends is just where it’s begun

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

917 : 10/13/00 : Witchglass

I couldn’t resist a little look
into the witchglass
I couldn’t stand missing a glimpse
of what would come to pass
So when the witching hour
had rocked halfway across again
I rolled it over one more time
and contemplated mortal sin
the witchglass so the tales go
can’t be created without death
the preference being an infant son
killed by a cat stealing his breath
but long gone and done is done
the glass remains to taunt
cursing all you did not know
or fearing fates, that known, must haunt
I couldn’t resist a little peek
into the shadow realm
looks like we’re in for four more years
of straw men at the healm

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

916 : 10/12/00 : Friday

On an inauspicious Friday
close to getting carried away
by the moon
by the full moon
realized a simple pattern
saw a glimpse of the wheels that turn
on the moon
on the everfull moon
I was making vows and wishes
Dreaming up exotic fishes
on the moon
on the bright full moon
on that bad luck day of plenty
nude al fresco and al denté
in the moon
slumbering in the moon

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Monday, October 11, 2010

recent history and other strange phenomena

So I've transcribed all the extra-curricular songs from distant past to just the other day (as per this rumination and these two).

I mined out everything I could find of songs I'd written outside the structures of the daily projects. I've noted along the way that I have indeed definitively lost at least a few lyrics - songs I can remember the existence of but can no longer remember enough of the words to recreate. I wrote this crazy embarrassing song in high school that addressed the topic of some girl who shot me down in a D&D kinda knight in armor on a horse metaphor that I'm fairly disappointed is apparently lost to the ages. I can only remember a few fragments of it but it still makes me laugh. No record of the songs I wrote for my first college band - with whom I won the annual college Battle of the Bands one year. Somewhere out there is a videotape of that award-wining performance and I recall not that long ago ripping the audio from said cassette so I suppose I could reconstruct the missing lyrics if I could track down the audio file, which did not yield to cursory investigation. It's been a couple years which contained a couple different computer issues and transitions in which some amounts of data were irretrievably lost so who knows. Nothing I couldn't live without though again there is at least one song in the bunch I pine for, a little. One or two songs of more recent provenance (of my mid-twenties, say) that I recreated from memory but can't shake the feeling are missing at least a verse each. And of course the unknowable lost AND forgotten songs which may or may not have existed, remaining only as a vague memory for someone for whom I played them once upon a time, or perhaps as a scrap of recording on a tape that is slowly expiring in a box somewhere. So it goes. Even my finest efforts now will probably not survive the increasingly seemingly inevitable collapse of modern civilization.

The total on those came out to a surprising 80-ish songs, I was expecting to find rather less. Posting during the interim will not be so sparse after all, though I may indulge myself in taking weekends off for a few months. I was expecting at best a few dozen. Of course 80 seemed like a lot more before I started measuring these things in the thousands...

Anyway. Having done all this it comes now finally to start transcribing the second project. I have this dream of one day getting to the point where I am actually transcribing the songs I'm writing within a day or two of their creation, and I suppose now that I have saved material to carry me through next May I am closer than I have been before to this ideal, but it remains to be seen whether I'll manage the long-term persistence.

It is interesting though - I have read the songs of the first daily project a lot - I re-read them a fair bit when I was writing them, and during the 4+ year interim when I did no daily writing (and virtually no songwriting at all). I started blogging these songs in earnest not much more than a year after I took up daily writing again and the upshot of all this is that while I was pretty well acquainted with the material of the first project I have barely read the material of the second project at all. It is only 5 years old but it is pretty much all coming up as a complete surprise. I have no idea what the next page will bring.

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

915 : 10/11/00 : Early Riser (II)

1,886 : 38 ?



Could another silence pass
still leaving him no wiser
as to fate or how to act
nonetheless the early riser

Walks on eggshells three past noon
noon in this case being midnight
roaming the streets with an honest man
look for a dim dim light

If you get passed by the early riser
so early it’s almost tomorrow
say a little prayer for the ones like us
who’re haunted by another’s sorrow

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Sunday, October 10, 2010

914 : 10/10/00 : Hold Out

I am a hold out
I’m waiting for the big score
Not gonna cash my option
not gonna sell the store
I’ve got a hold out
I’ve got something tucked away
Something better for times of no money
Something for a rainy day
don’t search for the hold out
don’t find it tucked into my jeans
when you force my hand at last
I’ll show you what it means

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Saturday, October 09, 2010

913 : 10/9/00 : False Spring

False spring
Don’t be deceived
by a fragment unremembered
Mayed Juned or Decembered
Don’t let the hot flash
Make you think you’re on fire
don’t let the perfection make you
think your fates are not dire
don’t be fooled by the false Spring
don’t be fooled by anything

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Friday, October 08, 2010

912 : 10/8/00 : All Good

What can I say
I’ve no complaints
every day’s a good day
Simple as can be
what a picture it paints
All good is all I see

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Thursday, October 07, 2010

911 : 10/7/00 : Welcome Paradise

Welcome paradise into your life
wherever you find it
don’t try to spindle or bind it
Leave everywhere you go
a little more paradise than you found it
Spread a little paradise around it
Welcome to paradise my friend
it’s just a dream that need not end
throw your windows open and
say welcome paradise
Each day has got its twists and turns
And with each bend the wise man learns
tracing a path out straight
to paradise
And if it never hits the top
Well everything that rises must drop
See you on the flip side
I’ll be waiting to say
welcome to paradise
with your ride

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

910 : 10/6/00 : Painful Exercise

Getting sick of painful exercises
no prizes
he who early rises
writes on the first page
Any hero of the modern age
would tell you
for whom the bell tolls too
Forced verses are on my last nerve
maybe they serve
to temper my reserve
no freestyler no
7 minute miler
just a writer with a block
a rock to
contemplate
a proof of fate

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

909 : 10/5/00 : Event Horizon

The possibilities are a spherical wave
and something’s always coming around next
and no one knows for sure just what we lost and what we save
and this mystery unsolved leaves us perplexed
on the edge of happening now
before the moment’s moment came
the ship got placed before the bow
and stem to stern was crossed the same
The vessel of the present time
is rearranged, the course reversed
Edgewise there the moment’s prime
event horizon there dispersed

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Monday, October 04, 2010

908 : 10/4/00 : What Must Not Be

1,980 : 31 ?


