Kristi's Tour Diary Archive - 2008

Tour Dates

Thursday, December 11, 2008
Hallo Joyful People!

Although I have not written in a while, things have been brewing, and I have a lot to tell you.

We have been cooking and baking and celebrating our blessings and gratitude and saying goodbye to people in our family who have passed on. I have been doing more yoga than ever and truly transforming myself more fully in to what I have always been, to get ready for the forthcoming album and tours.

The other day I baked some of the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had, and as I was driving to yoga, I saw a presumably homeless man with a cloth sign that read, "NOT DRUNK NOT HIGH JUST HUNGRY." I had put cookies in a Tupperware container for me for later, and I had been singing along with Patty Griffin in my CD player, crying because her songs are that beautiful. I suddenly realized I had food for him, and I opened the window to the bitter cold and stuck my hand and head out to say, "I have cookies for you. Enjoy them. I baked them yesterday!" He walked over and took them saying, "Thank you. God bless you." As I drove away, I cried all the harder hoping he would notice how much love went into their baking and how welcome he was.

Today, I donated cloth menstrual pads to an organization getting them to girls in Africa who often don't have any menstrual products and who miss many days of school as a result. Procter and Gamble has been donating disposable tampons and pads, but their communities don't usually have trash pick-up or landfills, so they incinerate these bleach-ridden, petroleum-based plastic products, and then breathe the toxic fumes. Cloth pads are the long term way to go. So I was happy to support these folks trying to do the right thing: Goods4Girls.

It is a good time to be giving. So many are hungry. So many are struggling, and our little gifts are the light that burns through the dark days of winter.

Maybe you know someone who needs the light of my music this winter. My CDs make great stocking stuffers.
Here's the easiest way to buy CDs: CD Baby.
Here is the easiest way to buy MP3's to add to the iPod you are getting for someone: iTunes.

And... RINGTONES are starting to become available! Customers can create a ringtone for an additional $.99 for any iTunes plus download. These ringtones are compatible with the iPhone only. My songs are also starting to be made available at GroupieTunes, so check there soon if you don't have an iPhone. I know so many of you have been waiting for this info! CD Baby is working to negotiate the best agreements with many distributors of ringtones, so keep looking around for my music at places where you buy ringtones.

We have been gathering up our team for Sealed Lip Records and the forthcoming album, "Sacred Whore." We have been setting a bunch of balls rolling, and we are just about to pick up momentum. We will be doing a show in Providence in January, moving in February, and hopefully in the studio by April. So it's time once again to ask for your help with fundraising. Donate money for the making of "Sacred Whore!" There are all kinds of lovely incentives for you here: HELP.

Thanks so much for all your love and support! It really means the world to me.

And here's to your holiday season being oh-so-bright. Be peace and understanding. Shine your brightest most loving self. Be you. Happy Solstice! Happy Yule! Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy Hanukah! Happy Winter!

Peace & joy & homemade organic chocolate chip cookies,

10:32 PM

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Hallo Beautiful Peaceful People!

Phew! What a whirlwind! We had a fantastic time in California. When we got home, my computer wouldn't get online, so I have been waiting and waiting to tell you all about it. Here goes...

We had a fine flight to Oakland on Tuesday September 2nd, and stayed with one of my Oakland moms for a few nights before heading to San Francisco. We didn't have my car this time, so it was fantastic to be able to walk two blocks down the street for yoga each day. We were busy publicizing the Yoshi's show, making flyers and phone calls and hanging posters.

Then on Friday morning, my Oakland mom drove us to our hotel, just blocks from Yoshi's and KPOO and the Kabuki Springs and Spa. I got to take some time to relax in the spa's hot and cold baths on Friday afternoon. And on Friday night I did a live interview with Francesca at KPOO. We gave away 4 pairs of tickets, had fun talking about community radio and my music, and played "Even Free," "Aged," "Give," "Hooker," "Littlebird's Flight," "Crossing Into Dreams," and "Blessed Community" on the air. It was a great time. I had a jolt of sadness when I talked about Littlebird's death live on the air. I was talking about the album "Ravengirl" and the song "Littlebird's Flight," just like I always do, and then realized how very close I was at that moment, to Lands End, where she died. I had a moment of trepidation too, that one of her friends would hear my voice on the radio and call in to berate me or the DJ while we were on the air. Thankfully, my fear has not yet manifest in their action. Hopefully it never will.

On Saturday I got to go to my friend Alex's yoga class. I am so proud of her, following her love of yoga all the way to India and studying to become the fine teacher she is now. Her class was fantastic! If you are in SF, you should check out her class schedule and take a class! We ate lunch at this great healthy eatery called The Grove on Fillmore. I love their salads! I had one of their salads every day I was there! That evening I was blessed to get a long shiatsu massage at Kabuki Spa. I needed it! I can't wait until I have my own personal masseuse on the road with me, for massages before and after every show. These piano arms know how to hold Tension!

Sunday brought me another of Alex's classes, while Kim walked all over SF hanging posters and handing out flyers for the Yoshi's show. She also looked online every chance she got to check how many tickets we had sold. We were getting very excited. On Sunday night we had nearly sold out Yoshi's. All day I focused on resting my arms and voice so that I not only played well but felt relaxed during the show.

On Monday, we had so much to bring over to Yoshi's that we took a cab even though it was only blocks away. The sound check was at 4. The sound engineer, Keith, set things up while I got acquainted with their exquisite 9-foot Steinway grand piano. Keith told me that they traveled to Germany to hand-pick that piano, and I believe it is the finest instrument I have yet had the honor of playing on stage, although I have played a fine Baldwin, a couple of very nice Bosendorfer's, and several stunning Yamaha's in past performances, as well as a lovely Yamaha and a beautiful old New York Steinway for my recordings. Keith was a pleasure to work with, and I was thrilled to try out the KSM9 microphone I have been reading about recently. The sound was simply fantastic that night!

The dressing room there is large and clean and well-equipped, and it nearly made my cry. Gone are the days where I am changing and putting on my make-up in a dingy, dirty, tiny club bathroom, or even in my car because the bathroom is that gross. I showered in the bathroom of the Yoshi's green room. I was served a bit of sushi before and a bit of sushi after the show in the dining room of the green room. I sat in front of those mirrored lights for about an hour before showtime, to tie my hair in about 30 twisted coils to dry naturally before the show, and to put on my make-up. Kim brought Chuck, our friend from Democracy Now, backstage to take a few photos of me before I got dressed.

Then I put on my dress and heels and let down my hair for the show. Kim walked me to the backstage entrance. While I waited for Keith's introduction, I remembered one of the very first performances I ever did. I was three years old and in a tap dance recital. I had on a black leotard, a hot pink skirt with black polka dots, and patent leather tap shoes. All us little girls in the same dance outfit walked out on stage to dance for our families and friends. And as we walked out and started dancing, I saw my grandfather in the audience with his camera, and I waved and shouted, "Hi, Pepere!" So when Keith introduced me and I walked out on stage, receiving so much excited applause, I decided to start by telling everyone the story of my first dance recital.

It was a special night, a moment of arrival, a moment of homecoming. The audience was so happy I was at Yoshi's, and I was so happy I was at Yoshi's and that they were all there with me, and Kim was beaming so much joy and pride from her seat in the audience. It took me longer than usually to calm down and get started. I had to stand and see and say hello to the 300 people packing the house first. I can't tell you how many times I saw that moment in my mind in the weeks leading up to the Yoshi's show. It was just like I had imagined: me, happy and near tears, full of gratitude for Kim and Yoshi's and everyone from KPFA who spread the word and attended the show, and everyone else who spread the word, and all the people who were there.

I had made the set list to suit the piano and to showcase lots of my newest songs:
1. Give
2. Fly
3. Aged
4. Autumn Nightwork
5. Ravengirl
6. Gutter Mouth
7. Aegis
8. This Space Is All Mine.
9. Sacred Whore
10. Dear Sister
11. Blessed Community
12. Warrior Daughter
13. Into the Fog
14. Littlebird's Flight
15. Rise
16. Silver
17. Photophobia
18. Even Free

I talked even more than usual, because of the specialness of the night and this reunion with my oldest fans. Although I am usually so good at being exactly on time with my set lengths, I played longer than I had planned because of all the stories I told between songs. I heard everyone listening and laughing and got many reports from the audience that I made them cry more than once that night. I got a standing ovation and held back my tears yet again.

I went backstage to Kim, to the greenroom. She went out to greet the fans. I quickly peed, changed my clothes, and had two bites of sushi. I am always ravenous after I perform. I could hear my sister and her husband talking outside the backstage door. I opened the door and we hugged and they walked me to the lobby. I didn't actually know exactly how to get there. They held doors open for me, laughing that now that I made it to Yoshi's that is how it had to be. I got another huge applause when I entered the lobby. And a long line formed of people wanting to say hello, thank me, get my autograph, give me a hug, take pictures with me... a rich and special night. I wish you all could have been there.

