Saturday, December 31, 2005

Another year, another dollar. Happy New Year y'all! May the road rise up to meet us in 206 (sic). It's been a big year for me, what with three tours, two CDs, and a '89 Buick. I even got a letter from the Prez. Check it out: WARNING!

And by the way, observe the updated homepage (click on "Sandman the Rappin' Cowboy" in upper left corner). If it still has the old picture of me with the casio hit the refresh button. My buddy, Goose, just overhauled my website from a laptop in Bogota, Colombia.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Did I mention . . . the winner of the legendary license plate, 319 JOE, is: Eli Gay from Columbia, Missouri!

And Eli, I'll make the video tomorrow. You won't be disappointed with the $85 cost of victory. Amongst the other goodies, I'll throw in a pillow case I just silk-screened and a brand new CD.

This is Sydney Hann. She likes the pillow case.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

So this is what 35 feels like?

(This little girl's name is Clementine Danger Austinson. She's my old drummer Garf's daugher.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

license plate, n.: A rectangular, usually metal plate that bears a sequence of numbers, letters, or both and is issued by a government to identify an officially registered vehicle.

If you look very closely through the shadows, you'll see the sentimental prize that could be yours tomorrow at midnight if you can outbid Eli Gay's $85.

Why midnight? Because that's when the bidding for the blue and white brand that used to grace my ol' car, 319 JOE, ends.

Why tomorrow? Because that's the day I turn 35; it's a rite of passage.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Who will "step up to the plate" and bring the bidding for 319 JOE's license plate up to satisfactory triple-digit status? The rewards will be pleasing to the winner.

Potential bidders--let me know what you'd like added to the pot to make a $100 bid worth your time. It doesn't hurt to ask. Maybe I'll throw in an IPod.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah, too.

We had a second feast this evening--this time with mom as cook. We invited Grandpa and Grandma and some friends over. My friend Margi, the eagle biologist, was there. Grandpa told her about a time, some eighty years ago, when he found an injured golden eagle and put it in a wooden crate. Then he went down to the creek and caught frogs for it to eat. After about twenty helpings the eagle was so full that frogs started climbing back out of its mouth. At some later date, the eagle escaped and crawled into the chicken coop and slaughtered some hens, at which point Grandpa's dad (my great-grandpa), Christ Sand, riddled the hard-luck raptor with lead.

I wanted to work Christ somewhere into this entry. Great-grandpa Christ, by the way, was a Christian Scientist cowboy who lived a good long life. If you scroll down to the December 10th entry, you'll see a photo of him standing next to my dad and me.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

After Lutheran Church services in Dunn Center tonight, Grandma Sand made a most delicious Christmas Eve feast. For dessert she rolled a fine batch of lefse. Then we opened gifts. Mom and Dad gave me an old-fashioned-looking wall-hanging for my house, AAA membership, and cash to repair the broken lock on my car door. From G & G I got a National Finals Rodeo belt buckle, socks, and money.

I snapped a photo of the Christmas tree. There aren't many evergreens out here, so Grandpa improvises . . . .

If you click on the image, you'll be able to see tiny buds on the branches. Grandma places the tree in water on December 15th, and by Christmas Eve the shrub thinks it's spring.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Grandpa is thinking about buying this 6 year old appaloosa gelding from a Dickinson woman.

Have you heard of Santarchy? It's a bizarre new movement springing up around the globe--here's an example.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas is coming and so is tour. I'm looking especially forward to the mid-January Texas shows where it's warmest. Texas: home of Willie Nelson, Janis Joplin, Alvin Ailey, Molly Ivins, Kinky Friedman, Gene Autry, etc. It's also home to former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, Jim Hightower. He's pretty articulate when it comes to what he wants for Christmas this year:
Santa, bring me no stuff. Instead, the one and only thing I want is this: A REAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY, ALIVE AND KICKING!

It's not enough to wail about what the Bushites are doing to our country. Yes, it's awful they're brazenly ransacking our public treasury and giving the loot to the rich, they have us mired in a macho-maniacal war to make the world safe for Halliburton, they're sawing the rungs off the ladder of upward mobility for the poor and the middle class, they're defoliating our environmental and safety protections, they're gutting labor and consumer laws, they're deliberately defunding our public infrastructure, they're militarizing both the federal budget and our society, they're supplanting our basic liberties with executive autocracy, they're enthroning corporate supremacy through trade scams and stacked courts, they're ... well, the list goes on and on.
Texas is wild.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Welcome to "Step up to the Plate: The Auction Game."

