Volume I Notes

Mass Ave

Written with Dean Fisher (Juliana Hatfield Three, Dylan in the Movies, Bathing
Beauties), with whom I have created many songs and two children. Dean is my
most constant (and convenient) musical partner and trusted ear. I love the linear chug of this
song, the forward motion. The lyrics came easily for this one, inspired by a strange
evening of small but important moments. True story. Rhythm provided by David Brophy
(drums) and Joe McMahon (bass), killer jazz musicians both, with Dean leading on
guitar and Anthony Saffrey (Cornershop) contributing a beautiful and winding sitar.
 

Christopher Street

Written with Wesley Stace aka John Wesley Harding, author (Misfortune, By George,
and Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer) and musician (The Sound of His Own Voice,
Songs of Misfortune, Here Comes the Groom, and so many others). The third co-writer of this
song is Rob Seidenberg, who I haven’t yet met and wish to. Wes and I areaccompanied by the
awesome English UK, made up of David Nagler on guitar and keys, Eddie Carlson on bass, and
Adam Gold on drums. This song is a backwards-looking letter written to a composite of three
men — part true, part fiction.
 

Let Fall the Sky

Written by Joseph McMahon. Beautiful piano by Joe, this is a heart-warming apocalyptic
love song, sung as the sky literally falls apart and down. This one makes me feel good.
 

Blame the Muse

Another written with Wes, and backed by the English UK. Despite the classic pop of this
one, I imagine this conversation taking place a hundred years ago —
flowers in the river, cowering dogs, night rages, blown-out candles. (Also, this lady seem
s more patiently long-suffering than she might be today.) Lyrics for this inspired in
part by Wes’s Misfortune (the book), not so much in tale but tone.
 

Meteor Shower

Written with Rick Moody, author (Ice Storm, the Diviners, Four Fingers of Death, On
Celestial Music, and many other great things) and musician (the Wingdale Community
Singers). There are only a few in this series with contributed lyrics by another and music
by me, and this is one. Backed by myself on multiple instruments, and much elevated
by cello played by Sam Davol (Magnetic Fields) and Dean on djembe. Growing up and
grown-up, I’ve spent many summer nights (alone and not) lying on chilly East Coast
beaches waiting for the sky to do something. The simple act of looking up (put down
your device now) is an instant recalibrator. When Rick sent me the lyrics that became
Meteor Shower, I felt that same shift.