These are the stories behind the songs of unknown songwriters who don’t get to be interviewed by music magazines so they do it themselves. These are David's stories, and who knows, eventually other folks in the band might have a story or two to tell as well, so we'll keep adding stuff along this journey we're calling glimmer (the band).
Let's begin with Fireworks, the first track on the new album.
I’ve lived in the same house for twenty years. This freaks me right out for two reasons:
1. I have been old enough to be a house buying grown-up for two decades, and
2. Twenty years in the same house proves that my view of myself as an adventurer, a rebel--a rambling risk-taker on the lookout for new experience, is absolute bullshit.
When I bought the house in ’96 I said to myself, “It’s okay, man.” (I call myself “man”) “This is just a temporary stop, you can still see the city, right across the lake! At least you’re not some lame Wallingford douche-bag with a fleece jacket and a mini-van!”
Long story short; trees grew up between me and the city, remodeling happened, children were had, (2, born right here inside the house), mini-vans were bought, hair was lost, fleece jackets acquired (they’re so comfortable!), twenty years go by…
The house has a good view of Lake Union, which means it’s an excellent place to see fireworks on the fourth of July. This is good and bad: Bad, in that it sets up ideal conditions to observe the acceleration of time—a 2016 year seems to take a third of the time a 1996 year took, so the Fourth of July arrives much, much sooner. If I make it to my eighties, is a year gonna seem like a long weekend?
As the song begins, “the protagonist” is astonished that the Fourth of July has come around already, and is wondering if he was supposed to have accomplished something SIGNIFICANT in his life. He is rushing around doing menial tasks from THE LIST.
The chorus has him (okay me) on the deck of our house watching the fireworks. My son is clinging to me, arms around my neck, legs around my waist, like the frightened primate he is. He likes to look at the flashes of color and light, but is terrified by the big booming sounds. (The year before, he didn’t even want to look at the light, so that’s progress) Then, suddenly, I am just there, enjoying the lights and the booms, and for the moment it’s enough, more than enough, to be the trusted protector of this small person who has velcroed himself to my chest.
When I was in my twenties and dreamed of my future, this is not the scene I would have conjured. But that was before I knew there are small, vast, internal adventures to be had without even leaving the same room, much less the house. A room where two babies were born, where a two year old is scared of the sounds of fireworks. He got over it the next year. He’s nine now.
“Get used to it, the show’s not over yet.”
So…That’s what the song is about—as far as I can tell. I like the recording a lot. Bruce Wirth’s yearning lap steel perfectly captures the vibe, as does Dan Tierney’s fireworks boom kick drum and fourth of July snare on the outro. Susan McIntyre’s harmony vocal is lovely and spot-on as always. (She keeps it in first gear to blend with me, but she has lots more gears than that, as you will hear in coming tracks)
Are you ready for another story?