Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Indianapolis Day One (Arms more open than mics)!

My friends!
Time to catch up on reporting the last week of the tour! Currently in Philly and we are leaving soon to get home,
But a lot of things have happened in the past week and as always the journey is the story as much as the destination!
Wednesday February 27th we arrived to the snowy and cold afternoon Indianapolis, we got picked up shortly after by two of our hosts Rachel and Amanda! They were very fun and nice and as we drove to their house we got a historical tour of the little city. We also got the local perspective of some fun personal anecdotes and the daily procedures of some locations, this has been one of the wonderful benefits of staying with people who live in the cities we stop at as opposed to just a hotel or something (aside from saving money and making human connections) but that we get the local and intimate view of the places around us! That night I took some of the sites we saw!

We got to their beautiful and fun little house and met their cat Bodie (perhaps misspelled but it is pronounced bow-dee). On the way there we passed by their other room mate Aaron who was running and training for a marathon, one that Rachel was also involved in! Soon after he came in the house and jovially and shyly introduced himself, he quickly headed to the kitchen offering us food and he and Amanda had a "Kitchen Dance Party" and generously made a great salad as well as eggs and onions and served us big helpings of delicious food! We got to know our hosts a little better and between scientists and hardworking social work type assignments it was inspiring to see so many young people arduously engaged in endeavors to change the suffering in various communities around them!

We had an open mic that started 9 with sign ups at 8:30 at a music venue/bar called The Rock House that night so we headed out there as a group, intending on meeting a few other friends and our fourth and final house member and host, Kerry, who had been working the whole night! It was a dimly lit and had pool tables and a stage and big bar. I had been reading Hemingway on the way to Indianapolis and it was not quite "A Clean Well Lighted Place". Then again, the Vonneguts built Indianapolis, and Kurt is more associated with vulgarity!

There were probably ten of us altogether at this long table talking and getting to know one another! Alexa and I sign up as numbers 3 and 4 on the list, we resume socializing while we wIt for it to start. I put The Mars Volta on the TouchTones jukebox because I tried that in New Orleans but it never played and so i got my justice in Indianapolis it only took two weeks and several cities! Suddenly the bar was populated with pacing and patrolling men who were all in their forties and looking like Alice Cooper, eyeliner and metal shoulder length or longer hair. Alexa describes them as "never having left the 80's"! They start setting up full band gear and soundcheck every drum and solo on every instrument over the course of an hour, we assume this is a very elaborate open mic performer set up. However it is also nine o'clock, this trend repeats itself, Amanda and I bond over having girlfriends in far away places, we get to know Kerry and her boyfriend and Rachel and hers, as John recounts what seems to be horrific tales of spelunking.

Finally around 10 (an hour after the supposed start of the open mic), a band called Sweet Nothing starts aggressively and enthusiastically playing earsplitting metal/rock covers. Despite not being our flavor of music, they were talented for what they were doing and were a much welcome change from the mediocre country open mics we had been subjected to (Just discovered that our Nashville host Steve posted a hilarious and complimentary blog about us and those experiences at so check that out!). Also, it's hard to argue with a band that addresses you constantly as "Motherfuckers" ignores the fact there is no audience near them, and has a frontman named Bluebeard who has a blue beard (I wonder if there is a connection to the Vonnegut novel). There is something to be said for that unbridled passion and dedication to persona and badass performance!

This is all fun and great and Amanda and I rock out to Van Halen and Metallica covers for a while and we all try to talk at a below screaming voice, their set goes for, no exaggeration, AN HOUR! Our hosts have to be up early and it is no ones' scene really so we are all getting tires of it, though everyone is a good sport about it. Some of them break out cards and start playing Go Fish, Alexa takes a tequila shot, Amanda is several Rum and Cokes into the night in between bumming cigarettes off our 80's neighbors. Alexa's patiently waiting toy piano/desk bells set up gets its normal heckling and questioning. We are asked by several people if we are hosting a birthday party, which we all find humorously absurd.

