UFO Catcher: The Tale of A Sad And Lonely Boy Who Dreamed of Love (studio, 2001)
Excerpt from Martha Stewart's Celebrity Wedding Magazine, August 2001 Issue:
Of all the performances we, the celebrated, will ever be asked to give, the most memorable and unquestionably the most important is that of our wedding day. For, after all, it is we who are asked by so many to serve as the guiding beacon, the lantern by which the unfailing standards and indefatigable efforts of the nuptial dance are illuminated for other lesser dancers to follow. As with every facet of the human experience, the celebrity wedding is defined by an unwavering attention to detail, and a resolute commitment to using only the finest available materials without the unpleasant forays into cost-effectiveness that plague and ultimately spoil so many pedestrian affairs of the ne touchez pas. It was not, therefore, without trepidation that I carefully instructed my personal stationer to delicately and regally reply on my highest-quality ecru linen parchment that indeed I would plan to attend the (hopefully) joyous union of Ms. Vaunne Ma and Mr. Cody Weathers. I hoped that the dignified standard of my reply would precede and inform the proceedings to follow.
June 16th, 2001, Willamette Gables, Aurora, Oregon, United States: Nestled on the banks of the lazy Willamette River, this rural bed and breakfast is at once quaint and sophisticated. A perfect choice for what promised to be a lovely outdoor ceremony. I was delighted to discover a playful whimsy in the air as expectant guests, including this invitee, fed freshly picked strawberries from a neighboring field to what I could only presume to be a genuine imported Armenian goat. Fabulous. Hollywood director Alan Smithee laboriously checked the available light against his F-stops in preparation for the all-important wedding documentary, a must in the modern world, and yet another indication of how this couple left no detail to chance. As the hour of procession drew near, the ushers --Monsieurs Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, and John Speranza-- distributed individual antique bubble machines to every guest, along with a Guttenberg-era printing of instructions for their eventual surprise use!
And then the human statue sundial attendant signalled that 3:30 PM was upon us and --as if by magic-- the members of the Stradivari String Quartet, dressed as consummate professionals, lifted their horsehair bows to their catgut strings and began to lead the wedding party down the flagstone walk to the elegant wooden arch where the vows would be exchanged. The bride was radiant in her diamond-white (quite bright white!) Paloma Blanca gown, and the groom was very dashing in his long-tie Mister Tux rental. Even in these choices the new royal family of rock and roll found a perfect balance between the deboinair and the declasse. In every detail, they epitomized the phrase "simple elegance." Long after the ceremony, the toasts, the floating h'ors-d'oevres, the panda rides, the five-tiered triple-chocolate strawberry sponge cake in the likeness of the happy couple, and of course, the 10,842 hand-folded paper flowers, I left Willamette Gables with nothing more to say than this: perfect.
Intro: Hey, hey, it's time to gather 'round, time to hear the tale of a sad and lonely boy who dreamed of love, a tale begun in secret long ago --a damsel knew him well and spun her sad heart on a copper wire through endless rain. Hey, hey, these are things that damsels do, but he lit the hidden fires that burned himself and warmed no one. A quest was made for Fall, when leaves and lives are changed and hearts are broken, every single one. It can't rain every day, sometimes clouds must go away. Goodbye storm, goodbye rain, it's a new day.
I Got It Right: I got it right, I'm on my way. I'm on the road tonight --I'll be there yesterday. I got a feel, I got a sense, I got a happy heart since I jumped the fence. And the wheels go round, rolling down the interstate. to your love I'm bound --man, you make the minutes ache. You heard it right, I want you bad. You are the first, the best true love that I ever had. CH. I got it right, I'm full of fire. I'm on the road tonight, my fuel is my desire. I'll love you right, I'll love you proud, I'll love you sick and well, I'll love you soft and loud.
