this one has been percolating for a couple years, and i finally finished it up a few months ago with the dive bomber and string arrangement.
though that may sound like the foundation of an excellent 20th century experimental piece, the result plays centerfield for the monday songs. my son, cormac, gushed that it’s the most andy liotta song ever. i chose to take it as a compliment, up there with “of all the charlie browns in the world, you’re the charlie browniest” (from “a charlie brown christmas,” if you’re keeping track.)
the song tells the story of high school depression, college depression, and the sudden and unexpected arrival of a lifeboat filled with klieg lights: my soulmate (and wife!), kristin. it was love at first sight. though, to be honest, we hated each other the first time we met. well, i hated her, she didn’t remember me, which is actually worse than hate, especially considering i drove her to and from a new year’s eve party where i threw up and passed out after drinking half of a 1750 ml bottle of gin. (it’s a long story i’ll save for “behind the music.”) we’ll just call it “love at second sight.”
putting together “up, up, and away” was like living in a diving bell, fishing around the unconscious, unlocking memories and untangling mental processes, trying to make sense of the feelings i experienced throughout that wild ride. the experience gave me a deeper and less fraught view of my depression, how it worked and when it started. the first points of darkness were at the end of high school where, after years of stress and vigilance, i arrived at a place where comfort was uncomfortable, safety, unsafe, and being alone was awful, but a million times better than being with other people. the first two verses capture it well.
until i worked on the song, i’d forgotten that feeling of thinking i’d never meet someone, that it won’t ever happen for me. and how the magic of finding someone made all those years of darkness suddenly seem far away, worth every failed effort to cry.
of course, that feeling is hard to keep safe, and our relationship often seemed to careen downhill like a snowball in a minefield. but we survived, and today, even though we’re old duffers, that memory still burns warm and bright.
some quick news: i’m going to return to monday songs in earnest over the next few weeks, dropping some overlooked songs on the blog while i start writing new ones. my hope is to start delivering fresh new songs weekly again, and build up the song-writing and production muscles after some time in the desert. (thanks, politics!)
quick news part ii: this song will be the second song on my next album, which has the working title, “falling down: reflections on love and surrender.” yeah, it’s a bit grandiose, but that’s right in the bipolar wheelhouse. and just this once i’m planning on staying positive throughout. it’s a spiritual followup to “up, up,” focused on the healing and recovery i’ve cobbled together these last few years. if it goes well, i may attempt another full-length video to accompany, this time with more original visuals…
finally: i’m gonna be tearing down this website in the coming weeks and simplifying. all of my songs are on soundcloud, most of my videos are on vimeo, web sites are so 2004.