signs.

"fuck....too late to order potatoes" i thought to myself as i watched the cook bag up my food for pick-up. i was getting breakfast for my girlfriend and i, a few blocks down from her store. 

a homeless man once told me "potatoes are a homeless guy's best friend." its moments like this where i wish i asked him his name, to give him his due credit here. cheers, you'll be with me forever.

"throw in one of those jumbo muffins....i don't care, whichever you like best. oh, and a large coffee."

i always told myself id leave new york city before i stopped reading the signs the homeless hold up as you walk passed them on the street.  

in my experience living in new york city i tried to read every sign that every individual presented in my path, as long as my eyes could keep up with my legs. i missed a few here and there, but i made a point to try. im not sure how many people know that about me, but chances are if we have walked anywhere together, i was silently reading. anyway...

this particular day i was not in new york city. i was walking downtown in charleston, sc, my new home. i worked a double the day before and hadnt eaten in about twenty-four hours. i was irritable to say the least.

this day i passed a man sitting in a knook in the storefronts lining the block. he held a cardboard sign in his hands with sharpie scribbled across its face, a paper cup between his feet, and another sign laying before him. i was in a hurry, so i could only catch what the one between his feet read:

"PLEASE. I AM REALLY HUNGRY. THANK YOU FOR YOUR KINDNESS."

i walked out of the diner and back towards my girlfriend's store, hustling a bit faster, hoping the guy with the dueling signs was still there. i almost walked right passed the knook he was sitting in...i started stutter stepping backwards. "hey boss, i got a muffin and some coffee here for you...its chocolate ch..."

he practically lunged at me, using whatever restraint and manners a growling stomach could maintain. he reached for the food, stuttering 'thanks' and 'thank you so much' like it was word vomit, like he couldnt catch his breath. fumbling over what to do first, sip or thank or eat or what. he was frantic. 

he was in sporadic rhythm: bite muffin... sip coffee... thank stranger... my stomach stopped aching. 

his eyes were beyond wide and expressed so much gratitude. i cant stress that enough. his gratitude. for a chocolate chip muffin and a coffee. he was really hungry. this isnt my first experience with the homeless, and certainly not the most personal, but i needed that man that day and i am grateful for that exchange. i thank the universe for allowing our paths to cross. 

whatever you have going on in your life, take the time to read the signs. sometimes theyre not as clear as cardboard and sharpie but theyre always there. the human experience bleeds between the lines. recognize one another.

oh right.

all these pieces will fall chaotically. 

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beautifully array and confused, until the very last moment when you're forced to pause, right as they settle still, all of them into a wondrous form that only makes sense for the chaos that precedes it. even after all that uncertainty, all that lost cause and confusion, you're almost forced to say "...oh, I guess that's right. everything has and always will fall exactly how it intends to. the universe is always exactly how it is supposed to be." everything falls exactly how time intended. you just have to ride the wave. 

dreams.

i want you but your nightmares tell you otherwise. you know i love you, but those

dark

         little

                   spaces

in the farthest reaches of the subconscious will not allow me to have you. 

cracks & spaces.

                   spaces & nooks. 

chiseled out by lovers passed and sealed with insecurities. it is he who will not allow you to give yourself over to me. it is not i who has run off to hide in the temptress' sheets. 

but your nightmares tell you otherwise.

ghost story.

there's always this history behind us that we can't shake; it's our past and it sticks to us forever. shooting the video for "devil creep" at letchworth village compliments that idea.

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the village opened in 1911 as a facility for the developmentally disabled before it was eventually realized as one of the last giant stains in the history of treatment for the mentally challenged. understaffed, under funded, over-crowded, and poorly maintained, the facility carries its fair share of ghosts, both literally and metaphorically. 

much like "devil creep," a song about no matter how hard you try to fight for something to stay or be one way, there's this unexplainable thing that sometimes just won't let you, or keeps getting in the way. your past catches up with you and you need to accept and live with it, move forward despite any devil or odds you're up against. 

i like to think about letchworth village and "devil creep" both as shadows of the past that have shown us where we've been, but also offer us a springboard to leap forward from. personally and as a society it's important to realize, to never forget, where you've come from only so as to move forward. 

 

thats the the connection; a village of ghosts and a song about one. 

contain you.

i wonder if you know how beautiful you are in this moment. or maybe that's just the way it is because that is what its supposed to be; that love within existence. 

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i wonder if you know how beautiful you are in these moments. reflections and curves and angles. 

light rolls over you; eyes sing to me and breathing fills me.

this room is not big enough for us. you cannot be contained.

the sun comes through the window as crooked stripes on the floor; shades half twisted make for uneven lines. when the wind moves the blinds, and the stripes on the floor sway up across the walls, it looks like an old-time movie. i wonder if you know you are a beautiful centerfold; the star of this classic. 

the air smells like salt-water. 

although there is endlessness out the window i still draw back to you. you're bigger than all that. bigger than the endlessness. bigger than the uneven lines on the floor. bigger than this room. i lean into you.

this room is not big enough for us. you cannot be contained.

