Road Journal (2004-2010)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my old site I posted journal entries from the road, sometimes every day during heavy touring schedules.  Here you’ll find them unedited and archived.

If you start at the bottom, you can trace the slow and steady evolution of my road diary writing from barely coherent blurts, to more organized but unenlightening notes, to actually capitalizing words, to including setlists, to going (inconsistently) crazy with bold text, to helpfully (and occasionally correctly) using hyper-links, to including photos (frequently stolen lazily from the Internet to complement my ultra-corny titular punning), to actually writing timely, decent, readable dispatches offering unique insight into the perspective a touring musician, to…not writing anything at all.

It will be quite a journey, I assure you.  In fact, it already was!

– Andrew

 

Join Together with the Band (Class)
Written on Jun 6, 2010 at 5:42 PM
When my friend (and frequent presence in these entries throughout the years) Matt Tipton asked if I’d come out to Missoula, MT to play some tunes at his photo exhibit, I jumped at the chance to go visit a town I’d never played and always wanted to. The deal got a whole lot sweeter when Matt first suggested that I come in and visit the kids at Washington Middle School where he teaches Band, and then decided to chart my song ‘Voodoo Bruise’ for the students to learn, setting up a chance for a really special collaboration.I drove out last Thursday, enjoying a gorgeous ten hour drive through the Columbia River Gorge, across eastern Washington, Idaho, and finally, through the winding mountain highways of western Montana. At 8am the next morning, I was on the clock.With most of the classes I started out playing a few tunes for the kids, answering questions along the way. Matt (or rather, Mr. T.) gamely sat in on a small drum kit throughout the day, which was a treat for both me and the kids, I think. I worked with several periods of 6th and 7th graders who had been working on brass and woodwinds arrangements of ‘Voodoo’, and we had a great time working on tightening it up and recording it with me singing along.In the middle of the day I played two period-long concerts for 8th grade band and choir students, again answering questions ranging from “Who are your influences?” to “Are you married?”. Overall, the kids were terrific, with lots of thoughtful questions throughout the day and a great musical enthusiasm. 

Anyone who tells you teaching isn’t exhausting hasn’t actually done it. In fact, I didn’t even ‘teach’, and I was still whipped by the end of the day.

After the school day was over we headed straight to the Dark Room, a camera shop with a gallery downstairs, to set up for Matt’s show. His photography was stunning- beautiful images from nature he witnessed on his outdoor adventures in some of the country’s most beautiful locales. I enjoyed just playing a nice, relaxing background set while the people filled the room and took in the sights. By the end of the day I had been playing guitar, singing, and talking for 12 hours straight. Whew!

Folklife
Written on Jun 1, 2010 at 8:47 PM

This past weekend I had the pleasure of heading up the road to Seattle to perform at the NW Folklife Festival. I showed up a night early and heard some great music from my fellow Portlanders Mike D and Kasey Anderson, as well as Seattle’s Tony Fulgham & The Blood. All are fantastic artists, and the Sunset was a great place to be that night.
Sunday I headed down to the Seattle Center and was immediately overwhelmed by the incredible crowd. It took me a good 45 minutes just to find the stage I was performing on, and I completely gave up on finding the store to stock my CDs. Then, just before I my set time, the skies opened up and fantastic Northwest downpour soaked the scene. Figuring that, at best I was going to play to no one, and at worst I was going to get electrocuted as soon as I stepped up to the microphone, I wasn’t too optimistic.
But then, all of a sudden, a bunch of my friends showed up, and when I started playing a happy crowd gathered around the stage, apparently unfazed by the weather. It wound up being a really great experience, made even better by a jam session at my friend Dave’s place, swapping tunes with Patrick PorterLincoln Barr, and Jake London.
After a bit of a lull, I’m very happy to have some music on the calendar at the moment. In a few days I’m off to Missoula for my Montana debut- stay tuned!
Folklife Setlist:
My Home is You
Lazarus
Horizon City
Stardust Motel
Atlantic City (B. Springsteen)
Voodoo Bruise
Let it Out
Promise
To Feel Your Faith Again

Brushing off Some Cobwebs
Written on Apr 22, 2009 at 8:01 AM

I’m a bit ashamed of my Road Journal track record here. I haven’t checked this space in some time, and I realize that not only did I completely flake out on the end of my tour with Jared Woods last fall, but I also neglected to cover an extraordinary show Patrick Porter and I played with Kelly Joe Phelps at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle. I certainly won’t attempt to recap all that now, but suffice it to say they were great experiences, all.

Most recently I’ve had the pleasure of returning to the Red Hare Gallery in beautifully funky/funkily beautiful Astoria, Ore. I played out there last fall, and while it was clear that proprietor Scott Docherty was sailing a fine craft, not too many of the crew showed up for that particular voyage. This time around we got a nice little crowd and had a great time. I can’t remember the last time I played such a long show to a crowd mostly unfamiliar with my music, to such sustained enthusiasm. Scott made a nice recording of the event, which you may hear about around here again. I happened to play quite a few covers, and also debuted five new songs. All in all, it was a magical little evening.

Astoria Setlist:
Young Girl Blues (Donovan)
Talking Out of Turn
Who in the World
Stardust Motel
Lori Left
World of Noise
Lazarus
Monte V
18
I Want to Connect
Smokestacks (Patrick Sweany)
Over Jordan (The Wandering Sons)
Voodoo Bruise
Powerlines
My Home is You
Early Morning Rain (Gordon Lightfoot)
Dumb Spark
Do You Ever
No Expectations (Rolling Stones)
—encore—
Avalon

Freedom Tickler, Anyone?
Written on Oct 15, 2008 at 2:46 PM

I’m writing this as we’re about to pull out of Chicago- tonight we’re going to wrap up our Illinois shows with a gig in Champaign. This city never gets any less cool, and as usual I’m leaving with the wish that I could make it back someday to merely vacation and see sights. The visit this time was more about catching up with friends, taking care of some of the road’s more banal activities (laundry, changing strings, rehearsing, etc.), but it started with a much more fun day.

We pulled out of Crystal Lake a few days back and drove through miles of McMansions and big box chain stores headed for Chicago; specifically, the Chicago Music Exchange. I probably reported on this unequaled mecca for guitarists when I was here last November with now CME customer-in-good-standing Patrick Porter. Let me just say that this place remains the single most amazing guitar shop on this or any planet. Attempts to describe it are futile, really. We spent more or less the entirety of Monday there, and emerged victorious with some new additions to the Norsworthy & Woods gear arsenal. Jared picked up a gorgeous Gibson J-45, and I got a sweet DI/EQ unit (a gadget that will hopefully help my onstage acoustic guitar sound).

Lighter in the wallet but walking on air, we headed out to the ‘burbs to our friends Niki and Chrystin’s crib. We went out and enjoyed a little of the local nightlife and had the pleasure of meeting up with my good man Conan Zimmerman, lead singer for my favorite Phoenix rock outfit Dustjacket, who happened to be in town.

Last night’s show at Uncommon Ground was a continuation of our frustrating series of battles against noisy patrons. In this case it was actually the table of friends there to see the openers, which made it doubly irritating. It was still great to see the friends who came out, and my dinner of crispy on the outside/creamy on the inside polenta with a mushroom ragout was worth the trip to Wrigleyville alone.

Chicago Setlist
Trinity Highway
Bright Avenue
Ohio
Driving Into the Sun
Dumb Spark
So Are You In?
Hummingbirds
Pinky Swear
Promise
Quiet
Juneau Blues (Eric Stracener)

We’re slowly crawling out of sleepland in- I think- Crystal Lake, IL. Telling how we got here requires a bit of backtracking. Since I haven’t posted a journal entry in a few days, let me backtrack all the way to Denver.
We left Salt Lake City on a beautiful morning last Thursday to cross Wyoming and make it to the Mile High for our gig at the Meadowlark. I was particularly excited about this stop on the journey because my girlfriend was going to be there and we were staying with her sister and brother in-law. The scenery on the drive was particularly gorgeous due to a fresh dusting of snow the higher areas had received. We pulled into Denver after the 9 hour drive tired, but ready to play.A pleasant surprise was in store for us. Good friends of ours from SLC, Band of Annuals were a late addition to the bill. Their show that night was absolutely beautiful. They’d come a long way since we played with them at Velour a few years back, and it was a real pleasure to hear the growth.
Huge thanks to Amanda and Jeremy for the great hospitality!

Denver Setlist
Dumb Spark
Driving Into the Sun
Something Else Instead
Quiet
Promise
Bright Avenue
Trinity Highway
Apartment 404

The drive to Lincoln, NE the next day was longer than we had thought (a recurring motif of this trip) and we wound up feeling pretty pressed for time by the end of it. Lincoln surprised us. I was expecting a much smaller, less lively town, but the place was alive and hopping. Our venue was

The 12th St. Pub, located right in the middle of downtown. We arrived in time to catch the last half of the local opener’s set and meet up with our friend Erin, who drove from Kansas to see us.

Once we set up and started playing, it was all good. The crowd grew over the course of the night, and it wound up being a show long on extended storytelling and laughs. The people were fantastic- warm and unpretentious- and they gave us the best reception we’d had all tour, easily. We wound up playing till the placed closed, even getting cheered into doing an encore. We’ll definitely be coming back. Lincoln- who knew?

Lincoln Setlist
Bright Avenue
Dumb Spark
Driving Into the Sun
Ohio
Quiet
Something Else Instead
Pinky Swear
Smokestacks (Patrick Sweany)
Promise
——
So Are You In?
Breakaway Move
Keep Us Company
Melissa (Allman Brothers)
Your Window
Coming Clean
Horizon City
Birthday Girl
Trinity Highway
Juneau Blues
——
Hummingbirds
Cecilia (Simon and Garfunkel)
Dimestore Return (Marcus Bently)
It’s Time to Move On (Tom Petty)
To Feel Your Faith Again
——
Pride and Joy (Stevie Ray Vaughn)

Our spirits restored by a fantastic show, we pressed on down Interstate 80, bound for a place called Lake Villa, IL. Along the way we stopped somewhere in Iowa for a delicious meal at a little country cafe called The Embers. This place was the real deal, and we took advantage of the regionally authentic grub. I had a whole fried catfish, and we had pie for dessert. It was literally the first full, sit-down, hot meal we’d had the whole tour, and it was fantastic.

The directions Google gave us for this leg of the trip were some of the most complicated and confusing I’ve ever seen, and by the time we’d traversed Iowa and made it into northern IL we had used up 10 hours of the day. Right after we passed the little town of Rochelle on 1-39- the place we’d been forced to take refuge in a Super 8 after being blown off the road by a flash blizzard in 2006- we entered a maze of back roads, small state highways, tiny country towns of unknown name, and speed limits ranging from 25-35. To make matters worse, Lake Villa didn’t even appear on our atlas. After several hours of trying to follow the directions and feeling as if we were driving deeper and deeper into the middle of nowhere, we stopped at a gas station and I tried to call the venue. It was basically time for us to be on stage, and we had no clue as to where this place was. They weren’t listed, so we couldn’t contact them. It was really tough, but we had to make the painful decision to accept a loss on this one. We got a room at the local Super 8 (sound familiar?), grabbed a bite at a rather bizarre local watering hole designed inexplicably to be a medieval castle, and hit the hay. I ironed it out with an email, but again, our most sincere apologies to anyone who came out for the show at Swing State and were disappointed by our absence. Hopefully we can make it up some day.

Today, Chicago!

That Doesn’t Sound Mellow
Written on Oct 10, 2008 at 9:51 AM

Yesterday we crossed the vast, beautiful, bleak expanse of southern Idaho under a cloudless blue sky. I always love driving through this part of the country, and the weather was on our side this time through. We played at one of our favorite venues around, 

, in Provo, UT. Some nights there are absolute magic, the best imaginable. Last night, sadly, was not one of those nights.

We played early, and unfortunately the timing was perfectly aligned with some kind of street performance immediately outside the building that had drawn a huge crowd reaching its peak. As the people filed in our set became a war of sound between two guys with guitars and microphones and a ridiculous din of indifferent chatter and screaming young children whose parents had apparently fed them Pez for dinner and abandoned them at the concert. The room was set up more for the bands that were to follow us, so people kept their distance in what is usually a room of uncommon intimacy between performer and audience. We got off the stage and shared a stunned disbelief that this kind of thing had happened at this venue. It was bizarre and disappointing, but that’s how the road goes I suppose. We’re hoping for a better one in Denver tonight.

Provo Setlist
Hummingbirds
Quiet
Ohio
Bright Avenue
Dumb Spark
Driving Into the Sun
Breakaway Move
Apartment 404
Juneau Blues

 

Looking for a Spuddy Buddy

 

 

Written on Oct 9, 2008 at 10:12 AM

Greetings from Boise, ID, folks. I’m listening to the reassuring sound of coffee percolation coming from the kitchen of our new friends Michelle and Chris. I should probably also mention our new buddies McGregor and McCoy– highly curious and hilarious Scottish terriers who are dorking out all over the place.

Michelle is the sister of Melissa, an old friend of Jared’s who brought out a boisterous crew of listeners to our show at Terrapin Station last night. The show, by my past Boise standards, was a pretty good one. The place was friendly (big-ups to Phil behind the bar and Dave at the soundboard, and also to Chandra for the booking) and the opener was celebrating his birthday, so there was plenty of revelry in the air.

Boise Setlist
Dumb Spark
Driving Into the Sun
Hummingbirds
Bright Avenue
Promise
Coming Clean
Trinity Highway
Quiet
Something Else Instead
Apartment 404

Pinky Swear
Melissa (Almann Brothers)
Keep Us Company
Your Window
Smokestacks (Patrick Sweany)
You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)
Ohio
So Are You In
Angels in the Snow

Keepin’ it Casual
Written on Oct 8, 2008 at 9:19 AM

Last night we kicked off this tour officially with a nice, cozy little gig in the Mississippi neighborhood of Portland.

Mississippi Pizza was the spot, and we had a friendly room full of friends to play for.

Chris Boone and his band got things going, and then Jared and I hit the stage for about an hour-long set.

We had the unfortunate timing of playing during the presidential debate, but we could hardly fault anyone for feeling that it was the more important event. Eric Stracener‘s ‘Juneau Blues’ seemed to take on a new meaning last night, and we closed our set with it.

Ruth, the sweetest receptionist in the world who just happens to work where I work, sent us on our way with a massive bag of homemade cookies, which Jared already put a healthy (unhealthy?) dent in last night. Thanks Ruth! We’ve gotten nothing but great support from our friends and coworkers so far, and we’re very grateful.

It’s pretty cool to be “on tour” and wake up in your own apartment! We’re polishing off some blueberry pancakes, doing a bit of packing, and getting ready to hit the road to Boise.

Portland Setlist:
Pinky Swear
Dumb Spark
Bright Avenue
Trinity Highway
Quiet
Something Else Instead
Apartment 404
Promise
Driving Into the Sun
Ohio
Keep Us Company
Hummingbirds
So Are You In?
Juneau Blues

 

Tunesmith Retrofit
Written on Oct 5, 2008 at 9:58 AM

Last night I had the great pleasure of opening up for a guy whose music has been a constant source of pleasure and nourishment over the past six years or so. I was first introduced to Kelly Joe Phelps by my good man Patrick Porter back when we were in a band in Seattle. Patrick was so taken with Phelps’ music- then in the later stages of his now apparently permanent transition from lap steel wizardry and interpretation of traditional material to a more conventional, but wholly original, singer/songwriter mode- that he took the whole band and our wives and girlfriends to see his concert at the EMP Skychurch as a Christmas gift. My main memory of that show is of feeling like I was being punched in the gut repeatedly. I was vowing in my head to throw my guitar in the fireplace as soon as I got home. Phelps was amazing. Better than amazing- he was inspiring. I ran out to the car as the last note of the show faded and immediately started scribbling lyrics and musical ideas into my notebook.

At the time I had been doing anything I could think of to not be a singer/songwriter/acoustic guitar guy, driving my bandmates crazy in the process. The format seemed outdated and boring, and didn’t seem to match up with any of the music I was then devouring and finding inspiration from (Bjork, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, lots of hip hop etc). I assumed the key to my artistic destiny was going to be shedding the acoustic guitar and moving toward more adventurous forms of composition and performance. Although I’m proud of much the work that came from this period of experimentation, I had it wrong insofar as my immediate future was concerned. Phelps clearly demonstrated that there was plenty of adventure waiting in the acoustic guitar and at the typewriter- I just had to get over myself and get on with it.

The combination of that concert and a pair of records Phelps released in the early 2000’s- Sky Like a Broken Clock and Slingshot Professionals had a pretty tremendous effect on the way I thought of ‘Singer/Songwriter’ as title and vocation. I was forced to reassess my trajectory. Here was an artist who was seemingly unrestricted and unfettered by anything but the unspoken rule that every note be true, emotionally authentic, and inspired. In short time I’d be out on my own performing solo, re-embracing the acoustic guitar, writing prolifically with it, releasing solo records full of it, and not feeling embarrassed or encumbered by it, and that feeling I got from the show at the EMP and from those records was a contributing catalyst for the shift.

I’m happy to report that, as of last night in Portland, this guy is simply peerless on the stage and he’s still a lightning rod for inspiration when the guitar’s in his hands. His style has evolved further, and he seems to have had his interest in reinterpreting traditional material revived. These were some of the most affecting numbers of the night. It was terrific to see him play again after all these years. To boot, he’s a wonderfully warm and genuine guy, and I really enjoyed getting to chat with him before the show.
The audience was great, and the sound was fantastic. The Aladdin Theater is a beautiful venue, and the staff there was classy and accommodating as could be (thanks to Mark for the booking, Nick for taking care of us, and Paul for the magnificent sound). I played a mix of new and old stuff and had a great time on stage. Jared Woods, my duo partner for the next few weeks, is here and there’s lots of rehearsing to be done before we head out of town on Wednesday morning. After a bit of a break, I’m feeling reinvigorated and excited to be playing music again. I’m hoping last night’s great show marks the beginning of another new chapter.

Aladdin Theater setlist
My Home is You
Floater
Let it Out
Floodwaters
Lazarus
Avalon
Atlas
Sweetness
To Feel Your Faith Again

Homestretch

Written on Nov 21, 2007 at 6:06 PM

I’m typing this as Pat helms the Warrior across the last Colorado miles of 1-70. We’ll be in Utah momentarily, and by tonight we’ll be back in the company of our SLC crew. Our show tonight should be a blast- Marcus Bently has apparently lined up a drummer for us, and our gig should be a loose, celebratory fest.

The scenery we’ve taken in today has been tremendous. Porter and I are both big fans of the West, and this has been pretty quintessential. Intense yo-yoing through the Rockies up to a peak of about 11,000 ft gave way to the tight turns and tunnels of the canyon drive carved out by the Colorado, a constant companion. Now we’re in the vicinity of Grand Junction, watching the sun set across a spectacular panorama of towering red mesas, endless cliff faces, rolling hills specked with parched scrub brush, and watercolor clouds; so beautiful.

I can’t recall when I left off in my account of our trip, but I think it was in Kansas City.

After leaving KC, we headed north to Omaha. At 180 miles, this was by far the shortest journey of the tour, and we hit town with time to kill. A few hours in great little café in Benson, the neighborhood where our venue was, gave us a chance to get our energy up for the show. After some fantastic tapas and vino at a great little Spanish restaurant (imaginatively named ‘Espana’) we set up at Mick’s Music, one of my favorite joints around. Michael Campbell is the owner, and as a long-time musician himself, he knows exactly how to take care of someone doing the job. This was my fourth turn on his stage, and as always, it was a tremendous pleasure. The Mark Irvin Band (a local act) opened up with terrific songs and impeccable four-part harmonies. We hit the stage pretty hungry, having not performed in a few nights, and had an absolute blast. Great sound, great crowd, great venue. Wonderful hospitality from old friend Adam Weaver (of Omaha band Adam Weaver and the Ghosts) made the stop complete.

Omaha setlist:
Talking Out of Turn
Ohio
Breakaway Move
Dumb Spark
Building a Road
Falling is Faster
Unravel (Bjork)
Voodoo Bruise
Nothing is Better
Let it Out
Snowdrifts (solo, Jared Woods)
Out of Town (Patrick solo)
Avalon
Horizon City
Sweetness

From Omaha we headed east on 1-80, retracing steps for the first time in the tour. The drive across Nebraska, quite familiar to me at this point, just never seems to get any shorter. We were rewarded for our labor with quite simply one of the most beautiful sunsets I?ve ever seen in my entire life (the one I?m watching now is in there too). Then the sky went black, Johnny Cash was on our stereo, and we pulled into Denver to meet my friend Jess, who was to be our hostess. We grabbed some quick sushi and then headed into town for our show at the Meadowlark. The coolest thing about this gig is that we didn?t even have it until 24 hours prior. Through a chain of kind-hearted acts (big thanks to Dylan Sneed, Jack Redell, and Tim Porbaix, whose disc is spinning right now), we were put on a great bill at a great venue. The only negative came at the corner of 17th and Larimer where, for the second time in a month, I had to see a car and a bicyclist collide horribly. Ugh. Any ambitions I might have harbored to be an urban bike-rider in Portland have been pretty well dashed. We had a great show at the Meadowlark. It?s an underground bar with a speakeasy vibe. The people were warm and attentive, the other music was great (along with Tim, Elliston Park played a super set), and we felt truly lucky to have been given such a great show where there had been none.

Denver setlist:
Talking Out of Turn
Ohio
Sweetness
Dumb Spark
Voodoo Bruise
Nothing is Better
Let it Out
Unravel (Bjork)

That brings us back to Utah. Time to close up this computer and give my full attention to the unbelievably gorgeous scenery out the window.

This is the last report from the tour. I’m back in the Palomino loft in Salt Lake City, one of the friendliest rooms in my life. Brinton and Jake are still snoozing, Patrick is on a coffee run (a Sunday morning coffee run in SLC is sort of like looking for a veggie burger in South Dakota), and I’m packing my bags, trying to ignore the fact that my clothes reek of bar smoke, even after a shower. We had a fantastic show last night at the Hog Wallow with Marcus Bently and his band, The Beat Surrender. After an all-day haul through some of the most desolate, barren land the country has to offer, it was a bit of a shock to the senses to step in to a large, packed bar. The joint was pretty much at capacity all night long, and after three full sets of music from us and from Marcus, a total blast was had by all. To top it off, Marcus had a birthday show up at midnight; too much fun! We jammed with the Surrender’s drummer, Brian, on a few of our songs, and the guys hopped up for some singing as well. At the end of the night we rocked out a few tunes with everyone on stage. Altogether, a perfect way to end a great tour.

SLC setlist:
New America (solo)
Atlas (solo)
All the Words Are Wrong…
Dumb Spark
Breakaway Move (w/Brinton on vocals)
Ohio
Talking Out of Turn
Voodoo Bruise (w/Brian on drums)
Nothing is Better (w/Brian)
Let it Out (w/Brian)
Unravel (Bjork, w/Brian) Horizon City (w/Brian on drums, Jake Fish and Marcus on vocals)

Late set w/The Beat Surrender:
Smokestacks (Pat Sweany)
World in Motion (Bently)
Maggie’s Farm (Dylan)

Showtime
Written on Nov 15, 2007 at 3:28 PM

We’ve just completed the stretch of this trip without any shows. I’m sitting in a cafe in Omaha across the street from Mick’s Music, my favorite venue in the Midwest. After leaving South Carolina (and Confederate flags and “Coon Hunter” bumper stickers with it), we headed to Nashville, home of our good friends Meg and Andy. Andy Gregg, for those with any interest in obscure history, was the drummer on much of my first solo record, The Missing Persons League. In fact, those sessions years ago in a Seattle recording studio were how I met Patrick, the bassist on those songs. At any rate, Andy’s doing great in his new digs and showed us some of the cooler stuff in Nash Vegas. Porter and I hit the Country Music Hall of Fame, which proved to be an unexpected highlight of the stop. I guess we were expecting it to be tacky and schlocky, but instead we were treated to a lovingly curated stroll through the classic years of this currently moribund genre of American song. A temporary Ray Charles exhibit was icing on the cake.

We headed west for Memphis, a city I’d passed through but never experienced, and had a great time playing tourist. We hopped a trolley for Beale Street in search of dinner and accidentally got on the wrong one. Fortunately we decided to stick out the loop, because our driver was a character and a half. A few other guys got on and huddled up front with us, and a colorful historical tour of downtown Memphis commenced. It was, frankly, fantastic. For the $1 ticket we got an experience most visitors couldn’t buy if they tried. Dinner on Beale was great, and we then headed into midtown to catch our man Ian Moore throw down at the Hi Tone.

We left Memphis after a breakfast at The Arcade, a diner once haunted frequently by some dude named Elvis, according to our hosts, and then walked a few blocks over for a peek at the Lorraine, the place Martin Luther King was assassinated. It was pretty eerie and moving, to be sure.

We crashed in a motel outside of Kansas City last night, and here we are in Omaha.

I’ve started putting some of our many photos up on my flickr site. Just go to the Photo Gallery in this site’s menu.

‘Dude, we’re in the South’
Written on Nov 10, 2007 at 10:52 PM

I’m in a Comfort Inn (I know…again), this time in Hartsville, SC.  Joran (quoted above), Patrick, and I are idly watching SNL, sipping Yuenglings, and trying to steal a few moments of R&R.  Joran might have been referring to the manager at the Applebee’s (the only place serving food here on a Saturday night) apparently apologizing to us for the high percentage of African American customers with a joke about an NAACP convention.  Things are certainly different here.

Since we left Boston we’ve had a few ups (Baltimore, Hartsville) and a down (Brooklyn).  Entering Brooklyn was yet another life-risking, daredevil experience behind the wheel.  Unfortunately, this particular trip to Pete’s Candy, a fine venue that Jared and I had a great show at last year, was not really what we were hoping it would be; maybe people will show up next time.  Undeterred, we hopped back in The Warrior bound for Times Square.  Pat’s boss had given us the very generous and completely unprecedented gift of a very swanky hotel room overlooking Broadway.  We enjoyed every minute of it and woke up early to make our move to Baltimore.

We showed up at the Red Door Tavern in Baltimore not sure what to expect of the night.  It was a pleasantly divey, if empty, joint, and we had good company on the bill.  Three other performers all helped keep the music popping: Greg (last name?), Caleb Stine, and Among Wolves. If I had more energy I would go into detail about each of these artists, as they were all great.  But I don’t.  Seriously, we’ve been driving too much to even check email without feeling like falling asleep at the keys.  I will say that the night was a great one- the divey bar filled up to capacity with revelers, the place jumped until the last note was played, and we retired to our mate Andrew Grimm‘s pad nearby happy and satisfied.  It was more of a rowdy bar gig than we’ve had in some time, and it was sort of just what the doctor ordered.  After playing to an empty room in New York, seeing the place packed with people was a treat.  This morning we grabbed some coffee with Andrew and Caleb and hit the road again.

Baltimore Setlist: Dumb Spark, Talking Out of Turn, Ohio, Breakaway Move, Voodoo Bruise, Nothing is Better, Horizon City, Sweetness, To Feel Your Faith Again.

500 miles of I-95 later, we found ourselves in Hartsville, SC, on the stage at the Midnight Rooster, a coffeehouse that worked just fine for us.  A few friends came out and a few new friends were made- definitely worth it.  The fatigue was palpable though, at least for me.  We’re heading to Nashville in the morning for a few well-earned days off.

Hartsville Setlist: Mistaken For Strangers (The National, solo), New America (solo), All the Words Are Wrong…, Ohio, Falling is Faster, Unravel (Bjork), Dumb Spark, Talking Out of Turn, Breakaway Move, Nobody’s Son/Building a Road, Horizon City, Voodoo Bruise, Nothing is Better, Let it Out, Sweetness, Smokestacks (Patrick Sweany).

You were awesome and I was there
Written on Nov 8, 2007 at 9:38 AM

We made our escape from New York with some now-familiar white knuckle driving and made it to Boston by evening.  Our Springsteen obsession reached new, ridiculous heights (depths?) as we drove, making us a bit crazy and spent by the time we pulled up at our friend Rose’s house.

Man, Rose Polenzani just doesn’t ever get any worse.  We played with her in the Cambridge neighborhood outside of Boston last night at a terrific little venue called, rather inexplicably, Toad.  It was one of those really magical nights full of collaboration, spontaneity, and audience warmth.  Rose was so good…I just never have enough superlatives to describe it.  We had an absolute blast playing.  Big thanks to Rose for setting up the show, Greg for keeping the bar straight, and Dave for the sound assistance.

Toad Setlist:

My Home is You (solo), Falling is Faster, Voodoo Bruise, Let it Out, Sweetness (with Rose), Dumb Spark, Talking Out of Turn, Unravel (Bjork song, with Rose), Avalon, Breakaway Move, Trinity Highway (with Rose), To Feel Your Faith Again (with Rose), Or (Rose’s song, with Rose in her set)

Right now I’m at the residence of the one Joran Lawrence, our good friend who’s going to be joining us for the next 5 days of travel, documenting the action with a video camera.  We’re very excited to have our new guest on board, but we’re not quite sure where to put him yet.  Some serious Warrior rearranging is going to be going on today.

Tonight’s gig is in Brooklyn at Pete’s Candy, a venue I love.  More soon!

-A

Got a Northeast wind blowin’ up my…
Written on Nov 7, 2007 at 8:26 AM

I’m writing this morning from the apartment of my good man Erik Braund, an Alaskan in residence here in the Big Apple. I can’t remember when I last wrote a journal entry…I think I might have been in Nebraska. We’ve been a few places since.

We continued our epic drive across the Midwest a few days ago, arriving in Chicago on Sunday for a show at the always wonderful Uncommon Ground. It was an early show and the room was full of friendly faces. I think both Patrick and I consider that show a musical highlight so far. It just sounded really good, and for the first time it felt like the setlist really clicked.

Chicago setlist
Avalon
Dumb Spark
Talking Out of Turn
Ohio
Falling is Faster
Unravel (Bjork)
Voodoo Bruise
Let it Out
Snowdrifts (Jared Woods, played solo)
Breakaway Move
Sweetness
To Feel Your Faith Again

A night of revelry with friends provided a bit of relief from our road weary state, but the next day we were hauling again. But first, on a tip from our good man Matt Tipton, we checked out the Chicago Music Exchange. Holy cow. I’ve never seen anything like this place. It was like a museum full of guitars and amps. Really, I shouldn’t waste words on it, because it was beyond description. We pushed across the bleak industrial landscape of northern Indiana into Ohio, watching the first rainstorm of our trip turn into a staggeringly beautiful sunset and then stars forever. Waking up just north of Akron yesterday, we soldiered on to NYC. It was an interesting day, really. We were so punchy from the lack of good rest and long days that things were FUNNY. We spent much of the 8 hour drive spontaneously composing Springsteen songs using road signs. Trust me- it works when you’re hauling across Pennsylvania.

The show in New York was fantastic. We shared the stage with Kristin Hoffman and Jacquie Francis, two really amazing artists. Arlene’s Grocery in the East Village was the venue and it was a really great room. Mad props to Howard the soundguy for making us feel at home and sound better than we deserved to.

NYC Setlist
Avalon
Dumb Spark
Talking Out of Turn
Ohio
Falling is Faster
Unravel
Voodoo Bruise
Nothing is Better
Horizon City
Sweetness

And now it’s time to find our way to Boston for a reunion with Rose Polenzani and a new addition to our tour team- details to follow.

Good Livin’
Written on Nov 4, 2007 at 1:00 AM

You know what I mean…keepin’ it on the GL. That’s what Porter and I have been doing since Thursday. We haven’t really seen a cloud in the ever-expanding sky, haven’t rocked a pun either one of us would deem “bad”, and played one of the best shows ever at Velour (in a long line of best shows ever at Velour) in Provo.
But first, let me back up a bit.
We pulled out of Dodge/Portland on a Thursday with The Warrior (my trusty Chevy Cavalier) packed for rock. A gorgeous drive east took us along the Columbia River, over the increasingly craggy mountains of Eastern Oregon, and finally into Idaho. We arrived in Boise full of hope for a wonderful gig, but alas, ’twas not to be. Halloween is apparently a very popular holiday, and to paraphrase the shared view of every Boise-ite we spoke with- “Dude, even my hangover is hungover from last night”. And those were the people who were at the show. Some nights you play for the sound person.
Bouquet Setlist:
Avalon
Dumb Spark
Talking Out of Turn
Nobody’s Son/Building a Road
Breakaway Move
Ohio
Horizon City
Sweetness
Somewhere in our pre-show conversation, Porter and I hit an uncharacteristic logjam in the flume of music trivia banter. What on earth could that dude’s name be…?!? We both knew who we were thinking of, yet neither of us could articulate this certainty. About a half-hour later I hit Pat with the magic words: Dan Fogelberg.
A night’s sleep, a great breakfast, and serendipitous gas station purchase later, and we were popping Dan Fogelberg’s Super Hits into The Warrior’s CD player.
Yikes.
I think I’ll wait until we subject ourselves to a (inevitable) second listen to write my recap. On to the show.
We rolled into SLC, connected with an extraordinarily hirsute Jake Fish and Brinton Jones, and quickly zipped down to Provo for the show.
If you read these entries at all, ever, you know that Velour and Corey “Like a” Fox, said venue’s proprietor, are this page’s Super Hits. Last night did nothing to tarnish that reputation. We played for a fantastic crowd, alongside colleagues Jeff StoneDavid Hopkins, and Cary Judd. A couple hundred of the sweetest folks around gave us the juice we had lacked the night before, and then some.
Velour Setlist:
Avalon
Dumb Spark
Talking Out of Turn
Ohio
Sweetness
Voodoo Bruise
Nothing is Better
Tonight I’m in a Comfort Inn somewhere a bit west of Lincoln, NE. We drove a good 14 hours today across some of the most empty and boring/empty and beautiful land this country’s interstates have to offer: the seemingly endless tracts of Wyoming and Nebraska. Wyoming, which always offers much in the vast, rugged beauty department, was today enhanced by huge herds of grazing antelope populating every other rolling hill on either side of the freeway. We literally saw thousands of these peaceful beasts, and it was a really cool thing. I’ve been on this highway many times without ever seeing a single antelope, and today there were so many I couldn’t keep track. Weird.
Porter’s sacked out and I’m about to do the same. We’ve got another pretty long day ahead of us tomorrow. Our show is in Chicago, and it’s a bit on the early side (7 pm), which means our morning will be the same. I’ve skipped a bazillion details, most of them puns on the word ‘Fogelberg’. I’ll make it up someday, I promise…Good night!

