Archive for Jackson Browne

I Ain’t Going Anywhere

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2017 by Mike

Here’s a little ditty in case your country band is looking for new material – especially songs that use needless profanity and indirect themes. Pardon the one-take demo feel. I am a busy dad and today it’s supposed to snow here in southeastern NC, so this was recorded between pitiful questions from my kids like, “Where’s the snow?” and “When will it snow?” Also, if my wife listens to this and considers the lyrics below the embedded video, these characters are fictitious. Don’t let the first person format fool you.

Sturgill Simpson, feel free to record this. Or maybe Lyle Lovett. Or even Jackson Browne if you’re ready for a drastic career departure – I also have a freshly penned anti-Trump protest song if that’s more in line with your current mental state. I understand. Let’s make 2017 the Year of the Unknown Songwriter.

 

This 9 to 5 it ain’t no way to live

And I just can’t find a fuck to give

I ain’t getting paid

I barely get laid

And my motivation’s standing on a cliff

 

This worthless feeling, it ain’t nothing new

Buckling down seems like the thing to do

Just when I start to stand tall

I go and piss on it all

And undermine you know who

 

Who cares

What’s the use

Guess my board’s blown a fuse

And there ain’t no warranty on that repair

You can try to inspire me

You can coldcock or fire me

But I ain’t going anywhere

 

Every time you tell me that you’re done

I hear you ain’t happy and I clearly ain’t the one

You list my inactions

And your dissatisfactions
With your mama saying “girl, you better run”

 

I’m supposed to shit or just get off the pot

But I can’t tell if I need to go or not

So I sit there a-thinking

Just stewing and stinking

Idling with everything I’ve got

 

I don’t care

What’s the use

Guess my board’s blown a fuse

And there ain’t no warranty on that repair

You can threaten to leave me

But you just best believe me

Honey, I ain’t going anywhere

 

 

 

Something in the Way We Move

Posted in Family, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2015 by Mike

This week is the culmination of a year and half of effort to move our family a few counties away. While the entire timeline is hard work, endless prep, semesters worth of research and study, and the coordination and cooperation of dozens of individuals, things don’t really get crazy until the end. The month before you move will affect your long-term mental state. Here are some milestones and things to consider if you’re planning to move in the near future.

30 days left – Once the contract is signed, your old house and its attendant issues are someone else’s problem. But fear of bad Karma and crapping on your buyers motivate you to weed your yard by hand since the lawn service was dropped weeks earlier and the grass is being overrun by countless alien sprouts.

24 days left – You start to look at your spouse as a co-worker at a moving company. All of your time is spent planning logistics, stacking, and restacking columns of boxes. You have detailed directions on where every item in every box will go in the new home and you wonder, since every other waking moment is occupied by another task, if your wife is nesting in her sleep.moving1

20 days left – You invent creative recipes to thin food from the pantry. I suggest crock-potting all of the cans of beans you have with the freezer-burned Boca Crumbles sitting on the Antarctic top shelf of the freezer, topped with fried onion straws, and maybe a handful of petrified Bac-O’s for zest.

17 days left – You are on a constant quest for boxes, sometimes driving miles into the country working from a tip given by another gas station (“Mary’s Market may have boxes”) You score a box from Mary and it somehow seems worth the time and gas money. Though infinite in their supply, you find that boxes from the liquor store are small and you’re lucky to pack a single, newspapered shoe in one of them.

14 days left – The house that you’re moving into sits out there like a faint, not quite affordable, mirage. You pull the address up on Google maps often and study every curve in your new road and squint at the satellite images of the houses of your new neighbors to see what clues you can deduce.

12 days left – You survey what’s left to do in your house and see things in 15 minute increments of time and amount of boxes each space represents (e.g., Alice’s closet will take 45 minutes and 4 boxes to pack.) At this point you realize there’s not enough time to do it all so you start the wholesale trashing of irreplaceable family possessions.moving2

10 days left – It’s amazing how well beer helps the packing process, so amazing that your belly sloshes at all times. Three beers is the magic number, anything beyond that slows you down and makes you spend the majority of your time retrieving lost items that you set down somewhere, especially the black Sharpie and the packing tape, which should be secured to your body at all times during the two weeks leading up to the move.

8 days left – To avoid yet another logistical task or phone call to a service provider, you wonder if you can manage okay without cable, trash pick-up, or electricity at your new home.

