Two Sides Of The Same Coin (An Experiment)

As a musician, there is always a balancing act. You want to make the music that makes you feel good, but you also want to create stuff that other people can enjoy.

So along those lines, I’m posting two versions of the same song here. It’s called “Baby Be Mine”.

These were both recorded on my 4 track cassette recorder. The first version is a simple take of me playing guitar and singing the song. When you see me perform live, this is what you get.

Then I went ahead and did 3 more takes on each of the remaining tracks. These were also all spontaneous, single-take performances. Whatever came out, just came out. There are additional vocals, guitars, a harp, and various other noises. Together they change the song into something a bit different, but that I also happen to like just as much.

Which of these versions do you prefer? Is one definitely better than the other? I can’t really tell. Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.

Why I Love Ariel Pink, plus a brand new Queens Of The Stone Age cover

Ariel Pink is so good. He just has this quality to his recordings that I love. It’s homemade and all mushed up and just very cool. I think alot of it has to do with the fact that it’s made on a 4 track cassette recorder. Plus he’s just himself. You can tell he just made stuff that he thought was cool. It’s very odd and unique and pure.

I was listening to lots of his stuff when I recorded this cover of the great Queens of The Stone Age song “First It Giveth” for my friends over at Good Eye Records. I hope some of his greatness rubbed off on me. Enjoy!

Brief Thoughts On Whiskey, Death, and Parenthood

“It’s called being a parent!”

Somebody yelled this out to me in the middle of my set the other night in Asbury Park.

I had just finished playing a new song called Whiskey & Jellybeans.

Whiskey and jellybeans
Goodbye to all my teeth
Nothin ta see but gums
Not kissin anyone

The point of the song is to feel better about death. To laugh at it. That’s what a rock n roll song can do. It can give you a way of laughing at death. Other kinds of music don’t have the same power.

Whiskey and jellybeans
Diet of champeens
Can’t get a leading role
Maybe some radio

I finished the song and talked a little bit about getting older. My teeth are falling out, my hair is falling out. My body is crumbling.

“It’s called being a parent!”

I don’t mind a good skewering when I’m up on stage. That’s part of the deal. I’m your sacrificial lamb.

It was a good night. A special night. Lots of familiar faces in the house. A good show brings everybody together. It’s kind of a miracle in that way.

Here’s a recording of the performance.
Quality is not so good, but you can get the feeling.

This World Is A Playground

I wrote this song a while back for another artist. It never really got off the ground, so I kind of shelved it. At first it didn’t seem like the kind of song that I could deliver convincingly. When I first wrote it, it was more like something Michael Frante would do. More world music influenced & not quite my style.

But over the past year I’ve played it here and there in my living room and just the other morning I found my “in”. Something just clicked. I was strumming it in different keys and through some combination of chords & a capo I found the right sound. And I realized it was kind of like “Imagine” and that gave me the touchstone for where to take it.

So that was how I figured out how to play it in my own style. That’s the whole trick about playing a song, to find a way to relate to it. Finding all the things in your past that allow you to connect the dots and then do it in your own way. And mean what you’re singing. Here it is, I hope you enjoy it. It’s called “Playground”.

Download “Playground”

Lyrics