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September 1, 2009 Can I stand the quiet? (Minneapolis to Logan)

The buildings of St. Paul, MN were clean but seemed more like dioramas or cardboard cutouts than real architecture. Nevertheless, I felt good here- ever since crossing the Mississippi earlier in the day, I had grown a little more (if not overly) sensitive to my surroundings- perhaps us fish are more vulnerable near the headwaters of such a national artery.

That night, I checked out the science museum and played a great gig at the Hexagon Bar in Minneapolis- highlights were the tribal trip of Daughters of the Sun and the high octaneBouncer Fighter. Lots of energy, lots of people. Good show.

Iowa was about what I expected. Fun to drive around in the country (not as flat as you’d think) but Des Moines didn’t offer me much. I played Hull Avenue Tavern to some hip folks who politely asked me after my set, “Why are you here?” I was told to go to Ames or Iowa City next time for a more receptive audience.  Okay! Done. Not a lot of loveloss leaving the Midwest, though my hosts had awesome Huskies.

Nebraska was long so Sean Penn read me Dylan’s Chronicles. Experienced a terrifying storm in my tent in the plains that night, but made it to Colorado dry. The Rockies and the locals I met blew my mind…I began to understand the term ecstatic peace. I saw my first tumbleweed, etc. The amazement was repeated as I drove through Glenwood Canyon, southern Utah, Arches and Canyonlands, and finally into Salt Lake, where my energy and morale levels bottomed out a bit.

SLC didn’t come easy for me- the sound was way off during the show and gas money wasn’t even made (despite there being 40-50 people there) – threw me off for the rest of my time there. However, Chris from Elegant Curses had a very interesting self-made Korg key-tar thing (pictured below) and it was fun to watch him make it sing. Enjoyed meeting the people in SLC but had to leave the next day in a rush (after hours of obligatory Internetting).

The desert had dried me out. Upon entering it above Moab, my defenses had shifted- I was in such unfamiliar territory- I started to get dry in the mouth and making sure my resources were in check. Allthisspace was starting to re-align my senses, and it was unsettling for a few days.

A wonderful part of touring is how sudden events or strangers can revive you. Logan, Utah was just that for me- walking downtown in Mormon central, I immediately met several kind souls who returned me to my optimism. The show was great that night at Why Sound, a combination venue and studio- a young crowd listened attentively as I sang my tunes for the first time in a few days, but what had seemed like an eon. They were alive again! “Dodger” was louder than ever. Sold more CDs than I had any other night of the tour.

Many conversations with my hosts about Mormonism and Joseph Smith that night, and into the morning. Led me to make a tee-shirt to piss off the locals, as well as the above shrine.

And again, I ventured into the Northern latitudes…

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