All posts by Acoustic Ross

My Heart May Or May Not Go On.

(originally posted 1/4/2016)

If you’ll pardon me being not all that funny for a minute, I’ve got a fairly major update.

I wasn’t around here much last year. I haven’t been around here much the last few years. I did a handful of shows and mostly was kind of invisible in 2015.

There are some reasons.

2014 took my Dad.
2015 took my 17-year-old cat Groucho.
Then 2015 tried to take me too.

I spent most of the year living with a life-threatening heart condition, which I had for months before I knew what it was. I still have it, under tighter control now, and things have been moving in a positive direction for some time.

I’ve been quiet about it online – some people know a little, some know a lot, most haven’t heard much, so I wanted to put some words on paper/web. I’m not asking for positive vibes, thoughtsandprayers, or anything else, although they’re appreciated, just posting this out of a desire to share information.

I’ll be back on some stages and in some recording formats soon. Big plans for the next few years – hoping they’re a bit kinder than their recent predecessors. I plan to find out first-hand.

(cue “The More You Know” PSA music, then click here to read the whole story)

The Self-Improvement of Acoustic Ross

THE SELF-IMPROVEMENT OF ACOUSTIC ROSS
Downloadable Mix Tape. Released December 2014.

Self-Improvement

I made you a little mixtape for your December holiday of choice. Fifteen songs of various vintage, mostly remixed and remastered.

Yes, the title is another Twilight Zone reference.

Stream for free, or pay-what-you-like starting at less than 50 cents per song, exclusively from Bandcamp:

 

The Anarchist Fakebook

THE ANARCHIST FAKEBOOK
CD. Released July 2008.

The Anarchist Fakebook

By a landslide, the best-sounding Acoustic Ross release to date. It was a tedious process pulling this thing together but the album is the better for it. I’d been trying to get this thing off the ground since the EP came out four years earlier, and somehow finally managed to pull it off.

Recorded at home in the spring and summer of 2008, through entirely different (and entirely superior) equipment than the previous albums. Looking back at the old catalog, you may recognize a couple titles, but these are all-new recordings. This is also the first Acoustic Ross album to actually feature guest musicians. See below for some links to lots more info about this one.

Tracklist:
history lesson – part iii
misanthropic love song #95
pushin’ 40 mid-crisis-life blues
swept down the plain
+3 sword of protection
*blushes*
ugly american
48 days adrift
rough weekend
the anarchist fakebook
ruby
without
the r.i.a.a. took my baby away
life imitates life
fault country
+ 6 super-secret bonus tracks

All songs by Acoustic Ross.

For more, check out the Merch and Lyrics pages.

The 918 UFN EP

The 918 UFN EP
CD. Released 4/17/04.

The 918 UFN EP

This one’s chock full of great stuff. I had a trio of specialty tracks from late 2002 / early 2003 sitting around:

  • “Just the Thing” — my entry for the duct tape club contest I didn’t win
  • the “Brodsky Megamix” — which I arranged and learned for a single performance at Adam Brodsky’s “Hookers, Hicks and Heebs” CD release party, a gig that launched an East Coast mini-tour
  • “Talkin’ Don’t Pick on the Big Guy Blues” — also written for a single performance, this time at a January ’03 Elvis Birthday Tribute edition of Tom Skinner’s Wednesday Night Science Project

Then I wrote some other new stuff I liked a lot and decided not to wait until I had a full-length album ready. As a result, this short EP runs only 7 minutes shorter than the last full-length CD.

You were expecting me to start doing things that made sense?

“Swept Down the Plain” was intended to be a preview of the next full-length, which I intended to prep and release a year or so after this EP came out. A fleshed-out version of that audience favorite did, in fact, grace the next full-length – when it came out four years later.

With the exception of the archival bonus track “Ceiling Light”, these are all NEW recordings from late 2003 / early 2004 during stolen moments between bouts of roof work.

Don’t get me started about the roof.

 

Scene Selection:
swept down the plain
talkin’ don’t pick on the big guy blues
just the thing
mean-spirited chorus
bad night in boise
brodsky megamix

Bonus Features:
talkin’ don’t pick on the big guy blues (with director’s commentary)
just the thing (with director’s commentary)
brodsky megamix (with director’s commentary)

Archival Footage:
ceiling light (December 1995)

Plus Hidden Bonus Features!

All songs by Ross, except the Brodsky Megamix, which is about 95% Adam Brodsky and 5% Ross.

For more, check out the Merch and Lyrics pages.

News From Around the Bend

NEWS FROM AROUND THE BEND
CD. Released March 2002.

