04 Long, Long Night This song could be slotted into a category called "Wrestling With Dylan." It may not sound like Bob to you, but it dates back to the early nineties when I was going through a Dylan obsessive phase, which I think I'm still in. Every writer has to deal with his presence – for a little guy he takes up a lot of space. Not acknowledging the mountain of Bob on the popular music landscape is just foolish. He's there, deal with it and get back to what you do if and when you're finished.  So back to the song... it's kind of what it is, a relationship off the rails, trapped in a long headache of a night that threatens to go on forever, it's what I call a kiss-off song. Though it's called Long Long Night, I thought it would be better to keep it short but sweet, the song clocks in at 2:07. No lyrics today, but I was happy to squeeze "Feels like the night of the living dead" in there!

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AuthorJohn Sieger
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01 Birmingham I drove through Birmingham once and also know someone who lived there briefly. I might be the least expert person there is on the subject of Alabama's capitol, if indeed it is. (It's not, I have been informed, Montogmery is.) It's kind of nervy to write about stuff you don't know, but songwriting itself is an act of nerve. I try not to let a lack of knowledge keep me from expressing something that feels right. With this one, I kind of stumbled upon the idea for the first verse and followed a thread to the end. I'm not even really sure what it's about, but it does sound like it's about something! So the best I can say is that it is a fairly honest lie... I hope you enjoy it.

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AuthorJohn Sieger
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23 One Guy Named Moe Who remembers Five Guys Named Moe? If you do, it will help today when you listen to this lyric by Michael Feldman. Five Guys Named Moe was a Broadway show, based on the every entertaining songs of Louis Jordan, including the show title. Run to wikipedia if you don't know Louis Jordan, but come back soon. His songs were arch, funny, swinging – the ultimate in cool cat jive in the late forties and fifties. I'm speculating now, for I don't really have access to Mike's deepest thoughts, but saying "you ain't even one guy named Moe" might be a put-down to someone with hipster pretensions. This is some sort of altered blues form, a little outside of my usual turf – I think Steely Dan usually does that kind of thing. One of the fringe benefits of knowing Mike is that I get to use words like "copasetic" in a song. I think that makes me about one half of a guy named Moe.

ONE GUY NAMED MOE

Yes it must burn you - don't it though

Yes it must burn you - don't it though

Cuz you ain't even one guy named Moe

Yes you're so cool - I heard you tell me so

Yes you're so cool - I heard you tell me so

Cuz you ain't even one guy named Moe

Copasetic - if you say so

Copasetic - if you say so

Cuz you ain't even one guy named Moe

© 2010 Feldman/Sieger Strum & Drang BMI

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AuthorJohn Sieger
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01 Her Country I had my first request to post a song and I'm nothing if not agreeable. The song is Her Country from the CD of the same name. On this recording from 2003, I got sing and play with The Skeletons of Springfield, MO — Lou Whitney, D. Clinton Thompson, Bobby Lloyd Hicks and Joe Terry. These guys are legendary — Donny Thompson is hands-down the best guitar player in the known universe and Lou is an exceptional wit and producer. ( That's just scratching the surface of the whole Skeleton's phenomenon, check them out here. ) The album consists of songs I co-wrote with Michael Feldman (see earlier post!) and, oddly enough, the request seems to have come from him. Listen to Donny tear into a meaty solo one and enjoy this tale of feminine sovereignty — we men know it's their world and we must walk lightly through it!

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19 Rockin' Like A Chair Did I mention Michael Feldman? I get to call him Mike and like to think of myself as a footnote or sidebar in his tell-all show biz memoir from the future. (It'll be a blockbuster!) He has a very funny quiz show on Public Radio called Whad'ya Know? We have written songs together since forever and he supplies lyrics that are smart, heartfelt and funny. Then I add a dollop of music and it's off to the races. I came across this unreleased item somewhere in the dusty recesses and was taken by the words. Let me add, if I could write anything this good, I would cut him out the deal forever, but the kind of thoughts that occur to him never come my way. Love you Mikey and I love this song, hope you do too.

