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The Carpal Tunnel Kid
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I have been writing and performing songs since around 1977--composing most of my material in the mid-1990s. The wholly inadequate genre pigeonhole I could be crammed into with some difficulty is "novelty"--but my stuff ranges from the surrealistic to the darkly satirical to the just plain silly. I stick to 32-bar pop styles as a rule, but I have dabbled in blues, calypso, and other forms. My music sounds as if it were created from the 1920s through the 1950s in a parallel universe--the effect is entirely intentional. I try to wake up the mind and make it smile. If I must occasionally offend in the process, so be it.
Why this name?
My hands! I have actually had my left hand lock up while I played the guitar in performance. Perhaps "Lobster Boy" would have been more appropriate, but I prefer the style of "The Carpal Tunnel Kid"--mainly because I am no longer a kid!

Actually, the hand problem turned out to result mainly from edema--and I'm actually in better playing shape these days (2009) than I was 15 years ago. I tend to favor the piano over the guitar at the moment, but that's subject to change at any time.
Do you play live?
I most recently did a live set at Thornberry's in Utica--that was on March 7, 2009. It went well, and the recordings from that show are available on Soundclick.

Before that, I hadn't played a live show of my own songs since August 2000, when my amp crashed during an outdoor show here in Utica NY. I'd like to get back into more performing because there isn't much else going on, and all other human endeavor seems futile.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
It changes it completely. I love 20s and 30s music, and I can listen to stuff I download or stream all day for free. It's heaven.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
You'd have to get me pretty drunk! I don't sign anything, and even if I did no one would be able to read it.
Your influences?
I love old jazz and pop from the 20s and 30s. What probably shaped (some would say warped) my musical taste at an early age was an old Disney LP featuring Cliff Edwards singing the Charleston. Another album--selections from Gilbert and Sullivan--I listened to constantly. I learned to play guitar listening to Eddie Lang, and I have always admired the way Bing Crosby handled a song--especially in his pre-Decca days. I love Fats Waller, and Louis Armstrong--both men of great humor combined with genius. My admiration is boundless for Cole Porter, Larry Hart, Ira Gershwin, and that old master lyricist W.S.Gilbert. A guy who bought my disc said that I sound "like an insane Nick Lucas raised on Mad magazine." That's about right.
Favorite spot?
I have to say Utica, because someone here will break my legs if I don't.
Anything else...?
My original Carpal Tunnel Kid blog hasn't been updated in quite a while--but it's worth a look. There's more stuff yet on MySpace.

For great 1920s and 1930s music, try RADIOLA! Playlists are availaible at my RADIOLA! blog.
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