Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Headin' to Minneapolis on Greyhound now. Head's in a funk.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

For some reason my charisma collapsed at the Beloit College show. I choked. Something scared me, I guess. I think my own sexuality scared me if that makes any sense. My mojo curled up in a fetus position for the evening and I let somebody else try to entertain the audience; a boring dude with mutton-chops sorta like mine. How frigging embarassing.

Jack on the other hand rocked harder than I've ever seen, and the crowd ate him up. It was tremendous! On the three-hour ride back to Winona we talked a lot about lots of things. Jack's a smart man with a big heart.

Many lessons were learned tonight. (I say tonight because I'm still awake at 6:06 in the morning.) I'm happy to have tomorrow off to collect my thoughts and rest my voice.

Friday, September 26, 2003

"i see the mornin' light. not because i'm an early riser-- i didn't get to sleep last night." bob dylan

I'm in Dylan country, good ol' Minnesota. I crossed over Highway 61 and the Mississippi last night to get to our show in La Crosse, WI. It's 6:45 am. Great show but only got paid $12 which I've spent already (gas, doughnuts, coffee). I made $115.00 on merchandise, though. The reason I'm still up is that Alex talked me into recording a 5-song EP at 2:30 am so that I could sell it at tomorrow's/(today's) shows in Winona. I call it the Winona Four-Play w/ bonus track. Songs on it include: "Big River" (Johnny Cash), "If I Had a Kayak", "The Gol' Darned Wheel" (Anonymous), "My Buddy Jack", "Ballad of A Salad", and a 6th hidden track that Jack wrote for me yesterday called, "Montana's Own Rappin' Cowboy" which sings to the tune of "Deep in the Heart of Texas". A fellow named Casey recorded them in a secret recording lair and I like how they turned out. Jack and Alex sang along now and then. I will assemble it all tomorrow/later today. I ought sleep now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

The train I rode was called The Empire Builder and it dumped me off in St. Paul yesterday morning. I really like trains. I saw an otter as we passed through Glacier National Park, and thousands of antelope once we passed Browning. Our train reportedly hit a bear at some point, but I must have been sleeping. Train food isn't so bad and I made some friends. Good times. Jack Norton picked me up at the station and we spent yesterday flyering Minneapolis and St. Paul. Last night we drove to Rochester, Minnesota-- home of the famed Mayo Clinic and played a show at the Comfort Inn. Only a handful of people showed up, but the booker told Jack that we were the best show she'd ever seen there. Afterwards Alex and I spent the night at his friend Emily's place and I slept like a bloody, gilled fetus.

G'night Winona. LaCrosse tomorrow!

Friday, September 19, 2003

Nevermind about that flyer-- it dissapeared somehow.
My cousin Kirby sent me this found work-wanted flyer. After my tour's done I might have to get creative with finding my own damn job to ward off debt collectors. It'll probably be good for me, probably not at all.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Another four hours at the poker tables last night. I struggled, strived, and connived my way to a $12.50 profit. I got mad and threw my cards around after losing a big hand and people told me to calm down and I started yelling and then I had to start over and dig my way out and this happened a few more times. I had no intention of losing; guess I'm sort of a tyrant in that way. I wanted to win big, that's all. They say Capricorns are the greediest of all. Envious, too. And rich. Not altogether dishonest, though.
My friend Traci sent me this quote:

"This is the artist's dream--
To receive the inspiration to create,
To share that creation with others,
And to be totally supported in the process."

I forward it on to you. We're all artists.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

I think I might be ovulating today.

What else could explain it??

Monday, September 15, 2003

I ought to say something about the death of John. Big John. Old, dead John. But I don't want to. I'm too sad or mad or something.

