Perfecting the Science of the Idiot

Always Under Construction

News   About Me   Songs   Videos   Blog  

Colour My Numbers

in a frame, it is you who is still
as I leave with the ground from your feet
pull me up with your paint and your spirit
so sure with a kiss i could feel it

i was told by the dream of a friend,
"you're as good as the art that you keep"
it makes sense as i lay on the edge of your bed
all your heroes shine your walls while you sleep

    tell me about your taste! tell me your favourite season!
    anything to beget your point of view
    show me the way you move! only to make you see that
    i'm in tune. (come and play with me)

i would write down the lines and the numbers
you would fill all the blanks with your colour-loving schemes
yeah, you taught, and i found the palette inside of me
are your own lines coming out more clearly?

in a frame, it is you who is still
as i leave with the ground from your feet
in a frame, is the ground that is still at your feet
where we were grooming ourselves from mystery


Life Always Needs to Keep On Living

mama, I've come towards a hard, hard truth
It took all of my youth! I gave up all my youth!
To get used to the shame, to move on without proof
To be good with the rain and the holes in the roof
because sometimes, blue skies are just empty
sometimes there's nowhere else to go, and I'm only dying to leave

yet life always needs to keep on living

"you gotta grow up" that's what you told me
"you gotta stick to the road, son, until you get where you're going"
but I'd fall for these girls, off of that beaten path
with them saying, "don't you leave me" and I'd say, "don't hold me back"
"don't hold me back", "don't hold me back", "don't hold me back"
it just feels so wrong staying in the same place for too long
but if a girl can't keep up, how does a boy carry on?

when life always needs to keep on living


Maybe Not My Name

you and i end the night on a cup of joe's.
on the table: two cups, yours not full
you downed it before leaving. squeezed the feelings before they froze
they will. as much as you tell me no, i've played that game and they all end up the same
you'll forget in time. maybe not my name, but its meaning will die
but for now, the roof of your mouth is on fire and all that you can taste is bitterness.

i'm the glow around the streetlight through the misty rain
i'm the street sign you're searching for but you're not close enough to read my name
i'm the words on the tip of your tongue. the quote you don't know where i'm from
i am the last song. the last song you'll never learn
so you'll have to hum until the order goes wrong and some other song takes its place
but for now, the back of your throat is so sore and on everybody's face you see is me.


Sea of Love

this is a cover of two covers of the song
the first is of tom waits
the second is of cat power

no idea if i'm allowed to post the lyrics
so i tried my best to enunciate


Stay Home

above my work i see her chewing on her pencil in thought
i love her in that sweater. i tell her every time she has it on
although her eyes are on her paper, she's still smiling at the statement
I take a sip to taste the warmth and lean back just to take a listen
to the shuffling of the leaves and the whisper of the breeze - i never 'spected a kiss on the cheek
by the time i look around, she's already looking down.. but the giggle gives her away

she likes to nap on the weekend with a book on top her head
i like to sing to myself while i'm busy in front the dishes
i usually wake her when i'm done but this time she's the one with her arms around me..
"And a good morning to you, too."

it's all routine that keeps me from wanting to leave you
it's all routine that's so easy for a little change to feel so good
we still have some nights that last and some mornings that just don't start
i roll over to look in her eyes but she still hasn't woken up - or so she's pretending
by the magic of her name, her eyes, closed, flutter and open.. "peek-a-boo"


Stop and Smell the Roses

s'always the days you're on track you take a glimpse from the road
step into that cushion grass where the dandelions grow
race the wind to greet the trees on top the nearest hillside
wishing you brought a book to let your senses do the thinking

    the sun goes down and the colours fade
    you turn around... you can't find your way
    (sometimes there's none to stop...
    some roses have to pass you by)

cruising, driving, speeding through the days
crashing into deadlines, coming down in waves
if time can fly then why can't i do the same?
catch my breath before the next to fall behind again

morning came to greet me but i saw it coming from a mile away
finally made it back to my designated track
well, i can surely use a break


Tell Me You Love Me

Tell me you love me for the first time. When you can't hold it in.
  The seal is broken, the floodgates are open. Let the dance of emotion begin.
Tell me with flashes of lightning. C'mon, call to my shadows of doubt.
  No time to wait for angels of fate. This story could be straightened out.

Just like the rain falls down on a mountain
Just like a lover knows more can be done
Show me the pain that leaves an impression
And I'll be the one. I'll be the one

Tell me you love me differently. Life is all about change.
  Pick your words like a puzzle, and struggle to show how love is best rearranged.
Tell me without any sugar. Say this salt, has lost its savour.
  Because walking on egg shells, so that we stick around, don't do any favours.

