The Detroit Years 1: Guided by Dreams

detroit skyline photo by D.K. Brainard

Between the Dream and the Reality: 9/11, Uranus conjunct Sun, spiritus contra spiritum

On this roller coaster ride
that my emotions have to take me on

– Neil Young, ‘Natural Beauty’

That first line from the last song on Harvest Moon always gets me.  Sometimes my life seems like one epic emotional roller coaster ride. We’re trained by society to believe in control as a positive attribute. Continue reading

[New Song] Short Acoustic Guitar Meditation

Check out this short new meditative guitar piece by D.K. Brainard

Acoustic Guitar Meditation on Four Strings

I sat down to play the guitar for a few minutes to get my energy flowing before recording my October 2015 Audio Horoscopes. I didn’t feel like “playing a song” but making music always opens up my creativity chakra so I just started picking. No destination in mind, no chord progression, just feeling the vibrations of my fingers on the strings and listening to the sounds in the air of my room at night. Continue reading

Ten Year Bender (Album): Down and Out in Paris, France

In 1997 I was living at the epicenter of world fashion in Paris, next door to Hermes.

In 1997 I was living in one of the richest parts of Paris, next door to the Hermes showroom on the rue du faubourg saint honoré. Sounds posh, right? But I was working illegally for this rageaholic Japanese woman who ran an audio-visual import company and, since I was living in the company’s $3500/month corporate apartment, she could pay me whatever she wanted. Which basically I meant I worked all the time and then had to walk a couple miles to a neighboring arrondissement to buy my wine and groceries. Oh, and I was also a pretty bad drunk.  Continue reading

Hurricane Girl (Song): When Disaster Comes Bearing Gifts

Remembering Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans 10 Years On

I suppose it’s inevitable:  Saturday is the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and I’ve been thinking a lot about the storm and its aftermath. The ten-year anniversary also spurred me to do something I often find challenging – finish a song! My daughter was a Katrina baby. She turned 9 years old recently. As I was reminiscing on 2005 and the years after in New Orleans, it occurred to me that if I don’t finish a version of this song now, it might never get finished. So I battled tooth and nail with the demon of perfectionism all week…and here ya go:  Continue reading

Sister, Do You Know My Name?

Artist: The White Stripes

Album: De Stijl

Jack White writes and sings about what it feels like to be a boy better than just about anyone else I can think of. In fact, I’m drawing a complete blank trying to come up with the name of anyone who mines the same territory, let alone does it so well. (If you’ve got someone in mind, post in the comments!)

The thing about songs like this one and (probably my all-time favorite White Stripes song) We Are Going to Be Friends is that he’s not writing nostalgically. He’s not looking back and trying to recapture the beauty and innocence of childhood. He – or whoever the narrator is in these songs – is a child. Continue reading

New Album – Ten Year Bender

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Ten Year Bender: Listen, song lyrics, writing and recording the album, song lyrics and more

I’ll upload more songs as I blog about them. You can listen to the song ‘Ten Year Bender’ on SoundCloud or YouTube here.

The Stories Behind the Songs

Follow along as I look back at the creation of a record that documents a watershed moment in this incarnation for yours truly. From Flint, Michigan to Paris, France, through Atlanta, Detroit, and New Orleans. Sheeit – I’ll even take you to Romania! Drunk, Buddhist, sober, blissed out, bombed out…well, just read the posts. You’ll find them on the Behind the Songs page.

Signed CDs and Digital Downloads

You can buy the CD or download it from CD Baby for $9.99 or get it on iTunes for $9.90. Or, support my music-making by sending me $20 in exchange for a signed copy of the record. This is an old-fashioned, hard copy CD, delivered by the postman in a plastic-free eco-wallet made from recycled paper and featuring three original paintings by my old friend (and noted Detroit artist) Kyle M. Stone Illustration….hit the Buy Now button below and I’ll personally mail you one of the brand new CDs. (I’ll even sign the treasure map if you want me to – just let me know.)

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Ulysses returned / To find a world in flames / They dance while the cities burn /  They auction off the blame  Image (c) 2002 Kyle M. Stone.

I’m really proud of this record, which was originally recorded in 2002-2003 (!). But it took me a good ten years to be able to see what a wonderful little creation it is. The singing is good, the lyrics are great and, as a musician friend of mine said after hearing one of the 60 original copies I burned myself onto CD-Rs back in 2003:

There’s this Fuel album titled ‘File Under Easy Listening’ – that’s what your record should be called. It’s one of the few records I own that I can just pop it into the CD player and let it play all the way through to the end without ever wanting to turn it off or skip a song.