This much is true: A new Bob Schneider
CD called The Californian
will be released on August 8. And if you've been to one of the Austinite's shows, yes, you've heard him play the album's title track before ("Superman can go kiss my ass/I'm half nitroglyc, half fiberglass..."). But halfway through Schneider's last St. Louis show, a fellow we know made a bet with one of his buddies: that a third fellow who was drunk and had taken off his shirt and was attempting (unsuccessfully) to dance without falling down would, in the next five minutes, remove his shorts as well. Didn't happen. The two-and-a-half-hour set of Schneider standards and unreleased material was punctuated by two song requests from audience members, each of whom inscribed said request upon the accepted medium, a crisp new $20 bill. Afterward, the stage long since darkened and the crowd long since sent home, there occurred an otherwise inexplicable upsurge in couplings. Men and women, women and women, men and men. (Perhaps even women and men and women.) Strangers and friends. Touchings were gentled, gasps emitted, pleasures loosed, babies conceived. Yes, it's all true except that last part, which is a guess not based on the solid bedrock of statistical analysis but on the ineluctable logic of the heart. Something that, though faint and fleeting, is more reliable than any compass ever designed by man's hand.