The Troubles & Travails of a Travelling Musician.

Set-pieces & Scene Reports.





Here’s some big news.

I’m really excited to say that my book, “The Humorless Ladies Of Border Patrol,” will be published by The New Press in early 2016. It’s about DIY touring in the formerly Communist world.

The amazing New Press catalog includes the likes of Chomsky, Studs Terkel, Foucault, bell hooks, and many more (uh, John Edwards.) Definitely gonna harass my new labelmate Noam for club-date support slots during festival season.


The great people at Make-That-A-Take Records out of Dundee are doing a 7″ release of “Low Bridge, Everybody Down” b/w “Home Is Where They Take You In,” the two outtakes from To Us, The Beautiful! From here on we will refer to this only as “the Scottish 7″” as is the custom. Preorder it now.














February east coast full-band tour, then March solo tour in the UK:










XM tour ad









Also, Benjamin Juarez from Mexico City made this wonderful lyric video for “To Us, The Beautiful!” Thanks Ben!



Happy release day! “To Us, The Beautiful!” is available now from Silver Sprocket (North America) and Xtra Mile (worldwide), as well as at my webstore. Digital download in all the usual places and at Bandcamp. You can check out early reviews here. Thanks to all…














Well, here it is, at long last: “To Us, The Beautiful!” is streaming at The Ruckus. Hope you like it.


At the end of each year, I like to make a collection of the music that soundtracked it for me: an audio yearbook. I have the funny feeling this year’s isn’t as good as some of the past ones, but here it is anyway.


Noisey and Vice are running excerpts of my writing about my summer tour in Ukraine. Here is “Changing The Country, We Apologize For The Inconvenience” parts one, two, and three.


I’m pleased to announce that my new record, “To Us, The Beautiful!” will come out January 19th on Xtra Mile Recordings (Europe) and January 20th on Silver Sprocket (North America & vinyl). (You may remember Xtra Mile as the ones who did “Do The Struggle” and Silver Sprocket from the Mischief Brew split and awesome “I Drink” video.)













(Album art by Ariana Nicolay)


1. To Us, The Beautiful!
2. Marfa Lights
3. Talk To Him In Shallow Water
4. Bright White
5. Imperfect Rhyme
6. Everything Is Going According To Plan
7. Open With The Wrestlers
8. The Pilot Inside
9. Bring Me A Mirror
10. Jerusalem Against Athens
11. Your Body, And The Borderline
12. Porta Fenestella

The title, and title track, is from a Ukrainian toast that goes, “To us, the beautiful–and to those who disagree, may their eyes fall out.” That is pretty much how I feel about this album.

I made it with Ara Babajian (Leftover Crack, the Slackers) on drums, Andrew Seward (Against Me) on bass, and Yoni Gordon on guitar. I mostly played guitar too. J. Robbins (Jawbox, Burning Airlines) produced. It took about six days to rehearse and record. It felt easy and we had a good time. I want to thank them for their hard work. I wish we were a real band that played together regularly. My last one took a lot longer. This was like a palate cleanser. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that people basically like guitar-pop records. If I make another record, it probably won’t be anything like this.

Bits of these things are in there: the Medusa, Leo Strauss, the Waterboys, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Marshall Crenshaw, an apartment in Toronto, the Cut Ups, Ivor Cutler, folk remedies for morning sickness, David Lee Roth, Grazhdanskaya Oborona, Hakim Bey, the Constantines, Mongolian neo-Nazis, Rebecca West, John Cooper Clarke, Lewis Hyde, my ex-bandmate Lucky, the Marfa lights, Future of the Left, Apuleius, a Scottish girl, and a pet rat in Southampton. There’s a lot in the album about circularity, about being trapped in a path and figuring out how to carve a new way of being. Other things are in there too. But you don’t have to go looking for them; you can take what you wish from it, obviously. I’m pleased if you like it. If you don’t, that’s fine too. It’s a big world.

There are two non-album tracks. My dear friends at Make-That-A-Take Records, upholding the standard of Scottish DIY, will have those as a 7″ for my UK tour in March.

Xtra Mile is streaming “Marfa Lights,” and Silver Sprocket is streaming the title track. Anyone who already pre-ordered the record from me will get an email in a few hours with links to both tracks (you’ll get the full album link, with bonus tracks and my eternal appreciation, on release day). You can pre-order from either label, and the LP from Silver Sprocket – first 300 are on colored vinyl.


The Emilyn Brodsky record I produced is out and is excellent. You can get it at iTunes and Bandcamp. I’ll be playing in her band at the CD release show at Mercury Lounge, NYC, Oct. 1 opening for Cory Branan.


The UK store is back, so save some money on that shipping.

I was the only American on tour in Ukraine last month, so some local TV did news pieces on my shows. Here’s one from Chernivtsi and one from Zhytomir.




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