Sunday, September 7, 2014

AllOnederlust tour: Friday 7/4- Monday 7/7 Last Weekend of the tour in ATL

My wonderful friends we reach the close of the magnificent journeys of the AllOnederlust tour...accompany me on one last weekend if you would...

30 hours of travel on Independence day
     July fourth wasn't necessarily celebrated as I was traveling the entire day! Around 9:30 I left my good Canadian friend Jeremy's home and I began a 30 hour journey to Atlanta that would stop in Detroit and Chicago on the way!  I started the day discovering that my friend KNife released his new album "ICONOCLAST" a politically/socially conscious rap album with some advanced and alternative musicianship involved.  For one of his songs, "Least Informed" I wrote the poem "anti-social-network-ethic"  which ended up getting published in a recent "Bards Annual 2014" Long Island anthology!  The album has a good mix of skillful brag raps and conscious material and I recommend you go to his Bandcamp page I linked earlier you can download it for free!

     On the way into Detroit, I had relatively no trouble getting over the American border, despite my worry.  I met a nice Canadian girl Joline.  She was crossing to meet a date and didn't even realize it was Independence day, which makes us even for when I had no clue about Canada day earlier in the week! I eventually got bus advice and help at the Rosa Parks center from a strange and kind woman named Theresa.  While talking to Joline and I, Theresa offered the advice "Grow where you are planted" which she took to mean act the way you are naturally and do so unabashedly! I can get behind that!  I listened to the following threea albums on the way to Chicago from Detroit, "Creative Differences (A Split)"  Sadistik's "Ultraviolet" and Sage Francis' "Copper Gone" !  I couldn't take my O'Henry book with me onto the bus since it was too big so I started reading my copy of Robert Louis Stevenson's historical fiction novel "Kidnapped" that I picked up while in Chicago two weeks prior!

Dave's peculiar tales and my  extensive travel
     When I got off the bus in Chicago I had five hours to wait for my midnight bus at to Atlanta.  I mostly read by lamplight on the sidewalk sitting in the humid night on my luggage.  I met an odd man and ragged man, Dave who sat next to me and began telling me some wild stories about his life as a "Dead head" and how he traveled and did sound work at concerts for all sorts of famous acts and if I call a certain number I could mention his name and get VIP tickets to any big concert for cheap.  We walked for a while and he shared several outlandish and dubiously true tales.  The most entertaining of these was when He was in his thirties he was working on Lousiana oil fields with his uncle.  Suddenly he looked into a hole and saw a dinosaur looking beast...turns out it was a snapping turtle that he claimed could block a whole road lane and had a head bigger than two human heads.  Dave took a fresh log and presented it to the creature and the monstrous turtle snapped it in half in his lethal jaws!  He claims to have tranquilized the creature with what he called "a shotgun with the sleeper bullets" and then called authorities, who ended up needing four trucks to transport the creature.  It allegedly it ended up at a Zoo in New Orleans and they gave him him an envelope that contained six thousand dollars as a thank you for helping the population of this majestic creature, as the beast was female.  While wandering about he started exhibiting more peculiarities, namely picking up and pocketing garbage.  Against my better judgement he ended up unfortunately being a man who just was befriending me manipulatively and ended up begging for money from me.  Disappointed and empathetic, I told him honestly I didn't have any money and he promptly moved on.  I sat and waited for my bus, which luckily came early and mounted the bus to Atlanta around midnight.  Later I spent the next several hours talking to an adorable seat neighbor named Lauren from Atlanta.  We had a lot in common and she was gregarious and we shared stories, it was nice to have someone on the bus who was actually socially engaging for once, we exchanged information and said our goodbyes.  I got off the bus in Atlanta once more, now Saturday morning, legs stiff and sore and my friends Adam pulled up promptly to the curb and picked me up.

Adam "Obeah"and friends throw a hell of a party
     Adam is a really talented guy who raps and DJs under the moniker "Obeah".  He and I met last year through my touring Nashville friends Last Of The Horsemen when they came to perform with his group The ContraVerse (whose other talented lyrical half is Kontent) AllOne & The Room, KNife and Miggs July of 2013 on their "Inoculate" tour. After that performance we were mutual fans of one another and kept in touch. Adam was nice enough to let me stay with him after he had just gotten back from a two week tour with his band "The Difference Machine" and throw a party for me to perform during!  Adam was all smiles and hugs and took me to a tasty new spot that opened by him called Delia's Chicken Sausage where I got sliders and a refreshing Arnold Palmer slushy.  I met his leopard-cat Lucius, who is beautiful and hilariously obsessed with paper bags.  We went to his girlfriend Kelley's house (who is also beautiful, though considerably less interested about paper bags) where the party would take place.
.  The property was a pretty one with lots of foliage and space, Kelley is such a relaxed and sweet person, she is immediately disarming and inviting.  When we drove up there was a giant inflatable slip and slide that Adam and his housemates rented for the weekend.  Dozens of people ended up coming out, I met so many cool people and friends, Adam DJ'ed and everyone had a blast.  So many interesting friends, the music was great and the slip n slide was fun.  I performed later in the night outside and had one of the best experiences of the tour, which was good because I felt worn out and was a little nervous to perform for such a rap educated and musically active group of people.  The response was respectful and enormous and lots of people bought albums after.  One new friend Collin gave me a book of poetry called "This Planet Is Doomed" by Sun Ra and I nearly sold out of CDs that night!  Afterward, some friends rapped in a cypher and we all had a blast improvising!  Spent, went back to Adam's place, where Brett, Leah and Nolan also live and Adam cooked up a before-bed snack!

