News for April 2009


Kung Fu Princess

As you faithful readers know I’ve been selling my new kids CD at shows and online since late January.  Up until now though there was no official release.  Well that’s all about to change!  I’m doing a family friendly CD release show on Saturday May 16th, 10:30 am at The Pilney 1032 W. 7th Street (Randolph & W. 7th) here in beautiful St. Paul MN.  It’s a free show and I’ll be backed by The Pretty Mysterious Band.  

If you’re e-mailing a friend about it (which you probably will) here’s a clip from the press release to give them an idea of what they’re in for:

Nate Houge (rhymes with vogue) is a Twin Cities musician, songwriter, and dad.  His latest release, ‘Mysterious Kung Fu Ninja & The Pink Princess of Pretty Pretty Land’ is a rootsy rollicker that takes a jab at marketing to kids* (Young Consumer Blues), makes a humorous nod to Nate’s peers (Hippy Parents), pays homage to Woody Guthrie (Howdi Do), and provides plenty more original songs that kids and adults dig.  

Check to learn more about what Nate’s up to, read his ramblings, and check out his upcoming shows, kid shows, and work with other bands.

Of course, if you haven’t picked up the CD yet it will be available for $10 at the show.  Or you can pick it up at CD Baby or I Tunes – just search for Houge and you’ll see it come up.  (You’ll also see my brother’s ‘3 heart shaped cookies’ e.p. which is totally worth the $3.  And if you buy Don Houge’s cd let me know how it is, I’m curious but not $9.99 curious)

So mark your calendars and we’ll see you soon!

Posted: April 29th, 2009
Categories: music
Comments: No Comments.

Definition of A Good Day

sho bud

Friday morning I woke up at 5:30 am.  I put on my jeans, pearl snaps, and boots and drove to WI.  The first song to come on the radio was Lucinda Williams Car Wheels on a Gravel Road featuring Buddy Miller.  I pulled into Super America to get some cash.  They were out of cash, but I got free coffee because I brought my mug from home.  Note to travelers:  Always travel with a ceramic mug.  You may get stopped by airport security, but that’s a small price to pay when everybody starts giving you free coffee.

I made it to a gas station off of 23 in WI where I met up with a guy from the Chippewa Falls area.  I bought a pedal steel from him.  And I got a freakin’ great deal on it!  Then I drove back to St. Paul and got home around the time Lydia got on the bus for school.

Mid morning I took off to finish a writing project that I had started back in… October?  It was a large project that I had admittedly grown a bit weary of, though I will say I was happy with the work I was turning in all along the way.  Well at about 2pm I came home and sent in the final manuscript.  It felt great.

Then I checked the mail and I had recieved comp copies of an earlier project I had been a part of.  The Bible.  That’s right kids, I wrote the Bible.  (Are you starting to see why this was such a good day?)  Actually the Bible that I had been a small part of was the new Spark Bible from Augsburg Fortress.  I’ve done a lot of writing for Augsburg Fortress and I must say that this is the thing project I am most proud to be a part of so far.  It’s an aesthetically pleasing, reader engaging format that every third – sixth grader should have. 

For supper I made pizza.  I love pizza. 

After supper I put my guitar in the bike trailer and headed up the road to play at the Bean Factory with Jason, his djembe and his smile.  It’s not everyday you get to play a gig with the president of Drummers for a Brighter America.  We played songs we haven’t played in 7+ years!  Including hits like ‘Our Better Days’ and TV’s and SUV’s (a song written before we owned a mini-van and I got hooked on LOST). 

After the show Jason and Erin took my guitar and I raced them home.  I love riding my bike and one of the best riding scenarios is a warm summer night and Friday’s unseasonable warmth hit the spot.  Back at home Jodi had put the girls to bed and the four of us stayed up late with the finest Milwaukee, Chippewa Falls, and Ft. Collins has to offer.

Yep.  It was a good day.

Posted: April 21st, 2009
Categories: bike, family, friendship, music
Comments: No Comments.

Meanwhile In China…


In about an hour I’ll sit down in the studio with Russel and Erin and we’ll record short, simple, and singable folk songs.  Meanwhile my brother…  Well he just amazes me.

Posted: April 20th, 2009
Categories: family, music
Comments: No Comments.

