i am sitting on the starboard
of your only way
back home


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Monday, October 26, 2009

All the Way to Tennessee

Oh hello. I thought I'd take a break from looking for a record deal here in Nashville to write a blog post. I've been pounding the pavement, knocking on doors, hoping that someone in this town will recognize my potential as the next Taylor Swift.

I'm just kidding, but I am in Nashville. We had a great drive out here, with shows at Studio Joe in Little Rock, AR and Hot Springs, AR as well as Memphis.

Arkansas Rear View
Somewhere in Arkansas

Susan and I songswapped in Hot Springs, something we have done before but haven't done in a very long time. It was fun, because we have all kinds of dirt to tell on each other from stage. Just kidding. We also know all of each other's songs, which helps.

Susan Gibson
View from the songswap.

Then in Memphis Susan did a true "in the round" with some nice folks. I had forgotten how musically influential Memphis is, and could only yell out "SUN RECOOOORDS!" when we passed the legendary studio. Maybe next time we can tour Graceland and see the Jungle Room.

The Otherlands in Memphis
The Otherlands in Memphis

Then we proceeded to Nashville where Susan had another "in the round" show with Jane Bach, Yvonne Perea, and Kelly Fitzgerald at The Bluebird. Jane is known for her hits with Reba McEntire and Jo Dee Messina, so that was fun to hear. And it was cool to see everyone's styles go back and forth. The show was sold out and there was a line out the door - The Bluebird is famous as a listening room, and every seat in the place was accounted for. I had to set up merch sales on the host podium.

Bluebird Cafe in Nashville

Writers in the Round

After the show there was another one starting, and I was asked by some normal looking guy if I would sell her merch. I explained I was not working the whole night, just for Susan's show. So I glanced at his CD and his name was Tony Arata, who kind of wrote "The Dance" for Garth Brooks. That really, really famous song. Dangit, I should have said I'd sell them! Sorry, Tony.

Anyway, I'm currently supposed to be working on a project but I'm blogging instead. Right. Now you're all caught up.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Scionara, Hyundai

This has been one of those "life" weeks, whereupon the stuff I spend a lot of time ignoring all came to demand my attention at once. I did my first round of taxes by myself that didn't just involve copying info off a W-2...my 2008 had 4 months of county government work, then Red Leaf, then music income, and merch girl income. It also had a giant expense of making The Early Year. Turbo Tax better have done it right because I have no clue. I just put in the numbers.

Then, before we left for New York, my little Hyundai that I have had since college...met a tree on a curve going to Wimberley. I was paying attention and being a good driver and not texting or anything, so to see how that can happen so easily will now make me yell my face off any anyone that texts and drives. Or does their makeup in the car. Or whatever. STOP THAT.

Unpleasant as it was, I now have replacement wheels in the form of a Scion and dang, the new (used) ride is cool. I am pretty stoked about the stereo, actually. And I can pack more stuff in it. Not that I'm a packrat, but guitars take up space. I spent the weekend making up excuses to drive long distances.

This week I head to Little Rock, Hot Springs, Memphis, and Nashville with Susan. Nashville is a nut I need to crack. Going to work on that.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Episode 3 in NYC

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Last Day in NYC

Monday we woke up in Boston, got delivered to the train station by our wonderful host, and once again found ourselves on a new form of transportation. At 10:45 AM we approached the Fung Wah Bus counter in Boston's South Station. The tickets ladies looked at us and said, "To New York?"


"Fifteen dollars each. Gate 25. Leaves at 11."

Fung Wah Bus to NYC!

Well ok then. We were on a Chinatown bus to New York City. Known for their cheapness, some of our friends were convinced we'd end up in a Mafia plot or something. I was a bit nervous, but as we boarded we found awesome purple upholstery and a perfectly ok ride.

Bus Upholstery: Win

We stopped for a bit in Fairfield, CT, where I miraculously scored a Connecticut pig at the McDonalds/travel center rest stop on our 10 minute break. I had a pig homing device in my brain working overtime, apparently.

We drove into NYC at about 4 PM, and the views from the giant bus windows were amazing. Check out that giant graveyard. I guess we all gotta go somewhere.

Bus Seat View


That night we went to an open mic hosted by a friend at Cafe Vivaldi right along Bleecker Street, mecca of folkies in the 60's. Very fun. Then we wandered about 35 yards into Central Park before we decided that, unlike the rest of NYC at 12:30 AM, it was strangely dark and empty in there. So we went to Times Square instead. And it was bright. Really, really bright.

Light at Night

It was a good way to end our time in New York City...I loved how busy it was, how everything was at your fingertips at every time of day, how navigable it was, how we felt like we could handle the subway 3 days in. Everyone should try it, the Big Apple is something to behold. We'll be back next year!

