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9 months into touring. 11 months of being homeless. Friends I don’t see regularly anymore ask me how it is, how I’m doing, and I have a really difficult time summarizing my life right now. It’s hard for me to keep a regularly updated journal of day-to-day reality, because life moves so quickly on the road. 4 lives in 1 day. So a usual day in the life consists of waking up at someone’s house after a small amount of sleep. Depending on how little sleep determines whether or not the daily jog/yoga commences….less than 4 hours usually means nix on the former. Then a shower. Then eating. Then into the ol’ van with a 5-8 hour drive to a club. We load-in, during which I get ready…warm up my voice, meander about to take in the aspect of the city we’re in that I can….and then ….. PLAY! Every show is different….small, large, in-between…crowds that move, crowds that stare, something to learn every time about yourself, about people. The songs take on new meaning every time for me. Sometimes I sing a song that isn’t necessarily about what I originally wrote it about…it’s about the present moment. The performance part of the tour is many entries in and of itself. Afterward, we meet so many interesting people. So many wonderful, caring, good-hearted people…it warms me just thinking about how many of them are out there. Then we fall asleep, usually at a kind friend’s house, and do it all over again. On the days off on the road, we attempt to rest, book more shows, do online orders, promote, and catch up with loved ones.
On the way, I’ve found joy in discovering different nuances in gas stations across the US. There’s always some type of snack (like boiled peanuts and sweet tea in the south…this is my latest addiction) or fun pen or toy to be discovered. The guys especially derive pleasure in scandalous bumper stickers. We seem to run into a plethora of these in the southwest. Not to mention the interesting locals and accents you discover in gas stations. We’ve been in Texas, my home state, for the past few days, so I find comfort in hearing the familiar Texan accent wafting across said gas stations…I’m home….but then again, I’ve found home is wherever I am. Being disconnected from worldly possessions, privacy, any sense of ownership, really makes you realize that. My private moments come when I have a moment to change before a show or warm up my voice in the van. Being an only child, this was a major adjustment for me, as I generally thrive off of my cave time. But then, again, I’ve found that home is wherever I am and that privacy and stillness can be found even in groups of people.
I woke up one day in North Dakota and had no idea where I was. I knew I was on the couch in a living room with the guys close by. But I couldn’t honestly remember what city I was in. And I was ok with this. I knew I was safe. And healthy. And happy….
I reach out and connect with people as often as I’m able to, in between shows, travel, and phone reception/wifi access. They tell me their stories of where they are in their lives. It always makes me so happy when I hear how well people are doing and on the flipside sad when I hear otherwise….
Tonight I am an insomniac at my parents’ house. There’s always a strange sense of anticipation when you’re days away from a break. Plus I hear Gordon in the other room playing the ukulele.
I’m quite content with life right now, as strange and chaotic, as unknown as each day is. I’ve found that the unknown is actually quite comfortable. There’s a constant in life, no matter how many rituals you may put in it, no matter how much you adhere to a schedule or attempt to control your day, and that is that no 2 days are alike. There will always be elements of chaos, elements of environment and people that sweep in and change everything. If you trust in this chaos, know that it will happen, you never really have to fear it.
I walked around in a park tonight. This was one of my all-time FAVORITE childhood activities…playing in parks. The night air in the summer is so amazing. You see stars at night here…something you can take for granted but never really see too much of in LA. I feel the warm summer breeze, the stings of mosquitoes, the familiar tug of fatigue at my head, and feel life fully.
There’s no real point to this entry…just wanted to share the random thoughts that swirl around.
And yes, I stand corrected... The last video was Passing Through, not Parasite.
I want to thank everyone for all the love they've been sending our way over the past several days. For those that didn't know, our van was hit and totalled by a drunk driver after our Flagstaff show this past weekend. Figures, as it was our very last show of this leg, and we were hours away from being back in LA. The fellow tried to drive away,. but thanks to some very helpful bystanders and the police, they were able to arrest him within the hour. During this whole debacle, we were surrounded by our amazing friends in Anadies, Ikonoklast, Hardwire, and Regicide (and the awesome Erika :D ) I feel so lucky to have made friends throughout our tours, and here was a great example of bands from 3 different states who have been supporters of each other for years. These wonderful people helped us clear out our van, transported us, made phone calls, and most importantly were there for us emotionally as we were naturally quite frazzled.
As most of you know, we are a DIY band, and an accident like this is pretty devestating to us financially. We don't know how long it will take to be recompensated for our vehicle or for that matter, if we will be compensated at all (we have yet to find out definitively about the guys' insurance situation). In the meantime, we have shows this weekend in which we'll have to rent a van....and 6 weeks worth of shows the week after that. So we'll have to purchase a new van within these next few weeks. If anyone is interested in helping out, you can
send a donation by copying and pasting the following link into your web browser:
I want to personally thank each one of you for always being so supportive and caring. I've had so many messages of concern, and I want to let you all know I'm ok. I've been taking it easy these past few days, as I ripped some muscles in my ribcage from all the coughing (been sick for a while now). Ironically, we were on the way to the hospital when the guy smashed into us and were literally half a mile away when he did.
