Kristi's Tour Diary Archive - 2003
Monday, December 29, 2003
hello fabulous people!
ah, i wish i had as much energy as the word "fabulous" has. i am tired tired from moving and settling in and all kinds of crazy events. while moving into my new RI home, i had my first ever car accident when a deer ran into my car at high speed. it seemed the deer was moving as fast as we were! it caused a ton of damage to my lovely orange car. thank goodness my sister and i had only minor back pain from it. we are both seeing chiropractors. i was in crappy rentals for a month. i had a gig in nh the day after the deer incident. it was crazy crazy to get the car into a shop and try to get my huge keyboard to the gig all in one day. my new amazing friend and fellow musician, Sarah Woolf, drove from Boston to RI to get me and my sister and my gear and bring us up to UNH. unfortunately her car died on the way. her friends came in two cars to give one to her to bring me and her up to UNH, and my dad came down from NH to get my gear and my sister. and we all traveled up to UNH, barely in time for the gig. wow. surreal. i've never had so many obstacles in my path to a show. i guess it's about time! 4 hours sleep and tons of drama make for a rambly kristi show with strange timing changes. but all in attendance seemed thoroughly happy with the show. and besides that it was my dad's birthday.
i thought for sure i'd have my car back in time for the next gig. but alas, (remember that word from all the stories we read in elementary school?) i did not. the combination of snow and icky rental cars and boston navigational chaos got me thinking it best to ask Sarah (a Boston native) for another ride, since her car was working well again. so she brought me to Club Passim and we each played a song. and she brought me to Simmons for my gig there. i wish my sister had taken photos of Sarah and me getting my keyboard out of her car THROUGH THE F**KIN SUNROOF! my goodness! quite the sight, i'm sure. see, a keyboard the size of mine requires a Subaru Forester or a Honda Element or something like that... :)
and then i finally got my car back! and i soooooooooooooo appreciate it!
a friend told me that she thought i was being tested...that the deer was saying, are you sure you are ready to move back home? are you sure you are ready to be near your family and long lost friends? don't you miss your california friends? are you sure you are ready to keep doing your work on a new coast in the face of a huge lack of funds and without your life partner?
the questions struck me, so i have been thinking about that test. yes, it was scary to watch the deer roll and bleed and to know it died. yes, it was painful. yes, it is scary to leave everything i have had, to lose literally everything i have had: all my possessions were on a moving truck, i had no home, i didn't have my car, my music and life partner just died and her family writes me truly delusional hate email every time i write here in my online journal, my support system is 3,000 miles away.
but still, i am here.
and still, the answer is strongly, yes!
thank god and all the spirits looking out for me.
2003 was a hard year for just about everyone i know. so many people left the earth. so many people left violently. so many people are grieving. i must admit i am happy 2003 is almost over. i am happy to start anew. i am almost settled and ready. i am reconnecting with family and friends, and i am amazed at the daily blessings in my life -- in spite of or maybe because of the enormity of the pain 2003 has handed me. i am starting over. it is ironic that the album i am about to record is primarily of older songs. i am finishing some old chaptor in my life so i can start over, move forward. i go into the studio in just one week(!). me and Denise Barbarita and the brave enough band are gonna kick some (mule) butt in nyc for a week or two. i have to go through all those mule photos from my july tucson trip to begin designing the cd cover. i hope to get it all out to the duplication folks by february. and i hope to be planning the cd release party with full band for late march. and i hope to be planning a bunch of touring for april through october. we shall see.
right now, i'm just trying to rest up. i really enjoyed shoveling my rental car out of the snow last month. i am really enjoying all the old mills i have so missed. i am enjoying the sun on the the sunny days, and the clouds on the rainy ones.
hope your solstice was brilliant.
hope your new year is peaceful.
love and lollipops,
12/29/2003 09:51:55 PM
November 15, 2003
oiye! it has been a whole month since i wrote here! i have been wanting to tell you all about what i've been up to, but i have been too busy doing it to write about it. that is a constant dilemma of mine. i want to go out and do things and yet there's all this business to take care of. there's this conflict in my mind between the sitting here typing and planning and booking and publicizing and paying bills and planning some more, versus actually going to see friends and playing shows and doing whatever activities i spent so much time thinking about... what is it jane's addiction said in their mid 80's album? "wanna be more like the ocean. no talking, man. all action." i feel that way sometimes too. but i'm too good a talker to give up on it completely.
so, right now, i am sitting on the floor of my mom's house in RI typing on my laptop. so much has happened in my life these past few months. oh! that day at the spa (Desert Reflections in Tucson) was amazing! she has really beautiful land, a peaceful yoga space, and magical massage space and she is very skilled at hot stone massages and body scrubs and wraps. i got the very special treatment for several hours that day and walked around her property talking to all the plants and sahuaros and lizards and littlebird afterward.
i played to just a few people at the Genghis Cohen show. i still gave 110%. it was a beautiful show. i played late into the night in Fairfax to some very dedicated fans. my arm was tender because i had just gotten my first tattoo the day before. still, i pounded on the keys for 3 hours. but my skin was tight like a sunburn! if you are wanting a tattoo while in San Francisco, go to Black and Blue Tattoo on Guerrero at 16th...or on 16th at Guerrero...i never remember which... then, i played a beautiful show in Santa Cruz. again, there were only a few people there, but it sounded so so beautiful. i just love to play there. i got to play a whole show on a funky grand piano. it was really fabulous. and then the next night i played my goodbye oakland show. Meliza Benales was AMAZING. she rocks. i am so happy i asked her to open for me! let's repeat that when i'm back in town, okay Meliza? i was such an emotional wreck during that show. i didn't totally fall apart or anything. but i really had to pause because it is intense to play for so many people who have been to so many shows and who have seen me through so many recent tragic times in such a personal way. so all the grief and sadness of losing my littlebird was more present, and all the fear and excitement of moving and all the sadness of saying goodbye was present. it was an intense, beautiful show. wish you could have all been there. it was a very special show.
next day, i started packing. and packing. and packing. my friend came and helped me pack for two days too. thursday the piano was moved to my garage and then the cross-country movers came and took 130 items from my home. i had already packed my car. thursday eve and friday i rested and visited with some people and cleaned my apt. said goodbye to the home littlebird and i chose and created together. saturday morn my cat sadie and i left. she was AMAZING. she was like a dog looking out the window at everything. she alternated between that and many hours of sleeping. she was great. everyone kept noticing her and commenting on her. she was so calm. she is a road warrior just like me. her first road trip. weee.
we drove to kingman az that day. mostly, we listened to the first book of the lord of the rings trilogy for days. we drove to taos nm the next day. motel 6 is the way to go with cats. we drove to...wichita kansas the next day. i hate verizon. boycott verizon. they are trying to get me to pay double for something that used to be included in my at&t cell phone coverage. i shouldn't have to pay for it twice. they are trying to take over the world, and all total conglomerates are evil. ick. my wichita friends are fabulous. i love visiting them. and i got to see my friend from our days in brooklyn, in lawrence kansas. wonderful to reconnect. lawrence is a kickass town. if ever i thought i could stand being that far from ocean and mountains, i'd pick lawrence. it's got a great little artsy downtown, really friendly thinking people, and is still a pretty cheap place to live! so that day i drove to terre haute indiana. another motel 6. these were all good driving days. no trouble. stopped and found a place exactly when i needed to. we were doing great. but this next day...i should have stopped in eastern pa. i was near many hotels when i decided i could drive another hour no problem. but there were no hotels that took cats for miles and miles and i had to drive all the way to new haven ct til 4am, and sadie really freaked out being in the car that long, and i was exhausted. we finally found a days inn that would have us. it was actually a fabulous room. a goth kid playing the keyboard in the lobby arranged it so we could stay til noon instead of 11am too. supercool. we slept like rocks and drove to ri the next day.
i have been apt hunting since.
it is no small task. things are expensive. so everyone pray for me to get this place i really like that i saw today. and then i'll get to move in and settle and play gigs in peace and record the mule and grieve and start booking the next shows. i will get to post a new address on this here website. and i will get a new business phone number and and and...
who knows? i might cause some kind of revolution!
ironically, the place i most like of the 12 places i've looked at out of 30 i've called about in this past week, is less than one mile from the house i grew up in!
i want to get a stitch n bitch knitters group together.
i want to speak french fluently.
i want you all to read this book i'm reading. it's particularly appropriate in the days before Thanksgiving. and it's particularly appropriate for me right now in the wake of my littlebird's death. it is The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich. i love her work and this one is really really good. i think you'd like it. there is a woman in it who spends most of her long life living as a priest (from 1912 into the 90's) on a North Dakota reservation... she is a widow at a young age, like me, and she is a pianist like me, and she was a nun and then later takes on the identity of the priest....many identities, like littlebird. there's lots of suffering on the res too. starvation and poverty... it is a comfort to read about someone else's grief process and gender identity struggles. and it's always good to remember or learn of the death and starvation colonists brought to native americans while being thankful for what we have. i am certainly thankful, and also, full of sorrow.
remind me to make a page of favorites: favorite books, favorite musicians, favorite albums, favorite movies, favorite foods, and whatever other favorites you are interested in. okay?
love and laughter everyone,
i'll be back in musical action soon!
peace and newman o's and organic 2% milk,
October 14, 2003
i forgot to tell you what i was listening to! well, on wednesday i drove from oakland to alpine (near san diego), an 8.5 hour drive, and on thursday i drove from alpine to tucson, a 6.5 hour drive. so that's 15 hours of listening time! phew! i listened to (if i remember correctly) Sweet Honey in the Rock's ...tweny-five..., Sounds of Blackness' Evolution of Gospel, Kristin Hersh's Hips and Makers, Throwing Muses' latest, Ani D's Evolve, the Smoke Signals soundtrack, Neil Finn's Try Whistling This, Dave Mathews new album Some Devil (can i tell you how into this album i am? it's amazing really.), Meshell Ndegeocello's Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape, Denise Barbarita's Beauty Lied, and Jeff Buckley's sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk. Jeff Buckley was amazing. okay, so i got stuck on Jeff and Dave and Meshell and the Muses and Ani...listened to them more than once. presently in my cd player is a mix cd of Tori b-sides made for me by the bootleg collector Lisa, the one who does the bootleg page on my very own website. :)
Bentleys was lots of fun. i got to wear this beautiful orange silk jacket that my friend Stuart let me borrow, and i wanted to keep it, and then he gave it to me! so i have this beautiful new jacket. he says it looks so good on me he had to give it to me and also that the saffron die is for those who are more enlightened and he thinks i am. hunh... well... thanks!
