Archive for July, 2002


July 12/13 Chicago with the Pine Valley Cosmonauts

On the sunniest mildest day imaginable The Pine Valley Cosmonauts Stormed the park across the street from the Old Town School of Folk Music to celebrate the glorious weather by singing through songs of death and murder. There were 15 solo singers if there was one…Highlights included the Rockabilly Filly Rosie Flores, Deano from the Wacos, Janet Bean of Freakwater, Lonesome Edith Frost, Diane Izzo, Rick Sherry of Devil in a Woodpile, Sally Timms, Paul Burch, Rebecca Gates, Kelly Hogan and more.
I got to sing Cole Porter’s incredible “Miss Otis Regrets” and at the end there was a star-studded sing-a-long where I fulfilled rockin� fantasies by screaming the chorus of “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes” into a shared microphone with Rebecca Gates, Kelly Hogan and Lonesome Bob!

Jean Cook listened to the record once and managed to play through the entire set without making one mistake…

Early failings not withstanding�I suspect that Senor Langford will have no trouble remembering her name in the future.

This was such a whirlwind event I didn’t think to take more photos than this one.
Hello Edith Frost!
Drop Zone indeed.




Here are just a couple of Polaroid�s to whet your appetites for the next record…Tempting.

Our cast of characters,














I said woof.



What the artwork looks like.





When Amy played a D note the strawberry would dance on Trip’s snare.



So it was time that I tried out Karaoke.

Loved the whole bar singing …
Irish genes in frenzy…
Hated the 80’s nostalgia…
Someone else will have to excavate those ruins for gems.
Amy and I did U2…
It was the lesser of a notebook of evils.



We’re not sure how she managed this



It’s somehow easier to work under Davn’s painting of idealized love.
genderless teenagers making out in their plates of food.



tonight I get to see Fugazi play outside at Ft Reno.

It’s on the grounds of Wilson High School in DC where a lot of the first generation punks went to school. In the summer they hold these free outdoor concerts run by local kids. It’s right under a radio tower so generally the amps pick up radio stations and the sound is shitty…but it’s a tradition and an honor to get asked to play (we’ll be up there struggling on the 22nd).

Fugazi do one every year and the kids mark their calendars and live in expectation.

Two years back they played in a hurricane like downpour. Kristin and I thought it would be called off but when we arrived there were 600 people standing happily facing the stage in buckets of rain while fugazi played as if nothing was going on (with their electric instruments mind you!). When one of the lights caught on fire and dropped to the stage in a shower of sparks…they called it quits but it was still one of the coolest things I’d ever seen.

Tonight should be less dramatic…but Amy’s back from a 6-week tour and I can’t wait to see her.



Paul Birch
Is great in a crowd… witness his tasteful guitar work on any of the Lamb chop records and his rubber band drums on the Nashville part of Antidote as fair evidence that he knows how to play down and back up.

For those of you who aren’t lucky enough to be in a band with Paul…you may appreciate him more as the stellar front man he’s developed into over his years fronting the WPA Ball Club.

I love his records…particularly “Blue Notes” with hooks so seductive that you find yourself weaving through traffic in sheer glorious distraction. The album actually has a song “Isolda” that is the musical equivalent of a slow wide left turn from the far right lane of one intersection to the far left of another in a convertible in slow motion traffic on a sunny day. It’s music that’s so good it wraps you in a melancholic force field where the listener almost becomes the protagonist in his or her own elegant short.

I saw Paul play for the first time recently at SXSW at The Continental club…well off the main SXSW strip but worth the hike.

Paul Birch�s songs are so well written and so elegantly constructed that Franklin Bruno was sure they were standards. I knew better as Paul is the consummate country performer and would never indulge in the rock and roll sin of covering without clear praise and attribution. After the show everyone was so smitten that to this day my very heterosexual friend Michael still refers to PB as �the handsome Paul Birch�.

Paul recently contributed a great song to the Pine Valley Cosmonauts record and most of the rest of his stuff is available on Merge if you want to check him out.