What is "All I Need" about? (Track two on the new record and my featured March Free Download)
Let me put it like this. It might sound crazy but... maybe you relate somehow...
So one day, you're sitting there bored – with a job, or maybe just with yourself. A door opens... you convince yourself to run through it and seize the day.
You just broke the monotony of your life, pursuing this new opportunity, and you succeeded in forcing a change in your life's path. Change is exciting. And if lucky, your efforts maybe even resulted in previously unimaginable achievements that other people are recognizing you for. Nice work! You should be happy.
Yet along the way, when the novelty and excitement wears thin, and when familiar challenges start showing up dressed up in new clothes on the other side of the bridge, you're still not completely satisfied - maybe even dealing with new problems you didn't have before - and you start having second thoughts about your decision to change things up to begin with.
You continue running into the same types of people along the way that (you continue to tell yourself) are holding you back and messing with your head. They're holding the key to your happiness, and if you just keep pushing on... persistence... just one more door to open, and one more bridge to cross.
You're sort of at the same place you were before you even started.
Is this more a circle than a new path?
At some point, you have to wonder if maybe the common denominator is yourself, and your own personal demons and insecurities are causing this cycle, holding you back. Maybe you should just go back to that safe place you left and cut your losses. This logical/rational voice in your head starts to challenge you in ways like this (now that the demons who urged you to make such whimsical changes to your life in the beginning have gotten bored and gone away).
These angels (or are they the demons?) start convincing you to turn around and just head back to that safe place. People will understand if you go back. (Don't kid yourself, you still care what people think, no matter how many times you proclaim otherwise.)
But you're committed now. You can't turn back and feel good about yourself. You have no choice but to continue onward on the other side of the door, across the next bridge, even as the story gets more surreal and perhaps spins out of control.
So now you're conflicting yourself. Contradicting yourself. Convincing yourself at all costs that it was the right move to cross that bridge to begin with. Your yin fights your yang. Your angels fight your demons. You animus fights your anima.
You start to become your own worst enemy. You're in hell. And that's all you need in your life, right?
A few bits of trivia here before I cut out of the blog here tonight:
- The production on this track is very similar to the story of the song "The Bridge" (the first track I introduced on this blog, and gave away for free last month). Like "The Bridge," the rhythm section for "All I Need" was tracked in some dude's attic on the Southside of Chicago, with some chick on bass and singing, and Chris on drums. You can read all about the process here.
- "All I Need" introduces Merilee Phillips-Miller on cello to the 8-song story. Her cello is prominent on many tracks moving forward.
- Merilee had just moved to Chicago (she tells me later) from Michigan via San Antonio when I met her. She and her husband are really cool and interesting cats who have since returned to Texas, but we still keep in touch.
- (Merilee is one of the only Craigslist-connections I've ever made that have actually worked out.)
- So Merilee responded to my Craigslist inquiry for a cellist, I sent her the songs, and apparently she was interested enough to invite me and my guitar to her and Daniel's place one night to jam a little bit (which is always awkward in the beginning – I don't know them, and they certainly don't know what to make about this guy who shows up in black and shades at night. I need to sell myself and my songs through this awkwardness. And then hope when the dust settles that we all still like each other and no one's wasted anyone's time. God knows I've wasted so much time in this process.)
- Honestly the first time we met (she had reviewed the demos), I was a little unsure whether she was into it or not when I left. Her cello playing was fantastic though. She, Daniel, and I had a few things in common too. Happily, she agreed to pile herself and her cello into my little car and head down Lake Shore Drive with me to that Southside attic. And we had a lot of fun! And we all became friends :)
- Merilee never did get to play any shows with us officially (since the damned project was so chaotic and scattered while she was in Chicago. We talked about covering Old 97's "Buick City Complex." Maybe down the road in San Antonio one day! I really want to see those bats, Merilee! :)
- But Merilee IS properly featured in the VIDEO for "All I Need" (coming later this week! Check back in!!)