Vaudeville Cabaret was a little odd this time around...oh well. i still played a great set. but there was some artsy independent porn movie on the two screens above the bar and it was, well... distracting.
then yesterday i went to some of my favorite Tucson places. it was sad and strange because i've been to all these places with Littlebird, and now she is this spirit little bird on my shoulder instead of this flesh and bone person who everyone else can also hear when she speaks and sings. i went to Gus Balon's. i went to my friend's body care shop, Aroma Tree. it's amazing stuff. i went to the Co-op Conspiracy. i went to Tucson's feminist bookstore, Antigone, original home of Dylan the dragon, er, dinosaur. i could spend hours and thousands of dollars in there. eeeeeeeek. and then i went to my Plush gig. although it was quiet because it was a Monday night and they had to move my timeslot because Shonen Knife came to town for a mainstage late show, i had lots of fun. some dedicated fans came out to the show. i played a great set. the feel of the lounge is really nice. just a generally nice night. and then i had yummy food at the Grill. it's the only place serving food that late in Tucson, so i end up there a lot after Tucson shows. yummy heavy food. there are a few healthy things on the menu too, but do get a coffee shake when you go there. they are the best.
today i'm taking care of some business and tomorrow i get to be totally taken care of at a spa. wow. a gift from a friend. much needed. i'm excited to go.
so.....then i'll drive to LA for the Genghis Cohen show. i hope hope hope to see you all there. and then i'll drive home. be well everybody!
October 12, 2003
here in Tucson it's HOT! i know it's nothing like summer for the locals...i was here in July and it was definitely hotter than hot then. :) but it was especially hot playing in the noonday sun on the DeMeester Center bandshell stage yesterday for Tucson's Pride-filled OUToberFest. Littlebird performed with me on that stage last year. yesterday i missed her physical presence, but i know she was there with me. i loved seeing and connecting with all the proud Tucson locals. thank you for your warmth.
of course i had breakfast before the show at Gus Balon's! it's a must when i'm in Tucson. and after the show i napped to rest my voice before my evening show at Bentleys, a wonderful woman-owned cafe. i'm getting over a really bad cold, so two shows my first day back at singing was a lot. but i am so thankful to have the shows to play, so thankful i am able to play again, so thankful i am able to re-embrace the road, and so thankful to see all of you at each show.
i just did 8 sun salutations because 8 is a favorite number. and i showered and played a little music. a good morning. tonight i will play at Vaudeville Cabaret. i hope you are there. i had so much fun playing there in April. and Monday i will play at Plush which i hear is a really fun place to play. i can't wait to know for myself.
October 8, 2003
hey there good people,
the Big Moves shows were SO FABULOUS! i had so much fun dancing. i loved working with all the dancers and with Eric the choreographer. i think i've been fighting this cold since lilb died. i don't know how i held out so long, but once the dance was done i was sick...i'm SO sick but i am still off for my 9-day tour tomorrow morn. i'm heading to san diego but i'm not gonna play there...i'm gonna save up for...saturday...in the park... friday i drive to tucson and stay with my wonderful friends. i'm playing OUToberFest! Tucson Pride! last year lilb and i played there together. we would have this year too if she hadn't gone and died... but i am still glad to go back this year. i know she'll be with me. there's a pic of the two of us called "demeester stage" at tucsonpride.com from last year's fest... that's saturday and so is my all ages show at Bentleys! i'm excited to play at this women-owned venue for the first time. the folks there seem really nice. then Sunday i'm at Vaudeville Cabaret cuz my last show there in april was so much fun. and i'm playing for the first time at Plush on monday night. i'm so happy to finally get into this venue! i'll be playing at a middle school too, which i always love to do. and i might get some horseback riding in if my cold gets better. and i am definitely spending a day at a spa in the desert. yay! a retreat for the broken-hearted rockstar. so...then i return for one last LA show before my MOVE BACK EAST! i love Genghis Cohen. i hope y'all come out to the show to say goodbye to me. i haven't seen most of my santa monica, long beach, costa mesa, and la fans since...february, january and november! so come on out! then i'll drive back home to oakland for three more goodbye shows before my halloween departure from cali...
September 14, 2003
hey good people,
i'm tired tired right now. grieving comes in waves. last night's show at bazaar cafe was really sweet and friendly. to summarize, the first show after Littlebird's death, in San Rafael, was really tough for me. i did well, but my throat was tight from holding in my tears. then there was the Littlebird Memorial Concert, which was really really warm and loving but so so so sad. and then there was the Dandelion Dancetheater benefit. dancing was easier for me than singing. i don't know exactly why, just felt less raw, less vulnerable emotionally. still a tough thing to be performing at all. but it's been feeling so so so important to be dancing! and last night's show...i felt small compared with my grief, at first, but my second set seemed to be the regular Kristi performer, so it felt a little better. it was really fun to see Clabber Gyrl's performance too. i'll be back at bazaar cafe next saturday with Kathryn Mostow at 7pm. should be fabulous! so, i'm slowly getting back into my performances. i'm also trying to pick 3 tori amos songs to cover for the tori amos tribute/ rainn benefit i'm part of in April. so if you have any ideas....let me know.
many many blessings everybody. tell your sweetheart how much you love her.
August 26, 2003
Dear friends and fans,
I have the saddest and hardest news. My partner Littlebird is dead. These past three weeks have been the most painful of my life. I had to file a missing persons report. I worried beyond belief for three days. I went to see my life partner's body once found. I had to protect myself from her family and friends. I had to watch them go through my and Littlebird's home to claim things of hers that she had shared with me. I had to create my own memorial service because I was not entirely welcomed at the service in her hometown or the one in her church. And I am trying to get past all that drama to get to my own grief and healing.
I planned a memorial service for this past Saturday. It was beautiful. It was at Lands End, overlooking the place where she was found. Joe McMurray, a pastor at Littlebird's church (MCC SF) facilitated the service beautifully. We sang "Come By Here" while leaving offerings for Littlebird. I sang Lauryn Hill's version of Corinthians. Joe read about Elijah and Elisha (2 Kings 2:1-15). I asked my friend to read a chapter from "The Little Prince" about taming the fox. I sang a song Littlebird wrote about her and me. I told the truth about our relationship and her life. Joe called those "words of love." :) We listened to people share memories of Littlebird. I sang Tuck and Patti's "Tears of Joy" to my littlebird and everybody else all the while watched by two ravens that were building their nest throughout the service... I want to share with you my truth about Littlebird, as I did at the service, because I believe it is very very important to break silence and to tell the truth. So here goes.
My life partner, music partner, touring mate, soulmate, playmate, lover, and friend, Littlebird, was born in North Carolina and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. She always felt she was in the wrong body; she felt like a boy and felt horribly judged for acting how she felt. She was forced to wear dresses and go to cotillion to learn very gendered partnered dances. Her way of protecting her true self was to hide. The things she most loved she'd enjoy by herself in her room, reading, or by herself outside, climbing trees and rocks and buildings. She loved puppies but never got to fulfill her dream of having one. She loved fantasy, especially Elfquest, Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin. She was very talented at drawing and began drawing her own comic books starting in middle school. She always felt alone, somehow socially and spiritually misplaced. She sought friendship and acceptance in an evangelist church youth group and in a Christian house church, but still faced condemnation for her androgyny and queerness. She hid her feelings of love for women and decided she wanted to work for Disney.
She went to Rhode Island School of Design. She loved art school, started writing songs and playing open mics, and had secret romances. By the time she finished school she realized she loved the art of animation more than the commercial realities of Disney, and also that she wanted to be more open about who she was. So she moved to San Francisco to find herself a queer home and freelance animation work. She found so much healing at MCC and in the queer haven of SF. She had her first fully out relationship. She sang in MCC's gospel choir for many years, shared in more romances, drummed with Moonsisters and Carolyn Brandy, did various freelance animation work, and wrote more and more songs about relationships, spirit, nature, and loneliness...
She kept her worlds very separate, still hiding parts of herself in each world. She even had different names in different worlds because she never felt "Amy" fit. She was h'amy, h'amyjane, speedracer, peterpan, dave the gnome I met her as Littlebird. Littlebird was her chosen name, a metaphor for her habit of hiding herself up in a tree, alone with the things she most loved. She thought it was a temporary name, one she'd grow out of when she healed that part of herself.
She and I met through our music. We had both donated songs to the Rose Street Raw Compilation CD. We played a bunch of shows together to promote the CD. The first time I noticed my crush on Littlebird, she was hanging out with friends in the back of a venue, playing guitar for them even though someone was on stage performing at that very moment. I thought she was so rude and aloof! Later I saw that more as a protective detachment covering up her shyness and social awkwardness.
Littlebird suffered from depression since her childhood. Once during our relationship, she was so depressed she lay on the floor under her desk crying and not responding to me. We had bought tickets to see Sweet Honey in the Rock that night. I insisted she come with me. I got her dressed, got our tickets, got her some tissues, drove us there, held her hand all the way. I kept getting in the way of her depression like that, always trying to show her healing and love.
Just before she died, I was away on business. She missed me so much that I came home that Sunday to a beautiful welcome home picture she'd drawn and hung on the front door. Her depression seemed to have lifted. She was really happy to be singing at MCC's evening services. She was so excited as she was about to start a fantastic dog-training program. She was excited to be closer to her east coast friends and family, as we'd planned to move in November. When I got home we had two beautiful days of talking, finalizing our moving plans, connecting, and affirming each other and us.
On that Tuesday she left happy, for a meeting she'd been attending weekly, that had been helping her with her depression. She came back shaken and crying. The meeting had focused on honesty and it seemed pivotal for her, like she was on the edge of letting go of all her secrets. She seemed on the brink of her healing. I felt she was about to be herself, her whole self without hiding. But she looked terrified. Over and over she said she didn't want to hurt me. She seemed to fear that her true self would be hurtful. The next morning she seemed out of her body. I think she'd already decided to leave. I went out for two hours and when I came back she was gone, missing for 3 days until friends found her body on the shore at Lands End. I knew she'd be there because she'd told me of this favorite place of hers. I think she knew I'd have done anything to stop her from leaving. I think that's why she never showed me Lands End. She shared her suicidal impulses with other people; with me she shared her longing for connection and healing. I believe she was on the edge of truly being herself and that she chose to fly away instead of living. She was so beautiful and so much in pain and didn't know how to keep living. She was right there and then walked away.
so... I have been running around trying to protect myself from the vultures. I have been dealing with the business of death. And I am just now starting to come down off that race to actually feel all my pain about her death. I've cancelled a couple of shows that I didn't get to let you know about and I have a show coming up this Friday, my frist since Littlebird's death, that I intend to play. It will be hard, but I do need to get back to my life in small steps.
I wanted to share with you the obit I wrote. The one her family wrote didn't mention me and made it sound like her mother's husband was actually her husband, so I decided to write a new one:
NUARA, Amy Caroline / LITTLEBIRD - Age 30, was found dead just south of Lands End in San Francisco on Friday August 8, 2003. Littlebird grew up in Richmond VA and moved to San Francisco after studying animation at Rhode Island School of Design. She was an accomplished singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, animator, cartoonist and writer who loved playing games and climbing trees and cliffs. She is survived by her life partner, Kristi Martel; her cats, Solly and Sadie; her MCC friends; and her Richmond VA relatives. A memorial service will be held to honor her life on Saturday August 23, 2003 at 11am. Meet at the parking lot near Lands End/ Merrie Way, SF. Please bring biodegradable offerings for the alter.
