Everybody But You
Thia Sexton – Musician and Author
EVERYBODY BUT YOU
“A collection that’s spirited and endearing . . . which she tells with winning self-deprecation and a level of detail that conjures the dusty, sunny fragrance of her travels. Sexton punctuates the pieces in an all-caps-studded brand of wacky humor, mostly in the form of wry one-liners.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Sexton is a truly original voice; almost everything she thinks and does in this superb collection is unexpected—from grilling a man who tells her she’s ‘Hot’ for more information, to calling a Suicide Hotline only to end up reassuring the inept operator that he’s good at his job. EVERYBODY BUT YOU is an entertaining insight into the talent of an atypical mind any reader would be privileged to have.” — Maggie Rowe, producer, COMEDY CENTRAL STAGE, Sit ‘N Spin, author of Sin Bravely.
“Entertaining and original . . . one I will not soon forget, as Sexton’s voice is like nothing I have read before. These stories have depth, a fresh voice and are oh, so fun to read. I love short stories books because you can toss it in your purse and read whenever you have a free moment. You will not regret reading this book, and you will end up thanking me for recommending it!” — Mrs. Mommy Booknerd
“There are some truly funny stories that made me laugh out loud (always the mark of a good story). I really liked the stories about her family (nieces and nephews), being abroad, and the story about how she came to love New York. I’m not a New Yorker but I love to visit, and I loved the way she captured the city (and EVERYBODY’S hatred of the one way streets). While I would never be brave enough to back down one of the streets, she does and lives to share the hilarious tale. — A Bookish Affair
“First-time author Thia Sexton has unerring aim. Right at the heart of humankind’s fumbling efforts to untangle ourselves. She illumines our quest for the Holy Grail, or at least in the promised land of Utopia—with prose that channels not a clown, but a humorist. Not Bert Lahr, but Mark Twain.” — Rod Gorney, PhD, author of The Human Agenda, UCLA psychiatry professor, famously cured Paul Simon of writer’s block (Playboy Interview)
“Smart, funny and inviting, fantastically laid out and arranged. It opens like a beautiful flower. I think you wrote a hit!” — Daniel Lanois, Producer, Grammy Award Winner (U2, Bob Dylan, Neil Young)
“You have a fabulous gift.” — Van Dyke Parks (Inara George, Frank Black, Brian Wilson, Beach Boys)
“Thia Sexton is a singer/songwriter with a difference. Rather than tickle a keyboard or strum a guitar, Sexton’s a cellist. And there’s another difference—she straps the cello on like a guitar and fingerpicks just like she was playing an old Gibson Jumbo. Sexton’s vocals are expressive, and the voice/cello duets create a gripping feminine/masculine energy that underscores the sexual tension of the songs. The music is creative, the songwriting assured with arrangements that run the gamut from pure acoustic to spacey electronica. It’s an insightful, creative and highly entertaining trip. Filled with a potent and eclectic array of studio players.” — Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound
“Thia Sexton plays her cello like a guitar, sometimes beautiful, sometimes rockin’. Singing lyrics that are alternately deep, smart, heartfelt, and humorous, she’s accompanied by a veritable who’s who of renowned musicians. No one’s ever made a cello sound like this.” — Amazon Editorial Review
I didn’t set out to write a book. Various catastrophes collided at a certain point (devastating breakup, lost job due to embezzling boss, and something too painful to mention). I couldn’t eat or sleep or leave the house, but I could write. Surprisingly, writing about my idiotic life made me laugh. Needing to laugh more, I wrote more. A friend in New York emailed one of the stories to a group who read at COMEDY CENTRAL Stage (started by Jill Solloway of Transparent fame). I was invited to read, and afterwards people asked where they could buy the book. A famous screenwriter told me I wrote things he was afraid to write about. He said he kept looking around at the audience thinking, “Did she just write that out loud?” It made me feel less alone.
I’d heard of book SOUNDTRACK CDs, but not one with all original songs. I love stuff that hasn’t been done before and sounds I haven’t heard (I play my cello like a guitar for godsakes!). Songs I’d written interwove with my stories, so it was cool to put snippets of them in my Audiobook. That led to the “Everybody But You SOUNDTRACK.”
Most of the songs were recorded with great equipment in houses that were unoccupied (people on vacation etc.). For my song “Sleeve” I rode a bus to San Francisco with a hard drive, and Joe Gore (PJ Harvey, Aimee Mann) recorded killer-hook guitar parts. The estimable John Altman (Bjork, Nick Drake) surprisingly returned my phone call, and wrote crazy-great string parts on 2 songs. Nels Cline (Wilco, Thurston Moore) popped in for a punky tune, and Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, NIN) played unbelievable bass on “Smaller,” a song that I play cello with a guitar pick. Patrick Warren (Fiona Apple) did a mellotron—cello duet when someone died. The DEVO-esque feel in the song “Really?” came from the most talented craigslister ever (my ad said “Postal Service addiction required”). Being in a room recording with ridiculously inspired musicians—that’s heaven.
At first I wrote songs sitting up straight like a cellist, but soon discovered that slouching is essential to composing music. I pulled the cello on my lap and began fingerpicking like a guitar. Chords came out that I’d never heard before, and the sound was beautiful. I put on a guitar strap and now play my cello like a guitar quite often. Since I do everything else wrong, why stop at the cello?
Thia Sexton has read her stories to sold-out crowds at COMEDY CENTRAL Stage and performed music in national and international award-winning plays. She is the recipient of a Great American Song award for her song “AWOKEN”—and yes, she plays her cello like a guitar on it. Thia’s songs have been featured on the groundbreaking radio show KCRW. She hopes someday to be responsible enough to own a dog and cat. She’s heard petting an animal makes you feel much better!