The Grossman Sessions

My Favorite Lullaby

Smart Ones

House Made Of Stone

Here To Stay

These four tracks were recorded in Tucson, AZ with my old friend Jonathan Grossman. Jonathan spends most of his time making house music. Or is it House Music? I’m not sure what it is, really, but he’s a DJ and beatmaker. This was before I had a computer set-up of my own, and was really anxious to see what could be done recording on a computer, so I convinced Jonathan to let me come up to his place and make some music.

The first two tracks are songs that had been written before (but not much before) going in there, and are basically demo versions of songs that are on Eat What You Kill. For several years these were the only versions of these songs, and I really love them. I’m sure there are old friends who have grown attached to these versions and will argue that they are better than the new ones, but I don’t think they have to be in competition with each other. In the same way, I don’t believe a movie version of a book can ruin the book, because the book is still there to be enjoyed.

“My Favorite Lullaby” was the first song I had ever written like this. Up until this point I was writing sad-sack folk songs, and other strummy stuff. When we were done, Jonathan looked at me and said, “I didn’t know you could sing like that.” And I was like, “Neither did I.” The percussion that is through the whole song are poker chips, and the stuff at the beginning is Jonathan’s sliding door and squeaky chair. Everything besides the percussion, voice, and bass are MIDI instruments. I’m always jealous listening to this, because the synthetic instruments Jonathan has are so much better than mine.

“House Made Of Stone” was built in that room with Jonathan, and originally was meant to be a new version of an old song (hence the title), but I could never get the lyrics to work right, so we ended up just leaving it as an instrumental. This is probably one of my all time favorite bass lines that I’ve ever written. I was really trying to channel the Flaming Lips.

“Here To Stay” was more on Jonathan’s home turf, with me playing things that he turned into samples, and singing the main riff. I don’t know a lot about this kind of music, but whenever I hear it, it seems like the lyrics are a bit generic, so I just let them be that way. I was thinking about a girl for whom I’d had a thing for a long time, but never was able to make happen.

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