Monday, February 28, 2005

Today my house mate, Lenny, and I dug up blackberry roots. Lenny's awesome. He tells good stories to make the time zoom by. He's a mountain man / punk rocker / shaman / rave kid dee jay / modern day beatnik with a broken nose and tasteful shoes. He was raised by a single, Native American mom somewhere near Seattle in the country. His father was killed by a drunk driver when Lenny was two. The ladies (and gay fellas) love Lenny (but he's not gay). Some people call him "L-Dawg," or the "Dawg." For nine months of the year, the Dawg works as a field biologist at the Fort Lewis Army Base. While working he covers the tattooed Arabic writing on his wrists with long-sleeved shirts. Lenny's got a big heart and is generous with his cash flow. Even though we're the same age, I look up to him.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Sore throat. I hope I'm not coming down with what everyone else is; maybe it's just tree pollen. Spring has exploded like a volcano.

Today Jen Grady and I started recording a new cd. We put down seven songs: "Nebraska," "Jade's Song," "Johnson" (a name change of the Cash/Carter song "Jackson"), "Jack Potter's Courtin'" (a solo cowboy poem I recite, written by S. Omar Barker), "Sarina," and two Woody Guthrie kid songs--"Take You Ridin' in My Car, Car," and "Pick it Up." There mayn't be any raps on this album. Tuesday we'll record a few more and call it good. The cd will definitely be raw and entertaining. A nice guy named Bob is our producer; he sneaks us in to a studio at Evergreen.

This weekend I played two shows with Jen. Quinn, Jen's boyfriend, joined us on our journey. Our first gig was in Bellingham at the University. Jen sold a bunch of cds and I sold none. The next night we folked the Bird's View Grange Hall. I did better on merch sales at this show, but Jen sold almost as many even though her set was barely audible while mine was greeted with idolotrous jubilation! (Am I delusional? Can you see how brightly my ego flares?) The fact that, over all, Jen outsold me drove me mad. I kept calm until a college student asked if I'd be interested in playing a show in early April at the local Community College. I felt redeemed--until her brutal, next sentence... "Of course, Jen would be the headliner and you'd be the opener if that's cool."

In all sincerity, though, Jen Grady is a multi-talented musician, and her songs are as lovely as she is. If you'd like to buy her new cd, Beso Beso, let me know. They're $15 and are packaged in gorgeous, handmade, cloth coverings. If you want a copy of the album we're recording now, I'm taking preorders.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Here's a variation to the bio that's currently on this website:

Sandman's music captures the moment when MTV hit every television in America and kids in Oklahoma started dressing like kids in the Bronx. This is fusion in the raw. Country hip hop folk cowboy punk rap--whatever you want to call it--Sandman's music is political, sexy, and distinctly western.

Sandman's childhood was spent running on the plains and in the hills of the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana. He was raised on cowboy poetry, part of his legacy as the great-grandson of pioneers. As a kid he learned to rap and rhyme to the beats of barbed wire and combines. When hip hop culture hit "the Rez" around 1983, Sandman found himself addicted. He got into Hank Williams and Dylan in his late teens, and his own unique voice began to emerge.

A prolific writer, Sandman has produced fifteen recordings and toured the country several times over. He has shared bills with acts ranging from Laura Love to the Microphones to Michael Franti and Spearhead. His style is so distinct that he can fit just about anywhere.

Sandman has stepped in enough cow manure to know that music isn't necessarily more worthwhile than a good night's rest, a tall glass of water, or silence. It's just another good thing in a world full of many good things. But if you are in the mood to kick it to a spaghetti western with a different beat, you will want to take a sip of this rappin' cowboy.

Thanks to Amanda Stark, Mary Sand, and Andras Jones for their input. If anyone else has anything to add, please do so below. "Selling" oneself to new audiences is tricky.
I only lost $25 at the poker game, but I feel homicidal. It's irrational. I hereby give up gambling forever. It makes me hate myself. In it's place I will take up cigar smoking. I just smoked a crappy one that crumbled into a pile of leaves before I could get five puffs out of it. My fingers smell like cheap cigar. I'm glad the weekly poker game has run its course.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

As for the Sand Pan preview request, I feel like it would be premature at the moment. He's too evil for our brains to digest, or our stomachs to comprehend. I'm in his grips until the final gory scene!

