Erin Jordan
0000-00-00

Story

taken from the RPM Challenge blog: "As I am running out of time I knew I had to put a good amount of time in to this project today. As I did not have anymore 1/2 finished songs I wanted to finish I decided to write a new song. The songwriting process is truly amazing and something I have studied and discussed with other songwriters. I know that part of the RPM challenge is not waiting for inspiration - just doing it. I have definitely tried this method in the past. I read this interview with Nick Cave and he said he no longer waits for inspiration - he goes to his music writing room and clocks in as a songwriter. I have had some success with this - I once gave myself the assignment of writing a song in Spanish and a murder ballad that takes place in a brothel. Both of those songs turned out quite good and made it on to my last album. Overall, however, most of my songs have been the product of waiting for inspiration. I decided not to finish the song I started writing on day one of this project because it was just not haunting me the way a good song does. What usually inspires me to start writing is coming up with an instrumental part I like. As I have been in love with the sound of the banjo (that I have only been learning to play throughout the course of this project) I picked it up and started playing with ideas. A song surfaced that is tentatively called "Arizona"- it is a companion song to another song of mine called "Tale of a Missouri Girl". "Tale of a Missouri Girl" is about a girl from Missouri in the 1940's who is the queen of her hometown parade and the star of all her high school productions. After she graduates from high school she moves to Hollywood to become and actress. She ends up being a waitress at an all night diner. At the end of the song she wonder why she ever left Missouri. "Arizona" is about a seamstress from Ohio who moves to an Old Western town in Arizona to start a new life, only to become a drunk and a prostitute. At the end of the song she goes back to Ohio, realizing she liked her former self much better. "Tale of a Missouri Girl" kind of seemed to surface out of nowhere - until I realized it was about myself. I am from Chicago and moved to Seattle (the 1990's version of Hollywood for a young singer/songwriter) many years ago. I am also a waitress. So when I wrote "Arizona" I was aware that this song was coming from the same place in my psyche. As I am new to the banjo, it took me a long time to record a really good take. I did a vocal track, but I need to redo it - I want to rehearse the song some more and play with the melody. Overall, I am happy with my work. I managed to write a song in a few hours and record the main instrument track. I love the banjo and am getting better at it - it hasn't been that hard to learn since finger picking has always come pretty naturally to me." *Tale of a Missouri Girl appears on the Bakelite 78 album, What the Moon has Done.

Lyrics

You don’t feel right in your own clothes The days grow shorter and cold wind blows You hear winter’s cruel footsteps heading toward your door You jump on a freight train with no baggage of your own Cause a freight train has plenty of weight of it’s own Anything not rooted down rolls to the west Goin’ to Arizona Gonna start a new life Leave behind Ohio and winter’s cold and strife And I’ll find me a cowboy who’ll make everything all right And ride off in to the sunset You find work sewing and mending people’s clothes But at the end of the day you find you’re still alone While the purple mountains loom high Over an endless sunny sky You start working on some dresses for the girls at the saloon They’re so much more pretty and exciting than you A seamstress is not a glamorous trade You think it’s time for a change Your goin’ to Arizona gonna start a new life Leave behind Ohio and winter’s cold and strife And find yourself a cowboy who’ll make everything all right And ride off in to the sunset The years pour by like whiskey on the shelf You try to drink enough to disolve yourself But underneath all the garters and the lace Your just a seamstress from Ohio - drunk and out of place The hazards of the trade have become too much Hangovers and ills and every stranger’s touch Your not the fragrant flower that you used to be Seven years older an bitter as can be You jump on a freight train with no baggage of your own Cause a freight train has plenty of baggage of it’s own Leave behind the canyons and the dust storms and the heat You miss the seamstress from Ohio that you used to be.
Erin Jordan
0000-00-00