Kerry and Aaron disappear for a while and return from Walmart with a bag of apples and a full jar of peanut butter and while the second band (mostly still Sweet Nothing's with one different musician and a new front man who is older than Bluebeard and has longer hair and dark sun glasses in a dark club at night, starts playing for another hour heavy music and Tool and Pantera covers, with worse vocals while we comically eat apples and peanut butter in this smoggy Rock dive with music blaring. A man resembling Hagrid of Harry Potter goes up and rocks out alone, making the closest thing to he stage besides our "birthday party" congregation sitting docilely at a table. I couldn't help but think of how depressing a sight it was for th performers as well as our hosts.
It is now midnight and they show no signs of stopping, our group is red eyed and exhausted, it is a week night, the group begins to disband, we decide to just got back to the house and have tea and perform for Aaron and Kerry and Rachel and Amanda in their living room. We did, the tea was great and the stories of the Rock House were funny and Alexa and I performed a few songs while Kerry took pictures with her nice camera! I made Kerry cry by performing Pennsylvanian Patriarch, that's when I notice the mug she is drinking out of reads "I love my Grandpa". We talk for a bit and say our thanks and goodbyes to those who would be up and out before we woke! Yet again I was baffled by how quickly and how close we felt at home and as friends around our new group, it was as though we had known one another for years and I am so grateful for their hospitality and kind words and cooking and friendship! We set up sleeping arrangements and utilized them! Finally we caught up on some sleep!
When something doesn't go as expected, enjoy it as best you can and change your perceptions and plans appropriately to fulfill your goals and be fulfilled by your experiences.
And so it goes,

Friday, March 1, 2013

An Unexpected Essay About YOU, The AllOne Family!

Good to see you again!
Welcome to March! Since my last full post I have been in Indianapolis and met friends and arrived in Chicago and met more friends and performed, but first I have a few words to share.
We arrived in a snowy and freezing cold Indianapolis Wednesday afternoon! It was the first time we had seen snow since Washington D.C. and it was just enough to make our bus stop shelter seem like a cubic ("or as my absurdly and hilariously jesting siblings would say "squareular") snow globe! But first, a word on what I do and why, as well as what you do and how!

While on the bus I had finished writing a verse that is currently homeless but has a lot to do with the excitement and importance of travel as a person and a thank you to my supporters and an explanation of my mission statement as a person and how I desire to use my music and writing and performance to achieve our happy interconnected family and how each person contributes to me but also to contributing positivity to the people who I have met in the past and will meet in the future.

Anyone who is making an effort to spread my messages and music is just as important as I am in creating this movement, at risk of sounding like a cult leader. Even more important is that you spread you own ideals and achieve your own personal goals in life, and the expense of no person's discomfort except those who hope to see you fail, or make you anything other than what your heart honestly desires. A true measure of my success is entirely vicarious in nature, if I can incite some insight or prompt someone and play even the smallest role in someone feeling happy or achieve what they want in life, then I have done my job as a human being and an artist. Thus, when you do your "job" right, I am doing mine! It's selfish really, I just hope to help people along to see their "Personal Legend" through, and I can feel in some way responsible for them, then I am happy and fulfilled! It is an avaricious altruism perhaps, but I like to think its more of the Robin Hood variety... Remind you that you're rich, if your self esteem is poor. If anything, I hope to inspire open mindedness, self assuredness, stress the importance of personal fulfillment as well as our generous human responsibility to those around us!

My "music career", as it were, and my fan-base (whom I affectionately refer to as my family a feeling and belief that I genuinely have), is overall my endeavor to set an example and artful explorative exercise in expanding out compassion as human beings. The music I make is an attempt for me to remind myself and others of instances of our interwoven nature and of the pure moments of personal and universal struggle and hopes to perhaps proliferate any lessons my experiences or the experiences of the people I have learned from long the way.

You have; in all ways and will always affect everything in some way, and I hope you know the honest love and hope and friendship I feel for those of you who consider me your friend or an artist or musician or poet or whatever label, as someone worth encouraging and sharing the work and words and ideas and ideals of. This life and movement always about us, and as much as my name and my art is created "alone" again, it's always for and because of the fact that I am always reminded and humbled by the natural and cosmic sinew and beauty that we are all one. All of you are my muses. Thank you.

This trip is nearing its end and it has been a gorgeous and strange journey that I hope will snowball into happening in various permutations many times over. I come home feeling like I have many more homes and friends than I would ever imagine, and I hope I have paid back my debt to anyone who has lent a hand or a couch or some food or bought a cd or connected with me!

Each and every one of you are one unique and necessarily important person. The more you realize that and intend on taking full advantage of it with the help of those around you and while helping those around you, the better off you are for yourself and the better off we are because of you!

It important to remember that each of you is an incredible integral piece of a grander movement of everything, the chain reaction of your smile may end up changing someone's life! I hope you achieve exactly what you desire in life, because that is how we love you best and need you most!
Sometimes I need to clean my mouth out with a soapbox!
I love you all, thank you more than I can say, in more words that I can ever write or rhyme or record! You help make my life as contented, motivated and optimistic as it is!
Go do good things!
The photo provided here has regrettably had its quality diluted and compromised by being passed through various devices to arrive here! It is, however a photo taken of me by Kent in Austin at my performance in Wardenclyffe Gallery! Thank you to him! One of many beautiful friends and family I met on this trip, along with his lovely wife Paula!