Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tomorrow I have a show in Mandan, ND.

Sandman in Mandan!

Where: Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
How much: Free, but you have to pay $5 to drive your car into the Park.
When: 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I got word today from my old rap partner, Camo, that he's ready to record some new songs with me this winter. Camo's a beatbox maestro, as well as a harmonica dynamo. He was featured prominently on my first three CDs, and also on a few cassette tapes like stardust, and the first blackhole release from 1997. Camo was also in the country hip-hop jug band, Workhorses of Yesteryear, with the Reverend Asher Dudley and me. We all moved to Nashville in 1998 and shook up the Music City underground for eighteen months. At that point I moved back to Olympia and went solo again. Camo and Asher joined the gothic/hip-hop diva, Rebecca Stout, and helped her form a new band--Baby Stout. They packed all the local Cashville clubs, but never quite made it out of Tennessee. Eventually, after a couple CDs, they disbanded. Camo then co-founded a school of massage and phased out of music playing altogether. That was three years ago. It'd be great to see what kind of music he and I would make so many years later.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I've got a secret addiction: Jay Leno monologs. This affliction is not as hip as, say, indie rock music. I'm just a mainstream rappin' cowboy with a yearning to laugh with the rest of my country each night. I don't even like Jay's personality all that much.

Whatever. As long as I'm here, in the USA, whittling down my debts, surviving, I'm gonna watch Jay's nightly monolog whenever I can. I'm gonna watch The Office, My Name is Earl, and maybe Late Night with Conan O'Brien, if I'm up that late. My true favorite is Blind Date, which is on too late. Everything else on NBC is boring, I think. Click.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Yesterday's Second Annual Cream Can Supper at Dunn County Museum rocked!

Janene and Chantel Knudsvig, chefs extraordinaire.

Scott Lynch and Cody Dukart servin' it up. These guys are both on the Dunn Center Volunteer Fire Crew. They had a fire truck ready in case flames got out of control.

Let's eat!

Between 150-200 people showed up.

The musicians were Veikley & Dammen from Minot. These guys were a class act; the crowd loved every second of their Dakota flavored swing jazz.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

In the last week or so, I've worked on my house with Dad, disengaged from a long-distance romantic relationship, performed music and cowboy poetry around a campfire with relatives, been to a rodeo, visited with an astrologer friend who was passing through, made friends with two young women (one from Quebec and one from New York) who've been hired to band ducks at Lake Ilo, and played a lot of foosball and darts. I saw a movie (Dirty Pretty Things), started reading Cannery Row, wrote a new song ("Queen Patricia"), and made a painting of a war-ravaged Virgin of Guadalupe. At the Museum I mowed acres of grass, created an antique swimsuit exhibit, organized the library/meeting room, and prepared for tomorrow night's Cream Can Supper.

And I've had writer's block. Make that blogger's block.

Friday, August 18, 2006

"Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me. It is an uncomfortable doctrine which the true ethics whisper into my ear." - Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I learned this morning that my friend and former housemate, Lilli, died in a helicopter crash in Idaho on Sunday. She was a gorgeous and kind-hearted person who loved nature and music.

I lack words.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Here's the plan.

Record a new album in Washington in December.

Starting January 1st, drive down the West Coast and across the Southwest states to Texas.

On January 15th, fly from Dallas to Boston. Rent a car in Boston and visit the chilly East Coast for five days.

Fly back to Dallas and tour the deep South for two weeks, possibly joined by filmmaker Bill Daniel.

Then dip and weave through the middle and Midwest states until March 1st.

My goal: $300 per show. I want to make as much as a trucker does, 'cause I'll be deliverin' the goods--boxes of 8 different CDs, 500 pillow cases, 300 shirts. Plus buttons, zines, belts, boots, hats, mugs, and knick-knacks. And 200 songs to sing, many rhymes to rap.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

In my spare time I like to visit yard sales and thrift stores. Here are a couple things I acquired last week. The ceramic E.T. lamp makes me happy. "Turn on your heart light." The keyboards have some bizarre sounds and beats. I found a used Michael Jackson Off the Wall CD (his best), a cast iron pot and lid for 50 cents, a beer mug with built-in whistle in case you get piss-drunk and can't move, a giant map of the world from 1954 with distorted country proportions, a paperback of Steinbeck's Cannery Row, a vintage Empire Strikes Back pillow case, a 1986 Alf t-shirt, and a weird 1970s puzzle of a robot looking into a pixelated black hole.
Do you Sudoku?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I saw a rainbow this evening in Dickinson.

