Thursday, January 29, 2009

Two more great Oregon shows!

1) Bend--I was worried at first, because the Silver Moon Brewery is spacious. The Dirty Words played a blistering set, however, and by the time I took the stage, folks were galvanized and ready to listen. Thanks, Mike, for organizing it all, and for the super flyer.

2) Ashland--A sweet, petite house concert hosted by Amber, John, and Junin. This one was organized by my awesome friend, Jan Brotman. We showed up at Amber and John's early, and they served us a nourishing salad and hearty venison stew. The crowd that came was fun and savvy. I entertained them with bawdy tales of life on the psychic frontier.

Now I depart for Chico, CA, for a rockin' gig at Monstro's Pizza. Five bands!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Highlights from the last seven days I haven't yet expounded upon:

Jan. 20
1. Watched the Presidential Inauguration on Capital Theater's big screen. The theater was packed.
2. Performed with Calvin Johnson, Kimya Dawson, and my band (Carl and Garf), on Capital Theater's main stage following the Inauguration.
3. Forty people, including Calvin and Kimya, joined me onstage to sing "Folk Legend (MLK)" to end the show.
4. Kimya invited me to teach the Dr. King song to her choir that evening.

Jan. 21
1. Performed on Andras Jones' fantastically theatrical Radio 8 Ball Show in Seattle.
2. Wrap Party (end of film shoot) with Elizabeth and Tyrone after the Radio 8 Ball Show.

Jan. 22
1. Recorded full-length Freestyle Record with Timezone & Nerviz in the ABC House basement. The process was refreshing. Thanks, fellas, for seeing this through!

Jan. 23
1. Gave Little Bear Sand a stuffed penguin. He liked it.
2. Cousin Kirby backed up Megan on Etta James' "At Last" during the Corvallis show.
3. Megan then sang a French and Italian aria during the Corvallis show. She knocked 'em dead.

Jan. 24
1. Got offered another $500 from the Portland Downtown Association for use of song.
2. Palm trees, fresh fruit, and friendly people in downtown San Francisco.

Jan. 25
1. My friend Amy "Amelia" Ellis Rogers gave me and Jason Kleinberg a free ride in her Cessna 172. Not only that, she encouraged me to fly it. We buzzed over the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Sausalito, and Napa Valley.
2. Played a super lame show at the Knockout. So bad it was awesome.
3. Helped friend Marni, who's recovering from a brain injury, organize her living room.

Jan. 26
1. Casandra and Asia's home-made pizza.
2. Kirby and Austin drove to Breitenbush Hot Springs to visit.
3. I had all the rock-lined pasture pools to myself, after midnight. Watched shooting stars until morning.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It appears I'll be playing a last-minute show at The Knockout tonight at 7 p.m.!
By the skin of my teeth I caught my flight to San Francisco yesterday. Jason Kleinberg, a saintly musical luminary of the Bay, picked me up at the airport. We ate burritos and talked about U.S. Presidents.

To catch the plane in time, I was forced to leave my toy drum machines, guitar, boots, hat, "Sandman" shirts and pillow cases, and sleeping bag in the car in Portland. All I grabbed was a box of CDs, a toothbrush, and this laptop.

The house concert was surreal. I felt partially naked without my Western attire. Kleinberg opened the evening with songs of whimsy and truth. Joe Rut played next with brutal and funny ballads. Jen Grady was there. She joined me for three songs and then rocked one of her own.

The evening ended, hootenanny style, with the guitar being passed around until early morn. I made many new friends. Thanks, Jason and Nelly, for throwing a wonderful party!

I'll be in the City one more day. Tomorrow I fly back to Oregon for three more shows: Breitenbush, Bend, and Ashland.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

After sleepwalking through Thursday's show in Astoria, I was happy to be hittin' on all cylinders last night in Corvallis. Thanks, Robb & Ms. Alex, for opening your home and promoting me, and thanks also to "Blood on the Banjo" for playing first and bringing people.

I'm at Kirby and Megan's at the moment, preparing to drive north to Portland so that I can fly south to San Francisco for another house concert tonight. No one's awake here yet. I'll wait another hour, 'til Little Bear wakes up. He's talking, sort of. "Banana" comes out "badaaadananama." "North Dakota" sounds something like "nadnaanadakote."

Friday, January 23, 2009


Corvallis, Oregon
Recorded a free-style record this morning with Nerviz and Timezone in Olympia. It promises to be radically different than other albums I've done, as it contains completely spontaneous lyrics. We laughed our way through embarrassment to hit sweet veins of rhythm and rhyme.

Later today I drove to Astoria, OR, for a gig at the Fort George Brewery and Public House. The owner hooked me up with locally-caught rock fish, home-made wasabi ginger ale, cash money, and a place to sleep. Merch sales were higher than I deserved, because I was exhausted and forgetting words a lot. The people in this village are gracious.

I still have much to talk about regarding the Radio 8 Ball Show last night and the Inauguration performance the day before. Both were epic in their own ways, and the film crew was there to capture it all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Busiest, most productive two days in a long while. More of same tomorrow. No time for bloviating. Will catch up as time permits.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dr. King!

"We shall overcome
We shall become one
We shall sing your song
We will carry on . . ."

Folk Legend (MLK)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Last night's house concert was a reunion show of sorts.

In the '90s I was part of an Olympia folk scene that seemed to disperse soon after I moved to Nashville in '97. Last night's show brought some of us back together. Elizabeth Hummel's band, Water Witch, and Reva opened the evening. Then Carl Dexter, John Nason, Matt the Beat-boxer, Reva, and Water Witch joined me on a few numbers. It was a sure-fire hootenanny, and my set was chock full of sing-a-longs. To end the show, Carl and I sang "Kumbaya," only slightly tongue-in-cheek.

