Friday, February 28, 2003

Ahh, a restful night of sleep in Anacortes. I feel good. I'm at The Business which is this town's wonderful li'l bookstore/ music store/ coffehouse which Bret Lunsford owns and runs. Bret is also the co-owner of Knw-Yr-Own which is the record label which has co-released my new CD, The Long Ride Home. He's also the vice-president of the Croatian club here in town which I could join since I'm a quarter Croation myself. I like Anacortes. I spent last night in the hippest hostel in the state-- The Department of Safety. They graciously gave me a room for free and a delicious spaghetti dinner. Tonight I'll play a show there with the great Laura Veirs and Wax Fire. Bill Frisell was supposed to play but a family illness changed that.

Maybe I'll now catch you up on the Vancouver, B.C. show at the Sugar Refinery. Well, to start off, my housemate Lenny, my friend Neal, and my other friend Autumn left on Tuesday to go to Goldmeyer hot springs. Getting there is rugged. The last 10 or 15 miles go up a road called "Hell Hill" which only jeeps and helicopters should try. "Joe", my car, did well though and didn't pop a tire or get stuck. Then when you reach the end you have to fjord an icy river. It turns out that Autumn, who is fifteen, has a history of frost-bite and the cold restimulated her early injuries. She was semi-miserable until we got to the springs which are amazing and magical. That night, though, was filled with more pain as neither of our sleeping bags were warm enough for sub-freezing mountain temperatures. I got up early and started a fire and soaked with Lenny and Neal while Auty slept. Then at 11 am I got her up and we had to cross the river again. I fell in at one point and soaked everything. She did fine except for refrostbiting her legs. That night I had the Vancouver, B.C. show. I left her in a seedy hotel 20 miles from the border and accidentally drove 60 miles south before realizing my scatterbrained error, and turned back around. At 9:30 I made it to the border but they wanted to tax me hundreds of dollars for my CDs and shirts. After a lengthy interrogation they sent me back to the States. Unfortunately I was then interrogated by the U.S. side for another 20 minutes. Eventually I made it back to the hotel and dropped off all the merchandise and high-tailed it back North. This time they didn't hassle me and I made it to the Sugar Refinery by 11 pm just when The Wax Fire was finishing their final song! I grabbed Jen's guitar and yodelled, cussed, and rapped my way through an hour-and-a-half set. Jen joined me on cello and voice a few times. My friend Bannister was there and it was great to see him. I did manage to smuggle a couple CDs across which I sold for a grand total of $40 (Canadian). Ida, who works there, gave me an extra $20 for playing. Then the Wax Fire and I returned South and crashed at the hotel. When we woke up we watched the country music station for awhile until the red-headed transvestite house-cleaner came around and asked if we were planning to stay another night. (I hope s/he didn't tell the owner that I had four other people in there with me as my credit card can't take much more.) Then Autumn and I decided that we ought to get her back to Olympia. I drove her to Seattle where we waited at the Space Needle for an hour until her friends picked her up. Then I drove back to Anacortes. Autumn is a trooper... I feel bad that she didn't have a better time.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

The first leg of this tour has been a bear-- make that a grizzled old grizzly sow with seventeen cubs and a migraine brain cramp. I'm too tired to talk about it. I just updated the tour itinerary and then somehow erased it all with one wrong key-stroke but that ain't nothin'. More tomorrow. Fortunately I'm still having the time of my life and the weather is lovely; freezing cold but sunny and Springified.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

