9/24/08

Jay Nash

Just a quick note to let you know about Jay Nash...he's an LA-based songwriter with a new record out. It's pretty darn good, and I helped write one of the tunes! The record is called 'The Things You Think You Need' and the tune is called 'Easy'. It's available on iTunes now!

9/12/08

Chicago, part 2

9.7.08

Yesterday was great. Chris took my guitar to the shop for a quick set-up, and it was transformed into a whole new instrument. Poor guitar…It really sees a lot of abuse. Plane flights, cross-country drives through rapidly changing climates, not to mention the way I bang around on it when I get excited. Chris cleaned it up, replaced the nut and bridge with higher quality ones, and just generally brought it back to life. I’m excited.



I spent the rest of the day walking around some more. Such a cool city. I went back to Millennium Park to catch a bit of the opera concert. Man…I’d love to live in a place where they had this stuff going on.




I met up with Chris at the bar where Rachel works. We had burgers and sat and talked for a couple of hours until she finished her shift. Chris’ cousin Carrie came by to hang out with us and we got my guitar out and all of us played tunes on the patio until the wee hours. On the way home we stopped at a 24-hour Mexican place for tacos. Dee-lish.


I woke up pretty groggy today. Didn’t sleep enough. I’m excited to go home to Anna and Louis tomorrow.

I’m looking forward to the show at the Elbo Room tonight.

9/10/08

Chicago, in part...

I finally got to spend more than a few hours in Chicago. I'd been there before, but never long enough to really explore the city. I kept track of my adventure, and the highlights will be posted with words and pictures.

Here's part one:

9.6.08

Chicago is cool. I’m staying with Chris and Rachel at their place in the Pilsen neighborhood west of downtown. Chris replaced me when I quit Justin King’s band last year…we hung out a bit then and have stayed in touch since. He and Rachel are extremely gracious hosts and have been really great to hang out with.

I covered a lot of ground on foot yesterday…I walked from Third Coast Guitars (Chris is a guitar repair tech there) through the meatpacking district to the downtown area. I went to the amphitheater in Millennium Park and watched a rehearsal for an Opera show. Man…the place is amazing. Gehry designed it. It’s huge, and the sound system is incredible. I’ve never heard anything like it.



The singers are apparently some of the bright stars in opera today…I’m completely ignorant and didn’t recognize their names. They sang beautifully, though, and the experience really opened my ears to the art form. It was similar to the experience of seeing Paul Brainard play pedal steel at Sam Bond’s in Eugene…I was blown away and developed a huge appetite and appreciation for it.





(Here's a pic of 'The Bean', also in Millennium Park)














I’ve really enjoyed having some time to wander around alone. I realized that I haven’t had much time to let my mind wander since last summer when I worked for my folks on their farm. I get so focused on work stuff that I forget to take time to read, write, think, explore…it’s such a crucial part of my creative process…no wonder I haven’t been writing many tunes lately.

9/2/08

Yachats

The trip to Yachats was fun. We talked Anna’s mom Jane into coming along last-minute. I played six sets of music on Saturday night…I think I set a personal record. It was pretty standard; the locals came out for the show, awkward couples drank and danced to songs about heartache…Between sets I went outside with Anna to let Louis out of the car…he made friends with everyone. I had visions of myself, Anna and Louis driving around the countryside meeting new folks every night.




By the end of the night we were exhausted and retreated to the apartment above the bar. Owner Bruce is a warm, generous guy…he lets bands stay upstairs when they play at his place. We were thoroughly soaked in cigarette smoke but too tired to rinse off before bed. After trying for a few minutes it was clear that we wouldn’t be able to sleep unless they turned the jukebox off downstairs. It was on full-blast and the sound came up through the old floor loud enough that the words were perfectly audible. I got my jeans back on and went down to ask the bartender to turn it down a bit. Before I got through the door a big fella brushed past me and in an instant he was brawling with some guy at the bar. The bartenders were shrieking…I turned around and went back upstairs to wait it out. Anna and I watched from the window above as the big guy stormed out of the bar and wandered up the street into the dark. The jukebox was still blasting so I went back down. One bartender was nursing a guy’s wounds at a table…the other was behind the bar. She said something about her finger getting messed up in the fight and held it up for me to see. It didn’t look messed up at all…I made some vaguely sympathetic comment and then asked her if she could turn the jukebox down because it was 2:30 and we were trying to sleep upstairs.

We woke up mid-morning, loaded the car, and went for coffee up the street at a little hippie cafĂ©. Coffee was good, pastries were so-so (a little too sweet and spongy). We ate and went to the cabin bass-player Jerry rented. He was making breakfast for everyone but we couldn’t stay…had to leave for home soon and we wanted Louis to have a chance to run around on the beach first. The fresh air was great…it kept trying to rain but never really did. It would sprinkle for a minute and then just clear up. We ran around in the sand with Louis…he would probably run all the way to Canada if we let him.

Back in Eugene now, we’ve seen two movies at the Bijou that were excellent… ‘Tell No One’ and ‘Frozen River’. I’m glad we have a theater in town with great movies and cheap popcorn.

This week I play in Portland and twice in Chicago…I get excited when I travel, but my home life is so entirely wonderful that can’t help but feel a little down when I think about leaving. I have a couple of days off in Chicago…maybe I’ll go visit my cousin in St. Louis.