News for January 2007

Could Be Love

Well, tomorrow I beging my Album in a Month adventure.  So to get in the mood I recorded this song today while my daughter was at preschool.  It’s pretty rough, but not bad for a couple hours.  I’d like to mess the mix more but I figure since I’ll be doing 10 more songs in the next 28 days I’ll just enjoy this the way it is.  I wrote the words yesterday at Burger King while my kiddo dominated the play area, the melody came last night after supper and the rest happened a few hours ago.  It makes me excited to write more in the next few weeks.

could be love

Take your best shot, I don€™t mind
Sure I€™ve earned it over time
Check your stance and drop the glove
This could hurt, this could be love

Could be love, could be hate,
Could be hell or heaven€™s gate
Might get kissed, might feel your fist
Bring it on, don€™t make me wait
Could be love, could be hate

Hold your ground, or take your leave,
Wear your heart out on your sleeve
I can€™t tell now from your eyes
What€™s in store for my surprise?

I€™m sure it was love that we first fell in,
Where it€™s at now, there€™s just no tellin€™
I€™ve paid my dues, made my mistakes
But I fear that it€™s too late
Been in love yet I don€™t know
Should I stay or should I go?
Did you pull or did you shove?
This could hurt this could be love


How to make a hit record

Micah and I have been talking about recording a welaware album, so today at the library i found a book called ‘how to make a hit record’ where could i go wrong?  It was written in 1976, so sure it’s a bit dated.  Also, I can’t help thinking, “where in all the liner notes that i’ve read have i seen this book credited?”  But maybe, it’s not the books fault, maybe the author should have read the book ‘how to write a bestselling book about making hit records’ before writing his book.  Anyhow, the first two chapters have been riveting. 

So this evening i thought, How does one prep for making a new album?  as i pondered this i ran across the rpm challenge and i thought, ‘bingo! i’ll make a prepatory album for the welaware debut’  I figure if I’m posting a song a week anyways, why not knock it up to 2 songs a week for the month and call it an album?  My goal is to write it all during february as well, which i might fudge on a bit since i wrote a song at burger king today that i might want to use…  maybe that’ll be a prep single to the prep album.

So do follow along as i plan on posting as much as possible as it happens.

also, i shaved my head yesterday with my daughter’s help, and just now as i was putting her to bed she cuddled up to it and kept rubbing it for good luck.  that was a pretty sweet moments folks, just thought i’d share.  Today was one of those 12 hour parenting days – though Jodi did come home for supper.  I’m exhausted.  good night all.

Posted: January 30th, 2007
Categories: fact
Comments: No Comments.

rachel band photos

the band here’s my setup in all it’s glory


 the bandand the band (craig, michael, rachel, micah, me)

 vanessa and photographer extraordinaire, vanessa (craig’s cool daughter)


Posted: January 29th, 2007
Categories: fact
Comments: No Comments.

someday we will understand

I finished writing this song last night after supper – happy hopeful love song, no minor chords to be found.

 someday we will understand

Hang your hope, like a hat,
Lay your love, like a rug
That everyone is welcome, to be a part of
Say your prayers with folded hands,
What we can€™t, you know God can
Everything is wonderful,
Someday we will understand

Wipe your tears, with my sleeve,
Hold my hand, if you please
And know that I am trying, even though I€™m lost
Broke again, I barely stand
Wish I could, I€™m just a man
Everything is wonderful,
Someday we will understand

Get away, tickets bought
On a plane, on a thought
For once my baggage is lost, I love this airline
Welcome to a foreign land
Where the dreams are like quick sand
Everything is wonderful
Someday we will understand

Some say years do us in
I get fat, you stay thin
We wonder how it happened, Where did we begin?
Still in love, strike up the band
I remain your biggest fan
Everything is wonderful
Someday we will understand


Posted: January 29th, 2007
Categories: song
Comments: No Comments.

