Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Excalibur did it again. Ten thousand miles and eighty-nine days later, my blue '89 Buick Century has returned me safely home. My parents welcomed us back to North Dakota with my favorite supper, spaghetti with clam sauce.

P.S. Brrrrrr. Two more months of winter. Ya, you betcha.
Exhaustion. I'm currently in the Glendive, MT, library. In two or three hours I'll be back in the county of Dunn and state of North Dakota. And even though I know Dad is eager to solicit my help with a couple projects, it'll be relaxing to arrive home.

During last night's encore performance at the Filling Station, I raked in $90 in tips plus $60 in merchandise sales. As well, I met some nice folks who want to help me book shows throughout the west next autumn.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Last night's Filling Station show was minimal turnout but maximum good times. One of the listeners gave me a box of funky cowboy kitsch and a $100 check as a "welcome back to Bozeman" gift. I'm still speechless!

The Filling Station invited me to return tonight for another show, and how could I refuse. Today I played on KGLT, University of Montana-Bozeman's radio station. The deejay, Noel Lacey, is a blazing southern hellhound slide-guitar slinger one-man drum-thumpin' beeraholic who opened up last night's show. I stayed at his and his girlfriend's shack.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Prago Argentine Cafe, in Spokane, treated me kindly. After my extended Olympia vacation, I finally got a wad of cash to work with. Now Bozeman, tonight.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ten jobs I have had in my life:

1. Struggling Farmer’s Helper / Sheep Rancher (Charlo, MT)
2. U of M Outdoor Program Hiking Guide/Kayak Instructor (Missoula, MT)
3. Malheur Nat’l Forest Helitack Rappel Fire Fighter (John Day, OR)
4. Dish Washer at Thai Pavilion (Olympia, WA)
5. Fish Frier at Captain D’s (Nashville, TN)
6. Davidson County Storm Water Infrastructure Surveyor (Nashville, TN)
7. Laborer/Carpenter for Sunrise Construction (Olympia, WA)
8. Janitor/Handyman for K Records (Olympia, WA)
9. Curator for Dunn County Historical Museum (Dunn Center, ND)
10. Professional Troubadour (Everywhere, North America)
Adios, Olympia.
Adieu, Natalie.

(I'll miss you.)

Allo, coldcrazy Spokane. People are howling outside my window . . .

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Here's a concert preview that Tacoma newspaper Weekly Volcano wrote concerning last Saturday's show at Capitol Theater:
Sandman the Rappin' Cowboy

Though I like some of it, I'm not a huge fan of country music, nor will you likely see me purchase a rap album any time soon. But there is something really endearing about Sandman the Rappin' Cowboy. It could be the debonair smile beneath the brim of his cowboy hat, but truthfully, I think it's his words and the way he says them that distinguish his music. The thing is you never know what he'll say next, and that's refreshing. Actually, refreshing is the perfect word all the way around to describe this music. Inter-genre music is nothing new, but successfully mixing rap and country, that's a tall order. And, well, if you succeed . . . you might just be a redneck.

Sandman's songs have countrified acoustic guitar, hillbilly harmonies and the hallmark of every good country song--a good story. But, since he grew up listening to not only his parents' Johnny Cash albums, but also '80s rappers such as Grandmaster Flash and LL Cool J, he decided to mix in a 1980s sounding keyboard breakbeat and his own raps. Alternating between cowboy campfire country and Casio accompanied rap with ease, both styles are steeped in interesting, thought-provoking and often humorous ideas. Despite the reputation that comes with his chosen moniker, Sandman does all these things without even slightly putting his audience to sleep. In fact, his hooks are so catchy that they stick in your head afterward like Bubblicious in a bad perm.
--Angela Jossy
In spite of the rain, I'm gettin' my Olympia kicks in. Croci & tulips are poppin' abundant. The money drains through the soggy sieve, and Excalibur is makin' odd sounds under the hood. I quit drinkin' for a month until tonight--hangin' with my old housemates, Lenny & John, is a good excuse to get loose for an hour or two. Three gin & tonics and my tongue unwinds with a few stories and jokes. Four and I'm fairly borracho. I start speaking Spanish, in fact. I can't remember if I had tres o cuatro . . . And I should mention that mi valentina dulce, Natalie, has only gotten mas dulce.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The show at Capitol Theater was successful, I think. Chad, Carl, & I did fourteen songs in total. The Vintage Valkyries performed after us, and they were amazing. They're a five-piece rock outfit who all go to high school in Yelm, Washington. Really fun, really good. On the flyers that I made for the show, I wrote that there would also be a "surprise guest" at the concert. Originally my plan was to perform another set of songs with Timezone LaFontaine on turntables, after the Vintage Valkyries set. We would have rocked a few raps from our (return to the) . . . blackhole (of outerspace) CD, but Timezone got swamped with school work and canceled. Minutes before the show, though, I ran into a fellow who had a huge bigfoot costume strapped to his van. I could see that he had built it with stilts so that he could be ten feet high and look out through the eyes instead of the chest. I asked him if he'd make an appearance and be the surprise guest that we'd promised. He did! To see a small picture of what he looks like click here.

