5/29/07

Tour Journal, part 1.

Ow…Ow…Ow…

For some reason, the muscles in my neck have tightened themselves up so much that I can’t move my head without serious effort and some pain. Too much headbanging? Maybe so. Will I ever stop? No way. I can’t function like I usually do; no headspins, no balancing large clay pots full of water on my head, no headbutting. My quality of life is going way down. This is not a cry for sympathy…it’s a cry for massage therapy.

I have two shows left on the tour and I will play through the pain.

So, Seattle was okay. It’s still one of my favorite cities but I’m not convinced that the feeling is mutual. I was not greeted at the airport by anyone, let alone the thousands of fans I was expecting. There were some tech issues at the club which meant I started late and only had time for about 5 songs. The audience was rowdy and oblivious to the performances happening on the unlit stage behind them.

There were a few people who were trying to be polite, though…thanks! The place was great for hanging out but not so great for performing. Food and staff were good…I really liked the other acts, especially ‘The Graze’. Kinda indie rock, kinda alt country. Think Ben Kweller + Wilco.

My best bud, Kyle, lives in Seattle and he decided to hop in the car and ride along with me to San Francisco. We haven’t gone on a road trip together since the summer after high school…fun!

Portland was fun. A bunch of my Portland friends came, and I played a full length set while they ate and drank. The venue has a classy air without being to uppity and it was fun to have some time to talk and hang out there. My friend Leona brought her friend Mandy, a massage therapist. Mandy very generously worked on my neck problem before the show and it really helped. I was relaxed and pain free!

I locked my keys in the car outside the club. My high school friend (and former locker mate) Stephanie called her roadside assistance provider and saved the day. Thanks Steph. Then, she, Kyle and I went for donuts at Voodoo Donuts, where they put things like Fruit Loops and Oreos on/in their donuts. Delicious! We went for a drink at some ‘Irish’ bar (read: bar with an Irish name and frat boys with tattoos of 4-leaf clovers). We left and I set my sights on the late-night sausage cart across the street. While waiting for my sausage, an argument broke out between two drunkards. It ended when one guy was hit from behind by the other guy’s huge friend. I would have stepped in if it were not for my Sore Neck. We left in a hurry.

We dropped Steph off and went to Kyle’s brother Chris’ apartment where we slept soundly for a while. Chris is a writer/actor/director with an impressive body of work. One of his short films was featured on IFC not too long ago, and he’s making plans for his next film. He offered me a part! I’m excited!

The tour is going well. I'm enjoying playing the tunes every night and hanging out with Kyle. I'm enjoying being back in California. I'm enjoying my coffee.

The next entry will detail the trip down I-5, the house concert at Missy and Jud’s (where Kyle met a few guys who love sci-fi as much as he does), and the show in San Francisco. Stay tuned!

5/25/07

On the road again

Tomorrow begins the first real solo tour in over three years. It’s not a marathon, cross-country 8 week tour like the ones I became accustomed to while playing with Justin King and the guys; it’s a more modest string of west coast dates. Still, it’s a tour, and I’m getting excited. Fun and unexpected things happen on the road.

I’ll play shows in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles, with a good ol’ Southern Oregon house concert thrown in for good measure. The San Francisco show should be great...I'm on a bill with The Bittersweets, a cool rootsy/country/americana group that has been gaining some momentum. Cafe du Nord is a great venue and it'll be my first time playing there. When I get to LA I’ll hang around a while, writing and recording with a few friends, which will hopefully yield some good stuff. I’ll try to see Jon Brion’s show at Largo and I may even sit on the beach for a day. I’m an adult, and I can make my own decisions.

Today I was asked to go to NYC to help a friend finish the songs for her upcoming record. I’ll head out there immediately following the tour (which means another entire month away from home). Yesterday I was wondering how I would fill my time in June…today I’m juggling to make everything fit. Funny how things go…still not complaining.

If I can keep all of these plates spinning I’ll have a pretty productive summer. Of course, I’ll make sure to leave some time to update my blog…

5/15/07

Liftoff...

Once again in the airport concourse which has become so familiar. I'm waiting for a plane to take me to Colorado...I have 10 days off and I'll be spending them in Denver. I'm getting to know the city and I really look forward to being there.

Things are changing. I've adjusted some of my career goals and I'm making new plans. As soon as I return from Denver I'll hit the road on my first-ever solo tour of the West Coast, and then I'll finish up my first-ever full length record. I'm excited to introduce folks to another side of my musical self...

I decided to start a new blog for a few reasons. First, as much as I use Myspace to keep in touch, I'd like to dive into a pool full of something other than glitter graphics. I love them as much as the next adult male, but I'm afraid they will induce a seizure if I'm not careful. Second, it'll be interesting to get to know other writers' work. Blogging has taken on a more heady aesthetic and I'd like to be exposed to the thoughts and conversations that take place.

I learned recently that my tunes can be classified as 'Americana'. Is this true?