Monday, April 26, 2010

coup de fil

The phone rang, a not too frequent occurrence around here. The time difference, something - even my own family can't seem to get the coordinates right to reach me except via email. But the same goes for bill collectors so that's a plus.

It was Annie, the pilates instructor.

"Saw you and Eric on bikes yesterday, riding into the village."

And I was off. As the words spilled out, the most boring mundanities tumbling into the receiver, I realized I hadn't spoken but a few sentences to anyone except Eric in weeks. The dam had burst, but the reservoir was full of recycled lines from an especially dull episode of The Archers. "Yes, we're trying to get fit. Bike riding, walking, weights and no bread or dessert. It's so hard!"

Too polite to interrupt, she let me ramble on. "They've been putting gravel down on the sidewalks out front - it's been a nightmare. When are they going to finish the roadworks around here?"

"And it's still so cold! But the other day there was a beautiful blue sky and some sunshine. All the flowers are starting to come in, so that's nice."


"I mean, it's better than being sick - we've both had our fill of that this winter. And running out of fuel all the time."

Someone stop me, I thought. But I kept on. "Have you noticed the price of produce just keeps getting higher and higher? I spent four euros, that's right, four euros - on a barquette of strawberries yesterday."

She finally broke in to tell me she'd be starting up classes again. And that she had to go.

I hung up and opened the door to the studio. There was feedback, organs howling, tambourines shimmering, guitars and vocals careening around the room. Eric stood between the speakers, looking triumphant.

"Who was that?" he asked.

I just shuddered. Then climbed back into the time machine.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Stuck Inside Of Ma Ville

I'll admit I've been obsessed with the ash cloud. It doesn't help that we're now trapped in a small village in France with no working automobile - the car's in the shop for a new exhaust system and the ambulance's suspension is so shot it's undriveable.

Oh wait, we've got two ancient bicycles, so that's something.

At least we're not stuck in an airport in Europe or the UK, trying to get...anywhere. Or a train station in France, though they say that strike is ending, for now.

I feel in limbo - afraid to mail anything to the US, and figuring it's pointless to get my mail sent over to me right now even though I know there's a check in there that I could use. And then there's the matter of a package that should be winging its way to me right now - are you ready? my glasses, the ones I thought I'd lost forever back in America last summer. Found, resurrected! The tracking information says, ominously, that they left US soil on April 17. After that, it's blank.

Finishing the record is imperative now, so I guess it's for the best we don't have a car to go anywhere. And the files can be transmitted via the internet, to be turned into records to sell on tour. But is there a wire we could slip ourselves into to get to America next month, if it comes to it? I was even checking on the Queen Mary. It sails from Southampton on May 15, and takes six days to reach New York. We could be just like my grandma and grandpa when they left the old country. Funny, the website doesn't show a price.

Janette, our neighbor who drives the real ambulance, said there's another volcano set to blow that's going to flood Holland and Belgium.

Jacky, another neighbor, sipped his Pernod at 11 am in the local cafe and said why would anyone ever leave the Limousin? It's perfectly placed to be out of the way of everything.

Oh, good.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Today Piégut, Tomorrow The World

We're playing in a nearby tea shop tonight - the rise to glory follows shortly with a new album and tour dates (a few more to be added still):

Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby

Sat May 8 Le Kennedy Angouleme FRANCE
Sun May 9 Marché aux disques Perigueux FRANCE

Wed June 2 Lovin' Cup Rochester, NY, USA
Fri June 4 Bowery Electric New York, NY, USA (w/McGinty & White)
Sun June 6 Sixth St House Concert Media, PA, USA
Tue June 8 The Saint Asbury Park, NJ, USA
Wed June 9 Black Cat Washington DC, USA
Thu June 10 Berkeley Cafe Raleigh, NC, USA
Fri June 11 Star Bar Atlanta, GA, USA
Tue June 15 Mohawk Austin, TX, USA
Wed June 16 Bryan St. Tavern Dallas, TX, USA (w/Salim Nourallah)
Fri June 18 Schuba's Chicago, IL, USA (early show)
Thu June 24 Majestic Cafe Detroit, MI, USA
Fri June 25 Thunderbird Cafe Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Sat June 26 Cafe Nine New Haven, CT, USA

Fri Aug 20 Rhythm Festival Bedford, UK
Fri Aug 27 Grub Cafe East Grinstead, UK

I'll get back to updating the blog soon, we're finishing up the album in between rocking with pastis and scones.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Side-Lying Series

I was laying on my side at Pilates class, trying to relax and concentrate at the same time. Only problem was the lady next to me. Well, not her, but her shirt. It was a black band t-shirt, and with her back to me I could read a list of UK tour dates: Corn Exchange, Cambridge; UEA, Norwich; Colston Hall, Bristol. Nice venues. What group, I wondered. I had to wait until she turned onto her other side.

Australian Pink Floyd

I quickly rotated so she wouldn't think I was staring at her chest. Now it was even harder to breathe. Knowing that such a thing as Australian Pink Floyd exists is hard enough. That this group had toured all the way across the world, being welcomed into big halls in Great Britain, really made me wonder. And on top of all that, that someone would actually buy a shirt to commemorate the occasion.

I thought of talking to her about it. Maybe she'd just grabbed the nearest clean shirt. Maybe it had come from a charity shop where, in the heat of the moment, she or her husband had thought they'd snagged a genuine Pink Floyd t-shirt? Maybe she was having a laugh, wearing it ironically, like someone might have worn an Osmonds t-shirt back in the days when everyone didn't proudly admit they secretly love everything awful.

Or maybe it had been the best night of her life, seeing Australian Pink Floyd.

Damn, now I kind of want to see them.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I was looking for a picture of Duane Jarvis, who died one year ago today. This is the only one I could find on my computer - I'm not sure who took it but I cropped it from a larger picture taken at the Bluebird in Nashville.

Please, please resist the urge to say something along the lines of "hmm - there's Townes Van Zandt looking over DJ's shoulder - I bet the two of them are having some laughs up there in heaven now, jamming together and making beautiful music." I can't stand that hokey idea of a great big music free for all in the sky.

But, thinking about Duane today, I can read something appropriate into the songwriter's songwriter gazing out as DJ bows his head and plays. Duane was a sweet and humble guy, and the same kind of musician - never wanting to get in the way, just underpinning, grooving along, being quietly supportive. I look at this picture and remember.