Monday, October 31, 2005

Renegotiating the Role of Art in Society

Driving out from Austin today, I began to think a bit about art and it's place in our world and lives. That is, art somewhat broadly paintings, photography, music, performance art, etc.

And I began to think about how our culture is so theraputic. Because of that, it seems the art of the American society is very theraputic...and therefore sometimes anemic and self-centered. Not that art for therapy sake isn't important (in fact, I would argue that it is a huge part of good art), but art that ends with catharsis could simply be empty and hollow in its own sort of way.

You see, I have been considering the prophetic and revolutionary role of art and how much of that seems lost in our world today. Or at least in my everyday vision.

In certain places and times, art has been used to start revolution, announce solidarity, pave the way for change.

Strangely, art has in several ways come under the umbrella of entertainment. And the purpose of entertainment is very different from the purpose of art. Dollars and numbers versus momentum and movement.

So partner the capitalistic intentions of entertainment with a society that loves to emotionally masturbate to other people's exhibitionistic therapy and you get the oh so over-rated music of America (and perhaps the rest of the world as well).

Michael tells me that good art must come from truth...and that is why the theraputic role of art is important. It has to come from a place that is true to us. But if it ends there, it is merely therapy. Can't we move from there to a place where truth doesn't just comfort people (which is important), but where it moves people to newness, creativity, imagination.

Isn't it the artists job to open peoples eyes, ears, and minds to a better way, a better day, a better world? Ought not more artists use their craft to describe the injustice/unwholeness of our world and offer subversive counter-narratives that bring about justice/wholeness?

It seems like some musicians are dabbling in these things with their lives or talking about them interviews, but seldom are they incorporating it into their art (although certainly some are). For example, Chris Martin of Coldplay in every picture has a 'MAKE TRADE FAIR' thing on his person. But has he written any songs about it? Is it such a segregated thing for him that it isn't a place of truth to write from? Perhaps it's simply a logo? I'd like to think not, but who knows?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Day 24: Austin

Holly and I headed out from San Antonio to Austin, which is only about an hour and a half north. Not too bad.

We had a few tip-offs on what to see when in Austin, so we stuck to those at first. Seeing the San Jose Hotel was fascinating. A kind of Zen-inspired hotel. Then we drove 6th street, where a good part of South by Southwest takes place. That street has made several artists. The we headed to the University area.

Now, I'll tell ya, I've been to several university towns in TX before and none of them felt like Austin. Parts actually felt like Berkeley. Wow. That was refreshing.

Then Holly and I headed over to the Capitol Building. Yes, Austin is the capitol of TX. And who knew, but there was a book fair going on along with several lecturers. Wow. And it was free. (If the next part bores you, skip down a few paragraphs...)

Holly and I caught an hour or so of a lecture called "Overdrugged in America" with Greg Critser and John Hoberman. Wow. Unbelievable information to hear about.

Knowing so many folks who are on mood-altering drugs, this was a fascinating lecture to sit in on. They discussed the two sides of the pharmaceutical companies: One side that essentially a benefactor of mankind and one side that is an amoral money-making machine. I disagree with the last part; I think they are part immoral money-making machines. You might just agree if you heard some of the stories of their so-called experiments posed as solutions or their marketing rules. But I digress.

It was strange to hear a brief history of depression in America. Whereas 20 years ago, a person would walk into their doctor and say, "I'm feeling blue" or "I can't seem to get myself motivated" or "I just don't want to do anything" and the doctor might attempt to prescribe therapy or early forms of mood-altering drugs, now many college students are walking into their school counselor and saying, "I think I might have a saratonin imbalance" or "I am depressed. Would you prescribe for me _______."

Wow. That shows how these mood-altering drugs have so made their way into our dominant national narrative. The pharma companies (who still no doubt have helped several of my friends) are on a mission to sell as much of their drugs as they can. In fact it is so bad that almost without blinking an eye, doctors are just putting people on anti-depressants. The magic pill.

Another interesting point is how folks are dealing with their children's ADHD and ADD. And how several adults are taking Riddlin. That's another post for another day. They called it 'work place doping' and compared it to sports doping. Wow.

