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Stories To Write Songs About
17 minutes | Oct 15, 2018
BONUS: Deconstructed Ep 3. "Wandering One"
Deconstructed is a series of bonus episodes for Stories To Write Songs About that will be a deep dive into the writing and recording process of each of the original songs from season 1. This episode I'll talk about "Wandering Onet" written for Ep 3. I discuss the concept from the initial chord progression, lyric construction, and tracking process. I also reflect on the importance of collaboration among musicians and what it has meant to work with the members of my band.
16 minutes | Oct 8, 2018
BONUS: Deconstructed Ep 2. "New Kind Of Love"
In this episode of Deconstructed, I talk about the process of writing New Kind Of Love, original song inspired by Episode 2's story by Calvin Gimpelevich. discuss the concept from the initial chord progression, lyric construction, and recording process. Song can be found HERE.
13 minutes | Oct 1, 2018
BONUS: Deconstructed Ep 1. "You Aint Getting Me Yet"
This is the first episode in a bonus series I am calling Deconstructed, where I take a deep dive into the writing and recording process for each of the songs from the first season. This episode I will deconstruct "You Ain't Getting Me Yet" from the first episode of season one of Stories To Write Songs About. Starting with the formation of the chord progression and melody I go through the entire process of writing the lyrics, adding the layers, and asking my friend Eric Vanderbilt-Mathews from the band General Mojos to play clarinett. Download of the song is avaible HERE.
39 minutes | Sep 24, 2018
Ep. 7- The Rorem Family "The Cars We Grew Up With"
For the Final episode of the season, the entire Rorem family discusses the slew of less than desirable cars they grew up with. There are societal and cultural celebrations for coming age moments. Getting your first car is one such marker. The hard work of suffering through drivers ED classes, studying for and passing the written exam, and absolutely nailing the parallel parking in the driving test make for a sweet moment when you hold the keys to your very first car. This quaint and lovely image is common for many folks. It is, however, far from reality in my family’s life. The vehicles we had always came with that special kind of character you can only get from a thing that is about to fall apart in the middle of the highway. Broken AC, over heating issues, and musty smells plagued these cars. Despite the challenges, we did cherish the times we had in these vehicles. From the hot dog roaster antenna on our VW Vanagon or lack of power steering on the 1987 Subaru legacy, there was never a dull moment in the history of Rorem automobiles. In this episode you will hear each sibling read a story about a specific vehicle. The entire family then has a round table discussion about the incomparable 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon. Credits: Theme song “Rhinestone Rosie” by Lowlandshttps://www.wearelowlands.com/ “Rusty Ol’ Junker” Listen up, I know that we are stuck I want to get this damn thing on the roadListen here, I'll grab the steering wheelSo lean forward push as hard as you can We'll soon be on our way down the avenueThankful that this time we are on the move againMaybe all this time on the shoulder Gives use confidence and makes us bolderOr maybe not...Listen up, I know that we are leavingIn a pre-dawn haze for the coastlineBucket seats, middle rowMakeshift antenna for a broken radio Maybe all this time in the back rowMusty smells, dog hair covering head to toeIs the thread that holds us fast to eachotherBroken car, quiet day, crazy mother The memories we have constantly retoldThis family lore worth its weight in goldThe wheels on the road got me to the place I am todayAnd all the lessons that I learned with my family they will never fade Got a family of my own in the back seat, but it's incompleteWith out a rusty ol junker and an unattached middle seat Got a family of my own in the back seat, but it's incompleteWith out a rusty ol junker and an unattached middle seat Written By: Tom RoremRecorded, Mixed, and Mastered: Tom RoremGuitar Vocals: Tom RoremElectric Guitar: Tom RoremKeyboards: Alex HuthBass: Tom RoremDrums: William Mapp
29 minutes | Sep 17, 2018
Ep. 6- Afrose Fatima Ahmed "Season's Grievings"
