Cover artwork

Track By Track: The Hurting Business



At first it was called `A Change Is Gonna Come', but you haven't been able to call a song that for several hundred years. That's Stephie Finch cast in the role of the wayward child. It's a little like Tony Joe White piggybacked over a Turtles breakbeat or a trip from San Francisco to San Antonio in less than three minutes.

The Hurting Business

Mike Tyson said it first. Presumably, he meant it literally. Biting off years and breaking hearts is all in day's work for some showfolk. I think I was under the influence of ? and the Mysterians and Sir Douglas Quintet at the time. Maybe Jerry Springer will pick up on it as a theme song. It's all in there.


Randy Newman meets Glen Campbell in a wine bar and they start arguing about the south. In comes El Vez, who neither one has ever heard of; a young lady on each arm and a spare bringing up the rear. All of them seem to know exactly who he is. He introduces himself and Randy opines, "You're not even the king of bottled beers where I come from." Things get unprofessional. Before it's all over, everybody wants an apology. Sensitive to insensitive and back again. Conn organ metronome "count off' preserved on cassette and reproduced by Jacquire King.

It Won't Be Long

Trailer park trash, carpetbaggers with high Arbitron ratings. The sad beauty of freak encounters recollected, last chances cheerfully blown, Waterloo sunsets digitally altered by faceless electromagnetic collectives. Put your Business in the street and the heartland takes a bow. Jenny Jones nightmare appearance hangover recounted in three verses.

Shore Patrol

Old movies. Anti-heroes. A tribute to Jack, Hal and the generation who took Hollywood by the balls and held firm for a while. Not nearly long enough. Before the French reclaimed it and Auteur became nothing more than another post modern band moniker. And by the way, that's the pride of Daly City, DJ Rise on turntable. Rise and I have been chipping away at our own record for a while. Stay tuned.

God's Arms

A story within a story, based on a line from a romance magazine. Reincarnation, shape-shifting, Bobby Gentry strings blowing in from the east. Buddy Holly on opium. Resurfacing on a rehab collection plate.

Diamond Jim

Who the hell is Diamond Jim? There's a finders fee, but not a big one. I found a stack of 45's at a flea market. Watt's One Hundred and Tenth Street Rhythm Band, James Brown, Lowell Fulsom, Inez Foxx, Bull and the Matadors and the like. I added them to my swelling collection. I lived with them till they got under my skin and stayed there. I would've loved to have come up with a new post millennial dance step, but this is what came out the other end of the Cuisinart. Without Diamond Jim, the BBQ is just row after row of sizzling meat and the announcer wont say "play ball." Diamond Jim is the patron saint of the Apocalypse. Until he comes back, traffic lights will blink incoherently. Fowls will fill the air, rivers will change directions, my laptop will go up in digital dust.

Bring it on.

I Couldn't Be Happier

Here Comes the Bride? Having recently gotten hitched, I got to thinking someone should write a song for the grooms. Where lovers sway in the key of A minor. I never got around to finishing this song. The first time I ever sang it is the version you hear.


Revenge is a dish best served cold. This guy steals your band and marries your girl and you end up running his sound board and taking her dog to the vet. We wrote it thinking it might be perfect for Johnny Cash. It turned into this, which might not be so perfect for Johnny Cash after all. Who wouldn't like to get lucky?

Dyin' All Young

Major 7th chords and a towel over the snare. Who's gonna count the song off now?

Statehouse (Burning In the Rain)

Its bound to happen. Everything will. I play the patsy, the guy who just wandered by and took the fall. Farfisas provide the stabbing punctuation. Even the buildings built to last forever don't. In Havana as elsewhere, sometimes people cheer for all the wrong reasons.

La Paloma

On the road again. California is so close to Mexico that whenever we mention it someone is sure to remind us we stole it. J.J. Cale locked in the research department of Mattel Toys.

April 30, 2002 COMMENTS • Filed under Press Releases (The Hurting Business)