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LIANE HANSEN, host.

Although the economic weather is frightful and we're all cutting back, still, there's the urge to put on some fancy dress and head out to a New Year's Eve party. But this can be a Herculean effort for those of us who are, well, socially inept.

(Soundbite of song "I Don't Know How to Party" by Jim's Big Ego)

Mr. JIM INFANTINO (American Singer, Songwriter, Leader of the Band Jim's Big Ego): (Singing)

I don't know how to party And I don't know how to have a good time And I don't know how to party.

HANSEN: That's Jim Infantino and his band Jim's Big Ego. The song "I Don't Know How to Party" is on their new CD called "Free." And Jim joins us from member station WBUR in Boston. Hey, Jim.

Mr. INFANTINO: Hi, Liane.

HANSEN: Welcome back to the show.

Mr. INFANTINO: Oh, it's a pleasure to be back.

(Soundbite of song "I Don't Know How to Party" by Jim's Big Ego)

Mr. INFANTINO: (Speaking)

Hey, how you doing? You know, you should really try that artichoke dip. It's good.

HANSEN: I can't believe you don't know how to party. Really?

Mr. INFANTINO: Well, you know, I have a kind of anti-social side. It's just certain situations when you're at a party and you realize, I have nothing to say. I don't know what to do here.

(Soundbite of song "I Don't Know How to Party" by Jim's Big Ego)

Mr. INFANTINO: (Speaking)

Hey, buddy. How's it going? Yeah. Yeah, how's that favorite sports team of yours doing? Yeah. Right, yeah well you look good, you know. Is that real, or… Oh.

Well, hey, have you tried this artichoke dip? It's really good. You should try it.

HANSEN: What are you doing New Year's eve?

Mr. INFANTINO: You know, I don't have plans yet. I believe that I'm going to go to a good friend's house here in Brookline. And we usually go - she's a photographer, and she throws great parties. And I'll probably stand around and have very little to say.

HANSEN: And tell people about the spinach dip.

Mr. INFANTINO: That's right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Yeah.

(Soundbite of song "My Own Awards Show" by Jim's Big Ego)

Mr. INFANTINO: (Singing)

I'm such a loser. I never win anything. Except that ticket.

HANSEN: There's another song on this CD that fits nicely into the month of January because this is when a lot of the award shows begin, Golden Globes, for example. And then February we've got the Oscars. You've written a song "My own Awards Show?"

Mr. INFANTINO: Yes.

(Soundbite of song "My Own Awards Show" by Jim's Big Ego)

Mr. INFANTINO: (Singing)

That's why I got to have My own award show. Where I'm guest host And you can't win anything Unless you're me.

HANSEN: Do awards leave a bitter taste in your mouth, or is this just your big ego talking?

Mr. INFANTINO: Oh, I think this is definitely about the big - this song is absolutely about the big ego. And also, you know, evidence of that sort of thing, you know, out there on TV.

(Soundbite of song "My Own Awards Show" by Jim's Big Ego)

Mr. INFANTINO: (Speaking)

Oh, thank you. Thank you It's such an honor I want to stand like this forever And in just a minute, I'd like to thank all the people who made this happen.

And after that, I'd like to make a speech To change the world To make a difference All the people who made this happen, they don't matter I want to thank me

Mother, father, God and country What did they do? I want to thank me. I'll see you soon.

HANSEN: But I bet - I mean, come on. Have you eve practiced an acceptance speech in front of the mirror?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. INFANTINO: You know, that is it. I mean, that middle part to the song in "Award Show" is really just that acceptance, that sort of acceptance speech nightmare, you know, sort of gone kind of horribly dark.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. INFANTINO: So we had a lot of fun with that.

(Soundbite of song "My Own Awards Show" by Jim's Big Ego)

Mr. INFANTINO: (Singing)

And you can't win anything Unless you're me.

And you know, the fix is in And you know, the fix is in My awards show.

