Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I'm stripes!

Are you fascinated by conspiracy theories? I'm not usually, but this video is worth the ride. I've always sort of wondered what happened to the plane that (maybe) crashed into the Pentagon, but left no wreckage-- not that this video necessarily answers that question. Truth is slippery sometimes.

Today I must pack and move out of my room-- no rent money.

Last night, Scotty at CrimethInc. generously constructed the artwork for the Live and Suspicious! cd. It looks amazing, and unlike any of my other cds. Very professional... and funny, too.

And last, but not least, I received a letter yesterday, that I appreciated, regarding the Slippery Goodstuff hip hopera. Here it is:

hi, sandman.

i have been wanting to email you for a while now and let you know that your show of a few weeks ago at the roxy really made quite an impact on me, and i've been thinking about it ever since.

i have been dealing with an excruciating period of body image problems, as well as an eating disorder that i have only recently come to recognize for what it is--self-hatred and fear all wrapped up in unconsciousness and confusion. your show made me think and feel and laugh about these issues, and left me feeling a sense of relief that i am not the only one who goes through the convoluted and painful process of self-examination.

thank you for the incredible amount of work it must have taken to put that show together. i loved mount eerie and woelve, too, but it was your risk-taking and bombastic exposition that stayed with me and gave me some kind of peaceful feeling inside. every time that voice starts up in my head telling me how ugly i am, i think about your show and i can't help but smile.

thanks again.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

After a couple cool weeks the temperature is up in the high 80's again. I think I'll be swimming real soon. Right now though I'm trying to put some time into completing the artwork for the Sandman Live and Suspicious! cd. What I really need to be doing, though, is packing and figuring out where I'm going to live starting September 1st. I'm two months behind paying rent and have nothing to offer for September, either. It makes me sad that I can't continue my residency here, but, fortunately my housemates are letting me sublet my room for three months in the hopes that I can come up with ample rent funds in the interim. Zardoz will take my place until then.

Yesterday was a long, good day. I drove Goose to the airport at 5 a.m. and then came home and napped. Then my housemate John married his lady, Diane, in our huge yard under the black walnut tree. It was a beautiful ceremony. Lenny dee jayed and played the best dub reggae I've ever heard. After that I drove to Portland for the hip hop show with Madgesdiq, who is truly a tower of power. He stands about 6'6" barefoot and has an almost biblical presence-- a black Moses, a dreadlocked Christ. Great words, great beats, nice guy.

As for me, the crowd appeared to love the songs. I always relax playing for predominantly black audiences because they give back so much energy (both positive and negative, sometimes). At one point the crowd started spontaneously chanting, "Go cowboy! Go cowboy! Go cowboy!," etc. I had a good time and earned $50. And then I drove back to Olympia and slept.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Tomorrow night (Saturday, which is actually today now) I play a show in Portland with a rapper named Madgesdiq. The venue is Mississippi Studios. Mississippi Studios is where I recorded a slew of songs for my 2005 release, last month before tour. I'll be playing there again next Saturday with Willie Wisely (who produced those songs), and the Mona Reels.

It's 2:02 a.m. and in about two hours I will be driving my good friend, Chris "Goose" Kirk, to the airport. He is moving to Colombia-- South America, to start a new life and be with his amor. His Colombian girlfriend looks like a "Victoria's Secret" model. In fact her name is Victoria! I'm not joking...

I will sleep now.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Here's another tour highlight. In Butte, MT, we found a discount store called Prospector's that sold Cliff Bars for ten cents. No tax, even! I also bought four disposable, telephoto cameras for $2 each.

Today has been a flurry of activities and errands. Tonight, though, I relax with Sydney, and hopefully Nima and Amanda as well. We may watch a movie or play board games. Sounds good to me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

I just remembered another highlight from the "Slippery Goodstuff" tour; an anonymous philanthropist left me, Shawn, and Jonah an envelope which contained a $50-bill and a note saying that the money was the "Spirit of the Fringe" prize!!! It was unofficial, but it lifted our ragged morales to the sky's ceiling. Another person gifted us with seven of her favorite cds, including the two most recent Modest Mouse albums.
Today is all about the business of raising money for the new Sandman Live and Suspicious cd. G.O.D. (aka Giles O'Dell who I think hates being called G.O.D.) just lent me $500! Thank G.O.D.! Now I have $ 1000 to go. G.O.D. is a generous S.O.B. That's about all the money he has...

