Monday, May 31, 2004

All is well... in Seattle tonight. (The Portland show turned out fine.) Happy Memorial Day. Love, Chris

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Stress, fear, loathing, insecurity, and hay fever all at once. I'm in Portland, Oregon tonight with a towel over my shoulder to blow my nose with. Nobody has shown up and it's show-time. I'm hiding in the "green room" and chewing stale gum. This is my world now. The ranching life is starting to look good for the first time in fifteen years.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

I am in Chico, CA waiting my turn to play. We're at Moxie's Coffee House and a rapper named M.C. Orville just finished his set. Now it's Ivan's time to shine.

I'm too fascinated by the constantly curving, swirling existence of tour-life to be bored. Never-the-less... I'm excited to return to my homes in Olympia, Montana, and North Dakota in these next couple weeks! Yay!!!

California has been swell. The Oakland show last night was awesome-- I sold $160 in merch after a twenty-minute set. The house-show before that in Santa Cruz was inspired, but poorly attended. The same goes for the San Luis Obispo show. However, in SLO I had one fan who was so enthusiastic that he bought all my cds and he didn't even own a cd-player. He was a true character: 54, Hispanic, into fixing up hot-rods, taking care of his dying mother. He couldn't stop raving about my music and almost started crying during "Go Easy on Me Boss (My Heart is Breakin')". Anyway, the road is filled with these connections and it's sad to have to let them go each evening... or morning.

Our show in L.A. was off the chain. I don't know where to start in describing it except to say it took place on one of the tallest hills in Hollywood and overlooked the ocean of lights that comprise the Los Angeles valley. And miraculously a lot of people found there way up the steep hill and crowded onto the spacious lawn. The highlight of the night for me was the crew of teen-age Latino anarchist kids that showed up with their 40-dogs of Olde English and mingled with the more glamorously-dressed. During the show they crowded up front and one beautiful young woman from that crew kept repeating after every song: "I loooove you Sandman!" That was the most heart-breaking thing I think I've ever heard.

Anyway, it's time for me to go play for these college kids. Ivan just rocked the house. I don't really feel like entertaining tonight, but I'll try my best.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Ivan and I have survived southern California and today we are in Santa Cruz.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Tucson is a sauna. I like their public library; it's nice and cool, and the librarians are friendly. I appreciate librarians, except for the one dude in San Luis Obispo last year who threatened to call the cops on me for spending too much time in the rest-room. He didn't understand the concept of constipation and it there was much verbal jarring to be had while I helplessly sat on the porcelain throne. Anyway... Tucson is hot today.

I liked our El Paso show at Moontime Pizza. I sold lots of merch and enjoyed the headlining band, the Weary Boys. The drives have been long and I like being back in the West! The cacti are blooming abundantly.

Monday, May 17, 2004

I am truly too exhausted to write more than this: Tonight I am in Austin, Texas.

In three days I will be in California.

In three weeks I will be in Minneapolis.

In three months I will be insane. (In a good way.)

Friday, May 14, 2004

We have some long drives ahead of us this week. I look forward to playing Little Rock, Arkansas tonight since I've never been there. Both the Murfreesboro and Nashville shows went well enough. I especially enjoyed Nashville as Camo joined me for a couple songs that I can only do with him, and the band that headlined was amazing-- Moe Raw and Supergroup. They were funky to the extreme and brought with them an African-American contingent who responded enthusiastically to my/our songs.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Gawd dannngnit-- there is so little time to communicate via the web! I could really use three hours a day on this thing rather than one hour every three days.

Ok, here's the news in brief:

We are in Charlottesville, Virginia tonight. Our show in D.C. went excellent due to my friend Nana. She flyered the town and then sent out three emailings to her many friends who then brought their friends. Again, like in Maine, I wasn't necessarily in my "zone" but the crowd liked the show anyway and I impressed the owner with my (Nana's, actually) drawing power. The band that played before us was called Michael McDermott and the bass player was one of the ex-Go Go's-- Belinda Carlisle, I think.

The Baltimore gig was good in spite of the low turnout. Lots of adventures there; don't know where to begin...

