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A Test Blog for This Nice New Website

JWH here: I just wanted to say hi from this new website and see how easy posting a blog is.

Since I’m here, I’ll add some news. The new John Wesley Harding album is being mixed right now in Portland, OR by Tucker Martine, under the watchful eye of producer Scott McCaughey. I am receiving MP3s every few minutes: it’s very exciting. They’ve mixed four (Gentleman Caller, I Should Have Stopped, The Way We Weren’t & The Harding Defense) and have 11 more to go. The band for this album consists of members of my favourite band The Decemberists (Nate Query, John Moen, Jenny Conlee, Chris Funk) with Peter Buck on 12 string guitar. There is also a duet with The Long Winters’ John Roderick, in which he assumes the role of “Mole”, harmony vocals from Rosanne Cash, and a guest appearance by Laura Veirs in the role of “Girl I Kissed At School”. Horns for the album were provided by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos and his Portland brass. Don’t expect the physical object to hit your shelves until later next year.

Because: the next novel “Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer” is published in the USA by PICADOR in February 2011. There will be plenty of events to celebrate its release, some at which I read, some at which I read and sing, and some at which a quartet of harpsichord, flute, cello and soprano will play and sing you some devilishly beautiful music about murder. The events can be found here. Myspace appears to be dying a slow death (Hey! I only just noticed!) and so this will now be the central place for all events listings. I’d also like to turn your attention to the Jessold page, where you can read an excerpt from the novel, and, best of all, hear the beautiful suite “On Murder, Considered as a Fine Art” composed by Daniel Felsenfeld, Cabinet composer, inspired by the fictional life and mind of Charles Jessold.

Talking of Cabinets, our Christmas Cabinet is at City Winery in NYC this friday 12/17. Buy tickets here. The line up is wonderful and includes Eugene Mirman, John Hodgman, Gary Shteyngart, members of Olabelle, A.C. Newman, Megan Reilly, John Roderick (as Santa Claus and, in fact, Mole) and Greta Gertler. There is also an accompanying bottle of wine, which is beautiful, though the label looks a little stretchy in that picture. I have tweeted a picture of the actual thing here. Most importantly: tastes great.

There is also a Cabinet of Wonders in Aspen, CO, on 1/30/11, followed by a book launch for Jessold on 1/31. Find out about the Cabinet here. The line up here includes Paul Muldoon, Colson Whitehead, Evan Dando, Juliana Hatfield, Eugene Mirman, Colum McCann, and a rare non-East Coast outing for The English UK.

And that is my first blog here. Let’s see how it goes. The website was designed by Gabe Roth, and I’d like to thank him very much for a fantastic job.