Tuesday, December 30, 2008

$1 IOU towards McDonald's purchase, written on the back of a Taco Bell receipt, found inside Dan Quayle's autobiography.

I was in Goodwill the other day, looking through their used books.

I found the autobiography of Dan Quayle (see cover below):

While flipping through the photos in the middle of Dan's childhood, I found this:


It's an IOU for $1 to make a purchase at McDonald's, and it's written on the back of a Taco Bell receipt.

In sum, a $1 IOU towards McDonald's purchase, written on the back of a Taco Bell receipt, found inside Dan Quayle's autobiography.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008, great ... 2009, fine

2008, great:

-- Found gainful employment at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, an amazing school full of great teachers and inspiring kids.

-- Toured in my veggie oil car with Willis and Will in a glorious, disastrous tour up and down the West coast... played on KEXP in Seattle, smoked the medicine in Humboldt, played in Chris' backyard, tested the limits of my endurance and sanity.

-- Put out 2 albums and 2 tapes with SUNSET to some alright reviews and some good play on college radio; put out a covers album / book containing my poetry and photography... under my own name... on Tired Trails.

-- Made video for every song on "Bright Blue Dream," initiating my own version of the "video album," to be hopefully expanded in the future.

-- Re-started the S.W.A.K. zine, putting out #2 : "The Exquisite Corpse Issue."

-- Started an excellent compost pile and laid out plans for a chicken coop. Fresh eggs from the farmer's market every Saturday morning will be hard to beat, but I'll try.

-- Brewed my own successful batch of Kombucha tea. No more getting ripped off by G.T.

-- Visited Mike in Germany, went to Verdun (site of the deadliest single battle in recorded human history), the Hermann Hesse museum / home in Calw... also Strasbourg and Swabia.

-- Went to New Orleans for 3 days and went out to the barrier islands and Lake Pontchatrain and finally grasped what a fucked situation New Orleans is in...

-- Moved out of Big Orange, closing the chapter on a turbulent, creative, joyous, and painful period of my life.

-- Toured the East Coast with SUNSET: hung with Elizabeth in Brooklyn, played a Quaker school in North Carolina, stayed on the beach at Cape Cod for 2 glorious days.

-- Lots of awesome local shows, especially with the Weird Weeds at the Cactus, playing the skate video opening at the Broken Neck, and the stripped down set at Progress Coffee with Brazos.

-- All-night recording sessions at Wire Recorders... elation and group dynamics... more recording at Premium and some at Big Orange too, before I moved out. Some really amazing productive days with my bestest friends.

-- Camped 10 days with John in Mexico, writing nearly 60 pages on my typewriter, most of which is crap and unusable... my hesitant first step towards the book I've always carried inside.

-- Read and/or re-read many great books, including amazing works by Aldo Leopold, Howard Zinn, Jack London, Andre Gide, George Orwell, Kurt Vonnegut, John Cage, Walt Whitman, Arthur Rimbaud, Knut Hamsun, Henry David Thoreau, and Jim Woodring. Amazing books hit me hard this year.

-- Scored music for two short films and contributed songs to 2 other films.


2009, fine:

-- More working with the awesome kids at the School for the Blind.

-- Lots more amazing books to read... I have them piled up. Looking forward to some Balzac... that's next on my list.

-- Recording my Dad's song that's a tribute to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and making a video of the footage I shot when we visited.

-- 34 minute long drone album... finally finishing the piece initially commissioned for Sam Sanford's "Long Distance Relationship" art show.

-- SUNSET's 1st 7" record and lots more rock shows, and hopefully getting back to the craziness and theatricality and quiet lush rocking-ness. If the 7" does well, maybe another.

-- East Coast tour with Oh Be Joyful.

-- Running the half-marathon on February 15th.

-- More paintings and collages and photography.

-- Another album under my own name, and hopefully some solo shows doing folk songs and stranger stuff and maybe some drone shows too.

-- Finishing the pile of SUNSET songs now staring me in the face and finding a label to put them out.

-- Ballroom dancing lessons. Yes, for real, I'm doing this.

-- Travelling to India and visiting some ashrams in the foothills. Maybe some volunteer work if I can line it up.

-- Full U.S. tour in the veggie oil wagon, with the full band !

-- More poetry to fill out the first volume of self-published poetry to come out 2009 or 2010 or maybe never.

-- S.W.A.K. #3

-- Another edition of "Candle-lit Television Eyes," my ongoing DVD-r series.

-- Sort through these 30 or so un-transferred mini-DV tapes. Something good might be in there.

-- More procrastinating thoughts on further education. Who needs school anyhow?

Here are some of my favorite photos of the year:

Hope your year was as fantastic as mine. See you next time.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cirque de Soleil; Dave Bryant

Cirque de Soleil recently contacted me, searching for musicians to perform in their newest musical based on the life and music of Elvis Presley. This is my audition tape:

I am fairly certain I won't be getting in.

I also made a video for Dave Bryant (on a song I produced and recorded):

Not sure if he'll like it or not. Hi Dave!

Monday, December 15, 2008

SWAK is back. Some updates.

I took a long break for no real reason. Just wanted to disappear for awhile. But I've got lots of good things coming up, so I wanted to start this blog back up and share everything that's going on.


First off, I wrote and recorded a song called "Christmas in Jail" for an Irish record label's Christmas album called "An Indiecater Christmas."

Purchasing info here.


Secondly, I have just released a new album through NYC's Tired Trails. It's an album of cover songs, stitched together in a beautiful book printed on recycled paper with banana leaf covers. It contains extensive track notes, black and white photography, and 2 poems. You can order them by emailing Jess, here : tiredtrails@gmail.com. They cost $12.50, postage paid with the U.S. Overseas I suppose you will have to pay an extra few bucks.

Here is my cover of Neil Young's "Expecting to Fly":
Expecting to Fly (Neil Young cover)

Full Tracklisting:

The Dirt (Mark David Ashworth)
Sea Song (Robert Wyatt)
Last Fall (Jared Van Fleet)
Shady Grove (Traditional)
The Ballad of Sammy Mudd (Sam Sanford)
I'll Be Here In the Morning (Townes Van Zandt)
Rake and Rambling Boy (Traditional)
Hot Burrito 2 Digit (Flying Burrito Brothers)
Expecting to Fly (Neil Young)
Walking After Midnight (Searching for Me) [Alan Block and Don Hecht c/o Patsy Cline]
Be Not So Fearful (Bill Fay)
Diamond Deserts (Bill Baird)
This Land Is Your Land (Woody Guthrie)

Here are some photos of the beautiful new books.


Lastly, Sunset is putting out a 45 rpm 7" record -- "Loveshines II" // "Not a Perfect Person (Looks Like I Fucked Up Again)" ! It looks awesome and sounds pretty good too. Something about vinyl makes me want to take a big bite out of it. Tactile joy.

"Loveshines II" was recorded live as a band, then we did a full band live overdub. So it's essentially 2 stacked live performances. This was part of a really great all-night session at Wire Recorders.

"Looks Like I Fucked Up Again" was written and recorded at 5am, later that night.

The record is set to be released February 9th ! And it only costs $4 !

Pre - order here:

North American orders:

International orders: