Mermaid Avenue

Driving home after a long day, listening to Billy Bragg (and those enchanting backing vocals from Natalie Merchant.)

Mermaid Avenue is twenty years old this year.

I still have a fan-crush on Billy. And on Natalie. What, like you don’t?


Not Everything is a Metaphor

Last night I played a little gig at a local club.  Midway through my third song, my voice vanished. Disappeared. Poof. Gone.

It came back, intermittently, just long enough for me to finish out the short set and whisper my thanks into the mic.

After I sat down I said to my companion, “I lost my voice.”

She was sympathetic. “Nobody noticed,” she said.


Not everything is a metaphor. Sometimes, it’s two metaphors.


I came home from band practice a few weeks ago with a little Meteor button accordion. It belonged to a bandmate. Now it belongs to me. I can’t do much more with it than pick out a simple right-handed melody. The left-hand bass buttons baffle me. No matter. For the first time in many, many months I looked upon something and thought, “I want that.”

I want that.

After the out-breath, the in-breath.


You’re Either Doing the Gig or Doing the Flyers

“Where we had the most control was at the gigs. So the idea was to get people to the gig. We had divided the whole world into two categories: there was flyers and there was the gig. You’re either doing the gig, which is like one hour of your life, or everything else to get people to the gig. Interviews were flyers, videos were flyers, even records were flyers. We didn’t tour to promote records, we made records to promote the tours, because the gig was where you could make the money.”

~Mike Watt, The Minutemen,
quoted in Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azzerad

(via Austin Kleon)