NEWS

ARE YOU CRYING?

Hey folks,

I was just sitting there. Reading a book. And Stephie sat down in front of me and said, "We need to talk." And I was like, "Wha...?"

And she said, "Are you going to be okay?" I felt like taking the Fifth, but that didn't feel right either, taking the Fifth after a simple question from my wife.

I went out for a walk. Then I saw our van parked on the street. And so I walked over, unlocked the door and climbed up in it and sat there. I turned on the radio and leaned back the bucket seat and closed my eyes, and I'm not gonna lie. I cried.

I sat there for a while thinking about everything and nothing like that guy in that song who just wanted a Pepsi. And then someone pulled up alongside and rolled down their window and asked if I was leaving. And I said, "No, I'm on a stakeout, actually." And then the person in the car said, "Are you CRYING?" Okay, I made that last part up. But yeah, I got a laugh out of that. I felt a little better.

I just said that because, well I don't know why I said that to the person in the car, it just came out. But I really did feel like I was on a stakeout, in a way. Like I was keeping an eye on a house of ill repute waiting for a city councilman to slide out, with his head bowed. A city councilman who would be no match for my telephoto lens.

In short I was bored. And honestly, more than a little blue. Like the man said: Too much of nothing. It can cause one man to sleep on nails and others to eat fire.

And if these pandemic blues aren't enough, my Instagram page got pulled down, and right when I was starting to enjoy my Instagram page. For a number of reasons. Well for one, a picture is worth a thousand words and a thousand words can be a lot to type. Let alone spell check. These days I don't have any gigs. And you guys know me, I'm used to being busy. Out on the road. On the move! (With the best reason in the world to avoid chores. It works every time. You can't do chores when you're on the road.) I'm used to trucking along and just shaking my head at social media. Now I'm very much home. And to be honest, I've had a rough go of the whole social media thing. And then my damn Instagram page pulled down. It's hard. I feel like a pedophile or something.

Meanwhile, we put back the release date back on the new LP and we keep putting out songs. Here's another new one. Willie and Nilli. A song about your kids, after they grow up and get divorced and move into a residential hotel in the Tenderloin. I know what you're thinking: That will never happen to my kids. Maybe you're right. But they're somebody's kids, and they're having a good time, which sounds pretty good to me just now. Beautiful losers, yeah, for sure. But there's a tenderness thanks to Stephie Finch on the choruses. Sonically it's rain on a conga drum all the way. With an electric e-bow guitar by James DePrato weaving in and out. You can give a listen. It's got a lyric video and everything with imagery courtesy of Jacob Holdt. I think Jacob Holdt's photos really capture a world where there's no way out. And there's nothing left but to make the best of a bad bargain.

You can check the video out here: https://youtu.be/emqjb4prbn0

And you can check out my brand new Instagram page. HERE: https://www.instagram.com/chuckprophetinexile/

PS: If you haven't pre-ordered the record, you need to do it now. The Land That Time Forgot. It's got something for everyone. Fast songs, slow songs, songs about broken hearts, blown gaskets, presidents, rejection, appreciating Metallica, pain, and all the sweet stuff that makes life worth living and songs worth singing and shoes worth tapping. Maybe even you singing along. Hey, a guy with the pandemic blues can dream.

"Hey good lookin'-whatcha got cookin'?" Join us for the Trip in the Country show at 2 PM every Friday.

HERE: http://gimmecountry.com This Friday we have special guest Charlie Sexton. [Yes, THAT Charlie Sexton?] It's 2PM in California. 5 PM out east. And for the folks on the other side of the pond, it's like 10 PM. Join us. Why not wake your kids up and make them listen. It's a family show. Break out the powdered donuts.

Onwards,

-CP


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WHAT MAKES THE MONKEY DANCE

Hey folks,

Today is Friday. So, it's Trip In The Country day around here. More on that in a hot second.

First off, my new record "The Land that Time Forgot" (Yep Roc) was originally scheduled to be released May 15. Because of disruptions of normal living that you probably are aware of, the release date has now been pushed back to August 21.

But that's not all! Right this moment, there happens to be a mess of pre-sale bundles and other fun stuff available in our store. And we've got a UK store now too!

Is there more, Chuck? the voice inside my head asks. Funny you should ask, voice inside my head, because aside from the new record and T shirts and bundles, there's a limited edition, deluxe collector's edition of "What Makes the Monkey Dance: The Life and Music of Chuck Prophet," by Stevie Simkin with photo prints all signed by me. It's a hardcover edition with hand-sprayed page edges, housed inside a specially designed slipcase with a set of six photographic prints by Tom Erikson taken between 1988–1999. $75.00. ONE PER CUSTOMER.

