Shinyribs New Album Release

Shinyribs Album Cover

The new Shinyribs album Okra Candy is now officially coming out April 14th.  I played bass on 7 of the 10 tracks and cowrote one of them.  I think this is the best Shinyribs album yet, due to Kev’s writing, great performances, and production that makes the most out of each track.  Stay tuned!

Night of a Thousand Tuesdays – Couch By Couchwest

Night of a Thousand Tuesdays

I just got back from Florida at around 5am this morning from tour.  In the meanwhile here is a clip of myself performing a song called Night of a Thousand Tuesdays for Couch By Couchwest in a Florida hotel room.  Shot by Mr. Kevin Russell.  Just having some fun kids…

Night of a Thousand Tuesdays

No longer scared of ghosts or witches
Of the latter I’ve known a few

No longer scared of death or dying
It comes no matter what you do
No longer root for teenagers
In horror movies on TV
The serial killer in his mask
Is now the only one that speaks to me

I’ve spent too much time in the office
Hearing your senseless voice

It’s the night of a thousand tuesdays
I could kill without remorse

When we’re young and innocent
We fear what’s hiding under the bed
Now if I met a monster
I’d embrace it and my end

I’ve spent too much time in the office
Hearing your senseless voice

It’s the night of a thousand Tuesdays
I could kill without remorse

Busy work and cold calls
Have stolen my youth
Cubicles and their walls
Have blinded me to the truth
The worst is when you pretend
That we’re a family
It’s turning me into an animal
That wants to see you bleed
That wants to see you bleed…

Spent to much time in the office
Hearing your senseless voice

It’s the night of a thousand Tuesdays
I could kill without remorse

The idea is that when you are an adult, no horror movie is near as scary as working endless days at a meaningless job…

Austin, Allergies, and Other Things

Allergies in Austin have knocked me out of commission the last few days.  For any of you who are thinking coughing and sneezing, I hope you are not asking me to laugh in your face.   It’s more like someone is injecting one with Nyquil, but a brand of it that is actually increasing your cold.  I sometimes wonder if my conspiracy-theory friends are right about the government and chemtrails.  Anyway…

The Walking Dead is the best show on TV right now.  (At least until the return of Mad Men.)  Describing why would take a whole series of posts, but a lot of it has to do with the fact that week after week it pushes the limits of what you can do with characters in long form writing.  Breaking Bad, which I love, took Ned Flanders and turned him into Scarface, but this has done that for almost an entire cast.  Meanwhile, while you knew Walter White was crossing a line that shouldn’t be, with the rules of society gone out the window on The Walking Dead, you don’t know whether the characters are people that should be rooted for or feared.  The show has a moral complexity to it that I find really interesting.  It looks at human nature outside society in the same way that a novel like Lord of the Flies does.  As a bonus, it is flat out entertaining as hell!

I’m watching Better Call Saul right now.  I’m still on the fence about this show.  There is a lot to like in the performances and the details of the writing.  However, the show still feels like it is building towards something, that it hasn’t arrived yet.  I’m going to stick with it as I trust Vince Gilligan, also the creator of Breaking Bad, will pull it all together.

If anyone is interested in South African Music, I can’t recommend the compilation Homeland: The Best of Black South Africa enough.  It’s one of those rare compilations that plays like a really great album.  Every track has a commonality that feels related to the others, but the diversity of artists means that it also never gets boring.  I clearly can’t understand the lyrics, but this is soul music, in the sense that it is uplifting and life-affirming, even if you get the sense that it was created under hardship.

This week I go on the road with Shinyribs to Florida for a festival.  You can get the details here:

Shinyribs Shows

I hope to be back up at my usual posting rate by tomorrow, but if I’m not, you know why.

In the future when all’s well…

Jeff

Shinyribs Live Tonight Free in ATX

If you happen to live in Austin, or be in town for SXSW, I will be performing tonight with Shinyribs at 9:30pm during a free show.  It’s called Rock the Lot and it is held in the Austin American Statesman parking lot.  We will be putting on a  90 minute show.  If you are interested get there on time, because there is a strict 11pm curfew since we are playing live outside in the middle of the city.

