Monthly Archive for February, 2009

Cafeterias and Movie Theaters Welcome!

This is specifically a note for fans who are on their college’s Student Activities Board or Campus Activities Board. I like playing in cafeterias, movie theaters, and student centers. I like playing under tents outside, or with sunscreen on. Most of all, I just like traveling and playing and making my living doing what I love. Let’s talk!

Robot On My Dashboard

Drove maybe ten hours up to Ithaca NY on Tuesday, played at the open mic at ABC Cafe, envied a tiny harp, listened to one-liners delivered by a guy dressed as Christ, ate potato cheddar soup. Continued to Fulton NY, got in after midnight.

Today I headed over to Cayuga CC and played in their hangout area over lunch – the school layout is basically a warehouse with huge cubicles for classrooms, so I’m confident everybody in school today heard me. All the students were remarkably chipper, it was refreshing!

Newsflash: hpig tattoos can be applied to laptops. Thank you, CCC art students.

Then a long drive home. I finished the latest audiobook of Stephen King short stories, listened to a couple hours of random shuffle music prepared by my spirit dj, and communed with the GPS robot that now lives on my dashboard.

The last half-hour I composed limericks without punchlines. “There was an old man from Nebraska.” “There once was a writer from Texas.” “I went to a bargain bin shopping.” To paraphrase the Spinal Tap liner notes, it was a way of filling a much-needed void.

Heading North + T-Street Band

Right now, I’m waiting for my huge clunky external hard drive to finish syncing libraries with my laptop so I can grab a random slice of music to listen to on the way up to Fulton, NY. As warned, last week’s local North Carolina shows are giving way to more travels in the frozen north. And I almost left without packing a hat. Yow. Luckily, the huge clunky external hard drive is giving me plenty of time to pack. New York state, see you in twelve hours…

PS: the General Store Cafe was unique last Friday in that we played two full sets as a trio. Pretty cool to have longer to explore tunes that don’t usually make the forty-five-minute cutoff for band shows. One guy in the audience told Charles his piano reminded him of early Springsteen. I don’t know that the tunes had much Boss in them, but the epic (by recent Tad band standards) set length definitely made me want to put a red bandana in my back pocket to mop my sweaty, working-man’s brow.

Six Arms To Hold You

This week I’m playing solo at Six Plates Wine Bar in Durham on Thursday at 9, then Friday it’s a trio show with bass and piano at the Pittsboro General Store. The image above is my uber-professional Facebook wonderflyer for the band show. Next week I’m solo up in upstate NY again at Cayuga Community College. We mastered the new album on Monday. It sounds awesome. Stay tuned!

The Ballad of Valentines Week

Googie's Lounge, NYC

Here’s the story of last week’s tour of the Northeast, starting with last Wednesday. Googie’s is a tiny place in NYC that we ably filled, Jeremiah & Akiva were super to be on stage with, we all sang and played backup to whoever was leading the song. I got my copy of Joy & Gravity from Jeff Fowler, who took the picture above, and listened to it on the three-hour-ish drive to Delhi NY, where the oracle led me to SUNY and a movie theater on campus where I played for the kids. A Rock Band tournament followed, with the game projected on the giant screen. I played drums on Message In A Bottle and it was like DDR for someone with five legs.

Then Friday, it was on to Juniata College, a six-hour drive whose record was beaten easily by Becca Loebe, who drove all the way from Maine to be at the show. We each played solo sets, then concluded with a great set of duets that included Becca’s Grace, my Give It Away, and then Hallelujah and I’m A Believer. I was a little nervous during our quick rehearsal at the hotel but it worked out beautifully.

Was hoping to play in Charlottesville VA on the way home but communication lines snarled and I didn’t get the official ok from the venue in time. A little sad, but also good to get home on Valentines Day and have a nice dinner rather than Subway Subway Subway. See you next time, Cville!

Joy And Gravity

<a href="http://jefffowler.bandcamp.com/album/joy-and-gravity">The Potential For Sameness by Jeff Fowler</a>

If you love The Postal Service, The Magnetic Fields, New Order, Trainspotting (the soundtrack), and Paul Simon, you owe it to yourself to download this album. It’s the debut effort from Jeff Fowler, my former bass player, and it’s a beautiful mix of poetic lyrics, skittering electro beats, pop smarts, all infused with bittersweet longing. Jeff worked really hard on this record and would like for it to be part of people’s lives. I’m definitely glad it’s part of mine.

You can either name your own price for the download, or grab it free and decide what it means to you once you’ve had a chance to listen to it. Here’s the link: http://jefffowler.bandcamp.mu

Northeast Tour This Week

Ok, I’m back from Nebraska, and this week I’m on tour playing in NYC on Wednesday at 9:30 pm. It’s at Googie’s Lounge, above The Living Room on Ludlow. You should come if it’s in your zipcode. Jeremiah Birnbaum and Akiva are also playing. Thursday, I’m at SUNY Delhi in the student union at 8 pm, and Friday evening I’m at Juniata College in Huntingdon PA with the wonderful Rebecca Loebe.

It’s 70 degrees in North Carolina right now. What am I thinking, leaving town? Looking ahead, I’ll be at Cayuga CC in Fulton NY on 2/25, if you’re free around lunchtime. As always, if you need directions, the shows page has map links for each of these.

By the way, Nebraska was great. The show was well-attended at Dana College (woo!) plus it was really sunny and not even that cold. During my free time, I went to a wildlife refuge with creepy crucifix lamp posts and participated in karaoke. Not at the same time, though that would be interesting.

Blogging the Nebraska Microtour

I’m playing a show in Nebraska Thursday night (tomorrow), and for the next couple days I’ll be posting lots of Twitter chirps about the trip as it unfolds. Stuff is always more interesting when you’re away from home, so I’m sure we’ll encounter lots of fascinating minutiae. So far, this has included notes on the crazy new age lightshow in the Detroit airport, the sexy outfit required to drive a rental minivan, and visions of stately fields at dusk. You can follow on Facebook via statuses or on ye olde Twitter feed.