If you can’t beat them…

In a lot of ways, this album- and everything that has gone into making the project see the light of day-  seems particularly prescient.  While I was listening to Obama’s acceptance speech last night, I was packing up the last of the few remaining promos.  His speech was cadence to my fold-stuff-seal labor, but it produced a harmony I am proud to be a part of. I know it’s no real comparison, but here we are in the midst of an honest to god historic election, and I am in the middle of the most adventurous release we’ve undertaken, chronicling our Presidents.  If there was ever a right time to be stuffing envelopes, last night was it: the right release, the right place in modern history.

And as I was navigating the thick, substantial copies of Of Great and Mortal Men into the padded confines of the envelopes, I kept thinking, “What an amazing speech!  What can McCain do to counter this?” Well, this afternoon, I found out.  Palin took me by surprise (like 99.99% of the rest of the country), but after some contemplation, it seems that McCain picked who he thought was the most Republican version of Obama he could find. And then I wondered: “What song would Christian, Jefferson and Matt make of this? Will this political gesture become a lyric?”


As I was sitting in Waffle House this morning at an interview about the release, my phone buzzed.  I just got an email from Christian, a forward of a rather comprehensive and positive review of Of Great and Mortal Men.  The freelance reporter was in a hurry, sorting through questions ranked by importance and settled on this as his first: “So will this project bankrupt you?”

Really? That’s what you want to know?

Part of me wanted to say, “what the hell kind of question is that?! What does that have to do with the merits of the project?” and show him the review that just came but another part of me thought better and said, “Even if it does, it will still be out there, released.”

Published in: on August 31, 2008 at 12:51 am  Leave a Comment  


The project has finally arrived at the offices of the label and is just starting to ship out to press.  We three songwriters haven’t even seen it yet but they tell us: Awesome.

Published in: on August 27, 2008 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

New curricula

One of the aspects of this project that we continue to be very excited about is the possibilities that it can be used in education.  To that end, we’ve been writing curriculum (in between teaching classes and doing our other non-education day jobs).  Here are some new “reading questions” for James Madison and Andrew Jackson:

I’ve also done a few edits to George Washington’s reading questions as well.  More to come!  If any teachers want to get involved in the curriculum-writing process, please don’t hesitate to contact Christian Kiefer at xian@christiankiefer.com or Mark Latta at mark@standardrecording.com.  We could sure use your help!

Meanwhile, click over to the “for teachers” link on the right for more curricula as it is developed.

Published in: on August 15, 2008 at 6:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

today then?

Book’s not here yet but so soon we can all taste it.  Our label man might develop an aneurism from all this madness.  Hold it together, buddy!

Published in: on August 15, 2008 at 5:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

Books Today

Unless the printer is lying, our main man at the label is scheduled to pick up the Of Great and Mortal Men books today.  This is good news as a) we’ll finally be able to see what the whole thing actually looks like and b) we’ll be able to send out the hard copies to the various press folks who need them.

To all of this I say: Woo hah!

Published in: on August 7, 2008 at 5:16 pm  Leave a Comment