The song "Want It All Tonight" is autobiographical. It is about a relationship in which two people fall completely in love and, as touring musicians, have to deal with the distance and separation interjected into the relationship. The song is about being willing to give up everything to, as the song states, "...spend my life in your arms". The lyrics are a reflection of my belief that if the passion is there, if the love is real, no distance can take that away.
The story behind this song begins in the depths of a canyon. Far below the capabilities of a river is where we sat. The night was filled with desert air - thinner than paper and sharper than a knife. We had been touring for two months. We had just finished our Midwest and East Coast tour and we're parked at the Grand Canyon. Ansley began strumming the guitar as the band began dancing around the campfire like forgotten salamanders in island's cave. The melody began to channel the past - filled with nostalgia and excitement - like a turquoise ice ocean filled with pink fish - the song "uh oh" began to come to life. We spoke of Destruction and happiness and the inevitable demise of the universe. Afterall - it has to happen one day. Nothing lasts forever. However, Ansley began to question this in the song as she began to lay cryptic hidden messages within the lyrics of the song of the true meaning of life. Using an ancient coding device known to the Ubaids there is a hidden message of hope and unity amongst the living and the dead - - - thus, Uh Oh!
The Callout was a song seven years in the making. Frontman Brian Clover came up with the concept in 2005. At the time the song was a slow ambient ballad drawing a lot of influence from Pink Floyd, one of Clover's biggest musical inspirations. As StillLine grew and become a much more upbeat rock band the song's sound started to feel out of place, and The Callout was eventually shelved. It would remain on the shelf througout the recording of the band's 2005 Ep 'After The Fall' and all the way through the creation of 'Forty Two', StillLine's 2011 full length album. It would be during the writing process of 'We Are All Asleep', StillLine's forthcoming full length album that the concept would surface again.
Guitarist Mike Fey had always been particularly fond of a melody Clover had written that, in the original version of the song, had served as it's bridge. This time Fey suggested it be the verse and had composed a different chord progession changing the key of the song. At this point in time the 'We Are Asleep' album already had ten tracks composed and recorded, infact they were already deep into the mixing process. The band had decided to write one more song and initially "The Callout" was going to be brought back as a final track. It was composed as the slow melodic song it was originally intended to be, however this time around, Clover recognized something different. On a wim Clover would join drummer Taylor Patterson with nothing but his acoustic in and effort to put together his new concept of song. Once introduced to the rest of the band, it was immediately and unanomously decided that not only did it have to go on the album, but that it would be the debut single. Thus, "The Callout" 2012 was born, and is ushering in the release of the 'We Are Asleep' album for 2013.
"La Di Da" is a special song for us, primarily because it was the first song we wrote with a keyboard as the lead instrument. Prior to it, we had been a guitar/bass/drums-only band. But we made some discoveries, as we played with this new sound, that led us to prefer the keyboard-driven sound for the kind of music we were writing. We are now a mainly keyboard/piano-driven rock band, and we basically owe that metamorphosis to this song.
Lyrically, it tells the story of two people--Mary Johnson and Robert Brown--who meet and subsequently have their worlds changed. They fall in love and try to join their worlds together, which they find difficult to do in different ways. But throughout the song they learn that their differences do not pose threats to one another, and that whatever they chose to do about resolving their differences, the world still continued to turn.
The message behind the story was intended to be one of existentialism. Relationships and friendships have varying effects on the different people involved, and it is all dependent on the meanings assigned to the relationships by the participants. We get to choose whether or not the end of a relationship means the end of our world, or whether we can simply carry on with our heads high. We choose the lessons we take from mistakes made, and we choose whether we carry on the same as we have before, or whether we make significant changes to our behavior. Our lives and relationships are all upon our own shoulders, and no matter what, the Earth will keep spinning around the sun for us to have these little adventures upon.
Musically, we drew from old classic rock such as the Beach Boys, modern indie, pop-rock, some jazz, and even a healthy dose of Broadway music theater. This combination sums up Sun Ghost's sound, though we have our darker songs and our lighter songs. "La Di Da" is a light song, with a light message about some heavy things.
