As I finished Untameable tangle, my brother gave me a trove of music from “modern” bands. I’d been stuck listening to music and artists I’d been introduced to in adolescence, or my own music. I found iTunes’ “Genius” feature, and made mixes of known songs which got tangled up with new songs.
When the song Bicycling With The Devil by Scissor Sisters came on, I felt I found a kindred spirit… a more lighthearted one.
After the heaviness of Untameable Tangle, I resolved to make a “lighter” album. The first song to emerge (What did I say?) was shocking, but playful. Unintentionally it was also autobiographic (influenced by an online post for a Master of Counselling class).
The next song (Stupid fucking loneliness, about my first experience on a phone hook-up line) continued to be autobiographical, but returned to my darker penchants… so much that, due to graphic content, I’ve not made it public.
The next song, Poisoned mind, was again intentionally playful and now intentionally autobiographical as well – about my earliest memories of a private life.
The content of the next playful, autobiographical song, Nut job, would end up in Proof, from Making better choices, but in a very different form and covering a wider palette of context and time.
Next came Jimmy (on Making better choices), which cemented the chronological project (irrespective, now, of tone).
When, in 2018 (4 years after completing the 19 songs on the original Making better choices album) I determined that, due to graphic content, I wouldn’t make one the songs (Just say no) public, I was in a conundrum. I couldn’t start with childhood (Poisoned mind), elementary (Exception), then skip middle school (Just say no) to high school (Crooked). The details would be interrupted.
Finally I decided I could start with high school and continue from there.
The earlier songs, except for Just say no appear on this album, along with the songs (except Stupid fucking loneliness) that preceded and presaged it.
The final piece on this album (AA swan song) was my attempt to re-create (in 2013) the last time I spoke at an AA meeting (in 2010). A lot of this material eventually ended up incorporated into the final song on Making better choices (Alien), but with a very different approach.
In nearly every piece I made after leaving AA, whenever I mentioned one of the 12-steps, it was unintentionally incorrect. On the Making better choices album, I made corrections. Those with familiarity will notice where I get one of them wrong on AA swan song.