Also, there is a guestbook for Amy Caroline Nuara at www.legacy.com.
Thanks for everyone who has been praying for me and sending me light and love and presents. I really really appreciate all the support. I hope Littlebird is feeling it too.
love and light,
August 1, 2003
hey wonderful people!
the tucson house concert never materialized. we couldn't find a space ready for me. but lilb and i will be through tucson in october, so no worries. it's been nice and relaxing hanging out here in tucon's monsoon season. it's rainy today. we went swimming before the rain came. and we're about to go to Colossal Cave to do a photo shoot with a real live mule for the next CD (The Mule)! yeeeehaw. it will be fun. i'm heading to San Diego tomorrow to see Tori Amos and then to head back home to Oakland. then i'll be booking like mad for October and November and rehearsing dance like crazy and getting ready to move! whoa!
love and laughter,
July 26, 2003
i'm driving to San Diego today and Tucson tomorrow. in Tucson there'll be a photo shoot for the next CD The Mule, complete with an actual mule, and there will be a house concert on Friday but i don't have the details yet. stay tuned!!
July 14, 2003
the bound single is officially HERE! yipppeeeee! we are playing a big show friday night and it will be the first show where the bound single is actually available!! i will definitely be playing bound that night! so, we been rehearsing up a storm and i been signing and numbering bound singles. and i been booking the october (southwest) and november (cross country) tours as we plan our move back east. whoa! wow! i haven't been able to update my tour schedule for days because blogger has been having problems. i hope this here entry gets there!
June 29, 2003
i just got invited to play at the Queer Songwriters Series at Bazaar Cafe on Wednesday! yippppeeeeeee! it's been a while since i played there. and i like it, so i'm glad! also, i have begun work on a project with choreographer Eric Kupers and modern dance company Big Moves. i'm really excited about it. i'm going to be dancing and creating live music for this piece which will be premiered in October in SF. i'm playing at their benefit on Saturday to help raise money for their show and my work in it. the benefit will include performances by Big Burlesque, Phat Fly Girls, and sounds from DJ Beat Boy. Big Moves believes that every body can dance. it is amazing and powerful to work with big women who are not afraid to move! yipppeeee!
and i also wanted you to know, that even though Salada Beach Cafe has a new person making the carrot cake, it was still amazing! and the show was nice too. and the Richmond house concert was really beautiful. Mark and Nomi's house is gorgeous! and they have lovely friends, and even family from Israel were in attendance! and someone brought Krispy Kreme doughnuts!
meanwhile, we are involved with purchasing a new touring vehicle(!). we are also awaiting the arrival of the bound singles. we are promoting our show at the nameless on july 18th and rehearsing a bunch of new stuff for the show. it should proove to be quite fabulous.
peace and apple cake made by your sweetheart,
June 16, 2003
what a FABULOUS house concert last night!!! yippeeeee! Kernos House Concerts is brand new. we were the first performers there. and they are doing a superb job! they thought of just about everything. there was good food and great purple funky couches, space for our cd's, space for our whole setup, a curtain behind us to make us more visible, christmas lights, and warm friendly people in the audience! we played lots of songs and got a standing ovation. i especially like Littlebird's song "Voices" and "Visions of Erin" (i get to sing diatonic drones on Visions, yay). and i thought we did a fab job with "Through That Door" and "Even Free" last night. and i liked Littlebird's spontaneous conga part on "Aged." so yay us. i hope we will see you next week in pacifica and richmond. and did you see there's another Nameless show in Oakland in July?? we thought we weren't going to play in the east bay til october, but the march show was SOLD OUT, so The Nameless invited us back earlier and we couldn't resist. we hope to see you all there too.
other news... i'm working with dancers again! Dawn Frank and i just did a first bit of her piece, Saltwater, earlier this month. and choreographer Eric Kupers and i are in the beginning stages of a collaboration with Big Moves. i'll be dancing some and playing lots of music, old and maybe some made just for this dance, for the performances in early October at ODC in SF. stay tuned...
love and laughter,
June 12, 2003
you know that show i played in that i mentioned a couple posts ago? the dyke nights queer arts festival and 848 community space in sf? well, one of the performers there, Victoria McNichol Kelly, did an excerpt from her work "if i holler..." she was AMAZING! Littlebird and I are planning to attend the Sunday June 22nd showing of this full-length event. she's performing it three nights at Noh Space (2840 Mariposa @Alabama) June 20th - 22nd. all shows are at 8pm and are $15. the info and reservations number is 510-601-5234. it's "a one woman show exploring the myths of equality and freedom and the dynamics of power." she was so intense and funny and politically insightful in a moving kind of way. it was great. so anyway, just wanted to highly recommend it because i'm really excited about it and want you all to know!
June 11, 2003
i'm listening to the very first copy of the official bound single right now! i am so excited!! it sounds great and looks great, and i think the 100 limited edition copies of the cd will actually exist by july. keep your fingers crossed. we hoped it'd be here by march, so we all need those crossed fingers hoping for july. okay, so. i'm too excited. i'll keep you posted.
June 8, 2003
things are a whirlwind here at home. transitions, changes all the time. we are revamping our space and our day-to-day lifestyle and the way we do our work. so...i have been slow to get moving on the booking of the next tours and the diary of the present proceedings, because i have been in this transition and our plans towards moving back east.
there are a few shows this month and next. i performed in a dance concert at UC Davis with friend and collaborator, Dawn Frank. she and i met at Bard College in the early 90's, and we have done a variety of performance art (dance and music) together over the years. she is beginning to conceptualize a piece called Saltwater and has asked me to collaborate on it. check out her blog about her life and the creation of this piece: Dawn's blog. i love her writing. we performed a snippet of the piece on June 1st in that UCD dance concert. so i was dancing and singing again, and hanging baby clothes, all simultaneously. it is great to work with her and in the performance art vein again...
friday night littlebird and i performed in Sebastopol at an artists salon at a beautiful little cafe. they are in need of someone taking over the running of the monthly salon, so if you are in the area and would like to book performers at such an event, contact Regina. she'd be happy to tell you more about it.
last night we performed a cappella and with lilb on conga at Dyke Nights Queer Arts Festival at 848 Community Space in SF. it was a really fabulous variety of art. funky beats and diatonic vocals, a quirky and insightful theatre piece by Victoria McNichol Kelly, beautiful dance and text by Tara Brandell, loud and powerful spoken poetry by a wonderful writer whose name i am frustrated at forgetting, contortions and amazing hand stands by Jade, and more funk and rap and soulful singing by a group whose name I never got... anyhoo, it was really beautiful work. we had lots of fun singing there and watching the other acts. i LOVE getting to stand while singing. i do love playing piano, but so often i wish i could just stand there and sing. i can be more expressive and in my body.
so next weekend we have a San Rafael show, and the next weekend we have a Pacifica cafe concert and a Richmond house concert. yipppeeee! i'll let you know how the shows go. keep letting me know how the music is sounding.
peace and irish breakfast tea,
May 7, 2003
whoa - my goodness! i KNOW it's been TOO long since i've written in here. the end of the tour was crazy busy and then i got home and things are incredibly strange when you get home from a long trip. you have to re-enter your life, your love, your home, your schedule, your community. it's a lot of work. so i've gone through 6 weeks of mail and messages and catching up. i've rested a little. i've tried to get used to home life. i'm starting to book shows and such again. we had a show in the bay area thursday night. Littlebird and i played together for the first time since...March 6th! can you believe that? 2 months! it was an outside gig and we were so happy it didn't rain, but it did get awfully cold when the sun went down. frozen fingers don't play quite as well as warm ones.
so let's see...i listened to Ani's Evolve so much during the last leg of that tour. i drove SO much, a total of 8,259 miles in 40 days, for 26 shows! I played in 13 states, drove through 24 plus Canada and only spent one night in a hotel! phew!
i wandered around ABQ a bit the day after that Madrid gig. it was actually really really sunny and hot there, even though i'd seen hail and snow the night before just 40 miles north. the show at Kelly's was nice too. and then i drove to Tucson where my friends complained because i was staying so short a time. the show in Tucson was FABULOUS!! yay for all my Tucson fans who came out to support me. it was so much fun to see you all. i really like Vaudeville Cabaret. i'd never played there before and it was really a fun venue. my friends and i all went to the Grill before AND after the Vaudeville show! it's practically next door and it's the only restaurant open 24 hours (that i know of) in Tucson. and they have fabulous coffee shakes. yum. next morn my friends and i went to Gus Balon's, which you know is one of my favorite breakfast places in the country(!). then i drove away :( to San Diego :) for a show at Claire de Lune's, a cafe with excellent food! i was tired from lack of sleep and so much driving. so as i set up i felt kinda negative about playing. but of course my mood changed once i started playing. i love performing and connecting with people! my friend Ben Carson came and played guitar for me on Gillian Welch's Everything is Free. i played a full set and then took a break and then my friend Matt Silvia came and played a song of his and then we did Indigo Girls' Kid Fears and Incubus' The Warmth. then i played solo and asked him back at the end to accompany me on Give even though i'd already done it in the first set... it was a two-Give night. it's always great to hang out with my friends all over the country. it's amazing how much more i get to see them now that i tour nationally so much of the time!
i'm working on a solo northwest tour in august-september (Littlebird will be training to be a dog trainer!), a duo southwest tour in october and another cross-country tour in november, as Littlebird and i move to Rhode Island!
i gotta lot a work to do!
meanwhile, the bound single proof has STILL not arrived. i hate to tell you this icky news. we don't know what is going on with it. i'm trying to at least find out what is going on, and then we may have to start over, re-design the cover with a new company, to get the thing duplicated for you all! we've been SO frustrated by this! we thought you'd all have bound in your hands by March, and it's May and no where in sight! eeeek. so i'm /hoping/ that i will be sending bound singles out by summer's end. keep your fingers crossed for me.
speaking of bound singles...thanks to EVERYONE who has donated to the next cd, The Mule. we are one third of the way to completely funding the whole project. when we get to half we will go into the studio (we're hoping to record in December) and when we get to three quarters will will duplicate it. we're hoping to release it by spring 2004. keep those donations coming!
what else... it's good to sleep in the same bed every night. i'm home for a bit now. next month i'm doing a few CA shows. one is a dance/music collaboration with my long-time friend and collaborator, Dawn Frank. we'll be showing the piece in Davis. it might turn into a longer project to be premiered in the fall. i'll also be playing a house concert in Richmond and one in San Rafael, a queer arts festival in San Francisco and that sweet Salada Beach Cafe in Pacifica, the one with the best carrot cake. and our faithful former intern, Sheryl, will be merch girl for the Salada show -- always a nice thing to have that cheerleading going on. we haven't seen her in a while, so it will be a happy little reunion. yay!
