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Singer/songwriter J.D. Boucharde's four-album project Contra Mundum (Latin for "against the world") is a biographical odyssey about his experiences with addiction, abuse, and depression. He specializes in telling stories, though not all are based on true life. He sometimes tells audiences that he was only three days old when he gave his first piano recital, in the lobby of the hospital where he was born, playing a tune he'd heard playing over the hospital PA ("Do You Know the Way to San Jose?") with "hands the size of teaspoons." As such, it's no surprise that, when asked to describe his music, he spins another chimerical yarn.

"In 2002, just after finishing the Up album, Peter Gabriel stops by Calvin and Hobbes's house to borrow their cardboard-box time machine. Peter puts on the goggles, climbs in the box, and flies back to 1994, picking up Kevin Gilbert. Together, Peter and Kevin travel to 1983, picking up Roger Waters from Pink Floyd, and six more years back, to get Randy Newman from 1977. The four of them scoop up Elton John from 1973 and Brian Wilson from 1960 and they all arrive in 1956 at Sam Phillips's Sun Studios in Memphis. There, they order out for ribs, buy several cases of beer, and write 147 songs, recording 23 of them in one extended four-day weekend. They fly the time machine home, exhausted, each to their respective eras, but promising to write each other."

SONGS CUED IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

1. Human Radio, "These Are the Days" ("A bitter song that whisks me back to college, smack-dab in the middle of the worst year of my life, driving in a red Datsun pickup, eyes closed and momentarily free of all worldly concern.")

2. Kevin Kline, "Busy Busy Busy" ("From Sandra Boynton's CD-book Philadelphia Chickens, describing American life in a nutshell.")

3. The Beach Boys, "Surf's Up" ("Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks at their finest, and don't let the title fool you -- it ain't bubblegum music.")

4. Bob Bennett, "The Kings of Summer Street" ("Exquisite songwriting.")

5. Peter Mayer, "Holy Now" ("Perfectly reflects my worldview.")

DESERT ISLAND DVDs?

1. Arrested Development, Season 2

2. The Shawshank Redemption

3. Chariots of Fire

4. The Big One

5. The Thin Red Line

FAVORITE TV SHOW THEME SONGS?

"My favorite themes would all be from vintage TV shows like Cheers, The Greatest American Hero, and The Rockford Files, all great and imprinted on me forever."

WORST GIG?

"My worst was also my first, other than that piano in the lobby of the hospital where I was born. In my second year of college, I played an on-campus concert with two friends. That whole week leading up to the gig, the stage fright was nearly unbearable. After the show, we listened to the tape we made of the performance, looked at one another, and decided to destroy all recorded evidence of our shame. I've never regretted this."

LUCKY OR UNLUCKY IN LOVE?

"In all my dating years, I was never hit, thrown out, thrown up on, or abandoned mid-date for another guy, so I guess I did okay and was pretty lucky. I love my wife, and we're in it for good. With respect to dating, like it says in that song by the Cult ["New York City"], 'I ain't never coming back, child.' "

BIGGEST POLITICAL CONCERN?

"Gee, let me think...I would have to say there are certain leaders in poweR today that seem to thrive on payinG lip service to dEmocracy and freedom, but Who instead create a pseudo-spiritual environment where terror, mistrust, and aBsolUtism thrive on every Side...no names, though."

ADVICE TO LINDSAY LOHAN?

"Buddhism."

FAVORITE TWILIGHT ZONE?

"'Living Doll.' 'My name is Talky Tina, and I think I hate you.' Dolls that kill. Yowch."

SCI-FI OR HORROR?

"For years, I would have said horror. I've been a Stephen King fan since I was 14. However, I like good science fiction even more now; not novels, but short stories in compilations. When I was younger, horror matched my insides more, but nowadays sci-fi matches it more. Speculative fiction dredges up all the grandest possibilities, and the dark possibilities, too."

SOMETHING ABOUT YOU FEW WOULD KNOW OR GUESS?

"I went to college with the intention of becoming a Lutheran minister."

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