Saturday, February 28, 2004

Now Garf and I are in San Diego. I'm frustrated that I don't have more computer time to start setting up the next tour. Dan Bern is here in the room playing some new songs for Andras and I. Web-search him if you get a chance. Bye.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Now Garf and I are in L.A. I'm jonesin' for a full-day in front of a computer to catch up on emails and tour-stuff. Right now I'm in a public library with only twenty-minutes to use this.

Monday, February 23, 2004

I'm in Sand Mancisco listening to the Flaming Lips. Tomorrow Chad (aka "Garf") and I head south to Sand I-ego.

We are safe in the great bear paw of Sandifornia.

Please don't eat us Mr. Bear.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Egads! I must leave for tour now. My goal is to sell a lot of shirts, make a lot of friends, and keep li'l JOE running smoothly (prioritized in reverse order). And talk a lot with Chad.

Here's a prayer my mom used to always say before driving long-distances:

Our Lady of the Highway
Protect us on this journey
For all your ways are beautiful
And all your paths are peace.


Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Not to seem paranoid or anything but I've had my hotmail account broken into twice this week. If this is related to my relationship with CrimethInc. then whomever you are please use this password from now on so I don't have to keep resetting it: "patriot_act". Now you can read my emails everyday without hassle for either of us. I'll warn you though, they're pretty boring.

Today is my last full day in Olympia before tour and I feel relaxed and ready. I just have to get a hair-cut and wash some clothes. The new cds have arrived at CrimethInc. and will be assembled by tomorrow morning. Scottie and crew have to fold and glue each envelope. My friend Kat came over last night and helped fold one-hundred "You Can Do Anything" zines which I'll tuck into each packet.

I can't think of anything else to say at the moment.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Damn I've been productive today. I haven't stopped hustling since early this morning and now its 3:33 a.m.!

Well, I ended up cancelling that show in San Fran I was talking about in my last web-entry so that's good. I can now focus on the big April/May tour as soon as I return from San Diego. The highlight of the day for me was seeing that CrimethInc. has dedicated a whole-page presentation of The Long Walk Home on their web-site. Barefoot Scottie rocks! I encourage you to order from them rather than me, 'cause I'll probably charge you $10 instead of the $6 that they charge. Plus if you buy over five at once they only charge $3.50 each. That means you can order five copies for a grand, postage-paid total of $17.50 (and they'll throw other interesting anarchist propaganda into the mix gratis). They use recycled paper and have included a miniature version of one of my "You Can Do Anything" zines with each cd. They've also added a hidden track of, shhhh-- don't tell anyone, "Curtis Lumber" and rearranged all the songs to make the album flow better. You should order five copies off their site tomorrow and distribute them to your carpenter buddies as gifts. They'll then treat you to a generous lunch at Myrtle's Soul Kitchen next Tuesday and everybody'll win! Then with all that money you saved order one of my damn Slippery Goodstuff albums or maybe Love's Hangover Sale. Buy 'em both for a total of $25 postage-paid and I'll send you one of my new "Sandman" pillow-cases. Rent is overdue, again, as if you didn't know...

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Here are my two-days' earnings: $112 for tree removal, $138 music related = $250! That gives me half of last month's rent. This little west coast tour I've been working so dilligently at is going to be a big flop, though, unless I can get about five more shows. Add to that that I have to get back down to San Francisco for one coffee house gig a week after I return to Olympia. I'll lose money with that gig unless I hitch-hike and live off of 3-for-1 hot dogs and toilet water while on the road. Drats. I suck at booking tours anymore. The big U.S. tour with Ivan looks more promising, fortunately, since I'll have his and Andras' help with it.

Last night's Valentine show with Senayit and Mr. Queen went well. A lot of people showed up and hooted and hollered all night. These two HOT sirens were trying to corral me for some midnight rodeo, I think. I can never quite be sure of these things, but that's surely the way it seemed. They were too drunk though to make it past my sheep dog. (That don't mean that he didn't miss 'em when they left, though, 'cause even dusty old sheep dogs get a little lonely come Valentine's Day.)

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Happy Valentine's Day!! Three cheers for LOVE.

The show at the Matrix Coffee House went well. Low turnout, but a cool environment. They fed me a huge plate of pork-chops, peas, and potatos. Baby Gramps, the eccentric legendary guitar vaudevillian, happened to be drinking coffee when I arrived and he decided to hang out a couple extra hours and watch my show. He was on his way to Portland from Seattle. What an all-around cool guy Gramps is. He gave me a lot of inside contacts of places to play and people to call and expressed interest in playing a series of shows together at some point. I'd open up for him for free just to tap into his huge audience.

I'm busier than ever booking shows until June and preparing for the West Coast tour in five days not to mention a show at the East Side Tavern in two hours.