thanks to everybody who shows up and buys my cds and gives me priases on the road. it's a long road, and i'll give you all the thanks and praises cuz you really rock my world.
love and laughter,
April 23, 2003
surprises all day: well-rested from the privacy of a hotel, left early, got lunch at lunchtime, wind storms through Texas and New Mexico, snow as i got closer to Madrid, got to madrid one hour earlier because i forgot about the time zone change, got to Mine Shaft Tavern and found a dollar bill note from my cousin out-law, Paulo. He was here last night. I wish he was here tonight! We are both traveling performers and we always seem to just miss each other. I might not see him again until November! He's also going to play in Asheville NC next week, and I was just there! eeeee. waving to each other on the interstate. so i'm set up already, drinking a beer, writing a set list, going to eat dinner, then play some musica. i listened to Nina Simone today. and Liz Phair, and Kristin Hersh. they just seemed appropriate to the landscape. Grotto is so Texas and New Mexico! and well, i had to listen to Nina... anyhoo, the show was okay. people liked my music. but the locals seemingly have no money on the off-season, and it's definitely the off-season in April. there was a hail storm and then it suddenly got sunny. tourists don't like that...anyhoo, here i am in abq. at the same apt i stayed at last time i was here about 5 weeks ago. the woman who lives here is so generous. i haven't even met her. her landlord is a fan of mine who happens to have a very good relationship with his tenant! and she seems very welcoming too. yay. i'm almost home, people. yay!
love and laughter,
April 22, 2003
oh my god! i just found out that Nina Simone died last night. i am so so heartbroken about this. i wanted to see her play live before she left us. wow. i'm just kinda stunned. she is SO one of my heros. i have recently learned Gillian Welch's Everything Is Free and Patty Griffin's Poor Man's House, and I've been playing them at a couple shows. i love those two songs. but i also do a cover of a Nina Simone cover of a Billie Holiday tune, Tell Me More and More and Then Some. i'll have to play that tomorrow night.
i drove 14 hours today, from Memphis to Amarillo. here i am in a hotel, the only hotel in my 40-day tour. i drove 750 miles today and 500 yesterday as i make my way back west for a new mexico show tomorrow night. last night i stayed in a co-op in Memphis. pretty pretty gardens and an old beautiful building. i have been listening to Ani D's new Evolve, Kristin Hersh's new Grotto, Patty Griffin's old Living With Ghosts, Throwing Muses new one and Red Heaven and Limbo, Stevie Wonder's Talking Book, Lauryn Hill's Miseducation, D'Angelo's Voodoo, Prince's 3rd disc of Emancipation, Gillian Welch's Time (the Revelator), Tori Amos' new one, Incubus' Morning View, Hole's Live Through This, i think that's it. i've been driving!
i haven't been eating enough because it is so hard to get reasonable food while traveling. my waiter at denny's was very interested in my wellfare and in my travels and my diet (somewhat vegetarian - i only eat clean meat, so i turn vegetarian on tour). i am hungry but right now i mostly need to sleep so i can be ready to drive and drive and play tomorrow.
be well and safe and peaceful everybody,
april 20, 2003
i don't know what it is, maybe cuz it's easter weekend, maybe cuz a war's happening, but not as many people have been out to the shows lately. it's too easy to be down about it. i'm going to take a break sort of when i get home, for the summer, and go back out on the road in the late summer and fall. but anyhoo, i've been working hard and i enjoyed the little richmond virginia house concert. sweet people. and i enjoyed the little show in asheville last night. really great vibe at namaste yoga and healing center. and today i relaxed in the sun with pancakes and mimosas and new friends. tomorrow, tuesday and wed i drive and drive and drive til i end up playing a gig in madrid nm wednesday evening. abq thursday night. tucson friday. san diego saturday. home sunday. yay! so much love and so much laughter to you all.
april 18, 2003
hey friends and fans!
i am still in richmond virginia. last night at babes was better than last year at babes. a few people came and listened and laughed. it was nice. my gear is all set up already at this lovely house for tonight's lovely house concert. i'm actually gonna get to practice some today. i often wish i played guitar cuz then it'd be so easy to just pull it out and play a little whenever the spirit moved me. but i gotta set up a whole pa and an 80-pound keyboard just to get some sound so...i don't practice much on the road... anyhoo, things are quiet and rainy here in virginia. i'm going to work on a patty griffin song and a gillian welch song this afternoon, write a set list, have a hot tub, dress, eat, play a show, sleep, pack up, eat, and drive and drive to play tomorrow night in asheville. i'm sure tonight will be a beautiful show. and tomorrow night too! yay! oh! and the two songs i was liking on the new ani d album are "evolve" and "serpentine." i have a fan named Candy to thank for reminding me. blessings y'all.
love and laughter,
april 17, 2003
i'm in Richmond Virginia now. on monday i was so looking forward to not putting on any make-up and not singing for anyone but me and staying around my mom's house and doing work. i did do that for much of the day, but some of the work was to contact that scouting agency, and they happened to have an open call that very evening in Providence RI, so i went. the reason i don't usually go to such things, is that they are all about glam and the next britney spears and that's not anything that i want. i went just to sort of check in with that. i asked myself if this would really be that same thing or could it actually be useful to me. i was scouted in ani d's hometown of Buffalo by Wilhelmina Scouting Network at my SPoT Coffee show there that Sat... ironically, the non-NY representatives of Wilhelmina didn't even know her name. the rep told me that i would simply not make any money playing gigs all over the country and selling my own cd's. i asked if he knew ani d, and he didn't! he told me on the phone yesterday that i would kick myself for not getting them to make a webpage profile about me and have their people promote my profile to all the a & r people i could ever want to have see my work. it only costs $1000 and $20 a month after that. un-hunh. he wouldn't let me say no for so long. i felt like i was talking with those people who call you during dinner asking you to buy whatever, and with them i have no trouble just hanging up, but i submitted myself to this process this time, so i didn't want to be quite that rude. when he told me he thought it would be a shame if i didn't sign up with them i wanted to tell him that if he felt that bad about it he could pay for my profile. when i went to the open call they showed me a video about modelling. they were playing techno the whole time. it was gross. so this is why i keep walking the low road, the long road. i will not subject myself to unnecessary media hype and i will not let my work support those what-is-it 6 corporations that own everything including britney spears... sigh.
i drove to nyc on tuesday. i've been listening to Patty Griffin's new cd "1000 kisses" which is pretty fabulous. she is a quirky woman and i love her work. i also have been listening to Throwing Muses' new one. i really like it. i also listened to Janet Jackson's Control. you know, that cd still rocks. it is so great. i wish they would play that when i go out dancing! so then i met with Littlebird's friend Pilar. she is animating those bacteria and tornados you see in those Oxi commercials and i got to see some of her drawings. supercool! then i wandered around the east village and longed to move there. i so miss nyc! i got yummy sushi and sat by the open window on the hot blustery day watching the buses and taxis and passersby. i got yummy baked stuff at my favorite bakery, 9th street bakery, on 9th at 1st ave. then i got to my c-note show, reluctant to enter the dark little bar on such a lovely day. but i did and i met some indiegrrls! (hey carolann!) and played "bound" for Pilar and got to see my friend Jen Cooke too! whooo hoooo. we went to another bar and hung out. it's so nice that nyc is smoke-free like cali now! yay! and i couldn't believe how warm it was there. we were walking without jackets pretty late at night, even though i was in cold cold cold in new england and upstate new york for days and days before that. but i am in fact moving southward... i wandered around ny wednesday morn too, up near carnegie hall. went to my favorite sheet music store, Patelson's, and bought some rags... then ate a bagel with lox in central park before heading back to my car in brooklyn. there's something scary that needs about a dozen cop cars happening at the parkside stop of the Q train in brooklyn. i don't know what it is but tuesday night there were candles (somebody died?) and wedneday afternoon there were 12 cop cars and both times the whole block was blocked off with caution tape... ??
so then i drove to richmond virginia. i'm here now, and i can't believe how cold it's getting! springtime irregularities... while driving i listened to ani d's latest, evolve. i actually quite like it. i didn't the first time through, but the second time things stuck out and i liked what i heard. i'm liking the mellower sounds, the more relaxed way the arrangements are coming together. they seem a little more related to the song's content which is nice. and of course her words are always sublime. really like "in the way" and 2 others whose names are eluding me. eeee. one of them talks about her stride being as big as people taller than her and that having to do with her chi. it totally made me laugh because i have often noticed that of myself and noticed that of her too when she came to bard when i was there... and the other i'm really liking i'll just have to tell you about later cuz i'm losing my memory. her song "phase" so reminded me of "just a phase" by Incubus, that i had to listen to their Morning View. and i also listened to David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust yesterday. it was fab. cuz he's so rad.
right now...i'm staying at a fan's SO lovely house. it's like a mansion to me, with beautiful gardens out back. i will have to relax in their hot tub sometime today or tomorrow. tonight i'm playing once again at Babes. hopefully i am actually growing a richmond virginia fanbase and people will come out to the show. then we'll have a fabulous house concert here at this gorgeous house tomorrow night and then i'll have to leave early saturday for my asheville nc gig at namaste center.
oh and aaaah, i get to do laundry today. :)
peace and springtime to ya,
april 14, 2003
i'm tired. touring is tiring lots of the time. the Night of Noise at UNH was fabulous. Joelle spoke about transgender consciousness and hate crimes and changes in the queer movement and in queer visibility. then a pastor who is a queer advocate spoke about communities of faith and their tendancy to be closed communities that don't truly show love for all people. they were both fabulous speakers with really important things to say. i was so proud of my dad for showing up and listening to all that and staying for my 2 whole sets afterwards! i was quite surprised he wanted to be there at this big national queer event. i know he really just wanted to see me perform a bigger show, but yay, dad! my sister was there too and was my merch girl. the turnout was lower than we'd expected but there was a big hockey success to celebrate so it's understandable... besides, another high school friend i haven't seen in i dunno...10 years showed up!
and then i spent the day with my family in new hampshire: ate a late breakfast with them, got my car fixed up at my dad's client's shop who is also my step-mom's employer, went to my brother's workplace to shop for things that my sister and i needed (i got the new cd's by ani d and patty griffin - i'll tell you what i think of them when i get to listen), got chinese food, ate dinner with them at their house... it was nice to see them all. i don't get to see my brother enough at all. and still didn't. but i did get a lot of good time with my sister. yay! and then the three of us siblings went to my third Sad Cafe show, and unfortunately, it was the poorest attendance show there yet. :( i was really bummed. we had high hopes for this show, but apparantly i'm not quite the right music for their typically punk teen market. it's really the people who run the place who love my music...