Ep. 6 “Season’s Grievings” Afrose Fatima Ahmed has experienced tragedy. In the span of just a few years she lost both her father and her sister. The latter was an absolute shock. Her experience in dealing with this tragedy lead the formation of her poem entitled “Season’s Grievings”. In this episode we discuss the influence that culture and family have on ones work as an artist. We discuss the origins and aftermath of her poem and the lessons she learned from experiencing a premature loss. Afrose Fatima Ahmed is a hybrid Texan-Washingtonian who writes poems on emerald city streets and at the tops of evergreen trees. she is the daughter of Muslim immigrants from India. Her body and her art live in liminal spaces: polar US borderlands, the division between land and sea, the place where urban density drops off into rural solitude. Afrose comes to poetry as just one avenue for creating experiences of beauty and communion for herself and other people. her writing emphasizes all the senses and acknowledges a world in which humans are suffering and experiencing bliss against wild landscapes that are simultaneously living and dying. Links: Afrose Website: https://afrosefatimaahmed.com/Chap Books: https://afrosefatimaahmed.com/publications/ Credits: Theme song “Rhinestone Rosie” by Lowlandshttps://www.wearelowlands.com/ “Season of Grief” LYRICS:I am flying high above the earth todayJust to see you one more timeThough I'll never hear you say my name againI'll repeat yours till I die And the tears come like a rainstormPouring memories out across the floorAnd it feels like I am dyingLet it come like the flood moving swift across the plainThis is my season of grief Never felt a loss so deep within my soulMy heart is cracked beyond repair.And I'll bleed from it the love I owe to youFor the pains too much to bear. And I hear our mother cryingAs my shoulders shake and tremble disbeliefAnd it feels like we are dyingLet it come like the wind moving swiftly through the treesThis is our season of grief So i've learned to bravely give beyond myselfAnd seek the fullness of lifeAnd as I live beyond the age you left this earthI'll pour my grief into the ground. And let it grow into a gardenI'll harvest beauty from this bitter painAnd it feels like I am thrivingLet it come like the rain bringing beauty from the painThis is my season of griefLet it come like the rain growing flowers on your graveThis is my season of grief. Written By: Tom RoremRecorded, Mixed and Mastered By: Tom RoremGuitar, Vocals: Tom RoremBass: Tom RoremKeyboard: Tom Rorem
28 minutes | Sep 10, 2018
Ep. 5- Shin Yu Pai "The Guilt of Parenting"
This week my guest is a wonderfully talented poet named Shin Yu Pai. She and I discuss the challenges of having a child with a speech delay. We talk about the life of being a creator and writer, the challenges of wishing the best for your child but feeling guilty for any developmental delays they may experience. We end with the reading of two poems. Shin Yu Pai lives in Seattle with her family. She is the author of eight books of poetry. Her work has appeared in publications throughout the U.S., Japan, China, Taiwan, The United Kingdom, and Canada. You can find more information at her website https://shinyupai.com/Credits:Theme song “Rhinestone Rosie” and music “Passionate Soul” by Lowlandshttp://www.Wearelowlands.com“Cloaks” Darling, I can't hold it in, Forgive my mortal sinI feel it's weight on my backHave I done enough for you For all we've been throughI'll wrap my wounds in blame Oh I know you aren't broken but I am scared,It doesn't get easy waiting to hear what you'll sayHow I try to resist the fear of the unseeable futuresthe consequence of mistakes I've madePatience is a prison in my shame Hold me up I can’t wait to hear your voiceone word proclaiming a new-found sense of poiseIt’s an oasis in the desert of this silent landDid I, have I done enough to helpor do I, will I sabotage myselfI'm over heating in the desert wrapped in my shame Oh I know you aren't broken but I am scared,It doesn't get easy waiting to hear what you'll sayHow I try to resist the fear of the unseeable futuresthe consequence of mistakes I've madeI’m pretty sure I'm not the one to blame Patience is the key unlocking every word you speakmake sure you stop and catch a beatand gain an understanding of the world at large within your graspabsorb the sounds that wrap around yourselfI know it’s hard to form a common tongue I know that you are not the only one who fearsI'm an endless well of words within a burning forge I fashion verse and meterconsider me a smith constructing cloaks threaded with metaphor, analogy, and wisdomI may never understand the way you see the worldBut I will wrap you tightly in my cloak of words. Oh I know you aren't broken but I am scared,It doesn't get easy waiting to hear what you'll sayHow I try to resist The fear of the unsee-able futurethe consequence of mistakes I've madeI'm pretty sure I'm not the one to blame Written by: Tom RoremRecorded by: Tom RoremMix and Mastered by: Tom RoremGuitar/Vocals: Tom RoremBass: Ben JahnElectric Guitar: Steve Miller Keyboards: Alex HuthDrums: William Mapp
33 minutes | Sep 3, 2018
Ep. 4-Kristen Millares Young "Every Woman Holds a Flame Against The Wind"
