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Dreams Exists, Somewhere

My friend Ian texted me the other day to say that he had a dream about me that made him laugh so hard he woke up himself and his wife. He had tears streaming down his face and luckily remembered the dream.

It reminded me that recently I found a hand written sheet of paper. I’m not sure when I actually wrote the thing, but I remember I had found and lost it about 5 times since I first wrote it. I have these really vivid dreams from time to time. Most of my dreams are sporadic and I can never remember them, or just little blips of quotes or something. A while back I kept a notebook next to my bed so that I could write down any of the interesting ones. There’s a couple of dream sequences in the first book I wrote, Path, that reflect dreams from that dream notebook.

I stopped keeping that notebook next to my bed a years ago, but had a dream right before I left for the west coast that really still bugs me. I woke from this drea laughing so intensely that tears were streaming down, just like my buddy Ian. The only thing that I could think of is “I can’t wait to tell Kevin that. He’s going to die laughing.” (Kevin is a friend of mine in Seattle.) I thought that I would remember it until the next morning when I could call him, but of course forgot. It irks me that I can’t remember what was so funny and why Kevin would be the one to really appreciate it. I digress

But for a while I was in the habit of writing dreams down and I had found this little half sheet of scrap paper in a notebook and then lost it again. Ian reminded me of my dream about Kevin and that reminded me of this little sheet of paper so I went looking for it and by luck, found it. So here it is exactly like the sheet reads, which I’m not sure if it was written directly after the dream, or later at my old job at QCI (2006?), because it looks like its on QCI scrap paper. (it is actually, I just flipped it over and it’s a purchase order from a school system.) It reads:


Dream –
Blind man who solves serial murder through figuring out palindromes left behind by the killer. He also uses his heightened senses of smell and sound to lead head detectives on trail. He has “inner visions” of what the killer would do by feeling out the landscape of the apartments and areas in which the murders happen. He gets involved at first by being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Figures out a palindrome then starts helping w/ investigations.


Maybe I meant there is a list of palindromes and every fourth or fifth letter or something could be rearranged to give the next clue, but a palindrome just wouldn’t make any sense. Palindrome examples: Neil, a trap! Sid is part alien – Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas – Rats live on no evil star – 58285 – in the dd/mm/yyyy style, the 20th February 2002 (20-02-2002) was palindromic.

The odd thing about dreams is that they exist. I mean, this dream about the detective exists, somewhere in the ethos, roaming around, let loose from my brain. Another story that may never be written (I don’t like to read detective stories so I can’t imagine writing one.) Ian had that dream and what’s odd, thinking back to a few weeks ago, I was thinking that I missed having my friends all around all the time, because of the laughter. We would laugh until we cried daily. It happens so rarely now, laughing until I cry, that I actually had that thought.

Maybe Ian feels the same way and that’s why these dreams exist. As if just thinking about it makes it exist in an alternate universe, sneaking through in bursts, only when your mind is at ease enough to accept it.

The Day I Fell Astray

A few years ago a bar and restaurant in Rochester, NY had a song writing contest. I thought I could use it as an excuse to write some new material and get all of my instruments and equipment out, taking over the dining room.

They sent a topic to you although I don’t remember what mine was. I got mine and started writing. The song went through a few different iterations until the day of the contest. I think you had a month or something. The song went from a 50’s doo wop vibe to country to pop. It was a weird wild ride with pages of notes and lyrics. I did not win the contest, but had a fun night with a few friends, drinking beers and performing. I made a little kick drum out of pieces of rafter from my basement and an old bongo and used it to cover Can I kick It by A Tribe Called Quest.

The strangest thing about that is that I never recorded the song. I almost always record myself, a few different times actually, to listen back to the song and make it better. I’ve been doing that since 98 so I’m not sure why for this track I didn’t, or if I did do it I lost it. What’s even stranger is that I’m an obsessive lyrics person, saving the original lyrics and scrawlings, sometimes even stapling them to the finished version so I can look back at the differences. I have no lyrics at all for this song. I can’t even remember what it was called! No idea what it sounds like, no idea what the lyrics are…it’s almost like this song never existed!

This has happened to me before, but not very often. I’m fairly certain I wrote the song for my son, and that it was about being happy for who you are not what you are. But that’s as far as I can get from memory. It was performed once in public at The Lovin’ Cup. I don’t even remember the date. March of 2018 maybe?

What did come from that era was the track that got me into the contest in the first place. In order to be selected you had to send in a track. I hadn’t been writing much since my son was born but was playing a little piano at the time for his entertainment. I used to record a song in the morning that he could dance to throughout the day when I left for work. It was usually something quick and made up on the spot.

But one day I did a little fugue and it stuck with me for a while. I kept whistling at it until I reached an idea for a chorus. After a few beers one night I put it together on the piano and thought it sounded kind of cool. I wanted to pen some lyrics but couldn’t think of anything to say. It sat around for another week or two.

Then one day the line “The day I fell astray” popped into my head. I thought it sounded good enough to be a line in the chorus. But fell astray from what? My school work? My life? The last band I was in? I decided that maybe it was planet earth singing and not me. Maybe earth has always thought of herself as another inhabitant, a self-aware being that sees itself as one of us, just another human trying to survive. So the chorus came out “I’m melting away and I’m staying away, the day I fell astray.”

