Friday, December 25, 2009

That Spirit Of Christmas

In December of 2006, my band and I were just getting back from a long tour that took up most of 2005 and 2006. We had been home for a couple of weeks gearing up to begin work on what would become "Beyond The Leaves" ep, when we had the idea to record a couple of Christmas songs for our families. We spent the next couple of nights in the bass player's basement recording different versions of a few songs. This song is one of the one's that went on our holiday recordings. I hope you enjoy and have yourself some happy holidays!

--JP 2009

Artists featured on the recording:
Jesse Payne (voice/gtr/piano/harp), Alan Rogers (drums/percussion), Chris Lantrip (bass), Shane Jewell (guitar)

"Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it's Christmas."
--Dale Evans Rogers

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Corporate Concrete Chaos

Corporate Concrete Chaos

Condos aligned with ranges

Mountains of supermarkets

Crystalized trees

inherent green.

Neighborhood air with cookouts

Jeff Tweedy is listening

Red roof for sale by owner

Buried amongst the bones

of gas tanks

Automobile: wanted for mass murder

At least we have our diamonds

and computer technical services

It seems as if

the child

missed a stitch

in my


--JP 2009

"Ambivalence about family responsibilities has a long history in the corporate world."

-Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Courthouse Humidity

Seven in the a.m. Linn Park at sunrise. Department of revenue at sunset. God is watching. The judges stay behind closed metal detectors. Who is the culprit? Goddamn local politicians. Who is the mayor? Who is the commissioner? Who are the voters? I am? Holy shit, I am!

Guarded hallways for cerebral motion.

Killing is mental with guards. If the guards are checking, who is guarding? God? Are You there?.... if so, please take my aching feet and place them in a cloud. Shins need milk but decided to go without. Seven hours. I get to wait to wait in line.

Ropes hung rail. Sixflags has dangled envy in front of Birmingham yet again. What happened to Visionland? What happened to the courthouses? Lines are too long once hope escapes. Not enough "how much longer" signs. From this point: 3 hours. From this point: a little over... 3 hours. From this point: almost there. From this point: 3 hours.

Deliberate and fat. Gossiping ghouls. I hate their chairs. Their attitude smells of curry and elitism. Nepotism can't save you. Only a minimum wage job. How are cellphones out for window view? Weren't you the one complaining about lack of focus.

JP 2009

--Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, June 22, 2009

Electrical Framing

Our love is bundled like stretched filters.  
A space heater with temporary merit.  

Stitching currents, the wires connect.  My amplifier is unsightly suitable and buzzing.  Alternating with each slide.  The numbers liquify until all are positive.  Ear canals that lead to plenty will someday go deaf.  How fragile is sound?  
What smell would you see if you could hear it?

I love your hand when it fits in mine.  
My swinging face knows only contact.  

Watch as we all measure, equal stability with mechanical craft.  Drunk with devils.  Have we become craven and callous?  These healthy devices, well they've marked the masses.


"The only gift is a portion of thyself. "
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, June 19, 2009

Live @ City Stages Sound Check

Jesse Payne - 'Conversation' - City Stages '09

Jesse Payne - 'Ramble We Hang' - City Stages '09

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This Machine Kills Fascists

This Machine Kills Fascists

The reason my hair is long, my beard is unkempt, and Im out all hours of the night is not because of what I am but what I am not.

Defining ones self can be a tedious, unrelenting task. I always get a kick out of someone who takes one look at another and knows exactly who and what they are without a single word spoken. Dont get me wrong, I am so very thankful for all of these characteristic know-it-alls. These are the people who provide us the freedom it takes to do whatever it is we do. Without these pompous animals summing us up in a word, we could never really know the people who love us for all our many layers.

I was sitting in an office the other day while this man, that appeared to be in his sixties, kept eyeballing me. I found the situation odd, but not quite as odd as the bushel of nose hair extending from his beak. I could tell he did not agree with my wardrobe nor did he appreciate my full head of hair. His sneers were sharp but brittle. Not for one instance did he stop to think that maybe I didnt agree with his appearance. He just sat there knowing that his way was the correct and only way of civilized society.

