Grantleephillips’s Blog

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Beginning To See The Light

125100_150What – two postings in one week? I know, it’s a record for me but I feel like sharing. Perhaps it’s all this sweater weather we’re enjoying in LA. It’s brought out the conversationalist in me. Or shall I say the conservationist? Before my head hits the pillow tonight, allow to sing the praises of the GE energy smart bulb! Seriously, I love these bulbs. I confess that have a thing for light bulbs in general. I can’t throw ‘em out because I just love how they look and in fact I’ve taken to memorializing a few in plaster. I’m fond of the shape. I’m always blown away when they work. It’s kinda stupid. Nevertheless, I had been struggling with some of the new spiral energy saving bulbs. The glare was too irritating and the shape unnerved me. Then along comes the new soft white energy bulb. It looks very much like a traditional bulb. The spiral part is housed on the inside. It uses only 15 watts of power to generate the glow of a 60 watt bulb. Even greater, it’s built to last five years. There’s a second or two of fade up when you first switch on the lamp but within a moment the room is well lit with a very non-florescent glow. I’ve been going through the whole house switching all the old bulbs out. I get no kickback from GE, just the good feeling that I ‘m saving a little energy and passing on the word to you my fellow earthling.

Mother Of Exiles – New Song Inspired By Wall Street Demonstration

Mother Of Exiles (Lady Liberty)   –  click song title for free download

NOTE: This posting was originally made on 11/24/11 but was mysteriously deleted on 11/26/11 so I will repost. Ghosts in the machine – Happy Halloween!

I’ve been so taken by what’s been happening in New York City and other cities, the demonstrations that began in September and continue today. The Occupy Wall Street Movement has tapped a part of us that knows that we can do better and deserve better. It’s a kind of awakening that seems to be occurring the world over – a coming of age. Inspired by this I wrote a song, a petition to the spirit of liberty and a prayer for sustenance. Regardless of how impressive our technological advances, how staggering our achievements,  we are still of one family and of one home.

A job, a home, the health and security of our loved ones mean no less today than yesterday. These basic pillars of humanity must always be honored and protected. They have been fought for by generations before us and they are being fought for today. These are the thoughts that run through my head as I sing this song. It’s called Mother Of Exiles, partly inspired by the sonnet by Emma Lazarus in 1883, which is engraved in a bronze plaque at the statue of Liberty. This song is yours, there’s no charge. Share it, sing it, make a video (as long it’s non-commercial and respectful) I’m honored to share it – let it inspire you.

Yours, Grant-Lee Phillips

Mother Of Exiles

Mother of Exiles

Light the waters

Light the shore

For the tired and poor

The huddled masses ‘cross the harbor

Hungry eyed

Cast aside once more…

 

Oh Lady Liberty

Long days and many mouths to feed

Don’t take away my means to make it on my own two feet

Don’t turn away

 

We come from fishermen and farmers

Plowed the field,

Worked the mills

But we don’t reap the grain we harvest

Or own the lands we till

 

Oh Lady Liberty

Long days and many mouths to feed

Don’t tell me it’s a dream to make it

We are the factories of  flesh and blood

We are the souls of the assembly line

We are the casualties of greed and war

We are the working poor

We are the ninety nine…

Mother of Exiles

Light the waters

Like a sun

Abandoned ones

For tomorrow’s sons and daughters

Shine…

Shine for days to come

Oh Lady Liberty

Long days and many mouths to feed

Don’t tell me it’s a dream to make it on my own two feet

Oh Lady Liberty

Goddammit I was born to make it on my own two feet

Don’t turn away from me…

Don’t turn away from me…

Don’t turn away…

 

 

Grant-Lee on Facebook & Twitter

Hey Friends:

I’ve got a few updates. I managed to grab my Facebook URL this weekend. You can now find me at facebook.com/grantleephillips. That will take you to my Grant-Lee Phillips Facebook page. You can also find me on Twitter under the name grantleephilips (I could only squeeze one L in Phillips). Like flossing, it’s hard to get to everyday but I’m getting into the rhythm of posting, updating and enjoying the social nature of it all. If you feel like a night on town, come out to Largo this Tuesday June 16. I’ll be performing a few songs with The Section Quartet. Violinist Eric Gorfain and The Section along with guests Jon Brion, Sam Phillips, Rob Dickinson and myself will celebrate one year at Largo’s new Coronet Theatre location. Stop by and visit the newly opened bar “The Roger Room” adjacent to the Coronet – it’s beautiful. I wish you all a great weekend. Keep in touch! Grant-Lee

Springtime is Blog Time!