Irene Torres & Josh Piche wrote this song while the band was in New Orleans. There's a magical mixture of musical styles all blended down in NOLA, and this song has some of that southern N'awlins jazz/blues vibe. The song was inspired by the many different ways you can get into trouble down south with sticky fingers. We recorded the song at Listen Hear Productions in New Orleans on an energy exchange basis, in fact the whole album was recorded for free. The band had been writing for a week or two prior to going into the studio and recording all the arrangements live on a zoom recorder instead of writing them down to save time. I put all the recordings on my external hard drive and the same week we were to go into the studio, we found a homeless dog on the street and took her in, she tripped the hard drive wire and the hard drive crashed, we lost all the recordings of arrangements and had to go into the studio cold with lyrics and go on memory. We ended up recording 3 songs in a day and a half and was very fortunate to bring in Chris Mason, who I had only met a couple days prior to the studio playing a gospel church service. Chris laid down some of the tastiest keys and organ after listening to the songs once or twice. The sax player on Sticky Fingers we had never met before the recording, the engineer was friends with him and he randomly came by the studio, heard the track and said, "you guys gotta let me try a take." We did and he sounded fabulous, the hallway mic really made the sax sound vintage. This is one of our biggest hits of four debut EP.
Laughing For Now
It's our single and we had a close friend pass while we were writing it. The song is about partying too hard with every vice you can imagine. Knowing all along that you're killing yourself and at the same time not giving a shit and laughing about it all the way to the grave. The chorus says it all "I was laughing, I was grinning, and I was smiling while i was sinning, and I was Crying, Because I was Dying, but I was laughing, awe man, I was laughing".
There are some other good lyrics in that song as well, such as "we ride it until the sun comes up, 32 days out of every month" We love the simplicity of the song. Everyone can understand it and I'm sure a lot can relate. The song Home on the other hand has a deeper meaning. At first listen you'd probably think it's just about a drunk guy who can't find his way home. Really home is "the road" or being on tour. We were on tour for 3 years 3 years ago, and we have been trying to find our way back ever since.
My song "Eager Pilot" was written, as most of my songs tend to be, when I was pining over a boy. A best friend of mine at the time, with whom I wrote music with and spent a lot of time with. Even though some part of me knew that he didn't feel the same way, I went for it because my heart is a fearless soldier, and I just had to know if his heart was pining for me back.
This song is about being fearless but totally terrified of following your heart. Of being frustrated at the cowardice of others. Of the object of your affection pullin' on your heart strings but not actually going after you. The pain of being vulnerable. All of those things.
My name is Jay Psaros. I am a Boston based singer/songwriter. I've traveled the country playing my music several times, especially at the start of my career. The tours have taken me from the sweltering, damp South to the dramatic and romantic north of Alaska. My first two releases were full length albums with ambitions tours based behind them. My first albums "Tripping and Running," and "On Up the Road" received praise locally, regionally and nationally. After all of this was done it was time to re-evaluate. Then came my latest release "Simply." After two years of constant writing and touring, the candle was burning a bit low. Making a living as an artist is never easy but I started to worry as funds were running low and my writing wasn't as fluid and consistent as before. I knew I had to keep writing and recording. So I took a little retreat to the studio when it was time to start recording the EP "Simply." The only problem was, I didn't have too many songs.
The song "Sober" is about two people being in love, And having this perfect relationship, And then one of them all of a sudden has to move away, But they make a promise to each other that one day they will be together again. In this case the person who is left behind doesn't want to wait sober to hold his/her loved one again. They try to find a way to feel numb from the pain, But in the end of the day the reality is still there.
Rather than talk about just one song I've written, I'm going to write about the latest EP I released called If We Could See. I won't talk about each song obviously, but more so the main message/story about the album.
I grew up right outside Boston Massachusetts, then went to school at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. I never really thought about pursuing music full time as I graduated with an Economics as well as a Math degree then moved onto working on Wall st. in New York City. I would perform music on the side, but never really thought about going full time until a few years ago.
I was brought up in a very happy family who always taught us to think of others before ourselves. I was taught that being a good person, doing the right thing were paramount, but most of all be happy in life. After working on Wall st. for several years, I realized that I was not doing this. I had changed from the person I was raised to be and I didn't like it. So I started working with different charities including Musicians on Call (brings music to hospital patients' bedsides), Mid Atlantic Burn Camp (a camp for youths who are burn survivors), Music 4 More (an Org that helps raise money and donates musical instruments to schools around the country), and CHAP International (which is a group who travels to Africa each year to help build orphanages and help people of Liberia).
