S01x11 – 5MIL

Aaaand we’re back. June was a beast month, I wish I had more to show for it, but lots of family stuff that involved travel and I wasn’t able to record or write much on the fly. I’ve spend the last 2 weeks just noodling on this song, trying to finish it up. Which is sad b/c it was already mostly done. I wrote and recorded 90% of the music months ago – not sure when exactly, but the idea for this music has been kicking around for a while. Since progress has been slow lately I decided to dust off and finish an older piece rather than start fresh, especially since vocals/editing/mixing are still the parts I’m trying to spend most of my time on.

Also I hadn’t had much guitars lately so I wanted to have them in a song.

Overall I was really excited about this song until it came time to add the vocals. Aside from my singing inadequacies (sorry to anyone killed by those first few notes where I’m way off) the lyrics & melody did the song no favors. it was more fun without them. The song doesn’t really lend itself to verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure, so there’s that to contend with, but more than….idk. It just didn’t quite come together for me. I don’t hate it, I just don’t love it.

The lyrics are about the movie Aniara, which I watched recently and found devastatingly bleak!!!

In any case the most fun part was messing around with the vocal effects. This is the 2nd song i’ve posted with the topic of space travel as a theme, and I did (or tried to do) similar vocal effects but they came out very different both times. Not sure which is better.


we can turn around
in a year / maybe two
far away / there’s a place
with a way that will return us
to the life that we knew

we can adapt
and find a new way
in a few years
or maybe five
we’ll find hope and a map
and retrace our way back home across the stars
we’ll arrive.

we’ll arrive at a place
where the rest of us can figure out the rest
by year twenty four
we’ll replace parts of ourselves
and teach the new ones every thing they need to know
from the time before

it’s just how you frame the sight
you can see that space is empty
you can see that space is full of light

there’s few of us left
and the sound of space is a roar
but it’s just a few more years
maybe fifty
maybe more

maybe more
a hundred more
a million more
maybe more
maybe more

S01x10 – shopping for snacks at target

Pressed for time this week due to family stuff so not a TON to say about this song, except that I was working on final mixing on this song when I learned there’s currently a huge boycott of Target by anti-trans people, and even an anti-Target anti-trans pop song by conservative rappers (?) currently charting? The timing is just coincidental, but happily so, as this is a website and project that loves & supports trans people. And I like seeing all the pride and trans-positive stuff at Target a LOT personally.

S01x09 – ghost type

Trying to think about what to say about this song and there is literally nothing inside my brain. BUT this week you get exclusive behind the scenes found footage of me whistling my ideas to myself, which is excruciatingly cringe. But overall I’m going to give this song a solid B+ this week.

ETA 6/1/2023: When I first uploaded this track I had 3 minutes of talking about the music before & after the actual song, but it was annoying me and my friend Cheryl agreed it’s better without the talking. At least up front. I reserve the right to talk after tracks at a later date.


you started out at dusk
a broken caravan
across the village bridge
an orange shirted man

falling at the walls
of Lacunosa Town
growing in the light
a shape without a sound

follow close behind you
infiltrate your strike
burning down your barriers, your safeguards and the like
your shadow is your ghost
you know

liko died and left you in unova by yourself
lampent in the corner, you can leave tomorrow

Using AI to Ruin the Blank Page

Ugh, listen. Lyrics is killing me. Definitely the most difficult part of my music-making workflow each week. I really enjoy (love, even) the other aspects – imagining & putting the song together, choosing the sounds, editing, EQ’ing, mixing, etc – but having to think of something to sing about, write lyrics about it, and then sing them is killing and realllly slowing things down.

This is clearly an area where “”AI”” could/would theoretically help, if AI was good and useful, which so far it is not. At the very least not for creative endeavors like this. There are things that ChatGPT is good/acceptable at, but pure creativity is not one of them.

But something to consider: there is something to be said about AI helping you get over the blank page, the initial creative hurdle of going from Nothing to Something. Lynda Barry, in her writing class covers this perfectly: the first step, when faced with a blank page, is to mark a big X across it. Now it’s already ruined, so whatever you write there will be fine, better than writing nothing. Whatever we write on the blank page could ruin it, but if it’s already ruined, we’re safe. We can put ideas there and not worry about whether they are “good” or not. Starting from a bad place, the “already ruined” place, makes it safer for your ideas to come forward.

ChatGPT is nowhere near being able to create good/useful/adequate lyrics, but it could conceivably give you Something that could get you over that initial hurdle, give you a Terrible First Draft from which you could only improve.

Very not interested in debates about AI generally, or what AI means, or whether it will destroy art & creativity, etc etc. But whatever your feelings about that are, there can be (are) practical applications that it works for, and it’s interesting (to me) to think about how it might be helpful in this one particular case.

Anyways I tried it with last week’s song (prompt was something like “song lyrics about being trapped in a haunted house”) and it gave me nothing even remotely usable, just complete trash that I could barely even read, much less take seriously. And anyways I’m not scared of blank pages, I’ve been writing too long for that. I just don’t enjoy the process of writing lyrics. I might try it again though.

So, that’s my thoughts on that! The end.

S01x08 – unleaving

We’re back, after a lot of offline life stuff. Tried something different this week, put all my thoughts into the actual episode instead of typing them here. Feedback welcome. Enjoy at your own risk.

Another attempt at a song that doesn’t rely on a formal chord progression (I forgot the name of the other song that was like this, it’s Twin Suns, still my pick for Worst Song Yet.)

lyrics (as I mention on the podcast, inspired heavily slash stolen from Spring & Fall by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

from the doorway to the basement
your betrothal, your replacement
ever after, if you plan to
with your fresh thoughts care for can you

your mouth heard / what your mind said
in a corner / by a dark bed
where the best tool / was a blood test
when your heart heard / what your ghost guessed

someday you will leave me someday soon