Sorry. Actually, there's nothing really gory about the Sand Pan story. He's immature, that's all. In creating a story line, I'm having to analyze my own immaturity. Slippery Goodstuff was immature, too, but in an unthreatening way. Slippery's demon was loneliness. Sand Pan's is anger. He is to be less comedic but more important. Slippery was bourgeois whereas Sand Pan is poor. Slippery was more "Tom Sawyer" and Sand Pan is "Huck + Jim."

Enough about Sand Pan. I have a confession--I will be at the poker tables tonight. I've resisted gambling for over a year, but tonight is officially the final Martin Apartments poker game, and I want to be part of the ceremony. For three years I lost money, friends, and dexterity in my right wrist after punching a mailbox. I will take $30 and not a penny more.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Today I scrubbed my friend's house out for money. It was nar nar. stank. nast. My bad mood continues...

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson killed himself last night. I feel fearful and loathesome. I'd never thought of it before, but Sand Pan's character has a lot in common with Dr. Thompson--a sacred jack ass with a big chip on his revolver.

Today is President's Day. Hunter S. Thompson had this to say about former President Nixon, "[he's a man] with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena and the style of a poison toad."

Sunday, February 20, 2005

I got a good jump on Sand Pan! today. I like my little, antique laptop computer. It allows me to sit outside as I type. The weather is still warm and sunny. A coyote ran through our yard today. I've seen foxes, possums, raccoons, and deer, here, but never coyotes.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

I decided to dress up as a baseball player at tomorrow's costume ball. It will compliment my baseball card art show. Sweet. I'll also be part-time bartender and dee jay. Jupiter the Cat is sitting on my lap and breathing funny.

This morning Nina invited me over for steak and eggs. I gave her a pie for a massage she gave me last week.

Last night, in passing, I saw the WOMAN whom I'd like to call my inamorata. She still likes me! Sometimes being liked is better than being loved.

Who am I fooling? I want Cupid's intoxicating arrows to flood her toes like they do mine.

I'm a geek. I'm drunk.

Tonight I'll start writing my play: SAND PAN! It's sober and ugly--a reprieve from the gushing.

I'm not actually drunk, but, maybe should be. ; ) I need something to drown this aortic inferno. Water will do, I reckon. Or YOGURT! Something creamy and sweet like mama's milk. ICE CREAM!!! Which leads me back to Sand'll understand more later.

Friday, February 18, 2005

The ABC House is in use tonight. A rock show is happening in our basement. Random humans are exploring our kitchen. Teen agers in blue hoodies are talking under the black walnut tree and swinging on the rope-swing. Sunday we're having a costume party here. I still don't know what to wear. It's interesting to contrast my life in this bohemian cesspool with that where I was and will soon be returning. I'm applying for a full-time job in North Dakota as the curator to the Dunn County Historical Museum. I'm torn! Everything appears so colorful here, and bland there--but below the surface I suspect I'll find wells of fascinating history riddled across the prairie. Western Montana and the rest of the Northwest may be my "motherland," but North Dakota is like a father who prods me towards a life of quiet dignity. That's not enough to hold me there permanently, but then again, who knows what dreams may come once I shed my mildewed armor and make friends with the ranchers and roughnecks.

Spring is springing here in Olympia. Daffodils and cherry blossoms. I've hung up an art exhibit I created from old baseball cards in the living room. There are eight pieces with prices ranging from $1 to $800. It's pretty stupid, but kind of smart, too. If anyone who has seen it cares to comment, please do so...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

My beloved grandmother, who has appeared to be teetering on the verge of death and alzheimer's for the last few months, is making a comeback. Here's a progress report from her caretaker:

"Viola is doing EXCELLENT! ... She is going out with the family and friends on drives and to lunch a couple of times a week and is also attending Bo's basketball games on a regular basis... She is getting in and out of the car with ease now, and is able to assist friends and family with transfers to and from the car and wheelchair... She even goes gambling occasionally with Emma."