Rockin' Like A Chair

Even when it's gone and there's nothing there

Even when it's gone and there's nothing there

Even when it's gone and there's nothing there

You will find me rockin' - rockin' like a chair

Kitten's playin' with her life to flick her tail in there

Kitten's playin' with her life to flick her tail in there

Kitten's playin' with her life to flick her tail in there

But you know she's got it timed - I'm rockin' like a chair

The old eaves are shakin' - timber's growlin' like a bear

The old eaves are shakin' - timber's growlin' like a bear

A good wind through the screen porch - ain't nobody there

I'm sittin' by the fire - I'm rockin' like a chair

I'm sittin' by the fire - I'm rockin' like a chair

© 2010 Michael Feldman /John Sieger strum & Drang BMI

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06 If I Could Look Away I wrote this in Nashville in the mid '90s. I think that was the temperature too, it usually was. I recorded the demo at Steve Allen's Blue Planet Studio. The lovely and talented Joan Besen plays piano, she is in the Juno-winning Canadian band, Prairie Oyster. Wrestler and wrestling ref Lorne Rall is on bass, and, I think, Rick the funky realtor Schell plays the drums. I like the chords, I like the words and I give the beat a 90, as they used to say on Dick Clark. It's a song about avoidance, a theme I like.

Here are the pretty basic lyrics:

If I Could Look Away

Whoa I could stop my self from knowing

If I could look away

All this hurt that keeps on growing

If I could look away

But something just won't let me

This heartbreak's out to get me

I could hide from what you're showing

If I could look away

Yeah if I could look away

I wouldn't see it come to this

If I could look away

And I could lead a life of bliss

If I could look away

But oh my eyes are open

And that just keeps me hopin'

That I might find some happiness

If I could look away

Yeah if I could look away

I could spare myself the hurtin'

That I'm going to feel for certain

I wouldn't have to know a thing

If I could look away

Yeah if I could look away

I hope this hurts, in  good way! Tomorrow something a little happier... or maybe not.

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01 Do Unto Others 9.27.10 In honor of all the bible-thumpers who had a big day yesterday, here's a little golden rule. This song will be on my next solo CD, tentatively called Close Quarters, in a more polished form. More about that later. That's me on basic piano and nylon string guitar — the poor man's Randy Newman. I had these lyrics vetted by my friends, The Queens of Harmony, Milwaukee's finest a capella gospel quartet. I was worried that they might offend, but they gave me the green light. They also may be singing on the finished version. Cross your fingers, cause that would be heavenly!

P.S. Being new to this blogging game, there will be refinements as we go along. First one will be songs at the top of the scroll. Music first, blather later, I always say.

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AuthorJohn Sieger
CategoriesTune Du Jour

I wrote this song in Nashville two weeks ago. I was in town catching up with old friends and joining The Long Players for a tribute to John Lennon. I met the amazing Bobby Keys, who blew the solo on Whatever Gets You Through The Night that he blew on the recording with John. He signed my guitar! I also got to chat with Steve Forbert, a real genuine talent and great performer. I stayed with Phil Lee, his wife Maggie and their two mexican hairless dogs. If you've never petted one of these animals, you don't know the meaning of weird. After two nights, I moved to my friends Steve and Linda Allen's joint. Steve is one of the guiding lights of The Long Players, an amazing guitar player and a laid back, cosmic dude. Linda is hard to describe, but she is one of our favorite people – a ball of slightly crazy, totally positive Okie energy! As the Long Players rehearsed in Steve studio, this little ditty occurred to me. You will probably notice the disconnect between my circumstances and the content of the song. This is more typical of me than a lot of confessional songwriters I could name. I'm afraid if I start confessing, I might blurt it all out! Plus I was raised catholic, as if the title alone wouldn't tell you that. When I got back to Milwaukee, I was lucky enough to hook up with amazing Bob Jennings of Paul Cebar's Tomorrow Sound and Semi-Twang. He laid down some pretty gospel-y sounding keys. I sang and played a nylon string guitar — my new obsession and sang into a beautiful AKG C-12, courtesy of the fantastic Henszey brothers. Thank you boys! Brevity, that concept I sacrificed about thirty sentences ago, is the soul of wit. In the future, I'll try to be wittier. 01 Let The Devil Take The Rest