319 JOE's license plate has climbed to $85. If someone bids an even $100 they will receive five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge (that's a lot of birds!). On top of that I'll throw in my 2nd CD: the 1997 auction-themed Love's Hangover Sale, of which I only have 75 copies left.

Have a rockin' Solstice!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

$70! And do I hear $80? I'll throw in a secret surprise.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Today begins the ten-day 319 JOE license plate auction countdown. I think I'll call this series: Step Up to the Plate!

Nine days ago "Bidder Bandito" nudged the price for 319 JOE's front license plate to $60. With a $60 bid "Bandito" will potentially win the plate, Joe's ignition key, random official car "papers" (insurance stuff, etc.) and a video of me singing "319 JOE." For a mere $10 more the next bidder could acquire all of that PLUS any Sandman CD they so choose.

The plate alone is worth $500, right? Now's your chance.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

I've been a little uptight this past week. Too much work, night and day. It's insane, really. While drinking beer with Grandpa at Ilo Bar last night, he dropped some knowledge. Pounding his fist on the pool table, he said: "Young people don't know how to play anymore!" He went on to say that most of the best education is absorbed while kids are physical and having fun.

I can't find any artful way to wrap this entry up . . .

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Part 3 of "Good to Be Awake" artwork:

You're going to love this record. It's my first album of love songs.

Let the pre-orders begin.

Friday, December 16, 2005

"Good to Be Awake" artwork (Part 2):

The chosen Crayola color for the CD's center is "Prairie Grass Gold." It narrowly beat out "Cello Auburn."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

"Good to Be Awake" artwork (Part 1):

Giles O'Dell created the CD artwork here. He sent it to the printer tonight. Hopefully I'll have all 1,000 CDs back before tour begins on December 31st. Notice that the album title has changed. It used to be "Love's Hangover Sale, Pt. 2." After all the changes it's gone through, Mom and I decided the title should shift, too. Mom, by the way, is the Executive Producer of this CD; she has been the guiding architect throughout.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Richard Pryor (December 1, 1940 - December 10, 2005)

"He did not simply tell stories, he brought them to vivid life, revealing the entire range of black America's humor, from its folksy rural origins to its raunchier urban expressions." New York Times

Pryor was the freshest comedian of our era, in my opinion.
Stan "Tookie" Williams III (December 29, 1953 - December 13, 2006).

"If Stan Tookie Williams had been born in Connecticut in the same type of situation, and was a white man, he would have been running a company." Jamie Foxx

I'm not gonna scapegoat Arnold, but still--what a prick. It's weird that a European-born womanizer and pot-head can be given so much power in the USA.
"Laugh at your friends, and if your friends are sore;
So much the better, you may laugh the more."

Giovanni G. Casanova - diplomat, soldier, writer, preacher, alchemist, gambler, violinist, spy, and the world's most infamous lover.
Wow. I need to have both of my new CDs ready to replicated by tomorrow if I expect to have them back before I leave on tour. There will be no sleep 'til Brooklyn.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The auction for 319 JOE's license plate is moving along. As of today we're over 1/10th of the way to my goal of $500. I believe an old rusty license plate is definitely worth as much as it cost to buy the car it was attached onto. Do I hear $70?

As requested, here's a pic of Joe in his healthier days. I'm yawning for some reason. 319 JOE, while still rolling, exemplified what Herbie only wished he could be: Bedrock.

For those of you who haven't heard his theme song, here are the lyrics:

319 Joe, yr a good little car
You'll drive me to the store, you'll drive me to the bar
You'll drive me to my job, if I let you drive that far
319 Joe, yr a good little car

Chorus 1:
Go little Joe, Go little Joe
From Vancouver Island, all the way to Buffalo
Head down to the southland, don't forget my guitar
319 Joe, yr a good little car

Your windows fog up, and this I do not like
And your brakes and your clutch, well they don't work right
And your engine blew up after two weeks on the tar
But 319 Joe, yr a good little car

Chorus 2:
Go little Joe, Go little Joe
From Vancouver Island, all the way to Mexico
From the badlands of Alberta, to the coastline of Del Mar
319 Joe, yr a good little car

Well, 319 Joe ain't a truck or a van
He's a little station wagon made somewhere in Japan
And I'll love him forever and protect him from the wreckin' yard
'Cause 319 Joe, yr a good little car

Chorus 3:
Go little Joe, Go little Joe
From Vancouver Island, all the way to Tokyo
You're a workin' class hero, no big superstar
319 Joe, yr a good little car

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Dunn Center was rockin' tonight. Glenn Eckelberg turned 60, and so a party was thrown for him at Ilo Bar. There was food and a karoake machine. I sang three songs: "Ring of Fire," "All Shook Up," and Charlie Pride's "Kiss an Angel Good Morning."