I started to think more and more about leaving Wall st. and pursuing music full time. After seeing children that I have worked with in these organizations accomplish so much, I became inspired to do the same. So a little over a year ago, I left New York City, moved to Los Angeles and have been pursuing music full time ever since. My message is simple, Be Happy & Help Others. Most of my music carries that message which is why I couldn't' really speak about one song, but rather the whole album. Each song has it's own small story, but the main message throughout the album is about enjoying life's journey but helping others along the way.
To give back to the organizations that brought me to the realization of what I should be doing with my music, I donate half my proceeds to them. I continue to work with them all and will also be traveling to Africa in June to Liberia.
Dizzy Bats's song "Sundial", simply put, is a tribute to the college years. The "Sundial" refers to a place on campus at Connecticut College, frontman Connor Frost's alma mater, where he and his friends would often gather to reflect and unwind, usually in the early AM hours. The song brings the listener through specific events, including Freshman Orientation, Graduation, and the infamous Johnson fire of 2008. The tune also refers to everyday happenings, such as the perpetual struggle of waking up for class as well as other completely legal and harmless activities that took place behind the closed doors of Larrabee 309. Like at the time the song was written, Frost transitions into the "real world" fiercely and abruptly. "Welcome home, son, you've received a package, it's not money or that western tree" references that daunting stack of paperwork that marked the end to the collegiate years and the beginning of the dreaded post-graduation life. Despite this reality, these friends and years are never forgotten, as Frost sings: "Won't forget these campfire moments, and all that you taught me."
This nostalgic piece serves as a dedication to friends and commemorates an incredible time. No matter what happens in the next ten, twenty years, we can always go back to the Sundial.
The group is comprised of four songwriters with different backgrounds and different ways of telling their stories. Below is the story behind one called, “Odd Jobs”:
Odd Jobs was written during the height of the occupy movement. In Minneapolis people were gathering by the hundreds at the city capital, financial institutions and foreclosed homes in protest of a wide range of issues. Some were camped out in tents in the city to protest. Late in the evening police came with knifes to slash tents, trash bags to throw belongs into and handcuff to arrest people in their sleep. At the core of all the intricate issues and protests is the search for common respect for all people. Odd Jobs is the story about a character is grappling with the costs of living in a society like this. Questioning the costs of protesting, the benefits and looking for some personal truth.
I make a little money on the side/through odd jobs and late nights
works not steady but it pays in cash/if you ain’t making it your spending it so I spend it while it lasts
I'm a sucker trying to make ends meet/struggling to stay on my feet
What is the price of a voice/to scream in the streets
Making the choice to rise from your knees
I heard once and maybe one too many times/that the boys downtown are turning dollars out of lies
So the people flood the streets with their painted sings and protests rhymes then beaten by the police lines
I was looking for a different conversation with significance
down at the city square, thats not public anymore
Just searching for truth leads me that government lies but honey money does too
The song "Nothing" is story about the struggles of a local band. Anyone in an orginal band can relate to the hard work it takes to keep a band together, book and play shows, and try to build a following. "Nothing" is a song that highlites believing in the band and putting in hard work with little or no reward hoping that one day it will pay off. We are all nobodies trying to become somebodies and using our music as a vehicle to do so.
Are You Happy is about love (nothing too important), and has humble beginnings. We didn't write it out in the desert around a fire while slamming peyote. I didn't sell my soul, or befriend a Kodiak bear in the process. No, this tune was meant to be the opposite of its subject matter, simple. Originally it was meant to capture the dissipation of romance in relationships, and how that "IN love" feeling, can transition into a more calm version "love." Of course like always, my own experiences at the time turned the lyrics into more of a case study, and ultimately chronicled the timid moments before a breakup.
This up and coming band mixes driving rhythms with loud guitars and fetching melodies to create a sound all their own. You really can't nail them down to a genre, as evident on the debut album titled ART GARBAGE. The nine tracks take you from anxious guitar rock to soft acoustic charm and everywhere in between. Sometimes within a single song, but all the while keeping you hooked. While WitchFeet have only been around a short time, the members are no strangers to the Chicago music scene. These guys have been honing their skills in past and present bands like All Eyes West, Green Skies are Blue, Hinter, Signsedso, The Hysterics, Jared Grabb, and Hayweek to name a few. They didn't come together with schtick 'n' style and try to recreate whatever's "in" at the moment. They keep faith in good tunes and let them speak for themselves. WitchFeet are aiming to help bring that guitar based indie rock that you loved in the 90's back to the fold.
