On the road! shows, timebank talks and trainings, fun...
I'm writing from Pasadena CA at the Fuller Guest House where I've been staying courtesy of the CA Federation of TimeBanks. They just hosted their first regional timebanking conference and it was a smashing success.
Today I led a 4-hour Learning Facilitation training, geared toward helping build capacity of trainers and support people for timebanking. If you don't know what timebanking is look at http://timebanks.org, or visit the site of my own home timebank http://danecountytimebank.org, or my larger and somewhat more esoteric (and grandiosely ambitious) project, Time For the World at http://timeFTW.org.
This trip has had lots of highlights already so it's hard to single them out. I'll start with the shows.
Of course playing the CD release and send-off party in Madison at the Frequency was really fun. The sound and vibe at the Frequency are top-notch and all my friends made it and helped me have a great party.
St. Louis was the first out-of-town stop and a really cool experience. I played at Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, a very grass-rootsy arts space with lots of comfortable (and some uncomfortable) old couches and all very young men sharing the bill with me. It was a fun scene and really enjoyable to hang out with the young'uns.
New Orleans was a major contrast. Nicole Gruter, and old friend and excellent performance artist/musician from Madison, lives there now and set up a really cool show called "Where'd I Put My Keys?" - a keyboard-themed show with all women performers. I think we were all over 35 and I really liked the fact that the first tour show was young men, the second was mature women. Kind of keeps with the theme of this tour for me, which is about re-connecting lots of pieces of society, community, gender-identified kinds of work and activity, etc. for a healthier situation. It builds on my last tour's theme, "Back Together Again" and also the theme of connecting my music work with my work on building DIY economic systems that work for us rather than the other way around.
Speaking of which, we had a great potluck in New Orleans where they gave birth to a new timebank, the NOLA TimeBank. One of the people who showed up to do great work there was someone I'd met at my show the night before, who learned about the effort at the show. That felt really good and I'm excited to see them move forward.
After that we stopped in Austin Texas just for fun (didn't end up booking a show there but will next time - I really enjoyed playing at the Church of the Friendly Ghost - great name - series last time I was there).
Then on to Tucson where we got to see old Chicago music friends from the band apartment. Now they play in Gamma, Like Very Ultra. Didn't get to hear them play because some of them were out of town, but one of their members set up a show for me at a lovely place called Splinter Brothers + Sisters Warehouse. The show was outdoors which was very nice on a beautiful evening. There were tons of little kids there dancing and playing to the band before me, Rabbit Ranch Experiment, who unfortunately had to leave because I started way past their bedtime.
Oh, and right outside of Tucson we went to the fantastically beautiful Kartchner Caverns - highly recommended - and hiked around where we saw the unbelievable grasshoppers whose porno shot I'm uploading as the image for this blog.
Tonight I play in LA, Echo Park, at Lot 1. I'm pretty excited for the show. This was set up by LA timebankers, including one (Cat Campion) who booked a show for me in Minneapolis over 10 years ago. Just by coincidence!
I'll write more as I go, still have almost a month left on the road.
Thanks for reading!