My dad's 59th birthday is today, as well. Or maybe it's his 58th. He's not 60, but he's startin' to look it. He ate 16 Ibuprofen today, and that's not uncommon. His body always aches. He's a good guy. His favorite singer is Dolly Parton and his favorite song is John Lennon's "Imagine." Dad's not exactly an atheist, but he's none too happy with most religions. I, personally, don't mind religion most of the time. I just don't like it when it mixes with government's greedy power brokers. But enough about imminent nuclear holocaust--back to Lennon, man of peace. I don't think my dad has ever listened to a full John Lennon album, nor the Beatles, but he sure likes "Imagine." For his birthday I bought him Dolly Parton's new CD, Those Were the Days, on which she does a cover of said song. She also duets with Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) on his tune "Where do the Children Play." She mostly sings "protest" songs from the '60's, such as "Blowin' in the Wind," "The Cruel War," and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone." Dolly's a strange paradox: savvy business woman, humanist, and Tennessee dingbelle rolled into one elfin package of country glam. I can dig it.

The above picture is: Dad, me, Great-grandpa Sand circa 1971. Dad's name is Rob. Great-grandpa Sand's first name was Christ.

Friday, December 09, 2005

"Two road dogs heading southwest in one 1989 Buick Century. Chris Sand, AKA Sandman the Rappin' Cowboy, and filmmaker Bill Daniel present a show of lowdown hobo documentary film and underground cowboy rap revelation."

From Jan. 1st until Jan. 31st I'll be on the road again. From Shreveport, Louisiana, to San Francisco, California, I'll do fifteen shows with documentary filmmaker Bill Daniel. He'll be showing his brand new film, Who is Bozo Texino?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

"A working class hero is something to be." John Lennon
(He died 25 years ago today.)
Check out what my pal/producer, W, gushed to the booker of a Hollywood music venue about me:

"(Sandman is) one of the most musically compelling artists I have ever seen, most unique, visionary... the whole deal . . . It's not a gimmick, he's the Woody Guthrie of the 21st Century. It's really no overstatement. A cowboy poet, wise far beyond his years, a humanist, a rocker, a sex addict. He's got it all."

I'm not sure if I should blush or cringe. (And Ma, I'm not a sex addict. I merely enjoy writing songs about subjects that make people laugh a little.)
The credit card is callin' like a siren. I can't resist her charms. I must splurge now. Maybe you, too, would like to splurge? My CDs make wicked killer holiday gifts.

This is what my new '89 Buick Century looks like.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It's colder'n a pawnbroker's smile today here in western North Dakota. Negative eleven F.

F that.
Home sweet home.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Ay caramba. My fingers are perched upon the keyboard of western Montana's slowest computer.

For breakfast I ate frozen grapes that I found growing in a Spokane alley hanging in fat clumps from a chain-link fence. Each sugar-sweet clump was covered in two inches of powdered snow. Last night's show at Empyrean Coffee House was good. I must've got at least three encores and made some friends afterwards. One of the other performers, Locke, is a performer with a mid-era rap (almost Tribe Called Quest) style--super cool, danceable stuff. I stayed at his and his wife's downtown studio apartment. We all chatted until 3 a.m.

The night before last I gigged at Mississippi Studios in Portland opening for Dana Lyons. After the show I decided to drive to Astoria to hang out with my friends Miranda and Teresa. We partied until 6:30 a.m., and I then drove to Olympia for a quick power nap and massage from Nina at her house. With an hour of sleep under my belt and lots of caffeine, the Blue Stallion and I cantered over Snoqualmie Pass and galloped the remaining 250 miles to Spokane.

Speaking of the Blue Stallion--he's just been shod with a sweet set of new tires. I love my new old Buick Century sedan. Pictures will be forthcoming later this week.

Lastly, but best, I just visited Grandma Vi at the nursing home. She returned from the hospital this morning after a mild heart-attack; thus, I was expecting her to be in worse shape than ever. But lo and behold, Grandma looks better than I've seen her in two years! She's walking again, albeit very slowly, which to me is pure miracle. She hasn't walked in 12 months. Her vision and hearing have improved. She's knitting and sorting through old pictures, and everything she says makes sense. I can barely believe it.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The candle is being burnt from every end. I miss the leisurely art of journaling.

Tonight's Cozmic Pizza show was fun. I wasn't at the top of my game, but all worked out fine. Earned $240 (counting merchandise sales) due to my friend Josh's solid promotional effort. Now I'm at cousins Kirby and Megan's house in Corvallis. Portland's next.