4/16/24: Laramie, Wyoming at the Lair with Warren K and Corned Beef

I rolled in into Laramie exhausted from the drive. It was a chilly night, and this town, where I’d never been before, has wide boulevards, western wear shops, saloon, and some nice old western architecture.Alex, who is with the local DIY outfit the Green House Collective had sent me a message saying he was at the venue and the door was open. But when I got there the door was locked, and I sent him a message saying as much. He emerged out of another door right beside the one I’d been trying to open… ah! that door…

The real door to the “Lair” opens onto a descending staircase lined with flyers from previous shows. A band called “The Pentagram String Band” caught my eye. The show space was nice and roomy, with a tiled mirrored wall, a large stage, even a nice creepy doll standing up in a dark corner (see pictures). As I explored the venue I discovered more and more space, including a big back room with couches and a futon.

I brought in my things and set them aside when a man in a ski mask came up and introduced himself. “Oh, I recognize you!” I joked, but he took me seriously and said he remembered me too… haha, oh no, I was only joking… This was Warren K, who would be opening up the show. Soon Corned Beef came in – William and ______ (I remember William’s name because he won the day’s Reese’s egg mentalism competition.) who would be DJing as the third and final act of the night. We were talking a bit and one audience member, Ella, came in. Alex said he thought he would get the show started at 8:45. I checked my phone, and it was 8:44. Wow, this would be the smallest audience yet – one!

Warren K went ahead and turned his beats on. His computer was sitting on a card table, each of whose legs was duct taped to a cinderblock to give it extra height. He rapped in a raspy, menacing voice, and Alex, Corned Beef, and Ella were dancing a little bit. I danced a little bit too to give what little energy I had. But I realized that it felt pretty good dancing after doing so much driving lately. I let my dancing brain take over, which does not know any actual steps but follows impulses that come from Who knows where… and Warren K seemed amused by whatever I was doing!

I decided that when I went onstage I would not give any less energy to the performance even though there was only one person in the audience. In fact, I would take it up a notch. I have an I Ching app on my phone and it landed on “Innocence” which advises to show joy and openness. OK, I felt like I could do that. And though I felt “heavy tired” when I pulled into town, I felt like I had plenty of energy now. Rolly Lighthouse opened the show in a more rapid-fire style than usual, with plenty of “Woo!”, high kicking, hands raised to sky, and spinning around. Then Big Kitty came out and sang his songs – and during this time the audience tripled in size, to arrive at the number of 3 – which is a pretty dramatic change. Tom, who also works with the Green House Collective, also showed up. I must say, that despite the small crowd, the atmosphere and the vibe was excellent. Everybody there was in a good, easygoing mood and wanting to have fun. They all listened to every word I was singing and they seemed to really dig it. I finished with a karaoke version of “Holiday God” and a flashy, clumsy dance like I used to do in Buck Dancing competitions (2nd place 2011 Calhoun, Georgia International String Band Convention).

And last of all came Corned Beef who did a joint DJ set, mixing up a bunch of dance music. Everybody danced, and I danced wilder than before, really enjoying the opportunity to shake the stiffness out of my bones.

At the end of the night, Tom invited me to stay on the futon in the back of the venue, but I decided to keep driving a bit, since Kansas City, the next stop on the tour, was a 10-hour drive away. So I drove off into the Wyoming night, which was actually getting colder and snowing, listening to Philip K. Dick’s short story “Minority Report” until I stopped at a rest stop in Ogallala, Nebraska to sleep for a few hours. I was back on the road by 7 am. Feeling surprisingly fresh (at least at first), I listened to the end of Geddy Lee’s autobiography, My Effin’ Life, which I suppose would make any Rush fan misty-eyed. As I drove into Kansas City for the first time, I talked to Naoko and Yuri who were just going to bed. I told Naoko about the huge meteorological and geographic changes I’d gone through in just a few short hours – snow in Wyoming, rainstorms in Nebraska, high winds in Iowa, and finally puffy clouds and blue skies in Missouri. She had just watched Woody Woodpecker and did a pretty good impression of his laugh.

4/13/2024: El Cerrito, California with Squishers and Beafsteek


Santa Rosa and Sebastopol left me with a bittersweet feeling. It’s hard to understand when I go back to a place I’ve lived before why I can’t still live there. I went by Hardcore Espresso, the mostly-outdoors hippie coffee shop I used to go to, often with Naoko, where we would play Peter Rabbit, Robin Hood, or Beatles in a little play cabin on a patch of gravel with several of those red and yellow toy cars outside. I ordered a cup of maté and found I still had a Hardcore punch card in my wallet. Seven more drinks to go. The skies were cloudy and it was a bit chilly to sit outside, so I got in the car and moved on to my bank to deposit the check I received from the Santa Rosa show. It was strange to think that the tellers probably assumed I still lived in the area, and it was strange how it felt to me like I still did, too.

I didn’t have a show on the 12th, so I went to visit my friend John in Berkeley. When I still lived in the area he would play tablas with the Big Kitty band which also included Dean Tisthammer on bass and Henry Nagle on pedal steel guitar. I had never visited his place before, so didn’t realize how small it was when I asked to sleep there. This small space which includes a taxidermied armadillo and bobcat is shared by John, his partner Denise, and their standard poodle, Ram, but they have outfitted a minivan with a bed, so I slept in there. It was a real flashback to my tour with Yuri back in 2009-2010 when we slept on a bed in the back of our Toyota 4Runner, but this iteration was designed much better with insulating, blackout window coverings all around. Also, Denise made a very delicious dinner of stewed lamb, polenta, and roasted potatoes. We had so much to talk about, the conversation was intense, wide-ranging, and full of laughter.

The next day I went to see Daniel, Natacha, and Nico at their house in Richmond (another nearby East Bay city). It had been a few years since I’d come and they had a second dog, in addition to Bear. This one is named Captain Noodles and is completely blind, due to the fact that he has no eyes. But he gets by pretty well with the other senses. Daniel and I more or less immediately began playing some of his instruments – accordion, cello, bass – before getting dressed up to go to a neighbor’s birthday party – a joint party for a 2-year-old girl and her mom who had birthdays near to but not on the 13th of April (which is Samuel Beckett’s birthday). The theme was animals but having no animal costumes, I was given a birthday cake (with candles) hat and a vest of (plastic) flowers that Yuri and Naoko made for me about 7 years ago and that we had given to Daniel. We spent a couple hours over there watching Lucía eat chocolate cupcakes and meeting people before heading back over to Daniel’s home studio to record one of his songs, “Carpe Diem,” which he’s made over 10 versions of, including one on the new ADD/C album. That was fun, and we managed to finish just in time to be fashionably late for the show that night at the Little Hill Lounge.