LDR
Written on Sep 2, 2007 at 1:55 PM

Had a great show at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle the other night. I was pretty fried from driving straight to the gig from work in Portland, but there’s no better way to relieve the frazzle and stress of a long drive than by playing music with friends.

My friends in Red Jacket Mine, a band which Patrick Porter is currently playing in, put on a great show, as did John Weinland, a terrific group from Portland.

Patrick had a pedal steel on stage, so we did a few numbers featuring it, which was really fun. I can’t really remember the last show we did with steel.

I played a bit of new stuff for the first time, sort of testing the waters with it. The response to the new songs seemed positive, so I felt good about that aspect of the show.

Tractor Setlist
Mistaken For Strangers (The National)
New America
The Leaning Life
Lori Left
Atlas
w/Patrick Porter:
Avalon
Do You Help People
Ohio
Dumb Spark
Sweetness
My Home is You

Ave-ing a blast, all over again
Written on Jun 29, 2007 at 1:09 PM

Last night was a great time.  It was my man Mike Gorder‘s birthday, and the celebration roared joyously all night.  Acoustic sets by Mike, Marty Jones, and me set the table for Jeb, a hard-rocking trio, to come deliver the tasty goods.  I think by the end of their set they had covered the entire first Weezer record and half of In Utero.  Sweet.

As for me, I had a good time playing some covers and requests and keeping it fun.  Big-ups to Tyler Carlson for helping out on the sound, and of course, to the ever gallant Avenue staff- Conan, Jesse, Tony, et al.  Heroes behind the bar.

6/28 setlist: Dead Soldier, Dumb Spark, My Home is You, Crossing Over/Videotape (Radiohead), Little Mascara (Replacements), Ohio, Vancouver, Division Day (Elliott Smith), Yet To Be Born, Arizona, Promise, The District Sleeps Alone Tonight (Postal Service).

There’s new life at the old Avenue
Written on Jun 15, 2007 at 9:47 AM

Ah…Fourth Avenue, Anchorage, AK.  It sure is doing better than it was in ’64.

Last night was supposed to be a Woods/Norsworthy duo throwdown, but a few things intervened.  First, Jared returned from a musical romp across the island of Kodiak with a severe case of blown pipes, so he was just running sound to save his voice.  That, and we hadn’t practiced in a few million years and didn’t really want to do it for the first time in front of a throng of friends.  So I wound up going for dolo.  No problem- it wound up being a blast.

The venue is the current hangout of choice among my esteemed Anchortown peers, The Avenue.  A former rough spot of some notoriety on the downtown scene, the place has been cleaned up remarkably.  Diversity is embraced in the best possible way and the place is way safer than I imagine it used to be.  About the only thing that wouldn’t have made it past a metal detector at the door was my friend Rosey’s sewing machine (!).  Big ups to JohnTony, and Conan for making it bueno last night.

Old pals MikeHoltz and Gorder played fantastic sets too and everyone seemed to have a blast.  Good vibes were in the air, as they should well be at the great end of a great summer day in Anchorage.

The Avenue Setlist:

Talking Out of Turn, Implosion, How the Story Goes, Must Be Euphoria, Voodoo Bruise, Let it Out, Dumb Spark, Yet To Be Born, I Know You Better, Breakaway Move, Mistaken For Strangers (The National), To Feel Your Faith Again.

Play on, Playa
Written on Jun 2, 2007 at 10:52 AM

It’s been some time since I posted anything here, due to the fact that I’m not technically on the “Road”, but I figure it couldn’t hurt to say a few words about recent goings on.
I’ve been playing lots of shows with my comrade Jared Woodsup here, but a few nights ago I played a solo show for a change of pace. It was good to see Katie Carson and Matt Hopper do their things on stage, and good to see a few old friends in the crowd.
I’ve been more than a little obsessed with The National lately and, since it’s just about the only sound I’ve been able to hear in my own head for days, opened things up with a cover of one of their new songs. That helped loosen things up a bit, although it can be hard to concentrate in a room filled with Plasma screen TV’s and blow-up posters of nude silicone-queens posing with Stratocasters on every wall. Players House of Rockoccupies the venerable old Spenard Fly By Night Club‘s building. It’s just getting started, but they really seem to be running a pretty nice joint. Thanks to all the folks there who took care of us.
I’m still enjoying being up in Anchorage for the first half of the summer, although I’m getting a little impatient for some sunshine. It’s off to kind of a gloomy start up here.
I’m looking forward to some good musical happenings later in the year. Once I hit the Pacific Northwest in August, keep an eye on the calendar for some really nice shows. I’ll be going out on the road in November to promote Horizon City in some places I haven’t been in awhile, so if you’ve missed out on the fun recently, I just might be bringing it your way. More news later…
5/30/07 Setlist:
Mistaken For Strangers (The National)
Crossing Over
Voodoo Bruise
Let It Out
Yet To Be Born
The Singer’s In Love
I Know You Better
My Home Is You
Dumb Spark
Centralia
Go Missing (Matt Sheehy)
About Piano (Matt Sheehy)
Must Be Euphoria

SEA Legs
Written on Mar 24, 2007 at 10:56 AM

I know it’s late, but I’m going to go ahead and document the fact that the last show on the tour, at The High Dive in Seattle, was a great success. I got to share the stage with a couple of great gals- Gena Gestaldi, and Jenna Conrad, so the night started off with a great vibe.
This was to be the second crack that Patrick and I were going to take at playing with Josh on drums, and this time we actually had a kit- helpful, we found.
seattle setlist:
solo-
my home is you
dumb spark
the singer’s in love
yet to be born
w/patrick-
avalon
sweetness
w/patrick and josh-
all the words are wrong…
breakaway move
talking out of turn
nobody’s son/building a road
horizon city
voodoo bruise
let it out
to feel your faith again
vapour trail (ride)

homestretch
Written on Mar 4, 2007 at 11:24 AM

i’m now in seattle. sonja and i pulled a 15 hour epic haul from SLC yesterday, leaving behind a great week spent rocking with palomino. it’s good to be off the highway, sipping some coffee and planning an afternoon in one of my favorite cities.
the last two utah shows were wonderful. we played a singer/songwriter show at the loft on thursday and a rock show at velour in provo on friday. both were great fun and rich with collaboration. i think a highlight of the tour so far was rocking out ‘horizon city’ with the boys at the end of their set at velour. it was sort of surreal singing about sitting in with the band from salt lake city while actually doing it. it was jake’s birthday to boot, which only added to the festive mood.

SLC setlist:
avalon
something else instead
talking out of turn
my home is you
breakaway move
plane (w/brinton)
for a light
yet to be born

provo setlist:
my home is you
dumb spark
stardust motel
talking out of turn (w/marcus bently)
something else instead
plane (w/brinton)
black star (radiohead w/brinton)
avalon
to feel your faith again
the district sleeps alone tonight (postal service)
horizon city (w/palomino)

spurious comments
Written on Feb 28, 2007 at 12:19 PM

hola, sweet tooths! i’m happy to report that all is well and wintry here in the city by the lake. i had a blast with brinton jonesmarcus bently, and jake fish up the canyon in park city the other night. it’s a pretty swanky little ski village and our job was to rock the spur, a swanky little ski bar. we ganged up on the place and made it happen. thanks to our friends who braved the blizzard and came up there to cheer us on.

park city setlist:
yet to be born
the singer’s in love
vancouver
smokestacks (pat sweany song w/marcus)
breakaway move (w/brinton)
broken down apartment (w/marcus)
plane (w/brinton)
black star (radiohead song w/brinton)
my home is you
voodoo bruise
let it out (w/ jake)
i want you (dylan song w/jake)
words in the kitchen (w/marcus)
dimestore return (w/marcus)
talking out of turn (w/marcus)

catching up
Written on Feb 25, 2007 at 7:33 AM

after a bit of an internet drought in the desert, i’m stealing a quick moment at the motel this morning to bring the journal up to date. we’re in flagstaff, AZ today, preparing to embark on a relatively epic journey to salt lake city. it’s one of the most scenic drives in the country, and i can’t wait to hit the road.

what have i missed? well, after i last wrote, i enjoyed a great, intimate show at the bean in LC- always a pleasure. big thanks to zach of the rushmore beekeepers and carrie for taking care of us.

we pulled out of town early, after a diner breakfast in las cruces featuring the largest pancake i’ve ever had on a plate in front of me, and enjoyed a nice long cruise through the desert. sonja was on a quest for moccasins so we hit some of the roadside tourist stores, but to our dismay found that they were all owned by the same company and had the same junk. no bueno. a stop in tucson for lunch at the red room/grill, a great joint i’ve played many times, provided a nice opportunity to stroll around one of the southwest’s sweetest cities. we checked out the cactus in the saguaro national forest and then made the last few hours to phoenix pass with some napping (sonja) and phone catch up (me). once in the good old PHX we headed to my good friends the smiths’ place for a bit of pre-gig r&r. much thanks to adam for the hospitality, as well as for helping us out with our cell phone situation the next day. the show was at a new venue called the paper heart– a new york-style arts stage in a vibey room. it was very cool, and i had the pleasure of playing with san fran’s pine box boys– a theatrical, dapper, hirsute bunch of death-obsessed bluegrass terrors who made the night surreal, in the best possible way. thanks to leslie for the booking and to conan and dann for the hospitality. thanks also to spinato’s for still cranking out incredible spinach calzones.

las cruces setlist: my home is you, dumb spark, sweetness, i know you better, the singer’s in love, nobody’s son/building a road, breakaway move, to feel your faith again

phoenix setlist: my home is you, dumb spark, sleepwalker, talking out of turn, sweetness, voodoo bruise, let it out, to feel your faith again, yet to be born

prescott setlist: set one- my home is you, promise, stardust motel, ex-box, talking out of turn, ohio, yet to be born, empire builder, something else instead, hearts and bones (paul simon), dumb spark, sleepwalker
set two- how the story goes, must be euphoria, nobody’s son/building a road, i know you better, the singer’s in love, smokestacks (sweany), girl of the north country (dylan), sweetness, breakaway move, wide open spaces, let it out, floater.
set three- powerlines, crossing over/videotape (radiohead), to feel your faith again.

on the road again
Written on Feb 21, 2007 at 4:30 PM

i’m typing this, my first road journal entry that actually feels like a “road” journal entry, from the familiar confines of the bean– my venue of choice in lovely mesilla, NM. my traveling companion, my lovely girlfriend sonja, is sipping on an icy chai beverage, a setting sun is warming the room through the large windows, and i’ll be playing a show in the next room in about an hour. last night we pulled the warrior out of waco, bound for abilene.
there we met the always charming bob simpson, a texan strummer and crooner whom jared and i shared a stage with in midland last year. when we pulled into downtown abilene, there was an almost surreal emptiness about the streets. it felt like they should have been bustling with nightlife, but they were pretty much dead.
fortunately, the folks who turned out to monk’s coffeehouse were a warm and friendly bunch. i played a mix of the horizon city stuff, as well as a few new ones and oldies. thanks to bob for the show, and to the staff for such nice treatment. afterwards we pushed on to big spring, getting a jump on today’s long drive.
abilene setlist:
my home is you
dumb spark
hummingbirds
something else instead
crossing over
the singer’s in love
building a road
let it out
floater
yet to be born
sweetness

Release!
Written on Feb 10, 2007 at 9:40 AM

I know I’ve skipped like, 700 shows here, but I’m about to hit the road so I need to get back in the swing of things. Speaking of, the last show of note occurred last weekend in the Koot’s Swing Bar up here in Anchorage. It was the first time I had ever done a CD release show in my hometown, and I was way psyched to have Jared and Patrick in the house.

So the concept was that we were going to play the whole 14-song album in order. Considering that an album is sequenced with no regard whatsoever to what’s easy to transition to and from on stage (think ‘guitar tunings’), this was no easy feat. I opened things up with a new song performed solo, and then the boys jumped up to help me with the album duties. Jared brought a Rhodes piano along and played on a few tunes, and Porter brought it on electric guitar all night.

It was a great, intimate, fun, show..lots and lots of road stories- it felt like we talked as much as we sang. It was great to play some of the songs on HC that hadn’t been performed that much with other folks. Highlights for me were Porter unleashing a squall of feedback at the end of ‘Avalon’ that had hair going up on the back of my neck, having the whole crowd clapping to help us through an a capella ‘To Feel Your Faith Again’, and listening to Jared play a truly inspired acoustic solo on ‘Ohio’. It was a musically satisfying night, to say the least. We wrapped up with a boisterous romp through ‘Bright Avenue’ and headed out into the Anchorage nightlife for a wonderful time with friends.

Horizon City Release Setlist:
My Home is You (solo)
Dumb Spark (w/Jared and Porter) Hummingbirds (w/Jared)
Talking Out of Turn (Jared on Rhodes, Porter)
Breakaway Move (w/Jared and Porter)
Sweetness (w/Porter)
Sister Corrina (w/Jared)
Horizon City (w/Jared and Patrick)
Avalon (w/Patrick)
To Feel Your Faith Again (w/Jared and Patrick)
Let it Out (w/Jared on Rhodes and Porter)
Voodoo Bruise (Jared on Rhodes and Porter)
Smokestacks (w/Jared and Porter)
Ohio (w/Jared and Porter)
Trinity Highway (w/Jared and Porter)
Bright Avenue (w/Jared lead vocals, Patrick)
 

we’re wise enough to know when a gift needs giving
Written on Jan 7, 2007 at 9:36 PM

this is a tad late, but i should post something up here about the fantastic shows jared and i had right before the holiday craziness descended upon us all. first off, we released jared’s fantastic new EP,

wren in sublime fashion at koot’s swing bar. earlier in december. the vibe was perfect, the crowd flush and happy, and the wine was flowing. i played solo, followed by sean mormelo, and then we all helped out on jared’s set, aided further by the electric playing of jason roach.

koot’s swing bar setlist: (andrew solo) avalon, dumb spark, sleepwalker, talking out of turn, my home is you, voodoo bruise, let it out. (playing in jared woods’ set) pinky swear, so are you in?, snowdrifts, run, from here on out, bright avenue, promise.

jared and i played our now annual gig at cafe felix in anchorage and got to share it with plenty of friends. ryan sole opened things up, and our good friend and current portlander gena gestaldi played a beautiful set of stark, personal songs. we hit the stage and had a great time, enjoying a little bit of our magic from the road earlier this year.

cafe felix setlist: bright avenue, dumb spark, run, something else instead, snowdrifts, breakaway move, from here on out, sister corrina, ohio, pinky swear, promise, driving into the sun, trinity highway.

We’re getting the band back together!!!
Written on Dec 24, 2006 at 3:47 PM

not really…but we kind of did for one night. i was in seattle at the beginning of december and, due to trouble with the road journal interface here on the site, was unable to enter an update. so here it is, a bit belatedly. i hit seattle pretty beat, having pulled out of texas and dragging through a long day of travel in awful weather. fortunately i was welcomed into the familiar digs of my host patrick porter, and he did all that he could to help a brotha feel better. by the time i stepped onto the stage at the o lounge atop queen anne hill, i was seriously ready to play music and feel good; check, check.

patrick and i had been talking in texas about using half of this show to do a nostalgic little crystal radioretrospective, and so we summoned up the hand-drumming talents of the one josh williams and did what we could. it was a terrific night all around, made even more so by the extended karaoke session that has become a post-gig o lounge tradition.

o lounge setlist: (set 1, solo) my home is you, something else instead, to feel your faith again, unbreakable, dumb spark, hardest day, crossing over/videotape (radiohead), voodoo bruise, the obvious child (p. simon). (set 2, w/band) all the words are wrong…, 1/2, tremolo slide, election day, ohio, falling is faster, unravel (bjork), horizon city, what was the year, yellow lines, chrysalis. (solo) how the story ends (the sundays). (encore w/band) remedies.

back to school
Written on Aug 19, 2006 at 1:54 PM

last night my man dylan sneed and i rocked common grounds, my old constant malachi stomping grounds and current landlady’s business. it was sweaty goodness, and the only thing that could have made it better would have been a free mojitos or something like that. something tells me that’s a back to school tradition that will never quite catch on atbaylor.

dylan hit town just in time for us to hook up a quick fish taco feast and then head up to the venue. for some reason the room just sounded better than it has the past few times i’ve played it, and the night was a musical pleasure. perhaps inspired by the acoustics we both wound up playing a lot of covers, including a few that we tackled together.
today we sat around like real musicians, drinking coffee and talking shop. dylan did me the favor of recording some demos in the kitchen here so that i can get patrick porter and whoever else needs to play on the new songs in the loop. i’ve booked studio time for october (!) and i want to be as ready as possible.

common grounds setlist- sleepwalker, smokestacks (patrick sweany), crossing over, how the story goes, dumb spark, ohio, talking out of turn, videotape (radiohead), something else instead, w/dylan sneed: girl from the north country (b. dylan), about piano (matt sheehy), vancouver

mcrgegor nights
Written on Aug 5, 2006 at 11:28 AM

last night the troops got rallied for a texas tea and coffee show out in mcgregor. you couldn’t find a sleepier little town on a friday night if you tried, so i was pretty glad for the great audience. it’s feeling better and better to be picking up the guitar and singing songs again. i’m dying to get this record done and get back out there performing like i should be. but there’s a lot more work to come first. thanks to ricky, jessica, and malcolm (happy b-day!) at the venue for the fine hospitality. it’s sweltering hot saturday morning and i’m ready for a movie night. i’ve spent the week working hard and i’m ready for at least a day of well-earned r & r. hope everyone’s keeping cool out there somehow.

tt and c setlist: avalon, dumb spark, vancouver, ohio, nobody’s son, building a road, something else instead, crossing over, videotape (radiohead), let it out, the district sleeps alone (postal service)


dallas iz active
Written onJul 26, 2006at 6:37 PM

well, it’s been some time since the last show, but i finally made it out of town again. this time i ran up to dallas to join my new friend

dylan sneed and his fantastic percussionist jeff rogers in performing at a coffeehouse up in a part of the north dallas stripmall/chain restaurant sprawl called addison. the last time i performed at a dunn brothers location was a very forgettable two night stand a few winters back in st. paul, MN with hopper. after we waited out the threat of a potentially fully headphoned audience, this show managed to be a much nicer affair. dylan’s stuff is great, and he and jeff are on that peanut butter/chocolate business; an excellent blend. now i’m back in waco, still working, still trying to get to a point where i can get more work on the record done. i’m going to try to play more shows in the near future just for the pleasure of it. it’s been a drag to not be singing.

dunn bros. setlist: unbreakable, dumb spark, how the story goes, crossing over, something else instead, talking out of turn, let it out, videotape (radiohead)

giantgantic!
Written on Jun 6, 2006 at 5:48 PM

what a weekend… my boston buddies rose polenzani and austin nevins hit town on friday and we had a lovely house show here in the crib i’m currently residing in. my roommate steph went out of her way to play hostess and the night was pretty magical. rose in a quiet club is something else, but in a quiet living room? forget about it. i played a little set to calm the kids down first, which was a lot of fun to do.

waco setlist: let it out, for a light, dumb spark, videotape (radiohead), truckin’ ain’t easy (when you ain’t too bright) (rowdy fontaine/texico stars), falling is faster (w/rose). in rose’s set: or.

the next day, after requisite waco activities like breakfast at lolita’s and a nice long hike around cameron park, we headed up to dallas for a show at standard and pours. it was a funny night, as a basketball game featuring a local team was playing on a projection TV right up until we played, but fortunately they won so everyone was in a great mood. big thanks to pascale, erin, and jen for taking such great care of us.

dallas setlist: unbreakable, dumb spark, nobody’s son, building a road, talking out of turn, crossing over, sweetness (w/austin nevins), falling is faster (w/rose p.), about piano (matt sheehy/diplomatics). in rose’s set: or.

sunday we recorded in waco, and for that i’m going to refer you to the ‘new album blog’ on myspace. haven’t written it yet, but i will soon.

how andrew got his groove back
Written on May 14, 2006 at 8:15 PM

after all those great months being in a band with jared, it was kinda tough getting my balance back onstage alone. last night it seemed to click. i played the best of my 2006 solo shows in norman, OK. it’s a friendly town made friendlier every time i go through by my good friends erin, jill and jeff- thanks again, guys! jill and jeff make sure i get culturally educated each visit. last time i learned about okie noodling, and this time i was given valuable lessons in beer cozy etiquette.

i arrived on graduation day and the town was abuzz with celebratory behavior. a requisite mexican food chowdown atpepe delgado’s got things off to a good start. from there, it was off to opolis, a great club owned by current hometown heroes starlight mints. great people, great venue.
speaking of heroes, my mates in the night’s musical venture were tulsa’s the hero factor. they were terrific- soaring coldplay-esque songs with really cool keyboard and guitar stuff happening. don’t be surprised if this isn’t the last time you hear their name.
partying in norman was still going strong when us old people retired at 5 am. yikes!
graduation wasn’t the only thing popping in this town. peep the bronze likeness of native son james garner that was just erected on main st. if, in the twilight of my career, i were to be cast in bronze and propped up on fourth avenue in anchorage, i can only imagine what vandalistic fun tourists, seagulls, high school students, and bar-crawlers would have.

best of luck to you, rockford.

opolis setlist: unbreakable, dumb spark, ohio, falling is faster, talking out of turn, stardust motel, about piano (matt sheehy/diplomatics), sweetness, let it out.

 

square 1
Written on Apr 20, 2006 at 8:14 AM

i’m in texas again- waco, to be specific. i’m here with several things on my mind: making a great record, and making as much money working as possible. simple enough. i hit town yesterday and within a few hours had gotten a haircut and a new “employable” wardrobe. i’ve spent the past few weeks putting a few thousand more miles on the warrior, playing sporadic solo shows, visiting friends in the south, and making my way back here. i watched snow fly in ohio, lost my keys in a subway trash can, spent a night in a part of west virginia that even james dickey would have been scared of, played in a church to a room full of mothers with their babies in raleigh, NC, watched the new spike lee joint and loved it, spent a night in a motel on an atlantic beach, ate catfish that tasted like it was pulled out of the water just for me, drove across south carolina’s beautiful backroad plantation country, drove through atlanta and wondered why i can never seem to make a show work in that city, stayed a few days in birmingham, AL with friends and played a candlelit concert for them with dave golden, a singer/songwriter from new york, stayed a night in jackson with the stracener clan, drove to dallas and promptly had my car broken into outside my grandmother’s house, losing my digital camera and most of the CD’s that i listened to on the road to the thief/thieves, watched the trees go from bare in the north to lush and green in the south, felt the temps go from chilly to unbearable over a couple of weeks’ time, and now… my touring is officially over, having wrapped up with a really nice show at clark’s in houston. it was an old friends/constant malachi fans kind of show…lots of fun. i played some new songs, an extremely old song, and a cover of a tune by my man matt sheehy. it’s one of my favorites from a catalogue of amazing tunes. i think you can still download it at www.matt-sheehy.com.

houston setlist: let it out, floater, how the story goes, stardust motel, about piano (matt sheehy/diplomatics), the devil’s holiday, indian summer, building a road, dumb spark, free.

DC al fine
Written on Apr 2, 2006 at 11:30 AM

that’s music-talk for “return to the first bar”. in this case DC would be the nation’s capitol, that bar would be humpy’s in anchorage, and the returning voice would be that of jared woods.

i’m waking up mid-afternoon here in arlington to more gorgeous weather. this morning we had to get up super early (made earlier by daylight savings) to get jared to the airport. i have to say, i’m totally bummed. months of being on the road together are suddenly over, and i’ve got to figure out how best to transition. i’m going to miss my friend.
we happened to hit the capitol during the famous cherry blossom festival, and took advantage of it yesterday with a long stroll around the place. it felt like a pretty appropriate activity on the last day of a trip all around america.

we parted this morning with a promise to do this again, and i’m already looking forward to it. until then, i have plenty to accomplish- a few more weeks of travel and solo shows, a record to make, a job or two to find…i’ll post the news as it comes.

all things must passim
Written onApr 1, 2006at 8:46 AM

ok, that was bad. sorry. last night was it. the ‘end of the road’ that boyz II men once came to, over and over and over at every dance i ever attended in high school. and it was a doozy.

we played one of the northeast’s favorite venues, the cambridge, MA listening room club passim, and we shared the stage with some of the area’s finest musicians. our hostess and caretaker, both onstage and off, was the incredible ms. rose polenzani, and we were all joined in music and merriment by the one austin nevins, rose’s electric guitar-wielding foil, and the exquisite vocalist and cuttup jennifer kimball. there was a lot of great energy coming from the stage all night long, and fortunately a capacity crowd was on hand to receive it. big, big, loving thanks to matt at passim, rose and jacquie barnaby for the kind and helpful endorsements, and to our friends and family who came out to hear us play our first boston show- it meant the world to us. somehow this tour was charmed in a way that caused the absolute best show to be the last one.
rose’s performance last night was pretty much indescribable- as in ‘indescribably awesome’. when we were packing up jared came up to me and said, “rose wants to go out for drinks, but i told her we needed to go home and practice.” i couldn’t have agreed more. getting the chance to hop back on stage and play with her (on a song that’s been a favorite of mine for years) was the highlight of the tour for both jared and me. so much fun!
now were racing down the interstate, hoping desperately to make it to the martin factory in time to make the afternoon tour.

club passim setlist: something else instead, driving into the sun, promise, coming clean, ohio, bright avenue (w/rose polenzani), trinity highway, pinky swear, juneau blues (eric stracener). midway through rose’s set we performed on her song ‘or’, playing guitars and singing. holy shnikes!

hello, new england
Written on Mar 30, 2006 at 8:01 AM

i’m sitting in my friend rose’s kitchen, drinking my 500th cup of coffee, watching beautiful spring sunlight stream through the boston neighborhood of somerville, and listening to strains of ms. p and jennifer kimball working on some songs for tonight’s show. it’s a pretty peaceful start to what should be a great, albeit bittersweet, day. it’s the last actual gig-day of the tour. we’re playing tonight at club passim- a venue i’ve heard has great vibes and dangerous garlic. last night we pulled into town and enjoyed a nice late afternoon tour of somerville, picking up some groceries for dinner along the way. we cooked some dinner, watched some TV (watching rose and her roommate jordan actually come to tears over an american idol judge decision was one of the funniest things i’ve ever seen- these kids are serious!) and just enjoyed hanging out. we sang and played some stuff- we’re doing one of rose’s and one of ours- and just had a really nice, relaxing evening (for a change). if only rose would stop making us play texico stars songs…not that we mind that much!

…where they paint murals of biggie
Written on Mar 29, 2006 at 5:40 PM

yes, yes, ya’ll. we’re wrapping up a great couple of days in the big apple, packing the bags and preparing to hit the highway to boston. it’s a beautiful day in brooklyn and we’re ready to enjoy it. our friend josh (pictured with me at central park) had to leave town early, but we had a blast with him. last night here in BK, we played a little joint called pete’s candy store– a funky williamsburg venue styled, apparently, after an old subway car. it’s a super vibed-out room and it only takes a handful of friends to make the little place feel cozy and full. fortunately for us, our friends were out in force and we had a great time playing for them. the show gave me a chance to reconnect with my man beau jennings of norman, OK’s finest, cheyenne. he and drummer heath and guitarist/banjoist robput down a tasty set of mostly new material. much appreciation goes to these guys for putting us up the past few nights. i also had the unexpected treat of a surprise appearance by the one sebastian hoffman, a friend of mine from my days in stuttgart. it was so great to see him again. the final act of the night was london’s tony moore- a man who’s resume includes keyboard duties for the cutting crew!!!! when he sang (i just) died in your arms tonight jared and i got a chance to live out our karaoke fantasy at the top of our lungs. unreal.

pete’s setlist: something else instead, driving into the sun, breakaway move, bright avenue, ohio, birthday girl, hummingbirds, pinky swear, trinity highway, coming clean, juneau blues (eric stracener)

7 days
Written on Mar 26, 2006 at 12:19 PM

last night we played a show in the frosty northern town of grand rapids, michigan. famous to the country for its furniture and folk music, and known to me as the home of my friends lou and drew, the place always gives me a warm welcome. jared and i rocked the listening room at schuler books– a now familiar stage that’s always a pleasure to play. i got a huge kick out of seeing that our poster hung next to one of kelly joe phelps‘, advertising a show i wish i could be at next friday. we pulled out of chicago yesterday with snow flying, bidding farewell to our crew of friends there. huge thanks again to niki, gianna, brian, jesse, and max for the hospitality, emily evans for the booking and promotion, jess and brandi for the travel. you all rock! our final chicago show was at betty’s blue star lounge. catching up with my boy hopper was fun, as was hearing news via cell phone of my good friends steve and amy welcoming a new face into their bend, OR home- little lucy rae. congrats, guys!

betty’s setlist: pinky swear, promise, driving into the sun, ohio, bright avenue, something else instead, from here on out, sister corrina, birthday girl, your window, melissa (allman brothers).

right now we’re gliding east through the chilly, serene farm country of central michigan on I-96, bound for the greatest martin guitar dealer in the land- elderly instruments, located in east lansing. last time i was there i swore i wouldn?t return without enough money to get a guitar. i’m about to break that promise to myself so that jared can behold the glory. should be fun. i can’t believe we’ve only got two shows left in this tour. it’s flown by, to be sure. tonight we’ll be in ohio, and new york the night after. we’re playing in brooklyn with my friend beau jennings and then in boston with our homegirl rose polenzani, and then we’re planning to pay a visit to the nazareth, PA home of martin (i know, we’re total nerds). it’s going to be a great week. to lou and katie in grand rapids- hugs and thanks for a fantastic show and warm hospitality.

schuler setlist: set 1- something else instead, driving into the sun, breakaway move, bright avenue, ohio, coming clean, promise, pinky swear, trinity highway, so are you in? set 2- sister corrina, from here on out, hummingbirds, the birthday girl, your window, 23 and searching, juneau blues (stracener). encore: keep us company

circling
Written on Mar 22, 2006 at 3:09 PM

we’re back in chicago, celebrating the completion of a 12,000 mile loop with a pair of shows in the windy city. the past few days saw us take leave of our roost in austin for the deep south, where we performed at a fantastically fun show in birmingham, AL. lots of love to keith harrelson and pierce pettis for the lovely time at moonlight music cafe. the show was packed, the audience was made up of sweet, sweet folks, and the night had a bit of magic in the air. pierce is a fantastic writer and performer, and his son george was on hand to perform a few cuts with him- a special treat. it really made the show more special to us out-of-town boys to play with an alabama native. also, very special thanks to molly and john for showing us the best of b-ham. we danced the night away after our show at a fun dive called marty’s to an awesome band called bonus round. so much fun…

moonlight setlist: something else instead, driving into the sun, breakaway move, bright avenue, ohio, coming clean, trinity highway.

a trip north provided an excellent opportunity to stop into a few nashville guitar stores and paw some vintage wooden boxes with c.f. martin headstocks at the end of them. we also got to stop in and see agnes barton-sabo, print-maker supreme, at work on music row. last night we had an excellent outing at the beat kitchen. props to ms. emily evans for the setup, and nikki, jesse, and max for the hosting.

beat kitchen setlist: something else instead, driving into the sun, breakaway move, bright avenue, ohio, coming clean, hummingbirds, pinky swear, your window, so are you in?, trinity highway, on my best behavior.

