in no particular order:
Eventually : Written in June 2000, recorded shortly thereafter. The lyrics are kind of dumb--the idea was to cram as many sexual double entendres as possible into the verses--but I'm sort of proud of the dual bridges that take the place of a solo. By this point, proper bridges were being eschewed more and more often in favor of traditional eight-bar solos, so a double bridge was a refreshing change of pace. Pete liked it enough to suggest recording it for our next album. The problem with this was that we had already finished the basic tracks for all the songs on the album, and were probably more than halfway finished with the vocals and other assorted overdubs. It wouldn't have made sense to rent a studio just to track drums for this little ditty, so Pete took existing drum tracks and pieced them together to make the wicked backbeat that makes "Eventually" such a smash hit. Oh, wait, it wasn't a hit. Well, enjoy it anyway.
Miss Responsibility : Spring 1999. I vividly remember writing some of these lyrics at the Jamba Juice a block away from Fort Awesome 1, in San Diego. As is the case with a lot of my songs, it sounds a lot more bitter than it actually is. I tried to balance the scales a little--"I don't mean to minimize your pain"--but the whole thing still comes off as a pretty venomous attack. This inarticulate fumbling is a great example of why I didn't make a very good songwriter. On the other hand, as a backhanded kiss-off, it works pretty well--especially with Pete handling lead vocals. He wrote the music solo, while I was off on a coffee run or something, and the song was his from then on.
Gone : Most of the lyrics were written in the fall of 1995 in a roughly ten-minute span. I filed them away and they were forgotten until Pete and I started compiling demos for what would have been the second Lost Causes album. It seemed like a nice way to finish things off--even if it's noticeably similar (and not as good) as "Anymore," from the first CD. Ah well. It was fun to record--for the rain, Pete just put a mike on his back porch, underneath the overhang, during an unexpected storm. Recorded spring 2000. It probably could have gone on my solo album, but it was a little too depressing.
Bittersweet : I'm pretty sure this was the first track we recorded for the second Lost Causes album. I wrote the lyrics in the fall of 1998, and we recorded the demo not long afterwards. I think of this one as kind of a cousin to "Sparkle Song," from the first Lost Causes album, because we took a similar kitchen-sink approach to the production. That's Pete shouting nonsense before each chorus. Not a great song, or even a particularly intelligent one, but it was a lot of fun to play live.
Fall On Soft Ground : I believe these lyrics were also written in the fall of 1998. I had the title kicking around for years before I could figure out what to do with it. I came up with the melody one afternoon, then spent a year or two writing the lyrics. It's hard to believe if you listen to the song, but it's true. (Although I am pretty proud of finding a rhyme for "Sisyphus" in the bridge.) Pete taught himself to play steel drums in the space of an afternoon for this track. It probably would have been the leadoff song on the second Lost Causes album.
I Could Be Happy Here : Written during the early throes of a difficult breakup in January 1998. I think we made the demo a day or two after I put the lyrics down. The demo sat around until Pete tracked drums in the spring of 1999. I was really pretty happy with the way it turned out--actually, in general, I like most of these songs more than the material I've actually released--even though I can't listen to it without thinking about why it was written.
Stay Bold : Out of all the dumb songs I've written, this one might be the dumbest. Pete liked it, for some weird reason, and I must admit, I really like the drum sound he got here. I'm also proud of some of the notes I hit. But the lyrics are nothing but embarrassing.
Good Trouble : This song was eliminated from contention for Lost Causes 2 after we recorded "Eventually," and for good reason, but I still have a soft spot for the lyrics, since they were written for two friends of mine who had recently started dating. The point of view probably isn't all that accurate, but 99% of the songs I wrote were about myself, so it was nice to occasionally do something different.
Bridal Bitter Suite : Alternately known as "Bitter Bridal Suite." The lyrics were written during the fall of 1996. Each of the three verses is about a different woman, each exasperating in her own special way. (I only dated one of them.) I liked the lyrics, but didn't really have any music in mind for them, so this was another one that was handed off to Pete. He had a lot of fun with it, as you can hear.
(You're My) Favorite Waste Of Time : At least half of the time we spent in the studio was taken up with discussions about our favorite obscure artists. (The other half was spent making fun of obscure '80s metal bands, but that's neither here nor there.) We spent a week or two demoing songs for a prospective covers album, and this song--written by Marshall Crenshaw--ended up making it all the way to the finish line. Marshall never really released this one, so we felt good about covering it, and it would have been included on Lost Causes 2.
Slut : Originally known as "The Drunken Slut Song." This version is woefully incomplete--we always intended to get my brother's baseball team in the studio to shout along with the spelling bee in the bridge--but funny nonetheless. Written about a pair of sisters I dated in the mid-'90s. Awfully offensive, but it rocks.