No One Will Ever Love Me  –  listen[mp3]

I’ve said it before: Listen to enough Old 97s and songs like this basically write themselves.

It’s unapologetically alt-country, familiar terrain for me. (See: Whole Story, Another Day Another Bottle, and even Old Guys.) Read more … »

Nothing Left  –  listen[mp3]
Girl leaves boy unexpectedly, boy writes song.
A deliberate exercise in minimalism, with the hope that the whole would end up greater than the sum of the parts. I underplayed everything: Straight backbeat on the drums, lock-step bass guitar and kick, no fancy strumming, no drum rolls.

I think this song has 2 signatures:

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Won’t Be Long  –  listen[mp3]

Some folks on Songfight put together a songwriting contest called NUR EIN. It’s half Survivor, half Idol, with judges for the first few rounds and a jury-of-the-ousted for the finale. There are more details at the NUR EIN site.

This song is my entry for round one, “Pencil Me In.” (And note that the hand claps in the intro were a requirement of the contest …)

UPDATE: I subsequently re-tracked the drums for this and dropped the hand claps.
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Funny Feeling (Not Exactly Normal)  –  listen[mp3]

This is the last of 14 songs I wrote for FAWM, a challenge for songwriters to write an album in 28 days. (71 of us finished. That’s a lot of songs…) It’s also a Songfight title, so be sure to check out the Not Exactly Normal fight. And while you’re there, give a listen to All Onion Diet in the Oversleeping fight.

There are demos for a few of the other songs I wrote last month on my page at FAWM (including the aforementioned All Onion Diet song.) I’ll record them all eventually … First I have to let my fingers recover from 28 days of guitar playing!

UPDATE: Burr, who runs the annual FAWM project, choose this song as the leadoff track for the 2006 compilation CD, which should be on sale soon!
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Here’s a simple method for getting alcohol undetected into places that don’t allow liquor.
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You’re pretty annoying. I’m just saying, you didn’t have to combine your love of air raid sirens and your unhealthy obsession with homemade wearable helmet-mounted megaphones. But I’m here to help. See, it’s not a crime to annoy people, just like it’s not a crime to win back their affection by faking a trauma. Like, say, an unplanned freefall. I might even believe you survived the fall if I could hear myself think.

Canadian beer drinkers live in interesting times. Studies show that we’re drunker than ever, and really, it’s no wonder. We have products to facilitate cheap public drinking, and since you only rent the stuff, cheap public … opposite of drinking. We have a solution to the oft-expressed complaint, “my beer, while delicious, lacks bacon.” And scientists, those geniuses, have solved a math riddle that has plagued generations of pie-eyed frat boys. Someone get those scientists a beer. A perfectly poured beer.

Other Places I Have Lived  –  listen[mp3]

I’ve been busy finishing a proper album (more on that soon,) and haven’t had much time for song writing. But last week it occurred to me that I’ve been sending stuff to Songfight for a year now. So maybe it was nostalgia, or maybe it was the great title, but either way I managed to finish this song in time for the Other Places I Have Lived Songfight.

I’m not sure what to make of it. Other than the voice it doesn’t really sound like “me.” There’s no acoustic guitar or piano, and I don’t think I’ve ever used a chorus effect on a guitar track. Rather, I’m a fan of Old 97s and Wilco. Tremolo, reverb, and saturated tubes all the way.

Still, it is what it is…

(Aside: you should check out Boltoph’s fantastic entry in the We All Need Love Songfight. It’s like Hawksley Workman or Rufus Wainwright, if they’d grown up in Tennessee listening to Hank Williams. I wish I’d written it!)

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Earlier this year, Austin Aitken filed suit against NBC because he barfed watching contestants on Fear Factor eat some rat meat.

Austin Aitken is a culturally insensitive wuss. The French have eaten rodents for over 100 years, a practice exemplified by this recipe for Souris a la creme. And in Thailand, fresh field rat is a delicacy. Willard Van De Bogart writes about the first time he ate rat: “I was astonished at how good the rat meat actually tasted.” Though I’ll admit, just when his recipe for ground rat meat and chili paste” had me tempted, I found a series of pictures detailing the preparation of what appears to be Thai-fried rat. And judging by the last pi re, you just know it tastes like chicken. So I think I’ll pass.

(Warning: links are Not Safe for Austin Aitken)

A brief pedantic moment: Doesn’t the expression “World’s Longest Undefended Border” imply that there are longer, defended borders?

There aren’t. Lots of countries have longer total land boundaries than Canada or the U.S., but the next closest shared border length, that of the Russia - Kazakhstan border, is over 2,000 km shorter.

Knowledge is power …

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