Don't Get My Hopes Up
Words & music by S. J. Tucker
Guitars, vocals, percussion: S. J. Tucker
Tracked & mixed by Kristoph Klover, Flowinglass Music Oakland CA

"Don't Get My Hopes Up" is a pre-love song.  I wrote it on Cinco de Mayo in Seattle in 2009.  It gave me a very jazzy way to deal with stored up
romantic and erotic frustration.

Relationship communication/attraction communication is hard--particularly for what my friend A. calls Lesbian Sheep.  "Female sheep show their interest by standing perfectly still," she tells me.  "Therefore, lesbian sheep never get any play."  The message? Don't act like a lesbian sheep when you know what you want.  Fear is no excuse.

The main idea here:  Don't go there if you don't mean it, because I do.

Lately I'm a little bit prickly.
Everything hurts when you fall in
love hard enough, rock bottom doesn't feel so bad.
I wouldn't quite call this bitchy--when I am on
my best behavior I'll fool you like a
grown-up little girl who didn't know how good she
had it before.
When desire walks through your door
and all hell breaks loose times four, you'll understand and maybe you
won't pull smooth maneuvers on your suitors anymore.
(chorus 1)
Don't you go getting my hopes up, girl.
You'll be sorry and so will I.
Last thing either one of us needs is
yet another reason to cry.
I know that I'm your last in line.
I oughtta know better than to call you mine.
Say a flat out "no" to my face, that's fine,
but don't get my hopes up, girl.

Lately I'm a pretty good swimmer--
so far up the creek cuz I fell in
love hard enough hot water doesn't seem so dire, no.
I must've quit paying attention, baby,
I have to tell you the line  is
blurred pretty bad between the frying pan and the
When love sneaks up on you and fries your
circuits through and through you'll understand and maybe
forgive me my trespasses, for I
know not what I do.
(chorus 2)
Don't you go getting my hopes up, boy.
You'll be sorry and so will I.
I'm not one for second chances
once you've made me cry.
My dance card's full, my waiting list
is too backed up for shit like this.
Go ahead and pretend that I don't exist,
but don't get my hopes up, boy.

When desire walks through your door
and all hell breaks loose times four, you'll understand and maybe you
won't demand good manners from your lovers anymore.
(chorus 3)
Don't you go getting my hopes up, love.
You'll be sorry 'til the day you die.
I see you wishing on your star
and wishes cannot lie.
I make 'em too, or haven't you heard,
waste a few on you cuz I never did learn.
I know courage is harder to show than concern,
and you can't steal fire and not get burned.
I will try to hold out and wait my turn,
but don't get my hopes up, love.

Here's the only video that I know of, from last July at Wayward in Seattle (CSTS shindig.  Yes, that's my Inara outfit.  Yes, I've been a Browncoat for quite a while now.  Once you start dating Browncoats, it's only a matter of time.  I recommend it, by the way.  Dating Browncoats.  Got other songs about that, but I digress).  The song and the lyrics have evolved just a little bit since then, but it's a good solid cut.  Hope you enjoy it.

About the recording: 
Stoph and I worked on this song right after "Ninjas", so we were in a great mood.  The guitar and vocal you'll hear in this song, like "Ninjas", were nailed in no more than two or three takes.  This song is so jazzy that it's a great deal of fun for me to sing.  A lot of the studio nervousness I typically get just wasn't there.  Part of that is thanks to Stoph, who's great fun to work with.
I'm really proud of how the guitar part turned out, as well as the vocal part.  This one's possibly the sneakiest jazz thing I've written so far.  I want to do more of that.

Interesting facts:
A good percentage of the relationship songs that I write ("Stickit" for example) aren't autobiographical at all.  This one is 100% autobiographical.
I get turned on pretty easily when those I am in love with drop hints. Sometimes those hints don't end up coming with a lot of follow-through.
Hence, I also let myself get frustrated and disappointed pretty easily.  That's my own fault.  Things happen and life gets in the way.  Forgiveness and communication are the key, no matter what's going on.  Also, writing songs is much cheaper than therapy, I suspect.
Those of you who are paying attention will note in the lyrics that there's a chorus addressed to a female lover, a chorus addressed to a male lover, and a chorus with no gender specifics.  Your songwriter is poly and bi, and she's very content to know these things about herself and to have the good fortune to get to act on them with people she trusts. 

Couple suggestions for avoiding sexy frustration:
-It is sometimes easier on the emotions to go the the spa with good friends than it is to go to the spa with significant others.  The no PDA rule can become a problem.  As an alternative, I suggest giving each other bubble baths at home.
-Communication is your friend.  Communication, patience, and forgiveness.

Special thanks to my lovers, my muses, my champion communicators.
Love Lies
Words & music by S. J. Tucker
Vocals, percussion: S. J. Tucker
Tracked & mixed by Tony Fabris, Monkey Brains Studios Seattle

I wrote "Love Lies" at Burning Man in 2008, in the shade at the ARTery headquarters. ([info]omnisti  and I work for the art placement team (the ARTery) at Burning Man.  We help make sure that the big sculptures, burned or otherwise, don't end up set up right on top of each other.  We get to use GPS units and drive golf carts when we go to work.  Burning Man is the only place and time you'll find K and me working a day job and keeping a home, oddly enough.  When I wrote this song, I was between tasks on my work shift.)  Lots of amazing things happen in the desert when Black Rock City shows up like a mirage.  This is the second song I've written out there, and it won't be the last.  This one's actually not as autobiographical as you might expect.  It's not about a wild, one-night romance at the Burn, which is what it sounds like to me (though the potential and the fantasies were certainly there at the time, make no mistake).  I just got to thinking about how so many chance encounters can lead to so many different kinds of interactions (and entanglements) out there, where so many thousands of creative people come together all at once for what really is a very short time. 
Fate knocks, as Beethoven said.  Open the door.
There are so many songs out there about love as a predatory force, something that sneaks up on you, something wild and dangerous.  This one's no exception.  It's got everything-angels, tigers, the desert, danger, and a honey-soaked blues melody line.

