Happy New Year!!! Finally got confirmation on some shows in Australia and New Zealand this spring…
Tue Apr 17 – Auckland NZ @ The Schooner Tavern
Wed Apr 18 – Wellington NZ @ SFBH
Thu Apr 19 – Brisbane AU @ The Troubadour
Fri Apr 20 – Sydney AU @ The Basement Club
Sat Apr 21 – Melbourne AU @ Corner Hotel
Update: All the aforementioned shows are with Richard Buckner! Yay.
I just experienced my first California earthquake. Scared the living shit outta me. It sounded like a big explosion from the back of the house, I didn’t know what the fuck was goin’ on! I thought the water heater had exploded, or, like, a giant meteor had smashed down in the backyard. But it was none of those things, just a little quake and everything seems to be okay.
A few years ago I blogged about an earthquake I felt in Chicago. The one tonight one was scarier though. It was just a jolt, but a pretty strong jolt compared to the Chicago one, which I only noticed because the floor-lamp was trembling.
Herschel got me the nicest early Christmas present! A new (old) amp. I love it. It’s a ~1975 silverface Princeton Reverb, modded up somewhat… it’s got a 12" speaker instead of 10", and they got rid of the vibrato tube, so the speed and intensity knobs now control presence and master volume instead. It sounds sooo tasty with my 335… all I have to do is turn every single knob up to 10 except the last one, master volume. I plug in and start to play and the thing just jams, like it wants to jump up and hug me! I think it makes you play a lot better when the amp isn’t just sitting there staring at you, looking bored. My old amp (which I still have) is like that, just too much amp for me I guess. Too loud and too many knobs, I can never get the same sound twice. The Princeton gives me just 2 or 3 great sounds that are super easy for me to find… you got the clean sound, the reverbed one, the chimey one with presence turned up, the slightly dirty overdriven one. Also it’s about 3/4 or 4/5 the size of the Hotrod, so it’s a whole lot lighter and easier for me to carry.
I got back to California late Monday night… had a great time touring Europe with Espers, but ohhhh it’s so good to be back home again!! I never got much sleep on the road so I’m trying to make up for it now, but I’m totally hammered with jetlag and can only sleep 4 or 5 hours at a stretch. Seems a lot worse on this side than it was going over to Europe… I don’t think it’s supposed to work that way but whatever!
Tour dates in Europe can now be revealed! I’ll be opening for Espers, my Drag City labelmates from Philadelphia. Probably playing solo, or possibly sweet-talking a few of them into helping me out? :-)
Fri Nov 17 – Antwerp, Belgium @ Trix
Sat Nov 18 – Brussels, Belgium @ Ancienne Belgique
Sun Nov 19 – Bristol, England @ Cube Cinema
Mon Nov 20 – Edinburgh, Scotland @ Cabaret Voltaire
Tue Nov 21 – Manchester, England @ Klondyke Club
Wed Nov 22 – London, England @ Bush Hall
Thu Nov 23 – Paris, France @ Fleche D’or
Fri Nov 24 – Toulouse, France @ L’entrepot
Sat Nov 25 – Durango (Bilbao), Spain @ Plateruena
Sun Nov 26 – Castellon, Spain @ Zepplin Club
Mon Nov 27 – driving day
Tue Nov 28 – Casalpusterlengo [Lodi], Italy @ Teatro Comunale
Wed Nov 29 – Fribourg, Switzerland @ Fri-Son
Thu Nov 30 – St. Gallen, Switzerland @ Palace
Fri Dec 01 – Berlin, Germany @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
Sat Dec 02 – Utrecht, Netherlands @ Ekko
Sun Dec 03 – Rotterdam, Netherlands @ Rotown
Update: These dates ended up being all screwy; I’m trying to fix them in the individual show listings.
Yay!! I finally have internet, it took three weeks for them to turn it on. What’s going on? What’d I miss? Eh, who cares. Life has been very very nice since I got here, I haven’t even missed my web-life that much. I have a lot of European tour dates to post in the next few days so please bear with me…!
