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These Days


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Description
We're all working harder. Trying to get things done. Trying to get somewhere, like "Hamster Man" in alley-oop's wonderful cartoon (see artwork). Why? This song doesn't really have any answers, but points an accusing finger at one of my favorite targets.

A companion piece to "What's Wrong with This World." (http://www.macjams.com/song/11310)

Thanks to alley-oop (Tom Schmitt) for the original artwork.

© 2006 Tom Atwood
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Lyrics
THESE DAYS

We need a little more from you
We have to do more with less
It may mean more hours
It may mean more stress…

(Chorus)
But that’s the way it is
These days
That’s the way it is
These days
These days
These days…

We have to make a few changes
Your pension is going away
It costs too much money
It cuts into the bottom line

Chorus

Think about your life
Think about time
Think about what matters?
Think about the grind

We need more people just like you
People who understand
How a corporation works
And where they fit in the corporate plan

Chorus
Song Stats
Hits: 6257
Comments: 55
Fans: 28
Plays: 756
Downloads: 230
Votes: 38
Uploaded: Feb 26, 2006 - 08:31:53 AM
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2006 - 09:19:32 AM Last Played: Dec 31, 2015 - 12:00:59 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Alvarez Classical Guitar
Casio Privia PX-300
Boss BR-8 Digital Recording Studio
G5
Software:
GB3
Jampack 4
Comments
RickW said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
Nice job Tom
The simple answer is: get out of the corporate grind and retire! But, it's
not really that simple. What we must do is assess our values. What's more
important to us? Accumulating money and stuff that we can't take with us,
or, finding love and peace that we can?

Excellent vocals and guitar playing as usual. I really liked it.

God bless,

Rick
Check out my latest song called Catherine
Tom Atwood said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
Nice job Tom
Thanks, Rick, for your thoughts on this. This song really sprang from an
internal debate I am having. I guess I am discussing the issues you raised in
your comments with myself. Maybe I'm schizophrenic?

p.s. your solution (peace and love) makes sense. Thanks again!

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said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
Well, what you could do...
Is quit your day job and become our American Folk Singer song
writer. You have that quintessential American flavor to your lyrics,
vocals, and songs in general. A little bit of Woodie Guthrie and Will
Rogers rolled into the musician Tom Atwood... OK, maybe a little of
Arlo's humor and quirky vocal renditions. You ought to think about
a CD that is dedicated to your folk type songs. They are pleasurable
to listen to and they always make me stop and think about what you
are singing about.
About the song... these lines are where I often find myself:

"Think about your life
Think about time
Think about what matters"

You have the ability to touch on deeper matters in an easy light
way. By light I don't mean flippant. Just... comfortable.
Way to go again, Tom.
Tom Atwood said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
Well, what you could do...
Thanks, Jack. I think part of my struggle is similar to what many here on this
site struggle with: the desire to do something meaningful through music
balanced against making a living, which adds meaning to paying the bills. I
sometimes tend to take the easy way out and blame corporate America, as
this song appears to do. But really, this song, like "What's Wrong with this
World," is not about business. It is about that struggle.

I will keep your suggestion in mind, though, about becoming the new Will
Rogers. I just need a rope!

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Monkaton said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
Great Song
What a great song! What with all the screaming and yelling that goes
on about "the man" or "the government" you hit the ball farther with
your kinder, gentler approach. I love the first verse in particular
because it's something one hears all the time at work.

Send Ken Lay a copy so he'll have something to listen to while he's in
jail.
Check out my latest song called Piece of Pie
Tom Atwood said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
Great Song
Thanks, Tim. Glad you enjoyed this. Are you just next door in MO?

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Mystified said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
Great Song...great approach
Another great song with an all-too-true message....said and sung the way only
you can do it, Tom.
Wonderful, wonderful harmonies. Classic Tom Atwood.

Your 'way with words' is always impressive--which is good.
But the way you approach people and try to look at life with all its challenges
in a gentle and (ultimately) optimistic way is inspiring--which is better.

Thank you for sharing your music here :)

Check out my latest song called Child of Yesterday
Tom Atwood said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
Great Song...great approach
Thanks, Cat. I am not sure where the optimism is in this song? You know, it
was a discussion you and I had earlier today that made me realize this is a
song to myself. Kind of like the "good Tom" and the "bad Tom" whispering in
my ear. But - we can talk about that later. Thanks again for giving this an
early listen and for your support.

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MidiOrleans said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
PANIC!
I totallly agree with you Tom! I have often sat at the
sidelines watching tourists in a panic to get somewhere
and when they get there they are still anxious in a sort of
panic state and just can't unwind from their mechanical
corporate state of mind! We are in the midst of the Mardi Gras season
here and of course for many it is this panic state to hit Bourbon Street
and proceed in a rush! What a pity when there is so much more still here
to experience. Most locals go to house parties & cut up and
take their time with good food/spirits/music & friendship after parades to
escape the panic. There is a great message in this song, and as always
delivered well.
Check out my latest song called Vieux Carré Prelude
Tom Atwood said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
PANIC!
I can picture you, Scotty, "on the sidelines" watching the frazzled tourists in
NO. It reminds me of being in airports, watching my fellow travelers,
wondering if I look as empty and lost as they do? I feel especially sorry for the
ones talking to themselves with wires dangling from their ears.

Thanks for giving this song a listen and for your comments.

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bronco said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
Rebel Without Money
I knew it was only a matter of time, tune in, turn on and drop out!!

Oh, I forgot, you have a family to take care of. I used to have one of
those but now I are a retiree! Total freedom but not enough money to
go anywhere or do anything. Must be why I am a poet and I know it!!

Needless to say, I could talk a long time about the corporate culture
and how they have betrayed their fellow Americans but even the
Republicans are finally beginning to understand that!

Your singing and guitar and recording quality are the same as always -
wonderful!! I think what is really significant here is that I could spend
all day twirling the radio dial and not hear one song of social protest -
even one as good mannered and mild as this one. Oh yes, large
corporations own all the radio stations, and the tv stations, and the
newspapers, and the cable systems, etc. etc. All the mom and pop
stores we grew up with are silent ghosts, wailing and moaning to
people with no ears!

Check out my latest song called Satisfied Mind
Tom Atwood said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
Rebel Without Money
Yes, Tom, the corporate influence is at times overwhelming and inescapable. I
don't think we need to worry about radical Islam somehow taking over -- it
could never in a million years defeat the world's corporations. Who can? But,
again, this piece is really less about corporations than it is about choosing
whether or not to become part of the culture, or at least about feeling
somewhat helpless to resist it. (I think that's what this song is about? Let me
look at my notes.)

Thanks for listening, and for your comments, Bronco.


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J.A.Stewart said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
Greed Is GOOD!
That was the message of the 90s... and it stuck. In a society full of eager
consumers who become enslaved by their own acquisitions, it's all too
easy to become a corporate hamster in a cage. WE feed the machine and
consume... ourselves.

Those who learn to live small generally gain the LARGEST sense of
personal freedom. It's really not as paradoxical as it sounds.

This is a thoughtful message, worthy of contemplation and shares the
spirit of some of the early pieces of folk music. Have you thought about
outsourcing it? ;?}
Check out my latest song called Crankenhurst Challenge - Verse 1-7 (Inst. Break)
Tom Atwood said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
Greed Is GOOD!
Thanks for the thoughtful comments, JH. As for outsourcing? You would need
to contact my corporate HQ first. Lawyers, agents, marketing. Let's see if we
can do the deal!

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K.I.S.KISMET said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
I love...
..your ability to switch around among genres and always come out with something to showcase your talents. Terrific singing/harmonies. A topic close to home from anyone's perspective yet full of humor and heart.
Check out my latest song called Mad Lands
Tom Atwood said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
I love...
Thanks Krystal, for stopping by and for your comments.

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Stun Nutz said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
The story of our lives!
Another classic you have here... the continuing story of the
struggle of modern man...

The "Tom Atwood chorus" sounds as good as ever, too... how
many vocal tracks do you have there? Four or more...?

I also thought the multilayered "Think about..." section was a nice
touch... like the thoughts that dart in and out of our head on a
daily basis.
Check out my latest song called stagnation
Tom Atwood said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
The story of our lives!
The struggle of modern man: money vs time, work vs family, and then
responsibility mixed in with all that. And then there is the question of what to
do with e screaming children? Obviously, you have decided to make music out
of them, or at least, something resembling music!

There are just three voices in this piece, Eric. The harmonies are very close,
and sometimes that can make it sound like more. Thanks!

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thetiler said 4311 days ago (February 26th, 2006)
Like the softness
The laid back feeling is nice. Being a small time contractor not sure If I
understand about the big corporations time people unless it's some of
the people I work for. But it's nice to feel that you have an
understanding about how big business can be a pain. For me I see it in
products even from very well known computer companies. How they
can make products and so many people think they are succeful and
maybe theyare to a certain degree on one side of the scale.