Deliver me from the valley of decision
my minds collapsing out like nuclear fission
What must not be has been opened wide
look what’s down inside
I sit and wait for fate to
turn me up another card
hopin’
you’re not just another thing
I wind up taking hard
But whatever the card might say
wind takes the words away
Finally in the end
Left behind before the final bend
Deliver me to realization quick
I like my cookie but I don’t like the stick
I don’t like to study and I
don’t like to work
you must think I’m some jerk
but what must not be
Kept hold on me
living somewhere in the middle
cloaked in darkness silent riddle

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Sunday, October 03, 2010

907 : 10/3/00 : Smoke

Our spirits are like silver smoke
in crimson jars and it’s no joke
that when the vessel’s broken smashed
and seems a shell all futures dashed
against the rocks of circumstance
the great toll sounds to end the dance
goodbye to romance and dreaming
still in absence there’s a seeming
something lingers in the night air
could have sworn that you were right there
Thinking that you might spare me from
this fear of my spirit’s freedom
You said my spirit’s always free
and you said what will be will be
And now I truly see your face
the smoke your spirit in this place

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Saturday, October 02, 2010

milestone

As of a couple minutes ago I finished transcribing the final song of the last volume of the Songs of Days, project one, which (all things going according to plan) will be blogged January 5, 2011, ten years after its writing. So I've been working on a substantial backlog of transcribed material to blog, not to mention all of the songs written outside the daily structure I'm currently rendering to digital in service of the coming inter-project interim. I'm currently mining the notebooks of college days, which is, uh, well let's just say it's a trip down memory lane. And so it goes.

906 : 10/2/00 : Early Blues

It’s so early in the evening; I got them early evening blues
Oh it’s so early in the evening, got those early evening blues
Oh I don’t have a guitar or my blue suede shoes
I get up early in the morning, I get those early morning blues
Yeah so early in the morning, get me those early morning blues
makes me feel like a drifter like I got nothing to lose
oh early blues in my blue suede shoes
Nothing to lose but that’s no excuse
get down early in the morning get down early in the night
everything will turn out right
When it’s so early in the morning, get those
early morning blues
Oh so early in the morning
got those early morning blues
Oh it can’t be nothin’ it
can’t be nothin’ that I choose
I get those early early blues

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

Friday, October 01, 2010

905 : 10/1/00 : Thin

My excuse is getting thin
ready or not: time to begin
one last interrogation
of the last empire nation
While our brothers drop like flies
they’re binding us with pretty lies
the magic picture tells the tale
and we toe up to the line without fail
and my patience is wearing thin
with or without me out or in
I’m not gonna watch another friend go down
as long as I’ve got some pull in this town
there’s a thin line between safe and dead
a little birdie came to tell me pull out my head
and start fighting back today
you can ignore it but it won’t go away

You can read an explanation of the origin of these lyrics here

OCR

I've said something to the effect before elsewhere but one of the pleasures of being a late technological adopter is taking delight in some technical sleight of hand that is utterly old hat for the world in general. I ran optical character recognition for the first time this morning and Great Scott, my computer can read hard copy!

This shows up here because lately I have been digging into my files in search of all the songs I've written outside of the daily projects, in service of having something to post during the interim - the current project I'm blogging ended on January 5, 2001 and the second daily writing project started on May 4, 2005. I've become attached to posting songs on the same date they were written, hence there's going to be a 4 month gap. I'm pretty sure I don't have anything like enough extant songs to post daily but it will at least keep the thing alive. For all its millions of avid readers.

Anyway.

So I've gotten through the easy stuff, organizing the songs I'd written on the computer in the first place or transcribed earlier for some reason, and then through the less easy stuff, cleaning up the songs I'd transcribed in the distant past and existed in file formats that had been mangled by subsequent technological drift. Leaving a substantial file of handwritten hard copy and a small stack of printed songs for which the originating files have apparently been lost.

There's nothing for the former but to get them transcribed, same as the Songs of Days books - humans can barely decipher my handwriting, let alone computers. But the latter is a source of irritation. I typed the damned things into a computer at some point, and furthermore I have gone to a certain amount of trouble and expense over the years to drag all my files kicking and screaming through the various shifts in computer technology. The hoops I jumped through when Apple abolished the floppy disk (and my next most recent computer had neither an optical disk writer nor a USB port) was ridiculous. And yet here are files that clearly were, their physical manifestation undeniable before me, yet gone. I have to retype the things.

But wait, I think, what about this wonderful Optical Character Recognition technology I've heard so much about? Now, commercial OCR has been around for decades, and consumer-level OCR has been around for, well, decades... I just never bothered with it. My current plight inspired me though, I fired up the scanner and started translating the pages into TIFF files, found a free service online (albeit with a Captcha requirement and a ten upload per hour limit) and literally like a minute later there it was, a paper document rendered to copyable, pastable digital text. Magic.

Easy as it was (the source material was ideal for OCR - clean, first generation print-outs on single pages), ironically I suspect that, between setting it up and figuring it out and (now) choosing to go online and write about it, if I'd just sat down and typed the things I'd probably have been done with this whole thing half an hour ago. But that wouldn't have been cool (even if it's only cool to me at this point).