This album came as a surprise to everybody. Especially me. I had no plans to release a second new album less than 6 months after I released "Ink-Stained Fingers." It just happened. I had some of the songs sitting around for a very long time, but some were written during and even after the "Ink-Stained Fingers" sessions. I was in the middle of recording for my other band (The Social Gospel) and found myself working hard to get the guitar tone right. While I was messing around I fell onto some tones I liked, but that weren't right for the band. But I did start demoing some of my solo stuff, since I had the gear plugged in. "Shakespeare" was the first thing I laid down for the record, thinking I was just doing it for myself so I could work on it more seriously later. Then more started happening...and more...and soon I had a full record. My roommate, Jeremy, was out of town when that happened. He texted me from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to tell me he'd gotten me a gift, calling it "...something to look forward to." I liked that phrase and stole it for the album title. He owed me, anyway. I'd named his Fantasy Football team. This came together really quickly. Recorded over three days, mastered over two, and sent right to the company to press the CDs...and now it cane be yours for the low price of FREE. I'm proud of this record...and I had no idea it was even coming. I should do that more often...
For now, I'm just posting the song descriptions as they appear in the liner notes. I'll write something different once it's in hindsight.
SHIT ABOUT SHAKESPEARE:
This song is at least partially inspired by going to see a Shakespeare in the Park performance with some friends. We thought we were seeing Henry IV. Turned out to be Henry V. And none of us knew that until Intermission. Turns out we're not very cultured. Otherwise, it's a song about falling in love with somebody who's probably perfect for you, but fighting it anyway. I'm like that.
Some people in your life are integral. Sometimes those people leave. It always sucks. I've been left a lot. I've gotten to the point that I prefer a bad goodbye to a good one. Death before desertion, and all that. But I'd prefer not to be left at all.
This is a song about the girl I fell for while watching Apocalypse Now. She is now married to a good man and has adorable children. It's also kind of a sideways love-letter to Robert Duvall, who is one of our great actors. Though, for the record, I have no strong feelings about Shelley Duvall. She's just there because it was going that way.
SIGNAL TO NOISE:
A prayer for those of us who struggle with whether or not prayer works. Because sometimes you've just got to question it. If that runs contrary to your own experience, be grateful. Also, this is an experiment in silence and noise and pushing how long I can just let a song breathe. It's by far the longest and possibly most pretentious song I've ever written.
A ridiculously fucking happy song about giving up. If you're going to be defeated, you may as well get your clappin'-hands going.
I considered calling this song "Dichotomy II" because it's in the same vein as that song (on "Ink-Stained Fingers"). It was also briefly titled "Should I Stay or Should I Go Fuck Myself?" but I thought better of it. It's basically just a look inward. Maybe a happy one this time.
My cousin Patrick took his own life earlier this year. I looked up to him and I don't know that he knew how much I did. I will never see him again, but he's with me forever.
If you need help, get help. Don't ever stop fighting.
The number for the National Suicide Helpline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255), if you need it.
WHAT MATTERS MOST
(aka-South of Savannah)
I had the first line of the song in my head for almost a year. Finally got around to writing the rest of it. Turns out it was a love song. It's maybe a little bit about a couple of friends of mine, but probably not as much as some folks might think. Sometimes a love song's just a love song. And I'm not sure which "Savannah" I'm referencing, by the way...there's more than a couple. I've been to none of them.
YOU AND YOUR PERFECT LIFE:
"You and Your Perfect Life" has been in progress since 2009, when I read Nick Hornby's "Juliet, Naked." One of the main characters in that book is a musician who wrote a song called that—although no lyrics are revealed in the book...and I guess I just felt like someone needed to write it for real. So I wrote it about someone I was once in love with. It's been in a few different forms over the years, and was considered for at least three records. It was also once demoed and released on my website, but hardly anyone downloaded it. It finally kind of feels "at home" here. Hope it was worth the five-year wait!