Jack Stafford is an interesting guy. With lyrics like “its always darkest just before it goes totally black” and song titles like “Ex-boyfriends are the bane of my life,” it’s clear that his wry and satirical sense of humor is as apparent in his songwriting as it is in all of his other endeavors. His musical career is somewhat intense – he does around 200 shows a year, and has given up his home and his possessions in favor of a life as a touring musician on the road. Check out the US Tour schedule on his Myspace page here, running through the end of November – its certainly one of the most ambitious I’ve seen in quite some time!
The Jack Stafford Foundation – a “charitable foundation run for the benefit of a needy musician,” is the official name of the British singer-songwriter’s musical project, now touring in support of his third album. His songs have a charming lo-fi quality to them, and are as straightforward and honest as it gets – which can certainly be refreshing in a genre ripe with existential themes and obscure metaphors. In addition to music, Stafford is also a successful fashion designer – he created a zip-up suit for performing that became so popular he was able to open up his own store in Amsterdam, ‘The Jack Stafford Collection.’ He’s also begun writing a novel via Twitter. Diary of a Grinder consists of funny little mini-vignettes about a man who compulsively destroys nearly everything he comes across by grinding it up – books, bottles, TVs, cars, hamsters, iPhones – anything under the sun. It definitely had me laughing, check it out here.
Stafford will be in town this weekend, playing two shows up in Somerville. On Saturday the 19th you can catch him at PA’s Lounge over in Union Square, or on Sunday the 20th he’ll be playing at The Burren up in Davis. Here’s a track to check out off of his latest album Tall Folks from a Little Big Town, which he describes as “a collection of songs about characters in Amsterdam.” Apparently the entire album was recorded on a mini-mic plugged into an iPod – you don’t hear of people doing that all too often! Check it out, and if it piques your interest be sure to get on up to Somerville to catch one of his shows!
Jack Stafford – “Ode to the Lonely Stoner” – Tall Folks from a Little Big Town
Here’s a bonus – you can download an album’s worth of Jack’s take on David Bowie songs here – for FREE!