Today I did something I didn't think I would ever do: I mailed a record I had cowritten and coproduced to Andy Partridge (main man of the great British quirky pop band XTC), asking him if he would like to release it and more records somewhat like it.
What was I thinking? I was thinking Partridge meant what he said on May 1, 2007 - and that he still means it: that he wants to hear our music.
"Don’t be shy, send in your recordings and who knows, you could be just what we are looking for," Partridge posted on the blog for his Ape House record label.
What are they looking for?
"As corny as it sounds, it will always come down to original songs, sparkling playing, an artistic energy, an unhealthy obsessive self belief and damnit, that mysterious element that hits the spot just for me me me."
The first example that came to his mind was Peter Blegvad, and that's ultimately what gave me the courage to send him the most recent poetry score by Poetry Scores, Go South for Animal Index. I used to listen to Peter Blegvad's obscure, quirky British pop as a young indie rocker, and - much, much more remarkably - I myself have actually been interviewed by Peter Blegvad regarding the first poetry score I coproduced, Crossing America by Leo Connellan.
Blegvad contributes to the best radio show I have ever heard about the spoken word, The Verb on BBC Radio 3, hosted by the poet Ian McMillan. When our CD was first released, I sent a copy of Crossing America to The Verb, blind, and was quite amazed when a call came back from London to schedule an interview with me.
Blegvad helped to conduct it. He seemed by far the least familiar with (and the least sold on) our work, but nevertheless, I could be cheered up by the precedent. The last time I blind-mailed a poetry score to England, Peter Blegvad ended up interviewing me about it. Maybe this blind-mailing of a poetry score to England will connect with one of my musical idols who says he is looking to release more music like the music Peter Blegvad makes (which is, itself, highly poetic).
Also, as I explained to Andy Partridge (in a hand-written letter penned in my car while my wife and kid were at church on Sunday), the next poetry score we are working on, The Sydney Highrise Variations by Les Murray, has a taste of English Settlement by XTC to it. I suggested that whether or not he wants to release our poetry scores, perhaps he'll want to help compose one.
We will see, won't we?
Early photo of XTC (Andy Partridge, we are told, is to the left, but I can't recognize him) is from somebody's Flickr site.