Thursday, June 30, 2005

Here are the contending songs for Love's Hangover Sale II. CrimethInc. will have the final say on selection and order if they choose to put it out.

1. Nebraska
2. Storage Unit 209

3. I Still Miss Someone
4. Sarina
5. Johnson
6. This Time

7. Jack Potter's Courtin'
8. Sol Que Tu Eres
9. Friendster Testimonial
10. Take You Ridin' in My Car
11. Ballad of a Salad
12. Death of a Red Mare
13. Ol' Highway 90
14. Jade's Song
15. Good to Be Awake When She Arrives
16. Callin' You

Six of these are covers. I wrote #'s 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, & 15. Of these I co-wrote #'s 12 & 14.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Here's a brief report of Sunday's show at Hill Top Home of Comfort:

I sang "Dear Grandma," "Farmor," "Saddle Bum," "I Saw the Light," "Imaginary World," "Miss Rodeo Montana," "I Still Miss Someone," "M for Montana," "Reincarnation," "Hole Digger," and "Roll On Little Dogies, Roll On." And maybe a couple more.

Some of them sang along to "I Saw the Light" and "Roll On Little Dogies, Roll On." Some slept. One fellow's wheel chair kept chirping.

I need to start practicing as my presentation lacked polish.

Last night I watched a movie about Bobby Darin. The night before that, Howard Hughes.

Teresa's still here. We are enjoying our time together. She is awaiting a tent sent from Oregon. After it arrives she will continue her American walkabout.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Journalizing is at a lull. The snake sheds its skin and creativity slithers into her hole for a spell. The gopher drinks the blood of the beaver and the golden hawk drives his silver talons into the throat of the two-headed stallion.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Kids' Day was a success! Twenty-one youngsters showed up and rocked my world. We played Callball, Drop the Hanky, Ball Tag, Kick the Can, Annie-I-Over, Dodge Ball, and Soccer. Everyone won prizes and had fun. Three hours of mayhem... (The people in the picture are the kids and adults still left at the end of the three hours.)

Tomorrow I perform for their great-grandparents at the elder-care center.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Here's an article I wrote that came out in the Dunn County Herald today regarding tomorrow's event:

Kids’ Day at Dunn County Museum

Kids’ Day is almost here! On June 25th from 4-7 pm at the Dunn County Museum in Dunn Center, there will be snacks, games, and prizes for all under 16-yr.-old participants.

Kids’ Day is the culmination of Kids’ Month (June) at the museum. “June is the first summer month,” explains Museum Curator Christopher Sand, “Kids don’t stop learning just because they’re out of the classroom. We think our museum is really interesting and we want to expose it to all ages of people.”

Jeri Patchen, the museums’ Assistant Curator, mentions how youngsters are often the reason why many parents visit Dunn County Museum. “Earlier today,” she begins, “two moms, with a total of five or six small kids, came up because the kids remembered it from last year and wanted to return. Maggie and Dawn, the last curators, made the museum fun and we’d like to carry on that tradition.”

Sand sketched out Kids’ Day’s afternoon agenda, “4 pm to 5 pm will be structured loosely with people getting a chance to explore the museum and surrounding property. Little ones can draw on the concrete sidewalks with some colored chalk we bought if they’re feeling artistic. 5 pm to 6 pm will be more structured with games to be decided depending on the age turnout. 6 pm to 7 pm will be continued play time and food--hot dogs, chips, refreshments, and dessert.”

Oh, and let’s not forget the prizes! The curators promise that everyone under sixteen who attends will receive a prize of some sort. Admission into the museum will be free for everyone that day.

To review: free admission, free food, lots o’ prizes, and fun!! So, what’s the catch? According to the curators, they want a high turnout this summer. Says Patchen, “We want to keep the Museum’s momentum rolling. Events like this keep us in the public eye.” “That and we want to promote community goodwill,” adds Sand, “If successful Kid’s Day could become a yearly opportunity to connect young and old over one of Dunn County’s treasures.”

Don’t forget that June 25th is also Killdeer and Dunn Center’s yearly City Wide Rummage Sale Day, too. So after an exciting day of bargain hunting, bring the family up to Museum Hill in Dunn Center for even more good times, such as wheelbarrow races, hop scotch, kick the can, marbles, jacks, four square, freeze tag, three-legged races, and maybe even some things you’ve never heard of before. See you there! Call 548-8111 for more info.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

At 6:30 this morning Teresa and I drove to Dickinson to meet my friends Alex, Froseph, and Jamie who are traveling from Olympia to Winona, MN by Greyhound. The bus had a scheduled 1/2 hour breakfast break. I ordered hashbrowns and eggs.