Story

Taken from RPM Challenge Blog: "Today I recorded Ballad of a Waitress Folksinger, a song I worked on a little last year and then dumped as an idea. I revamped the music to be more of a folk song than a pop song and rewrote some of the lyrics. I am unbelievably happy with how it turned out. I recorded the vocal and acoustic guitar tracks at the same time on two separate tracks and both turned out great. I really did not want to do too much more to the song, because as the title points out, it is a folk ballad. I did think a banjo would sound great in the song, so I picked up my husband's tenor banjo and started experimenting. This is an instrument that I only minimally know how to play, but I managed to lay down a nice picking part throughout the song that I really like. I did already know how to play G and C, so I just had to figure out a D chord that would work. After laying down the rhythm part I added a banjo solo in the instrumental section. I may add some back up vocals or ask someone else to add some back up vocals - but this song is pretty much finished and I am happy. While the song is funny, it is also a very personal and gut wrenching song. I used to write a lot of personal and gut wrenching songs, but then I started trying to be entertaining. Nobody wants to rip open a vein for a bunch of drunk people at a bar, or worse yet, a bunch of people starring at their lap tops at a coffee house. No one wants to subject their precious thoughts and feelings (which as a songwriter you hope are universal thoughts and feelings) to a bunch of people who do not care. I really do not care this time though. I am not doing this project for anyone but myself. If other people get anything out of it, that will make me very happy - but I am not trying to entertain anyone this time. I have been waiting tables off and on since 2001. I have done other things - mundane office work, teaching elementary school music, teaching guitar lessons, working at a call center......but I keep going back to waiting tables because it is the most money and allows me to work less than 40 hours a week, leaving time to actually be a musician. Waiting tables has been my only job (aside from being a musician) for the past four years. The song is about how I was (naively) optimistic about what it takes to "make it" as a musician when I was first starting out. I really thought anyone over the age of 30 who waited tables was a loser - and now here I am- 33 and about to be a mom - and still waiting tables. But I am also still being a musician and have not given up my dream and doing what I find to be personally fulfilling, regardless of my disillusionment and the number of painful reality checks taking this path has subjected me too."

Lyrics

Many years ago, I thought waiting tables was so Bohemian And I didn’t mind lifting the tray because I truly believed in my heart one day I would be an indie folk rock superstar I would drive across the country in my beat up car Living the life of Woody Guthrie or Jack Kerouac Then I learned that college towns really suck You drive for hours out to the country and nobody give a fuck They’d rather be up in their dorm rooms playing video games Did Bob Dylan or Joan Baez have to deal with this shit? When I was 22 I thought waiting tables was so romantic I was a tragic heroin in a Russian novel Serving lunch to all the yuppies in their Khaki pants Who think they need to explain to me that an Arnold Palmer is made of half lemonade and half ice tea I already knew that - And I’ll tell you another thing that I know I’m so glad that I’m waiting on you - ‘Cause if I wasn’t waiting on you I’d probably be sitting next to you in a cubicle of my own Don’t let me get as bitter as the coffee that I sling Don’t let me get so bitter that I don’t want to sing I won’t let myself get bitter - ‘Cause if there is one thing I learned at a restaurant it’s that you can always add more sugar Don’t let me get as bitter as the coffee that I sling Don’t let me get so bitter that I don’t want to sing I won’t let myself get bitter - ‘Cause if there is one thing I’ve learned at a restaurant its that separate checks are for people incapable of elementary level math Now its been 10 years and no longer consumed by ambition But I’m gonna write these songs even if no one is listening I’ve given all my heart and learned a lot along the way And I’m still mastering the art of balancing this tray I won’t let myself be bitter as the coffee that I sling Don’t let me get so bitter that I don’t want to sing I won’t let myself get bitter - ‘Cause if there is one thing I’ve learned from a restaurant It’s always add more sugar
Erin Jordan
0000-00-00

Story

Taken from RPM Challenge blog: "I was really enjoying the sound of the banjo and decided to write a song on it. I started thinking of this documentary I saw about the evil Monsanto corporation and that is what the song ended up being about. I think the song will be called "Fruited Plains". Aside from talking about patenting seeds, evil lobbyists, and how farmers are forced to live off of government subsidies and produce the kind of food they would not want to eat themselves, I took a lot of lyrics from 'America the Beautiful' and twisted them to paint a picture of the dystopia our agricultural system has become." While I love the arranging job, I am a bit unhappy with the mix.

Lyrics

My family farmed this land for a hundred years. There used to be profit and pride in this work. Now the only profit is a subsidy and there's no pride in producing food I wouldn't eat myself. There used to be a time when people were free to harvest their own land and plant their own seed. Now the masses think that freedom is having the choice between a thousand brands of crap on a shelf. The court declared it's in man's right to patent a seed. Go ahead and patent all the cells and genes. Just don't tell me these plants are resistant to weeds; The only weed I see is corporate greed. There's no more fruited plains and the amber waves are turning to black. Crown thy good with brotherhood; May God shed his forgiveness on thee. David beat Goliath back in biblical times. Now Goliath's got some lobbyists and a whole team of lawyers who don't care what is right or wrong as long as we all clap out hands and sing a patriotic song and not acknowledge there is shame in what we have done to the one's who sew the seeds. There's no more fruited plains and the amber waves are turning to black. Crown thy good with brotherhood; May God shed his forgiveness on thee.
Erin Jordan
0000-00-00

Story

This is a song I wrote a few years ago and recorded for the RPM Challenge. The bar I met my husband at is at the corner of Winchester and Thomas. You truly can smell it a block away. This is a love song.

