The Nautical Rock Singer, Songwriter, Historian!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Album: Floors & Attics (free download)

Download the whole album by right clicking & then 'save link as' --->
Paul Starling - Floors &

* for Macs hold down control & then 'save link as'

1. Librarian
2. Larry
3. Mark Twain Boat
4. You Tell Your Own Lies
5. While Candles Will Burn You Down
6. Cemetery Park
7. You Suit Me Best
8. Lost It In A Graveyard
9. Key #4
10. Citizen Kane Was Wrong
11. Olive Branch
12. No Giraffes
13. Down At The Mission
14. Can't Believe The Madness

all songs written & performed by paul starling 2008
harmonica on track 5 by steve bringelson

a new album? didn't he just release 'doors & windows'? yes he did, but a album can only hold so many songs. after finishing 'ghost waltz' two years ago, i kept on writing and recording songs for the next album. i ended up with about 25 finished recordings & 4 more nearly finished. when it came time to put together 'doors & windows' i had to go with songs that would stand together as one piece of music & i ended up choosing the select 14. this meant that i had a dozen and half songs that had no where to go, no one to love them. until now. i decided to put together a 'new' album that anyone interested could download for free on this very blog. why let these songs go unloved when i put just as much love into them as any of the others that appear on 'ghost waltz' & 'doors & windows'? so now you have a third album of original paul starling music to place on your ipod, tape deck, cd player, or cellphone. its obviously recommended that you listen to 'doors & windows' BEFORE you listen to "floors & attics", as i believe 'doors & windows' to be a much better outing. thats not to say that 'floors & attics' won't get your blood moving. the lovely dana beierle has even created a album cover. what more could you ask for? tell your friends. let me know what you think.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

show @ the beachcomber sunday night 1/25/09

come see me play a solo acoustic set at the beachcomber tavern in oxnard. it's a cool little pub located right on the beach. i will be playing many songs that i've never played live including many from the 'ghost waltz' & 'doors & windows' albums. so you should come by and check it out. a splendid time will be had. here is the info:
where: 8pm @ the beachcomber tavern
206 Ocean Drive
Oxnard, CA
by the way its free. rad.

Friday, January 23, 2009

fort wildwood (or whats left of it)

today i decided to go take some pictures of one of my favorite childhood play spots; fort wildwood. (before they tear it down) back when it wasn't chained up & still had all of its parts, fort wildwood was a rad place for kids. it always reminded me of the fort at disneyland on tom sawyer's island, which unlike some of my other friends, i always loved. i remember my brother kenny & i going with our dad to the old fort, pretending it was disneylad, pretending there were rifles in the tower, sliding down the pole (wondering why a fort would have a fireman's pole?), getting splinters, chasing lizards in and out of the logs, finding & re-finding the 'secret' door, getting splinters, swinging on the swings that swung outward toward the end of a cliff (awesome, though the whole 'swing' section is completely gone now), & once more i remember getting splinters. its not like i minded, my dad knew to bring along the tweezers in case of such problems. i really had a great time at the fort, and its too bad that its all fenced up now. for those of you that are adventurous, some rebel cut a hole in the fence towards the back. now i am surly not advising you go into that hole (thats what she said) and take a look inside of the fort for yourself. its full of splinters & unstable logs. instead get your fill from the photos i took below:
fort wildwood as it stands today. fenced off so nobody gets a splinter.
the tower
looking in from the 'secret' door
left wall, with 'secret' door
inside of the fort
stairs up to the tower

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

graves are anchors above the sea

photo: iain macadam
Graves Are Anchors Above The Sea.mp3

recently someone asked me which song i was the most proud of & i told them 'graves are anchors above the sea'. the main reason being that the lyrics just came flowing one night when i wasn't really trying to write any lyrics at all. shortly after i grabbed my acoustic and the music came quickly as well. i really believe that my subconscious was working over time cause it knew i wanted to get these feelings out, but that i couldn't really do it if i had to 'work'. anyway i really love this song & i wanted to share it with you as well. its the last track on my 'ghost waltz' album & features dave lotfi on drums & percussion.

graves are anchors above the sea

doors may open, light may play
wind may blow, trees may sway
though the dark's still dark in every way

and death can speak, words may flee
oceans rise, sailors plea
and graves are anchors above the sea
are we? are we?

oh night by night candles learn
that books are bricks we lay and burn
and death is old yet new to us
but all we wonder is who to trust
for men are wrong & women lie
and at the end the questions why?

you're quite lovely a ghost would say
i will not lie i wish you stayed
but new yorks not so far, far away
i'll stay

oh night by night candles learn
that books are bricks we lay and burn
and death is old yet new to us
but all we wonder is who to trust
for men are wrong & women lie
and at the end the questions why?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Friday, January 16, 2009

visions of drowning (live in slo)

many thanks to iain macadam for filming, editing, uploading, & posting.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

album of the week: paul mccartney's ram 1971


hello friends. i'd like to introduce to you a new segment to the paul starling blog, 'album of the week'. each week (or when i remember to do it) i will pick and discuss one of my favorite albums. the point of this being that if you like my music then you may like my musical taste and discover some albums you haven't yet discovered. anyway here goes.
this weeks choice is one of my all time favorite albums: 'ram' by paul mccartney. 'ram 'was paul mccartney's second solo release after the breakup of the beatles & his first true solo 'studio' recording. i say studio because he recorded his first solo album 'mccartney' almost entirely in the living room of his london home, which a few minor overdubs done at the nearby abbey road studios.
'ram' also marked the first time mr. mccartney would record outside of england, starting a trend he seemed to enjoy for the rest of his recording carrier. with wife linda, paul started the recording sessions of 'ram' in new york with various session men at his side. now onto the music:

1. too many people - the album opens with chugging acoustic guitars & paul yelling/singing "piss off yeah", which some, including myself, think was directed at former band mate john lennon. the actual song seems to be about paul's feelings for john at this moment in time. lines such as 'too many people preaching practices' certainly refers to john & yoko's political activities at the time. but don't let all the bitchy lyrics get in the way of a truly great mccartney album opener. amazing acoustic guitar work from paul & great drumming from session man denny seiwell.

2. 3 legs - one of the strangest songs paul ever committed to tape, '3 legs' seems to be a joke that only paul & linda are in on. again lines such as "when i thought you was my friend" seem to be directed at john lennon. for me the highlight of the song is when it jumps out of its bluesy acoustic stomp into a rocking electric guitar led verse of paul singing "when i fly, when i fly above the clouds!". it then swings into a slightly different groove and then back into its original blues start. its typical mccartney in that he takes one line & plays it 3 different ways in order to create what seems like a whole song. other examples include: 'why don't we do it in the road', & 'that would be something'.

3. ram on - ukulele! the first time i heard this i couldn't help but smile. just a simple tune that would be throwaway for anyone else other than paul mccartney. oddly enough the ukulele is so out of tune, but it dosn't seem to matter. great harmonies from linda as well.

4. dear boy - great album track full of haunting harmonies from paul & linda. they must have spent hours upon hours rehearsing and tracking all of these layered vocals. elton john gave high praise to this albums use of interesting backing vocals, and this track really supports that.

5. uncle albert/admiral halsey - the US single from "ram", this song started out as a lullaby to paul's children. its really 3 songs rolled into one. starts with the 'we're so sorry uncle albert' bit then transforms into a fast moving falsetto bridge about being a gypsey..... don't get me wrong i really love it, just very odd. after that it storms into one of paul's catchiest chorus's he ever wrote "hands across the water, hands across the sky". the song went onto #1 in the US singles charts, if you care about that kind of stuff.

6. smile away - simple strait ahead rock song paul can churn out in his sleep. my least favorite track on the album, but by no means a bad song. its fun and a bit silly. "man i can smell your feet a mile away, smile away!"

7. heart of the country - lazy breezy song about paul & linda's time spent living in scottland. has some really nice jazz guitar played i believe by hugh mccracken. i could imagine john lennon & george harrison not liking this song very much, so i guess its a good thing they decided to go solo cause i like it quite a lot.

8. monkberry moon delight - if u listen to only one paul mccartney song for the rest of your life, listen to this one! amazingly insane & super fun. its paul screaming about various craziness such as "well i know my banana is older than the rest, and my hair is a tangled morretta, and when i leave my pajamas to billy budapest, and i don't get the jist of your letter". amazing. listen to this one. p.s. john lennon said many times that this was his favorite solo paul song.

9. eat at home - 50's style rocker about eating in bed. great drums & electric guitar. def has some buddy holly vocal nods throughout, which only makes it that much better. great song.

10. long haired lady - to me this song sounds like all of 'ram' rolled into one: tons of harmonies, jazzy guitars, great drums, silly lyrics, & great melodies. to me this song really shows you just how much input paul had on beatle albums such as 'abbey road' & the whole medley on side 2.

11. ram on (reprise) - in case you didn't get enough of it the first time.....

12. backseat of my car - if you ever wondered what paul would have sounded like had he been in the beach boys then this song is for you. big production done to this one. full strings, echoing drums, reverb'd guitars, & lots and lots of harmonies. i really love this one and think its a great album closer.

i basically love 'ram'. i think you will too. give it a listen.


had a cold. took me out for 2 days. i'm almost back. recorded a new song last week with my new recording equipment (sm57, maudio pre-amp, etc etc). listening to john lennon's 'mind games' album while talking to iain via ichat. rockshot sent me a e-mail letting me know the itunes sales have been going well. for that i thank you all. exciting things are coming up for the new year. big things. 'old tack pianos' video, a new EP, t-shirts, gigs, tv shows (?), new instruments, new clothes. how exciting. by the way i had a wonderful birthday in cambria with dana, iain, ian, katie, joe, tia, derek, & others. in addition dana & i had a nice drink stop in santa barabara with dear friends douglas & crystal. later that evening my brother and many others treated me to a fantastic dinner. i must thank all of these people for being in my life and showing me love on my 25th. so thank you. & thank you as well.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

video: ballad of a raincoat (live in slo)

video by Iain MacAdam, more can be found here: