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"If you come to California / be sure to wear a rubber / 'cause there's lots of nasty people down there."
The Bad Mintons, Snazzy Portland.

For a long time (what felt like forever) I stood on my soapbox and boldly addressed the world, every two cents feeling like a bold proclamation. Due to the electronic nature of my soapbox, naturally, what I considered to be "the world" amounted to the most privileged iceberg-tip cohort busy socially networking online instead of being otherwise occupied dealing with famine, floods and civil war. Largely, this amounted to Talking To Americans.

Over the past several years I haven't felt like I had a great deal to say, to Americans or otherwise. Mostly when I felt I had something to express I would sing it instead, typically in someone else's words.

But much to my surprise, this dual citizen (mother born in Palo Alto, hence aunts, uncles and cousins in Portland, Santa Barbara and Oakland) finds himself in a position, if not to talk to Americans, at least to sing to Californians... and to serenade them with an accordion. And so I thought I might try to rustle some up here (Californians, that is, not accordions), in case there might be some curiosity about what I've been up to since I put down my hard brackets.

For the next four days, if all goes according to plan, I should be performing five shows around the Bay Area with a stripped-down version of the Horace Phair house band which we shall here be referring to as the Slanted Floorboards. Our gimmick is that we play famous and unknown modern tunes on old-timey instruments, creatively re-interpreting the whole history of popular music and backing it up a century. I like to think that it can be pretty entertaining, and some noders here might be caught agreeing. (And, of course, if you want to exchange words (please no punches in the nose) with p_i, I can't envision a better opportunity this side of Horace Phair 2010 -- though my decaversary interview was pretty comprehensive. Was I ever anything less?)

You may not be located anywhere near the Bay Area of California; however, if you are online, there's a good chance that you're American -- and if you're an American, there's a good chance that you at least know someone who is nearby. (Odds are also excellent that you're a heterosexual middle-class white male, but I don't discriminate.) If you have any friends in The Everything People Registry : United States : California or on the NoCal /msg list, please consider drawing their attention to these dates:

  • Thursday, August 19th -- 8-10 pm at the Delta of Venus, 122 B Street, Davis 95616.
  • Friday, August 20th -- 9:30 pm 'til late at Toad In The Hole, 116 5th Street, Santa Rosa 95401... with Amber Lee and the Anomalies!
  • Saturday, August 21st -- 4:25-5:05 at the Cotati Accordion Festival in LaPlaza Park, 60 West Cotati Avenue, Cotati 94931. With, well, a glowing array of historical accordion stars and the new generation of alt-squeeze misfits.
  • Saturday night, August 21st -- 8:45 pm 'til half past midnight at the Revolution Cafe, 3248 22nd Street (btw Bartlett St & Mission St), San Francisco, 94110.
  • Sunday, August 22nd -- 9:30 pm 'til half past midnight at Peri's Silver Dollar Saloon, 29 Broadway Blvd, Fairfax 94930.
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