13 The Perfect Flight

You're not going to believe this story. But it's true. I was there. I kind of wish it hadn't happened when it did. I'd appreciate it even more if it had happened more recently.

You’re not going to believe this story. But it’s true. I was there. I kind of wish it hadn’t happened when it did. I’d appreciate it even more if it had happened more recently.

In the late 1990’s, I was headed up to Nashville for a gig at the Bluebird and some time with my old buddy, Rod Picott.  Karen dropped me off at the Austin airport that afternoon and I stood in line to check in.  After Karen drove off, it occurred to me that I’d left my guitar at home.  Oh, well.  I’ll use Rod’s.  It’s always stressful trying to get a guitar on board anyway.  At the ticket counter I was informed that my flight would be seriously delayed. The plane had hit a large bird on its approach to Austin, and the nose cone was damaged. They were flying a new plane in.  It would be a few hours.  I could rebook on a flight through Dallas, but it would get to Nashville at about the same time as the delayed direct flight.  American would buy me dinner if I wanted to wait for the original flight.  Free dinner!  Woo-hoo!  I was a seriously struggling musician at the time and I’d gladly wait a few hours to get a free meal.  So I called Karen, had her bring my guitar to the airport, bought a Time magazine and went to get my free dinner.  The gig wasn’t till the next day, so I was perfectly happy.

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23 Is That Your Real Name?

"Is that your real name?" I've heard that question, oh, several hundred times I guess.

“Is that your real name?” I‘ve heard that question, oh, several hundred times I guess. The first time, the phrase was not in question form: “That’s not your real name; that’s your nickname. Richard is your real name.” This came from Mrs. McLean on the first day of first grade, and it pissed me off. It was my first encounter with fill-in-the-form bureaucracy. (How many times have you been asked for your middle name on a government or company form?) I had been writing S-l-a-i-d on all my drawings and finger paintings for about a year now, and I’d never been called Richard a day in my life. I didn’t know how to spell Richard, and I didn’t want to know. I knew what a nickname was, and I knew that Slaid was my real name.

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6 Advice to a Young Musician

Eight pieces of advice for young musicians building a career.

1. Don’t believe the people who say you are good. Listen to the people who tell you where you are failing. You have to learn to be extremely hard on yourself in order to continually improve, or else you’ll just end up playing in your room. Everyone wants to be a musician, but only the ones who are self-critical, work the hardest, and stay with it the longest will succeed.

2. Songs are more important than anything else. There are thousands of great songs out there in the world. Why would people want to buy your songs if they aren’t as good as what’s already out there? You need to strive to write songs that say something interesting, something moving, something memorable, in a way that no one else has said it before.  In order to get good songs you have to be hard on yourself. One of my favorite songwriters, Mary Gauthier, says she puts about 40 hours into every song she writes.

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Still Fighting the War CD or mp3 album

Still Fighting the War. Slaid's newest CD, released in June 2013. Includes new favorites including the title track, "Texas Love Song," "Rust Belt Fields," "Without Her" and "Voice of Midnight."

$15.00 CD

US Release Date: June 18, 2013  

 

or . . .

$10.00 MP3 download – Still Fighting the War – complete album

please note:  The checkout page will ask for shipping and contact info by default.  We do not retain this info.  When you click on “Complete Order” you should see a “Download” link on the following page.  You will also receive a download code in an e-mail receipt from orders@slaidcleaves.com.  If you don’t see the e-mail please search your spam folder.

 

0 My Day Job

I found the perfect day job for a musician who needs time to make phone calls to book gigs, set up radio interviews and take a few months off here and there to do tours: I take drugs for a living. I'm a human guinea pig. A lab rat. A medical research volunteer.

(1996)
A conversation last week where my wife Karen works:

Jim, Karen’s co-worker: “How’s Slaid?”
Karen: “He’s in jail.”
Jim: “For what?”
Karen: “Drugs.”
Jim: (Shocked) “What drug?”
Karen: “Anti-fungal.” Karen has a good poker face, and Jim is now rather confused.

No, I’m not in the callaboose. This is my “day job.” Every real musician has a day job, right? Have you heard those Austin musician jokes? What do you call an Austin musician without a girlfriend? Homeless. How do you improve the aerodynamics of an Austin musician’s car? Take the Pizza Delivery sign off the roof. And there’s another one I can’t remember where the punch line is, “his other day job.”

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Sorrow and Smoke – Double CD or mp3 album

2011 Release Slaid Cleaves’ first and only official DOUBLE LIVE CD album, recorded on 4/20/2010 and 6/29/2010 at the Horseshoe Lounge in Austin, Texas.. Plus, it comes with two free Horseshoe Lounge coasters – available only at slaidcleaves.com and at shows.

$15.00 Double CD with 2 Horseshoe Lounge coasters

or . . .

 

$10.00 MP3 Download of Double CD

please note:  The checkout page will ask for shipping and contact info by default.  We do not retain this info.  When you click on “Complete Order” you should see a “Download” link on the following page.  You will also receive a download code in an e-mail receipt from orders@slaidcleaves.com.  If you don’t see the e-mail please search your spam folder.