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 Feb 18 - 24, 2010 
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He Likes a Limit

Ex-Soul Coughing frontman keeps it lean

By Marisa Demarco
Mike Doughty imagines his next tweet.
Mike Doughty imagines his next tweet.

Of course Mike Doughty is keen on Tweeting. First known for defining Soul Coughing with his spare and striking lyrics, 140 characters would be ample space for Doughty to paint a city or a scene or a mood or a person—or maybe all of those. He says he works well with constraints.

I'll give you his nuts and bolts within the same limit:

Background: Son of a military family. NY Knitting Factory doorman 1992. Founded Soul Coughing. Quit in 2000, then beat a heroin addiction.

Soul Coughing: Says bandmates disliked him, were cruel. Bad relationship. Told him to fuck off on stage all the time. "Super Bon Bon."

Drugs: Is being paid to write a book on addiction. No bad-ass stories. Funny and odd tales. Sad and wan tales.

Going Solo: Sad Man Happy Man, Golden Delicious, Skittish and more. Much-heralded Haughty Melodic released on Dave Matthews’ label.

Lyrics: Took Sekou Sundiata's poetry class with Ani DiFranco. Chooses unusual nouns. Sometimes makes sense. Lately, makes more sense.

Songwriting: Made a public 2010 New Year's resolution to avoid the key of D.

Voice: Says his is too weird to be mainstream. Can sing many words quickly without breathing. Uses breath as punctuation.

Sad Man Happy Man, the New Album: Comfortable. Condensed. Surprisingly rock-bluesy acoustic guitar work. Good call on the cello.

On His Show: Will answer questions from a jar on stage. May record the show so you can buy CDs of that performance afterward.

Tweets From Doughty

"Used to sniff lots of drugs and watch Real World marathons. Now I have a lousy chest cold, watching Celebrity Rehab all day."

"Woke up this morning feeling like P. Diddy—grandiose, narcissistic, deeply insecure ... ."

"I'm like one of those kids who has to wear a helmet to school, but spiritually."

"I feel like I'm either a center-right-moderate in the Radiohead party, or a fringe lefty in the Dave Matthews party."

"I like the songs I write in the morning, then hate them by evening, then re-like them when morning comes again."

"I wonder if I have the gumption to write a non-ironic Christmas song."

"I like the part of ‘Bad Romance’ where Lady Gaga sounds like a Slavic Mae West."

Mike Doughty

with Christina Courtin
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.
The Cooperage
7220 Lomas NE
Tickets: $15 in advance through brownpapertickets.com, $20 day of show
21-and-over
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