I just got word from City Winery that they are doing a series of special shows in honor of deceased legends. There is a Pete Seeger show for example, that is curated by Mark Stewart “of the Paul Simon Band”.
This made me wonder if Stew uses a banjo on any of his vernacular pieces.
Also, excuse the segue, was excited to learn that Hadestown the Broadway smash and Tony winner is actually the Anais Mitchell piece that I think I recall catching whiff of or someone mentioned to me. I’ve been tracking long-form works by rock bandleaders and singer-songwriters since 2002 when Stew and Heidi told me about their series of meetings with Bill Bragin and George C. Wolfe of Public Theatre of New York and Joe’s Pub. I read, last night, playing ketchup, that Anais had worked on her piece since 2006 even in early workshop form a journey longer than that of “Passing Strange” and likely equally strange, like 13 years, or maybe 19, I’ll check my math later.
Todd Sickafoos did the album as producer. Todd I met with Noe Venable years ago, and he also appeared in shows as sideman with Jenny Scheinman, and Scott Amendola. I recall hanging with Todd and his pals in an Austin hotel room at Folk Alliance about 15 years ago: David Berkeley, Alicia Rose et al.
I think Laura Thomas probably mentioned Anais Mitchell “Hadestown” to me. I know for Shirley that when I bounced off her my idea of a Wallace Stenger song book, she mentioned the guy in Sacramento who wrote or commissioned or produced or spearheaded 40 songs about POTUS. (I also had a mistral mental about the year the Giants played the Rangers and I wanted to compile if not commission 18 songs about baseball from Austin and SF s/sers. I think I wanted to use an image from James Dean “Giant” as the logo)
And this doesn’t go here at all but Mark Kozelek has a newish song about listening or watching “Manchester by The Sea” but not liking it but appreciating more James Franco “Palo Alto” such that if I ever do a Mark Kozelek show here I will not only rename the venue “the Mitch” but the poster will have James Franco on it, obscure nerdy MKism.
Mark my words we talking about a revolution, starts with a banjo. We of the long necks.
and 1: I went to a presentation at Palo Alto Historical Association about the history of rock in Palo Alto — by Bo Crane – and it had some stuff about Kingston Trio, which I didn’t know was a Calypso reference and their names were David Guard et al and I wanted to bring up that John Stewart later joined that group and also wrote “Daydream Believer” for the Monkees and his nephew Jamie Stewart has some sort of Palo Alto connection (Xiu Xiu, Ten in the Swear Jar, Indestructible Beat of Palo Alto – maybe “Palo Alto Rock A A to Z: I and I”) and also John’s brother Jamie’s dad Michael Stewart produced for Michael Jackson.
Oh, and not to toot my own horn — but David Shields did say that when I write about Pete Seeger I am inevitably and indestructibly writing about little Markie Mark — but when I ran for City Council in 2009 as a way to pick up on TMW then not even then known here as TMT Gary from Gryphon Stringed lent me a banjo but not a long-necked one as a subtle Pete Seeger reference and I posed for Valerie Weber of the PAW with it near the side door of Cubberley multi-purpose room which for me was once a high school dance, a blink 182 show, a library, a hip hop Japanese thingy with Shing02,and a children’s museum, but Steve Cohen said it cost me votes because it was like Michael Dukakis wearing combat gear and riding a tank.Actually another lady, a friend of Doria Summa, said that my facial hair cost me some votes, that plus she said she saw my butt-crack.that actually makes me want to outro with a country song about butt-cracks: 1, let’s go some place where there is no depression; 2, big muddy.
I got an A+ for a paper I wrote for Blanche Gelfant on “Call it Sleep” about use of the word “crack”. Stew on that or in that. mic drop emoji
A few weeks later I thought to hereby acknowledge not Mark Stewart but Michael Stewart the artist, indirectly the subject of a new show at Guggenheim. Times they are a-sayin’.