John Crossman 20


Madison USA   Jan 2008

Artist Bio

Influences:   Trip Shakespeare, David Wilcox, Jeff Buckley, Joni Mitchell, Housemartins, Lyle Lovett, Kurt Vonnegut, BNL, Shawn Colvin, M. Ward, Anne Lamott, Jackson Browne, Rev. Al Green, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Shawn Kirchner, Martin Sexton, Elmore Leonard, XTC, Jonatha Brooke, Greg Brown, Don Chaffer, Iron & Wine, Bob Schneider, Wilco, Dr.Dog, fawmers fawmers fawmers, punctuation, TC Elliott, Das Binky, SWG, Nancy Rost, cowex, Dethklok.

fawmclass of '08, huzzah!

"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft." -Anne Lamott
"...if your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything." -David Foster Wallace
"Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it."-Neil Gaiman
“You don’t make art out of good intentions.” -Gustave Flaubert
”I am always doing things I can't do, that's how I get to do them.” -- Picasso.
"Do not worry about your originality. You could not get rid of it even if you wanted to." -- Robert Henri.
"Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up." -- Chuck Close
"Up yours, gravity." -@stevenwesleygulies

There will be songs, they are formed and forming, and I'm learning how to make the new equipment squeak and pop just like the old stuff. It's a little arduous, but like you, I will persevere.

Ramble on!

3/2 back to work and folding laundry. (So much work waiting, so behind in both!) But I'll still be listening and lurking for a while, just a bit less as I try to catch up. Keep on making the musics and I'll see you around!!!

Songs (20)

#1 Tell Me About Your Dreams 30
Feb 6
#2 Angry Tea 31
Feb 9
#3 Through the Snow 14
Feb 11
#4 In My Brain 12
Feb 11
#5 Sleep Won't Come 17
Feb 13
#6 Trying to Be Here (working title) 15
Feb 14
#7 Out on the Road 19
Feb 18
#8 Godzilla in da House 15
Feb 18
#9 Blah Blah Blah 3
Feb 19
#10 Mess Up 13
Feb 20
#11 When I'm Gone 15
Feb 21
#12 Send a Little Love 16
Feb 24
#13 I Need I Need 13
Feb 26
#14 emotions that we code 10
Feb 26
#15 You and I'll Be (formerly You Fill a Side for Me) @stevenwesleyguiles  15
Feb 27
#16 Hate to Ask 9
Feb 27
#17 our favorite song @sueawesome 32
Feb 28
#18 Lighthouse 15
Mar 1
#19 Anymore (new demo 3/6) 12
Mar 1
#20 More 13
Mar 1


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  • @kadmad202 Mar 13

    Hey John! Thanks for the comments on Refugee. You're right about "just" - it would make more sense, and flow better to say "and she wants to fly (ring the high notes here!), fly away." Just read those comments now, so don't know if you get back here much after Feb is over, but I've really appreciated your listening and your insights. Do you play around town anywhere? Fellow FAWMER Hannah Busse has gigs every now and then - just wondering if you do, too? And if so, how would I hear about them?

  • @stephenwordsmith Mar 6

    Looking at the stats for On Shower Walls has been enlightening. Success becomes you, XMan. Currently, the lead single is outselling the album itself. People love what you do.

  • @juoppis  Mar 6

    Cheers on your comment You Haven't Heard The Last From Us and a big congratulations, since you obviously also won this year 😀

  • @candle Mar 6

    Thanks for the great comment on Hey Theory. I hope you've now made it back home 😀

    See You In The Shadows…

  • @spinhead  Mar 5

    I was wondering if I'd get away with "spleeny."

    Just discovered my pretend adopted grandbaby Ellie and her parents are moving to Madison, so on our August trip north we'll be there a day or two. There should be some way for us to get together for a pint and a tune, eh?

  • @sueawesome Mar 4

    thank you for taking the time to do a demo, i really appreciate it. I love how it turned out

  • @majordanby  Mar 4

    Hi. Thanks for all your lovely comments and for listening in general. We had aimed to do 28 songs this year as there are two of us, unfortunately things conspired against us.

  • @dasbinky  Mar 4

    If you're interested at some point, I might be into trying to lay down some XTC-like tracks with you. They're a band I really enjoy, but I've never spent any time trying to emulate.

