Monday, April 8, 2013

The Songs That Broke Up My Band

Welcome to this album. My hope is that this is a better way to share songs. Consider the blog the fold of the album cover, or the CD booklet. It's got some commentary, videos, links and bonus songs. Flip through it at your leisure. Let me know if you think of anything else I could share. Here are all the songs, in the order played, which you can download by clicking. I hope you like them.

Too Good To Give Up (Too Hard To Take)

It's all free, though I do accept donations. Thanks!

Songs That Broke Up My Band

It wasn’t the songs, it was me. I broke up the band, with my inability to bond, my demands, and my failure to capitalize on and to realize our potential. Bitching that the guys who played some forty-plus of my songs didn’t play everything I wanted is petulant, but it makes for a good name for the show. When I started putting together the set for tonight’s show, I naturally went for songs I hadn’t played in while, the ones we’d dropped from the band’s sets. The new songs I was writing addressed the break-up on certain levels (that’s right! I’m an artist, working multiple levels! Grasp the complexity!) so now I had songs the band dropped, and songs about the breakup, as well as songs the band simply refused to do. Throw in a couple songs the band struggled with, draining much emotional capital from all sides, but eventually did play, and you’ve got “Songs That Broke Up My Band.” The name’s a lie, but then so are the songs. I turn my problems into teenage girls, and I turned the typical tale of a band felled by petty grievances and the hazards of failure into a battle over creative differences, because rock and roll is about mythmaking, not biography. The truth is that if I could take things lighter and if we could generate a fan base we’d have been fine. Only success could have ruined us then. Of course, we did succeed on some level. We performed and recorded the songs well, sometimes. Ultimately it does come back to the songs. Early on, we skipped some that “weren’t us” or just weren’t being included in the set list, that weren’t missed, by anyone but me. As we approach the later period (I know the idea that some failed band has a “later period” is more mythmaking, in a book of lore only I will read.) the resentments grow more recent, until you might guess that some of these did contribute to our problems. Oh aren’t I eating my cake and trying to keep it too! I can’t bitch about these guys, but I still do. I love those guys, but I love my songs as well. The Ks are gone, all I’ve got is the songs. Got to figure out a way to keep them alive. Thanks for coming out tonight.

This is the text from the program of the show titled: Songs That Broke Up My Band. We recorded it and I liked the results, hence this blog of free songs. Enjoy!

If you want to donate to the cause, feel free. Thanks!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Prove My Love

The band always rocked this one, and it's one of my favorites. The reason I include it is because during the period when the band couldn't learn any new songs, and me getting frustrated about it, one of the players would pull out the paper with the chords written on it, and there are just the same four chords, over and over. I was all learn the song already! This one goes out to my baby.

You can download this song for free HERE.

Here's the band rocking this song at The greatly missed Lakeside Lounge.

Prove your love with a donation!

Friday, March 29, 2013

I'm A Sexy Girl

We played this one, but we sure fought over it. I think the gender bending was a little hard to take, even for me. Am I just being ridiculous? Getting the boys to sing back-ups on "sexy girl," battling over how to end it, everything was pulling teeth. I felt I had to sing the hell out of it to get it across. Played it very straight, as it's not always fun to be a sexy girl. Got a nice new-wavey disco vibe going, with some spooky keyboard by Jon. Turned into a favorite number by at least some circle of our fans.

When I played it with The Ks I used to say "I don't want to be anybody's hootchie cootchie girl" mostly because I love that phrase "hootchie cootchie" and want to bring it back. Still it seemed an antiquated thing for a young girl to be saying, so "hootchie cootchie girl" became "little candy girl." I'm already singing about being a sexy girl, I can't revamp slang at the same time. Fight the battles one at a time.

You can get the song for free HERE.

Here's a video of the band playing it. Well, Youtube is getting dodgy, so here's a LINK to the band playing it. Hopefully I'll remember to embed it once Youtube sorts things out.

Hey I remembered! Here it is.

It would be very sexy if you supported me financially!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My Name Is Love

I'm fond of this song. The ultimate monster song. Here's a case of where success was our undoing. We'd taken this moody number, and given it a funky twist, thanks to some synthclavier sounding riff from Jon. Once we realized it was awesome, however, it was impossible to play it without putting on our funky hats. It got all fwinkthwank, and lost the spookiness. I tried to damp down the funk, which damped down the funk. We never got it back. Here's what I did with it.

You can download this for free HERE.

Here's us playing the song live. I'm wearing a quite questionable shirt.

Here's a video I made for the original studio version.

You can get the original studio version HERE.

I would love it if you supported me financially!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Was That A Joke or What Was That, A Joke?

This song won Best Rock Song in the Portland Songwriting Contest. Got a certificate and everything. It also wins the Dan Kilian award for rocking, no certificate needed. Hammers this one progression relentlessly; not everyone wanted to keep hammering away at it. A shame.

