SONG: High Desert


“High Desert.” [Download]

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Based on “All Dressed Up For Mars And Nowhere To Go“, Medium, 9 November 2014, as used in the post “Red Planet dreams: what it takes to sign up for a one-way mission….”

ABSTRACT: This is one of those songs where I had a chord progression and a guitar figure worked out long before I figured out what story they wanted to tell.

But then I started thinking of one-way tickets to Mars, and what drives a person to leave everything to go out into the nothing of a whole new frontier, a whole unexplored desert, and a kind of spaghetti Western thing swept me up. Clint Eastwood as space colonist, never comin’ home again.

Given more time… I do get tired of saying that or thinking that, but I guess it’s part of the program with these… given more time, I think I’d layer *out* some of the murky guitar stuff at the end, and layer *in* something explicitly Mars-y. Probably some countdown audio in the third verse, or communication with ground control.

And I might do a little tweaking with the first verse, which is kind of where I want to start idea-wise, but also doesn’t exactly have the meter I’d like. Really liked the way the drums came out, even the accidental percussion of a metronome track bleeding out of the headphones and into the too-sensitive condenser mic. Tick-tick-tick-TOCK….


When that bus leaves, save me a seat.
Pack a paperback
Maybe your photograph

Something I can’t name
has me bound for loneliness
and the high desert.

I will not be deceived
By trajectories and budgets

Something I can’t name
has me face the the skies
and the high desert.

The air might be thin
Once the trip is over

Something I can’t name
leaves behind unhappiness
for the high desert.