Times Square at Night!

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Jersey and Boston

All right...so the next couple days were a whirlwind. After I bought my Delaware pig, we were hurtled once again on a train to transfer to a train in Philadelphia to get to Newark Penn Station, NJ. Now...there is a Penn Station in New York City, and there is a Newark Penn Station, and that Newark is in New Jersey...and there is also a Newark, Delaware which is pronounced "New-ARK" as opposed to the other one which is "NEWark." Um, yeah. We got off at the right station which is all I care.

Susan Gibson: New Jersey House Concert

Susan played a lovely house concert in New Jersey, we saw a little of Newark but not enough, and then before we knew it we were back at Penn Station (in NEWARK) on an Amtrak to Boston. This was the most cushy ride of them all and I enjoyed the time laptopping and watching Connecticut and Rhode Island skate by us out the window. The leaves were changing and I ate a bagel from the snack car. Any form of transportation with a SNACK CAR wins, people.

Filming on the platform

We found ourselves delivered to Boston in 4 hours, and our awesome house concert host, Jim, dropped us off at Faneuil Hall, or Quincy Market, in downtown Boston. It was Sunday and everyone was out touristing.

Hello, Boston

We made our way to Paul Revere's house, which was old and had lots of old stuff in it. It's hard to process that this structure was standing during the Revolutionary War, and yet, there we were on the creaky floorboards. Very cool.

Corner Building

Then of course we found America's Oldest Tavern and had to stop in for a Sam Adams. Only proper in Boston proper.

The house concert was again fun and we met so many awesome people. We were both pretty exhausted after our weekend of nonstop travel, though, and found ourselves yawning by 10:30 PM. Lame. Next time, Boston, we shall see your night life.

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NYC: Episode 2

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Getting to Pennsylvania

Watch the Gap!!

All right, back to the tour recap. Since getting back I've been a little preoccupied with car-shopping and sleeping since I kind of had a run in with tree before we left, and I kind of picked up a cold in New York. Anyway...

On Friday we had to get to Pennsylvania. I posted our train and bus schedule below...the miraculous thing is that is all worked! We only had one trip up standing on the wrong corner in Philadelphia, causing us to miss one bus. Thankfully it ran every half hour and we made sure we had plenty of time to spare, so it was no big deal. We drove through Valley Forge National Park, which made my day...I so wanted to pull that yellow cord on the bus so we could pull over and I could see where Washington and his troops quartered for the winter, but alas...another time. It was a gorgeous bus trip, though.

Sitting on the sidewalk in PA

When we got to Phoenixville, we sat outside on the street for their First Friday celebration. Very fun. The gig itself was great as always...Susan charmed the crowd including a nun, who even appreciated the cuss words. Or at least she was cool enough to let them slide by.

Steel City Coffee

That night we stayed with some friends in Wilmington, Delaware, which was a state I was not expecting to visit -- and I will admit -- really EVER expecting to visit. In college I made a joke about Delaware not really existing because I had never met anyone from there. Now I have, and it was lovely. Also, the next day at the train station, I scored a Delaware ceramic pig. The odds of finding a ceramic pig for my collection at 7 AM in a train station newsstand are pretty low...he is a treasured porker.

Carry on...

Passing a train

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Monday, October 5, 2009

East Coast Episode 1

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Headed to Boston

Train to Boston

Whoa. We've had an amazing tour up here on the East coast so far. I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of either

a) living in NYC for 4 months which means I need thousands of dollars or a benefactor
b) living in a little fishing village in Connecticut for 4 months and learning how to sail a boat

I'm sure I'll add Boston to my list once we're there. We've had fantastic luck with trains and busses and subways so far...none missed and arriving with time to spare at all our shows. That what was most on my mind when in "road managing" mode...which I guess in this instance turns into "track managing."

On Thursday we took a subway down to Times Square, talked to some rappers (because they all approach you trying to sell their latest project), gave some tourists some directions, took some people's photos...the usual, haha.


The show at Rockwood Music Hall was great - Susan and I both had friends show up that made the evening a great one. Who knew I knew so many people in NYC?

More soon on the Pennsylvania - New Jersey leg...we're close to our South Station stop in Boston, and on to the next show!

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Big Apple!

Times Square

Day 2 in NYC and we have been good little tourists. Last night we caught some jazz music after wandering up Broadway, ate at Tom's Restaurant (from the Suzanne Vega song and of Seinfeld fame), and today we subwayed to Times Square and back and ate Korean food. Not bad for less then 24 hours in to our landing. Tonight is the big show at Rockwood Music Hall!

Ceramic pig: located.

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