About the recording: 
Tony and I discovered that when we covered the head of my bodhran with a sheet and I hit it with the tipper, it sounded an awful lot like a kick drum--exactly what I wanted.  So that's me, sitting in the vocal booth at Monkey Brains with a pretty bedsheet wrapped around my Irish drum, whacking it on the first beat of every measure. :D  That's also me doing the claps and finger snaps--this took several takes, and my hands were pretty warm (and just a little sore) when we were done.  It makes you think about how recording worked a few decades ago, how you had to get it right all in one go, for the most part, or else play your part over and over again.  I feel for the hand clappers and finger-snappers of Motown
and the like, all those who've gone before. 
Often, when I overdub all of the counterparts and harmonies I love to add to my songs in the studio, I'm making up the various parts as I go.  In this case, all the girls were already singing their parts in my mind, just about note-for-note as you hear it.  Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? all over again, to a degree.  They were dying to get out, and I'm very happy with the sassy, bluesy results.  My perverse side loves having a very gospel-sauce song about all sorts of things you don't talk about in church.
Most of the songs on Mischief had to wait their turn to be recorded for a long time.  I think they're better for it, but I'm also relieved to have them out of my head at last.  It gets all crowded up with songs in there.  The minute I finish one, another one steps up.  It's a good problem to have, but sometimes I get a little frantic.  Since I had the arrangement for this one fully formed in my mind from almost the moment I finished writing the lyrics down (I'm not always so fortunate), I feel very good to have it out in the world at last.

Interesting facts: 
It's possible that I'll do a full band recording of this song sometime, but I wanted the a capella version to come first.  Singing with yourself is, for me, a lot less time-consuming than hiring (or becoming) a funk band.  In the meantime, you can hear me do this up right live, song-mama
style, with GBMojo's Ginger Doss and Bekah Kelso, whenever we perform together as The Traveling Fates.

love lies downwind waiting
patiently to be found
all day east wind howling (wailing)
angel don't make a sound
you are the one i have been waiting for

i've been downwind waiting
for you to come around
all night west wind wailing
angel don't let me down
i know
you are the one i have been waiting for

there is no one soul that will swallow me whole
and let me out shining and beautiful, no
(spit me out, turnabout's fair play)
in love there is loss of control
but like the rivers i roll
(just the way it goes/we go)
are you in for the ride?

shifting on the thermal and gliding (riding)
where will you sleep tonight?
love lies, downwind waiting
with the silence of tigers
and a hunger burning bright
with a heart song shining bright

desert star, shine a light
shine a light

(love lies downwind waiting)
(where will you sleep tonight?)

Special thanks to Monkey, now and forever, and to K for getting me out to Burning Man as often as possible.
ladyvagabond: (Default)
( Nov. 13th, 2009 12:31 pm)
Taking a moment just now to appreciate anew how surrounded I am by family of the heart.

I was raised by amazing, brilliant, loving people that I'll always be close to.
It turns out I'm still being raised by amazing, brilliant people who surprise me with the force of their love every day--it's just that there are so many more of them now, more than I ever thought my heart could hold.

Tuesday through Thursday morning, I was surrounded by K's wonderful family--I hadn't realized until this week that there was a part of me who still didn't feel she belonged there, not quite. That's all gone now. I know that I'm theirs. Part of it comes from the loss we share now, certainly. In Mike's sweetheart Jackie, I have a kickass sister of the heart in Oklahoma, for life, who's asked me to please come and visit, regardless of the fact that the person who was our shared connection is gone. Without the chosen lack of paperwork to confirm such things legally, K's mother told me yesterday that she considers me her daughter-in-law, and that she refers to me that way in conversation. K's dad and I have always gotten along, and even if he hadn't worked on my truck bunches of times and played a show with me twice now, I'd still think he's awesome. But he lent me his guitar for the memorial service. It must be something about getting to play his Martin for two days, and watching him enjoy me playing his guitar, that banished the last traces of feeling like I didn't belong. Call it a guitar player thing. Laugh if you like. It was my mother's guitar that I first played, and it was my own father, gone five years now, who first made sure I ended up with a guitar of my own in my hands.

I woke this morning in Florida, in a deliciously comfy bed provided by Pagan phamily of the best kind--we're all long overdue for actual hangout time together, too. There's so much sunshine outside right now that it seems illegal. My host's daughter J. assures me that Florida has a whole bunch of sunshine. I'm looking forward to feeling its positive effects on my general self. I'm looking forward to music and laughter all over this house. I'm looking forward to recording in the guest room. I'm looking forward to sleeping in the same place for several weeks, for the first time in a long time. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner outside, under the live oak tree--Amy plans to hang it with lights for the occasion.

Tonight I will perform once again with two amazing women who are undeniably my sisters, by heart and spirit and song if not by blood, who share and laugh and dream with me and improve my life every time we get together, who sing with me without hesitation, whenever they can.

And that's just this week. There are so many more facets of this tribe I'm in, all over the world, each of them strong and proud, each of them different from the last and just painfully awesome. You all know who you are.

All I can think right now is this: how did I get so very, very lucky?

Good luck to each of you, in finding and keeping and enjoying your own motley, genuine family. May it be as vividly colored and as far-reaching as mine. May it fill your heart to bittersweet bursting; may it delight you and teach you and challenge you and lift you up, always.

Today marks ten months since my surgery, by the way. **LOVE**


ladyvagabond: (Default)


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