Happy Wodensdaeg to you all. So what we have here is yours truly singing "What Do I Get?" with the Smoking Popes at our show at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago over the weekend. https://youtu.be/ffMIvN4Cl58 It was kind of a casual, unannounced kind of thing and it took the audience by surprise. It didn't occur to me to arrange for it to be documented till halfway through the song , when I thought, "man I should have arranged for this to be documented." Fortunately our buddy Patrick managed to capture the entire song on his cell phone and here it is. I said that it took the audience by surprise, but it also kind of took me by surprise. Up till about halfway through the song I'd just been thinking of it as more of a goof, just a fun throwaway cameo that allowed me to invade the stage during a great band's show. And it was that of course. But then I noticed the audience reaction, all the faces contorted in awe and disbelief and perhaps even maybe something like actual joy, and kind of thought about what I was doing, and noticed a tinge of emotion limning the fun and burning through the sardonic pose I usually adopt. Because there's something quite ... resonant, I guess about my singing "What Do I Get?" with Josh Caterer's band. Josh and I are different in many, many ways I'm sure, but there's an affinity in the kind of songs we write, and on some level, I think, a source of that affinity is Pete Shelley. Not the guy, obviously, but rather a kind of sensibility and approach to the love song. We're like different sub-branches of that sub-branch. (Maybe Jonathan Richman is somewhere along the root branch there too, I don't know.) Songs are a big thing for me, but that said, sometimes I take it all for granted. Anyhow, the Buzzcocks meant a great deal to me as a kid, and those songs informed many of the choices I made as I fumbled toward figuring out what kind of songwriter I wanted to be. And in fact, the fantasy rock dream of my 14 year old self played out pretty much exactly along the lines of what happened that Saturday night: singing "What Do I Get?" for a room full of several hundred screaming people and not falling off the stage. So it was a "moment" for me. I had a sense of things coming to together, and the briefly elevated consciousness that can go along with that sense. Kind of cool when that happens, and I'm grateful to the Smoking Popes for letting me invade their space and have that moment. By the way we'd discussed doing additional songs: AC/DC's "Live Wire" and the Popes' own "Midnight Moon" as a sort of duet. In the end though, we didn't manage to learn those in time what with one thing and another. "What Do I Get?" was easier because it was already written in our souls. And that's fine, I'm good with that. So have a good Wodensdaeg. If you want to help me out, share the video, and go to my channel and like everything. Next week I may dip back into Southamptom '92. Have fun out there.
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