Thursday, November 15, 2007

help me name this song

I need your help naming this song... The lyrics are below. Give it a listen and if you have any ideas, leave a comment or email me at matthew[at] Thanks for your help!

Take it to the mirror
Where maybe things are clearer
And the faces looking back at you
Don't tell a lie
You think that you have lost her
And you can't refuse the offer
When a man wearing a halo
Looks you square in the eye
Square in the eye, oh
Square in the eye

You said you're on a journey
And you will not be returning
To the wasteland where the skeptics
Hung you out to dry
You said it left you reeling
Well, I recall the feeling
If you want to hit the road
I'm happy to oblige
Happy to oblige

Oh, I, I had no letter to write
'Cause all my letters were light
Sprouted wings and took to flight
With the words right from my skin

I was learning about heaven
When I was only seven
If you wanna get a spot,
You got a lot to hide
I must've learned my lesson
Now I'm always second-guessin'
But it's better than the bullshit
That I used to buy
I used to buy

Oh, I, I had no letter to write
'Cause all my letters were light
Sprouted wings and took to flight
With the words right from my skin

Oh, I, I still want to believe
It might be naive
But I will hold my breath
And wait and see

Oh I, I got the letters you sent
Wondering where I went
I'll have a say in how my life is spent
With the words right on my skin

-copyright 2007 Matthew Blake Music

Friday, November 02, 2007

musician's block

Tonight was good for me. If you don't know, I host a local music showcase at a coffeehouse here in downtown San Diego every Friday night. When I arrived tonight, I just wasn't feeling it.

I always try to warm the place up and bring in a few stragglers from the sidewalk by opening up the show, but tonight I felt like I did more harm than good. I had no faith in the songs I was singing, or the fact that it was me who was singing them. Not really sure why. It just happens sometimes, I suppose the same way a writer gets blocked. At any rate, I was relieved when my set was finally over and I could just sit back and listen to the other guys play.

Fortunately for me, Nathan Welden was there tonight. Quite possibly, you haven't heard of him. He's a local guy, and his songs border on country. But while they are straightforward, soft, and as unassuming as the guy singing them, they are still full of passion and pointed lessons.

The song that really got me was called "Everything is Holy Now." I can't find a link to it anywhere, or I'd have you listen to it. It's about how he grew up in church and recognized when a holy moment was happening: communion, or the priest blessing something. But he sings about today:

The only thing that's different
Is everything is holy now

I wish I could truly treasure each second as a sacred event. The majesty & mystery of life wrapped up in every footstep, every heartbeat, every word spoken and heard. I certainly didn't do that tonight when I was singing. How do I get to the point where I forget how important music is to me, and how my songs meant something to me when I wrote them? How do I forget that I play them for a reason?

I wish I could connect with people like Nathan connected with the coffeehouse tonight. Wish I weren't so blocked. Those connections are what make moments holy.

As I was leaving, I decided to stop on the sidewalk and play my guitar. It was a little silly, sitting in God knows what in the middle of East Village, but I just wanted to redeem the missed opportunity in some small way. I hadn't been playing for 5 minutes when a man named Don walked by and stopped to listen. He then sat down beside me and asked to play the guitar. He strummed a few bars of some unintelligible Willie Nelson song (enunciation isn't Don's strong suit), and then we talked about music and how powerful it is. He was clearly moved by even the simple picking I was doing. It made him want to talk about his wife who passed away earlier this year, and how he pawned his guitar to keep up with the bills in the aftermath. Music just made him happy, and somehow it made me happy too. So, somehow, there was a little bit of redemption. Recognition of the holy in an ordinary moment.