Life Is Wide

This week’s song, “Life Is Wide,” is a good hardworking song, not trying to get uppity or too big for its britches.  The title is a nod to Big Star’s “Life Is White.”  (Yes, that’s two Big Star shout-outs in two weeks.)  Don’t know how much the two songs have in common, aside from inscrutable lyrics and a slower-than-you’d-think tempo.

I wrote this song to be a downer, but I was in a jaunty mood when I recorded it, and by the time I was finished it sounded like a cousin to “The Swede,” from the last Baby Teeth album.  (“The Swede” is a downer disguised as an upper, so I guess it makes sense.)  What are you gonna do.  There are parts of this song that I like, and some that still need fleshing out.  Like, for example, the long instrumental section in the middle with mumbled staccato background vocals.  What’s that about?  I guess we’ve just gotta call this thing what it is: A demo.  A good, midwestern, hardworking demo.  From the City That Works.  As soon as you’re done listening to it, it’s gonna go get an Italian beef and a Polish.

PS.  Maybe it also sounds like “Range Life”?  I am pretty geeked about that Pavement reunion…

10 Responses to “Life Is Wide”
  1. Peter Andreadis says:

    I like this one. Very AM radio. Definitely hear the Big Star influence. There’s kind of a lazy Bowie/Iggy collabo feeling in there too. Like “here comes success” but with less “success.”

  2. Abraham says:

    Thanks my man! Glad you dig it. “AM radio” is my middle name.

  3. Wow, loco that you brought up Big Star in such a huge way just three days before the big news broke. I don’t really know anything about Big Star, though, so I’m none too qualified to comment on those aspects of “Life Is Wide,” unfortunately.

    I do know that I like the idea of ascribing a physical dimension (in this case, wideness) to something as metaphysical as “life.” I like-a the way this one kinda chug-a-lugs along, it sounds like a locomotive of good vibrations even right up to the end.

  4. Abraham says:

    Thanks P M S. Yes, I’ve been thinking about the Alex Chilton thing a lot — listening to his obit on NPR brought some misty tears to my eyes.

  5. B. Berkowitz says:

    Is that a Fleetwood Mac or Stevie Nicks song that that first ascending vocal melody reminds me of? I’ll have to figure that out. You are becoming a solidly serviceable guitarist, young man. Look out, Malcolm Young!

    I like the “could go either way” xenophobia of the title; in typical fashion, you went the opposite of the way I predicted (you must be good at rock, paper, scissors)

  6. B. Berkowitz says:

    Whoops, to be specific, I meant “rhythm guitarist” (thus the Malcolm reference)

  7. Abraham says:

    Thanks boss! Rock, paper, scissors is indeed a game at which I consider myself an Ultimate Master. I play very slowly though, in order to psych out my opponents. Perhaps we can square off sometime.

  8. Will says:

    HMMM…this is a WEEIIRD one…I get the whole hardworking mid-western vibe…buy, unlike Huey Lewis, John Cafferty, or Bachman Turner Overdrive, it’s pure Pearly Sweets…(a nod to the days of yore?) What I mean is, that lyrically it’s spot-on, and the chorus tails off in such a melodic way…it’s reminiscent of your writing/phrasing style. I’d like to abide and say that all it asks for is a living wage and a cold one at the end of the day, but it’s tooooo melodic for a tag so simple. Maybe not an instant classic, but a nice tune and one I’d listen to unsolicited. BTW, nice underlying guitar! Good ear for accompaniment!

  9. Will says:

    Also, I’d like to challenge ANYONE on this board to rock, paper, scissors. Let’s have a theme party…I got an angle, ya’ know..

  10. Abraham says:

    BB: “Rhiannon” is probably the Fleetwood Mac song you’re thinking of, BTW.

    Will: That’s one of my hang-ups as a songwriter: I can’t do anything simple. I remember in the excellent book “So You Wanna Be a Rock-n-Roll Star,” the drummer of Semisonic describes watching Sheryl Crow rehearse for the Grammys, and marveling at how amazing she was at delivering her songs in a completely straightforward way. Not in my kit bag. Although I DO believe that every day is a winding road…. Glad you like the guitar! I got a capo yesterday, so, look out world.

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