The song "Ghost and Me" was written both by Ryan Koch and Leeane Melendez. Ryan was going through a break-up and wanted to express his grief through a song that he had composed an instrumental for. He wrote the first verse, which caught Leeane's eye, however, she though the song needed more of a cohesive theme. The two did some thinking, and ended up likening their past-relationships to "ghosts," because they always somehow come back to haunt us. This was the first song Ryan and Leeane shared the lyric writing duties for because Leeane had previously written all of the lyrics to Ryan's instrumentals. The outcome of the song changed their songwriting process for the better. The two now collaborate on every aspect of their music by mutually sharing a stake in the creation of lyrics, melody, and instrumentals.
Ask any musician/songwriter and they will tell you that songs have a life of their own. Like any good book, poem, or painting being created, it is its own entity. It tells you what it wants to be, where it wants to go, and when its journey has ended. That is what Skateboarder is to Silk Flamingo & the Beat!
Front-man/ rhythm guitarist Alexis Preciado met Mike (drums) and Mark Ocegueda(bass) in the spring of 2009. Alexis, call sign Silk Flamingo if he were to ever have one he says, was quite content with playing café or coffeehouse type shows acoustic solo. However, after meeting Mike and Mark Ocegueda and having a few jam sessions in the garage, a complete song was born, Skateboarder. The trio fell and fell hard for a song they knew would be an instant fan favorite. It was then decided to see where the song would lead the trio.
Having added “the Beat” to a call sign because of a newly formed rhythm section, it is hard to say what came first. Could it have been the formation of Silk Flamingo & the Beat that came up with such a catchy new punk delinquent anthem? Or could it have been Skateboarder, a song whose unconditional love went above and beyond any normal song to actually create something from itself to form a band called Silk Flamingo & the Beat!
When I wrote this song, "Make it Happen", I was exploring the path that leads us to our dreams. Writing this tune also helped me learn more about myself as a person so that I could inspire other human beings to not give up on their dreams under any circumstances. I deeply believe that we have all been born into this world to become happy individuals and to help others do the same.
I'll tell you the origins of the song Movement Finds the Man. The original spark came while riding the El train through Chicago. I rode past Harold Washington Library (or college, or both, not sure) and I simply wondered who this man was so I googled him on my phone. I read a bit about him but one quote really moved me and it was Washington speaking about Martin Luther King, Jr. and he said something along the lines of great movements find men (women too) to attach themselves to. Great people do not go out in search of these things. They are simply living their lives and trying to do what they believe and maybe make a difference when these 'movements find the man.'
Fast forward a few years. I was walking to a guitar lesson on the Lower East Side when I came across a chalk drawing of a flower on the sidewalk. I guess I was feeling particularly lucid that afternoon and the line 'flowers in the pavement, everyday is perfect, i guess.' came to my mind. I was particularly excited about this one because the melody was there and it felt like it was gonna come together without much effort, which is a rare treat! As I got into it, it became a song about trying to live my life with a faith that I am exactly where I,m supposed to be. That there is comfort in knowing that the universe functions just as it should and that I play my part perfectly and that if I behave as I ought to and continue to work on myself and be a better man, the movement I seek will somehow find me. Whatever all that means.
The song of my band, Long Time Divided, that still resonates with me is our song Breaker. Not only was it one of the first songs that we ever wrote, but it also has a heartbreaking story to it that was born from the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I just remember all the horrific news reports of all these people stuck on their roofs or fending for themselves in the streets but it wasn't until our band first formed and started writing the song in 2008 that I was able to put to words what I had seen day in and day out through all the broadcasts. To this day, Breaker is still the one song that we have requested at our shows over all the rest and I think it's because of the honesty of the lyrics coupled with the incredible guitar hooks.
One night, many moons ago, I was nursing a heartache with Jack Daniels and a few of my friends. As the evening passed and the Jack and Coke settled in, my friends and I sat in my bedroom while I complained of my broken heart. As I made a few statements and reminisced a few memories, my friend Lisa raised her glass high in the air and shouted, "I'll drink to that!" We all cheered to her toast and I grabbed my guitar.
Within a few moments "Willie" was made. What has now become my most requested tune, and what is now known as a fun, rowdy drinking song spawned from one broken heart, one bottle of Jack, and three friends on my bed crying in our drinks. I'll drink to that!
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