    Parts of More reminded me of Senses Working Overtime and maybe Ball and Chain. You got the sound nailed.

  • @sueawesome Mar 4

    trouble maker

  • @sueawesome Mar 4


  • @resonut123  Mar 4

    John, thanks for the nice comment on my song Magnitude.

  • @scottlake Mar 3

    John thanks for your comment on my interpretation of spinhead's lyric. You are right, that was a 'hit record and see what happens from just a fragment of a melody that came to me upon reading the lyrics." That is way out of my element but that's what I use FAWM for. In fact if you listen near the beginning I mutter a "wrong chord" comment to myself.

  • @sueawesome Mar 3

    I wrote 'hopefuless'?

    I thought I wrote hopeless
    I will change

  • @sueawesome Mar 3

    you still never told me what typo

    was it something I wrote?? I usually edit like crazy, unless I'm short on time

  • @hazeyjohnii  Mar 3

    Thank you so much for your comments on my songs, I really appreciate you taking the time to listen and give detailed feedback. Love the inspirational quotes in your bio, particularly the Robert Henri one. I've loved all of your songs that I've listened to so far, will try to get to more soon!

  • @sueawesome Mar 3

    you know who would be good for fawm-over listening-to and who I miss... @jules

    did you know her? or was that @winlocktoledo and I who obsessed over her??

  • @sueawesome Mar 3

    that was actually a good explanation

  • @sueawesome Mar 3

    I've trashed your soundboard

  • @sueawesome Mar 3

    that was a terrible parting shot before bed

    more laughing

  • @sueawesome Mar 3

    John...weevils??? really???

    I mean.. it was an interesting song and he sang it really well.. but how on earth did this fawm-soundboard-listening go from tangerines to beautiful ghosts to.... weevils?!?!

    I'm laughing
    So hard

  • @sueawesome Mar 3

    I'll see your brave tangerine and raise you a ghost

  • @sueawesome Mar 3

    so water not a filter

    I brought rain to the party. Isn't that good enough?

  • @sueawesome Mar 3

    also..someone else said steamy on another lyric. 🙈 I just was making comparisons but I did wonder how it would read to others.
    I guess it's time for a filter or something haha

  • @sueawesome Mar 3

    are you talking about how the notes go up in the last verse, first line, last word 'know'? and then stays going up for the remaining lines?

    I actually thought the first part of how you sang 'know' was really awesome (strong and intense) but the second half of the word (and remaining lines) I thought went too high just even for the overall song. It wasn't bad singing, I just didn't think it fit. Ending sweetly makes sense, I totally get it, but the whole thing was why not end with strength or subtle intensity? (Or both)

    Does that make sense? Did that answer your question?

  • @sueawesome Mar 3

    you leave the best comments

    what typo??

  • @guatecoop  Mar 3

    Haha...I'm not so sure I know what I'm doing, but I'm learning. That guitar part still is not in the spot that he intended....thanks for the nice comment.

  • @beautyspot  Mar 3

    Hey John, thanks for the comments. I have added the lyrics. They are not the final lyrics....reworked them to flow better and get my feelings across at the time I created the song. The bass vi is going to be on the bench and sorted out this weekend (great guitar, but the typical cheap electronics fail quite rapidly after one plays if for a few hours!!). I can understand that the lyrics are hard to discern as this was recorded live with only one microphone, so I did my best to try and get them to stand out. Hopefully I can get to record it again with the improved lyrics and two mics.
    I did this after one particular bad day at work, where I pointed out some very obvious errors in some documents and peoples ego's would not let them see the errors. I told them I was not going any further until they were fixed. Their solution was to ignore me and have somebody else do the work....and then they eventually fixed the errors exactly as I had pointed out!!

  • @piney  Mar 2

    Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them a lot! I am enjoying your songwriting very much. I have had the same idea about the song Birna. Maybe if I finish the song I'll post it on youtube! 😀

  • @hoppiern  Mar 2

    Thanks for listening to my song! Yes, I think we were on somewhat similar tracks. The FAWM mind cloud. 😊

  • @crisp1  Mar 2

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments on What Youth Is For. I had fun writing it. I know I commented on one of your songs a few days ago but I'll make a point to listen to more of them in the coming days. Looks like you had a great FAWM.