We then took a cab back to the hotel, and Kim went out into the dangerous night to get me some ice cream. :) I could hardly sleep that night from the thrill and joy of my success. This is a long long time coming, y'all.

So, the next day, we walked around Fillmore. We had grown to really like that little corner of SF. We had really yummy gelato one day, I really enjoyed the Kabuki Springs and Spa, we loved the yummy food at The Grove, I loved visiting the gorgeous Stretch Studio behind the great yoga clothes at Nomadic Outfitters with Alex, and there was this new little store with tons of organic clothing and body care called Clary Sage that we can't wait to visit again next time.

We had planned to rent a car and stay with friends in San Rafael for two nights before heading up to Laytonville for Earthdance. This all fell through when we found out that car rental places don't take out-of-state debit cards. Sigh. So, we changed out plan and got a taxi to our friend's place in the Oakland Hills. We were so lucky! We stayed in a house with an amazing view of the bay AND a baby grand! Wahoo!

We walked down the hill to have breakfast at Rick and Ann's the next day. Then we found Star Grocery. We really wish we had a little grocer like this in our beloved Providence. Not only do they carry all the essential organic stuff you could want, but their mear guy, Jesse, LENT US HIS CAR, so we could easily go make flyers for our show. He really wanted us to go to Krishna Copy because they are independently-owned. And he knew there was no easy way to walk or bus there. And he totally trusted us with his Honda Element (just like my car but black!). We were stunned as he handed us his keys. Krishna couldn't do it quickly enough so we went to our old trusty Copy Central, where I always made programs and flyers and even my masters thesis, when I went to Mills for my MFA! Then we returned Jesse's car, got a few essential groceries, and took a taxi back up the hill to our temporary home. Wow.

On Thursday we packed up what we needed for Earthdance and took a taxi to the BART to SF to meet a friend of a friend who drove us up to Laytonville. They did business on their cell phones almost the whole way up. And we also all talked about the festival itself and its history. The festival put us up in the nicest place in town, a little tiny batch of cottages called Cottage Motel. We almost felt like we were camping; it was cute and comfy and COLD at night! We had no cell phone reception there, so Kim actually turned off her law office and we had some very nice time together. :)

I think our favorite part of the festival was the prayer for peace and the organic food vendors. We had the yummiest ginger lemonade, ice cream, and sesame chicken fried rice! We also enjoyed some of the vendors' clothes and this one place that had yoga slings. I tried it out and really enjoyed hanging upside-down. I think I should have been a gymnast or aerial acrobat. I have always liked flying and tumbling. Maybe that's why I so love yoga.

We were saddened by just how stoned seemingly every single person was at Earthdance. We think it was more because of the location than because of the festival itself. But it was truly shocking that all but a very few people were high. I was very sad for all the little kids running around, knowing their parents could not be there for them in their condition. Also, the sheer volume of the main stage bass was dangerous for adult ears, let alone the ears of small children. All that broke my heart. And I know that no one can really make peace in the world if they can't be at peace with themselves enough to be present. And I know they can not be present if they are that drugged.

The stage and the little keyboard they had for me to use were a bit of a let-down after Yoshi's, but I loved performing for all those listening peacemakers. And I enjoyed hearing Blame Sally and Medicine Drum and Wisdom. I sold and signed lots of CDs to new fans. I wish I had been able to see Digable Planets Saturday night and Michael Franti on Sunday night! The noise level, smoke, and dust were too much for me, and I had to go and sleep to be ready for my Saturday sets, and on Sunday, we had to leave early to take a bus and a train to get back to the Oakland Hills for our flight on Monday.

Our new kitten Toby is growing up strong and healthy and bold. He met a little tortoise shell stray kitten right before we left for California. She looks a lot like our elder cat Sadie, but blacker in the front and orange tiger striped on the hind legs and with orange eyes! She is sweet and very scared and very hungry. So, we fed her a little before we left. Toby seems to be both watching out for her and popping her in the head if she tries to eat before he does. And the two of them definitely like to play and snuggle. When we came back home, I sat outside with the little one for a while, offering her food and being quiet and still so she would not run away. I have kept up like that, every few days, to help her get used to me. We wish we had the money to get her spayed and all her shots, but it is expensive. Still, we are feeding her and trying to calm her down. We are hoping we can help her make it through the winter. And we think her name is Sophie. As soon as Kim saw her she wanted to take her in, and she realized she was becoming a crazy cat lady! In the room where they see our cats, our vet has a little action figure in a plastic and cardboard container called, "The Crazy Cat Lady!"

Meanwhile, lots of our local Rhode Island fans have been asking when I will be performing in my homestate! We are so sad to tell oyu that our favorite Cornerstone Playhouse (formerly True Brew) has closed. We are steadily losing some of our favorite RI venues, and we are steadfastly searching for a RI venue with a grand piano. If you can think of one we are missing, please let us know! We miss our fellow Rhode Islanders!

We've got some exciting NYC stuff coming up! This Sunday, I will be joining a whole lot of OUTmusic and other musicians and LOGO/MTV to record a video for Deepa Soul's new song, "Stand Together." It is harking back to the "We Are the World" video, and I am very excited to be a part of it. We will tell you how you can see the video as soon as we know!

Shortly after we get back from NYC, I'll be doing a live phone interview for SARFM, "the heartbeat of Africa in New York." I am so happy and honored to have their support! Details on the tour schedule to the left.

And the following weekend, we head back to NYC for my feature at the OUTmusic Open Mic Benefit for Breast Cancer Awareness, held at the NYC GLBT Center. I was Secretary of OUTmusic way back in 1994, and I played at their open mic almost every month for about a year before I moved to California. It will be very special to play that grand piano again, and to reconnect with my old and new friends and fans from OUTmusic. They have put together a star-studded female line-up for this night! Details on the tour schedule to the left.

Here's a way you can help spread the word about my music. Go to CD Baby Link and add the link to your web pages and blogs. The more people recommend my music, the more people will get to hear my music, the more CDs and MP3s I will sell, and the more music I'll be able to make for you all! Personal recommendations are by far the most effective publicity! Thanks in advance!

See you out there!

Love & macintosh apple & autumn sunshine,


Kristi Martel, avant-soul piano diva

Featured on MTV/LOGO, NPR & in Curve Magazine
Best Female Vocalist of Rhode Island

Sealed Lip Records

1:54 PM

Saturday, August 30, 2008
Hallo Beautiful People!

Remember that amazing video interview of me on Homophonic for MTV/LOGO that got aired on AfterEllen, AfterElton, & NewNowNext? Well, it is now up on both my myspace page and right here. If you didn't get to check it out in June, go look now. We all love it and want you to get to see!

We fly to the Bay Area on Tuesday for all the promotional work leading up to Yoshi's. We are so sad that my trip coincides with the Republican National Convention and therefore my spot on Bonnie Simmons' show on KPFA won't be happening. All their regular programming is cancelled to cover the Convention. So, you'll just have to tell everyone all about the show yourselves. :) But, I will be featured on 89.5 KPOO on Friday September 5th at 8pm. And, some other promotional appearances are still in the works, and I will keep you updated as they get confirmed.

It is just over a week to my Yoshi's San Francisco debut. We are very excited. I have been planning and playing and gathering what I need for the trip and the show. We can not wait to see all our Bay Area friends and fans at this beautiful venue. And I have excellent news: Yoshi's decided to sponsor the event and make it FREE! They want to pack the place and have as many people as possible hear my songs on their 9-foot Steinway grand piano! We are thrilled. Please don't miss this one-of-a-kind opportunity. Join us and bring everyone you know.

Monday, September 8th
Yoshi's San Francisco
1330 Fillmore St
San Francisco CA
8pm, FREE

And after Yoshi's, I will be playing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Earthdance in Laytonville. The Earthdance event in Laytonville is one of over 300 global events celebrating peace on September 13, 2008. Founded in 1997 with 22 cities and 18 countries participating, Earthdance, the Global Dance Festival for Peace, has grown to become the world's largest simultaneous music and dance event. I am SO happy I will get to play "Blessed Community" there!

Friday, September 12th
Black Oak Ranch Hwy 101
Laytonville CA
(Sat & Sun times TBA)

It is rare for me to advocate in a direct way for anything overtly political. Mine is a more internal subtle politics, that is person to person from the inside out. But I cry every single time I watch this video. And I believe in Barack Obama more than I have ever believed in any political figure, so I want you all to see this video too. So many famous people came together to be in it and make it happen: Scarlett Johansson, Kate Walsh, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Adam Rodriquez, Kelly Hu, Amber Valetta, Nick Cannon, Jesse Dylan, Black Eyed Peas', and my personal favorites John Legend and Herbie Hancock. I hope you enjoy it too: Yes We Can. There's also a new live version of it with, John Legend, and the Agape Choir here: Yes We Can LIVE.

Be peace & hope y'all,

6:26 PM

Thursday, August 07, 2008
Hallo Beautiful People!