The door brought in $300, and the other musicians let me take it all. Thanks, y'all. And thanks, John and Jessica, for opening up your sweet abode.

P.S. The film crew is with me again. Elizabeth brought Tyrone this go 'round.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

(Image created by Trisha.)

Tonight! House Concert at John & Jessica's (1341 Pear St. NE [south of San Francisco St.] / Oly, WA 98506) w/ Reva and Elizabeth Hummel (Water Witch). $5-10 sliding scale. 8 p.m. Call (360) 705-2532 for directions.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Somehow gained ten pounds since I left NoDak. Could stand to gain ten more.

Feelin' good.

Need haircut.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

If I woke up on January 21st to find I was President, this would be my slogan:

Sarah Alexander took this photo of me running butt-naked through a swamp two years ago. I Obamafied it using this application.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Like sand through the hour glass, so are the days of my tour . . .

Time in Olympia expires quickly.

My awesome buddy Lando helped me silkscreen a hundred t-shirts tonight. There are some pretty great ones in the batch--all quirky thrift store finds. Tomorrow I need to tackle pillow cases and CDs.

I've been staying at Nina's this week. I wash dishes and clean in trade for staying in her basement and using her utilities. Tonight I cooked supper using canned venison I'd given her years ago.
She squirrels things away like that.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My computer got a virus today. I must take it to the doctor now.

Monday, January 12, 2009

My favorite baseball player ever, Rickey Henley Henderson, was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame earlier today!

Rickey has been a big hero of mine since 1981, when I was ten. The first rap I wrote, in 1985, was called "Run Rickey, Run."

There's a suitcase in my parents' basement stuffed with hundreds of different Rickey baseball cards, buttons, figurines, and magazine articles.

It feels good to know that he's now officially in the Hall of Fame. Here's a sweet article, with video.

Kudos, also, to the great Red Sox slugger Jim Rice. He, too, was voted in today.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Last night's Bremerton gig at Winterland was bizarre and fantastic. Circus-like, even. Jesus Chords started the party. They stirred up the room with country-punk-salsa magic from 10 to 11 p.m. Then I played close to three hours, 'til closing time. Eric, from Jesus Chords, joined me on drums for a few songs. Mysterious erotic dancers entered the joint at midnight and collaborated in spontaneous fashion. The crowd was animated and interactive.

My former girlfriend Trisha joined me on this Bremerton adventure. We arrived at Winterland early and pillaged nearby thrift stores for silkscreen-worthy shirts. We found a lot.

Friday, January 09, 2009

If dimes were pearls, then I dropped fourteen thousand pearls on Pearl Drop yesterday. She purrs like a fox now. This leaves me with $15 in my bank account.

Ebb and flow . . . rock & roll.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Much of western Washington is flooding. Aye, natural disasters have dogged my travels--blizzards, avalanches, ice storms, blackouts, mudslides.

California 'quakes and Texas twisters surely await.

One thing for certain, though: no heartbreaks!

I'm evolving.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I've landed. Olympia, my home-away-from-home, presses me to her rainy bosom. I have two weeks to re-stock merch, fix Pearl Drop, stretch, and rest. I will also continue booking shows for February and March. I'm at K Records today, using their Wi-Fi.

Yesterday, after leaving Anacortes, I did a fun interview in Seattle with Tiff from Hollow Earth Radio. It will be broadcast next week, I think.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Friday Harbor last night was another success. "Sandman" shirts and pillow cases are almost sold out. I'll have to make more in Oly.

After the show I stayed gratis at the Juniper Lane Guest House, owned by my friend Juniper Maas. She and her boyfriend Sean are great people. We stayed up late talking about music and fasting. They were both on day 25 of a 30-day fast and looked radiant. I slept in the Mandala Room.

My crony Giles vacationed there in 2005 and wrote:
This place, the Juniper Lane Guest House, is incredible and no amount of my grappling with the enthusiastic and beautiful words in the English language is going to impart how amazing it is. Beautiful salvaged wood floors, great tile work, and every room with a different theme and different color scheme. The "back yard" was actually a vast pasture in a long valley with tall forested foothills on either side.
Well said, G.

My head is exploding from all the island kindness being heaped upon me (Doe Bay, Lunsfords, Juniper . . .). I'm spending tonight in Anacortes with dear friends Karl, Calli, and Ciel Blau. We all just returned from an amazing enchilada supper at Todd and Janna Young's. The Youngs own The ConneXtion, which is the merchandise distributorship I use to sell my CDs.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Howdy from a rowdy ale house on San Juan Island. Music, beer, fries, good cheer.

Last night's Anacortes show was super.

Scroll down three days for a New Year's Eve picture from Doe Bay. (Thanks, Tara!)

Friday, January 02, 2009

The ferry ride back to Anacortes today included jumping baby porpoises, flashing white sailboats, and golden sunshine. Last night, my final evening at Doe Bay, was blissful. They gave me solitary, after-hours access to the pools above the Otter Cove waterfall. I alternated soaking in the hottest one and plunging into the cold one.

Tonight I'm at the Department of Safety in Anacortes.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hello 2009!

Last night's Doe Bay show was sweet. Not as raucous as previous years, more elegant. Crowd participation was my highlight. "Sandman" shirts have been really moving this tour, as have CDs and pillow cases.

I have a feeling 2009 is going to be dope.
Here's to my friends!

"And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne."