I don't want to read your f'ing blog.

Greetings From Pluto! 

 

Distance between Earth and Pluto: 4.67 billion miles

Distance between myself and the rest of you: 4.67 billion miles

Chances you are reading this blog: 1 in 4.67 billion

For about a year I followed a guru. (It’s pretty common thing to do in Los Angeles. Like acting or bulimia.) He said some pretty profound things, many of which made absolutely no sense, and yet they’d somehow rattle your skull. Like this nugget:  

There are billions and billions of souls, waiting to be born.  

Yeah.  

I’m not 100% convinced that, in some other dimension, there’s a Waiting Room for Souls, crowded with spirits, all of whom are holding little pink tabs with black numbers printed upon them, waiting for their number to be called.  

But songwriting to me is very much like this. There are billions of songs out there in the ether, waiting for someone to bring them into the universe.  

Lately, I can’t walk into a room without stumbling upon a new one, crying out to me.  

“Pick me! I’m edgy and political!”  

“Pick me! I’m dark and depressing!”  

“Pick me! I’m fun and upbeat! A nice counterpoint all your other dark and depressing songs!”  

“Pick me! I’m mediocre, inoffensive, and melodically predictable! Oh wait, you’re not Ed Sheeran…”  

Here. You want to see the list of the songs I’m working on?  

Percentage of you who want to see the list: 54%  

Percentage of you who have already moved onto something else, mostly because you didn’t appreciate that Ed Sheeran joke: 98%  

OK, I’ll put them into two batches: songs you might have heard before (at least those of you who downloaded the demos), and brand new stuff, along with their statuses (statusi? statuseses?)  

 

SONGS THAT WERE IN THE DEMO COLLECTION  

 

ALIVE 

Tales of Heartbreak and Destruction  

Where The Bodies Are Buried  

Shapeshifter  

Searching For God In A Godless World  

Nothing Escapes Not Even Light  

Why Should Anyone  

 

QUESTIONABLE  

I’m Not Afraid To Die  

Black Box  

The Ends of The Earth  

My Psychotropic Mistress  

 

CUTTING ROOM FLOOR  

Persona Non Grata  

The Devil Knows I’m Dead  

Ghosts In The Hills  

I Know The Way  

 

BRAND SPANKING NEW SONGS  

AS WELL AS THEIR STATUSES  

WHICH DON’T REALLY MATTER  

BECAUSE YOU’VE NEVER HEARD THEM  

BUT I LIKE MAKING LISTS SO HERE WE GO 

 

ALIVE  

On A Plane Bound For Italy  

Beyond Your Shrine (Lyrics by John Souders!)  

Before The Devil Knows I’m Dead  

The Devil Knows You’re Dead (Yes, these are two very distinct and different songs)  

Wood Burning Fireplace  

Since The World Turned Flat  

Corpse Pose  

Top of Vanalden  

I Wanna Be Your Man  

 

QUESTIONABLE  

I Just Don’t Know How To Say No Anymore  

That’s What I’m Gonna Gonna Do Tonight  

Hands To Myself (Cover of Selena Gomez song (!!!))  

Backyard Stars  

Slaying Of The Firstborn  

All This Scorched Earth  

Oh God, I Think I Might’ve Drawn Blood  

 

NEW SONGS, IN THE ETHER, ASKING TO BE BORN  

Lost In America  

I’m Not Afraid Of The Dark  

Not In A Million Years  

The Tale Of The Garter Snake!  

Superhighway In The Night  

New Mexico 

* * *

I'm guessing most of you know by now I’m attempting to record this album on my own. While it’s been an artistically liberating experience, it’s also the most isolated I’ve felt musically in a long time. 

Even when I’m in the room with people I see often, I feel like I’m in off in the distant outer reaches of space. 

The only way I can truly come home is to finish this fucking album. Trouble is, the more I record, the further away I feel. It’s like playing Whack-A-Mole®. I get one thing done, something else immediately pops up. 

JOSH: “Finally finished this vocal track!” 

MOLE: “Oh yeah? Fuck you, Josh! Now you gotta record the harmonies!! HA HA HA!!!

MOLE #2: “AND HOW ABOUT THE PEOPLE GETTING BOMBED IN SYRIA? YOU THINK THEY GIVE A RAT’S ASS ABOUT YOUR STUPID FUCKING ALBUM YOU SELFISH FUCK?????” 