Firstly, I want you to know that I am working on three new songs, video outlines, and gathering the right team for the forthcoming album, "Sacred Whore." We still don't know when, but I want you to know we are getting there.

Secondly, I am excited that we have just added a new member to our Sealed Lip Team -- Mona Elyafi, President of ILDK Media -- as our publicist.

And magically, I will be playing to my beloved Bay Area fan base at one of the World's premiere Jazz venues! Please come join me and the Sealed Lip Records Crew at Yoshi's San Francisco as I play on their beautiful 9-foot Steinway grand piano. This show will be AMAZING! I hope you are as excited as we are.

Monday, September 8th
Yoshi's San Francisco
1330 Fillmore St
San Francisco CA
8pm, $10

I can't wait to see you there!

Peace & Popcorn & Sundrops,

PS - It's really touching to be able to give you this fantastic news on the anniversary of Littlebird's death. It has been five years today.

2:31 PM

Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Hallo Lovely People!

The MTV/LOGO interview is ONLINE now(!!!) at these sites:


Go check it out!!! We are sooooooo excited!

Peace & lemonade,

3:48 PM

Sunday, July 06, 2008
Hallo Beautiful People!

Right now, a brand new video of "Blessed Community" is up on Homophonic's Youtube page. Go check it out!

Starting on Monday, you all should be looking at LOGO, After Elton, After Ellen, & Homophonic to see my in-studio performance of "Photophobia" from the MTV/LOGO video we made in NYC in June. We'll let you know as soon as we know when the whole interview will be aired. The 4th of July slowed things down a bit, but it's coming!

My friend JBJ had me on his radio show on KBOO in Portland Oregon during our cross-country tour. He just sent us this link where you can listen to the show right on the website, or download and play it from your computer any ole time: KBOO. Enjoy!!!

And, LUVeR Radio just emailed to tell us that the video from our last Shaman's Den interview (which includes Kim!), plus a bit of a video of me and Littlebird performing in Oakland in 2003, will be aired on Berkeley TV in July. The show is called Frank Moore's Unlimited Possibilities, and it will be aired on BTV, Channels 24 & 28 on Monday July 7th at 11pm, Thursday July 10th at 11pm, and Saturday July 12th at midnight. You can also watch the show online at BTV or Eroplay . Enjoy!!!

More news soon...
Peace & grilled kielbasa!

5:15 PM

Monday, June 23, 2008
Hallo Beautiful Sunny People!

Well, I have a bit of news. Firstly, and sadly, I will not be performing at Virgin and Pride this weekend.

But, secondly, and happily, I will be in NYC on Thursday to record an interview and performance for MTV/LOGO, this supercool gay cable tv channel. The folks at MTV/LOGO are super excited, and we are super excited, and we will tell you all the details about how and when you can see it, as soon as we know the scoop.

And, very soon, you will be able to purchase Kristi Martel ringtones. Crazystrange and cool, right? I am in the process of selecting
choice samples from almost every one of my songs for your ringtone pleasure. And I will tell you how to purchase them for your very own, very soon.

Peace & peanut butter fudge,

2:28 PM

Sunday, June 08, 2008
Hallo my good friends,

We are really home! We are tired and still settling in, but we just finished the major cleaning and laundry that we needed to do, so we are starting to feel more and more home. And, we got a new kitten on Thursday. He is 2 months old and 2 pounds and tiger grey and white and cream. He is very cuddly and sweet and likes water (!?!?!?), and he told me his name is Toby, in the car on the way home from the Rescue League. Sadie is not too happy. But we know she will come around.

The homecoming show on Friday was fantastic. So many of my most loyal Rhode Island fans were there. And it was my doctor and friend's birthday, so we celebrated with intermission birthday cake. It is a really special thing when Kevin and I perform together. We just know each other so well, and it seems that everything that comes out of our mouths between songs is so funny. We were told by an audience member that I am like Sanford and Kevin is like Son. :) I hope you get to see us perform together sometime soon.

Day #39: Saturday, 31 May 2008: Fairfield, Iowa

Yummy homemade muffins and granola with fruit and yogurt for breakfast. I worked on the tour diary and made a set list for the show. Then we headed over to the cafe to eat lunch, load my gear in, and sound check. Tim is the sound engineer at Cafe Paradiso, and he and I appreciate that we each love good sound amplification. It is always a treat to play in rooms that sound good.

Then we headed back 'home' and I did some yoga, showered, and dressed for the show. We found out when we arrived at the venue that there was another big event tonight, a preview of a film that was shot here and that utilized lots of local musicians. That is a big deal in a small town like Fairfield, and so lots of people were coming to my show after seeing some of the film. It meant that my first set was a quiet and cozy one, with some old and new fans listening to every word.

I hadn't played in Fairfield in 4 years, so I felt I needed to catch them up. I told the stories and played lots of songs from "Ravengirl." The second set was much more energetic; more people arrived after the film showing, and I played lots of songs from the forthcoming album, "Sacred Whore." I think it's often the case that whatever songs are the newest feel the most exciting. And since Lewis Sawyer had just played the whole of the demos for the next album on KPFA the night before, the new songs felt especially new. I feel like I am finally getting some idea of how to introduce the song "Sacred Whore," and I got especially good feedback from playing it in Fairfield. And I got very special homemade gifts from a few old fans. It was a very sweet show. We hope to be back in September.

Day #40: Sunday, 1 June 2008: Fairfield, Iowa toward Rhode Island

Our very sweet host at the B&B made us especially wonderful crepes on the morning of our departure. They were divine, with creme fraiche, blackberries, peaches, and maple syrup. Yum! We then visited the cafe again for coffee, even though I don't generally drink coffee, because Cafe Paradiso has some of the only coffee I have ever had that tastes good to me, and because we decided to drive straight through to Rhode Island. I know; we are crazy. But we just really wanted to get home! So, with wonderful breakfast and coffee in our bellies, we headed east, toward home, just before 1pm central time.

We drove 1,302 miles from Fairfield, Iowa to Providence, Rhode Island. It took us 27 hours. We listened to Prince's "Sign 'O' the Times," Sly and the Family Stone's "Anthology," Tuck & Patti's "Tears of Joy," and Pink's "I'm Not Dead." I drove 12 hours Sunday into the early hours of Monday, breaking only to pee and to eat at Denny's. I have to say, Denny's is still some of the best road food one encounters when driving all the interstates of this country. At least at Denny's, you know what you are in for. It is consistent. We asked them to make a turkey club with egg instead of turkey, and it was really quite good. Kim's yoke burst and shot up her nose when she bit into it. I called her "yoke nose." We thought that might make a good name for the sandwich, especially considering that another of their sandwiches is called, "Moons Over My Hammy." We were so tired, that we laughed harder and louder than anyone would have expected.

We were so sad to count dead deer on the road home. We counted 16 by New York, mostly in Illinois and Ohio, where they were the only warning signs of the possibility of deer. Most of them were babies, and we were just so very sad. There were lots of raccoons too. We saw some live deer too, way too close to the road.

At 8:06AM, after 18 hours of driving, Kim asks me, "I'm not allowed to say 'douche-bag,' right?"

And I answer, "Why would you want to call a human being that?"

And she says, "It was a very popular thing to call a human when I was growing up."

And I say, "But why would you want to use that word, as though something related to female anatomy is vile? I mean, it's like calling somebody a jockstrap."

And Kim laughs, "I'm gonna have to use that next time somebody cuts me off!"

And I say, "or better yet, call them a 'slimy, sweaty, ball-holder.'"

We laughed for a long, long time; practically cried over that one.

We listened to Meshell Ndegeocello's "Cookie: the Anthropological Mixtape," Craig Werth's "Loose Gems," Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love," Pink's "I'm Not Dead" because it is so good at keeping us awake, and my own "Sacred Whore Demos," as we rolled into Providence around 5pm on Monday, day #41, 2 June 2008. The whole tour totalled 8,842 miles!

Thursday, 5 June 2008: Providence, RI

We cleaned and ate and crashed when we got home. And we are still cleaning and unpacking and catching up on sleep. But we feel like we are almost home. Today, we got a new kitten at the Rescue League. He's an 8-week-old grey and cream and white tiger whom we are starting to believe is named Toby. And he is sitting on the chair beside me, sleeping, right now. Sadie, our elder cat, is mad mad mad. But she is so sweet, we know she'll come around in time.

Peace & kitten kisses,

2:04 PM

Friday, May 30, 2008
Hallo Beautiful People!

Yesterday morning both of our moms called us within minutes of each other, and left messages telling us that we were going to hit tornadoes if we continued on our planned route. So, we re-routed, southward, taking the smaller roads, and heading to Fairfield, Iowa, instead of Rutledge, Missouri, because Fairfield has tornadoes all around it but rarely, if ever, gets hit, and they have basements and a tornado siren to protect us, whereas Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage does not yet have a shelter and does get hit by tornadoes regularly. So we left as early as we could on our new route to arrive here in Fairfield, and it really feels like sweet relief to be in one place for just a few days.

