I don't have strong feelings about either Mark Mulcahy or his old band Miracle Legion, other than recalling the guitarist's reliance on his Roland Jazz Chorus the one time I saw them, but I can't let the following sentence from a snotty review of a tribute album honoring his wife's recent death pass without comment: "But the majority of the record is given over to singer-songwriters covering a singer-songwriter, and adding all the creative touches you'd expect from somebody who performs under their own name." I'll forgo comment on what appear to be two errors of agreement, and merely note that this observation - and, really, the whole piece of writing - shows all the depth and insight that you would expect from somebody who thinks that the distinction bruited is a reasonable basis on which to judge artists' work, and who is proud enough of the principle to state it.
Nothing against those who do, but I think that I have not cared to use a bandonym for much the same reason that, as a show-goer and -performer in L.A., I dressed in a staid manner that I'd call "neutral" except that it of course revealed some sort of affiliation to my class-fragment. To spell it out: If you disdain me before you know anything about me because I'm not bearing the mark of cool, it is as well that I don't know you, and that you don't know my music. If you can't figure out that an individual who records pseudonymously may be implicated in all manner of objectionable (or not) Romantic self-expression, and that one who does not may not admit of any direct equivalence between the "I" of songs and the person who happens to be performing them, then, again, it is well that, etc. Also, good luck with fiction and poetry.
Should one at this point exclaim "but the self is fragmented/decentered/illusory," I reply: Perhaps, but if so, then this is the case whether or not I fuck about with self-presentation. "Franklin Bruno" may well be held together with spittle and memories, but this is so, and is reflected (or not) in the work, quite independently of whether or not he goes to the trouble of rebranding himself Ziggy McPersona.
All this is by the way of announcing the release pictured above, a collection of aesthetically hidebound and notably uninventive four-track recordings released under my own name, which first appeared on various vinyl 7"s and compilations, most of which are either collectibly scarce or overstocked in my closet. It can be ordered from Fayettenam Records, link screen left; all copies include a download code for a digital EP of songs of mine (none from this release, oddly enough) covered by Lou Barlow, Mac MacCaughan, Laura Cantrell and Jennifer O'Connor. The first 150 or so also come with a 7"s of three unreleased songs of similar vintage, discovered while I was assembling the master tapes.
The release show is next Wednesday at Union Hall, some details screen right. Old and new songs will be sung and played, alone and with confederates, two of whom have more attractive voices than myself. Also appearing - L.A. songwriter El May, a full band version of Kleenex Girl Wonder, and Diskothi-Q/Nothing Painted Blue bassist Peter Hughes doing a rare electropop end-run around pseudonymity in his incarnation as Peter "Peter" Hughes. I'm often diffident about whether people should come to my shows; I can enthusiastically recommend that you attend this one.