An intersting sum-up is this: The word pharmacon (greek) means both 'remedy' and 'poison'. Hmm.

What a long post. So sorry. Anyway, then we headed to the Oak Grove Abbey. What a wonderful community of people. Did a show behind a huge sound system. Saw the Joneses. That's a set of Joneses I wouldn't mind keeping up with. Had great beer and a wonderful time talking to several friends.

An enchanted time.

The Kingdom in Photographs (1)

I have been struck by several beautiful metaphors/actualities of the Kingdom of God in our world on our pilgrimage thus far. I am going to start posting photos that to me represent the Kingdom of God. Some photos might be photos I find (like this one, given to us by a friend today) or photos I take myself.

Enjoy and do not be took quick to ask me, "What does it mean?"

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Day 23: San Antonio

What a great day in San Antonio. Holly and I spent sometime on the Riverwalk, eating lunch at Brackenridge Park, and then spending time with the Soupisets and friends.

This was our first truly acoustic living room concert. That is, it was in a living room, lowly lit, with no sound system. Just me and my acoustic and several beers. Mmm.

It was a lovely night for all that it was. A sort of blind date between me and the Soupiset friends. I guess I never really know who I am going to meet along the way or who is going to resonate with what I will say. That's the beauty of this whole pilgrimage/tour thing.

Paul and Amy and Holly and I ended up staying up past 2am chatting about life, truth, art, and living life in the way of Jesus. For us, it's just Holly and I. For them, it's Paul and Amy and 4 kids. Props to them for asking big questions even with kids in the mix.

I hope that Holly and I, too, will have the audacity and faithfulness to continue to renegotiate and explore our reality even into parenthood. And the fact that others are attempting this as well gives us great hope.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Arundhati Roy

My friend Zach handed me a book entitled The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile. It's by an Indian writer and activist, Arundhati Roy, a wonderfully well-spoken and well-informed progressive in India. You might recognize her as the author of The God of Small Things. My sister (and several others) tell me it, too, is a great book.

She offers great insight on Western ways in the East and how its effects are truly being felt by poisoned water, an adoption of American imperical imagination [read: exploitation, oppression, nationalism, empire], and a new form of corruption in the land of India.

Zach just emailed me this speech. I am not posting all of it here because it is very large. In fact, you might right-click or option-click the link to download it and print it out.

This speech is a response to our 9/11, reminding the US of other atrocities that have ocurred on other 9/11s and how they have been forgotten or erased. It is also a fitting response to the American Empire. If you have not woken up yet to this reality, perhaps this speech will help to inform you.

I'll just include a snippet here that I really resonated with...

When independent-thinking people (and here I do not include the corporate media) begin to rally under flags, when writers, painters, musicians, film makers suspend their judgment and blindly yoke their art to the service of the "Nation," it's time for all of us to sit up and worry. In India we saw it happen soon after the Nuclear tests in 1998 and during the Cargill War against Pakistan in 1999. In the U.S. we saw it during the Gulf War and we see it now during the "War Against Terror." That blizzard of Made-in-China American flags.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Day 22: Houston to San Antonio

Last night was great. Jasen and I performed alongside Travers LaVille in the Montrose district of Houston. It was at a cool little coffee house called Taft Street Coffee House. Wonderful times to see old and new friends. Thanks to everyone for coming out.

After that, Holly and I and Jasen and Amanda and Travers and Laci headed down to a pub, hoping to find some place that was not overtaken by crazed Astros fans. No such luck. Even the artsiest of bars (or so I'm told it was) was full of cheers and sighs and loud folks hoping for the impossible...that the Astros would win the game.

Luckily, we got there just at the bottom of the ninth, so it was fairly painless. A few beers and some good conversation.

Holly and I left Houston this morning about 10am and are now in San Antonio. As soon as we entered San Antonio, I yanked the car off the road for some gas. Who could pass up gas at $2.29/gallon even thought I wasn't empty...

Some work this afternoon and then hopefully we'll be able to hit the city tonight. Perhaps there's a concert? Who knows.

