Lumber Train


I have the song – now need to write the lyrics. I started by trying to play a lot more on the Lap Steel and Bass – then I added in Guitar and just a single “train whistle” sound using a violin.

I will need to re-record the singing, but this is OK for a first attempt.




Its a Big Deal

A new song is brewing. Stay tuned

Pandemic (Full Mix)


Here is the final version (for now). I decided to use everything – just mix it differently.

I learned a lot – and each of these songs is really like doing a homework assignment. Next song – I will start with a melodic bass line, and then fit my guitar part to it.

I also have some fun in store with the lap steel and other tunings.

Donald Trump is a Giant Pimple on the Ass of Mankind

There’s a pimple on my ass
I call it Donald Trump
After I pop it
It leaves a big ol’ lump

He’s in need of
Dr. Sigmund Freud
He’s a pain in the ass
A real hemmorroid

The moral of this story
Is don’t believe the con
Of this asshole hugging pimple
Dangerously incompetent Don

Pandemic (Lyrics)

I’ve found lightness in these dark and grim times

I wrote two versions of the Pandemic Lyrics, the first being very dark – which is appropos for how I imagine many feel. However, I’ve heard from many friends and work colleagues that they are happier because of “Shelter in Place”.

I think the first version of the song sounds a bit darker than the second, but I like both. The version with the synth does what I had hoped it would – be a sort of cross between an early jangly R.E.M. song and “Grimly Fiendish” by the Damned.

The second version, with lyrics is even more jangly, and an all strings affair, and I think the lyrics work well. Writing about a pandemic is trickier than I had expected, and the juxtaposition of the grim reality of death and The Unbearable Lightness of Being was a challenge to write something that wasn’t silly for a 3 minute pop song. Here it is.

Surreal are the days
They go so fast
Feel your inner peace
No cares in the least

All things will pass
Tie fear to the mast
Think beyond your fear
Think about next year


The perfect storm
Is the new norm
Shelter from harm
Sound the alarm

I had a third verse, but decided to only sing two. I’m finding less is more lyric wise. In fact, I’m very happy that the “Less is More” or Zen Buddhist “Do nothing extra” approach really works well.

I can get pretty damned wordy at times, so this is good practice for me.

My Last Sunspot Cycle?

If I’m lucky, I’ll make it 2 more Solar Cycles. But I expect that my interest as I age means Cycle 25 will be it for me.

At this point, my enthusiasm is about where it was in 1976, right as I switched from Ham Radio to girls and cars.

I’m hanging in there by a thread. The Mag Loop experiment is a way to test a simple antenna since where we will move prolly has HOAs.

I get just a tiny bit interested when I hear Bouvet in the Fall, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Japhy Ryder, May I Call You Master?


The Rock Wall that leads to The Com-Promised Land . . .

My very good friend, Jeff, was nicknamed Japhy, and I think I coined that nickname, but it was way back in the 80’s. Anyway. I know I was reading Dharma Bums then so there’s that reference. We have re-connected, and like back then, he was my music teacher. He don’t just give out trophies because you just pooped – you have to know your shit – and realize the great lessons that are at your feet.

Japhy gave me an assignment to work on a new bass line, cut out the synthesizer and use the lap steel as the replacement for the “ghostly sound” in my previous recording. SO, that’s what I did today. OH – Japhy wants lyrics and vocals – so there we have it!

Japhy, can I call thee Master?

That “challenge” made me go back, dig in and work harder than I planned. I still like both versions of the song, but there are several valuable lessons learned – working up a counterpoint and moving bass line is now something I will continue to do and work on. I also worked a lot more at trying to come up with a lap steel line that was more than simple “washes”.

I’m just a rank beginner as a musician, but all of this I’m finding absolutely challenging but 100% fun.

Unbearable Lightness of Being

One phrase that keeps popping up in my mind during Covid-19 is “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”.

Being a student and lover of surrealism, dada and alternate paths you can take in life, this passage from the book resonates with me:

“The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness? …”

Luckily, my response to the Pandemic has been to get creative and be inspired. We’ve followed the doctors and epidemiologists advice and are taking all precautions.

My response could be that I’m impatient and consumed with worry. That would be the normal reaction.

I think in a way, what is happening is so unreal it really doesn’t seem real. I also think because we are home bodies to start with, not only are we fine staying home, we are both loving it.

We are leaning more towards lightness rather than heaviness.

My All Time Favorite Album

R.E.M. is my #1 favorite band, but …

I was lying on a couch in Rochester, NY in March 1982. I had just less than one year in Rochester, and after not even getting through this album on the first pass, that was it, I was bound for California, where my family moved to in 1979. Long story.


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Sonic Youth – Sonic Nurse

This song is attempt to meld two favorite bands and their albums. The general “jangliness” of R.E.M. and when The Damned released their album “Phantasmagoria”.

I’ll add lyrics below – after I write them – hahahaha