Hello Friends, With a new CD set to roll out this fall, I can slowly emerge from my bunker. At last there is time to share that coffee we’ve talked about, time to spend untold hours searching for lost Epson drivers like Dr. Robert Langdon on a Google jag, yes and finally there is time – to blog. I’m still lying low of course. I’m hunkering down and ordering out. Last night’s hot and sour soup will soon be remembered, it’s molecules rearranged. The flu has settled deep in my chest for the weekend so I’m moving a little slow. I don’t believe it’s the Swine Flu of legend, just the old regular one I thought I got a shot for. My friend Robert just dropped off a copy of the new Grizzly Bear album. Those guys are a treasure. I’m three songs in and loving it. Having devoted all of my ear power to the final touches of my new album over the last few weeks, it’s nice to listen casually again. I also dug out my bootleg of David Bowie singing songs from the BBC production of Baal last night. I love that one. I’m going through a bunch of new photographs that Kenneth Scott shot of me last week in LA. Ken has such a great eye and he’s really fun to work with. To close out this post, allow me to announce I’ll be celebrating the one-year anniversary of Largo at its new location, The Coronet on June 16th. It’s a special show featuring The Section Quartet with special guests Sam Phillips, Jon Brion, Catherine Wheel’s Rob Dickinson and myself. If you’re into strings and things that sing, come on out! I must also mention that on this very day in musical history I signed up to Twitter. I just couldn’t stand on the sidelines another day longer. Cheers to all Dad N’ Grads. Grant-Lee

TV Series “The Unit” Features GLP track “Killing A Dead Man”

If you happened to catch “The Unit” on Jan 11th, you will have heard my own “Killing A Dead Man.” It was one of the most compelling uses of my material that I’ve ever seen. If you like your drama hardboiled with a side of grit (as I often do), the episode “Spear Of Destiny” is worth setting your DVR for. TV.COM offers this overview: “Mack gets badly wounded while on a mission with Jonas and they must seek refuge in a monk’s monastery. On the home front, Bob is assigned to a dangerous mission which gives Kim a glimpse into the darker side of his job.” Of course you can always just put on my CD and try to imagine all those crazy things happening to Mack and Jonas and Bob and Kim – but why? “The Unit” has done the work for you and they’ve done it very well with all sorts of cameras and sets and actors and so on. So sit back and be stunned.

’09 Year of The Ox = Love & Kisses

Gotta’ blog about it. It’s a brand new year. ’08 is so last week. I still haven’t warmed up to the word “Blog”. I feel more at home with the word “Blab” I just wanna’ blab today, nothing more. Just wanna’ say hello, thanks for droppin’ in – are ya hungry? It’s been such a mind-blowin’, shoe throwing kinda’ year. I spent the final hours of 2008 watching David Carradine as Woody Guthrie in the film, “Bound For Glory”. It was shot around my hometown of Stockton Ca, an alluring destination back in Woody’s dust-bowl days. It got me singing all of those old songs again, “My pastures of plenty must always be free…” What incredible odds our forbearers had to endure. Good Gawd, we’re lucky. I then I find myself watching Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve as I have two thousand times before. I have a hunch that Dick Clark actually owns New Years Eve as both a concept and a commodity. You can’t have it without him – he won’t let you. Finally at midnight PST, we on the West Coast are ringing in the new year along with our East coast counterparts, who, by now, will have left the glittering Times Square in a heap of confetti and colorful garbage courtesy of Sbarros and Bubba Gump Shrimp. 2009 is here. It’s time to make resolutions, try a new diet, empty out the fridge, take down those Halloween decorations, go buy that Fleet Foxes album and get on with it.

“Winterglow” New Single Download Dec. 23rd

My new holiday single “Winterglow” will be released online December 23rd.
The song will be available at itunes and several other outlets as a digital download.
I’ve been playing “Winterglow” with Aimee Mann and her band on her annual Christmas tour. Paul Bryan, who also performs regularly with Aimee, produced the track. Drummer Jay Bellerose, keyboardist Patrick Warren, along with Bryan on the bass joined me in the studio to record my first original holiday song. “Winterglow” is essentially about the remembrance of little moments spent with friends and family and finding warmth during the year’s coldest days. This was always a special time for me growing up, largely because our family would come together and I looked forward to that. My grandma, in particular, had a deep affection for the Christmas season and it’s songs. It was among the first music I was exposed to as a child and it taught me a great deal about how songs were actually put together, about melody, lyrics, all the basic nuts and bolts. “Winterglow” is my contribution to that weatherworn book of songs. I hope you enjoy it. Seasons Greeting, Grant-Lee Phillips