Leonard and the Theremin, a soon-to-be consummated love story

Tuesday at 5pm, at Waterloo Records in Austin, history will be made. Yes!!! I’ve found me a Theremin player!! So come see the first (and quite possibly last) ever stage performance of Sisters of Mercy featuring a uke-playing biographer, a guitar-playing Texan singer-songwriter and (mmm, just let me relish this a moment longer… Blame it on old horror movies and the Beach Boys’ beloved Good Vibrations but the very thought makes me tingly) a Theremin solo!

Hoping there’ll be people with smartphones. Once Leonard sees the YouTubes you know he’s going to want to make at least one addition to his band.

Well I heard that Leonard and the band are already in Austin. The Webb Sisters gave the game away when they tweeted from Whole Foods (Austin has the Magic Kingdom of Whole Foods; the place is so big and flash it ought to have theme rides – Pirates of the Polenta and the like – and staff dressed in themed animal costumes (organic, grass-fed). The Webbs – and Roscoe Beck, Sharon Robinson, and a bunch of other band members – are going to be on a panel with me at 7.30pm on Tuesday, all about Leonard and his life in art. This is definitely going to be recorded and videoed, by KUT, the university radio station.

I was on another panel Saturday night, as part of the Texas Book Festival. My fellow panelists were David Menconi, the author of a book on Ryan Adams’ Whiskeytown years, and Ken Caillat, who wrote a book on Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours”, an album he engineered. I’d met David in Nashville a few weeks back so it was good to share a stage. Except it wasn’t a stage, it was metal chairs out in the back yard of a bar under a full moon.

It was 40degrees F, not far off freezing point. Still, there was a pretty big crowd, around 75 people – I figured they’d come for the earlier panel on sex and drugs and didn’t so much stick around for the rock n roll part but were frozen to their seats and unable to escape. Still, when a man came up and offered the loan of his jacket, I knew there must be some Leonard Cohen fans in the crowd. That and a couple of shots of whisky set me to rights.

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