Antsy Appears in a TEDx Talk in Carson City

Antsy at TEDx in May 2016

Antsy at TEDx in May 2016

Antsy McClain was recently featured as a TEDx guest speaker in Carson City and his talk has been publicized nationwide.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Though known more as a humorist, songwriter and small town philosopher, as many of his fans know, Antsy McClain also has a parallel career as a painter and illustrator. When he shows up to speak at high school career days, he’s usually booked as “the creativity guy.” In this talk, he reflects on the pivotal age of “14” as a turning point in the lives of so many.

Antsy tells like he lives it: The good life. Antsy is generally free from an over-abundance of material things and appreciates time with family and friends.

 

 


Another Year – Thoughts from the Trailer Park

AntsyStanMartinHi folks,
Well, it’s another year. Hard to believe it, but it’s true. We were all just sitting here minding our own business and we got a year older.
I had a friend once tell me that he moved around too fast, stayed on the go so much, that time couldn’t keep up with him. He looked younger than his years, so I wondered if maybe that was true, that we could outrun Time. I tried it for a while. Didn’t work.
You can play hide and seek with Time, but that sucker always finds you mere seconds after you’ve hid in the pantry with the dog food, behind the wastebasket. Sneaky guy comes up around the corner and taps you on the shoulder. You’re it.
I’m it? For what? What am I “it” for? What is “it” anyway?
Being “it” when tapped on the shoulder by Time, means “growing up.” I was never afraid of growing up. Like most kids, I saw it as being able to stay up as late as I wanted, being able to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Then I grew up, and while I was in charge of my own menu and sleep schedule, the rest of this stuff was total bull crap!
Taxes? Insurance? Utility bills? Rent payments? Seriously?
MoesAlley1I started to second-guess my desire to grow up. What was I thinking? But, as we have all come to realize, by the time you realize, it’s way too late.
So, I paid my taxes, paid my bills, established credit, bought homes, bought cars, supported local, modest economies, and kept food on the table and shoes on the feet of 7 people for a long, long time. It felt good, to be honest, this grown-up thing. Most of the time, anyway. And I settled into it like my father, and his father before him.
“You’re it.”
I am it, there is no doubt about it.
AntsyTrailers“It” is starting to mean “old,” now that I look around, and Time is relentlessly pushing me forward as I shuffle my feet, looking behind me like a shopper at the grocery store who forgot to get coffee before getting in line. There it was, right there on my list, and I overlooked it. How did I forget coffee? What is happening to me? And I’m next up. I can see the coffee over there in aisle 7, but I can’t get out of line now. There are too many people behind me, and I’ll lose my place.
I’ll lose my place. Now, there’s a loaded statement. We think Time gives us a “place,” but there is no place to lose. All Time does is count. And nag. If we listen to him.
While we busily go about the minutiae of life, Time – grumpy stickler of an account manager that he is – doesn’t give us one thought. He doesn’t care if we give him any attention or not. Time is oblivious of us. He’s in the back corner office on that noisy calculator with the lever that he pushes down every second of every day. Time is eating a chicken salad sandwich, with crumbs of white bread at the corner of his mouth. He’s oblivious to that too. Efficiency is everything to Time. The crumbs will take care of themselves.
AntsyCarsonCityWhich is where I am now, letting the crumbs take care of themselves. I’m in my early 50’s, and something clicked when I crossed over to this most intriguing of decades. I simply don’t care so much what people think. I spend less time worrying about saying or doing the wrong thing. I’ve had so much practice at making mistakes, I kinda know where the land mines are now, and I roll with it. This is not to say I won’t make any more mistakes. I’m probably making more. But I’m just not whipping myself over them like I was trained to do in the past.
And it’s 2016. When I was a boy, I don’t recall even thinking about 2016. That was the stuff of comic books and sci fi novels. But here it is anyway, without my thinking about it. And 2017 will do the same, with or without me. I’m hoping it’s with me.
Troubs2016There is a lot of ground to cover this year. I have a lot of new things in my life to be thankful for, a lot of good changes at home and in my career, and I’ll share them with you as things develop.
I hope you are all happy and healthy as you read this. And I look forward to the time we can talk again face-to-face. Until then, take care of each other. Hugs.
– Antsy McClain, January 20, 2016, 12:02 PM

UPCOMING SHOWS IN FEBRUARY (SO FAR)

WED Feb 10: The Mystic Theatre, Petaluma, CA. Details & Tickets HERE. 
FRI Feb 12: Piper’s Opera House, Virginia City, NV. Details & Tickets HERE. 
SAT Feb 27: Saint Xavier High School Performing Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH. Details & Tickets HERE. 