The CD release party is over! It went well, but I'm glad to be able to focus on the tour again. Jen Grady's trio, The Wax Fire, opened up the show with some of the most beautiful, emotive music to ever to spring from this soggy pocket of America. Without much effort they could be famous I think. Then came The Jesus Chords who had the crowd shuckin' and jivin' to their brilliant and rowdy honky tonk. Then I played for two-and-a-half hours-- it was 1:30 when the show wound down. I started off the set with a couple acapellas, then did some slower tunes off The Long Ride Home, then did a couple with Jen. For the second half of the show I brought Carl and Chad up and we kicked out the jams: "Radio Works Fine", "Imaginary World", "Out of Place", "Love's Hangover Sale", "Hit the Road" and maybe something else. Then for an encore I had the room sing along to "Folk Legend (MLK)". I also did a weird acapella version of "Saddle Bum" w/ harmonica which I did half as slow sad cowboy song and half as a Run-D.M.C. influenced rap anthem. Then I did "Kelly Sue" and brought the band up to rock "Greg". All who attended seemed captivated so I didn't feel rude keeping them up so late. I didn't sell much merchandise, and the door money went to the out-of-town band, but it was fun. Alex helped me all day preparing for it. We had the best merchandise table ever-- two full racks of shirts, two boxes of zines and sampler CDs, and a big rack of CDs. Alex and the band stayed over night and drank a few beers. I slept five hours. Maybe I'll sneak a nap in a little while.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

My friend Alex has agreed to help me out for a couple days as I need it. Today we're at Evergreen attempting to dub CDs, but the computers aren't cooperating. My head's a hurricane of last-minute ideas and worries, but I shall perservere. It helps to have Alex to bounce ideas off of.

I won $5 at the poker table last night. This morning I got together with my old bandmates from the last century, Chad Austinson and Carl Dexter, and we worked out 5 or 6 songs for the big Saturday show. It was the first time I've ever felt like a musical veteran, which is actually a good thing. We can still rock! It'd be nice to have Camo in the mix, but that day will soon come. The Evergreen newspaper reviewed my The Long Ride Home today. The reviewer liked it. She was "tickled and a bit touched" and wrote that it reminds her of "the art house and street corner, refusing to be relegated to the stereotypical packaging of the fatted US music industry." It's not the greatest quote, but I'll take it!

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

The shirts are all finished. Now I must sell them. I'm looking forward to the CD release party as Carl and Chad will be backing me up. We'll do some of the oldies that night... I bought 110 CDRs today to burn into 5-song samplers. I'm overtaxed-- need sleep. I won $1.50 last night and might take tonight off from that devil game.

Monday, February 17, 2003

I have other shows lined up, but I don't yet feel organized enough to put them on the calendar-- soon I'll unveil the whole magnificent series and you'll see that I have shows every night, sometimes twice. All the radio stations will be promoting me and the villages will be littered with flyers. The entertainment sections of local newspapers will position my article and color-picture on the top half of the front-page. "He's an overnight sensation!!" they'll say, but you'll know that I've been here for years entertaining the locals from Bozeman to Eugene to Moscow to Anacortes. My career will be compared to Chuck Berry and Jonathan Richman and Jimmie Rodgers. My wealth will be considerable. The hemorroids will disappear...

As for poker, I lost $4.50 last night. I silk-screened 75 new "Sandman" shirts today and will do the other 75 tomorrow.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Okay, here's an experiment: Montana Olympia Musician Chris Sand Sandman Rapping Country Charlo "The Great One", and maybe even Chris Sands (misspelling) Washington Knw-yr-Own Loner K Records Evergreen State College.

My goal is to guide websurfers to this website, who may not know how to track me down. One thing I've realized is that since I've switched my internet server, a lot of people who have my old server in their "favorites" column now can't find me. On a more interesting note I did win $14 last night which brings my year's poker-winnings back over the $100 mark ($108)! That's pretty exciting...

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Happy Day after St. Valentine's Day. It's only eleven days 'til my big tour and seven until the CD release party. Last night I saw Casa Blanca on the big screen; it's my favorite movie of all time. I got my car back from the mechanic's and it's running real smooth. I had my teeth cleaned yesterday, too. The dentist says I need at least $500 worth of fillings which will have to wait for another year. Tooth rot is the least of my worries, but I will be inspired to floss more. My poker winnings are sliding. I've lost $17 more in the last two days. On the bright side, it's good to see that the United Nations is attempting to stall my Country's insane rush to slaughter. Here's a fact to chew on-- over 50% of Iraq's population is under the age of 15. I'm going downtown to a rally in two hours. I really want to trust Bush/Cheney's intentions but when you add up the facts it looks like America has lost it's collective-mind.