Rachel Kurtz Band rides again

So, friday morning I’m in the car by 6 a.m. on my way to La Crosse Wisconsin to play in the Rachel Kurtz band.  Jodi’s still asleep when I leave, I pass a cop in Battle Lake, the stars are still out, and around 7 I stop in Alexandria for a coffee at Caribou.  I make good time, pick up Micah Taylor and his bass in Minneapolis and we head over to Luther seminary to drop off some stuff for a friend and then to goodwill to drop off some stuff for good.  Over to Edina for breakfast with fellow musician and stay at home dad Jonathan Rundman and then a stop off at Ikea and finally our St. Paul home to drop off some co2 detectors for our renters.  It’s now about Noon.  Micah and I head out to La Crosse – my brother in law’s family lives there, and if we make good time we can catch my nieces school play.  and we do make it in time and it’s true, she’s the most talented third grader alive.  Follow that with a fish fry and a cup of coffee and finally, around 7 pm we arrive for soundcheck on the UWL campus.  The next day we’ll be playing music during an intergenerational event featuring Nathan Dungan.  The soundcheck goes smooth – especially considering all the junk I brought along – lap steel, tele, mandolin and banjo.  We followed soundcheck with a trip to TGI Fridays and if you just clicked on that link than you know how I feel.  that places sucks – this is the second time i’ve been to one, and sure enough as i told myself 8 years ago following my first trip there, I will never go there again.  you couldn’t pay me to go there.  Hate it.  So after an hour of waiting for Micah’s ice cream sunday to arrive we ditch the place and go next door to culvers.  It had just closed.  Why we didn’t go to Culver’s in the first place is really the question.  Culver’s is always good.  TGI freakin’ Friday’s is always bad.  Remember that children.

Back to the Microtel we’re staying at and to bed (following Conan).  The next morning we got up headed downstairs to experience all that is the micronental breakfast, and off for a day of rock and roll.

I love playing in the Rachel Kurtz band – I really do.  You should all buy her CD’s and make her rich so that she can do all her touring with a band that includes me.  You’d make my day.  The music went great, was well recieved and all that, the speaker, Nathan, was unbelievably good.  Really, go over to his site and check him out. 

I went to one of the break out sessions and ended up in a group with Bishop April Larson which was pretty great – she’s stellar and then some.  We played some more music and finally at 4:30 it was time to get back on the road.  We had a smooth ride back to minneapolis where we found it to be about 500 degrees colder than the day before.  After dropping Micah off I headed west on I-94.  I stopped in Alexandria for a coffee.  Saw a shooting star.  Passed a cop in Battle Lake, and around 11:30 was back in bed, Jodi was asleep.  Pretty full circle, eh?

Posted: January 28th, 2007
Categories: fact
Comments: No Comments.

a productive day

today was productive.  did you have a productive day?

divet croup

it cred puvo


tried coup v

cup ov tried.

pour me a cup ov tried please

tide rupoc v 

prove it cud,

that’s right cud, prove it!

am i even using the right letters – did i get the letters right/letters write. Or punctuation?  fra  gm    ent

that’s wright brothers

fly letters air mail

write more wrongs

don’t vote, cheat on your taxes

bad writing

don’t cheat, vote on your taxes

bad righting

Posted: January 24th, 2007
Categories: fact
Comments: No Comments.

Why Do We Fight?

Yikes – almost didn’t make my self imposed Monday deadline for the song of the week.  I would’ve had to written myself up or something I guess.

It’s been pretty busy for me so the recording is pretty basic – guitar and vocals recorded live, sans fancy overdubs.  or overdubs.

The challenge of this song was to remember how it went – it’s a pre-millenial number – as are a lot of my anti-war songs – in the end I could only remember i had written it in open D, so I stuck with that and made up the rest (if i did it once, why not again?)  the original scratched out title on the lyric sheet was ‘red white and bullet’  that seems like a toby keith or ted nugent title.  but i guess i can be just as heavy handed as they are, lest any of us have forgotten.  One last note- i added the last line as i recorded it.  If I were a crasser person (in person that is) than I probably would’ve used a different four letter word.  I’ll save that for a live performance after one too many grain belts.

 Why do we fight

Dug the trench deep in the earth,
Deeper than the blood coursing through these veins
Held ground through a sleepless night
By the light of day no signs of freedom remain

And why do we fight I guess we do it cause€¦

Pulled back the trigger let the bullet
Said, €˜Now there€™s a God forsaken melody€™
Saw it reach to the other side
Saw it hit and saw a good man die

And why do I fight? I guess I do it cause€¦

And the red of the blood, the whites of the eyes
And the blue of an ocean of merciless violence
(and the blue of an ocean drowning us in silence)

I used to know why I fired at strangers,
But the more bullets fly, the less I know reason
I could be more if I were home with my family
That ringing of freedom is the tolling of treason

And why do we fight? I guess we do it €˜cause,
It€™s what we do best
But we best not do it, anymore
So stop the fighting, and screw this war.