Fall On Me: If trust is like blood, then by liter by liter you save me when solitude stings me and nobody knows what to say. You are the beacon that straightens me through the deep water --shows me to shore in the gloaming new light of the day. Fall on me, fall on me, fall on me, I'll catch you if you fall. As friendship comes kinship and deeper to deeper I know you. As water to blood as you come to understand me. The indigo rose is blue as the deepest dead ocean. The wolf in the moon is red as the hurricane sea. CH. Howl the wind low, rise the waves high --your port come under siege. There in the swell rides the waves I, and beckon come with me.
Caramel: I don't know what you've been told, but eat this if you're feeling cold. The recipe is very old, but caramel's worth more than gold. One part sugar, one part butter, one part secret spice. Eight years making, slowly baking, eight years to cook right. Bitterness was all I knew until the day your heart shone through. My sweetest thoughts are all of you and all the caramel you do. Yes, I need it, need to eat it, tasting sticky sweet. Sticky pots and apricots tender in my teeth. CH. Dark this flavor, meant to savor, melting on my tongue. Love forever, sweet endeavors, sweethearts sugar young.
Numb: Apricot like sugar or perfume on linen --the candle is gold in the hours after dinner. Ever have I known you and never betrayed it, but kiss now the angel whose heart has been waiting. Numb in the arms of love, numb in the arms of love. Every star in the wide sky is a wish of you whispered I. Numb in the arms of love. Passion is a flavor, a sense beyond tasting whose purpose was lost and whose fire was wasting. pampered and resplendent, the secret love haunting, for never knew I what I should've been wanting. CH. always I'll be with you and always adore you, always I'll kiss you and always want more of your penchant for the blissful and hidden space in me. I live for your love and the joy that you bring me.
To Know Your Love Again: The liquid of mere language will not, cannot make a bride of stone. My heart betrayed upon this slate still argues with dry bones. I disbelieve each snap you breathe as poison words of slumber. The truth forgets such baited breath, with love's true weight encumbered. Would I were a dog --a beast more fond to you-- I venture aptly thus your stern embargo lifts and leaves your mercy true at last. To know your bed, to know your skin, to know your love again. The turmoil in our slumber is a darker heart than we possess, yet known to capture beauty in its secret inky nets. In dreams, your face surrounds me and I kiss your cotton lips. Your downy thighs persuade me into sour bliss as this. Would I were the dawn and not the midday sun, I venture I could wake you in that gentle hour and love your simple heart with child. CH. Maybe it was you who lit the fuse that singed my clumsy wings, your flame a strange-lit spectacle illuminates the mirrors near. I rush to find you in them, only bringing injury and shame. My damaged heart is drowning --float me in your blood. The murmur of your pulse is somehow known to me in silence, but I chant you like the rhythm of the sea. Rise to me, my darling --every star betrays a story. I've seen you as you are, and you are glory on a wing. Would I were the air and deep and cool invade to feed your hungry heart, that you would need me simply as I need you in my blood.
Two Rings: Two rings were cast in heaven, one perfect pair of circles made together in the blue-hot forge of twilight. Beheld, they caused an angel to tremble and they tumbled to this green earth, one, and then the other. And the Smith said: "This it matters not, for these rings are bound. Each cannot fail to find the other. Watch there, how they move to reunite."
I'll Never Be Far From Your Side: Walk beside me and light me up slowly, in your arms I never am blue. Say you love me and need me and kiss me. I give you this ring and I'll always be true. Fly my flag and I'll find you, I'll never be far from your side. Never hungry, nor freezing, nor lonely, my darling, my soulmate, my wife. Trust and patience and love without boundary --I give you this ring and this promise for life. CH. Don't you worry, it's all right. I would never let you down. Home is happy, home is warm, home is where we're headed now. CH. Years of friendship and boxes of laughter, my favorite surprises and tears. Happy endings and Hollywood wishes, I give you this ring and the rest of my years.
