Wish I had pictures to share, but imagine everybody painting pumpkins pink. Other colors, too, but a lot of cancer-fighting round squashes. The sun started to set as I played my second song, and it hit my eyes like a spotlight. A couple of songs later, we were in twilight (pre-werewolves, but still lots of drama). A core group of listeners clapped after every song, and the rest of the group seemed blissfully high on pumpkin and paint fumes, intent on their work. I didn’t have much supernatural material for Halloween week, no more than usual, but I did my best to play morbid stuff wherever possible. I Will Follow You Into The Dark, check. Pink Moon, check. Makeup Company, check? Not morbid, but: ghosts and identity theft. Two hours. Concluded with an Oasis singalong, need more practice with that. Is Pete Seeger taking interns? When he plays, everybody sings, it’s amazing. See you next time, PU. Peace out!
Monthly Archive for October, 2009
This streaming thing is pretty cool. I set up a webcam for Friday and Saturday night’s shows, and then archived the video for playback on demand. So we’ve got the entire second set from my Broad Street Cafe show up (with trio) and BOTH the first and second sets AND an encore up from the James Joyce solo bar gig. The Broad Street show was awesome, we were on our game, people were listening, and the band played well.
By contrast, my solo pub show was…a little chaotic. It’s a different beast. I mixed up lyrics, hit a few bum chords, and the noisy crowd and TVs and laptop were all kinda distracting to me, but that’s a bar gig for you. Whattya want?
Ok, yes, I unintentionally switched two of the seven verses of “Tangled Up In Blue,” and in “Advice For Ladies,” I reversed a lyric accidentally and said that male friends are much closer to each other than are girls and their gay best friends, which, as everyone knows, is false. Have a drink. Music in a bar is not about lyrics, people. Or about “music,” when you get down to it.
As a footnote, the audio was distorted for the first James Joyce song, but I adjusted it and it comes through better after that. Enjoy!
This very weekend, I am playing a trio show at the Broad Street Cafe in Durham on Friday, then the farmers market in Hillsborough on Saturday morning, followed by a late-night solo Irish pub singalong at the James Joyce that night. Come to think of it, I should go to bed, right now.
Quick additional note: I’m streaming the Friday night show live from 8:00 to 9:30-ish at my Ustream page. Since it’s a band show on stage, in front of a live audience, I can’t really interact much with the computer audience, but you guys are invited to watch and IM it up in the chatbox.
Kind words for “The Reluctant Hook” came in this week from Americana UK! Reviewer Paul Kerr gives the album 7 out of 10 stars and calls it “an oddly engaging look at everyday life.” He goes on to praise its “sly humour which is slightly surrealistic in the sense that John Lennon could be,” adding, “His lyrics do not simply tell a story but are opaque and require close attention.”
Thanks, Americana UK!
Competition was fierce. We had two contestants total, and each got one confirmed referral to add my fan page, so BOTH Katherine G and Samantha Starr win a free album download!
I was able to contact Katherine, but for some reason I can’t find Samantha Starr. If you’re out there, Samantha, send me an email and I’ll forward you a code for the download.
Thanks for playing!
I just updated my “About” page and thought I’d excerpt this part about music I love. Who are my influences, you ask? I came of age listening to The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and yes, Phil Collins, and through my friends I got into various 80s alternative groups, especially R.E.M., The Cure, and The Smiths. Later on, I fell in love with several artists specializing in quirky character studies: Freedy Johnston, on the roots-rock side, and The Magnetic Fields, on the lo-fi, orchestrated, indie-pop side. Let’s not forget Jack Logan’s masterpiece of tape hiss and novelistic comic book detail, Bulk, either. High school jazz band gave me a whole new genre to explore, and I was on the Columbia House jazz plan for awhile.
Jeff Buckley was huge for me, and I was lucky enough to find much of Tim Buckley’s catalogue in the bargain bin when they reissued it around ’94, including his best rock record, “Greetings From LA,” though I prefer his chamber-jazz-folk and experimental stuff. I’m a big Joseph Campbell fan and Tori Amos’s first two records document an entire self-contained mythological universe, as do most of Prince’s. Liz Phair’s “Exile In Guyville” is all kinds of playful, sexy, sad, open-ended inspiration, and “Whip Smart” ain’t bad either. A college DJ job interview resulting in rejection did have the positive outcome of turning me on to John Fahey, and I basically learned how to fingerpick from his first few records. Also Ani DiFranco. I got into Hawaiian slack key guitar from George Winston’s liner notes to “The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death.” Also Leo Kottke. An aborted Rykodisc internship netted me several Nick Drake albums, and I found an amazing Nick songbook in Ireland while studying DADGAD accompaniment of trad fiddle tunes. Warren Zevon’s first two albums are my favorites of his. While studying abroad, I collected used copies of Serge Gainsbourg and Joni Mitchell CDs.
In recent years, my big discoveries have been Kelly Joe Phelps and Richard Thompson, plus Southeast regional folk inspirations Don Conoscenti, Jonathan Byrd, and Daniel Lee. Oh, and David Garza is totally jive and totally heartfelt at the same time, and combines Paul Simon, Prince, and David Bowie into one 130-pound Mexican troubadour. He also does that thing of creating an entire universe within his ridiculously extensive body of work. Pre-war blues from folks like Robert Johnson (of course), Charley Patton, Skip James, Blind Willie McTell, and Bukka White have also been revelatory to me, and appeal simultaneously to my folk tastes, my inner guitar geek, and to that lo-fi-indie-snob inside me who finds validation in these recordings for the idea that tape hiss does indeed convey mystery and authenticity.
You read all the way down here? Wow. Thanks :)
We have reached Day 4 of the 7-day Facebook Fan Referral Contest at my FB page. So far, there is only one contestant. I wonder who’s going to win the free download of my new album? Hmm…
|Whoever refers the most new fans this week (by next Thursday) gets a free album download. Hurrah! You are hereby invited to go to my fan page, click “Suggest to friends,” and invite everybody you know. In order for you to win, I have to know which new fans came from you, so…
Please ask your friends to do two things:
1. Fan my page
They don’t give you the option to include a note when you “suggest to friends,” so you’ll probably also need to use your FB status, create an Event, or send a message to your friends so they’ll know what to do.
If your friends just add my page without leaving a comment with your name, I won’t know which new fans came from you. Heartbreak will ensue for everyone involved. We may break up, and I don’t want that to happen. It’s not worth it. We’ve come too far together.
Get your friends to fan me AND leave a comment. Tell them “Say my name!”
Be the person to refer the most new fans and…you’ll get a sweet, sweet FREE download of “The Reluctant Hook (and the day that caught it)!”
PS – If you already have my new album, you can get a download of the bonus tracks, or one of my three other records.
PPS – I’ve heard that in email marketing, only 1% of people who receive a message actually DO anything, so there’s a good chance that only ten people will enter this contest. Which means you have a pretty good shot at winning. Just saying.