All is good. Temperature is still lovely. We stopped in a small town for lunch and sat near an old condemned mill that was next to a dam. And it began to sprinkle. Beautiful.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Day 20: Baytown, TX

Last night (Tuesday) Holly and I drove from western Houston east to Baytown, past refinaries galore. Strange that for having so much crude and refined oil in that area the gas prices are still $.20 above the national average. Hmm.

Well, Holly and I arrived safe and sound (after several twists and turns) to Randy and Nelda's house in Baytown. Randy and Nelda head this sort of eccumenical community of post-highschool adults. I say, "head," but really I should say that they love and nurture this community. I have to say that what I experienced in this group is unlike many other places I have been. I guess that what I mean is that at the core of this group was nothing but love.

These guys model the notion of responding to God (as opposed to the notion of making a God-thing happen). Randy said himself that he had no artistic sensibilities, but loved being around artists and so has surrounded himself with young artists that he can encourage and nurture... to develop in them what was already going on. So you have college students studying film, theatre, or even dropping out to do music, and other sorts of inspiring things. It seems that several people have been set free to do what they were made to do, not what the machine wants them to do.

The group had me in for a living room show. We set up out back in the backyard (where it got fairly chilly if you can imagine). Travers did several songs. Good stuff. Kind of John Mayer meets Jason Mraz.

Then I got up and did about 10 songs (including 2 new ones). Set up the songs, told the stories, laughed with people who, by the end of the night, were friends. Holly sang 2 songs with me. That was fun for both of us methinks.

Wow. What a spectacular evening. These guys might just be on to something.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks Remembered

If you have not heard, Rosa Parks died.


Thanks to someone I never knew, hardly studied, but inspired me to live an undivided life.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Me and Max Fischer

I told Jasen this evening that I feel solidarity with Max Fischer [read: Rushmore].

For those of you who don't know the story, Max was a student at Rushmore High School, wrote some hit plays, was a sort of child prodigy, and then got kicked out. He was 'demoted' to a public school where he entertained thoughts of leaving his 'enchanted life' for a 'normal life', taking up his father's profession. In the end, he recovers his original calling of being a playwright... but in a different context than he thought.

I resonate with this story.

I left the music world (sorta) about 2 years ago when I left my previous band, Timber. Timber was an experiment for all of us involved, and it proved very successful in several ways. I thought it was it.

But I guess you could say I got kicked out (just to follow the Rushmore story) or that the time had finally come for the band to cease. Either way, I underwent a felt demotion to a more 'normal life' and it didn't feel so bad. But it eventually spit me up to help me recall my original calling... writing through music, song, story and poetry.

Here I am, on the brink of something new... unsure of what it is... but pressing on all the same.

Four Cheers for Texas

Four upcoming shows in Southern Texas.

Tuesday night in Baytown, TX...

Wednesday night in Houston, TX...

Friday night in San Antonio, TX...

Saturday night in Austin, TX...

Looking forward to seeing you there. For more info (maps, audio clips, etc.), check out

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Bordem and Imagination

We drove past a guy in a Ferrari this afternoon. Jasen said, "I wonder what makes a guy drop $100k on a car?" "Bordem," I replied.

Seriously. The whole Suburban Narrative I spoke of is a narrative of bordem. There are no great things to do in life any more but catch up with the Joneses.

Which leads me to imagination...

I think of the old proverb that goes something like, "Without a vision, the people will perish." It would seem that without a vision for life beyond the dominant consumeristic-theraputic-militaristic-technological theme (that is the American Dream), people turn to infighting and inbred imaginations.

Imagination. The mark of a human being...perhaps what allows man image the Creator. The ability to see things that aren't currently seen. To imagine a better world, a better way...

Folks seem to grow weary of imagining. In fact, it would seem as though the Empire does its best to keep folks from imagining outside of what would serve the interest of the Empire.

Ah, reminds me of a Wendell Berry poem about imagination being hijacked by the Empire...

