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The Year the Music Died

Guy Clark, the legendary songwriter, passed away yesterday; May 17, 2016. 

And it's broken my heart in such a way that I can't make sense of it.

Guy is on a long list of musical celebrity losses in the last 6 months. Lemmy, Bowie, Prince, Keith Emerson, Merle Haggard, Billy Paul, Joey Feek, Paul Kantner, Glenn Frey, Vanity, Phife Dawg, and Maurice White, have all shed this mortal coil to join the Great Gig in the Sky. And those are only the ones I can think of at this exact moment. There's more. And there's gonna be more still.

Obviously, mortality is part of the human condition. The unavoidable birthright of all things. And clever as we are, as cunningly as we've delayed it, in the end, it always end the same.

So why do we all sit agape on social media, pining the loss of our musical heroes, and questioning who will fill their shoes? There's a slew of reasons, I imagine. 

Of course, it's easily argued that when we grieve the death of someone we know, or even just a celebrity that we've "grown up with", we are in fact grieving our own mortality. The inescapable finiteness of it all. Nobody WANTS to die. Even the poor bugger with a noose around his neck, a valise of Vicodin, and a bottle of Beaujolais, doesn't really want to die. He just wants the pain to stop.

But perhaps even more is afoot.

Personally, when I reflect on the loss of Prince, Bowie, Merle, or Guy Clark, I'm grieving the loss of my "culture". These are artists that I have been a big fan of, to be sure. They've all influenced my writing, my performing, my understanding of what art can do. It can entertain, certainly. But it can also educate, inform, challenge, frighten, comfort, validate, condemn… it's endless what art can do. If the artist has the skill and the desire to do it.

I think what folks of a certain age, and a certain disposition might be feeling, more than anything, is a sense that there is a loss of hope.

These artists that we are losing in increasing rapidity offered us, above all else, hope. Hope that things could be different. Hope that love could conquer all. Hope that all was not, in fact, "vanity, vanity". Hope that we, the receiver of this art, were maybe, possibly, actually understood by the artist. Hope that we were not, in the end, alone.

Are there artists working today that offer such succor? Of course! There's likely more now than ever in human history. But where are they? Who are they?

That's the trick, isn't it? There is so much on offer, every second of every day, that it's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. It is for me, anyway.

With the media culture we now live in, there are simply too many options. Too many choices. And all of them are delivered through magical algorithms that merely reinforce our own prejudices, and ignorance of what might be "new" or challenging.

This isn't some evil plan by invisible powers. Merely the inevitable destination of the commercialized, capitalistic system in which we live. And it's not going to change in aggregate. 

It can however change for you. And for me. It will require work. Some of which will be tedious. All of which will be time consuming. But since we don't have only four television stations, and local tastemaker DJ's to guide us towards the light any longer… we have to do it for ourselves.

I'm lazy about this. Embarrassingly so. However, I'm going to do my very best this year to seek out new music. New artists. Fresh songs. Wanna join me?

I knew Guy Clark. I loved him. He did a lot for me and my little career. I owe him big. So, in the month of June I'm gonna look for an artist I've never heard of before, that carries that same ethos that Guy embodied: literate, smart, funny, melodic, open hearted, but with the clear-eyed gaze of a skeptic.

If you folks know of an artist like that, turn me on to that person.

Here's to new music, old ideas, fresh approaches, and great artists. We need them. I need them. And, they need us.

*(Kasey Todd, Dan Cohen, and I took a few minutes and played one of his songs yesterday at Blackbird Studios. This is take 3. Take 1 the guys were learning it. Take 2... well, take 2 I broke down and wept on the final verse. Which surprised me at least as much as it did the boys. I wasn't embarrassed, as much as I was just surprised. I hope this little performance can turn some folks on to checking out Guy's music. He was an incomparably great lyricist and melodist. I also hope us performing this song is received with the tremendous respect we felt when doing it. These "tribute" things can be pretty self-serving and gross. And that's the last thing I want to be guilty of doing. Let him roll...)

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New Stuff, E'rbody Wants NEW Stuff!

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New Stuff, E'rbody Wants NEW Stuff!

Hey Folks,

I know it has appeared to be quiet over here in Jason Everlast Land, but holy shit have I been busy! Like the deep, dark pool of your grandpas septic tank, still waters run deep.

(I just grossed myself out.)

Anyway, we've got new widgets that are in their final stages of development. But you, dear reader, are gonna get the 411.

First up, new music. After our brutal, Dylan-esque touring of last year I needed a break. So I got married to my best friend, and became a step-father to an 8 year old. That was too easy though, so I decided to write some songs too. Well, I wrote a bunch. Some with Dan Cohen, one with Jeff Middleton, and one with Robin Eaton. Then I wrote a bunch "with my by myself", to quote Kristen Wiig.

