It's hard to know what sort of person I need to be to survive socially when in a new place. Is it important to be super duper extroverted? Maybe...but sometimes I can appear to be a little nuttso buttso when I'm like that. But if I don't take initiative to talk to folks and make friends, I'm just going to sit around pretending to be interviewed by Al Roker.
Luckily at most of the places I've played, there are really nice and inviting people to talk to. Like in Madison, WI. I played at Connie and Jason's house and they made me a burrito and were really friendly. I played some songs and showed some family slides and it was great.
After playing in Madison I drove to one of my favorite towns to play in; Sheboygan, WI. Kate runs a coffee joint called, PARADIGM and she's had all sorts of bands come there and play. Lots of folks from Minneapolis and Eau Claire play there; Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, Northern Howl, The Daredevil Christopher Wright, and I think Ricky Martin has played there once too.
I was super excited about this show because Damon, a Paradigm barista dude, would be joining me on some of my songs. I'm really happy he wanted to play and he really helped fill up the songs.
I was also excited about this show because I got to play with a great band, and some label mates MERIDENE. They are from Eau Claire, WI. Their new record was recorded at the good Mr. Justin Vernon's studio and was mastered by T.W. Walsh. Fancy Pants!
Driving into Chicago always makes me evil. I get really uptight and curse at people that I most likely wouldn't curse at normally.
I played at a joint called QUENCHER'S SALOON and it felt a lot like a Minneapolis bar. For a moment I thought I was in the 400 bar or the Nomad. I had a lot of fun playing and my friend Sam showed up with a bunch of folks!
The next day Sam and I hung out and got pizza that was so good it should be illegal. Sam always takes me to cool joints when I'm in town. He always gives me a place to crash, and he always puts up with my sleep farting.
The next few shows were strange but great. I didn't know quite what to expect because I had never played in these towns before. In Peoria, IL I played at a coffee house called THE BEAN. They were closing down a couple days later. The room sorta felt like a church youth room. I was really lucky to play with a bunch of folks who were really good and wrote really nice songs.
When I arrived at COFFEE NATION in Bloomington, IL I was a little worried about the show. The youngster who booked it was no longer there and the owner didn't really know much about the show. I was really early so I went into the downtown area and biked around. When I got back to the coffee shop there were more folks there and the show ended up being great.
A good friend from high school booked a show in his town, Moline, IL. He plays in a hip hop group called THE BEAT BOX CAR CHILDREN. It'd been about 7 years since I'd seen Jordan. Sometimes one never really realizes how much life has changed until one runs into people from the past.
The show was really, really fun and it was awesome catching up with an old friend.
THE BEAT BOX CAR CHILDREN
The next morning I had an epic battle with Jordan's dog Bower. It went something like this. "Come here Bower! I want to Shnuggle you!"
"Hey put that shoe down you silly shnozzy bear!"
"I hate you too."
More travel stories to come.