the order (in which things are broken)

Words like rescue and tenderness and forever and don't go. The things I experienced, written on my cells as memories and patterns, a record. All of them broken, all of them saved, in one- to two-minute narratives packed tightly into small spaces. It begs the question: Why did I save this? What is the value …

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little things

I’ve learned to practice myself in little things. A good night's sleep: 7-8 hoursThe morning walk: 90 minutesA slow drink of room temperature water: 1 hourWarming the voice, stretching the range: 30 minutes (Humming and yawn-sighs, 20 minutes. Tongue twisters, facial exercises and sung scales, 10.)Finger stretches: hold for 30 to 60 seconds and then …

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musical chairs

Last night I sat on a little red chair and sang for around 30 people. Some were sitting real close … their closeness was almost air to me. I was singing some new songs, really new and raw, so I wanted as much closeness as I could have. But probably only two or three in the audience were really that close …

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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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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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love songs

If your heart is broken, a song is a good place to grieve. If you want someone to fall in love with you, a song can be the place to take them in. I believe that all songs – the happy ones, the sad ones, the lullabies, the protest tunes, each social commentary and every funeral dirge – all of them are love songs, …

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