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June 23, 2011 / John Sieger

Stan The Landlocked Sailor

Click: Stan The Landlocked Sailor

I think this song is a good illustration of clever not adding up to good. I listen to it and it sounds like me trying to be someone else. (Tom Waits?) Being that other person might be wonderful or it might not, the point is, authentic John Sieger this isn’t. That won’t stop me from posting it, not because I think it’s anything spectacular, but it does make a good illustration of one way to get confused about songs and writing. It’s best to have more than one or two influences revealing themselves in a song, it comes off less like artistic stalking. I think of Elvis Costello’s first record, on it he seemed to be about five or six of my favorite artists at the same time and still managed to sound original. Nobody making music goes uninfluenced by others, nobody good anyway. Once you accept that, it’s just a matter of how to mix  and conceal the mix of artists who float your pirate ship. I do like little things about this song, like some of the rhymes and I especially like the line at the end “He’s just about a parrot short… of a pirate.” I could live with that and, if there was a bar full of drunken fans who thought this was the cleverest thing they ever heard and were throwing money at me to play it and begging me to put it on a record, I guess I might find a way to not hate myself for pandering. But ultimately, I listen to the song, chuckle at a line here and there and then thank God I never put it on a record. A blog is a different story—remember, this is instructive—but it’s still about a parrot short. Of a song.

© 2011 John Sieger

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