New Music Starts with Old Music: It Almost Feels like Something’s Wrong.

You need to understand where you were to know where to go and as an artist that means going back and digesting what you’ve already done, which can be painful.

I’ve always thought that I released the best of what I was working on at the time. So why go back and put out stuff from 15 years ago? But this is more about me growing personally than it is about filling up my blog.

From summer of 04 until fall of 05 I wrote over 100 songs. There’s so many little recordings, clips, blurbs, lyrics, bar napkins, and notes that I have no grasp at how many there actually are. I was hell bent on writing a hit for my band at the time, Drunkenpor, that I was writing a few songs a week or more. But sometimes those songs didn’t fit Dpor (which was a reggae/rock sound) but they got recorded, usually in one or two takes and a just a few tracks.

It was like they needed to be recorded to get out of my head. That year was an intense one in terms of song writing, and some of the tracks I penned then were still being kicked around by other bands in 2010. I’ve had a few periods since 04 where I’ve written several songs, but never as intense as that one.

The two songs below I forgot about completely. Over Now was meant to be the last track off Static in the Attic 2, a follow up to an album of complete acoustic songs that I self-released in 04 or 05. I had just as many electric songs and decided to split them up between two albums since they were all written around the same time. Static in the Attic was a term I had used when my electric piano would occasionally pick up someone’s Ham radio when I lived in an attic apartment in Syracuse in 03.

Static in the Attic 2 was never compiled and released. Two songs that were supposed to be on that album came out years later as Pat Buchanan’s Hearse songs; The Clash and Robot Counter Culture. The Clash got some radio time and when I heard it one night driving home from work, my own voice cawing through my truck speakers, I remembered its humble beginnings in Adams, NY that year when I wrote too many songs to remember.

Wow, I don’t remember writing or recording at all. I think it was written in 05. But I have no lyrics sheets with notation which sometimes I would label with a date to see how long it took me to finish. I was going through an old jump drive when I found it. It’s not recorded all that well, and there’s some pretty obvious mistakes during, but I found this song enlightening in a strange way. There was some good emotional writing going on here, with good foundational lyrics.

The chorus needs a lift for sure, but it’s just catchy enough to be remembered. It surprised me a little, as do so many tracks that I have been finding, for their sincerity or durability or lyrics or some other aspect of song writing that now I feel like I have to try to connect with. It was just happening then, even if I had no idea how or why.

I’m writing songs again. But this time with a new purpose, which is to see them through how I hear them in my head and not stop at what they sound like when they come out. This has so far led me to getting other people play my songs, other people would better guitar skills, better voices, more presence. I wrote a post recently about how I tried to give up writing songs only to launch myself full bore back into it.

I plan on releasing more of the old stuff as I find it. Having a full time job and family doesn’t allow me the luxury of setting up camp for a week and getting through all of it, but it does allow for just enough time a few days a week to spend a few minutes reminiscing over time well spent and looking forward to a future full of writing more songs.

Anthony Norman White Writer

I Don’t Know what the Hell I’m Doing

I sold everything to move to the Pacific Northwest. Well, almost everything. But the things that left on LetGo and Craigslist burned. There were several guitars, mics, cables, pedals, amps, stands, a keyboard and a band’s worth of cords, cables, and connectors. They all left out of door as happy hands handed me cash for “like new” equipment.

I was happy to let it all go, honestly. I wanted everything gone and not just to raise enough money to move my family across the entire country during a pandemic. I was done. Tired of jumping from project to project, several things moving at the same time, and wishing I was working on something else while working on something else. I constantly confused myself and was diluting the things I was putting out because I was buried in constant chaos.

Anthony Norman White Writer
Anthony Norman White Writer

I can be insane. I want to do everything, play everything, write everything, read everything all the time. But I know that’s not possible so I decided to make a new me when I moved from New York to Washington State. Get rid of music, focus on writing and reading, fishing for sport and relaxation, and get into camping. For the first few weeks it went really well. But my friend Kevin let me borrow a guitar.

I had gone over a few times and every time ended up with one of his guitars in my hands. He told me to take an acoustic for a week or so. Just brush up on some skills. That was on a Saturday. By Sunday morning I’d already recorded several riffs and had come up with a new plan; an album of songs that I write, record, and produce while using mostly other musicians that I know. Why?

Because I’m crazy and I have no idea what the hell I’m doing. I got into discussion with a few musician friends of mine. I realized that I can’t NOT create. I have to. It comes out of me. I can’t stop it. It will find a way to come out and I need to realize that and just let it bleed. The cut is wide open and taking instruments away isn’t going to close it.

I don’t know what this new music project is going to be exactly, but I know it’s going to happen whether I like it or not.

Test Blog

Hi everyone. Sorry about this blog. It’s a test for something. If you are signed up for email notifications I really appreciate it. There’s going to be a flood of material coming your way soon, hence the test.

I hope everyone is doing well. The PNW has been a welcomed changed.

-Anthony