I had played at this venue, which is partly owned by old friend Teddy, when I still lived in the area. It looked more or less the same upon entering, except nicer and more established. They have a bar area with fancy booths in the front and a stage in the back where a sound engineer was setting up for the local askew-country group Beafsteek. After them Squishers (with Daniel, Teddy, Rymodee, and Maria of the Bananas). I was set to play last, though I thought I should go before the full bands, and also I wanted to be able to enjoy listening to them without having to anticipate what I would do onstage. But it was good to give me time to get ready and organize all the little things I would need. I decided not to play it as straight as the last couple of nights, and I put on my Rolly Lighthouse drag clothes. This time I also had a lipstick that I bought at a Dollar Tree, which should be called the Dollar-25 Tree, as that is what everything costs there. So I introduced Big Kitty as Rolly Lighthouse, sloppily applying lipstick on my face at the beginning – I kept this on all night long, completely forgetting about it. I DID record the other shows and Squishers did play the song “Carpe Diem” that we’d just recorded earlier that afternoon!

It was fun having Daniel up front reacting to the songs like “YES!” or “HAHA!” – I loved that, though I had to close my eyes a lot to stay on track with the songs I was playing. I’ve definitely gotten better at playing these new songs, and the shows are getting better, so please be there for the last shows of the tour! It was so fun to hang out with my friends in the East Bay.

There’s a lot of driving ahead of me so I’m going to cut this short here. Godspeed!

4/11/2024: Santa Rosa, California with Josh Windmiller at Moonlight Brewing Company


Yesterday I was writing just before playing at Moonlight Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, California. I lived in the nearby town of Sebastopol for about three years, from 2015-2018, so this should have been a familiar spot, yet I don’t recall ever having been to this part of Santa Rosa before. But, I saw a lot of family and friends here, which made the office-park environment where the concert was feel like home. I was playing with Josh Windmiller, who could be called Josh Wind-Pillar of the Santa Rosa music scene! He and my friend Bryce who work in music promotion in the area were so kind to remember me and set up this show. It was originally supposed to be held at a theater venue called the Lost Church, which opened up just as I was moving out of the area. But due to some technical issues the venue is not able to operate at the moment, and Moonlight Brewing stepped in just in the nick of time to save the show.

I arrived before the brewery was even open, wrote yesterday’s tour diary and meditated at a circular, concrete picnic table. When I came back to reality I saw that Josh had sent me a message saying that he was on site and thinking about where to set up the PA. I looked around but saw no sight of him anywhere and the worry arose in me that there were multiple locations of this brewery and I went to the wrong one. But no, Josh emerged from the obscurity of the taproom wearing a beanie and a horizontally-striped longsleeve t-shirt. In a couple hours, while he was playing, I drew a picture of him, and he said he looked like a sailor in the picture and that he had been going for that look.

There wasn’t a clear best choice for the PA to be set up, so we put it just outside a big open door so, we hoped, people inside and outside could hear the music. My sisters and mother-in-law and nephew and Julian, Anna, Charlotte from 33arts, Dean who used to play bass with me, and Beth – they are now married! – and Beth’s brother Cincinnatus wearing a Reds baseball jacket (!) all showed up and it was so wonderful to see them all!

Josh started playing around 5:30. He plugged his nylon-string guitar into my borrowed Vox amp and whipped out some wild dreamlike tunes with a lot of fantastic junkyard lyrics. Josh uses a lot of found instruments, including a heavy chain for percussion that he lays across a foot. I’ll try to put up a video to illustrate. His band is called the Crux and they really rip it up. I wrote about him earlier on this tour diary, about how he held a sort of communion at one of their concerts, passing out bread that he himself had made.

I followed up probably around 6:30, and played a set very similar to what I played in Santa Cruz. The sun was directly in my eyes for the first part, which I was very thankful for, because it was blinding. I think this is pretty common, but playing for people I know well often brings more nerves than playing for total strangers. I don’t know why exactly, but my guess is that because I know the usual facial expressions of family & friends, I notice it more, and I tend to look to see what reactions they might be having, knowing that they have the same familiarity with me, and this leads into the death-spiral of getting caught up in thought while trying to play music! But the sun was blinding me like stage lights, and I mentioned this and received a couple offers to borrow sunglasses. I think it sounded like I was being sarcastic and making a joke.

There was a guy with a bushy moustache I kept noticing. He would dance around in funny ways, kind of doing an interpretive dance to what I was playing. He was clearly enjoying himself a lot and acting silly and crazy – he gave me the weird and funny feelings I long for!! I took a selfie with him after the show and got his name, though I can no longer remember it.

For the most part, I think my folks liked the show, and some people who I didn’t know as well! But for me, I was a little disappointed because I forgot a couple of lines to some of my new songs. I also realized, in bed later that night, that I forgot to play “New Sadnesses.” At least – I think I forgot. Maybe I didn’t?

At the end of the night, as we were going back to Danna (my mother-in-law)’s house, I mentioned that I didn’t know exactly where I was, and Haleah, my sister-in-law offered to ride with me and give me directions. When I tried to start the car, however, I did not have the key. This is not actually a “key” but a “fob” which does not need to be actually inserted into the ignition. It just needs to be close to it. It was apparently not in my pocket this time! Since I am well-known for having things fall out of my pockets, I assumed it would be somewhere on the ground. Haleah and I searched everywhere I had been that evening, from the picnic table to the PA area to the bathroom. Those were pretty much the three spots where I had been. But there was no key to be found. I had already searched my catch-all tote bag twice and decided the key was not in there. But as I was searching the taproom Haleah went back to that bag, completely emptied it out and found the key. I am so grateful for that. We were beginning to consider having people come back and pick us up.

Haleah gave me directions back to Danna’s, which were very necessary, as I really had trouble remembering my way around what used to be my home. And guess who I got to see here – my old cat Abner, from Chattanooga! What a good boy.

