Mike Doughty’s Hand(writing)

Had a couple of recent questions about the font on the setlists in the paperback, which caused me to realize I never blogged about the origin of that in any detail. Could have sworn I did, but a quick scan of the archives proves otherwise. Here we go:

Once upon a time a designer named Chank Diesel put together something called the Rockstar Font Project. He basically took handwriting samples from musicians and turned them into fonts.  Participants included Mike Doughty from Soul Coughing, Kelley Deal from the Breeders, Steven Drozd from the Flaming Lips, Mark Sandman from Morphine, and Everlast from House of Pain.

Being a big Soul Coughing fan I downloaded the Mike Doughty “Wichita” font shortly after it came out, messed around with it for 10 minutes, and then forgot all about it since I didn’t really have a practical use for it. (Origin story in Chank’s own words is available at WBR.com)

Mike Doughty's Handwriting, Ghostwriting for Local Boy

Mike Doughty’s Handwriting, Ghostwriting for Local Boy

Flashforward a decade. While working on the remastered layout of Timely Persuasion with Bryan Davidson we hit upon this idea of doing the Local Boy setlists in a handwriting font.  Originally we tried the Apple “Marker Felt” font, but it felt sort of cheesy and overplayed.  I suddenly remembered Wichita, and miraculously managed to copy it over each time I switched computers over the years.

I emailed Mr. Diesel regarding permissions and he was super cool about it, as was Mr. Doughty when I let him know of his inspiration.  And there you have it.

While we’re on the subject of Mike Doughty, check out his amazing new album Sad Man Happy Man.  I know this sounds odd coming on the heels of my Benji Hughes post, but this is another of those rare, expectation-defying albums I just can’t get enough of.  Beats out Dark Night of the Soul for my album of the year crown, and when the newness clears might even give Skittish a run for its money on the “best album ever” front.

All About The Benji Hughes

Every once in a great while a record comes around that just plain blows your mind.  One that lands in heavy rotation, building up steam and momentum with each listen.  You may like or even love other albums, but the magical ones like this are few and far between.  Music so good you can’t stop listening to it and feel the need to tell everyone you know about it.  CDs that make you think “Where the hell have I been?” upon discovering that it has existed for months or years without your knowledge.

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is an easy example from recent memory.

Skittish meets this criteria too.  It was (and still is) my favorite album of all time.

Before that it was probably Slanted and Enchanted.

Before that it was Nevermind.

Today?  It’s A Love Extreme by Benji Hughes.

Check this out.  How awesome is this guy?

Benji Hughes – A Love Extreme – About The Album

Just, wow!  A little bit Beck, a little Joseph Arthur, but at the same time a whole lot of original.

Anachronistic as it is, I can’t help but reference the lyrical gold that might have found its way into Timely Persuasion had this album been around a few years ago.

“A woman lives inside of your head, singing to you all of the time.”

“I’m into Pavement their my favorite band I’ve got their DVD I watch it 50 times…”

“You’ve got it made because you’re made so well.”

“Why do these parties always end the same way?”

“Just like really awesome candy.”

“I got there at 4:53.  We were supposed to meet at 5.”

Soooo good! Definitely my find of the year.