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Showing posts from June, 2008


I love Can. Just love 'em. There, I said it. I have been meaning to say it for about thirty years now, but only recently have I figured out why I love Can so much. Can , if you are not familiar with them, is a band from Germany who had a storied and influential career from the 1970's through the 1990's, maintained their own firm hold on the music they released and always made it push on the walls of the traditional four-piece rock band (guitar, organ, bass, drums). They did instrumental records, often soundtracks, that are fascinating and broad. Delay was their friend; you can hear a lot of the repeat echo guitar sounds of Michael Karoli in later disciples like The Edge from U2. Occasionally, they made records with two singers, Malcolm Mooney (USA) and Damo Suzuki (Japan) which only added another shade to the regulated and understated chaos already in place. My familiarity with the band's vast repertoire is confined to their first few albums, which registered du

Measure for Measure is up

Please go visit: I'm so excited I can barely contain my joy at seeing this happen. My editor George Kalogerakis is a longtime friend who deserves much credit for making me sound more like myself. Thanks George.

Comma: the new apostrophe

Photos taken at the Maddox Family Campground, Chincoteague, VA.


Yesterday was a long day behind the wheel. I drove my teenage daughter to her YMCA camp just across the North Carolina border with Georgia. She’s gone there for four years, and this year, she’s an Advanced Leadership Candidate, part of the strata of counselors they train and employ there. Suffice to say, she was very excited about it although she went through the natural strata of self-doubt, anxiety and mania on the trip in. “What is going to be expected of me there?” she asked several times. I suggested that the higher-ups would be able to give her the directions they expected her to take; people would indeed like her a lot, even people she’d never have met before yesterday. When I left her at her sleeping quarters, I was already chopped liver and slunk down the camp road, happy to see her in her element. I found out, right before we got to camp, that I had to drive my daughter’s best friend’s camp trunk to our friends in Alpharetta since I could not leave it there with the campe


I have discovered on this sojourn with my teenage daughter that my destiny in life is to be the father-in-law of Nick Jonas from the Jonas Brothers. I could do a lot worse. If you are unfamiliar with the Jonas Brothers , then evidently you don't have a teenager in your life. They are three brothers (duh), Nick, Kevin and Joe, who are pop stars. They toured with Hannah Montana ; if you don't know who she is, then you don't have a television in your life. This summer, they're out with Avril Lavigne, an old family favorite of ours. Nick is the sensitive, curly-mopped one who shares lead vocals with Joe, the funny, straight-haired one. Kevin, apparently, gets the shortest shrift as lead guitarist, sort of the Mike Nesmith of the band. (There is also another younger sibling, named Frankie, the 'bonus Jonas' who presently is seen scootering through his brothers' pictures but might end up like Little Jimmy Osmond or Andy Gibb ...well, hopefully not quite

Stop the presses!

Sometime shortly after this weekend, I will begin blogging for the New York Times ' online songwriting blog, Measure for Measure . You will be able to take a trip inside my mind, if that's not too scary a proposition, as I try to write a new song. The Times started this series a few months ago, and it's become very popular. I began reading it about a month ago, drawn in by some excellent posts by Rosanne Cash (big surprise that she's such a superb prose writer, too, huh? She gave one of the finest keynote addresses ever at South By Southwest in 1991, after being introduced by the late Texas Governor Ann Richards --what an incredible way to start that weekend.) The Times has been a part of my life since I was a kid, reading the Sunday Arts & Leisure section, sprawled on the floor of the den, perusing Bottom Line calendars and the full-page ad for the Woodstock Music and Art Festival and wishing I lived in Manhattan. In journalism school at the University of N

Making Notes book release party June 5, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh

In celebration of the release of the new anthology Making Notes , Ann Wicker, the editor of the book, and several of the contributors will be at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh June 5 at 7 pm to sign copies. It's a wonderful collection of stories and anecdotes about the vast repository of music in North and South Carolina. I'm proud to be among the writers collected here, and I'll be bringing my guitar to sing a few songs, as will my comrade and mentor Don Dixon and others. If you don't have other plans, like fixing the economy or watching paint dry, come on down, pick up a copy of the book and hear some tunes in the bargain.