4/10/24: Santa Cruz

4/10/24 – Santa Cruz

My performance at the show in Ojai was not as good as I was hoping for. I didn’t get to play a lot of the songs I wanted to play because the theatrical elements of the show were taking up significant time. Certain audiences I play for really dig this, but others, like in Ojai, I think, really want to hear songs. And writing these new songs is where I’ve been concentrating the major part of my energy, because I knew I would be recording an album, and since a record is just that – a record – and lasts more than a lifetime, that’s where I put my efforts. And, as a result the songs I made do seem better than what I’ve done before, at least lyrically. Embarking up on this tour originally, I felt as though the theatrical side of my performance was neglected, and so I threw it together at the end. At certain times it’s worked out great, others it’s been just kind of confusing. Because my kind of performing and music is a bit more complicated than a singer-songwriter, and different people know me from different angles, and the different styles I play in appeal to different people in different ways, it’s very important for me to be sensitive to each audience, but also to stay true to what I feel like I can do best in a given moment. At this moment, it was really the songs and not so much the costumes and characters.

One problem, of course, is that I didn’t feel as if I had memorized the lyrics to a few of the songs I had just recorded, so when I arrived in Santa Cruz around midday, I sought out a park to practice in. I looked at a map and found Neary Lagoon Park, and carried my borrowed guitar to a quiet park bench overlooking a wastewater treatment plant and behind which a pair of Mallards splashed around, perhaps in some sacred mating ritual. Very few people passed me, but when they did, and they were mostly dog-walkers, I just kept going as if they weren’t there. I played for a couple of hours, sitting on that bench, until the sun began to get almost unbearably hot. I resolved in my mind to play one last song and leave. The practice had been plenty good and I felt like I could perform “December Dandelion,” “Or Something,” “Chico,” and “Flowers” that evening. I began to practice “Davis” for my last song, when a shoeless, white-bearded man carrying a plastic mustard bottle with a bit of red liquid inside sat beside me on the bench. I finished the song and he told me that I should articulate the words more clearly, so he could understand “the poetry.” I appreciated the commentary, honestly, though in large part because it, in addition to the bare feet and mustard bottle, indicated an interesting character. He offered me a drink of the red liquid, which was kombucha, he told me. I would estimate there were about 15 milliliters in there. I politely refused and told him that I was just on the point of leaving, but he asked me to play one more. I played “December Dandelion,” which I needed to practice most. He seemed to like the song, and his reaction meandered along a great many tangential pathways, which exceed by far my capacity for recollection. What I do recall, however, was that he said he had undertaken research on Leonardo Da Vinci and had “merged” with him. Curious about his use of that word, I asked him to expand on what he meant by that. He explained that he discovered that he was an incarnation of the great Renaissance man. He explained that he overlaid a photograph of himself over a self-portrait of Da Vinci and found them to be practically identical. Looking at him, he did seem to look like Leonardo. I asked him if Leonardo’s eyes were as blue as his, and he said that the portrait was in ink, and that he did not know. Probably the most miraculous part of this story is that I told him I would be playing later that evening at the Sub Rosa community center – and he showed up!

I found the space for the show about an hour before it opened, and walked around Santa Cruz a little bit. When I came back, I met Dan Beckman, an old friend who was a musical legend to me and several friends back in Chattanooga in the early 2000s. We loved his record as Uke of Phillips and especially his song “Le Petit Chien.” I wouldn’t actually meet Dan for several years, when he passed through Chattanooga with Amy and their band – whose name had evolved to Uke of Spaces Corners by then, or perhaps Village of Spaces Corners, or what it is now, Village of Spaces. Dan’s music is very magical, so tender, beautiful, idiosyncratic, done according to no schema or template that I can discern. They came and played once at our place in Sebastopol when we were living there. So, we loaded our things into the venue and waited for the others. Nate, who played as Hieronymous, showed up, with one of those 60s Japanese guitars that sound so cool and go out of tune so easily. Then Casy Meikle showed up, who I know from Tennessee, and who I didn’t know has been living in Santa Cruz in the last few years. I also know Casy as primarily a fiddler and didn’t know he sang and wrote songs. But turns out he’s good at that too! I also was super surprised to find that Daniel Binkley was in town with the Hogslop String Band! They had been supporting a singer on tour who got sick and had to cancel shows, so they were free to come see this one.

So Nate started things off, and played some very beautiful music. That old cheapo guitar just sounded better the more it went out of tune. He did some great Travis picking on it – it really had a great tone. After him Village of Spaces (Dan) played, accompanied by a guitarist named Frankie. They also played so beautifully. Then Casy came onstage – and he started with “Going Away” by Utah Phillips (I’m actually not sure if he wrote it – but I know his version). I also have covered that song for several years – and it’s one of my favorites. Casy’s version was top notch. When he was finished, I just jumped onstage and sang a bunch of songs. I didn’t get into costumes or anything, but I did do my mentalism schtick and some Accompanyments. And the change in my set turned out to have been the right decision. People were really into just hearing songs, and a lot of people came in off the street who hadn’t planned on coming, and seemed to really enjoy it, and bought things from me after the show.

At the end of the night, around midnight, I followed Dan back to his house, where he put me up in an old camper trailer parked in his front yard. It was so neat inside, I want to put one in my yard now. That’s all for now – I’m going to start getting ready for Santa Rosa.

4/7/24: Ojai, California

I rolled into Ojai just after receiving a voice message from Eliot Eidelman telling me I could either go the venue where the show would be starting in about 3 hours, or drive out to his place which involved passing a roadblock and various other obstacles, including a puddle so big that it’s called “the Lake.” I decided to wait on finding his place until I was accompanied. I also had passed a bookstore called Bart’s Books that I had been told about the night before. I love used bookstores and couldn’t resist this one, which is fantastic and full of surprises. The weather in Ojai was just warm enough to wear nothing but a t-shirt, and I was still wearing the blank blue-gray t-shirt I had been wearing for a couple of days, including while running on Venice Beach. Outside of direct sunlight, I felt a chill. And Bart’s Books is mostly outdoors – the used books, which make up the majority of their collection, are outside and protected from rain, and the new books are indoors under optimal conditions. They had all the cookbooks in what was originally used as a kitchen. I ended up buying a couple of books – a Samuel Beckett collection including his short prose piece “First Love” which I highly recommend, and a book by Martin Buber called I and Thou which I read about in How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell. I tried to suggest to the people working there to go to the show that evening, but it didn’t work.

