Tag Archives: Warren Zevon

XXIII. If It Has Keys, We Can Play It…and What Was It Anyway?

Session two was myself and Jason Pulley. He played piano, organ, and Rhodes. I played melodica, toy piano, and synthesizer.

I don’t think I’ve even discussed what this first batch of songs consists of. Well…

“We Died Laughing” began its life as a Near Reaches song called “The Bailer”, but I wasn’t really satisfied with the lyrics. The musical structure is fairly identical to how we played it as the Reaches – like a Costello/Attractions tune with more bite. Also, it’s worth mentioning that personnel-wise, the core members of the Near Reaches recorded it. Full circle.

“For My Favorite” was pretty much made up on the spot – I had come up with the verse chording and vocal melody while sitting around with my girlfriend a couple nights previous to the first recording session. J.D. was shooting for “Wonderwall”, and I think I was shooting for Slowdive. I think we’ve landed somewhere in between. This song is for her.

“An Episode” was originally “Our Spacecraft” which I’ve recorded solo, and brought into the Reaches where it became quite a monster of a song. It’s still huge, but now it’s way more of a late-Seventies Bowie art rock tune. Harry wants me to come up with a spacey line for the end part. I don’t know. Mental illness as explained through a crashing spaceship analogy. Another situation where the Near Reaches ride again.

“Lost In the Fire” was a Pneumatic Girls song that we had played out regularly. It’s a letter to myself. We determined in the studio that it’s a little too close to Radiohead’s “Creep” for comfort, so we did weird it out a little. Maybe it will be more “My Iron Lung” when we get finished with it. This one desperately needs Matthew Trisler, and I think I’m going to get my friend Kathryn Brawley to lend her angelic voice to this tune as well.

Last in this first batch is “Sunday Drunk”, which used to be “Juicebox”, then in the Pneumatic Girls repertoire as “Sunday, Drunk, and Dumped”. It started its life as a slacker rock song (think Pavement) and ended up being the hungover cousin of Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London”. I don’t think my sense of humor really manifests itself in my music, so maybe this is me turning a corner. Again, Matthew’s sweet guitar action is needed. Robert M. Jones did a great cover of this song on his Near Reaches tribute EP Reaching.