If we continue to believe that the Muslim world, or Iraq, is "evil" then we can proceed like any other witch-hunt and burn, lynch, poison and starve every last one of them. That's pretty uncreative. As Emerson said, "Let's treat people as if they're real. Perhaps they are." As some other long-hair said, "Thou shalt not murder".

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Hi World, it's me again. I lost $16 at poker last night. I could tell going into it that I wasn't going to be too sharp, but I'm still up about $110 for the year. 319 JOE (my car) is getting worked on today-- new CV joint, new brakes, new fuel filter. I'm estimating around $600. I promised "Joe" in my song that I'd love him forever and protect him from the wrecking yards so that's what I'm doing, 'cause cars are humans too, right? As for me I'll get my teeth examined and cleaned on Friday. Joe and I need to be road worthy as we're galloping 12,000 gas-guzzling miles together. I'll be Don Quixote and Joe can be Sancho Panza. Betsy Ross can be the maiden in distress. This tour is my chance to tilt at a few specific windmills which you'll hear me rappin' about soon enough. By the way, Utah Phillips was great the other night. I saw my future (only different). I wrote a new song yesterday called "The Green, Green Bridge" which if nothing else is a solid song title.

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Today I awoke at 6:00 a.m. in a cold sweat thinking about how much interest I'm paying my Crapital One Visa account; but then I took a bath, ate some oatmeal with raisins and forgot all about it. Around 8:30 a.m. I drove to Seattle and earned $500 for one hour of work with the Men's Violence Prevention project. I got a little lost on the UW campus but eventually did the show and drove home. Tonight I may go see Utah Phillips play a show at the Capitol Theater. But now I must end this little blog-ritual, and say goodbye.

Friday, February 07, 2003

Check out the Merch Page; it now includes my new CD!

I'm a little embarrassed to say this, but last night I won $53.25 at the poker table. In the 3 years of playing at David's apartment no one has won more than $33 in one night except during freeze-out tournaments. I remember when winning a dollar or two was thrilling. We decided to try playing no-limit and people kept throwing fives and tens down and I kept getting the better hand. Now I'm up $125 for the year which means I am going to finally get my teeth cleaned; I eat too much sugar and don't floss enough.

Today I made the covers for a 5-song sampler CD which I plan to sell on tour with a zine for $5-- the songs are from each of my four CDs and include: 1) Radio Works Fine, 2) Persian Den of Sin, 3) Nothin' to Say, 4) Two Key-Chains, and 5) Heartbreak Was Her Name. I call it Hi, I'm Chris "Sandman" Sand.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Finally!! It looks like my journal is back from the netherworlds, thanks once again to my dear, genius friend Goose. It turns out my internet host,, was out of order during that time which made it impossible to deposit new journal entries and update photos. In the next week or so I want to update the Merchandise page so as to include my new CD. The way Goose fixed this whole problem was by actually getting me a new web host-- Glob@t, which happens to not only be better but also $12 cheaper per month. Yuko if you're reading this, this is good news for you too. (Yuko and I split the monthly $20 fee). Now we'll each be paying $4 a month.

On other fronts, my pink eye is gone. I've been winning lots of money at poker. As of last night, I'm up $72 since the New Year. I have been recording my new rap album over at Shawn Parke's house. He produced most the songs on The Long Ride Home, too. This album is turning out to be very dynamic and creative. It may have up to 20 tracks of my most popular new raps. The first half are sex songs and the second side will be funny and/or serious political songs.

Right now I need to get back to tour duties. A bowl of yogurt sounds good, too.