I used Google Maps to take me from the bookstore to the venue, Greater Goods, which is a DIY collective. The navigator took me to what seemed to be the main location of Greater Goods, where a sign on the door said that that evening’s show would take place at another place on the cross street, just a two-minute walk away. While digesting this information I noticed a box of giveaway items beside the building, which I duly inspected, finding nothing of great interest except a box labeled “Synthetic Urine.” A little debate emerged in my mind about whether to take or leave such a mysterious substance. I had encountered bottled urine before, when working for an older gentleman who self-published a Cat periodical out of a decaying antebellum mansion located on Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, whose stately walls were streaked with cat urine. This fellow had a bottle of Wolf urine, which in my memory was not synthetic, but was actual wolf urine. It was in a spray bottle, and sold for the purpose of repelling deer and other animals who might bear an intinctual fear of wolves. This urine I found in Ojai, however, is a sex toy. I do still have it with me – just in case I need it. I don’t foresee using it for its intended purpose, though there should certainly be no shame in doing so.

I entered Greater Goods with the assistance of Josh, who was in charge and very laid-back. He was playing some music while setting up, and I recognized it as Eliott Smith. I asked him what album it was and he told me it was Either/Or, which I believe is his most well-known album. Enjoying the music, I took in the room, whose old wooden walls featured a kind of splayed-out sunbeam arrangement of planks which you can see in the pictures I took of Elliot, who set this show up. Eliot arrived not long after me, sporting a hand-painted button-up shirt that seemed to illustrate the potent nebula of psychedelic folk music that roils within the physical expression that, for lack of a more precise term, we call Eliot Eidelman. This was the first time we’d seen each other in about 6 years – about the same with Aaron from last night because we all got to know each other in the short period of time when I lived in California. Eliott is a fascinating songwriter, extremely prolific, extremely true to the individuality of his expression, and also interested in exploring unknown possibilities of song forms and lyrical themes.

After catching up a bit and remembering how light blue Eliot’s Eyes are we set up for this show: Eliott had brought an oblong card table for our merch. He even had a pretty Mexican blanket for a tablecloth. We set up all of our beautiful items and traded a couple of things. Little did we know we would sell nothing, despite the charming display. Somewhere along the road, I think in New Mexico, I bought a votive candle at a grocery store to burn at shows and such, It’s for a child saint who protects travelers. Once everything was ready, guitar tuned and amp set right, and the small but so beautiful crowd seemed settled on the arrangement of secondhand couches and chairs in the room, I went around and asked people if they had a lighter or match to light my candle. Nobody had one except ______ an older gentleman with a salt-and-pepper beard and a big old coat.

Big Kitty started off this show, again being introduced successively by Rolly and Roy. Rolly sang “Angel Horse” and Roy did “Healthy & Great” which is an unreleased song. I’m not sure why exactly but this introduction just didn’t seem to work as well as it had the previous two times. I felt less capable of hitting the mark with the characters, perhaps I was too worried about the crowd’s reaction; they seemed a bit tired, and I had just talked to them all, when I asked them to light my candle, because ______, the only person capable of lighting the candle, was also the last person left to ask in the room.

I”ve been trying to make my performances into a seamless stream of poetry and song but the transitions are often elusive – and the transitions are crucial. Moving between a traditional guitar-strumming song, a stage banter persona of questionable sanity, and an unaccompanied free-verse sung poem has been a challenge. I did remember to record this show, which is great because I’m playing and singing the songs better at this point. I’m hoping to make a live compilation album at the end of the tour, with all the best moments I managed to record. I wish I had recorded all the concerts up till now because there have been so many wonderful moments.

Eliott played second. While I played on the stage, he was going to play to the side, because he would be switching between an upright piano and guitar. He also had a Korg drum machine that he used for some songs, and which was plugged into the amp I’m borrowing from William and placed on top of the piano. I think Eliot must have already written a thousand songs, The well seems infinite and his creativity is boundless. I think his songwriting has gotten better and better and is definitely no less wild than it ever was. Before we played he mentioned that he’d just watched A Face in the Crowd, starring Andy Griffith. I have seen that movie and liked it, plus the Andy Griffith Show was one of the primary reruns I grew up on (and I did have a Don Knotts T-shirt that I wore regularly). In that movie, Andy Griffith’s character addresses a monologue to his guitar, on the subject of why he prefers having it to having a lover. Eliot remembered the monologue and gave it as part of his performance, which was hilarious. I also appreciated that he sang an a cappella (with body percussion) song that was actually a beautiful love song with a hippied-out, gross-out human-body take on the building songs like “The Green Grass Grows All Around” or “The Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly.” He also set William Carlos Williams’s poem “Danse Russe” to music – and I had just happened to re-find that poem recently…Eliot dedicated it to all the fathers present, because the main image of the poem is of a mother and child sleeping in one room while the father dances naked in front of a mirror in another room. Then, he did a very unusual cover of Nirvana’s “Come as you are” that made me listen to the lyrics in a much deeper way than I ever had. They bend time in a heartbreaking way.

The whole night was actually pretty awkward. I don’t know why – but most of the audience, which was small to begin with, did not remain at the end. I know this was not for a lack of gusto on the performers’ part, because there was a lot of energy coming off the stage all night long. Maybe it was an excess of gusto. I did not let this hurt my mood, which has felt a bit muted lately, because, I think, of feeling overwhelmed by the constant changes and meeting either new people or catching up with old friends not seen in several years. But my mood is also quite great, I feel so lucky to be able to perform almost every night. It’s very fulfilling to connect with people on an emotional level with music, presence, poetry, and occasionally dance. The most common reaction I’ve gotten on this tour is that people get a mixture of sad and funny, like “touching” – that’s great. Most any reaction is great, compared to no reaction. But some are worse!

At the end of the night we cleared out and got in our cars – I would follow Eliot to his tiny house in the nearby mountains. We passed directly through a “Road Closed” barrier and drove for a few miles down a winding and partially-destroyed road including the massive puddle known as “The Lake” to arrive at Eliot’s place in total darkness (it was probably around midnight). Eliot had told me that they had an outdoor bath that they can fill with water from a natural hot spring. I followed him by cell phone light through the unpredictable shapes and contours of a constantly-evolving homestead, including multiple scarecrows and half-realized sculptures. It was a cold, windy night, I would guess about 43º Fahrenheit. Eliot got in the water first and I asked him doubtfully if it really were warm. He sad it was really hot, 107 degrees. I got in, and it felt fantastic. I’d been really cold before. Now my temperature was rising, I was smelling the intense but surprisingly good sulfuric odor of the water, and looking up at a tall silhouette of a mountain with stars overhead – a view very similar to the one where I live. I really can’t describe how good this felt after not quite realizing how much nervous tension I’d accumulated over the tour so far.

