Tuesday, December 22, 2015

This week's Missoula Independent features an article by Erika Fredrickson about my recent trip to Vegas, my upcoming CD, and the upcoming show:  http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/reenter-sandman/Content?oid=2595028.
Photo by Claudia Ponce

Monday, December 07, 2015

A big HOWDY from Las Vegas.  The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo is happening this week and white folks in black hats abound.  I'm one of 'em. I've been eating yogurt and fruit to keep things affordable.

I'm in town for three reasons.  1) To visit my lovely girlfriend, Claudia.  2) To deeply focus on work.  3) To audition for America's Got Talent: Season 11.

So far, so good!  Claudia is always fun to be with and she has been helping me focus on my work projects.

My radiant guide, Claudia, and her halo.
As for the AGT audition, it happened yesterday in the ritzy LINQ hotel.  I don't know when I'll learn if I was selected or rejected, but I'm fairly certain the latter.  Upon arrival, hundreds of us were herded through labyrinthine halls and, eventually, stockaded into holding rooms.  The room I was in reminded me of a flourescent Star Wars Cantina filled with sticky-sweet odors and strange visions: drunken ukelele men, small blonde girls in tights and makeup, a fish-swallowing juggler, unhappy beefcake twins, Panamanian break-dancers, a Rodney Dangerfield impersonator, multitudes of a cappella singers, and a rapping cowboy.

The "cowboy" was called up first.  Disoriented and nervous, I grabbed my guitar, stood in front of the solo judge and, without taking a breath, lurched into "Both of Us" by B.o.B. and Taylor Swift.  In hindsight, my first mistake was singing another person's song.  Anybody who's seen me perform knows I don't do cover-songs unless they're cowboy ballads.  My fatal blow was forgetting to capo my guitar.  Singing in G instead of D--the key I'd practiced it in and the only key I could pull off for that song--turned my croon into a croak.  Disoriented, I forgot the words.  I paused . . . resumed . . . stumbled . . . ad libbed and then ended with some sloppy finger-picking shenanigans.  The judge looked small and uncomfortable.  "A merciful death," I breathed to myself.

While exiting through the LINQ casino on the main-floor, President Obama addressed the nation in a rare prime-time speech from the Oval Office regarding the mass-shooting in San Bernadino.  Football-watchers groaned at the untimely interruption.  I re-joined Claudia on the street, and we left in search of Persian food.  It felt like another chapter in my eternal, glorious/ignominious American road trip.  

I'll let you know if I somehow passed the audition but, if I were a gambling man, I'd say my odds are one-in-a-million.

Addendum: Turns out I am a gambling man.  The Downtown Grand Hotel where I stayed last night gives its guests a one-time $10 voucher to use at the tables. Lady Luck was with me and an hour later I possessed $300 and quit.