I Know Why He Acts This Way

Found some old notes I’d written about my favorite Jude Cole album. Twelve years ago, actually. Much has changed. Like, now I’m happy. Also, I’ve seen Madison.

  • Speed of Life — only one I’ve heard on the radio. Great tune, fascinating mental imagery. I have a live version recorded in some radio studio, too.
  • Believe In Me — “I may not make a million dollars, but a million dollars won’t make me.” He sure knows how to write. Simple tune with wonderful lyrics.
  • Move if You’re Going — not my favorite music, but it’s about getting on with your life after tragedy. I listen for the lyrics.
  • Lowlife — not what it sounds like. He writes lots of musical prayers. I sing ‘em real loud.
  • Joe — oh so scary song about a perfectly normal guy; except he’s having an affair with his neighbor’s wife while he beats his own; wishes his kids would just leave him alone, and ends with him sitting in the basement holding a Purple Heart and a loaded gun. I’m almost crying writing this; at my lowest times, this song really really helped me not to end it all, and I don’t know how or why. Kiefer Sutherland, who loaned Jude his guitar to record his very first album with, does some of the vocals. Listen with headphones in a dark room. It’s a deeply moving song for me.
  • Sheila Don’t Remember — he really doesn’t understand why this girl he had a one-night-stand with doesn’t even remember him. I’ve looked for something deeper, but I haven’t found it.
  • Take The Reins — when you let others control your life, your heart, your mind, you’re in trouble. Take it back, ’cause no matter how hard it is, it can’t hurt the way it does right now
  • Madison — I have no idea what this is about, but it sounds like a ‘never going back’ tune. I was born in Wisconsin, but I’ve never even seen Madison.
  • Hole at the top of the World — another sad song about a dead marriage. For a happily married guy, he sure nails the feelings.
  • Heaven’s Last Attempt — a gentle but powerful song about how the right kind of love might save your life. Or, might not.

Why does Dylan’s commercial affect my car-buying beliefs?

A testament to the power of musical connections indeed.

I’m a die-hard Nissan fan, and fairly dismissive of American cars (too many Pintos and Vegas in my past.)

And yet, after watching Dylan’s Chrysler commercial last night, I feel an overwhelming desire to buy a Chrysler product.

My Little One, who’s not yet 10, watched the whole thing, and at the end when the snippet of lyrics comes in, she squealed “I KNEW it was that song” and made that the first song on her bedtime playlist.

The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine is toying with my head, and it’s all because of music.

This machine kills anything you want killed. Use your power for good instead of evil.

Do NOT Miss Leftover Cuties

Best Beloved took me to see Leftover Cuties Wednesday night at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis. Actually, we saw the cutest cutie three times, not just once.

Stopped at the light at 10th and Nicollet, I watched Shirli cross the street, a pair of high (really high) heels in one hand.

As she stepped to the curb on the northwest side of the intersection I thought, Shirli . . . Shirli. Wait. I just watched Shirli McAllen cross the street.

I felt like I should run after her an apologize for not saying hello. (She later told me “You should have!”) As we were seated at our table near the stage, there she was again, scooting between the tables toward the backstage rooms. I started to stand and apologize for my earlier rudeness, but she was just too quick.

Leftover Cuties are the kind of band which feels like you really ought to run after them and say hello.
Continue reading Do NOT Miss Leftover Cuties

Makes No Difference from Evin Wolverton’s Woodland Sessions

Some years ago I almost met Evin Wolverton. We both participated in FAWM more than once, and when I heard he’d moved to the San Francisco area, I invited him to perform at the Northern California Artistic Achievement Awards (The Grassies.) Evin was too sick to make it, and we asked Philip Flathead to fill in, which worked out. Except I didn’t get to meet Evin and tell him in person what his music has done for me.

When I found out Evin had a Kickstarter project for his new album, I chipped in. I had exactly a dollar to my name, and I put it in. Didn’t get me anything; anything less than a ten-spot doesn’t even get a copy of the album when it’s finished. That’s okay; Evin’s art is worth supporting and it’s about time I started giving back to the artists that fill my life.

Except, I did get something. Pretty much won the lottery.

Continue reading Makes No Difference from Evin Wolverton’s Woodland Sessions

Badlands = Good Listen

Finding new music that hits me viscerally is sublime. Recently, No Depression introduced me to Eric Tingstad and his take on Americana instrumentals.

Eric Tingstad, BadlandsWhen my copy of Badlands arrived, it stayed in the CD player in the car for over two weeks, playing over and over again. Nearly every track is on my all-night music list (I never sleep without music playing. I’ve heard some people do. Seems odd to me.)

Instrumentals are hard to write. Continue reading Badlands = Good Listen

Beyond Bagpipes – A Beginner’s Guide to Gaelic Folk (Guest Post by Nick Lewis)

You know I love Celtic music so I was delighted when Nick approached me about writing a guest piece with some basic background on it. If you like it, say so in the comments and we’ll bring Nick back for more.

Licence To CeilidhGaelic folk refers to the folk music of old gaelic societies, primarily Irish and Scottish. Naturally there are significant differences between Scottish and Irish folk, and many regional variations within, but the traditions are similar enough to merit their own catch-all term. Continue reading Beyond Bagpipes – A Beginner’s Guide to Gaelic Folk (Guest Post by Nick Lewis)

40 Years in My Ear-y Canal

I‘ve been plagued by a particular earworm for over 40 years.

I’ve got a mule, her name is . . .

If her name popped unbidden into your mind, you’re either a fan of American folk music or you went to elementary school in California in the 60s.

The song was originally entitled Low Bridge, Everybody Down when Thomas Allen wrote it in 1905. Now it’s called The Erie Canal Song, 15 Miles on the Erie Canal, and any number of other names. It’s about the years, decades really, when boats on the Erie Canal were towed by mules. By 1905 the era of the mules was just about over.

I wish the era of this earworm were over.

Oh; the mule’s name? Sal. I’ve got a mule her name is Sal. Enjoy your earworm.

Business Lessons from Rock: Guest Post by John O’Leary

This here O’Leary chap is a character, with a capital K. He can tell you about his bid for President of these here United States, or share his rock and roll stories from the road. For now, here’s one of his insightful, inevitable-but-not-obvious business lessons from rock: Continue reading Business Lessons from Rock: Guest Post by John O’Leary

Love Music: Guest Post by Terry Wilson

My musical history with Terry “Pegleg” Wilson goes back years. We finally started writing music together a few years ago. He and his wife are like family. Terry’s intense love of music is one obvious reason we’re great friends.

Music is a beautiful thing! Right now my wife is in the kitchen making dinner. She grabs something or other and starts clapping two things together, pounding out a beat. Music is such a part of us that I really don’t know a single person that does not like music on some level. From the brilliant musician right down to the guy listening to the radio in the car, we all enjoy music.

Let me take you on a journey though. What if there was no music? No CDs, no tapes, no musical instruments. Nothing at all. What if no one had ever put 2 notes together?

Continue reading Love Music: Guest Post by Terry Wilson

An Eclectic Texan Without Salamander Pie: Guest Post by Ron Luther

Members of evolt.org meet geeks of all shapes from all over the world. One of them has a famous ability to turn any conversation into a chat about music within seconds. And it’s not even me.

Pretty easy to see why Ron Luther and I became friends.

I saw your other note a while back on guest writing about music … and I thought about it for a bit. My first inclination was to try to write something up about a hidden gem like Jay Leonhart’s “Salamander Pie” album. If you don’t have it – go order it on Amazon, now!

Then, naturally, I started to over think things. Continue reading An Eclectic Texan Without Salamander Pie: Guest Post by Ron Luther