Say you love me, then say you don't.
Keep me guessing until I won't.
I'm not concerned, with each petal pulled out.
It's the last one, the last one that counts.


The City Song

I must look stupid with my face against the window
but the glitter of the city lights is like the glimmer of the busy life
where the neon signs compete with graffiti; the streetcar's a billboard, the billboard's a TV
sooner or later the traffic lights will be more than a signal

where the stars you meet on the street outnumber the ones in the sky
and the trees in cement boxes hang their heads and cry
but I can't see my own carbon feet
when I'm just a cog in this lean machine
yet the bike lane vegan, feministic, bleeding green heart hipsters
oh, they keep on popping out of the woodwork all the same
with everything I asked for, and everything I didn't ask for
in the city, in the city, in the city

there's a cafe every corner, for the world works on caffeine
and rests on cigarettes, 'til they're finally free
and I pinch my pennies here and there to blow a buck on alcohol
at the bars that keep me awake 'til half past three

hey, I can't sleep at night.
I can't turn off the white noise, so turn up the music, like everybody else
and now, with all this music memorized
I can't hear myself think, I just scream whatever's on my mind!
.... in the city, in the city
it's everything I asked for. in the city, it's everything I didn't ask for.
(we're crazy like a million broken hearts worn on our sleeves
but I'd just be stupid if I'd ever try to leave
when it's everything I asked for, and everything I didn't ask for
in the city, in the city, in the city, in the city)
it's everything I asked for. it's everything I asked for.
in the city, in the city, and everything I didn't ask for


The Dead End of Loving My Lust

Her fumes are intoxicating
Were not every breath in the universe bating
I would swallow her whole, I'd explode her drum
I would drizzle her soul down the back of my tongue
It's so hard to resist the woman once won

The embers are badly behaving
Boiling my juices away, away, away...
   And it's too late to save me as my heart steams out the room
   But it beats, still beats, still beats me down to you.

Her body is under her clothing
And my arms can and will melt them away...
I should have known that the stone had set in
I reach out and scream from my skin
My dried up desert oasis, your ashes and vapours are miserably tasteless
You're dead to the touch. Bored to the sin

She laughs with abandon, I gaze in disgust
She leads on a tangent and I dare to trust
Oh, and I cry from the dead end of loving my lust


The Distance

i believe in something beautiful but she don?t feel it?s safe to put her faith inside a dream
i believe she?s got a point but i'd rather be proven wrong than wonder who was right

at the corner of queen st. and spadina, an angel's busing tables on her own time
she sings me songs with my name, i tell her stories of a day where all we?d need is our voices
she says if she had the kind of drive a thousand others do,
she would be the first in line for disappointment.
but if she found that open door to go through.
"well, that?s one less for the more deserving few."

  oh, i?m throwing planes up on your rooftop, thinking
  oh, i?m screaming names out by the highway, singing
  oh, i?m watching waves wash away these castles that were never meant to stay

i believe in something beautiful but she don?t feel the same, and i know what she means
and i admit i?m afraid of all the poetry nobody cares to read.
but so is every book here upon this shelf covered in dust..

that's when her eyes fell. that's when her wings spread
that's when the roof came down, we flew out in the distance

  oh, i?m throwing planes up on your rooftop, thinking
  oh, i?m screaming names out by the highway, singing
  oh, i'm watching castles raising


The Seven Books Of Harry Potter

that Harry Potter Series has potential..
it's got a book, got movies, got a card game, a song,
got a bad actor money just because he's got glasses and brown hair

7 BOOKS in the HPS. they claim they're there, but I know it's not the truth.
6 BOOKS in the HPS. JK hasn't written the seventh yet.
5 BOOKS in the HPS. I haven't read the sixth one yet.
    but I've read the fifth one. its got Harry whining and someone Serious dying.
    they say it needs a second read, but I burnt the only copy that I got..
4 BOOKS in the HPS, they say they're good, but I'm sure we could improve.
3 BOOKS in the HPS. the fourth so long, it's a series on its own.
2 BOOKS to the HPS. the third so good, it can stand alone.
    but I can't say the same about the second one
    I can't remember, but my brother read it said he'd never read another
    never gonna even bother looking at the third one
    so, I'm only doing a favor telling her to take it out,
    take it out, take it out! maybe burn it..
1 BOOK  in the HPS, but obviously that cannot be..
NOBOOKS in the Potter series.. because one book don't make a series
NOBOOKS in the Harry Potter, NOBOOKS in the Harry Potter Series has no books: only potential.