the next day my sister and i drove to my mom's house in rhode island. on the way we listened to one of my sister's new cd's, a new first studio album by Jason Mraz. i played with him last year at Twiggs in San Diego. he is fabulous live, really beautiful tenor voice, really great energy, really great accompaniment by Toko on djembe and backup vocals. he had just got signed to Elektra when i met him. my sis was surprised i knew who he was. we had high hopes for his first cd, but i had my doubts that it would actually bring his potential to life. and my hunch was right. the cd sort of washes over his uniqueness, turning it into playful happy pop with predictable drum parts and almost no Toko. i was very sad to hear it. i know Jason can do better. maybe it is exactly what he wanted it to be, but i that would surprise me. i think his truer sound is better than that... so i'm not gonna buy that one, i'll just make sure to see him live next time i get the chance.
anyhoo, we got dinner at the Beef Barn, which is a really fabulous place to get quick yummy food. i used to work there, 15 years ago! it is so much still the same. except they created a new little room with one table in it, and almost all the staff is new... anyhoo, then we brought my stuff to my mom's place and then we went to providence to set up for my little cafe gig at Cafe Zog. Zog is a cute little place. i walked out the door and someone said my name. it was my friend Spogga from long ago when we went to camp together and he had other names. crazy. so that's 3 people from my long ago life in new england who have surprised me by showing up, all in less than 3 weeks. wow. it was great to see him. he came to the show later and played a few of his songs. he sounds fabulous! and someone from san francisco told someone here in rhode island to attend the show, so i got to meet her too. yay!
then my sister and her friend and i hung out in providence for a while, trying to find a place to get me some food so late at night. we people-watched for quite some time before i finally said goodbye to my sis for another 7 months.
sunday i went to dinner with my grandparents and mom. i miss my grandparents a lot too. it was nice to see them. but they sound so upset about what's going on in iraq. i hear the fear in their voices. and i don't actually believe in the US media's version of what's happening, so hearing their upset about what seems like lies to me, was disheartening. the bumpersticker "kill your television" comes to mind. reports from europe and canada seem much more accurate. maybe because they're a little more third party to what's happening, maybe because they still have some accuracy in their reporting...
then i went to a house concert in north smithfield, where i grew up. it's the third one Kevin Silvia and i have played there. but this time, Mike Silvia was also playing. i haven't seen him since he was 14! he has a wife and kids now. he is a fabulous guitarist and djembe player. we had fun jamming on each other's stuff and playing impromptu covers and whatnot. but it was completely different than the past two house concerts there because there were so few people there. it was like a little private party in their beautiful house. i don't know if it's been the fact that a war is going on, or the fact that this spring has been so long overdo in realizing itself, or what, but people haven't been coming out as much as usual. but i had fun anyway, messing up on almost every cover we tried to do, and playing Give, Rise, and Through That Door with Kevin and Mike adding their fabulousness to it.
so let's see...today i'm at my mom's house doing some business and taking it easy. tomorrow i drive to nyc for a spot at the c-note in alphabet city. wednesday i drive to virginia for a couple excellent return shows there. saturday i drive to asheville for a fabulous first show there. then i drive for days til i get to albuquerque for two shows. then a show in tucson. then a show in san diego. then home to my littlebird.
8 more shows, 9 more big driving days, 13 more days away from home. poof. another national tour.
peace and chocolate bunnies,
april 10, 2003
whoa! it's been way too long! i've been running around way too busy to get to this lately. it's frustrating. i guess in reality it's only been 5 days; but so much happens in 5 days! i have to look at my notes just to figure out what to tell you!
the show at Buffalo SPot Coffee was fabulous. new fans brought their friends, and people who were just there seemed very into what i was doing. i meet the funniest most fabulous people sometimes, and it is just a very wonderful gift. two of my new Buffalo fans are two very sweet young women with a very wacky wonderful energy. it was fun to meet them. i even got scouted that night. i don't know yet what to make of that, but it certainly seems like a good thing to be noticed. i'll keep you posted.
then i had to rise early and drive to Rochester for a mellow little afternoon gig at their SPoT Coffee. unfortunately the booker doesn't ever work Sundays and didn't know when the best hours to have a show were, so i played and finished right before the crowd came. we'll just do better next time. i love it when fans send their friends to shows! there were some people there who were sent by fans of mine in Fairfield Iowa! thanks SO much!! what a gift.
then i drove and drove some more to Rhinebeck NY just to stay there that night. i listened to my two new cds: Peter Mulvey's ten thousand mornings and the new Muses album. then i listened to Patty Griffin and I have been listening to her over and over since then. i love that first album of hers. i need to get her latest...
i had lunch with an old friend in Rhinebeck after staying in her mother's beautiful old house, the kind that would make a perfect bed and breakfast. we had lunch in a beautiful little cafe called White Rabbit. if you're ever in Red Hook NY, eat there. it's lovely. then i was off to Boston, making good time and arriving before the snow, to see my sister and her apartment and school and meet her friends. yay! it's been really fun to wander around Boston a little. it's great to be walking around after all that sitting in the car i've been doing! and Boston is beautiful, and i've never really spent much time here, so it's fabulous. my sister's friends are great. they even came to the open mic at club passim even though i was almost last of some 40 people playing tuesday night! Club Passim has got to be one of THE most fabulous places around. i can't wait to play there more and more and more. what sweet people. my sister and i had quite a whirlwind getting there on time, with re-parking the car before leaving, me leaving my cd's and mailing list in the car, her going back to get it while i took the T which i know nothing about to a place i'd never been, her driving instead of just taking a later T and having the darnedest time finding parking, and finally arriving. John, the door person for the open mic, was so sweet to trust me and let me into the drawing for the open mic spots, even though my wallet was also in that bag i left in the car, and i couldn't pay til my sister arrived. all was finally well, but what a large number of mishaps! so...we also ate THE best food there while we watched the other performers. so YAY Club Passim! i can't wait til we move back out here and start playing there weekly or so... i guess i didn't tell you all that me and lilb are moving back east by year's end. well, we are! i miss the seasons and need to go back home. we'll probably end up in Rhode Island, leaving the Bay Area by November 1st...
yesterday i drove down to Swansea MA to play at a very special school for kids who need help. playing my songs about my life and especially my childhood which was often really hard, was really emotional for me. i don't know... when i know the audience really understands the stories, it's harder for me to keep "performing." i start to really FEEL the stuff underneath all the performing. does that make sense? they were really a great audience. it's a live-in school with about 27 kids ages 12 - 21. they asked really great questions. and some of them shared some of their own writing with me. i really appreciate that. i believe sharing stories is one of our most healing activities, so thanks Meadowridge! you're fabulous!
then on my way back i drove around for over an hour to find a parking spot in Boston! oiye. by the time i got back to my sister's apartment, it was time for a late dinner. i went over to the restaurant she works at and ate really yummy salad and bread and wine and coffee and dessert. mmmmmmmm. and her friends joined us for the dessert part so that was most excellent. yay for new friends! they will all help me set up a gig at Simmons in November too!
today, i'm catching up on some computer things, making more tour flyers cuz i'm running out, packing up the car, trying to contact that scouting agency, and getting ready for the most exciting gig of this tour - headlining the night of noise part of their celebration of the national queer day of silence at UNH. yipppeeee! should be fabulous!
peace and tiramisu,
april 5, 2003
Sometimes it snows in April. I wish i knew that song well enough to cover it because Buffalo is covered in snow this April. The Coffee Bean show with Lea Prentiss and Tim Baldwin was lovely last night. Some new and old fans were there, and it's just nice to see happy smiling faces of folks who enjoy what we're doing, you know? Last night I gave Tim his first tarot reading. It was really fun. I have this gorgeous deck that a friend of mine from Asheville created. I'm sure it's in a store near you -- you should check it out. I think it's called "New World Tarot." I did an in-store performance at New World Record this afternoon and the people there are also lovely. yay! Bought the very beautifully packaged NEW Throwing Muses album. yipppppeeeee! Went to lunch with a new Buffalo friend who has been kind enough to lend me her bed these past few days. If you are ever in Buffalo you MUST eat a Custer St sandwich and a hot chocolate at Stimulance. It is SO good and they serve their sandwiches on THE Best bagels (H & H bagels). i SO miss them from my NYC days, so i always visit Stimulance when I'm in Buffalo... anyhoo, off to my SPoT Coffee show tonight and my Rochester SPoT Coffee show tomorrow.... tah-dah!
april 4, 2003
Ice and snow in Buffalo! What a contrast! When i got to Ann Arbor it was cold and i woke to snow, but then the next day it was actually hot! But now I'm in ice storm weather. Last night i had to scrape ice off all my car windows twice. And this morning it is snowing and covering the ground! So much for spring...
The show last night was very mellow, we think mostly due to the ice storm that made driving so icky. So I played to the folks who braved the cold and ice, and then i got to watch Peter Mulvey play. He is truly an amazing guitarist, really beautiful. I was so happy to listen. The sound engineer, Kenny, has a fabulous collection of little plastic creatures and such. I spent a fair amount of time looking at them and placing translucent ones over lights on the board so they'd glow. Both Peter and an audience member thought my makeup was a tattoo, and Kenny thought I should get a tattoo of it, so i wouldn't have to keep putting it on my face every night. Thing is I don't put it on my face every night... Tonight for example, I'm feeling lowkey in the stageface department. aaaah, winter weather. corduroys and sweaters. fireplaces and hot chocolate.
Today i'm doing my best to stay inside where it's warm. i'm doing lots of random business on my fabulous new laptop and then i'll get ready for tonight's show. i might even watch a movie.
hope to see all my Buffalo fans tonight at Coffee Bean Cafe - in spite of the cold!
peace and parmesan,
april 3, 2003
i'm here in Buffalo now. it was SO much harder than usual to cross the border. and believe it or not, i've never owned a passport, so i had improper identification and they actually cared this time. they looked at all my gear and told me they should charge me taxes on my merchandise even though i'm not trying to sell it in Canada. all this after always making them laugh and having them wave me through in 2 minutes in the past. oh well. it's war time, hunh?
i listened to Kristin Hersh's new mellow Grotto, and of course i had to listen to Ani D on my way into her home town. i listened to Living in Clip, which i love. and then Tuck and Patti because i've been really enjoying singing "Everything is Gonna Be Alright" a cappella and think i might do it tonight...
so now i'm getting ready for my gig tonight opening for Peter Mulvey. i'm very excited about it! wish me all good things.
peace and ny bagels,
april 1, 2003
I'm out of the southwest and about to leave the midwest now, for the northeast portion of this lovely spring tour. I woke to snow on the ground here in Ann Arbor, and have a few much-needed days of rest after 6 shows in 6 days in 6 towns, before I head out to Buffalo. The shows have been lovely. I am always surprised by how the stereotypes do and don't fit the people of the various parts of this huge and diverse country. I meet the nicest people; I'm sure of it. I have really sweet, friendly, powerful, critical-thinking friends in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Michigan and I am just continually amazed and blessed with their stories and generosity.
aaaah, so, to recap...
the show in Fairfield was fabulous. Cafe Paradiso is a beautiful little place and the owner is so nice and the sound engineer is so good at making the sound so exquisite. I am going to have to talk to him about the microphone and cables he used because I think I want to add them to my own sound system. They sounded great. The mic was unlike any I had seen and is smaller so it didn't block my face so much. So wait and see me turn up with it sometime soon... What a fun show! And Fairfield continues to impress me with its so present people. Really a lovely show.