Today, we waited as long as we could, but we had to cancel tonight's show at Dancing Rabbit, because the time that we would be driving there is the exact time and location that the tornadoes are supposed to be at their worst there. We hope everyone at Dancing Rabbit gets through the storms safely!

Here is the tour diary from the last 8 days. The next time I write I will probably be at home! I am so happy to be playing tomorrow night in this town I love to these people who are so vibrant and present in their listening. And Sunday, we will start the journey directly to Providence.

Day #31: Friday, 23 May 2008: Ashland, Oregon

Today, I used the fabulous steam shower here in this amazing house. I let the steam open my lungs and sinuses and intermittently took cold showers. The marble and tiles are blue and purple. We brought all my gear over to the winery early to set up and sound check. Then we went back to the house to get ready for the show. The winery has a gorgeous view of the mountainside on three sides. Kim showed the three young girls who attended the show our "tour bus" while I played my new secret song for our adult audience. Little Sophia asked, "Are there rude words in that song?" Kim said there were, and the girls proceeded to tell Kim what rude words they already know. We had a lovely show at the winery. We stayed up later than we should for how much there is to do tomorrow. But we enjoyed spending time with our new friends in Ashland.

Day #32: Saturday, 24 May 2008: Ashland to Portland, Oregon

Wake at 6:30am to eat a little before driving 368 miles to Portland. They all say it takes 4 hours, but we know we will be a little slower. Kim is driving so I can get more sleep, because I have to do a radio show this afternoon and a house concert performance this evening. She is listening to John Lennon's "Imagine," Michael Jackson's "Thriller," and Dave Matthews' "Some Devil," while I sleep restlessly. We get there in time, but tired.

We meet JBJ and his family at his house, before going to a great taqueria for lunch. JBJ is a DJ whom I met in 2002, during a tour with Jean Mann. We found that we have some very similar musical tastes (Throwing Muses and Prince, for example) and life experiences, and so have become friends. JBJ is now dj-ing at KBOO, so we head over there for an in-studio recording that he will air in a couple days. We only have two seats in our car, because of all the gear, so Kim had to sit in the back with the gear, so we could bring JBJ up front in our car! Because she put a soft bag behind her, it was actually comfortable! I can't wait to see the picture JBJ took, and I can't wait hear the radio show! I will let you know how you can hear it, as soon as I get the details from JBJ! And I promise I will put a bunch of pictures up here, as soon as I figure out how to get them from Kim's phone to the web. We just haven't had time to figure it out while on the road.

After the in-studio, we headed back to JBJ's house to set up for the house concert. Kim and I were rather brain dead from too little sleep combined with too much driving. So we were slow roadies, but we still got the job done in time. :) We felt better after our showers. While I was dressing for the show, it started to rain and thunder and lightning. I was soooooo happy. I think we have experienced no rain on this whole trip so far. It felt so refreshing. I let it wash away all my road-weariness, so I could be ready for the show.

John Vecchiarelli did a great opening set. I added "Oya!" & "Day of Rain" last minute to the beginning of my set, because it was just too perfect to play those songs accompanied by thunder. The audience was very sweet and attentive, many of them hearing my songs for the first time. I got interrupted 2 or 3 times by the power going out for just a minute or less, but really I think that only made us all more attentive and connected, sharing the music and the storm together. After the show Kim and I packed up all of our stuff and slept and slept and slept. YAY! Good sleep!

Day #33: Sunday, 25 May 2008: Portland to Pendleton, Oregon

We had planned to take a three-day break at a hot springs retreat center here, before heading to the mid-west. But the center had no vacancy tonight, and we just decided that we would feel better if we started the long drive right away, spreading it out over 5 days, instead of being maniacs for just two days. Even with 5 days, we still need to drive about 400 miles a day to get there.

We slept in and got brunch with JBJ and his wife, so we got a late start today and decided to just drive as far as we could. We took highway 84 along the Columbia River, which is the border between Washington and Oregon. This has to be one of the most beautiful drives in the country - the river, the train tracks, the mountains, the water falls, the pines, Washington on our left, Oregon on our right. We learned that we are traveling part of the Oregon Trail, where so many pioneers travelled on foot or by carriage or on horseback, to this new world, for cheap land, for gold, for a new life.

At one of the rest stops near Portland, we saw too many broken people, two of them practically falling over, clearly on something, probably heroine. We saw that the Good Samaritans have a trailer there, giving out free coffee, and figured that this is a good stop for the homeless and addicted. We called 911 because we were afraid that those two people would hurt themselves or someone else if they got into their car and drove, but the cops never came. At another rest stop, we read all about the Oregon Trail.

And we wondered and talked about what connection there might be, between this history, and this current condition of the population of Oregon. We don't know all the factors, but we both felt it possible that leaving everything you know for the possibility of land or wealth, and leaving because a government had lured you and in effect used you to populate an area for its own power and ownership there, might make those people feel empty, used, powerless, lost. I think people use drugs to self-medicate. And if someone sees escape as the only way out of bad conditions, drugs are really the best medication. I would guess that some of the people there are still trying to escape things their ancestors experienced 150 years ago. If only they knew, the only way out is through.

We drove 265 miles to Pendleton. Pendleton is a cool little town that somehow stayed in the 1950's. We went to Rainbow Cafe for dinner. The food was more greasy than we like, but the memorabilia on the walls and the people were great.

Day #34: Monday, 26 May 2008: Pendleton, Oregon to Ogden, Utah

This morning we ate at the Main Street Diner. We felt like we stepped into the 50's. We drove 546 miles, passed rolling green hills, pines, the Umatilla Indian Reservation. We left my 2003 atlas in an Oregon rest area, because it was falling apart, and we found a new, smaller, spiral-bound one at an Oregon gas station convenience store. We watched the green turn to scrub and sand, passed Idaho's chemically fertilized fields, huge fluffy white clouds, chemical manure cows, then incredible gray blue dense sky ahead, lightning bolts, rain, a rainbow near Raft River. That sky inspired Kim to call each of our mothers and ask them to check the weather along highway 80 for us, and alert us to any tornadoes over the next few days. We'd much rather re-route than die or lose all our possessions. We saw a rainbow as soon as we entered Utah. We could see the whole arch and even both ends! We drove right under it in Snowville, Utah, and Kim said, "We're going under the fucking rainbow, baby!"

We listened to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," my 2 chronological Prince mixtapes, and Prince's "Purple Rain." We talked about WalMart, the way it limits its employees' hours to 35 per week to avoid having to give benefits, how this corporate chain economy enslaves us and dismantles local economies and the individuals' ability to empower themselves as business owners. Stuck in a shit job that pays only enough to let you barely get by, there is very little way out.

We are amazed by the beauty of the Utah mountains. We travel a winding road under a railway car that is way up high between mountains and above this road. We see it passes through a waterfall that looks like it just might hit our car. It is cool here and dry but for the waterfall and riverbed.

Day #35: Tuesday, 27 May 2008: Ogden, Utah to Cheyenne, Wyoming

The Alaskan Inn in Ogden, Utah is really beautiful and clean and sweet and comforting. YAY! They served us breakfast to our door.

We drove 470 miles to Cheyenne, Wyoming. We listened to Liz Phair's "Exile in Guyville." Southern Wyoming feels depressing and scary and its people look broken. I feel like every woman here has been beaten. They are eating crap and drinking crap and look spaced out and sick. And there is hardly anyone here. There is so much land, and hardly any people. Wyoming has about half the people that Little Rhody has! And Rhode Island could fit into Wyoming maybe 97 times! Whoa.

We looked up "butte" on the internet, because so many towns are named after these land formations here. We like pronouncing it "butt," because we then crack ourselves up reading the exit signs:

Fossil Butte
Church Butte
Pilot Butte
Black Butte

But, we discovered that it is supposed to be pronounced, "byoot." Oh well. Our pre-teen humor has been thwarted. I can no longer claim that Kim thinks I have an old ass when she calls me "fossil butte."

I am realizing I have driven through all of the contiguous United States but Kentucky and North Dakota. And I have performed in 23 states.

We saw a Halliburton Plant right next to a trailer park, the only community here, in Wamsutter, Wyoming. The richest corporation is employing (enslaving) the poorest, ripping them off. This little RV town has a Conoco Phillips 66 gas station with a very nice bathroom. The bathroom walls are a mural of national monuments and wildlife and mountains, painted by a former employee who was a Lakota Sioux Indian of whom this community is definitely very proud.

We saw SO many Halliburton trucks here on Interstate 80 in Wyoming. Yet there seem to be no cops in Wyoming. We travelled through Laramie, Wyoming today, and we will be staying in Lincoln, Nebraska tomorrow night. I have this sick feeling of the hate crimes I know about connected with those two towns. I can't stop thinking about Matthew Shepherd and Brandon Teena. No wonder we don't feel entirely safe here.

