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  • We Be Jammin’

    The greatest thing about playing music is that you can do it with other people. I’m sure it’s true for all genres and styles but I know it is exceptionally magical for weird folk music. The greatest thing is that you don’t have to be particularly good. If you have a basic understanding of how it all works, you can find some people who like the same songs and spend some time. If you find the right song, a group of people can drift into a flow and play that song forever… or until someone has to go to the bathroom. A good jam is a religious experience.

  • Redundant Titles

    A long time ago, I wrote a song called “Apples.” That song was not very good. I kept chipping away at “Apples” until I found a decent song. This was way back when all of my songwriting was done on paper. When the applesauce was finally a finished song, I had a piece of paper with a lot of words crossed out and new lines scribbled into the margins. That was my process. The top of the paper had the word “Revised” in a different color ink scratched in behind the original title. When I released the song on my Judgement record, the title was officially listed as “Apples Revised.” I recently tweaked a couple of lines in this song. Now, I have a revised version of “Apples Revised.” I don’t think I will update the title. That would be too excessively redundant and repetitive and redundant.

  • Words I Like Vol. 2

    Wednesday Words

    I keep an ongoing list of words that I like. When I find a word and I like the way it sounds, it goes on the list. The following are five words from my list:

    Librettist – a person who writes the text of an opera or other long vocal work

    Semiquincentenial – a 250th anniversary

    Epistemophiliac – love of knowledge

    Outré – unusual and typically rather shocking

    Prognosticator – a person who foretells or prophesies a future event

  • Woof

    I have noticed something now that we are a dog family. I have walked through my neighborhood thousands of times. I’ve heard some barks but nothing remarkable. Now, when we walk with Pepper, it feels like every house has a barking dog. Can they smell us? Are they sitting at the window watching for other dogs to bark at? Most importantly, what are they saying to each other? Can you imagine walking through a neighborhood with someone screaming at you from every house that you pass? It must be intense to be a dog.

  • Switzerland

    While we were headed home from our camping trip, we were reminiscing about all of our past vacations.

    My son asked, “Is Switzerland in the United States?”

    ”No, it’s in Europe.”

    ”Is Europe in the United States?”

    ”Nope, you have to cross the ocean to get to Europe. You need to take a plane to get there.”

    ”Aww, that’s too bad. I really want to go to Switzerland this summer.”

    ”That’s kind of surprising. Why are you so interested in Switzerland?”

    ”Umm, they are famous for chocolate and I love Saint Bernards.”

  • Two Inches of Dental Floss

    We spent a couple of days in a cabin. It was a great trip except for one minor disaster. On the second night, I was getting ready for bed. I grabbed my travel pack of dental floss and pulled out a string. It was two inches long. That was it. Two inches of dental floss was all that was left. There was no more dental floss. You can’t get much done with two inches of dental floss. To make matters worse, we had just enjoyed some delicious popcorn. It was a great trip but I’m happy to be home. I finally got the popcorn out of my molars.

  • Butt Street

    We were on a road trip and passing through an unfamiliar town. From the back seat, there was a very alarming sound. It sounded like my son was choking on a peanut while watching a very funny episode of the Three Stooges. I assumed he was either having an emergency or he had seen a car wreck involving clowns and a pet llama.

    “What’s wrong?!? Are you okay?!?”

    ”You won’t believe it. That street was called butt. The sign literally said, b-u-t-t.”

    He was right. That’s funny.

  • Viticulture (in the garden)

    I was scheduled to do a segment on a local television show to help promote an upcoming wine festival. As it turns out, they want a prerecorded musical performance instead of a live interview. This is definitely for the best. Now I have much less chance of saying something stupid on live television.

    Click here to watch the video (on YouTube) that I sent them.

  • Garbage Karma

    Thursday is garbage day. It always has been and it always will be. Except when there is a federal holiday. Then it is anybody’s guess. Maybe the trash collection routine is more consistent in your part of the world. In my collection area, when a holiday occurs during the week, it is supposed to shift the subsequent day’s collection to the following day. For example, if the holiday is on a Monday (as is Memorial Day which just happened last week), then everybody would set out their garbage on the day after their normal day. However, this has not always been consistent. I have missed the truck on more than one occasion due to a holiday. The fear that you may miss it inspires everyone to set out their garbage on their normal day. Nobody is willing to take that chance. This means that your trash will be by the curb for an extra 24 hours. It is sitting in front of your house with the sun beating down. The laws of the universe dictate that your garbage will be the stinkiest trash in the history of the world on the week when it sits out the longest. My apologies to everyone who came within a three-block radius of my house last week.

  • Chicken Skin Hug

    Wednesday Words

    Nothing good rhymes with twitch. I have been working on a new first verse for “Chicken Skin Shake.” You might enjoy a couple iterations that are good examples of bad songwriting

    Starting to shake and to shiver
    Your legs might even twitch
    Hey, hey, here we go
    It’s the chicken skin itch

    Starting to shake and to shiver
    It’s time to cut a rug
    Here we go darling
    It’s a chicken skin hug