Posted: January 22nd, 2007
Categories: song
Comments: No Comments.

busy and cold and grumpy

sometimes, sitting inside as the snow blows over the frozen lake, i no longer want to play with puppies and markers and things that make messes, i want to go upstairs and complete things with deadlines before the deadlines come, and sometimes i get grumpy, and i wish that wasn’t who i was but it is who i am, and so i dress warmly and try to avoid cd’s by damien jurado and opt for happier offerings of the weepies only to realize that the weepies are really just another damien jurado but the difference is that damien’s longing and emptiness is best filled with whiskey -even though say he’s just one big god shaped hole- and the weepies’ longing and emptiness is best filled with that feeling you have when you remember all your happiest high school days and the moments that play back like ethan hawk showing up at the end of reality bites and that’s when the busy and cold and grumpy self gives way to a fresh pot of coffee and the resolution that maybe today is the day you will shower and get out of your pajamas and although i’m still in my pajamas i do plan on changing them after supper and wearing a clean pair to bed.

Posted: January 20th, 2007
Categories: fact
Comments: No Comments.

The Library, the Gates, Impending Boy Barrettes

Currently I spend at least 7 hours a week in public libraries.  In the last month I’ve probably spent more time in libraries than I have throughout my entire 15.166666 years of schooling.  Which is probably why I’m 1 and 5/6 of a year short of a degree.  On Mondays and Wednesdays I drop my daughter off at afternoon preschool in Perham.  It’s a 25 minute drive, so I prefer to stick around Perham rather than drive all the way back just to turn around 2 hours later and spend another hour in the car.  So I drop her off.  Go to Subway for a foot long veggie delight on honey oat bread with no cucumbers and no olives, and then I go the Perham Public Library.  I find a comfortable cubicle and I get out whatever I’m writing and put everything in it’s place.  Notes go at the back of the cubicle, rough drafts up on the shelf.  Blank note cards in the back right corner, 5-10 sharpened #2 pencils on the right edge and my green pencil sharpener on the left.  My cubicle of choice faces the information desk, above which there is a clock which usually keeps me punctual in picking up my daughter.  As I write I set realistic, attainable goals, and celebrate them when achieved.  Thank you Matt Marohl for that standard.  If I’m writing something easily measured, such as an intergenerational activity, my measure of success is completion of a draft.  When I’m working on something broad – perhaps a brainstorming or journaling activity – I measure success by having moved all of the pencils in the sharpened pile over to the dull pile on the left by the green pencil sharpener.  After sharpening them and replacing them in the sharp pile, I’m ready to celebrate my achievements.  I read a paper for 4 minutes or get a drink from the short drinking fountain since it has better water pressure than the adjacent tall drinking fountain.  On saucy days I read a paper and get a drink.  Because I’m my own man, that’s why.

After the celbebration it’s back to the grindstone.

Well it just so happens that to the direct right of my cubical of choice there is a display of new arrivals of non-fiction.  And what did I see?  Chuck Klosterman IV.  Oh Chuck, lead me not astray.  Well Chuck did lead me astray – but only for 2 chapters (one on Bono, one on Tweedy -the Jeff not the bird).  But today a bullet made it through Chuck’s previously impenetrable armor.  His face is on the cover, and on the back, and he’s gone and grown himself a beard, and forgotten to trim his bangs.  With his round scandihoovian head he looks quite a bit like animal from the muppets.  The beard is relatively minor.  Beards are in and cool, and well they should be, shaving sucks.  I’ve been sporting my own sad excuses for facial fuzz to be well beyond any sort of holier than thou posturings concerning beards.

but the whispy in your eye hair.

durn you chuck -that is the dumbest most asanine haircut ever sported by men – and I might point out that really it’s a teen boy thing to do and then you turn twenty and get a real hair cut, unless of course you’re in a whiny nazel gazing indie rock outfit that wears low cut jeans and walks around with thier heads sideways to start with from baring the weight of the corporate rock world trying to weazle their way into your punk rock ethic.  But really the head tilt is to keep the hair out of the way.  And really Chuck, you are not an adolescent and you are not in an indie rock band.  And if you were in rock band it would be glam, and your hair would be much longer and the hairspray would keep your bangs far far away from round norwegian face and your so-not-rock baby blue eyes.