Philadelphia was strange. The house-party we were supposed to play at didn't happen because nobody was home! Fortunately my friends Jessica, James, Jan, and Michael arrived and saved the day by talking the owner of an anarchist bar across the street into letting us play. We didn't get paid but I sold a fair amount of merchandise and enjoyed myself. We stayed with Jessica and James and I got to hold their one-year-old, Aiden, who'd been born the day I arrived during last year's tour. He's beautiful. We awoke to a sunny Mother's Day...

Manhattan was marvelous on all accounts. The show at the Sidewalk Cafe rocked-- mostly because a bunch of musician friends from other cities randomly converged upon my midnight set which set me in a great mood. There was Karl Blau who happened to be on tour with Laura Veirs who had just played a few blocks down from the Sidewalk, Jonny Corndawg who had just finished a show in Brooklyn, Carmaig DeForest who was also on a mini-tour of the East-coast, Owen Money and Mariah who had driven down from Maine...

Ivan and I stayed with his friend Shara in Brooklyn that night and I awoke the next morning to a delicious french-toast breakfast she'd cooked. I then hopped a train back to Manhattan and met up with my friend Elizabeth whom I'd recently, officially, met at the Chicago show two weeks earlier and who had just flown into NYC that morning for the screening of a film she'd worked on. (She'd coincidentally seen me three years ago at another venue in Chicago when I'd toured with Andras!) Anyhow, she was with her friend Monica, and we drank smoothies and then I put on a mini-acapella-rap-show in the park for them. The elderly ladies feeding the birds seemed entertained by my presentation of "Persian Den of Sin" and "The Prophet". Too soon, too soon, I had to get back to Brooklyn to meet back up with Ivan.

The New Haven show two day's earlier was my least favorite of the tour. The venue was a yuppified coffee house next to Yale University sparsely filled with mostly bored looking people. We drove straight to Brooklyn after the show and stayed with Shoan One and his girlfriend.

Boston, the day before all that, was spectacular as I already mentioned.

I'm happy to be heading west again. I'd better go now and prepare for the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar show.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Baltimore is a really beautiful town. I like everything about this place. Gotta go now-- our nation's capitol beckons... I look forward to having time to recount my latest adventures, and hope it won't be long.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Hello from Boston! Our pace has not slowed an iota... The show at Midway Cafe far exceeded my expectations. The place was packed with attentive young people who seemed to hang on every word. I sold lots of merch and made lots of new fans. What more can you ask? Afterwards Ivan and I drove to Nima and Amanda's and slept our hearts out, (after gorging on Nima's stash of delicious Iranian candies).

The show in Portland, Maine was a special one, too. Although I felt out of the "zone" performance-wise, a fair crowd showed up to the venue which is this beautiful, ancient structure on Congress Street. I saw the show as good practice for the bigger, folkier crowds which I'm aiming my vessel towards during the next year. The show was also notable in that I'd never been to Maine before. We stayed with my friend Doug out in the country.

The show before that in Vermont was amazing. I felt like I'd been transported back to 1952 and my name was Gary Snyder or Jack Kerouac. I don't have any more time to expound on the magical experience, unfortunately, but it's true that life is rich in the hidden hills near Middlebury. Wild turkeys, frogs, sheep with un-docked tails, anarchy, spilled wine, orgies (just kidding)... but you get the picture a little perhaps.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Here's a review for tomorrow's show in Maine: Go!
Alas, we were stopped at the border for much too long and didn't make it to Burlington in time to play at Radio Bean. Just as well. My vocal chords need rest... The Lennoxville show was a flop but Ivan got some good video-footage of me singing to a basically empty room.

The U.S. border patrol were obnoxious and I'm pretty sure they borrowed some of my money which I naively left in various pockets amongst the merchandise they pillaged. After an hour waiting for them to go through every pillow-case, it took awhile longer for us to reorganize our belongings. We arrived in Burlington at 2:30 a.m. and slept in the stair-well of an old, Catholic church.

Now we're in Middlebury catching up with emails before our house concert at Anais'.