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Mix #7: "The Other" (Feat. Lucy Lawless)
Two histories here to briefly relate:

Re. the song itself: I wrote this specifically for Iris to sing (see Mix #5) in early 2017 and started the recording at that time (including recording Iris vocals and my harmony). I pictured this as a full, electric band thing and actually had my friend Steve remotely record some drum kit, but this album does not admit such things. 

The character singing here is (as she states) a dramatic projection of goofy things that men project onto women. I know there's a lot of public discourse about objectification, but my experience includes much more insidious deification (which is never purely devotional); I find the psychology involved in that much more interesting.

Re. Lucy: You may know her as Xena the Warrior princess or from her recurring roles on Parks & Recreation, Battlestar Galactica, Ash Vs. Evil Dead, Salem, etc. She was a fan of my philosophy podcast and appeared with us in 2012. In summer 2013 she remotely recorded some prominent backing harmonies for one of my better songs, and her fans urged me to have her actually sing lead on something given how much crazily better a singer she is than I am. I wrote another song in spring 2014 for her to sing, but she wasn't available at the time, and I was pretty sure this was never going to happen. Meanwhile, she's appeared with me on three different PEL audioplays and some of the associated discussion. 

Coming up to this album, I talked with Iris re. whether she wanted to redo her now-old vocal part (which was good but not near as awesome as the other two songs she's singing lead on this album), and she also recently revealed that she'll be leaving the live band. I consequently decided to take one more stab at recruiting Lucy to do a lead vocal, since this had the potential to benefit from some professional acting, and she's no stranger to being treated in these weird ways (I actually wrote another song on her first contact with us inspired by this).

After some initial hesitation (she didn't like declaring herself "a baby," and so I provided some alternative phrasing and lyrics, but she ended up going with the song as originally written, perhaps after I explained what it was about) she sent us three vocal takes to work with. What you're hearing here is mostly take 1. 

Lyrics:

I am the Other, baby.  I will solve all your problems. 

Fill me up with all your insecurities and fly

I am another lady, your severalth one and only

Come to me, I'm what you need. Just worship me and die


A sentimental death, fulfilling every Valentine cliché

If you never try, you'll never know how it feels to be unmade


I am the Other baby, project upon me all your fantasies and entreaties, 

Especially the weird ones, baby

I am another crazy, impossibly imperfect 

Vessel for your self-deceiving picture of your needs


But it's the only game in this city, built on rock and roll cliche

And if you never try, you'll never know relief from mass malaise


Love, love, love it's all you need

A break from what's.desensitized you

A not uncommon, known condition

Should clear up in a year or so

Love love love that's guaranteed

To give you something for your journal

A universal, known religion 

Self-fulfilling, verifiable

Moving towards the empty ache

Bring on the incipient heartbreak

It all comes with the territory I promise, it won't be more than you can take


I am the Other, baby, another force beyond your power

Courage to change what you can, your own death wish notwithstanding

I am the Other, baby, all wrapped in too much

Cultural cliché, so run away as fast as you need reprimanding


The Other to your immature 

The Other to your horse manure

The Other to your narcisissistic needs