living room music

There's a tempo they want. A sound quality they want. There are subjects they won't air. The music industry (like any other successful industry) is about formulas and rules. Follow them, and you will succeed in it as a songwriter and, for better or worse, likely remain a part of it for life. Incidentally, the formula looks like this: This Brightness plus that Tempo plus this …

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masterpiece

The thing I most dreaded when I began making up songs as a teenager was being struck down by an F-150 before the world could hear my masterpiece. Not so much anymore. These days I don’t sit and wonder if my next song will be liked by hundreds of thousands of people. I don’t care whether the world will …

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threads

My latest song was inspired by a lovers’ spat I witnessed outside the movie theater here in town. It’s about a terrible, terrible betrayal, and the possibility of moving from the brokenness to happiness, if only for a few moments. When you’re a songwriter living in a small town you hear more things, about all sorts of people — Those two parting angrily on the street, leaving their love affair hanging …

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unwanted things

There is no burden like unwanted things. Which is sad because, against all real evidence, things have feelings too. They don’t love in the human way, still: That blue thrift shop sweater out at the elbows has a story. I try to imagine the places it has been, and who wore it before it was mine. Those rundown cowboy boots slouched in the closet talk in …

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