last night a veggie dog saved my life
Written on Mar 19, 2006 at 1:05 PM

wow…where to begin? wrapping up the last week in words seems like a pretty tall order, but i’ll give it a shot. we finished up with our recording in waco last weekend and set about burning 200 CD samplers for SXSW. for those out of the music industry loop, south by southwest is a festival held annually in austin (the self-proclaimed ‘live music capital of the world’) where a takeover led by the nation’s record labels, clubs, promoters, etc. is timed to coincide with the mass beach-bound exodus of the UT frat and sorority folks- a neat trick. it’s a really tough scene to get into without a label connection, and being that i’m still 100% DIY, i figured we’d just do our best to schmooze and booze with the cool kids and pass out some CD’s while we were there. we rolled into austin sunday night for our show at

ruta maya, a nice coffeehouse on south congress. big thanks to our new friend melissa mullins for inviting us to perform. at that show we linked with my man bret ‘pleasant grove’ egner and headed into the hill country for a 5 night stay at his crib. whatasized thanks to bret, kimberly, ashley, and kelsey for taking us in. our first few days in austin were spent taking care of business, burning CD’s, blowing out a tire, fixing a tire, getting new brake pads put on the warrior, eating mexican food, etc. then, on wednesday, SXSW kicked off and it’s been a wild ride ever since. the way it works is that music is being performed just about everywhere in the city from noon to the wee hours and you?ve got to just throw yourself into it and see where you wind up. industry hosted parties spill out of every door and free adult refreshments are flowing liberally. we linked early with our man in the field, dave hill, caught a few bands, walked around downtown a bit, and eventually found ourselves catching jon dee graham’s set. he’s a grizzled austin vet and as we were listening i found myself thinking that the style was exactly what the alt-country heads in germany love to death. next thing i know, i’m chatting with some familiar folks from stuttgart. this kind of thing defines the festival for me- a constant succession of serendipitous encounters with friends from all over the place. everywhere i turned i seemed to find myself suddenly in the company of someone i knew. it was a total blast. later in the evening jared and i made our way to a massive club called la zona rosa for the night’s main course: a set by talib kweli, my brooklyn-based hip hop hero. woods had never been to a hip hop show, and while this wasn’t quite that, he was able to get a decent taste. it was a warner bros. showcase, and the first two bands were pretty wack. after watching the vacation‘s ludicrous hollywood sleaze routine (full of morrison-esque posturing, spitting beer on the crowd, daltrey wannabe mic-slinging and lame, hookless songs) i was ready for the good stuff to start. i wouldn’t have to wait long. jean grae brought it hard and her set morphed into kwa’s via the tag-team of the duet ‘black girl pain’. my man sounded amazing and in no time was in complete control of a rapt audience of about 2000. we stepped out of the club drenched with sweat and amped up. walking away from the crowd, we suddenly heard a familiar tune coming from the next club: ‘ooooh, yoshimeeee, they don?t belieeeeve me’the flaming lips were at the climax of a surprise show! sweetness. we then steered ourselves to an afterparty that lasted late, late, late. we woke up thursday feeling like a hundred bucks. all the walking with a backpack full of discs made for a sore morning. a call from dave at about 1 anouncing that he was having margaritas and ready to rock kicked us into gear. we headed to jovita’s for some excellent sounds from my friends milton mapes. then we walked a few blocks over for the party being thrown by schuba’s, the chicago venue. they know how to host, even in another city. i was pleasantly surprised to catch a set by elizabeth elmore from my friends the reputation. small world. a bus ride downtown deposited us at red fez for the great garrison starr‘s set. it was a beaut, and my homeboy neilson hubbard was making sweet sounds at the keys, which was another pleasant surprise. as we walked toward the car to put some stuff away i made a call to my man patrick sweany (pictured above), who turned out to be a block away. we scooped up his crew (david and bob) and hit sixth street, which by about 7 on thursday night was in full-on mardi gras mode. moving through that crowd, dancing to jazz in the street, swinging in and out of bars listening to music, and talking with people in rhythm with the crowd’s currents was euphoric and joyful in a way i’ve rarely experienced. it was a beautiful thing. if sweany’s disposable camera pics ever make their way into my hands, i’m sure i’ll have a great document of a great night. our destination for the rest of the night was la zona rosa again, and we made it just in time to catch a spellbinding acoustic performance by kris kristofferson, a local as well as national legend. listening to ‘me and bobby mcghee’ and ‘sunday morning comedown’ performed gently and surely by the author was incredible and moving. after a long soundcheck, the drive-by truckers came out and put a thundering, greasy and gorgeous lid on the night. by this time i felt like i’d been on my feet for a week straight. we hit the sleeping bags pretty well spent. and now…we?re speeding through the dark down I-20 near shreveport, LA, en route to jackson, MS for a night of rest in the care of eric stracenerand family. it’s a 600 mile day in the car and the denny’s coffee is working hard. it’s actually got us singing loudly along to ‘the immaculate collection’, remembering with fond nostalgia the days of birthday parties at royal roller rink in anchorage and skate station in eagle river. go figure. i’m swearing off booze and mexican food for a year. just kidding.

troubadouring
Written on Mar 10, 2006 at 1:01 PM

we’re enjoying the sweet company and hostessing of my good friend jill and her roommate jen here in waco. last night’s show at common grounds was a good time, and the night ended with jared and i duetting on a certain cutting crewclassic up in the attic at the top of our lungs around 3 am. don’t ask… on wednesday we laid down the first two songs for my new record- ‘hummingbirds’ and ‘trinity highway’- in the beautiful troubadour studio in nearby mcgregor, TX. all went incredibly well and we’re going back in tonight to try to get two more tunes. this will really put me ahead in the game when i return after the tour to do the rest of the work. we recorded live and straight, just two voices and guitars, no headphones or overdubs, and it felt and sounded great. a crazy storm provided ambience and spooky vibes while we cut the tracks, lightning flashing through the room and thunder rolling. pictured: jared, me, steven and sherylin collins, shawn simmons. common grounds setlist: something else instead, driving into the sun, breakaway move, bright avenue, ohio, coming clean, trinity highway, from here on out, sister corrina, pinky swear, promise, birthday girl, your window, so are you in, juneau blues (eric stracener).

shza-am!
Written on Mar 8, 2006 at 3:15 PM

i’m sitting in the main room at troubadour studio in mcgregor, TX, listening to my man shawn simmons polish up a new mix of a deadman tune. to no one’s surprise, it sounds fantastic. the stretch of travel that brought us here was a trip from dallas, where we rocked standard and pours, to houston where we played clark’s, to waco, where we…well, so far we’ve eaten some kick-ass mexican food and hung around the studio. the gig’s tomorrow night. big thanks to marty and beth for being at the front of the line in dallas, and pascale and jen for taking great care of us at the show. in houston, we’d like to thank pete and miranda for hosting us, both at the club and at home. tonight is a special occasion. i’m going to get a jump on recording the record that i’ll be working on here this spring by trying to get a few cuts with jared captured. standard and pours setlist: set 1-something else instead, coming clean, hummingbirds, 23 and searching, ohio, driving into the sun, breakaway move, bright avenue, trinity highway, from here on out, sister corrina. set 2- promise, pinky swear, your window, birthday girl, juneau blues (e. stracener)clark’s setlist: something else instead, driving into the sun, breakaway move, bright avenue, ohio, coming clean, trinity highway, pinky swear.

roscoe, TX. population: daryl
Written on Mar 5, 2006 at 8:52 PM

whew! we’ve been driving and driving and driving… i’m typing this from the cozy den of my grandparents’ home in garland (dallas), TX. we’ve covered the ground from phoenix to here in the past four days and played some wonderful shows along the way. first we went to las cruces/mesilla, NM. i always love being in LC and this was perhaps the best visit yet. we performed at the venerable mesilla coffeehouse, the beanearly friday night. big-ups to annie and megan behind the bar, as well as to love morris, aka amanda hawkins, for the gorgeous set of music. bean setlist- something else instead, driving into the sun, breakaway move, bright avenue, ohio, coming clean, trinity highway, from here on out, sister corrina, pinky swear. we tucked away a quick mexican meal at la posta, a restaurant housed in a building which once hosted overnight stays by pancho villa, kit carson, billy the kid, douglas macarthur and many other historical figures, with our friends amanda, sam, zach, and carrie. then it was on to el patio, a bar in a building with nearly equally interesting history nextdoor. we rocked an opening set for locals new river blues. thanks to marc bourdon, our man on the ground in LC, for the booking help. el patio setlist: pinky swear, promise, coming clean, breakaway move, bright avenue, ohio, driving into the sun, your window, birthday girl, deserter, so are you in, trinity highway. midland, TX was the scene of last night’s gig, which was a winner. props to dom for the great promotion, as usual, and big thanks to my cousin james, his wife amy, and my aunt diane for making the drive from amarillo for the show. we played with some really cool TX artists- levi smith, samantha roberts, and bob simpson– and met some great folks. red stone cafe setlist: something else instead, driving into the sun, promise, bright avenue, ohio, coming clean, trinity highway, from here on out, sister corrina, pinky swear. another day of driving took us through the rest of our traverse of the vast void of west texas. dallas is tomorrow night.

truckin’ and pluckin’
Written on Mar 1, 2006 at 2:52 PM

i’m sitting in the phoenix office/guest room where i spent last summer. it’s a full circle kind of feeling, except it’s coming in the middle of travels rather than at the end of them. the warrior, sporting AZ plates, is back home again, with about 25,000 more miles on the ticker. we had a great time in northern arizona over the weekend. we played the legendaryhotel monte vista on saturday and it was epic and fun, as usual. the texaco stars even made their official, if unplanned and ramshackle, debut on the stage. rowdy and daryl have been busy with the pen and picks too, writing new material faster than they can keep up with it. big thanks to dann and sidney for driving up from phoenix, jared and meg for hospitality and company, daniel and owen for the show, and nathan for the sound. we spent the next few days based out of sedona and visited the grand canyon (pictured)- jared’s first trip. i love that part of the country so much and it was awesome to be there again. HMV setlist. set 1: something else instead, driving into the sun, breakaway move, 23 and searching, your window, so are you in, trinity highway, cum on feel the noize (quiet riot), bright avenue, ohio. solos: andrew- how the story goes, stardust motel, sea of love. jared- day 5, sunday, keep your hands to yourself (G.Satellites) set 2: pinky swear, promise, birthday girl, hummingbirds, keep us company. texaco stars set- the ballad of rowdy and daryl, your cold heart, country gals/PBR theme. juneau blues (eric stracener), deserter/stand by me (ben e. king), from here on out, sister corrina, hallelujah/coming back to you (l.cohen) last night we arrived in phoenix and rocked a brief set at the trunk space. we had the pleasure of sharing the bill with a duo from sacramento called spider silk dress. they were super, and turned out to be great people to boot. we wound up staying up all night with our friends dann and conan (from dustjacket and amber and kevin. it’s always great to meet fellow touring musicians who are so cool. trunk space setlist: something else instead, driving into the sun, ohio, bright avenue, trinity highway, coming clean, hummingbirds.

livin’ on refried dreams
Written on Feb 26, 2006 at 1:55 PM

for some reason, apostrophes aren’t working on the road journal…please insert them with your imagination where appropriate. as i write this, jared is at the wheel and we?re working on the drive from san diego to flagstaff. the gorgeous scenery of southern california feels like a distant memory now. the drive today took us along interstate 8- a winding stretch of highway that skirts the mexican border as it makes its way east. there?s not a whole lot of anything out here for miles and miles. mostly it?s just sand dunes and trailer parks. we just put away some delicious mexican food in gila bend, traded keys and keyboard, and now we?re heading north. jared?s trying to break my concentration by singing godawful toby keith songs. must…fight…back…somehow… it feels kind of funny to be back in arizona, as it was a brief home for me last summer. the scenery is all very familiar and, as such, comforting. there are great friends that i?m really excited to reunite with and introduce jared to. i can?t wait to get to flagstaff, as that?s always a favorite place of mine to visit. it?s a bit ironic that we?ve probably got some of the most well-traveled wheels on the road and yet, because of our AZ plates, we look like locals. our san diego show was a blast. we rocked twiggs in university heights- now a pretty friendly stage to me- for a capacity crowd. the sound was great, as usual, and the night ended with a spirited dance-fest during kethro?s set. thanks upon thanks to keth and his crew for the gracious so-cal hospitality the past few days, and thanks to john at twiggs for the show. san diego setlist: something else instead, driving into the sun, breakaway move, bright avenue, ohio, coming clean, promise, pinky swear, trinity highway.

los muchachos del norte ascendente están en san clemente!!
Written on Feb 23, 2006 at 3:56 PM

man, we’ve found paradise. we rolled into LA a few nights back not really sure where we would stay. our man kethrocame through with some sweet so-cal digs. we had a day off yesterday that was one of the sweetest days off in the history of days off. it was as if we’d been flown out to some fantasy island of relaxation and dropped off there for the day- gorgeous, gorgeous scenery, beautiful weather, ocean, beach, palms… yesterday, as i was sipping my coffee at an open-fronted creperie on the beach, reading my book while the waves lapped at the sand, i had to just think, “life is GOOD!”. some days you drive across nebraska, some days you sip margaritas with your shoes off. it’s an inconsistency of the road that i’ll take and appreciate. oh yeah, and jared shaved his head!
ok, enough bragging.
we had a marvelous show at LA’s room 5 on tuesday night. we were joined by two talented friends- brandon schott, andconnie kim. it was one of those classic LA shows where no one i actually knew came (except kethro and jess- thanks guys!), but the room was somehow packed anyway. we had a terrific time.
LA setlist: pinky swear, promise, coming clean, something else instead, bright avenue, ohio, driving into the sun.

live from the super A
Written on Feb 20, 2006 at 11:52 AM

howdy, folks! woods and i are about to break camp here at a motel in the middle of nowhere, CA. it’s an old super 8, and the new owners were so stingy with their investment in their new motel that all the old signs and logos have simply been altered with felt tip markers, right down to the soap wrappers. it’s actually quite hilarious. we really needed a night of relaxation and comfort last night, so we decided to take advantage of the day off. throughout the tour, our country alter-egos have been coming out more and more often (jared is daryl roscoe, i’m rowdy fontaine). last night, they emerged as a hit songwriting team. we penned what we’re fairly confident is the best country song of all time. it’s called ‘your cold heart’, and we’re heading into los angeles today to sell it. shouldn’t take more than a half hour, as it’s undeniable solid gold.
oh, yeah…and we were just in san francisco. let me backtrack…
we rolled into oakland on saturday and set up at the venue- a hopping irish pub called bill mcnally’s. we opened up for the lovely paige and her band. it wound up being a great night for making new friends and fans. the best part of the evening for me was a long-overdue reunion with the one andrew barna (pictured), an old friend of mine from my days living in waco, TX. andrew actually financed the constant malachi album, and thus will always be the guy who kickstarted my recording career- something i’ll be forever grateful for.
andrew asked me if anyone ever mentioned the CM album anymore and i said that, yes, on occasion someone does. after the show, as if it were scripted, a guy came up to me with a copy of the CD and asked for an autograph. it was pretty cool, as he got perhaps the only copy signed by both andrews involved.
this was how we met jess, who along with his girlfriend alex, wound up being our host in san fran that night. a long night of fun taxed the visiting team’s energy pretty heavily, but today we’re feeling fantastic. mucho thanks to these folks, as well as paige, for making our stay in the bay awesome. oakland setlist: something else instead, driving into the sun, breakaway move, bright avenue, ohio, coming clean, promise, pinky swear, trinity highway, w/michael of paige’s band on drums: so are you in, your window

california in the windshield
Written on Feb 18, 2006 at 4:21 PM

i’m writing from the apartment of the one dustin aaron (and his girlfriend, alicia)- sacramento’s finest singer/songwriter. last night woods and i had a fantastic show with him and his band here in the cali-cap. i think there’s plenty of travelling to recap here, so i’ll do my best to get that done. we spent a few days off in portland taking care of errands and seeing sights and friends. i picked up some great reading material at powell’s (delillo’s ‘the body artist’ and ‘cosmopolis’, a volume of phillip levine’s early poems, and the newest volume of keroac’s journals, ‘windblown world’) that i’m excited to dig into when the time is right. we went to a few guitar stores and pawed some incredible martins we can’t afford- a favorite diversion on this tour. our hostess was the one gena gastaldi, whom you music geeks probably know as the chanteuse behind day of lions. gena and her lovely housemates were kind enough to put us up for a few days and let us crash their valentine’s day party. we ate cookies, drank wine, and watched/screamed at a hilarious b-movie/slasher flick called ‘my bloody valentine’ about an undead coal miner who terrorizes a small canadian town each time a certain day in february rolls around. it was no ‘trapped in the closet’, but it was awesome nonetheless. finally, on a brilliant wednesday morning, it was time for us to depart for california. we drove one of the prettiest drives around- from portland to arcata- and just soaked up scenery the whole way. by the end of the day we were surrounded by enormous redwoods, staring up at a beautiful sky of stars, and headed in the company of our friends samantha (of living in the ice age) and travis to a post-valentines/my birthday party where we were the musical guests of honor. thanks to the always-awesome ian fays twins liz and sarah for the sweet treatment, and thanks to sam for the short but beautiful set.
the next day sam took us to the beach! a place called patrick’s point gave us a chance to finally let some pacific breeze hit us in the face. we hit the road feeling fully recharged.
the road to redding proved a bit more onerous than the trip to the beach. he headed out thinking we’d be taking an easy stroll down the beautiful trinity highway (299), but a rockslide halfway there forced us to revise our travel plans. some quick atlas work revealed our alternate route- south on the 101 to the 36, a narrow strip of asphalt that shoots and spirals up and down through the trinity range, and then down an even sketchier stretch of the 3, before finally linking with a safe stretch of the 299. of course, cell phones aren’t working through any of this, so the boys at the dip in redding think we’re skipping out on the gig or something. when we finally dragged into town we found that they’d moved the gig home to their music room, and it wound up being a really nice show. everybody crowded into this couch-filled rehearsal room for our set and then hung out with us into the wee hours. my man brian and his girlfriend lacey even surprised me with a birthday cake (pictured)!
finally, we arrived yesterday in sacramento and wound up having a terrific night with dustin, his band, and the rest of the sacramento crew. jared’s grandma and cousin even made it out to the show, as did my old and good friend tony.
if i can get jared and dustin to stop watching ebaum videos, we’ll hit the road for oakland.
arcata setlist: something else instead, coming clean, ohio, bright avenue, trinity highway, pinky swear.
redding setlist: pinky swear, something else instead, coming clean, breakaway move, bright avenue, ohio, birthday girl, hummingbirds, driving into the sun, trinity highway, so are you in.
sacramento setlist: something else instead, driving into the sun, breakaway move, bright avenue, ohio, coming clean, promise, pinky swear, trinity highway, so are you in.

you said ‘chuck and rufus’!!!
Written on Feb 13, 2006 at 1:13 PM

we’re in portland this morning, aimed south for the first time on the tour. we’ve got a couple of days off here before we head down to northern cal. we should be able to keep busy here, between the basic distractions of portland and the tour work that we need to do. in seattle, productivity was thwarted by the constant need to watch ‘trapped in a closet’, over and over and over again. brilliant. jared had a special visitor from alaska- his girlfriend, kaiya. it was great to see her, as well as all my friends in town. yesterday before we hit the road we crashed an in-progress explone session in fremont. (pictured: kaiya, myself, shannon, patrick, r. kelly). seattle is behind us now and we have two wonderful shows to remember it by. on friday we played at the o lounge, queen anne’s newest singer/songwriter stage. the place is pretty small, and when you packed a capacity crowd of alaskans into it, it was a pretty warm environment for jared and me to do our thing. there was a really good energy in the room and we had a blast. we give them credit for being the first crowd to actually ‘get’ our oft-misunderstood cover of ‘cum on feel the noize’. thank you! big ups to joshua and megan for making it happen at the ofor us. saturday we hit the tost stage and put it down for a more subdued but no less interested crowd. tost setlist: pinky swear, promise, coming clean, something else instead, bright avenue, ohio, driving into the sun, sister corrina, from here on out.
set 2- keep us company, hummingbirds, birthday girl, your window, so are you in, trinity highway, on my best behavior, breakaway move, lost cause (beck), guardian, 23 and searching, deserter.
finally, last night we played a set at lewis and clark university. it was a chill, sunday night affair and everyone was very cool. lanaye and jodi mclaren put it down with opening sets and then we did our thing. big thanks to jodi for putting the show together. lewis and clark setlist: something else instead, coming clean, promise, pinky swear, trinity highway, so are you in, ohio, bright avenue, breakaway move, driving into the sun.

on to the next episode…
Written on Feb 9, 2006 at 3:23 PM

i’m in seattle today, enjoying the most incredible weather of the tour, thus far. we covered nearly 1000 miles in the past few days, coming from SLC to portland, and then this morning from portland to seattle. we’ve got a few cool shows coming up here in the next few nights, and then it’s right back down to the rose city for sunday’s lewis and clark gig. last night we performed for a super crowd of alaskans- the most of any show yet- at the always great imbibe. thanks to john and theresa for making it a pleasure. my man shawn, whose apartment i’m typing in, has just introduced me to r. kelly’s ‘trapped in a closet’ DVD, and i truly am without words to describe it. i’ve never experienced anything like this…it’s the funniest thing that’s not meant to be funny that i’ve ever seen. oh, man…it’s going to be a great weekend! imbibe, setlist: set 1-something else instead, coming clean, breakaway move, so are you in?, hummingbirds, birthday girl, your window, driving into the sun, sister corrina, from here on out.
andrew solo: witnesses, summer storm song.
jared solo: sunday, angels in the snow.
set 2- promise, 23 and searching, ohio, bright avenue, the drugs don’t work (verve), barfly, deserter, pinky swear, trinity highway, juneau blues (eric stracener), guardian, on my best behavior, cum on feel the noize (quiet riot)

teshla
Written on Feb 7, 2006 at 10:32 AM

we’re slowly getting going here on our last morning in salt lake. and by slowly, i mean SLOWLY. brinton is up and about, but corey (on the love sac) and woods (on the futon) are still down for the count. last night was a really fun one. after an incredible (and incredibly cheap) sushi feed at aah…sushi! we rolled to the w lounge to rock their ‘moonshine monday’ event. jack daniels beverages are $2 at this thing, and a roomful of eager participants were on hand to hear us play. MM setlist: promise, 23 and searching, your window, birthday girl, something else instead, bright avenue, ohio, from here on out, sister corrina, driving into the sun, let it out (andrew solo), angels in the snow (jared solo), deserter, who is on her side (w/brinton jones), lost cause (beck song, w/brinton jones).

ropin’ the wind
Written onFeb 5, 2006at 4:07 PM

we’ve moved west, across windy wyoming, and now we’re in the friendly confines of the palomino loft in downtown SLC. i’m up in my little carpeted nook looking down on a room full of friends whose intellect i usually don’t question, but who are currently totally entranced by the superbowl- an event with an appeal as inexplicable to me as germany’s obsession with david hasselhoff. i’m just working on tour stuff, bumping some kweli in my cans waiting for the madness to pass. we spent a few days off with our homie erik braund (of jeb/sleep machine fame) in denver, soaking up the finest of downtown big D’s cultural hotspots. it really is a beautiful town and the people seemed very friendly. then it was off to laramie, wyoming. big ups to brandon and his crew for making the drive to see us play, and also to cody and diana for showing us the town. we made new friends, which is always a good thing. we even went to a bar called the buckhorn that had a huge bullethole from a forty-year old customer outburst still proudly left in the mirror. it’s cowboy country out there. last night was a show we’d been looking forward to since it was booked. we played with good friends palomino at provo’s promoter extraordinaire’s new joint, the gorgeous velour. as usual here in utah, it was all about collabos, high energy, a packed venue, a fantastic crowd, good vibes, and extreme difficulty finding coffee in the morning. pictured here is my man jake fish, who jumped out of bed this morning and started whipping up shepherds pie.velour setlist: pinky swear, promise, coming clean, something else instead, bright avenue, ohio, driving into the sun, breakaway move, so are you in? (w/brinton jones), trinity highway. in palomino’s set: who is on her side? (w/jared), shades of gray (w/andrew)

greetings from the hill
Written on Feb 1, 2006 at 2:38 PM

we’re in boulder, CO today. gorgeous, moderate weather has finally found us (or vice versa, i suppose) and we’re loving it. we’ve got a few days off here and we’re trying to use them productively. jared’s discs finally arrived, but not without once last glitch- when we got to albums on the hill for our instore yesterday, we were shocked to see the entire order of 1000 discs (equal to roughly the size of our car) piled high behind andy’s counter. only 200 were supposed to come here, with the rest directed to anchorage. so jared’s been trying to get that resolved. we got to play not one, but two really special shows yesterday. the first was at the aforementioned albums on the hill. as usual, andy and his team were terrific and supportive. they definitely make me feel at home when i’m in town here. AOTH setlist: trinity highway, so are you in?, something else instead, bright avenue, ohio, coming clean, promise, pinky swear, hummingbirds, driving into the sun. after a brief mexican food interlude (thanksjaunita’s) we loaded into the fox theatrekinetix and serious george– two highly accomplished and personable jam bands from denver- were our billmates. big-ups to alaska for continuing to represent in the bleachers. beth, ann, erik…you rock. to sarah, brian, dave, aaron, and ben at the fox…you rock as well! breakfast at the walnut cafe this morning capped a great 24 hours in boulder. word has it our man erik is going to show us how denver does tonight. fox setlist: driving into the sun, promise, coming clean, something else instead, bright avenue, ohio, so are you in?, trinity highway, pinky swear, breakaway move.

windmills
Written on Jan 29, 2006 at 4:01 PM

we’re in omaha tonight, enjoying the gracious hosting of sean and christine, friends from alaska who don’t seem to mind having a couple of slap-happy songwriter dorks do their thing in their home. last night we played a really fun show here at one of my favorite venues ever- mick’s music bar. i could rave all day about what makes that place special…. iowa is behind us now, and with it our final show there: java creek coffee in cedar rapids. this was a really, really nice night. we had a full house the whole night and folks seemed genuinely excited to have us in their town. unfortunately, cedar rapids has a bit of an odor problem (something to do with making corn syrup) and we had to flee to nearby iowa city for our night’s rest.mick’s setlist: set 1- pinky swear, promise, coming clean, something else instead, bright avenue, ohio, keep us company, breakaway move, so are you in, trinity highway.
solo sets: drew solo- for a light, the district sleeps alone (postal service). jared solo- on my best behavior, sunday.
set 2- from here on out, sister corrina, driving into the sun, hummingbirds, birthday girl, your window, 23 and searching, deserter, the drugs don’t work (verve), juneau blues (eric stracener).

jared’s girl
Written on Jan 27, 2006 at 11:32 AM

we just made short work of some delicious gyro plates here at a really cool cafe in ames, IA. last night’s show was one of the more interesting nights of the tour. we rocked a joint called the bali satay house- half indonesian restaurant, half pizza joint, 100% bar. we spent much of the night in very weird ‘negotiations’ with the club’s owner, who changed the gig’s terms on a sentence-by-sentence basis. it seemed for a minute like we were going to have to walk, but things finally got friendlier and we got down to the business of rocking the place. the crowd seemed to warm up to us and by the end of our set the whole room was involved. jade lea, a local band, then hit the stage and played a great set of smooth-grooving pop, and then…karaoke. yup. we opened for the band that opened for the karaoke. this is classic college-town stuff. the shots tasted like candy, the disco ball was spinning, jared got up and ripped the rick springfield classic for the people and we were out. thanks to super 8 for the extended checkout.bali house setlist: pinky swear, breakaway move, 23 and searching, something else instead, so are you in?, deserter, bright avenue, ohio, driving into the sun.

keep them tires on the highway
Written on Jan 26, 2006 at 8:16 AM

and thus begins a three-night stand in iowa. can you start a journal entry that way? i just did! we departed madison yesterday in a flurry of navigational blunders (that city has a roadplan that appears to have been designed with a blender) that put us on the highway much later than planned. a beautiful drive through the open countryside of western wisconsin and eastern iowa wasn’t spoiled by this, however, and we enjoyed an incredible view of the heavens overhead for the latter half. the new and unreleased patrick sweany band record was the soundtrack for virtually the entire 5 hour trip. it’s a joint that you can just let spin and spin and it fit the scenery like a great film soundtrack. crossing the mississippi at dubuque was awesome, as it was jared’s first time ever, and my first time there. for some reason that’s always a special moment on the road. it just connects to an earlier version of the country in a way that few places or things can. we performed last night at vaudeville mews. the mews is a great all-ages club in the heart of downtown DM. our accomplices last night were the great cedar rapids crew, all but screaming, and a rock star outfit from chicago called suffrajett. we all had a good time despite a somewhat thin attendance. big thanks to VM’s sweetest sweetheart, angela, for taking us in. VM setlist: pinky swear, promise, coming clean, something else instead, bright avenue, ohio, driving into the sun

keep them tires on the highway
Written on Jan 26, 2006 at 8:15 AM

and thus begins a three-night stand in iowa. can you start a journal entry that way? i just did! we departed madison yesterday in a flurry of navigational blunders (that city has a roadplan that appears to have been designed with a blender) that put us on the highway much later than planned. a beautiful drive through the open countryside of western wisconsin and eastern iowa wasn’t spoiled by this, however, and we enjoyed an incredible view of the heavens overhead for the latter half. the new and unreleased patrick sweany band record was the soundtrack for virtually the entire 5 hour trip. it’s a joint that you can just let spin and spin and it fit the scenery like a great film soundtrack. crossing the mississippi at dubuque was awesome, as it was jared’s first time ever, and my first time there. for some reason that’s always a special moment on the road. it just connects to an earlier version of the country in a way that few places or things can. we performed last night at vaudville mews. the mews is a great all-ages club in the heart of downtown DM. our accomplices last night were the great cedar rapids crew, all but screaming, and a rock star outfit from chicago called suffrajett. we all had a good time despite a somewhat thin attendance. big thanks to VM’s sweetest sweetheart, angela, for taking us in. VM setlist: pinky swear, promise, coming clean, something else instead, bright avenue, ohio, driving into the sun

keep them tires on the higway
Written on Jan 26, 2006 at 8:15 AM

and thus begins a three-night stand in iowa. can you start a journal entry that way? i just did! we departed madison yesterday in a flurry of navigational blunders (that city has a roadplan that appears to have been designed with a blender) that put us on the highway much later than planned. a beautiful drive through the open countryside of western wisconsin and eastern iowa wasn’t spoiled by this, however, and we enjoyed an incredible view of the heavens overhead for the latter half. the new and unreleased patrick sweany band record was the soundtrack for virtually the entire 5 hour trip. it’s a joint that you can just let spin and spin and it fit the scenery like a great film soundtrack. crossing the mississippi at dubuque was awesome, as it was jared’s first time ever, and my first time there. for some reason that’s always a special moment on the road. it just connects to an earlier version of the country in a way that few places or things can. we performed last night at vaudville mews. the mews is a great all-ages club in the heart of downtown DM. our accomplices last night were the great cedar rapids crew, all but screaming, and a rock star outfit from chicago called suffrajett. we all had a good time despite a somewhat thin attendance. big thanks to VM’s sweetest sweetheart, angela, for taking us in. VM setlist: pinky swear, promise, coming clean, something else instead, bright avenue, ohio, driving into the sun

WARRIOR!
Written on Jan 25, 2006 at 12:01 PM

madison wisconsin is the site of the current laptop battleship match between woods and myself. i think i’m winning, due to the looks of consternation i’m seeing cross my partner’s face. he’s struggling to get an order of CD’s to sync up with our travels- an unsavory challenge i’m well acquainted with. the excellent bloc party album ‘silent alarm’ just ended and a classic denali joint is now spinning, further endearing me to mother fools, the cafe we’re in. we’ve had quite a week. after i made my last entry here we were almost immediately derailed by a freak blizzard in northern illinois. we wound up holed up in a super 8 in rochelle, IL, with good friend matt (the boxer program) tipton and his friend tara. madison was delayed a day, but once we got there it was on. our first show in that city was in a rowdy bar called the weary traveler. it was a long one, and a great time was had by all involved. it was good to catch up with some of the downtown brown/roman candles cats again and also to hang with other friends in town. we steered warrior toward chicago the next day and had a terrific show at uncommon ground (picture). the room was full, and with the exception of one table of disrespectful chatty jerks (amazingly, the opening performer and his friends), the audience was awesome. special thanks to richard for the show, jesse and niki for bringing the peeps out, jesse, max, and emily for showing us the town’s nightlife, and last but certainly not least, to niki and g-money for the oak park hostessing. uncommon ground setlist: pinky swear, promise, coming clean, something else instead, bright avenue, ohio, driving into the sun, breakaway move, so are you in?, trinity highway, from here on out, sister corrina. we returned to madison for a show at brocach- a gorgeous irish bar with a name i consistently fail to pronounce properly. it was a really great sounding, mellow affair. kate and kendall- thanks so much for the work on the madison shows! brocach setlist: set 1- something else instead, birthday girl, your window, coming clean, breakaway move, bright avenue, ohio, keep us company, sister corrina, from here on out, promise. drew solo: stardust motel. set 2- so are you in?, trinity highway, driving into the sun, hummingbirds, pinky swear, deserter, on my best behavior, the drugs don’t work (the verve). set 3- 23 and searching, cum on feel the noize (quiet riot).

