Lame Duck


1. Paisley Baby

(harmony: Carolyn McCarthy)

My cousin Emily and I wrote this song one day in Boston so we’d have something to sing at an open mic that night. It was one of those classic open-mic paradoxes where the bar is brutally empty but somehow there are five million people signed up to perform. They kept coming out of the shadows to do their songs. We kept slipping outside to make sure we could remember how ours went. Literally four hours of waiting and then we sang, dead last. A fitting way to give birth.


2. Red Tide

This song isn’t about anything.


3. Geronimo

The U.S. military is frightening in its power. But there are times when you’re grateful to have that power on your side. The movie Captain Phillips brings that home in a cool way. I wrote this song well before seeing the movie, but that general idea was one of the things I was writing about. Geronimo was the code name the SEAL team used for bin Laden.


4. Two Wrongs

(vocals: Kimberly Ross; viola: Christopher Nunn)

If you say you’ll love someone forever, and they dump you, and eventually you move on and fall in love with someone else … what does that mean? Were you wrong initially? Because you said you’d love them forever, and that turned out not to be true? It’s possible to find this intriguing. A loophole in the logic of loving and leaving. (But it’s also possible to be more frank: You would have loved that person forever … but then they went and broke your heart, so yeah, deal’s off.)


5. Take Me to Your Leader

(vocals: Kimberly and Carolyn; lead guitar: Chris)

James Bond is problematic.


6. Stow Me Away

(vocals: Kimberly and Carolyn; flutes: Casey Connor)

The melody and title came to life one morning in NYC in the living room of a friend of a friend’s apartment. I was on tour with my comedy act. Couch surfing. Rootless. Maybe had something to do with the words and sentiment I came up with here. But overall this song isn’t about anything except free association and rhymes. And Kimberly and Carolyn and Casey being really good at what they do.


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