Courtney Fairchild

Courtney Fairchild

 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
BandRockSinger/Songwriter

"All the beauty and trappings that mainstream pop/country has to offer." -Matt Cohen

Biography

I have been tasked with writing my biography…a new record - another publicity campaign – another jaunt across the country playing shows – another chance to reach your ears and, assuming a job well done, your heart. While I would love to thrill you with the grandiosity of my musical feats over my decade as a songwriter, I’m generally not the type to gloat about the glory of beer-soaked nights in smoky bars, seemingly endless road trips in cars that resemble
(in appearance and odor) rolling locker rooms, or detailed descriptions of couches and floors on which I have slept. Besides, in depth descriptions and discourse on all of these topics can be found in the biographies of my peers. I would hate to be repetitive, or worse, shatter your image of a working musician’s life.

Suffice it to say I have played my fair share of shows across the country in smoky bars, many of which bear legendary names and many of which do not. I have shared the stage and recorded songs in rooms with many of my heroes, most of whom would not incite the smallest glimmer of recognition were I to list their names, as well as a few whose names might potentially ring a bell in the recesses of your mind. You might have unknowingly heard a song or two of mine in the background while watching TV, assuming you’re into reality television. Ultimately, none of these things will accomplish the task of telling you who I am as a songwriter and musician. So, I digress and hereby abandon the aforementioned topics.

I came into the world in 1981 which has always seemed to be a bit of a cosmic joke. Had I been born twenty years earlier, you most likely would have run into me in Los Angeles in the ‘70s playing alongside songwriters who are “more my speed” than the vast majority of my contemporaries. I am a Texan born and raised in Dallas which has always been an odd fit. However, I spent the first twenty-four years of my life there, so it will always be my home and its influence over my character is abundant, even if it’s not always apparent in my accent or political leanings.

I have been a singer since I could open my mouth and utter a tune, a gift bestowed upon me by my mother who has always had a deep love and appreciation of music. At the age of fourteen I began writing, and like most kids my age, I had a fleeting love affair with the music of my youth. Combined, the two led to my rescue of the crappiest Yamaha guitar ever made from the depths of the hall closet. By seventeen, with the help of a fabulously patient guitar instructor, I began to write and perform my own songs. I befriended many local Dallas musicians, all of whom were at least a decade my senior. With their help, encouragement, and constant willingness to distract the bouncers at the doors of various clubs and bars while I snuck in, I became a regular performer at the haunts of Dallas’ finest songwriters and performers.

At eighteen, I released my first record independently which, through a series of events that could fill hundreds of pages, led me to Los Angeles, CA. It was there that I met and began to work with the staff of Stanley Recordings. Between 1999 and 2002 I took numerous trips during breaks from my studies in creative writing at the University of Texas at Dallas to record what would become my second record, Long Way, with Stanley Recordings engineer and producer John Would. In 2002, I signed with the label which has been my musical home since. Through my friendship and work with John I was introduced to a myriad of new music (Joe Henry, Rickie Lee Jones, American Music Club…) that opened my eyes to the limitless intellectual and emotional depths that songwriting can reach when approached as a true art form. I found refuge and identity with these writers on the fringes of mainstream music. Since then I have dedicated my energy and time to producing songs that create that kind of refuge for my listeners.

In 2006, after what can only be described as an embarrassingly typical few years of growing pains (heartbreak, lost friends, marriage, divorce), I was offered the opportunity to move to Philadelphia to work at the new home of Stanley Recordings label operations. While the studio remains in California, Jeff Silberman (who, along with John Would, co-founded Stanley Recordings in 1996) relocated to his hometown of Philadelphia. During a drunken summer night Jeff offered to bring me north to embark on a new chapter of my career. After a sober conversation the following day, his offer stood, and in November of that year I arrived at the front door of Stanley Recordings East in Philadelphia.

In September of 2007 my third Stanley Recordings release Quit was ushered into the world. My long-time Texas drummer, Gabriel Martinez, was somehow convinced to leave the familiar comforts of Dallas for what he would most likely describe as “the frozen badlands of Philly” to play with Jeff and I full-time. Keyboardist and vocalist Ami Verrill rounds out the band with John

Lyrics

Quit

Written By: Courtney Fairchild

Dreams Again
I finally gave up
The distance last night
Took the train for the first time
On Monday
I walked the windy streets
And wondered what I did
To have you beside me

I'm throwing aside Heaven
And I'm embracing sin
You couldn't sell me otherwise
So don't tell me to quit

So blow smoke in my direction
Let the wind carry us
Someplace clean
Tie down what you can't hold onto
'Cause before you
Everything I wasn't
Was all I wanted to be

I'm throwing aside Heaven...

