I’ve been working on lyrics for the same two Black Diamond songs for months. And all I’ve managed to come up with is a chorus for one of ’em and a whole bunch of awfulness that has served as kindling for ye old wood stove more than once for the other. Thing is, I have too much baby on the brain, and babies make really lame song subjects. (Though maybe someday I’ll tackle the subject in an attempt to prove myself wrong and write a non-cheesey, deep and meaningful song about reproducing. But somehow I doubt it. Anyway.) At least that one chorus is pretty good.
Whenever I’m facing the creative void, I start listening to (or reading, if the case is with a writing project) the music of all my incredibly talented and super-inspiring friends and relatives. A few songs of theirs in my ears, and I may not find myself with finished lyrics, but I do find myself totally excited about working on what is starting to feel like an endless case of writer’s block (and it’s just these two songs, *tears at hair*, as in I’ve written lyrics for other songs in the meantime and these two are still tormenting me), find myself remembering why I get excited about making music in the first place. So I thought I would share. They’re all DIY folks who deserve all the free promotion they can get, and they all lean in the folk-y direction. Hip hip hoorah!
Where do you turn for inspiration when you find your creativity in tatters?
Sea Couch. These are two of the nicest people OF ALL TIME. Maybe someday the Beard and I will form a married-people country music duo too and tour the United States and tattoo pictures of each other playing banjos on our arms and have the honor of playing with them. You can order their recently released album here. This is my favorite song of theirs, Tired Train:
Ti Femme. I’ve shared this video with you all before, and I’m doing it again because there aren’t that many videos of her stuff (hey Handbasket where’s the video of your number one top pirate hit?) and because this song is just fucking brilliant. Skip to about 2:50 if you aren’t into the artsy noise parts. And check out these lyrics: “Predator prey the world has its way, and I’ve got nothing but time. Spit out the bones of a life that’s grown cold, and I’ve got nothing but time. Hunter gatherer sing this song, I’ve got nothing but time. You don’t have a home so you might as well roam, and I’ve got nothing but time. Heaven’s a sickness that must be cured, and I’ve got nothing but time.” Oh fuck yeah.
Baltimore String Felons. They make such fucking perfectly old timey country music you’d think they just stepped out of a time machine. Finally got to see them perform at my Uncle’s wedding during the Beard and I’s last trip to the States and hot damn were they good. Guessing contest as to which one of ’em I’m related to.
Uncle Meat and the Highway Children. They’re calling themselves something else now, but when I met ’em, they were named after the Zappa album. I put on a couple of shows for them, and every once in a while they show up at the door with a new constellation of members, more awesome songs, and an even homier van. I can’t find the link to their current project right now, but I highly recommend going here and listening to the Bolsworth Blues as well as watching this video of them covering Leonard Cohen.
Gregor MacBurns. A fellow I’ve never officially seen play, but who blew through town on a Baltimore connection. He makes beautiful music. He should come back and play a show. This is my second favorite song of his, Drink Anything. I think Baltimore musicians have a fighting chance at world domination, you know?
Katey Sleeveless. And last but, duh, not at all least, another number one top hit from my buddy Sleeveless who is currently touring the United States with the angel-voiced Adam Hawkins and their new baby. Here she is covering my favorite John Prine song:
And since this list is getting pretty long, and I know that the internet has made a big world of small attention spans, I’ll just say, if you liked this stuff, you should check out Old Seed, Bird, and Blackbird Raum too.
Now, to go see if that didn’t do something for the lyric-writing juices. We’re planning on recording our next album in January, so, you know, no pressure to get them finished or anything…