SOMEWHERE PAST THESE GRAVEL ROADS

GRAVELCOVEROur latest album, Somewhere Past These Gravel Roads, is doing really well, and is receiving wonderful reviews from friends old and new. We’d love for you to hear and let us know what you think. Click HERE to order your digital copy or get a CD sent to you in a matter of days.

 

WOODFLOCK 2016

Woodflock 2015 Gang

Woodflock 2015 Gang

We have our annual Woodflock registration in full swing. We hope you can plan to join us Memorial Day weekend for this fun event!

DSC_2878Woodflock is the best event we do all year. It’s a gathering of Flamingoheads from all over the United States on Memorial Day weekend. We laugh, we catch up, we play music, we meditate, we do yoga, we eat good food prepared by Sue Butler, we drink, we share. It’s nice. It’s a camping event, but there are also hotels just down the road, 5 minutes away. Many choose this option. You do not have to be a camping enthusiast to enjoy Woodflock. There is something for everyone. Go HERE for more details.

 


State of the Trailer Park 2016

PoetLaureate
dallasHappy New Year to you all.

Life is challenging right now for many of you. I think of you often and wonder how you are doing. I look forward to when our paths cross again, and we can visit face to face.

As 2016 is upon us, many of us wax philosophical and get a tad sentimental. I am prone to do this, and make fewer apologies for it the older I get. I inherited my mother’s tear ducts, and have been accused of crying when Classic Coke came back. (It’s not true. It was allergies.)

ItAintHomeDecember was weird around here as our thermometer seemed to be stuck on 74 degrees for a good couple of weeks. Not that I’m complaining. I was practically sunbathing last Thursday until I got one too many weird reactions from my neighbors. The way I see it, a man should be able to lay in a hammock in his own back yard. With cowboy boots and a bath towel. Playing Abba. Really loud.

Troubs2016Anyway, it’s been warm is what I’m saying. It’s back to 34 degrees this week though, so our third Indian Summer of the year was short lived.

So, I was thinking of joining a gym, but they are too full right now. I’ll wait until the last week of February when two thirds of the new sign-ups will be back on their sofas in front of their televisions, embracing their bad habits like a long lost friend. Besides, there is still pumpkin pie in the fridge, and it won’t eat itself.

Woodflock 2015 Gang

Woodflock 2015 Gang

We have our annual early bird special discount still in effect for Woodflock. Please join us. You’ll save $50 per entry if you order this week. Deadline for savings is this Friday, January 8th at midnight.

DSC_2878Woodflock is the best event we do all year. It’s a gathering of Flamingoheads from all over the United States on Memorial Day weekend. We laugh, we catch up, we play music, we meditate, we do yoga, we eat good food prepared by Sue Butler, we drink, we share. It’s nice. It’s a camping event, but there are also hotels just down the road, 5 minutes away. Many choose this option. You do not have to be a camping enthusiast to enjoy Woodflock. There is something for everyone. Go HERE for more details, and to take advantage of the early bird discount.

capo

GRAVELCOVEROur latest album, Somewhere Past These Gravel Roads, is doing really well, and is receiving wonderful reviews from friends old and new. We’d love for you to hear and let us know what you think. Click HERE to order your digital copy or get a CD sent to you in a matter of days.

Pete Huttlinger

Pete Huttlinger

I’m working on a new album of all-new material with the incomparable Pete Huttlinger as collaborator and producer. Pete plays a mean guitar, but it doesn’t stop there. Banjo and mandolin are also strong suits for my friend of 12 or so years who has played with John Denver, Vince Gill, Leann Rymes and so many more. The album is untitled yet, and contains songs I’ve written over the last 20 years that were kind of waiting for a proper home. Warning to those who only like my funny stuff, and an announcement to those who really like my serious stuff: There won’t be any funny songs on this album. Most are love songs ripped from my own life over time – from some really dark places to extremely happy places – all written just as I lived through them. The instrumentation will be acoustic and light, some drums and bass, but heavy on acoustic guitar just as you’d hear it in my living room. We are thinking of it as a follow up to my popular solo album, Time-Sweetened Lies. I’ll keep you posted on its progress.