Treat me gently
Hold me sacred in your palm
And always remember
That there's ash
Before the rising can come
I'll paint you full of color
'Cause this can't be explained
Diagrammed, relegated, to
Philosophy or reason

I'm throwing aside Heaven...
'Cause only beside you
Have I found
Resolution
Without a sound

Dreams again
I finally gave up
The distance last night

Hawaii

Written By: Courtney Fairchild

I called from Hawaii
Miserable
Asked if you could come out for the weekend
To rescue me
Well how typical that I need saving
How typical it's you I need

I am looking for the answer
You say it came a long time ago
I am waiting to understand
I just want to understand
How beautiful you make me

I've travelled the world now
Torn everything down
And I never stopped to look around
Until you touched every weakness
Beneath my surface
You laid it all out
And I laid it all down

I am looking...

The other night I saw you through
The other night I saw me
Through your eyes

I was looking for the answer
You said it came a long time ago
I was waiting to understand
Now I understand
How beautiful you make me
How beautiful you make me

Dragonfly

Written By: Courtney Fairchild & James Hargrave

Eyes to the ground where it
Meets my feet
I shuffle and I break more
I am dragonflies
And scarab wings you gave me
Tonight I seem to fade into nothing
You say I'm something more

You say don't wait for me
'Cause I may never come
I say that I'm not waiting
But waiting for you is
All I've ever done

I look like something more
But for you I'm just dragonflies
And idolatry
You know I'll stay on as anything
You want me to be
I'll just shake and shimmer more
With eyes to the sky behind you

You say don't wait for me
'Cause I'll never come
I say that I'm not waiting
But waiting for you is
All I've ever done
You said don't wait for me
I know you never came
I said I wasn't waiting
But waiting for you is
All I ever made

With eyes to the horizon
I'll just walk and talk more
I'm idolatry and innocence
And to you
I know I'm nothing more

Overused

Written By: Courtney Fairchild

Nothing sounds good anymore
Been around a few times
But I'm still empty handed
Nothing feels good anymore
Tried to wait it out
But I'm too cold and tired

All my heart is not enough
I don't try to understand this
I'm overused
But I'm getting over you

The order of words
Takes a long time to find
Pass it under dirty sheets
And blinking cursors
I sketch and scrape
But the meaning's all wrong
I'm looking for something
Looking for anything

All my heart is not enough
I don't try to understand this
I'm overused
But I'm getting over you

I drank the bottle to the bottom
And I swallowed it
So here it is
The very last
Of my long transmissions, yeah

I pull myself up in the kitchen
I write long letters all on film
And I've no doubt
I'll be gone soon
Even though
None of this is ever through

All my heart is not enough
I don't try to understand this
I'm overused
But I'm getting over you
I'm overused
But I'm getting over you

The Last Song

Written By: Courtney Fairchild

You pull in the back gate
Of a place you've been so close to before
I pull in behind you
Stand beside you
And make it new
You do the same thing for me

I can't pretend
To know the stories
We've never told
Or the way time will play out
Our love

So you don't like committment
But we're here to stay
And I'd never hold you back
From anything
If you ever needed time
Or needed space
There's a hundred ways
That I could say I love you
A hundred more to thank you
For everything
In the end
It all comes to this

I can't pretend
To know the stories
We've never told
Or the way time will play out
Our love
But I can say I'll hold this
Above everything else
Above the time changes
The lights, and myself
I can't pretend
To know the stories
We've never told
Or the way time will play out
Our love
Our love

London

Written By: Courtney Fairchild

There's a golden seal
By the flies on the counter
The washer's in the shed
She sweats and I mutter
The tile's cracked
We don't care at all

It's microchips and falling bits
She's leaving for London
I think I was wrong
It's celluloid and maybe this
She's leaving for London
I know this is all

Holding her hand
I made a fist
The diamond cut into my wrist
My blood ran thick
She don't care at all

It's microchips and falling bits
She's leaving for London
I think I was wrong
It's celluloid and maybe this
She's leaving for London
I know this is all

I saw her do it
It was about him
I bought this from
The bargain bin
It's been too long now
It's inconvenient
I'm sliding the ring off
And I don't care at all

It's microchips and falling bits
She's leaving for London
I think I was wrong
It's celluloid and maybe this
She's leaving for London
I know this is all
It's microchips and falling bits
She's leaving for London
I think I was wrong

Circles

Written By: Courtney Fairchild

You said zero was a good place to start
The knives are sharp and you’re breaking the back door
You’re waiting for
What you’re waiting for
Isn’t comin’, isn’t coming
So you scream it to the yard
You’ve been done before