  • @acromie Mar 2

    This is only my second fawm, and while I was hoping to hit 14 this year, life just kept getting in the way. But I did do 4 more than last year, and everything seemed to feel a lot easier this year. Next year I'll definitely get there. And hopefully this time I'll continue writing over the summer. I was a bit lax last year. Thanks again!

  • @sueawesome Mar 2

    yes, I just wanted to hyperbole you back

    off to meet Kennedy

  • @acromie Mar 2

    John. Thank you so much for your wonderful comments on Missin' the Girls. I think that is one of the best comments I've ever had. It was a level of constructive I really needed for it. You are right in the point that the idea was that:

    I made the decision to leave
    But I was missing those longstanding relationships, even if they were toxic,
    and then finally the bridge sort of moves over to an absolute, hell no! I'm not missing anything resolution.

    But based on your comments, that could probably be a bit more clear. I will work on that. Thank you again for all of your thoughts, I really appreciate the time you spent on it, and I hope that I can do some of those comments justice as I work on it to get it to a more complete state.

  • @sueawesome Mar 2

    no no no.. we are not going there
    you can't compare a female vocal to a male one

    you're a healer too.. you can't ever quit that
    like ever
    I'll start breaking apart again
    and that would be another disaster to clean up
    so no, not an option
    ain't got time for that

  • @corinnecurcio  Mar 2

    Thanks for your comments on "Mixed Emotions" John 😀 I quite like it too!

  • @sueawesome Mar 2

    go check out @piney
    Broken Carousel and Cross the Horizon specifically

    oh my!!!! Have you come across her?!?!

  • @johnstaples  Mar 2

    Hey John! Thanks so much for your kind words! I just noticed I still need to sample some of your new stuff...and I WILL soon!!

  • @spinhead  Mar 2

    Tell me about your baritone guitar. I'd love to get one someday. It's number 113 on my Gear Acquisition List.

    Still asking myself if you've grown significantly in the past couple years, or if I wasn't paying proper attention. Your FAWMage this year is consistently smart, melodious, engaging.

  • @owl  Mar 1

    Hey I got it! That's cool.
    Look up OB's cover of "little girls"--the kind of jumpy rhythms are what felt similar to me. Did you hear @songsville's overt take on XTC this year?

  • @theresaj Mar 1

    Yes, progressing well. Way better than I was told to expect! Only now my voice is just about back to normal and FAWM is over 😞.

  • @sueawesome Mar 1

    jc.. it didn't break me
    it's putting me back together

  • @factorytale Mar 1

    Maybe it is copper. It's The Thing that turns Green? Have to look it up. No there's not gonna be that kind of ring. It's breaking free. ☺

  • @sueawesome Mar 1

    I hope someone gets to hear you say good morning every day

  • @sueawesome Mar 1

    I just. Keep. Crying.

  • @sueawesome Mar 1

    (oh..can you edit out my sisters' name, I've had to go ultra private)

  • @sueawesome Feb 28

    where on earth do I start...

    I don't know where that version of your voice hides, and I don't know why you hide it... (make no mistake..your other voice is already incredible)
    I just heard a sound in your voice that I can't ever recall hearing since we first collaborated 8 years ago.
    You have such a gift, hopefully I've said it before, I'm sure I haven't said it enough..but it is a gift. What you just did to those words (and visuals stuck in my head)..for me.. was more than a gift.. it feels like unbreakable hope. It feels like you just lifted a mountain and uncovered a beautiful world. It feels like you barricaded a little spot on earth just to let a flower grow to full you protected something endlessly priceless.

    I'm not finished gushing..but will I ever ever thank you

  • @sueawesome Feb 28

    {just a few more minutes to finish this ugly sobbing cry in my pillow}

  • @factorytale Feb 28

    thanks for the comment on my song. it's cobber. makes sense to me, maybe not other people, but there's a history to this. how could I tie the rings to the bird or kite? the kite is a symbol of being free and childish playful. the birds are singing instead of oneself. in the end breaking free the narrator finds her own voice. does it make sense?

  • @elainedimasi  Feb 28

    Thank you John for all your comments but especially on "Trucker"! : -)

  • @sueawesome Feb 28

    I thought tagging on song comments showed up in recent activity?!?! Goodness that's terrible. I wanted to keep the song conversation on the song for when I archive. Wishful thinking or I'll have to go to a persons soundboard and make them go all the way back to my song..