Andras is doing his job for me. He's been trying to get my song "Suspicious" on Air America and Democracy Now! By the way, have you heard this song yet? If not, let me introduce you to the Pop Ghetto website. You can listen to "Suspicious" from there. It's a sample of the fully produced album-to-come that Willie Wisely will be working on over the next year. Most of my vocals are already recorded. "Suspicious" is the only completely finished song and will probably only be released on my new cd. It's the only song that's not live, but the topicality of it requires it to be released asap.

Here are the lyrics:


Your nice new car ain't so nice anymore
Your fender had a bender, now you're tender and sore
And you're a bad loser, so you started a war
But just a tad sooner than your dad did before

And that's suspicious (3x)
But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt-- one time.

But then I started thinking about election day
Two-thousand-zero-zero-zero, Y2K
How something smelled fishy like... fish filet!
And your brother and your mother, they had nothin' to say

It was suspicious (3x)
But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt-- two times.

Osama over here, Osama over there
Osama and your mama like to share their underwear
Osama on the prairie, Osama in your tuchus
Osama's whole family vacations with the Bushes

That's suspicious (2x)
Ain't that suspicious?
But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt-- some more times.

All around the world, from Spain to Bangkok
Americans are studied from Twain to Hancock
They give us mad props, 'cause they know we can rock
But the paradox is that our leader can't talk

That's suspicious-- I thought you went to Yale
Suspicious-- How come you didn't fail?
Suspicious-- I ain't sayin' you're dumb
That would be vicious-- I just wonder how come
You're so suspicious...

The words are simple enough; it's the music that makes this song a potential "pop" hit. It gets better with each listen I think. Willie is a maestro!

p.s. I had dinner with Sydney last night. Her four-year-old daughter, Mirin, calls me "Calvin" for some reason. She also called me "Pine Tree." I think both those names are probably more interesting than Chris, so I didn't really try to correct her.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The day just disappears somehow, sometimes. I'd meant to write a lot in here, but it's dinner-time now, and I have a date with sexy Sydney, and her daughters Zela and Mirin. And after that a house meeting. And then something else, as yet undecided...

Tomorrow then. However, I will briefly recount some tour highlights from the final week on the road with Moustaches:
  1. The last three Slippery G. shows in Minneapolis were redemptive and enjoyable.
  2. A lovely woman named Marianne, whom I met at a cafe, became my Minneapolis tour-guide for the final evening. She took me to an amazing honky tonk venue where old people dressed up in vintage Western attire (think Patsy Cline, George Jones, etc.) and two-stepped. The house band let me get up and belt out Johnny Cash's "Big River" and Ernest Tubb's "Thanks a Lot." The blue-haired swingers winked and swayed.
  3. On the 16th I played a secret, surprise show for a young man's birthday party in Aberdeen, South Dakota. His place of work happened to be Democratic Senator Tom Daschle's office. Tom was gone, though, so in we crashed. I sang three songs and ate a slice of pizza.
  4. On the 17th we visited my parents' and grandparents' in Killdeer, ND. My grandpa had just killed and skinned a rattlesnake. It was huge (12 rattles). Zardoz and Blandow were not in the mood to eat it, so my mom cooked some fish instead.
  5. The show in Basin, MT, on the 18th, was great. My aunt Bryher fed us well. The venue is an ancient, haunted bordello; Zardoz and Blandow were way freaked out! They like being scared, though.
  6. The Missoula show, on the 19th, with The Microphones and Woelv, was momentous. Phil brings huge, young audiences and we were priviliged to reap the financial benefits.
  7. On the 20th, we visited my Grandma Herak in Polson, MT. It appears that she might have Parkinson's disease so I try to see her as much as possible. I love her.
  8. The Spokane experience (later on the 20th) was the perfect finale. I sold about ten pillow cases! Jeremy Hadley is a peach for his constant help. We drove to Ellensburg after the show and slept in the Log Hog recording studio.

Now I must bid you good evening...

I've been a bad blogger. So busy with guests and house duties and trying to fund raise for my 6th CD!! This one is called Sandman Live and Suspicious! The goal is $1500 this week. If anyone out there can help out with the whole chunk, I will pay you it back plus generous interest by December. It's a twelve-song live album, except for the first track, which is a politically charged, highly produced pop song called "Suspicious."

Sunday, August 22, 2004

I am back in Olympia. The tour is complete. It rained all day today and I liked it.

Our last three shows (Basin, Missoula, and Spokane) were amazing, and they boosted our morale significantly. Here's a write-up we got in The Spokesman-Review. It's one of my all-time favorites, mainly for the reason that my music gets compared to that of Tupac Shakur, Kool Keith, Eazy E, Ice-T, and even Sir Mix-a-Lot.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll get a chance to recollect the tour better.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Hola from Missoula. Tonight I play at the Roxy Theater with The Microphones/Mt. Eerie, & Woelv. Good times.

