New Music: Buried in Blues Current mood:melancholy Buried in Blues evolved from one particularly intense night of pensive intoxicated musing.
I was drunk, alone in a new city, and so poor that I was selling plasma for gas and beer. With the exception of Monday nights (Preservation Pub had a free pizza buffet), supper during this period typically consisted of a couple of Wal-mart's 33 cent chicken pot pies. I was finally ready to move on after having my heart broken, but had no where to go and no funds to get there. What I did have was a case full of harmonicas, a guitar that I could barely play, and a bottle of good whiskey that I rationed like a Schedule II controlled substance.
I was listening to a lot of Leadbelly and Howlin' Wolf back then.
I remember a feeling of hopelessness. Of being ready to escape from a hole that was too deep for me to climb out of. Almost like I was buried.
Anyway, parts of it are about me and parts of it...well, I suppose you'll just have to guess.
To celebrate, I got quite drunk while recording this. I'm sure you can't tell.
This one goes out to anyone who had to listen to me learning to turn emotions into ink during one of the worst stretches of my life, and to Matthew (whose guitar track originally backed this. It was completely lost due to computer malfunction). 12:27 AM
New Music: 'Til I'm Gone Current mood:melancholy Damn daylight savings time.
Started going through old unfinished recordings and this one came up.
It was already finished really. A re-recorded ending was all it took.
I stockpiled it because I thought that it needed another instrument to fill in the breaks.
After reviewing it, I think the absence of instrumentation reflects the feelings of desperation and emptiness I felt at the time.
I really hate daylight savings time.
Anyway, this one goes out to Tay, Marc, Darrien, and anyone who has ever felt hopelessly enamored with anything almost (but not quite) obtainable. 1:17 PM
Or a barn cat either, for that matter (even though they are quite a bit more resilient).
Really, I think this song is about the frustration revolving around the death of an idea into which you invest a lot of yourself.
And about the fact that every decent songwriter needs a double-bastardized seven minute song, right?
There are a handful of local Knoxville references. It would have been pointless to mention a local brewery without tying it down. Maloneyville is where the county lockup is. Pilot is a local gas station chain that sold New Knox beer for a while. The Tennessee River runs through Knoxville. The tune is stolen from a traditional tune famously recorded by the Louvin and Wilburn Brothers, and the title is stolen from Todd Steed (another local musician). I think that covers all the local references for you out-of-towners.
There has been speculation since the day that it closed of New Knox’s imminent re-opening. I recently spoke with the current owner, and he sounded hopeful of its re-re-resurrection. I hope it happens.
But at this point, I just don’t know.
So, I got drunk off Newcastle and recorded this song.
Just because it felt right.
Again, I digress.
To my New Knox Family:
I miss you all. I wish I could mention everyone from NKBC personally, but it would be boring for people who don’t know you, and inflammatory for the people whom I’m certain to forget to mention.
Also, that's my buddy Matthew Everett playing the guitar on this one. This marks his musical debut and he did a damn fine job.
So, this one goes out to everyone who was left “Second Home”-less after New Knoxville closed for what remains to be seen as the last time. Here’s hoping we’ll be downing brown ales again soon. I’ll buy your first round…
New Music: New Knoxville Girl Current mood:exhausted Grab a beer, relax, and sit down. This is a long one…
A couple of years ago, one of my favorite Knoxvillian institutions shut down.
It was never a swanky joint, but The New Knoxville Brewing Company Tasting Room had a certain…”je ne sais quoi” about it. Anyone who ever managed to find the joint and spent an evening there can attest to it.
It was too far to walk to from the old city, in an area where most people wouldn’t have walked anyway, sporadically open, poorly heated in the winter, poorly cooled in the summer, occasionally produced over-pressurized beer (resulting in spewing bottles (sorry, if you got any of ‘em. We didn’t know they were screwed up until they’d already shipped, and if you brought ‘em by, you got a replacement six pack and a pint in the Tasting Room for your trouble)), never served any food except bar mix (and then only during the last eight months), a lot of the furniture was falling apart, and the original owner’s half-wolf scared the hell out of a lot of the patrons.
I have a fondness for the place for number of reasons.