7 of those tunes are headed your way this summer. And I couldn't be more proud of them. For those of you that have been clamoring for me to do some more "country" stuff, this oughtta make you smile. It's certainly not George Jones, but it's got a lot more Nashville/Texas in it than anything I've done, well, maybe ever. The record, Dust & Dirt, will be released at some point this summer. Stay tuned...

Also on the agenda is a brand new podcast. "Nashville Later" is the name of it, and it's about, well, Nashville. Kind of. As Music City has become the "it" city of the moment, it seemed like a good time to have some conversations with the REAL folks of Nashville. So that's what I'm doing. Journalists, chef's, artists, government employees, medical professionals, knuckleheads, politicians, firearm experts, and any other local ready to kick out the jams on my Little Pink Couch.

It's fun, informative, sloppy, and loose. I'm at least two of those things. Even in my sleep.

So "Nashville Later" will be a two-pronged little widget. The traditional style podcast will be on iTunes, Podomatic, and wherever you get your podcasts. Then, secondarily, we will post unedited raw video footage of the conversations right here on my site, and on YouTube. 

"Nashville Later" episodes will be coming out in June. "Dust & Dirt" will follow.

Stick around, it's gonna be a cruel, cruel summer...

 

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The New Guy (Or, What Happened to My Order?)

Folks,

Owning your own business is exciting! It's also not without its struggles. For example, just this year we moved our shipping business from a distribution center in sunny New Jersey, to a more down home operation, right here in Tennessee. We figured, "Hey, Us! We should quit paying these knuckleheads up North, get ourselves a sexy little intern, and pass the savings right on over to ourselves!". That's what we figured, see?

A couple of wrinkles. First of all, the "sexy little intern" is a kid named George. Did anybody know they were still naming kids George? Us either. Also, not to be rude, but George ain't sexy. Sweaty, yes. But we'll get to George presently. 

Turns out that USPS shipping rates jumped the shark in January. Here's a very non-fascinating article about it. Well, we didn't know that. So when good old George started taking orders, he just be bop a lu la'd down to the USPS (That's United States Postal Service, for those unfamiliar) and shipped those bastards. The first order (two CD's to the UK) cost around $20.00 to ship. You know, the price of the CD's. That was Georgie's first day.

'Course old George wouldn't say "shit" if he had a mouthful, and I'm coming and going throughout the weeks, trying to be friendly. A common exchange:

Me: "Georgie Boy! What's shakin'? Everything good? Need anything?"

George: "..."

Me: "So, uh, what are you working on?"

George: "Homework."

Me: "No orders today?"

George: "Hmrhm."

I never know how to read these guttural replies. Is that a "yes"? A "no"? Fucks sake.

Anyway, one day I'd had my fill of being convivial. I pitied the boy, really. Foks, he's homely. I'll just say it. Short, stout, and with a face that's never seen the light of a smile. And he's obviously, not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I pity the boy! But dammit, I'm trying to run a business!

So I demand to see an accounting. Receipts, shipping log, inventory numbers, the whole shebang! Old George lights up like a cross in Mississippi. Turns out he's been "just dying to talk business" with me! George whips out all these USPS receipts, some excel spreadsheets, and some new app on his iPad that I've never seen. (Turns out the little shit is an Ace app builder, has three Silicon Valley investors pursuing him, and built this particular app from scratch at lunch one day). 

After George explains to me how we've been doing it wrong, how we could be doing it right, and how to fix it, I just sit and stare at him.

"But George, we've been losing money on the shipping. All year. Every order has been a wash. All these brilliant solutions you've got are great. But what about letting me know about the shipping? Why not CHANGE the shipping prices?"

"Ah, Mr. Everett, I figured since we were out of inventory none of that would matter, now."

George is taking a Rudimentary Simian Communications class, new stock has been ordered of "Old New Borrowed Blues", and "Mr. Good Times", and we are back to accepting online orders. If you've made an order and not yet received it, please check your email. You may have a message from admin@jaceeverett.com with some instructions.

Apologies for any inconveniences, annoyances, or little feckin' Georgie's in your life!

Best,

Jace

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A Day in the Life- At Abbey Road Studio 2

Hey Folks,

It's been a minute, yes? Not much has changed.

The world is on fire. Doom and gloom abound. The climate is inexorably retaliating against our collective hubris. Wars and rumors of war fill us all with an existential dread. Heads of State bicker like school children in the Twitter-sphere. All the while, bloviating demagogues vie for their turn at the helm of the ever sinking ship.

Also, we've got a couple of killer new tracks for you!!