It was interesting talking to Eliot in the total darkness, when I couldn’t see his face, because he seemed like a different person, or maybe less defined, in such a way that I could hardly remember who he was. At this point, in the middle of the tour, I am recognizing some profound changes in myself. Yesterday, in Los Angeles, I completely forgot where I was for a moment – what city am I in? Of course, as I wrote about that particular house and neighborhood, they could have been located in any state in the country – though the abundant lemon tree in the yard would change for a fig or a pear or something. I’m a little disappointed in how I feel, because I’ve been so graced with freshness and novelty that I’ve grown desensitized to it, and it takes an extra step – which requires some but not much effort, it’s a little intimidating before you do it, but once you’ve done it you realize it was easy, and that step is just looking directly at yourself and what you’re doing and admitting that it is great, that it’s beyond greatness, wonder, and fear and that every moment is potentially your moment of return after all seemed irretrievably lost, that every moment of life is the last scenes of A Christmas Carol.

After the soak, we made our way back to Eliot’s tiny house and got into bed. While changing into sweat pants, I noticed that my legs were bright pink and very sensitive, as if they were sunburned. It must have been an allergic reaction to the sulfuric water. Eliot helped me turn the shower on. It was a very particular and complicated method of turning on a shower. Having seen it only once, I would not be able to replicate it. I soaped and washed my body as quickly as possible and got back into my pyjamas. There was no immediate improvement, but by the morning all was back to normal. The sun was shining very brightly on the mountains facing the house and there was a big, clear window right in front of the guest bed where I was sleeping (a tiny, but welcomiing house!). This was just like yesterday, when I slept in the studio – there was a big window and the southern California heaven light came through like angelic trumpets announcing daybreak, against which I defended myself with blankets around the head.

When I awoke I found myself looking directly out at the sharp, crisp dry but green semi-desert mountains and blue, blue sky. I said I felt like I was just being born, the light was so bright, it was like the first time I’d seen any at all. It took a lot of eye-rubbing to let it in. I found Eliot reading a copy of East of Eden he’d checked out from the library and told him I was going to meditate and he could do it with me if he wanted. He accepted — the first person to meditate with me on the tour. We sat in two standard black folding chairs on his deck, he in his bathrobe, me in my sweatpants, and faced the sun with eyes closed in silence for twenty minutes. This might have been during the solar eclipse, because I never noticed anything different with the sun, though that supposedly happened on this day.


4/6/24: Los Angeles


I left Pedro in the morning, headed towards the artist and musician Luke Pelletier’s house where I was going to film a song in his garage. He has a series of musical performance videos in his garage which he’s decorated in a beautifully exuberant way and which includes several of his great paintings. I met his wife Kristen who is a great painter, and brother Tristan who filmed the video. It was pretty incredible to see Luke’s garage in person, having only seen it on the internet. It was almost too exciting, fortunately I’m road-worn and disoriented enough at this point so my senses feel somewhat dulled. This is actually a great feeling, like the Fool in the Tarot, or a baby. Of course never having met Luke before, I didn’t know what he woud be like. Turns out he’s quite tall and very relaxed and friendly, easy to get along with and happy to show me all the miraculous artworks around his house, most that he and Kristen made but also some that they collected. I recorded three songs with them, and I guess they’ll choose one or two to put online. I liked their two dogs, Haze, a big brown dog, maybe a lab-pit bull mix? I’m not sure. Then Rooster, a classic pug. I like pugs, can’t help but laugh at their faces and tongues.

The weather was gorgeous, just the most beautiful weather you can imagine with that great, clear & brilliant LA light. I had several hours between the filming and the house show that night so, I drove to the beach, despite it being about an hour in either direction. I went to Venice beach, because they said it was the closest one. But I was really glad to go there, I’ve been to that beach a few times, starting when I was 10 years old, and love it. I ran up and down the beach for a while, then meditated, touched the water. I walked along and people-watched. I was a little disappointed that the three guys working out at Muscle Beach weren’t freakishly ripped, but at least there was a crazy punk show going on right beside it. It was a band called Neighborhood Watch, who seemed like they might be a legendary old punk band that stuck to their guns as they aged. There was a crazy mosh pit, including a shirtless guy on roller skates and a masked man in a wheelchair. That was wild, I loved it. But didn’t stay long.

I then saw a sight I did not expect to see. Harry Perry, the guy I remember seeing back in the 90s as a kid, who plays heavy, psychedelic guitar solos while roller skating and wearing a turban, was standing right in front of me, looking more or less the same! He wasn’t on roller skates, but his guitar, which is white with red concentric circles, was the same, albeit heavily aged. I told him I remembered him and always loved seeing him. This must be the third or fourth time I’ve seen him. He was a bit down, though–he seemed depressed. But he still played the guitar and sang. I bought one of his t-shirts for Naoko.

Around five o’clock I drove up to Aaron’s house in la Cañada, where the show would be that night. It was in a classic suburban neighborhood that seemed built in the 50s and could have been located almost anywhere. Their house is beautiful, a spacious place that must have been a middle-class dream house at the time it was built and still had the same appliances. Their stove works with buttons instead of dials, which I seemed to remember my grandmother having at her house in Selma. There are also horse stables in the back, and a horseshoe is stuck in the driveway with the word “Drifter” and the date read 1960 I believe. Inside the house was a bar, with a thatched roof covering it. Aaron and others made cocktails during the show.

I met a lot of really nice people at this show – Zach, Levi, Madeline, Jolee. The vibe was very relaxed, friendly, open. Aaron began playing as Dingbat Superminx – we played several shows together in the bay area when I lived in Sebastopol, and are definitely kindred spirits hunting some similar hallways in music, though with quite different styles too. We both have a lyric-focused sensibility and we like doing playful theatrical things in performance. He did a lot of performing to backing tracks at the time, which I also did of course. But now, I was really jazzed to learn he’s got a real band backing him up, and they sounded fantastic. One difference between our music is his lyrics often focus on social commentary in a humorous way. He had one song about a “Full-Time Muse” that was so funny. And then his last song was a sort of panegyric against recording music. I loved that. But, it reminded me that I had really wanted to record his set and forgot.

I also forgot to record my own set, which was a shame because I played some of the songs really well. I again had Rolly Lighthouse introduce Roy Sessick, who introduced me as Big Kitty. That was fun, if complicated, having them there. Also, I don’t know why, but I felt very nervous playing my songs, but fortunately people responded really well. Several folks told me they were both laughing and crying, which is so great.

After me came Frogluv – this band is focused on the songs of Ruben but has very interesting instrumentation which features a blend between electric guitar, saxophone or clarinet, and backing vocals. It’s really inspiring hearing a band that’s really a band, that makes new music collectively. Well, I don’t know how they write it but it seems like it must come about through playing together.

After the show Aaron DJed a little dance party. I didn’t end up dancing, though I’m pretty much always ready to dance. I was pretty tired, having gone running, I suppose, and I sat down and drew while enjoying the music and atmosphere. Afterwards, there was a nice jam session that sounded like minimalist classical music, Terry Riley kind of stuff. I enjoyed that and recorded it. Had some nice conversation with Aaron, drank some hibiscus tea with CBD honey and went to sleep on an air mattress that Madeline set up for me in their studio. Another studio with a 16-track 1″ tape machine! I have several friends with these machines. It’s inspiring to me that so many people are recording in their homes this way.

This morning, I woke up pretty late, almost 11AM. Of course that’s about 8 hours after having gone to bed. I’m used to a very regular schedule, so this is unusual to me, but I like it. It observes a different rhythm, music’s rhythm I suppose. I woke up and shaved, which felt great. Aaron was washing up the glasses in the bar when I emerged. He made us some eggs in a cast iron skillet on the push-button stove. They were the first eggs I’d had since beginning this tour, so it was a treat. I had a great time catching up with him, and enjoyed hearing his idea for a reality TV show involving earning money by not offending people.

I’m in Ojai now and will be playing in a few hours at Greater Goods. Everyone at the show last night seemed to think I’d love that place, so I feel good about going there!

4/5/24: San Pedro, California

I’ve driven Insterstate 40 into Los Angeles around ten times in my life, so few times I can almost remember each instance, but so many that some memories are harder to untangle one from the other. This time, I think I’ll remember it more clearly, because it snowed. The thermometer reading in the car plunged about thirty degrees and there was a huge gray-blue-black swirl of a cloud dominating the sky.

I knew I was close to San Pedro when I saw the huge crane arms from the port. This is such a cool part of LA, with the docks that light up at night. Last night’s show was at the Sardine, a venue that Todd Congelliere from Recess Records opened up since I was here last, which was around 7 or 8 years ago. Todd’s record label released the Big Kitty album, Florence, back in 2012. That was of course a very important thing for me, and so this place and Todd’s support have always meant a lot to me.

Of course, before I had that personal connection to San Pedro I was a Minutemen and Mike Watt fan. In fact, Mike Watt is the inspiration behind writing a tour diary. I used to read his back when I was a teenager, all the particular slang from Pedro that he used making a big impression on me of what this place must be like. Well, after visiting a couple of times, I must say that I haven’t heard anyone speak like Mike Watt, but this place does have a character all its own that I can sense despite the little time I’ve spent here. It feels like a friendlier and humbler part of LA, but still soaked in the sun and beach. Anytime I go to a coastal part of LA I get a certain feeling of ease from the people that I imagine is linked to the proximity of the beaches and sun, and maybe the ultimateness of living on the Pacific Ocean. There’s also a cleanness and consideredness of image that seeps in through the entertainment industry. That’s not a quality held by everyone by any means but I do feel like each place I’ve been so far on this tour has given me a pretty strong individual character, which runs against the narrative of homogenization that tends to dominate my concept of the trajectory of American culture.

So back to the show and the Sardine – I love the size of this place, with very high ceilings, a large, open barroom in front and another, about equally large back room for shows, with a very roomy stage. There were two acts, a band called Play Hooky and one other, whose name I forget. Play Hooky was really fun and catchy, a rock band with some funny songs and occasional surf and punk touches. The bass player was playing through a pretty major foot injury, and had his leg bandaged up and on a scooter. He was just smiling and having a good time despite it all. I enjoyed their set, it was nice and long and gave me some time to chill out a bit.

There were between ten and fifteen people at the show, so it was a fairly empty room. The cold weather may have played a role. It wasn’t, of course, that cold, but for Los Angeles it was unusual. So when I got onstage I said, “It’s great to be here in Fairbanks.” I think it may have produced a chuckle in some souls.

I tried a lot of new stuff at this show, including opening up for myself twice, with two different characters: first, Rolly Lighthouse, who just acts crazy and has an extreme southern accent, and Roy Sessick, a bit of a self-important lounge singer type whose character I’m discovering as I go. I used a cheap Lone Ranger mask with an elastic cord that got stuck between my eyes and the holes in the mask, so I could not see while doing these songs, which made it extra weird. The Roy Sessick songs were sung to backing tracks, and I thought they sounded not too bad for my first ever try. It’s pretty fun to sing like that because it’s so much louder than just guitar and voice.

This show was great, again, despite the small crowd. I’m not too bothered by performing for just a few people, when you can see individuals clearly. I used to be more so of course.

I needed a place to stay and Ryan, who was bartending when I first came in, offered a practice space nearby with a huge couch, where I’m still sitting writing this. This is a really nice practice space, with lots of room, and it’s clean. Amazing.

Today I’m going to visit Luke Pelletier’s garage to film a song or two, then move on to play a house show with the great Dingbat Superminx!

4/3/24: Albuquerque, New Mexico

In between Mississippi and Albuquerque I stayed in a motel I’d been wanting to stay in for some time, the Blue Swallow in Tucumcari, Arizona, one of the classic Route 66 motels with a beautiful neon sign. I drove into a parking space around sundown and immediately met Robert, who runs the place with his wife. He had a certain midwestern accent, a burst blood vessel in his left eye, and a very well-worn-in motelkeeper friendliness. I stayed in room 1, which is quite small, has a working rotary phone, old furniture, and even a crocheted blanket hanging over a small easy chair. The next day, when I was checking out, Robert noticed my Megadeth t-shirt (I found this at a yard sale in New Orleans on the way to the studio) and he said, “Nice shirt.” I chuckled and he told me that he was in fact a metalhead who had seen a lot of concerts in Chicago, where he’s from, including the early Metallica lineup that included Dave Mustaine. When he found out I was on tour, he said next time I come through he would trade me a room if I played some music for the other guests. I’m making plans!

The show in Albuquerque was arranged by my old friend from Gainesville Ryan Quinney. When I asked him if he could help me find a show in Albuquerque, he found a venue and screenprinted a poster within about 60 minutes. I am so thankful for that! What a dream. He has a nice screenprinting setup in his house and makes shirts and other printed matter. Here’s his website, go buy some stuff from him!