 

 

cabin theory.

"When I made For Emma, it was my last chance to see if I could sit down and make something, for myself, that was beautiful."

i've always had this desire to lock myself away from the more concentrated parts of society for months at a time to better understand my creativity as is; less influenced by the day-to-day bullshit that your brain is constantly bombarded with. justin vernon recorded for emma, forever ago over the course of three months, isolated in his family's cabin in northwestern wisconsin. much like vernon, artists such as james vincent mcmorrow and ben howard talk about isolation and an almost "coming of age" moment within nature in many of their songs. the musical projects these guys have put out since these (what appear to be) revelations are regarded as some of their best work. ever watch a video of trevor hall talk about his music through his experiences with nature? he's almost as excited as that double-rainbow guy. anthony kiedis would hide away in hawaii when he needed to get himself right again. sometimes when you step away from the rest of the world, time catches up to you, and you find yourself living in the present, facing your experience as is. 

natural environments, healing, and music: i'm feeling a pattern here; we should want to get away from the day-to-day responsibilities and stresses and sort our heads out. only when you're thinking clearly can you really put all of your energy into your passion, and truly accomplish something with it. i think i could really create some of my best work if i had that opportunity.

obviously one cannot just disappear whenever they please; i would have done that already. there's consequences to that. it takes planning. but if we can find just a few moments of that "cabin" every day, think about how much clearer our heads may be. little victories, mini stay-cations, "cabin fever." some people meditate. some people just close their eyes and listen to their own breathing. if we all just found our cabin for a few minutes every day, who knows, we all might be doing ourselves a favor.

 

 

 

 

album art.

photograph and lyrics by Nolan Kennedy. all edits, arrangements, and design by Shane Kennedy, 2014. 

photograph and lyrics by Nolan Kennedy. all edits, arrangements, and design by Shane Kennedy, 2014. 

every time i got a new CD growing up i would pull out the insert booklet and go through it for lyrics and pictures. nowadays the market doesn't favor hard copy compact discs, forcing that tangible booklet into near extinction. my love of lyrics has inspired a digital lookbook, now available on the website. the songs are very lyrically driven anyway; being able to listen and follow along with what im saying, i think, is key. even more, there's nowhere on the internet right now where one could google and find my lyrics, so i wanted to make them available somehow. this became the best, and most creative, way to do that.

the photographs i picked for this have a theme. we hadn't actually planned this but during my selection process it just sort of happened that way. ahhh destiny.

the photographs were taken by myself, my brother, and a most excellent friend of mine. they're all of places i have been to in my life, part of my human experience. the ones taken by the other guys signifies their piece in this album; how everybody came together to help me make this happen. it's just another way of showing how this is "our" album. everyone and everything in my life thus far goes into what this album is.

everyday for a week we'll be putting out a piece of the lyrical album art. seven days, seven songs (we're starting with two today). at the end of the week we'll post the remaining photo pages  that have "thank you's" and other sorts of poetry unaffiliated with the lyrics.  i hope you enjoy it. 

the first shot for "cover you," shown above, is easy. it was last spring. i was walking to work in the evening, just around sunset. when i was crossing third avenue i just got the best vibes from a burning sky to my left. i stopped and took the pic really quick. new york city has been the last three years of my life. she's a bitch, but she's given me a lot and taught me a lot more; i owe that to her. it's only right to show that in all this concrete there still beauty to found all over.

navigate your way over to the 'album art' page for the other shots, and all shots to come this week. the gallery only allows for thumbnail images to be shuffled through, so you can find what song you're looking for. to view the entire lyric page, you'll want to open it in a separate tab. all arrangements, edits, and design for the pieces done by my brother Shane Kennedy.

cheers. much love. enjoy.

night terror.

my soul is home in that it belongs to you. my hands set to grasp something they cannot hold. 

my heart is swollen in my chest, my lungs try to breathe you. i feel worth. full. full in your clutch, that in that moment we are no longer two. i swear id stop this beating heart if only i could sync it with yours. to align our breathing.

your skin becomes my blanket as you strip me down. i am bare bones. i am a child in your bed.

and as i sit here suffocating in this crumbling house of sticks and stones, walls once saturated in love,  i feel you in my chest. you move through me. my gut twists when i realize youre not there. for a moment ive removed myself.

im heartbroken when i come back to right now. she brings all of my senses alive at once. ive transcended myself when youre holding me. 

give me till morning. ill be fine.