And if you pre-order this collector's edition of the book TODAY, you are cordially invited to attend an exclusive invite-only event: "Chuck Prophet in Conversation with Author Stevie Simkin" Live Zoom event and Q&A Saturday, May 30th 12:00 PM PDT / 20:00 PM GMT

PRE-ORDER AND SHOP HERE: http://www.chuckprophet.com/shop

Sorry I hadn't checked in about this sooner. I'm keeping a real tight schedule. I've been super busy checking my e-mail and doing a lot of scrolling through my social media. [Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling...] Except when I'm drinking coffee and playing guitar in my pajamas. Or when I'm picking away at something I'm writing. And when I say "writing," I of course mean crossing out a line, adding a comma, and then printing it out again and looking at it with satisfaction. That comma was a masterstroke!

And then, and then, and then, I decide it's hopeless and pick up a book. Put it down. Pull a Roy Orbison record out of its sleeve and put it on the turntable. And before I know it I'm like, "What's for dinner?" That's a typical day here on the edge of the Castro.

I don't know what it is. I have no discipline. I've got those pandemic blues. Why should I have any discipline? I had a mess of places to go and people to see. And now that's all gone. I'm listless. Questioning my life choices.

Maybe I need a hobby. I can't get to my studio to work on my collages, so that's out. I'm thinking of taking up an expensive cigar habit. Please don't send me your TV recommendations! I used to be good for about 3 episodes of anything. That was then.

All of this is because I'm not on tour.

Meanwhile, all this lying around and listening to Roy Orbison is pretty fun it turns out, and has come in handy for my radio show. We're calling it the Trip In The Country show. It's on Gimme Country every Friday at 2pm. Gimme Country is a streaming radio station.

Sure it's Country music, but we take it places. Other countries. Places like Italy and Jamaica and Canada too! And the Americas. North America... South America... I'm enjoying doing the show. Seems like the more out there it gets, the more people dig it. And it's fun turning people on to music.

Plus, I love radio. And this one is interactive. People from all over the globe come and hang out and mouth off in the chat.

I try to think back to the great radio shows that inspired me. I'm thinking of the old Maximum Rock and Roll show, Tuesday nights on KALX. Broadcast out of Berkeley and right into my suburban bedroom. That show had a kind of freeform spirit. The hosts would announce whatever live gigs were happening in the Bay Area. They'd spin records and inject some progressive politics between tunes. They also played local punk rock records, along with the latest imports from England, Kinks rarities, rockabilly sides. I used to tape the show. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was there I first heard about the Temple Beautiful. That show was a beacon. Something to aspire to.

So come hang out at Gimme Country. Download the app. And follow me. You'll get a notification when the show is about to start. It'll go out 10 minutes before the show starts to remind you. Fair nuff? HERE'S THE LINK: https://gimmecountry.com/#/radio

P.S.: In case it got past you, I filmed a travel show for Southwest Air and Luck Reunion. A kind of Anthony Bourdain (R.I.P.) styled show where you can ride shotgun with me and Aaron Lee Tasjan through the backstreets of San Francisco. The Luck Reunion team is brilliant. This ain't some insidious internet trash. There are real production values. I think you'll enjoy it.

LINK: https://southwest.fm/sites-and-sounds/episode-3/

Onwards,

-CP

NIXONLAND

Hey gang,

New single out today. Nixonland. More on that in a bit here.

First, I want to thank everyone who moseyed over to Bandcamp and bought the "Strings in the Temple" LP. Yep Roc actually got a call from Billboard later that week. They wanted the catalog numbers and niceties, as the record was in position to chart. It showed up in the charts, but what I'm really proud of is it came in at #9 in the classical charts. For real.

Meanwhile, don't be a dumb ass like me.

We were closing out our second show of the night at the Continental Club in Austin. A double header. I'd essentially been yelling and jumping around that stage for close to four hours. I was more than a little slaphappy, adrenalin flowing free.

The band was vamping on a big fat E chord, the volume was swelling. And like hundreds of times before, I spit into the mic: "Good night. Take care. And if you can take care of someone else too!" There was much clapping of hands and stomping of feet. And as the band continued its crescendo, I leaned down into the front row, sweat dripping off, and started slapping high fives and making the not so secret handshake with anybody who reached out. One. After Another. Down the line.

That was like 2AM Saturday night. March 14th. The next day I caught a clip of that exact moment on Facebook. Me smiling like an idiot, glad-handing. I hung my head. I felt a little depressed. I could see the guys behind me laughing and Charlie Sexton grinning and wringing out a few last licks on the "Stephie-caster." (Charlie was stunt doubling for Stephie who never made it to Austin. She'd been booked on a flight the previous morning out of LA, where she'd been looking after her mother who was recovering from a hip-replacement surgery. Then she decided that the last thing she wanted to do was bring home the invisible monster to her mom. Smart kid.)