But so often these same mega companies forget the service end of it
and patrons get lousy service cause big companies are too busy
turning out their products to be understand about servicing their
creations. I wish I could be more detailed but I think get my drift.

But it's probably a lesson we all can learn. Maybe it's easier to make the
money but it's the call backs and backing up what you or we make.

Though I have to admit maybe there is that little hamster in all of us:)
Check out my latest song called They Went Underground
Tom Atwood said 4309 days ago (February 28th, 2006)
Like the softness
Thanks, Tiler, for your thoughtful comments.

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Nolan said 4311 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
Simply cool
I love the simplicity of the arrangement, the clarity of the production,
and the sweetness of the harmonies. Top notch tune. Thoroughly
enjoyed it, Tom.
Check out my latest song called And Say We're Happy
Peter Greenstone said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
always a pleasure
I can't think of anything to say today. Great as always. I feel like I'm
listening to another chapter in the great American story you're telling
through all your music.
Check out my latest song called Iridium Flare (2013 Re-Release)
Ed Hannifin said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
Now, see,...
...I would have turned this theme into a rant...

Well done, song, Tom, and nicely, nicely produced...

Ed
Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
Tom Atwood said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
Now, see,...
Maybe someday I'll rant, Ed, just to see what that sounds like?

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switch said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
beautifl
verry beautiful chorus,vocal&guitar
My mind is washed.
every tome Thank you!!
Check out my latest song called ele fla jazz menco
switch said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
beautifl
verry beautiful chorus,vocal&guitar
My mind is washed.
every tome Thank you!!
Check out my latest song called ele fla jazz menco
said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
What's The Deal With the Comment Indentation?
At least in my browser every comment is nested in one from the previous
one.
You commie you! How dare you disparage the soullessness of Corporate
America!!!! Worship the bottom line! Stock price is what matters even if
you have to cook the books to get those earning numbers!
Good tune, Tom.
Tom Atwood said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
What's The Deal With the Comment Indentation?
I'm not sure what the deal is with the comment indentation. Seems like all my
song comments end up this way. Help!

Thanks, BIll.

---
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said 4307 days ago (March 2nd, 2006)
What's The Deal With the Comment Indentation?
I think you may need to fix the html tag after "Splendor Bright" in your signature
- it seems to be part of an end tag (open bracket -slash) where it needs to be :
open angle bracket - slash - a - close angle bracket.

---
Ars longa, vita brevis.
mandolinquent said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
Don't distract me. I'm working
I love your band arrangements; particularly in the choruses where each
instrument follows a lovely clear line. Your singing with its pure
emotions, harmonies, clarity and those vocal slides too which remind
me of the way Jesus spat. Wish I could sing like that.

But words too are equally clear, about the wheedling flattery of the
modern workplace. You're the only one who can do this job (but of
course we can't pay you what we used to... )

I'd say more. But I have work to do.
Check out my latest song called Fair Jenny's Jig and Matthew Briggs
Tom Atwood said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
Don't distract me. I'm working
'The wheedling flattery of the workplace' - of course! that's what this song is
about. Why didn't I think of that? Sorry to disturb you in your corporate zen
state, Wm. Carry on. Thanks for stopping by!

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drakonis said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
interesting
Various points, but first, I like your voice, melody, and your gentle
poking at the listener to "think about what matters"... the orchestration
is wonderful, like the oompah-pah style background that comes in
sometimes. Now for critiques. There was something not-so-good
about the vocals, not sure exactly, but maybe some EQ is needed I
think... the vox sounded slightly harsh and raspy compared to the rest
of the music. Your harmonies were dead-on, stuff sounded well-
recorded, but there was either some distortion/clipping, or something
else (that I don't know how to explain) that seemed slightly grating in
the recording. Could also be that the vox were a little to loud in the
mix compared to the other instruments. Also, the pace of the music
seemed slightly slow for the message, It felt like it should be slightly
faster paced, it almost dragged. But the song structure is clean and
delightful, and your orchestration is crisp and fun, and the tweaking on
each instrument makes each sound real (nice horns and drums!) Hope
this is helpful.
ttfn,
Drakonis
Check out my latest song called Miwok
Tom Atwood said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
interesting
Thanks Eduard. Every time I listen to my vocals I find them grating in one way
or another. I am not sure that we can blame it on the EQ. Could be a general
warbling quality that has a tendency to grate? But, it is also possible the
vocals were a little high in the mix. I think the technical aspects of my
recordings are their weakest link. Either that, or the warbling!

