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Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.

Saturday
Apr092011

Jeremy Messersmith - Works for Words

Do you ever read along to lyrics years after you have memorized them, only to find that you had it totally wrong? And of course, from having been on the radio, I was the one who answered the request line for all manner of the butchering of lyrics by audience members. “There's a bathroom on the right,” “wrapped up like a douche,” “excuse me while I kiss this guy.” It is such a cottage industry kind of thing that articles and books have been written about it, and websites have been dedicated to rampant misconstruing.

Several months ago, we brought you an animated video from Minnesota-based songwriter Jeremy Messersmith, from his album The Reluctant Graveyard. Well, now he and his band have announced The Graveyard Tour, out to the east coast visiting and performing at graveyards in each city. And that is the second time today that I have encountered concerts in the cemetery. Actually, if you have a band you can apply to play Tunes from The Tombs in Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery next month. Weird.

Jeremy Messersmith has a brand new YouTube video, where he sings a medley of popular songs in which the lyrics are mistaken for something else. Like "I wanna piece of bacon." And you know how the Music Fog crew feels about bacon. He compiled the lyrics for a show at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota tonight, entitled "Works for Words." Jeremy wrote, "I'll be performing, along with Dessa Darling, Chris Koza, Lucy Michelle, and Brian Tighe. We'll be looking at songs with amazing and innovative lyrics as well as exploring ways to present lyrics visually. I'll also be performing this song FOR THE ONLY TIME EVER. Sorry about the caps."

Remember, "I wanna rock and roll all night, and part of every day."

- Jessie Scott

Friday
Apr082011

Ha Ha Tonka "Usual Suspects"

We run in our circles. They are concentric and they radiate out from our homes, but somehow they seem to cover the same turf. Whether it is the work - babysitter nexus, or its the restaurant and club rounds, we tend to go to the same places. Do the same things with the same people. So when John Riedie called me to meet him at Emo’s this summer, I said yes, and I don’t go to Emo’s all that often. But I went both because it was John, who I have known for fifteen years, and because of the band. John was funny, he just told me I should get my butt down there. I asked him who was playing. I had to pry it out of him. When he finally said, "Ha Ha Tonka," I let out a hoot! I loved their 2007 album Buckle In The Bible Belt...it was a jumping and hollering joy.

Ha Ha Tonka's new CD, Death Of A Decade, just came out this Tuesday, and takes the music in a wonderful, albeit different, direction. In case you were wondering, they took their name after Ha Ha Tonka State Park in their native Missouri. They are steeped in the musical history of the Ozarks, effortlessly transporting the fundamentals learned there into the ‘anything goes’ jubilance of the modern day.

We were blown away by their appearance at the Music Fog Marathon in Austin a few weeks ago. Here is the “Usual Suspects,” filmed at Threadgill’s World Headquarters.

- Jessie Scott

Usual Suspects - Death of a Decade