9-12 On the Beach: After BBQ with Vicki, The Black Swans load back in the Taurus and head 3 1/2 hours to Norfolk, VA. Noel reads his checkmate book and Canaan is hooked on a ninja mind control book that teaches how to manipulate and exploit. I listen to Modern Times. Show is at a great record store called Relativity Records with an amazing p.a. and a $1 copy of the Geoff Muldaur record on Prestige with Van Ronk and Von Schmidt. Pretty happy folk boy. Show was near empty minus local trio called the Beautiful Uncertainties that were part Nat Merchant and part Juice Newton. Youngsters, with good pitch. We made $67 nevertheless, and followed Lou in his rent-a-Taurus to a friends place on Virginia Beach 20 minutes away. In the old days, there was pass code lock, he says, but now you need a key and his friend is nowhere around. So we walk the beach, sober full of salty air, my feet in the sand, the waves huge, the moon near full, and all Black Swans and Lou go mystic for an hour. We sleep in sleeping bags in the backyard under a giant Elk tree listening to the ocean and jet planes. In the morning we visit the Edgar Cayce Center for Research and Enlightnement. He had, so they say, the most powerful psychic abilities of all time. I walked a Labyrinth that symbolized Life and the Black Swans took an E.S.P. test and failed. Now we’re in Richmond in a beautiful art space where we’ll play in several hours. Oh, and Pitchfork ran a nice piece about the tour a few days ago. Come see us.
another pic after the jump…
9-11 Let’s Roll: Back when ideas are ideas, someone like me thought it would be a good one to start the tour with no money and no practice (1/3 lives in WV) on 9-11. Flashback: So when you were wondering why the world stopped turning and others were thinking of putting boots up asses, I was at Target buying luggage to visit Vicki in London. Come back here: 5 years later called tonight we show up in Arlington and Vicki fixes us chicken and rice. Yes! The drive was the longest we’ll have, nothing doing at 7 hours, so bonding began. Silence. No one ate except the snacks from Melanie and some left over Swiss Steak Canaan had for breakfast. Show went alright, but proved you don’t have to go north to buy clams. I dropped some lines, lost a verse, Noel was Noel, and Canaan’s bass fought with another bass player humming from another room like a kick in a womb. But it was well liked and 9 people paid $8 to see us, so I was told, and so we made $4. Not much of a crowd, maybe 25, but fun. Hell, it’s Monday with history. Lou is L&C and he is good, so after 15 more shows I bet we’ll be friends. I’ll try to have a photo next time. Sorry.
Go live the dream with a box full of Sex Brain: Today we begin 16 shows in the same amount of days and as I pack and fret, I feel like Jack Bauer. This time out we hope for more of the same and less of it, too. Up, up, and up into the Northeast we go with another party called Lewis and Clarke, but I’ll call him Louis. Last time out, way back in March, I acquired a bald patch on the side of my head in the shape of an East African country. It grew back, but a few weeks ago the rest of the continent began to appear in two locales (by the way, it is okay for me to joke about this, but not you) so such is the the stress of tour prep, dealing with mixes from the new CD, and, mostly, LIFE. LIFE? So the Black Swans hardly seek to return with fame and fortune as we sink deep into 16 sunsets, so much as I pray for my hair to remain and someday return and that we all live to see another day plural. Stress Brain is a likely sequel(copyrighted!) but, for now, Noel Sayre (violin), Canaan Faulkner (bass) and I will huddle in my beloved ’95 Ford Taurus and sing songs from past and future Black Swans CDs to strangers and friends. Due to a strong appeal for more space in the back seat from Canaan, my gorilla will be left behind this tour, but the spirit remains and so will this blog until Sept. 27. Some call it the North by Northeast Tour, others the Dual Taurus Tour (props to L&C who have a similar make and model), but whatever it is called I’ll be eating some lobster somewhere soon. See you in D.C. –JD