Friday, February 16, 2007

To play front stage at Olympia's Capitol Theater on a Saturday is a big deal, and to perform with my band--Carl Dexter (bass/electric guitar) and Chad Austinson (drums)--is a real treat. This is what I get to look forward to tomorrow, at 10 PM!
Back in the day, when I lived in Olympia, I played Texas Hold 'em every night and lost more often than I won. I revisited that addiction tonight for the first time in a couple years, and, fortunately, walked away with $40. It's time for me to get back to North Dakota and the steady paycheck.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I won't say her name, but my Valentine drew me the sweetest card today of two birds kissing. The boy bird is wearing a cowboy hat, and the girl one is wearing cowgirl boots. Their eyes are closed and both have long lashes.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I was joking when I said February 14th is the worst day of all. It's actually one of the best. Happy Valentine's Day, Mom & Dad & everybody else!

Monday, February 12, 2007

I've enabled blog comments again. Feel free to write somethin'.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

We're havin' a party at the ABC House tonight: The Lovers & Fighters Valentine Ball. There's music, dancing, fancy drinks & desserts, a kissing booth, a hexing booth, a punching bag, and a tarot-reading love Oracle. I helped build the kissing booth, and it's impressive. Let the misery begin . . .
Just made flyers for the Capitol Theater show next Saturday. It's almost 4 a.m.

Earlier today--actually yesterday at this point--I worked on the new record with Nerviz. I think it's going to be called All the Things I Done Wrong. It's an album about remorse and death, and I suppose, also, compassion and resilience.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

"You have an ambitious nature and may make a name for yourself." Vague, satisfying sentiment from my dessert oracle: the fortune cookie.

Today has been an idle day. I hid in my $5/day room and slept for three hours. I surfed YouTube a bit. I called people. I thought about God. I thought about women. I started missing North Dakota again. I thought about women some more. I worried. I thought about children, beautiful infants who become cosmic renegades. I thought that maybe I'd like to have some someday.

My brain is at war with my heart again. And here comes Valentine's Day--worst day of all.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Today Carl, Garf, and I practiced for the February 17th show at Capitol Theater.
The Colts won the Super Bowl, and Prince rocked the Halftime Show. I ate pizza. Baseball season is approaching. I may join a fantasy league this upcoming season. What else? I found a place to stay for the next two weeks: my old haunt, the ABC House. As always, Olympia is foaming over with green creativity. This town is a goblet of artistic endeavors. My main three goals, for the next two weeks, are 1) continue working on new CD, 2) produce a big show at Capitol Theater, 3) not spend all my remaining money.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Greetings from storage unit #209. That's what it's been like of late. I've been storing some of my stuff at a Candice's house and the rest in Excalibur's trunk; each night I stay somewhere new. Last night I camped with Sarah, in her van, outside of a homeless person encampment. These folks were protesting a new city ordinance banning them from loitering downtown. Sarah anticipated a police crackdown in the middle of the night and wanted to be there, as photographer and journalist, to document any shenanigans. No shenanigans were to be had, except for us getting a $15 parking ticket at 9:30 a.m.

Here is some good news, though--Capital Theater is making their front stage available to me on Saturday, February 17th. I want to set up a super rockin' concert that night. I'm considering getting a local high school band to open up for me, and hopefully, I'll get all my favorite musicians to back me up. Half rap, half country, all Sandman.