“There’s a ship arriving too late to save a drowning witch.” – Frank Zappa
I named this blog after lyrics from Frank Zappa’s hilarious song Drowning Witch (1982). I go into some detail in my article, The Creativity Danger Zone, as to why this is a good metaphor for the creative process. The ship arriving too late represents most of our own hangups, as creators, that we’ve missed out on something. It’s mostly the case that we may not have done the “right” thing by our project. The ship is never on time and sometimes it doesn’t even come at all. A ship arriving too late is the story of my life in that I placed heavy limitations on my self during my formative years and missed out on some key moments in my creative development. It was a blessing in disguise, as recognizing and exploring that inspired me to move forward. I hope you enjoy these articles and if you have questions or would like to reach me, follow me on Twitter @jpmerig.
I’m John Merigliano and I perform under the moniker Pussyft. In 2019, I released my debut EP, Spectator Sport. My songs are crafted with dynamic layers that blend playful elements of 80s synth pop with distorted, guitar-driven rock and avant-garde dreaminess. I like to sing clever lyrics focused on love, the human connection, and the twists of life’s journey in a clear and candid voice. According to Kelsey Marlett of Two Story Melody, Pussyft’s single, Little Green Men, is “soaked in echoing layers, anxious guitars, and biting lyrics [that] verge on postmodernism”.
Twists and Turns
My creative journey has taken many twists and turns. I’ve reassessed goals numerous times and have adapted to many different environments. I wrote my first music composition in High School, as part of an assignment in an audio production class. At the same time, I spent a lot of time drawing and studying commercial art. Visual art was and continues to be an effective diversion for me in that it gives me some breathing space from my other projects. After one year of art school, I came to the realization that I did not have as much passion for making art than I did studying it. Also, during that time, I had a formative experience that became a core inspiration for me. It all led me back to music writing.
“The remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.” – Marcel Proust
For My Amusement
I’ve spent the last ten years working as a sideman for a number of outfits. These ranged from jazz vocals to indie rock. This eventually became tedious in that it gave me little time for my own music. In 2017, I began working on some songs that would become Spectator Sport. Initially, I started writing these songs for no other reason than to have something to produce. They became a form of amusement, meant for an afternoon in my studio. There were some very clear ideas that were taking shape and this inspired me to continue. For me, this collection of music was a breakthrough in the following ways:
- I started writing music in a more fearless way.
- I gave myself permission to follow my own path.
- I made my own decisions.
Here is a short summary from the liner notes of my intentions for producing that record:
I started writing the songs that would become Spectator Sport in late 2017. All are told from the point of view of a teenager or young adult and revolve around a few themes: young male curiosity, infatuation, and self-imposed loneliness. Our narrators are hooked, looking for escape through doorways leading to thrills, spills, and genuine wonder. Listening to the EP brings you into a stationary viewpoint where everything is heard through its parts. In that sense Spectator Sport forms a cycle meant to be listened to in one sitting, like turning the lens of a kaleidoscope and each song reveals another picture.
Writing these articles is a way for me to get some ideas down on paper. I hope you enjoy them and find them to be beneficial.