‘Low Notes’ Archive

Hurry Up and Hurry

Saturday, October 22nd, 2022

About fifteen months ago, I wrote a column called “The Pace of Life”, in which I celebrated, perversely, the quietude of the pandemic, as experienced with my adorable personal fiend, She Who Must Be Taunted:

Read more »

I Lost the Bulwer-Lytton Contest

Saturday, April 16th, 2022

Those of you who know me well are aware that I am someone who, when offered the opportunity to compete for something, will make a point of not doing so for fear that I will lose. I do not like to lose. I know, I know, usually the person who says that is some gravel-chewing cousin of General Patton who spits football metaphors in various directions, or the Monty Python knight for whom the loss of all four limbs is only a flesh wound. But in the face of defeat, you can do lots of things, and my choice is to give up.

Read more »

Two Down, Ten to Go

Monday, March 14th, 2022

Last year, as you’ll recall from my various newsletters, I participated in February Album Writing Month. It was an attempt to actually invest in my songwriting chops for once, in the same way that one invests in Bitcoin, namely, with an unwarranted amount of enthusiasm and a notable underestimation of risk. Don’t get me wrong; I wrote some very good songs (as you’ll know, if you listened to last month’s album download). But it was a lot.

Read more »

Happy New Year, For All the Good It’ll Do You

Friday, December 31st, 2021

At this point, I can finally tell you what happened with February Album Writing Month, seeing that now it’s March, no, April, no, May, no, almost next year. What I was hoping to be able to do is drop the album, the February album, the one I wrote, hint, hint, right after February, and a good part of me was waiting until I was done to send out my next newsletter, which was pretty dumb, because procrastination: somehow this last month, no, two, no, several months seem to have gotten away from me. Sort of like the 2020 Coronavirus Tour, which at this rate will make it back to Boston sometime during the Malia Obama administration. But, unlike the Malia Obama administration, the FAWM album is actually here.

Read more »

My Buggywhip Business Seems to be in a Spot of Trouble

Monday, July 5th, 2021

My wife, She Who Must Be Taunted, and I have been doing some spring cleaning and rearranging, and the other day I took the opportunity to organize my music closet. And, of course, like every one of my songwriting colleagues, I have a backlog of duplicated CDs which, let’s say, have yet to find their way into the the hands of their intended owners. Of course, most of them were duplicated back in the day when CDs were a Thing, rather than just another thing, but it’s still the fruit of my musical loins, and besides, CDs are a bitch to recycle. 

Read more »

The Pace of Life

Monday, May 31st, 2021

They say life is a marathon, not a sprint. I do not know who this “they” is – perhaps Big Marathon – and I do not know what they have against sprints, but it seems not quite right. It feels to me like life is more like the Indianapolis 500 – every year or so you find yourself back where you started, and every so often, there’s a pit stop, and the last fifteen months have been the longest pit stop in recent memory. There are apparently these videos out on the Intertubes of fantastic pit stop crews changing all four tires in, like, three seconds, and all I can say is that the folks who have been changing society’s tires recently are not them.

Read more »


Friday, February 5th, 2021

So there’s this thing that many of you probably know about, called February Album Writing Month (FAWM). And, like they say, it’s all right there on the label: write an album in February. And here we are, in the middle of a pandemic, and given that there ain’t much else to do, I thought to myself, what the hey, let’s give this a shot. Now, because the Internet needs to take everything and ruin it by turning it from a thing to a Thing, and so there’s a Web site, http://fawm.org, and you can sign up and do the social media thing and meet all the other FAWMers, as I’m sure they call themselves, and trade songs and get feedback and do all the Internetty things that gives introverts like me a case of hives. 

Read more »

What You Make of It

Monday, December 21st, 2020

My wife, She Who Must Be Taunted, is not a sentimental woman. This is a fact that I, with a heart as soft as cotton, find almost completely mysterious, but contrasts are what make the world turn, so there. However, there are some things for which my wife is a bit of a sucker, and one of them is Christmas. Not in a “flood the house with tinsel” sort of way, but in that New England way that’s quiet as snow but just as imposing. Read more »

Being Bad Isn’t Interesting

Sunday, July 12th, 2020

There are very few things in life that I enjoy more than a good laugh. I mean, well, ice cream, sure, but a good laugh comes in a close second. OK, well, my wife, She Who Must Be Taunted, better than ice cream, so maybe a good laugh comes in a close third. I can live with that. Read more »

Apocalypse Now, and Quite a Bit Later

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

I’d like to share with you an amusing tale that has nothing whatsoever to do with international pandemics. Nope, just kidding. It’s pandemic all day, every day, all the time. Fun for the whole family! Read more »