Lyrics

Those pretty hazel eyes take me back to the place On the corner of Winchester and Thomas You could smell that bar a block a way for two straight years I would play For gin or whiskey or cash under the table I remember when I saw you at that party I dragged you in to the kitchen and made you do a shot with me I pulled a curl of your hair and the next thing I knew you weren’t there Just some other guy telling me I shouldn’t drive home The Ukrainian village isn’t Ukrainian anymore Sometimes I think I’ve lost all my keys and keep breaking down these doors I should have kept closed Now its Saturday night and I just got home from work I’m drinking alone and feeling like a jerk True love is so hard to find and sometimes I think I wouldn’t mind A night of debauchery like when we were younger But were not fresh as those spring daisies anymore And sometimes I think I’ve lost all my keys and keep breaking down those doors I should have kept closed When the hour gets this late and when the moon gets that haze When the ether flows through my viens That’s when I miss Illinois and that’s when I miss that boy But sometimes I see his eye pearing back at me Through the keyholes of the doors I locked past bridges that I have walked over but could never seem to burn And through the glass in front of me And sometimes I get down on my knees and pray like hell that he’ll come back to me,
Erin Jordan
0000-00-00

Story

This was the very last song recorded for the challenge. I did not intend on recording it. I thought I meet the 35 minute time requirement with only 8 songs and I was wrong. After recording and mixing all day I almost through in the towel. After a little break and some dinner I found the will to record one more song that I had previously written and had never recorded. This was it. It is the actual story of Medusa. The story is far more tragic and gritty than the version most people learn as children. Medusa was actually raped and impregnated by Poseidon. It's hard to think of her as a monster if you that. This recording has more of a demo quality than the other more produced songs on the album. I am not thrilled with my mixing job either, but this is not the final recording of this song!
Erin Jordan
0000-00-00

Story

Taken from RPM Challenge blog: "I've been finding that this project is about clearing out my psyche. It's like I need to finish all these half written songs before I can write anything new. I am finding that some of these half written songs that I "dumped" because I was being overly critical and overly concerned about who will be hearing them are actually quite good. Tonight I recorded a song called Spring Cleaning - a song about dumping friends who suck and ridding your life of negative forces. "

Lyrics

It’s time for some spring cleaning this year I’m not saying that your trash - there’s just no room for you here Gotta take a trip over to Good Will - Cause it’s time for spring cleaning around here You used to be a real good drinking friend But the bottom of the bottle is where our friendship ends So I don’t want to talk to you about what I’m drinking for So I’m gonna drink this one out alone Some friendships are like jeans that are too tight You want to say goodbye but instead you say goodnight We were a good pair, now your tangled in my hair And I’m just a snare in your plans I planted these trees for some apples to eat But now they only block out the sun I planted these trees for some apples to eat But now I’ve had enough and my life is overrun By shadows blocking out all of the light I want to say goodbye but instead I say goodnight Shadows have been blocking out the light And I want a brighter life, I want a brighter life I finished high school in the last century And now I’ve got these people contacting me I’ll turn off my computer cause I want something more Like the kind of friend who will show up at your door There’s so much clutter in the closet of my life I want to say goodbye, but instead I say goodnight The people I love, I want to love them right I want to love them right, I want to love them right It’s time for some spring cleaning this year I’m not saying that your trash - there’s just no room for you here Gonna take a trip over to Goodwill, cause it’s time for spring cleaning around here
Erin Jordan
0000-00-00

Story

This is a song about a woman I knew from my college town. She did not go to school; she just lived in the area and worked as a cocktail waitress. She moved out of the town several times, but always ended up coming back. This is a song that is set in dive bars and in corn fields. I wrote this song in 2006 and The Whiskey Romance played it out at our early shows. I have tried several home recordings of this song, and the song has continually told me that she does not want to be recorded! After not playing the song out for a long time I edited it a bit, changing the key and some of the phrasing. This is the first recording of the song I have done that I am happy with.

Lyrics

Our virtues may be different but our vices are the same Is that why you came here Natasha Autumn comes limping into the town and sets it’s heavy medicine bag On the table Natasha So what will it be another cup of tea I know you and you know you drive me to madness sweet dear It’s a lazy day in your midwestern condition You will the twister would blow these sins away The cat’s come out to play in the sunnier weather Now there’s dirty feathers on your mother’s rug You moved to Myrtle Beach one year you wanted to see What it was like to live on the end of a pier sweet Tasha But all the roads are circular that run out of here They run out of here and run straight back to here And it’s a lazy day in your midwestern condition You wish the twister would blow these sins away The cats come out to play in the sunnier weather Now there’s dirty feathers on your mother’s rug You said you’d run off with the carnival and learn the trapeze Away from the corn and off toward the sea But no - not tonight You say the well is drunk dry and all these days are wasted And there’s nothing to do except cocktail waitress So make it a tall one tonight Make it a tall one tonight Make it a tall one tonight