I started going there because I was broke, working a minimum wage job, and desperate for cheap, palatable booze. I was immediately hired on as a rinser on the bottling line. I would become New Knox’s solitary rinser for the next two years. For the longest time, we got paid in short-filled cases of beer (shorties, for those who don’t know, are bottles that aren’t filled with quite enough beer to put into a regular six pack. Still, within the bottles are six to ten ounces of perfectly drinkable beer). In my time, I went from bottler to performer to open mic host to beertender to senior beertender. I saw two owners, 14 bartenders, and a ballpark guesstimate of a hundred different bands.
One of my former bands played its last show on New Knox’s grand opening night. Three bands I helped found went on to have their first show there at some point or another. I played my first paying solo show there.
I saw a number of my favorite regional bands play their first shows, or one of their first shows at New Knox: Christabel, Medford’s Black Record Collection, Eric Hux and the Trouble with Television, Duke Brown, The Andy Show, The Newport Arsegrabbers, Guns 4 Higher, the list goes on. Correct me if I’m wrong here, bands.
Then there was the beer.
Don’t get me wrong, we all had our favorites.
And I loved them each in their own special way. The Pale Ale, the Hefeweizen, the IPA…
But my God, the Brown Ale.
Is it worth homicide, as the song suggests?
Produce a vintage bottle and I’ll let your friends know when I write this blog from prison in six months.
Still, it was the environment. The people made New Knox an awesome place to drink and bartend. I can’t tell you how many times I saw a customer ordering a pizza add on an extra one to feed everyone else at the bar. Where else do you see that? Free pool and nightly fires (thanks again for putting the wheels out by pissing on ‘em after you set the frame on fire, Dave). A roulette CD player on perpetual shuffle of local demo cds, out-of-print John Hartford records, and live Grateful Dead/Yonder Mountain bootlegs.
If I only had a list of the major events in my life that somehow hinged on the New Knoxville Brewing Company, this would be a very lengthy blog.
But, I digress…
This song is not about a murder ballad.
It's not about the demise of a bar that I was practically married to.
This song was not written to condone the hitting of anyone or anything with a house cat.
New Music: Sam’s Anthem Current mood:drained A recently finished, self-explanatory song.
Sam is probably not anybody you know, but I feel this way myself a lot of times.
In fact, I think it may pertain to people in general. It's probably genetic.
From the deleted verses:
I guess it comes from Adam Who had one simple task. God said, "Don't eat that apple." And was that too much to ask?
Anyway, this one goes out to anyone who hears this song and recognizes the feeling behind it. Better luck in the future.
JCY 8:03 AM
New Music: Hardin Valley Blues Current mood:melancholy I've been chastised for not putting up more music.
To my credit, I've been very busy. And I've been sick.
So I posted this instead.
I don't normally post songs on MY profile with anybody but me in them. This one is a clear exception. My buddy Seth Smith, of Guns 4 Higher fame, plays guitar and sings harmony. It's obviously unrehearsed. It's like sitting in my living room and listening.
The gist of the song comes from a comment a buddy of mine said about 3 years ago. He was born and raised in Hardin Valley (this hole in the wall town with a deli and a gas station outside of Knoxville) and made the comment that it wasn't the same place anymore. I had an idea of what he was talking about, so I started writing, but could never really finish the song...
Two years later, I went back to my hometown and found the same thing.
Then, I went to Maryville during last Christmas season. Let me say that I had previously loved Maryville. It was a town with class. It was a place that seemed simpler, unique, proud and honest compared with the city of Knoxville. Last December, though... it looked identical to Turkey Creek. And Turkey Creek looks identical to Collierville (with less bricks (I swear Collierville has bricks everywhere!)) and Jackson. And Memphis. And Nashville. And every town I saw along the way home from west Tennessee.
Recently I was in South Dakota. Great trip. But there were so many chains moving in that I had to ask half a dozen people for a good local eatery.
What happened to mom and pop? Where the hell did regional individuality go?
I want Maryville back. Damn a strip mall.
Last month, I went to Hardin Valley for some paperwork.
And it was beginning to look like Maryville (et al). Anyway, I finished the song. So, count this one as a eulogy for the towns that have already been assimilated, and for those that are yet to be assimilated...
May God rest their souls... 6:49 AM
New Music: Late in the Night Current mood:drained New Music up.
I know the vocals are all over the place, but I've been wanting to post it forever.
So, here it is in all it's imperfection.