From the union of power and money,
from the union of power and secrecy,
from the union of government and science,
from the union of government and art,
from the union of science and money,
from the union of ambition and ignorance,
from the union of genius and war,
from the union of outer space and inner vacuity,
the Mad Farmer walks quietly away.

But I digress...

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Day 17: Arriving into Houston

Holly and I left Dallas this morning. Drove to Houston. Hangin' with the Ashdowns. Sweet pad.

The house show this evening is cancelled or perhaps moved a couple days down the road.

More in a day or two...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Renegotiating Narratives

I have been thinking the last couple weeks about the seemingly dominant American narrative which I have affectionately dubbed the "Suburban Narrative." It has been something I have been thinking about for quite some time, but it has become somewhat crystallized for me the last couple weeks after leaving Oceanside and finishing this book.

I am right now in Dallas, a corporate center of America. Doug got me thinking about how Dallas and Orange County aren't really that different. Both are high disposable-income areas, they both support huge suburban communities and share similar stories of white flight and money. A perfect place to begin!

Okay, so the average person in America seems to think of success or fulfillment as an upward progression, a path of accumulation and comfort. This is, in fact, what drives the economy and work force of America in many ways I think. And this is 'normal'.

It seems that many people cannot even find their way out of this narrative, should they want to. Perhaps it's because many people don't see themselves in a story. Perhaps it's because there are so few other alternate narratives out there. Perhaps it's because most alternative narratives at some point sold out to the dominant narrative and were absorbed into it.

I'm not sure.

But what I'm fairly certain of is that Jesus offered a different narrative. It was a narrative of downward progression, of simplicity and service and poverty, of releasing the material to grasp at the relational, of discomfort that allowed for the purest form of contentment.

Perhaps this is a bit too big picture for some people. Perhaps some people still can't see Jesus beyond what their childhood pastor told them he was. Perhaps some people think the Suburban Narrative and this Self-Emptying Narrative can work hand in hand.

But I'm not so sure...

Will you help me in forging (or perhaps recovering) this Alternate Narrative?

Tom and Me

Been re-listening to NT Wright's The Future of the People of God mp3s. (Scroll down on the linked page to find his stuff.)

Wow. What thoughts as I am listening to the second of the four mp3s...

The disciples went out, not to tell the world that there is a new way of being religious, for goodness sake we have enough of those.

Christians have tended to think our inheritance is heaven; The inheritance is God's new heavens and new earth brought together.

Stoicism was the belief that earth and heaven were the same thing. Epicurianism was the belief that earth and heaven are far away from each other. But Paul comes in with Hebraic thought and says that they are not the same, but with God in the world, they are much closer than you think.

Can you see how these subtle shifts in thinking could change so much in one's perception of the world? If any of these resonate in you, download them from the links about. They're free and worth your time.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Day 14: Dallas, TX

Had lunch with Dan today. Good Tex-Mex food. Great conversation. Dan is a well-informed fella who has a degree in Biblical theology and in Islamic studies. Well-traveled as well. He and his brother essentially grew up in Pakistan.

So we talked about Pakistan for a bit.

Now our Relational Tithe network is trying to figure out ways to help out in this devastating situation as we have done with other situations. (For some of those stories, you can go here.)

So, Dan's brother Trevor is jotting down some of his thoughts from the experience of being there on the ground here on his blog.

If you want to donate money directly to a person on the ground who is helping aid peopel in moving, you can donate to Trevor's fund here.

Got to talking about our potential involvement with heading to Pakistan. Talked about how we're trying to get comfortable in our own skin and wondering what that means for bringing healing into the world... whether it's through direct relief work or writing provocative music or art or whatnot.

I wonder what's ahead for Holly and I. Potential dreams of the future range from creating an urban L'Abri to traveling Nepal & Pakistan to staying on the road in the US to heading out to Scotland, Ireland, and Orkney Island.

Who knows? Thank God for opportunities and for people speaking truth and inspiration and life into our lives.

Can't Bear The News In The Evening...

80,000 thought dead from the Asian Earthquake. ...Lord have mercy...

Fear of Bird Flu felt in Romania and South Russia. ...Lord have mercy...