We listened to Prince's "Parade."

Day #36: Wednesday, 28 May 2008: Cheyenne, Wyoming to Lincoln, Nebraska

We drove 454 miles to Lincoln, Nebraska today. I made lists of the states I have played in and the ones I have not. In Kearney, Nebraska there is a restaurant called Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Cafe, and another called Taco John's Spaghetti Shop. We don't really trust the food here. We are feeling overfed and undernourished and under-exercised and overtired. But at least we stayed in a beautiful B & B in Cheyenne, that was a bit of a Native American museum, and a beautiful B & B in Lincoln that is a historical building and a bit of a colonial museum. And in this way, at least our breakfasts have been nourishing, and our sleep comfortable. We are reading a book out loud to each other. It's fantastic: "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian," by Sherman Alexie. I highly recommend it, even though it is a "young adult" book.

Day #37: Thursday, 29 May 2008: Lincoln, Nebraska to Fairfield, Iowa

Tornadoes changed our route. We decided to head straight to the safety of Fairfield, Iowa, for three days, instead of the tornadoes of Rutledge, Missouri for two and Fairfield for only one. We drove 312 miles, and took Highway 2 instead of Interstate 80, to avoid the tornadoes of Omaha, Nebraska and Des Moines, Iowa. Highway 2 made our ride a little slower, a lot safer, and SO much prettier! We saw so many lush green green fields and farmlands, rolling hills, burning fields, and so many beautiful baby cows. During this whole tour, we have seen elk, antelope, lamas, lambs, sheep, baby sheep, cows, bulls, calves, horses, colts, goats, baby goats, racoons, moles, squirrels, deer, hawks, ravens, crows, orioles, and so many other birds and small critters whose names I don't know. I think the animals in New Mexico, Utah, Iowa, and Ohio have looked the healthiest. And spring means so many babies! They are all so cute!

Day #38: Friday, 30 May 2008: Fairfield

It thundered and rained last night. But that is nothing compared to a tornado. It is very humid and green here, and very peaceful. We are staying in a lovely B & B that served us wonderfully healthy homemade breakfast. We are staying in a room that is up in the attic, up tricky stairs, with a bed built into a wall shelving unit with a sky mural of a pegasus and cherubs, a bed built for a child and converted into a queen. We are comfortable, and safe, and relieved to have a little time without driving. Tomorrow I will play a fantastic show for old and new fans, and Sunday and Monday, we will drive back home.

We just found out that Lewis Sawyer at KPFA (Berkeley, CA), played the ENTIRE demos for the next album, entitled "Sacred Whore." Kim handed Lewis the demos at the San Francisco show, telling him that he had the demos before any other DJ, and that he could put it out into the world first, hoping he would play some songs from it. He not only played some songs, he played the entire unreleased demos, uninterrupted, including the very controversial, secret song, "Sacred Whore." We just listened to it, and even though we have heard the demos many times, it is very exciting to know they were played on the air, and it is so special for us to hear Lewis talk about his experience of my music and the San Francisco show. Now that it is out to the public, please go listen to the show, Early Morning Music on Tuesday, May 20th, 2008, and tell all your friends to go listen.

Hope you like it!

See you out there!

Peace and thunder,

11:39 PM

Thursday, May 22, 2008
Hallo Beautiful People!

We are in Ashland Oregon. I am sitting in a lovely Great Room with panoramic windows overlooking fields, oak trees, mountains, a salt water pool, and a fish pond with blooming lotuses. I have been sitting watching a hawk and the clouds and the wind, while updating the mailing list, writing in the tour diary, and attempting to keep up with my emails, while Kim is in business meetings with business partners of hers here. Our friends here have the most beautiful grounds and house, and we feel blessed to be here for just two days. We have truly been enjoying our travels, the shows, our vision for our future. We are in the home stretch now. We will be home in 10 days.

Day #21: Tuesday, 13 May 2008: Santa Monica to Oakland

Today we are driving up the coast to Oakland, 458 miles. We listened to Pat Benatar's "Best Shots" & Tori Amos' "Scarlet's Walk," but mostly we talked and took in the beauty of the coast. Ocean, gulls, mountains, redwoods, golden hills... It's well worth the extra hours of driving. I am making lists of all the places and people I need to see and introduce to Kim while we are in the Bay Area, where I lived for 7 years.

Day #22: Wednesday, 14 May 2008: Oakland & Santa Cruz CA

Back in The Bay: my old hood, my old chiro, driving to Santa Cruz, visiting my sister. I went to my old chiropractor to help my neck and shoulders get through all this driving. Then Kim and I went to Mama's Royal Cafe, one of my old favorite breakfast places. I had a phone interview with a Fairfield Iowa low-powered FM station today. It went well. It was the first time I have been asked by a radio station, what my favorite sandwich is! Then, we drove to Santa Cruz to meet my sister and her husband for dinner. We went to Lilian's Kitchen and had yummy Italian food. One of my favorite beaches in the country is in Santa Cruz. The rocks form natural bridges, the sand sparkles, and the pelicans perch on the rock, watching us as much as we watch them.

Day #23: Thursday, 15 May 2008: Emeryville & Oakland CA

Today we are having breakfast with one of my best friends. I am so happy for Kim to meet her, and to spend time with her and her three kids. She is making us yummy breakfast. But it is SO hot that we are all a little lethargic and stupid. Then we will go 'home' to do some work before having dinner with another great friend. So many of these friends were so there for me when Littlebird died.

Day #24: Friday, 16 May 2008: Berkeley & Richmond & Oakland CA

Today I have an interview and performance in the studio at KPFA. They are recording it to play later. I can't wait to hear it and to tell you when it will be aired. Diana Martinez interviewed me. She is such a fantastic interviewer! She really saw me and my work as it is and asked some of the most insightful questions. I played 'Even Free,' 'Ravengirl,' 'Blessed Community,' and 'Photophobia,' and we talked about my music as 'love music,' as music that is about transformation, and about how to find peace in the midst of world violence.

We went to Cactus Taqueria for lunch. They are my favorite Mexican place, because their meat is clean (organic), and their food, authentically Mexican. Kim and I then traveled to Richmond CA, to visit the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, the place I taught all those kids who inspired me to write 'Even Free.' Kim wanted to see this place she has heard about every time I introduce that song. We met a few of the newer people working there, got to see how they have grown and changed over the past 7 years since my last visit, and found out that they will soon be renovating the building. I am so excited for the renovations, yet so happy I got to see it almost as it was when I was there, before it is internally demolished and reconstructed. They were excited to meet me and hear 'Even Free.' And hopefully the next time I am in town, I will do some kind of performance or lecture there.

Then I drove Kim and me back to Oakland to show her the places I have lived. We were happy to be at KPFA and in the air-conditioned car all day, because of the unbearable, mind-numbing heat. And we took my Oakland adopted mom and her partner out to dinner, at one of my favorite Thai restaurants, Sabuy Sabuy, in Oakland.

Day #25: Saturday, 17 May 2008: Guerneville CA

Today I went to a fantastic yoga class at Monkey Yoga Shala in Oakland. The vibe is soooooo different than LA's yoga. The students are more diverse in every way, and more tough and joyful and rambunctious. I leave drenched and happy and walk over to Trader Joe's for water. Tonight I am playing at the Russian River Women's Weekend, at the Russian River Resort, in Guerneville CA. I go 'home' to shower and eat. But it is SO HOT (because May and September are Oakland's summer) that I have to shower again to get dressed and ready for the show. We drive to Guerneville, and I play to drunken but surprisingly attentive women. I always feel especially powerful when I get drunken people to sit quiet and listen well. And I am so happy when they are so happy to hear me. We went to Main Street Station for pizza after the show. I used to perform there!

Day #26: Sunday, 18 May 2008: Berkeley CA

I slept in today. It's cooling off. Thank the winds! Today we are driving around Berkeley, looking at some potential future venues, showing Kim the most amazing Berkeley Bowl grocery store and another place I used to live. We grab a bite of amazing Chinese soup and steamed dumplings before heading to Luver Radio for a live & videotaped interview and performance. Another great conversation, Frank Moore is another great and brilliant interviewer. He is running for President! His platform is AMAZING. I played 'Blessed Community,' 'Gutter Mouth,' 'Littlebird's Flight,' 'Aged,' and the new top secret song! But the piano is out-of-tune; they all sound different than usual. We talked about quality of food across the country, what mainstream radio is willing to play and why, about censorship and tv and peace...And as always, they served us gourmet chocolate truffles at the end of the interview! Yum!

Day #27: Monday, 19 May 2008: San Francisco CA

I got to sleep in again! This is highly unusual, and very welcome, for me. Today, we got a bit of business done before heading out to San Francisco. We went to my favorite Bay Area pizza place, Marcello's, on Castro.