Thanks for listening, Eduard, and for your comments.

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Jim Bouchard said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
interesting
well, I've never worked for a corporation, so I'll have to take your word for it.
Mostly just worked for small independently run companies that go out of
business. Maybe it's me, I'm not running fast enough. Oh well. It's a wonder
anybody hires me at all!
The vocal is curiously old-fashioned, like the Limelighters or the Kingston
Trio. It's not exactly your Bob Dylan sort of protest song, but that's okay with
me. Good job on the commentary, and the music. Keep on warblin', I say!
And I like the indentation. It makes the comments seem more like poetry!

---
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Tom Atwood said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
interesting
Thanks, Jim. From one warbler to another, I'll take that as a compliment. I
have worked for corporations, and I have worked for myself. But my fear is
that I sometimes adopt a 'corporate attitude' inside myself, succumbing to
'busyness' in a life that is too short and full to allow for the 'wheedling
flattery,' even if it comes from within.

Wow. Deep. Don't step in it. :)

Thanks for the kind words, JIm.

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jgurner said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
If only....
....it were simple enough to just extend your middle finger to corporate
America and tell them exactly what oriface to shove their job in, but they
have us right where they want us and the corporate world ensures that if
we try and buck the system, we pay too high a price.

Obviously, I'm right with you on the economic/political message. That
aside, the way the tune is done is brilliant. Nice and simple, classic folk
feel. Wonderful layered vocals. Could have been right at home with the
protest songs of the 60s or the workers protest songs of the first half of
the 20th century.
Check out my latest song called Carol of the Basses
Tom Atwood said 4309 days ago (February 28th, 2006)
If only....
I believe you are right about the high price, especially re: the use of that
middle finger. I would not recommend it at this point. Stick to mild protest
songs. Thanks Joseph.

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Tadashi Togawa said 4310 days ago (February 27th, 2006)
Person's footstep
I am not good at English.
The insistence put in this lyrics cannot be understood, and it is
very regrettable.
However, I feel that as is simple, as certain as person's footstep.
Check out my latest song called Mexican taste
Cori Ander said 4309 days ago (February 28th, 2006)
Sorry
Sorry, I had a long long comment going here, then I pressed something
wrong on the keyboard and all my text vanished, and the other
comments got out of line somehow ...

What was my long long commant about? Shortly:

Yes yes so true so true. Same here in Sweden. Maybe someone would
expect working life to be better here, and it might have been in so the
history but not today...

So, now seeing the symptoms, what shall we do?

/Curry


Check out my latest song called O store Gud
ifmusiconline said 4309 days ago (February 28th, 2006)
Good stuff I like it!
anything else?
Check out my latest song called You and Me.
John Stebbe said 4309 days ago (February 28th, 2006)
LW3
Reminds me of Loudon Wainright III, who so famously recorded "Dead
Skunk In The Middle Of The Road" about 35 years ago.

Your vocal harmonies and solo lines are just right. Reminds me a bit
of some of the vocals on the soundtrack from "Oh, Brother, Where Art
Thou?"

Great work, Tom!

John
Check out my latest song called Midwest States Song
John Stebbe said 4309 days ago (February 28th, 2006)
LW3
Reminds me of Loudon Wainright III, who so famously recorded "Dead
Skunk In The Middle Of The Road" about 35 years ago.

Your vocal harmonies and solo lines are just right. Reminds me a bit
of some of the vocals on the soundtrack from "Oh, Brother, Where Art
Thou?"

Great work, Tom!

John
Check out my latest song called Midwest States Song
ledebutant said 4309 days ago (February 28th, 2006)
Beep, Beep, Beep
I detect lyrics. I have to sit down for a minute.

There, I'm much better now. Thank you for your concern and rewarding
my whiny behavior with this wonderful companion piece to "WWWTW".
(I'm going to pretend that my whining controls the world, so don't
interupt my reverie, please).

I find it very interesting that you still feel the struggle between working
for the man and having a life, since you left the news biz a few years
ago and I was under the impression that you had escaped to a certain
extent, but this is probably a topic for iChat.

