Week Two

I put up a new post, but then I decided that the things I wanted to write weren’t ready to be written yet. It’s been so many days since my last post that I should just catch you all up to now. I apologize for the lack of creative description here.

Most of the shows so far have been pretty small. In Utah I played in the corner of a small Texas style barbecue restaurant. An older woman requested that I play some Willie Nelson. I told her I didn’t know and Willie Nelson and that I focus mainly on original work, but I offered to play Johny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” instead. As the woman was leaving she handed me a five, gave me a pat on the shoulder, and said, “You’re pretty good, but think about Willie.”

I told her I would think about Willie. I promised nothing more than that.

Colorado venues seemed to like me. In Pueblo I talked for a while with a bar tender who had Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson tattooed on his right arm and Allen Ginsberg and Charles Bukowski tattooed on the other. One of the patrons tipped me in Pall Malls.

After my set, I fell in love with a very witty and intelligent black-haired girl who drank only water and told me she used to model lingerie. For better or worse, she was too smart for both of us. Throughout the talk, she seemed to be mistaking me for a pick-up artist, so even though our conversation went well, it ended at the bar.

Meh. It only takes me a couple of minutes to fall in love anyway.

In Colorado Springs I got to see my great aunt and she bought me lunch at a French sandwich shop. It’s been about two years since the death of my grandfather, and I was fascinated to see so many of his facial expressions and mannerisms in my aunt. There were no dangerous brunettes to speak of at this venue; only a friendly male barista who loved the skull on my merch table and gave me a hug after the set. (Just to clarify, by friendly, I mean friendly and nothing more. It’s hard to be clear sometimes when you’re writing in a hurry.) I drove after and slept at a rest stop between Colorado and Omaha.

There is too much to talk about in Omaha, and in Winona there is basically nothing to talk about, so I’ll save the good stuff for later and fast forward past the boring stuff, leaving you with a mediocre story.

After spending the night swatting mosquitoes in my back seat at a rest stop, Chicago driving was a pain in the ass. Upon arriving, I had plenty of unjustified road rage. After getting some rest, I quickly adapted. I stayed at a hostel, and there were tons of twenty-somethings from all over Europe staying there. I had roommates from Sweden, France, Spain, and I think Australia.

At Monday’s gig, I was pleasantly surprised when my old songwriting teacher showed up and sat through my whole show. He lives in Chicago over the summer and gives bike tours, so after the gig we went for a drive and he showed me around. We had a good time drinking Belgian beer on tap at Hopleaf, and then met up with some of his friends at a diner.

Monday was my first real day off, so it was pretty boring because I was taking care of all the stuff I hadn’t had time to do. On Monday night I spent about an hour drinking beer and talking with a group of Germans who were making a movie about their friend. They were going at the pace of about 120 miles per day, and their friend was biking at the same pace. The film crew of about 4 or 5 were sleeping in parking lots in a van, and the biker was sleeping outside at every stop. The biker was the only non-smoking, non-drinking vegan. The other guys seemed to be having a good time.

Left Chicago yesterday. Besides getting bedbugs and leaving with what looked like chicken pox, my stay was awesome.

Last night’s show was small, but I sold a couple t-shirts, and the venue owner, was really cool. I enjoyed hearing his stories about having hung out with various musical personalities. He told me Alanis Morissette once squeezed his ass, and I immediately knew he was a man worthy of my respect. He also told me that James Dean was buried nearby, so this morning I smoked the Colorado Pall Malls next to Dean’s headstone before making my way to the venue.

Right now I’m in Ohio and finally starting to lose geographical track of myself. I think we’re going to have a good show. There are multiple acts playing, so that will bring more people in, and one of the locals outside told me that the people who hang out here are mostly hipsters who drink PBR. That seems to be my target demographic at this point. Who’s to say what will happen when the hipster phase goes out of style? I’ll probably just start sounding old and outdated. As long as I’m not playing casinos at age fifty, I think I’ll be okay. Did I just jinx myself by saying that?

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