Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Painless Dentistry?

I'm not sure there is any such thing.

But while my kiddos were racking up several gas tanks worth of dental bills, I got to spend some quality time with a meaty issue of Smithsonian Magazine, and it took a bit of the sting out.

I enjoyed a fascinating article on Irving Berlin's amazing piano. Berlin wrote most of his songs in the key of F# -- a key that's not easy to play in, and not popular with many musicians, so he wrote on a "Transposing Piano. " It's a piano with a lever that shifted the inner workings to allow the pianist to play in any key. Very cool.

I happen to be very dependent on my guitar capo -- a device that changes the key I play in. And since I'm writing most of my songs in B flat these days, I can only manage it with the capo. But now when my daughter (The Music Major) hassles me for having to use a capo, I'll get to say, "If it's good enough for Irving Berlin..."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Cardboard Sign

A couple years ago I read “The Last American Man” – Elizabeth Gilbert’s biography of Eustace Conway, a man who escaped to the wilderness, lived off the land and encouraged others to do the same. If you’ve read “Eat, Pray, Love,” then you know Elizabeth Gilbert and she plays a part in Eustace’s story.

Hitching rides is also part of Eustace’s adventure, and at one point, a hitchhiker explains his secret for getting drivers to stop to pick him up. There’s a single word you can write on your sign that virtually guarantees a ride.

I loved the story and filed it away – sure that one day I could turn it into a song.

Craig debuted “The Cardboard Sign” a week ago and he sang it again Saturday at the Whole Earth Festival. As soon as the mixing and mastering are done, it’ll be up on our web site.

Here’s the chorus:

The Cardboard Sign he held to his chest
Told the passersby where he was headed next
The lines on his face said: “Weary to the bone”
His eyes said “Please”
And his sign said “HOME”

The Whole Earth Festival

Lovely Saturday afternoon at the Civic Center -- played a 15 minute set, with sound provided by Peter of the Traveling Bohemians. Always a treat.

You can see a snippet of video on Jason's blog

I'm still rather amazed by today's technology....

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Still Married in Cottonwood

I tell my children -- "Because everybody else is doing it" is really not a good reason.

And here I am -- blogging because my regular website ( doesn't allow me to play with the rest of the blogging gang. No rss feed -- which is, apparently -- a deal breaker.

So I'll be posting here and on our band web site blog , mostly about our mid-life crisis band -- Still Married. And about this somewhat bizarre (just ask the neighbor kids) family life --- songwriting, homeschooling and making music.

More to come.