I’ve tried blogging about the isolation for the past couple of weeks, but I get overwhelmingly depressed (both about the isolation, and the fact that I’m one of the few people on earth who is still writing a blog) and just move onto Facebook to see how badly Trump is fucking up the world today. 

Percentage of You that enjoy hitting Moles on the head: 62% 

Percentage of you who believe I should change my stage name to Bob Ledi (pronounced “Leddy” like Betty or Geddy Lee): 3% 

* * * 

You may have noticed that my voice isn’t as agile or pitch perfect as Michael Buble or - alright, fine, fucking Ed Sheeran. Which means I have to work twice as hard to make sure every song stands on its own. 

So to be absolutely certain this album is meeting the highest Joshua Path standards… 

I’ve been going somewhere… 

Once every two weeks…. 

Into the ether… 

And I will leave it at that. 

 

Percentage of you who think that was an eye-rollingly pretentious final passage: 37% 

Percentage of you who want to see some drawings: 76%


Joshua Path is a singer/songwriter in Los Angeles, California. His upcoming album, "Tales of Heartbreak and Destruction," or possibly "The Devil Knows I'm Dead," will be released under the name Bob Ledi. Or maybe the 1-800's. Or maybe just Joshua Path. He is very confused right now.


 

The Tale of the Garter Snake! 

  • Chances that you will read this blog post: 1 in 656.
  • If you start reading this post, chances that you will finish reading it: 1 in 7,200
After the 24-hour telethon, after the election, I put my guitar down and barely touched it again for five months.

Up to that point, I had been working on and off for about a year on some home recordings. My confidence in them was shaky at best. I didn't know if they would become an album, or just demos, or nothing at all. 

Then the telethon. Then Trump. Then nothing. I don't know if it was depression, or burnout from hearing myself sing for 24 hours straight.

Whatever spell I was under is gone now. There's been a seismic shift. And it all started with an evening many months ago at my neighbors' house.... maybe it was a year ago... time has a curious way of fucking with me lately....

My neighbors were kind enough to invite me to their house for a séance. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Although it wasn't really a séance in the traditional sense - not like a bunch of people dressed in Victorian clothing asking great grandmother where she buried the jewels. A little more of a laid back affair. In any case, it sounded like an unusual way to spend an evening, so I went. 

In attendance was a group of about 6 or 7 women. I was the only dude. The medium, a very sweet lady in her late 30's/early 40's, sat at the dining room table with an object similar to a planchette in a Ouija board. Whoever wanted to communicate with someone in the Great Beyond would sit at the table with another volunteer (there were always three of us at the table), our fingers lightly pressed on the object. 

We could only ask yes or no questions. (Apparently in the spirit world it's difficult to formulate complete sentences.) If the answer was "yes," the object would spin in circles around the table. Faster spins meant a more emphatic "yes." If the answer was "no," the object would remain still. 

There was a rotating guest list of spirits in the room that night. The medium would give us cues or prompts as to who was ready to talk to us next. "There's a young man here." "I see an older woman." 

Let me just say that, although I consider myself to be a spiritual person, I am also somewhat of a skeptic, and I don't necessarily believe everything that happened that night. I think a lot of it was suggestion and us wanting to believe we were communicating with the dead. Whether it was real or not, it was, in a strange way, extremely therapeutic.

However.... however....

My best friend died in 1990. His name was Adam DeJesus. He died the same way my brother did - hit by a drunk driver. The medium said he was with us in the room. As Adam and I conversed for the first time in 27 years, the medium asked me, "What does 'garter snake' mean to you?"

Now if you've ever been slapped in the face, or had cold water suddenly splashed on you, or if you remember this scene from Lord of the Rings, you know the sensation I felt when I heard those words. It was visceral. Instantly I was seven years old, standing in the backyard of our old house in Canoga Park. This house was built on a hillside which overlooked the San Fernando Valley. Because it was on a hillside, interesting creatures would make appearances every so often. 

On this particular Sunday afternoon, in the middle of summer, with a sky so blue you'd think you were staring at the ocean, a garter snake sat in the middle of the white concrete that made up most of our backyard. My mom, sister, Adam, and his older brother, Kiley, were all there. I can't remember if my brother Seth was there or not. 

In any case I remember there was some discussion about what to do with the garter snake. Kiley, who must've been around 14 or 15 years old - yet seemed to my young eyes like a full-grown adult - suddenly grabbed the snake, swung it around his head a few times like a helicopter propeller, and threw it down the hillside. 