HANSEN: Have you ever heard that there's one acceptance speech - kind of gets battered around, but someone actually gets up and says, I'd like to thank all the little people I stepped on on my way up here?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. INFANTINO: You know, those seem kind of honest. You know, when people actually say it. And somebody did at a recent Oscars. I say, I would like to thank me. You know, and we'd already written the song, but it was amazing to hear somebody actually get up and say it.

HANSEN: Yeah. I noticed - and I'm afraid I couldn't pick it out when I was listening, it wasn't until I read, you know, liner notes and stuff - which cut uses the Fenway Park organist Josh Kantor?

Mr. INFANTINO: Oh, a number of them do, actually. The song "Sleepwalker," the song "International," "I don't know how to party," he's playing that kind of loungey piano in the background. The song "Everything must go." Yeah, he played all over it.

(Soundbite of song "Everything Must Go" by Jim's Big Ego)

Mr. INFANTINO: (Singing)

Closeout sale One last show Guaranteed Everything must go

Could be now Never know

Mr. INFANTINO: And he started playing out with us too when he's not, you know, playing at Fenway Park.

HANSEN: Really? How did you get to know him?

Mr. INFANTINO: Well, our manager, Jason, and he went to school together, I think, and they've known each other a long time. And for some reason it just never came up that Jason's friend - our manager - was the organist at Fenway Park. The whole band thought this is the coolest job in the world.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: It is. Really

Mr. INFANTINO: And it - well, it is.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. INFANTINO: So we asked him if he would, you know, if we would play a little bit on the record. And he said sure, that he'd love to, and he's followed the band for a while.

HANSEN: Wow. I suppose anything to get out of playing da-da-da-dan-da-daa one more time, right?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. INFANTINO: You know, he's pretty clever. You have to listen carefully when you're at a game there. He throws in some interesting stuff.

HANSEN: It's nice. It's nice that they still have organists at baseball stadiums, too.

Mr. INFANTINO: That is true.

HANSEN: Yeah. Well, the song "Sleepwalker."

Mr. INFANTINO: Mmhm?

HANSEN: We want to end with it because it actually gives credence to your claim to be the greatest band in the history of recorded music.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: No, seriously. I Googled it. And it come - Jim's Big Ego is the first result if you Google the phrase the greatest band in the history of recording history.

Mr. INFANTINO: Right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: That's your big ego talking, right?

Mr. INFANTINO: That's right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. INFANTINO: This is all the evidence I need.

(Soundbite of song "Sleepwalker" by Jim's Big Ego)

Mr. INFANTINO: (Singing)

I'm a Sleepwalker And I don't know what I'm doing And I don't know where I'm going And I don't know who I'll ruin

I'm a Sleepwalker

Mr. INFANTINO: This song I think has come out of a lot of my sort of increasing my practice of meditation and recognizing that I'm not as awake and there for my life as I probably would like to be. So in a lot of ways, it's a very personal and serious song for me. But it - you know, it manifests in this kind of, you know, funny way, and maybe slightly dark way.

(Soundbite of song "Sleepwalker" by Jim's Big Ego)

Mr. INFANTINO: (Singing)

And it's time to wake up Before the sky is falling

Mr. INFANTINO: So I'm sort of thinking of myself often as a sleepwalker, just someone who's really not quite there, and then surrounded by sleepwalkers. And it's like a zombie movie feeling, you know.

HANSEN: What if you wake up and, you know, all these releases and all your presence on line turn out to be a dream?

Mr. INFANTINO: Oh, well, you know, at least I'll be there.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: Jim Infantino and his band Jim's Big Ego. The song "Sleepwalker" is on their new CD "Free." And Jim joined us from WBUR in Boston. Thank you. Happy New Year.

Mr. INFANTINO: Happy New Year to you.

HANSEN: You can hear songs from the new album by Jim's Big Ego at nprmusic.org.

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