7 days left – Weird moving logic peaks when you consider buying a fifth of gin to make martinis so you don’t have to move or pour out the half bottle of vermouth still left on the liquor shelf.

5 days left – Due to the numerous idiosyncrasies of your old home, you realize the rest of your time should be spent on drafting an Instruction Manual for the new owners. Article 4, Section 2: Handle of kitchen faucet must be returned to the 12 o’clock position to stop leak; Addendum 2b, Appendix XII: Do not stand fully upright in the attic or you will puncture your head on roofing nails driven from the other side.

2 days left – Since you’re taking your kids to the grandparents while you and the wife suffer through the last grueling days, their countdown is on a faster track that yours. Even though they’re young, you feel the need to tell them it’s their last day and to take it all in while they can. It’s your own nostalgia forcing the issue but you can’t stop yourself. Once you’ve driven them from the old house for the last time, dropped them off, and are alone in the car, you put on your shades and finally play Patty Griffin’s Useless Desires and Jackson Browne’s Looking Into You (songs you’ve been purposefully avoiding until you were ready) and let that nostalgia really stretch its legs.moving3

The End – There’s no reason to divide the last two days into separate units since they run together and are a blur of backbreaking toil, military maneuver-like logistics, and misplacing more stuff. This is the period of time when you count on family and friends to voluntarily agree to haul all of your earthly belongings from one roofed compartment to another. This is when you sweat in brand new places and reek like someone from a life raft but still find yourself in clean, sterile law offices signing documents. Your sense of place is turned upside down and memories and new worries come tumbling out. You wander through your old empty home one last time and recollections fly past like a DVD rewinding on 4x speed; meanwhile, entering your new house as homeowner brings out many large and small imperfections – like the last owner was a hardcore smoker which will require priming, painting, and recarpeting so your young daughter doesn’t get lung cancer the moment she enters her new room – but it’s just Day One of a brand new timeline. And you can hardly wait to get started.

The Jackson Browne-Nakoma Conspiracy

Posted in Gags with tags , , , on January 9, 2013 by Mike

jackson nakoma2-01

Music Sampler

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2009 by Mike

For this week’s post, I thought it would be a nice diversion to listen to some tunes. Better yet, to listen to some tunes while watching moving images.  In this sampler we have a couple of music videos and a couple of live cuts from a few of my favorites—hope you find something you like, too. [NOTE: 2 of the links below are now deadends due to copyright issues. I encourage you to seek them out though.]

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Donald Fagen

“Snowbound”

From the album, Kamakiriad, 1993.

Donald Fagen is of course half of the brain trust known as Steely Dan, creators of genius music puzzles for the past several decades. The album was a solo project for Fagen, which thematically explored a bleak, ironic future for mankind. The video was directed by Michael Gondry, the man behind a ton of cool videos and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Let me also state for the record that Gondry’s film Be Kind Rewind is an underrated gem which you should rent as soon as possible.

 Click here for “Snowbound” Video

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James Taylor (with J.D. Souther)

“Her Town Too”

From the album, Dad Loves His Work, 1981.

Apparently, this album came out while Taylor was simultaneously divorcing Carly Simon and suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. J.D. Souther, a widely-respected writer and musician in his own right, lends a sweet harmony to the song. It’s hard to believe this came out nearly 30 years ago (unless you look at their wardrobes).

 Click here for “Her Town Too” video

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Jackson Browne (with David Lindley)

“Late for the Sky”

From the album, Late for the Sky, 1974.

This clip is from an unknown 2006 folk festival and features a grizzled Jackson Browne and an understated David Lindley.  Not that Jackson Browne has ever needed backup of any kind, but Lindley’s soaring guitar work helped shape Browne’s signature sound when he was a musical force in the 1970’s. If you haven’t listened to some of Jackson Browne’s earlier work, find these records and listen to them through an old pair of headphones. You will be moved.

 Click here for live “Late for the Sky”

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Gillian Welch and David Rawlings

“Caleb Meyer”

From the album, Hell Among the Yearlings, 1988.

I had the good fortune to see Gillian Welch and David Rawlings at Merlefest several years in a row and again at the Town Hall in NYC. The selected song is a higher tempo than some of my favorite Gillian Welch songs, but you get a sense of his brilliant guitar technique and her anachronistic songwriting, like haunted old tunes written in the 1840’s.  The interplay of their voices is an amazing sound to hear live.

 Click here for live “Caleb Meyer”