That was the last we ever saw of the garter snake. 

Not long after that, Adam and Kiley's father died. I can't remember if it was cancer or something else. Adam, as you know, was killed later. Marci, their mom, died of renal failure in 2007. Nobody knows where Kiley is. Word on the street is that he's homeless. 

In no way am I saying that all of these events had anything to do with each other. But when she said 'garter snake,' all of the aforementioned came crashing into my consciousness like a semi driving through the living room. 

Garter snake. Of all the things she could've said. Of every possible word combination. Of every possible creature. The fucking garter snake. Her saying that made me skeptical of my skepticism.

I responded to the medium by saying, "I know what that means. But I have no idea what that means." After some discussion, she suggested I go to the desert to figure it out. Specifically to Joshua Tree. 
  • Percentage of you that think I'm making all this up: 43%
  • Chances that you believe in the afterlife: 1 in 5
  • Chances that you have checked your phone while reading this blog post: 1 in 3
Honestly, a trip to Joshua Tree for the specific purpose of sorting out all this garter snake business seemed like a waste of time. What revelation could I possibly unearth? You're destined to be a musician. Yeah, great, thanks. Adam wants you to be well. Thanks, Adam. Doing the best I can. You should sell all of your belongings, move to Jerusalem, and become a fisherman. No, I'm not going to do that. 

Cut to a little over a month ago. I'd been getting a lot of work. My wife had recently gotten over the worst bout of the flu I had ever seen. All this, combined with the fact that March was our birthday month, led to us treating ourselves to a few days in Palm Desert.

I didn't realize this, but Palm Desert happens to be a stone's throw away from Joshua Tree. 

As we approached our hotel, the surrounding mountains said to me, "We're going to have a little chat later." (Chances that it was my imagination telling me that: 65%). For about a half hour I entertained the notion of going for a walk in the hills. But once again, my skepticism took over, and I decided not to just sit in the hotel room and read, and we hardly left the room for the next few days. 

But the thing about the desert, and the things that dwell there - cacti, coyotes, epiphanies - they are notoriously stubborn. And if you're meant to have an epiphany in the desert, you're going to have one whether you like it or not.

Sure enough, on our last day there, as we were packing up our clothes to go home, it hit me like a sledgehammer.

JOSHUA. 
 
FINISH.
YOUR.
FUCKING.
ALBUM.

TALES OF HEARTBREAK AND DESTRUCTION.

THE LAST SONG ON THE ALBUM IS
"THE TALE OF THE GARTER SNAKE."

MAKE SURE THE SONG IS LOUD.
AND LONG.

STOP FUCKING AROUND AND DO IT.

 

It was the swiftest, hardest kick in the ass I've ever received.

There is a saying amongst start-ups in Palo Alto. "Move fast and break things." Since I've returned from Palm Desert, I've been on a writing and recording spree. I'm writing/recording first, and asking questions later. I have so many songs, in fact, I'm thinking of releasing two albums at the same time. (Since there's only about two people reading this, let's keep that between us. It'll be a nice surprise to everyone else. I'll write more on that later)

As far as "The Tale of the Garter Snake," I've been writing the song, but it's coming in bits and pieces. If I ever do get around to recording it, it will definitely be loud. And almost certainly it will be the longest song I've ever recorded. There's lots of loud guitars, and lots of screaming. Most of you will hate it, I'm sure. But for a select few..... well. We'll talk about it later, once it's done. 

  • Chances that you were let down by what my epiphany ultimately ended up being: 1 in 2
  • Chances that you think I've gone totally insane: 1 in 4
In recent days, There have been several other sizable thoughts. One involved writing a graphic novel about what it's like to be a guy in his mid 40's who's struggling with the fact that his rock star dreams will most likely remain just a dream, and nothing more. Sort of like American Splendor told by a struggling musician.  

I scribbled a ton of very entertaining stick figures and situations, and after having one conversation with an illustrator who was nothing short of a complete asshole, I abandoned it.

Want a taste? Here. This was how it was supposed to start. My apologies for the horrible drawings. 

















  • Chances you enjoyed these illustrations: 1 in 7
  • If you're one of my advertising buddies: 1 in 4,987,334

Anyways. There's a lot more to tell. But I'll leave it here for now. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading. 
 
  • Chances I love you: 1 in 1

Summary

"Oh God, really? He's making us read shit now?"