If last week’s album of the week was Mermaid Avenue by Billy Bragg and Wilco, this week’s is Her Majesty by the Decemberists. Here are my new songs:

That last one was written this week and I haven’t even recorded it yet. I think it sounds sort of like the Decemberists. It’s inspired by Senator Barack Obama’s appearance on Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me in August of 2005, during which he discussed his controversial position that 8th grade graduation should not exist. I attempted to explore the benefits of 8th grade graduation in song form, with a chorus of “Your 8th grade graduation is a day that you’ll remember for the rest of the night.”

As a reminder, I’m playing 9pm-12am at the Continental Lounge in Des Moines on Wednesday, August 16th, tomorrow.

 

New songs you would hear tonight if you were there:

I’m going to try to record live tonight, to quickly fill the numerous (one, and counting!) requests for CDs.

 

I’ll be playing at the Continental Lounge in Des Moines again this Wednesday, and then next Wednesday, and I suspect the Wednesday after that, but I didn’t want to push my luck. The owner of the Continental Lounge seems to like my music, so I expect to play there regularly, until I move. Which brings me to the other news:

Jessica has a job that starts in a few weeks teaching at Southern Illinois University. It’s not all finalized yet, but it seems likely she’ll be leaving for Carbondale in a couple weeks. “But Scott,” you say, “SIU is in Carbondale, and your job is in Des Moines. How is that working?” It’s not really. Not yet, anyway. For now, I’m staying here in Des Moines while Jessica starts work in Carbondale. Interesting honeymoon, I know, but I’m confident it will work out.

There’s a small chance Jessica will still find a good ESL teaching job in Des Moines, in which case I won’t move to Carbondale at all. There’s a slightly more likely scenario that I’ll find a job in Carbondale in the next few months and move there then. But neither job market seems very good for our respective vocations right now, so the most likely scenario seems to be that I’ll stay here until the end of the year, then join Jessica in Carbondale and be unemployed do freelance work.

So the next few months will double as both a stalling tactic in making a major transition and a chance to save up some money with both of us working full-time jobs at the same time before I no longer have steady income. It will also give me a chance to hone my musical skills if I am left with no choice but to become a world-famous musician for a living.

It’s all rather up in the air right now, but worst case scenario: Jessica works full-time, I try to make more than I spend online, and we adopt a lower-cost lifestyle than we’ve been living lately. I trust we can get by without the money fires.

Photo from slight clutter

 

I'll be playing again at the Continental Lounge in Des Moines this Wednesday night from 9pm to 12am. In addition to most of the songs I played previously, new additions will include:

This my attempt to be upbeat and start pontificating on relationships now that I’m married. Jessica assures me she likes the song.

 

A couple weeks ago I responded to an ad on Craigslist seeking local musicians for Happy hour or late night set Monday - Thursday … acoustic guitarists or pianists to play low key jazz, blues, alternative pop for a three hour set. I am both an acoustic guitarist and a pianist. I responded thinking I could easily play low key blues piano for three hours some weeknight. I sent some MP3s of me playing guitar, because I don’t have any of me playing piano. And I was offered a spot on July 7, a Friday night, 9pm-12am.

I accepted the offer, but there are a few problem with it. First, they don’t have a piano at the Continental Lounge. I don’t know why they were advertising for pianists when they don’t have a piano. Did they think someone was going to bring in a piano? I have a keyboard, but it doesn’t sound enough like a piano that I can comfortably play low-key blues on it. So I think I’ll play guitar.

But the second problem is that I’m not sure that I have three hours worth of low-key guitar music. A lot of the songs I know involve yelling. I haven’t even been to the Continental Lounge before, so I have no idea what the atmosphere is, or if yelling might be inappropriate. The only other solo musician I know, JJ, suggested I play instrumental guitar music, which I’ll have to do to keep my voice during a three hour run, but I don’t normally play instrumental guitar music, so we’ll see how that goes.

The third problem is that it's not Monday - Thursday, as the ad said. It's Friday night. People ignore musicians Monday - Thurday, but they pay attention Friday night. I’m not sure I want people paying attention to my first show as a solo musician.

Basically, I have no idea what to expect right now, but I’m going to do it anyway. Even if it turns out to be a bad experience, it should be good experience. So if you’d like to hear what my music sounds like live, you’ll be able to do so — in one form or another — at the Continental Lounge (428 E. Locust St., Des Moines, IA) on July 7 9pm-12am.