Of The Year: 2021

Say what you will about life in the last couple years, but musically it’s been a creative delight. (Maybe that’s just more time to listen?) For the second year in a row I have a full top 10: ALBUMS 1975 — No-No Boy Melodic and memorable with a great story and purpose behind it (the…

LX Commentary #26: Baby, It’s Your Life!

Endings are tough. You need to tie up as many dangling threads as possible, leave the reader satisfied that reading the book was worthwhile, and try to go out on a memorable high note without it feeling abrupt or forced. That’s something I wrote a dozen years ago in the commentary post for the final…

LX Commentary #25: Lyegue

One final instrumental to segue us into the finale! Like Coyotes, in the first draft this was a Benji-centric dream. Realizing that chapter needed to focus on L opened the door for C’s starring turn here. Way back in Tight Tee Shirt, C conveniently said “I had a dream last night too. A dream about…

LX Commentary #24: Love On A Budget

Defeating the villain was (seemingly) the point of the previous chapter, but we still have 3 songs left. What’s next? It’s about to get weird… Just like the song says: “Love on a budget doesn’t make much sense anymore.” A simple line, I embraced the second half of that lyric here—but that’s not how it…

LX Commentary #23: So Much Better

After reading the slapsticky, Monkees / SNL sketch inspired first draft, my longtime first reader / editorial voice of reason Jon Mack commented on sections that were “witty banter for the sake of witty banter.” It was fair criticism that got me thinking if there was a way to have witty banter with a purpose….

Outtake: The Missing Narrator (Extended Version)

This is a fun deleted section that’s a little too meta and absurdist for its own good. I trimmed it waaaay down for the Jubalee chapter of L Extreme, but still dig it enough to share here. I’m a big fan of non-traditional, hyper referential storytelling and loved the setup of the overly loquacious intrusive narrator…

LX Commentary #22: Jubalee

“Jubalee” is an epic track oozing with vivid imagery to work with, making it ripe for a play by play trek across various locales. Florist –> Tea Shop –> Circus My initial approach was a redux of the fake Halloween neighborhood watch trick-or-treating section, sending Benji & C & Frank back out on the town….

LX Commentary #21: Kenny

Bonus track time! Or said differently, I cheated again… First I swapped the order of Mmmmmmm & Even If. Here I’m including a song that isn’t actually on A Love Extreme. Why? It’s complicated. In the first draft this flashback to Jessica meeting Kenny in Jamaica was the second half of “Where Do Old Lovers…

LX Commentary #20: Ladies On Parade

Way back in chapter 5, “Waiting For An Invitation” starts with the lyric “Ladies roll by…” I’ve always considered the ladies rolling by as a precursor/sister song to this parade (“there is a theme there”), so I knew we’d be headed back to the cemetery. But how would we get there? Taking the baton from…

LX Commentary #19: Coyotes

Another instrumental closes out Side C before we flip the record for the final time. I always knew I wanted to mirror the opening of the “I Am You, You Are Me, We Are One” sequence here, but doing the fuller suited celebrity déjà  vu took awhile to figure out. Replacing the two men with…