This Modern Life

Written around August 2006

This is the third and final track of The Lovely Life EP. It was originally called “Loud Trucks” before I fleshed out the chorus and coda.

The a capella outro was actually a happy accident that made perfect sense in hindsight. On occasion I’ll pick up the guitar between a Mint support request and pluck out this song before putting the guitar down again. I’m inevitably left singing the short “hey, hey, hey” bridge ad infinitum—despite the sophomoric lyrics. While recording I had pushed a bunch of my scratch tracks for that bridge to the end of the song. At one point near the end of the process I let the play head wander into the harmony graveyard and I was hooked.

I like to think of this song as Ben Gibbard’s take on my neighborhood as performed by Sam Beam—only a touch more upbeat. We live about 3 blocks from a Pepsi bottling plant and my home office (where I wrote this while Leslie was away) is street side. Oh, and there’s a city bus stop only one door down. Traffic is rarely quiet in my office.

You can see tree tops and cell towers from the office. My cell reception really does suck. Add in someone publishing our home number as their fax number which renders our home phone nearly useless and I’m virtually unreachable aside from email.

We actually live in a nice neighborhood but like any city the good spots are often surrounded by bad areas (like checkered squares on a chess board). So on occasion we have police helicopters spotlighting suspects fleeing into and around the neighborhood. Which is kind of crazy considering that we live in Baltimore, not LA.

One last tidbit, that seemingly arbitrary number at the end of the song? That was the actual mileage between street addresses where Leslie was staying while away. And that concludes this episode of Pop-up Blog-eo.

If you like the mellower Death Cab for Cutie material or Iron & Wine you might like this song. If you’ve never heard either and like this song you might want to check them out.

I sat out on our roof top
list’ning as loud trucks hurried by
looked out over tree tops
towering cell towers behind
yet even with them so close
I rarely get two bars at a time
some how there’s less noise down on the street
than here on the line

between you and me
drawn by this modern life
that led you so far away

alone I climbed in our bed
helicopters overhead in the sky
pretend they’re out for you
everytime their lights shine though our blinds
I flip on the tv, half-expect an APB
on your midnight flight
yet somehow I still fall asleep
despite six hundred fourty-five miles of night

between you and me
drawn by this modern life
that led you so far away

but hey, hey, hey
what’s that they always say?
that every day we’re apart
you’ll grow stronger in my heart

but hey, hey, hey
what’s that they always say?
with every moment apart
you’ll grow fonder in my heart

but hey, hey, hey
I’d say that’s between you and me
it’s up to you and me
yeah, you and me will survive this modern life
or we’ll die trying.

Download This Modern Life

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Still Life (Rug)
The Lovely Life EP
Shaun Inman
September 17th, 2006 at 8:22 pm
Original Music
004 (Now closed)



I just had to stop by and say that I really loved it. Im putting it on my iPod in this very moment. Oh and Ben Gibbard was the first I thought about when hearing. You have such a smooth voice, haha.

Good work.

Sep 18th, 2006 6:39 am

Nice song. I’m a big fan of DCFC and it certainly does remind me of them. Keep up the nice work.

Sep 21st, 2006 12:53 pm

I really enjoyed it, not only for the ( and i quote you) “sophmoric” lyrics, but because there is evident inpiration taken from the experience of living in baltimore city.

The acapella end was a perfect touch ! Its also going in my ipod!

Oct 11th, 2006 9:24 am

Man, that was nice. I’d love to hear a full band version of this. Right after the first “so far away” I was kinda expecting drums and bass to kick in. Nice harmonies on the “hey hey hey” parts too. The only somewhat-awkward moment was the end leading up to the “or die trying” but the a capella at the end got me groovin’ again. Nice!

Michael McCorry
Oct 11th, 2006 10:29 pm