Thanks to everyone who came out to the acoustic Living Room shows and to the great hosts I met or re-met without knowing it. The shows went so well that I've decided to press my luck and try it again in April and May. The cities and dates will be announced soon.
In the meantime, March will be electric. I'm digging out some pedals and amps for a few club shows:
Thursday, March 6, I'll be at Union Hall in Brooklyn NY. Last time I was there I lost my jacket, so this time I'm bringing an extra one.
Friday, March 7th, I'll be in Arlington VA at IOTA where I've been returning for the last 20 years.
Speaking of which
On March 18th, Merge Records is releasing a 20th anniversary edition of my first album Bloomed. It's coming out on vinyl with a bonus CD of 11 additional tracks containing demo and radio performances and a few recorded in an East Bay bar way-back-when with my SF band, The Doubters.
La la la,
Well, the West Coast Living Room Tour is now underway. Reports will be forthcoming à la Facebook and Twitter where I'll be subconsciously stressing the schwa. Phantom interrobangs should be assumed. Or, if you don't want to wait for the playback, there are tickets for these Jan/Feb shows going on in Arizona, California, Oregon available here.
We're also planning Living Room Shows for April and May all over the rest of the U.S. If you're interested in hosting one, you can find the details here.
Basically, I'll pull up to your house with an acoustic guitar, find a spot inside where I won't knock anything over and play all of the hits that made me the hundredaire that I am today. The location of the shows is only known to those who purchase tickets. You get 5 free tickets for your friends or those whose friendships you're trying to buy. Dates will be announced soon after finding out that there are dates to be announced. After that, I 'll just need to decide which color I'd like my rental car to be. Having trouble finding lavender with spinning rims.
In March, there will be electric dates in NY before I return to the living rooms in April & May for the purely acoustic shows. I'm slowly weening myself from the self-imposed no amp/no pedal intervention. Like a diver, I don't want to ascend too quickly and give myself the bends. March 6 will be in Brooklyn at Union Hall and March 22 will be at BSP in Kingston w/ Anders Parker.
On Tumblr., you can find a few short stories, some music, a video or two and assorted other chunklets. There's also Instagram for you visual types. Lastly, you can stream my last album, SURROUNDED, here and even buy a copy there as well that includes the crafty-pants artwork of Jill Draper.
Hello. I have so little to tell you, I'm not sure where to begin.
Last month, I: crept around in basements. listened in, unnoticed. bent a rule or two. let myself be taken. leaned in every line. bought into a bundle. pillaged from the stations. lied to keep it going. paced until communion. bit to find the quick and bled to mark the way. listed in a shuttle. dropped and lost my sight. begged for wrong directions. napped through afternoons. sorted through the details. usually took the lift. tricked myself on board. followed hidden signs. ushered in a server. translated, then surrendered, leaving early when I could. loosened up a few times. wrote some off as void. almost lost my breath. lightened on the way. saw things I believed. recharged in public corners. walked out just to come back. recorded someone crying. argued in a doorway. negotiated offers and straightened out too late. left when I was told to. tried to spot the targets. wrestled out some "yes"es. hoarded with the freebies. turned down a warm Duvel. flooded when I had to. lost a saved disciple. winced at all the whimsy. guessed where I was going. watched the damaged scurry and paid to stay behind. shuffled through the passes. moved for rutting bingers. scheduled in some tastings. waited to meander. clutched along the creakings. shifted in conditions. made off with utensils. caught up with the missing. made it back depleted. slipped into a distance and let the visions lie.
And I'm about to do it again.
January 23rd through February 9th, I'll be foraging along the West Coast with an acoustic guitar and dropping in on suspecting listeners for a series of Living Room shows. The cities are public domain but the addresses are privy to those obey "add to cart". The audiences are limited to 50 per show, so the chances you'll run into an ex or estranged family member are fairly low. I'll simply ring a doorbell, find a spot in the room where I won't knock over a lamp with my guitar neck, make a blanket-apology ahead of time, just in case, then traipse through a catalog of the chorusless. The shows will be in different homes each evening, so check ahead for individual rules on snuggies. Audience members that correctly guess the daily rate on my rental car will receive a compliment on their hair style.
I released a new short story entitled The Surrendered Read. It's about reading to fall asleep, then falling asleep because you're reading then waking up just wanting to go back to sleep, though not sure that you may or may not still be asleep and just dreaming that you can't sleep (the former description may be longer than the actual story). Around the yarn, you can also find a mixtape, a few videos, some picture-poems and a stream of my last album, Surrounded.
