adam levy is busy piecing together at least three overlapping i didn't know you could do that! careers:
1. as an acclaimed songwriter and performer with the rootsy and literate honeydogs.
2. as frontman for the funky tear-the-roof-off-the-sucker "hookers & blow" covers band. he describes it as "music from a more permissive era. If Serge Gainsbourg and Aretha Franklin had a baby, this band might have been their love child."
3. as a social worker in our less permissive era, where he puts his minnversity degree to work counseling kids who could use the help. he said this about his day job in a chris riemenschneider strib feature:
"Making music is probably the most selfish thing you can do. It's entirely self-rewarding. It's all about you. I've always had this voice at the back of my head -- probably the voice of my grandparents -- to spend more time helping other people. Art is a good thing, but it's just a distraction. You have to stay connected to something more real and purposeful."
lots of people express a commitment to the real and purposeful, but few will really do the work and fewer still will stay the course. i know firsthand about social work burnout -- especially among idealistic sociology types. i don't know how much mr. levy's work affects his art, but he writes about human frailty with a knowing sensitivity. all of this is to note that the current is sponsoring a honeydogs show with some very cool guests at the fitzgerald theater tomorrow. i've seen adam levy give inspired performances in both bands (and, strangely, i guess he's seen me perform as well) and from all reports the honeydogs can still tear it up. dave pirner, who is in fine voice these days, will also appear. the latter treated an audience of dozens to a mind-blowing n'orleans-style set here two weeks ago.
i'll miss sunday's fitzgerald performance, as i'm holing up with my ingenious and (unfortunately) indefatigable collaborator for an intensive copy-edit hootenanny til tuesday. still, i vow to catch another dog show or blow show in the next few weeks. levy has assembled a set of careers that many of my earnest and principled students dream about (i don't need a lot of money, but my work has to have some meaning ... i want to do something fun and creative but won't screw people over to make money ... i wish i could keep doing my art, but it is just not realistic ... i want to stay in the twin cities but also work at a national level). truth be told, it probably takes a rare combination of heart, brains, talent, and (indefatigable) work ethic to make it happen.