That one goes out to all the drunk-dialing cyber-stalkers out there.[1]  I’ve had the song on the “bridge-repair needed” shelf for a long time, its value increasing as I grew more fervent in my quest for alphabetical domination.  It could have been a J song (“Just One More Kiss”) or an O.  Now, six weeks from the end and with J accounted for, I needed an O, and this song answered the call.  I pulled it off the shelf, inserted a Jessie’s Girl/Two Tickets to Paradise bridge, and called it done, as indeed it is, for our purposes.

It’s hard to play badly on purpose, by the way, which is why I didn’t try.  As a result, the badness sounds much more natural.  Not bothering to tune the low E string (tuned down even lower, to a D, here, though the song was recorded in F-sharp, I think) contributes to the gut-bucket atonality of the song.  It’s supposed to sound like a drunk guy.[2]  I may have overdone it.  There’d be nothing unusual in that.[3]

Norm and Carolann; the Mucky Duck.  Welcome to Houston to our newest friends Norm and Carol Ann, Glaswegians who’ve been living in San Francisco for the last several years and who are now Houstonians.  You last heard of Norm and Carol Ann a few weeks ago when we saw the Flatlanders with them.  To celebrate their arrival, Sunday night we went to the Mucky Duck, where Red Molly was playing.  The Mucky Duck has been around only twenty years but is the main venue for folk music in Houston.[4]  If you’re a national touring folk act who can sell, say, fifty to a hundred tickets but probably not 500, you’ll probably play the Mucky Duck.  It’s a lovely little pub/restaurant owned by Rusty and Nancy Andrews that serves very good food, and the three members of Red Molly, northeasterners who’d never played Houston, were touched at the generous turnout for an act that’s not very widely known down here (the reason for the turnout is probably because people trust the Andrews’s bookings.)  Red Molly’s three-part harmonies are gorgeous, all three women are first-class musicians, trading off on guitar and bass duties, and Abbie Gardner in particular plays beautiful dobro.  If they come through your town, or if anybody else comes through your town, you might as well get out of the house and go listen to them, because the internet wants you to die alone.

Updated Outlook.  I’m not going to get to all the things (advertised and unadvertised) I intended to get to.  For instance, though this is not the official surrender, I am probably not going to get to the last three letters of the alphabet (K, U and X).  Lizzy-T is not going to do her song about angry cheese-loving women.  I may not arrive at an inviolable articulation of the Tom T. Hall Relativity Principle.  Etc.  There are five more weeks after this one, and the last two are accounted for.  The next three are not (which is why I’m not officially surrendering the K, U and X songs), but I’m out of town part of this week, so next week will probably be a punt.  I’m saying all this now so I don’t have to use any space over the remaining weeks to explain what the plan is (there isn’t one), though I probably will anyway.

The Picture.  The small girl in yellow sunglasses is my sister; the two blonds are the Peterson girls, Donnett and Tiffany (on the end).  Tiffany found a bunch of old pictures and sent them to me a few weeks ago.  I include that one here, taken beside their house and their two matching gold cars in about 1975 or 1976, I’m guessing, for no particular reason.

[1] You are hereby referred to my caveat in Week 25 regarding biographical interpretation of these songs.  I can tell you that empirical tests prove that whiskey and Jackson Browne constitute the ingredients of the number one recipe for drunk-dialing, though.

[2] But that weird cacophony at the 2:43 mark, just before the last verse, is recorder error.  I momentarily forgot the last verse and stalled by playing another few measures of that chord progression, then tried cutting the extra measures out and splicing together what was left.  It worked great in that in my very first try I found precisely the place to make the cuts (not as easy as it sounds unless you know how to use a template that visually shows you where the measures are, which I do not.)  But the splice resulted in a garble, which is what you hear there.  (Yeah, that was totally worth 102 words of explanatory footnote.)

[3] I wish you could do footnotes to footnotes.

[4] Anderson Fair, the venerable Houston institution where the careers of many folk musicians first blossomed (Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Nancy Griffith, Eric Taylor, Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams and a slew of others all cut their teeth there in the seventies and eighties) is still operating, just not quite with the same vigor it had back in the day.