  • @sueawesome Feb 28

    I'll be quoting you several times over. That was good.

    I thought the tape stuck out like a sore thumb but I loved the thought that the heaviness of blame doesn't stand the chance of sticking with a desperate piece of tape. : )

  • @dasbinky  Feb 28

    Show me that smile again. Don't waste another minute on your crying.

  • @jibbidy34  Feb 27

    Oh John you are too kind! You made me blush. 😀 I'm a big fan of yours too. Thanks for stopping by to take the time to hear 'Are We In Your Dream Or Are We In Mine'. I'm heading to the finish line now and then will be back onto your page to hear the ones I missed!

  • @spinhead  Feb 27

    Thanks for the joy on "Who Made You Blue?"

    I'll be back to listen here right soon, sir.

  • @guatecoop  Feb 27

    Haha...thanks for the comments and encouagement! I still have about 4 more out there in collaboration land....haha. Thanks!

  • @radicalmguy  Feb 27

    Thanks for the feedback! In my anecdote, "rach" rhymes with sasquatch. Yeah, but don't ever say that out loud haha

  • @dasbinky  Feb 27

    Congrats on crossing the threshold! Or passing the line! Or whatever we call it!

  • @aprilm Feb 27

    Thanks for checking out Feed This Need - this song definitely needs time to develop! But I like the song as I hear it in my head lol

  • @seanbrennan  Feb 27

    Thanks for your comment on "Fall," and for taking the time to evaluate the topic and musical qualityas they related to each other! I love getting to hear so many great insights from so many artists during February. Congrats on crossing the finish line!

  • @nancyrost  Feb 26

    And you've crossed the finish line -- huzzah! I look forward to listening to, and indeed learning some of, yours!

  • @negasi  Feb 26

    The same to you good sir! Been listening to your stuff, lovely as ever, expect a whack of comments beginning of march when i do a huge sit down and listen to comment! 😁

  • @eargoggle  Feb 26

    Hey thanks for your comment on my song, it is actually supposed to be 'Us Against then' instead of 'them' because it's a couple looking back on their decisions and life and how it seems in hindsight, or something...! But that's sort of a dumb title I think, originally i had the title as 'Rewind and Mix it In' which might be better. The two songs prior to that are the first part of the story.

  • @pachufe Feb 25

    Hi, John thank you for your words, i started really late so i don't think i'll be uploading more songs here but thank you 😀

  • @rbmarty000 Feb 24

    Thanks for your comments and positive feedback. I may change the first verse..
    I was trying to create a protest song but use sauce of life moment.

  • @toms  Feb 24

    Thank you, John! Doodle doo it is!

  • @theresaj Feb 23

    Hey, I managed to croak out a rough vocal for my psychedelic song "Chasing Reflections" using @guatecoop 's music. Here's the link if you want to hear it:

  • @spinhead  Feb 21

    Re: 10 Feet Tall, I have no idea. I thought it was going to come out all wrong. Thanks for the uptick comment.

  • @jwhanberry  Feb 21

    Thanks for listening and commenting on "Dialogue". Glad you liked it. Have a great week.

  • @stevenwesleyguiles  Feb 20

    You're almost to 14!! 😀
    I believe in you, John!

  • @davewermers  Feb 20

    Thanks for the nice comments on my song "Barbed Wire".

  • @chandra83  Feb 19

    Thanks for your feedback on "stirrings" 😀

  • @sherrycanary  Feb 19

    Hi John
    Thank you for your kind words on It Wasn't Me. Still amazed it will be a a Real Book...a jazz composers dream come true!

  • @brrrse  Feb 18

    Thank you for your comment on History's Road. I am used to challenges with a little more interaction and feedback I guess. I'm feeling overly vulnerable this year. *hugs* 😀

  • @sueawesome Feb 17

    finished, not perfect

  • @jyllian Feb 17

    Thank you for commenting on "When I Grow Up." Strange as the line about prison is - it's the inspiration for get song because a student actually said it. So - I won't change it. Doing more research though to flesh out my verses though.

  • @acousticmaddie  Feb 17

    Thanks for the nice comment on my song.

  • @stephenwordsmith Feb 17

    You are correct - Rose and I did our first collab, an autobiography of a February 29 baby. It was her and my half-song for the leap FAWM.

