t h i n g s + f l e s h

lyrical essays on songwriting + other mysteries


When I dress to go out, I usually end up taking off the leather cuffs I have put on … or the vest, or the belt, or the hat. This sort … Continue reading

September 23, 2014 · 15 Comments


Standing alone on an empty stage beneath a wash of spotlights, soundchecking acoustic guitars, it’s easy to see that a concert hall is a house of worship. Melody is a profound spirit, after … Continue reading

September 4, 2014 · 25 Comments


When I go on tour, I meet a lot of interesting people. After a show on Crooked Road, a fellow calling himself Star Blanket handed me a mysterious bag — whose contents, he … Continue reading

August 28, 2014 · 9 Comments


Motels exist to make songwriters think of loneliness. To be a songwriter is to be attached to something: your kids, your home, a flower, a moment, injustice, anything. You attach meaning to sound, and sound … Continue reading

August 13, 2014 · 8 Comments

a crooked road

A sense of profound heartbreak is palpable throughout M’s record, but so is a feeling of hope: her sweet, clear voice, by turns melancholy and resolute, makes heartbreak a little bit easier to take. … Continue reading

July 30, 2014 · 11 Comments

good records

I’ve begun collaborating with M on her next album. Much of the recording, arranging and producing the weeks ahead will be done in late-night sessions at a studio in a town just far enough … Continue reading

July 9, 2014 · 18 Comments


I thought the song I made up for N was completely finished. She asked me to compose a short piece for string quartet and computer-generated sound, and I did. But listening to it, there was … Continue reading

June 26, 2014 · 17 Comments

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