midwesterning
Written on Jan 20, 2006 at 12:00 AM

i’m sitting in aroma the cafe in champaign IL where i performed with the boxer program last winter. jared and i are making a little stopover here so we can get a few things done online drop some mail off do laundry etc. we’ve seen a lot of highway over the past few days… on wednesday we wrapped up our ohio run with a great show at rascal’s saloon, an outpost of exuberant nightlife in the tiny town of dover. huge, massive, enormous thanks go to pat sweany for providing and setting up the sound system that made the night possible- you’re our hero in every way. and to sandra, ben, erma, and pottsy- you were all wonderful to us! we were rocking on that bar’s ‘wild women wednesday’, for which we cooked up a very special cover of ‘cum on feel the noize’, the quiet riot classic with locally tailored lyrics.rascal’s setlist: set one- bright avenue, breakaway move, so are you in, trinity higway, barfly, promise, 23 and searching, your love (outfield), melissa (allman bros.), your window, birthday girl, cum on feel the noize (quiet riot), jared solo: day five, drew solo: how the story goes

set 2- driving into the sun, ohio, keep us company, cecilia/feelin’ groovy (p. simon), coming clean, something else instead, lost cause (beck), sister corrina, from here on out, deserter

set 3- american girl/you don’t know how it feels (t. petty), keep your hands to yourself (georgia sattelites), the drugs don’t work (verve), she’s like the wind (swayze)

after our third and final breakfast at the glorious gloria’s we bid farewell to our kent family and headed for evansville IN. the drive was gorgeous and found us passing through columbus, cincinnatti and louisville, KY, on the way. cincy i found to be a particularly compelling skyline. it seemed to epitomize the brown brick-building towns stained by the smoke of industry that dot the midwest. crossing the ohio river on our way from kentucky into indiana was a pretty neat moment as well. evansville was sort of a hit-and-run affair. we played a coffeehouse called penny lane. there really didn’t seem to be much of anything going on in evansville. after a great dinner and a rather uneventful set we decided to get a jump on today’s drive. we wound up in mt. vernon, IL and enjoyed the kind of rest and restoration that only a motel 6 can offer. we’re on our way to madison WI now totally renewed.

penny lane setlist: sister corrina, from here on out, breakaway move, bright avenue, something else instead, coming clean, cum on feel the noize (quiet riot), so are you in?, trinity highway, driving into the sun, your window, birthday girl.

they say the heart of rock and roll is in akron
Written on Jan 18, 2006 at 8:55 PM

i’m in tour command central, aka gloria’s koffee and kakes, kent, OH. lured by the oldies station and $2.65 breakfast plates, we’re back again. laptops and cameras are out and we’re getting some things done online before we get ready for tonight’s gig. we woke up today to positively alaskan scenery: snow blowing sideways and our car entombed in white stuff and ice. winter tour, indeed. we came west from the DC area on monday and arrived in time to link with some friends and head down to the gig of my friend patrick sweany. patrick is a blues songwriter whose level of ability is completely off any charts i’m aware of. any chance i get to hear this man do his thing is worth taking. last night we performed at the the same club- the lime spider. it’s a great joint in akron. big ups to my man danny at the club for taking care of us, as well as to laura and jessica for the kind local hosting, and also to tony and crystal for making the haul all the way from cleveland just for our show. we headed out of the place with a pretenders song on the jukebox and one gig in ohio left: wild women wednesday at rascal’s saloon in dover. yes! lime spider setlist: pinky swear, promise, coming clean, something else instead, bright avenue, ohio, driving into the sun, breakaway move, so are you in?, trinity highway, 23 and searching, melissa (allman bros.), your window, birthday girl. jared solo- twenty questions. drew solo- america (p. simon), sister corrina, from here on out, keep us company, hummingbirds.

holy shnikes!
Written on Jan 16, 2006 at 12:07 PM

wow. talk about reversal of fortune. we went from one end of the gig spectrum to the other in 24 hours- a reminder for me of the fact that, while on tour, a chance to erase a rough night is only a day away. it would not be stretching the truth to say that last night was incredible- one of the best shows i’ve ever played and been a part of. jared and i were at iota, magical venue in arlington, VA. the sound there (mad props to russell at the board) was as good as it gets and the room was packed with some of the best listeners ever. thanks to stephen for the show, and thanks to andrew grimm for the intro. kristin hoffmann, a new yorker you’ll be hearing about very soon, opened things up with a gorgeous set of ethereal pop tunes. she sang the lights out on every one of them. rose polenzani is who i want to be when i grow up. she and her guitar man, austin, played a set that made us want to call in sick for ours. everyone was so nice! we made some great friends, which is usually one of the coolest parts of a show like that. we got up there and did our thing, and it wound up being the best show we’ve played. a ridiculously high bar has been set for the rest of the tour. iota setlist: (drew solo)- let it out, floater. (duo)- pinky swear, promise, coming clean, something else instead, bright avenue, ohio, driving into the sun, trinity highway.

all hail duct tape
Written on Jan 15, 2006 at 12:34 PM

the wind’s still blowing here in DC but the sun is shining through it today. woods and i are still trying in vain to feel healthy. he’s got a cold that won’t get warm and my voice sort of sounds like i’ve been breathing sand out of an ashtray. but no matter- there are too many sweet shows coming up ahead. tonight’s should be a great one and the week beyond looks promising as well. last night we played the austin grill in alexandria- a pleasant little bar beneath a restaurant in a swanky southern swatch of DC. technical difficulties galore were seemingly all cured with duct tape. all but the sound, which was unfortunately marred beyond hope by the speakers being something like walkman headphone speakers housed in giant cardboard boxes. no fun. tonight we shouldn’t have any such issues. thanks to kyle and hernando for the grill’s hospitality, jacquie (pictured dodging the camera) for the pumpkin bread, john, paula and emily for the ever-gracious hosting, and to the idiot drunk girls screaming at us to “play something fast so we can daaaance!!!!” for passing out eventually. alexandria setlist: set 1- promise, pinky swear, something else instead, barfly, ohio, bright avenue, melissa (allman bros.), your window, birthday girl, deserter set 2- last christmas (wham!), breakaway move, driving into the sun, so are you in, trinity highway, from here on out, sister corrina, 23 and searching, hummingbirds, lost cause (beck), coming clean.

a mighty wind is blowin’
Written on Jan 14, 2006 at 2:51 PM

we hit silver spring, MD last night with grimm and played another house concert at the home of jen, madeline, carter, and dave lemen- norsworthy supporters of the highest order. having madeline (the seven year-old who’s smarter than you, i promise, pictured) greet us on the porch in a rock star suit wielding a homemade guitar set the tone for a fine evening.
the show was absolutely super. we decided to skip the whole PA thing and just serve it up unplugged, or “al fresco” as grimm called it. good call. the acoustics in the room were great and it made the whole thing much more intimate and satisfying.
after the first set the wine started flowing and we enjoyed lots of great conversation with the folks who attended. jared and i had spent much of the afternoon in westminster working on two new songs, jared’s ‘from here on out’ and my song, ‘sister corrina’. both got their debut last night. after a delicious breakfast and some schooling on the computer from madeline, we made our way to arlington, where the winds are currently approaching 50 miles an hour. for reals- it’s crazy outside. we just made a kinko’s run and felt like we were going to get blown away. silver spring setlist: set 1- trinity highway, so are you in?, something else instead, bright avenue, pinky swear, promise, coming clean, hummingbirds
set 2- the drugs don’t work (the verve), driving into the sun, breakaway move, pope of mexico (w/grimm), highway (w/grimm), birthday girl, your window, from here on out, sister corrina, stardust motel (drew solo).

keeping it sweet!
Written on Jan 13, 2006 at 8:16 AM

well, i’m back on the road. jared and i touched down in baltimore in the middle of wednesday night after a crazy 20+ hour day of travel. we started out together in anchorage, hopped on different flights (that’s right, we have separate jets) at around midnight. woods was bound for phoenix and my first stop was portland. to make matters more stressful, we both were limping out of town with nice alaskan winter viruses in our systems. i apparently had been fighting an ear infection for a week and was suffering from complete laryngitis when i left. i probably spoke 15 words between the gate in anchorage and baltimore.
i had an eight hour layover in portland, which i spent alternately nodding off at random gates, re-reading larry mcmurtry’s excellent travel book, ‘roads’, watching pretty girls make coffee, buying coffee from pretty girls, and working on booking on my computer.
‘roads’ was a revelation the second time around. i’d read it years ago before i started travelling a lot and totally loved it. this time, it was all vivid cinema, as i’d been most of the places he describes, fought the same traffic, and taken the same exits… it made me love a book i already loved that much more.
i finally made it to chicago, and then on to baltimore. the final leg was peaceful and pretty. i had a row to myself and stared out the window the whole time, surprising myself by identifying toledo, cleveland, and pittsburgh from the air. it was a totally clear night but cleveland was covered by low clouds. with the city lights beneath it looked like an electric blanket shorting out.
after meeting grimm and woods on the ground in b-more, we retired to westminster for a well-earned night of sleep.
the first show was last night at the always awesome, dangerously delicious pies. grimm played a great set and then we followed with a weary but spirited run through a few tunes.
the DC area is next! baltimore setlist: bright avenue, ohio, pinky swear, trinity highway, so are you in?, something else instead, coming clean, driving into the sun, hummingbirds

“hold my heart and watch it burn”
Written on Dec 24, 2005 at 2:24 PM

last night was, by all estimates, the best of our anchorage shows. we had the added morale boost of a really nice write-up in the newspaper here (thanks, mr. niva) and a room packed full of hometown cheer. cafe felix was the venue, and we’d like to give a shout out to jolene behind the counter for taking great care of everyone all night. also, here’s a little shout to mr. murray in kodiak for the phoned-in christmas wishes. that made our night! things opened up with a terrific opening set by our man in the black boots, jj tranquilla. condolences go to scheduled opener erik braund, who had to ride the bench due to illness. the musical highlight of the evening was, unquestionably, our masterful interpretation of the sacred yuletide text, ‘last christmas’, originally performed by messers michael and ridgley. if you weren’t there…well, you missed it. cafe felix setlist: pinky swear, promise, coming clean, something else instead, bright avenue, ohio, driving into the sun, breakaway move, so are you in?, trinity highway, last christmas (wham!), hummingbirds

“watch out for that punch”
Written on Dec 20, 2005 at 7:55 AM

we played one of the best parties i’ve been to in a long time on saturday, up on the hillside overlooking anchorage and the inlet. in a room where the taxidermy almost eclipsed the human population, woods and i serenaded party-goers in the early hour. toward the end of our set, after both of us broke strings, we ened up playing a version of ’23 and searching’ with me on an electric keyboard and jared on an electric guitar. it sounded like the ‘silk stalkings’ theme music. awesome. after that, and a lengthy chinese gift exchange, it was all rock with the rebel blues band. i wound up emceeing a bit and jared blew the roof off with some hot licks at the end. we’re pictured with our friend jen here, early in a night long on fun.

do the humpty-hump
Written on Dec 16, 2005 at 5:32 PM

last night was a marathon, won in tandem by norsworthy and woods. we’re starting to get pretty good at these 4-hour shows. humpy’s was packed, as usual, although we were stoked that much of the crowd seemed to actually be there to hear us perform. i hit the stage with a pretty nice cold going on, induced no doubt by a sleepless week full of work, tour prep, and gigs. tonight we do it all over again at the snowgoose. gotta get a nap in first though. setlist? you got me. although i do know we played a great deal of songs from the 1980’s. go figure.

uncle thirty-two below
Written on Dec 5, 2005 at 9:53 PM

jared and i are officially off and running now…last week we kicked off a four month run of shows with three very varied gigs. first up was a lunchtime show at the local university here. we played opposite a subway sandwich joint (felt just like the road again) and made the best of it. the bernie’s show was a good one. lots of friends in attendance and great performances by mike gorder and marty jones to round out the night.
bernie’s setlist: pinky swear, promise, coming clean, something else instead, bright avenue, trinity highway, so are you in?, let it out (andrew solo), welcome home (jared solo), deserter, driving into the sun, breakaway move, the birthday girl, your window, barfly, hummingbirds.
the next night we boarded a very small aircraft and flew through some gnarly snow and wind to the town of fairbanks. the climate in fairbanks is roughly analogous to that of the moon, but the folks there don’t let that get in between them and a good time. our hosts for the evening were my great friend dave and his great girlfriend janet. janet picked us up at the airport and whisked us to the gig where we walked in just in time to catch willis fireball play his opening set. the marlin was the venue and it was as cozy as a lodge in the mountains. we started up just before 11 and wound up on that stage until 3:30 am. i’d post the setlist, but i can’t possibly remember everything that was played. we pulled every stop out that we could to keep the folks rocking with us. all of our originals were played- some of them twice- as well as ‘your love’ by the outfield, ‘stand by me’, ‘dead skin mask’ by slayer, ‘the PBR song’ by…uh…PBR, a 20 minute version of ‘cecilia’ that had booties moving, ‘melissa’ by the allmans, some dylan, some ride, and about a hundred others. i believe the bar sent us whiskeys for each one of these songs too…an epic night all around.
we were fortunate enough to be put up in a hotel for the night and after absolutely exhausting the possibilities for getting an hour’s advance on our continental breakfasts, we retired to our tandem king size beds. the next day, after woods secured us an extension on our check-out, we hung out strumming, singing relaxing for the afternoon, capping it off with a late breakfast at the sourdough diner with dave.

uncle thirty-two below
Written on Dec 5, 2005 at 9:53 PM

jared and i are officially off and running now…last week we kicked off a four month run of shows with three very varied gigs. first up was a lunchtime show at the local university here. we played opposite a subway sandwich joint (felt just like the road again) and made the best of it. the bernie’s show was a good one. lots of friends in attendance and great performances by mike gorder and marty jones to round out the night.
bernie’s setlist: pinky swear, promise, coming clean, something else instead, bright avenue, trinity highway, so are you in?, let it out (andrew solo), welcome home (jared solo), deserter, driving into the sun, breakaway move, the birthday girl, your window, barfly, hummingbirds.
the next night we boarded a very small aircraft and flew through some gnarly snow and wind to the town of fairbanks. the climate in fairbanks is roughly analogous to that of the moon, but the folks there don’t let that get in between them and a good time. our hosts for the evening were my great friend dave and his great girlfriend janet. janet picked us up at the airport and whisked us to the gig where we walked in just in time to catch willis fireball play his opening set. the marlin was the venue and it was as cozy as a lodge in the mountains. we started up just before 11 and wound up on that stage until 3:30 am. i’d post the setlist, but i can’t possibly remember everything that was played. we pulled every stop out that we could to keep the folks rocking with us. all of our originals were played- some of them twice- as well as ‘your love’ by the outfield, ‘stand by me’, ‘dead skin mask’ by slayer, ‘the PBR song’ by…uh…PBR, a 20 minute version of ‘cecilia’ that had booties moving, ‘melissa’ by the allmans, some dylan, some ride, and about a hundred others. i believe the bar sent us whiskeys for each one of these songs too…an epic night all around.
we were fortunate enough to be put up in a hotel for the night and after absolutely exhausting the possibilities for getting an hour’s advance on our continental breakfasts, we retired to our tandem king size beds. the next day, after woods secured us an extension on our check-out, we hung out strumming, singing relaxing for the afternoon, capping it off with a late breakfast at the sourdough diner with dave.

anchored down
Written on Nov 6, 2005 at 1:17 PM

on the speakers: personal collection of rare talib kweli tracks
in the air outside: snow, yo.
on the schedule: lots of booking work and coffee consumption.

man, i can’t believe it’s been a month since i’ve written anything here. the occasion is the recap of the first show here in anchorage with my current partner in musical crime, jared woods. for those keeping track, you’ll recall jared as the alaskan troubadour with whom i shared stages up here in july/august. we’ve spent the past few weeks honing our duo thing through a continual practice and it’s starting to sound really nice. we got asked to join matt sheehy (pictured at right) for a show at a downtown coffee joint, side street espresso, last week. it was a really good one- the place was packed to capacity, matt was awesome (check out his excellent work with portland’s ‘gravity and henry’). thanks to rosey, tom, and greg for making it a great night. lots of our friends turned out (including the whipsaws’ evan phillips, pictured here with jared).

the plan is to do two months in the states after a couple of months up here. we start in baltimore (where my car is) mid-january and will pretty much loop the country between then and march 25th. the booking’s coming along and it looks like it will be a really nice one.
side street espresso setlist: coming clean (woods), something else instead, the birthday girl (woods), breakaway move, bright avenue (woods). norsworthy solo: avalon, woods solo: on my best behavior. so are you in? (woods), your window, pinky swear (woods), hummingbirds, driving into the sun (woods), the drugs don’t work (the verve).

in the haus
Written on Sep 29, 2005 at 9:19 AM

back to germany… last night i played a gig at an upscale bar atop an upscale bistro in an upscale part of an upscale city. hopefully that means i’m heading up the scale myself. after the physical effort of getting a PA system up and down the tiny flight of stairs to the ‘haus of klaus’, i’m sure to be a bit lighter on the scale. whew! grimm laced me with a last minute show out there and i’m glad he did- the bar staff (big ups to garry, denise, laura, and shannon) were warm and wonderful and i met some really nice folks. musically, it was one of those epic bar shows, reminiscent of some i played in my early solo period in seattle years back. lots of requests for “classic rock songs”. what, eric stracener’s not classic enough rock for you? come on, people! played another new one, kicked out jams forever, drove back to westminster spent and in good spirits. HOK setlist: set 1- meridian, indiana plates, how the story goes, juneau blues (e. stracener), empire builder, america (p. simon), breakaway move, girl of the north country (dylan), talking out of turn, i won’t tell, stardust motel, over jordan (wandering sons), something else instead, hardest day, i never want to see this town again, wild horses (stones). set 2- little broadway, effortless, blind tonight, motion makes us, crime, let it out, nevermine, key to the city, black coffee/white christmas, voodoo bruise, checking out, NYC (interpol), the district sleeps alone (postal service).

the life aquatic
Written on Sep 28, 2005 at 7:10 AM

on the speakers: pleasant grove
on the plate: hard boiled eggs and a bagel
in the cup: eight o’clock regular blend
on the table: a stack of CD’s in envelopes to take to the mail
in the next room: andrew grimm writing a song about aquariums
through the window: a beautiful autumn day in maryland
last night grimm and i headed east to a joint called the mojo to do a little opening duties for a show by steve dawson. sparse attendance and a giant projection of an underwater animal kingdom DVD on the wall marked the evening. grimm, in particular, thrilled to every sub-marine movement flickering across the wall. i think it was his favorite show ever, although he looked genuinely happy when that little crab got eaten by the pufferfish. i’ll have to ask him to make sure. the room was pretty cool- kinda reminded me of the croc in seattle chopped in half or something. i played a new song and also kicked out ‘hardest day’ from the new EP for the first time. or at least, the first time in a long time. big props to heidi from the crystal radio days for making the drive from D.C. for the show! mojo setlist: let it out, floater, hardest day, i never want to see this town again, how the story goes, crossing over, building a road.

off the road again
Written on Sep 22, 2005 at 9:32 AM

hey there, whoever actually reads these things… it’s been awhile, as the poetry-rock group staind would say. i’m in ohio today, in one of those panera bread places hunkered over my laptop in the corner, nursing an iced coffee watching yuppies buying 20 oz. choco-latte-frapa-smoothies and gabbing on cell phones, and sending my best regards to whoever invented headphones. go to http://www.rosepolenzani.com and download the track ‘blue angel’ to hear what i’m listening to. soothing and beautiful, and just what i need. i can’t gab on my cell phone, as it’s broken in half. for real, though. that setting the tone, i’ve had kind of a weird week. grimm and i played a succession of shows that were not exactly the best of all time. we played in philly at the grape st. pub- an awesome venue that, unfortunately for us, is only at its true awesomest if you’re able to put 800 people in it. big props to my friends josh and joseph for making us feel like someone loves us there, and thanks to the bands who hung out to listen- particularly bob (?) the drummer, whom i recruited for ‘building a road’. very cool. canton, OH was next. we drove 7 hours to find that the venue (muggswigz) i’d played a really cool show at in february had recently decided to remove its PA. thanks for the headzup on that one. we were told that we had to plug into home stereo speakers positioned about a mile from the stage and aimed directly at it. it was possibly the lamest sound scenario i’ve encountered in my life, challenged only by the karaoke PA at that bookstore in phoenix. adding insult to injury, the place took a percentage of the ‘tips for musicians’ jar contents. unbelievable. limping back to baltimore, we arrived at our gig at ryan’s daughter to find that they had no idea who we were, and certainly didn’t know about our guartanteed cash and food that evening. an irish band setting up sent us the message loud and clear. it’s called being double-booked, folks, and it sucks. we did find some redemption the final night, as the audience at the basement gig was really attentive and cool. big-ups to nuc vega and crew for an enjoyable evening. basement setlist: something else instead, hummingbirds, talking out of turn, unbreakable, how the story goes, crossing over, a case of you (joni mitchell), parallel, building a road, avalon. after a depressing appraisal of my financial situation, factoring in brutal gas prices and laughable monetary arrangements with many of my next month’s bookings, i was pretty much forced to declare tour bankruptcy and cancel the remainder of my dates. last night at the zephyr here in kent was the last for awhile. it’s not all as bleak as it sounds though. i’m going to be shacking up for a spell with the gracious mr. grimm in baltimore and working on getting my business straight. i’ve got a new EP that i haven’t even gotten to promote, and other really cool prospects for the new year coming in. last night’s set is dedicated to the black squirrels of kent (pictured). i love these guys. zephyr setlist: blind tonight, girl of the north country (dylan), motion makes us, merge, key to the city, let it out, crime, dead soldier, over jordan (wandering sons), how the story goes, parallel, talking out of turn, something else instead, america (p. simon), coeur d’alene, pale blue dress (wandering sons), a case of you (joni mitchell), empire builder, ohio, vancouver.

a beautiful day in the neighborhood
Written on Sep 15, 2005 at 9:13 AM

the town: westminster, MD
the place: the pour house (another brilliant coffeehouse name that no one has ever, ever thought of before)
the soundtrack: death cab, ‘plans’.
grimm and i had the unique privelege to play a private party last night at our friends jen (pictured with us) and dave’s place near DC. there were happy kids, chocolate and wine, and good vibes to spare. it wasn’t quite a house concert in the traditional sense- more like a really sweet party that i had the honor of performing at- a thoroughly enjoyable affair. it’s the support of folks like this that help keep my spirits up out here on the road. setlist: let it out, how the story goes, crossing over, juneau blues (eric stracener), something else instead, american tune (p. simon), the sweet unseen, avalon, stardust motel.

fiddle me this…
Written on Sep 14, 2005 at 9:20 AM

i’m typing this up in the cozy confines of the purple fiddle- a bizarre and beautiful refuge for us artsy types out in the west virginia sticks. my current partner in crime, the one andrew grimm, is across the table from me working on a “poem about the 6 million dollar man” and i’m wolfing down a damn fine egg and cheese quesedilla. we’re both kinda feeling like 6 dollar men after an adventure with the locals last night. after our set (to call it ‘intimate’ would be, well, just right) we were sort of…challenged…to go grab a drink at “the sportsman”, the main watering hole in this town of a couple hundred. we were told that crazed homophobic rednecks from miles around would be packed into the bar just waiting for out-of-towners with long hair to kick ass on. obviously, this wasn’t an opportunity grimm and i could afford to pass up in our quest to absorb the culture of this beautiful neck of the woods. “you go in first”, said the samson-locked grimm as we approached the forboding front door. barging in, i was instantly relieved to see warm faces and folks with hair over their ears. we settled in, made quick friends and enjoyed the company of some great characters. the country out here is nothing short of gorgeous. remote tiny towns atop rolling farmland…we drove in at sundown and the views were superb. this place is in the middle of nowhere but all kinds of big folks have played here- i spied autographed pictures of alison krauss and indigo girls in the back hallway. the fiddle staff is terrific and they put us up at their adjacent bed and breakfast- the kind you see in PBS specials about historical northeastern culture. it sort of felt like grimm and i were an old married couple on an anniversary getaway. purple fiddle setist: avalon, over jordan (wandering sons), hummingbirds, something else instead, coeur d’alene, hearts and bones (p. simon), indiana plates, the sweet unseen, breakaway move.

raleigh! part deux
Written on Sep 11, 2005 at 8:33 AM

last night i played a classic old school coffeehouse gig here in raleigh. the joint was helio’s and i’d actually been warned against playing there by a frustrated colleague. it definitely is the kind of show that can go bad in a hurry- terrible P.A., a pay situation i’d rather not discuss, and a laptop-toting audience element. good fortune was with me though, and the folks in and out of the place were both good listeners and generous CD consumers. i met lots of really nice people and feel like i was a lucky singer/songwriter last night. big ups to sarah and matthew behind the bar for making it a friendly affair. i played forever, and enjoyed doing so. i kicked out a new song or two and lots of covers, whatever that means. tonight i’m dragging as many peeps as possible to the local 506 in chapel hill for the reputation/life and times show- as good a way to spend a night off as i can think of. oh, and on the food tip, scott (from the radio silence) and i had dinner at a great mediterranean joint that i wish i could remember the name of. best falafel ever. helio’s setlist: set 1- powerlines, crime, let it out, hummingbirds, something else instead, empire builder, indiana plates, breakaway move, building a road, wide open spaces, hearts and bones (p. simon), the great space race, ohio, sea of love (?). set 2- stardust motel, implosion, for a light, a to fade in (adorable), coeur d’alene, pale blue dress (wandering sons), trinity highway, bottle tree, how the story goes, juneau blues (eric stracener), falling is faster, avenue A, girl of the north country (b. dylan), meteor shower, a case of you (joni mitchell), the sweet unseen, talking out of turn, division day (elliott smith).

traleigh stop
Written on Sep 10, 2005 at 12:25 PM

location: raleigh, NC, joe and DJ’s crib
tunes: the national, ‘alligator’
food: some of that would be good
it’s been a long, hot week in the car. i headed out from dallas on wednesday bound for memphis. in circumnavigating the south and its hurricane wake i found myself crossing the beautiful state of tennessee. the weather has been relentlessly perfect (actually, this could be said of the whole tour) and the driving was nice and pleasant the whole way. i spent night two in between knoxville, TN and asheville, NC in a little town called newport, TN. finally, i reached my destination and current roost of raleigh yesterday afternoon. this part of the country is so pretty and hospitable, it just makes me want to come here and play in the area for a week or so at a time. there are tons of little towns full of music and bands. speaking of bands, i played with two great ones last night. reuniting with DOADJ tour alumni, the radio silence, was sweet stuff, and new friends, lobbyist, tore it up as well. today i’m trying to get some stuff done- mostly getting the rest of this tour in shape- and my soundtrack is a fat stack of CD’s left for me this morning by joe (pictured, along with scott in the background). the new death cab joint, the national, ticonderoga, tears in x-ray eyes and others are sounding great. last night was DJ’s going away party- he’s moving to long island- and we sent him off in local style at mitch’s. pictures from his camera can be found in the gallery. one more raleigh show to go, tonight at helio’s. vineyard setlist: avalon, crossing over, how the story goes, hummingbirds, something else instead, floater, powerlines, the district sleeps alone (postal service).

sports
Written on Sep 4, 2005 at 10:07 AM

i’m waking up at my cousin ryan’s crib in austin this morning. last night was a good time. the venue was pleasantly divey joint called trophy’s and the bands i played with were all good folks. los angeles crew, the ruse, were the headliners and i’m looking forward to digging into their disc after what i heard live. yesterday began in macgregor, a little town south of waco. i spent the night out there with my friend steven collins of the band deadman (www.deadmanonline.com) talking music, spinning records, sipping whiskey and catching up on ten years of missed life. he’s got a fantastic studio (www.troubadourstudio.com) that was the setting for our late night. the next morning i woke up and promptly wrote a new song- a rare but welcome thing- which was debuted at the end of my austin set last night. austin was a bit of a mess last night. it was the first UT homegame (which locally qualifies as a quasi-religious event) and the downtown convention center was housing hurricane refugees unable to fit into the astrodome in houston. driving downtown was tricky. i’ll be sticking around here today and tomorrow. bret egner of pleasant grove is a recent transplant and i’ll be attending his housewarming party today out at the edge of the hill country. trophy’s setlist: hummingbirds, something else instead, crossing over, how the story goes, the sweet unseen, ohio, breakaway move, talking out of turn, bottle tree.

the gas face
Written on Sep 2, 2005 at 8:36 AM

next town: austin, TX
music: milton mapes, ‘the blacklight trap’.
dogs: tanner and ci-ci.
coffee: common grounds french roast, pressed.
phone bill: enormous, but under control.
gas price theme song: ‘i don’t want to talk about it’ by danny whitten.
i’m in waco, TX today. it’s a place i sometimes find myself in this life, much more frequently than i would have answered were i to have been asked to make a prediction as a ten year old. these days, it’s a pretty friendly town to me and i enjoy passing through. each show at common grounds i’ve played this past year has brought ‘new’ old friends out of the woodwork and last night was no exception. the crowd was really nice, up-close, interactive, and involved, which makes a cafe show perfect. a full 18-song set didn’t feel too long thanks to these friendly listeners. i’m going to be here working on booking and whatnot today and then push on to austin in the evening. i’m hoping to go get a peek at my friends stephen and sherylin’s studio in nearby macgregor. i just spoke with the one eric stracener in jackson and we agreed that cancelling my southeasternmost shows was a smart decision. driving across louisiana is not the move right now. to the towns of jackson, MS and toccoa, GA…i’m sorry. i’ll be back, i promise. common grounds setlist: let it out, crime, floater, how the story goes, crossing over, indiana plates, building a road, breakaway move, a case of you (joni mitchell), something else instead, talking out of turn, the sweet unseen, over jordan (wandering sons), avalon, just like a woman/girl of the north country (b. dylan), merge, the district sleeps alone (postal service), powerlines.

just housin’
Written on Sep 1, 2005 at 11:09 AM

played last night at the new barley (pictured) house over by SMU in dallas. it was good to see some friends and family, particularly toward the end of the night. this was a pretty relaxed gig with lots of room to musically stretch out. by the second set, with images of new orleans and mississippi flashing on the TV’s i was definitely thinking about the week to come and where i’m supposed to be heading. barley house setlist: set 1- let it out, crime, key to the city, merge, blind tonight, the district sleeps alone (postal service), how the story goes, crossing over. set 2- juneau blues (eric stracener), indiana plates, breakaway move, the sweet unseen, hearts and bones (p. simon), coeur d’alene, empire builder, something else instead, avenue A, guardian, ohio, sea of love (?).

astronauts
Written on Aug 31, 2005 at 10:18 AM

who would have thought that one of the most beautiful venues in the country resides in tulsa, OK? monday night i played in the club adjacent to cain’s ballroom, a huge haven for the best of the century’s touring stars, from early country artists to current rock acts. just being in the place felt like brushing elbows with some pretty historic spirits. my partner in crime this evening was the one david mead. david’s a nashville-based singer with a voice most guys would give an eyetooth for. his latest EP, ‘wherever you are’, was a gift from andy at albums on the hill in boulder a week back and has been a great friend on the road. hearing the tunes live was a special treat. local guitar prodigy dan crossland opened the night up with some of the most precise looping one’s likely to ever hear. thanks to anita and her unbeatable street team for making david and me feel welcome in oklahoma on a monday night. cain’s setlist: let it out, floater, how the story goes, crossing over, america (p. simon), something else instead, building a road, breakaway move, talking out of turn, hummingbirds. my camera’s still out of action, having shown up in the mail from the repair place still inoperable. i’m hoping to get that worked on. i’m in dallas today, taking care of a day’s work and looking forward to a nice chill show tonight at the barley house. i’m getting a bit nervous about next week’s travel. the images of mississippi and louisiana i’m seeing on TV (not to mention the projected gas prices) don’t look good.