That is one heck of a catchy chorus, Mr. Atwood and a wonderful
encapsulation of the thinking that keeps us in our spots, never moving
forward. I agree with Cat that much of your music is optimistic,
because it's very rarely of "this work freaking sucks%u2122," school of
songwriting, but more as though you are raising questions with an eye
toward changing the world.

A , gold star, and you get to be up first in kickball all week. :-)
Tom Atwood said 4308 days ago (March 1st, 2006)
Thanks!
Thank you ledeb, Stebbe, Curry, online, Joseph, and everyone else for
listening and commenting on my tunes. I really appreciate it - and will
see you all down the road!
Check out my latest song called Vanishing Pezzicato
alley-oop said 4307 days ago (March 2nd, 2006)
Authentic
You know...you are Woodie Guthrie. A superb track. Oustanding.
Check out my latest song called rain
alley-oop said 4307 days ago (March 2nd, 2006)
Authentic
You know...you are Woodie Guthrie. A superb track. Oustanding.
Check out my latest song called rain
selters said 4307 days ago (March 2nd, 2006)
Good Lyrics!
I recognize the lyrics and can relate them to my own life these days.. If I understand them right though, that doesnt really matter does it? They made me feel something and if that isnt the same as you did when you write that is also a good thing. I am just sick of all demandings that are in society, there is always a hunger for more, and it might not even give you anything back. The vocals you have put together sound great, the harmony as well. The arrangement in the chorus sound a bit like German Ompa music, you know, people dancing with funny hats and drinking loads of beer.I like the way you use a simple guitar arrangement for the verses and then let it "explode" in the chorus. A very good song, it triggered a lot of feelings inside me!
Check out my latest song called The Callous Way You Act
echoroom said 4307 days ago (March 3rd, 2006)
great protest
Tom - iLoved this - beautifully played and recorded, but i REALLY dig the idea of a protest song, played in traditional style, against modern corporate values. I'll suggest my firm adopts this as its corporate song.
Check out my latest song called Heaven is Waiting
Mcboy said 4302 days ago (March 7th, 2006)
a classic americana sound.....
i feel a synthesis of arlo guthrie, ralph stanley, dylan, etc....the
feel.....awesome feel.....the folk sensibiltiy and approach to reporting on
the times is classic.....bravo tom!!!
Check out my latest song called Bluesphemy (MJRF 2010)
Rebsie said 4302 days ago (March 7th, 2006)
Great stuff
Lovely harmonies! And a subject matter I'm sure most of us can relate
to. The middle section with the two interacting vocals is beautiful.

I must say I've been much happier since I gave up my prestigious
career in graphic design and became a full-time hippy. Spending my
days playing the guitar and staring out of the window. I feel very
blessed.
Check out my latest song called Amongst The Colours (w/ Luna Trick)
TobinMueller said 4301 days ago (March 8th, 2006)
Transcendental hopelessness
So sweet and sad. You are a master of the sad and sweet. How you
articulate this song creates such a hopelessly resigned melancholy, you
make Bartleby the Scrivener look downright optimistic. There is a
magnetic inevitability that is so well set inside the slow waltz, wrapping a
sense of not belonging within nostalgia, and then your encircling
counterpoint vocal "think about" section becomes a thrilling vortex, a
straightjacket that the pliable and unempowered cannot resist, he become
their spokesman. Yet, just your ability to speak a truth helps us
transcend. This is a brilliant track.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Einarus said 4301 days ago (March 8th, 2006)
Lovely
This is really great.

I can't really say anything that hasn't been said before so just go ahead
and read all of the comments again and presume I wrote them all. :)

Great work, as usual.
Check out my latest song called "I Hate Goodbyes"
composerclark said 3996 days ago (January 7th, 2007)
These are the good old days?
There's no one like you at MacJams; you wear so many musical hats, and when you do folk music you make me think of the great American tradition of Woody Guthrie and Peter Seeger, singin' it like it is.
Check out my latest song called A Little Song About Our Mom
aprildnj said 3754 days ago (September 6th, 2007)
Great
I enjoyed this song, makes you sit and take stock in what is going on in your life and what is important. Thanks.
rockstar89 said 2286 days ago (September 13th, 2011)
Good classic sound, cool harmony
Good classic sound, cool harmony. Love the feel of the band when it comes in.
Check out my latest song called Here You Are
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Name: Tom Atwood
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I guess I could be a 'poster child' for MacJams. I joined the site on New Year's Eve 2004, after several years of not making much music at all. A long dry spell. Since then, I have posted more than 50 songs here, collaborated with some wonderful arti... [see more]

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