I can't think to write more than that. He was a good guy.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Yes, I am officially launching my support campaign for Howard Dean. I call my organization "Cowards for Howard". After attending a meeting with the Bands against Bush folks I decided there was too much negativity floating around for my tastes and anyways I've always liked the taste of bush, mostly. So I decided to be proactive and positive about my affiliations, and in fact create the dream myself. You may deride my using the word coward in association with this man, but it's not he I'm describing; it's us or at least me. I'm afraid to vote for Nader again for fear GW will "win", and I'm afraid to vote for GW for fear our country will go bankrupt and continue this mad holy war against Mesopotamia. I'm afraid to run for office myself for fear that I'd get caught having sex with staff interns. And I'm afraid to vote for you because you'd spend all our taxes on veggie burritos and vintage Atari playstations. Basically, I'm just a scared little man who has decided to come clean. But I'd rather be honest about my shortcomings than hide them under a veil of righteousness. I'm a coward. And I'm for Howard.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Another day at the Evergreen Computer Center; this is how I spend one-third of my time when I'm in tour-mode. It's raining outside and has been for three days. I like it. The earth and trees smell fresh... cedar... salmon... Viet Namese food... rotting berries and pomes.

I had breakfast with my ex-girlfriend, Jen, today. We haven't hung out for eight months and we ended up having a fine time. It's good to stay friends with old girlfriends, bestfriends, ex-teammates, relatives, and such since they share your history. She's doing well. She has a new, baby sister named Catherine Rose very much to my surprise.

I've been walking around dressed in black lately. I must look partially like an anarchist since I'm wearing the stereotypic black carharts and hoody. My facial hair is rugged, too, like the lead singer from Metallica. But as I can never be one thing with out being the opposite thing at the same moment, I have also been sporting Nike running shoes which would be lambasted by most anarcho kids I know. The Nike swoosh is the sign of the beast to 85% of my pals in town. I could try to explain that these shoes are actually third-generation and an excellent model of recycling; that they were bought on a fake credit-card by a Ghanaian fellow who then gave them to my friend Alan, who I traded for a straw hat two months ago. I could try to explain that, but I don't.

I found a turtle on the bridge as I walked home from breakfast at Darby's this morning. In the nine years I've lived in Olympia I don't recall ever seeing a turtle, and yet there on the bridge's sidewalk and far from any pond lingered this directionless, hard-shelled creature. I picked her up and walked to Capitol Lake where I found a safe harbor and dropped her in. She hissed a thank-you and swam away. In Turtleopolis they call me, "Sand: saviour of lost reptiles and traveller's friend."

Last but not least, I won $2 at the tables last night! I'd broken a lot of my luck rules so I felt good about winning such a small amount. $2 divided by four hours means that I earned .50 cents/hour. That's better than most third-worlders earn all day. Oh, the horror.

In memory of 9/11...

Respect to New York City.

Peace to the world.

Love to the unloved.

Money to unmoneyed.


Sunday, September 07, 2003

I went out drinking and literally lost my shorts last night. To explainify: My house-mate, Elsa, is moving to Providence, R.I. tomorrow and thus last night was her final Saturday. Though I rarely drink in Olympia, I wanted to be part of the festivities. My buddy Ace also invited me out, and at the bar where I met him there was a bachelorette party happening. We were approached by a pair of these flappers with a scavenger hunt checklist. They wanted a lot of things that we didn't have... except a pair of boxers, which I indeed did have. I told them for $10 they could have them. They bargained me down to $5 and I set the things free.

Then I went to the Brotherhood Tavern and met up with Elsa and Lenny. While walking home, Elsa fell off the curb and banged her knee pretty good. By 3:00 I was asleep in my shack lucidly dreaming about riding Armenian dinosaurs and forgetting my cowboy hat in the arena.

Friday, September 05, 2003

I'm sharing my bed with a flea. I call him Mildred because he might be a woman. How did a flea get into my bed?!


How did a cat get into my shack!?


Thursday, September 04, 2003

I won $30 at the tables last night, but only played an hour due to a late recording session with Shawn. It felt good to win again as I'd been losing during the last three weeks. As for the recording, we worked on finishing up "White Line Highway" and "No L! No S! No F!" featuring Scream Club.

