Angela, Partners With The Dead

She held to her heart
the image of man
some wicked as you
might reach for her hand,
she ran to the door
past the pistol he held
fell to the floor
as the smoke would dispel

Angela is about the power of collaboration. I remember Abe brought me some chords and a melody he had written. I put words to it. I was wanting for a story and found inspiration in a Keats poem -The Eve. Of St. Agnes, which I highly recommend reading. It's a strange and creepy poem and ever since I first read it, it's stuck with me.

O tell me, Angela, by the holy loom
Which none but secret sisterhood may see,
"When they St Agnes' wool are weaving piously."

    St Agnes! Ah! it is St Agnes' Eve---
Yet men will murder upon holy days:
Apart from giving me the title character name, it also gave me the idea for a mystery plot line. The song is sung from the prospective of a detective. Except for the beginning of the second verse -It is impossible to know that unless you are me, but that was always my little joke to myself- Then returns to the detective in order to finish out the unanswered but fatal question.

- good Angela,
believe not my tears
just trust my smile
I'll keep young your years -
good Angela,
why did he laugh?
to understand this
to figure out that...

Keats has always been a big inspiration for me. I've always had a huge romantic streak in me and he is probably the reason. It doesn't make sense why a kid from Texas born in the late 1980's would be so interested in his work, or Chaucer's for that matter, but some things just click.

In the same way music from the 60's spoke to me. If you ever wondered why we are so into 60's music. It's not from nostalgia, I never experienced it and from what I can imagine I don't think I would want. It's not from my parents, who really grew up more in the 70's and who always liked country-western a little bit better.

The music just hooked me somehow. My mind synchronized to that sound, that style, and those words. It's as if I found or discover something that I knew to exist all along but never saw, heard, or read before till that moment.

The background vocals are pure Dr. Dog. Thanks Frank and Scott for all the hard work you gave to four kids you barely knew, you guys are awesome. Also of note, Jaime is a great guitar player in his own right. I should've mentioned this on other songs, Officer and Little Girl for instance, where Jaime wrote the Harrison-esque solos, but he is just a madman with inventive melody. This is another one of his solos, though I think Dante added some country flourish to it. In the original demo we made, there is the sound of a gun going off right after the first verse and before the solo. We had recorded it using a cap gun, which sounds really funny when you first record it, blew up the sound and ran it through reverbs turning it from a pop to a BOOM! Unfortunately we weren't able to recreate this, time and such, at Dan's place.

The music is the way I write, because it's the only way I know how to write. The way I choose words is because of the way I think. I'm not sure if I could change it if I wanted to, or if I would ever want to change. Though I am always trying to evolve. Every record we make is part of a living evolution. And now, as I try to write new material, I can feel us evolving even further. Just yesterday I feel we took a big leap.

Any artist should not dwell in past works, but stand on them, and see the world a little clearer from it. If you must, tear it down first -refer to Savage, but never try to just recreate what's already done. There are new places to go. New ways to work. Imagination feels in-exhaustive right now.

Writing gives me a true freedom unlike any other. It is a strength, but it doesn't have to stand alone. There is inspiration from the people around, and the past. Make the greats your co-conspirators. Make partners of the dead and long lasting. Be a thought collector, and a trap for times of love and pain.

To ever end days
in quiet hours, typing
the measures of thoughts,
My heart's last dream.
Finished symphonies
brass words and wind stories


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