missing

We call a T-shirt T-shirt, even when it is used as a rag to wash the car – it is still called T-shirt. Maybe the old Radiohead concert T-shirt. It’s always changing – the shape, the size, the color — but its name and meaning remain. Soap and water pulse against the car, and the shirt lies on its back looking up as if …

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kindness

Last night they wanted me to sing the way someone in love would, how someone wanting love would, how someone feeling alone might. They wanted to hear me tell about hope after hurt, forgiveness, healing after disaster, summery longing, and life after betrayal and breakup (which sadly, I know a lot about). Singing for people has …

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a little motel music

It’s twilight, and the notes I sang to people some hours ago seem to float in the air like motel room coat hangers. Lying on the bed with my guitar and my remarkably low-fi, home recording studio away from home, it’s clear that the motel exists to help me think of loneliness and make up another song. Things that are supposed to be so honest, so true, have …

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invisible

For the next two days I’m living in a sunny, spare room over a bookshop, in a one-pump, two-church town by the sea. It’s a kind of self-imposed exile. I have this song to finish, and, well, to begin rediscovering who I used to be … . I don’t know anyone here. I’ll wander around among the streets, be quiet and observe …

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bulletproof

When I go on tour, I meet a lot of interesting people. After a show near Woodstock this week, a sweet man calling himself Star Blanket handed me a mysterious bag whose contents, he said, would make me … bulletproof. I opened it and looked inside it, and it was white willow bark, a cage necklace, and a …

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that’s beautiful

My friend Ryan stopped by this afternoon. I played him a song I started recording last week. (I’ve got an acoustic guitar, a lead vocal, and a temporary background part on it so far.) “That’s beautiful,” he said. I never know what to say after someone says, that’s beautiful, except to agree with them. For me, beauty is …

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beach place

There's a place on the coast that I go to now and then for stretches of isolated songwriting. It's a place where I can gaze out at sea for hours and listen to the waves bring the eternal note of heartache in. A new set of songs I'm writing is evolving as an intricate, relationship breakup album. …

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