Friday, January 30, 2004

E-mails didn't really pour in from people wanting to feed me. It was an illusion! Let that be a lesson to you to never trust rapping cowboys, nor their propaganda. We sometimes manipulate reality to suit our chicanery. It is true, however, that both my parents (in separate emails) expressed concern about my diet. To them I replied, "I was just using meat as a tool to express my dismay over the expensive war that my fool-headed leaders have initiated. I mean some people in this country are malnourished and such." As for me, I can't really complain. I'm healthy as a bull. But what about those starving unfortunates who don't have web-journals? Someone's got to expound on the glories of a good antelope-burger, for chrissakes! Durn...

Thursday, January 29, 2004

I appreciate the emails that poured in with offers to cook me a good, meaty meal next time I pass through your town. I'll take you up on it. I think that my drummer, Chad, is a vegetarian though which means I'll be eating his portion, too. He can have my potatos if his run out. We'll chop wood for you in the morning and feed the llamas to show our appreciation.

Today Trisha will be helping me silk-screen a couple hundred t-shirts to sell on tour. She created a new shirt-design of me flexing my biceps. She definitely didn't exaggerate the circumference of my arm; in fact it looks quite atrophied. I guess that will be my Rock & Roll trademark. Barbara Streisand has the long nose, Henry Rollins has the unibrow, Peaches has the gapped teeth, Seal has the acne scars, and Sandman is a bow-legged stick-figure with mutton-chops and a cowboy hat... and gold necklace.

Did I mention that it's raining? The droplets are as big as grapes!

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Will Rogers, the great cowboy philosopher of yesteryear, once said, "War is a lot like meat. You can't have it because you can't afford it." He probably said that during one of those big wars. I wish I could afford a little meat.

I do have one jar of venison that I've been hoarding for eight months. I'd probably eat horse if it was prepared the way my dad prepares venison. I crave bison flesh at the moment... Lamb sounds good, too. All I eat is beans and porridge, porridge and beans.

Will Rogers also said, "Any man who eats chili can't be all bad." I ain't all bad. I sure wish I had a little carne to go with that damn chili, though.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

My fellow Americans, I have a video for you to watch if you're so inclined. Click here.

As for the email I received wondering which songs Chad and I played at the Democratic Presidential Forum, they went as follows:

1) "Imaginary World"
2) "Laborer"
3) "The Scapegoat Song"
4) "Shell-shocked Man"
5) "It's Good to Be Awake When She Arrives"
6) "Ronald McDonald"
I did tree-removal today and earned $100. Tomorrow I'll work for the Children's Museum moving some of their stuff to a storage locker somewhere.

Monday, January 26, 2004

I am as busy as busy gets. I don't even see an end in sight until next week. Sorry if this weblog is sort of sparse for the next few days. (It hurts me more than you know.)

But let me say, Chad and I did rock the Democratic Presidential Forum. The new-old L.R.H. cd has been sent off for duplication. There will be an unreleased hidden track in which I do play harmonica and sound like Tom Waits. It's called "Curtis Lumber". And a new folk cd has begun. Expect it out by early Autumn...

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Chad, Trisha, and I just returned from the Portland gig which went really well! We scored a silent-film at the Guild Theater which was reviewed in the Portland Mercury. They write: "The evening's highlight will undoubtedly come from The Red Stallion's Revenge, scored by Sandman, the Rappin' Cowboy. It's an old-timey country tale of revenge and death, the frontier, and most importantly: an epic grudge match between a pony and a grizzly bear! In an unbelievable sequence of violent choreography, the two beasts duke it out in the woods." It was a near disaster, though, as I realized, seconds before my singing part began that I'd forgotten to plug my guitar in. Somehow, Trisha and Chad kept it going until I found the cord, plugged in, and started the lyrics at the very last moment. Sleater-Kinney scored the same film last year.

Now I'm off to the Thurston County Presidential Candidate's Forum at the Eagle's Club Ballroom, where reps from the campaigns of Wesley Clark, Howard Dean, John Kerry, and Dennis Kucinich will address the state of the environment, healthcare, the war in Iraq, and education. At 7:15 Chad and I will perform four songs to the audience.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Alert: Yesterday's dandruff got worse. Now my dandruff has dandruff. That snow-storm that happened in Wisconsin was my fault! Thanks Megan and Mom for your tips. I'll experiment with spearmint and baking powder to begin with and then I'll move to the vaseline-gasoline therapy if that doesn't help. I don't mind if my hair looks a little greasy as long as the flakes disappear.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Still busy. This morning my soon-to-be-official promoter/booker, Andras Jones, and I dissected a couple management contracts in order to find a deal that works for us both. Next week we'll probably hire a lawyer to scrutinize the finer points and then, if all goes well, I'll have my first, for lack of a better word, manager. Or perhaps Sandmanager. Or maybe Motor-booker (promoter/booker). I don't what to call it. Basically neither of us like the word "manager". I'm my own manager, really. Andras will be more of a counselor and agent... a musician's friend so to speak... a guiding light and, er, a loyal helping hand... a wizened confidante who gets paid appropriately for thus duties. You get the point. Now I must go paint another office space.