A 6.8 earthquake in Japan. ...Lord have mercy...

Hurricane Wilma just upgraded to a category 5 hurricane. ...Lord have mercy...

Wars and rumors of wars all over the place. ...Lord have mercy...

Lord, how long will you be silent? When will you restore your kingdom as you promised? How long must we wait?

Anne Lamott was talking with this man that worked for the Dalai Lama. And he said - gently - that they believe when a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born - and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Our Red Maple

My mom and step-dad have a Red Maple in their front yard. For the last several years, when we have been able to catch this tree in it's fall transformation, it has been blazingly deep red. Beautiful.

But this year, it is still green.

When we were in Northern New Mexico last week, we were watching the leaves change... yellows, reds, oranges. But here in Texas: Nothing.

But it's fall, you know? I mean, I felt it just a week ago just several hundred miles from here. And the photos I see of the NE look fallish.

Well, it just helped me to see that even if nature is technically in the midst of fall, the circumstances in localized contexts can be very different, and that produces very different fall-looks, you know? New Mexico's temperature began to drop a while back, while summer is still working for Texas (in some ways and for some people).

It reminded me also of how seasons are seldom felt in comfy Southern California.

Oh the implications...

Re-Imagining History

Brian McLaren said something this last week that has done what so many of his words/phrases/writings have done for me... solidified and identified something I have been wondering about for some time.

He said, "It turns out that we might not have been Christian all along; we might have just been successors of the Roman Empire co-opting Christian language." (That is the best I could write down as he was speaking.)

Think about the implications for that. Wow.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Initial Reflections on the Gathering

My mind is still settling in to some realizations I made while in New Mexico. I am still chewing on several thoughts, letting the implications work out in me.

One thing that I seem to have realized while at the Gathering (which is also something I have thought alot about since my formal departure from being on church staff a year ago and since leaving our 'home-church-experiment' a few weeks ago) was that I am not so concerned with building a better church, but figuring out a better way to be a human living in the way of Jesus.

Let me explain...

This year drew about 175 people from all over the US (and world) to the Gathering. In years past, it's been closer to 55 or 60 people.

Alot of new people with wild ideas about how to plant a better church or religious non-profit or how to transition an older mainline church to emerging values. Alot of these people are very well-intentioned. Several of them are dear friends.

But I realized that I am not really one of those people. I don't really care where the church is going or how to make the church more relevant or how to get people into pews and give their money to pay a pastor to help them live better.

Now don't get me wrong: I am not saying those are bad things; I just don't really care about them. Thank God there are people who care about them...but I am seeing more and more that it doesn't spark interest in me anymore.

I want to figure out how to be Jesus for the world. How to live out this subversive, revolutionary way in the world, not behind closed doors with 4 walls and a steeple. I want to figure out how to be in community with the whole of God's creation, listening for the Spirit wherever I may be.

Perhaps this dichotomy isn't really as diametrically opposed as I see it. Certainly there are people who are part of churches or church staff that are truly trying to do this...and generate momentum from within the walls of a church...but again, that is not me.

So who knows what's next. Who knows where the wind will blow. Just trying to figure out what it means to live in the way of Jesus for the bettering and preserving of the world.

Bush To Appoint Someone To Be In Charge Of Country

I love The Onion. A recent story from it...

WASHINGTON, DC—In response to increasing criticism of his handling of the war in Iraq and the disaster in the Gulf Coast, as well as other issues, such as Social Security reform, the national deficit, and rising gas prices, President Bush is expected to appoint someone to run the U.S. as soon as Friday.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Day 11: To Dallas, TX

We arrived in Dallas tonight. A good bit of driving the last couple days. I think we're around 2000 miles on this trip thus far.

Encouraging to meet so many good people in NM that we will now get to visit as we venture across the US.

It's good to be in one place for a few days. Get our bearings. Do some work. Book some shows. Write some tunes. Upload some photos.

General dates are set for the Cobalt Season tour this fall here.

Okay, now to work and sleep. See you soon.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Day 10: Across New Mexico

We live an enchanted life. I don't know if you know that, but we do.