I'm gonna write the Harry Potter Series for myself


Third Time

now that's the third time i heard your name. dear god, i didn't clear my mind to be already set on you. i mean, from what i know, you're not my type, but when i close my eyes, you always come in sight. so fine, i called, you said, "come by." i went to find the common ground we shared. we really hit it off that day. i wished your kiss had left a mark for me to never wash away.
now i feel drawn to where you go, but i cover it with friends and perhaps i'll have a good time. yet all i seem to do is keep watching you with that blond-haired and blue. i leave way before you do. oh, i leave before i find out he's coming home with you.
i still remember when you broke the chain. how can i forget the sound? with my head down, it hit me.
you pass me by without a look when days before we were dancing. have i been too much? was i so obvious? 'cause she found out when i wasn't trying. so i confront and i confess and apologize for liking her if that's what caused this mess. you say you never knew. oh, you smile for you never knew.
and i feel stupid, but for an instant, 'cause she seems to be telling me that nothing's changed. so, the hand you let drop from mine, and the eyes that now stray from mine, and the way that you seem to mind me standing by your side was all a projected lie?
you say hello, i wave goodbye. and i smile with an empty mind 'cause it hit me and i've moved on from the rebound


Weather Vane Woman

you're a weather-vane woman blowing in the wind
we'll be spinning in this town waiting for the world to end

i could trust your rules, i can call it a night
get a plan, get a job, get a place, have a kid, with a wife
give 'em all that i can 'til he's grown up to ask
"i've been given this world, what do i give it back?"

well, I got some rules, that I break all the time
I'm a trusting fool bleeding his reasons dry
but if you make it past that, maybe then we'll talk
this beard is growing old and my body's getting soft

  'cause i can't spend my whole life searching
  when i'm a building man who don't find solutions.
  i make 'em as planned

i'm gonna heed your rules, but you've gotta keep this in mind
put yourself in my shoes, and baby you'll find
that a man like me has got these soles left
gotta me run 'em right off until i feel my skin
I said, a man like me has got these soles left
help me run 'em right off until i feel my skin


You Make Me

i thought i'd tell you you're beautiful. i thought it's time i should let you know
although i meant it, you'd read too far into what i said
you fit my arms perfectly and you're one step beside me in everything. at this pace, we'll step into forever
inside, i'm screaming. not ready for this ain't right

why is it an effort to want to call you? why are you so hard for me to miss?
why do i avoid saying that you're my girl? why is my heart still unconvinced?
you saw me first a long time ago. i saw you later and we based it all on this
we saw the error, we stayed together, we played the weather, let it rain upon our kiss

you make me want to hold you closer. you make me want to play with fire
you make me want another moment alone with you. you make me empty when we do
but there were times i felt us being true and i was glad to be seeing you
but rendezvous brought nothing new. thought i, denial; said you, confused
just promise me as i promise you not to run into someone again

i'm glad to finally have let you go..
you make me want my arms around you. you make me so confused. i have to write about you
this started as a love song, but it didn't start with you


Colour My Numbers

Written in 17? months. Completed in December 2008.

I didn't think much of this song, but my girlfriend, at the time, loved it. The only reason I played the song was for her, and begrudgingly. When she left, I thought that the song was dead, but it wasn't. Now, it's grown on me too as my second happy love song.

The dream was an actual dream of a friend's in which she visited Moe's tavern. After giving the advice on surrounding yourself with good art, he pointed out that his bar contains "anti-art" for the low-brow people who visit his bar.

Of the third verse, the opening two lines came to me in November '05, along with The Distance. The closing two lines came to me in December '08. However, the song started in summer 07, when I saw a girl riding a bike and I thought, "From her frame, she's not moving."

Maybe Not My Name

Written in 6 months. Completed in October 2005.

The moroseness of the tune was inspired by a funeral. My uncle and grandfather passed away a week apart in 2004. Two different continents, and a few days between funerals, it was a very difficult time with half the family at one and the other half at the other. It hit me the hardest, being at my Uncle's funeral, and reading the words, "In rememberance of...." when he was here only three days ago. I still have the original words, but I couldn't sing it for you.

I sat on the tune for a while before allowing myself to use it for something else. "Maybe Not My Name" is probably my first attempt at poetry as opposed to lyrics. I'm in love with the last lines of each verse, and I remember fighting for a long time for an end to the second verse before finally hitting gold.

This is a purple song. Why? I think of purple whenever I hear this song. Weird, eh?

Sea of Love

Tom Waits is a genius. At work, I put his cover of "Sea of Love" on loop and listen to it for hours.

