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music & polaroids

Live at The Woods EP is being released today. It is an acoustic set in its entirety from a show I played one year ago in Mill Valley. I am coming back to these songs after a long break. I love these recordings because the songs were still fresh and new and I inhabited them fully that night. I like the fact the recordings have room noise: coughs and chairs scraping against the wooden floor, digital cameras beeping. I like the imperfection and immediacy of the live recording. There is no fixing mistakes, no editing, no hiding our imperfections. It’s commitment to the truth of the moment. (It’s what is often missing from the studio album for me.)

In this space and rest I have turned to other mediums:  I bought a polaroid camera.  I have been inspired by Matt who shoots a lot of medium format film and polaroids.  He has a way of catching people off guard in this raw and awkward moment in between the pose and the picture; it makes me feel less alone in my own human vulnerability. I feel comforted by the immediate and physical proof of the pictures: proof I’m alive and creating even without music the way it used to be.

My musical outlet is obscured right now. I will find my way back by not trying I think, but it is uncomfortable after such an intense long period that was all encompassing. I am looking for peace within the ambiguity.

Self Portrait in Mirror with Fuji Polaroid

 

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Last Night in Victoria

My last night in Victoria. Hit up the Victoria Folk Music Society, really nice scene…A super talented bass player joins in on a few tunes. Nice to have some musical conversation after playing solo for two weeks. It is a great way to end the tour. I go to sleep with a big smile and a big heart. Wishing I could stay longer in Victoria, but ready to sleep in my own bed and in my own room with out numerous Germans sharing bunk beds.

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final Days: Victoria BC

…smooth ferry ride from Vancouver to Victoria. Booked into the little hostel right downtown. I walk the streets for hours and immediately fall in love with this place. Victoria is right on the water and it reminds me of Cali and San Francisco. I feel at home here. Will’s birthday is saturday so we go out to a breakfast of blueberry french toast and I happily explore cobbled side streets and little shops before our gig.

Our last official gig is at the Cornerstone cafe in Fernwood, right outside downtown Victoria. As we play the summer afternoon turns into hot rain, lighting – sky lit on fire with the most unusual and beautiful purple, red, orange sunset. The dramatic weather gets me back in touch with the sense connection and integration with all these forces around me; having a place in the natural pattern.

Later at the hostel I find on the bookshelf one of those “choose your own adventure” books…Feeling the adventure in my own life fully. Feeling the energy gathering around this direction I am moving in. And underneath the general physical exhaustion of the trip, there is an even stronger current of excitement, resolution, faith…love.Me and Will getting fish n’ chips by the wharf before our last gig in Victoria BC.

Cornerstone Cafe in Victoria…(above)

sunset and rain, a colorful last night of the tour….

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Day Twelve: Vancouver B.C.

Rain in July. Thrust into the dizzy electric downtown of Vancouver. Streets are torn up, construction everywhere in anticipation of the Olympics in 2010. Wandering through the outrageously dressed club hoppers and construction paraphernalia. Midnight…it feels like 2030…a set of a sci-fi movie. foreign. confusion. music is not happening tonight. Sleep only sporadically between the sirens and street sounds. Off to the ferry and Victoria.


 

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Day Eleven: Seattle WA

Seattle. Haze of tiredness. I play at this little cafe in Ballard, every song seems to have this extra emotional weight to it today…all usual defenses are worn down into the raw immediate experiences of each day. I sleep on my friend Emma’s couch high up on Capital Hill, lulled to sleep by the cool air, the tallest trees and the faint sounds of the city. I don’t play Seattle Song, but the lyrics are in my head:

Don’t feel like myself today
Eyes open in another way
But I still see half my mother
half my father

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