 But Chuck, (apparently this has morphed into an open letter to Mr. Klosterman) I still love you.  We’ve all made hair mistakes, and yes even I have yet to find a haircut that goes beyond convenience into style, but do me a favor and cut your hair.  Don’t listen to Pavement, do cut your hair.  Be the boy with the pretty, new haircut.  Please, you’re hipper than being a dumb hipster.  At least we (apparently my open letter is now our open letter) still think you are.

But Chuck, we are a kind and tolerant people and understand that the idea of cutting your hair might take some getting used to, so in the meantime I (yes, it’s back to being my letter, because there’s a heckuva money making idea coming up and I don’t want to share the gravy when the boat comes in and all you couch potatoes ponie up to the pay roll) would like you to take on one small job.  Start a trend.  Start wearing boy barrettes.  I’ve been thinking about this for about a year now, and a couple months ago in a gathering of hundreds of jr. high kids where this dumb-ass haircut had reached pandemic levels I spoke out in a prohetic voice that within 2 years all these boys would be wearing boy barrettes, and Chuch your the chosen one to make this happen.  The way I see it, it could go two ways.  a) start wearing girl barrettes and call them boy barrettes, or 2) use your spin dollars and start your own line of boy barrettes, which could have skulls and ‘fall out boy’ logos on them.  It could start small, market it through your NY boutique stores, and then once we get one indie rock band that’s sold out to MTV to wear one… we’re in the money!!!  It’ll be huge – the next big thing and when people see a boy with a barrette they’ll refer to him as having “Kloster-locks” Oh it’ll be so cool.

Or stick with plan A and cut your freakin’ hair.

Love, Nate.

So as I stood at the entry way of the Perham Public Library beside the bi-level bubblers, I thought about all of this and absent mindedly stared at a wooden tree that listed all the big donors to support this library.  Bill and Melinda Gates were in the $5000+ category.  I could write a whole ‘nother blog on my opinion that when ranked against the PC vs. Mac commercials, my knowledge of William Gates filed into that commercial’s rubric leads me to believe that Bill Gates is a PC guy.  But I’ve said enough for one night, and am pretty sure that it makes very little sense.  I’m okay with that.

Posted: January 17th, 2007
Categories: fact
Comments: No Comments.

Could You Come Back?

 I finished U2 by U2 a couple days ago, thank you Santa Mother in Law.  I was also listening to No other love & Age of Miracles by Chuck Prophet.  Though neither influence may be obvious in this week’s song they both played significant roles.  Could You Come Back is an old song – I remember playing it at Gingko right after I wrote it in a songwriter circle with Matt Patrick – who I didn’t really know at the time and his since become a great friend and inspiration.   I dig the story of the song – derelict disciple – folks like Bono or Brennan Manning, or Kjel Alkire, or Hosea, have these fiery prophetic personalities and it seems thier lust for God is relative to the pull of temptation.  We all want God among us but the hope and hopelessness are equally unbearable at times. 

Could You Come Back?

Could you come back?  Could you return?
Could you tell me that my hope€™s not lost?
Could you come back?  Could you return?
Don€™t tell me that it€™s all for naughtt.

Not ready for this, not ready for the heart to show what I don€™t know
I€™ve been taking way too much in
Not ready for the light to catch everything I€™ve left overgrown
Not ready to pack it up and head home

Been born of sin been worn of death been scorned with alcohol on my breath
I€™m not ready to let this go
Wish I had the strength and the will to quit wish my love weren€™t so sick of this
Wish I€™d admit the pain I know

Could you come back, could you return?
Could you help me?  Cause I know I€™m lost
Could you come back, could you return?
Don€™t tell me that it€™s all for naught

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness

I should note the ending word of the song wasn’t intentional – I just lost count of measures – but it leaves the song open to so much more possibility that I left it that way.

Hope you like it or hate it, Nate.

Posted: January 15th, 2007
Categories: song
Comments: No Comments.

Like Nate on Facebook

Purchase Reform Follows Function on iTunes