January 30, 2011

On Not Smoking Anymore…

Quitting smoking or anything is tough…

Novocaine, it still hurts to laugh
One less dream I’ll have to have
This household mirror has seen a hundred years
It’s watching us walk down the stairs
For the last, for the first
And for the last, for the first
For the first, for the last
And for the last, for the first time
With a long neck and a short rope
We’re climbing the radio tower
With some loose friend bad jokes
With unsuspecting farmers
Who’ve been driving cement trucks
In the early morning hours
And I say there are worse things we could be doing…

I met Isaac Pierce at the Hawthorne Hostel in Portland, Oregon.

He was in the lobby with a hard shell guitar case, headed to the coast. I said, “Well, are you gonna play that thing or what?” This is what he played. I recorded it using my iPhone, so you may have to turn up your volume! You can hear the official version on the Ten Speed Music website.

Isaac was looking for a room in Portland and I was kicking around the idea of going out to the Seaside Hostel to visit my friend and proprietor Trung, who taught me some Qi Gong on my last visit. As it turns out, a Swiss guy was game to drive to Seaside, so we all piled into his car and let the German GPS voice guide us out to the Pacific coast.

Isaac explained “The song’s called On Not Smoking Anymore, but it could be about leaving something behind or starting something new.” We got to Seaside, Trung was there, the Swiss guy moved on and we set up camp.

Isaac pulled out his guitar and played a little more music, eventually getting back to “On Not Smoking Anymore”. Trung has a weathered, upright piano and Isaac commented that “If you hit a bad note, it doesn’t last too long!” We all laughed, and I considered the niceness of bad notes being a passing thing. Click here to listen to what Isaac played. Again, you may have to crank up your volume.

Isaac mentioned he’d has written more music/songs which can be heard as arranged with ten-speed at www.tenspeedmusic.com…, so I had to look ’em up on the web. Sure enough, there’s a Facebook and MySpace page. Most of the music, especially “On Not Smoking Anymore” is available for free. Nice!

“On Not Smoking Anymore” keeps playing in my mind from time to time. Isaac wound up finding a place. He tells me the music was his entree to the new beginning, especially “On Not Smoking Anymore”. Isaac said “It took 38 days to find a room. In part because I am a musician, I was turned away. I found a great house with great folks in Seattle’s Central District. I won the room largely because I played a song: “Looking Up, Seeing Waves”  (#4 from ten-speed) I mention this because in a way it’s the end to the story.”

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