You can download this song for free HERE.
Here are some chords if you'd like to hammer away at it yourself! Was That a Joke or What Was That, a Joke?
Bm / A / G / EE/E 10x
When you sat down to eat and you opened your mouth
That's when the whole evening went south for me
Couldn't believe what you said I wanted you dead
I'll never forget what you said about me
My night was over and done I would have no more fun
Just sit stunned watch it rerun on my mental TV
Was that a joke or what
Was that a joke or what
Was that a joke or what was that?
D A/D/?(Farmer D chord slid up to the 5th fret)
Bm A G G
Was it me who egged you on?
It was me who cried 'til dawn
That dress that you put on
Bm A G / / EE/E
Ugliest you've ever worn
Bm / A / G / EE/E 14x
What you said it hurt it wasn't worth
The laughter you most certainly achieved
And you're surrounded by friends who tell you time and again
How classy you are; well honey you are being deceived
Cause when you lie to yourself there ain't no one to help
You tell the truth too loud in a crowd
What have you achieved?
Was that a joke or what
Was that a joke or what
Was that a joke or what was that?
Was that a joke or what
Was that a joke or what
Was that a joke or what was that?

It's no joke! You can support me financially!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pumpkin Pie

A novelty song! I have to admit that when I hit a C7 chord, it always wants to sound like "Good Man Most of the Time." Someone in the audience seems to think so too. This one is more country fried, or at least baked. I think we thought it was too corny (or is it squashy?) to keep in our sets. I think it's fun though.

You can download this song for free HERE.

To compare it to "Good Man (Most of The Time)" check out this bonus video! It shows some of the public villains of the time period, and gives them some credit.

You can get Good Man (Most of the Time) and a lot of other great songs from the album The Ks Can't Get It Together.

Donate to my cause!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Love Came Calling

One of my favorite songs I've written. I think we just found it too Jazzy with The Ks. Never recorded it in the studio, which is a shame, because Soup and Ray traded off some 8s or some such term towards the end. I enjoy how this song has an intro which becomes the bridge. Whether that fact makes those terms meaningless or not, it makes for an interesting song structure.

You can download this song for free HERE.

Here are some chords and lyrics, so you can play it yourself!

Love Came Calling Zombies meets the Ramones (Troggs meets Ray Charles.)
Gm7 Cm7 Am D7 Am7 Bbm7 FIRST VERSE
Bm7 Dm7 B7 B7
Gm7 Cm7 Am D7 Am7 Bbm7 MIDDLE 8
Bm7 Dm7 B7 B7
Love Came Calling Zombies meets the Ramones (Troggs meets Ray Charles.)
Gm7 Cm7 Am D7 Am7 Bbm7 FIRST VERSE
Love came calling so you know I’m bawling now
Bm7 Dm7 B7 B7
Love rang on my bell. I opened it up and it snatched me to hell
F# E D C#7 N/C
Love came calling love came calling love came calling and when love calls you must answer
Love came calling love came calling love came calling and when love calls you must answer
F# E D C#
Love got next to me promising ecstasy
The smell of perfume a swish of hair suddenly she’s sitting right there
I pulled up a stool since then I’ve been history’s biggest fool
F# E D C#7 N/C
Love came calling love came calling love came calling and when love calls you must answer
Love came calling love came calling love came calling and when love calls you must answer
Gm7 Cm7 Am D7 Am7 Bbm MIDDLE 8
Love came calling. She went walking out that door
Bm7 Dm7 B7 B7
I couldn’t feel too surprised You see I’ve seen it all before
F# E D C#7
Love came calling love came calling Love don’t call for free
Love came calling love came calling Only this time not for me
Love came calling love came calling And I can’t blame her
‘cause when F# E D C#7 N/C
Love come calling love come calling love come calling and when love calls you must answer
Love came calling love came calling love came calling and when love calls you must answer

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Baby Why Your Eyes So Wild?

This one we only played in early sets. I think we found it too swingy, or we simply had too many songs. This didn't break up the band, but it's a nice number I hadn't played in a while. Some good audience talk about my brother's trip to New Jersey.

You can download this song for free HERE.

Here's a video for the original studio version of the song, from the album Skunk.

Recording that album was what broke up that version of the band, but that's a different tale! You can get Skunk (featuring great songs like this one, "Shiraqin"; "Turn It Up"; and "Why I Look At Girls On The Train.") HERE.

Donate to my cause!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Good Help Is Hard To Find

Here's a song I either wrote about the situation with the band or I wrote and then decided it might be about that. Songs are like knights, they move two squares over, one square the other way, and they jump around the other pieces. My philosophy of songwriting is "Turn your problems into teenage girls." In this case I turned my problems into the headmistress at some Downton Abby type estate. Looking for that commercial appeal!

Sometimes the pieces play themselves, and the knight jumps back (look for the chess related blog Chessboard Bastards, coming soon!) Is this song about a band, or a lover? If it's about the band, is it from my point of view, or the view of the players? Which good help is hard to find?

You can get this song for free HERE.

