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Story Behind The Song - PHOENIX HOTEL 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"  

Episode 3 : PHOENIX HOTEL

I believe this tune of mine is the oldest on the album, as far as the writing part is concerned. It's from my personal experience of staying at an actual hotel in San Francisco called the Phoenix Hotel. Hotel California was in town for a corporate show and they put us up in this "boutique" establishment. 

I’m singing real life here: hearing happy couples, sipping free coffee in one of those always-too-small throwaway cups; slippers from home; cozy wall heater, lonely heart…. I think caffeine refills were at the breakfast bar outside under an overhang overlooking the pool. 

Oh, and this is song 1 of 2 set in picturesque San Francisco. 

[“Let’s Take The Stairs” from my album “Window Seat” is also a "San Francisco song" thanks to the “City by the Bay”. Which brings a thought that I haven’t done song stories about the previous album.] Hmmm...

Get the album "III" HERE

Songs In Progress - Episode 1 

Remember the song progress clips I spoke about? Well, here's one! (Okay, it's like this. If I was painter and you came to my house, you'd see a bunch of unfinished canvases in different stages of ....finished-ness... set up and begging for more attention... or maybe crying to be taken down and stowed away!)

With "Live On", I was going for inspirational acoustic based contemp. singer/songwriter songs with pop appeal. But at this tempo it seems more "Folk" to me, and maybe it got away from the direction I was originally planning on. I think some sort of latent "Neil Diamond" in me took over. No worries though. This is as far as I got (lyrics, melody and all) on the deadline day.
Want to know how I came to settle on this tempo (speed of song)? I just repeated "Live On' to myself while tapping on my knee. Seemed to fit best, this tempo, so off I went.

Vocals, lyrics, instruments, you name it, subject to change! :)

Hear "Live On (work mix)"
 

If there's life on other planets I can't say I care
When there's a part of me you can't see that's lighter than air
I'm not trying to go way over your head
It's just something on my heart that just needs to be said

Thought about my days, the ebb and the flow
Took a walk on the beach and kicked at the foam
Saw the children live it up, another sunset lay it down
And then a still small voice washed over me like the roar of a crowd

Let your life be more than just a message in the sand
Waiting for the tide to come crashing down again
Every second counts
Take the higher ground
And Live On

What if every word we speak has a lifetime unseen?
It could tear through a soul or help it spread it's wings?
Are we a seabird on the wind, just born to fade away?
Or will we make a better life right here and now and for forever and a day?

Sick Writings and Molten Morning Damage 

Spent a day and half or so holed up Howard Hughes-style in a Nashville hotel room, not really feeling well, filling up the trash cans with tissues, but happy as a clam that I got some writing done, no matter how little - object writing and the start of a new song.

And by the way, you know I'm not feeling well when I'm staring at a football game on TV for any extended length of time in the early evening.

New song started:

The definition of your tears
Is that the world can't keep it's hold on you
They'll scrub your heart to see a higher truth
[Insert acceptable line, at least for the time being, here]

The definition of your tears
Disguise a fighter who can take a punch
And plumb the depths of dreams with all they got


That's all I will reveal for now. :)  I would have sung a little for you, but see my sniffling excuse above.

And warming up......The word, "Eruption", unedited writing practice, 10 minutes, go!...

Microwave oatmeal decides to teach me all about a volcanic eruption. Pressures from within this water-drowned mass of pseudo-breakfast oats and scientific tasty hellodelights silently scream their way upward. I supply the words like, "Damn" and "Crap" with explosive exclamation marks. Totally unwanted lava drippings bubble over the edge of my crater paper bowl. Peaceful morning thoughts jump and flee, screaming, "Run for your lives"! Pasty disaster, glass plate stops it's rotation when I press cancel. I am suddenly like God who can halt catastrophe as I am doing now. But the molten morning damage is done.
Photo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wmliu/2677577275/

Taxi Music Forward - Singer/Songwriter Song (Fun, Happy, Positive) 

Bought a ukulele. Wrote a song. Recorded it. Pitched it. :)



The pitch called for:

FUN, HAPPY and POSITIVE, SINGER SONGWRITER SONGS that could be heard on the same radio station as A Fine Frenzy, Jason Mraz, Sara Bariliees, Ingrid Michaelson, Matt Nathanson, etc. are needed by the Owner of a busy Music Library. He specifically asked up for songs with a positive message. Songs with a sincere and honest approach in the vocals will help grab this guys attention. Lyrics themes can focus on love, life, relationships, etc. This is a film and TV pitch, so please be sure your lyrics are universal.