News From Around the Bend

The first ‘official’ Acoustic Ross release, and the first time I wasn’t making all the copies myself at home (although that IS how I did the packaging). Released shortly before the word ‘Acoustic’ became a permanent addition (the second pressing includes the Acoustic Ross moniker).

Recorded at home in early 2002. A few of these tracks appeared on earlier releases — several of them on the Where Is Everybody? cassette — but these are all brand-new ‘definitive’ recordings. I can still listen to this without (much) physical pain, which puts it WAY ahead of its predecessors.

Tracklist:
over you now
83 ribbons
idiot
princess from saturn
nothing ever happens
don’t get me wrong
pieces of me
tribute album
ed’s secret identity
suitcase campus
souvenirs
time for one more
+ unlisted hidden bonus tracks

All songs by Acoustic Ross.
If you look closely, you might just find the first arrangement of the infamous Medley hanging around this place.

For more, check out the Merch and Lyrics pages.

Swept Down the Plain

SWEPT DOWN THE PLAIN
© 2004 Acoustic Ross
definitive version appears on The Anarchist Fakebook

I came here from a land up north of the line
It looks like I might stick around this time
If you can get past my accent and this loud acoustic din
It’s a story about a guy not exactly fitting in

Where I grew up, we never had tornadoes,
but there was a basement in every house in town
Now I live in Oklahoma, where it’s the other way around
Well I don’t know which one is worse
But I do know ‘you all’ is two separate words

I’m a yankee, just a yankee
still a yankee, but I’m willing to learn

I’ve been kicking around this scene for six long years
All I found was cockfighting, Garth, and 3.2 beer
It could be worse – this could be Alabama
And I’m finally getting used to saying “Prague” and “Miami”

So it’s finally time to fish or get off the pot
I meet her at a show, she says ‘you’re cool’, I say ‘you’re hot’
And I see it’s time I stopped changing channels
I wanna be her knight in shining flannel

I’m a yankee, just a yankee
still a yankee, but I’m willing to learn

I’m a yankee, once a yankee
always a yankee, but I’m willing to learn

Just when I thought I should cut loose and head on back
She touched my chest and whispered, ‘where you been at?’
I might could git along just like a little doggie
But now I’m falling for this Okie from some town a little bit east from here

From a turnpike twisting through this native nation
I’m finally fixing to fix in on this fixation
Listening to that rockin’ Rogers radio station
Hey, is it me, or is “sooner” slang for premature ejaculation?

I’m a yankee, just a yankee
still a yankee, but I’m willing to learn

I’m a yankee, once a yankee
always a yankee, but I’m willing to learn

I’m a yankee, born a yankee
gonna die a yankee, but I’m willing to learn

X-Ray #9

THE JET ENGINE AWAITS
10/16/98. 5:11am RDT. Bed.

Somehow I’d gotten involved in some kind of insurance scam where I would be killed. Temporarily. I’d get some kind of lethal injection, I’d die, and these Thugs would get some money somehow. Then, later, using some method that was never really explained, they’d bring me back to life, in secret somewhere.


It sounds cheesy now, but it was completely believable at the time. Asleep I hardly noticed the La Femme Nikita similarities.


We did a test run, and I was successfully killed and revived.


And I enjoyed it. Seriously. Dying, it turns out – at least the way it felt in the dream – is the most peaceful, relaxing feeling I’ve ever known.


As usual, it got weird then. I somehow got involved in a sting operation to trap my lethal injection buddies on behalf of the law. They figured it out and came after me.


For no apparent reason, there was a woman I’ve never seen in reality who was with me through every step of this (except the part when I was dead). We tried to get away. The Thugs I’d been involved with were now apparently willing to just shoot both of us, without messing around with that whole ‘reviving’ part anymore.


It was all very creepy, and absolutely fascinating, and I kept trying to dream my way back to it after I snoozed the alarm.


I never got back there — but last night was the most relaxing night of sleep I’d had in months.


Which leaves me more than a little nervous about the entire experience.

X-Ray #7

PRODUCT PLACEMENT
8/8/01. Noonish CDT. Couch.

I’ve seen this episode of Law & Order before, it’s the one with Werner Klemperer, so I’m flipping around instead while I eat lunch before work.


I stumble onto the Ricki Lake show on FOX. Today’s topic: “I’m 12 And I Flaunt My Chest.” Early – as they say – bloomers, who like to show off what they’ve got, and the family & friends who are upset with them about it.


I don’t stay on this long. The flipping resumes.


Nothing interesting on, so I’m looping around for a while. Next time I flip past FOX, Ricki Lake is in a commercial break. I get there just in time to see an ad for “Bloussant.”


“The All-Natural Breast Enhancer.”