favourite lyrics of lately

15 Feb

“I lit a thin green candle to make you jealous of me
But the room just filled up with mosquitoes
They heard that my body was free”
(Leonard Cohen, “One of Us Cannot Be Wrong”)

“We made some small talk. That’s where it should have stopped.”
(Bruce Springsteen, “Highway 29”)

“Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.”
(Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin'”)

“If it ain’t fear that holds us
It’s fear that tears us down

Some grow weak in anger
Few grow weak in pain

Our Father loves you, always”
(Mandolin Orange, “Hey Adam”)

“You were a phonograph, I was a kid
I sat with an ear close, just listening

Well, time has a way of throwing it all in your face
The past, she is haunted, the future is laced
Heartbreak, ya know, drives a big black car
Swear I was in the back seat, just minding my own

The song in my head, well was all that I had”
(Gregory Alan Isakov, “Big Black Car”)


18 Jan

I feel like some kind of magic moondust of David Bowie’s ghost is following me. I have no other explanation for how I suddenly started to strum “Space Oddity”. Or how I wrote a David Bowie cut up poem so confidently, with the calmness of thinking about Chinati Hot Springs. Maybe that’s what I meant when I wrote “The Ghosts On the Lake”. And perhaps it’s true and meant to be that spirits are borrowed from the dust of the earth (and the moon).

top favourite music from 2015

28 Dec


  1. Liberman by Vanessa Carlton
  2. The Firewatcher’s Daughter by Brandi Carlile
  3. Just Kids by Mat Kearney
  4. 1989 by Ryan Adams
  5. Pageant Material by Kacey Musgraves


  1. Son by Sleeping at Last
  2. Sweet Nothing by Gabrielle Aplin
  3. Poison Tree by The Milk Carton Kids
  4. Fight Song by Rachel Platten
  5. She Used to Be Mine by Sara Bareilles

Special Mention

EP: Crescent St. Blues by Jake Klar

Favourite Found Artist: J Wagner


  1. Brandi Carlile & Gregory Alan Isakov/Morrison, CO/Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  2. Gregory Alan Isakov/Salt Lake City, UT/The State Room
  3. The Piano Guys/Morrison, CO/Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  4. Chromeo/Salt Lake City, UT/Red Butte Garden
  5. Taylor Swift/Salt Lake City, UT/Energy Solutions Arena

top favourite music from 2014

1 Dec


1. Wish I Was Here (Music From the Motion Picture) by Various Artists

2. Wish I Was Here (Original Motion Picture Score) by Rob Simonsen

3. White Women by Chromeo

4. Song Spells, No. 1: Cedarsmoke by Sea Wolf

5. Lost On The River by The New Basement Tapes



1. Ancient Light by Allman Brown

2. Live @ Air (Live) by Daughter

3. Wild Desire (Live Sessions) by Sugar & The Hi Lows



1. Stay With Me by Sam Smith

2. Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

3. Sister (Hushed) by Andrew Belle



1. Paul McCartney/Out There/Salt Lake City, UT/Energy Solutions Arena

2. Gregory Alan Isakov/Morrison, CO/Red Rocks Amphitheatre

3. The Eagles/History of The Eagles/Salt Lake City, UT/Energy Solutions Arena

4. The Beach Boys/Salt Lake City, UT/Utah State Fair Park

5. Lord Huron/Salt Lake City, UT/Urban Lounge

music lessons have ruined music for me

9 Oct

I highly regret signing myself up for voice lessons at Guitar Center. I try to avoid confrontation, but maybe it’s time I talk to the manager there.

I’ve had a spew of terrible music teachers, but this has been the worst. I’ve never felt more degraded and worthless as a musician and I’ve been doing music for 21 years.

The first lesson was a half hour long, mostly introductions and I told the instructor of my music background and goals. I’ve been doing this for a long time. All I want is a better, more focused and controlled voice.

The second lesson was an hour long and I thought I could learn more in an hour lesson. But no. The instructor kept going on and on about some other country student he teaches. When I looked at the clock, 5 minutes had passed by. I played a few songs, including “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)” by Jim Croce and I was being asked about the lyrics. He asked me what the lyrics mean and I gave him my interpretation. After I told him, he seemed to be looking for a specific answer. I told him nobody knows what the song really means except for the songwriter who wrote it. What a waste of time. I also told him I’ve read and studied lyrics A LOT. Then we went onto some random sight singing exercise from the Guitar Center lesson book, which I don’t even care about.

The third lesson was a half hour long again and I thought maybe it will be ok this time. A second or a third chance? Again, no. I hadn’t had a chance to practice at all this past week, but I did do the reading from the Guitar Center lesson book. He talked somewhat about the book, then went on to explain how he went to some concert and the singer was terrible. Then we did this yoga/imagining there’s a light/breathing exercise. I don’t know how it’s going to help, but singing isn’t magic in that aspect. I sang “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)” by Jim Croce again. The instructor keeps telling me I should sing differently from the artist who wrote the song, but when I try to sing it in the same rhythm as a cover of “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)”, he says I’m doing it wrong and I need to sing it like the artist. He then asks me to identify the verse and chorus in the song. Again, what a time waster. I am more than capable of reading from sheet music, but my brain doesn’t think of labeling the verse and chorus in sheet music form. I know the difference between a verse and chorus, thank you. I’ve been writing songs for the past few years and I have a self-published and self-released song on iTunes, Amazon, etc. which I am proud of.

Overall, I’ve never had a more negative experience. This has been all talk and hardly any singing. If I wanted someone to talk to, I would have seen a psychologist instead. I’ve spent way too much money at Guitar Center. I’ve purchased almost all my gear at Guitar Center since I got my first guitar 10 years ago. I was a fan. But here’s my middle finger. I am done.