“Beard of Bees”

beard-of-beesIn lieu of something important(like record reviews, personal anecdotes, heartfelt insight, and the plight of retired circus clowns without proper medical insurance), I’ve decided to share one more song off my new album Midwest Son before it’s big release next Tuesday.

The song is called ‘Beard of Bees’, and I think the title speaks for itself really.  The weirdness of some man or woman(or child…or dog) with a beard of bees is enough to burn an image into your head.  But I’ve not only put that image in your head, I’ve put that image to notes, beats, melodies, and grainy oddness.  In actuality, the song isn’t that weird.  It’s something I’ve christened as “psych pop”.  Or “hallucinogenic folk”.  Or “symphonic chemical Americana”.  When I wrote it I imagined Beck and Jeff Lynne collaborating over a weekend fueled by Terence Malick’s Badlands, many pots of coffee, and plates upon plates of apple danish.

Oh, and LSD.

I also pictured a medieval fair, children uprising and tearing their tyrannical King to pieces and worshipping a strange man with a beard of bees.  A Pied Piper of sorts.  Remember Children of the Damned?  Yeah, that’s in there as well.  Possibly the scene in Blue Velvet when they find the ear in the empty lot.  That feeling you get when you get up too quickly and the room narrows to nothing but a pinpoint of light and the rest of your view is nothing but darkened edges?  Voices become distant and your head feels stretched beyond capacity?  That’s also the ‘vibe’ I was going for when I was recording this song.  It’s intentionally numb sonically.  Things are dulled a bit.  I wanted to have the feeling of finding some long lost acetate buried in an attic amongst old dirty films on Super 8, Action Comics, and death certificates for people you don’t know.

So enjoy my psych pop on this special hump day.  This will be the last song before I spew the whole thing onto the world next week.

10 thoughts on ““Beard of Bees”

  1. Another great song. I definitely hear the Beck and Jeff Lynne influences, but I also recalled a little Nirvana and Elliott Smith’s George Harrison sounding stuff (which I guess takes us back to Jeff Lynne).
    Can’t wait to hear the album. I have to make one of your tracks a Wednesday Morning Earworm.


    1. Wednesday Morning Earworm? That would be awesome! Thanks!

      ‘Nevermind’ and even some of ‘In Utero’ definitely made their mark on me. And Elliot Smith…well, Figure 8 is one of my favorite albums ever.

      Thanks again!


  2. I like the label “hallucinogenic folk”, personally, because I hung out with several of them during the 70’s. Ok, ok, early 80’s too. I like this song even better. You’re floating along on the smooth, even flow of the lyrics, then one of those little synthesized imps snatches you up for a little side trip. Great work, J.


  3. I only got 30 seconds into it (just because I’m in my office doesn’t mean I’m “at work”!), but already really like a little guitar geek thing: that chord sequence including the sus4 (I think). An excellent tension-release thing. OK, I’ll go back into my geek cave, but I’m taking the song with me.


    1. The sus4 can be a mighty sword to yield in a song, but use it too much and things start getting maudlin. Mr. George Harrison used it wonderfully.

      I wish I had a geek cave.


      1. Geek caves are great until you realize what’s making the stalactites hang tight and the stalagmites think they just might …

        Honestly, this is the best of what I’ve heard you do so far. It’ll keep me happy in the cave.


    2. Wow. I hear Beck in here amongst all the 73 Hubner particles, not boring all grown up Beck, but the good, fun variety I used to love. So, you actually make like proper music and stuff, it’s official!


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