  • @mal Feb 17

    Howdy, Mr. Xman. :}

  • @spinhead  Feb 16

    Solid feedback on "Water Over Stone." Precisely the stuff I seek.

  • @kevinreid Feb 15

    Hey, John. I'm going to take a break from FAWM this year. I'll come by later this month and have a listen to your new tracks.

  • @chlamore  Feb 14

    thanks for the thoughtful comments! It was a complete coincidence, i didn't know anything about the snow moon skirmish.

  • @stephenwordsmith Feb 14

    You're allowed to be a fan of my pen, provided you stop after those three letters.

    Your comment is appreciated; thank you.

  • @lazyafro Feb 13

    I'm around 😉 Thanks for the kind words, Happy FAWMing to you!!

  • @theawkwardsleep  Feb 13

    Thanks for the note, you're right, the music is in stark contrast to the lyrical content - this was done purposely because of the emotion behind it - you know? I'm going to come back tomorrow and listen to your tunes! I'm so behind and its late! 😀

  • @stevenwesleyguiles  Feb 12

    @johncrossman That grabs me good, John. 😀 Send me what you will. I will add something. Taco spices. Flourishes. Magical incantations and wizardry.

    Or maybe just a few major thirds and fourths.

  • @stevenwesleyguiles  Feb 12



    All love. No hate.
    Also, feel free to change any or all of the lyrics if you so desire.

  • @jodv  Feb 11

    Thanks for checking out my skirmish song! Maybe I'll have to go back and beef it up with an actual arrangement at some point 😁

  • @arthurrossi Feb 11

    I would like to thank you very, very much for your generous words...

  • @andrewjtaylor  Feb 11

    @johncrossman Thank you for your thoughtful advice on my song, "Time." I realized that the length (4:30) doesn't fit the typical VCVCBC format. I've tested it out with a skip cycle in Logic, and eliminating Verse 3 and the following PC & Chorus would save exactly one minute, providing a more-typical song length of 3:30. There's nothing much developing instrumentally in those sections, anyway. I might end up doubling the content of Verse 3 into Verse 2 and then just eliminate that last Pre-Chorus & Chorus. Thanks a lot! Super helpful.

  • @oldlostjohn  Feb 11

    Hi John, thanks for your kind words. Believe it or not, my recording gear is a Zoom H4 handy-recorder, first generation. So there's no special trick, it's all in the timber of my voice!

  • @boyatheart  Feb 11

    Thanks for the amazing comment on "Do Shadows Dream of Light". Your comment is an example of why I do what I do. Thank you for that.
    I do think it is my favourite song that I have written too, at least for now and at least for as long as I can remember! 😀

  • @andrewjtaylor  Feb 11

    Thanks for your kind, helpful comments on my new track, "City Lights" @johncrossman! I'm glad to know the chorus "sticks" since it came together quite late (again, when I'm told to construct the hook first)! It's also very good to know that you think the song's general enough for varied interpretation. I think I always want that to be the case. Thanks for your encouragement!

  • @squeakmouse73 Feb 11

    Thank you for the encouragement. Yes, it seemed like that could have been something Mom and Dad would have experienced, or a scene I would have seen here or where I grew up.

  • @kristi  Feb 11

    Thank you for your nice comments on my skirmish lyric, Snow Moon!

  • @debs  Feb 11

    Yes, definitely a little better. Thank you for asking! ❤️

  • @debs  Feb 11

    The demo's up now, my friend!

  • @angelinapowersuit Feb 8

    Hi John! Great to see you here again! And thanks for your feedback on "Dead," I appreciate the encouragement! It's a slow start for me this year. BTW I love that you actually quoted Flaubert, haha! Good luck this month! Angelina

  • @spinhead  Feb 7

    I would love to hear your thoughts on my word choices, on every song or any you feel drawn to. So far I think most will end up in my shows (except #1 and the goofy instrumental) so anything that makes 'em better is good.

  • @spinhead  Feb 7

    The hitch I felt re: rhymes was the mix, some perfect, some internal. Consistency in subtleties, or something like that. My guess is I'm the only person who even notices, so don't read more into it than you ought to believe, eh?

  • @nancyrost  Feb 6

    Let me know if you'd like to come over and record some songs some time.