By the way, does anybody know how to get rid of dandruff? My anti-dry-scalp shampoo seems to be making it all worse. Even my eyebrows now have dandruff!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Crazy busy. Crazy busy.
Here are the lyrics to the song that Trisha and I wrote for the Decomposer Film Fest which takes place in Portland on Saturday. We score a seven-minute film called The Red Stallion's Revenge:

Death of a Red Mare

Little bear, crazy bear
Running up the mountain-side
You're lonely now, lonelier
Than anyone, anywhere.

Hungry bear without a home
Without someone to call your own
You're angry that you're still alone
A stranger still with time to kill
The honey's gone.

Yes life is sweet and then it's done
You'd better push yourself along
Silly bear... crazy little bear.

Little horse, pretty horse
Newly born before the dawn
Your mama's gone, the timing's wrong
You'll stay asleep until she comes.

Little colt with auburn hair
You don't see her anywhere
All the fear you feel inside
Are just some tears you've had to hide.

--you've had to hide.

The morning sun is in your eyes
On wobbly legs you're forced to fight
Little horse... pretty, little horse.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Painted today. Now band practice.

I edited yesterday's blog a little. Must go.
I prepped and primed a couple offices today at the Westside Wellness Center. I'll paint tomorrow.

Here's the CrimethInc. update: three songs will be deleted ("Modern Man", "Go Easy on Me Boss [My Heart is Breakin']", and "Goner"). The rest will be rearranged and sold as The Long Walk Home for $6 mail-order from All new songs may go towards a new album. This way I don't have to hassle with re-mastering and re-recording.

Some of you have written me letters requesting certain changes, but I'm going to stick with what I've got. The strongest reactions seem to be about the laughter on "Ol' King Kong"... The reason I'm keeping it is because it reflects the nervousness I felt while singing about 9/11/01. I think the whole nation still feels freaked out about that incident and/or the clamp down of free speech directly afterwards. I'm not trying to be callous or self-indulgent, even though the first verse might have you think so; I'm trying to convey that I'm an average American schmuck who truly cannot believe what is happening before my eyes!! My mundane paradigm, full of addictions and apathy, has suddenly shifted and now I'm actually terrified. The nervous laugh came from choking on a dry muffin as well as singing about this incident so shortly after the collapse of the World Trade Centers. We recorded it in December of 2001. But the song is really just a small piece in the puzzle. The final song, "MLK (Folk Legend)", has the last and best word.

By mid-February CrimethInc. will press the first 1,000 copies which means I'll have them for my odyssey down the coast with Chad.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Earned another $90 today. My neck is sore from working on the drop-ceiling, though.

I have been fantasizing about recording a new, new cd very soon. This one would be the masterpiece of my collection, undoubtedly-- I always think that. Half the songs are already recorded. I'd finally finish "Day's Wages". "No More Shenanigans" (my newest rap) would be the big hit. "The Scapegoat Song" would finally find a home. I'd mix up political rap-jams with acappella field recordings and such. It might be the perfect CrimethInc. release, now that I think about it...

The library is now kicking me off of this computer as it is closing time. G'night.

Friday, January 16, 2004

I met Trisha's dad and dog tonight, Phil and Rusty, respectively. Unfortunately, I kept mixing their names up. At one point I was yelling, "Come, Phil, come!" The dad seemed sad when he realized I was actually referring to Rusty the weiner dog. Strangely, he almost came-- the dad that is. The dog paid no mind. From now on I'll just refer to them collectively as, 'Dod'.

I recorded for four hours today, at Shawn's. Jen's harmonies were excellent, especially on "It's Good to be Awake When She Arrives".

Tomorrow and Monday I will help install a drop-ceiling for the Westside Wellness Center.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday! Tell your radio stations to play my song-- "Folk Legend (MLK)" off The Long Ride Home. I wish Dr. King was alive and President. That would be dreamy.

