Sunday, October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween! I'm so happy that November 2nd is almost here-- "trick or treat?" indeed. It's a good question... I don't know if our nation can handle too many more tricks or treats, though. What we need is a good, ol' fashioned ass-whuppin' from Muhammed Ali (or Marlon Brando circa The Wild One). We need a dentist with steady hands and a tomahawk. Candyman needs a faith-based cavity search by George Orwell. Hitler needs a moustache vasectomy and a feces-proof copy of Dante's Inferno. It's gonna hit the fan, right? Mosh through the marsh, or whatever. Massive creativity is almost upon us, and it will be an absurd scene when the bats start coming out of their caves to piss on our toupees.

My fourth major tour of 2004 is over, and I am at my parents' place in Killdeer, North Dakota. I owe a lot of people money and I will be working here for the next four weeks in order to start paying off some debts. Tomorrow I will recount the final days of my travels with Stephan Said (aka Stephan Smith).

Thursday, October 28, 2004

It's Madison, WI again-- my fourth show here in half a year! I was pretty sick last time, though, so hopefully tonight will redeem my last visit. Ivan Okay, whom I toured w/ last Spring, set this show up. He'll also be playing, so I'm pretty pleased about that. I'm at the University of Wisconsin library right now. Earlier today, John Kerry was on campus stumping with Bruce Springsteen, who played a couple songs. Stephan and I missed it.

Yesterday was cool. I got to be on a panel called Peace, Patriotism, and Dissent: Democracy in the Balance at Harper College. I performed "Scapegoat Song" and got to talk a little about the role scapegoating plays in regards to imperialism and murder-- currently and historically. How whimsical, eh?! Jeepers, I'm ready for a vacation in Oahu... I think we all are. This election season is a soul-sucker. I'm seriously considering only singing Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" tonight and then offering free erotic massages to whomever buys a pillow case or cd.

P.S. Eminem's new anti-war video is online: For better or worse, he's our generation's Bob Dylan. I'm filled with both admiration and loathing. He wears his RAGE like a chainsaw head-band and bleeds jewels into my father's salad. It takes hours to separate the chopped onions from the diamonds. I wish I had his money.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

All's well in Chicago. Madison tomorrow. I'm too rushed to write more. Red Sox 3 games to zero over the Cardinals...

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Nana and Lauris hooked it up! They set up a great show at the Wonderland Club in DC tonight. It was the best show yet, financially. I'll write more soon.

Friday, October 22, 2004

"She wins who calls herself beautiful and challenges the world to change to truly see her."

Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

Yesterday was Love Your Body Day. Today is Dehypnotize Your Brain Day. Easier said than done; everybody around me looks like they're marching blank-faced into the red eye of the apocalypse. It's freaky.

What's so funny about Global Justice?!

On further thought, it's probably just me. A dip in a cool, mountain lake would do me good right about now. Tonight it's Baltimore, then back to DC where I anticipate a great, lively, fun-filled fiesta at the Wonderland Club! My friends, Nana and Lauris, have collaborated on making this show a good one. They are kind and generous with their time.

My mom turned 59 yesterday. Happy birthday, Mom, and all my love.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

My homepage tour-dates have been impossible to update for the last three weeks-- the blogger routing is inexplicably failing to link any updates. Sorry about the confusion.

Here's a temporary itinerary for the next few days:

Oct. 21, Thurs., Washington, DC @ The Electric Maid, 8 pm. $10. Address: 228 Carrol Ave.

Oct. 22, Fri., Baltimore @ Mojo Room, 9:30 pm, $6. (410) 325-7427.

Oct. 23, Sat., Washington, DC @ The Wonderland (1101 Keny St. NW) pass-the-hat.

Stephan and I will be doing an in-store performance at Revolution Records in DC at 4 pm on Saturday too. That address is 4215 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Greetings from Richmond, VA. I've never been here, and look forward to exploring the back-alleys and assorted dumpsters. My meager money has expired but the next few shows should earn me great rewards.

My mom, sensing my mild depression, wrote me these words:

"Sing because you love to sing, Chris. Sing for yourself and those of us who delight in your humane and lyrical spirit. Nothing else really matters. Love, Mom."

She's a treasure. And so is my dad who lent me $1000 to manufacture my "Live" cd! And so are my friends around the country who lift up my spirits and feed my stomach and help me set up shows and let me sleep on their beds or sofas. And so are my housemates back in Oly who are letting me stay living there even though I can never pay rent on time, and I eat their food, and make lewd comments about them or their girlfriends (just kidding).

Ok, time to eat some lunch-type food.

Monday, October 18, 2004

I'm in Virginia now. Tonight's show in Maryland got cancelled. Last night's gig in Philly was a catastrophic flop. Oy vey.

On the bright side, I'm really enjoying getting to know Stephan Smith. We've had a lot of time to talk during the last twenty-four hours. His life story is one of the most fascinating ones I've ever heard.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

I'm at an expensive internet cafe in New York. I've had to spend a lot of money here with taxis, tolls, and trains. And sadly I'm not earning much in return at my scattered shows. The three shows here were weird; they've made me question my worth as a troubador. Tonight's gig was the best, I think. Only nine people were there but I finally got to meet Stephan Smith who'll I'll be touring with. He's a great, talented guy and we bonded immediately. Tomorrow we drive to Philadelphia and then roll down the Eastern Seaboard.