Iowa City was a completely different variety of show. loud, smoky, covers kind of bar, knowing I wouldn't do too many, booking me because they loved my music. So I played to a small group of friends of a fan who saw me long ago in Taos NM, and to occassionally interested barfolks. I played three smoky hours. Rock's Roadhouse's owners are sweet people. So I had a nice time of it. And they gave me ideas for venues more suited to me for next time.
People keep telling me to play in Chicago this tour! So next tour through the midwest (November) it will happen.
Then I had that long LONG day driving from Iowa City to Ann Arbor. I made good time and avoided a real snow storm (just flurries, nothing sticking) all the way there. Had time to be quiet and eat dinner and loadin and change and relax a bit, before people came to the show. aah. I finally stopped feeling like I was still in motion. Friends came to the show. One of them I hadn't seen in 13 years! What a surprise. And I was hanging out with him when the Gulf War had just started, so I've actually been thinking of him a lot lately. Strange coincidence! He saw my name in the paper and showed up. yipppeeee! So... I had a fun show, in spite of my tiredness making me feel almost like I was hallucinating or momentarily forgetting what i was doing... And I made some new fans too. :) Hobartt at Crazy Wisdom is just great. And this time I got to meet is very smart son. He will be 8 soon and is already sightreading music really well! hoooray!
so now i'm having a few mellow peaceful days in Ann Arbor. I had dinner with different friends two nights in a row. I got to go to the most amazing Zingerman's (yaaaay!) for really really good healthy hormone-free antibiotic-free yummy yummy Jewish deli food! i also got to go to yoga classes. and i'm also getting caught up on so much business and this here tour diary update.
Tomorrow I drive to Buffalo. Thursday I play what will be a most fabulous show with Peter Mulvey at Nietszche's. I can't wait to see him live. It will be my first time... Then there's more shows in Buffalo and one in Rochester, and then I'm off to see family and make fans in New England!
Anyhoo, hope you are all well and thinking peaceful thoughts. We need them right about now.
peace and pastrami,
march 27, 2003
so i'm sitting at the bar at The Music Cafe in Columbia MO, listening to my biggest MO fan play her geetar and sing. I just finished my white Russian. Although i have not drunk a single alcoholic or caffeinated drink this whole tour, it felt necessary here, like tradition, because of the last two tours through here, the cigarette smoke and the fact that i have to play until 1am tonight. unfortunately i also have to leave really early tomorrow for a soundcheck and radio show in Fairfield IA before my gig there tomorrow night. such is the life of this traveling musician. Nikki, my Missouri fan, covers one of my songs. I wish she'd do it for me tonight. But she said she's nervous (cuz i'm here?)... And her girlfriend has her same name, first and middle. And she has the smallest apartment and the cutest most hyper dog. aaaaah, cigarette smoke. how to wreck the voice before you even start. i think i'm going to play 18 songs tonight and start with Give instead of end with it. Nikki is talking about feeling really really old at 21. hah! i'm ancient!
so...i'm tired. i woke to cold in the unheated straw bale house i slept in. i visited new friends for potatoes cooked on a wood-burning stove and scrambled eggs. i packed up my things and brought them to the car, wondering how detached i must be becoming as i am constantly coming and going and never staying. i used ethernet on my computer for the first time in Dancing Rabbit's mobile home. i visited those same friends for grilled cheese and cheese puffs at noon, then returned to the ether and drove away, through the country back roads of Missouri. miles of uninhabited rolling hills, occassional cows, and less frequent horses, feeling tired and under-exercised and missing my girlfriend too much. Got to Columbia in 2 Peter Gabriel album's time (melted face and So), remembering how when Ani D slept in my dorm bedroom she spent about 5 minutes looking at every cd in my case and picking Peter, but i don't remember which one...Security? I have no security in this life. Does anyone?
we're at war. each one of us, in ourselves. isn't that where peace starts? Get Bush to meditate or do yoga or something. God.
so now i'm in Fairfield Iowa. during today's drive i felt sad because i got so underpaid for my kick-ass 18-song set last night. it's just frustrating to be underpaid/ undermined so often. tonight should be far better. i listened to Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual and True Colors (ah - smile) and Tori's Choir Girl Motel (is that the right name?) on the drive here... now, i'm sitting at Revelations Books where i performed last time i was in town. everyone in this little town knows me. it's comforting and discomforting at the same time. i had the most amazing avocado-spinach-feta sandwhich, some ginger brew and a yummy chocolate brownie with chocolate mousse and raspberries. probably the first time i've been fully fed in a week! the owner sat down and talked with me and then started playing my cd... it made me laugh to hear it. i like this town. i'm using their ethernet too, and for some reason, i can't mail messages while using ethernet. i have no idea why...
anyhoo, i need to be off to get to loadin and soundcheck and to the radio show and to get a shower and dinner before the show.
many blessings y'all.
march 26, 2003
i was so not looking forward to my 12:30am open mic set at The Bottleneck in Lawrence KS. i was tired, and i was imagining no one would be at a bar in the middle of a monday night. but i was wrong. a band was actually booked for 1am, there were people there, and they loved my set. so thanks for proving me wrong, Lawrence!! you were a fabulous audience. i hope to see you all again in november! in the meantime, buy up all of my cds that are in stock at Prairie Pond, a beautiful shop in downtown Lawrence, so you can learn all the words to those songs for when i return! and can anyone from Lawrence fill me in on what it is in that alley behind The Bottleneck where musicians load in their gear? it's really really gross. it's like an orange-brown slime that covers the ground and stinks. i like the venue a lot once inside, but ick outside. ick ick ick. but how could i not like a venue that has a Throwing Muses promo photo on its wall of promo photos?
and then i drove and drove to Rutledge MO for a house concert at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, where i am now. i listened to The Police's Outlandos d'Armour and Synchronicity, Jane's Addiction's Nothing's Shocking, jason and jane's Prate and Idle Chatter, and Nina Simone... it is beautiful here. this is that place i stayed during my first tour where they have composting toilets and build all their own solar-powered houses. it's so quiet out here in the country. and there are so many more stars visible at night. the show was sweet and cozy. and the people here have remarkable stories about why they're here and what they're working on here... a couple from Berkeley CA has been here about 4-5 years and is building their own straw-bale house. it's in progress. i can't wait to see what it looks like when i'm back through here in november.
anyhoo, today i'm off to Columbia. let's see if i can actually get this online before i go...
peace and barbara's cheese puffs,
march 23, 2003
i'm sleepy and low-voiced this morning. i'm in Lawrence KS with a friend of mine. last you all heard i was in ABQ and i'd just finished up a gig there. next day, i drove all the way to Wichita to stay with some friends of mine there. i was driving for 11 hours, 600 miles. through northeastern NM i was scanning the radio stations. at first i noticed only two stations that had good enough reception to come up during the scan. one was like a classic rock/ hard rock/ white-males-singing-angry station. the other was a Santa Rosa NM local station that was playing mostly hip hop/ black-males-singing-angry station. after a while i also tried the am stations and found three stations playing the same Rush Limbaugh program -- and that was all! some poor man was trying to convince Rush that Bush was the true axis of evil. why do people call in to radio stations when they know they will just be verbally abused or at the very least put down and argued with? why do people sign up for that? we americans seem to love hearing it on radio and seeing it on tv though. ick.
so anyhoo, in Texas i saw 2 huge slaughterhouses much like the one on highway 5 in Cali. one was even bigger than the Cali one though. it seems like it is just miles of thousands of packed-together cows. and the stench is not a normal cow waste stench. it is the stench of chemicals and overpopulation. i so don't want to eat that beef! i bet that is the beef Bush grew up on, beef full of violent rage. boy, does that man need to detox! all that is on highway 54, through northeastern NM, a corner of Texas, the panhandle of Oklahoma (yes, i went through Hooker OK again!), and then through Kansas.
i listened to Kristin Hersh's Strange Angels, Kate Bush's The Dreaming (i just love that album: it has so much emotion, so much passion, and there's this really great song about Vietnam that just seemed fitting with the war going on. it's written from the supposed perspective of one of the soldiers from Vietnam, how he sees the American soldiers and how what he is fighting for is his very life), Kate Bush's The Sensual World, Gillian Welch's Time (the Revelator), and Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville. i /think/ that's all i listened to. it's always harder to remember when i don't write it down that same day. but some days are just tricky that way. i listened to the radio some, i had to make some business phone calls that day, and i spent some time just watching the flat lands and rain in silence. and Gillian felt so perfect for those flat lands that i listened to her twice. the rain that drizzled all day eventually stopped, right in time for the sun to shine through the clouds for a gorgeous sunset in my rearview. the earth turned green right there, and the clouds, bluegrey, just 40 miles to Wichita.
and when i got to Wichita, Jim and Janneane took such good care of me! they fed me right away and set me up to take a bath for my so sore muscles, and showed me to their new guestroom in which i was the first guest. but they've had so much rain recently that their phone lines were too damp to hold an internet connection, so i couldn't write here then... hence the delay. i slept so well that night! and then we went out for breakfast and talked about the bubba-mentality predominant in Wichita.
then we went to an estate sale. what a trip to step into someone else's home and look at their 50-years-worth of crap! there was a room full of christmas ornaments, a room full of books, the kitchen full of kitchen stuff, the bathroom full of barthroom stuff... there was a baby grand piano that i sat down and played. i was told that the woman who lived there used to play for all the silent films, back in the day. there was also a report from the piano tuner, assessing the piano's condition. they said it hadn't been played much and that it was in above average condition. but i wouldn't have bought it. although the keys were mostly even, it just didn't have the dig i like and it hasn't been maintained well enough to hold its tuning... they asked though, if i wanted to buy it. their asking price was $1450, which is quite cheap for it, i think. but i'm from the land of milk and money...
so anyhoo, we then went looking for a book i need to find in hardback. i've been looking for it forever. it is Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time. it is one of my absolute favorite books, and you should all read it. and if you ever find it in hardback, buy it for me and i'll pay you back for it. needless to say, we didn't find it there. then we went back to their home and had lunch and they sent me off with a full tank of gas. they are some of the sweetest people.
