Projects and More Projects
Hello To All Of You Crispy Wintery Soul Riders,
The time has finally come for a proper update. I know all of you have waited eagerly by your computers day and night for the musings of yours truly, so I’m happy to finally lay your anxiety to rest for a moment. Except you whos anxiety can find no rest (Jacob K).
I’ve been on break from tour for about a month now but it seems like much longer. Not being on tour has only meant I finally have time to start my 18/hr days of computer time setting up tour for 2014 and writing more songs. Over the course of 2013 I managed to self book, organize and execute close to 200 shows. On paper this feels like I should be giving myself some kind of life time achievement award but in reality I give myself very little credit. A lion’s share of it should go to the countless amount of people around the entire country that have hosted house shows, passed my music along and helped secure various locations for me to share some time and music with you. It really helped me to feel like there was some progress being made, which is all I ever really want. To slowly keep pushing this 2001 Honda Odyssey shaped rock up the mountain. Also let us not forget the army of other musicians out there in the world trying to do the exact same thing all by themselves, without complaint, and not giving up year after year.
Since being on break I’ve been working on number of projects. The first being something many of you already may know, but that I am in fact going on a 4 month long tour of Europe from April 15th - Aug 19th. I already have close to 16 shows booked and am starting to slowly see the entire trip take form. Though you can imagine 16 shows is just scratching the surface of what will be a trip that covers 7-10 countries. Europe (especially Germany) seems to be filled with quaint little singer/songwriter cafes and tiny listening rooms suited perfectly for my music.
I’m so excited for this trip that I figured it would be a shame to have it go undocumented. So I managed to lure my dear friend and amazing film maker Daphne Gardner to join me for 2 weeks of the trip and help film everything. This idea to film the trip, eventually morphed it’s way in my head into being a full on documentary. About what you may ask? Essentially bootcamp for musicians. Possibly a brief yet accurate depiction of what it is really like to spend 200 days a year on the road, by yourself, in a minivan. Or to sit at your computer all day every day copy and pasting booking emails. And the daily rejection emails you get as a result. The locked doors of the music business you bang your soft head against over and over. But also the doors that open, and the people that invite you into their homes and fill it with more people who LOVE music. Who eventually come to love YOUR music. And the more established artists that let you open for them, sharing a small yet generous piece of their hard earned career. Giving you hope for one more day. And let’s not forget about gas stations and Taco Bell at 3am resulting in Taco Belly.
It occurred to me one day that almost any music documentary you can imagine out there that is known at all is always about musicians that are now currently famous and the story of their rise to success. But these documentaries often leave enormous holes about their early days. I think because A) people don’t want to appear human, but instead try to put on some kind of mysterious wizard hat and B) who would have ever thought to document Bruce Springsteen playing for 12 people in some dive bar in NYC? Not to mention the technology was no where near what it is to day in terms of affordability, portability and quality. Partly I know I am hungry to learn about these early day details in hopes of finding some secret recipe for their success. But I’ve come to believe ultimately there is no such thing. I’ve spent so much time having heart to hearts with musicians and artists of all levels only to find at the end of the conversation that there really is no answer. There is only doing what you love and working hard. Also maybe I don’t feel like listening anymore about how Bob Dylan is the greatest songwriter that ever lived, even if it’s true. Maybe I just want to hear about the guy that is still struggling and thinks about giving up all the time but doesn’t, and who may never “make it” - whatever that means. So instead of waiting around for a good documentary about that - about answers, I’d like to make a documentary about questions. I don’t really know what the documentary will be ABOUT, but I know I want to investigate this matter of “success” more deeply and I’ve got a lot of questions that should lead me at least somewhere. Hopefully not another Taco Bell.
