Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Dear Abra Moore:

You will not remember me, as we have not really met. I mean to say, we have not met at all, which is another way of saying "we have not really met", but I mean, really, that we have really not met, and not that the way in which we met would qualify as real for me and not for you, as some odd people use the term.

I heard you sing and be interviewed on one of those programs our local public radio broadcasts which reminds us that Texas has a vivid, rich culture with musicians in it, including newer musicians like you. I'm always puzzled, a bit, that anyone needs to remind us that Texas is a rich culture, since we live and breathe it every day,but I like to hear people who sing songs without having to drive miles to see them,so I'm grateful for this boon, as I am grateful for so many others. Don't you think it's funny that professional musicians live in a world of interviews and fine print and recoupment and promotion/tour money and market share and "you only moved 72,305 units" and paying rent by merchandising t-shirts? I do, but maybe I'm easily amused.

Your songs caught my attention, that night on the radio, when I could hear you but you could not hear me. I have a weakness for souls who have a weakness for folk music, though neither I as a listener nor you as a musician are quite a folkie.

I read in my newspaper that a lot of people hear folks like you on the radio and imagine that they somehow know you and in odd ways have a claim upon you. Let me hasten to assure you that I do not know you at all, even after your interview about the metaphysical ways you see your life, and the intricacies of the musical life in general. I do not plan, therefore, to assume that I will be your Yoko Ono (I'm happily married, and lack a certain Ono-esqueness anyway), that I can send you my album of electric football field vibrations and you will get me a deal at Arista Austin or that you'll let me do the album art on your next CD. I have my own CDs to illustrate, and I have a fear of being discovered, and there are enough Yoko Ono's in any event.

I instead mainly noticed that you have a speaking voice a bit like that intriguing soul out west with the harp and the idiosyncratically pitched singing voice, although in Texas we do not consider that avant garde, we just consider it a bit country in a good if slightly off-key way. You manage to be on-key and interesting when you sing, though, so you don't even seem that odd by any standard. So many things about folks that are odd to alternative paper columnists in California are just plain folks here among us in Texas. It's a funny thing that they get the "weird" rap out there, when we're the ones who dance with armadillos. I could go on for hours about the woman who played accordion or autoharp or some other good instrument when I was a teen, because her voice was kinda the same, and she was much more of an "outsider performer", but everyone in the congregation smiled when she played. We smile alot in our neck of the woods, don't we?

Which brings me, I guess, to the reason I am writing you. You see, I was in the Good Will today--you know the one in Plano over at Alma and Spring Creek? They have a special little table of low-rent CDs there. Some of them are "used", and some of them are "remaindered". They don't cost hardly nothing, which is good, because I look at the used CD rack with the intention of playing hardly anything.

Guess what I saw there on the Good Will CD rack? You'll never guess! It was one of your CDs! It was the one called something like Strangest Places, where you're wearing that intriguing mascara, not that I generally comment on a woman's mascara when I write her letters, but I mention it in passing so that you'll know for sure which CD I mean.

You can imagine that I was intrigued to see you'd made it to the Good Will. Usually, the Good Will racks have remaindered work by Second World classical orchestras from Romanian cities, playing Lizst and Rimsky-Korsakov, rap singles everyone has forgotten, no-hit wonders who got no promotion and now got remaindered, and top 100 metallic pop artists. You know you're making it in life when you're right there with Warrant CDs and with CDS by guys playing covers of all the songs on "Songs in the Key of Life" on a flute. If I played a woodwind, I'd do cover albums, too, because I'll bet "Life During Wartime" sounds good on a piccolo. Did you ever hear the Flower Kings' cover of "Cinema Show"? You might consider covering Genesis songs, too, from the early Peter Gabriel period. I've often thought that "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" just needs a little backbeat Austin City limits swing.

But the reason I'm writing, to get back to the point, is that I finished checking out, after deciding not to place a silent auction bid for the Lyons' Electric Guitar Kit with the minimum bid of 100 dollars, and instead settled for the cool book called The Grasshopper Book (about grasshoppers, which, if you ask me, is titling as fair as fair can be), and the book of newspaper columns by the pastor from Houston about how to feel better (I won't bore you with this, Abra, but right now I want to feel better), and the 3 dollars and 95 cents for your CD.

I got out to my car filled with anticipation. I was looking forward to hip folk for under four dollars.
I have a Hyundai Sonata, with a CD player, which has brightened my life. Lately, I listen to ambient music and the Ramones and a world of other things. But today, I was going to listen to Abra Moore.

But you'll never guess! I opened the jewel case, and the CD was gone! Someone with less than good will liberated it from the Good Will. I was interested to hear if your voice would be smokey or grey, whether you use banjos for backing, and whether you can tell me, with a well-sung whisper, the meaning of love and life. But now all I have is your picture, and despite your creative use of mascara and your winsome smile, it's not the same.

So I write you to ask, please, if you could do me a kindness. Could you send me the disk that goes in that jewel case? I don't need any fancy wrapping. I've got the jewel case. I was too tired of waiting in line to get my 3 dollars and 95 cents back, and somehow, anyway, I felt that folks at Good Will needed the sale. All I need is the disk, or, as we say in pig Latin, "iskday issingmay-- endsay erehay".

I'd love to hear you sing, and a CD seems like such a small plastic thing. I could download it, of course, but I don't really believe in that type of thing. I like to use things legally.

So if you can help me, please write me at I'll give you my address. To ensure you are not short of plastic disks, I will send you a copy of my own CD, which you won't like, but I promise that you can use it for Frisbees throwing with your hamster instead of feeling any urge to give it to the A & R person at your label. I have a day job, you see, and don't need another. I'll just e mail you my address, you can send me the disk, and I can fill the jewel case.

Don't worry if you can't help out. Amazon and eBay have been kind to me about such matters. I won't think a bit less of you.

I just know that every day somebody has their heart broken at Good Will, and I thought I'd let you know how to mend mine.

Best to you, and I hope you get to play more shows and read less fine print.

Your almost fan,

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