nathan lyle
September 2002

September 2002

In my younger years I would sometimes borrow the equipment needed to try to pursue my musical creative interests. I don't remember if this particular batch of songs was meant to be a self contained album, or if it was more a documentation of what I'd felt were my best songs at that point. In either case, I'd borrowed a Tascam 4-track from someone and spent about a week recording the following nineteen songs. The title here of "September 2002" is the only label the files have had while sitting on my hard drives for the last couple of decades.

1 - The Flow

One of the darker expressions of my emotional life that I often sang at open mics in the early 00's.

2 - Ashes on Stage

Written on a napkin at Remie's (a dive bar in Marquette) one drunken evening.

3 - Shifting

A bit more metaphorical than I often was at the time... this was another song I often played at the open mics I frequented. It was written about (by analogy) my emotional reaction to several large disappointments in life.

4 - Gone Blind

Much of my 20's were lost to disillusionment of one kind or another. This was another one of my open mic regulars.

5 - Exit Stage Left

This song was a bit of an experiment, attempting to write a song confronting the subject of suicide by using major and minor keys to replicate the way depressed people can seem completely the opposite to the outside world.

6 - Still Here

Another open mic regular, this song was one of the last ones written about my first marriage.

7 - Imaginary Girlfriend

At one point, I discovered that humorous songs went over better at the open mics, and I wrote a bunch that were more comedy that serious songs. Ironically, things didn't even work out with my imaginary girlfriend. (See if you catch the White Lion reference.)

8 - Please Bypass This Heart

Turns out all you have to do to write a country song is download a list of country song titles and put them in an order that rhymes.

9 - Too Much Cheese

Written for my parents when they moved from Michigan to Wisconsin. I hate cheese.

10 - Giggle

The lyrics were written during an English class that I wasn't paying attention to in college. I had a really bad habit of doing that.

11 - Sniffing the Glue

This was my first non-depressing song I wrote for the open mic that taught me how much better humor went over than depression. I'd wanted to write a song with just three chords so everyone could jam easily. I don't think the words mean anything. But maybe they do. Maybe it's profound. :-)

12 - Underneath

Written at the same time as The Flow, and played frequently at the open mic after my first divorce.

13 - The Birth of Dark

A close second to losing your wife and marriage to divorce is losing your best friend.

14 - Riders On The Ship

A little bit of improvised fun... when I have recording equipment I sometimes like to just see what happens if you start playing things and adding layers.

15 - I Do

Written for a friend on request for their wedding, though I can't remember who. I hope they had better luck than I did.

16 - Never Let Go

Inspired by the first real love (puppy love anyway) after my first divorce. We'd met online before that was something people really did, and only saw each other in person for a few days. We mostly emailed and talked on the phone.

17 - Piece of Me

When I started having kids during my first marriage, the concept knocked me sideways sometimes.

18 - Squint

Written at some point when I saw the writing on the wall with my first marriage...

19 - Walk

A song about general frustration with things not going well. The music was kind of improvised, using a new keyboard I'd gotten.