Apr 142020

I am a big fan of Wesley Stace (the artist formerly known as John Wesley Harding) and I have had a few occasions to speak with him over the years after shows at the merch table (captive audience). When he put out his last LP, featuring the “Minneapolian Sound of The Jayhawks,” I was in heaven. My favorite band, The Jayhawks, with one of my songwriting heroes. We had an (possibly imagined) moment after a Squeeze show in Atlanta (he opened) while discussing how we both loved The Jayhawks.

I saw him play a month ago: back when there were concerts! (At Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta – birthplace of Indigo Girls and John Mayer) and we traded a few FB messages (ok, he responded to my messages) about mandolin and songs he chose to play for this particular pre-shutdown show. So basically we are best friends now.

So this week some of his Facebook fans created an “imaginary tribute LP” and posted which artists they wanted and what song they should perform (The Cure should do “Goth Girl,” for example). Many were deceased (Johnny Cash), others were never going to say yes (Billy Joel will never record “My Least Favorite Things”). Some were serious, some were to be clever (Jacob Dylan playing “Making Love To Bob Dylan”).

My suggestion was to have The Jayhawks record “Kiss Me Miss Liberty” from John Wesley Harding’s New Deal (1996?). Wes “liked” it and it became part of the “imaginary” track line up.

Then a funny thing happened, Wes started to reach out to the artists and they started agreeing to record the songs that the “fans” wanted them to play!

Graham Parker started the ball rolling last week with his cover of “The Devil In Me” and I began to construct the Jayhawks arrangement of “Kiss Me Miss Liberty” in my head as a cure for my captivity boredom.

So today I see a message from Wes to me (ok to the group) that Gary Louris (of The Jayhawks) is the next artist to record a Wes song, thanks to Eric Leland (well, after I reminded him that it was my idea).

So I am basically a record executive again! COVID19 dreams do come true!

Apr 092020

One thing I’ve been trying to do while working from home, isolated in a spare bedroom that now serves as my office, is to be more patient and open in my listening habits. I listen to albums I play in the background all the way through – no needle lifting! I have been listening to lots of artists I normally don’t listen to, including albums released past 1983. I’ve been listening to genres of music I normally don’t make much time for, especially classical music. My wife walked in on me listening to a Mahler symphony the other day and exclaimed, “I never thought I’d walk in on you listening to classical music,” as if I’d been watching bestiality videos…

May 072014


In the recent, bizarre Twins thread, MrHuman mentioned that Bruce Springsteen has an original song called “Tomorrow Never Knows” that is NOT a cover of the Beatles’ song by that name. What really stuck in my mind, however, was MrHuman’s belief that The Boss has never done a Beatles cover. That’s hard to believe (didn’t he sing “Imagine” the night Lennon was killed?), but I’ll take him at his word, especially because it got me thinking about what Beatles song I could imagine Springsteen covering, and how much I would be likely be irked by that cover.

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