This week’s episode features a longer story from author and journalist Kristen Millares Young. Her personal essay “Every Woman Holds a Flame Against the Wind” is about finding her way in a world that wants so little for women and everything from them. The essay is forthcoming in the anthology Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity, edited by Grisel Acosta. Kristen Millares Young is the author of Subduction (Red Hen Press, spring 2020) and Prose Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House, a nonprofit home for writers. She has had essays in the Guardian, Hobart, Moss, Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter & Booze (Sasquatch Books), a New York Times New & Notable Book, and forthcoming in Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity. As researcher, Kristen was the only non-staffer on the New York Times team that produced “Snow Fall,” which won a Pulitzer and a Peabody. In 2016, the Society for Features Journalism honored her Guardian investigation of Native actress Misty Upham’s disappearance. Kristen graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a B.A. in History and Literature and from the University of Washington’s MFA program. She serves as co-founder and board chair of InvestigateWest, a nonprofit newsroom with offices in Seattle and Portland. Links: http://www.invw.org/https://kristenmyoung.com/ Credits: Theme song “Rhinestone Rosie” by LowlandsMusic “Cold Fusion” by Tom Roremhttp://www.Wearelowlands.com “Flame Against The Wind” LYRICS:Life is a wall made from brick and stoneIt stands as a gate between hell and homeWith no way through and no way overObjects of lust, the pride of man,Does beauty define all that I have and all that I am?Better days seem to evaporate, and I know Hard days for you my love, You hold a flame against the windBlue skies come soon for us And number the days of the clouds of gloom Damn it all I feel this holy rage I can't believe this is where we are Our hands on the wall our feet in the grave Wandering eyes, suspicious gaze I have a soul, but they see a whore to judge and to shame better days seem to evaporate, and I know how hard I try just to break down this wall there will be Hard days for you my love, you hold a flame against the wind Blue skies come soon for us And number the days of the clouds of gloom They don't believe all the stories here Wisdom and strength beyond our own years I don't give a damn about what you think Cause you don't know what the hell I've been through Hard days for me my love I hold a flame against the wind We hold a flame against the wind Written By: Tom RoremRecorded, Mixed, Mastered: Tom RoremGuitar, Vocals: Tom RoremDrums: William MappElectric Guitar: Steve Miller Bass: Tom RoremKeyboards: Alex Huth
15 minutes | Aug 27, 2018
Ep. 3- The Brothers Grimm/Ian Bond "The Singing Bone"
Ep. 3 “The Singing Bone” Feat. Ian Bond Many of you may be familiar with stories like Cinderella, Snow White, Beauty and The Beast, Sleeping Beauty and others that have been presented by Disney and other movie companies. Many of these common tales have a long history and roots within the European folktales of old, that were popularized by the Brothers Grimm, 19th century scholars who sought out and compiled them into books. The original manifestations, as told by the brothers, have a much darker tone than what we might be used in our modern era of the happy endings and the feel-good music of Disney. The Singing Bone tells the tale of two brothers who seek to kill a beast for the King that has been terrorizing the land. One brother is filled with pride, anger, and jealousy. The other is filled with love, purity, and goodness. It is Grimm Tale No. 28. Ian Bond reads the tale for this episode. He is a Seattle based actor that has appeared on stage for many theater companies in the area. Book-It Theater, Taproot Theater and Seattle Public Theater just to name a few. Links: Ian Bond: http://toposwopetalent.com/talent/7766/ian-bond/ Fairy Tale: https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm028.html Credits: Theme music “Rhinestone Rosie” by Lowlands https://www.wearelowlands.com/ Music “Cold Fusion” by Tom Rorem “Wandering One” Written by Tom Rorem Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by: Tom Rorem Guitar, Vocals: Tom Rorem Lead Guitar: Steve Miller Keyboards: Alex Huth Bass: Ben Jahn Drums: William Mapp
20 minutes | Aug 20, 2018
Ep. 2- Calvin Gimpelevich "She Looked Like Him"