OK player
Written on Aug 28, 2005 at 12:55 PM

greetings from norman, OK! i’m in the gracious hospitality of my friends jill and jeff here in this chill little college community just south of oklahoma city. this is my first day without a hellacious drive recently and i’m really enjoying the break. i’ve got the chance to keep the booking rolling today, so that’s what i’m jumping on. football seems to be approaching here like some ominous storm on the horizon. and speaking of ominous storms, i can’t imagine the task of evacuating new orleans. isn’t that crazy? maybe that will put a bunch of cool cajun folks at my jackson show in a week. i played in ft. worth the other night at a college bar by TCU called the aardvark. the headliner that night was the one david (dahveed) garza. my man was amazing. he put on what i consider to be one of the best solo performances i’ve ever witnessed. truly inspiring and humbling. i’ve got a bunch of his discs to sink my ears into now (thanks D) and they’ll be bumping on the long drives, for sure. thanks to tim, danny, and david for the show and new friend marty for the gracious post-show hospitality. aardvark setlist: let it out, floater, how the story goes, crossing over, something else instead, talking out of turn, ohio, building a road. last night was a super show- one of the most pleasurable on this leg so far. the venue was opolis, here in norman, and the other bands were both awesome. I and I opened things up with eclectic groove-based songs and ghosts of monkhood gave the night a psychedelic pop capper. i was lucky enough to have some friends and listeners in the room and the hometown crowd was quite kind to me as well. i’ve found that all you’ve really got to do to endear yourself to an okie crowd is to crack a few jokes at texas’ expense- sort of like being in any state on the east coast and talking about new jersey. some places are just easy targets. i guess i’ll have the opportunity to explore the reverse of the theory next week when i’m in texas! all in all, another good night in this town. opolis setlist: avalon, hummingbirds, something else instead, talking out of turn, ohio, crossing over, floater, the district sleeps alone (postal service). sorry for the lack of photos. my camera’s in the shop but should be in hand shortly. i’ve got pix from the northwest that i’ll hopefully have in the gallery by this evening.

qualified drivers wanted
Written on Aug 26, 2005 at 4:58 PM

i’m sitting in a cafe in ft. worth, TX, several pounds lighter after sweating my way through an 11.5 hour drive from omaha. the past three days have seen the tour de nors cover over 1800 miles- not my favorite ratio of time-to-distance, but a necessity in this case. have i mentioned in a post yet that gas prices right now SUCK? the truckers (pictured) are protesting, but i don’t think us singer/songwriters would have much luck with that. it’s a harsh toke at the pump every few hours. anyways, back to the tour… it all started at 5 am in salt lake city. i pulled out with the day not yet awake on a half-dead haul to boulder. when i finally made it i had but 30 minutes to spare before my in-store at albums on the hill. i can’t say enough about the support andy- the proprietor of said store- has shown me. i was pretty wiped out, but still had a nice little intimate afternoon show. AOTH setlist: hummingbirds, something else instead, building a road, crossing over, how the story goes, let it out, floater, daredevils, the district sleeps alone (postal service) after a quick catnap at my gracious host brian’s crib, i rolled into downtown denver for a show at the walnut room. this is a great club- shiny and new and waiting to become a real destination. being that it wasn’t a weekend show, i played the front room. it was a really chill affair and after dinner and some conversation i returned to boulder to crash hard. ten hours later i was on the road again. walnut room setlist: merge, key to the city, nevermine, who is on her side (brinton jones), motion makes us, blind tonight, effortless, hardest day, calling it home, building a road, breakaway move, indiana plates, wide open spaces. that road was 1-80 and the destination was omaha. if there’s a more desolate, boring stretch of highway than the ‘nebraska traverse’, i’ve yet to drive it. it’s 550 miles of nothing. well, not quite…there is that one travel plaza with the life-size sci-fi figurines in the food court, and there’s also that creepy ‘historical archway’ thing, but other than that it’s a void. fortunately, omaha is a great place to find relief from the tedium. i had yet another great show at mick’s music- a superior venue with a superior staff. a special treat of the evening was getting to hear michael campbell- the owner of mick’s- perform. mick’s music setlist: set 1- avalon, over jordan (wandering sons), sleepwalker, building a road, indiana plates, crossing over, how the story goes, hummingbirds, something else instead, hearts and bones (p. simon). set 2- meteor shower, the great space race, talking out of turn, sea of love (?). an early departure from omaha put me on various highways through nebraska, kansas, oklahoma, and texas. i’m sitting here with an hour before load-in across the street from the club trying to muster up the energy to actually do some booking work in the snatch of spare time. ugh.

qualified drivers wanted
Written on Aug 26, 2005 at 4:57 PM

i’m sitting in a cafe in ft. worth, TX, several pounds lighter after sweating my way through an 11.5 hour drive from omaha. the past three days have seen the tour de nors cover over 1800 miles- not my favorite ratio of time-to-distance, but a necessity in this case. have i mentioned in a post yet that gas prices right now SUCK? the truckers (pictured) are protesting, but i don’t think us singer/songwriters would have much luck with that. it’s a harsh toke at the pump every few hours. anyways, back to the tour… it all started at 5 am in salt lake city. i pulled out with the day not yet awake on a half-dead haul to boulder. when i finally made it i had but 30 minutes to spare before my in-store at albums on the hill. i can’t say enough about the support andy- the proprietor of said store- has shown me. i was pretty wiped out, but still had a nice little intimate afternoon show. AOTH setlist: hummingbirds, something else instead, building a road, crossing over, how the story goes, let it out, floater, daredevils, the district sleeps alone (postal service) after a quick catnap at my gracious host brian’s crib, i rolled into downtown denver for a show at the walnut room. this is a great club- shiny and new and waiting to become a real destination. being that it wasn’t a weekend show, i played the front room. it was a really chill affair and after dinner and some conversation i returned to boulder to crash hard. ten hours later i was on the road again. walnut room setlist: merge, key to the city, nevermine, who is on her side (brinton jones), motion makes us, blind tonight, effortless, hardest day, calling it home, building a road, breakaway move, indiana plates, wide open spaces. that road was 1-80 and the destination was omaha. if there’s a more desolate, boring stretch of highway than the ‘nebraska traverse’, i’ve yet to drive it. it’s 550 miles of nothing. well, not quite…there is that one travel plaza with the life-size sci-fi figurines in the food court, and there’s also that creepy ‘historical archway’ thing, but other than that it’s a void. fortunately, omaha is a great place to find relief from the tedium. i had yet another great show at mick’s music- a superior venue with a superior staff. a special treat of the evening was getting to hear michael campbell- the owner of mick’s- perform. mick’s music setlist: set 1- avalon, over jordan (wandering sons), sleepwalker, building a road, indiana plates, crossing over, how the story goes, hummingbirds, something else instead, hearts and bones (p. simon). set 2- meteor shower, the great space race, talking out of turn, sea of love (?). an early departure from omaha put me on various highways through nebraska, kansas, oklahoma, and texas. i’m sitting here with an hour before load-in across the street from the club trying to muster up the energy to actually do some booking work in the snatch of spare time. ugh.

a nice looking cake
Written on Aug 23, 2005 at 10:25 PM

well, i’m back on the road, no question. things got off to a great start last week in seattle with a tour kickoff/CD release show at the tractor tavern. michelle malone and chad hinman and the never was both kicked ass and took names (and email addresses) and i think the crowd had a great time with us. it was terrific to have such a great show in my former neighborhood. thanks to dan, PJ and the tractor staff for a swell evening. i debuted a new song (‘avalon’) and played a stretch of music with patrick porter on electric- a pleasure i usually get to partake of in the northwest. tractor tavern setlist: solo- avalon, over jordan (wandering sons), how the story goes, crossing over, floater, something else instead. w/patrick- building a road, ohio, breakaway move, dead soldier. solo- let it out. next up was portland. let me just say that the doug fir lounge is just about the coolest venue ever. big thanks to alicia, nicole, brent, chris and the rest of the staff there for treating us so kindly. locals hillstomp tore it up with a great set of bucket-beating blues and michelle malone and her drummer linda put on a rock clinic for all in attendance. playing a couple of nights in a row with a performer like michelle was both humbling and exhilarating. why the woman’s not a superstar, i have no idea. this evening, in particular, she was simply untouchable. doug fir setlist: solo- crossing over, how the story goes, floater, let it out. w/patrick- building a road, ohio, falling is faster, unravel (bjork). after an extended morning with friends in town we headed on highway 84 along the hood river into the canyons and plains beyond. we were lucky enough to rendezvous with matt hopper and jonny from exit 51 in pendleton, OR for dinner on our way toward idaho while they headed west. porter and i shacked up in a trucker motel right between ‘no’ and ‘where’, OR. we shot a little pool in the tavern there, played some classic country on the juke, chatted with some locals and got a nice night of motel bed slumber. the driving along 84 is some of the prettiest interstate driving there is and we were treated to a full moon sky during the after-dinner hours. today i’m in salt lake city, where porter and i have enjoyed the company and hospitality of brinton jones and the palomino cartel. a few long days of playing music and trying to be productive (“trying”) have been a nice break- i’m headed for colorado at 5 am tomorrow with nothing but long drives and shows ahead of me. it’s just how i like it, but it’s going to be tiring. we did play a show here, albeit a sort of strange one. hopefully in january jared and i can rock corey fox’s new as-yet-unnamed venue. mo’s setlist: crossing over, how the story goes, hummingbirds. w/patrick- ohio, something else instead.

the other last show
Written on Aug 5, 2005 at 2:04 PM

ok, so woods and i had to rock one last show. this is it, we promise! an invitation from local masters of face-melting metal magic, delmag, led to jared and i opening up the show at bernie’s last night. we had a great time, and i had the chance to see gorder and co. do it live for the first time. we played a solo-free duo set and we used the opportunity to debut a new song of mine (‘your window’) as well as a new cover (the verve tune at the end of the list). all went well. now it’s time to keep the booking work working and gear up for the CD release in seattle on the 17th…lots to do, but i’m excited about what’s ahead. by the way, isn’t the ‘lounge cam’ from bernie’s website kinda creepy? bernie’s setlist: birthday girl (woods), something else instead, pinky swear (woods), breakaway move, bright avenue (woods), your window, are you in? (woods), hummingbirds, driving into the sun (woods), the drugs don’t work (the verve).

you stay classy, anchorage!
Written on Jul 31, 2005 at 2:53 PM

last night wrapped up the JW/AN conquest of the north, and it was a great last show. two shows, actually. we started the day with a brunch gig at metro books and music- the midtown anchorage media vendor that swallowed up plenty of my pesos back in the CD longbox era. see the picture. metro setlist: duo: breakaway move, bright avenue (woods), hummingbirds, lost cause (beck), are you in? (woods), solo: stardust motel, implosion, passport, duo: she’s like the wind (swayze), something else instead, driving into the sun (woods), solo: the sweet unseen, let it out, powerlines, duo: birthday girl (woods), 23 and searching (woods) pinky swear (woods), solo: empire builder, guardian, centralia, duo: melissa (allman bros.) we then headed downtown to the snowgoose pub- a spacious, wood-panelled room overlooking the inlet- for a rocking finale show. the crowd was packed with supportive friends and we had an absolute blast, pretty much exhausting the reserves of our mutual tower of song. we actually repeated our first few songs of the night for the crowd at the end to satisfy the masses. the last song of the night was eric stracener’s gorgeous ‘juneau blues’, done simon and garfunkel style after jared broke a string. in typing in these setlists, bearing in mind that i’m leaving out an equal number of jared’s solo songs to mine, i’m thinking that no one could accuse us of being slackers yesterday. we played an epic day and night of music and never got tired of it. i think we would have played all night if we could. thanks to kyle, kiya, and dave at the ‘goose for taking great care of us, and big thanks to all the people who came out to two, three, and even four or five shows this past week and a half- you guys totally rule! snowgoose setlist: set 1- duo: bright avenue (woods), breakaway move, 23 and searching (woods), lost cause (beck), are you in? (woods) solo: talking out of turn, building a road, ohio, duo: birthday girl (woods), something else instead, she’s like the wind (swayze), your love (the outfield) set 2- solo: let it out, crime, the district sleeps alone (postal service), duo: driving into the sun (woods), hummingbirds, pinky swear (woods), solo: how the story goes, crossing over, floater, duo: melissa (allman bros.) encore- bright avenue (woods), breakaway move, she’s like the wind (swayze), juneau blues (eric stracener).

just a fool to believe…
Written on Jul 29, 2005 at 2:28 PM

whew! what a week… since that last journal entry jared woods and i have teamed up (like voltron, as a friend aptly put it) to become a dynamic duo that would make hall and oates cower behind their platinum records were they to hear us. but first, we played an epic gig at bernie’s here in anchorage last thursday as solo acts. i was really shocked at how different that place is from the fledgling martini bar that crystal radio played years ago. it’s a swanky, multi-room mecca for the city’s most fashionable nightcrawlers. met lots of great folks and got to catch up with some old friends. a few hours of sleep later, jared and i were racing to the airport with mere minutes to spare before our departure to kodiak island. after persuading the ticket lady to let us put our bags on the plane we jogged over to the gate to find half of the anchorage folk music community hanging out. these little island hops in alaska don’t have any security or anything. it’s like hopping bus. after a bunch of hugs and handshakes this ragtag bunch piled into the little turboprop plane and lifted off. the flight was gorgeous. glaciers and volcanos beneath us, we glided into kodiak about an hour later. i had never been to kodiak and i was really taken with the serene beauty of it. it reminded me of photos of ireland. all lush and green slow-rolling hills. turns out that, with the bars open till 5 am and the local population being a bunch of storytelling characters who tirelessly make out with the night, the similarities don’t stop at the landscape. we met up with the one mike murray, a DJ for KMXT (kodiak’s NPR station), and our host for the weekend. we were there partly to perform at the bear country music festival and that’s where our first show was. the festival got going a bit more the next day and our saturday performance was the more memorable of the two. we spent much of these two days hanging out at the festival, catching sets by great alaskan folk acts like michael campbell, susie crosby, and bluegrass greats white twang, as well as sampling the island’s salmon hot off the grill in the musician’s lounge area. each night in kodiak jared and i were the de facto house band at the rendezvous, a little bar next to the festival. as the place filled up with the festival runoff jared and i did our best to keep them in the spirit. sunday started with a session at KMXT, taping some songs and interview segments. at this point, jared and i had been able to hang out playing and singing a ton and our songs together were starting to really come along. the final night at the rondy was a doosie. we opened up for the amazing rhythm kings (see: ‘low rent rendezvous’) and had a great time capping our trip with a one last show. this was the first show we played as an actual duo, only breaking midset for a solo apiece, and that was nice to be able to pull off. i’m leaving out a million kodiak stories, but i have a feeling i’ll be telling them for years. jared and i came back to anchorage monday with about as many hours of sleep logged as gigs for the weekend. but there’s no rest for the weary, and jared’s regular monday night gig hosting the humpy’s open mic (the most packed, popular open mic in the world) was upon us in a flash. we performed as ‘swayze’, laying some of our freshly honed duo skills on the crowd. last night we played an all ages show at the organic oasis and had a terrific time playing a whole show this way. celeb-spotters no doubt noticed that members of hot local bands goat farm and gyro were in attendance. after all those shows, i really don’t have enough recollection of what was played to cobble together setlists. all i know is that at bernie’s i played about 50 songs, and in kodiak jared and i played about 50 gigs. here’s how it went down last night, though, with the exception of jared’s four solo cuts… organic oasis setlist: duo: bright avenue (woods), hummingbirds, are you in? (woods), solo: how the story goes, sleepwalker, duo: she’s like the wind (swayze), your love (the outfield), driving into the sun (woods), solo: for a light, building a road, duo: breakaway move, birthday girl (woods), something else instead, melissa (allman brothers).

humpin’ around
Written on Jul 21, 2005 at 5:47 PM

no picture from last night…sorry! i’ll bring the camera tonight. i’m up in alaska right now, thoroughly enjoying the beginnings of a romp across my homeland with jared woods. after a few days of hanging out with a lingering brinton jones (worn out but smiling after a 20 day palomino tour) and other friendly characters, jared and i hit the stage at humpy’s last night for a long, loud bar show. the place was packed to the gills (sorry) with friends and everyone seemed to be having a good time. we wrapped up with a short set of improvised covers. hopefully we’ll get a chance in the next few days to actually work some stuff up. humpy’s setlist- set 1: let it out, floater, nevermine, key to the city, the sweet unseen, meridian, over jordan (wandering sons), juneau blues (eric stracener). set 2: crossing over, how the story goes, stardust motel, ohio, breakaway move, wings, vapour trail (ride), calling it home, building a road, something else instead, empire builder. set 3 (w/jared woods): lost cause (beck), melissa (allman brothers), centralia, maps (yeah yeah yeahs)

west coasted
Written on Jul 18, 2005 at 9:59 AM

well, it’s time to put the lid on another run of shows out west. we had a great night in seattle friday at the mars bar. killer sets by andrea maxand (w/porter helping her out on guitar and vocals, pictured) and chad hinman and co. made it musically memorable. everybody seemed to have family in the room and that’s always special. saturday i was priveleged to be a part of my my friend floyd reitsma’s wedding. floyd is a great recording engineer here in seattle and it was an honor to sing in his ceremony. today i’m looking at a frantic few hours of running around, packing up, putting stuff in storage and flying to alaska. time to get cracking. mars bar setlist: solo- let it out, sleepwalker, how the story goes, crossing over, hummingbirds, talking out of turn. w/patrick porter- falling is faster, ohio, building a road, unravel (bjork). solo- the sweet unseen.

IM-bibe or im-BIBE?
Written onJul 18, 2005at 9:53 AM

either way, this portland venue got a lot of AK love last week. i went down on my night off to catch hopper and co. rock a terrific show and then played my own the next night. happy b-day to dylan and thanks to the jackson, MS crew for being there. imbibe is a great place to stretch out and play a longer set so i got the chance to dust off some oldies and play a few new songs as well. imbibe setlist: set 1: ohio, building a road, breakaway move, calling it home, something else instead, hummingbirds, empire builder, juneau blues (eric stracener), stardust motel, implosion, crossing over, how the story goes, hearts and bones (p. simon), the sweet unseen, talking out of turn, centralia set 2: for a light, tangerine (led zep), indiana plates, sea of love (?), darby’s garden, wings, vapour trail (ride), just like a woman (dylan)

which trial?
Written on Jul 13, 2005 at 12:55 PM

i just spent a nice night in salem, OR in the company of my man steve stancliff, his wife amy, and their little one (soren, pictured). the show last night was at a neighborhood pub kind of place in portland called the green room. it was a songwriter showcase night, which meant a short set and lots of nice folks to meet and mingle with. big props to donovan at northwest radio for putting it on, and to kris for rocking well. green room setlist: let it out, floater, ohio, talking out of turn, how the story goes, over jordan (wandering sons).

step aside, arcata hatas!
Written onJul 12, 2005at 12:03 PM

i’m in salem oregon today, refreshed by a lovely weekend spent performing and relaxing in arcata, CA. hosted by local champions of songs slow and beautiful, living in the ice age, i was able to enjoy a day off in one of the nicest tour towns i’ve visited. it’s a quaint seaside college town, currently low on crowds due to the season. upon leaving redding saturday morning i was treated to a beautiful drive through lower shasta/whiskeytown/trinity river scenery that never let up. it was so nice to be off the interstates for once. it was an afternoon of incredible mountain and river views and frequent bigfoot references our show in arcata was at a spacious cafe called sacred grounds. props to derek there for taking care of us. the show featured myself, LITIE, and the ian fays- a group of gals fronted by twins sara and liz shoelen. steinbach twins, take note. the show was packed and musically terrific and was followed by a nice gallop around the town’s few bars. i spent sunday in the care of ice age’s samantha. we checked out the redwood forest, arcata’s great record and book stores, a sweet lunch spot, and ultimately, the movie theater where samantha works. i got the rare tour treat of seeing a movie. the new batman is the bomb, kids. although i’m sure i need a late pass on that one. sam and caralee, thanks for the gracious hospitality, and arcata, thanks for keeping the wal-marts in eureka. portland #1 is tonight. sacred grounds setlist: ohio, building a road, crossing over, how the story goes, floater, let it out.

steady dippin’
Written on Jul 9, 2005 at 10:27 AM

serendipity rules- straight up. the redding boys put on a terrific show here last night and i was stoked to be a part of it. big ol’ mad props to ryan and bryan (pictured making my breakfast), aaron and the rest of the dip crew for making me feel welcome in northern CA. i met lots of great folks at the show and have ample reason to return. this town is much prettier than i remember from last time. there’s a whole historical district that, while not huge by any stretch, is still pretty neat. the ‘stardust motel’ caught my eye, for fairly obvious reasons. i think it’s the first one of those i’ve actually laid eyes on in my travels. of course, i forgot to play the song last night…but whatever. on to arcata! serendipity setlist: ohio, building a road, water to wine, how the story goes, crossing over, let it out, floater, the district sleeps alone (postal service).

dear penthouse, i never thought it would happen to me…
Written on Jul 8, 2005 at 7:09 PM

…i had a good show in san francisco!!! the make-out room is a great venue. mad props to the MOR’s j, chris, and genevieve for making the night great. i performed, followed by charles atlas, a group responsible for some beautiful slow-mo atmospheric compositions, and the great michael zapruder and his rain of frogs. michael unveiled a full set of songs from his next, in-progress recording. totally awesome. thanks, as usual, to mandi and her cats (rowan, pictured) for letting a stray musician share the apartment. now i’m in the dip, fresh from a sweaty drive across northern cal, listening to a hilarious PA setup session by the unbeatable staff of this place. the boys just discovered the flange+reverb+delay+distortion+vocoder effect and are going nuts at high volume….those who’ve been here know the deal. makeout room setlist: parallel, ohio, building a road, breakaway move, implosion, how the story goes, stardust motel, talking out of turn, sea of love (?).

sac attack
Written on Jul 7, 2005 at 11:20 AM

i’m in a cafe in midtown sacramento doing the daily booking biz. the weather here is gorgeous, hopefully signalling a great day on the road. yesterday was a good one. checked out the zapruder studio digs in downtown oakland and then helped the man run some studio related errands over in frisco. hanging out and talking about songwriting and recording all day with an esteemed colleague is a good day, in my book. last night i played at a terrific show here in the s.a.c. i showed up at the address given to me by the one adam varona and spent a few minutes trying to figure out why there was a safeway where my gig was supposed to be. a phone call remedied the sitch and i found myself loading my gear into a tiny little creperie called ‘red square’. adam set up a nice little vibey stage area and folks started pouring in the door. i played, as did bloomsday (pictured) and justin farrin- both great singer/songwriters from sac. there were 0 alt-country haters in the crowd and i actually had NICE notes left for me at the end of the evening. back on track! in a little while i’ll jump into the car and head to san fran. tonight’s show is one i’ve really been looking forward to- myself, charles atlas, and m-zap rocking the makeout room. red square setlist: ohio, building a road, sleepwalker, breakaway move, how the story goes, stardust motel, talking out of turn, falling is faster, let it out.

american, uh…
Written on Jul 6, 2005 at 11:05 AM

last night i played at a ‘americana showcase’ at the stork club in oakland. unfortunately, this was a pretty hardcore country thing and i think i might have wrecked the vibe for some folks. i noticed some people leaving after a few tunes and at night’s end i saw that they had left me a nice helpful suggestion on my email list: “less cheese, more honesty- thanks”. i guess my opening salvo of ‘let it out’ and ‘floater’ was just a hammy pack of lies and they heard right through it. busted! luckily, not everyone at the club was a ‘no depression’ poopy-pants. my good friends mandi and michael zapruder were in the house, as was the one bob harp (father of the ‘hayride’ feast). i’m over at michael’s right now watching him attempt to wire up an analog/digital converter for his studio, fresh off the UPS truck. fun. er, no fun. yeah. no fun! pictured. stork club setlist: let it out, floater, how the story goes, crossing over, juneau blues (eric stracener), ohio, the sweet unseen, avenue A.

you stay classy, san diego!
Written on Jul 5, 2005 at 7:15 PM

writing in: mama buzz- a tight little cafe in oakland, CA recommended to me by the one michael zapruder as i was hitting his hometown. i’m holed up in the back with a bowl of minestrone that’s disappearing fast. it was a long, hot day in the car that began down in san diego. roy (pictured at the helm of the ‘s.s. pro tools’) and i put the finishing touches on ‘talking out of turn’ yesterday at the studio and i think it came out great. not sure where it will find a home, but it’s always nice to record a song when it’s so fresh and new. recordings always seem to have a little more life to me when that’s the case. the night was capped off with a viewing of ‘anchorman’. taking in this masterpiece while actually in san diego is like seeing the pope in rome or drinking a guinness in dublin. so sweet! time to sign off and rock the stork club, yo.

from such normal heights
Written on Jul 3, 2005 at 11:23 AM

i’m in the abode of the one roy bloes, my mixmaster pal in san diego, located in said ‘hood. last night’s show was a treat. it was at twiggs, a great listening room run by the one john ciccolella. johnny’s a music fan supreme and he’s created an environment where acoustic magic is welcome to manifest. i had a great time playing and debuted a new song that i finished here yesterday afternoon called ‘talking out of turn’. i think the plan for the day is to get into the studio where roy works and lay down a quick take of it. kicking it with my main man kethro (pictured) was the cream. he set up my closing set with a rowdy romp through his catalog of lusty odes to loves past and future. great sets by connie kim, and davida also made the night special. i’m not sure where i’ll be spending the 4th- possibly in the car. i’ve got a long haul to make and fighting traffic to oakland on tuesday after the holiday isn’t my idea of a great time. twiggs setlist: let it out, over jordan (wandering sons), dead soldier, how the story goes, crossing over, ohio, talking out of turn, unbreakable.

valet parking and big wangs
Written on Jul 3, 2005 at 11:08 AM

after spending a few days in the care of my beach-house hosts in venice, i hit the stage friday night fully rejuvenated and ready to get the show back on the road. who knew that in the heart of hollywood, there was a warm and inviting coffeehouse where acoustic music was actually listened to and appreciated? the karma coffeehouse was a nice discovery, as was the music of the one brandon schott. brandon’s a pop genius with melodies coming out of his pores. he holds down a friday night residency at this joint- locals, take note. also noteworthy is the fact that i had to valet park my car for my own show. i was in the hole $5 before i hit the stage! at least i felt like my ride was safer than if parked on the street. i finished the evening with a sandwich at a bar called- i am not joking- ‘big wangs’. only in hollywood, folks. karma coffeehouse setlist: let it out, floater, how the story goes, the sweet unseen, ohio, building a road, breakaway move.

valet parking and big wangs
Written on Jul 3, 2005 at 11:07 AM

after spending a few days in the care of my beach-house hosts in venice, i hit the stage friday night fully rejuvenated and ready to get the show back on the road. who knew that in the heart of hollywood, there was a warm and inviting coffeehouse where acoustic music was actually listened to and appreciated? the karma coffeehouse was a nice discovery, as was the music of the one brandon schott. brandon’s a pop genius with melodies coming out of his pores. he holds down a friday night residency at this joint- locals, take note. also noteworthy is the fact that i had to valet park my car for my own show. i was in the hole $5 before i hit the stage! at least i felt like my ride was safer than if parked on the street. i finished the evening with a sandwich at a bar called- i am not joking- ‘big wangs’. only in hollywood, folks. karma coffeehouse setlist: let it out, floater, how the story goes, the sweet unseen, ohio, building a road, breakaway move. after spending a few days in the care of my beach-house hosts in venice, i hit the stage rejuvenated and ready to get the show back on the road.

from venice beach
Written on Jun 30, 2005 at 3:30 PM

i’m writing this from an antique house overlooking the venice beach boardwalk and, beyond that, the pacific ocean. my three months of work in phoenix came to an end yesterday when i pulled out of town bound for los angeles. i’m pushing a new whip (R.I.P. ‘the swede’) and looking forward to a two week west coast run that will take me to some cool new places. i’ll post more on the tour as it unfolds… in kind of old news, i played my last phoenix gig about a week ago. at the trunk space, i was joined by the fabulous dust jacket (singer, conan zimmerman pictured) and the letterpress. the letterpress is back on their feet with a great new revved-up sound. electric guitar is in the mix and it sounds terrific. dust jacket just gets better every time out. this was a farewell show for shane who’ll be heading north to spokane. thanks to JRC for the show. trunk space setlist: for a light, implosion, how the story goes, crossing over, building a road, ohio, promise, floater, the district sleeps alone (postal service).

lost weekend
Written on Jun 15, 2005 at 9:20 PM

i’m finally getting my first chance to sit down and look back on a whirlwind mini-tour i took last weekend with andrea maxand. mostly, this was about getting andrea some stage time in the southwest and me getting some time away from my long and relentless workdays here in phoenix. every night, listening to andrea do her thing was a pleasure. i got to know her songs in a way that only hearing them live a few nights in a row will get you. such a treat. first we paid a visit to mesilla, NM to play the bean. it was great to be back among friends. big ups to marc for the couch space, annie for dinner, and amanda for the show. tucson followed, and the wonderful hospitality of mike and emile from the fashionistas went from dinner dinner at a backyard bocchi party to mike graciously sitting in on gorgeous baritone electric guitar for most of my set. thanks to tom for the bed and the blues. a trip up to flagstaff for a festival slot andrea played and a few shows in phoenix rounded out the tour. the counterculture cafe is a cool all-ages joint in phoenix (which i happen to be back at right now writing this, grooving to some very nice wax spinning). andrea’s show here was just like i think her shows should be- totally quiet and intimate. conan zimmerman from dustjacket dusted off the acoustic for a solo set too, which was great. everything wrapped up on saturday at the venerable emerald lounge- andrea opened the night with a great set and dustjacket shut the place down with the best set i’ve seen them deliver. totally rocking. i’ve got three weeks before i hit the road and soooo much to do. if i make it out of here with everything accomplished, it will truly be something. the bean setlist: let it out, over jordan (wandering sons), dead soldier, building a road, ohio, falling is faster, breakaway move, sea of love (?), how the story goes, the district sleeps alone (postal service). plush setlist- solo: how the story goes, implosion, for a light, empire builder, something else instead. w/mike on baritone guitar: wide open spaces, indiana plates, building a road, sleepwalker, ohio, breakaway move, juneau blues (eric stracener), over jordan (wandering sons), dead soldier, do you help people?, parallel. counterculture cafe setlist: let it out, over jordan, dead soldier, how the story goes, crossing over, ohio.

modification
Written on Apr 27, 2005 at 5:54 PM

last night i played my first gig around these parts as a semi-local. the venue was the always-marvelous modified arts, and the lineup was special- old friend greg vanderpool was in town and a reunion in the desert was on the bill. greg’s band, milton mapes, burned the place down with as scorching a set as i’ve seen on that stage. they played their new masterpiece, ‘the blacklight trap’, in its virtual entirety, plus a couple of older gems. songs: ohia’s jason molina and crew, magnolia electric company, sewed the night shut with the generous set of epic neil young-style jams that the packed house was there to hear. modified arts setlist: solo- unbreakable, building a road, breakaway move, falling is faster, floater, daredevils, let it out. w/greg vanderpool- girl of the north country (dylan)

weekend warrior
Written on Apr 11, 2005 at 9:03 AM

i took a break from working here in phoenix to go to tucson saturday night and play some music. my new friends in the fashionistas, emilie marchand and mike bagesse, had invited me down to the red room again to play. it felt good to do my thing after a almost a week of not playing a show. the crowd was local, friendly and fun and the fashionistas were amazing. they’re a dark, jazzy group with an incredible voice (ms. marchand’s) up front. mike plays guitar, david tracy plays upright, dimitri manos holds down the drums and noah thomas is on trumpet. they did a cover of gillian welch’s ‘ruination day’ was a favorite of mine. at the end of my set i was able to get dimitri and mike to come up and help out on a few songs, which was a real treat. extra-special thanks to erin and scott at the elysian grove bed and breakfast (www.elysiangrove.com) for the hospitality. red room set list: solo-l et it out, floater, stardust motel, building a road. w/ demitri and mike- sleepwalker, ohio, sea of love (p. phillips).

end of the road…
Written on Apr 3, 2005 at 10:50 AM

…for a short time, at least. the tour ended last night in tucson at the red room. patrick and i played a set that felt a bit like practicing in our own private bar. we were both a bit zapped from the sun we soaked up during the tire fiasco the day before and probably just a bit worn out in general. it was good fun though, and we made some new friends in town. we’re at my friend dan’s house now moving toward breakfast and then a drive back to phoenix. red room setlist: set 1- solo- blind tonight, too much to hold, effortless, checking out, let it out. w/porter- merge, key to the city, apartment in the sky (explone), ohio, indiana plates, building a road, wide open spaces, falling is faster, unravel (bjork). solo- the sweet unseen, hearts and bones (p.simon) set 2- solo- daredevils, floater. w/porter- powerlines, slipknot song (explone), out of town (explone). solo- how the story goes.

have you seen my flagstaff?
Written on Apr 2, 2005 at 7:12 PM

lowlight of yesterday: blowing out a tire halfway between nowhere and freakin’ nowhere. highlights of yesterday: driving through gorgeous glen canyon and rocking an epic set with porter at the hotel monte vista in flagstaff. this was one of those great nights for stretching it out, winging tunes, wearing shirts of questionable taste, and just having a nice adventurous time musically. a sweet set in the middle of the night by my buddy from sedona, jason moehlman, plus a solo turn by porter made the night tasty all the way through. big props to dan, erin, sara, and the rest of the HMV staff for making us feel at home. right now i’m sitting in the red room in tucson listening to a guy make an out of tune piano sound pretty damn good. we go on in a couple of hours. it’s a bittersweet night, as it’s my last real tourdate for a spell. hopefully it will be a good one. monte vista setlist: set 1-solo- coeur d’alene, empire builder, wide open spaces, implosion, stardust motel, breakaway move. w/porter- guardian, vancouver, vapour trail (ride), centralia, passport, songbird, meridian, out of town (explone), slipknot song (explone), unravel (bjork). set 2-solo- how the story goes, she was a bruise. w/porter- promise. solo- key to the city, nevermine, the district sleeps alone (postal service). w/porter- powerlines, building a road, falling is faster, blown out, dead soldier, the sweet unseen. solo- girl of the north country (dylan).