You don’t know what you mean when you talk, talk circles around me
Light me on fire just to watch me burn out slowly
Wait to see what I think you mean
Around me

The music’s loud your head is crawling up my skin
Tearing paper in the backseat lying
What I’m waiting for
I’ve been waiting for
Isn’t comin’, isn’t coming
Call your doctor from the porch
You’ve been done before

You don’t know what you mean when you talk, talk circles around me
Light me on fire just to watch me burn out slowly
Wait to see what I think you mean
Around me

You don’t even know what you mean
You don’t even know what you mean

You don’t know what you mean when you talk, talk circles around me
Light me on fire just to watch me burn out slowly
Wait to see what I think you mean
Talk, talk, talk circles around me
I don’t know what to think
You talk circles around me
Around me

(You don’t know what you mean when you talk talk circles around me)
(You don’t even know what you mean)
(You said zero was a good place to start)

Nowhere in Texas

Written By: Courtney Fairchild

I didn’t know ‘till you were half gone that you’d even decided to leave
Now the party is over, half glasses of wine
And the black curling edges of linoleum tile’s all I see

There’s nowhere in Texas that I’d rather be
Than under the ladder when you left for me
They say that perfection is hard to come by
But we found perfection too late in this life

And everyone’s calling, but there’s nothing to say
So I just let the phone ring
While I stand in the middle of twenty-five months
Of dust-covered glass magazines

There’s nowhere in the Texas that I’d rather be
Than under the ladder when you left for me
They say don’t ask these questions the edge is too close
But they never held you, so how would they know?

And the power cut out while I stood alone
And you can’t cheat death she’s a slippery slope

There’s nowhere in Texas that I’d rather be
Than under the ladder when you left for me
I’d stop looking for answers I’d give up your ghost
To be a net or a bird
There’s nowhere in Texas that I’d rather be
Than under the ladder when you left for me
And God must be laughing, ‘cause God only knows
Why you reached for the line
When help was so close
When help was so close

Ginsberg

Written By: Courtney Fairchild

The prodigal hides out in the dark
And swallows his last pill
His eyes point in two directions
He thinks “Maybe I deserve this”
But he shakes the thought with his next roll
And he dances like a whore
False confidence for the hated man
There’s no redemption in this bar

So cheers to us and you and me
Cheers to nothing and everything
For every line you overthought
And every poet you ripped off
You’re nothing to be understood
Most things change but never you
At least you’ve got your city lights
But New York babe it’s twice at bright

Now he’s sobbing on the stage
In a ten buck stupid hat
The crowd just stares and waits
While I sit for his confession
But he says “you were always Judas,
And I was Magdalene, and Ginsberg’s got nothing on me.
If you’d made the call to stop me from leaving
I’d be ahead already”
And I say…

“Cheers to us and you and me
Cheers to nothing and everything
For every line you overthought
And every poet you ripped off
You’re nothing to be understood
Most things change but never you
At least you’ve got your city lights
But New York babe it’s twice at bright”

You blame me
And I blame you
‘Cause boy your cutting threads
From a better man’s loom

So cheers to us and you and me
So Cheers to nothing and everything
For every line you overthought
And every poet you ripped off
You’re nothing to be understood
Most things change but never you
At least you’ve got your city lights
But New York babe it’s twice at bright
At least you’ve got your city lights
But New York babe it’s twice as bright

My Eyes Adjust

Written By: Courtney Fairchild

There’s a little bit of nothing for everyone south
The queens in the village are all looking out
For the next greatest thing to life on the square
It’s the same every place just magnified here

And the angry Buddhist is ringing her bells
And stumbling through the thirty year house
The kid holds the keys to her leaking faucet
But she knows nothing of genuine kindness

There’s no hope on the radio he stole all our money
Now he’s twirling the curls of the blonde not-so-beauty
The A.C. is blasting he blinks and he lies
Consoled by thoughts of his public life

And the dirty young men with their new mountain songs
Mountains of garbage and nothing for us
Just loud protest chants, protesting what?
Senseless noises that don’t know what they want

And Adrian wants to grow old under Paris
The subway would pull my heart through his fingers
The sky parts for no one especially us
But it’s sparkle not fade when your eyes adjust

The children run wild, wolf-packs on the streets
But their mother’s don’t care ‘cause they have their peace
They hurl rocks and insults there’s no place to hang
The heat of this summer and all of the danger

Like the 9 A.M. dancer at the strip club on the docks
We’re all doing something for somebody else
And the sailors ignore that she has no choice
Shots all around to fill out the void