Carl called me today and said that he listened to the album and thought it was the weakest thing I've done yet. Perhaps he's noticing something that I haven't, for as you all might know by now, I think this is my best album. His opinion is that my other works have a much warmer feel, whereas this one seems distant and disconnected. I flatter myself by remembering that Dylan lost fans for a similar reason when he shifted from acoustic to electric. At the same time, though, I don't want hubris to derail me. Either way, I like honesty.

By the way, the show with Baby Gramps came through which is really exciting. If you haven't heard of him, make yourself acquainted. He's a legend amongst legends in the Northwest folk music world and has been for quite a while. Come to Eugene October 9th!!

Monday, September 01, 2003

Here's a testimonial as to the pleasing qualities of the new cd, which I sent to Nashville for the boys to hear. This from Giles:

"Chris, Camo played the Slippery G tracks that you sent him to me and Asher last night. All i can say is, Holy shit!!! We were blown away. It hurt my face from laughing so much. Your falsetto singing was incredible. I know it's not finished yet but it is pretty damn amazing already. I can totally see this becoming an album like the Beastie Boys first one, the kind that everybody listens to so much they memorize all the words. Never heard anything like it, but it's perfectly you, my man! I can't wait to hear the finished version. I'm saying DAMN, man, it is fucking astonishing!!! Keep on!"

Thanks G.
What a whirlwind weekend! Friday I drove to Stevenson, WA which is forty miles east of Portland, on the Columbia River, where my friends Kika, Parker, Hibikina, Julie, Ben, and (sometimes) Ericka live, on a scenic piece of property above the river. They're building a house and I helped frame a wall on Friday afternoon. I suck as a carpenter, you should know, but it felt good to be working with my hands again. Kika fed me delicious, scavenged food from the wild, her garden, and dumpsters. I slept outside under a sleeping bag that night and woke up at 4:30 to a train-whistle. I couldn't go back to sleep so I walked around and stretched for a couple hours until everyone else was up. We had blackberry pie and coffee for breakfast and started bending nails by 8:30. Eight hours later we needed a break so we skinny-dipped in the Columbia and from there I drove to Portland for the 7:00 show. "JOE" made it all the way, like he always does, but as we pulled up to the curb I hit it a little hard and popped the right, front tire. I put the spare on and walked into the yard where the thing was happening. A gypsyesque band called Schicky Gnarowitz was playing, and food was abundant. The yard was huge for a city environment and the people were eclectic and there was a bicycle-powered smoothie-maker and I was excited to be part of this scene. I played for about an hour-and-a-half to a mostly warm response. The warmest came from a fifty-something Native American fellow named Demus who appeared to be either extremely freaked-out or else wildly drunk or both. He came half way through my set and started jamming along on his out of tune guitar. A lot of the crowd got annoyed and vacated the area. I, too, was a little thrown off but decided to play off his energy and see what happened. He acted ecstaticly towards my music and kept yelling stuff and thrashing on his guitar. After the show we palled around and drank smoothies until eventually he drifted north on MLK Jr. boulevard. My friend, Vanessa, took a polaroid of us which I put on the fridge. Demus is from the Warm Springs Reservation and had just gotten dropped off by some buddies who were drinking too heavily for his comfort. He was trying to get back on the Interstate going east so as to eventually end up at Cascade Locks where he could do some salmon fishing. At times he would slip into his Native tongue. He introduced himself as: Demus, son of Lomen, grandson of Kalama, and great grandson of Tek.

After the party was completely over I went to Vanessa and Montana's house and slept soundly. In the morning I visited with Vanessa and Bill, ate cereal, and drove home on the spare tire. Before leaving, though, I accidentally filled the tub with cold water and had to take a brisk, refreshing plunge 'n' scrub. This gave me the energy I needed for my business meeting with Victoria, from Pile Driving Records in Vancouver, WA. Victoria's advice to me was to become an intern for an independent hip hop label not on the West Coast-- maybe New York, maybe in the South. She told me of some labels to approach to try to work for gratis until I can make myself indispensable as a supporter of them and their roster. "The sooner the better", she says... She included that I need to spend a lot more time with black people if I'm serious about becoming a rap star.