A few minutes later a mutual acquaintance of both mine and his, entered the room. Surprisingly enough, I was introduced to this man. As he shook my hand, he looked me straight in the eyes and asked if I had been hiding out. I guess he meant in a cave or underground bunker. I smiled, completed the handshake, and told him how much I admired him for growing his nose hairs long.

I overheard the man ask who I was as the two walked away. The reply was,Oh, hes a songwriter!?

There are times where we should all remind ourselves why the Hitler regimes all seem to fail. Maybe they fail for the mere fact that beauty is color and diversity is the heart of the human soul. Whatever the reason, history has proven time again that conformity only leads to the destruction of the source.

Let us keep our minds open to the fact that we all have just this one life. May we all allow one another the freedom to enjoy it......just this once.


“Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.”
--Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Teleport my Telepathy

There are many events in this world that are easily classified as “impossibilities.” Precognition, invisibility, and time travel are just a few examples of present day “impossibilities.” The problem with “impossibilities” is that they often become “possibilities” through the course of time. Even though that has been the case throughout history (telephone, airplanes, x-ray, email), people still believe in, even hang onto, “impossibilities.”

I have made a point to surround myself with people who seek to overcome the
impossible. My circle of friends include musicians, poets, artists, gamblers, lawyers, computer technicians, parents, and teachers. All of whom contribute to humanity by showcasing the “impossibilities” by making them possible. Don’t tell me that I can’t do something if you are not willing to watch me do it.

I believe that what we classify as “impossibilities” are things that we have yet to achieve. If we all buy into the myth of “impossibilities” who among us will try to prove that unforeseen events are “possible.” We don’t have to be scientists to contribute. We just need to be willing to go against the grain.


“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.”
de Cervantes Saavedra

Friday, April 3, 2009

Global Consciousness Project

I sit shaking into the ether. Every inch of my being trembles. From electricity? Anticipation? Magnetic fields? Love? It’s hard to know which of these direct the shake. The steady shake of life. What if it were the drugs? Would I feel the need to write about it? How pretentious would that be? Only as pretentious as I am.

I wish I was a machine. Lacking heart with a sustained consciousness. Maybe then each minute that passed would just be one more instead of one less. My hands shake when I stop writing. Have I made a wise decision? This record that I hear, will it be the one I make? To be trustworthy is to be worthy of trust. That is not to mean capable of trust. It’s hard for me to trust anyone and have yet to realize if myself has somehow been included.  I'm fearful of love.

Are my words mine? If my life was without music, would I be relevant today? What if you were me? What if I was somewhere? If I could know, would the shakes continue or calm? A world of untruths is just a world but a world of truths is art. Watch me shake.


"There is no coming to consciousness without pain."
--Carl Jung

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cartel Aperture

Typify with time
its angle waves
gently we guard.

Gallery god
the actress wag
accurate tumble
elegant yarn

brief hiss

Neutral with whispers
the bandage slide
stable we rest.


"There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted."
--Henry David Thoreau

Monday, March 16, 2009

Reel to Real

Over the course of the last three months, my stress level has been its highest in years and its lowest in years. I now stand here cradling a stress level that I’m more comfortable with. Steady. Headphones have cemented themselves onto my ears, listening non-stop to an album that has yet to be released. I have studied the movement to each of these songs and have made decisions on the direction they will take. I now feel as if the songs are able to walk on their own. I continue the “listening sessions” for hours at a time (everyday) to make sure I’m not overlooking any problems. This is my child. I nurtured it for over a year and a half before inviting anyone in to help raise it. Now, my job is to mold it into a human experience that fuses the many into the one.

It is a beautiful journey to create. I often lay awake at night and try to remember life without these songs. Without the titles constantly in the forefront of my mind. I think about where I was in life moments before I sat with my pen and paper to create what will be our next release. So much has gone on since then that it usually keeps me up at night. Staring into the dark with my thoughts circling me like predators on prey. Maybe it’s excitement, but currently, it feels more like trepidation vowing to devour.