AntsyTrailer

PaintingAs many of you know, I am renovating a 1953 mid-century ranch home, and adorning it with antiques from the era it was built. I have been entertaining and breaking the place in as the echoes of laughter and music seep into the plaster walls, giving it more life and warmth with each dinner party. It is a great joy to build a home around you and share it with friends.

I’m going to be painting again soon, preparing for a gallery show at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, CA this April. I’m very excited about that. I’ll let you know more about that as time approaches.

WebsiteCar

ConfusedWhinyI have been extremely happy these past few months, sharing time with my children and a precious handful of dear friends and loved ones. I am the luckiest man on earth, and look forward to 2016 with butterflies in my stomach.

 


My Trip to Wokingham, UK

Hanging with Family at Woodflock

Hanging with Family at Woodflock

After a fabulous five days in California hanging with my “family” at Woodflock, I had little time to rest.  I was purt near worn ragged from all of the fun and events at this “Flamingohead Family Retreat” and truly wasn’t ready to book on out of that four day camping extravaganza and head across the US and on to England.

Thanks to all my Woodflockers for a GREAT weekend. Love and hugs to you all.

 

Went to Iceland and all I got was a silly T-shirt

Went to Iceland and all I got was a silly T-shirt

Delayed flights and post holiday travel can test the resolve of one who has promised to “Enjoy the Ride.” After a day of delays flying from California to New Jersey, I finally buckled in on my flight to Iceland, where I would change planes to London. I was finally able to relax!

When I finally got to Iceland….it was just a layover, but what I saw of the airport was very nice.  At least I was able to land a t-shirt out of the visit!!

With legs stretched, it was back on the plane and on to London. I arrived tired and headed to the hotel.

Old Church in Wokingham

Old Church in Wokingham

While in London, I watched my first episode of Nashville – HA! It’s big in England. And I found out it’s just ‘The Young and The Restless’ with guitars. After a night of off-and-on sleep trying to acclimate myself to life on another continent, I can attest that British television is every bit as bad as anything we have going on in the U.S. HA! However, there’s a show over here called ‘Gogglebox‘ where cameras are set up in living rooms to catch the reactions of viewers as they watch various Reality TV shows, and it’s actually pretty hilarious. This will be the next phase of television: We watch others watching TV. The phase after that: We watch people watching people watching TV, and on it goes. Anyway…I needed to then head outside to soak up the sunshine and some of the beautiful old scenes of jolly old England, like the old church in Wokingham.

 

WokinghamPosterMy good friend Pauly Zarb, who arranged the street concert in Wokingham for the second straight year (very much like the street concerts he arranged in Bardstown, Kentucky with his brother Matt for a number of years), pulled together an amazing group of musicians to play with the band.  My Nashville drummer, Chris “Spoonz” Long, flew out a few days earlier and did some gigs with Pauly.

After I had rested up we got together with these fine musicians…Stuart Long on guitar, Rob Reeve assisting on percussion, amazing saxophonist Erly Thornton, Spoonz on drums and Paolo Minervini on bass…we got together and rehearsed.

These guys were hot.  Following is a video by guitarist Stuart Long of a piece of our rehearsal.  Taken from a GoPro attached to his guitar, it is a great view of our rockin’ rehearsal/show at Jagz Jazz Club.  Thanks to Stuart for this video.

Setting up the Stage for the street concert in Wokingham

Setting up the Stage for the street concert in Wokingham

The day for the Wokingham show was finally arrived.  The stage was getting set up and equipment was brought in.

An event like this takes a ton of planning, coordination and logistics.  Words alone cannot express the happy, peaceful place was in. I can only say “thank you” Pauly, for making this possible, and inviting me across the pond to be part of your party.’ It’s a way cool world.

By evening we were ready to put on a show.  After Hussy Hicks and Jimmi Nolan did their parts to open, we were primed and ready to kick into high gear and give the crowd a fun time.

Local Press had us Covered

Local Press had us covered

Working the crowd at Wokingham

Working the crowd at Wokingham

By evening time the crowd was ready.  The band was tight and we had a fabulous time.

There were hundreds of people lining the street in Wokingham, many of them dancing to the tunes.  I must admit that it was easily one of the top five shows I’ve ever been involved in. This band — O. M. G.!!

