U.S. tour blog 2013, entry 1: day 64 / Highland, WI
It’s pretty clear I will never be finishing the blog from the U.S. tour last year, didn’t even make it halfway through the 82 entries needed. Trying to do an entry for each day is just way too time consuming and difficult when I’ve been on the road several times since and there’s so much to do that’s much more necessary.
So here is a much more reasonable and feasible attempt at doing a tour blog. It’s probably going to lack structure and have huge gaps. And a lot of stuff won’t be covered because most is sort of mundane.
Two full months have passed since the first show of this U.S. tour and it really feels like things haven’t even started yet. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that I’ve only been playing one show every two days on average since leaving up to this point. Strings of shows are divided by frequent or extended breaks. Lulls are hardly vacation though, and are usually packed with errands or contingencies. The pace of travel has been slow and vaguely circular, with repeated visits to various places that find me with increasingly less to do on each return. More intense days have had me waking up early, criss-crossing the length of Chicago to visit museums, window shop, find food, meet strangers, go to the beach, wait for buses, pop in to shows and sleep on trains at 2 AM. Other days I’ve done nothing but read on a farm miles from cellular reception or other humans, battling a cold with a bag of oranges and granola bars. And then there are the days I play a show, which resemble the predictably structured, inflexible routine of normalcy far more than the rest.
In three days, the pace quickens and routine will take hold. I play every night for the next 3 months except for less than a week’s worth of carefully chosen nights off, and the inevitable show that is canceled or doesn’t come together every once in a while. It’s a drastic shift from lazing about on Lake Superior or in woodlands with no responsibility but to eat and sleep at some point.
All minor nuisances aside, they’re far more desirable and tolerable than those that would plague a life of working in an office, in fast food, in retail or behind a phone. They really are nothing in comparison to the amazing people that I’ll meet, reunite with, play for, and see perform.
I’m so happy to be able to do this. That after years of releasing music for my friends and playing across the country, I’m able to subsist mostly by playing shows that scarcely more than 5-15 people come to in places often skipped by my musical contemporaries. That I’m able to truly see the parts of the country that America forgot, to see it all instead of rush over those important facets and corners in a hurry to get between the big cities that cast a shadow over them. It amazes me to no end that someone like me is able to do this with virtually no money, skills or fanbase and I’m super thankful for how it’s all worked out and that it gets better every time. This isn’t just a vacation or joyride though, it’s a way of life and it’s hard to imagine living any other way.