Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Build a Better Bush.

Grandma's doin' better. I hung out with her all afternoon. She's a little delirious, still-- she insisted that she saw a concert of mine on cable last night. Maybe she's got me confused with Kanye West or something. That's cool.
I'm trying to get a job maintaining trails when I return to Olympia. Thus, I've been digging up pertinent job info to put on a resume, such as...

Fire Suppression: Malheur Helitack Rappel Crew.

Carpenter: Sunrise Construction.

Outdoor Guide: University of Montana.

This is boring to do.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I stayed overnight with my grandma Sunday night and awoke to her coughing and choking on blood. Her white sheets and pillows were drenched, and she seemed to be slightly delusional. I called my mom and we got her to the emergency room (via ambulance). For the next twelve hours she continuously spit up large mouthfuls of coagulated blood-- it made me really woozy. Fortunately, she's recovering now at the intensive care ward in Missoula. I'll drive down there tomorrow to see her. The doctors think that somehow the Parkinson's Disease pills she's been on for the last couple of weeks have wreaked havoc on her fragile system. Poor little, tough Grandma.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

I'm in Montana now. Left Olympia yesterday at 4 p.m. and drove ten hours here. This afternoon I spent time with Grandma and massaged her feet and legs. She just moved into an assisted living center and I can tell that she's scared she might be on the verge of death or something. I think she's just a little ill from some bad drugs she took recently. She needs a physical therapist, though, to help get her body working properly again. I'll try to rub her feet and legs every day this week and encourage her to drink lots of water.

I drove her to the Charlo Viking High School Varsity game at 7:30-- she was dizzy but managed to hang in there until the end of the game, which happened to be an exciting one! Bo, my first cousin, is the team's quarterback, and he threw two touchdowns and ran for a third. They beat Noxon 20-14. Jake, Bo's younger brother, also made an appearance. He's a freshman, though, so he only gets a few minutes.

I'm staying at my friends', Tom and Karin's, house tonight. Karin and I were ruminating on the bewildering ill-mysticism of Dubya and the Neocons. This nation is being hypnotized by something. What, what, what we ask... Perhaps fear-- that tragic unmagic anti-aphrodesiac? Perhaps psychic exhaustion from killjoy occupations? The debts we incrue and the stresses that ensue? Guilt from centuries of racist rationalizations? Unacknowledged antisemitism? Internalized loathing? Unexamined inferiority complexes? The preference of the quick-fix (pills, scapegoats, murder) over counseling/meditation/flower essences? Television without vision? Clogged arteries, chakras, airwaves? Ingrained imperialism? Time-released amnesia? Christianity minus the mulleted Jew who liked to raise hell with arrogant Empire Makers? I mean, wtf?

Who are these fugly architects of war? These wizardly channel-changers? These cowardly corporate clowns? These maniacal, suburban bloggaholics?

...they are you and I, of course, and we're as much to blame as the sheistiest hypocrite hypnotist in Washington if we don't figure something out soon, soon, soon--

and do it with joy, joy, joy--

and make it last, last, last--

and remember, remember, remember--

that life is cool, cool, cool--

and so are wee, wee, wee!

...All the way home.

(On the count of "three" you will climb out of your sleeping bag and march to the local convenience store for coffee and a banana.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The new cd has arrived! "Joe" and I drove down to Portland to pick 'em up-- hot off the press-- little plastic biscuits of rhythm and melody.

Yes, Sandman Live and Suspicious! has arrived and is available for purchase. Already, a Chicago label, who Andras gave a pre-copy to, has shown interest in re-releasing it come January. I can't call this a "bidding war" yet, because they're the first financially stable label to get one, but it's a comforting sign that this cd has legs.
I just wrote this poem. I call it...

Gift Horse

Walk on, little soldiers; march forth into the battleground of sound. Raise your thousand soul-axes. March forward. Fight hard, little John Kerrys and Theresa Heinzes. Shoot straight.

Fear not, slender Davids. Goliath is a fake, and an Outlaw!! Slay him with your sharpened pens, your heavy rhymes, your pounding couplets. Dig trenches and dump in them the remains of all regrets, half-steps, and vain sensitivities.

Bite the head off of the Sidewinder and make drool of its dreary oil. Spit it out and pack mud into its broken mouth. Heal it. Piss on your cracked feet. Walk a mile, barefoot, on burnt turf. Bow to Ichiro Suzuki, Barry Bonds, Michael Moore, Molly Ivins-- and return to me with frizzled hair and sunburnt brow.

Sleep with the lover you love. Make love; be love; see love; seek love; freak love. Keep walking, love. And don't ever forget to thank love. Its teeth are long, strong, green, and powerful. Like a horse from God (fierce and kindly). Without reins, without bridle, and without bit.

Monday, September 20, 2004

I leave Olympia in two days. I'd better make some more pillow cases.