Meanwhile, I was making up for everyone, right? Soaking up germs wherever I could find them. What, me worry? It's like I assured Stephie earlier on the phone when she reminded me again to wash my hands and be careful: "Honey, we're good. Charlie will be there. They wouldn't let anything happen to Charlie, would they?"

The next day the City Fathers* shut the town down. (For extra credit, from "Tombstone Blues.")

Well, I'm happy to say that after a month of quarantine, I'm feeling healthy. But honestly, I can't help but wonder what it would've been like if I'd gotten sick or been an unknowing carrier and made other people sick. I'm completely convinced the karma gods would have run that Facebook clip of me on repeat like a meme or whatever. With the caption: "Don't be an idiot. Don't be like this guy. Chuck Prophet RIP." THAT would have been my swan song.

The other day I spoke with my friend Daniel on the phone and he said, "Hey, my sister is in the New York Times. She's a nurse and she just travelled from North Carolina to New York City. She volunteered to help at Mount Sinai in Queens. Right in the thick of it." And I thought, that's crazy. Why? And then it occurred to me. People are hardwired. That's why. These caregivers are hardwired to give care and dumb asses like me are hardwired with the whole "show must go on" slogan we keep repeating like a mantra.

Why?

Why does the show have to go on? For the Gipper? Who the hell is the Gipper, anyway? Does anybody even know who the Gipper is? WHY DO WE KEEP SAYING THAT? What are we, robots?

Don't answer that.

Meanwhile, my new record "The Land that Time forgot" was originally scheduled to be released May 15. Because of complications that release date has now been pushed back to August 21. And we just keep releasing singles one by one. And luckily it's all killer/no filler so far (if I do say so myself). So, I don't hear anyone complaining.

The latest single is called "Nixonland." And it's got a cool video by Yep Roc's own Nathan Golub. The video's a triumph. The process of drawing each frame is pretty damned labor-intensive. Made all the more impressive as Nathan was able to do this while still homeschooling his kids as they climbed on and around him like a jungle gym.

"Nixonland" is actually one of three presidential songs on "The Land that Time Forgot." There's also "Paying My Respects to the Train," a song about Lincoln I wrote with Kim Richey. And you might recall we released the first single, "Get Off the Stage," a couple months ago. Another presidential song that is, shall we say, a little more contemporary.

"Nixonland"? Based on a true story. Enough said. For now.

WATCH NIXONLAND HERE: https://tinyurl.com/y9gdaxuz

PRE-ORDER THE RECORD HERE: https://ffm.to/landtimeforgot

TUNE INTO MY TRIP IN THE COUNTRY RADIO SHOW ON THE GIMMECOUNTRY NETWORK:

Friday at 2pm PT / 4pm CT. Meet me in a hurry behind the barn! Join me and live chat on my radio show on the Gimme Country Network. If ya like 50s and 60s country, yodeling cowgirls, honky-tonkers, Georgia swampers, rockabilly cats and kittens, this is the place. You can listen and jump into the chat in real time here: https://www.gimmecountry.com/#/radio

Onwards,

-CP

P.S.: In terms of tour dates, we intend to make them happen, if the powers that be say it's cool. Short of a crystal ball, we just don't know. We can't know. In the immortal words of Brandt in The Big Lebowski (you remember him, right? played by the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman): "Well Dude, we just don't know." God I wish Philip Seymour Hoffman was still around. I once stood under an awning in NYC in front of Joe's Pub and took a smoke break. I felt someone sharing the space and turned and it was Philip Seymour Hoffman. He looked at me and I looked back, like "Yep." Two dudes huddled in the rain enjoying a smoke break in silence. Who wants to watch "Moneyball" together? Let me know.

P.P.S.: klipschutz has new book of poems, "Premeditations." (Here's a review.) Pretend you're browsing the shelves of a place where you just know you'll find something mind blowing. Here, I'll do it for you: http://hootnwaddle.com/premeditations/

P.P.P.S.: If you want to download the LP of the Strings in the Temple concert, it's still available over at Bandcamp. Here is the Bandcamp Link https://found.ee/uO1W

*BTW, I just looked up "swan song" and I'm using it correctly. It's a Greek metaphor according to Jimmy Wales.

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COMING SOON more »

Old Friends (LYRICS)

What Makes the Money Dance? (LYRICS)

Summertime Thing (LYRICS)

That’s How Much I Need Your Love (LYRICS)

Elouise (LYRICS)

GIGSVILLEmore »

Fri Sep 25 HIPNIC XII
Big Sur, CA
Sat Nov 21 Pappy & Harriet’s
Pioneertown, CA
Wed Jan 20 Hare & Hounds
Birmingham , UK
Thu Jan 21 The Met
Bury, UK
Fri Jan 22 Metronome
Nottingham, UK