The Nameless Faceless suits here at Darkcargo leave me alone to write what I like so long as my stuff comes out on every (usually) Wednesday (usually). But this week I have received a request from up on high to tell you something about myself so that I do not become a nameless faceless. But this is not a bio. If you’d like to read that, I have a lovely one on my website. Instead of telling you what I do, I thought I’d tell you why I do it.
I stopped writing songs about bars and girls in 2009 because after one too many showcases of songwriters playing song after song about cliche love and fun party time, I’d had it. Every song sounded the same and everybody looked the same. I grew angry, which lead to months of aimless frustration. I knew what I did not want to sound like, but I didn’t know what I did want to sound like.
A friend of mine, Tina Seamonster, makes cool quirky shirts and stuff. The slogan on one was Someday We Will All Be Ghosts. I own it and I like it. One day I asked her if I could write a song with the same title and she said, “Dude. Do it.”
And then I started tweaking some older songs to include supernatural stuff and then I thought, “Hey… I like this.”
Surprise. I looked up and realized that I had a bunch of songs about ghosts and monsters. Alas! The folks around the singer/songwriter showcases and venues were not as taken with my sudden paranormal influence. These people were not interested in my songs about clones and Cthulhu. What I really needed, I thought, was to figure out where the people like me were.
So, I wrote an email to Capclave, a smallish, literary focused con with not much music, about a half hour from my house. I said, “I’ve got some songs about ghosts.” They said, “Uh, okay.” I went. I played. People liked it. And now, 2+ years later, I play about one con a month, have made many great friends, and have found my creative voice.
It is not hyperbole to say that I fully credit Capclave with all of this. If they had been exclusionary, if their schedule had been filled, if they had been jerks, I would not have played my second con (Farpoint), or my third (Madicon). It was Madicon, by the way, who gave me my first Musical Guest of Honor status in 2012. Just recently they announced that I was their pick for Musical Guest of Honor again in 2013! Thank you, Madicon. And thank you, Capclave.
And now as I begin recording my sixth album, a collection of creepy Christmas songs, I discover that I am in the running for a Pegasus Award nomination. The Pegasus Awards recognize excellence in Filk, the music of fandom. My name has been submitted (not by me) for consideration in three categories: Best Composer, Best Performer, Best Song (3 songs! Sleepy Little Creepy Little Town, Pirate Song, and Welcome To The Age Of Steam). If you’d like to listen to them, they’re all right here on my site. Right now the ballots are open and voting is encouraged for everyone interested, so you were planning to cast a ballot here, I would be grateful if you considered writing in my name.
So that’s me. I’m the guy who writes songs about ghosts & monsters & super heroes & steampunk. Oh, and I read a bunch.
(Nameless Faceless edits to add: Jonah is also the first–that we know of– musician contracted to work for a publishing house. He has a very interesting interview with the DCGeeks on how and why this collaboration works and makes sense both for Jonah and for Mercury Retrograde Press.)