Today was proof of that very truth.

We left from two magical days at Ojo Caliente to head to Kat and Zach's place... which was an organic farm in the middle of nowhere. After turning off the highway, we drove for about 25 minutes on washes, dirt roads, and riverbeds. Wow. I cannot believe we made it.

We finally arrived and walked with our new friends and they made a wonderful lunch for us. What a beautiful place. Stories to tell when we're in your area.

Some photos? Here you go.

Kat and her tomatoes.

Holly and her fresh flowers.


Reisling Grapes.

The farm road.

Happy neo-farmers.

We had to leave their place in the late afternoon as to miss the coming rain. We headed up to Taos for dinner and drove through some of the most beautiful parts of the US.

I always wondered how New Mexico had earned the title "Land of Enchantment". I mean honestly.

But I rediscovered NM this time around. It is truly one of the most beautiful places we have in this just requires some traveling north of the interstate on some small roads.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Day 9: Ojo Caliente

What a refreshing day.

Last night, we had a spectacular meal of wine, halibut, and filet minion, and wonderful conversation. Then we retired to bed... great sleep.

This morning, we woke and grabbed some coffee just in time to catch our scheduled 9am one-hour body massages. Ahh... and ouch! The guy who massaged me was keen on accupressure.

The rest of the day we spent in the mineral pools, getting body wraps, breathing in hot, wet air in the steam rooms, snacking, reading, and so on...

I've been reading Ray Kurzweil's The Age of Spiritual Machines, and it has been fascinating.

Had a good conversation with Michael this morning... that was nice.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Okay, here's the itinerary as far as we can tell right now. These are anchor points of the trip.

If we are near you and you'd like to have us in for a house show, coffee shop or bar concert, or if you just want to put us up for an evening, please, please, please let us know. Thanks!

Exact concert dates/locations will be posted soon as well.

October 10-15 - Santa Fe, NM
October 17-21 - Dallas/Denton, TX
October 22-28 - Houston/Austin/San Antonio, TX
November 1-5 - Nashville/Knoxville, TN
November 6-10 - Lexington, KY
November 11-17 - Grand Rapids/Ann Arbor, MI & OH
November 18-21 - Washington, DC
November 22-25 - Philadelphia, PA
November 26-30 - Camden, NJ & NYC
December 1-9 - VA & Raleigh/Durham, NC & Columbia, SC
December 10-14 - Atlanta, GA
December 15-18 - Tampa, FL
December 23-January - Northern CA

Day 8: Santa Fe to Ojo Caliente

What an incredible week. Inspiring. Refreshing. Invigorating. Imagination exploded. Relationships cultivated. Soul fed.

Photos up soon. Stories as well.

We head up this afternoon to Ojo Caliente hot springs for a couple nights, then we are going to spend a day with some new friends on their organic, sustainable-method farm just north of Santa Fe.

Then we're off to Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and the list goes on and on. I will have our itinerary posted soon if you're interested.

More once we're in Dallas early next week.

In the meantime, go read Michael's brilliant poem... and tell him how good it is.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Day 5: Santa Fe, NM

Just arrived into Santa Fe. Not sure what internet access will be like this week, so I might not post until next weekend.

Just saw the headline on the newspaper about the earthquake in Pakistan/India. Already 20,000 confirmed dead.

Lord, how long?

I wonder what this means for our next year of life. I wonder what is going on in the world when a tsunami, some hurricanes, and now this earthquake happen in a span of several months.

Lord, how long?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Day 4: Grand Canyon

Well, I'm back at Macy's Coffee Shop, where my gig was moved from last night to tonight. I go on in like 15 minutes.

Today we enjoyed the Grand Canyon with our new friends, Simon and Luciana. We met them last night at our hostel. We ended up spending the whole day together, and they are joining us here in just a few moments.

Isn't that just the way? Meeting people on the go. They're a cool couple who live in London who are on a 6-month extended holiday and are travelling the world...2 months in the US. Nice for us.

Anyway, cool to meet new people and share some stories and hear some new ones.