A day-to-day version of what may have happened on my European tour in December is lying dormant on Facebook as 2013 Euro tour diary 1-20. A video game version will be released on PS2 (the one that I still use) on Lincoln's birthday.
If you're on my email list, you can get updates every so often on Merge's 2014 repurposed release under my name and news on the next round of Living Room shows in April & May around the U.S., excluding the territories (such as Iraq and possibly Florida).
Pajamas all day,
Hello unknown friends:
I'm writing to you from Europe where I'm currently touring for SURROUNDED and looking confidently confused in a different city each day. This morning, in Germany, I ordered a coffee in Spanish. They served me a chorizo banger. I thanked them in Dutch then put the sausage up to my ear and asked to speak with Queen Elizabeth. The NSA cut in on the call and told me to knock it off.
Anyway, the reason I'm writing is because tickets are now on sale for the 2014 U.S. West Coast Living Room Shows in Washington, Oregon, Arizona and both Californias. They will be in late January and early February. The various cities and dates are listed here. The way it works, is you procure a ticket in the city of your choice. After you've purchased, you'll be sent the address of the secret location of the show. I don't even know where they are. These performances will be completely acoustic with no skits and only one commercial, so dress comfortably.
I'll be sending in notes from the road on Facebook and such, answering my own questions and asking myself what I meant by that.
I have to go now. I can't find any mustard and the battery just wore out on my banger.
See you next year (unless you're in Europe today),
I, along with the over-generous help of the NSA, have been monitoring the host submissions for the U.S. West Coast LIVING ROOM SHOWS slated for late January/early February. We've heard from California (nutty), Arizona (spicy), Washington (stony) & Oregon (no state sales tax). Thank you so far! Everyone has until NOVEMBER 21 to send in submissions for these four states. If you have enough space to host a show after finally donating that collection of Reader's Digest Condensed Books that your mother gave you, then now is the time.
Dates are still open though and days-off while on tour are empty. After I clean up my KOA campsite of the squirrel stew cooking mess and fire-walking ritual area, I pack up my little hobo bag containing an iPod, a children's thesaurus and some ibuprofen and head back in to the general population. It's easy to kill time in Southern California: all I do is get on one of the freeways and suddenly days have passed, regimes have changed, tans have faded. In Washington, Oregon and Northern California, I usually just find a volcano and park, looking for spiritual answers, asking questions like "Why am I talking to a volcano?". In Arizona, I simply start driving in any direction, watching for UFOs on their way to Tucson where it's easier for them to blend in with the general population, usually posing as musicians or club managers.
After NOVEMBER 21, we'll be looking for the next LIVING ROOM SHOWS tour locations around the U.S., so keep sending in your ideas/offers to help us get an idea of where the next round of shows should be.
December 3 - 20, I'll be performing in Europe after losing my phone charger at a U.S. airport on Dec 2.
Also, I've added a page to my website entitled "watch". I'll be adding and deleting videos every so often as I stumble across them. Live footage of me performing in noisy pizza take-out lines and sports bars will probably not be included until the release of my autobiography "Humiliation: More Than Just A Hobby".
2014 LIVING ROOM SHOWS
I'll be honest with you (for once): I don't want just anyone coming to my shows. I feel that my best recitals have been at my kitchen table, playing to my cats. I take their poker-faced silence as overwhelming support of my craft. Plus, they never offer post-show critiques at the tiny merch table that I set up next to their scratching post.
So, beginning in late January 2014, I'll be traveling throughout Washington, Oregon, California and Arizona with my acoustic guitar, hollering & strumming into thin air to audiences weary of the intimate setting of the rock bar-ambienced dins of out-of-time cocktail-shaker-maracas, bachelorette parties and bar-side conversations about "who's-that-guy-onstage-again?" and "Ten-bucks-to-get-in-and-it's-just-a-bunch-of-dudes-shushing-me-when-I-try-and-tell-you-about-my-new-hilarious-fantasy-football-team-name!". In between the shows, I'll also be working on my latest collection of run-on sentences (containing parenthesis so I can cram in more unnecessarily-tangented details) featuring nouns disguised as adjectives. I like using determiners as well, but my therapist thinks that it adds to my issues (with over-explaining).
Anyway, if you're interested in hosting one of these events, you can click here. It lays out the blueprint of what's it's like to offer one of these performances, but also gives you the opportunity to have people come to your house and think, "Jeez, I wish I had this much space at my place.". Here's an idea of what it will look and sound like (minus the backdrop of priceless artwork
To prepare, I'll be spending November on a strict finger-pilates routine before going to Europe in December to perform in various countries whilst mispronouncing city names and side-dish options.
See you somewhere,