The big red letter day approaches

It's almost here

Not a lot in the way of post-writin' time today, but I have an excuse — yesterday, I learned that my Big Upcoming Debut Novel, Langley Powell and the Society for the Defense of the Mundane, now has an official publication date of July 24.

That's very close! And also on a Wednesday, which is weird for a book! But whatever; doing things the usual way is for chumps and normies. I embrace my new, unorthodox street date — and to celebrate its impending arrival, I spent a decent chunk of the day working on the Langley Powell website. Behold.

The purchase link doesn't work yet, and there's no press page on account of there being no press at the moment, but those things will change in short order. In the meantime, you can get some basic information about the book and its author (me!), and you can also read the first chapter for the exceedingly reasonable price of free. Poke around! Let me know what you think! Mark your calendars for July 24!

Because I spent several hours fighting with a WordPress installation, there wasn't a lot of time for active listening today. But as a form of exceedingly limited consolation, I can share some exciting news with those of you who don't follow me on Twitter and didn't already read about this last night: In 1989, Reprise Records released an album by a band called Distance, a sort of Power Station sequel which was made up of — get this — Bernard Edwards and Tony Thompson of Chic, ace session keyboardist Jeff Bova, prolific '80s session guitarist Eddie Martinez, and singer Robert Hart, who would soon go on to become the third lead singer of Bad Company.

Unfortunately for Hart, his arrival coincided with the record-buying public abruptly turning its attention away from the reconstituted BadCo; after enjoying an unlikely gold and platinum resurgence in the late '80s and early '90s with their second singer, Brian Howe, they parted ways with him, and in the process also parted ways with anything approximating commercial success. Hart made two albums with the band, neither of which made even a pucker on the charts, and by the end of the decade, the group was in hibernation.

It's an unfortunate story. But in 1989, the wind was still at Hart's back, as he and the other members of Distance, flush with cash from their Reprise deal, set about writing and recording an album that couldn't sound more like late '80s AOR if it tried. If you have any sort of nostalgia for this era, or you're just the type of person who's given to morbid curiosity about this sort of thing, you're in luck, because Distance's Under the One Sky is the most delightfully cheesy artifact I can remember stumbling across. In a not-so-different universe, this record would have been a huge hit. If Chicago hadn't toured with the Beach Boys in 1989, it would have made perfect sense for Reprise to slap these two labelmates on the same bill. Or they could have toured with Kansas and Night Ranger, possibly having enough fun to prevent both of those bands from breaking up at the end of the tour.

The possibilities were endless. Endless, I tell you. Alas, Distance and Under the One Sky came and went without any real fanfare to speak of, and all we're left with is what might have been. Check it out here, rock yourself silly, and meet me back here for some New Music Friday tomorrow.