In the future when all’s well…

Jeff

Shinyribs Show Dates This Weekend

Shinyribs Shows

Heading out on the road again today after getting into Austin late last night.  Tonight the Shinyribs band is in Nacogdoches.  Tomorrow we’re in New Braunfels.  The link above is to the Shinyribs Shows page and you can find details there.

Depending on service I hope to keep posting throughout the day from the van.  Until then…

On the Road, The Latest TV

On the road today with Shinyribs.  Posting will be slow.  Started watching the new season of House of Cards last night.  It left me wanting.  I felt like it was a little too melodramatic,  lacking a kind of overreaching theme to give it deeper meaning.  Granted it was one episode, so I will plow on.  Really enjoyed this week’s The Walking Dead.  The show was able to create an unbelievable amount of tension with just character development and story.  Zombies and violence were background for most of the show.  I think an episode like that shows the strength of the show.  I enjoy the episodes of the show that are more typical of its genre, but it is not confined to its genre and hasn’t been for a long time.  The show is strong because it studies human behavior in a society stripped of behavioral norms.  These could be people in war or any survival situation.  The guise of the zombies allows the writers to push the envelope towards things that might be too horrible to ponder if it took place in a real world situation. 

February Declarations, New Albums, and a New Coat of Paint On My Blog

One of the reasons that I started this blog, despite obviously loving the written word, was the far less noble pursuit of earning a living.  The music business, tougher than ever, had me casting about for an alternative income stream.  Luckily, I am one of those musicians that earns almost enough to survive on.  Thankfully, enough of you have also tuned in that I am getting close to generating some revenue from my work here.  In order to do this I have to make some structural changes.  When I started this blog I didn’t know that it was much easier to earn through wordpress.org than it is through wordpress.com.  In fact I knew nothing about the technical and structural side of blogging.  I just followed all of the advice columns that said I should write as much as possible if I wanted to get traffic to my site.

So I am currently transferring this blog over to wordpress.org and making some much needed changes to the overall structure as well.  I have no idea how long this will take me.  I am hoping it is a seamless transition, but I have no idea what I’m in for.  The process has already begun.  If you notice any hiccups, that is the reason behind it.

Although there may be changes to the structure and look of this blog, I plan to keep writing in the same style that I always do.  I have an uneasy relationship with advertising.  While I acknowledge its place in the modern world, so much of modern advertising makes me ill.  I am hoping that my own compass, and the fact that I predominately earn my living as a musician, will keep me honest.  No one wants to buy the records of a sellout with nothing to say, or at least I don’t.  (Come to think about it, a lot of people want to buy records by musicians that are sellouts with nothing to say!  Fuck!!!)

I do believe that musicians, artists, writers, should earn a living from their work.  This whole streaming thing troubles me, because it does not yet seem that it pays anyone anything that they can survive on.  But hey, y’all got a blog out of it.  I might not have ever started this blog had the economics of the music business been different.  I really enjoy working on this though.  Even if the economics changed, I don’t think I would stop now, for any reason.  There is a lot more I want to add about how economics, and people’s support for the arts, directly effects the kind of art that we see.  I am late to start packing for tour right now and that will have to wait for a later date.

I just got a copy of the new Shinyribs record that I play bass on.  Mr. Russell even gracefully allowed me to coauthor one song, which I am extremely excited about.  The record, which has long been in the works for sometime, should be out soon.  As soon as I have a finite date, I will make it known.  The Ted Hawkins tribute record I played on, that I have previously mentioned, is supposed to be out later this year.

I also hope to record a solo record this year.  I don’t like New Year’s resolutions.  A February declaration seems fitting somehow, as February seems like no one’s idea of a time to begin anew.  Why can’t it be?  My goal by the end of the year is to have three records in various stages of completion and to have this blog newly formatted and running clean.

Anyway, I’m off to Louisiana for a tour, as soon as I can stuff enough random things in a suitcase to feel like I tried.  Over and out…