What great news!!! It appears that the doctors had been treating her with the wrong pills. Once they quit accidentally poisoning her, she improved. Vi Herak is a tough woman.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Back in Oly again. The trip to northern California was a definite adventure. The Oregon coast is expansive and other worldly. On V-Day I played a show in Bend, OR. Everyone there was drunk. They treated me right, though--hotel accomodations, fancy food, rental car expenses, and more. The crowd probably would've done better with just pure disco all night, but they were gracious hosts and appeared entertained by my ragged one-man act. Yesterday Doug, Jasper, and I dropped in at Breitenbush Hot Springs. The manager let us soak for free. Breitenbush is a horn of plenty--nay, an ecocornucopic utopia!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Love is in the air! Can you feel it? If you can't feel it, you'll have to fight for it.

That's what I've decided...

Happy Valentine's Day from Bend, OR! This morning Doug, Jasper, and I soaked in the McCredie Hot Pot. The sky was high desert blue and the ferns were elfin green. Mother Nature was my Valentine, today. Her bubbling sulphur waters refreshed my weary frame. I feel courageous again.

I will fight for my love.

Yesterday, I placed my back against the biggest red wood tree I could find and prayed for health.

I will fight for love.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

My friend, Doug, from Maine, is visiting the Northwest for the first time. He and his daughter, Jasper, have invited me to road trip w/ them down the Oregon coast all the way to the redwoods of California. I may not get a chance to write much until I get back here on the 15th. I'm hoping we get a chance to hit some Oregon hot springs. Should be an adventure! I plan to bring an ancient laptop along so I can do some of the work I need to...

Until soon, Chris

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

It's been forty days and nights since New Year's Eve 2004, and now I am back living at the Alexander Berkman Collective. I have a new room without accoutrements to clutter it. It's as sparse as the North Dakota landscape I just came from.

Yesterday was Mardi Gras. My friend Chad, who sometimes drums for me--or rather, his girlfriend Talcott--gave birth a little girl whom they named Clementine last night.

Today is the Chinese New Year. It's the Year of the Cock.

Jupiter, my house mate Kat's cat, crapped on my comforter twice this morning. It was salmon pate from a discount store, and it made him sick.

I'm a little depressed tonight. Just wrote my seventh song in the last thirty days though, which is rare for me. It's a manic rap which I call "Galahad."

I believe that I'll be seeking the magic waters of Goldmeyer Hot Springs very, very soon.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Phew--I'm back in the northwest. That train ride hurt my back. My old friend Maggie Stavely, with her two-year-old Liam, picked me up at the station. Liam, whom I hadn't met until today, is a little under the weather. We just took a walk down the block. He acquired Maggie's big, blue, wide-set, Irish eyes. Jonah (aka "Blandow"), happens to be in Seattle today and is coming to pick me up and drive me back to Olympia any minute. This means I won't get to see my old pal Jason (Maggie's hubbie) or their daughter Hannah tonight. Gotta run.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Wow, going back to Oly so soon feels awkward. "What in the world am I doing with my life?" I keep asking myself. I recently learned that my Grandpa Sand's maternal grandfather may have been of Gypsy descent (this is my excuse!). He spoke Bohemian and was a prodigy violinist who performed for Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II at age nine. Maybe I've got a little of that in me. Tumbleweeds in the blood, wind at my back. I get nervous when I'm in one place too long. I feel like this country is about to erupt, too, and want to be where the action is. I will be excited to return to North Dakota when the weather warms up in April or May.

I've been wondering lately-- is it me, or do other people my age, and younger, believe that the world is about to self-destruct? If so, how many years do you think we have left living the way we do in America? Am I crazy? I can't tell if this is some sort of repressed Catholic apocalyptic death wish paranoia, or perhaps a new-age superstitious Mayan-prophesy mental high jinx. Probably I'm just a good observer considering the state of the environment, the state of the economy, and the state of the Union. I believe in miracles, but I fear the blood. I've been having nightmares of late where I'm stranded in Iraq without uniform and can't tell which side to run to so I'm forced to hide from all. These dreams are vivid. I want to run to the US side, but they are shooting at anyone who's not in US uniform. And the Iraqis have blockaded their doors, and I'm scared to knock.

Enough about that, though-- hope is better than fear. I'll leave you with a hopeful website.

Comments welcome. ; )

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Been sorting through old notebooks, and such, these last two days. In my Nashville journal I found some collected quips from books I'd read back then, such as:

Hank Williams said, "You have to plow a lot of ground and look at the back side of a mule for a lot of years to sing a country song." I wonder if driving tractors while listening to the soundtrack to Breakin' on my walkman counts?

