Sunday, August 30, 2009

Franz Nicolay - ST Sebastian Of The Short Stage

St. Sebastian of the Short Stage 10" vinyl EP w/ digital download coupon
Team Science Records

1. New England (w/ The Dresden Dolls)
2. The Ballad of Hollis Wadsworth Mason, Jr.
3. When The War Came
4. I Just Want To Love

Quick on the heels of his acclaimed solo debut Major General, Franz Nicolay (The Hold Steady, World/Inferno Friendship Society) has a new 4-song 10" entitled St. Sebastian of the Short Stage. Pressed on clear vinyl, it includes another collaboration with the Dresden Dolls, the best mariachi-disco tribute to a retired superhero yet recorded, and couple bleeding-heart weepies. Artwork by VICE Magazine's Nicholas Gazin, a similarly-mustachioed ex-accordion student of Nicolay's, includes a pullout poster insert; and an exclusive new short story by Nicolay entitled "Paraska Mikhailivna Is A Witch," about dead livestock and bluegrass music in rural Ukraine.

Nicolay will be on tour in Europe all fall, supporting Chuck Prophet and Mark Eitzel (see dates below).

"New England" is a cover of the Jonathan Richman classic, with the Dresden Dolls, from the same session in which we did a Johnny Cash cover for a tribute record called All Aboard. If I'm not mistaken, it may be the last studio recording the Dolls did together.

"The Ballad of Hollis Wadsworth Mason, Jr." is inspired, obviously, by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons' "Watchmen". I wrote as part of the "Watchmen" episode of the Bushwick Book Club (, a songwriter group based out of the Goodbye Blue Monday club in Bushwick, which picks a book every month and writes songs about it. You should come! Brian Viglione plays drums on this also.

"When The War Came" and "I Just Want To Love" are relics of an earlier time, dating to a set of demos from 2001, recorded in pit-of-despair after-hours at my old dot-com job. What do you want, I was 23 and not sleeping much.