Alex, Froseph, and Jamie formed a band called the Nashville Superstars and played for me a bluegrass rendition of my rap song "Time Released Tattoo." Froseph's real name is Joseph, but due to his "Afro" hairdo he acquired the other name.

Which reminds me--Afroman has a new album coming out! I would like to tour with him someday.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Cindy Wonderful, the Crunk's Not Dead boss mama, finally listened to (return to) the blackhole...(of outerspace). Here are her comments in a letter to the album's co-creator, Timezone LaFontaine:

"'s totally incredible, by far my favorite thing i have ever heard him do, from start to finish... i am very proud to have it coming out on crunks not dead."

And later.

"i really really really think this album is great; totally great."

And from Jason in Florida regarding the first single, "Highwayman":

"That song transcends space and time... best thing I have ever heard."

Welcome to the hype machine (aka the hyperbolic chamber)!
As for my last week of adventures, there's too much to go into. Highlights include driving with Dad through a window shattering Montana thunder storm at 3 a.m., giving my Grandma Herak a foot rub, sushi w/ Julia in Missoula, talking politics with my Uncle Dan, seeing my mom for the first time in five weeks, kickin' it with all the Herak relatives at Julianna's wedding, and canoeing down Flathead River with Teresa.

Teresa, who is walking across America, and whom I didn't expect to see, arrived to Missoula during my date with Julia. As awkward as that sounds, everything seemed to turn out fine. We all three drank beer.

Two days later she (Teresa) and I hijacked a Greyhound and rode back to NoDak.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Tomorrow Dad and I will drive western Montana for my cousin/goddaughter-- Julianna's --wedding. Lots of family will be there which is exciting. I am especially thrilled to see Grandma Herak, who has been making an amazing recovery since the last time I saw her. Six months ago, it appeared that she was on her death bed--now she's out gambling and going to sports events! She's awesome. Her full name is Julia Viola Sullivan Herak. My terrific godmother/aunt, Julie Bryher Herak, will also be there.

That's a lot of Julies, already, but there's more--

On Friday, I have a date, in Missoula, with a lovely lass named Julia K. We're not related, of course. She was my neighbor for years while growing up in Charlo, MT. So I guess we were sort of like family. An irrigation ditch separated her folks' land from my folks' land. I actually babysat her and her brother, Matt, in the summer of 1984.

I may not get a chance to update this for awhile, so sayonara until next week!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Being a topical songwriter has its major pitfalls. For instance, "The Ballad of Pee Wee Herman" lost a lot of oomph after the Paul-Reubens-caught-wackin'-it-in-an-adult-theater scandal blew over. Oddly, some people still tell me that it's their favorite song of mine, and request it 14-yrs. later. But what if I could've distributed it when everyone was buzzing about it?

I have a Michael Jackson song (written last year) that should be heard, but it won't until next year because I still haven't figured out how to tap those channels.

The point is, "songs of the moment" are prone to weaken with time. Even Dylan's "Hurricane" or Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" or Eminem's "Mosh."

Sometimes, though, the moment (political or otherwise) is dragged out, or repeated, which, luckily, keeps the song relevant. This isn't always good for the state of the world, obviously, but that's another story. Here's "Galahad"'s good luck story:

Four months ago I wrote "Galahad" with two lines that were about current happenings: 1) "I've been around the block like Angelina and Brad / I've slayed a lot of dragons, I ain't braggin' it's sad" and 2) "Look at what happened to that cat, Howard Dean / Disempowered all because of what we labeled a scream."

Okay, here's the breakdown for the first couplet: A rumour had just started that week regarding the burgeoning romance between Pitt and Jolie. I threw in that reference somewhat cynically. The vapidness of the metaphor was what I liked. In the new blockbuster Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a movie about a marriage of two undercover mercenaries hired to kill each other, Jolie's character replies to Pitt's question of "How many?" with "412." It's ambiguous whether they're referring to sex or murder. She continues, "I've been around the block." Sex, violence, and intrigue all rolled into a soundbyte that even shares the same cliched phrase with my song.

