Bay Area singer-songwriter Ian Brennan has released half a dozen records over the last decade on his label Toy Gun Murder Records, his latest being Paperboy. He has funded these releases by working two jobs -- one as an emergency room psychiatric counselor and another as a staff trainer at an inner city psychiatric ward. Not surprisingly, much of the violent and erratic behavior he has witnessed over the years finds lyrical form in his introspective, folky rock music. Dominated by sharp guitars squalls, traditional four-four rock percussion, and Brennan's husky warble, songs like "Uncle John" (from
Fortune Records' Fortune Cookies compilation) are full of resigned anguish and matter-of-fact tales of woe.