And I almost forgot to mention; my parents are about to buy a house. They live in a small, over-heated apartment in Killdeer, North Dakota, but found a really cool, old house for sale for only $25,000. That's one year's rent in Manhattan! It turns out that my dad's great-uncle built it ninety-or-so years ago (which they were completely unaware of when bidding for it). Meanwhile my dad is also building a house on my grandparents' ranch on Killdeer Mountain. Now they'll have their Winter and Summer homes only eleven miles apart! I love North Dakota.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Today was incredibly warm and sunny for this time of year. I can't believe that Chad and I leave for tour in only one week! I have a lot of stuff to do. My groin injury is lessoning. The chiropractor doesn't think that it's a hernia. I accidentally rubbed Ben Gay on my testicles last night at 3 AM and spent a good hour howling and cursing. I took a shower and tried to wash the ointment off which seemed to make things worse. I put ice-cubes on it and then sliced a potato in half and applied it in an attempt to suck the poisons out. Nothing worked! Eventually I had to do this deep meditation and just let the fiery pain wash over me until I passed out at 4:30 AM. Not fun. Tomorrow I do tree-removal starting at 7:15 AM and then drive to Chehalis for a show in the evening.
In April, May, and June it looks like I'll be touring with Ivan Okay! Our very seminal tour schedule looks like this:

fri 23 milwaukee
sa 24 madison
su 25 cincinnati
mo 26 canton
tu 27 waterloo
we 28 toronto
th 29 ottawa
fri 30 montreal
sa 1 quebec
su 2 lennoxville, pq or burlington
mo 3 portland, me
tu 4 boston
we 5 new haven, ct
th 6 brooklyn
fri 7 NYC
sa 8 philly
su 9 DC
mo 10 charlottesville
tu 11 Asheville, NC/Black Mountain, NC
we 12 nashville or Murfreesboro
th 13 nashville or Murfreesboro
fri 14 little rock
sa 15 new orleans
su 16 denton or austin
mo 17 el paso
tu 18 tuscon
we 19 las vegas
th 20 san diego or lake elsinore
fri 21 LA
sa 22 SLO
su 23 santa cruz
mo 24 SF or east bay
tu 25 SF or east bay
we 26 chico
th 27 eugene
fri 28 portland
sa 29 olympia
su 30 vancouver
mo 31 Anacortes, WA
tu 1 spokane
we 2 missoula
th 3 SLC
fri 4 denver or laramie
sat 5 omaha
sun 6 minneapolis

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

I pulled carpet all day and I'm so tired. Earned $93. I hope the IRS doesn't read my journal. Which reminds me...

I had a dream last night that Ronald Reagan was president again and he got busted siphoning U.S. tax money into his personal checking account. It was in all the newspapers and talk-shows and impeachment seemed inevitable. The next day, however, Ronnie came out with a State of the Union address railing against any American who might find it unfair that the President of the U.S.A., "the man with the most responsibility in the world", should have to account for a ridiculous discrepency such as this. He argued, "My doctor makes more money per year than I do, and I'm the leader of the friggin' free world!" Before nightfall 75% of all Americans had come to the conclusion that he was right and, ashamed, we again fell in love with this good, smart, leader of men who refused to buckle under pressure. His ratings sky-rocketed. Needless to say, I was flabbergasted and felt a little dizzy, and had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. It was a relief to wake up and realize that it had only been a bad dream.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Tonight is the first time I've ever used my own computer to post a journal entry. I've always used either the library's or the Evergreen computer center or my roommate Lenny's or an internet cafe but never my own! My pal, Christian, gave it to me for cheap. I've christened it "Abbie" after the late, great Yippie activist, Abbie Hoffman, whose autobiography I'm almost finished with. He had just the right amount of mischief and seriousness to make an impact on his generation (and mine!), and thusly I now have confidence that this PC will do the same. The screen is small but it does it all. The mouse-pad sticks but does the trick. The keyboard is funky and the modem is clunky but now they're mine and I think they're just fine.

And speakin' of cheese... my Wisconsin pal Ivanhood, and I, have begun planning an "around-the-USA-in-thirty-days-in-May" tour. I'll keep you updated as to where we'll start, etc. as we figure it all out.

Today I saw a double-feature with my friend Candyce-- Peter Pan and Big Fish. Both were pretty entertaining, I thought.

Tomorrow I'll be removing carpet at the Martin Apartments. Kurt Cobain tromped all over that carpet in the late 80's/early 90's. Truth.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Barefoot Scottie at CrimethInc. just picked up the The Long Walk Home cd envelopes and says they look awesome! The cds themselves got held up due to an east coast snowstorm, but will be shipped by next week.