Fuck yeah, man!

Last summer was a marathon of a tour for Dan Cohen, Kasey Todd, and me. Bouncing between Norway, Sweden, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Czech Republic, and parts elsewhere, the lads and I actually managed to record a couple of new songs; At Abbey Road Studio 2, no less.

You can see pics and get the low down on the details at Kasey Todd's web site: LINK HERE

These two tunes were originally written last Spring. They are part of a larger collection of songs that will be recorded in early 2016. The style is a little different, writing wise, than anything I've done before. I had, and have, a really strong idea of how these things need to go.

So, Dan and Kasey decided to ignore that. Pricks.

What we wound up doing as a "rock trio" on the road, is a far cry from where I saw these songs headed. However, what a fascinating, and truly satisfying experience to record these almost "cabaret" style songs as a no frills rock band, in a world class studio.

Julian Kindred came down to Abbey Road and did the engineering honors. We then brought the tracks back to Brad Jones to have him mix.

What we ended up with is very special to me and the guys. A snap shot really. Of what, where, and maybe even who, we all were in the summer of 2015.

Of course, he not busy being bored is busy cryin'. Or something. So, we hope you dig these tunes.

New music, old ideas, and misguided missions to follow.

Happy New Year,

Jace Everett

Jace Everett Trio- Abbey Road EP available digitally in January

 

 

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Get Ready for Love...

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Get Ready for Love...

Well, folks, it's about that time. It has been said that for all things, there is a season. And how...

Shit's about to get real. [Care to elaborate?-Ed.]

But before that; let's go on tour. Shall we? Here at Jace Everett Enterprises [not a real company-Ed.], we're always looking to bring you a new and exciting experience. And this time, not just in your personal hygiene regimen. No, sir! [or ma'am, as the case may or may not be. No sexism, misogyny, Patriarchal values, or anything else potentially offensive, is implied, inferred, or meant.-Ed.) Honest Native American, we're gonna do it up right. [There's a lot to unpack here. None good.-Ed.]

Why, we've got more dates than Pam Anderson in '96. [Check with legal on this. Please.-Ed.] Not only that, we've got a brand new widget. One that can only be found in that dank corridor just left of stage, right after a show; where the smell of beer, fear, salty sweat, and middle-aged regrets, coalesce into a heady perfume that our new friends in The Fatherland would undoubtedly designate as schadenfreude. [As these are your first dates in Germany, perhaps it's best to not use up the only German word you know, before you arrive?-Ed.]

I'm not talking about wife-swappin' (don't forget his fingerprints, Ed)! I'm talking a new recording, compact record thingy majig! That's right!! You still have a CD player don't you? [No Earth person has a CD player. Will this be available for free somewhere?-Ed.]

My man, Kevin Walters, crushed this art work. Campy, creepy, cartoon fun! I won't say who's on the cover, but the first person to name all 5 of our "guest" cartoons, get's a free "atta boy" and possibly a used loofah. [The Kevin Walters? Emily's errand boy? Wow. Nice get.-Ed.]

How do you get this record? Well, by God, you gotta come to a show! Do you live in America, instead of Europe? Well, tough titty! At least until the summer is over. Then we'll have other cool and riveting news. ["tough titty"? Really?-Ed.]

Cheers...

Jace Everett

President of Jace Everett Enterprises [Again, not a real company.-Ed.]

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Welcome to the new web site!

Hey kids,

I hope mommy and daddy aren't fighting anymore. You hang in there. Remember, it's probably not your fault.

Anyway, this is the new site. Thanks to Casey Todd at Conjure Media Group, for doing a bang up job. Peruse the site. See what's up. We're integrated, bifurcated, masticated, and ready to be swallowed whole.

In the coming weeks there will be some new features for those who are willing to give up their email, home address, social security number, and a totally painless cheek swab. Hey man, we just wanna get to know you

Until then, don't forget to floss, practice sex, and call your mother. I know she's a little nutty, but she did get you this far.

Hugs and shit,

JE

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Trio and Triage Tour- Norway 2014

Long time no talk. How the hell are ya? Really? That's terrible! I'm sorry to hear about that. Waddya gonna do? Put one foot in front of the other, I guess. Unless you're skiing. Anyway, enough about you. This is my web site after all. Selfish bastard.

I've got dates. Mark Stepro, Dan Cohen and yours truly are about to head over the icy black waters and kick it with the Vikings. It's a trio, baby! Jace on bass. Holy shit! I need to learn these songs.

Come to the shows folks. We have Dan's new record, "Bluebird" and my new record, "Terra Rosa". Plus, we're throwing in some Hendrix and Cream just to keep everybody on their toes.

See ya soon...

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