As you may have heard, there's a little thang set to happen in Madison this weekend called Halloween -- or Freakfest, as the city of Madison has renamed it. This year's event is supposed to have 100% of the fun, but without the usual police-clash-and-teargas finale. That's the theory anyway.
Halloween in Madison is more than an annual tradition. It's the stuff of legend, the gist of song. Actually, there's only one song I can think of about Halloween in Madison, but it's a great song. It's by Madison's incomparable political troubadour, Love & Money album, along with songs about Mayor Dave, Brett Favre, Jim Doyle, and the Green County Sheriff's Deputy who stopped him for speeding.)
Some of you may remember -- and I am unable to forget -- that Peter and I teamed up this year to record a song about open records and to perform songs about journalism before an audience at the CafÃ Montmartre, followed by what was supposed to be the real deal in Chicago at the annual convention of the Society of Professional Journalists.
As I noted at the time, the CafÃ Montmartre gig was one of the best experiences of my life. The performance before SPJ was one of the worst -- ranking right up there with my divorce and my viewing of the film Breaking the Waves. Suffice to say that the sound sucked, the audience was disinterested (at best) and we got kicked off the stage. I could tell you more, but the memory is still too painful. This much I can say, with all of the authority of an atrocity survivor: Never again.
Anyway, Peter has a cool website (peterleidy.com) and a new CD: The Great Escape. I haven't heard it yet (just released this month -- give me a freaking break!) so I can't discuss it with a great deal of insight. I can tell you that it seems to be about Peter's day job, working with people with disabilities. It includes the songs, "Stacy Kerr is My Case Manager," "I Went to a Conference" (hopefully one less grim than SPJ's), "Don't Wanna Be Sedated," "HIPPA is My Friend," and "The Darwin Ness Polka" -- Darwin Ness being, of course, the formerly institutionalized Madison man whom Isthmus profiled last year.
Anyway, since Halloween is upon us, we should all take a moment to spin Peter's Halloween classic, then go to his website to buy all of his CDs. Tell him his former collaborator sent you. Stress the word former.