Today was a fine, happy day spent shoving tree-limbs into an auto-feed tree-eater. I got to chainsaw a bit, too, which made me feel rugged and raw. I love the smell of chainsaw oil; smells like Christmas to me. Now I have fir-tar all over my forearms.

My friend, Elle, responded to a question I posed last week: "What is a rapping cowboy?!"

Her answer was this: "It is a rappin' cowboy's (or cowgirl's) job to make the world a friendlier place for everyone to look inside themselves and find that they are something or someone no one else has ever heard of before, (truly isn't this all of us!), and to provide us with foot-stompin', pelvis-grindin', heart-breakin' music while doing it."

Thank you, Elle.

I leave you with a verse from Willie Nelson's new song "Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth?":

"Don't confuse caring for weakness,
You can't put that label on me.
The truth is my weapon of mass protection,
And I believe truth sets you free."

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The weather is gloomy. I helped Trisha move today. Tomorrow I will remove trees with Greg. Friday I will record some new songs for The Long Walk Home: "Laborer", "Ol' Highway 90", "It's Good to be Awake When She Arrives", and maybe "Mister, I Can't Save Your Daughter", "Shell-shocked Man", and "All the Things I Done Wrong". "To Be Saved" is another idea... hmmm. My mom thinks I should redo "Go Easy on Me Boss (My Heart is Breakin')" in a lower key. Jen Grady will sing with me on a couple of those! I'm excited to make this album better and I'm glad to have Jen's voice on there. She played cello on "Imaginary World" and "Gorilla", but her voice is as excellent an instrument.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

I watched Master and Commander at the Olympic Theatre last night and didn't like it too much.

Have I mentioned that for the last three weeks I've had a cough? In fact, I may have broken a rib from coughing so hard last week. I'm getting old. Someday I'll escape this dreary life and do yoga all day and eat fresh fruits and vegetables in Costa Rica. The death certificate will be forged. No one but Juanita and little Carlitos will know that I'm still alive, or who I once was.

Monday, January 12, 2004

I have been busily attempting to set up my "2004 West Coast Tour" today. Do you know how difficult it is to make people take a "rapping cowboy" seriously? For instance, here's one response I received:

"And so I think 'guuaaahhhuuuuuggghhhh', a RAPPING COWBOY?! What a mess. Sounds like something that only a few of his friends might appreciate. But then I listen to your song, and there's no rapping at all, and the song's actually pretty good. What are you trying to pull here?"

My reply was a desperate attempt to be accepted. Quoth the ragged raven:

"Well, my albums sorta swing back and forth like a pendulum. The project I'm finishing up now is all rap w/ dj, etc. But the one before that was more country/folk. The one before that was old-school rap with beatbox. But the one before that was cowboy ballads. You get the point. It's a medical condition I have..." and etc.

But, gentle readers, does that actually explain "the monster" any better?!

This, my friends, is the cross I must bear... forevermore, forevermore.

Western Muse (The Long Walk Home)

Or maybe just: Western Muse.

How does that sound for the title of the restructured The Long Ride Home?

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Seeing the new World Champion Elvis Impersonator, Robert Washington, perform last night was surreal. I had a profound spiritual experience where everything I once imagined about the cult of Elvis imploded into a psychadelic vision of slavery, the civil rights movement, Black Panthers, and the confounding boundaries of race. Here was an African-American man taking back the "blackness" that Elvis used to catch the white, McCarthy-repressed world of the 50's on fire. I saw it as not only as a coup on "white, America" but the as-yet-pinnacle in the slow-turning wheel of my own private American revolution... There he was dancing and singing on the stage in front of all these clumsy, embarrassed, beautiful white people who could only stare. And all I could do was sob uncontrollably with Trisha wiping the tears from my cheeks. It was like the ghost of Elvis Presley and Robert Washington were doing tag-team on my Spirit. It made me realize that everything, all my cancers, will turn out benign in the end. And that the world is okay.

(Editor's note: Jack Norton read this and said I could make a million dollars writing romance novels. He's just afraid of the fuzzy rabbits in his own closet.)

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Last night I drove with my new girlfriend, Trisha, out to Shelton (aka "Christmas Town, USA due to their massive Christmas tree industry). Trisha grew up there and took me to her favorite bars. The Pine Tree Tavern had karoake so we stayed and drank a few. I sang an impressive version of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and a sad one of "All Shook Up" by Elvis Presley. We had a good time.

And speaking of Elvis, tonight we're going to see a movie about Elvis impersonators at Capitol Theatre. After the movie we'll get a live performance by the new World Champion Elvis Impersonator: Robert Washington. Mr. Washington is the first black man to ever receive these honors.

By the way, I earned $105 yesterday insulating and sheet-rocking for some friends. Afterwards I had dinner with my ex-girlfriend, Jen Grady, and her boyfriend, Quinn, who's a really nice guy.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

NBC News called me this morning looking for Goose's phone #. They did a web search and found him on my website. Go figure.

It looks like I'll be officially rearranging and rereleasing The Long Ride Home on CrimethInc. By mid-February we'll press up our first thousand and go from there. I'm really excited about this. I'll probably record "Laborer" and "It's Good to be Awake When She Arrives" and swap them out with "Christbearer's Blues" and "Goner" and maybe even "Go Easy on Me Boss (My Heart is Breakin')". I'll likely re-name the album, too-- maybe something as obvious as The Long Walk Home. Laborer is another idea. Or even Imaginary World. What about Dreary Life? Any creative ideas out there?

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Two nights ago Andras invited me to help play a practical joke on our mutual pal, Chris "Goose" Kirk. Goose has been my technical support for many months now, and I was happy to be of assistance. To find out what happened click here. The Olympian can't really do it justice but suffice to say that Goose's friend, Luke, spent at least one-hundred hours this last week, (while Goose was in L.A.), painstakingly wrapping just about everything Goose owned in aluminum-foil. I only spent two hours in that silvered, lunatic apartment, thankfully. This may slow down the process of me getting the computer that Goose promised me, as his place has become a museum of sorts and even Good Morning America wants to pay him a visit. That means his/my computer may stay wrapped for a couple weeks longer.

I finished grouting all the tile at CJ's, today, so I'm officially done with that job. The snow has been melting rapidly and flooding is expected. 319-JOE has been a champ-- he never got stuck once; his four-wheel drive abilities came in handy several times.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Getting to a computer has been killing me. The snow shut down Evergreen today and yesterday Blogger was out of commission. It's very snowy and beautiful here in Olympia; perhaps six inches have fallen in the last couple of days. Children are building igloos and stuff.

I've been working for my old landlord, C.J., this week, who pays me around $12/hr. for tiling his floor along with other miscellaneous projects. It's not the cheeriest work, but better than nothing and it doesn't hurt my hernia.

I've started setting up my Feb./March tour of the West Coast so if anyone has any ideas for me, drop a line.

On a very sad note, two of my relatives went into comas last week and one of them, my beautiful "aunt" Toni, passed away on Sunday. She had breast cancer. She's from Spokane, WA, and was only fifty-something. My mom's first-cousin, Don, is still holding on in a Helena, Montana hospital. Both Toni and Don were/are very kind people and I will miss them a lot-- especially Toni as I lived with her for a couple months when I was without money one Winter and got to know how angelic she was. May Heaven's spirits accept her as their own. R.I.P.

Not all is sadness, though; a local, anarchist group called CrimethInc. will be putting out an amended version of my April '03 release, The Long Ride Home. I'll subtract two or three songs and add a couple better ones and change the artwork. In fact, the jewel-cases will disappear in favor of hand-printed cardboard sleeves. This way they can afford to sell them for $6 each via their mail-order operation and save plastic, too. They might also include my little 10-page zine, "You Can Do Anything", which they'd reformat to fit inside the sleeve. CrimethInc. has very radical views, but then so do I. I thInc. we'll make a good match. ( ; They've also offered to fund my next "folk" album. (Slippery Goodstuff is too "white-boy-rap" for their tastes at the present time.) In the past they've only released hardcore-anarchist-punk music, so my folk-cd is to be a grand experiment and, of course, I'm honored to be the guinea pig.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Hello 2004!!! I'm glad to see you. May we stumble upon infinite doses of happiness, health and love starting today. Throw in a dash of peace for good measure, a pinch of pleasure, and a little buried treasure and this could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship...

Last night saw the unpolished theatrical debut of Slippery Goodstuff. Blandow (aka Jonah Carpenter) deejayed and Scream Club cameoed. Although we had minimal practice time, I was pleased with how it all turned out and the crowd loved it, mostly. I dressed in the sleezy red outfit and it felt ceremonious to be right there on the front-stage of the Capitol Theater in front of all these dressed-up Olympia bohemians on the eve of a pregnant year.

My promise this go-'round is to enjoy my selves. Audiences must be sandblasted in the wickedest fashion and the graffiti-inspired hobbit-ninjas will come out of the woodwork and spank some serious booty. The orks will be sent back to Britain/Spain and my little car, 319-JOE, will tour this great and mighty nation once again-- unafraid of the naughty warlords who know not the rebellions and the hellions that we (alas) have helped create. Thy will be done.