The weather in Albuquerque was perfect – sunny and cool with blue skies. I got to the venue, an art gallery, before it was open, and I took out my guitar and started practicing. The venue is close to downtown but also in a residntial neighborhood – it’s at 606 Broadway, if you’re looking for it.

Juan, who owns the venue, and Ryan showed up soon and we set things up outside, since it was such a beautiful day. The stage and area around was fragrant with blooming wisteria.The person doing the sound, whose name I can’t remember but may have been Bernadette, was celebrating her birthday, and Ryan’s partner Emily baked her a cake. Emily is a professional baker and she made a peanut butter & chocolate, gluten-free, vegan cake, that was extremely good.

There were two other acts besides Big Kitty on this bill: first was Ermine, a solo performer on ukelele with a variety of effects pedals. I talked to her a bit beforehand and found out she’s a playwright and hosts writing workshops. Her set was gorgeous, including some near-ambient uke playing and a cover of “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor.” She mentioned that this was the first time she had played out since the Covid lockdown.

I played next, and I had as my goal for this performance to give it more energy and weirdness, to try to lose myself in it, and to play some new songs I haven’t performed live before. I opened the show wearing a blond wig and a long blue dress as the Rolly Lighthouse character, who is a version of a character I give to Naoko’s doll Baby Coco. I don’t know how well it worked but it was pretty fun. I had her explain the radios and sing “What is the Truth?” which is a song from the first collection of Accompanyments (see my Bandcamp profile). She then introduced Big Kitty – I got offstage, tore off the dress and returned, and launched into “What Flowers Do” which is a new song that was just recorded in New Orleans. It was the first time I played that song live. I did a rather large number of spoken-sung Accompanyments style songs and tried to lose myself, and I did get into some interesting emotional spaces. I’ll have to review the recording I made, to understand what happened a little better.

My friend Sean Lucy was there as well and he requested “The Ballad of Almond Robin,” which I sang last and heard him singing along to. That was pretty special, and I made sure to add a few changes to the lyrics to get him laughing.

After me came a great band, Midnight Stew, who I recommend heartily. A 3-piece, they play “NDN country” which was also pretty shoegazey because Greg, who plays guitar and sings, played through a bunch of pedals that made his sound pretty psychedelic. I dug this music so much and you should listen on Bandcamp.

This show was over earlier than usual, which was great because I’m still trying to get caught up on sleep from jet lag and many late nights. I went back to Ryan and Emily’s house, where Ryan and I had a nice time catching up and I met their dog Porkchop, who was definitely not very sure about me, barking a lot. He was the first Jack-Chi I’ve ever met: a Jack Russell-Chihuahua cross. I found myself studying his face, fascinated, noticing elements of both breeds, which would encourage him to bark at me more. When Porkchop gets a treat, he gets up on his back legs and spins around in circles. He did that for me twice.

I was so thankful to have a futon and a room to sleep in in their beautiful adobe house. There was a wonderful clown and clown art collection in this room, as well as other cool paintings and things.

In the morning I woke up, meditated, and we talked some more. The neighbor’s dog, Gumphy, who is a different kind of chihuahua cross, barked at me also. It was another beautiful day.

Tour Diary

I ought to have written this a whole lot earlier, so it will be less detailed than it would’ve been if I’d have written each night about each day. But here we are, on April 3rd so we have to go back a few days… I left Atlanta more or less concurrently with Chris Acker and drove many hours south to New Orleans, where my friend Amanda left a key for me at her place since she would be at work. On the ride I began listening to Werner Herzog’s autobiography via the Libby library app. This book is very easy to lose track of while listening as the tales branch off each other and Herzog’s reading has a hypnotic effect. For that reason it’s like listening to a Thomas Pynchon audiobook, and I didn’t really understand it, just listening to the words like a stream of water. So I don’t end up listening to it as consistently as I do some others. I’ve listened to music.

Let’s go back to my friend Amanda’s house. Amanda was very generous to put me up the whole time. She is so generous that I apparently never thought to tell her how long I was planning on staying, which was the number of four nights. I enjoyed sleeping on her golden couch looking at the 3-quarter moon while trains rushed by and their whistles blared.

But the first night I arrived, I brought my guitar and notebook in and looked over what might be recorded in the next days. At this point my voice was still very affected by laryngitis, which I was trying to only see in the most positive light, but also knowing that I would not be able to sing certain songs like “Funny Stuff,” without my voice healing. Changing my singing style to current-Bob-Dylan’s Great-American-Songbook croon worked well enough for most things. “Headed Nowhere” seemed to stretch out to about 8 minutes like saltwater taffy. So we would have to record calmer, lower-pitched vocal tunes for the first day. Those turned out to be “Home to Hell” and “You are so beautiful.”

I was very curious to see the studio, and I went over in the morning to unload and meet Ajaï who would record me with Sam Doores, Gina ____, and James Wallace. The studio is located in the Bywater beside the Saturn Bar where I once played a show with my brother Brad and Joshua Bennett (Nommo). I am so thankful and excited about this event and consider it a blessed occurrence. I was relieved that I felt instantly comfortable with Ajaï, thankful for his ability to never seem to get stressed out despite all the really demanding technical aspects of recording. I’m also thankful that Sam and James have a lot of technical knowledge and experience with the recording process that I don’t, and awed by what a tight, funky band capable of all sorts of colors & textures they make. I loved the pastel yellow walls, accented with a deeper shade of yellow, and the shell-shaped lamp that is also yellow.

I picked James up at the airport and we went straight to the studio and recorded those two songs I mentioned before. James had an unusual vision for You are so Beautiful with a rolling Latin rhythm which turned out really beautifully, I think.

James and I both stayed with Amanda and the next day James and I went to a Co-op grocery to buy snacks for everybody to share. Hummus, chips, cans of sparkling water, trail mix, apples, bananas, this was my diet for the next three days, except for the water.

We worked really hard in the studio, and had a blast doing it. There were only good vibes the whole time and the feeling was really relaxed. The second day, when we recorded two flower-themed songs, “December Dandelion” and “What Flowers Do” I also had a concert to play that evening at 6PM, at Domino Record Shack, with Chris Acker for the third and last time of this tour. This show was staged to coincide with the opening day of MLB baseball season. One funny thing about when I first met Chris was that he asked me if I liked baseball, as though affirming what he knew to be one of my characteristics, which it is. I asked him how he knew that, and it was because he had seen that I liked posts by the account batflipbombz on Instagram. That moment really got me. I loved the concept of this show, which included free hot dogs. It’s always a good idea to offer free food at shows, it was one of the rules for a Dos Bros show to have free chips and salsa provided. I remember Josh Windmiller giving communion to his audience with bread he’d baked the day before.

