Happy 15 to Love & Fear

December 10th, 2021

Fifteen years ago, in September, I released my second album, “Love & Fear.”

I remember the beginning of 2020. (It was a very long time ago. I would understand if you couldn’t think back so far.) I knew that the 15th anniversaries of all three of my Next Step albums were going to happen in succession: “Something Old, Something New…” in 2020, “Love & Fear” in 2021, and “Honesty & Happiness” in 2022. I wanted to do cool things. I wanted to play live again. I wanted to release more music. I wanted to do all of the cool things.

And then what happened happened.

And I dropped those plans for the artistic things I knew I had to do. I took another route, and it’s been a beautiful one. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bum me out sometimes.

Making music was a major part of my young life. I was never as good at it as the supremely talented people around me, but that didn’t stop me from putting out more recorded music than most of them. (That is not a sick burn. That is an objective fact.) The early 2000’s was the Wild West of home recording; you didn’t get to bring home an impossibly powerful computer with GarageBand and a pre-packaged AI producer. You had to figure stuff out with everybody else. On a PC that was arguably less capable than the phone in your pocket. We were just starting to learn how the internet could work. We had MySpace.

I have so many stories of that time that would probably get me put in a retirement home if I shared them.

But I have drive. And I rode that until the wheels fell off. Once I recorded the songs, I rounded up friends, some who could play, some who decidedly could not, and we did countless shows, from people’s backyards to Seventh Street Entry to the Turf Club and beyond.

Music takes a lot from you. A lot of effort and energy. There’s a ton of competition. And a fair share of heartbreak. Writing has always been my first and one true love; music allows me to write in a different way. But at the end of the day, all I need are the words; in my late twenties, I got more serious about writing, and less involved in making music. I started to have a better idea of where I wanted my effort and energy to go. But I always miss music.

This is all just a long way of saying: I’m looking at the snow fall down outside my window and I’m thinking about the songs we used to sing. It reminded me that I forgot to wish “Love & Fear” a happy 15th birthday. So, here’s a new version of “Just Once, Just Tonight,” recorded just tonight, just for you. Leave your favorite Next Step memories in the comments, or any requests for other songs from the album. All my love, Steppers. (I just came up with that name for Next Step fans. It’s good, right?)

Just Once, Just Tonight
Music and lyrics by Dennis Vogen

You’re so colorful the way you use the words you know
I thought I’d start this song with a compliment
Your eyes intoxicate, I’m drunk by every move you make
You’ve given me so much, and more, and more, I can’t forget
You’re so beautiful
It scares me, I think you should know
You think you’re insecure?
Just take a look at me
Your mind it plays like Pong and bounces worries ‘round and ‘round
An obscure reference but that’s so why you love me

Don’t hide this time
Don’t cry, I’ll try
To let you be right
Just once, just tonight

You know it’s meant to be
At least that’s what I meant to say
I tried to hold you close and just pushed you away
I try to make you laugh
You barely smile, imagine that
You think it’s only you
But, no, I’m dying, too

Don’t hide this time
Don’t cry, I’ll try
To let you be right
Just once, just tonight

You’re so good, you know
I’m no good, you know

Don’t hide this time
Don’t cry, I’ll try
To let you be right
Just once, just tonight

All Next Step albums available wherever you listen to music.

Watch this performance on YouTube: https://youtu.be/kI7LwaTXoxk

Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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