yes i can-yon
Written on Apr 1, 2005 at 8:56 AM

from the quail park lodge in kanab, UT: porter and i are currently driving, punning, picking and grinning our way south through utah toward a gig tonight in flagstaff, AZ. in recapping the past few days, i have to say that the gig wednesday night in provo was one for the books. porter and i were joined by matt hopper, brinton jones, and new friend colby stead for what was truly a magical night. reuniting with hopper is always a pleasure, and the palomino boys showed us love and hospitality in SLC. the venue in provo, muse music, was losing its daddy- the one corey fox- and we were there to send him on to better things with a great show. the sound was great, the people were wonderful to us, and playing music with friends all night long was so fun. i got up and sang and played a few with brinton (pictured) and porter at the end of b’s set. colby stead capped the night with a charming set of songs and pictures, and pretty much won me over with his chocolate zucchini bread. mmm!!! now it’s on to the tour’s AZ finale. shows in flagstaff and tucson wrap it all up. muse setlist: solo- how the story goes. w/porter- ohio, building a road, falling is faster, unravel (bjork). w/porter and brinton- breakaway move. solo- let it out. during brinton’s set: w/brinton- shades of grey. w/brinton and porter- who is on her side.

time to get salty
Written on Mar 29, 2005 at 7:56 AM

we’re about to pull out of boulder with one of the best weekends of music on the tour behind us. between friday in omaha and last night in boulder, porter and i have been lucky enough to experience the best the road has to offer in terms of gracious hosts, great venues, and terrific audiences. last night we played the fox theatre (what makes a theater a ‘theatre’ anyways?) here, thanks to the support of andy at albums on the hill- boulder’s best record shop. the headliner was a really cool band called carbon leaf. check ’em out at http://www.carbonleaf.com. they put on a great show; these guys are road dogs too, grinding hard out there, and it was great to meet and hear them. a few more shows like this a week and i’d be a happy camper. now it’s time to head to salt lake fcity or a few days with palomino and crew. yes, yes. fox theatre setlist: solo- let it out, floater, how the story goes, drawbridge horizon, water to wine. w/porter- ohio, falling is faster, building a road, unravel (bjork). solo- the sweet unseen.

getting amped
Written on Mar 28, 2005 at 8:32 AM

colorado rules. the sun, the mountains, the oxygen-depleted atmosphere that makes one beer feel like two…what more could patrick and i wish for on a day off? after that long haul and a short set and an enormous joint called d-note that felt like it was over before it began, patrick and i settled into good friend brian and kaleigh’s house for a nice day of work and play. i think we’re about to go cop an amp for porter so he can do his thing a little better this week. tonight we’re playing at the fox theatre opening for carbon leaf. it should be a great show. after that, it’s on to (onto?) utah for a house show and a club show with brinton jones and his troupe, palomino. d-note setlist: w/patrick porter- something else instead, indiana plates, building a road, ohio, falling is faster, songbird. solo- how the story goes.

rocky mountain, hi!
Written on Mar 26, 2005 at 4:21 PM

i’m sitting at the bar in yet another gorgeous venue- this one located in a quaint historical district of arvada, CO, on the outskirts of denver. porter’s playing some hot unplugged licks on the stool next to me and a nice cold beer is soothing the nerves after a 9 hour drive across nebraska. just in case anyone is in the dark about this, there is NOTHING between omaha and denver. NOTH-ING. last night in omaha was a highlight of my touring days so far. i supported two wonderful groups- kevn kinney (formerly of drivin’ and cryin’) and sarah lee guthrie and johnny irions. the venue, mick’s music, was one of the finest i’ve ever played in every regard. big-ups galore to michael and carrie for taking care of us last night. the pleasure was doubled by finally meeting zac lorenzen and his crew, race for titles, on their home turf. they’re a great band, great people, and were great hosts. zac oversaw the completion of a new run of ‘stateside’ discs which are now done. mick’s music setlist: solo- let it out, floater, how the story goes, breakaway move. with patrick porter- building a road, ohio.

wild kingdom
Written on Mar 25, 2005 at 2:00 PM

made it to omaha! tonight’s show should be a good one- i hear nothing but superlatives used to describe both the performers i’ll be playing with and the venue we’ll be playing in. porter and i are doing our afternoon computer work in a cafe here. having patrick on the stage last night in iowa city was a treat. we played with one of the cooler bands i’ve had the pleasure of rocking with- wisconsin’s wandering sons. check them out, for sure. big ups to mandy and sarah in iowa city for taking such good care of a couple of guitar-toting tramps like us. iowa city setlist: ohio, solo- building a road, breakaway move, stardust motel, how the story goes, floater. with porter- merge, nothing is better, powerlines.

hanging at the chi chi lounge
Written on Mar 24, 2005 at 8:44 AM

chicago is crispy and gorgeous this morning. porter and i are throwing on our duds and getting the directions to iowa city laced. a pretty nice bootleg of last night’s show is playing on the computer. i’ll have to go through it to see if anything sounds good. if so, perhaps i’ll post it up here somewhere. we’re staying with friends of tipton’s in a sweet part of the city, right next to a rather large lake. last night’s show was a good, mellow time. the uncommon ground listening room is way in the back of a large, upscale eating/drinking/chatting kind of joint situated one block from the metro (dave eggers was there last night) and wrigley field (currently being employed as an automated hot dog billboard). patrick beat us to the gig by a few minutes and it was great to finally have him on board. the presence of some unexpected old friends and a few listeners from other cities who had moved to chicago since my last show in their town made the night a nice one. tipton’s set was spooky and beautiful, as usual. always a treat. uncommon ground setlist: unbreakable, building a road, sleepwalker, breakaway move, the sweet unseen, coeur d’alene, how the story goes, ohio, stardust motel, crime, let it out, floater, powerlines.

i’m in ohio
Written on Mar 22, 2005 at 11:26 AM

a couple more groovy shows are in the books. i’m in a diner in akron, OH right now waiting for an oil change to be done. i’m heading to cincy tonight and tomorrow i’ll be in chicago, joining forces with matt tipton and my man patrick porter. pat’s dropping in from seattle for a little road romp with me. i hope he’s packing his warm vaga-bondage gear, ‘cos tipton says it’s frosty in chi-town. before leaving a great week behind in baltimore i played one last show with ellen cherry and the reaper. it was a last rehearsal for the two of them, as they’re headed south on a mini-tour this week. definitely catch them if you can. cafe hon setlist: solo- merge, key to the city, let it out, the sweet unseen, ohio, how the story goes. with andrew grimm- breakaway move, i’m on fire (brooooce). solo- building a road. last night’s show was in a fantastic club here in akron. great room, great crowd…they need to work on their michael jackson jokes, but otherwise these folks were standup. in my opinion. the lime spider can lay claim to having the best PA in the midwest. every solo acoustic guy should get to experience the nightly thrill of stepping into the spotlight with SIX massive wedge monitors aiming faceward. so, so sweet… big ups to danny, donny, and collette- all of whom conspired to get me there and take care of me. the treat of the night was getting blown away by the incredible patrick sweany. this man is amazing. seriously amazing. he’s like a blues legend no one’s ever heard of just hiding out in ohio. he’s the cat in the photograph. http://www.patricksweany.com is the place, folks- you heard it here. lime spider setlist: building a road, breakaway move, ohio, how the story goes, floater, nevermine, NYC (interpol).

“can you eat it?”
Written on Mar 19, 2005 at 11:14 PM

well, i’ve been rocking baltimore/DC for a few nights straight and there’s still one show left. last night’s pie shop show was a quick blast-highlighted for me by rodney’s son waylon making a surprise appearance on the mic and sharing the stage with andrew grimm for some numbers- as was the requisite fed-hill crawl with hill and grimm afterward. that’s rod, by the way, in the picture. DDP setlist: w/andrew grim- the pope of mexico (a. grimm), i’m on fire (the boss), breakaway move. solo-sleepwalker, how the story goes, the sweet unseen, empire builder, sea of love (?). tonight i headed to college park for a gig at the creatively titled ‘college perk’. the audience was nice, i got to actually play some requests, and it was an all around warm and friendly night. jodi mclaren came and was coerced into hopping onstage and doing her thing while a took a break-great stuff. now i’m up at dave’s enjoying a CD burning party. my man’s bruce sprintgsteen collection is peerless, so i’m getting a master class education in boss bootlegs. college perk setlist: set – ohio, the sweet unseen, she was a bruise, empire builder, something else instead, breakaway move, indiana plates, vancouver, building a road, promise, hearts and bones (p. simon), coeur d’alene, how the story goes, crime, checking out, let it out. set 2- stardust motel, nevermine, key to the city, do you ever, just like a woman (b. dylan).

barnstorming
Written on Mar 17, 2005 at 8:37 AM

last night i found myself performing in an enormous ‘historical barn’ out in the country between DC and baltimore. it was a really nice, intimate show made possible by the one jodi mclaren (pictured), a singer/songwriter on the rise in these parts. sets by jodi and upbeat pop crew, forget reason (featuring sibling rhythm section nuc and posido vega, with whom i played a show with in seattle over a year ago!) fleshed the evening out. i had some family in the house, there was a front row full of kids who knew my tunes and the sound was great…no complaints about the night from the singer. the barn setlist: unbreakable, breakaway move, building a road, sleepwalker, stardust motel, how the story goes, floater, powerlines, the district sleeps alone (postal service).

balti-more or less a sweet night
Written onMar 16, 2005at 11:32 AM

ok, sorry..that wasn’t even witty at all. i’m trying to get a bunch of stuff done here at my man dave’s shack in b-more before the show tonight out in spencerville. so far i’ve accomplished the following: drink coffee, eat a banana, work on a new song for 4 hours. oops. perhaps that’s what i needed to do most. last night was a great time and a reunion of several sorts. i got to see andrew grimm own the room with his full band (mandolin, bass, drums, keys, second guitar) and also see kristin ‘ellen cherry’ putchinski once more. i’ll be rocking steady with these folks this weekend as well. the picture here from the end of the night has dave ‘humpin’ around’ hill on the left and andrew ‘i’m hairier than you’ grimm on the right. time for me to get some real work done. cat’s eye tavern setlist: building a road, sleepwalker, breakaway move, stardust motel, ohio, how the story goes, floater, let it out.

illadelph, PA, live without a DJ
Written on Mar 16, 2005 at 7:50 AM

philly was illy, just as i suspected. i played a show at a joint called the grape street tavern that, come thursday, will be hosting none other than the legendary roots crew and company. how could i come so close? big ups to scooter and dave for lacing the show and to mack ‘the rock’ reed for the brotherly love. props to the mighty ra who rocked the mic after me at grape street with an incredible a capella hip-hop 101. and last but not least, props to snapple for selling ‘whata-melon’ in indestructible bottles. the next day mack showed me the town. we hit the art museum first and had a rich breakfast of masterpieces. props to melissa from new jersey for all that she does (although ‘the rock’ would like me to specify that he gives “no props” to new jersey itself). lunch at a belgian restaurant that was authentic to the nines (mmm…mussels!!!) followed, and then we took old town/society hill by foot. the city was just gorgeous. the day was blustery but perfectly clear and sunny- perfect sightseeing weather. grape street setlist: stardust motel, building a road, sleepwalker, how the story goes, floater, let it out, nevermine

covering ground
Written on Mar 14, 2005 at 9:54 AM

i’m in pleasant gap, PA this morning. eric stracener’s ‘sockeye’ is playing and the coffee is brewing. i just spent very nice sunday off hanging out with my good friends chad and tanya out here. in a few hours i’ll be headed to philly for the night’s gig. a few days back i pulled out of champaign and into a blizzard that stretched north up into michigan. i felt like i was back in alaska! fortunately the roads didn’t get quite bad enough to really be dangerous and i made it to grand rapids without incident. the show that evening was terrific. much thanks to my man louie for setting up such a nice evening. schuler studio is a great listening room and i played a full concert- two sets with an intermission- and remarkably attentive folks stuck around for the whole thing. grand rapids setlist: set 1-unbreakable, building a road, sleepwalker, the sweet unseen, stardust motel, how the story goes, ohio, kathy’s song (p. simon), breakaway move, coeur d’alene. set 2- let it out, floater, powerlines, nevermine, key to the city, do you ever, effortless, avenue A, empire builder. i retired that evening to a motel room and watched out the window as the swede (my car) was buried in white. the next morning was beautiful and blue and the drive to ohio was smooth. before i left michigan though, i had a mission to accomplish. i’ve wanted to visit a guitar shop in lansing called elderly (pictured) ever since i was in high school. the place is the absolute mecca for martin guitars (the kind i play) and i knew i was close enough to afford a visit. wow…that’s all i can say. i had to get out of there quick before i started getting any funny ideas. canton was the name of the little town in ohio that i played and muggswigz was the name of the joint. it was a really nice coffeehouse/concert venue and the room was full of really friendly, warm individuals. i played another really long show. after those two nights my fingers were practically bleeding on the strings. canton setlist: set 1- stardust motel, implosion, for a light, building a road, sleepwalker, unbreakable, breakaway move, ohio, meteor shower, the sweet unseen, how the story goes, kathy’s song (p. simon), nevermine, key to the city, the district sleeps alone (postal service). set 2- let it out, crime, floater, powerlines, merge, princesses, effortless, do you ever, girl from the north country (b. dylan), out of town (p. porter), coeur d’alene, meridian, avenue A, something else instead, empire builder, the great space race, sea of love (?).

michigan bound
Written on Mar 11, 2005 at 7:36 AM

i wrapped up round one of my illinois shows last night with the boxer program in champaign. after a day spent finishing a new song, checking out some guitar shops with tipton, and trying to pry jason away from cable soccer, we played a place called aroma (yes, i’m serious), joined by a local cat, mr. mike ingram. the sweetest part of the night was hearing/watching matt rock on his new telecaster that he picked up on the way to town. i wasn’t sure how electric guitar was going to fit the BP style, but it works quite well. ‘cowboys in the movies’ is still my fave and it sounded awesome last night. we wound up hanging out in a bar with peanut shells all over the floor, feeding the jukebox and talking about records. my kind of night. aroma setlist: ohio, building a road, unbreakable, how the story goes, the sweet unseen, parallel, kathy’s song (p. simon), sleepwalker, breakaway move, nevermine, NYC (interpol).

champaign for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends
Written on Mar 9, 2005 at 4:00 PM

that’s a great tom waits quote for you. yesterday was a hectic day. after getting to the garage to find out that my car STILL wasn’t ready, i had to wait around all morning knowing the night’s gig was in increasing jeopardy. i pulled out of wichita at 2 pm, drove straight and hard all the way to greenville, IL and stepped in front of the audience 10 minutes after getting out of my car, sometime well after 9 pm. fortunately, it wasn’t a show i would’ve have wanted to miss. the venue was an acoustically stunning high-ceilinged, wood-floored, christmas light-lit room atop an ancient apartment building. the people there in greenville are so warm and friendly, and i recognized many in the room from the DOADJ show last november. i spent today hanging out with my host, the one johnny weaver, musing on all things musical. now i’m in champaign, IL, having arrived an hour ahead of the boxer program boys. we’ll be playing here tomorrow night but tonight the plan is to go catch clem snide’s gig. greenville college setlist: unison (bjork), ohio, building a road, sleepwalker, how the story goes, stardust motel, unbreakable, floater, let it out, the district sleeps alone (postal service), merge.

walking in wichita
Written on Mar 6, 2005 at 8:38 AM

free advice to touring artists vol. I: 1) be a AAA member 2) don’t drive a saab in kansas 3) be a AAA member well, i knew it had to happen at some point. yesterday as i was flying down an empty highway, the kansas sun in my eyes and joesph arthur in my headphones, munching a donut thinking all was lovely, my car’s fuel pump died. at least that’s the prevailing theory so far. after a day-saving AAA tow i dug in for what could be a long, boring stretch of waiting. i’m stuck in wichita for at least the weekend, waiting to find out from the mechanics what the story is. all apologies to quincy, IL for the missed show last night. fortunately, i’ve got tonight and tomorrow night off already so i’ve got a really good chance of making it to greenville for the 3/8 show with the boxer program. fingers crossed. on friday night i had a fantastic time in norman, OK. my hostess was a wonderful woman named jill (this is an interesting trend) who made my brief visit to her state a pleasure. jill manages a band called cheyenne (www.cheyennesongs.net) who, along with locust avenue and myself, rocked a capacity crowd at the deli (a misnamed club if there ever was one). it was cheyenne’s CD release show and they brought heat for the event. much thanks to jill, cheyenne, locust ave. and the deli for a great night. free advice to touring artists vol. II 1) watch out for beer in oklahoma that doesn’t have any alcohol in it (locally referred to as “three-two beer”. 2) when seeking booking assistance from a woman named jill, casually mention a lifelong devotion to the music of duran duran. 3) ask to use the staff restroom at guestroom records. trust me. the deli setlist: ohio, building a road, sleepwalker, how the story goes, stardust motel, floater, key to the city, NYC (interpol)

i need a theme song
Written on Feb 27, 2005 at 1:13 PM

well, my texas touring is over for now. last night i closed out three fantastic weeks of shows with a gig at a stuffed club dada here in dallas. i couldn’t believe it was the same joint that matt and i had played to absolutely no one in last fall. musically, it was all quality. fort worth’s calhoun played a beautiful set of soaring mood pieces, pleasant grove (pictured) brought richly textured pop to the table, and then we all sat around in giddy amazement watching the small stars (almost literally) burn the house down. i’ve never seen such theatrical entertainment pulled off so well in a club before. incredible musicianship, wicked comic timing, brilliant songs…it was like catching an off-broadway musical after your gig. the highlight of the night was my sister and parents being in the house, sort of like ‘job day’ with the generations reversed. club dada setlist: let it out, floater, how the story goes, stardust motel, building a road, sleepwalker, the sweet unseen

keep waco wacko
Written on Feb 25, 2005 at 1:41 PM

i’m back in dallas again after a great run of shows down south. first was a gig in austin with my old friend greg vanderpool’s band, milton mapes. it was their home turf and they totally killed it. i’me playing a copy of their new record right now and it rules as well. we played at the cactus cafe- a wonderful room for music if there ever was one. thanks to all my peeps who made it out to this one. i’m already stoked to come back through this great city. cactus cafe setlist: ohio, building a road, sleepwalker, stardust motel, how the story goes, floater, crime, let it out, powerlines then it was back up to waco for a full day’s work. i played a lunchtime gig in the student union building on the baylor campus and then rocked an evening gig at common grounds. thanks, as ever, to my super-host in this town, jill mashburn (pictured here). common grounds setlist: sleepwalker, building a road, ohio, falling is faster, stardust motel, how the story goes, floater, crime, let it out, nevermine, key to the city, NYC (interpol), avenue A, sea of love (author unknown).

a dolphin is a little whale
Written on Feb 19, 2005 at 6:27 AM

i’ve just been educated on these matters by the one will stracener, whose father shared his stage with me last night here in jackson, MS. will refers to me as ‘andrewnorsworthy’, which is much funnier than it might sound. he somehow manages to slip the phrase into every sentence his four year old mouth generates. we had a blast at hal and mals splitting the night up between eric, myself and the one neilson hubbard (the photo lineup is neilson, eric, and me). the place was packed and it was terrific to hear eric again and neilson for the first time. these mississippi boys know how to pick and grin. the night ended with some fun collabos. today, as soon as eric strings up about a hundred guitars, we’re headed to the studio where he and neilson are going to be laying down tracks for the new stracener masterwork. hal and mals setlist: let it out, floater, deserter, how the story goes, ohio, the sweet unseen, building a road, sleepwalker, coeur d’alene, falling is faster (w/eric), unravel (bjork, w/eric), stardust motel (w/eric), perfect skin (backup for eric, w/neilson), the moon has two faces (backup for eric),13 (big star, w/neilson and eric), little mascara (replacements, w/eric)

TX
Written on Feb 13, 2005 at 1:06 PM

i’ve got two more texan shows under my belt: waco and houston. after paying visits to waterloo records and book people in austin for a little media skimming i hit the road for waco on friday. as usual, i had a fantastic time hanging out with jill mashburn and her common grounds crew. the show was well promoted and attended and the night was a long, great time. waco setlist: ohio, building a road, the sweet unseen, coeur d’alene, how the story goes, in god’s country (U2), floater, let it out, for a light, stardust motel, deserter, nevermine, key to the city, the district sleeps alone (postal service) after a pancake breakfast in waco, it was off to houston for a show at the nextdoor coffeehouse. family was in attendance and it was a warm, comfy gig. i’ll split the next few days between here and dallas, preparing to head to mississippi for a reunion with eric stracener. houston setlist: let it out, merge, key to the city, stardust motel, how the story goes, ohio, the sweet unseen, coeur d’alene, hearts and bones (p. simon), powerlines

austin city limits
Written on Feb 10, 2005 at 10:02 AM

on the speakers: wordsworth. in the cup: strong black coffee. on the ritz crackers: peter pan. this is breakfast at my cousin ryan’s place this morning. last night i had a great time hanging with him and my friend jennifer (from germany!) in a-town. i played a show at a place called ruta maya, which fooled me by being in a totally different location than it used to be when i lived here 10 years ago. what was once a modest downtown cafe is now a large, lush venue…in the middle of nowhere. well, not really nowhere, but it’s not on the foot path that austinites travel in their bar-hopping. this made for a pretty thin crowd. but with friends in the audience, you can’t complain too much. we retired to 6th street for a nightcap at the aquarium, a bar dominated by a huge- you guessed it- fish tank. oh, and about the picture thing- we’re working on getting the photos up on the site in a newer, better way. very soon- i promise. ruta maya setlist: let it out, floater, deserter, how the story goes, drawbridge horizon, ohio, the sweet unseen, american tune (p. simon), something else instead, stardust motel.

egner: texas ranger
Written on Feb 7, 2005 at 8:51 AM

back in texas… i played in midland night before last at a huge all-ages affair. it was tons of emo/hardcore bands and yours truly, and it was a completely happy blend. i love playing shows where i get to be sort of musically out of context. there were some people there from my last show in odessa, so i even got to take requests. thanks to dom and mike for keeping the scene in those parts poppin’. midland setlist: ohio, building a road, water to wine, drawbridge horizon, how the story goes, stardust motel, she was a bruise. i fought crazy rain all the way from new mexico to get to that show but the next morning (yesterday) was beautiful. my drive to dallas was all sun and open sunday morning roads. i made it to dallas in late afternoon, had some dinner at my grandparents’ and headed down to the barley house to meet the one bret egner and his crew. the show was a blast. bret’s band is called pleasant grove. they’re a four-piece with all kinds of styles in their basket, from delicate americana-tinged harmony-fests to wall-of-sound catherine wheel-style wipeouts. i’m playing with them again later in the month and i’m way excited about it. for it being a bar show, the audience was surprisingly attentive for my set. everyone was really involved and i definitely felt a warm wave of texas hospitality. i feel like i’m really on a roll with good nights, and since that’s what i’m out here doing i’m in high general spirits. barley house setlist: half a joke (andrea maxand), ohio, building a road, wide open spaces, how the story goes, water to wine, drawbridge horizon, let it out, floater, powerlines

waking up in the wild, wild west
Written on Feb 4, 2005 at 9:41 AM

i’m in mesilla/las cruces, camped out in a cafe for the morning’s work. i left phoenix yesterday morning under a gorgeous ceiling of desert blue. i love driving through scenery such as that seen on I-10 across southern new mexico- vast open spaces, distant craggy mountains and cliffs, strange stone formations, weird roadside trinket vendors, ancient-looking freight trains racing alongside the highway, tumbleweed sprinting across your path like wild animals… it’s all so different from where i grew up that i never tire of it. i arrived in the mesilla valley in late afternoon, located the evening’s venue and, on the recommendation of the promoter, wandered around the historical grounds adjacent to the place. there’s a really beautiful plaza here with buildings rich in american history, including the courthouse where billy the kid was tried and sentenced to hang. all of these buildings are presided over by a beautiful mission-style catholic church. there aren’t really that many people here, so the whole area has a really eerie serenity to it. a great band called henry opened things up at the bean, playing taut electric rock tunes. the room filled up and by the time i played, the cozy cafe had a really welcoming, friendly vibe. i’ve got to agree with someone’s assertion last night that new mexicans are an unusually friendly folk. i was floored by how nice everyone was to me last night. i just really felt at home. i think i wound up chatting on stage more than playing songs. the show was about as pleasurable as shows can be for me and i’d be stoked to come back any time. special thanks are in order to amanda from LC scene for setting it up. the bean setlist: ohio, the sweet unseen, building a road, stardust motel, floater, let it out, how the story goes, something else instead, avenue A, sea of love (cover) today i’m going to do some recording here in town with some local musicians and then head on to texas in the morning.

mics are open
Written on Feb 1, 2005 at 10:56 PM

i’m sitting in adam’s office/spare bedroom contemplating the strange, unlikely sensation of being worn out after a day of hunching over a keyboard. i’m doing all i can to ensure that march holds good gigs where i can get back to some of the places i’ve recently visited. last night was cool. hopper and i hit an open mic at this place called the willow house here in phoenix. it was basically the coolest open mic ever- which is truly saying something. after that, i wound up once again at the bikini lounge (sort of a tiki themed dive) discussing music with the members of dustjacket, a great band who’ll be on the bill with hopper at the clubhouse tomorrow night. willow room set: ohio, how the story goes

Early Day Mining for Coffee
Written on Jan 31, 2005 at 10:11 AM

aaahh…last night was great. my string of sketchy gigs came to a glorious end last night with a typically great night at modified arts- the best room for music in the southwest. my voice came back from the dead just in time to sing and it wound up being a really nice bill. i also copped some new kicks at the phoenix mall, and you know how new shoes can make the night kind of special, lowenbrau-style. chris brokaw- a bostonian whose touring schedule makes me look like a lazy chump- played after me, playing wicked instrumentals on sometimes effect-drenched acoustic guitar. he renewed my long-lost faith in the phaser pedal last night with some of the sheets of sound he had rippling off the stage. the headliners of the evening were bloomington, indiana’s early day miners. their style is one of those where it’s probably easy to throw a lot of comparisons at it but tough to actually hit the mark. personally, i heard a really cool mix of joshua tree-era U2, low, and maybe interpol. that’s to say that what i heard was absolutely gorgeous guitars, dips in tempo that were spooky and pretty, and lifts that were driving and spikily exciting. it’s also to say that they were awesome. the night was wrapped up by a set from local band, hiller. aside from being the best dressed men in the building, they also brought a nice group-handclap brand of pop energy to an otherwise pretty ponderous night. all of these folks were ace personalities as well. hopefully i’ll reconnect with some of them down the road. hopper and i got to hang together in yet another city where our paths cross post-DOADJ, making a good night even better. now i’ve got to spend the next two days getting some booking work done and readying the tour machine for a push east to texas. modified setlist: let it out, deserter, floater, how the story goes, ohio, the sweet unseen, stardust motel

rising
Written on Jan 29, 2005 at 9:55 AM

i’m waking up at adam’s crib here in sunny phoenix. the last few days have seen my plans take a bit of a turn. i had to cancel tucson last night because i woke up in L.A. feeling like a total lump of crap. i hate cancelling shows, and i really hardly ever do it, but last night was justified. but i need to backtrack to my last night in frisco. I spent a great day wednesday with mandi roaming the haight , gorging on french toast and poking through record stores. we ended up downtown at dylan ‘badman’ magierek’s studio (closer) for a rendezvous with him and craig ‘summer at shatter creek’ gurwich. after an early evening of socializing, it was on to my show. well, to call it a show is pretty generous. it was basically me playing songs while craig and mandi munched pizza and threw out playful mockery. no more laundry gigs. ever. craig took the guitar and busted out a few shatter creek classics so i could eat, and then we were out. mandi the student crashed out early and craig and i found perhaps the lamest (and by claiming this extreme, coolest) bar in san francisco for our nightcap. i’ll spare you the details but i will say, i think craig wanted to ask out our 90 year old waitress. SF setlist: merge, how the story goes, coeur d’alene, let it out, passport, veggie pizza on thursday i woke up, bid craig a brief farewell, had lunch with a friend, packed the swede and rolled on to L.A. which was to be my mid-point between the bay and tucson. when i woke up at craig’s yesterday i could instantly tell there was no way i was singing that night. the first highlight of the day came when craig laid a fantastic goat cheese/spinach omelette in front of me and the second came 15 hours later when i laid my weary bones down in a bed here in phoenix. leaving los angeles took about 5 hours, just to get from the city to the burbs. the traffic defied description, so i’ll leave it to your imagination. once i got out however, the scenery got spooky in the best way. i drove through a rare arizona desert lightning storm- totally beautiful- and enjoyed the rest of the night-drive. so now i’m concentrating on making the most of my time here in the southwest, playing well, recharging my health points and continuing my booking work for march.

storking out
Written on Jan 26, 2005 at 12:37 PM

last night i played in oakland at a nice dive called the stork club. i had the pleasure of seeing a fantastic jug band (that’s right, a jug band) play after me, as well as a guy named bodhi bucci (i think) who was simply one of the finest guitarists i’ve ever seen play. stork club setlist: stardust motel, how the story goes, ohio, coeur d’alene, floater, deserter, let it out, merge, key to the city, powerlines

cali agent #1
Written on Jan 25, 2005 at 7:58 AM

i’m in san fran today, my car safely tucked away in a garage, and the sun rising over the city out of my friend mandi’s apartment window. i’ve been taking lots of pictures, and i think very soon i’ll be able to put photos on these journal entries. it’s in the works. i arrived in CA on saturday after a flight from portland. stepping out into the sun and seeing palm trees and people in shorts was quite a pleasant change. i realized i’d been pretty much freezing since last october. i spent some good time with friends in san diego and then played a show at a place called twiggs. i was struck by how similar this place was to lestats, the place i played last time. san diego setlist: merge, key to the city, powerlines, floater, how the story goes, stardust motel, the sweet unseen the next morning held breakfast at a crazy jewish deli and a pass through the antique shops down on newport at ocean beach. now reunited with my car, i drove down the freeway to los angeles. this gig was one of the more surreal i’ve played in some time. as i began following the directions, i realized i was playing outside LA in the burbs. i was the opening act for a large dixieland revivial band called the firehouse stompers. they were all amazing musicians and entertainers, and i got a real thrill out of being so out of context. the audience was more mature in years than my usual bar crowd, and they treated me with such respect that it was an honor. the fact that one night i’m playing to indie kids and the next i’m playing to retirees is a testament to the random nature of self-booking. i’m enjoying it while i’m in it. coffee gallery setlist: stardust motel, how the story goes, promise, the sweet unseen, powerlines, girl from the north country (dylan) w/tim from the stompers on drums.

portland 3
Written on Jan 22, 2005 at 12:25 AM

tonight was a house show with a twist. i played at artistery- a creativity sanctuary presided over by a swell guy named aaron. heard a ton of folks sing and play tonight..a long list. i’m tired now, but not as tired as i’ll be in 5 hours when i’m on my way to the airport. artistery setlist: powerlines, floater, how the story goes, stardust motel, sunshine (on piano)

portland 2
Written on Jan 21, 2005 at 10:53 AM

last night was my second portland hootenanny. after fuelling up with a delicious dinner at my friends eric and susan’s house (thanks again guys!) i hit the stage at imbibe for a marathon evening of tunes, including a few new things i hadn’t played before. saw lots of friends… a great night, all in all. imbibe setlist: (set 1) powerlines, how the story goes, stardust motel, something else instead, the sweet unseen, american tune (p. simon), deserter, daredevils, floater, let it out (set 2) nevermine, blind tonight, coeur d’alene, effortless, key to the city, merge, meridian, meteor shower, the great space race, sea of love (?), empire builder, centralia, building a road, for a light

portland 1
Written on Jan 20, 2005 at 9:58 AM

back in portland! the balmy weather here is apparently a marked change from ‘ice storm 2005’ that glazed the rose city this past weekend. this sets a pretty good precedent for bad weather avoidance at the tour’s start. hopefully i can keep that trend going. today is getting spent like many tour days: hunched over a keyboard working on bookings. i figure if i can get a good day of work in today i can reward myself with a trip to powell’s tomorrow. yesterday, after driving down from seattle with my sister i arrived at a newly-swankified mississippi pizza and played a nice, mellow gig to a group of friends. lewi longmire and his band played a fantastic set after me. he’s a ridiculous guitarist. ridiculous. MP setlist: merge, key to the city, powerlines, drawbridge horizon, centralia, how the story goes, the sweet unseen, falling is faster, stardust motel, floater, checking out, vancouver.

