Song Profiles

Song title: Mission to the Moon
From the album: Entropy 29
Requested by: Mark

I have a reoccurring dream where my teeth fall out of my mouth in a constant flow. Often, the teeth are shards, an uncountable amount of toothage. The first line I wrote for Mission to the Moon was "spitting out my teeth into a little silver cup". I love the analogy of words being splinters, thorns, and roots - tangles and little slivers coming from a mangled source. I don't always say what I mean, mean what I say, or remember the whole event correctly.

In writing these lyrics, I sort of let my memory meander through childhood moments - I have a specific memory that I think about in the line "I remember climbing trees and vanishing behind their branches" and an equally distinct memory that is recalled in "summer sheets and dampened footfalls". These are moments for me that represent opportunities of wild childhood discovery and abandon. However, in both instances, I chose to be more concerned with the cold, wet water or the precarious height of the tree, over the experience. So, this song rewrites my decisions and carries me to wishfulness. At the root of this song, I wanted to express a sense of lucidity and connectedness between distinct moments in time - and for that reason, this song always ties with Time Machine for me. There's a similarity of intention.

The most fun part of Mission had to be producing it. I really got into the electronic atmosphere...I felt like an alchemist. Originally, I hadn't intended any drums on this track. But boredom took over, and I flopped around with drums that sounded "Metallica" to me. (Know this: I TOTALLY realize they don't sound remotely like Metallica. But, for whatever reason, that's always the image I have. And the best part? I sent the track to a friend of mine, and he asked me, "What's up with the Metallica drums?") Once I heard the song, I realized it needed some counterpoints in the backing vocals, so I wrote the additional lyrics while I was riding the train in Atlanta. I tested it all together for the first time when I was in the recording booth.

In the notes for this song, you might be able to see lyrics that were eventually used in Love ("I am in an empty room / I surround myself with empty things") as well as for my unreleased song The End of the World ("Sticks and stones couldn't make it worse / I need an ocean for this garden of thirst"). The idea of swapping out lyrics from one song to another, really helped me remember my intention to make the whole album self-referential and entwined. Although The End of the World isn't on Entropy 29, at one point, it was an important part of the album tracking.

The scans of these notes represent only a small portion of the scribbles I made for this song. There are several more pages scratched on everything from notebook sheets, to journals, to more Atlanta-train nonsense.

May 2006