Other projects I’m working on or dreaming about…
1) Learn German
2) Start regular exercise
3) Quit smoking
4) Put a door on my bedroom
5) Fix the heating ducts under the house
5) Learn how to operate camera/edit video
6) Learn HTML so I can design/update my own website
7) Write more songs
8) Learn classical guitar
9) Get better at recording
10) Develop regular sleeping patterns
11) Find a therapist (not joking)
And that is just to give you an idea of what goes on in my head. For now I only mean to trouble you with a few more things. It has become part of my mailing list duties to inform you of upcoming shows, and to continually reach out humbly for help with booking shows. This time particularly with this Europe tour. Once again I so graciously ask, if you or anyone you know lives in France, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Finland or Mars - and wants to host a house show, or knows of a good place to play, or has a couch for me to sleep on, please let me know! I haven’t officially announced the current dates I have booked but since you guys are all on the inside scoop, I’m going to lay it out for you…
4/23 - Berlin,DE - Ä Bar
4/25 - Berlin,DE - Madame Claude
5/1 - Leipzig,DE - Villa Hasenholz
5/2 - Lübech,DE - Tonfink
5/10 - Gent, BE - House Show **pending
5/11 - Gent,BE - Bombardon
5/20 - Geneva,CH - Le Cabinet
5/21 - St. Gallen,CH - House Show
5/25 - Zurich,CH - Cafe Zaehringer **pending
5/27 - Cologne,DE - Kulture Café
6/5 - Lüdenscheid,DE - Der Stock
6/13 - Nürnberg,DE - House Show
6/14 - Darmstadt,DE - House Show
6/26 - The Hague,NL - THISSFest
I know this seems really spread out and insane routing but there are many gaps to fill. This is just what it’s like when self booking and you have to take things as they come. Eventually it will make more sense.
Before I let you go, I am playing my LAST SHOW OF THE YEAR tomorrow night.
**December 28th @ 12th & Porter - 7pm start time (I am on right at 7pm)**
So don’t miss it! Come say hello to me and let’s drink some apple cider before the year is over. I feel like there is more to say, but it’s getting late and I have to go pretend I’m going to sleep well tonight. Oh and one more thing, if you are still here… some magic little anonymous fairy wrote out all the tabs (and they appear to be accurate at a glance) of “Heart Of Mine”. Google Alerts alerted me of this fact and I’ve been asked occasionally how to play this song so now you two people who asked can learn it! Check out the tabs here…
Ok love you bye Happy Holidays bye,
Free Motion Sadness EP!
Want a free copy of Motion Sadness EP? For now it will only be available in the form of a mini poster with a download code on the back.
To get one simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your shipping address and request to be put on my email list. If you are already on the email list, provide an email of a consenting friend and your shipping address and that’s it. Check out the artwork below, done by the one and only Crackerfarm.
Epic Tour Part 2
Hello pioneers and explorers of all things universe-related,
I am feeling particularly cosmic and humble as I write this. Sigur Ros is playing on my speakers and I just saw them live last night in a forest amphitheater. The way I think of what’s possible musically has changed forever. And that’s all I can say about that. More importantly, my fall tour begins today and I feel I have a duty to you wonderfully loyal patrons of my music to spread the word. Below is the current tour schedule, but keep an eye out for dates that are still in progress and will be added later to my Facebook music page tour tab. Mouthful. I know some of you are not big on reading lengthy emails, so feel free to skim—but more goodies await on the other side of the schedule. Bribery. To find out the details for any show click on the “Tour” tab.
10/7 Ft. Collins,CO
10/11 Portland,OR **supporting Langhorne Slim
10/12 Eugene,OR **supporting Langhorne Slim
10/14 San Francisco,CA **supporting Langhorne Slim
10/16 Los Angeles,CA **supporting Langhorne Slim
10/18 San Diego,CA **supporting Langhorne Slim
10/24 Los Angeles,Ca
10/29 Ft. Collins
11/6 Chapel Hill,NC
11/9 New Hope,PA **supporting Melissa Ferrick
11/10 Hamden,CT **supporting Melissa Ferrick
I am still looking for house show hosts or venue shows in the areas below. Feel free to email me at email@example.com and we can talk details.