rainiest day of all ‘times’
Written on Jan 18, 2005 at 5:15 PM

the hopvine is usually a pretty cool place to play. last night it was sort of half as cool as it can be, but fun nonetheless. thanks to barbara for setting it up for me. the kid who played after me, dave hardison, was really good and funny. he had all these songs that involved a cast of guardian angels he called ‘the sun brothers’. i’m spending today rushing around seattle trying to get a bunch of unrelated errands done so i can leave town with all my personal ducks in a row. tomorrow is portland! hopvine setlist: pretty love letters, building a road, something else instead, for a light, daredevils, key to the city, merge, think too much (b) (p. simon), floater, water to wine

blowin’ in the rain
Written on Jan 18, 2005 at 5:08 PM

i’m writing from the cafe in/under elliott bay books in seattle’s pioneer square district. today my friend dave and i plowed through the EMP’s dylan exhibit, which totally kicked ass. we geeked out over hand-written and hand-typed lyrics and other amazing artifacts of all kinds. seattle has been pretty gloomy and rainy since i’ve been here, but that’s really not too unusual this time of year. i?ve been happily busy since arriving saturday morning. last night i went out to bainbridge island on a ferry to visit my old friend bret phillips and see his new studio. bret?s a musician from alaska. he?s got a great album about to come out that i left with a copy of. check out http://www.bretphillips.com. the shows saturday night were terrific. thanks goes to nate lippens for the nice write-up in ?the stranger?- it really seemed to help folks know about the gigs. the first was a show with patrick porter (or, explone, as his band is dubbed), who i?ve never really seen fail to bring it when he?s playing solo. an early highlight of the night was hearing him sing a couple of tunes with andrea maxand, the fantastic singer/songwriter whose band closed the bill. patrick?s record ?crooks? will be out soon. peep http://www.explone.com for progress reports. andrea?s record ?where the words go? was a fave of mine in germany and getting to hear her bring the heat live was a thrill. we wrapped up the evening early to make way for the showbox?s ?funk night? and got the funk out of there, headed for hattie?s hat in ballard. green room setlist: powerlines floater merge building a road wide open spaces drawbridge horizon how the story goes stardust motel hattie?s is a neighborhood haunt that i should know every crack and crevice of by now. it did feel sort of funny walking in with guitars, but all awkwardness was gone by the time we started playing. thanks to larry barrett for the hat-spitality. the room was full of friends and a nice long night of music transpired. playing songs at the end with patrick and andrea was especially fun. the highlight of the night for me was seeing an overenthusiastic explone fan catch an elbow jab from porter mid-song. P had his airspace violated and responded with a missile, the smile never leaving his face and his eyes never averting from the audience. awesome. hattie’s hat setlist: key to the city daredevils voodoo bruise/floater deserter the sweet unseen implosion out of town (explone, w/patrick and andrea) something else instead (w/patrick) nevermine NYC (interpol) blind tonight girl from the north country (dylan) flare (w/patrick) nothing is better (w/patrick) powerlines (w/patrick) slipknot song (explone, w/patrick and andrea)

we need a resolution
Written on Dec 31, 2004 at 7:27 PM

another new year’s eve, another holiday in anchorage half over. i’ve been content to spend most of my time up here just relaxing, savoring the lack of moving around in my schedule. i got out to hatcher pass north of town for some back-country skiing the other day that was fantastic. finally, after all those months…EXERCISE! last night matt and i officially closed the DOADJ shop with a pretty-much sold out show here at home. i’ve played my last few concerts in anchorage in colder venues- theaters lacking the libations and atmosphere that makes folks feel at home. last night was a success in this department. the show was at a great cafe called organic oasis. the sound was good and there was room for everyone. anchorage setlist: merge, key to the city, powerlines, floater, how the story goes, stardust motel, for a light, implosion, building a road, home is a safe place again, drawbridge horizon, vapour trail (ride), centralia this streets joint is still ruling my headphones, as well as the new U2 record, which has just enough magic in it for me to forgive them for that last awful album. so with that as my soundtrack, i’m busy getting my tour dates together so i can post them. i hit the road again on the 15th, and i’m getting pretty excited about it. i think hopper’s coming over for dinner here tonight and then it’s on to the new year’s party. everyone have a great one!

i propose a tost
Written on Dec 19, 2004 at 9:37 AM

it’s a rainy morning in seattle and i’m gulping coffee and throwing stuff in a bag, getting ready to head to the airport with hopper and katie. i’m so, so, so ready for this break. last night was a great night to end the tour with. tost lounge was packed to the gills with cheerful people and it was a pleasure to play music in seattle again. i didn’t realize it until already in the place, but i’d played there once prior with patrick and josh last year. weird. my short term venue memory has gotten a little unreliable as of late. i finished the night at a, sadly, john lemaster-free tin hat in ballard, having a few rounds with friends and family. ok- back to packing. tost setlist- merge, key to the city, powerlines, floater, how the story goes, drawbridge horizon, water to wine, stardust motel

almost there
Written on Dec 17, 2004 at 9:17 PM

i’m in spike coffeehouse- an appealingly speakeasy-ish joint in spokane, WA. i just got off the stage and hopper is doing his thing. we’ve got our last haul of the tour ahead of us tonight, navigating a foggy, frosty 1-90 back to seattle. our day brought us here from boise, ID, and included a very pleasant surprise visit with my aunt along the way. spokane setlist: merge, floater, powerlines, building a road, something else instead, stardust motel last night we played boise with exit 51 at a big ol’ sports bar. boise setlist: building a road, implosion, stardust motel, wings, water to wine, daredevils, flare, floater, voodoo bruise, key to the city, nevermine, senses. time to pound an americano and hit the road.

i need a late pass…
Written on Dec 16, 2004 at 10:45 AM

…on the following: the streets’ first album. the state of idaho. the former is brilliant and addictive and the latter is beautiful and underrated. i’m in boise this morning, running some errands, getting ready to do a little christmas shopping and whatnot. we’re playing tonight at a place called ‘crickets’. we drove here from salt lake city, where we enjoyed 2 great days with the guys in palamino. their new shawn simmons-produced EP is awesome and their live show is even better. we played a place called kilby court, which is a legendary all-ages place in town there. it was pretty bizarre. the music went down in a garage-like structure and you walked through an open area with a big firepit in the middle on your way to the merch room. it was a chilly night, so the firepit was getting plenty of attention. we shared the stage with cary judd, a great songwriter from wyoming. it was great to make his acquaintance, and i definitely hope to cross paths with him and his music again. thanks to brinton, jake, and the rest of the boys for showing us such kindness. SLC setlist: powerlines, floater, merge, key to the city, how the story goes.

poppin’ pills
Written on Dec 13, 2004 at 9:32 AM

it could be all the tylenol, but i’m feeling somewhat better this morning. we had a great day yesterday in boulder, first playing an instore at the legendary ‘albums on a hill’. this shop is presided over by a fellow named andy who knows his music. he wowed me by producing an obscure shannon worrell CD that i’d been searching for for years. AOAH setlist: stardust motel, building a road, drawbridge horizon, floater, powerlines, merge then we hustled over to a club called ‘trilogy’ (run by triplets, legend has it) for a set with specialer, our CO host brian wotring’s band. trilogy setlist: meteor shower, falling is faster, building a road, implosion, stardust motel, daredevils, floater, nevermine, just like a woman (dylan)

covering ground
Written on Dec 12, 2004 at 11:18 AM

man…on my last entry i was nowhere close to where i am now, which is boulder, CO. we played a great show in lawrence, KS on the way here, joining the billions and OK jones on a bill at the beautiful grenada theater. we only played a few songs, but the night was great anyways. lawrence setlist: powerlines, floater then we hauled to colorado, so happy to finally see mountains again. i’d grown a bit weary of the midwest and colorado seems closer to home somehow. last night we played in a little town outside of denver called golden. golden setlist: merge, key to the city, powerlines, for a light, building a road, stardust motel, guardian, something else instead. at least, that’s the best i can remember. i’m pretty under the weather, truth be told, and played last night with a fever coming on and a splitting headache. i bowed out of the late night bar gig in denver and went to sleep. i’m going to play the shows today and focus on getting better. we’re staying with friends here in boulder and they’re taking great care of us, so i’m in a good place to renew my strength.

done brothers
Written on Dec 7, 2004 at 11:32 PM

well, our mini-minne tour is over, and burr, matt, and i are all hanging out in the plush basement of the one eric distad. instruments of all stripes are out and the typical hootenanny (shameless ‘mats reference) is ensuing. tonight was a much sweeter gig at dunn bros. we had a little friendlier crowd, an extra helping hand on stage in mr. settles, and the advantage of knowing what we were in for at the venue. they were really nice to us tonight, sending us packing with tons of cookies, sandwiches and coffee. it didn’t escape my notice, however, that one of the return patrons sported a fat set of earplugs tonight. i’m not really sure how to take that as the musical act, but i guess it means that the coffee is pretty good. we spent the morning hanging out drinking coffee (even starbucks is unhatable when it’s free for your whole house) with becky and her barista roommate laura. becky easily claims the title ‘queen of academic procrastination’ for her term-paper avoidance performance while we were in her custody. we were only happy to do our duty as touring musicians and serve as distractions from her schoolwork. hopefully she got it done. we then spent a great afternoon kicking it with chris, a TC rock scribe who had given one of matt’s home-recorded joints from the wayback a glowing review years ago, and thus established a relationship with hopper which would eventually lead to him giving us a sweet tour of minneapolis today. cool how that stuff works. i was struck continuously today by the way minneapolis feels like seattle. they must be about the same size, and rallying in record shops and observing the lakes, trees etc. made me feel like i was in bizarro seattle. st. paul setlist (2nd night): powerlines, the first time (U2), floater, how the story goes, promise, drawbridge horizon, how the story goes (veggie quesedilla gratitude reprise), for a light

and so tonight we find ourselves…
Written on Dec 6, 2004 at 10:33 PM

…in the home of a generous stranger. but first, i should backtrack and fill in the story of the past few days. hopper and i arrived last night in brew-town with the windows rolled down, huffing the yeasty air as we passed the pabst headquarters. we arrived at our venue, met up with a few friends for dinner, and then played our second night with the downtown brown. these guys are really a top-notch crew. it was a pleasure to get to see them do their thing. milwaukee setlist: stardust motel, implosion, building a road, wide open spaces, falling is faster, nevermine, key to the city, NYC (interpol) today we had breakfast at a funky diner in east town, savoring the midwest’s sweetest literary fruit: free paper copies of the onion piled high in every establishment. after prowling around a weird americana/junk shop that specialized in toys (my old battlestar galactica ‘starbuck’ jigsaw puzzle is worth how much!?!?) and records (my favorite: 1959’s record of the year, ‘songs for hand-jiving’, complete with a would-be participant’s illustrated guide to the action), we revved up the blazer and drove to st. paul. after a long drive through thick fog and snow-touched fields, narrowly escaping run-ins with radar-wielding cops and kwik stop’s current ‘glazers’ donut special, we arrived at twin city #2, and our gig at a college student hangout-style coffeehouse. it was sort of a rough night onstage. no one was really paying attention and neither of us were in much of a mood to fight the apathetic cacophony. st. paul setlist (first night): merge, everything must go, key to the city, do you ever, effortless, blind tonight, building a road, something else instead, stardust motel as the night wore down, we were approached by the nicest person in the room, our new friend becky. after matt and i made a pathetic bit of conversation with becky about how we had no place to stay, she graciously offered us the hospitality we’re now enjoying; we even get christmas cookies! an odd note to stuttgart friends- becky once lived in plenningen. weird, eh? thanks to becky and her roommates for putting the DOADJ troops up for the night. hopefully tomorrow night will be a little kinder to us at the coffeehouse, as we’re in the midst of a two night stand. extra-special props go out to eric distad for both his set tonight and the delicious homebrew i’m sipping on. well done, eric

Written on Dec 5, 2004 at 2:18 PM

so madison, wisconsin is a pretty sweet town. the main drag, state street, runs from the central capital building and is lined with great cafes, shops, restaurants, etc. i’ve spent the afternoon here with the BP boys, hopper, and our friend kate. got a little christmas shopping done, and now we’re about to pack up for the next gig. last night’s show was sort of a ramshackle affair. we were supposed to play a place called montemarte, which would have been great, but the booker quit and all the gigs got cancelled…that story again. anyhow, we wound up piled onto a big ol’ bill and only getting a few minutes to play. tonight should be better. madison setlist: daredevils, floater, merge, key to the city

going back to greenville…
Written on Dec 3, 2004 at 10:10 AM

…i doubt this is the greenville lucinda was singing about, but it’s a pretty good one anyway. we played a college gig last night with a singer-songwriter named caleb engstrom, who tore it up with his band at the end of the show. these kids have it made- there’s a full-on rock venue set up in the student union building, completely laced with a fat PA, rock lights, and the tallest drum riser i’ve ever seen in my entire life. when jason (from the boxer program) was up there playing, he was definitely breathing thin air. the BP made me an even bigger fan last night. they sounded terrific, with country matt tipton in fine form, stomping his way through the set. after the show we went to a recording studio in the music building and recorded, hootenanny-style, until 3 am. tonight we roll to chicago for a visit with friends en route to wisconsin for more gigs with the program and others. greenville college setlist: wide open spaces, building a road, drawbridge horizon, water to wine, stardust motel, floater, powerlines.

ill noise
Written on Dec 2, 2004 at 1:11 PM

aaahh…rocking again! i’m in springfield, IL in a crappy little starbucks, cranking up the owen record in my headphones to drown out the christmas music. i’m right next to the capital building, which is quite beautiful. this midwest weather is chilly, as advertised. man. good thing we packed the jackets and hats. last night we played the first show with the mighty boxer program- comrades of ours on hatcher pass records. jason and matt turned out to be, unsurprisingly, awesome guys and really cool musicians. matt tipton is a woody guthrie disciple, and writes these really interesting folk tunes stepped in woody’s idiomatic ways. jason is the drummer, and his touches were perfect throughout the set. when hopper and i arrived, tipton was dealing with the news that the soundguy had flaked, so we were without a PA. he’s teaching music at a high school in town, so he and jason rolled over in the boxer van and liberated a massive old keyboard amp from the school’s music room. i believe the children are the future…and i thank them for their contribution to last night’s gig. tonight we play greenville college. same lineup, more fun- that’s my prediction. springfield setlist: merge, key to the city, effortless, blind tonight, too much to hold, how the story goes, stardust motel, implosion, girl from the north country (dylan) w/ the boxer program

on holiday
Written on Nov 27, 2004 at 2:48 PM

we’re taking advantage of a little lull in the program to enjoy a holiday break here in columbus, OH. i spent thanksgiving in PA, and then matt and i pulled a hit-and-run on the quiet storm in pittsburgh, hitting town long enough to rock and then, literally, roll. quiet storm setlist: stardust motel, building a road, love and lovers, drawbridge horizon, something else instead, daredevils, floater, powerlines.

bling free in ann arbor
Written on Nov 22, 2004 at 12:31 PM

i’m in ann arbor, spending an afternoon working at my friend kim’s crib. we played a really cozy living room show last night. i really wish i could do more gigs like that- it was so comfortable and fun. we’re officially on thanksgiving break now. we’ll be traveling to PA to see friends and then play pittsburgh on friday. ann arbor is a really pretty little town. it’s crisp and clear here today and walking around after breakfast, kim took me to an incredible record store. i picked up a limited edition mixtape by local dj, dj graffiti. check him out at http://www.djgraffiti.com. hiscock house setlist: powerlines, floater, merge, how the story goes, stardust motel, falling is faster, the great space race, building a road, for a light.

house party!
Written on Nov 21, 2004 at 2:06 PM

matt and i just rolled into ann arbor michigan, where tonight we’ll play a house party at a place with a name that makes you feel naughty to say. but that’s the name of the street, so that’s that. the killers record (hot fuss) is still the tour’s unofficial go-to disc. we just don’t seem to get tired of it. our car is bulging with great CDs picked up from artists we’ve played with, so there’s always new stuff to listen to as well. i’m definitely looking forward to assembling a comp or two at the end of the tour. we had a great time in grand rapids performing at a really cool bookstore. it was like a big barnes and noble kinda thing with a music hall in the back. we played in-the-round with the town’s pride, singer-songwriter drew nelson. matt and drew go back some years, so it was a nice reunion for them. we wound up having a sweet show and enjoyed great company that night and spent the next day lingering over a late breakfast, hitting a great record store (vertigo), sipping a pint at a local brewery and swapping tunes in drew’s living room. grand rapids setlist: powerlines, floater, merge, building a road, stardust motel, for a light, centralia. primed by some quality guitar-geek chat with drew, i’m hoping to get to the legendary elderly instruments store in lansing tomorrow. fondling some vintage martins is always therapeutic.

oh…hi, yo!
Written on Nov 18, 2004 at 1:14 PM

in the cans: the beautiful struggle, talib kweli greene. at long last. oh, snap! the neptunes cut (broken glass) is hot to death! no surprises there… we’re in dayton, OH today, working some kinks out of our last month’s schedule. we’re dealing with a couple of last minute canellations this week- tonight’s gig and saturday’s fell victim to promoter/money issues. why is it that when a booking person at a club gets fired or quits, the management always unceremoniously dumps all confirmed bookings that person had booked? this practice has long been made me peevish…what gives? on the bright side, we played a nice intimate gig last night with local popsters reutschle. we’re enjoying time here in dayton hanging with andy ingram, the man behind poptek records (www.poptek.com). setlist: merge, key to the city, nevermine, floater, lightning, building a road, for a light.

back to college
Written on Nov 17, 2004 at 8:49 AM

we had a great last night romping about NYC seeing music, meeting friends new and old, and checking out the myriad venues that might be good to try to book in the future. i had the pleasure of catching a local songwriter named richard julian performing at the living room who was simply outstanding. it was one of the finest performances i’ve seen all year. check him out at http://www.richardjulian.com. matt and i played a wonderful show here in meadville, PA at allegheny college last night. matt’s music was already in rotation on WARC, the school’s radio station, so the show was really well-attended and organized. we performed in the campus center coffeehouse with local punks ‘ready, set, die’ opening. they’re a loveable, colorful bunch of lads who showed us some sweet nightlife post-gig. we wound up at a cozy dive called the penny bar which had some of the most amazing art comprised entirely of- you guessed it- pennies. matt and i played pool there, hung out and relaxed before retiring to our rock star suite at the motel 6. WARC setlist- powerlines, floater, merge, key to the city, stardust motel, implosion, home is a safe place again.

R.I.P. ODB
Written on Nov 15, 2004 at 3:34 PM

location: a cafe on west third, east village. on the stereo here: the mighty mos definitely- the new danger (my broke self’s first listen). on the agenda for tonight: hitting an open mic at the sidewalk cafe. we’re using a couple of spare days to keep soaking up NYC and play open mics. meeting folks, having meals, exploring the neighborhoods, and just breathing the city in. that’s what i’ve been up to. that and frantically working on keeping the booking going. i’m now laying the groundwork for another month of solo touring, 1/15-2/25, down the west coast and through the south. gotta keep the engine running…. we had a great gig the other night at the apocaplypse lounge, made memorable by the presence of a fully nude man in the audience- definitely a first. lots of friends turned out and it was a fun show. AL setlist: stardust motel, building a road, implosion, election day, merge, key to the city, flare.

let it snow!
Written on Nov 12, 2004 at 11:25 AM

boston- dan coleron’s apartment. matt and dan are working out a keyboard arrangement to a new hopper song and i’m on the couch furiously pounding my laptop and fielding the DOADJ phone calls. we played portland, ME last night with good alaskan friend steven bacon. all 4 of us did a songwriter-in-the-round type of thing for a really great audience. we did lots of collaborative/improv playing and singing, which is always fun. portland setlist (at least my stuff)- powerlines, floater, merge, building a road, wide open spaces w/ everyone playing, stardust motel, encore: girl from the north country (dylan) w/ everyone. dan and steven are both doing great things with their music. check the family page later today for links to their stuff. snow is flying outside and it’s beautiful. east coast city streets look magnificent under the white stuff, to my eyes. i can’t believe it that matt and i have made it from the desert to a snowstorm on this tour. we’ve really covered some ground at this point. we’re heading into brooklyn soon to play the first of two NYC gigs this weekend. i can’t wait to be back in the city.

from spanish harlem
Written on Nov 10, 2004 at 10:16 AM

it’s a gorgeous morning in new york city. i’m on the couch of my good friend thomas, listening to matt croon wilco tunes and admiring the handsome manhattan skyline looming out the window. last night was such a great time. i had friends turn up from all over- stuttgart to AK. the venue we played, kenny’s castaways, was a really cool room on bleecker in greenwich village. the sound was great (thanks, mike) and scott meyers, our host performer, played a nice set of folk after us. thomas steered our crew to a soul food themed diner after the show for conversation and grub. T and matt and i stayed up until 4, making out with the night. after visiting a couple of classic village dives we spent a good amount of time at a hipster joint called ‘happy endings’ that was packed full of people so hip it hurt to look at them. i felt like i was viewing some sort of exhibit at a pop-culture zoo. it sounds icky, but it was actually a lot of fun! KC setlist- powerlines, floater, merge, key to the city, stardust motel, building a road. today the plan is to go to boston, a logical stop over on our haul out to maine, and hang out with my friend joran, who’s been making tantalizing allusions to a homecooked meal this morning. but first, we’re going to head out with thomas and get some food and soak up a bit of the city.

turn on the bright lights
Written on Nov 9, 2004 at 5:09 AM

i’m up way too early, but i’m excited- we’re heading to new york today! i’ve been looking forward to it for so long… matt and i have been hanging out in DC (er, arlington) with my aunt, uncle and cousin, being tourists and taking care of some work on the car. apparently we had a tire that was about one spin away from blowing out, so we’re breathing easier knowing that disaster was averted. we visited the new smithsonian air and space wing out near the airport. i was a big airplane dork as a youth, and when i’m in a hanger full of historically significant/vintage airplanes i turn into a 9 year old kid again. we wound up being guests of the one michelle malone last night at a beautiful club called ‘iota’, which i would love to play myself some day. i hadn’t seen her since last winter, and it sounded like they hadn’t skipped a night since. michelle and her drummer conducted an ass-kicking clinic- if you’ve never seen her live, you owe it to yourself to fix that. she’s just got that ‘i’ve been doing this every night of my life’ kind of swagger in her performance that’s such a pleasure to experience. this morning i put up a new section on the site that i’ve been working on. it’s a guide to the performers i’ve shared stages with on this tour. check it out——————————————————————–> i’m still missing a few web sites, so if you’ve got ’em, let me know. also, if i’ve somehow forgotten anyone, please tell me. i’ve met so many people in the past few months that it’s tough to keep it all straight.

“whasssub?!?”
Written on Nov 7, 2004 at 8:56 AM

this is the question posed by the brilliant marketers of royal farms gas stations to get you to buy their sandwiches. these gas stations just keep getting better the more we’re out here. we’re outside of philly this morning, sipping coffee from dunkin’ donuts with my friend kate. kate’s now a teacher at a dead poets society-style boarding school out here in the country (pottstown, to be exact). we played a really fun show last night, rocking out in the largest room i’ve ever played music in. they had a stage set up in this gymnasium and the rock star echo was irresistible. hopper and i were letting off long notes that pretty much sailed to delaware on waves of natural reverb. awesome. and by awesome, i mean totally sweet. the hill school setlist: stardust motel, building a road, implosion, fear not, floater, flare, key to the city, NYC (interpol)

“Dude, I had a huge breakthrough tomorrow!”
Written on Nov 6, 2004 at 10:29 AM

this brilliant quote can be attributed to the one matt hopper, who is hungrily tucking into a piece of the best damn pecan pie ever made (thanks again, rodney). he was talking about his journal-writing, actually, so you should see what he’s up to over at his site. we’re at our new friend dave’s crib now, getting ready to head to PA for our show at the hill school. i’m actually going to skip waxing about the west virginia gig- i have a sneaking suspicion that matt handled that. suffice it to say, it was a long, colorful night and i can honestly say i’ve never been to a place quite like that state. charleston setlist: passport, remedies, north, wide open spaces, girl from the north country (dylan), miles (j. wood), skyway (p. westerberg), building a road, home is a safe place again we pulled out of charleston early and drove all day through gorgeous virginia hill country to get to baltimore. the discovery of the day was a feakish space-age gas station called ‘sheetz’. when you go to sheetz for food, you order it at a touch-sensitive terminal (like the e-ticket thing at the airport). there, you decide whether or not you want ‘friez’ or ‘onion ringz’ with whatever you choose to order from their fine selection of ‘subz’, ‘meltz’, and our favorite- ‘shmagelz’. shmagelz are sheetz’s trademark bagel melts, and i don’t know about you, but when i’m ordering a bagel melt at a gas station in west virginia, i demand that a very high culinary standard be met. i have to say that i wasn’t too impressed with what i got. but the brilliance of the sheetz design seems to be that one is so blinded by the overwhelming modern plastic architecture, the neon colors, the MTO (made to order) nature of the food, etc. that one doesn’t notice that what they’re putting in their mouth would merit attention from a haz-mat team if someone left it too close to a clean creek. ok, so moving on… we arrived in baltimore and bumbled our way through rush hour traffic to our first gig of the night. DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS PIES folks. that’s the name of the joint- remember it. run by a hard-rocking, wise-cracking pie-master named rodney, this place is one of the coolest joints i’ve ever played. rodney is dedicated wholly to his parallel passions- music and pie- and it’s inspiring to be around. i sampled the sweet potato and pecan pies, and they were out of this world. we played this gig with two locals- kristin puchinski, an old friend of mine from texas, and andrew grimm, a new acquaintance. both of these artists totally rule. as soon as i have time i’m going to update my links page with all these new artists. kristin’s other gig that night (baltimore musicians apparently play no fewer than two gigs per night) was in a simon + garfunkel tribute act, which if you know me well at all, you know i heartily approve of! kristin and i even sang ‘homeward bound’ together in her set, which was a lot of fun. DDP setlist: merge, key to the city, do you ever, blind tonight, building a road, stardust motel we hated to leave the pie shop, but we too had to race over to mum’s, a comfortable downtown dive, for our second show. props to brian at mum’s for running the show and making it all happen. we had a great time playing- it was a really nice, loose show- and we also had the pleasure of hearing andrew crank it up and rock out with his band for the last set of the night. local tradition mandated that we imbibe in a lithuanian liquor called, appropriately enough, ‘evil’. as in, “i’ll take a shot of evil, please.” yeah. a hot makeout session with the night ensued. mum’s setlist: daredevils, floater, fear not (hopper on drums!!!), powerlines, election day, something else instead, promise, little mascara (p. westerberg) w/ andrew grimm on harmonica)

onward
Written on Nov 4, 2004 at 8:03 AM

last day in raleigh. in headphones: amanda cecilia (elliott smith), in cup: lots of coffee, in white house: more of the same, in my immediate future: gig in west virginia. we’ve had a good rest here in raleigh, spending quality time with all kinds of new friends. joe, DJ, tim, inga (a crazy greyhound), and ryan have all taken us in, and to them we’re grateful. perhaps the only sour note of the whole stay here came last night when joe and i popped in the new DVD of return of the jedi to confirm the awful rumor that darth lucas had further desecrated his once-great film by adding the ‘new’ annakin to the final victory scene. the rumors are true. joe and i felt sick and wished we’d never looked. don’t look, kids. just don’t. on the subject of films, i have seen a few winners lately. let me offer some brief reviews- about schmidt- awesome eternal sunshine of the spotless mind- awesome bubba ho-tep- awesome hellboy- awesome we used a night off tuesday to play an open mic in cary. this was pretty fun and gave us a chance to sell a few CDs, meet a few folks, etc. hops and i played a place in chapel hill called the cavern tavern (the cave) last night. this place ruled. it was exactly as the name promised- dirt on the floor and low rippling stone ceilings. chapel hill is much more of a bustling college town than raleigh and we played right next to campus. cave setlist: falling is faster, the great space race, building a road, wide open spaces, promise, stardust motel, how the story goes, the hardest day, drawbridge horizon, water to wine, hovering.

gimme a break
Written on Nov 1, 2004 at 1:08 PM

the tour has come to a welcome pit stop in beautiful raleigh, north carolina. the weather here is perfect, the people are wonderful, and our first show was a lovely event. we played friday night with local indie-rockers ‘the radio silence’ at the bickett gallery. the bickett is a great art space and the vibe for a show was perfect. check for photos in the gallery soon. we’ll be here through wednesday when we have a show in nearby chapel hill. bickett setlist: stardust motel, building a road, floater, merge, key to the city, flare, powerlines

SC-ya
Written on Oct 28, 2004 at 7:20 PM

nice venue, no crowd. hops just dropped a 40 minute delay-pedal bomb on an audience uninterested in music. more power to him. looking forward to the bickett gallery. columbia setlist: merge, key to the city, nevermine, blind tonight, storytaker, how the story goes, the leaning life, stardust motel, blue eyes blind, something else instead, empire builder.

ATLiens
Written on Oct 28, 2004 at 10:18 AM

who would have known that toccoa, GA would be the home of such cool folks and the site of such a cool show? matt and i rolled into town after a long drive from nashville last night and joined locals, the sang as they slew, for a coffeehouse performance for an attentive room full of folks. given our recent stretch of listless/non-existent bar crowds, this was definitely one of the good ones. we came out of the night feeling excited and musically refreshed. today we’re hanging with jordan and nicole, our hosts here, eating some lunch and taking care of some business before heading to south carolina. toccoa setlist: stardust motel, implosion, building a road, for a light, merge, key to the city.