I was a little flustered going into this performance, because I had completely entered the world of recording and needing to return to playing live felt like a shock. But I had a very quiet room and a wonderfully friendly crowd. I played and stretched out all the fun bits and just felt very easygoing and breezy. The best moments involved interacting with Broozy (not sure how that’s spelled), who is a friend of Sam’s who hadn’t planned on coming but was convinced to… that was unknown to me but for some reason I singled out attention on him during the show, partly because we had similar-looking Nalgene water bottles, and we made a show of drinking water at the same time, it was a real hoot, you had to be there I guess, maybe you were. He was really into it and bought a copy of Excelsior Breeze Catchers. There was another good moment when I sang my old song “Because I Don’t Love You” and asked people to raise their hand when they heard me mention New Orleans, which is where the guy in the song moves in the third verse.

After the show was over I went to the bar next door (where earlier I had used the toilet, now I was a paying, or rather a paid-for, customer!) to watch a Seattle Mariners baseball game because Chris and Matt, the owner of the record store, are both fans of that team. As it turns out, the bar did not have that game or any baseball game available to watch. So we hung out in this bar with a lot of people I didn’t know. It was both fun and socially awkward for me to have my voice be too quiet to be heard in such a loud place. I mostly had to listen and react with a physical gesture. After a while I went back to sleep on the golden couch at Amanda’s place.

The next day was the best studio day: we recorded five tracks including New Sadnesses, Funny Stuff, Chico, Or Something, and a spoken monologue. This was a really long day I still haven’t fully recovered from, because the next day, the fourth and last in the studio, was even longer. That day we were mostly recording overdubs, including all my vocals and guitars in case the live ones don’t work as well, which I suppose they don’t on account of other instruments bleeding into them. At this point, my voice was thankfully almost back to normal, but not quite. It’s not ideal for recording but I think it made me sing better in the end, because I had to be very thoughtful and careful about how I was doing it. At the end of this day a loud marching band passed by and started up at the Saturn Bar, and we had to add more sound protection. We recorded 3 solo acoustic songs. I was a bit tired at the time as it was around 1 or 2 AM and didn’t want to repeat them too much, so they’re not perfect, but they have the right feeling in them.

The recording experience was really intense and fun. I am a bit tired now, but I hope to add more details later.

The next day, when the recording was done, I felt a really odd feeling, because this phase of it is now complete, and it had been one of the main things I thought about over the last few monthss. That was suddenly changed, because the treatment of those songs was different now, as the lyrics were already settled and laid into the tape. Now the thing to think about was how to finish some remote overdubbing and considering of arrangements, which mostly don’t have to do with words. I felt excited about that, like a freshening of my view – I could write about anything, now, with a completely open intent. I sat down for a minute that morning and wrote something, some kind of poem song and it felt great.

Then I had to get my butt in the car and head north to Starkville, Mississippi, where I’d never been before. I was going to meet with Ming Donkey whom I’d played with once in Chattanooga around 12 years ago. I am amazed that he would consider putting on a show for someone like me who would do something like I did. It was about a 5-hour drive from New Orleans to “Fire Station Park” where the show would be, and Google Maps took me to a Fire Department, where I could hear from a short distance Paul McCartney’s “Temporary Secretary” blasting on some speakers. I followed that sound until I found the show. This show happened on Easter Sunday, the air was warm though the sky was cloudy, and birds were singing all around. When I arrived, Max – aka “HBO MAXX” sang some tunes that were so cool they really took me by surprise, to a Boss drum machine and electric guitar. I recorded most of his set and gave him the file later. I loved his music. Then I played and it felt really good. I just felt happy to be there and it felt easy to sing after all those days of laryngitis.

After the show, Jason (Ming Donkey) told me he’d treat me to dinner somewhere, I said I wasn’t hungry but I’d like to go hang out a minute, and so he and his buddy Keith took me to a bar called Rick’s Café Américain where we had some time to chat. I loved hearing stories about growing up in Starkville and the movie Dark Passage that I really want to see now. I left the bar for Columbus where Max lives and where I would sleep that night. Columbus is about 20 miles away and what I saw of it was beautiful old houses in a neighbordhood full of trees. That’s where their house was, and I was greeted there by Miles, Max’s cousin, who also plays in their band, Hartle Road, and by his dachshund, Ozzy, who at times quite excitable. We ended up talking about music, listening to each others’ records, the one they just made with Calvin Johnson, and other things until about 4 AM. I was amazed at the recording setup they have in their house and I would call the people of that house mad geniuses. Finally, while listening to a monumentally-huge sounding Scott Walker, I fell asleep on the couch.

I woke up around 8 in the morning completely covered in blankets around my head, and I just sat there and meditated. I was tired so my meditation blended with dream deviations when I slipped into sleep. Still, a very nice thing that I did right before Max came in. I hadn’t seen him since the show the night before, because unlike me, he had gone to bed early. He was great to talk to after having talked with Miles the night before. I’d like to stay in touch with those guys, their music making is top notch!

Next… to Albuquerque.

3/25/24 : Atlanta

I’m going to have to keep this one short because I’m about to head to New Orleans to start a recording project that I’m very excited about. I am also not at my normal singing capacity, but hoping for a swiftening of the recovery process. I could certainly use your healing vibrations.

Last night Chris and I drove in our respective automobiles to Rowan Newby’s house in Atlanta, where I had played before with my friends Matt Downer and William Johnson. Rowan hosts Room Tones, a very cozy house show at his museum of a house. I love visiting people with a lot of interesting stuff to look at.

I opened the show this time, and felt like it went better than it has been, which is a good sign. My voice was definitely much improved and felt on the way to normal. I had a lot of fun on this one; I just met a friend of Chris’s named Robert Henry – and I asked him if he knew the artist Robert Henri, and he did. I believe that made me make one single, joyful clap.

I sang “Almond Robin” and “I Didn’t Kill Elvis” this time. I feel the solidifying effect of nightly repetition, intuitively feeling my way towards what this show can be. Which is something pretty different every time.

I really enjoyed being able to sit back and listen to Chris Acker and Rowan Newby after finishing my set.

I’m going to leave this short because I’ve got to get on the road and start thinking about this record. I don’t have a show for 3 days now, but will start recording tomorrow. It’s going to be a beautiful thing!