Our show in Basin last night was tremendous. I sold eight pillow cases!

I'll talk more later...

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I'll try to recount the two days leading up to yesterday's hellacious Fringe Fest show:

Madison: Ivan Okay did a great job setting up our show, but I was only able to stand on stage in my Slippery G. outfit and give a brief synopsis. Moustaches and Ivan's side-project, Koed, performed brilliantly, though, and saved the evening. We all spent the night at my friend Ben's house. He made us a delicious pancake breakfast in the morning. My nose went through two rolls of toilet paper.

Winona: I spent $250 at the hospital trying to get healed. For some reason they rushed me into the emergency ward, and that's why I spent so much. All for a miserable cold and laryngitis!! My goal was to get some antibiotics, but it turned out to be viral which doesn't call for antiobiotics, but rather lots of rest. Sooo, I cancelled the two Winona shows. Again the Moustaches carried the load. The crowd made a really sweet get well card for me. I stayed in Alex's parent's basement. Ron and Diane fed and cooked for me. My friend Kari brought over a bunch of nutricious ingredients and a movie (Starsky and Hutch). I'm lucky to have such caring friends in Winona. We left Winona at two in the morning and drove to Minneapolis.

Minneapolis: Jonah and Shawn dropped me off with my friend Emily who is a healer. I awoke at 10 a.m. to a barrage of teas and tinctures. Then she took me to her office and spent 45-minutes working my body over. By 3 p.m. she dropped me off at Julia's and the fellas and I drove to the theater to perform our ill-fated second showing of A Year in the Life of Slippery Goodstuff. After the show I was coughing violently and felt so fatigued that I slept until this morning. The coughs remain, as do the feelings of humiliation from botching our show.

A big reason I feel so horrible about our bad outing is that the critics really slammed our first show and I wanted to excel and prove them wrong. Instead, we just lived up to (perhaps exceeded) the foul reviews. I sure hope I get healthy by Friday.

p.s. remind me to never read reviews again!!! They only undermine confidence and enthusiasm.
Woe is me-- I had to cancel my last three shows due to laryngitis. My goal was to rest and then rock the Fringe Fest show yesterday. However, due to my weakened state and semi-delirium the show was a complete bomb!!! Jonah and Shawn are also sick and they both fumbled a bit. We are all embarrassed beyond belief. I'll expound later.

Monday, August 09, 2004

I'm battling to not lose my voice. Drats. We're in Madison tonight. Last night's show in Milwaukee was not what I'd planned. It's a long story, but we chose not to play at the house we were scheduled for. Instead, I met up with the friends who came to see me (and their friends) and we hiked up to this hill to a reservoir overlooking the city and I played there. It was a pleasant experience. A woman named Ebie let us crash on her sofas.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

By the way, Moustaches-- who I'm touring with are a spin-off of the hip hop band Log Hog. Everyone associated with Log Hog is incredible. Check out their website.
Greetings from Milwaukee! The show last night in Chicago went okay. Only made $7, though. We couldn't afford a hotel so we slept in the grass outside a Wisconsin information center.

Our first Slippery Goodstuff show in Minneapolis went well, and most of the crowd seemed to enjoy themselves. However, Shawn just did a web-search and found a review of the show from a big-time local theater critic who detested it. In fact, he hated it so much that I can't help feeling slightly proud of the impression it had on him. He went so far to say "it stakes a mighty claim to the title 'Worst Show in the Fringe'". He compared us to the Beastie Boys and Tenacious D. What an a**hole! I hate those bands. ; )

Tonight we play a house-show here. Tomorrow Madison. I have a cold, though, and might have to play a short set tonight to protect my raspy voice.

Friday, August 06, 2004

All's well in St. Paul today, where I'm at Concordia College using their computer. Last night our Slippery Goodstuff preview showcase went great! I bought a leopard-print thong, and some accidental nudity happened. We were warmly received.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

On the road again...

We made it to Minneapolis! Both the Wolf Point and Bismarck shows went great. Sadly, I left my duffle bag full of clothes in the lobby of a hotel in Wolf Point, along with another bag of "Sandman" shirts.

Today we have tech rehearsal for A Year in the Life of Slippery Goodstuff, from 1-4, and then we do a seven-minute showcase for the public at 8 pm. Tomorrow's the first real show.