Following are a couple of quick video clips from the show and a couple of photos.

Friends, if this ain’t the Big Time, What Is?

Enjoy!

 

 

Chris on Drums and Paolo on Bass from my perspective

Chris on Drums and Paolo on Bass

Left to Right - Pauly Zarb, Rob Reeves, Erly Thornton and Mark Palmer

Left to Right – Pauly Zarb, Rob Reeves, Erly Thornton and Mark Palmer

Pauly Zarb Working it in Wokingham

Pauly Zarb Working it in Wokingham

 

The After-show Effect on my jacket

The After-show Effect on my jacket

As with all things…this good…no, this GREAT thing had to come to an end.

It was a wild and fun night…lots of sweat from dancing on the stage with some wonderful musicians…all of whom I felt honored and grateful to share the stage with.

Leaving was bittersweet, but I can now look forward to the next trip to hang with these great folks.

 

 

 

 

Closing off the trip with old friends Spoonz and Pauly

Closing off the trip with old friends Spoonz and Pauly


Happy New Year Video from Antsy McClain

For any who missed it, here’s my video New Years wish…
And for those who’d rather read than watch videos, here are the lyrics:

T’was the day after New Years and Facebook was jammed
With regrets all bemoaning the goodies we crammed,

The late nights of drinking, the pounds that amassed,
My fat jeans don’t fit! It all happened so fast!

We’ll see pics of kale smoothies replacing the plates
Of those holiday pies and soufflés we all ate.

And selfies in spandex in gyms ‘cross the land.
Will clutter our news feeds. I’ve seen it first hand!

The treadmills are crowded, the weight machines full,
My friends will be gimping from muscles they’ll pull.

Hey, more power to ya, if that’s where you are,
But there are always a few who take matters too far.

They become so obnoxious this time every year,
Last week they were Chris Christy, and now Schwarzenegger’s here.

They’ll scorn your Doritos as you open the bag.
Make faces and groan, they’ll preach and they’ll nag.

Saying, ‘Ew, that stuff’s garbage, It’ll kill ya, you know.’
When it’s the same crap they were eating just three days ago.

It’s like a dooms-day religion, and they go all the way.
I’d rather talk to a Mormon than these guys any day!

By the first week of March, when they’ve lost a few pounds,
Let’s hope it’s all over and our friends simmer down.

That’s usually the case, and not one word will we say
When they snarf all that chocolate come Valentines Day.

So, in a few weeks I’ll go back to the gym.
And have the place to myself ’cause they’re all empty again.

Moderation, they say, is the name of the game.
I’ll eat what I like — and let you do the same.

If it’s bad for me, well, I’m likely to try it.
Eat, drink and be merry — for tomorrow we diet.

Happy New Year, everyone!


In Memorium: Tom Magliozzi from Car Talk (6/28/37 – 11/3/14)

TomMagliozziI heard yesterday that one of the icons of radio passed away.  Tom Magliozzi, of Car Talk (NPR), passed away on November 3 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Along with his brother Ray, they were known as “Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers.” (See Tom’s Bio)

Car Talk was some of the first national exposure I ever enjoyed as a songwriter, and I felt, opened doors for me with appearances on NPR and PBS. I’ll never forget hearing my song as Tom and Ray (aka Click and Clack) Magliozzi went to a break in their show. I felt I had hit the big time. Following are a couple of clips from their shows which include some of my songs.

Car Talk – June 30, 2007: Includes a clip from “I Was Just Flipped Off”

Car Talk – September 22, 2007: Includes a clip from “Billboard”

Car Talk: Stairway to Heapdom includes Antsy McClain's "I Was Just Flipped Off"

Car Talk: Stairway to Heapdom includes Antsy McClain’s “I Was Just Flipped Off”

Later on Click and Clack released a CD of some of their favorites from their shows and included “Flipped Off” as one of the cuts on their CD “Stairway to Heapdom“.  The CD is still available for sale HERE.

Tom was known for riding in his small car and going slowly.  In fact, he told people to “Slow Down and Enjoy the Ride.”  Truly a man that lived the “Aluminum Rule” to its fullest.

tom-magliozzi2-2599

Regular listeners to Car Talk know that laughter was an important part of their appeal. The contagious laughter of the brothers Magliozzi will forever ring in my heart, and my thoughts are with Ray as he deals with the loss.  May Tom continue to Enjoy the Ride wherever he is.