so now i'm in Lawrence KS. i listened to Billie Holiday on the drive over here. it was a comparitively short drive. and i got here right as it got dark. my old friend Heather immediately took me out to grab food. we were overheard by a black man asking us if we participate in those kinds of things, when i was telling Heather about the protest in ABQ. he sounded all on the offensive, so i answered very neutrally that i was performing at the time. he then took the defensive, saying oh, he actually flew out to DC for a rally just last week. he keeps going to all kinds of protests. he can't believe the mentality here in this country because he travels all over the world and finds so many people who think Bush is a very bad joke. it was interesting to hear some stranger's perspective, but Heather was hungry and we needed to go. so we got our food and came back to her place to eat. spring rolls and pad thai. yum. Heather knows everyone in Lawrence. we walked around today and did a few errands. i got some groceries. i met a woman who is showing Heather's artwork in her store. the woman wants to take some of my cd's on consignment too. cool. i'll put them there in the morning, many hours before my late-night gig here in town. i also had my favorite drink in Lawrence, an iced Snow Tiger, similar to the iced Polar Bear of Hot Monkey Love Cafe in San Diego. and we went to a beautiful used bookstore called Dusty Bookshelf. they will keep their eyes open for my Marge Piercy hardcover. yay.
so...I think that's everything i can think of to tell you. i'm hungry but I'm waiting for Heather to come home to eat. i talked with my sister today. and my dad. going to see them both soon in MA and NH. and i tried to talk with my sweetheart but she's a busy girl.
peace and peanut sauce,
march 20, 2003
i drove some 300 miles today. i stopped at Mel and Dee's in Thoreau NM again for some fry bread and soup. the Navajo waitress looked at me with surprise when i asked for fry bread, but the stuff is so amazing and so reminds me of doughboys from my youth in Rhode Island... so if you are ever driving on highway 40 between Albuquerque and Flagstaff, you've got to get off at exit 53 and follow the signs to the Navojo Co-op (also a must-see non-profit with great causes). you'll see Mel and Dee's before you reach the Co-op. you'll be glad you did!
so i listened to... Sade's best of, Tuck and Patti's Tears of Joy (so beautiful), and Janis Joplin's Pearl. i tried to have a convo with my kid sis today too. but listen, don't call people on their cell phones driving in most of AZ and NM; there's no reception. we talked a little, listened to what sounded like a storm, talked a little, thought we got disconnected, talked a little...until we got disconnected.
and then tonight i played at Kelly's in ABQ. it was great. a nice pub/restaurant, loud and yet friendly. people were into it even though they weren't always listening. i was competing with a huge tv, darts, pool and tons of talkative people, and yet, people were still into it. so i had fun. and someone from Fairfield IA was there! funny how that happens... on the downside, i heard about a demonstration in protest to the war down the street from where i was playing. apparantly cops came down hard on the protesters, using mace and even tear gas! ick.
anyhoo, i need to sleep tonight, because i have to drive about 11 hours tomorrow, all the way to Wichita.
many blessings folks,
keep praying for peace.
march 19, 2003
so first things first: how amazing is it that i can write you all right now at the end of a long day of driving, on my laptop!?!?!?! i can't believe it. i got all these handy dandy local internet dial-up numbers, so wherever i go i can dial up and write you all of my day's travels.
so would you believe i drove 800 miles today? from Oakland to Flagstaff, in less than 12 hours. crazy. this country is so big and beautiful, and i really mean it when i say you should all drive all over it.
i'm writing this while in a fellow musician's bedroom, with a movie blasting in the other room. i don't know what movie it is, but her housemate said it is about nuclear destruction, so i opted out. too close to reality right now. but from the sound of the movie, it's not all that realistic or serious...
anyhoo, 12 hours is a lot of driving. i left at 6am. can i tell you that one of the best foods to eat while driving is gorp? gorp is, well, trail mix. and you can really just get any and all of your favorite dried fruits and nuts and put it all in the same bag, and it's gorp. it's great road food because it keeps your mind clear without filling you up and it's easy to eat while driving so you don't loose time. i spent $80 on the inflated price of gas (just another plot to get us behind the war, the way i see it) today. $80 for 800 miles... i talked to a reporter in Sacramento about war tax resistance too. i'll probably be quoted soon... and with 12 hours in the car i listened to LOTS of music: a friend and dj's radio show (Portland State University's KPSU) which included a track of mine, a track of Peter Mulvey's, a track of Kristin Hersh's and a track of Ani D's, to name a few; Throwing Muses' Red Heaven; Fleetwood Mac's greatest; Kate Bush's Hounds of Love; Prince's Sign of the Times; Ani D's Like I Said (but honestly i like the original versions of these songs, on her first two albums, better than this remake album's versions...); Incubus' Make Yourself (gotta put in Incubus whenever the driver needs to wake up, see); Throwing Muses' Limbo; and Lauryn Hill's Miseducation.
and there you have it, day #1 of the 40-day 26-and-counting-show tour.
pray for peace everybody,
...peace and... gorp!
march 10, 2003
if you missed the SOLD OUT March 6th Nameless show you can see the videotaping of it on March 29th at 4pm PST on www.luver.com. You need a Real Player to watch. It is downloadable from www.luver.com by clicking on the REAL icon toward the bottom of the page. Be sure to look for the free one. We recommend you download it in advance as it
can take a while to download. Enjoy!!!!!
peace and fig bars,
march 7, 2003
hello good people!
we rock! you rock! you all came to the nameless last night and totally PACKED the house! whoooooohooooooo! i very much appreciate you all for being there. it just makes the show that much more spectacular. Littlebird did a gorgeous full-length set (her first in Oakland since her hand injury!!!) which i accompanied her on. and then we swapped, becoming a completely new act (tee hee) by playing my songs with her as accompanist. we played "bound" -- we're STILL waiting for the arrival of the limited edition single; i will keep you posted -- and did my brand new, only-played-3-times-before, still-not-remembering-all-the-words song, "day of rain" with Littlebird on flute, and kept everyone out too late on a school night. anyhoo, thanks everybody for packing the place. full house, sold out, and everybody singing the "i want real love" part of "silver." it was a beautiful rendition. i kept wanting to insert all the other things i want, things like no war, no bombs, free health care for everyone, free education for everyone, complete deconstruction of the military, complete revamping of the government, etc. but i left the lyrics unchanged... the whole show was videotaped by LUVer, an online radio/video program. i don't know when it will be aired but if i find out i will tell you. i can't wait to see it! so anyhoo, now i'm on to booking the next tour. kristi, get back to work!
peace and fudge brownies,
march 5, 2003
here's the latest...
we had a great show at Salada Beach Cafe in Pacifica CA. such sweet people run this cute little coastal spot. and you MUST eat their carrot cake. it is by far the best i've ever had.
the sad news on Monday was that our faithful intern Sheryl is leaving her Sealed Lip Records post for new and exciting endeavors. we wish her lots of luck and peace and are really really thankful for the great work she did in the 6 months she was here.
so meanwhile, i'm booking the next tour...like mad. there are lots of great shows coming up in March and April, from coast to coast. check the tour schedule to the left for details. the next show is tomorrow night!! we're so psyched to be playing at the Nameless here in Oakland. i hope we'll see you all there.
peace and mangoes,
february 25, 2003
hello good people.
we're home!!! we got home at 2am on monday morn... yesterday we tried to settle in. but there's piles of messages and mail to sort through and there's lots of booking and promoting to do, plus shows! but anyhoo, here's the lowdown on the end of the February tour:
we never made it to Blacks Beach... we just took longer at getting on the road than we'd imagined... but we drove to Yorba Linda to stay with LilB's friends, Jenny and Don. we went to Disneyland on Wednesday! i'd never been. kinda crazy, i know, but really, i'd never been. we rode on many things, bawked at the cost of everything, were so so happy Don had gotten us in for free, wore ourselves out walking and riding and looking at everything, and even got me an unusual t-shirt in spite of ourselves. Don learned all the drum parts on my CD "brave enough!!!" then he made up some drum parts to some of LilB's songs. we rehearsed after our day at disney til way too late. the next day we got to check email and hung out with Jenny a little bit before rehearsing again and then playing for a few of their friends house-concert-style. it was so much fun to play with Don! we were psyched. then Friday we had a show at Gypsy Den, a pretty place in Santa Ana. we had yummy food and played 3 great sets. the next day we left for San Luis Obispo. we met our intern's friend, Piper, played at Linnaea's Cafe - a very sweet small cafe there. people there were totally into our music. it was so much fun. we just had trouble fitting our whole 2-guitar, keyboard, conga, pa setup on their teeny tiny stage. i literally had to be trapped into my seat at the keyboard while we performed... but we had fun anyhow.
guess what we listened to in the car.... INCUBUS! of course. we were thinking about what songs we might want to cover. and thinking we might suddenly turn into an Incubus cover band with all the songs we'd like to do. we'd call ourselves Winkubus or something stupid like that. just kidding. and that reminds me! i forgot to tell you all that my friend, Ben, and Littlebird and I, and his friend, Michelle, played a stunning cover of Gillian Welch's "Everything is Free." Ben played guitar, Littlebird played mandolin, I sang, and Michelle played electric bass. i just love that song! anyhoo, sorry i neglected to mention it earlier. it was exquisite, both at Lestat's and at Claire's...
and then let's see.... we ate breakfast at Linnaea's Sunday morn and then headed to Fairfax for our last gig of the tour, an Indiegrrl showcase at a nice venue/bar, 19 Broadway. we're hoping to do a longer set there sometime in the near future. it was great to meet some indiegrrls i hadn't met before! Emily Kurn set the whole thing up and played some great country-folk sounding songs. Madeleine King played some very pretty Joni Mitchell-style originals. Rebecca Jensen actually did a Joni cover, and reminded me of myself and of Ani D. i was particularly impressed with her intricate guitar playing and powerful voice, and that she was playing the show just 4 days after moving cross country... and we really liked the sound person, Jeff. he took good care of all of us. hopefully we'll be seeing more of him sometime soon.
so now....we're booking march and april and may, getting ready for our Pacifica show this friday and our big show at the Nameless in Oakland on March 6th(!!!!!), planning a duo cd, fundraising for The Mule, awaiting the arrival of the limited edition bound single, and i'm getting ready to go across the country again in just three weeks!
meanwhile praying the world doesn't explode into war.
peace and free range chicken,
february 18, 2003
hey y'all, we're leaving SD and our friend, Matt, today. going to be in LA for a few days with Littlebird's friend, Jenny. we're actually going to go to Disneyland! i've never been... so anyway. we had some fun shows in SD. Claire de Lune's and Twiggs were particularly nice. i premiered my new unfinished tune, Day of Rain, last night at Claire's. and we met some new fans and hung out with some old ones. we're going to go to Blacks Beach on our way out of town. should be beautiful...hard not to be beautiful in San Diego...
peace and sushi,
february 15, 2003
i'm finally here writing to ya. we're in San Diego now with my friend, Matt. we've had so many shows already but i haven't had a chance to write to you til now... so here goes.
we drove over 500 miles on wednesday to Needles CA, just on our way to Flagstaff AZ. thursday we drove the 200 miles to Flagstaff and really wished we had more time to check out the town. it's gorgeous, but we were COLD! we set up all our gear and had Thai food with the booker at Flagbrew and then played our 3 sets. we met the singer of Motherbus, a local Flagstaff band. she really liked our set so we're hoping to see her play next time we're in Flagstaff. We listened to 3 CDs of a concert we did with Kevin Silvia in RI in December, and then we listened to his new CD, Person. but we haven't listened to much else the whole trip because we've been talking and making plans and stuff.