Donate to my cause!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's Only a Heart Attack

This may actually have been the song that broke up the band. After the final dying attempt to make "Seething" and "A Broken Nose (Is Worse Than A Broken Heart)" I was hoping to throw the boys a rocker, but it was not universally well received within the band. It goes around a couple extra bars, and hits a couple chords regularly. A weirdly shaped tune. I was and am still convinced the song works. I was so convinced and defensive I became quite twitchy in rehearsal, and became unpleasant to be around. I'm over it now. Of course, so is the band.

You can download this song for free HERE.

Hey! A bonus track! I made a rough demo for the band. You can get it for free HERE.

All my artistic endeavors are supported by donation. If you can donate, thanks!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Here's seething!

You can download this song for free HERE. This is the song I thought would complement all our short, punchy rockers with something more brooding and atmospheric. Six months later we were still bumping our heads against the wall with it. I was adamant that we at least learn how to play the thing through before abandoning it. Stubborn, aren't I? Every now and then I'd grab a guitar and play it solo, to prove that it could sound like a song. Pretty sure every time I did this I played the wrong chords on the second verse. Probably didn't help.

I get what I think is a neat phasey-reverby effect here by keeping the volume of the video recording up along with the recording from the show, and they're slightly off from each other.

When I was performing this song, I became distracted by the realization that my coworker who nicely came to see me perform, had brought her husband, a retired police officer. So, in the very beginning of my brooding building song, I decided to break the mood with an ad-lib about apologizing to the police. I was pleased with the performance overall but hated that ad-lib, so I've edited it out. Can you tell? I think it's a nice edit, but it's probably crude.

For you completists, and let's face it, if you're checking out this website you're already something of a Dan Kilian completist (even liking me a little makes you a superfan.)here's the version with the ad-lib unedited.

You can get the completists-only unedited version of "Seething" HERE.

As always, the artistic furtherence of all my artistic ventures is dependent on the contributions of those who can contribute. Thank you!

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Broken Nose (Is Worse Than A Broken Heart)

Here's a funny countryish song, with a lesson, learned the hard way, multiple times.

You can download "A Broken Nose (Is Worse Than A Broken Heart)" for free HERE.

Jeff saw me play this solo and said we had to learn it, and we tried. I think we over-thought the rhythm parts (It's hard for me to say "just shuffle the damn thing" when someone wants to be creative, but that's what I should have demanded. Maybe I did, which probably didn't help.) and we never learned all the chords. There are a lot of chords for country. I don't make things easy.

As far as the song itself, I think it's the same lesson Orwell gives us at the end of 1984. There is nothing worse than physical pain. Next time someone hurts your feelings, hit yourself in the hand with a hammer, and you'll have it all in perspective.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Too Good To Give Up (Too Hard To Take)

You can download this song by clicking HERE.

This is the song which I feel is most about the band The Ks, the one that broke up. It presents the dilemma I faced, what with the typical band headaches balanced by the rockingness of The Ks.

When the writing was on the wall (though not yet a done deal), we did have to decide whether to follow through on a number of summer gigs at The National Underground. The question was, do we really want our last shows, if they're really going to be our last shows, to be summer shows, which never have turnout (at least for us, though it's a typical New York problem what with everyone leaving town on weekends and vacations) and what would be the point if we're going to break up anyway? We were still in limbo when we played our first of these summer gigs, to an audience of one. Sealed the deal.

Wanted us to learn the song, and record it, as an epitaph, but that was a bridge too far. Did this interview for Indie and Unsigned where I talked up our (my) plan to make one more album. We did have two songs in the tank already, ("Lower Yer Standards" and and "Bring Back The Monday Night Drunk") plenty of recordable material, but I couldn't hold the beast together long enough to lay more stuff down.

Guess it was harder to take than it was to give up.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Get It Right (Get It Good)

Here's the first video from STBUMB. "Get It Right, (Get It Good)" It covers the whole theme/challenge of starting over after breaking up one's band and thus starts off the set.


Here's some trivia (and what is more trivial than some no-name wannabe rocker telling stories about his live shows?) for you. When I started the song, I realized that I hadn't pressed the record button on my recorder, and I thought I could pull off the, brief pause, "Excuse me sir can you press the button on that device there?" and go into the next verse, somehow maintaining the flow. I quickly realized that there was more to it than that, so I committed the cardinal sin of stopping a song (the FIRST song no less) in the middle, so I could jimmy with the device. An inauspicious beginning, probably what you can hear my brother Steve referring to at the start of the song when he says "This is great!"

Here is a FREE mp3 of the song, so you can love it forever. Feel free to give a donation so that I can continue making music and other art. I need benefactors!

You should download it by clicking on the title: Get It Right (Get It Good)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Welcome to Songs That Broke Up My Band. I'm (I originally typed "we're;" I'm so used to being in a group.) going to lay out the album a song at a time. My hope is that by sharing videos, text and pictures, this can be a more immersive and personal experience, and a more artistic way to download a free album. I do rely on donations, so please, if you're doing well, I urge you to donate to this site and to other artists you want to see continue in their art.