Because there’s always more to talk about when it comes to space aliens, Mothman and other weird things that definitely exist, I recently joined a panel discussion on this special edition of Lucy Steigerwald’s Politics for People Who Hate Politics podcast, appropriately titled Space Aliens for People Who Hate Politics. We didn’t discuss Buddy Holly’s abduction and subsequent years as king of Ganymede, because that would take hours.

On October 25 I played a show at Cherrywood Coffeehouse, a delightful spot that features (in addition to great coffee, of course) food, beer and a neighborly, welcoming atmosphere. I’m playing there again on November 15 and already looking forward to it.

rushmore beekeepers - live music at Cherrywood Coffeehouse in Austin, TX

The stage at Cherrywood Coffeehouse is outside on the patio (also dog-friendly; if only my dogs were more social), and though the weather wasn’t as fall-like as I would’ve hoped it was still nice, and got nicer and cooler into the evening.

Although it may have been a little risky for my first show at the venue, I decided to try some new tricks; not magic tricks, sadly, but performing with a loop pedal for the first time. I practiced the heck out of five songs: “lost in the lack of a moment,” “the alien,” “a good impression,” “where our smiles belong,” and “more of the world,” eager to get the loops right and anxious about doing something that involved so much coordination. I don’t get nervous about playing shows, but I do tend to forget my words (part of the rushmore beekeepers charm, right?) and/or goof up a little here and there. So, yeah, the idea of playing with a drum beat and other instruments got me into practice mode. This is also the biggest change to my live set-up in a long time, so I’ve been feeling the pressure.

Carrie took a couple videos with her phone (one clip and one full song, including a false start and some funny faces), and I think overall the loop experiment was a success. I’m excited to try it with more instruments, more songs and some electric guitar. After all, my Danelectro Hodad is back and ready to rock.

As a solo and mostly acoustic musician I’ve never been very comfortable with a strictly folk/singer-songwriter label, so I’m excited to bring some of my electric and more developed material back into my live sets. Having to pack, set-up and tear down the equipment for a full band? Well, that’s something I’ll have to get used to.

P.S.: Those birds you hear are not in the band. The rushmore beekeepers band, anyway.

Ah, fall. When leaves should be changing colors, the air should be crisp, and lyrics should be pouring out of my head. Here are a few songs about the best and most elusive of seasons.

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