Listening

December 16th, 2018

When my wife, She Who Must Be Taunted, and I went on our most recent two-month car trip around the country, in 2016, we took a picture of our beloved Honda Civic hatchback in Joshua Tree National Park. We suspected that it was approaching the end of its life, and wanted to commemorate its daring and adventurousness. And lo, just a few months later, our mechanic declared our Civic to be in hospice, and this spring, shortly before a car trip to Springfield, Missouri, it chose to breathe its last, and so we scrambled around and purchased a brand new Honda Fit, which was delivered three days before we left. Read more »

Yamaha

September 30th, 2018

For a while there, I had three pianos. Read more »

Command Performance

August 19th, 2018

As a songwriting god, I occasionally encounter a situation where I am invited to write a song on a particular topic. At this point, like may other songwriting gods, I could probably put together an album of them. For instance, there’s “Shlomo the Dreidel Shark”, which I wrote because my friend Jon Waterman invited me to contribute to an album of original holiday music he was putting together. The song didn’t make it onto the album, because Jon was concerned that it cast the Jewish religion in an unflattering light – but hey, I’m Jewish, I get to do that. Or, perhaps, there was the songwriters’ night for which the topic, chosen by the previous month’s audience, was “surrogate mothers for orphaned animals”. I countered with “It’s Not Over Till the Cat Lady Sings”, which, you’ll have to agree, is the only suitable response to that sort of epic lack of judgment on the part of the previous month’s audience. And so forth. Read more »

Swmbt

July 21st, 2018

Today – this very day – twenty years ago, I met my wife, She Who Must Be Taunted. I mean, she wasn’t my wife at the time – that would be weird. But given that I remain, to this day, madly and giddily in love with her, I thought I’d tell you the story. Read more »

I Am Not a Brain Surgeon

May 27th, 2018

Not so many years ago, I was a tender young singer/songwriter with dreams of the big time. This was long before I’d internalized Christine Lavin’s observation that there are literally hundreds of dollars to be made in folk music. Truth be told, it wasn’t the money I was after – it was the adulation of millions of adoring fans, or, well, enough adoring fans to fill a small coffeehouse on a regular basis. Had I known how complicated that is, I would have taken the easy way out and become a brain surgeon. Read more »

One Pill Makes You Older

April 16th, 2018

I saw Alice Groves perform exactly once. She was the feature at the open mike at the Center for the Arts in Natick, in the old storefront before they moved to the firehouse. She must have been 75 or 80 at the time. And I thought, arrogant little snot that I was, “Aw, that’s cute, Buffie’s mom is the feature tonight.” Read more »

Second Fiddle

January 1st, 2018

My drummer, David Troen-Krasnow, he don’t say much on stage. (Of course, I don’t give him a microphone, so his opportunities for saying much are limited, but that’s an obstacle I’m sure he could overcome if he set his mind to it.) Privately, however, he’s, well, something of a smartass, which shouldn’t surprise you at all – remember, he and I used to be in a ska band together, and if you can imagine eight people just about as snarky as me, well, you’ll get a sense of how much we accomplished in rehearsals. Read more »

Bliss

September 10th, 2017

Before the demise of my father ate my life, I was on a songwriting roll. I wrote three really good songs in the first three months of this year, and one of them is called “Bliss”, which is a love song, of sorts, to my wife, She Who Must Be Taunted. Read more »

Life Strikes

August 4th, 2017

Not funny, this time. Read more »

And the Crowd Goes Wild

May 26th, 2017

When I was young, my mom used to talk to herself. Not in a crazy cat lady way, mind you, but undirected muttering all the same. I don’t remember what she said, but I now recognize that it freaked the hell out of me. And the pitiful thing is, I recognized that it freaked the hell out of me at just about the same time that I recognized that I do the same goddamn thing. Read more »