3/24/2024 : Athens, GA

The drive from Asheville to Athens was a breeze. I’ve never driven this route before, but it was beautiful and full of interesting sights. You pass through South Carolina, which was a little surprising to me. South Carolina is a state that I have not much experience with, know very little about. Of course the country I drove through, between from North to South Carolina and then to Georgia, looked not remarkably different on all the other sides of the borders. Just beautiful everywhere.

I stopped at a Walgreen’s to find some razor blades. I use a Safe-T Razor which takes just the old-fashioned razor blades which are kind of hard to find, but I found some here. Then I made myself my tour special: peanut butter on some of that thin, Scandinavian bread, and meditated. I’ve been meditating twice a day and so far in the tour it’s been done in the rental car several times. I love meditating, and it’s helping me stay grounded in the great confusion of the beginning of this tour.

I put the address of the venue into my navigator and, to my surprise, never entered the town of Athens but wound up at, as Chris Acker called it, an “office mall” in a rural zone. At first I thought I’d ended up at the wrong spot, but then remembered that I had been here before several years ago, when I visited Dave Barbey’s studio, which is also in this building. This venue is called Bolo Bolo. Inside I met Nathan McGee, who had asked me to play in Athens about two years ago, and here I am, finally able to swing it – of course in the altered, but not diminished, state of having a severely weakened voice. Some warm welcomes and introductions followed. Hamlin was running the show, and I learned he spoke French. We had a little French conversation that made me realize that French also sounds like home to me. He’s done some interesting projects in Switzerland involving using the piano as an art object. Nathan’s band included two beautiful folks by the name of Jack and Jake as well as Charlie.

I headed back outside to load in my things and saw Chris Acker. We had a nice meeting. I was of course electrified by the presence of a VHS copy of Naked Gun in his possession – one of my foundational works of art. I recently rewatched these movies with Yuri and Naoko, and found that the first one is still really funny. The other installments I would recommend only to die-hard fans.

So a brief description of this show: Jay Gonzalez opened, solo guitar with great melodies. His last song blew my mind: he hung a small keyboard on his guitar and played a melody on it while he strummed the guitar. That seemed extremely difficult to play but it sounded heavenly. Next Chris played, and I know a lot of his songs and really loved seeing him live. His songs are great, funny and human and with such a good eye for detail and rhythm.

Then I played – oh no, what should I do? Well, I knew I wanted to transcend myself in an unpredictable way so I just started in like the Fool on his journey. I tried singing the falsetto song again and it didn’t work out nearly so well. So I made fun of myself and did some other things, including some Accompanyments, some contests for the audience, and another dance moment. I gave out some Reese’s Eggs as prize. Love those things, but I don’t actually eat them myself these days, because of my throat issues. I’m also thankful to these because they make it necessary not to drink any alcohol, which makes every day start better.

Anyway, I continued on, and there were some really great moments, and then there were some moments when I felt like a bumbling idiot, when that fragile balance I was talking about before “fell in the water.” The concert was recorded, which I think you’ll be able to hear on the venue’s Patreon page. But I would really like to hear it too, because it went through so many phases and stages that I have trouble piecing it all back together again. I think that there’s something good in that. In any case, I feel like I learn a lot every time I play.

Chris had mentioned he had a dog in his car. Oh boy. I wanted to see that dog. The opportunity presented itself as we were going home. Doug is a very adorable, small pit bull. White and gray. He was sure happy to get outside.

I stayed over with my friend Matte Cathcart and Del (a recipient of a coveted Reese’s Egg at the show) and we talked and had tea and listened to the new ADD/C album, Ordinary Souls. It’s fantastic, I highly recommend that. Matte has a good old dog named Charlie who I got to pet. I slept well on his couch, under a big landscape painting and the loving gaze of a stuffed clown and monkey.

2 thoughts on “3/24/2024 : Athens, GA

  1. You’ve got a new fan, Kitty! Absolutely loved your show. You kept me enthralled the whole time. I could hardly tell what was real or not. RIP to the cave paintings

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