"People love you when you make their jobs/lives easier. People love you when you listen to and fulfill their needs. People are not limited by intelligence so much as their own likes and dislikes. . . To do truly free and creative work, I have to forego guaranteed income. I overcome this by recognizing the very real non-monetary value of a creative expression.” – – – Meet Southpaw Jones (@southpawjones), Software Developer at the University of Texas and @cm_austin attendee. His mission is to free minds and break hearts with software, songs, and silliness. The one thing you can’t find on Google about him is that he once owned a pet squirrel. He’s struggling with valuing his creativity as highly as his logical/technical skills. What advice would you share with Southpaw? – – – ? by Jason Griego (@jasongriego)
Sincere thanks to everyone who put respect on my name as part of Southpaw Jones Chatter Day 2016!
SouthpawJones.com remains open year-round for less-prompted listening and sharing.
Remember that time I got kicked off the stage at Industry Night?
This is that.
Warning: Adult language.
Warning: Folk patriotism.
That’s right, Tuesday, April 26, is the 1st Annual Southpaw Jones Chatter Day.
It began as a personal realization that I am inconsistent at best when it comes to promoting my work on social media.
I decided to take one day every year, in the month of my birth, to ask myself, my audience, family, and friends to spread the electronic word about yours truly.
I don’t have an album release, a big show, or an upcoming tour.
What I do have is fun stuff to see, do, and share online.
Here’s how you can celebrate by connecting:
- Befriend on Facebook.
- Follow on Twitter.
- Follow on Instagram.
- Follow on Soundcloud.
- Sign up for the email list at the top or bottom of this page.
- Subscribe to the YouTube channel.
- Purchase a song and/or album at CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, etc.
And ways to share the experience with others:
- Send everyone you know right here to southpawjones.com and let them sort it out themselves.
Example text: Have you heard of Southpaw Jones? He makes up songs. Here is his site.
It’s just that easy.
- Share a Southpaw YouTube video on your favorite social media platform(s) tagged with #southpawjones.
You can find some non-YouTube videos on the video page.
- Share a SoundCloud song or playlist tagged with #southpawjones. Find one you like here.
- Share a Spotify song or playlist tagged with #southpawjones. Here is the collection.
For particularly advanced chatterers:
- Record a cover of a Southpaw Jones song and share!
- Take a pic of yourself holding a Southpaw Jones CD and share!
- Use one of my recordings in a video and share!
- Record a child or pet enjoying Southpaw Jones music and share!
How I’ll spend the day:
- Participating in the conversation using #southpawjones.
- Sharing unreleased, rare, and live recordings.
- Digging up old photographs to share.
- Taking pictures of my food.
- Making Chatter Day cocktails.
If you miss the big day, don’t fret. Feel free to do any of these things at any time.
Thanks in advance for your Chatter Day chatter!
Enjoy my very own advent calendar, filled with Southpaw Jones media from years past and present. One day at a time, now, ya heard?
My first impression of David Letterman was simply, “That’s a mean man.” Whether this impression came from my intense childhood sensitivity or from my intensely opinionated mother, I do not recall. But he was definitely not as warm and grandfatherly toward his guests back in the NBC years.
Later on, I came upon another impression: “That’s a lazy man.” Is there any easier comic construct than a list of ten things? You don’t have to write segues, and only a couple of them need to be funny! I read reports of Letterman adjusting his job to provide more time at home and more time for leisure. He started taping two shows on Thursday to have a standard 3-day weekend. He would often skip rehearsal entirely.
(I am certain this laziness drove Jay Leno crazy. Leno was a good enough joke-factory and a student of ratings. He and his staff would study viewer habits and move segments around to maximize the show’s draw throughout the hour. Letterman could not have cared less. Leno visited the affiliates and thanked them for their loyalty to NBC. Letterman, after a point, could not be bothered to produce prime time anniversary specials for his own show. Leno made sure not to jar his audience out of their near-slumber as they ended their American day. Letterman put a camera on a monkey and let it run around the studio.)
Now I see that the meanness, perhaps viciousness, and laziness, perhaps carelessness, of David Letterman is much deeper, much more important, and much funnier than I could fathom as a child. David Letterman, because he was too lazy to try to be funny and too mean to protect viewers from the truth, allowed the world’s ridiculousness to shine, passively but brilliantly.
