The Unfinished Album

Last night I posted the Lost and Found recordings. I was very disappointed to leave that album unfinished, and at the time it felt like I was walking away from my music forever. Some of the tracks intended for that album have made it on the list for Moldy Oldies, including the song Lost and Found. I thought you might want to hear my sketch recording of that song from 2006:

I also looked through the archives and found a working draft of the track list for the Lost and Found album, last updated in 1/2007:

1. Rising Sun (02/06)
2. Lost and Found
3. Something Wrong (08/05)
4. The Battle of Bull Run
5. Standing on High (06/06)
6. My Abode
7. (But I didn’t know which way was home . . . anymore)
8. The Queen of Public Transportation
9. My Hydroxide
10. Lost. . .
Oasis?
Song of Odysseus?

I will eventually get around to recording all of these, I hope.

Rising Sun

I could be your older brother
I could be your friend
I could be a new beginning
I could be the end

Am I a rising sun?
Or am I setting sun?

I could be your pruning hook
I could be your sword
I could be your humble servant
I could be your lord

Am I a rising sun?
Or am I a setting sun?

I could be a new beginning
I could be the end
I could be a burning sunset
It’s up to you, my friend

“Rising Sun” is a rewrite of an old Claudia song called “Sunshine Sets,” written during the fall of 1996. We played “Sunshine Sets” only once, at our last concert in November 1996 before Jake went to Japan on his mission. In 2005-06 I thought the lyrics needed a rewrite. I was pleased with the recording, especially the guitar parts. The vocal arrangement was influenced by Toad the Wet Sprocket, and the drums were influenced by The Police, as I was listening to both bands a lot at the time. The original composition was heavily influenced by The Cure (especially the guitar parts from High and Mint Car, which were favorites at the time but I have a hard time listening to these songs now). My one regret about the song is that I didn’t mix the bass high enough in the final version, and I couldn’t go back and fix it because I lost the source files for the song when my backup disc failed.

These lyrics were written in 2005-06 during a turbulent political time when many people in both parties were unhappy with the trajectory of government. The song is based on a famous quote from Benjamin Franklin at the United States Constitutional Convention.

Something Wrong

I haven’t seen her for a while
I used to see her every day
And when I ask, “What has happened to her?”
I can’t get anyone to say

Is there something wrong with Alyson?
Or is there something wrong with me?

And I was troubled at her leaving
I thought that I had caused her shame
And the way that people wouldn’t speak about it …
I would have taken all the blame

Is there something wrong with Alyson?
Or is there something wrong with me?

Did you know that I loved her?

“Something Wrong” was written in 1997-98 about a high school friend of mine that suddenly disappeared from school. After a few days I realized that other people seemed to know where she was, but they wouldn’t tell me. It turned out that she was in a psychiatric hospital for a few weeks due to a psychotic episode. When she eventually came back to school she even showed me some of her delusional writings. I love this recording, and consider it to be one of the best I have ever made.

Standing on High

Standing here on High
Wishing that the rain would leave me dry
As it’s falling from the sky
And I wait …
And I hope I won’t be late

Standing on High

There’s a memory here
I can feel it near
Is it hope or is it fear?
Oh, no! We won’t give up this fight
We’ll make it through the night
And someday, whatever happens, it’s gonna be alright

Standing on High

Will you meet me here?
I’ll meet you here on High Street

“Standing on High” was about a tragedy which happened in my medical school class. One of my classmates disappeared and has never been found to this day. He was last seen at a bar on High Street the night before he was to go on a spring break vacation. I pieced this together from a few musical scraps I had been working on that year. The first verse was originally about standing at a bus stop (on High Street) in the rain on my way to school. The chorus guitar part was adapted from a beautiful riff written by my friend Joseph Wecker. The second verse borrows a chord progression from an old Claudia song called “Lint in my Pocket.” The chorus was influenced by John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High,” Radiohead’s “High and Dry,” and John Mayer’s “Not Myself.” This is the final arrangement of a recording that went through a few iterations, and I was pleased with the final result.

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