Category Archives: Songwriting

9 surprises recently discussed at dinner

that stevie wonder has the Jackson Five sing doo doo top on you haven’t done nothin’
that rita college’s song, time, was stolen by eric clapton in layla
that martin scoresese used well well well in the departed
that in the big store chico says to young piano student “now you practice” and after door closes kid practices and it is all the same techniques chico was known for
that gil scott-heron’s first band was called black and blues
that zappa reconfigured  beatles artwork
that john lennon reconfigured zappa artwork
that joni mitchell used cheech and chong in the bridge of my analyst told me
that jemaine clement is vain crab singing shiny in moana


I like how my own sense of hearing has a built in filter while I sit on the subway or in a noisey café, I can by virtue of observing, filter out other audio except my subject. How does the brain do that? Maybe the same way it monitors a heartbeat or white blood cells or heals a bruise. More and more it is obvious the I of me (that which calls itself I) is not nearly as in charge, or as smart, as the rest of what is called brain. The brain does various jobs without asking for any acknowledgement but actually it is the puppet master behind that which calls itself I. This might explain why I hate most popular music.
(trick ending)

Mr. Wonder

When I think about songs that punch me in the brain and position me to follow them, wherever they lead, Stevie Wonder wins the gold. Sitting somewhere at York University and suddenly “I Wish” came over the speakers and it hit me how amazing that opening is – every time. Too many others,
Boogie On Reggae Woman
Don’t You Worry About A Thing
Higher Ground
Living For The City
All Day Sucker…………on and on
If the people who teach music in colleges and universities were smart they would offer a course called Infectious Openings and Mr. Wonder.