These hymns were recorded in Beaverton at Crazy Daisy Productions August 16th – 19th 2011. I played all the guitar parts and sang all the male vocals. Kristen Haferbecker played all keyboard and flute parts and sang on many tracks, and generally helped make everything go. Sarah McGuire sang on many tracks, including some wonderful harmony parts and many melody parts. Nathan Jaques and Joe Haferbecker played Djembe. Other percussion was generally done on a who could get their hands on it first basis.
You can download the hymns together as a zip file, here.

Seven Chords Short was a band that I founded in Starkville, MS in 1996. We practiced in Scarborough’s warehouse and worked up a few sets. We played at local bars and eventually decided to create an EP. The title of the EP was “Gravity is Not a Fundamental Force,” which was a topic of my thoughts at the time.

The idea behind the title is that gravity can be described as inertia if you construct space correctly. I studied a little differential topology at the time in an effort to describe the space required, but life happened and I lost track of this little project, so I have never really attempted it. However, I do think that it is possible to do, and I would love to hear your thoughts on it or see the description of the space if you do it.

Sep 012011

The first song “Falling” was written quite some time before, circa 1992, while I was playing bass for another band. I liked the idea enough to pull forward into this project.

The verses are more disjointed in this song mostly because it was under active development for such a long time. The point is to open the show and build into the next song, which is in a different meter. Actually the transition from 6/8 to 4/4 is done really well on this recording; I enjoyed rediscovering it.

The second song is called “Dum Dum Dum” after to sax part. The general lyric theme of the two goes well together, painting an interesting picture of a failed relationship from the point of view of the rejected man. Relationships would probably have been a better title of the EP as all the songs are about relationships from one point of view or another.

Link to Falling->Dum

Sep 012011

Another song about failed relationships, this time from the point of view of the man rejecting the woman. I guess what goes around comes around. Life’s little ironies giving us chances to do under others as others have done unto us. Seems so different from the other point of view.

Link to A & Q

Sep 012011

A few years earlier I went to friends wedding in Florida. On the plane ride down there was a grandfather with his grandson in his lap reading a children’s book. It was one of those books with the cheap electronic buttons that make noises. One of the buttons was for a train and when it was pressed it would go choo-choo-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga. The boy liked this button more than the others and would press it so that it made a regular rhythm. It sounded funky to me so when I got back to my guitar I imitated it, which became the basis for this song.

The rest of it was just blues. There really was a blind man named Jim that I hung out with for a while. And he did seem to want something from me, although I couldn’t figure out what it was. The reference to his blindness and the mud are actually more spiritual than physical. The mud is a reference to Christ restoring the sight of a blind man, and Jim didn’t believe, which is what I meant by could not see.

Actually, I think I like my wife’s version of the chorus. In this recording I am saying, “You’re not me and I’m not you.” My wife thought I was saying “You’ve got me and I’ve got you.” I think I like it better. Maybe if I ever sing it again I will just change it. I don’t feel the need to be so overtly philosophical anymore.

Link to Choo-Choo (take 1) Link to Choo-Choo (take 2)

Sep 012011

Another song about relationships, this time a failed friendship instead of the romantic kind. These are the failures that I actually regret still. All the romantic failures are easy enough to write-off as soon as you are in a relationship that works, but no new friends can truly replace your old ones.

Link to What Went Wrong

Sep 012011

This song is all about the sax. The sax player told us what chords to vamp on and he does the rest.

Link to Mon Ami

Sep 012011

I think I did this in February 2011, not sure. I had the lyrics on a scrap of paper, but I lost it, so your guess is as good as mine as to what I am saying. Link to the mp3 for You Know Me

Sep 012011

This song was written a while back, but I only recently recorded it. I used my newest toy, a Tascam DP-004. I recommend this unit. This is the first song I have attempted using this unit, and I can take full credit for all the errors and problems in the recording, which is really great. “Move Forward” was recorded on 4.18.2009. Link to the mp3 for Move Forward

You have to move forward
There is no going back
You have to pull life toward you
And pick up the slack

When you know that somethings wrong
And the day is bright as night
That is when you sing your song
That is when you make your fight

So long
All Gone
Let the memories
Float on

Be here
No tears
It doesn't matter when
Love is near

When the crooked can't be straightened
And what is lacking has no end
What is the meaning of our labour
Like the cycles of the wind

And the tension fills the sky
Between what is and what should be
You find the meaning when you die
Maybe then you will be free

So long
All Gone
Let the memories
Float on

Be here
No tears
It doesn't matter when
Love is near
-chip
12.8.2007
Sep 012011

link to the mp3 for “The Sky Opens”

The sky opens
Out pours the pain
Trip up the moon
And walk
Home
Sky

The wind cuts
Into the sane
It was too soon
We talk
Some
Lies

The night covers
Over the shame
Under a stone
The fault
Alone
Dies

-chip
3.18.2008