By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
"Jukebox of Steel"...there's something solid and timeless about that phrase.
Being a musician on the road, you're always sampling some of the local bars and taverns. More often than not, you find a place that has good old country music on it, even though finding good country music is kind of a sport. There's a lot of questionable stuff out there, from artists I consider great. They really put out some novelty songs and stuff that are hard to handle.
I remember the first time I went to a Waffle House, seeing their jukebox. They had all their Waffle House country things.
I've even memorized some of the artists. [Laughs] Billy Dee Cox, I think, is one of the guys, and his big song is called "Special Lady." "Working at the Waffle House..." [Laughs]
I smell a B-side...
I've thought about it. [Laughs] Never got beyond thinking about it. Maybe someday.
[Death Cab for Cutie vocalist/lyricist] Ben Gibbard was in town last year working with you on some music. Has any of that seen the light of day?
It's in the works. I did work with Ben on this recording project, which started out as each of us contributing songs to a documentary about Jack Kerouac. We both wound up in the studio together, just sort of decided to take a step further and record a whole batch of songs. It's kind of evolved into a real project. I guess there aren't a whole lot of details about it yet, but it's in the works, and it could possibly come out in the fall, like around October — which I think is a Jack Kerouac anniversary of sorts....It was a great experience working with Ben. I guess because there wasn't a whole lot of planning that went into the process, I think we both really got a lot from the experience.