For couplet two: The stench of Election 2004 still hung in the air in early February. Bush had just gotten sworn in for a 2nd term. Kerry seemed relieved. And I was still annoyed that Howard Dean had gotten dismissed by Democrats, a year earlier, when his voice cracked in a moment of passion? Now Dean's getting derided again for calling the Republican Party "pretty much a white, Christian party." According to the 2004 exit polls, 87 percent of Bush voters were white and 89 percent were Christian and by comparison, Kerry voters were 66 percent white and 71 percent Christian. I don't understand why he's getting spanked for pointing out trivia.

People seem to prefer "pleasant" liars like Reagan, Clinton, and Bush, to feisty truth-tellers like Dean.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Tonight Jay Leno will tell some more Michael Jackson jokes.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Public journals are a balancing act. It seems right to divulge the jist of what's going on, but not the gory or mundane or overwrought details. A public blog ought to assist its readership to see things from a fresh perspective. Or at least to entertain.

For instance, last week I struggled with a revelation that a woman who'd been planning to visit me this summer was now not so invested in that idea. Heartbreak can last from a lifetime to a moment. Fortunately for me the duration keeps shrinking.

It lasted about seven days this go 'round. Not long enough to even get a song from! But that's a good thing.

I'm through with sad songs. E-minor has met its Maker.
Tonight Farmor sat me down and talked religion. She wants me to go to Heaven. That's fair. I told her church is boring. She recommends coming in half way through the service to catch the sermon and wine and hot Lutheran single moms afterwards. I can probably do that. This could be using God incorrectly, but what do I know?

Like the words "freedom," "cowboy," and "love"--God has become more than just a simple, easy-to-define noun.

This I think I know: God is good. God is the answer. God is inside us all.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Let's say that this is my 1000th blog and pretend that I've written 500 songs and suppose that I've played 750 shows and hypothesize that I've sold 666 "Sandman" shirts and/or pillow cases.

Would you admire me? (Please don't answer.)

My morale is low. This happens sometimes. Maybe it's the hay fever vitamins I'm taking.

My friend Calvin wrote from France. He's there with other friends: Khaela, Anna, Mirah. They are getting paid to play music around Europe. He wanted to know what music festivals around the NW I'm playing. I can't play any this year 'cause I'm now a Curator.

I haven't sold a CD since April! What's going on? I used to get mail orders all the time. People would want everything I had. That's how I gauged my self worth and so now, well, I feel pretty damn worthless.

They love me at the museum. I'm a celebrity there. I've been told that I'm on the cover of the Dunn County Herald today. It's too depressing to get a copy; all symbols of success, here, translate to being a failure as a musician.

I sound like an aging actress. A boxer. I coulda been a contender...

I'm not fishing for compliments or reassurance. I know how feelings pass. But it's good to be honest. It's good to document the truth.

Tomorrow I'll remember that I'm here to be close to my aging family. That they're more important to me than any small amount of fleeting fame. That North Dakota has as much soul as L.A., New York, and Paris. It just looks different. Like a meadow lark. Like an antelope. Like sage. Like my farmor's hand on my grandfather's cheek.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

A sculpture at the Visitor's Plaza of the United Nations in New York.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The creative ether --
Don't know who I am, where I've been, or where it ends.
No close friends and not much money to spend.
A tragic romantic floating between the Pacific & Atlantic
On a bed of quicksand. . .but not frantic.

I am the sand. I am the land. I am Lost Coyote Boy.

I am Everyman.

My Olympia pal & drummer, Garf Austinson, just wrote and asked how I was. I rhymed the above reply. He reports that his daughter, Clementine Danger, is starting to babble and drool.

Here's a photo of Garf (in hat).

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Here's a picture of Grandma (Farmor) & Grandpa Sand from 1987, taken on their Killdeer Mountain land.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Oooh. Thunder & lightning!

The day started out with Dad up at 5:30 and me trying to sleep. At 7:00 or so I crawled out and ate a bowl of cold oatmeal he'd made. He rented a carpet cleaner, so we cleaned carpets until 9:30 a.m. Then I mowed grass and Dad departed to the mountain.

At 11 a.m. I got my hair cut. Then I went to First National Bank and set up a checking account. By noon I was on my way to meet Dad.

The weather was nice today--78 F--so I took a detour to Whetstone Cemetery to visit the graves of my great-grandparents, Herman and Kristianne Nupen. It's a tiny graveyard in the middle of the prairie with no more than thirty or forty tombstones. A small, abandoned church still stands. Upon leaving, I continued west until I bumped into the oil fields of Grassy Butte, whereupon I turned around and drove back to the mountain.

Dad and I planted eighteen junipers on the north ridge to create a living snow fence and then rode horses. I've been seeing lots of groovy mushrooms and colorful birds about.