Yours for a Steel

So I bought a pedal steel.  Yep.  More on that later.  First I’d like to let you, my rock and roll insiders, in on some sweet deals:

1 pair of Mackie 624’s – $425

audio buddy 2 ch. pre-amp $60

pre sonus tube pre – $75

Danelectro Nifty Seventy – $50

Fender Princeton 65 – $130

contact me for more info/pictures.  nate.  612.269.9023 or nate at natehouge dot com

Posted: April 18th, 2009
Categories: music
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Sweet Jesus

I often make the communion bread for our church and I really enjoy doing this.  Usually I make small round wheat loaf.  I think this reflects my view of Jesus for the most part – simple and good for you.  But since today is the first Sunday of Easter I thought I’d make a more celebratory loaf so I searched for Easter breads and sweet breads and found this recipe:  I left out the raisans and mace and didn’t glaze it.  As tasty as that sounded I thought it was probably enough of a theological leap to through in the lemon zest.  So tonight as we gathered around the table we broke the bread.  Our’s is a chuch with an open table – meaning all are welcome to take part in the bread and wine/body and blood.  And generally if there is bread left over after church it is consumed at the weekly pot luck.  So the kids that come up to the table, like my 2 year old daughter Elsa, apparently don’t realize the difference in the meal as part of the service and the potluck after the meal.  I say apparently because Elsa kept sneaking back up to the table and grabbing more bread.  And more bread.  And more bread.  My wife Jodi was busy with serving communion, and I was playing guitar and I don’t think we realized it right away.  (As I’m writing this I realize I haven’t really ever blogged about the church we go to – it’s called Humble Walk, Jodi is the pastor and I often help lead singing – there’s your context for this story – if you want to know more about the church you should come and see – sunday nights at 4:30, potluck at 5:30ish – randolph and w. 7th in the Pilney building in St. Paul MN.  There, I’ve blogged about our church.  Done.)  Anyway, this story just got long and boring, sooorrrrrry.  So we sang accapella, I picked up Elsa, she put up a fight, but it all worked out.

Point of the story?  Passive reader:  huh.  long boring story.  Practical reader:  Don’t make the bread too good, or people will get all 1 Cor. 11 on you.  Emergent Theologian Reader:  What is the difference between the meal during the service and the meal after the service?  Should the two become one?  Let’s deconstruct it!  Better yet, Betray It!  And rather than ‘Emergent Theologian Reader’, could you please refer to us as “an (un)named group struggling to understand this god thing in a time of highly valued skepticism and doubt using literary means in the context of a pre/post variant model of (on)going antiquity?”

Justin, why’d you have to turn me on to Rollins?  That dude’s too smart for his own (brit)ches.  And I thank you.

Posted: April 12th, 2009
Categories: bread
Comments: No Comments.

In Defense of Corporate Giants

Okay, I’m a little preachy.  So let me say a few kind words for the conglomerates. 

One thing I love about the big boxes is the free rental plan.  Examples:

Somebody I knew was doing a little bathroom remodeling with PEX.  PEX is cheap and easy to work with if you have the 95 dollar crimping tool.  But what this person found out was if you held on to the reciept Menards would view it as less of a purchase and more as a borrowing and when I was done… I mean when that somebody was done they were able to return the tool and get their money back.  Not unlike borrowing my neighbor’s edger.  It only makes me like them more.

Another somebody I traveled with once got tired of lugging 6 saw horses in the back of his truck from AZ to CA and back.  So, since we were done with them in CA we stopped by Home Depot and returned them.  He returned them without a reciept.  You tend to lose reciepts after 8 months of use.  No questions asked.  Thank you Home Depot!

And my favorite are the two folks I know who have purchased thousands of dollars of gear at Guitar Center for gigs and returned it the next day.  One was a huge amp, the other was huge drum set.  Way to support starving artists.

So thank you corporations, we’ll remain anonymous if you do!

Posted: April 8th, 2009
Categories: diy
Comments: No Comments.

Nate Houge Fixes the Economy


The thing is, I may be in the camp that says, €œLet the economy burn.€ I think that the macro-economics that this glutenous country of ours are obsessed with are antithetical to a healthy community.

Here’s what got the finite hamsters in my head running. (In the interest of full disclosure I should point out it was more of a jog.)

I heard a guy on the radio (Wow Nate, way to kick things off with a credible source!) saying that a consequence of shopping locally is that you will drive the prices up. He was a professor of economics and so I’m guessing on paper he’s right. And I’ve seen this to be true. I can buy a drill bit at Menards for a buck or I can go to my old employer at S & S hardware and get the same drill bit for $1.69. S & S isn’t buying them by the gross, maybe not even by the dozen. They don’t get the discounts. And so because we hold the success of our economy over the success of our community we go to Menards. We drive further, we walk around forever, we ask where the drill bits have been moved to since our last visit, and we save our .69 cents. It only took an extra 45 minutes of our time and an extra four miles of driving. We didn’t see anybody we knew, though after 10 years of home ownership I admit I do recognize a couple faces back in the lumber department. But you get where I’m going with this. When I walk into S & S chances are Mark will be working there. He’ll talk about the glorious Republican party to which his allegiance is sworn and then talk religion. I mean football. He’s a Packers fan so you understand it’s a blurry line. Once when I was working there on a slow winter night a guy came in with some gas line questions. My coworker went to his house and helped him connect his new stove. Nobody at Menards is going to do that. That .69 cents is worth it to me.

Although I will admit, I’m more likely to go to Mitch’s Hardware Hank. It’s a few blocks closer and I can pick up a two pack of 3/32€ bits for $1.59.

Posted: April 7th, 2009
Categories: diy
Comments: No Comments.

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