Chapel Hill “Livingroom Tour” Report

Seven nights, seven states, many beers and one corn dog later, the Southern leg of The 2003 Livingroom Tour is complete. No almost about it; I am actually home.

I left Lisa’s Chapel Hill apartment at 6 am. It’s 6:22 pm. I just got home. What happens in the car? In those 604 miles? What thoughts passed through me in those twelve hours of time travel? I have no idea. I recall wishing I could journal as I drove. I drank at least six cups of coffee. I ate one fresh-baked biscuit-n-bacon in North Carolina. I searched truck stops in vain for either a “Virginia Is For Lovers” or a “Maryland Is For Crabs” t-shirt. And I listened to Ryan Adam’s ‘Rock-n-Roll’ twice. Other than that, it’s a blur, a dream. Except the last stretch of I-95 between Trenton and NYC: I had the windows down, U2 as loud as the stereo would go, and was slapping myself to stay awake. I was doing 80 in the truck lane, peering out from under my cap like Tom Cruise in ‘Days of Thunder’ or some weak-ass-meat like that. I felt like something of a bad ass. Good thing I was almost home. That mentality can’t serve me well.

But I’m ahead of myself: Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill! Wow, what a finale (until my next show Saturday, that is). Man, did we have a blast at Lisa’s pad! A box of wine, some Yuengling Lager and a string of Christmas lights can go a long way. It seems like everyone I met was a musician, and was so passionate about, and open to, rock-n-roll in all its forms. Media over-saturation, corporate gorging, Napster, sell-outs and all — they still believe. And so do I.

My new male non-sexual crush is this dude John Harrison, who’s the frontman of the amazing, imaginative, and completely rockin’ band North Elementary. We rapped about music all night, and every other thing he said either cracked me up, made me think, or want to jot it down (“Good musicians are derivative; great musicians steal”). And of course I cranked his record, ‘Out Of Phase’, as I drove out of North Carolina. It’s pianos and guitars and voilins and big beats and made me feel like my record is so, er, safe, so square. Which is ok. I listened to it today (which I don’t do often, no really) and was relieved to find that it’s pretty fuckin’ good. Problem is, I wanna’ record a new one already! I have three new songs from before the tour (they’re on the super secret bonus site if you order the new cd I’ll send you the URLs), and two new ones from the road (“Christpher Street” and “Shenandoah”). But I promised Kevin I wouldn’t ask him if I could record until at least May. (Anyone wanna’ take odds?)

So… I have tonight off. I’m going downtown for dinner. In the morning I’m taking a train to my mom’s, it being Thanksgiving and all. And me having so much to be thankful for and all. Like great friends, great memories, and the beautiful, meaningful and absolutely life-saving gift of music. Thank you.

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