Songs are extremely fragile even after they have been recorded. A mix that
doesn't quite fit can destroy the very thing we have struggled to create. I have to be overly attentive. I make sure to watch in all directions and attempt to protect these songs. I also must stay open to ideas that might help strengthen them. This process for a songwriter is an extremely lonely state of being. At least it is for me. You can have your trusted band mates and friends share opinions and give support but at the end of the day you are left all alone.

For the most part, my life has been made up of these moments. I have found my truest solace deep in the caverns of solitude. I have invested my physical and mental self into the manipulation of waves and language. I have become a social hermit behind the walls of sound and creativity until the moment that creation morphs itself into reality. Yes, we must all face uncertainty within life. The future is unknown until it is the present. Therefore, I shall approach it as if it were the past.


“Vision over visibility”

Friday, January 23, 2009

To The Plains

Wednesday afternoon was spent working on a mix for the next release. I had lunch, went over a few tunes, and hit the road. I was headed south to Auburn University. I had the opportunity to play an intimate acoustic set for an audience at the Big Blue Bagel.

The Big Blue Bagel is exactly what it sounds like. A bagel a shop. Yet, this bagel shop is no ordinary restaurant. As I entered the place for sound check, my feet walked across hardwood floors. Pictures of Dylan and Garcia hung freely around the venue. I immediately felt comfort there.

From the moment I entered, I understood why it is such a popular place. The people working were fantastic, the acoustics could not have been better, and the food was delicious. One of the things I found so intriguing were the reasons they served beer from tap and not from bottle. They revolved around recycling and being conscious of the environment. More power to you Big Blue!

After the show, I got some time to hang with my brother. It was such a treat for us to have time to chill. Both of us are extremely busy, so when this time comes available we live it up.

On the drive back to Birmingham I listened to Jim James and M. Ward performing at SXSW. My brother had given me the disk for the drive. It was the perfect way to end a trip. Thanks to my brother, the Big Blue Bagel, and thank you to my new friends. I hope to see you all again very soon.



"When brothers agree, no fortress is so strong as their common life."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winter's Warmth

What a beautiful day! I witnessed history, with my wife, as the 44th President of the United States of America was sworn into office. His hand on Lincoln's Bible and a pin on the lapel, Barack Obama took oath. Out of every emotion that traveled through the confines of my mind, thankfulness was the one left to linger. Thankful that the transition period has ended, the Bush term is over, and the day of new has now begun.


"America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."

--Barack Obama

Monday, January 19, 2009

On The Eve Of A New Day

As I drift into the new year, I have found myself fighting to keep my head above the ripple of life. Within nineteen days I’ve lost a family member, a friend, and a mentor. I have spent the majority of my year in funeral homes or at a grave. It would be far too easy for me to hold my breath beneath the water. Instead, I’ve asked myself what I would want from people on my day of passing. So I lift my head, kick my feet, and swim for dry land. For today I have hope.

I awoke this morning to Martin Luther King’s vocal cords spilling from the television speakers. A dream of dreams where equality reigns. A voice as powerful as a thunderous roar, yet as peaceful as a gentle breeze. “Free at last,” he cries, as the crowd cheers with unified amazement. It was the dawn of a new day. He was an orator of hope.

Tomorrow I’ll watch as the forty-fourth president, Barack Obama, is sworn into office. He is the vessel for so many of our dreams. After campaigning and watching his grassroots movement grow into a global change, this is possibly the proudest moment in our country’s history. Will he bring us together? How high will he take us? He is the man who came from a dream. He is an orator of hope.

Being surrounded by death has rejuvenated my lungs. It is a reminder that the old must pass for there to be new. We are a species of mindful evolution. We all continue to swim for dry land no matter how high the waves. On the eve of a new day, I have hope.


"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
--Martin Luther King Jr.