Ep. 2 Calvin Gimplevich “She looked like him.” This week’s episode features an excerpt of a larger work from Seattle based writer Calvin Gimplevich. It’s a tale in and of itself that centers around a character that is consistently an outcast in every situation they find themselves in. Beyond the drudgery of daily existence there is a deeper sense of longing for what is outside of their shitty town with shitty people who do shitty things to each other. A ghostly image appears one night and acts as a catalyst for change… Calvin Gimpelevich is an author and organizer based in the Pacific Northwest. His fiction appears in Electric Literature, Plentitude, Glitterwolf, cream city, THEM, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of awards from Artist Trust, Jack Straw Cultural Center, and 4Culture, in addition to residencies through CODEX/Writer’s Block and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. A founding member of the Lion’s Main Art Collective, Calvin has organized shows at venues throughout Seattle and performed at Henry Art Gallery, where he was also a featured speaker. A transgender first-generation American, his work deals with immigration, politics, subcultures, gender, and class. This week's song is entitled "New Kind of Love" Lyrics: Take my words with a delicate handI’ll face unafraid their consequencesLustful and lewd they have spewed from my mouthCloaked in a language not understoodConvulsing, my body is lost in a fightWarring inside I am looking for a new type of loveFulfilling enough to rid me of my lonely anguishThere’s an answer I’m longing to find, ahead or behindTo save me from the nightmare I’m dreamingLet it come There’s an image I’ve seen in the nightA haunting reflection of who I amOr is it the person who I’m supposed to beA parallel vision of a better lifeThe visceral feeling, I cannot denyConnecting our bodies I am looking for a new type of loveFulfilling enough to rid me of my lonely anguishI am shaking from what I have seen, this impossible dreamI’ll pack up my bags to find wholenessNow set me free Links: http://calvingimpelevich.com/ Credits: Theme song “Rhinestone Rosie” and music “Fade Away” by Lowlands http://www.Wearelowlands.com “New Kind of Love” Written By: Tom Rorem Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered By: Tom Rorem Guitar, Vocals: Tom Rorem Lead Guitar: Steve Miller Keyboard: Alex Huth Bass: Ben Jahn Drums: William Mapp
24 minutes | Aug 13, 2018
Ep. 1- G.G. Flint "Rock climbing is a terrible first date"
Ep. 1 “Rock Climbing is a terrible first date” This week we hear stories from the frontlines of the dating scene in Seattle, WA. My guest is my friend G.G. who shares her perspective on what it is like to be a single female that is actively dating. We start the episode with a little bit of background on who G.G. is and what brought her to Seattle. She talks about some dating mishaps in Chicago that include the illegal scaling of a fence, awkward hand holding, and a forced kiss while waiting for an Uber. We also dive into the intricacies of the dating apps that are most prevalent for today’s bachelors and bachelorettes, including Tinder and Bumble. What is the etiquette behind starting a conversation, how can one distinguish oneself among the sea of hungry singles, and how to be an empathetic person in casual settings are all questions that are tackled. We discuss the problem of Mansplaining and G.G. ends with 2 pieces of advice for men who are trying to date. The song written for this episode is titled “You Ain’t Getting Me Yet” Lyrics: I spend most of my nights with strangers I meetfor condescending monologues and a couple of drinksKeep you hands on the table your feet on the floorIt takes more than a come on to get through my doorsI know your thirsty to get what I've gotYou ain't getting me yet I'm an excavator of the things hidden behindThe tattered shells we use to shield to block and to hideI am a minor digging into your soulsometimes theres nothing sometimes I find golda shimmering hope of what I can't getI ain't getting you yet Kiss me goodnight then I'm out of sight round the bendI'm alone in my bed I don't need you to keep me warm So find me in the corner on a dimly lit seatmining for a heart of gold in the strangers I meetam I moving forward or am I standing stillI've got no one at home, there's no jack to my jillI don't know how much more I can takemaybe I need a break Credits: Theme song “Rhinestone Rosie” and music “Bold & Brazen” by Lowlands http://www.Wearelowlands.com “You Ain’t Getting Me Yet” Written by Tom Rorem Mixed and Mastered by Tom Rorem Acoustic Guitar/Bass/Vocals: Tom Rorem Whirly/Organ: Alex Huth Drums: William Mapp Clarinet: Eric Vanderbilt
4 minutes | Aug 2, 2018
Ep. 0 Stories To Write Songs About
My name is Tom Rorem and I am starting a brand new podcast called Stories To Write Songs About. The basic premise is that I get someone to tell me a story and I then write a song about inspired by it. For the first season I have 7 different stories featuring friends, family, and Seattle based writers. I have recruited many musician friends to play on the songs. Please enjoy!
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