We've had so many mishaps on this tour...illnesses, injuries, accidents...these challenges have really tested us and made our band closer. Sometimes when you're scaling what seems like mountains, what makes it all bearable is the friends around you that keep you laughing, tell you not to stop, and that they love you.
Thank you, my friends....I love you all
At our last show in Flagstaff, AZ, our van got hit by a drunk driver who ran a red light after we finished the show. As you can see in the picture below, the van is essentially un-drivable. Luckily, nobody was hurt, though Natasha was taken to the hospital from the scene. (She is okay though!!) Fortunately, the driver who crashed into us was caught, as he tried to run away from the crash site (hit and run).
We had to figure out how to get from Flagstaff to LA without working transportation; in doing so we spent more money than we have to rent both a Uhaul and a car. Now, we have to purchase a new tour van (which will eventually be reimbursed by restitution from the driver) so we can get to our shows next weekend and continue this tour.
The band itself has really come together to get through this. Each and every member worked together to arrange transportation, call insurance agencies, talked to police officers, etc so we can figure this all out. We have seen in this situation that we have such an amazing network of friends that have helped us get through this situation. We would like to thank everyone who was there last night who stood by our side to help us. Anadies, Ikonoklast, Hardwire, Regicide and all the people who were in Flagstaff when this all went down…THANKS. We love you, and we wouldn’t have been able to get through this without your help and support.
(not the best picture in the world, but you can see half of the damage)
We'll post more new soon about what happened soon... What a night.
In the meantime, we are putting up a donation link. Any little bit will help us out in this situation.
Also, we are playing two shows this weekend: One in Vegas, and one in Phoenix/Tempe. Here is the info for those shows:
Apr 18 2008 11:00P The Cheyenne Saloon (late show..we go on around 12:30) Las Vegas
Apr 19 2008 8:00P The Big Fish Pub, at Chocolate Velvet Tempe, Arizona
To donate, please follow the following link:
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Thanks so much for all the love and support,
So on the very first day of this leg of the tour I got sick. Not just the sniffles, I-have-a-cold sick...no. It had to be the absolute worst thing a vocalist could get, laryngitis. Well, it was more like a bronchial-infection-with several feverish, coughy days that left me with...laryngitis. I tried to sing for a week through it and finally lost my voice altogether at our show in Springfield, Missouri. Every show during this time has been an absolute teetering act...trying to be as conscious as possible not to push too hard, not to put too much strain...and nursing it every night with a lot of falsettos and warm-downs, as it's been inevitably shot. In between shows, I haven't been able to talk at all. I think this is one of the most difficult parts for me. I meet these wonderful people at shows and would love to chat with them, but all I can really offer is a smile and some universal hand gestures. Everyone's been so wonderful and understanding at the shows. Especially these last two where Gordon had to do all the singing...more on that later. The guys have been amazing...being protective brothers as always, making sure I'm fed and watered and nourished and loved...aside from the teasing (I swear they get a kick out of being able to tease me without getting an earful in return...just wait til I get my voice back!) The hardest part for me is the not talking bit...I've spent the last week in silence, and I've realized how truly my voice is my medium for expression. Not just when I sing, but also in the way I speak and interact. I've spent many lonely, cold nights in the van during shows. Most clubs outside of California allow smoking, which absolutely kills my throat...makes the coughing so much worse. So I've had to spend most of the time at clubs, bundled in the van. I'm normally introverted and love alone time, but for some reason I felt like I was a misbehaved child that wasn't allowed to have fun inside with everyone else. The other hard part for me has been the fear...the fear that my voice won't come back...that this silence is permanent, that the voice I've come to know and feel at home with is gone. What a strange thought.
Since the beginning of the band, car troubles aside, I've never personally had to cancel a show. Not for strep, not for pulling out my back, not for any kind of illness. So Gordon sang at the last 2 shows. And I had the weirdest experience, watching my own band perform these songs without me. I was so proud of them...they pulled it off so beautifully. Gordon sounded amazing, and Scott and Brian came together to sing a lot as well. I felt like a proud parent (even have video footage I'll have to share of this). I was really glad that they were able to still play the shows. I would've felt so bad for the fans that came to see us if we had had to cancel altogether. I still felt bad that I wasn't able to give anything more than a smile, but I'm looking forward to coming back to these places and really making it up.
So after 2 days of complete vocal rest, I'm going to test it out tomorrow. We have a show in Dallas, and fingers crossed, it's healed enough to make some music.