Vaunne: I knew no comfort, I was a dead man in these shoes, I had given up, drowned and lost in blue. You were the truest beautiful heart I'd ever known, your light conquered me, painting me a home. Softer than a whisper, I am singing to your heart, my true love has a name, your name is Vaunne. The wicks of winter frozen are burning in the spring, my days spent with you, thawing everything. My love is endless, I am a promise on your lips, my heart beats anew, passion, blood, and bliss. CH. I am forever, I belong in your embrace. Find me in your heart, happiness, and grace. You are the only, deepest true joy I've ever known, making flesh again what had turned to stone.
It Can't Rain Every Day: Hey, hey, it's time to gather 'round, time to hear the tale of a sad and lonely boy who dreamed of love, a tale begun in secret long ago --a damsel knew him well and spun her sad heart on a copper wire through endless rain. Hey, hey, these are things that damsels do, but he lit the hidden fires that burned himself and warmed no one. A quest was made for Fall, when leaves and lives are changed and hearts are broken, every single one. It can't rain every day, sometimes clouds must go away. Goodbye storm, goodbye rain, it's a new day. Hey, hey, it's time to take a shot, time to speculate and take the risks at once you dream and fear. The only things worth having have a price, you know, but sometimes you make back what you paid and more. Hey, hey, the price he paid was high, weighed in blood and gold the worth of what he sought could make him well. You pack your bags, you drive your car through dusty towns on wheels of fire. You go to her, you mend your heart, do what you have to do. CH. I lost my faith in finding love then it found me when I just stood still. Hey, hey, the love we found was good, easy, deep and true, and better than we dreamed that love could be. We traded rings, we traded vows, we made a family name. We found our dream, we found our hearts, did what we had to do.
Always: No money baby, that's just me --living my life and taking my time. You're beautiful, it's plain to see. I'd love to let your curtains down and make you mine. I'm easy to understand. Easy to talk to when you need a friend. Think it over, baby: I'm a good plan. I could just touch you forever. Money's green but love is blind. Close your eyes and see me. I will always find the time. Take a step believe me. You know that I will always hold you, even when you're growing old. And you know that I will always warm you, even when it's very cold. You know that I will always cheer you, even when it's looking dark, and you know that I will always want you, even when we're far apart. Always, I'll love you always. Even when it's dark and cold, I'll love you always. Long hair, but baby that's just me living my life and being myself. You're beautiful, it's plain to see. I could be with you in sickness and health. I'm easy to get to know --easy to figure, got nothing to hide. You're funny and you're never slow. I could just hold you forever.
Deep: Deep, deep, way down deep. I know you can melt me. I know you've got heat. You must be inside me, 'cause I'm burning deep. CH. I've been full of winter. I've been lost in a dead, cold sleep. You're my infant summer, and I'm thawing deep. CH. And it's a fine, fine line that we walk sometimes between fire and a scar, but with your heart beats mine 'til the end of time and I'm reaching, reaching far.... CH. I am hot as embers. I am hot as steam. I must really love you 'cause my coal is deep.
Blue as the Moon: Red is the moment I'm blue as the moon. Me, me, me --what's wrong with me? Where's my hidden head? It is I, the fox, and you the wary lamb. You'll be back, you mark my words --I know your favorite trails. It is I, the fox. I'm after you again. CH. Come to me, my birthday wish. Oh where's my secret bride? It is I, the fox, and you've no place to hide. You will need my magic ways --I know your fairy tales. It is I, the fox; I'm taking you inside. CH. You, you, you --what's wrong with you? Why are you still crying? It is I, the fox, and you the bluest eyes. Please, my darling, shut the door. Alone within this gale. It is I, the fox. I'm shedding my disguise
I know it says UFO Catcher, but obviously this is actually my first solo album. Other than a couple of bass parts on the songs lifted from 2x3<4, I played all the instruments. Responding to popular outcry (especially from she to whom the album is dedicated), this is an all-acoustic disc featuring lots of brand spankin' new love songs for Vaunne plus a couple of older songs she liked. Most of this material came from two separate ongoing sessions: the first recorded in Buffalo, and the second set of songs recorded a year later in Portland.
