Lack of sunshine does many things to us. It inhibits our focus and drive. It promotes depression. And kills sunblock sales.
So, being from Ohio, where the sun is a stranger much of the year, I've decided to go in search of warmth. Warmth from the heart and warmth from the sun.
So far I've found more of the former than the latter.
I left NE Ohio in between blizzards. We'd just been dashed with a good 4-5 inches overnight. Flurries followed me down to Columbus, dancing and taunting.
With Whole World Bakery and Restaurant still not open due to fire damage, I pulled straight up to the venue. The Clintonville Resource Center. The show itself was an extension of the Garagemahal House Concert Series run by the talented glass artists Lisa & Scott Horkin. Things started off on a good foot.
I got an email from a reporter with the Clintonville paper saying he'd seen a tweet of mine and wanted to write about the show. I was flabergasted for a bit that anything good has come from Twitter! Especially my twitter, which i think isn't even seen - i think it's really more of a fragment of my imagination than a social network... but he did see it, and he did write up a little article!
We ended up even gathering up some canned food for the center, which services the community!
The night was nice! Christmas lights around the stage, an intimate audience, and hummus! A friend of mine, and the starter of my fan club back in high school, Ron, came out to the show! Afterwords, we went to find some vegan food for dinner, as he was looking at vegetarian and possibly vegan for the health reasons. The last place we could find closed as we approached. So we went back and made food at his and his girlfriends' place. It was a wonderful meal of veggie burgers, mushrooms, asparagus, some homefries and some great wine. Dancing Bull, i think it was called - a real nice red.
Despite hearing about a book shop in German Village with 30 rooms of books, I decided to head down to Louisville. There was still some talk of snow, and I figured it best to be on the road. Which turned out to be a good decision. There was a massive wreck on 71 which allowed me to go 10 miles in over an hour.
I pulled in to Louisville with enough spare time to walk a little of Bardstown road for excersize before needing to head to 3rd Ave cafe for dinner and set up. Dinner was of course the vegan reuban w/ a side of their spicy vegetable soup. Delicious! John, my friend and Louisville networking machine, came out and joined me for dinner. The show was nice as the crowd came in, and Ricky, the manager, loved it! He bought a CD and immediately put it in the CD player for the restaurant! We left the venue in search of some other live music. We made our way to the Zanzibar somewhere near Germantown. I love that part of town, because all the places are random houses in and amongst other houses! We were jammed in as more and more folks kept arriving. The music was okay and poorly mixed, so we left and went to the Nachtbar. A very cool place, but no music that night. Not that that stopped anyone. It was more crowded than Zanzibar! We stood by the jukebox as they played halfway tastey music until it got too crowded to stay comfortably. Off then to some other bar. Again no music, but much less crowded. We met up with some other friends there.
The morning came with excitement, as I was going to be trying Ramsis Sunday Breakfast Brunch buffet! And you KNOW how excited I was about this! They had: tofu scramble, black bean sausage, vegan potsticklers, potatoes, vegan buscuits, vegan pancakes, vegan french toast w/ plantaines on top, and some vegan chocolate mousse w/ bananas (which was so sweet i could only take a bite or two)!! Much great tastiness indeed!
It was the perfect way to start my 3rd day of the Looking for Warmth tour! I had not found any sunshine yet, but many warm hearts!
Nashville was a straight easy drive. My friend, and Nashville #1 fan, hosted a house concert at her new house. I pulled in on a sunny day and loaded in in time to set up and clean up. She had made a very yummy cherry mango cake for everyone, which i had one or two (or five!) little pieces of. Her dog, Franco, who is a friend of mine of MySpace was slightly terrified of me in person. We bonded slightly right before i left.
Anyway, the show was great! Brandon McGuiness (www.myspace.com/brandonmcguiness) opened the show. His voice was cool and had good music! and he's a cool guy! He even came out to my show the next night! As with all house concerts, it was a wonderful conversation, with many new inside jokes like "Have you seen my monkey?" and "You're welcome!."
I spent the next morning wandering around Nashville, working online, and fliering/drumming up fans for the show that night. Cafe Coco had a tasteful Vegan 3 Bean Chili sipped as I worked online.
Word came round that Erik of the Speedbumps (www.myspace.com/speedbumps) was in town recording his new record. My friend who hosted the house concert, Angie, was interviewing him for her column with the Nashville Examiner. So I went along meetig up with him at the studio. Erik's been a friend for a long time, and it was a great pleasure to see him so excited about his music! He said he's never felt this excited about anything he's ever done! He played us a few songs, which sounded great and mature and full.
During all this, the venue called and said they had to cancel the show that night! ?!*# WHAT?! There was a random employee paty that somehow slipped through the booking cracks. So i was forced to find another venue. Tough to do in any town, but especially in Nashville where everwhere has stages and music and they all book a decent time in advance. Plus, Rachel Pearl (www.mypsace.com/rachelpearl) was on the bill. After some scrambling, the original venue called back and said they'd been able to get things back on at the venue. A sigh of relief indeed! However, I found out that Rachel had already told her fans not to come out! All this being said, we had a great show, with a very enthusiastic and fun crowd! And the Bongo After Hours Theater is a really cool venue! There will be some video posted sooner than later from this set. Plus, I had to throw in my nod to Jon Nicholson (Somebody tell me love is alright, love is alright here - http://www.muzikmafia.com/artists_jonnicholson.php) into Ever After. It was much appreciated!
After the set we made our way to a few venues and ultimately ending up at Batter'd n Fried, a fish place, with delicious veggie rolls! It was a wonderful night with a great conversation and a very personable waiter with a great singer/songwriter joke: "how do you get a singer/songwriter off your porch? You pay for the pizza." It's funny... cuz it's true.
My last few moments in Nashville i was told I needed to see Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog. So i did. Which was funny, actually. This is when Franco the dog finally bonded with me. He'd been hiding in terror behind the couch, and finally about 15 min into the movie, came around and crawled up on the couch too! It was a moment indeed!
From there, I was told of a sightseeing opportunity in East Nashville. Right on the edge of the Ghetto. On Dickerson Pike. I wound off the highway. Waited for the traffic light, and then wound back under the highway now on Dickerson. Thinking "how far will it be... is this the right place ... did I head the right direction..." when suddenly out of the very middle of the road... a great bison appeared! It was the statue. And there were more! At least 2 more adults and one calf. In the middle of the road. In the edge of the ghetto. In Nashville? It was part of the Dickerson RD beautification project. But bison? Bison roamed the entirity of the American continant back in the day, and I, guess this was some sort of migration route for them.
I was also told not to stop for any ladies needing directions or anything, as they are hookers.
And there were 2 outside the family dollar.
Time was on my side as I could stop and take some pictures of the bison. Despite the hilarity of the situation, it was oddly magestic. these bison captured motionless against the backdrop of telephone lines and boarded up houses and businesses. The hazed Nashville skyline against their backs from one direction. It somehow captures the mystic qualities of real bison in the western wilds. And though out of place, they really somehow belonged in a weird unwordly way. They were all around. This was all theirs once. And I could see the grasses blowing in the chilled breeze with the vague hint of mountains in the background. I could hear them snort and dig. I could see them look at me. And smirk.
We were always here. We always will be.
What about all this? What about you?