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And now for something entirely different… I wanted to test out GarageBand ‘11 as a musical scratchpad, so I put this together last night (also my first recording with an electric guitar). It’s mostly first takes (which is especially obvious on the vocal tracks) because I wanted to see how well the app worked for just getting ideas out of my head. My conclusion: it works really well. The Groove Sync and Flex Timing fixed a lot of little mistakes. If only it had an autotuner (you’ll say, I’m sure). I’ll probably do my best to clean things up at some point, so I figured I’d post the rough draft for a point of comparison later.

The song is one I wrote shortly after moving back to Winona, fresh out of rehab. I had a pretty negative view of this town at the time, after a long stint of living in more metropolitan areas. My impression of this little city on the Mississippi is much more cheerful after a few years of being back in small-town Minnesota. I keep the old lyrics, though, because they help me see how much things change over time.

The main riff is courtesy of my friend Adele Murray. We jammed on it once long ago; it was actually my impetus for learning palm muting. Hopefully she doesn’t mind me using it in this little scratchpad experiment…

Inconsequential Martyr

Inconsequential Martyr

I got so caught up in the feeling and the grieving
Wasn’t ‘til I caught my breath
that I realized I was still breathing
Took a look around me as my skin stopped seething
began to realize, I was still a human being

Like a roulette wheel
I came spinning down
hard luck motherf***er rolling into town
I gambled and I lost
the wheels kept on spinning ‘round
Another inconsequential martyr falling down

Accidental purity and the decision to be free
A world of lies and hatred, falling around me
In a world where I’m applauded for my audacity
I’m just surviving by being what I’m told I have to be


One more night in a locked ward
One more night in lockdown
One more night of bangin’ my head
and I think I might just have to get out of this town

There are too many dull grey people in this dying town
I’m aching to feel the light of the city night pouring down
on those of us who stood too long and waited
victims of indecision
In a world where nothing’s understated
there’s no contact without collision

And I’m standing on the corner
praying, waiting for the ambulance
sorry that I ever went and took that chance
The siren makes its way through all of the ramblers
but the man says sorry son,
this train don’t carry no gamblers.