Hello again, mandola. Goodbye for now, Facebook.

Today I recorded what must be one of the catchiest things I’ve ever written in all these years I’ve been making music. Seems appropriate that it happened on Devil’s Night. It’s a mandola-driven tune that’s about as accessible as I ever get, though it’s still got a healthy dose of weirdness with lyrics like, “Meat lasagna coats your fallow septum.” So no need to worry about me crossing over to the pop world or anything.

The funny thing is, I meant to record this song quite some time ago, and I would have if the mandola hadn’t developed a pretty ugly buzzing issue. I assumed I made a mistake in keeping it in my bedroom and out of its case for as long as I did and resigned myself to getting someone to look at it at some point before I would be able to record with it again.

I just about forgot I even had the instrument for some months there, until today, when I thought I’d take it out of the case for probably the first time this year and see what kind of shape it was in. I braced myself for the worst and was greeted with…no buzz at all.

Maybe it’s true what they say: a few seasons worth of neglect will sometimes encourage a mandola to forgive you.

That was a pleasant surprise, since this song kind of depended on the mandola being the crux of it in order to work, and it wouldn’t have been the same without it.

Tomorrow I’m going to be on Chris Crossroads’ show Deliverance, on CJAM at 2:30 in the afternoon. Because what would be more fitting on Halloween? That’s a scary one-two punch if ever there was one — record a ridiculously catchy song and then grace the airwaves with my ghastly presence.

Might play a little bit of unreleased/unheard material off of this ANGLE OF BEST DISTANCE thing I’m working on. I don’t think I’m going to be posting too many more tastes of that stuff here until the album is finished, so if you want to hear some things of mine you haven’t heard and won’t hear anywhere else in the immediate future, that there shall be your heads-up.

If you’re not in Windsor but you’d still like to listen, you can stream the show live over on CJAM’s website. And if you miss it but you’d like to catch it at some point later on, you can always visit the MP3 archives at your leisure.

Another heads-up for anyone who is both a Facebook friend and a regular or occasional reader here: I’m about a day away from deactivating my Facebook page, as soon as I tie up a few loose ends. I won’t be gone forever, but I need a serious break from that place for the time being.

I thought I could ignore the news feed and only use Facebook as a glorified email server. I managed to pull it off for a little while. Then I got sucked back in, because Facebook is far too convenient a time killer, and it seems I’ll keep going back as long as it’s there.

I don’t want to read any more shit posted by people who will be my fake friends on Facebook but won’t bother to communicate with me in any meaningful way there or anywhere else, and I’m tired of the meaningless noise of so-called social networking. The benefits (like the ease of letting a large group of people know when there’s a new album out, or finding an old grade school teacher) no longer outweigh all the things that make me swear. And I probably already swear too much as it is.

A few people might notice I’m gone and get the mistaken impression I’ve blocked them, but I figure anyone who actually cares knows how to get in touch with me if they’re really concerned about it.

I’m not implying that I have any disrespect for anyone who thinks Facebook and sites like it are the best thing since crunchy peanut butter. I just think the healthiest thing for me to do is disappear from that place for a while.

This month’s video progress report is probably going to be a few days late, as tends to be the case about half the time. It should be along soon.


  1. facebook is lame because everyone i know has replaced real life interaction (heck even txting) with it. it would be nice if i could stop using it for a while, but then i would have no contact whatsoever with my friends anymore. what was it like before the internets, johnny west??

  2. ps, i am completely heartbroken that i am going to be listening to horrible terribly mindnumbing 95.5 tomorrow at 2:30 instead of cjam. curse the working life, curse it good!

    1. Be not heartbroken! I will send healing thoughts and subsonic radio frequencies your way.

      I think maybe the reason people like you and I enjoy sending mail and writing letters is because we like to think there is still such a thing as meaningful interaction outside of the realm of a computer screen. I’m all for writing and receiving emails, and I wouldn’t want to be without that luxury, but there’s something to be said for holding something in your hand that was in someone else’s hands not so long ago. Especially with long-distance friends, it makes you feel a lot more connected to the other person.

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