The Inspirations for Each Song:
A New Day Dawns
After repeated viewings of 2001: A Space Odyssey the idea formulated in my head of a
song telling the story of the evolution of man in conjunction with the evolution of
man's weapons. While I did not stick rigidly to that structure in the final
develpoment of the song, the oft-repeated notion of man's intelligence becoming his
own undoing was a necessary lyrical inclusion.
Another Night In the Park
A fairly abstract song, "Another Night..." came from a simple D-chord progression. The
lyrics came later as I attempted to formulate a song (and an inner-city story)
around that inherently simple structure.
Breeze On the Wind
To be honest, there is very little to remember about the writing of this song (possibly
because the song lacks any real point). The carefree, and whimisical, attitude of
the lyrics came naturally in an off-the-top-of-the-head manner. Just try to make it
Ballad of the Cyberstalker
While on an internship in New Jersey, and staying with extended relatives, I had the
opportunity to spend some valuable computer time with my 7-year-old cousin, Amy.
When she showed me her e-mail account, I was disappointed to see that even she had
become victim to the routine attacks of despicable junk mail to which most of us
have become accustomed. With this experience as a primer, I recalled fairly recent
news accounts of law enforcement online stings of predatory pedophiles, and ended up
with this song as a result.
Another "stalking song." As I say in the intro, I wrote this one after watching an E!
True Hollywood Story about the stalker of a network news anchor. John Hinckley's
efforts to win the affections of Jodie Foster seemed to make an excellent
centralizing notion on which to hang the rest of the story. Only in America do we
have stalkers so dedicated to plying their trade. Is it possible the culture
propagates the phenomenon???
College has not been a particularly inspirational environment for songwriting, in my
experience. The first verse to this song may be the exception in my case. The
inebriated noise which has filtered through the windows, and, often, the thin walls
of my dorm/apartment led directly to the first of the two literal initiations in the
song. The metaphorical initiations which follow are simply extrapolations of the
central idea - the "mob" and the respected persons within a society corrupting the
mind of the individual.
Get the Product Out
Commercialism is an easy target. After scoffing at so many ads appealing to the lowest
common denominators in American society, this song came very easily. The clincher
was a TV spot for a genital herpes medication. So many horrible diseases in the
world, but all we've managed to come up with the last few years, it seems, are
Valtrex, Rogaine, and, worst of all, Viagra. Evil corporations abound, from gun
manufacturers, to religious institutions - "How feeble is the effect of a song
against such a morass, but here it is." (Phil Ochs)
One Man Is the Root
Is America in fact any better than its enemies, and, if so, how can we demonstrate it?
Perhaps a good start would be to denounce political assassination not only for its
immorality, but for the fact that it often accomplishes nothing, or worse, provides
a platform on which the successor can stand and decry the evil American empire. How
effective is a game of politcal whack-a-mole anyway?
The Great Transport
Written in January of 2002, while I was enroute from Madison to Oshkosh, WI, this song
was, I believe, my second in response to the events of September 11, 2001. During
the assaults on Afghanistan following the terror attacks, it struck me how we have
been using these machines for over 80 years to deliver our deadly payloads, and as
cannon fodder. I began to imagine a vision of a fleet of planes becoming enraged at
their station, dumping their murderous cargo of humanity to the Earth, and sailing
off into the sunset. A strange vision, I admit, but, nevertheless, one I continue to
see. It's a long way since Kitty Hawk...
Three Miles From Home
This, I believe, was my first semi-topical song. While the lyrics are vague, and the
song is a somewhat non-constructive platitude, nuclear power has not gone away
(despite very negative public opinion since Three Mile Island). And the not-in-my-
backyard sentiment was recently revisited with the Yucca Mountain disposal plan.
November 9, 1938 - the Nazis order the destruction of thousands of Jewish businesses and
hundreds of synagogues as retaliation for the murder of a German diplomat by a
German Jew. A precursor to the mass deportation to the concentration camps, this
event came to be known as "The Night of Broken Glass," or "Crystal Night."