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Uncle Wonderful

Mechanical Telephone

Janis Ian

Dark night but there's plenty to believe in...
Why'd you have to let her touch your feelings?
I always gave you everything that you needed
All you had to do was ask -- but you just got greedy

Now the only time we talk is when we talk alone
to the voices that you leave
on your mechanical telephone
Sometimes I call just to hear your voice
set free of the talons and claws,
but the memory I keep
doesn't really let me leave any word at all

You always liked any woman who was easy
Hope you've met your match...but can she beat me?
You always said I'd be the first to walk
You say I'm always the first to talk, but can she free me?

Now we rarely talk alone. We usually speak in groups
to the people you invite
for the theater and a bite who are used to you
They like to listen to their own mouths move
They like to watch your jaw drop, too
but the witticisms fade when the covers
are unmade and I'm so far away

I bet you thought I'd be an easy lay
I bet you thought I lived alone
Hungry for the vision and the afterplay
I've had better times alone

Now we rarely talk of love. We only speak of need
and the sacrifice of life
to the altar and the knife on our mound of greed
I rarely call just to hear your voice,
set free of the pillars and stone
but for the company I keep when I speak
to your mechanical telephone
It's the company I keep when I speak
Your mechanical telephone
The company I keep...

© Taosongs Two. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

Tour Dates

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All tour dates updated on December 3, 2019

  • Wednesday February 26th

    Memorial Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

    Memorial Hall

    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

    Phone: (513) 977-8838

    Visit the venue's website

    An evening with Janis, some new songs, some old songs, some funny stories and some heart-wrenching moments! Expect a shout out to the science fiction community of Cincinnati, and of course, Janis plans to stay after the show to greet people and sign whatever they may buy or bring!!

  • Friday February 28

    E. J. Thomas Hall, Akron, Ohio

    E. J. Thomas Hall

    Akron, Ohio

    Phone: 330-972-7570

    Visit the venue's website

  • Sunday, March 1

    Buskirk-Chumley Theater, Bloomington, IN

    Buskirk-Chumley Theater

    Bloomington, IN

    Phone: 812.323.3020

    Visit the venue's website

    With Livingston Taylor.
    Tickets will go on sale to the public at 11am on Thursday, Sept 19th. 
    Tickets available via OvationTix

  • Monday June 29 to Friday July 3

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone: N/A

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. Time of her classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Monday July 6 to Friday July 10

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina,

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina,

    Phone:

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. Time of her classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Monday July 13 to Friday July 17

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone:

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. Time of her classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Monday July 20 to Friday July 24

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone:

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. Time of her classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Monday July 27 to Friday July 31

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone:

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. The final week will also feature a second, more interactive class tentatively titled "War Stories". Time of classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Wednesday August 5

    The Kate, Old Saybrook, CT

    The Kate

    Old Saybrook, CT

    Phone: (860) 510-0473

    Visit the venue's website

    Janis returns to The Kate a scant year later, at their insistence. She's sure it's too soon, they're sure it's not. She's writing furiously so she can present some new material, and looking forward to visiting one of her all-time favorite venues again! Expect some good, relaxed fun, some tears, an after-show appearance for signing things you've brought and things you may purchase at the "merch table"!!

  • Thursday August 6

    Living Room Concert, Private, Massachusetts, USA

    Living Room Concert

    Private, Massachusetts, USA

    Phone: Private

    Visit the venue's website

    Private Living Room Concert benefitting the Pearl Foundation. We are currently considering other LRC's in the general area; if you are interested please contact us through the "Make Pearl An Offer" charity section of this website. * Please do not ask if you can attend. Invitations are solely up to the donor(s) and we will not put you in touch, regardless of your reason.

[full tour dates list]

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