next day we drove another 500 miles to Taos. it took longer than we'd hoped and we had a 3-hour gig at Eske's Brew Pub that night, so we were Very Very tired. we were a little late and had no idea where we were going to stay that night, so we were stressed. i ate while Littlebird played a solo set. Eske's is a tiny restaurant and was packed, and people were waiting for a place to sit. i was at the bar waiting for my food and these two men sat on either side of me, apparantly wishing i'd move so they could sit together, but since they didn't outright ask, i didn't get it... so we ended up talking, me in the middle of them, and i eventually asked one of them, Denny, if he knew any good cheap places to stay near Taos, because we needed a place that night and the next two nights. he looked at me in amazement, saying he was actually staying in half of an amazing duplex and the other half was empty. he offered for us to stay there if we wanted. i was amazed. so when Littlebird's set was over, i told her to sit where i'd sat and talk to Andy and Denny because we were probably going to follow them to their place that night. we did, and it was a totally gorgeous unique building in Pilar. we couldn't believe our luck. we had a whole apt to ourselves for the weekend! so anyway, sometimes it's totally okay to trust strangers. we've got new friends in Taos. Actually, Andy is from Austin TX, so we have a new friend there too. the show at Taos Inn the next day was fabulous too. people were really into our music. Alley Cantina was also great. we did just two sets there instead of three. and the Taos Inn booker came to the Alley show. it was sweet of her to stop by. we just in general got a warm friendly reception in Taos. apparantly we are an unusual act to come through there, but one people are really liking. :)
then on monday we drove 400 miles to Show Low AZ, just on our way to Tucson. we stopped at this excellent little mom and pop restaurant called Mel and Dee's, a Navajo diner-like place in Thoreau NM, where we got mutton stew and fry bread. really excellent stuff and so so so much better than most road food (read Denny's). the drive down 77 through AZ is just AMAZING. there's no place to get food, which turned into a problem for us. but it was just gorgeous. red rock mesas, amazing views. just beautiful. it is mostly Navajo and Apache reservations and national forest lands... wish more of the country was so left to be its stunning self...
We got to Tucson, ate at Gus Balon's (of course), took a nap, then went to our show at Epic Cafe. Epic has a great space and great desserts and drinks but unfortunately is rather disorganized. they double booked us with a guitar singer-songwriter guy. he was really good (his first name is Daniel and he is from Boston - sorry I don't remember his last name), but it's difficult when both acts think they have 3 hours and only end up with 1. he did his best to get off stage quickly and we rushed to get our stuff on and soundchecked and then we played for an hour. people really liked it though, so all is good. some people actually came to both our Tucson shows! and someone who saw us in Taos also came to both our Tucson shows! Our show at the Biz was great too. people were into it. yaaay! we were so hungry afterwards we went to the only 24 hour place we know of in Tucson, Grill. it's downtown and the food is good, especially the milkshakes. we also made sure to go to our favorite Tucson pizza place, Magpies, and to our favorite Tucson bookstore, Antigone, and our favorite little shop, Aroma Tree, to visit our friend, Sonia. She makes all these great soaps and lotions and she's helped us play especially good Tucson gigs, like OUToberfest last October. Thursday we played at Townsend Middle School for maybe 200 kids. it was great to play for them and answer questions. they wanted to know how we met and how we got started and if it cost anything to sign the mailing list. :)
yesterday we drove 500 miles to San Diego and played at Hot Monkey Love Cafe on Valentine's Day! they're a new cafe and they have lots of live music there. tonight we're playing at Twiggs which is always nice because of the grand piano. i'll fill you in more before we leave SD...
be well everybody!
pray for peace,
february 3, 2003
okay, so, i'm excited, because we have a great show coming up in our home town, Oakland, in a small venue we feel really good about, The Nameless. so we went over to their open mic on friday night. it was sweet. we were the only women who played!?!?!?! i know i should be used to this, but i just surround myself with lots of powerful women so i forget that we don't populate every nook and cranny sometimes. my bad. but still, it was really lovely to hear the instrumentalists, the folk songs, and the more bluesy rock songs written by these perormers. and it's always encouraging when no one sucks at an open mic! yaaaaay! so Littlebird and i sang some of my stuff a cappella (because i don't set up my monster keyboard for fewer than 5 songs) and then we did some of her stuff too. just a generally nice vibe...
so then saturday we played in Sacramento at Luna's Cafe. i love that little place. i couldn't Believe that Caron Vikre could fit a 5-piece band on that stage, but she plays there every month and she did in fact fit her band on the stage. they were great. and they really enjoyed our set too. :) and my fans came out to see me - yaaaaay! and we just generally had a nice night there. and Luna's has Great Moca Mexicana! yum.
so.... let's see... we leave town in less than 36 hours! eeeeeeek. we're playing i don't know, 15 shows throughout the southwest. it should be beautiful and fun. so come check out our shows. i'll post tour updates as often as possible, so stay tuned!
stay safe out there,
january 27, 2003
hey folks, i just got asked to send my newest cd, "brave enough," to www.luver.com, an entirely uncensored internet radio broadcast. they're cool, so i think you might want to check them out. be well!
so hey there folks! we had a cozy private show in sf last friday. it was sweet playing the nice baldwin grand at our friends' house. and we watched the Oakland Raiders get befuddled yesterday, and we're lying low here in Oakland cuz everybody's so blue. we're planning a big Oakland show in March and well, we're out of town so much that if you're here in the east bay you should really attend this show because it's one of probably only 2 more we're doing in all of 2003 in Oakland (or even the whole east bay)! so anyway, in other news, Sheryl is learning how to keep us very busy, which is fabulous. she's helping us run the office and helping us book more and more shows all over. so we're heading to New Mexico and Arizona and southern Cali in a week, doing that big Oakland show in March then heading to the midwest, and heading to the northeast and south in April. lots going on in the SLR office! and we love Sheryl! so if you have any special thanks to give her, please do! i guess i'm rambly today... we're playing at this great little cafe and restaurant in Sacramento called Luna's Cafe on February 1st. that's the next show.. and i'm hoping the bound single arrives before we depart for the southwest. see you there!
january 20, 2003
we're home!!! and tomorrow's my birthday!!! i wonder who (that doesn't already know) can guess my age??? that might be a tough question since people have been telling me i'm anywhere between 16 and 37 for about 13 years now... oh well. i'm ageless, or aged, or something....
so, Cayuga Vault was once again a FABulous show! they have a small grand piano now, so I got to do the inside-the-piano version of The Mule. i also did "bound" with Littlebird singing the backup part. it's really great to be playing that old piece again. and there was so much laughter about my giggling and freaky intensity, a good blend i guess. then we had a cozy santa barbara house concert in a house that really should start a monthly house concert series -- it is SO perfect for house concerts! so grand a living room. and then we played at Genghis Cohen. we LOVED the food there, and one most generous fan decided to pay for our dinner! also, the sound in their listening room is just exquisite. we had so much fun playing our set! it was a small and Very Enthusiastic crowd. we will keep working our LA draw toward an even bigger show there in the future.
and now we're home... let's see...we listened to Lauryn Hill's MTV Unplugged (it is SO amazing to hear her talk between songs - you've got to check it out), our Cayuga Vault show (but unfortunately Littlebird's vocals and guitar were not sent to the mix), the Sacramento TV show we did in December, the bEASTfest compilation (featuring Ramona the Pest and Blevin Blechdom, who I went to school with at Mills), all the mixes of "bound" so as to choose the one that will be the soon-to-be-completed cd single, a compilation of contemporary Italian folk songs, Martin Sexton, and Gillian Welch. good stuff.
tomorrow's my birthday. we're having friends over for pizza and ice cream. blessings everybody!
january 13, 2003
hey there friends and fans,
i'm so excited! it could partially just be the sugar high from the chocolate i just ate, but mostly i think it's the great radio show i had yesterday... but first things first. it's been a bit too long since my last post and i need to tell you about all the wonderful shows we've had!
on the 3rd of this year we played at San Francisco's Dolores Park Cafe. it was packed and loads of fun. Katharine Chase hosts a lovely songwriter's series there. it's a round robin, so i got stage side seats to hear Katharine's rockin' guitar and voice songs and Vienna Teng's pretty piano and voice songs. it was neat to have two totally different styles of piano and voice songwriting (and two huge keyboards) on one tiny stage! the stage was so small that Littlebird joined me only on some songs. we all had fun laughing at the two of us sharing a single microphone for vocals.
on thursday the 9th, we played at A'Roma Roasters in Santa Rosa. it was rainy but still people were there and loving the music.
and on saturday we play at Kimo's Nightclub. we love the upstairs bartender, Patrick. he's a sweetheart. our set was shortened due to booking changes at Kimo's and we were between a loud punk band and a loud hip hop band, so it was a little odd. but nonetheless many enjoyed the show! and we certainly had fun, because we always love playing the music.
so my excitement...is that i had a really great radio show on KPIG in Watsonville (near Santa Cruz) yesterday. i knew it would be an excellent show because "Please Stand By..." is a radio show with an excellent reputation for bringing really fine music to the airwaves. But to my delight, Utah Phillips is who interviewed me! I had a half-hour on the air with him, and it was just so special. i feel so honored to have been in his presence, you know? so if you don't know who he is, check him out (www.utahphillips.org). he's a folk artist/storyteller with an amazing memory for so much historical information, particularly the less-known workers' history.
it's nice to be so blessed.
we're really looking forward to a packed house at Cayuga Vault, so go get your tickets! the show was so much fun last time and tickets are only $8 in advance. then we're off to a Santa Barbara house concert, and our first show at LA's Genghis Cohen. we can't wait! remember that I'm giving away signed copies of my first cd, Give Me a Little... to the first 10 people through the door at Genghis Cohen, and the cover is only $7!! hope to see you there!
january 1, 2003
i'm so much better now! yaaay! we had a fabulous show in RI saturday night. Kevin and Littlebird played guitar and sang on lots of my songs, and we did lots of covers together. Littlebird and I sang on a couple of Kevin's songs too. it was so much fun. can't wait to hear the recording! then Littlebird and I celebrated my Grammy and Pépère's 56th anniversary with them on sunday. monday, lots of Martel's came out to see our New Hampshire show at the Sad Cafe. it's such a good stage. we had fun there. then we drove to nyc on Very little sleep (eeek) and played a show here in NYC at the C-Note. we had dinner at the Life Cafe and slept and slept after watching the ball drop and some gorgeous fireworks from our friends' Brooklyn apartment. yipppeee. so tomorrow - way too early - we fly back home for a san francisco show on friday night. phew! busy december. we'll be working on the graphics for the bound single this month and it should be ready for your listening pleasure by february. check out the ways-you-can-help page to find out how to get your very own copy of this signed and numbered limited edition single of this beautifully intense Kristi rarity. blessins y'all. and happy new year!