*** UPDATED ***
One song has appeared and one has disappeared. I'll let you figure out which.
Time for the second edition of the 53 Best Moon Is No More Songs, in honor of Joshua's planned TMINM super-album. This batch of songs, from 40-31, have almost no shot at making this super-album. We still have a few that don't have music as well as some pretty poor work, but also a surprising song or two that Joshua may disagree with. We'll see how it all shakes out.
One thing to note is that this batch contains at least one representation from each of the "releases" that we had crafted. Even Jeffrey L. Allen gets into the mix in here towards the end.
40. A Thick, Wet Snow On A Cold January Morning - This was to be the second to last song of the three original albums. I like snow and this is the only song that includes snow in it, so maybe it gets an artificial boost. In my mind the lyrics were never really finished; they had never been refined. Maybe it gets another boost because I feel the refinements would have made this a really solid song. It's more coherent then most of the songs that I was writing at this point. It's also to be noted for being the second "cold morning" song (more on the first later). I must have had a thing for cold mornings.
39. Last Resort, Part IV - I think Joshua had told me that this song was really good and that I just needed to give it another listen to. Well, I found my CD of Moon Is No More MP3s and I could not for the life of me find a recording of this song. That just confirms my suspicions that it was bogus all along. Therefore this makes a move right down the list.
38. Monday, Part I - Here is the introductory song to the Schoolyard. It really has nothing to do with the characters of the story, but it sets our schoolyard theme of literally being in a schoolyard. It tells the tale of heading back to school on a Monday. In fact, that's the best part and the only reason it ranks this high. The chorus had such a good ring: "summer ends on / a sunday / and school begins on / a monday." Angie later informed me that real school children start school on Tuesdays. That really ruined things for me. Tuesday just doesn't work.
37. Accident - Still no music, though the melody is still floating around in my head, a slow dirge. The lyrics are actually pretty good, but they get extremely clumsy in the final verse. This is a setup song, in a way, to give reason for the protagonists' initial anti-gun stance. Sad, sad stuff.
36. Memorial - This song, intended to be the final song on the Schoolyard, provides a nice wrap-up to the EP. It recounts a memorial service held for the victims of the Schoolyard incident narrated by the deceased protagonist. Walking through some of the lyrics here are some highlights: 1) A Cleary lyric sighting within the first verse. This was more like a tribute than a rip-off (but that's what I always tell myself). "as i watch the sun rise / through another person's eyes." 2) Maybe it gets a little too cutesy with the listing of student names: "billy, kim, and timothy," then later "dawn marie and little joe / jane and jim and chris." 3) A nice comment on infamy: "through all of this despite my fame / there was no mention of my name / apparently there was no bearing." 4) And just to remind us that he's actually dead, and perhaps to confuse us as to his level of remorsefulness, we sum it up with this comment: "it was the most beautiful service / but i am not conscious / of any of this." Still never put music to this.
35. Transfer - Another song with that never received music, though I have memories of trying to craft a Pedro the Lion-esque guitar riff for this with Joshua. In my mind this is a really great lyrical compliment to Popularity. It follows a similar pattern: it starts happy-go-lucky but then quickly turns more sinister. This case is marked by slightly darker shades towards the end as the transfer student gains more and more power amongst the school's elite until a friend informs our protagonist (if you can call him that) regarding his girlfriend: "i heard he drove her home / he's taking over her." All in all in does a decent job of avoiding the typical Schoolyard goofiness, it sets a clear tone and feeling, and it has a nice story arc unto itself. I always enjoyed the chorus, too: "fooling around with us / will make you better off / you'll be productive in / the non-school product."
34. A Root Of All Sorts Of Injurious Things - This song always grated my bleeding ears. The music was only ever so-so and phrase "money money money money money money money money" gets repeated far too often. It's only saving grace is "sister had her needs / so overdosed on speed / failed first with codeine / but the doctors were so mean."
33. A Common Path To A Common Problem - It was tough for me to rank this so low. It had such promise but even at its best it would never be more than a decent, faceless and emotionless pop rock song. There is nothing about it that ever stood out. Joshua came up with great guitar bit for this but it was never a perfect fit. This song has always stood flawed. Too many times we would find a really good guitar part for the first verse of a song, then just reuse it for all subsequent verses, regardless of whether the lyrics worked or not. Too often we were reluctant to change the lyrics of a song, though I'm not sure why. Maybe Joshua can shed some light on that. In any case, it's opening verse, "through the jetway / and onto the plane / daddy can't save / from beyond the grave," was a great setup for An Ambitious Attempt At Failure which was originally slated to come too songs later. It's downhill from there. This song also features a repeated "fail miserably / be happy" section towards the end, a phrase we reused far too much. Believe me, there are no two phrases that work poorer when put to music than those twins.
32. Sunsets - This was originally a Bad Larry song called Anti-Global Rotation (I think). The Moon Is No More stole it to serve as the atmospheric centerpiece for 12 Brothers. It's a jam song, which would have been a tough thing to record in real life. The original recording features some great guitar work by Joshua, some decent bass work by Carl, considering he had never played bass before, some strange ambient sounds by Angie, some truly horrid yet moving drums by myself. On top of all that was layered some half spoken word / half sung lyrics that were actually part of a short story I wrote during a convention break entitled "A Quite Inconsequential War-Time Tale." This just would have never worked on tape.
31. A Telephone Conversation On A Cold September Morning - Here is the first song from the 10 track Jeffrey L. Allen concept, the concept that Joshua and I have been kicking around what seems like half a decade now. Oh, wait, it has been half a decade! In any case, you can imagine how hard it is for me to put this song on here. It started as an undoubtedly acoustic affair and then somehow morphed into an electronic track a la The Postal Service or The Headphones. In actuality by doing so Joshua made this song into so much more than the sum of its parts. I was never built to sing this song, we could never find the necessary female vocalist to complete it, and it just gets too boring towards the end. However, it still remains interesting to this day and may just be a few tweaks away from being resurrected. That's why they say it's "living on a prayer." You just never know.
Join us next time for the middle batch of songs, the ones I've termed the "Sitting On The Fence" songs, 30-21.