The noise in the back yard (plus Ann Arbor wrap-up)

My garage is getting a new roof this weekend. This is largely due to the efforts of my brother-in-law (it’s still so new to use that term), my sister, and my nephew; I’m just paying for it, both for supplies and to them for their time. After Day One, the old shingles are off (had two layers, so they had to be torn off), new tar paper has been installed along with new fascia and weather barriers, and half the new shingles are on. We’ve also been scraping the old paint so we can repaint it, which is badly needed. Tomorrow we’ll finish the roof for sure, and paint any new wood; whether we can get the rest of the painting done depends on time, I think.

After the two-day Ann Arbor seminar, spending two days on the garage project is pretty taxing. I’m going to have to go back to the office just to have some time to relax… except of course I’ll be picking up the pieces from being gone for two days, so there’ll be no relaxing till next weekend.

Speaking of Ann Arbor, the rest of the seminar was just as interesting. Remember how I said a digital web press was as big as my house? Well, the traditional web presses, the ones that use plates not electronic files, are as big as much bigger, two story houses. I was consistently impressed at the complexity and hugeness of these machines, and how they usually take only 1 to 3 people to run. We got so much “swag” in the end, I should take a photo so you could see how much. I’m glad I wasn’t flying back home.

The Ellis Paul concert was fine. He very bravely asked the audience for song suggestions during both of his sets. I have to say he handled the people shouting out song titles much more gracefully than I would have. He was also debuting new songs, which is probably not unusual for his shows given how prolific a writer he is. While in line before the concert I ran into another local singer/songwriter, Steve Deasy, and I gladly hung out with him at the show.


About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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11 Responses to The noise in the back yard (plus Ann Arbor wrap-up)

  1. jjfmi says:

    A songwriter that solicits and takes requests? That IS brave, considering some of the audiences out there. (OTOH, this IS the Ark, and not the corner bar.) Sorry I missed the show – sounds like it was a great time.

    Congrats also on the roof. We had ours done a few years ago, and it’s a worthwhile investment. (That, and no one likes to find leaks and such…) 🙂

    • songdogmi says:

      We were pretty good. Only once did we get silly and request “Innagaddavida” and “Free Bird,” but … he has at least a dozen albums of originals (not counting the live ones or the big Essentials set) and the chances of someone asking for a song that he’d forgotten seemed good. And of course, some people were rather assertive. Although no one wrote their request on a $20 bill….

      I just got back from another Home Depot run. Costs are over budget, but what can ya do…

      • hellmutt says:

        Ha, at the last gig I went to where they asked for requests I helpfully suggested Free Bird. They looked at me like I was the Two-Headed Swan from Cygnus Alpha. But it was so worth it.

      • songdogmi says:

        They almost deserve it when they ask. 🙂 It makes a good joke if they’re, say, a bluegrass group or a string quartet.

        has a song where the audience is encouraged to shout out “Free Bird!” at one point.

        I have had audiences (or audience members, specifically) shout out “American Pie” for requests. Once or twice, they’ve been punished by having to hear me PLAY it. All nine minutes of it. But it hurts me more than it hurts them. (It was a good song when Don McLean did it. But not for the rest of us who are expected to sing it by drunks.)

      • hellmutt says:

        Heeee. 😀 These were death metallers…

        I just looked it up and the Finnish equivalent is “soittakaa Paranoid!” (“play Paranoid [by Black Sabbath]!”). I fully intend to say that to one of my Finnish friends the next time we set up a group Skype.

      • songdogmi says:

        You’ll cause an international incident. I don’t think Britain and Finland have ever been enemies before.

        Now “Paranoid” is going through my head. Gaaaah!

      • hellmutt says:

        Well, there was this. According to Zenbunny.

      • songdogmi says:

        Of course. I even read that when he wrote it. Well, I don’t think Britain and Finland have been enemies this century yet.

        (If I could’ve written about American history the way Z. writes history, I would’ve gone ahead and gotten my doctorate in it. Either that or gone into stand-up comedy.)

      • hellmutt says:

        He’s just the scariest and most adorable evil genius, isn’t he?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dear Charlie,

    As someone who’s written wonderful words about the great music coming from singer songwriter Ellis Paul – first I’d like to tell you thank you. I’ve been Ellis Paul’s friend and manager since 1992 and his music, words and friendship are jewels in my life. Upon examining the state of the music industry, Ellis and I have realized that far and away the most important connections that we have are not at all on the business side of the equation – it’s the people that love Ellis’ music. They’re more important than the biggest retailer or the most powerful radio station – so we’re starting a campaign to empower the people. Ellis’ new album “The Day After Everything Changed” was completely funded by his fans and is one of the finest he’s ever recorded. Many of Ellis’ fans and folks passionate about great songwriting don’t even know that it’s been released. So if you’d like to help support a truly independent artist – here’s how. The lead single track on TDAEC is “Annalee”, and if you go to you can download “Annalee” for free. Unlike so many other free song offers – you don’t have to give us your email, sign up or register for anything at all. It’s free for the taking. The small favor we would ask? Please share it with any and all of your friends that would enjoy Ellis’ music. This would help our efforts and help spread the music. This truly is a campaign about the power of the people in the support of independent music and artists.

    Please stay in touch.

    And thank you.

    Ralph Jaccodine, Manager

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ann Arbor Wrap Up

    I enjoyed hanging with you at the Ellis Paul Concert as well. It was a good time and Ellis put on a good show.


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