And by the way, 319 JOE (my car) made it all the way up to Canada and back without the clutch destructing. Thanks again, Joe. If I make some money on this next tour I'll treat you real nice and get you a new one.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Greetings from British Columbia. Sydney and I spent the day in Vancouver-- China Town mostly. I bought lots of different kinds of candy. Chinese sweets are way different than the American kind. They're more fruity; no chocolate. Sydney bought a dried iguana on a stick and some bottles of ginseng/royal jelly, and some tea. We ran into Giles O'Dell, and Cindy and Sarah (of Scream Club) on Commercial Avenue when we were searching for a good Ethiopian restaurant. They were returning to Olympia, after playing three shows in three days.

Now Syd and I are back at her half-brother's place in Langley. We'll amble back to my beloved, tragic USA tomorrow.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Friday, September 17, 2004

Happy Rosh Hashanah!! (The Jewish New Year).

I dug dirt, operated a jackhammer, and ran a chainsaw, today, for seven hours. Tomorrow will be my last day at that jobsite, since we're almost done. Then I'll drive to Canada for an evening or two with Sydney, return, and prepare for my ten-week journey to Montana, North Dakota, the East Coast, the South, the Midwest, and then North Dakota, and finally Montana again. I'll move back to Olympia in late November and search for another job and prepare for another tour.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

My back's gettin' strong. Feels good. After trenchin' for the first half of the day I went to Johnny's and helped shovel goat manure. He's building a big compost oven. There might not be anymore work for me until Saturday.

Tonight I'm having dinner with Sydney and her girls.

As I mentioned before, I left my cell phone charger on San Juan Island. Instead of worrying about it and waiting to get it mailed to me, I went to the mall last night and picked up a new, fancy flip-top celly. I'd just fulfilled my two-year obligation to Verizon which meant I got a free, new one. It's sleek, sexy, and silver. My old one was bulky and grey.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Today was a good day. I dug many square yards of dirt and had good conversations with fellow laborers. We tore out two stumps. It hardly rained at all. And I found a nice package in the mail when I got home.

This package contains fifty compilation cds from the "Musicians to Oust Bush" project. I may have mentioned this before but Utah Phillips, Greg Brown, Andras Jones, Stephan Smith, and myself all have song contributions along with a dozen others. If you'd like one of these cds leave a comment underneath this journal entry w/ your name and address. You're welcome to send a couple dollars to help with shipping expenses, but I'm not allowed to sell and make a profit on them. (If you order one of my new Sandman Live and Suspicious! cds then I'll toss a M.O.B. compilation cd in there, upon request.) The goal is to get these compilations into the hands of as many people who would appreciate and play them as possible. Radio deejays are especially encouraged to solicit. I must admit that I'm a little embarrassed by my cheesy two-year-old recording of "Scapegoat Song", but other people's songs are really top-notch and worth hearing. Utah Phillip's two spoken word pieces are particularly sweet.

If you want a copy let me know. And in the case you wish to send one or two greenback dollars to help with shipping costs, my mailing address is: Chris Sand / 105 N. Sherman / Olympia, WA 98502.

Monday, September 13, 2004

I'm too tired to write. I just dug trench for eight hours in the rain.

Mud is heavier than dirt and it sticks to the shovel. Nasty duty. I'll be shoveling mud all week if my back can take it.

This weekend I played three shows at a tavern in Friday Harbor which is a small town on San Juan Island. These shows are a lot of work because I have to play close to fifty songs to football-watching tourists who don't always appreciate my performances. One guy made a scene about how he wished I'd "shut the hell up." Other people, though, loved it. For example, a table of five middle-aged women tipped me $50-- they liked my bravado. Here's another highlight-- after I rapped "Honky from Montana" (which mentions that I'm from Charlo, Montana) a woman from the small crowd exclaimed, "I'm from Charlo, too!!" She's close friends with my uncles John and Tom. Only about three-hundred people live in Charlo. Her name's Lori Foust.

A big bummer from the trip was that the bar owner and I hadn't communicated adequately. He thought he was paying me $50 per show and I was sure it was going to be $100. He gave me what I requested but said he can't afford to bring me back next weekend.

Then I left my cell-phone charger on the island, as well as the book I was reading and $40. Oy vey. Oh, I should mention that the hostel I stayed at is incredibly cool. If you're ever on San Juan Island you can't go wrong at the Juniper Lane Guest House. My good friend Juniper runs it. It's high-class, yet affordable and cozy.

I'd better hit the hay now.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

I'm back to diggin' holes. I'll tell you more tomorrow after I'm done with my shift at Epic Landscape.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Witness the mini bio.

About Sandman:
Punk Planet wrote, "Chris Sand is our troubadour for the 21st century." Also known as Montana's Rappin' Cowboy, Chris "Sandman" Sand's music is heavily influenced by both the cowboy poetry/western stylings of his ranch relatives and the old-school hip hop that permeated the Flathead Indian Reservation (where he was raised) during the mid-1980s. A third influence would have to be the d.i.y./punk scene in Olympia, Washington, where Sandman moved to in the mid-90s to begin his musical career. Sandman has performed or recorded with a spectrum of diverse artists such as Michael Franti & Spearhead, Calvin Johnson, Laura Love, Dan Bern, CEX, Baby Gramps, and Mirah, to name a few.

