Long song, long story. Something about Texas makes me stretch out. Might be the wide-open spaces, or the big rivers, or the Miranda Lambert double albums. “Houston Calls The Space Cadet” is my idea of country music, which in practice means Jackson Browne plus thick Wakeman-inspired synthesizer. Most farmers use plenty of synthetic products these days. Think of the Moog on the verses as pesticide and fungicide stacks, and the MS2000 on the refrain as a genetically modified organism.
The Almanac has now been up for a month. Hope you’ve been enjoying our game. It’s a noisy world and it can be difficult for the peeping of a little otter like me to be heard over the din. From the outset, I figured it would be a good way to give people a regular reminder of the existence of my music and my writing without being too too annoying about it. See, I’m only a loudmouth on the Internet; in person, I’m shy. But like other introspective megalomaniacs throughout history, I like to be drawn out of my shell by the enthusiastic applause of others. I welcome this. In an effort to get some, I’m getting out of the house and back into showbiz.
Yes, shows; American Almanac shows. I will be playing some Almanac songs at a Blowup Radio-sponsored guitar pull — basically three songwriters trading numbers — at Espresso Joe’s in Keyport on April 8. That’ll just be me and my ole acoustic guitar; no synthesizers in sight. Before you decide conclusively not to go, I’m actually not a terrible acoustic guitar player. I can kindasorta do it, and I’ve been practicing. It’s true, I can exist without an electric current!, right this moment, I’m not plugged into anything. Later I’ll need to be connected via USB to the grid in order to recharge.
Six nights later, Maxwell’s Tavern will be celebrating the 35th anniversary of Jersey Beat. This’ll be something of a music marathon with mini-sets from lots of friends, including the Negatones, Richard Barone, Prosolar Mechanics, Glenn Morrow and his Cry For Help, the Cucumbers, and Jerseybeat Jim himself, who was nice enough to ask me to do a few songs. I’ll be playing with Marc Maurizi, who you might remember as the frontman and principal songwriter in Cropduster. (‘Duster drummer Scott Kopitskie might join us, too.) We’re doing a couple of his songs and a couple of mine, and a timely cover that I think you’ll be able to sing along to. Just hope I don’t mess it up too bad.
Finally, we’re planning an official Almanac kickoff party at Pianos on May 12. This’ll be a real full band show, which means a battery of synthesizers I can hide behind as I sing. It won’t be all Almanac songs: we’ll do some old favorites, too. By then, the site will be two months old, and the world ought to know all about it. Or at least my mommy and my little sister. They both checked it out last week and they liked it, or so they told me at my father’s birthday party. Always got to keep your mommy happy.
P.S. If you’re an aging emo kid and wondering, the title of today’s song is indeed a shout to a North Jersey band that I liked a lot: Houston Calls. No references to Hidden In Plain View or Armor For Sleep, alas. (Early November references are general across all these songs.)