I spent today at Evergreen forwarding as much tour-information as I could to Andras so that he can start booking me some decent shows. I cannot tell you how happy I am to have Andras and Scottie on my side. My dream-team is forming around me it seems. I've been realizing today how rich my life is. In spite of certain debts looming over my head and a car that might not make it much longer I sometimes feel like such a wealthy man. I have really fantastic parents who live like the rural, North Dakota gnomes they are, and who write me daily. I habitate an artistically thriving town with lots of friends. I have mentors like Calvin Johnson and Lois Maffeo and Bret Lunsford and Jason Traeger and Al Larsen. The new Sandman image that Trisha drew is classic and appealing. Chad's my drummer. Jonah's my deejay. Shawn and Carl produce me. KAOS and the pirate radio station play me. I'm still in love with all my current and ex-girlfriends (Trisha, Jen, Nina, Candyce, etc.)! I've watched lots of babies be born and grow up, who like me. Lucinda is now ten-yrs-old. Random's eight, I think!! I live in the greatest old house in Olympia with the cheapest rent and good room-mates. I have the nicest boss (Greg Lukens) who only needs me about once a week and pays $13/hr. for enjoyable work (tree removal). 319-JOE, the "Sea Biscuit" of all cars, keeps on tickin'. He's a true populist hero who carries me near and far without complaint-- so sleek, so road-worthy, I love him like no other. I play in a band (Step-world) with two of Olympia's finest songwriters (Jason Traeger and Peter Connelly). My favorite cd, A Year in the Life of Slippery Goodstuff, hasn't even officially been released and it's already outselling all four of my previous releases (in the time span that it's been available). The moon is full. Spring is knockin' on Winter's door. I have allies in many states. I like my guitar, cowboy hat, and Adidas tennis shoes. My mutton-chops grow thick and fairly evenly. I'm surely forgetting some things which will have to be added.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Wow, what a day! I can't remember anything about yesterday except going to a show at the Voyuer (which is a funky restaurant/bar in down-town Olympia-- not a strip club). Home by 12:30 am. Asleep. Up at 7:00 am. To work at 8:20 doing tree-removal until 5:30 pm. $110 paycheck! Home at 5:45 pm. $22.25 check in mail for two cds. Shower. Thirty minute practice with Chad. Leave for show. Show starts at 8:00 pm. Liarbird opens. We follow at 8:45. Play for forty-five minutes. Rock! I sell six combo packs of Long Ride Home/"Sandman" pillow cases; earn $60!

Day's wages: $192.25.

The reason that I have accentuated my earnings today is because my rent is one month behind and I have an acute desire to pay that damn bill plus this month's before I leave for tour in ten days. I have a feeling this tour won't pay much.

Chad and I played a memorable set. We ended with my new rap-jam "No More Shenanigans". All the bands were great, but in particular it was good to see the trio-- Kickball. That shit was tight!

Thursday, February 05, 2004

My morale is back on track. Life is good. The sun shone. I took a walk; found a four-leaf clover. I got a massage from a muscle-specialist who doesn't think I have a hernia although she thinks it might be a herniated disc that's sending pain-signals to my groin. She recommended a chiropractor. I went to the chiropractor and he thinks it's just a torn muscle or ligament. I will continue visiting him until I leave on tour. Hopefully I'll start to feel better by then. He recommended lots of walking for the next two weeks. Then I went to K Records and picked up one-hundred Long Ride Home cds that had been returned from the distributor which is good 'cause I can sell them on tour. Then I had a meeting with my awesome promoter Andras who is excited to help me with booking many a show this year. It looks like I may tour all throughout the month of May as well-- possibly on the East Coast, too! Then my friend Christian came over with a computer for me. He's giving it to me for only $175 and it has a cd-burner, printer, and sound system. He knows I'm broke so he'll let me pay when I can. We'll hopefully hook it up tomorrow. Then I played poker for a few hours. Now it's 4 am and I ought to sleep.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Here's another morale-boosting quote. This one from a young woman (and mother of a cute little two-year-old) who wrote this last Fall:

"I have to let ya know that you are admired by many people, not only for your music, but for your unique individuality, warmth, and spirit. It shines clear through your eyes, and when I first saw you perform it was obvious. You're just a cool normal guy speaking from the heart through song, and by golly, Mr. Cowboy, you underestimate your ingenious talent in a ridiculous way. I know with endurance and strength... you may be known far and wide for your wit and style. Keep that in mind please, as I, at least, see it in ya."

How awesome is that?! I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy... Ok, I guess I'm slightly worthy. Thanks Dionne.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

In an attempt to boost my low-morale I've attached a quote from a Texas musician I admire named Southpaw Jones who wrote me this yesterday:

"I feel like I'm getting close in my own creative life to the 'seriously, absolutely no rules' approach to music/songwriting that I picked up from you. Whether you meant to pass that on or not, it's a good thing."

His website is if you're curious.
Also, if you need to register to vote or know someone who does... this website may be helpful as it has a short and sweet online voter's registration link:
And finally, a terrific expose on the connections between Saddam Hussein and Sandman Vespucci.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Groggy. The sun has only shined once this Winter, and briefly at that...

Trisha flew to Mexico City this morning for six weeks. I'm envious. She and I drove to the ocean on Saturday and stayed in a cheap hotel. After waking we skipped rocks on the choppy waves and chased seagulls around. While driving home we witnessed a couple bald eagles scavenging crabs amidst a multitude of ravens along the shoreline. I sorta wished they were up their twirling betwixt the yellow clouds instead.

(My morale is low today.)