Grandpa turned 86 today. His and Farmor's dear friend Patty Goodall came to celebrate. She brought steak and whiskey and vegetables and fruit and pie and ice cream and brownies.

I picked up Uncle Chris at his trailer and drove him down to G & G's, where all six of us then proceeded to feast.

Afterwards Dad and I drove back to Killdeer amidst this storm. At one point lightning struck nearby and lit up the land. To the right I saw a cosmic orange fox grinning in a neon green ditch. She looked like she'd eaten one of those vibrant birds, or some of those mushrooms.

"...the ghost of 'lectricity howled in the bones of her face.
And these visions of Katrina have now taken my place."

I'd best turn this computer off before its circuits get fried.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Dickinson is Killdeer's nearest big town. Population: 16,010. Distance: 35 miles. I drove there today to watch Revenge of the Sith. Yoda pleased as always.

Tomorrow I hope to ride.
Loneliness has ten letters.
Happiness nine.
Ugliness eight. Shyness seven.

Artful has six Awful five Evil four.

Emu three. Ox two.

& I, one.

...this is my midnight moan.

Friday, June 03, 2005

I posted this in the Dunn County Historical Society newsletter today:


My name is Christopher Sand and I’m the brand new rookie Curator at Dunn County Museum. My grandparents are Bob and Edna Sand. My parents are Rob and Mary Sand. I work up to 40 hours per week here along with Jeri Patchen. I’m extremely honored to work for, and with, you all in preserving Dunn County history.

Our first five weeks have been dynamic. In May we had over 150 visitors. We’ve been doing a lot of “house cleaning,” too, which includes changing exhibits around, organizing files, and the dusting/sweeping/mopping/ & scrubbing of all six buildings. We’ve also been cooperating with various tourism agencies across the state, as well as with local media outlets, to help spread the word about this wonderful museum.

For summer we plan to have five major museum events:

June 25th- Kids Day! Games, prizes, and snacks will be provided. This is our attempt to share our learning space with youngsters (and draw their parents and grandparents out, too).

July 4th- Dunn County Museum Parade float!

July 24th- Christmas in July! Lights, trees, food, music and even Santa Claus.

Aug 27th- Cream Can Dinner! Yummm. Eat to your heart’s content. Live musical entertainment.

Sept. 24th- Chili Feed/Cowboy Poetry Gathering! The West lives on… Maybe we’ll even haul out the chuckwagon for the heck of it. For dessert--S’mores!

Please come out to one or all of these events and say hi to Jeri and me. See ya then.

-Christopher Sand

Thursday, June 02, 2005

A freelance writer who saw my performance at the Medora Cowboy Poetry Gathering somehow tracked me down and interviewed me today. She's from Maine.

Pile Driving Records in Vancouver, WA sent off $350 to Willie Wisely in L.A. today so he can finish another of the lyrics-only-tracks we started on last summer in Portland, OR. They're gambling. They want to see what happens if I get professionally p-r-o-d-u-c-e-d.

My pal, Jeremy, in Seattle just got hired by a musician's tour booking agency/book publishing company. One of their acts will be touring with Cold Play this summer. He thinks they can help me in 2006 on both fronts (touring & book publishing).

Frosty J Publishing plans to place one of my songs in an underground movie sometime this year.

Plus, Giles is almost done with return to (the blackhole)... of outerspace. Blandow Charismium, the fine DJ who scratched over A Year in the Life of Slippery Goodstuff, will sometime soon sprinkle his magic turntable dust on this one, too.

An interesting confluence of events within 24 hours, indeed.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

June came fast. Creeks are flooding from torrential rains. I've never seen that in this country.

May was super wet too. The grass is thick and tall every place where cattle and mowers aren't. It's beautifully lush across the whole state.

Earlier today, in a tourism brochure, I came across this:

“North Dakota is the hometown of the world. A land of vibrant, small communities sharing our values and our lives with the global community. Bonded together by reverence for our land and nature, we celebrate family and treasure our nurturing towns. We embrace visitors as fellow travelers on life’s journey, welcoming them as participants in our thoughtfully planned and growing economy. We invite them to join us in a climate of exciting seasons, dramatic change and deep appreciation for those who have lived here before us. We offer peace and tranquility, and folks who will listen when you talk. We are a beacon of hospitality to a world of strangers. Our doors are forever open. Come home to North Dakota.”

I, actually, think that's pretty great! North Dakota is a good home for me.