Clint 12:26 AM
While I don't want to draw too many parallels here, (just because these scenarios happened to meet at a bar one night and bounced off one another for a while doesn't mean they're married) I do want to issue new thoughts on an old scenario.
Big oil is the retarded rapist who will get away with whatever is allowed.
The government is the nursing staff who either doesn't care enough to stop what's happening out of eyesight or just doesn't give a shit about the rectal sanctity of us innocent vegetables of the world. Or maybe the pervert is paying them for their cooperation, as has been suggested.
I'm not saying I'm ready to drown in a bowl of Minestrone just yet, no. I'm not even saying that I'm going to start biking to work (it's about 12 miles). I'm just saying I feel helpless. I, like many Americans, am stuck between a pump and a hard place. I'll leave it to you to figure out which is which.
Anyway, I wrote this rip-off of a Johnny Cash @ Sun Studios classic when New Orleans flooded during the summer of 2005. There was a lot going on then. If I recall correctly, that was the first time gas went over three dollars as a widespread thing and the first time I paid more than two dollars a gallon as a Tennessean.
It pissed me off. I remember that the reason for price gouging then was because the off-shore oil rigs that supply so much of our petroleum were damaged beyond repair and would have to be rebuilt. I'm not sure I've heard a reason this time.
Not that it really matters. A reason for a gasoline price hike is the mental equivalent of a courtesy reach-around. It doesn't have to be good, but it helps to make things easier on everyone. Consumers will justify it in their own heads.
Anyway, three days ago, I caught myself humming this tune over a bowl of Chicken Creole while looking out the restaurant window at a gas station. It made me laugh, as I hope it does you. I looked at the lyrics and penned a new verse. Ain't it funny how that economic stimulus check came in right about the time gas hit 3 dollars? Where does the heart of this drama lie?
Coincidence or Planning? Greed & Lust for Power? Ignorance & Apathy?
I don't know. And I don't give a shit.
I'm not politically-minded. I leech the majority of my political opinions from my friends like Michael Davis and Ben Milligan who have the patience to keep up with that sort of relentless garbage.
I am the self-contained center of my own universe, and I would appreciate it if the rich greedy-types of the world would stop digging their hands into my stratosphere, because it really fucks up the sunset.
All this talk about soup has got me hungry and reminded me of a joke simultaneously (nevermind the need to end this anchor of a blog on a lighter noter):
Q: What is the difference between roast beef and pea soup? A: Anyone can roast beef.
Have good one.
New Music: 5 Bucks High and Rising Current mood:drained This is hard to phrase…
What if you were a totally paralyzed blind/deaf/mute that everyone presumed was a vegetable but you really were conscious…you just had no means of communication?
What if your hospital roommate was also presumed to be a vegetable, but he was really a retarded pervert who was just smart enough to play vegetable when people were in the room, and anytime they left, he raped you?
Also, he's ugly.
And he drools on you while he does it.
Several years ago, over a bottle of tainted Gatorade, Billy Ringger (teen heart-throb of Crazy Sexy Squirrels fame) and I came to a conclusion: human euthanasia is okay in outlandish scenarios.
I'm not saying it's morally right.
I'm not saying it's right for everyone.
I'm saying, if I'm ever actually in that scenario, I'll offer up my proverbial "birthright for a bowl of soup."
Just make sure you leave me face down in it.
I would prefer a tureen of Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice or perhaps Etoufee, but whatever's fine, really.
Just make sure it's not Vegetable Soup.
I would prefer my last thoughts to not be ones of irony.
But I digress.
My point (and I do have one) is that I sort of feel that way about gasoline prices right now. I feel like I'm being screwed every time I go to the pump, and there's not one damn thing I can do about it.
New Music: The Bachelor’s Plea Current mood:hungry The idea for this one came from something Tennessee's former State FFA President Matt Fennell once told me.
It's a powerful feeling to be alone for a great length of time.
I wrote this song a few years after Fennell told me that if you didn't have a wife by the time you graduated college, you're going to spend a lot of cold nights alone. I was a sophomore then. A few years passed, and I started to realize what he was saying: the stock thins out, thus the cull pen gets smaller.
Anyway, this one goes out to Preservation Pub (where I first performed this song several years ago) and anyone who knows the feelings described. It's a shitty place to be in life.
Bibamus moriendum, est.
Clint 1:24 AM