Man oh man, Ryan Adams is on a pretty great hot streak as a writer lately — not of songs, but of prose. Following the excellent summary he composed to accompany last month’s “Blue Light” seven-inch, he announced today the impending release of another Pax Am single called “I Do Not Feel Like Being Good” with yet another cool essay in which he explains his songwriting method. A sample:
Writing songs for me means a few hours of reading. I don’t actually touch the guitar. It sits there with the capo on 5 or 3 or 4th fret – I pre-decide that usually knowing sort of what kind of information is in my body and also what kind of songs come out of those fret positions for me- for instance Come Pick Me Up is 3 and Let It Ride is 5… LaCienega Just Smiled is 4 right there between confessional and “story based on something from my life”… So I know ahead of time the feeling in me. My songbook ( currently there is one half-full- it will be added to a stack of I don’t even know how many now ) will be opened to a new page or a “Song-Pull” list… that list is a list of one liners, 5 word descriptions of things or even names of people or moments I want to add as ingredients in my future songs – like a magical potion I bring the elements of my life together and try and balance the bitter root and the sweet scents of lilac fuming off the flower staffs and make something bigger and loft powerful than the past or future…
Check out the rest of it here.
ADDENDUM (4/27/15): And here’s the music.