Then we drove to Lands End. The parking lot in which I saw Littlebird's body in a body bag in the back of a van after the helicopter collected it from the rocky shore, is being reconstructed. They are cutting branches off the many cypress trees, making the land look naked as they plant native flowers and brush to try to reduce the erosion that is happening there. They are paving and moving what used to be dirt paths. We had to climb down passed the Sutro bath ruins and around the rocks to get to the old path I used to walk, followed by ravens, to talk to Littlebird after she died. I showed Kim where we held Littlebird's memorial service, where the ravens made a nest during the service, where the ravens used to sit watchful on a rock just off the shore. The ravens are all but gone. They don't like all the construction. We saw small curious black birds and a red tail hawk, but only one raven.

Then we attempted to eat at my favorite sushi place, but it was closed. We went to Bazaar Cafe and I dressed for the show, made a set list, and started playing as the room filled with old fans and friends, faces that are familiar, minds that know all the words to my old songs, and mouths that sing along. I played two long sets. The room was so full of love. Everyone was so happy to meet Kim. I was told that I sound better than ever. Two of my four-year-old friends were there and made the show even more fun. I played my newest, 'Here In My House.' It was more emotional for me because of the people hearing it for the first time. I ended with 'Photophobia' and got a standing ovation. I played 'Crossing Into Dreams' as an encore. What a beautiful night! And how wonderful to see some old friends I haven't seen in five years! Although I know we need to find a larger venue for future shows, I will truly miss these Bazaar Cafe shows, for their warmth and intimacy.

Day #28: Tuesday, 20 May 2008: San Francisco CA

Today we did some business and some laundry before heading again to San Francisco. We were so excited to eat lunch at Burger Joint, probably the best burgers and milkshakes you can get anywhere. They serve organic meat in a retro diner atmosphere. Kim loved it. Kim ordered a strawberry and I a chocolate milkshake, but we discovered that I prefer fresh strawberry shakes and she prefers chocolate shakes, so we happily swapped. Then we headed over to the zoo to meet friends and their kids. I am so happy to finally meet all the new kids in my friends' lives! We saw giraffes, peacocks, an almost albino peahen, bears, primates, flamingoes, koala bears, and my favorite: a mama tiger and her three little cubs. Then Kim and I went back to the Mission to Ti Couz, for some authentic French crepes. I miss that place! And my Oakland mom made us chocolate chip cookies for the road. Yum!

Day #29: Wednesday, 21 May 2008: Oakland to Ashland

We drove a lot of miles (621!) while we were in the greater bay area! And we listened to lots of music while in the car: Pat Benatar's "Best Shots" (who knew we were both such big Benatar fans - we woke up with "It's a do or die situation!" in our heads for days!), my own "Brave Enough," Tori Amos' "Little Earthquakes," Ani DiFranco's "Little Plastic Castles," and Ani's "Dilate."

But today we are driving from Oakland to Ashland on highway 5, past Mount Shasta. Gas is $4.03 a gallon at this Oakland station. That's the cheap gas. If we had excellent, reasonably-priced public transportation across the country, like in Europe and NYC, I would not mind at all. In Big Sur it was $5.60 a gallon. If only we could fit all the gear on the back of a bicycle, we'd get in really great shape on tour!

We are listening to Stevie Wonder's "Songs in the Key of Life: Volume II." We met two brand new babies yesterday. Almost all my friends all have children now. Eliza is 8 weeks old and so bright-eyed and beautiful. McKenzie (I am not sure of the spelling) is 4 days old and her little face is so precious. So we are listening to Stevie's "Isn't She Lovely," and wanting children of our own. But my eldest baby is my music, and I need to make the next album my biggest yet, before we have our first human baby.

California's valley is sort of dull - green and mostly brown hills and pasture, an occasional strip mall. I love the healthy horses and the hawks. The sick horses and cows make me sad. But Shasta Lake and Mount Shasta are stunning.

One of my friend's husband's father died, my Oakland moms divorced a few years ago and I am watching the aftermath, two brand new babies, four 4-year-olds, and I am still writing in an almost filled-up journal that Littlebird had drawn just a few pictures in before she died.

362 miles later, we arrive in Ashland, to a beautiful house on a stunning piece of land with gorgeous pools and spas. I am told that healers built this house, and I can see why they chose this view and these grounds and these woods and stones inside their home.

Day #30: Thursday, 22 May 2008: Ashland

Today Kim is in business meetings all day while I write this. I am thinking about my grammy and pepere and mom, while my mom is thinking about where she will live when she retires. I am thinking about the kind of house Kim and I will one day live in and about having a studio with a view something like this one, where I can write books and lyrics and songs and scores, and practice Brahms and Beethoven when I am not writing and rehearsing my own songs or designing the packages of my CDs. I am thinking too about the crew we will one day have on the road with us, as well as the office we will soon set up for Sealed Lip Records. In a world full of so much violence and pain, I am manifesting a long-growing vision of my work healing people. And I can tell, it is coming soon.

Blessed be.

So mote it be.

Peace & chocolate chip cookies,

7:22 PM

Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Hallo Good People!

We are in Santa Monica, blocks away from the beach, a healing arts center, an organic market, and a beautiful yoga studio. Because of their first-time student special pricing, I have been able to take yoga class every single day we have been here! I wish I had this everywhere I go! We are leaving in the morning, for my old hometown of Oakland, California. We will drive up the coast to see the beauty there, and to avoid the chemical manure cows in Coalinga, along highway 5. Here is what we have been up to since Taos.

Day #9: Thursday, 1 May 2008: Taos - Tucson

Today we gather up our things and go, but not until we visit one beautiful shop that has really funky clothes. For me, shopping is a rare thing, in part because I don't like to have lots of things, and largely because finding clothes I like is a rare thing, so we go in and try some things on, hoping to find the perfect special stuff for the Genghis Cohen show. We leave with some very perfectly Kristi clothes.

Taos is so beautiful. We can't get over the mountains, the adobe houses, the sweet and caring community that is Taos. The winds have been dangerously strong all the way through to southern New Mexico. We've had to drive so slowly. We are laughing when we see on the map that Elephant Butte is a town just north of another called Truth or Consequences. We drive and drive and drive...641 miles to Tucson.

Day #10: Friday, 2 May 2008: Tucson

I missed my Tucson friends SO much! It has been almost 5 years since I have seen them. I am so happy for Kim to meet them. They have a 3-year-old now, and I am so happy to finally meet him! So, we are all very happy catching up. And while they are at work, Kim and I go to Gus Balon's, which is still one of my all-time favorite places to have breakfast. They always make the eggs perfectly, their breads are so fresh, they only use real butter, and they make the most amazing cinnamon rolls... mmmmm...

Day #11: Saturday, 3 May 2008: Tucson

We are also trying to catch up on some work we need to do, while here. Kim has so many lawerly calls to make. We have laundry to do, contracts and scripts to read. We have big plans to talk about. Mostly though, I am just happy to have a little time to hang out with my dear friends.

Another of my favorite things in Tucson is Antigone Books. I miss the days when almost every city I ever went to had an independent feminist bookstore. Borders and Barnes & Noble have made sure that there are fewer and fewer of those to go around, and Antigone is really one of very few left. I Love it! Kim and I went to visit, thinking we'd just stop in and take a look. When we came out it was dark outside. I think we spent over 3 hours in there! We were looking and reading and talking and making plans. Those indie bookstores really are meeting-places, places to share ideas and make revolution. No wonder they are a dying breed.

Day #12: Sunday, 4 May 2008: Tucson

I am still sick from the dust storm in Taos. Thankfully, Kim is getting better. But my throat is terribly irritated, and the dryness of Tucson is not helping it heal. I am wheezing each night, which is making it difficult to sleep. I am afraid I won't be able to perform at the middle school I am scheduled to play at tomorrow morning. We have decided to leave Tucson earlier than we had planned, with the hope that the ocean air will help get my breathing and throat back to normal. We found a cheap place to rent in Santa Monica for a whole week. We will drive Monday night.

Day #13: Monday, 5 May 2008: Tucson

We are sad to leave our friends earlier than planned. I did have to cancel the middle school show. My throat just didn't want to sing. And I would rather cancel than make it worse. I went to the chiropractor here to help my shoulders unlock. They lock when I drive too much. Our friends made really yummy homemade tortillas and salsa for tacos before we left! Yum!

We drive all night. I keep hearing that Cyndi Lauper song in my head. Mostly we have been talking about Tucson and my friends and their beautiful little boy. We each take turns driving or trying to sleep in the car. I am eating way too many peanut sundrops (all-natural m&m's) to help me stay awake as I drive. Kim is listening to Patty Griffin's Living With Ghosts to help her stay awake as she drives. The winds in the mountains are making us drive slowly again. We take a nap in a rest stop near Alpine, California. Unfortunately, by the time we hit San Diego, it is morning rush hour, and the traffic is insane. We are very very tired, and very very hungry, and very very grumpy.