Tomorrow we're off to Santa Fe. Brilliant!

Oh, on the way to Flagstaff on Friday, I got pulled over by a Highway Patrolman in AZ who simply asked me, "Have you ever gotten a ticket in AZ before?" I told him that I had not and that I was very sorry for going 90 in a 75. He let me off.

I gotta thank that officer, really. I was taking my fast-paced life with me on the road... and I was getting bad gas mileage. Time to slow down and chill a bit. Breathe in the cool, fall, mountain air. Ah...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Day 3: Flagstaff, AZ

Wow. Beautiful. This is how fall should look. This is how fall in Flagstaff looks.

I'm no huge fan of AZ myself, but the northern part of it is so beautiful... and Flagstaff has a cool artsy vibe to boot.

Holly and I arrived here yesterday evening, checked into our hostel (not hotel) and crashed hard... oh, after dinner at Cracker Barrel. Mmm.

We spent most of the afternoon driving and calling different hotels to hear that they were all sold out and booked up for the weekend... some Parent's Weekend mumbo-jumbo at the university here in town.

So, we ended up at The Grand Canyon International Hostel which is in downtown, a block away from the coffee shop we are sitting at now... and probably will continue to sit at for most of the day.

Been doing a lot of thinking on the road. Thinking about the statement to "Love Your Enemies" and how that affects me. I usually think of it in a large-scale sense, but I have been perplexed by the statement that follows "Love Your Enemies"... "Pray For Those Who Persecute You."

I can do the whole big-picture thing, but when it comes to how I deal with those who critique and insult me, it feels all too much. I hate those people at those moments. Who the hell are they to tell me how I should or shouldn't live my life?

But there's where the rubber meets the road... Love Your Enemies AND Pray For Those Who Persecute You.

Damn. That's rough, Jesus.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

On The Road Again

So, we've left.

Honestly, these last couple days have been a sort of hell that I haven't been through in well... in at least 2 years. I hate moving and packing and cleaning and all that shite. Ah!

But... we made it and we're on the road. First stop is Riverside (where we are).

An open mic tonight and hang time with Jen and Damien O'Farrell. Nice.

Not to toot my own horn, but been getting some feedback here and there on the new album. I posted some snippets below. Check out The Cobalt Season site for more info on ordering or dates or whatnot.

Doug from Minneapolis - "This is a gutsy album. It is simple in sound and intense in lyrics."

Cody from Portland - "His overall sound, i think, will be the future sound of music...joining the likes of ben gibbard, sam beam, jeff tweedy, ryan adams, and conor oberst."

Jasen from Houston - "I think probably the most heartfelt and real lyrics I have heard in a while."

Craig from Oakland - "It has all my favorite characteristics: transparency, honesty, risk, great songwriting, intimate performance."

Jason from San Diego - "Ryan's latest CD is poignant. You should get it."

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

States We Plan To Be In This Fall

So, here are the places we plan to spend at least a night or two in the next 3 months. If you'd be game for putting us up for a night or two, please let us know.

Or even better, if you'd be up for hosting a house concert (just basically inviting friends to come and hear my music and storytelling... no cost to you) or know of good venues in your area to play indie-acoustic music, please let me know.

Okay, the list...

California (Northern and Southern)
New Mexico
New Jersey
New York
DC Area
North Carolina
Our list is still somewhat flexible, so if we need to add a state, we might even be able to do that.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Art Show and Concert

Wow. What a night. What a great night.

About 30-40 people showed up over a 3-4 hour period. Sold some art, some photos, some CDs.

What a great night.

Here is a slew of photos from the evening... some are posted below as well...

Sunday, October 02, 2005


What an incredible night. Pictures and stories to come...

Just a Reminder

Tonight is our Art Show / Concert / Album Release Party. If you're even close to the area, get your booty on down here.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Beautiful Transformation

So, in anticipation of leaving, Holly decided to shave her head as a sort of leaving things behind to pursue what's ahead... uncumbered.

This morning, being October 1st (our month of leaving), we shaved it.

Here's a play by play...

I think she looks so damn beautiful...