Friday, May 20, 2005

Hot coffee

This evening at 8:00 be sure to come to Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, 1101 Willy St. That's because I'll be singing some tunes there with the singer and songwriter Amelia Royko when she opens for Amelia White.

Ms. Royko and I have collaborated on shows several times since last fall, when she honored me by inviting me to join the band she put together for a gig at the opening ceremonies of Overture Center. She's a brilliant tunesmith and performer, and she and I harmonize together like nobody's business, whether on her songs, on my songs, or on the Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty duet "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around." She's my favorite Madison singer to harmonize with, except of course for Pierce Bottoms.
Confidential to Pierce Bottoms

Martin--thanks for a beautiful performance of "She Thinks I Still Care" last night at the World's Greatest Lovers show. It had us all weeping.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


The freelancing lifestyle has its charms, but one advantage of working in an office is businesslike neighbors. More than once, here in my home office, I've been on the phone with clients or interviewees and wondered what they must be thinking about the barking spaniel or the shrieking kids in the background, not to mention what is already shaping up to be this summer's unwanted soundtrack, the neighbor's throbbing (and woefully outdated) drum'n'bass.

Humble thanks to all who came to the Junkers reunion gig on Saturday. I was moved utterly by the love and warmth of the people (a sell-out crowd!) who showed up to dance, sing, holler and canoodle at a Junkers show, one last time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Free country

Hey music lovers, you oughta know that this Thursday, May 19, my honkytonk band the World's Greatest Lovers will play a free show at the Shamrock bar downtown. Showtime is 10:00. The Shamrock is at 117 W. Main St.
Guilty as charged

Charles is right: on stage at the Junkers show last Saturday, I reacted with hostility when someone yelled out the de rigueur gag request for "Free Bird." I don't know what came over me. I generally try to keep it positive on stage, but something in me snapped. I really can't defend my behavior, but faithful Back With Interest readers will recall that I have raged about the "Free Bird" thing in the past.

Finally saw The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings last night. I liked it. I was inspired to see it in part by my viewing Sunday of Kingdom of Heaven, which I also liked; I figured one overlong medieval freakout with Orlando Bloom deserved another.

One of the things that most struck me about Fellowship was not in the movie itself, but in the MPAA warning that preceded it. The ratings board gave the film a PG-13 in part because of, as the card said, its "epic battle sequences." This made me laugh, as it did the literary scholar with whom I watched the film. Poor old misunderstood epic, a genre out of time. I fantasize that an MPAA rating will one day cite a film's novelistic approach to temporality.

Monday, May 16, 2005


When I was a kid, I was convinced that around every corner lurked specific malevolent forces--biological forces, geological forces, etc.--that would kill me without warning. I had never seen them firsthand, but I knew from cartoons and Bible stories that they were out there, and they gave no quarter. They included:


I grew up, and now I don't worry as much. Most of the time.