Jill Sobule’s California Years

Jill Sobule’s fan-funded album, California Years, is out today. That’s true here is Boston, but not in California, where it’s not yet today, and hence California Years is still Jill’s next record.

The NPR show All Things Considered has a feature on Jill and the album, including a couple of tracks. You can also listen at Jill’s show and tell (sampler page at her main website).

Or you can watch a video of “San Francisco” right here. The video is actually at YouTube, where Jill has her own channel, with lots of interesting stuff (e.g. Jill teaching other musicians how to play her songs).

I know I’ll buy the album, but I’m not yet sure where from. It isn’t yet available from Jill’s site (or Amie Street or Lala). If I get really impatient, I’ll buy California Years from Amazon.

Jill’s album is yet another example of a music without a record label. That’s the way you have to do it if your labels keep dropping you or dropping dead.

My Morning Music

While composing my two (web/business) posts of this morning, I was streaming a variety of music on Rhapsody.

I started off with “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry. Although I didn’t enjoy it, I did find it interesting to note that the drums sound like the 1970s (Gary Glitter in particular), the cheesy synths like the 1980s, and the lesbiansperimentation lyrics like the 1990s. There is of course another song with the same title and theme, which has real 1990s lesbiansperimentation lyrics, 1980s beefcake rather than cheese, and a video that was wonderfully retro when it was made more than a decade ago.

Then I had me some Evil Urges. I can’t say that I gave in to said Urges; I don’t get My Morning Jacket. Then again, I get the impression that MMJ aren’t meant to be gotten live, rather than on record/MP3. The track I enjoyed most was “Librarian,” partly because I was in a library.

Finally, I sampled some Pablo Honey. Radiohead fans seem to regard the band’s debut album as their weakest, but there’s a lot of goodness and variety in this Honey. I heard 1970s new wave, I heard Coldplay, I of course heard “Creep” (twice, since the “so very special” radio version is tacked on to the end of the album). One of the interesting things about Radiohead is that they keep on trying on different musical outfits, and on Honey they change costumes with almost every number. Coherence, schmoherence, the kids had to start somewhere, and they tried a lot of somewheres.

Jill Sobule, Platypus, and Producers

Two pieces of good news from and about Jill Sobule. In one of my previous posts about Jill, I mentioned the musical Prozak and the Platypus. Well, the first piece of news is that P&P is now up on the web in all its multimedia glory.

At the site, you can listen to the music. I’m listening right now to “Talkin’ Platy,” in which Frankie the platypus introduces himself. You can also, for $15, get the goods: An 11-track music CD with songs sung by Jill; A 30-page comic book written by playwright Ellise Thoron with artwork by KellyAnne Hanrahan; and a sticker!

You can also download the script and put on the show yourself. And upload sections of your production. And end up on a DVD. And appear on Platypus Idol. (One of the sentences in this paragraph is probably false.)

The second piece of good news is that Jill’s next record has been financed by contributions from people like you. Well, not exactly like you, since you probably didn’t contribute, and hence won’t get a producer credit, but you know what I mean. And to what did people somewhat like you contribute?

Jill Sobule is making her seventh studio album… Instead of trying to do it through another record label (her last two labels went out of business), she’s decided to go the “DIY” route, and to seek funding through donations from fans and friends.

I’ve admired Jill’s musical and verbal creativity for over a decade. I now also admire the way in which she pursues opportunities in the music business – rather like a platypus chasing yabbies.

Jill Sobule: Au Revoir, Albania, etc.

I note, with sadness but without surprise, the So Long post at the Jill Sobule and the Provocateurs blog.

Well, we kind of knew it was coming. We didn’t quite fit… But it was a good idea –to mix music with politics and social issues… I had a great time. Yahoo pretty much allowed us to write whatever we wanted…

I got to hear and converse with people that I would never, on my own blog, encounter. What’s the point of preaching to the converted? On our last post on Evangelicals and gays, we did encounter some nut jobs, but we also heard from intelligent and thoughtful Christians. We actually had peaceful dialogue…

The above quote demonstrates that Jill is a grownup. She is gracious and mature about Yahoo, which has just dropped the blog she had there, and about people who have disagreed with her on said blog.

Jill is also a girl genius. That she has been so since she was, well, a girl, is demonstrated by this song, which she wrote as a teenager: “Don’t Fuck With Me.” I hope you won’t be put off by the title; I consider it one of the least offensive songs I’ve ever heard.

I got it from the Show and Tell page at Jill’s main site. By the way, the same page also currently features a song from “the forthcoming release of songs from the musical Prozak and the Platypus.”

Jill is a wonderful live performer. Here she is doing “Resistance Song,” which is my all-time favorite song about reincarnation.

Those intrepid few of you who’ve got this far may be wondering about the Albania reference. Well, we used to have an Albanian restaurant round the corner from us. I liked it a lot, but felt that it wouldn’t last at that location. But the same people are doing well with their new venture.

Likewise, Jill didn’t fit as a blogger at Yahoo Music, but she has lots of other things going on, several of which she links to in the So Long post.

Sobule Spottings

Jill Sobule has recently garnered some well-earned pixels.

Here’s a quote from the latter. I particularly like the way it could apply almost as much to Amy Rigby as to Jill Solbule. “The funny thing about Jill’s humorous songs is that they’re generally not so much funny as they are honest, and unaccustomed to hearing such honesty in song, we respond with giggles.”