Tomorrow is Andras Jones' birthday. We were once in a band together called Beer Pressure. Andras writes many songs about beer. Happy birthday, Andras.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Above: Aunt Jo spreading Great Uncle Chris' ashes upon his mother Clara's long abandoned garden spot, above Wolf Creek. Clara Sand died in 1921, still in her 20s.

Last night I held a little hand
So dainty & so neat
I thought my heart would surely burst
So wildly did it beat
No other hand I've held so tight
Could greater pleasure bring
Than that little hand I held last night
Four aces & and a king

(I recited this poem yesterday in Great Uncle Chris' honor. It was his favorite.)

Great Grandpa Christ Sand's Wolf Point tombstone. I was lucky enough to meet him once in 1971.

Grandpa surveying the land where he and his brothers were born and raised, seventeen miles north of Wolf Point, along Wolf Creek.
I just returned from Wolf Point, MT. More on that tomorrow.

Check out the words to the right of Ms. Democracy's head.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tonight the ashes of Great Uncle Chris Sand, who died last year at age 88, were spread near his camp on Killdeer Mountain. We stood under a huge oak tree heavy with green acorns. Wild strawberries, prairie grass, and sage grew beneath.

The ceremony was simple and peaceful. Cousin Brad played guitar and led the family in "Amazing Grace." Grandpa sang "The Cowboy's Dream," and I recited two cowboy poems--"Reincarnation" and "The Cowboy's Prayer."

Tomorrow we'll drive four hours to Wolf Point, Montana, where Great Uncle Chris and Grandpa were born and raised. We'll spread more ashes along Wolf Creek, and also at the cemetery where Great Grandpa Christ Sand and Great Aunt Vivian are buried.

"Last night as I lay on the prairie,
And I looked at the stars in the sky,
I wondered if ever a cowboy
Would drift to the sweet by and by."

--from "The Cowboy's Dream"

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Tonight I hung out with four of the five McFadden kids. They all like to play my musical instruments. Claire, the youngest of the four, had an uncanny knack for gettin' funky on the Casio Rapman. She mastered the scratch pad immediately!

Friday, August 04, 2006

A big thanks to Goose for installing PayPal on my merchandise page, and thanks to everyone who has ordered my CDs of late. Now I can afford some booze and cyclobenzaprine.

Just kidding.

On January 1st I plan to embark on a two-month U.S. tour. I want to play all the southern, western, eastern, northern, and middle states. Maybe Canada, Cuba, and Colombia, too. So, if you live in any of these states or countries and want me to play in your town, let me know now. I like to schedule performances three to four months in advance.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The late, great country singer/songwriter Hank Williams, Sr., and I have something in common: spina bifida occulta. This is a spinal column problem that causes chronic back pain. It was probably the main trigger for Hank's abuse of alcohol and other drugs. I do my best to avoid medications of any kind, but tonight I'd take a cyclobenzaprine, if offered.

In Olympia I managed to get three or four massages a year, which helped. In North Dakota I've had a harder time with that.

After work I drove around in the countryside for three hours with my 80-something friend and neighbor, Vivian K. She educated me about who used to live where, and which ranches were homesteaded by whom. A highlight was discovering that the little town of Werner still has a few residents. I'd thought it was long gone, a ghost town. Vivian pointed out a concrete artesian well that bubbled over with cool, black water, and we sipped from it. I'll return there soon with camera and canteen.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

August! The nights are beginning to cool down. Feels good.

Bryce & Cuti spent the last three days visiting. The first night they stayed in my Dunn Center house; the second night we all stayed in Killdeer at my parents' house; and last night we camped on the mountain. We hiked to the beaver dams at dark and saw six beaver. Coming home, we got temporarily lost in the dark oak-aspen-birch forest.

This morning, before I drove to the Museum, Bryce helped me record a new rap I wrote called "PO Box 007." He's planning to use it on his new hip-hop CD. He made super raw beats for it. Bryce is a talented drummer/rapper/actor/dancer/yogi/super-hero. Cuti was raised on a dairy farm in Argentina. Some people use the words "goddess" to describe her, like my parents, for instance. Grandpa & Grandma fancied her, too. She's rad, and I'm glad that Bryce and she have each other.

The Rappers ================>