Intro: I put this "pre-prise" of the first verse/chorus of "It Can't Rain Every Day" on to set the tone for the sound and theme of the album.
I Got It Right: This is a song about driving cross-country to be with Vaunne in Buffalo. This was part of the "first group" of songs recorded for this album, that I wrote and recorded while in Buffalo, as part of an EP gift to Vaunne. That's right, you hitch your wagon to me, you gonna get an EP!
Fall On Me: I wrote this song for Vaunne before we were dating, as an ode to our friendship and support for each other. This is the same version off of 2x3<4.
Caramel: This song is about the long time Vaunne and I spent growing together before we realized our love for each other. Part of the first group.
Through Dusty Towns On Wheels Of Fire: I wrote this as a potential work-for-hire for a presentation Elise's company was doing. They decided to go with licensing something else. Mostly because I kinda suck.
Numb: This is a song about the exhiliration of being happy and in love and feeling at home at last.
To Know Your Love Again: This is a slightly older song of playful longing, recorded in demo form for I Hate You. I recorded this in the second group, needing to fill out some more time on the album and include another up-tempo song, and it was lyrically appropriate to the overall theme.
June 16, 2001: The title is our wedding date, obviously. This was originally written as a string quartet, to be played as Vaunne's processional. However, the string quartet we hired --despite being paid $100/member and being given the parts (and demo CDs of a sequenced version of the piece) almost 3 months in advance-- called us a month before the wedding and said it was too difficult for them to perform. Their first suggestion for a remedy was that they would be willing to press PLAY on a CD player and let the sequenced version guide Vaunne down the aisle. To this, I replied, "Frankly, if it was acceptable for the CD to play the processional, I wouldn't have hired you." I made the guy walk through the score with me over the phone, assessing which parts they were able to play, then I rewrote some of the material and sent them a new, easier version which they ultimately still slaughtered. Just for reference, I am maybe the world's weakest lead guitarist, yet here I am, playing the original.
Two Rings: I wrote this poem about being made for each other as part of our ceremony.
I'll Never Be Far From Your Side: This was our first dance at the wedding. Continuing the pre-nuptial disaster theme, I broke my left elbow in a fall a few weeks before the wedding, having not yet recorded this song. With a broken elbow like mine (specifically, a radial-head fracture), you don't wear a cast, but have a lot of difficulty bending or extending your arm or turning your palm up. Not that any of those motions is required to play guitar. I waited until the last possible moment, maximizing my recuperating mobility, then hobbled through this recording as best I could. Even our wedding photos are subtly marred by this injury, as with my perpetually-cocked left elbow, I seem to be either Napoleon or the victim of bad shrimp, depending on your point of view.
Vaunne: I like this song from the first group a lot, but in retrospect, the recording is a little weak, with a pretty sloppy "groove" allowed to persist. It took me a while to get used to the subtle limitations in the response of the V-Drums over real drums, not that that's any excuse. This song gave rise to the title of the gift EP, "My True Love Has A Name," which was nearly the title of this album.
I Now Present: Our horrible string quartet was at least able to handle 75% of this simple canon. To a degree.
It Can't Rain Every Day: This is a song about the risks you must take to find love, and the payoff that makes the risk worth it, as encapsulated by my new motto, "The only things worth having have a price, you know." I'm a wise little SOB. This was recorded in the second group, and is probably my favorite from that group.
Always: I included the Not! version of Always on Vaunne's EP, and it became her favorite of my songs, so I figured I'd re-record it for this album in the second group. I like the update, but Vaunne prefers the older version. This is at the top of a short list of songs that I don't personally like, but have been consistently favored highly by other people from my inner circle. The same people reading this comment. See, I do care about your opinions. You guys rock.
Deep: Probably my favorite from the first group of songs. One of the first songs where I really started to find my own voice as a bassist, working in a lot of syncopation.
Blue as the Moon: This is the version from 2x3<4, just repackaged here without adjustment. As mentioned earlier, I consider this to be my best song.