What’s In a Name?

Spring has sprung people! Hence the Shakespearean title of today’s post. heh. Welcome.

I went through a phase in my younger days, back in the answering machine days, of saying this is Philip just Philip. Perhaps it was some sub-conscious tear away from Pee and Em (father and mother). Maybe I dug that ‘just’ works as ‘only’ and ‘fair’? I don’t know what motivated that little weird quirk but it did feel somehow defiant and defining. Naming things is very important as we form our language, our identity partly based on how we reflect upon the things which surround us…like an echo or a mirror. Where do we stand in relation to everything else? I was fascinated with self-portraits in highschool…do I see myself accurately? Do I look to me the way others see me? Am I imposing how I feel about myself upon how I look? In at least one of the early self portraits my eyes are huge in another I’m wrapped up unto myself and I entitled it “Morbid Self Attention” hahahahaha. Anyway, in recent years I’ve had a bit of a struggle naming songs. Maybe titles are less important to me now than the subject, the meat, the melody of the tune. In the role of song-namer I feel like a puppeteer, a third party describing the interaction between the two characters interacting. How does one do it? (please feel free to respond to this post, chime in!) I went through a stretch there with the subject and then the word ‘song’ attached…widowsong, clownsong and popsong. Popsong was kind of an exception though as the subject of the tune was not pop but it was a pop song heh. I have a song which still has a vacillating title at shows and open mics….it’s either ‘Vagabonds on The Lam’ or ‘Beesting Baby’. The first was the imagined overall circumstance in the song and the latter was a character in it. Often it seems that artists just use what’s in the chorus of their song as the title ….which makes for easy recognition. I certainly don’t want to drive folks off with obscure titles but I do want the titles to be a part of the song. Some of my lyrics (the better ones) are a mystery to me, where they came from and how they work well within the construct of the overall tune…a lot of my stuff simply rhymes. I have a new instrumental called 4AM because that’s how the music feels to me so I like it. It’s problematic though because everybody has a different sense of how 4AM feels. A title is what draws the eye like hm I wonder what that’s all about? So I’ve got to get better at this heh. Well spring has me all distracted today so I’ll leave you with this well-named tune and good bit of advice (Jimmy Durante too!!) from The Grass Roots!! Have a great week all, thanks for reading!! -p

p.s. I’m playing Wednesday April 10th, 8PM at No Malice Palace, 197 East 3rd Street

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