Day #14: Tuesday, 6 May 2008: San Diego to Santa Monica

I couldn't handle the traffic, so I remembered how to get to Ocean Beach, from the time I spent living in San Diego in the mid-1990's. We parked and walked through the sand to the shore, stretched a little, ate a little, and got back in the car. It worked. We were no longer in rush hour. The drive to Santa Monica, was still slow at times, but nothing like that hour in stopped traffic on the interstate in San Diego. We drove 576 miles to get to a little studio apartment to call home for a week. We cleaned it and saged it and brought our stuff in. I set up my keyboard and books and clothes to make it feel like home for a little while.

Day #15: Wednesday, 7 May 2008: Santa Monica

I found out there is a great yoga studio, and a place to get a great massage, down the street! Kim set up an appointment for me, because my neck and shoulders are in so much pain from driving, and I really need to feel better before the show tomorrow night. I LOVE being able to walk to get a massage and take a yoga class. Really, to me, this is heaven.

Day#16: Thursday, 8 May 2008: Santa Monica

Today is the big day. I am getting another massage and going to another yoga class. I am feeling so much better from the ocean air and the yoga and massage. I still need to warm up my voice and hands, shower, dress, put on make-up, do my hair, and get the keyboard in the car. While practicing, I found out from a neighbor that we are staying in a quiet building, not a rehearsal space. Oops. Luckily, she liked my voice and could handle 20 more minutes of it.

The traffic is so crazy in Los Angeles. We planned on having 45 minutes to drive the 10 miles to the venue. It took us over an hour. We arrived late. We set up and soundchecked SO quickly. It was stressful for us and my archivist who was waiting at the venue. She lives here, so she knew how much time to give herself for the drive.

The audience gave me a little more time than I needed to soundcheck. So, I waited until they arrived to start playing Fly. Fly suffered a little from the stress of arriving so late, but not much. I then played Silver, and they sang with me. And I played Aged, Even Free, and Gutter Mouth, before getting Kim's 5-minute warning. Our lateness looked like it would make me cut 3 songs. So, I skipped to Blessed Community, because it was the more important. While I was playing, the two little daughters of two of Kim's friends, one of whom is the Vice President of MCA, walked into the room with flowers. I had to hold back tears. All these people came from all over the country to see this show. I don't know them yet. Kim has been gradually getting to know them, and they have been working hard both to get here and to get others here. I am so touched and thankful. I feel like I am meeting people who will become some kind of family, for the first time. And I feel like I know them already. When I stood to thank the audience, those little girls ran up to me with lovely pink roses. And the sound man told me I had time for 2 more songs. So many gifts. So I sat back down and played Littlebird's Flight and Photophobia, to grateful cheers and applause. We are excited that we were able to have the sound engineer record the show.

Kim and my archivist's boyfriend broke down my gear and loaded it into the car, while my archivist sat at the CD table, and I talked to my new fans/friends. They loved the show. Several of them insisted that I should release a live album. Kim will be following up with several of them about a variety of opportunities that we want to make reality.

We went out to a West Hollywood bar afterward, and basically felt like we were on the L Word. One of the L Word's cameo stars was actually at the club. And several women there seemed to be trying to look like Shane.

Day#17: Friday, 9 May 2008: Santa Monica

I worked at home while Kim had business meetings with film and music folks all day. Then we had really yummy Indian food and got to bed early. We were beat from two long hard days' work after so many driving days.

Day#18: Saturday, 10 May 2008: Santa Monica

We went to the Global Sound Conference today. We had lunch with my archivist, Lisa. We met to catch up and exchange archives. Lisa and I are archive junkies. We really love collecting things that represent history, and organizing them well. So I gave her a copy of the engineer's recording of the Genghis show, and she gave me a copy of the pictures she took that night. We wish she lived closer! But we are so thankful for the great pictures she took at the Genghis show! I can't wait til I can get them down to the right size to share them with you here.

Kim and I went to Fabian Maman's lecture about how sound affects our cells. He took pictures of cells where there was no sound, and then where there was a single note. He took pictures of how different notes made the cells change shape and color. It was pretty incredible. Apparently people have been healed of cancer and all kinds of things, from sound therapy, and his work is part of the root of that type of healing work.

We looked at the wares of many people in the sound healing arts: flutes, tuning forks, Tibetan singing bowls, crystals, chimes. And there were a variety of sound healers doing demonstrations too.

We had dinner with some of our friends who are a huge part of making the conference happen. And then we heard the Agape International Choir. They were great. Ironically, the overall sound level of the whole event was so high, that I was very very sonically tired at day's end.

Day #19: Sunday, 11 May 2008: Santa Monica

I didn't want to return to the conference today. Kim wanted to meet some of the important people who were going to be there. But first, we wanted to walk the beach. So we got bundled up, since it's not actually that warm here, and walked and walked. And we called our moms. Happy Mother's Day! Then Kim went to the conference and I went to yoga class. And we went out to a nice Italian place for a late dinner afterward. We had two very unusual and amazing salads (lamb & fennel in one and golden beets and fresh basil in the other!) and a very extraordinary lasagna.

Day #20: Monday, 12 May 2008: Santa Monica

Today, we woke just in time for me to go to yoga. Kim did some publicity stuff for the bay area shows. We went out for a late breakfast at a nearby diner. Then Kim went to the conference and I got to this here tour diary. We're doing a little laundry, cleaning this little apartment up, and packing up our stuff. We'll eat dinner at home and get to bed early, so we can rise early, pack the car, and get on the beautiful coastal road north to Oakland.

Thanks for going the road with me.
Peace & lasagna,

10:44 AM

Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Hallo Beautiful People!

Wednesday, 30 April 2008, 7am

I am sitting at a tiny desk in a tiny cottage in between our bed and a window overlooking a brick patio and tall straight branches arranged as a fence along a garden. We are a week into this tour and in Taos, New Mexico. Northeastern New Mexico is one of my favorite places in this vast country. I have been jotting down random thoughts and ideas each day that we have driven so many miles, and I finally have the chance to share some of them with you.

Day #1: Wednesday, 23 April 2008: Providence to Buffalo

10:25am and the car is packed and we are stopping at Olga's Cup and Saucer to have ham and cheese croissants and to get a salad and calzone for later, before we leave Little Rhody. 77,994 is the starting mileage on the odometer. Kim has been figuring out how to use her phone's digital camera as I drive. We've seen beautiful hawks in western Massachusetts, and a glistening raven. We crossed the Hudson next to a rusted disused bridge. It's hard to believe just how wide New York is as we travel the whole width. We listened to Stevie Wonder's Talking Book, and talked about how Darwin and Dewey had something to do with specialization and the separation of subjects in colleges. We listened to Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits and Incubus' Morning View before listening to most of my own recordings, chronologically, to help us talk about a remake album we are considering making, and what I should play for my set in Buffalo tomorrow night. I can't tell you how many bugs we killed on the windshield in just the 1st day, in just the first 459 miles.

Day #3: Friday, 25 April 2008: Buffalo to Indianapolis

We drove only 9 miles while in Buffalo yesterday, just to go from our beautiful little artsy-funky inn to the venue, a small cafe with a small dedicated crowd of people who have come to see me perform since 2001. We love the Buffalo fans. They are so down-to-earth and they know they need the music and the music needs them. I had so much fun playing for them. Tim Baldwin has booked several shows for me in Buffalo over the years, and this one was sort of a reunion. Katie Miller opened, and at the end of my set Tim and Katie joined me on guitar and percussion on Give, just like in 2002. And Tim requested his favorite, Carry It On, to play a most beautiful lead guitar on it, a sweet end to a very fine night. I figured out how to play Hooker on my new keyboard just for them, and it went well for a first time. It's SO different from my old keyboard. I loved the old one, but I am really enjoying these new sounds, the many ways I can alter them, and the way this keyboard can navigate between them.

We got home late and packed up our stuff, slept for 6 hours, and got on the road to Kansas early, but we are so tired we are only doing half the extra long trip today. I drove first because I wake easily in the morning, and so Kim could sleep more. I listened to Incubus' Morning View while she slept. Then we listened to Patty Griffin's Living With Ghosts, Dave Matthews' Some Devil, and Pink's I'm Not Dead Yet. We drove 531 miles through Buffalo, Seneca Reservation, rust belt Pennsylvania, farmlands of Ohio, to Indianapolis, Indiana. We stopped in Yellow Springs Ohio to have an excellent meal at Sunrise Cafe. We had buffalo, because we love it, and we so desperately needed protein and hate eating the unclean meat that is most accessible while on the road.