Oscar Wilde wrote, "To be natural is such a hard pose to keep up." I think Buck Owens stole Wilde's idea in his (Owens') song "Act Naturally." I'm currently reading The Picture of Dorian Gray (by Wilde).

Gene Autry sang, "Now you can feel my legs and you can feel my thighs / but if you feel my legs you gotta ride me high."

And Roy Acuff, "I wish I was a diamond ring upon my Lulu's hand / Every time she'd take a bath I'd be a lucky man."

Them old cowboy singers were perverted.

In 1933 John Wayne was cast in the Western film Riders of Destiny, as Singin' Sandy the Reluctant Singin' Cowboy. My favorite quote from it: "I've had it. I'm a god damned action star, you son-of-a-bitch. I'm not a singer. Get yourself another cowboy singer." I, Chris Sand, would like to be an action star as well someday. Just once at least.

Tomorrow I take a train westward to soggy, sensual Olympia. I've heard that crocuses are already pokin' up.

Friday, February 04, 2005

I got dropped from Rock Ridge Records today, which is fine. They wanted to remove "Tribute to 'Rapper's Delight'" from the Sandman Live and Suspicious cd for fear of getting sued for copyright infringement. Andras and I decided that they should pay to get the lyrics cleared if they were so worried. They got mad. We defended ourselves. They pulled the deal. It's over. I feel relieved for some reason. I hate kissing butt to business people. Now I own the record, again. Who needs distribution? My fan base is not typically the people at Sam Goody, and I actually prefer doing things in a more grassroots manner. This doesn't mean I'm not open to a big label someday. I'll wait, though.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Word to the wise: never eat restaurant Mexican food in North Dakota. The folks and I went to the Buckskin for "burrito night." It was the second worst Mexican food I ever ate--the first being at Los Amigos in Bismarck. Covered in generic cheez whiz, my dad loved it.

Afterwards we came home and watched a dvd of Napoleon Dynamite. I cried it was so good. It takes place in Idaho in 1987 or so, which was the same time when I was in high school in western Montana. It cracks through my adolescent amnesia and reminds me of the goodness (albeit weirdness, too) of "my" people. Odds are you've seen it.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

La Oracion del Errabundo

Today was sort of sad. I wrote a song that made me glad. Buenas noches.

Yesterday I rode Shorty, we galloped with authority. Buenas noches.

We slipped upon the ice, and he tried to kill me twice. Buenas noches.

My exodus approaches. Buenas noches.

Adios mis abuelos y mis padres. I will miss you.

Gracias por todo. Buenas noches!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I received two kind-hearted emails today. The first is from Chickadee:

I had this cool experience with my oldest daughter Willow this afternoon and thought that I would pass it on. We were at home (with Violet the 3 1/2 year old) and kind of grumping around-doing housework, homeschool, chores. Three girls who were bored and a little short tempered. Willow asked if she could put some music on-asking me to choose between Eminem or Sandman. I chose Sandman. She put on her autographed copy of The Long Walk Home and we sat down for some lunch. I found myself singing along, and noticed that Willow was too. I began to realize that my mood was improving, the sun was coming out, and she and I started just grinning at each other between bites and singing lines. Gorilla began to play, and I told her that it was Peaches' favorite song. I told her about dancing with Peaches at the Tractor while you played that song, and how Baby Gramps was there (she's loved him since she was 2). She said "My favorite songs are the first two, but I really like Radio Works Fine and the one about his Email." I asked her what she like about them-the music, lyrics... She quoted a few lines that she loved, then just said that she loved everything about them. The she went through three other albums of yours that she was familiar with (I didn't realize that she listened to your music so much) and picked out her favorite songs on those as well.

In addition to it just sort of changing around the way our day was going-I really love that my preteen daughter, her 3 year old sister, and I can all enjoy the same music together. I love that it's sometimes political, sexy, poetic, outspoken-always full of genuine heartfelt emotion that transcends age or life experience. Thanks for creating (and especially for sharing) such awesome art.

The next one was from "d.":

i heard of you from crimethinc. and i was expecting a more explicitly political record. i'm glad you snuck in, though, because sometimes it gets tough being gung-ho revolutionary all the time. just want to throw up my hands and say 'i do not know what to do.' (Long Walk Home) was the best album i've heard in a long time. anyway, it's late here on the East Coast, so i'm getting to bed. i hope things are well.