I forgot to write in the mp3 tags that the cover photo for Tonight the Lone Wolf Rides… Alone was taken by my sister, Mary. She snuck up on me playing in our kitchen; I didn’t even know she’d taken the shot until a print arrived, attached to the front of a card she sent. That card became the cover, twine tie and all.
“Open Columns” – From the nickel EP. This song lends itself well to solo playing; I think it’s the only echoes song with some acoustic guitar in the original. For Mom, who talked me into reading “The Power of One,” spring 2004. I was reading on the back steps in the sun when it was written.
“Talk Me Down” – From Shacker’s Pardon My Pretension, But Isn’t It Blackbeard’s Birthday? CD. We always did a lot of acoustic Shacker, and if you’ve spent much time hanging out with me you know I mix Kibler’s songs and my own without much regard for who wrote what. For Lone Wolf I wanted to do one we hadn’t done together, so I played with a few and ended up with this. It’s pretty straight, except for a slightly echo-fied chorus. For Cory Alan.
“The Picture Song” – From howie&scott’s b.sides, where it had the name “Hymn for our Technological Manifest Destiny.” This is a favorite of the Iris Avenue / 12:00 Fence fellows, but they can never remember the original title; hence, “The Picture Song.” I voiced some of the chords differently on this cut. For Justin, Jake, and Jeremy.
“Pushing the Envelope” – From The JV All*stars Document The Fall EP (there it’s called “Stick Clicks”… the other title comes from the Indian Burn Records Study & Research sampler). Before JVA existed, I was in an un-nameable punk band in Milford, NE with Eric Mellow. I played drums, high school kids brought cheap pizza over to Eric’s grandma’s basement, and we goofed off with a few originals and MxPx covers. It was my introduction to real punk rock, and I haven’t forgotten. JVA is roughly a million times better than we were, and I love them forever, so it’s ok that our band didn’t make it. For Eric Mellow & Dave.
“Holy Moses” – This is a new tune, probably destined for a new Sally Ride EP/album in the distant future. I went to Mexico with the team from WCC in June 2005, and one of the songs we sang at the Campfire every night was “Abilene.” I’ve never heard the original, only JR’s version, but the way he taught me the tune mixed some major and minor chords in a way that caught my ear. The main section of “Holy Moses” is a weird permutation of those chords. And I really love its story. For Hank, Charlie, and Emerson.
“America Votes” – Also from my nickel EP. I always liked playing this song acoustic, but it was hard to play a good-sounding version for the tape. For the first woman elected President.
“My Time” – From Blacklight Sunshine’s (now More Than Yesterday) You Make Your Own Self Fall. I’ve written elsewhere about this album’s (and band’s) impact on me, but it has taken a long time to interpret their music into something I could play. I eventually found this place after I stopped trying to re-channel BLS/MTY’s fury, cutting everything back to the minimum and letting the notes and words speak for themselves. For everyone I shared a Blacklight show with.
“JCM” – From the Be A Ska Rat EP. There’s not much to say about this, it’s just a fun song. I know it’s Jerry’s favorite from Ska Rat, but I swear I’d decided this was for LIG before he even heard it. For Jerry & Jason.
“Hawaiian Bells” – A first release for this meditation. The lyrics are improvised each time, though there are some phrases that tend to repeat among different performances. I worry that it’s too long, but playing it is something hypnotic for me, I’m lost in the chiming pattern; maybe you will get lost too. For the Something or Someone that rings Hawaiian bells.
“A320” (bonus track – limited to 50 copies) – From the Godzilla (1996) soundtrack, by Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl dropped this absolute gem between The Colour and the Shape and There Is Nothing Left To Lose. I like to think that the lyrics point forward to “Learn to Fly.” I love them, but the Foos have always been more Mary’s band, even when I put them on some little voices goes “hey, these guys belong to Bear!” and that adds something. The original’s ending is big, with huge guitars and an orchestra, but the chords themselves are so strong I think it holds up. For Bear.