Written on Oct 28, 2004 at 10:18 AM
nash bash
Written on Oct 27, 2004 at 9:00 AM

we’ve emerged from the deep south with all kinds of new experiences and observations under our collective belt. we played a nice place in birmingham called the moonlight cafe night before last. we were the ‘guests of honor’ at their open mic night. sometimes on gigs early in the week this is how it goes. a good time was had by all and we enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of mr. moonlight himself, the one keith harrelson. b-ham setlist: powerlines, floater, merge, key to the city, stardust motel, water to wine. hops and i had a day off between birmingham and today’s show in georgia so we decided to pay nashville a visit. it was terrific to see the scenery finally start showing signs of autumn as we drove north through alabama into the hills of TN. it’s a great town. we linked with anchorage homie agnes barton-sabo (the artist responsible for the DOADJT posters and buttons) and signed up for an open mic. we went to the douglas corner- a classic nashville establishment with a classic open mic. i felt like i was in one of those movies from the 1970’s about the struggles of country songwriters. there are apparently no fewer than 10 million in the city, and most were at the douglas corner last night. hops and i got up and did our thing and then proceeded on to a long night on the town, elvis masks and all. douglas set: floater, key to the city

stuck inside of mobile with the _____ blues again
Written on Oct 24, 2004 at 12:50 AM

fill in the blank, folks. it’s been a crazy couple of days on the DOADJ campaign trail. we fought baseball all the way through texas (even playing in houston the night of the seventh NLCS game involving some local astros) and then weathered a crazy (a wonderfully vague and euphemistic word to describe complete bedlam) morning trying to get off to mississippi on time (didn’t happen)…but we’re doing alright now. hanging with our new friend james here in mobile, AL. houston setlist: stardust motel, building a road, centralia, passport, implosion, for a light, girl from the north country (dylan). we headed out of houston into the wilds of louisiana yesterday morning, and ultimately wound up in jackson, mississippi. once there, we deposited our tired asses into the gracious care of the one eric straecener (i know i’m spelling that wrong). eric is jackson’s finest singer/songwriter/dad/trial lawyer/husband, and matt and i were honored and relieved to be in his custody for the duration of our stay in the city. big shout outs to stacy, will the thrill, and little polly. everything about jackson was warm and fuzzy. a terrific article was written about us in the local press (see the articles section of the site) and eric was even game to jam on tunes he didn’t know. lots of fun. we headed out of dodge on highway 49 with eric’s tune of the same name blasting from the speakers. jackson setlist: stardust motel, implosion, building a road, merge, girl from the north country (dylan, with eric), wide open spaces (with eric), nevermine, key to the city, nyc (interpol, w/ eric), meteor shower, how the story goes, crawling back to you (t. petty, w/ eric) tonight we played satori sound in mobile- a totally rad little venue that was, unfortunately, totally empty tonight. i believe the nearby state fair got the blame this time. rome, our venue’s host, was a super dude and made sure that what few folks were there had a good time, matt and i included. mobile setlist: powerlines, dead soldier, merge, everything must go, wide open spaces, how the story goes.

houston, we have a hopper
Written on Oct 21, 2004 at 11:03 AM

matt and i are laptopping it again at common grounds this morning, savoring the company of jill m. and the taste of some coffee. we’ll continue doing battle against the evil forces of major league baseball on television tonight in houston. waco setlist: powerlines, floater, merge, key to the city, nevermine, stardust motel, building a road, falling is faster, for a light, town by the sea, how the story goes, american tune (simon)

yo, dessa!
Written on Oct 20, 2004 at 3:33 PM

i’m in west texas tonight, hanging with mike, the man who brought hopper and me to odessa, reeling from a busy 30 hours of touring. we played a very lightly attended show last night in albuquerque which was totally redeemed by the fact that those in attendance stuck around and were really into the show. big props to our new friend jake for all the love he showed us. albuquerque setlist: stardust motel, building a road, implosion, for a light, american tune (p. simon), little mascara (p. westerberg), wide open spaces, merge, key to the city, sunshine, home is a safe place again, blue eyes blind, how the story goes, tin whistle, traveling outside. today we drove through…well, through a whole lot of nothing. the towns of roswell and carlsbad have their own little tourist lures that we had neither the time nor money to indulge in, but beyond these small distractions, it was open road and endless horizons today. we arrived at hipsters coffeehouse in odessa to find a friendly room full of musicians, music fans, and welcoming vibes. i played a set and then matt played. matt just gets better and better each night. we (mike and i) coaxed a few old chestnuts out of him (westchester lagoon, peculiar face) that made his set special. he’s really been in his element these past three nights. where i get frustrated fighting loud, apathetic bar crowds, matt fights and wins with zeal and determination. i’ve found myself thinking, ‘didn’t i use to do that?’ but my music is different now, and that’s how it is. anyways, tonight was one of the good ones for both of us. a really nice, intimate show with a wonderfully attentive audience which turned out to be made up of great folks. i feel great about the evening. odessa setlist: powerlines, floater, merge, key to the city, stardust motel, implosion, building a road

don’t call it a comeback
Written on Oct 20, 2004 at 3:32 PM

as i write this i’m sweating the kind of sweat that can only be sweated in the gnarly humidity of waco, tx. but it’s all good, because tonight i get to play at one of my favorite venues anywhere- common grounds. happily, ten years after i first played here with jeremy boyd, the venue is still under the superstar management of the one jill mashburn. arriving in waco and finding the show well promoted and advertised, with press and postering both accomplished and my name on the marquee was definitely a lift to the spirits. last night we played austin in a sort of random venue- some sort of wack sports bar. some friends and fam came by though, and it wound up being a nice night. matt cracked us all up with an improvisational rant directed at the loud baseball fans in the room. we played again with chris mcfarland and got treated to some nice pedal steel during his set. culinary note: if you ever eat sushi at ‘sake on 6th’, you might want to request that they don’t put nacho queso on your rolls. seriously wack. austin setlist: key to the city, merge, floater, nothing is better, how the story goes, stardust motel, water to wine, wings, vapour trail (ride)

club nada
Written on Oct 19, 2004 at 8:15 AM

well, matt and i played our first outright bomb of a show last night. we were kind of trying to cheat the odds and play on a monday night in a big city and it just didn’t happen. dada is a beautiful club, so it was pretty surprising to see it empty. we performed our sets for an ‘intimate’ and ‘exclusive’ audience, if you catch my meaning. dallas setlist: for a light, implosion, how the story goes, tin whistle, drawbridge horizon, merge, key to the city. here’s to a better gig in austin tonight. in the meantime, i’m enjoying seeing family, sleeping in a real bed (matt’s still savoring this as i write), and looking forward to a couple of days with shorter drives. the highlight of the evening was meeting (and subsequently rallying with) our new homie brett from local rock outfit pleasant grove. word on the street is that they’re, without question, the best band in dallas. check them out when you get a chance.

yo, dessa!
Written on Oct 17, 2004 at 10:03 PM

i’m in west texas tonight, hanging with mike, the man who brought hopper and me to odessa, reeling from a busy 30 hours of touring. we played a very lightly attended show last night in albuquerque which was totally redeemed by the fact that those in attendance stuck around and were really into the show. big props to our new friend jake for all the love he showed us. albuquerque setlist: stardust motel, building a road, implosion, for a light, american tune (p. simon), little mascara (p. westerberg), wide open spaces, merge, key to the city, sunshine, home is a safe place again, blue eyes blind, how the story goes, tin whistle, traveling outside. today we drove through…well, through a whole lot of nothing. the towns of roswell and carlsbad have their own little tourist lures that we had neither the time nor money to indulge in, but beyond these small distractions, it was open road and endless horizons today. we arrived at hipsters coffeehouse in odessa to find a friendly room full of musicians, music fans, and welcoming vibes. i played a set and then matt played. matt just gets better and better each night. we (mike and i) coaxed a few old chestnuts out of him (westchester lagoon, peculiar face) that made his set special. he’s really been in his element these past three nights. where i get frustrated fighting loud, apathetic bar crowds, matt fights and wins with zeal and determination. i’ve found myself thinking, ‘didn’t i use to do that?’ but my music is different now, and that’s how it is. anyways, tonight was one of the good ones for both of us. a really nice, intimate show with a wonderfully attentive audience which turned out to be made up of great folks. i feel great about the evening. odessa setlist: powerlines, floater, merge, key to the city, stardust motel, implosion, building a road

can tina what?
Written on Oct 16, 2004 at 7:34 PM

just polished off an incredible dinner at pearl’s dive in albuquerque, nm. matt and i are having a coffee in an internet cafe just before our gig at the atomic cantina. last night we played this great old hotel’s bar in flagstaff, az. the night was a fun one and i met some really great folks. the drive today was simply gorgeous- cloud formations that matched the mesas beneath them the whole way. i kept looking for airwolf…matt didn’t understand. it’s nice to be in a slightly cooler climate now. walking around downtown here feels really pleasant. what else…listened to the new joseph arthur record- it’s a dark beauty. ok, time to go rock… flagstaff setlist: passport, drawbridge horizon, water to wine, for a light, sparkle and speed, building a road, stardust motel, daredevils, merge, key to the city, nevermine, senses, sea of love.

can tina what?
Written on Oct 16, 2004 at 7:33 PM

just polished off an incredible dinner at pearl’s dive in albequerque, nm. matt and i are having a coffee in an internet cafe just before our gig at the atomic cantina. last night we played this great old hotel’s bar in flagstaff, az. the night was a fun one and i met some really great folks. the drive today was simply gorgeous- cloud formations that matched the mesas beneath them the whole way. i kept looking for airwolf…matt didn’t understand. it’s nice to be in a slightly cooler climate now. walking around downtown here feels really pleasant. what else…listened to the new joseph arthur record- it’s a dark beauty. ok, time to go rock… flagstaff setlist: passport, drawbridge horizon, water to wine, for a light, sparkle and speed, building a road, stardust motel, daredevils, merge, key to the city, nevermine, senses, sea of love.

under the tucson sun
Written on Oct 14, 2004 at 9:18 PM

i’m back in the same joint hops and i played last night here in sunny tucson, az. it’s a lovely little diner/lounge called the red room. downtown tucson really reminds me of anchorage, oddly enough. we have a day off today that is so far being spent doing a bunch of promo work for the tour. we’ll head back to phoenix in the afternoon and then play flagstaff on friday. the next few weeks are going to be a thick stretch of gigging, but the past few nights have me excited about it. red room setlist: a haunting, princesses, effortless, too much to hold, key to the city, NYC (interpol), nevermine, daredevils, crime, out of town (porter), implosion, stardust motel, guardian, love and lovers, sea of love (phillips?)

under the tucson sun
Written on Oct 14, 2004 at 9:17 PM

a thick stretch of gigging, but the past few nights have me excited about it. red room setlist: a haunting, princesses, effortless, too much to hold, key to the city, NYC (interpol), nevermine, daredevils, crime, out of town (porter), implosion, stardust motel, guardian, love and lovers, sea of love (phillips?)

under the tucson sun
Written on Oct 14, 2004 at 9:15 PM
under the tucson sun
Written on Oct 14, 2004 at 1:17 PM

i’m back in the same joint hops and i played last night here in sunny tucson, az. it’s a lovely little diner/lounge called the red room. downtown tucson really reminds me of anchorage, oddly enough. we have a day off today that is so far being spent doing a bunch of promo work for the tour. we’ll head back to phoenix in the afternoon and then play flagstaff on friday. the next few weeks are going to be a thick stretch of gigging, but the past few nights have me excited about it. red room setlist: a haunting, princesses, effortless, too much to hold, key to the city, NYC (interpol), nevermine, daredevils, crime, out of town (porter), implosion, stardust motel, guardian, love and lovers, sea of love (phillips?)

Other Desert Cities
Written on Oct 13, 2004 at 7:39 PM

I’m hanging out in phoenix with my good friend adam, well-rested after a rare night in a real bed and enjoying a fat cup of coffee. hopper and i had a great day yesterday. we pushed out of LA around noon and steered the jimmy through 95 degree heat, swilling gatorade and singing our faces off. the new explone record sounds great in the desert, pat. good job! by the time we got to phoenix (apologies to jimmy webb) we found the venue in short order and set up. we played modified arts- a beautiful art gallery/performance space run by a beautiful person named leslie. all the acts on the bill were great and everyone was so nice to us. the night was very satisfying- great sound, great audience, great atmosphere, etc. we left more than the usual amount of CDs in our wake, which is always a welcome happening. i can’t wait to come back. modified setlist: stardust motel, building a road, promise, daredevils, floater, fear not, powerlines. a highlight of both the night and the tour was the headlining band’s performance. they’re called the letterpress, and they’re baaaadasses. two bass players and a drummer and dual vocals. somehow they’ve managed to take what could be a novelty setup and make it absolutely beautiful and natural. no pedals or funny business either- just astounding playing arranged with the utmost care. unfortunately, they’re playing just one more show together. catch them while you can. we ended the night with friends both new and old at a cozy little joint called the emerald lounge. time to drive to tucson.

Written on Oct 13, 2004 at 11:23 AM
rocking the cafeteria
Written on Oct 10, 2004 at 8:20 PM

just played a nice party for a friend of both matt and myself here in LA. he knows us both from the wayback, so we had to polish up the old stuff. setlist: meteor shower, falling is faster, implosion, passport, merge, nevermine, powerlines, drifters, american tune (p. simon), stardust motel, how the story goes, home is a safe place again. california lasts another day for us, and it’s a day off. i’m excited to do laundry. really excited. matt and i have a bunch of booking work to bang out, but i’m hoping to see the beach at some point. i think i’m just a few miles away from it. i’ve been moving around so much i’m not really in touch with my surroundings…a weird sensation.

harbored by ninjas
Written on Oct 10, 2004 at 8:14 PM

san diego setlist: stardust motel, building a road, falling is faster, the first time (U2), floater, merge, key to the city. mad props to my kid roy for the mat at his dojo, yo.

so glad to meet you…
Written on Oct 10, 2004 at 8:12 PM

i’m in los angeles now, at hopper’s old abode. the last twinkle of an interpol/dave navarro episode of conan is fading from the screen of the front room’s tv, and i’m trying to make some sense of the past few days. i should just stop trying. every day of my life for the next 2 months will have its own unique set of rules, restrictions, gifts and customs, and the first week has established this ‘pattern’. i should say, first off, that i’ve met such wonderful folks so far at every stop…the musicians i’ve played with and the people listening have been so sweet. last night i was in a place called roseville. it’s outside of sacramento. i thought i’d be in the sacramento of eight is enough’s ‘bradford’ fame, but i was actually in what my good friend bret phillips would have once referred to as ‘small town USA’. oh, and if you use mapquest to try to get there, be sure to use the zip code. otherwise you’ll end up..well, wherever the hell i did when i used the wack mapquest route and lost 2 hours looking for an address that didn’t exist. by the way, mandi told me that ‘tommy’ bradford has now become a fake muscle-suited christian superhero arena performer…it’s a weird world. i played with liani moore and her band, who were fantastic. i’m definitely looking forward to playing with her again- she’s awesome. unfortunately, the venue was less than accomodating, but all in attendance were supportive. roseville setlist: merge, key to the city, floater, powerlines, tthe great space race, building a road, american tune (p. simon) today, i drove 10 hours…yeesh. in california heat and northwest corduroys, this makes for a long day. i left reno in the early AM, and arrived in LA just in time to battle the most brutal freeway traffic i’ve ever encountered for 2 solid hours. eventually, after much cell pnone assistance from hopper, i arrived at the elusive west holllywood address of the hotel cafe. the room is so beautiful…i truly hope i can play there again. unfortunately, i played for a very limited audience, and i did it frazzled from driving. all in all, it felt like i drove a very long distance for a very short time on stage which no one is likely to remember, but that could just be my cynical state speaking right now. overall, the show was a good one- hometown heroes matt and kate had a large crowd and a great time was had by all, myself included. hotel cafe setlist: for a light, building a road, something else instead, floater, merge, key to the city, the bends (radiohead) tomorrow night we play san diego. i’m anxious to see if i can avoid getting my car towed in most cities in america. —ok, just paused to go watch marilyn manson’s interview on the carson daly (!) show—i just see him as this incredibly intelligent guy with an incredibly distorted sense of self-importance, and tonight’s segment kept that view intact. more from san diego, i suppose…

so glad to meet you
Written on Oct 9, 2004 at 1:53 AM

i’m in los angeles now, at hopper’s old abode. the last twinkle of an interpol/dave navarro episode of conan is fading from the screen of the front room’s tv, and i’m trying to make some sense of the past few days. i should just stop trying. every day of my life for the next 2 months will have its own unique set of rules, restrictions, gifts and customs, and the first week has established this ‘pattern’. i should say, first off, that i’ve met such wonderful folks so far at every stop…the musicians i’ve played with and the people listening have been so sweet. last night i was in a place called roseville. it’s outside of sacramento. i thought i’d be in the sacramento of eight is enough’s ‘bradford’ fame, but i was actually in what my good friend bret phillips would have once referred to as ‘small town USA’. oh, and if you use mapquest to try to get there, be sure to use the zip code. otherwise you’ll end up..well, wherever the hell i did when i used the wack mapquest route and lost 2 hours looking for an address that didn’t exist. by the way, mandi told me that ‘tommy’ bradford has now become a fake muscle-suited christian superhero arena performer…it’s a weird world. i played with liani moore and her band, who were fantastic. i’m definitely looking forward to playing with her again- she’s awesome. unfortunately, the venue was less than accomodating, but all in attendance were supportive. roseville setlist: merge, key to the city, floater, powerlines, tthe great space race, building a road, american tune (p. simon) today, i drove 10 hours…yeesh. in california heat and northwest corduroys, this makes for a long day. i left reno in the early AM, and arrived in LA just in time to battle the most brutal freeway traffic i’ve ever encountered for 2 solid hours. eventually, after much cell pnone assistance from hopper, i arrived at the elusive west holllywood address of the hotel cafe. the room is so beautiful…i truly hope i can play there again. unfortunately, i played for a very limited audience, and i did it frazzled from driving. all in all, it felt like i drove a very long distance for a very short time on stage which no one is likely to remember, but that could just be my cynical state speaking right now. overall, the show was a good one- hometown heroes matt and kate had a large crowd and a great time was had by all, myself included. hotel cafe setlist: for a light, building a road, something else instead, floater, merge, key to the city, the bends (radiohead) tomorrow night we play san diego. i’m anxious to see if i can avoid getting my car towed in most cities in america. —ok, just paused to go watch marilyn manson’s interview on the carson daly (!) show—i just see him as this incredibly intelligent guy with an incredibly distorted sense of self-importance, and tonight’s segment kept that view intact. more from san diego, i suppose…

this is ridiculous
Written on Oct 6, 2004 at 12:34 PM

got my car towed this morning. san francisco has to be the least driver-friendly city on earth. at least to this driver today. ugh. it’s a gorgeous day here, and i’m on a mission to free the swede (my beleaguered ’88 saab). last night’s gig was super. the room was cozy and warm, the italian menu was delicious, and michael zapruder didn’t let me down- he’s a top notch singer-songwriter with a beautiful voice and fantastic songs. plus, he’s a pretty cool guy. he played a set with his cellist and pianist which, unfortunately, was marred by a large birthday party’s incessant chatter. i played the middle slot and michael was kind enough to tickle the ivories on a few songs. rite spot setlist: for a light, building a road, the great space race, blind tonight, girl from the north country (b. dylan) w/ michael on piano, merge, key to the city, powerlines w/ michael again.

from nob hill
Written on Oct 6, 2004 at 12:28 PM

well, i made it to san francisco. i’m having coffee with my friend mandi, getting ready to spend the day taking care of some business and knocking around the city a bit. all the northern california sun that’s been roasting me for the past few days has now turned to fog and rain, but to me it only makes this place look more mysterious and cool- i really love san francisco. but let me backtrack- on sunday, i drove from redding to reno, winding through beautiful mountain passes, taking in stunning widescreen desert vistas and soaking up sun. when i arrived at the great basin brewery in the early evening, i was greeted with the news that my show had been inexplicably cancelled. the manager apologized and bought me dinner, which was cool, and i connected with a friend of matt’s for the evening. she took me to a friend’s gig- a great singer/songwriter/percussionist named kent- who graciously offered up his stage at a coffeehouse for a small set. i wound up having the pleasure of jamming with kent playing percussion on a few tunes, selling a few discs, and then getting a nice tour of the casinos afterwards. reno setlist: key to the city, nevermine, floater, powerlines, building a road. last night i played the red devil lounge here in SF. this room is just so nice and cozy. i played early, but a few friends still managed to make it, and there were enough folks in the room to make it feel friendly. special mention must be made of the sound at this place- the best i’ve heard so far on the tour. red devil setlist: stardust motel, for a light, building a road, drawbridge horizon, passport, america (p. simon), wide open spaces, implosion tonight i’m playing the rite spot cafe with michael zapruder- a super singer-songwriter whose set i’m anxious to catch. i’ll get to play a nice hourlong set too, which will be great. more later. drew

from nob hill
Written on Oct 5, 2004 at 8:07 AM

well, i made it to san francisco. i’m having coffee with my friend mandi, getting ready to spend the day taking care of some business and knocking around the city a bit. all the northern california sun that’s been roasting me for the past few days has now turned to fog and rain, but to me it only makes this place look more mysterious and cool- i really love san francisco. but let me backtrack- on sunday, i drove from redding to reno, winding through beautiful mountain passes, taking in stunning widescreen desert vistas and soaking up sun. when i arrived at the great basin brewery in the early evening, i was greeted with the news that my show had been inexplicably cancelled. the manager apologized and bought me dinner, which was cool, and i connected with a friend of matt’s for the evening. she took me to a friend’s gig- a great singer/songwriter/percussionist named kent- who graciously offered up his stage at a coffeehouse for a small set. i wound up having the pleasure of jamming with kent playing percussion on a few tunes, selling a few discs, and then getting a nice tour of the casinos afterwards. reno setlist: key to the city, nevermine, floater, powerlines, building a road. last night i played the red devil lounge here in SF. this room is just so nice and cozy. i played early, but a few friends still managed to make it, and there were enough folks in the room to make it feel friendly. special mention must be made of the sound at this place- the best i’ve heard so far on the tour. red devil setlist: stardust motel, for a light, building a road, drawbridge horizon, passport, america (p. simon), wide open spaces, implosion tonight i’m playing the rite spot cafe with michael zapruder- a super singer-songwriter whose set i’m anxious to catch. i’ll get to play a nice hourlong set too, which will be great. more later. drew

humming
Written on Oct 3, 2004 at 11:08 AM

i’m waking up in redding, hanging out with a great bunch of guys i played with last night. in passing and the audible campaign are two great bands out here on the road making it happen. i’m hoping to cross paths with them again down the line. the guys who ran the venue last night were also, as hopper assured me, fantastic folks. the cali sun is blazing and my car is running great, and it’s time to head to reno. distance driven yesterday: 420 miles primary road sustenance: roasted garlic triskets highest gas price seen: $2.51 per gallon item i most wanted to hurl out the window: my cell phone item i couldn’t have lived without: my cell phone most beautiful sight: crossing lake shasta at sunset setlist: daredevils, floater, powerlines, key to the city, NYC, stardust motel

a little help from my friends
Written on Oct 2, 2004 at 11:04 AM

i’m in portland, getting ready to pick my car up from the garage and hit the road, hopefully with the full ability to STOP restored to my trusty steed. after a wild day of tracking down an obscure car part and yakking on the phone with auto shop dudes (mad props to andrea for the driving the final victory run to the garage), it was great to finally get to the show in newberg and play some music. my friend hannah drove me out there (thank you, thank you, thank you) and we arrived pretty much when i was supposed to be onstage. it was a really loud gig (coffeehouses full of caffeinated kids are often like that, but seemed to go ok. it was great to have some more friends in the crowd again last night too. newberg setlist: drawbridge horizon, water to wine, parallel, sparkle and speed, meteor shower, girl from the north country (b. dylan), floater, nothing is better, dead soldier, crime, key to the city, everything must go, promise, something else instead, empire builder, all the words…, guardian

bridges everywhere
Written on Oct 1, 2004 at 9:18 AM

i always like to be in portland, but this trip has been strange (in good and bad ways) so far…my arrival was marked by my car’s brakes mysteriously giving out and me having to ride the e-brake to the venue. yeesh…so today’s first order of business is making myself roadworthy for tomorrow’s haul to redding. luckily, tonight is my second show in the area here, and i’ve got the chance to get it looked at. i’m just waking up now to a beautiful, re-energizing sunrise and a nice tall cup of joe. so that was the bad stuff, but the rest was all good. the venue, imbibe, was a curiously swanky but ultimately laid-back kind of place (can you somehow not be laid-back in portland?), and my partner in the night’s events, jacob van auken, was both a wonderful performer and a classy dude. the audience was largely comprised of ex-anchorage residents and friends they brought with them. this is something that i love to see at my shows, and definitely something i hope is a trend on the tour. special thanks to those folks for helping get the word out, hanging posters, and just being cool in general. playing requests was fun and kept me on my toes. there always seem to be songs i’m out of touch with that i need reminding to get to know again. setlist: merge, key to the city, powerlines, floater, nevermine, falling is faster, building a road, promise, congratulations (paul simon), meridian, centralia.

leaving seattle
Written on Sep 30, 2004 at 11:21 AM

i’m pulling out of dodge today, heading south to portland. last night we had a terrific time at the sunset tavern in ballard and i got to see a lot of good friends packed into one room. kate and matt played great sets and jen wood and her band played a stunning string of artful, moody tunes. my stay in seattle has definitely been a strained one in terms of my schedule and trying to keep up with all the things i needed to do and people i wanted to see. it kind of feels like i showed up here jetlagged and out of it and now i’m gone before i had a chance to settle into any normalcy. but i kind of knew that was coming. i’m already looking forward to a more relaxed stay after the tour. i got to sneak into the studio to put down a few tunes. there will be another record someday, i promise! ok. time to do laundry and pack the car. see you soon. -drew sunset tavern setlist: powerlines, floater, nothing is better, nevermine, falling is faster, building a road, for a light.

oly
Written on Sep 28, 2004 at 1:47 AM

setlist: merge, key to the city, nevermine, just like a woman (b. dylan), the hardest day, stardust motel, how the story goes, drawbridge horizon, water to wine

conor byrne
Written on Sep 27, 2004 at 10:34 AM

setlist: drawbridge horizon, water to wine, implosion, something else instead, all the words…, stardust motel, wide open spaces, key to the city, merge, crime, fear not, american tune (paul simon)

rocking the skagit
Written on Sep 26, 2004 at 11:07 AM

yesterday was my first day of shows, and a long busy one. first, i headed north of seattle to bellingham to play a festival slot with friends jen and tomo. it was sort of sketchy, but we had a good time. later that evening i went a few miles further south to a little town called burlington and performed at a place called common grounds. this show made my day, as i was feeling a bit bummed about the afternoon gig. the room was beautiful and filled up with warm folks. i met kate earl for the first time, as well as her husband, chris. also had the pleasure of hearing john van deusen, a very talented 16 year old songwriter. keep an ear out for him. after the show was all packed up and kate and chris and i were jammed into my car, we headed back to seattle in time to rendezvous with hopper, porter and simmons and catch fcs north positively wreck shop at the liquid lounge. burlington setlist: daredevils, floater, fear not, powerlines, key to the city, nyc (interpol)

hello, seattle
Written on Sep 22, 2004 at 1:30 PM

back in seattle, hanging with the one shawn simmons, prepping to tour the US. that’s what i’m up to at this moment. just returned from europe by way of an all-too-brief swing through anchorage, most of which was spent struggling to overcome jetlag and going to the dentist. tons of fun. it’s gray and rainy here..familiar stuff. first show is saturday, and from there on out, it’s music almost every night. i’m thrilled and excited to get it started. once the tour-train is chugging along, i’ll try to be good about updating this thing and posting photos…

Last Week
Written on Sep 11, 2004 at 1:21 AM

this is it…i’m heading back to the states in one week…so much to do! i’ve had an eventful string of days and nights here recently. i went with friends sebastian, anna, and fabrizio to berlin last weekend had had a lovely time. this is one of those cities that just pulls you in and makes you lose track of time and yourself. so much art, culture, and variety of people. a restless, resistant political spirit is infused in the art scene in a way that is totally inpiring. it’s a city that knows a few things about the subject, and has nurtured artists gifted in this vein of expression. i doubt there’s a surface in the city untouched by graffiti, posters, or stickers, and the cummulative effect, i found to be quite enthralling and beautiful. i saw music several nights, and met up with a very nice crew of americans one evening- the NYC band, Volcano, I’m Still Excited! great guys on their first european tour. hopefully i’ll get to reconnect with them when i’m on their turf later this year. went and saw fahrenheit 9.11, finally. i won’t say much about that, except to say that, if you’ve seen the film, i’m sure you know exactly how i walked out of the theater feeling, and i’m sure you know exactly what sickening stretches of footage are involuntarily looping in my brain, days later. it was certainly strange to be the only american in the theater. didn’t make me feel much better! back in stuttgart, i’ve spent the last couple of nights out seeing live music and hanging out with friends. my friends allisa and sebastian run a label called Sterben im November, and one of their bands, Alcoholic Sunrise, performed a great set in leonberg the other night. last night i went to see flav and fab rock a Crashing Dreams show- check the photo gallery for some photos from the night. i’ll keep putting up photos this week as i get them sorted out. i’ve taken a lot on a regular camera, so when i get to AK next week, i’ll try to scan them and upload them.

New Edition
Written on Aug 27, 2004 at 2:14 AM

well, i’m still putting stuff up on the site…some new photos, new tour dates…all the audio is up. if anyone out there has any cool crystal radio photos from seattle, or even older pics that might be cool on the site, email me and let me know. i don’t have that much from the digital era. there are lots of bookings coming through..we’re doing some cool shows in the south now, and also in the midwest (not posted quite yet)..lots of friends out there helping, which is great. the northeast is a lot of work, and that’s the focus of the moment. anyone out there with resources in philly, nyc, boston, etc., or at universities in the area, holla back and let’s get a conference going.

nothing much
Written on Aug 25, 2004 at 9:56 AM

yo. just felt like dropping a little bit off here. i’ve basically been pounding keys (not the cool black and white kind) on the tour booking grind for 4 days straight. it’s tedious as hell, but i’m excited at the progress we’re making. hopefully things will continue in this way. matt’s about to head to ak, and i’ll be leaving germany in less than a month, which will be pretty weird. i’ve gotten used to my life here. but for that reason, it’s probably a good thing that it’s all about to get chaotic………. here are some musicians/albums you should check out: the new roots record, ‘the tipping point’. i shouldn’t have to tell you that. it’s got some problems (if your name is ?uestlove, email me, and i’ll break it all down for you), but it’s still the stuff. songs by a gal named mirah. i found her stuff online and it’s excellent indie-style ish. a cat named michael zapruder (www.michaelzapruder.com) in san fran who writes the right way. jen wood’s new EP, which i have no idea how you get, (try http://www.jenwoodmusic.com) is totally amazing. patrick sent me a disc of the sanford arms, a crew from SEA that brings it dark and gloomy like it’s supposed to be. speaking of patrick, ‘rocket man”s new joint is sounding terrific in rough mix-form. azure ray (the first record) is hitting me just right these days. as is biz markie (the weekend warrior!) the david garza boxset is sure to be fantastiche, as the mp3s i have from it are greeeat. oh, and stuposedly, new bjork, kool keith (aka diesel truckers), mos def, and kweli records are all going to drop in the next month. sounds like some late monday nights for me (if only i had that time and $ to spare these days). what’s anyone else listening to? if anybody’s out there who cares to share, throw it on the discussion board. i’m all about cross-pollinating the music here. let it flow, folks. i’m out.

nothing much
Written on Aug 23, 2004 at 5:21 PM

yo. just felt like dropping a little bit off here. i’ve basically been pounding keys (not the cool black and white kind) on the tour booking grind for 4 days straight. it’s tedious as hell, but i’m excited at the progress we’re making. hopefully things will continue in this way. matt’s about to head to ak, and i’ll be leaving germany in less than a month, which will be pretty weird. i’ve gotten used to my life here. but for that reason, it’s probably a good thing that it’s all about to get chaotic………. here are some musicians/albums you should check out: the new roots record, ‘the tipping point’. i shouldn’t have to tell you that. it’s got some problems (if your name is ?uestlove, email me, and i’ll break it all down for you), but it’s still the stuff. songs by a gal named mirah. i found her stuff online and it’s excellent indie-style ish. a cat named michael zapruder (www.michaelzapruder.com) in san fran who writes the right way. jen wood’s new EP, which i have no idea how you get, (try http://www.jenwoodmusic.com) is totally amazing. patrick sent me a disc of the sanford arms, a crew from SEA that brings it dark and gloomy like it’s supposed to be. speaking of patrick, ‘rocket man”s new joint is sounding terrific in rough mix-form. azure ray (the first record) is hitting me just right these days. as is biz markie (the weekend warrior!) the david garza boxset is sure to be fantastiche, as the mp3s i have from it are greeeat. oh, and stuposedly, new bjork, kool keith (aka diesel truckers), mos def, and kweli records are all going to drop in the next month. sounds like some late monday nights for me (if only i had that time and $ to spare these days). what’s anyone else listening to? if anybody’s out there who cares to share, throw it on the discussion board. i’m all about cross-pollinating the music here. let it flow, folks. i’m out.

merlin
Written on Aug 19, 2004 at 2:52 AM

last night was so much fun…i played another kulturhaus klassic, this time in stuttgart at merlin. the place was really nice, really hot, and really packed full of great people. i was supporting the klaus paul quintet- one of the steinbach twins’ myriad bands. we took advantage of their gear being on stage and used soundcheck to work out a band version of ‘dead soldier’ for my set. i can’t remember the last time i was onstage with bass and drums, so it was quite a kick. here’s the setlist: everything must go/ key to the city/ merge/ floater/ daredevils/ fear not/ powerlines/ dead soldier my friend patrick got some photos, so i’ll get those on the site soon. i’m listening right now to some music by a band called denali- anyone know these guys? beautiful. anyways, i’m going back to the (neverending) tour work. i should have the west coast dates up by middle of next week.

the way it goes
Written on Aug 13, 2004 at 12:10 AM

ahhh… just getting home from a night in stuttgart with fabrizio and his girlfriend anna. went to see some jazz in a bookstore downtown with my friend michel…we saw some fantastic 60’s flavored stuff there a week ago that was just unreal, but tonight it was kinda contemporary and wanky. not my favorite stuff. sort of like having to pay really close attention to the ‘tonight show’ band while they practiced. it’s a beautiful night- perfect for walking around. i’m busy working on tour stuff with matt online. funny to come home at midnight and my inbox is blowing up like jay-z’s pager. it’s pretty amazing, really, what we’re able to accomplish through the net. the west coast is almost completely firmed up, which is a big relief, and bookings are proceeding to fall in line elsewhere. the other night i saw an awesome movie: jim jarmusch’s ‘cigarettes and coffee’. it was hilarious. there’s a scene near the end with (i kid you not) RZA, GZA, and bill murray. i thought i was going to pee my pants laughing. totally surreal humor. the tom waits/iggy pop scene is priceless as well. anyways…ice cream capped the night tonight, and i’m heading for bed with a sugar-rush and a creeper lagoon disc spinning. tchuss!

langenau
Written on Aug 12, 2004 at 9:23 AM

had a blast last night gigging in a little town about 40 minutes south of stuttgart called langenau. the venue is this funky greek taverna called kafe kapilio, run by a wonderful man named dimitrius and his wife. it’s one of those joints with lingering last notes from great shows embedded in the woodgrain of the walls. i was the support act for cindy bullens (www.cindybullens.com), a veteran east-coast songwriter on a brief tour over here, and found her to be both a sweetheart and an excellent singer. the place was packed and sweaty, with people standing from right up next to the little stage all the way to the back. i did some stateside-y stuff (‘building a road’, ‘stardust motel’, ‘centralia’), kicked out a few new songs, which was fun (‘water to wine’, ‘something else instead’), and also a few oldies (‘remedies’, ‘all the words…’). just sort of winging it, as usual, trying to get the room’s vibe right. i had a fun experience the last few nights in stuttgart: i was doing all this booking work for the DOADJ tour and i happened to be working on the chapel hill, NC dates. after wrapping up for the day, i went to the club where i was going to see my friends, the steinbach twins, rock. there i was introduced to a band from, you guessed it- chapel hill! it was quite a funny coincidence. they’re a great ska group called regatta 69. i went the next night to their gig and hung out with them some more. they’d been on tour out here for months and were pretty homesick when i caught up with them. all were great guys, and i really hope matt and i get to catch up with them down the road this year. tonight, it’s my 4th straight night of live music- the twins are at it again somewhere downtown. i love it! stay cool everyone. drew

langenau, sweet langenau
Written on Aug 6, 2004 at 12:32 AM

ahhh… just getting home from a night in stuttgart with fabrizio and his girlfriend anna. went to see some jazz in a bookstore downtown with my friend michel…we saw some fantastic 60’s flavored stuff there a week ago that was just unreal, but tonight it was kinda contemporary and wanky. not my favorite stuff. it’s a beautiful night- perfect for walking around. i’m busy working on tour stuff with matt online. funny to come home at midnight and my inbox is blowing up like jay-z’s pager. it’s pretty amazing, really, what we’re able to accomplish through the net. the west coast is almost completely firmed up, which is a big relief, and bookings are proceeding to fall in line elsewhere. the other night i saw an awesome movie: jim jarmusch’s ‘cigarettes and coffee’. it was hilarious. there’s a scene near the end with (i kid you not) RZA, GZA, and bill murray. i thought i was going to pee my pants laughing. totally surreal humor. the tom waits/iggy pop scene is priceless as well. anyways…ice cream capped the night tonight, and i’m heading for bed with a sugar-rush and a creeper lagoon disc spinning. tchuss!

alright…
Written on Aug 6, 2004 at 12:29 AM

i’ll be posting stuff here after shows…