10/6 Lincoln,NE//Des Moines,IA//Ames,IA
10/28 Salt Lake City,UT//Provo,UT
So I have a lot more news for you special people who are still reading, the ones I haven’t lost to Game Of Thrones. First off, I just received not moments ago the final mixed/mastered files for my new EP, Motion Sadness. Funny name right? Or is it! All the songs were recorded with one mic configuration, whole solo performances beginning to end with no edits or chopping up of different takes to make one perfect take. It’s sort of a good sounding live record but with a few do-overs that only you and I know about. I am really proud of it - and the fact that I found it in me to expect it’s odd imperfections that normally in the studio I would have tried so hard to polish out. Here’s the track listing for the record.
1) Trophy On A Shelf
3) The Path Out East
5) Paramedics (Murder Ballad)
6) Somewhere In Colorado
I decided that for now I will not be releasing the EP online for open download,purchase or streaming. It just occurred to me one day that the internet has a way of cheapening music; any distracted unenthusiastic joe on his couch in his underwear can click on a link for 30 seconds and then move on back to some insta-slam jam or whatever. I just didn’t want to do that this time. So instead, for now, there will be only two ways to get a copy of MOTION SADNESS.
1) Attend one of my shows, put your email on the mailing list, and receive a free signed poster with a secret download code on the back.
2) Now I don’t want to keep anything away from people who really want it, all the lovely folks who have supported me endlessly over the years but won’t be able to make it to a show on this tour. I figured we can do it like this. If you are getting this email, you already support me and are on the list. So just take a few seconds and send me an email saying you want a copy and where to mail the poster to, and then include 1 email of a friend of yours that is NOT on the list. I’m going to assume and trust that you asked your friend ahead of time, thoroughly converted them into a diehard fan, and that they will not resent either of us for stealing their info. I will mail you the poster, and you can share the EP download with your friend who’s email you provided. If THEY want a poster too, all they have to do is email me with ANOTHER friend’s email. See where I’m going with this? It’s a pyramid scheme and it’s brilliant. So to make it extra clear, your email will look something like this, or some version of it that I can understand.
You are the best! Can I please get a signed EP poster!
Please send to…
00 Sadness St.
You can add my friend Ani Difranco to the mailing list. Her email is Iamalegend@aim.com”
In other news, I’ve been on break from tour for about a week now and enjoying it immensely. The weather has been nice and I finished another song I think will be called Perfect Teeth. Partly as a shout out to my friend Jacob Kaplan’s band, Perfect Teeth, whose words of wisdom and phone calls while on the road keep me sane and persistence with my efforts. And also it’s just a story about being on the road and pulls in some experiences from my most recent trip. People I met, terrible shows I played, and so on. I’ve been experimenting with lyrics that are a bit more conversational and specific, and less abstract as they tend to be.
So one last thing, but MOST exciting of all. I will be putting together my first tour in Europe (April 15 - Aug 19th) and I am going to be compiling a list of contacts anywhere and everywhere there are some. So if you are reading this and thinking “Hey I have a friend in Paris who loves music and would probably want to host a house show” you should definitely send me there contact. It can be literally anywhere in Europe/UK and I will look into making it happen. My plan is to spend 1 month living in Berlin starting April 15th - playing around the city and checking things out. Then I will be doing a month tour, followed by some good ol’ fashioned backpacking, and then followed by more touring. Basically it will be a 4 month trip and am going to need a lot of help, because who can take on this world alone? Tyrion Lannister perhaps, but not I. I feel out of breath just reading this whole thing over for typos. You are a champ. You deserve another reward. This time it’s a link to a creepy little live video I made of my new song “Paramedics”. Done by the genius boys at Virginia Moonwalker in Richmond,VA. It was made with an iphone, couple good mics, tape recorder and some weird filters. Also if you never saw it on facebook, check out the new music video for “Heart Of Mine”.
"Heart Of Mine" Music Video
What more can I say?
A lot. Thank you.
Cause A Scene Tickets On Sale!
Hey Nashville Fam,
I’m quite excited to announce tickets for the Cause A Scene Music show Sept 19th are up for sale! I’ll be sharing the stage with Noah Gundersen, Field Report and Foreign Fields. It’s going to be an epic night of magical music making. Location will be given out after purchase. But I can tell you it’s in a secret back yard!
Buy tickets here: http://www.causeascene0919.eventbrite.com/