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Karl Straub

Karl Straub

Rock / Jazz / Real Country (not "alt") Arlington, VA  US
lonely 'round the clock
lonely 'round the clock
Unsafe At Any Speed
Unsafe At Any Speed
Cathode Ray Blue
Cathode Ray Blue
mark robinson
mark robinson
scratch my youth off
scratch my youth off


  • Fri

    Jul 10

    Winchester, VA, US | 8:00pm

    The 9 Songwriter Series featuring Steve Warner, Eli Staples, Kim Moon, Dear Creek, Karl Straub, Margot MacDonald, Paul Froeschle, Justin Trawick, and one more TBA, ALL in one show for one night only!! // Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm


Add Comment
  • DC Cardwell (Artist)
    DC Cardwell
    Somehow I suspected I'd like your music and I was right! A little rootsier than I imagined, but I suspect it's only one facet of many. I can hear the Elvis Costello influence you mention, but also T-Bone Burnett in your voice and words.
  • Donkee Tonk/Donald Keesing (Artist)
    Donkee Tonk/Donald Keesing
    Incredible songwriting and composition. Brilliant playing, always.




Sounds Like: Bob Dylan & The Band, The Velvet Underground, The Beatles, Merle Haggard, Roy Nichols

Bio: been playing guitar, writing songs, and singing since about 1980. initially the quality was not good, then gradual improvement. worked in a variety of styles. rock and roll exclusively at first, due to inability to play anything else. learned about other styles a little bit at a time. now hard at...See Full Bio

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Q: What is the story behind the song "I like the one that sounds like Elvis Costello?"

A: It's not much of a story, perhaps, but here it is. For a while, I'd been playing my original songs for people, with the Graverobbers and before. People that heard my material kept comparing it to Elvis Costello's music. When I had first bought an Elvis Costello album years earlier (Taking Liberties), I heard it and decided I shouldn't listen to him too much because his writing was similar to mine, and there was a danger of ending up sounding too much like him. Apparently, this gambit didn't work, because people still compared me to him all the time. (Back then I found this irritating, but later when reviewers started comparing the Graverobbers to R.E.M., I became nostalgic for the period when I was being compared to Elvis Costello. By the time this song got recorded, all I ever heard was how much we sounded like R.E.M. I think this was because at the time young pop listeners had very little sense of pop and rock history, and could not think of another melody-oriented band to compare us too. It was kind of a mini-Dark Ages to me, where the Beatles and the Byrds weren't even remembered, much less Elvis Costello.) Eventually, I got the idea to write a song about being compared to him, and I figured with this song I would deliberately work to sound as much like his writing as possible. Originally, the song was called "The Curse of Elvis Costello." We bought a giant chalkboard and wrote the chords on it, and spent at least one entire 8 hour rehearsal staring at the chalkboard and playing the song over and over. Our neighbors, evidently not Elvis Costello fans, were not happy about this. At some point I grafted on a character sketch about a guy who was a lovelorn alcoholic businessman on a cruise ship, or something. I'll admit that I was really trying to do an impressionistic imitation of Costello's approach to lyrics, his irony and wit, and listening to the track now I can't recall any clear backstory to this character. I certainly can't explain any specific meanin

Asked by anonymous. Answered on Mon Jul 16 2012

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