It’s taking awhile longer to move to SF than I would’ve liked, but I am getting there. Still in Chicago at the moment but the stars have been very much in my favor; I have a PLACE out there now and a lease and a move-in date, yayyy! Not in the city proper but over in the East Bay… that was mainly a budgetary choice, similar to one I made when I moved to Brooklyn instead of Manhattan. Anyway… so I now have less than one month to get my ass and all my possessions out there. EEEEKKK!!! I’m kind of in a panic, but it’s a good combination of scared and excited. Excited because I really do love that place, and for that and other reasons I really can’t think of anyplace else I want to live right now. But it’s a little scary because of course I can’t be entirely sure I’ll find my niche and adapt well to living there… and naturally the move is pretty nerve-wracking in and of itself. But it’s cool, I know the drill. I keep doing this over and over — San Antonio -> Austin -> Guadalajara -> Austin -> San Antonio -> Austin -> Brooklyn -> Chicago. It doesn’t freak me out too much. I do feel like I’m getting too old for this shit, but I was probably saying that when I was 12 years old. ;-) And now I’m getting really bad deja vu that I’m just rehashing shit I’ve already said here before, so I’ll stop the bitching. ;-)
Just got back home to Chicago after spending the whole month of June gallivantin’ around the country. Spent two weeks in San Francisco, then hopped over to San Antonio to pick up my 11-year old nephew Thomas to take him on a trip to Yellowstone with my dad and his wife Joy. THAT was so much fun, I’ve never done anything like that in my life. We spent a week or so in Yellowstone, then I took Thomas back to San Antonio and just flew back to Chicago this evening. I had a BLAST but I am so so so SO tired of all the running around! It’s not over either; by the time 2006 is done I reckon I will have spent the better part of this year traveling. We’re in the process of booking another tour in Europe for later in the fall (a make-up tour for the one that got cancelled in May) and I’ll also be going to Australia, hopefully, before the year is through.
I’m going to be playing on KUSF in San Francisco this coming Tuesday the 13th, at about 10:30 or 11am PST. It’s a show hosted by a certain "dj schmeejay" and I think the whole show runs from 9am to noon.
My pal Wil Hendricks is joining me on upright bass — y’all might know that name from his work in the Lofty Pillars and on various Simon Joyner and Califone records. Wil scared up an acoustic guitar for me to use, borrowed from a bandmate of his. YAYYYY!!! I’m excited. I wasn’t expecting or even wanting to do any shows while I was out here but this’ll be a nice low-key, fun thing to do.
This’ll be a busy month for me traveling-wise. I’m going out to California for a little visit, that’s coming up real soon here, then later in the month I’m going to Yellowstone! With my dad and his wife, and one of my nephews, who’s 11 years old. I’m so excited. The Cali trip is all about the chillin’ and hanging out with friends, and the Yellowstone trip is about spending time with family, and taking pictures of nature-y things. I’m such a city gal, it’s pretty crazy to imagine myself out in the middle of all that… just miles and miles of dirt and cactus and stuff. Hee!! I have no idea what it’s like, I’ve never done nothin’ like that. So I’m very psyched. And rumor has it I’ll have at least some internet access for my laptop. And another cool thing is that my dad’s gonna loan me his spare digital camera for that trip. It’s a way WAY better camera than the one I’ve got, and you know I’m a gadget freak so I’m going to want to fiddle with that thing as much as I can. So you can definitely expect lots of action on my Flickr this summer!
I want to talk about a particular music-related collectomania of mine. Well actually it’s such a deep and narrow subgenre of music that it’s hard to even call myself a collector, seein’ as how I can pretty much count these albums on one hand! Okay. I don’t know of a good term for this music so I just refer to it as "ambient country". Which is a horrible term I admit, but it’s the best I could do. This music, it’s kinda like Brian Eno but with guitars. It has to be instrumental, and it must be sparsely arranged. It should evoke rattlesnakes and desert landscapes that drone on and on. It should incorporate touches of slide guitar, steel guitar or maybe both. So anyway here’s my very short list of albums I love that more or less fall into the category I’m describing. If you can think of other albums along the same lines, post a comment!
- Ry Cooder Paris Texas soundtrack (the granddaddy of ‘em all!)
- Loren Mazzacane-Connors In Pittsburgh (Rian Murphy turned me on to this back in ’96 when we were recording my first album)
- A Small Good Thing Slim Westerns (which I discovered back in the glory days of Napster)
- World Standard Country Gazette (same thing)
- Bruce Kaphan Slider (which John W. turned me on to)
- Bill Frisell Ghost Town (an Eric Z. turnon)
I finished a new song today (=yesterday), it’s a goodie. Well, I have a demo but I’m gonna redo it. Nathaniel’s coming over this weekend to help me snazz up the chords a little… I was envisioning this really smooth Wes Montgomery-ish guitar bed for my demo but I just couldn’t find all those jazzy passing chords on the fretboard. I found the basic chords, more or less, but it’s just a little wack. Nathaniel has the demo now so he’ll be able to figure out what I *meant* to play, hopefully.