Shine A Light (Live in Studio)
This reminds me of a very transitional time when I was floating between Portland and Sacramento. Doing a lot of couch surfing. Feeling quite lost but also quite free. I had very little in terms of money and didn't even really have my own place at the time. But I had a nice little collection of songs I was working on, Out Come The Wolves, Love You and I'm Your Man. These songs were my family at the time, I would wander around midtown Sacramento late at night singing to myself, humming these melodies that no one else knew yet. It was like I had a secret and I was cherishing this time with just me and the songs. I knew once I started playing them and recording they would become other people's songs. Shine a Light came about pretty quickly, I didn't labor over it like Bluebird. I can't remember exactly when I wrote it. I know I was pretty obsessed with the singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston at the time and was listening to a lot of his recordings. I was introduced to Daniel's music by another great songwriter and friend named Jeffrey Lewis. I had toured with Jeffrey across Europe and we were label mates in the Rough Trade days. Both Daniel and Jeff are such primal talents and know how to tell a story, that was very inspiring. I just want to find words that resonate with my creative mind, that told my story, not in an autobiographical way but more like a fable, like the films of Michel Gondry. I love that surreal vibe where reality is pushed slightly left of center. It's fun to sing this song again. The words still feel fresh.