The show last night was crowded-- 150 people. They had to turn away another fifty. The majority of the people were there for Mirah and were probably glad when I finally finished my lengthy set. There was a mild pillow case buying frenzy, but ultimately I didn't do very good on merch sales considering there were so many people.

The baseball game is on-- Yankees are killing the Red Sox. I run out of time in thirty seconds. Bye!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

I just drove Chris Chandler's car to Manhattan from Boston.

The show last night was unexpectedly crowded, considering that the Presidential debates were going on and the Red Sox were playing the Yankees again. My friends, Nima, Amanda and Asghar, are to thank for bringing out at least twenty of their friends. The night opened with the punk legend Pete Cassani doing a set without his band, the Peasants. Then I played. I invited Nima up for the second half of my set so he could beatbox and rap with me. He even backed me up on guitar for a rendition of "When the Cyclone Struck." The highlight, though, was trading verses with Nima during "Persian Den of Sin." Nima is of Persian heritage (aka Iranian) and he has a great rap he wrote about being as such. After each of my verses he'd bust a verse of his own while I, then, beatboxed for him. I think we blew some people's minds!! Serious. Chris Chandler and Jo Smith ended the evening with their mad, lyrical, musical collage of inspired genius. They, too, blew some minds. This is nothing new to Chandler who's been doing this for sixteen years. Check out his website: His a giant amongst rambling troubadors like myself.

Last night I left my casio rapman in a woman's car who drove me back to Amanda and Nima's... Oops-- gotta run. I'll finish the story later.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

I played the feature set of an open mic at Club Passim in Cambridge tonight. Unfortunately, I was a little off my game. Perhaps it was because of the intense lights in my eyes and too crisp sound on the stage. Maybe it was because I'm at the beginning of a tour and a little rusty. Maybe my hair-cut, a thick mullet, scared the crowd and I took their fear personally. Maybe it was because the Red Sox were losing to the Yankees, while I was singing, and thus the crowd's anxious morale disquieted me. Or what I propose to be the reason-- I had to follow a crummy comedian who kept making shark jokes. I didn't know how to realign the vibe of the sad audience, after that.

Tomorrow, I have a feeling, will go much better.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Now I'm in Orford, New Hampshire, but I'll be eating dinner in Vermont. I'm getting the whole New England package! The leaves are, perhaps, even more vibrant here than in Maine.

The show last night went great. It was organized by my pal, and Doug's son, Owen Money. His band is called the Saviours and they rock hard-- country and punk. My sweet friend of ten years, Senayit Tomlinson, also performed. She plays a 12-string and writes the prettiest rock ballads you've ever heard. She's why I'm in New Hampshire right now. She and her partner, Jeff, are house-sitting her parent's 200-yr.-old cottage and 100-acre horse habitat. One of the horses, Andy, has a butt-rash that Senayit has to doctor daily. Tomorrow she and Jeff will drive me to Boston for the first of two shows at Passim.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Doug chauffered me around scenic Maine today. We drove many miles in search of the colorful leaves of Autumn in New England... and we found 'em! Orange, red, and yellow foilage clustered amongst groves of peeling white Birch and mossy Pine. We came upon cheeky chipmunks, wild turkeys and coyotes... clear rivers, big lakes, and quaint hamlets. And the weather was warm and sunny.

Then we watched the debates-- Kerry vs. Bush. The news channel said it was a draw, which didn't seem quite right.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

I think I will start documenting my song lyrics in preparation for a book of them by Christmas. To view them go here. I've only got one down so far, though.
Greetings from Newcastle, Maine. I made it. Doug drove three hours to Boston to pick me up at 5:30 in the morning (and then back)-- that's a friend! We ate breakfast in Portsmouth and then toured Kennebunkport and witnessed the magestic, ocean-front mansions of the Bushes. They own the prettiest little peninsula/island/isthmus or whatever it is that sticks out into the rocky, lobster-friendly waters of southern Maine. The weather is warm, here, but with a hint of frostiness, too.

Going back in time... 319 Joe did well, getting me to Spearfish, SD, where I met up with my aunt and uncle, Ken and Christi, who drove me to their ranch in Longmont Colorado. Ken was a professional rodeoer (team roping) for nine years before becoming a horse veterinarian. He let me borrow his red, canvas rope bag to haul and consolidate my scattered boxes of cds for the plane ride. I finally got to meet my cute, little 1st-cousin-once-removed, Lilliana, who is one-yr-old. She and her sister, Hanna (age 4 1/2), are the daughters of my cousin Kelly Sue and her husband Alex. Good times. Good people. Good split pea soup.

Rhetorical question: Is talking in detail about relatives on a web-journal, the blog equivalent of forcing the Culligan Man to look through your stack of polaroids from last week's family reunion?

Monday, October 04, 2004

Today I was soaking in some Idaho hot springs with my dad. Tomorrow (Monday) I will commute the lengthy state of Montana and Wyoming on my way to Spearfish, South Dakota. Tuesday I will drive to Denver, CO with my aunt and uncle. Wednesday I will fly to Boston, MA. Thursday I will drive to Portland, Maine with my pal Doug. And then the "real" tour begins.

Yep, this next month will be filled with much trans-American traveling.

St. Christopher, pray for us.

Mother Mary, pray for us.

319 JOE, yr a good little car.

Friday, October 01, 2004

The weather is crisp and sunny in Missoula, Montana. The leaves are yellow and orange. Grandma is feeling better, except she sees "two of everything".

I want to hike somewhere. Or soak in some hot springs in Idaho.