Liner Notes - South

I had had enough of Hollywood signs and bottom-of-the-ladder grinds, smoggy roof top views and the bitchy banter of LA transplants, living at my mom's place and feeling like a loser-lame-o-want-to-be. So, I Forest Gump’d it to a new country: The American South.

Like all monumental decisions, the one to immigrate happened over a long period of time and, then, all at once. For about a year and a half, I spent my weekends fighting a losing battle with wanderlust. I was jetting off to Philly to visit old college buds and snorting Mardi Gras poppers in New Orleans and sleeping, tent-less, in the Joshua Tree desert. For about a year and a half, I did whatever I could to get out of my childhood bedroom for. Through it all, I had been mulling over a move to Music City.

In LA, it was starting to feel like everyone was on their solo Sisyphean journey, moving mountains by their lonesome. Huddled trinities of hipsters (wearing black of course) refusing to converse in a rooftop bar. Publishers making snide remarks about your lack of stature. Sure, you might work with some people, but only when they felt like they had something to gain from you. Its pretty easy to get jaded...its pretty easy to get lonely.

But, I was starting to hear whispers of Nashville, a place where songwriters were actually trying to climb ladders together and lend helping hands. And, truthfully, that's what I really wanted: friendship over fake-i-tude, camaraderie over cat fights. (Also, Nashville rent is cheap as hell, even if you have a backyard and a front yard, so, boy bye.)

However, what finally convinced me to hop on a shitty, southbound American Airlines flight was a simple conversation I had over Mongolian beef. It went as follows:

Me: “I think I want to live in Nashville.”

My Amigo Remington: “Do it.”

Me: "Oh."

Picking up my life and leaving had always seemed an arduous affair. I would have to pack up my popcorn popping pot into my Prius and ship that car off. My mother would have to say goodbye without shedding a tear and, then, promptly cry in her room. Somehow, I'd forget to bring my Cole Haan Harry Potter glasses which I really should never leave the house without. And, even though all of those things did happen, the move proved to be as simple as Remington's command: Do it. 

As a kid, I never thought I'd be living down here, had never wished for it or nothing like this: The land of Honky Tonk bars. The city that gifted fame to Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash. A state so full of Red politicians that, well, make of that what you will. But, here I am, meeting new people from Ohio and Texas everyday, writing songs with a twang. And, truth be told, I lurve it. Until that next bout of wanderlust blows me away like a dandelion seed in the summer wind, I'm laying down some deep roots in Nashville.

Liner Notes - Finger

Two years before I wrote Finger, I heard about the tryst that inspired the song from The Mistress himself. He and I were buying Four Lokos in a Philadelphia corner mart because we had plans to get underage drunk- homie and I were, in fact, homies at the time. The Mistress nonchalantly brought up the whole scandal and I responded with a punch-in-the gut, bout to puke on the sidewalk look on my face. I guess he thought that my cheating beau had dropped these deets on me a few years back, but no such thing ever came up. My ex-bf was long gone by this point. However, discovering that The Mistress had pressed him up against a rainwater shower, while we had been involved, was still a less than savory experience.  

So, petty is as petty do like petty be. I wrote a song that very night and put him on blast on the internet. 

However, I was still too close to the event in question. I couldn't write something that captured the true extent of it all. Its pathetic to say, but it took me another two years to fully process everything and write "Finger."

Ms. Time - her ticking of seconds on everyone's grandmother's grandfather clock-  became my Confucius, Socrates, and Rabbi Jesus all wrapped into one. She made me realize what was really popping off in my heart of hearts: It was that Jazmine "Bust the Windows Our Your Car" Sullivan, Carrie "carve my name into his leather seat" Underwood, Beyonce "bat named 'Hot Sauce' wielding" Knowles kind of righteous fury. Hopefully, reader, you can hear that pulsing in the lyrics.

And, I'm hoping you can hear some other stuff too! You see, I'm actually a pretty low-key, California, zippity doo dah kind of dude. So, when I went to (t)werk on this song, instead of addressing everything in that classical, arch-typical, rough and tumble method of the chickas I name-dropped above, I went for cheeky. I needed laughter like a junkie needs rehab and, above all, I didn't want to have to relive the hurt of it all in a melodramatic way. So, I cooked up this tune with that brassy af, Kacey Musgraves sauce I had absorbed from listening to her all damn day everyday and added in that Jewish "laugh to keep from crying" spice I inherited from my ancestors.  Praise country and praise my rabbis.

And, reader....reader, reader, READER! Some day soon, I truly hope - in a begging on my knees sort of way- I get to play this song live for you. Because, the true treat, the real McCoy of this whole shabang, is that there's always some old, Georgia broad in the audience bursting out in an Antebellum cackle when she hears this song. She knows. Oh yes, that wrinkley, Southern belle KNOWS: them boys may fuck up, but we get to have the last laugh.