“This is funny,” he seemed to be saying for the entire hour. Maybe not the comedy, maybe not the guest, maybe not even the host. Everything in Dave’s world was funny: a man standing up, a man telling a joke, the failure of said joke, merciless repetition of the failed joke, the words within the joke, the routine of monologue-guest-guest-song, the interjecting musical genius Paul Shaffer, the assured announcer relaying nonsense, the fact that people were there to watch live, the fact that people watched at home, the post-50’s, post-60’s, post-70’s American malaise, his dystopian vision of a rat-infested New York City. Trying to make all of this funny does a disservice to the fact that it is already funny.
Late Night was the perfect place for someone wholly unwilling to protect himself, his guests, and his audience from the shakiness and shoddiness of human life. (This may be why some of us never got used to him in the earlier slot.) This was not a show that molded you into a comfortable consumer. A television host is supposed to maintain some modicum of authority and control, right? No, Dave could be interrupted or accosted by any number of characters, animals, or just Chris Elliott. And would Mr. Elliott stride from backstage to premeditated applause? No, he popped up from beneath the stairs between audience sections as if to say, “Even the ground you walk upon is neither reliable nor trustworthy.”
Chairs, desks, (worldwide) pants, men’s suits, men in suits, network executives, pencils, velcro, cereal, watermelon, fluorescent lights, air conditioning, teeth, hairpieces, cat food, booze, language, emotion, touching. These are living components of our boring lives that, when you look at them long enough in a certain light, become hilarious. And if you can’t find what makes them hilarious, their sheer banality drives the laugh.
For the most part, even with his late liberal combativeness, Letterman did not seek to ridicule those in power in the manner of Jon Stewart or Bill Hicks. He ridiculed the whole shebang, just by looking at the camera, just by having the job. (It’s funny, he’s a hero and a legend to me, but I don’t understand why someone let him get on TV in the first place. He seems mystified by it, too.) The entire construct of our society is flawed in tiny ways and massive ways. Watergate, Vietnam, the assassinations of the 60s: these made Americans question a great many things, but no one implied the goofiness of the whole human enterprise in the near-mainstream until The Late Show with David Letterman. College kids laughed as they breathed a collective sigh of relief and reefer. It was as we all suspected, but didn’t dare express. It was truth so obvious, it’s even funny to think that it needed a teller.
True laziness is letting the world convince you that it is static and whole and righteous.
True meanness is making the act of walking through this life unnecessarily heavy and labored for yourself and others.
The only true joke is taking the world too seriously.
Letterman’s 33 years on late night television answered the question “What really matters?” with a potentially depressing answer, “Uh, not much.” But that’s where the looking long enough in the right light comes in. As if to telegraph the theme of his life’s work, at the end of his final broadcast, he turned to his wife and son to say “I love you both and really nothing else matters, does it?”
Uh, no, not really. Thank you, Dave, for being our national smart ass: smart enough to see the silliness of all but love and a big enough ass to obscure that fact in an anarchic dust storm of entertainment.
The Southpaw Jones Show
A Live Experimental Pilot Episode
This Sunday night is a special one at Salvage Vanguard Theater. My pal Brian Kremer and I are fulfilling some individual dreams separately and together. At 7 pm, Brian will perform a mostly-solo set of originals and covers to prepare the world for his exciting upcoming record. This will be his first show for a live crowd as well as an internet audience via Concert Window.
My half of the show will be something wild I’ve been wanting to try for an open-minded crowd, a fever-dream of creativity, dialogue, and song. Here’s the official description:
The Southpaw Jones Show is an experimental live pilot from singer/songwriter and virtual Austin native Southpaw Jones. Imagine a table read featuring elements from David Letterman, A Prairie Home Companion, and Hee Haw. Throw in some fine original music. Position Southpaw as the puppet master, asking his trusting friends to bring a show to life before they even know what said show is. You get the idea, yes? What does it mean to write dialogue for another human being who is playing themselves? What happens when an artist is finally able to do the show of his dreams? What is more valuable in live entertainment: freshness or polish? Witness Tim Ashlock, Brian Kremer, Aaron Treptow, Maggie Wilhite, and Southpaw Jones answer all these questions and more.
Here’s to artists expanding their horizons! If you want to witness history-in-the-making twice in one night, feel free to declare your intentions or just say hello on the Facebook Event. The details:
Brian Kremer & Southpaw Jones
Sunday, August 24, 2014
$10 at the door
Salvage Vanguard Theater
2803 E Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78722
It’s true, Domestic Love Canoe – from zero to husband in 10 songs – is now available at Amazon, iTunes, etc. I’m linking to CDBaby here, because they give more money back to artists, and they offer FLAC as well as high-quality MP3. Hooray!
Announcing the first Southpaw Jones album since 2008.
It’s not a CD! It’s not a record! But it’s as real as you and me. I am releasing Domestic Love Canoe to the online wonderland (Amazon, iTunes, etc.) on Tuesday, June 24. It’s a collection of 10 solo performances, each with a different approach to the subject of love. Take this journey with me from lustful infatuation through awkward struggle all the way to mature, adult partnership. While not 100% autobiographical, this album represents my personal climb and does a decent job of answering the question, “Where have you been and what have you been up to?” I hope you buy it, like it, and share it. Visit Amazon for an exciting preview and a chance to preorder.
To celebrate, I have a couple of special performances in the days following this release. I’ll perform my very first online-only show on Wednesday, June 25, as part of Concert Window’s Austin Invasion. I’ll set up a comfortable performance setting in my secret creative space, slap on some house pants, and beam live songs straight through my laptop to your eyes and ears. Can you dig it? I don’t tour much anymore, so this is a rare opportunity to see how I’ve grown (aged) over the years. You can sign up for the show and pay what you want right here.
The next night, Thursday, June 26, I’ll reunite with Matt the Electrician at the still-new-but-already-legendary Strange Brew in South Austin. If you haven’t seen us in the ten (10) years we’ve been playing together, don’t put it off another decade, because this room is perfect for us. Details here.
What else has been going on since last we talked?
• I released a lyric video for Second Kiss, the first radio hit single from Domestic Love Canoe.
• I tried some good old-fashioned McConnelling with a song I wrote for 20×2 2014: What’s the Last Thing You Remember?
• I threw my hat in the ring at the annual O. Henry Pun Off in downtown Austin. I did not win, but I had a blast, and if you’ve ever spent time in Austin, you might enjoy my references. See the whole two minutes on YouTube. For national coverage of the Pun Off, including a flash of yours truly, check out this video from CBS Sunday Morning.
• I got a new-but-old electric organ from my friend Robert Steel who released a brilliant record called WOLF. Thank you, sir.
And thank you, fair reader, for keeping up!
If you can handle it, here’s my very first Punniest in Show attempt at The O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships Saturday. 90-ish seconds of Austin references on a beautiful day. I lost, but I scored 37 out of 40 points!
To maintain legal status as a performing songwriter, I am performing my minimum 2 (two) minutes at SXSW during the always excellent 20×2 tonight!
Nineteen (19) other creatives and doers will have their own 120 (?) seconds to answer this question: What’s the Last Thing You Remember?
If you have six spare minutes this season, enjoy the best Christmas song I’ll ever write. Also download. And share.
Austinites, hear it live tomorrow night (12/19) at Strange Brew, Lounge Side where I’ll join Matt The Electrician at 9 PM!
Enjoy this tale of disappointment and Santa. Download! Share!
Here’s a tune for happier times.
I’ve enjoyed my little run of Thursdays at Strange Brew. I’ve confirmed that it is an excellent venue for the kind of music I do, and I intend to go out in style this week with a rare solo performance. No guests, no breaks, just this guy with this guitar and this keytar and these harmonicas and a hunger that only thirtysomethings can feel.
What does it mean to see a full Southpaw Jones show in the year 2013? No one knows just yet. This is your chance to find out. Join me!
Here are the details:
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Strange Brew Lounge Side
5326 Manchaca Rd.
Austin, TX 78745
Here’s a quick reminder for a couple of big double-bill shows I’m playing before the holidays really kick into gear. Come see us!
You can still see a sweet wedding photo and download 69 Free Songs at SouthpawJones.com.
A beautiful, whip-smart young woman named Maggie recently became my wife on a perfect Texas day.
(Click the pic for a better view. Check out that rainbow! And bride! And acoustic guitars!)
I met her after a 2006 show at Cafe Mundi in Austin.
Some of the music on this site gave us something to talk about that night.
I will never write enough songs to make sense of the dream that my life with her has become.
I’m sorry I didn’t invite you all to the wedding. I looked into it. But no.
To make up for this slight, I am STILL giving away 69 Free Songs.
Seven of these recordings have not been previously released. Find ’em!
You can now download the 69 individually, or snag one big zip file by joining the mailing list.
Please add them to your collection, listen to them, and share them with friends. I hope you enjoy them.
It’s the least I can do to thank the muse, music, musicians, inspirations, venues, and you, the listener.
If you are so moved, I won’t stop you from donating to the simple PayPal Tip Jar.
[donateplus]Thanks for being a part of this wonderful thing that led to The Wonderful Thing.
Please do not reject or neglect love today or any day, you big jerk.
Please visit the front page of southpawjones.com for the latest BIG news.