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the basics lyrics song notes

Mattress (fetters)

Early in our relationship I thought that my wife and I were very much alike; two peas in a pod. Later on I discovered a couple of critical differences: She's smarter than me, and much more patient. It is pointless to argue with her. I usually convince myself that she’s right just by hearing myself talk.


Prairie Dog Town (fetters)

During an eleven-hour drive to Boulder for a gig, my fellow grumpy-ass band mates refused to follow my recommendation to take a short and pleasurable diversion to said tourist trap (all I wanted was a t-shirt and a root beer.) I bitterly sought revenge with this impassioned indictment of the myth that being on tour with a rock band is all fun and games. I wrote this in Southhampton, Ontario on a little holiday with the missus a few weeks before our twins were born.


Hell (arduser)

All these songs I’m blabbing about were written in the pre-Internet age (for me, anyway.) I didn’t learn how to use a computer 'till 1997. News traveled a tad slower even ten years ago. I read a particularly hellish account of genocide in Eastern Europe in TIME or NEWSWEEK and, like so many before me, wrote a song. Hopefully this one captured some of the in-the-moment desperation of the victim. Will it be life or death for this unfortunate?

I always loved the dots live version. From a whisper to a scream.


Bed of Nails (nyswonger)

Despite my later marital problems, at the time I wrote this it was a piece of pure construction. I was trying to imagine how different my life would be if I had a jealous or insecure spouse who couldn’t deal with my (again imagined) failure or success, and how that all plays out in an intimate relationship. I did a fairly credible 4 track demo of this tune that I can still listen to without cringing, but of course the boys took it up several notches.


Joy and Madness (fetters)

With newborn twins in the house, lack of sleep and fear of economic insecurity led to this dreamy discourse. I do not suffer from bi-polar disorder, but that doesn’t mean I can’t imagine it in the blink of an eye.


Lucky Me (fetters)

As the saying goes, I didn’t get what I wanted so I had to settle for something better. So far, it is the story of my life. I really hope this one gives strength to the heartbroken.


When There's Rain (arduser)

Lindsey Buckingham’s “Out Of The Cradle,” released in ’91, is largely the work of one man. It’s a god damn tour de force. Hearing it all the way through made me pick up a guitar and write this number about facing and conquering fear. Marc, George and I did an inspired demo that the dots kept mostly intact.

The graveblankets recorded a still-unreleased version in Nashville for the year long sessions that resulted in "Where It Hurts."


More to Life (nyswonger)

From my private book of Lamentations. I’ve talked to a lot of people over the years that this tune struck a chord with. I was attempting to describe the universal human trait of believing the grass is greener, and make it sound cheery and danceable at the same time. I never demoed it-it was musically straightforward enough that playing and singing it on acoustic guitar conveyed it to the band. Rob appreciated the fact that it has no guitar solo. This tune might be a considered logical postscript to Doris Day’s “Is That All There Is?”


Moaner (fetters)

She’s a moaner, I’m a moaner, and you’re a moaner, too. No excuses; I’m an idiot that likes to write idiotic songs. My apologies to all Hippies, Mennonites, Anglicans, Catholics, Republicans or Democrats hurt or offended by my vulgar fabrications.


Human Bean (arduser)

What I like to call Earnest Knuckle Head Rock. The second verse was originally written for and about Ronnie Reagan. It could be applied to several other holders of the office, of course.

Demoed at Larry Gold’s 4 track loft of beyond affordable recording. As in, totally free. I probably bought the beer. Larry, myself, Johnny “Hi-Fi" Newmark and Chad Smith were THE COOLERATORS, on guitar, drums, bass, and organ, respectively. We wanted to be Toledo's own Booker T and the MGs. We did a lot of gigs together and also recorded many songs of mine over time. I loved playing with those cats.


Playing Dead (fetters)

This one is far too complicated to deconstruct with anything less than a blowtorch and chainsaw. The ruins described herein were those of the Roman Forum, and I owe thanks to Benvenuto Cellini and his magnificent autobiography for some of the imagery.

All material is © 1993-2009 psychodots, unless otherwise noted.