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AuthorJohn Sieger
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I may be out of mind, but I have decided to post a song a day. I have a bank account of songs - at various times I have been what you might call prolific. Other times are a little quieter, with a song popping out now and then. Chalk it up to a mixture of laziness and sense of duty to the older songs I haven’t recorded and gotten out there. Recently, the flow returned and I found myself in just the right frame of mind to write. It’s better for me to be writing than not, it’s my meditation and my therapy rolled into one and believe me, I need both. I don’t think writing a bunch of songs makes me George Gershwin, that would be for someone else who is listening to them to decide; but it keeps me off the street and, I like to think, it adds a little something to the mix. Some of my songs go down some sort of dark alley, some are sentimental and some are sort of funny. That's three moods, I'm working on a fourth. I wish I was Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Randy Newman, Nick Lowe, Mose Allison, Joni Mitchell, Ray Davies, Smoky Robinson and a slew of other great writers I could name, but I’m kind of the budget version of them. Real Buddy Holly-like talent shows up early (earlier in Stevie Wonder’s case) and sometimes has a short shelf life. I’m lucky to be writing at the age I am, and feeling as creative as I ever have. Some people have thought enough of my songs in the past to record them and that’s a wonderful feeling, but the real reason I write songs is to try to express something. What that something is, I’m still sorting out.. I have a few ground rules, all of them breakable:

  • A song a day. This doesn't necessarily mean I wrote it that particular day, although it could mean that and sometimes it will. I may have written it in May of 1993 or October of 2003.
  • If I post it, I probably like it. That's kind of self explanatory — hard as it would be, I'm not out to embarrass myself. This doesn't mean you will like it and I'm OK with that, although I hope you do and then you will want to send me flowers or take me out for pizza.
  • If you steal it, the universe will punish you. I'd like to think that's true, but sometimes the universe is unpredictable and doesn't do what I ask it. Let it be known though, that I'm OK with you using these songs for your own purposes — say, a video of your cat on youtube or an email to a friend. If you have a way to make money with my tunes, please share that with me. It's called a license and we'll find a lawyer to help with the details. You probably know right from wrong and I'm trusting you on this. Plus I own the copyright. copyright |ˈkäpēˌrīt|noun the exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.verb [ trans. ]secure copyright for (such material). (After writing this, I had it pointed out to me that you can only stream these songs, which makes all of the above kind of silly. If you need to upload for some reason, let me know and I will gladly send you a copy.)
  • I will try to write a little bit about each tune if I have time. I'm definitely more of a songwriter than a blogger, but I may at times have something to share about each tune. Sometimes I have no idea what the song means, I'm more rhyme than reason and maybe they are waiting for you to explain them to me. I hope that happens. I sometimes write with Michael Feldman, who is a lyric writing machine — a funny guy with a lot to say and the tools to boot — when he is involved on the lyric end, I may also have trouble explaining.
  • If I'm away from my desk, at the very least there will be a song. My hands are shaking as I write this, it's quite a commitment to make, but I'll do my best. Some of these songs are demos, and some are ragged. Some will be very ragged and some quite well dressed as they leave my modern Pro Tools studio. I hope you enjoy them and share this blog (I'm a blogger, Ma!) with your friends if you do.
  • From time to time, there will be something to look at. I like to doodle and draw cartoons and, from time to time, they cause a chuckle or groan from my family and very tolerant friends. So, what the heck, why not inflict them on you?

My next post will be a song, see you in cyberspace!

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AuthorJohn Sieger
CategoriesTune Du Jour