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"Bluffs" (IBFWID 2013) 

this was written for my brother Ryan Baker around 2005-2006. I was about 20 years old, maybe 19, him 17-18, and I was in the midst of falling off the deep end with drugs and booze. just partying too much, I was a mess and he was the first one to call me out. we had a huge fall out and he was very angry with me for some mistakes i made, i failed him as a big brother in a big way as we were young and growing men. I'm a total dumbass and always have been, a goddamn ticking timebomb of energy that says yes too often yet not when it's the most moral thing. I don't know, I've changed a lot. I hope ryan sees that now, it's been over a decade. this song represents the energy i had toward that in my late teens. One of those things you write where you don't remember the exact situation that caused these emotions, yet you recall the exact place you were sitting when you did write it and exactly how you felt when it all just came together like you're simply assembling this mental puzzle made out of pieces of your brainstream. me? I was sitting in the exact room we had a bunk bed in, with the same bleach stain on the carpet from a story I'll let Ryan tell you. I was pathetic... sober, but not. Just not honest with myself, or anyone really. Moved back in with the parents, because I had nowhere else to go. Sad and confused. Production station setup, motivated to write music but incapable because I was hiding from myself. You can't hide from your little brother.

anyway, in highschool we used to go to these bluffs at the end of old town fair oaks. they overlooked a river... some river... we would smoke weed and socialize, all of our old friends were there and they remember it better than I do. we would just talk about life as we knew it and philosophize over things we probably would now find trivial. there was this cool bridge. yeah, a bridge. and like, birds. I have crappy photos of all this somewhere (or not). FYI though, this was before everyone owned a cell phone, and phones were certainly not smart at that point yet. huh. can't remember whether it's the american or sacramento river we overlooked... whatever. it parallels HWY50, does that help? one of my friends who reads this will correct me, probably Bern. 

my brother and I spent a lot of time on those bluffs. i had a girl break-up with me there. pretty sure he possibly lost his virginity with in the vicinity. it's more than that shit though. it's where I feel he transformed from my naive little brother into a man who could survive outside of my shadow, which he hid under for most of our childhood. he just started excelling, above and beyond. 

he's 29 this year. he's really become an amazing guy (read that as: he's always been amazing, and maybe it this 'coming of age' saga is more the about ME coming to the understanding that he's always been amazing; i just had to stop being self-absorbed for five seconds). for real though, all of us transform together, sometimes connected and sometimes not. so i'm not taking credit at all. I was transforming too. I am not claiming to be the catalyst that made Ryan Baker who he is today, but I guess I just am happy that I got to be there, for the most part, to watch those little transformations take place within his soul, which, like all Bakers, translates directly into facial expressions. So I mean, I got to physically see his river run through it like a costume change during an opera, because my kin's faces instantly make stupid and overexaggering expressions when we feel things. oh i'm the worst one. Ryan is close second. case in point:

what a strapping young lad eh?

pretty sure he's farting.