"As far as the Northwest goes, no one has had as compatible a marriage between hip-hop and country since Sir-Mix-A-Lot." The Spokesman-Review
"Sandman produces a thoroughly contemporary and unromanticized vision of the itinerant minstrel." No Depression

Today, and for the next couple weeks, I will be landscaping for $9/hr. The $20/hr. job I was preparing for was literally too good to be true, and it fell through.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

I'm listening to Springsteen's Tunnel of Love which I bought for .59 cents at Goodwill today. It's so good. I like the synthesizers and stuff. I also bought Born in the USA, but I just can't stop listening to Tunnel of Love. Definitely the Boss.

I've had some snafus with the Sandman Live and Suspicious! cd artwork and it's taking a while longer than I'd expected to get the ball rolling at the manufacturers. Hopefully by Friday it'll be set and ready.

Yesterday I wrote about wanting to compile a book of my lyrics. Today, interestingly, a music writer friend whose work I admire told me I should seriously think about writing a book about my travels as "North America's Rappin' Cowboy". He says he has connections with some publishers whom he thinks might bite, and he offered to help with the editing, too. Though I'm honored, I would feel like such a turd trying to peddle that book. People would laugh at me with my stack of autobiographies. But, then again, maybe that's part of the tragicomedy. I'd certainly have fun writing this book 'cause I could exaggerate everything and select the handsomest pictures. It's just bad enough of an idea that I might start tonight. I'll call it: Honky: the Odious Adventures of Sandman the Cowboy Rapper.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

My world is in a strange little pocket right now. I'm almost not busy for the first time in months. I've had time to spend with Sydney, play some local shows, work on the house, and even read a book of short stories by Roald (not Ronald) Dahl. I can't quite trust this sensation, though. Afterall, I still need to set up a week of shows in New England for early October. Actually, what I probably should be doing with my spare time is creating a book of lyrics; many people have asked me when I'll have something like that available for purchase. Plus, I'm starting to lose track of my song catalogue. I've written dozens of ditties in the last few years that I've never had time to flesh out musically because they call for more of a band-type arrangement. Lyrically they stand up fine, though, and I want them documented before they skip my memory banks.

If I were a rich man, I would hire a team of fourteen music producers, seven graphic designers, and two secretaries. With their help I would create, in the next two years, ten new records, three websites, and a thick, full-color book about my bourgeois, uber-creative lifestyle. And then, after a couple years, I'd rejoin the proletariat and have two children with a union maid. We'd move to North Dakota. We'd vote Democrat. We'd enjoy the spaghetti socials. We'd build a house. I'd never write another song again for as long as I friggin' lived.

I would live happy and free.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

It's 4 a.m. I just returned from an unannounced show w/ Willie Wisely in Port Townsend; I filled in for The Mona Reels who got stranded in Eugene, Oregon. The crowd was young and liked my stuff. I sold lots of pillow cases and cds. Willie rocked as always. Tomorrow we roll southerly, to Portland.

I'd better drift to Sandland, now...

Friday, September 03, 2004

Have you ever heard of freeway blogging? Not a bad idea.

I'm tacking on a show tonight in Port Townsend at the Boiler Room, which is two hours North of here. I'm filling in for Peter Connelly who's stuck in Eugene.

Here is the song order for the soon-to-be pressed Live and Suspicious! cd.

1. Suspicious
2. Shell Shocked Man/Radio Works Fine
3. Scapegoat Song
4. Beer Pressure
5. Laborer
6. Revolution Come
7. Beauty Myth
8. Please, Louise
9. Ghost
10. Shenanigans
11. Saddle Bum/Tribute to "Rapper's Delight"
12. Imaginary World

Thursday, September 02, 2004

My old pal, Jack Norton, has repackaged his vinyl 7" and called it: Roll On, Cowboy. If I recall correctly, he wrote it as a sort of response to my song "Roll Out, Cowboy." The artwork gives me pleasure.

And here are some singing horses.
I made it onto a compilation cd which will be coming out this month. Other artists on it include Utah Phillips, Greg Brown, and Stephan Smith. The common theme of the album will be-- let's give Bush/Cheney the boot come election-time. Here's the song-title & musician link.

I have moved out of my old shack, in the backyard of the ABC House, and into the ABC House guest bedroom, which is actually a nicer habitation in many ways. In lieu of rent money I will be working one hour a day on various house projects. Yesterday I replaced a broken cat-door. Today I shopped for cleaning supplies, and I will sweep the basement steps later this evening.

My friend David Scherer called earlier today and said he might have a couple days of employment for me next week at $20/hr(!). I asked him why so much $/hour and he said that's what construction foremen make these days-- minimum. He manages various buildings around town and would like to employ me later this Winter, too. I like both the flexibility and wage of his offer. He's a good friend. Someday, I truly believe, he will be President of the United States.