Day #4: Saturday, 26 April 2008: Indianapolis to Lawrence

We started with Gillian Welch's Time (the Revelator), because whenever I am in the middle of this country, that feels like the most perfect soundtrack. We drove 543 miles through Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, to Kansas, past vast flat farmland, golden and green fields. Missouri has more hills and trees and the purple ones are blooming. I found out from friends in Lawrence that they are called Red Buds, and they only bloom for 2 or 3 weeks, that we are so very lucky to have caught them in bloom this trip. They are so beautiful and decorate the green hills and plains with this lovely light redpurple bloom. We passed the 4-story cross, I think in Illinois. And the sky is so big here. They say Kansas is the flatest, but Illinois and Indiana are flatter than eastern Kansas, and just as flat as western Kansas. In Lawrence our friends made us yummy salad, grains, tofu, and corn bake, which we had never before had. It was amazingly sweet and rich. And corn sometimes makes me cry; I love it so much. They told us all about how they have been since I saw them the last time I drove through town five years ago. And we told them all our news. And they told us all about tornadoes. eeeee!

Day #5: Sunday, 27 April 2008: Lawrence to Wichita

We needed sleep so desperately that we gratefully slept in the next morning, then found amazing food at Wheatfields Bakery in Lawrence. We wandered the main street a little before packing up and heading to Wichita, Kansas. Eastern Kansas is so gorgeous: horses, farmhouses, green grass, ponds, clover covering freshly turned earth, Red Buds, El Dorado Lake full of trees...nothing is permanent...the land becomes water becomes desert becomes glacier becomes forest...over time.

We drove 169 miles to Wichita to stay with my adopted parents there. Kim was so happy to meet them. They are two of the nicest people you could ever meet. We got to hear about their work, their interest in art and history, their garden, their local farmers markets, and even some childhood memories. We also got to take them out for their 40th wedding anniversary, a happy surprise to all of us!

Day #7: Tuesday, 29 April 2008: Wichita to Taos

We drove 18 miles while in Wichita. We felt sad leaving our adopted parents. We don't get to see them enough. The last time I saw them I had the essentials, including my plants, my cat Sadie, my keyboard, and scores and recordings of my music, in the car with me as I drove cross-country, not to perform, but to move back home to Rhode Island after Littlebird's death. It was amazing to see them now, almost 5 years later, to see how we have been growing and changing as we age and heal.

We drove 538 miles from Wichita, through southwestern Kansas, the panhandle of Oklahoma, and northeastern New Mexico to Taos. We saw chemical green farmland in Kansas. Kim was excited that we would be driving through a town called "Liberal, Kansas," which was also dubbed, "The Crossroads of Commerce." The crossroads appear to be a street named "Pancake Boulevard." And Liberal claims to be where Dorothy and Toto lived.

The Oklahoma panhandle feels much more like Texas than the eastern part of Oklahoma, with its red earth and lush green farmland. The panhandle is greybrown desolate, and gives me this sinking unsafe feeling that the land has been raped. We saw piles of grain right near the pollution of the highway traffic, oil riggers right in the middle of farmlands, and packed-in chemical manure cows that would make anyone fear the quality of our nation's beef.

In contrast, New Mexico feels like a homecoming, a relief, a refuge, like mother earth is once again free and honored. The golden grass, greygreen sagebrush, pine trees, the free-roaming cattle, deer, elk, antelope, the mountains, dry river beds, canyons, crows, eagles -- all seem to be in their right place as they themselves intended. The Eklund Hotel Dining Room and Saloon in Clayton is beautifully restored to its 1890's wild west self. We enter the mountains surrounded by trees, sheer rock faces, a herd of deer just feet away, their little white deer butts running, Eagle Nest Lake, huge elk on the shoulder of the road. We listened to Gillian Welch's Time (the Revelator), Kristin Hersh's Learn to Sing Like a Star, and Throwing Muses' Limbo.

Day #8: Wednesday, 30 April 2008: Taos

We planned to spend today in Taos, because it is one of my favorite places in the whole country, and I wanted to share it with Kim. We stayed in this amazing little bed and breakfast, in the most beautiful little cottage. We were stopped today on our way to breakfast by a peacock that I have started to call "Monsieur P." He is just stunning. As we went back to get the camera, we saw a raven in a tree above our cottage, eating food and hopping around as only a raven would. I have taken so many pictures. Breakfast was amazing. I came back to the cottage to write all this, and Kim stayed out by the peacock making phone calls. Then we went out to the Rio Grande Gorge. It is a spectacular view on a windy bridge on route 64. We then visited the Taos Pueblo Reservation. The Taos Pueblo are the only Native American people I know of who have somehow managed to stay on their land. We saw lots of horses, adobe houses, pottery, drums, candles, jewelry, paintings, dream catchers, fresh herb smudge sticks that smell so sweetly of sage and lavender. We visited their church and met a young artist, Aspenmist, whom we believe will be very famous when he is grown. We ate homecooked Taos Pueblo food at a beautiful little restaurant: a buffalo burger on fry bread and a corn batter fried chicken sandwich on fry bread, and Indian herb tea. The winds were so strong and the land so dry that sand was blowing everywhere. We are both feeling like we have colds from the high winds and sand. Kim is suffering with altitude sickness as well. We are over 7,000 feet up. We will drive down the mountain tomorrow, and hopefully our headaches will ease with the descent.

Kim is sleeping because her head, throat, and sinuses hurt so much that she has the chills. I am less sick, but still feeling the irritation in my throat, sinuses, and head. It is time for me to sleep too, so we can rise early for our yummy breakfast, packing the car, saying goodbye to Monsieur P and to the sand and adobe and mountains of this beautiful favorite town of ours.

Peace & fry bread,

10:53 PM

Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Hallo Beautiful People!

We are very excited about our upcoming cross-country tour! We leave Little Rhody on April 23rd, and will be gone 41 days. Our trip will include at least 9 shows, a week in the Southwest visiting special people and places, a week in LA at the Global Sound Conference and meeting some fantastic industry folks, and a week in the Bay Area visiting my old haunts and dear friends. We intend to come home with a more clear picture of how and when the next album is going to be funded, made, and promoted, and we can't wait to tell you all the juicy details, whether they be a major record deal or a bigger and better Sealed Lip Records.

All show details are listed to the left. Some dates are still being solidified, so keep checking this page and call the venues to confirm. I will have internet access while on the road, so I will keep writing updates and random thoughts from the road here whenever possible.

We are returning to a warm and special homecoming show with our favorite Kevin Silvia in Wakefield at Cornerstone Playhouse (True Brew!) on Friday, June 6th! Don't miss it, Little Rhody!

And we're excited about being in NYC for Pride in late June and touring cross-country again in the fall, including California's Earthdance!

See you out there!
Be peace y'all,

2:54 PM

Friday, February 29, 2008
Hallo Beautiful People!

We are getting really excited about our upcoming cross-country tour! I can't wait to revisit all these people and places I haven't been to in way too long, and Kim can't wait to see so much of the country for the first time. This is the beauty of driving tours - you really get to see the richness and diversity of this huge country we live in. Keep checking back here for dates in your area.

We hope you are getting as excited as we are! And we hope to see you out there!

Happy Sunshine!

Be Peace,

1:32 PM

Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Hallo Beautiful People!

I am so so sad to tell you that I will not be performing in California and Oregon in February as we had planned. Some of the very important dates fell through, so we are postponing the trip until May. I will give you all the details as soon as we have confirmed them. I am so sorry for the disappointing news!

See you out there!

6:07 PM

Friday, January 11, 2008
Hallo Beautiful People!

Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were spectacular. We had amazing food at home for the holidays. We said goodbye to the old and welcomed in the new. We marveled at our family traditions and meditated on our family and career intentions. Our fir tree is bright with lights and our hearts are full with love.

We went into the recording studio on a December day that promised snow. We drove to Signature Sounds in northern CT and recorded 8 new songs in less than 6 hours. It felt so good to be back to my old fast recording self. My voice is back full-strength. The snow was deep when we got back outside, and the drive home was more than twice the usual length. But we are SO excited about the resultant demos! We haven't yet decided if we will release these demos as a fundraiser for the next album, but we did decide to put 5 of the demos up on my myspace page. Please go listen to them. You can add them to your own myspace pages, rank them, and leave comments about them at my page. I really want to know what you think about the new material, so please leave me LOTS of comments. Right now, Kim's favorite is 'Dear Sister' and my favorite is 'Gutter Mouth,' but we really truly love them all. Go listen and tell me which one is your favorite! myspace

We are now planning how to approach the making of the next album. I still have one or two more songs brewing for it. And we are busy booking a tour that will bring us to Cali in late February. As we have more details, we will keep you updated.

But right now, I have some really good news! True Brew Cafe got its theatre license!!! Big thanks to everyone who supported them in the town meetings that went on so long, that finally resulted in their being able to keep theatre and music events happening in their space. When we went to the November town meeting, things were looking uncertain. We were so happy to find out that they got their license right before New Years. And we promptly booked a show in their black box theatre for you all. We are soooo happy to get to see you there again. Their new license has a strict fire code limiting the number of people who can attend a show, so please call early to make reservations for this special night. Kevin Silvia will be opening for me and joining me on some of my songs, making the night even more fun. It's been 5 months since I played there! We can't wait! Details to the left.

Bright Blessings,

9:31 PM

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