When your eyes adjust
When your eyes adjust

And Adrian wants to grow old under Paris
The subway would pull my heart through his fingers
The sky parts for no one especially us
But it’s sparkle not fade when your eyes
And Adrian wants to grow old under Paris
The subway would pull my heart through his fingers
The sky parts for no one especially us
But it’s sparkle not fade when your eyes adjust

I lay down on the table, I lay it all down
And try to conjure old dreams of the South
But it’s really no matter, ‘cause memory’s a ghost
And it’s sparkle not fade when my eyes adjust

My eyes adjust
My eyes adjust

Money Don't Matter

Written By: Courtney Fairchild and Ami Verrill

You’re so lost you’ll never find me
You got a taste for failure and nicotine
Sell a dead man’s book off another man’s shelf
‘Cause nothing will save you the hand you were dealt

But the money don’t matter if the hope is gone
No the money don’t matter if the hope is gone

You got a greedy mouth pride blocks the door
‘Cause you never learned what pride was for
You push the bills through waiting hands
‘Cause good intentions don’t make the man

But the money don’t matter if the hope is gone
No the money don’t matter if the hope is gone

It’s the little things that you can’t work through
Like the dust outlines in this empty room
It’s a thousand nights and a thousand days
And you can’t seem to fill the space
It’s the bigger things that you tread lightly
While you sift through scripted reality
It’s praying for your biggest break
Then finding out there’s just no way

But the money don’t matter if the hope is gone
No the money don’t matter if the hope is gone
No the money don’t matter if the hope is gone
No the money don’t matter if the hope is gone

(You’re so lost you’ll never find me, You’re so lost you’ll never find me, You got a taste for failure and nicotine, you got a greedy mouth pride blocks the door, ‘cause you never learned what pride was for, you’re so lost you’ll never find me, you’re so lost you’ll never find me, You’re so lost you’ll never find me)

11 Chances

Written By: Courtney Fairchild

The little bird of happiness is making me sad
My cape's all twisted the logic's bent
Any plane could crash at any time
But it's your will and all this distance

I've been drinking with your old friends
We saddle up to the ship
Wide-screen color bars
Around here we all hate you
I lie to the phone
Eleven wounds to heal
I'm more important you know

I'm such a pretty boy
I know everything
Got a quarter for you
If you'll pay for me
Drive it out
Why am I all alone now
Why am I all alone

It only hurts when I move my arm
Scabbed over the truth it's getting hard
To take summer through winter but I hold against
You don't understand
All your money I spent
All your money I spent

I say that I miss you but really I need
Eleven chances you gave
I'm more important than this

I'm such a pretty boy
I know everything
Got a quarter for you
If you'll pay for me
Drive it out
Why am I all alone now
Why am I all alone now
Why am I all alone

I think you owe me something
I think you owe me nothing
The world owes me something
Something for me

I'm such a pretty boy
I know everything
Got a quarter for you
If you'll pay for me
Why am I all alone now
Why am I all alone now
Why am I all alone

I say that I miss you
But really I need
Eleven chances you gave
I'm more important than this
I'm more important
I'm more important
I'm more important

Constellate

Written By: Courtney Fairchild

Everything I've ever known
Of tennon joints and gilded oak
Glass and gloves the rhythm the drone
Where I'm from odds take you home
Six a.m. the workshop opens
Winterclad through gray and rain
Silent night, holidays, and one too many ready-mades

I do this for you, would you do this for me
Build the engine big enough to carry me

For all my fear and second sight
I'd trade the oak for ammonite
Dust and bleach to a four a.m. flight
You call to say it's even tonight
And devil-may-care I came here to love you
Blueprints, paths and weather-vanes
The sky is always iron gray
Who needs the sun for what we've gained

I do this for you, would you do this for me
Build the engine big enough to carry me
I do this for you, would you do this for me
Lay your hopes out in the ring to cover me
Lay your hopes out in the ring to cover me

I'm travel stained we constellate
The wire-works went dark today
Pack the bowl with firedamp
And climb these steps to open air

Discography

Simple and Distorted - 2000 - Independent Release
Long Way - 2002 - Stanley Recordings
Right Here - 2003 - Live Record - Stanley Recordings
A Fair Forgery of Pink Floyd - 2003 - Tribute Record - "Nobody Home" - Stanley Recordings
Quit - 2007 - Stanley Recordings
London (Single) - 2008 - Stanley Recordings
11 Chances - 2009 - Stanley Recordings

Set List

Typical Set - 1-2 hour sets - 1-2 sets per night
90% - 100% original music depending on the venue

Example Covers:
The Bottle Let Me Down - Merle Haggard
Essence - Lucinda Williams
Nobody's Crying - Patty Griffin
Black - Pearl Jam
Dog Wouldn't Run - Patty Larkin