Cat Power's version is great too. My friends chose this cover for their bridal march, and I thought to surprise them at a show by playing Cat Power's version for them.

Stay Home

Written over 6 months. Completed by January 2005.

This is my Jack Johnson phase.

My friends and I were lazing around in a nice, cozy living room. Some were reading, some were working, and warm drinks were all around. I started daydreaming about whether retired life would be like this.

By the way, "Wasting Time" was the first JJ song I heard, and it's still my favourite.

Stop and Smell the Roses

Written in 1 month. Completed in August 2005.

The guitar part was originally an instrumental piece called "Not Don Ross", written by my friend, Nick Gair of "Max Galactic and the Cloud of Evil". Pre-MGCoE, Nick and his friends were having trouble writing lyrics and asked for my input.

The words seemed to flow pretty easily to the page. It's the arrangement that's been difficult. Nick's more technical on a guitar than I'll ever be. I adapted the piece to suit the words, and I still have trouble playing the song live.

Tell Me You Love Me

Started in August 2010. Still incomplete

I got this one after attending SongStudio, and while attending a 10-day silent meditation retreat.

There was a melody floating in my head from Alister Bradley, but I didn't know the words to his song. So, I played with the melody until I hit the title phrase. After that, I just tried to think of all the ways people say "I love you".

I don't want this song to be a vanilla love song, but I don't want it to end in heart break. That's why I'm still working on it.


The City Song

Written in 5 months. Completed in April 2006?

I was annoyed with my portfolio at the time, being all love songs. I set out to write about something else. How about the city?

I love this song with all of my heart. The lyrics, the energy.... I see the potential it has, and I swear that this'll be a hit someday... somewhere... in the city.

The Dead End of Loving My Lust

Written in 4 months. Completed in December 2008.

The song was 90% complete in three days, (August 10th-12th). Along with the stock market, I crashed in August with this song and spiraled into it's dark world until Christmas. I don't EVER wish to have to go through a song like this again.

This was the first song I composed for piano. Out of necessity, as my guitar was in the shop at the time.

Many thanks to my sister and to my friend, Vee, for the feedback.

The Distance

Written in 16 months. Completed March 2007?

There was a night some time in November '05 where I couldn't sleep. I got out of bed and started writing big ideas. One of them was, "I believe in something beautiful". That something was a someone, and she shared my bed and didn't believe in herself.

This song took so long to complete that it became known as The Song.

What took so long? I didn't know how to end that "every book here" verse. It took me six months to realize that three lines were enough.... yeah.

"The highest purpose of art is to inspire. What else can you do? What else can you do for anyone but inspire them?" - Bob Dylan, 1978

The Seven Books Of Harry Potter

Written over 2 months? Completed two months after HP6 came out?

A bunch of us were up at midnight to grab the sixth Harry Potter book. I wasn't purchasing one - since my friends are fast readers - so I brought my guitar to the book store.

Wait, did I mention that we had been drinking? Well, anyway, I went to the front of the line, and I serenaded the Harry Potter fans. There aren't seven books! There are six! But I don't know six, I've know five! I see a theme... four, three, two, one! Ladies and g's, we have a song on our hands.

Third Time

Written over 5 months. Completed by February 2004.

I was listening to a lot of Ani DiFranco at the time. "Third Time" is a hybrid of her two songs: "Firedoor" and "Out of Range".

I think this song is cute. The second verse and the jazzy chorus riff are what keeps this song alive for me. The nail in the coffin is that change in tuning. Just like Ani, I made my own tuning. It's FADGCE capo'd on the 3rd, and it's almost not worth it, since I could just capo standard tuning on the 8th fret.

Weather Vane Woman

Written in 6 months. Completed by August 2007.

Bruce Springsteen gave me "Atlantic City" to work with. I pictured a tired young man looking out at the world, not quite sure what to do with it. I wrote the first verse in one blow, and knew I had a song in the making.

I was very proud of that verse. I showed it to a fellow song-writer, and they simply said, "Yeah. I have a song like that."

This was also the first song where I allowed myself to get away with easy breezy barre chords and no fancy finger work. In the past, I swore that all my songs would be musically unique, but eventually you grow up and realize there's no harm in simplicity.

You Make Me

Written over 7 months. Completed by November 2003.

This is the first song I ever wrote.

I was given a love poem by my girlfriend at the time. I thought to write her one in return, but the relationship wasn't going well, and my poem wasn't agreeing with me. I decided to write from the heart instead, and got "You Make Me". Two months into writing the song, we broke up. Five months later, it was done.

I didn't understand why people liked this song so much until recently.