Sunday Brunch and A Slip N Slide summery day
   We started the day late and Nolan, Leah and I met about a dozen people at a delicious brunch at a restaurant in a hotel called Local 3.  The place was pristine and classy and the food was unlike any brunch food you'd ever have!  Evidently this big group of friends have made a ritual of going every Sunday for brunch for so long that they get discounts and even sometimes eat for free!  Nolan was nice enough to foot the bill and the conversation among all of these friends was an interesting look into their social and business lives.  We spent a few hours eating and talking casually and ended up at Kelly's house again where the cast of friendly and musical characters ebbed and flowed while we listened to albums and did ridiculous tricks and goofy stunts on the giant slip and slide for hours on end under the hot Atlanta sun!  I think they definitely got their moneys worth on that rental!  Adam showed up sometime late evening.  Retired to the house, wrote for some time and read as well.  Brett came home from work and we spoke for quite some time about life and music and collaborating and such. He has a cool production based project called Deku that I suggest you listen to, as I don't doubt you will enjoy his odd, lovingly made works!  We both entered into the Red Bull Music Academy (which, spoiler alert, neither of us ended up getting into).  Adam and Kelly hung out and we shared music neither of us had heard of, listening to records and albums and such and spoke about making music together potentially.  The entire household of people and group of friends that I met through Adam were so inspiring creatively and entertaining and fun socially, and it was cool to see Atlanta through another group of friends eyes in the same month (no offense, Max and Co. !)

Coming home to NYC, The Final Day!
     We had an early morning the next day where Adam and Kelly were kind enough to drive me to Atlanta airport at 7 in the morning for my final flight home.  We said sleepy rushed goodbyes and thank yous and promised to keep in touch and they kindly wished me safe travels!  After all of my bus travel it seemed insane to me to be able to be home from Atlanta to Long Island taking any kind of trip for less than 5 hours!  Atlanta airport (Hartfield-Jackson) is the busiest airport in the world and was certainly the largest airport I'd ever been in!  Luckily, my uncle Joe, who works for Delta helped me out ahead of time and gave me some tips. I had no trouble getting on (I was on standby with a buddy pass) and was at JFK airport in a few hours, home by 11am, bewildered that my trip was over!  My grandmother picked me up and it was so nice to have a hug and be nearby again, after the past month of travel my briefcase and my suitcase needed a replacement, and she had both lying around for me, left over from my Poppy so I was honored to put them to use.  It felt so odd and yet beautiful to be home.  The Onederlust tour was one of the best experiences of my life.  The world seems so much bigger now and yet so much more attainable as well.  Gripes seemed more petty and life seemed more heavy yet my heart lighter and more open than ever.  To all of my old and new friends, my momentary homes and my infinite memories, thank you, I am infinitely grateful, this is just one of many journeys ahead of all of us.  Each of you along the way restored my faith in myself, in humanity and defied my high expectations, excelling far beyond excellence.  Planning this trip was one the most stressful things I'd ever done and it was entirely worth it.  I really can't wait to get back on the road, but first there is music to release, stories to write, and experience to relate.  I hope you all get out there and fulfill your wanderlust, or find it to begin with. I can't thank everyone enough, be it a home, a show, a conversation, a meal that you shared with me, I am a better person and I hope to repay you someday.


Its funny, the more I've moved around the more grounded I feel in who I am.
The more you explore and discover in this world, the more you explore and discover in yourself.
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

AllOnederlust tour: 6/29-7/3 Across the Border in Windsor Ontario

     The AllOnederlust tour brought me to Canada, and I'd been yearning to return since my family and I took a week long touristy trip there six years ago!  I say "The AllOnederlust Tour brought me to Canada" but really it was Jon and Jeremy, literally and figuratively.  Shortly after "The Inevitable Effort" came out, Jeremy stumbled over my music on the internet and he really enjoyed it so he reached out to me and we spoke for a while.  He ended up getting a tattoo inspired by "What's Your Problem?" that has a broken light bulb and the words "have a little perspective" which totally blew me away! Last year he and his friend and musical partner Jon came to see Alexa and I perform at Corktown Studios.  They were both really supportive of me and invited me to their hometown of Windsor, Ontario whenever I'd like and they'd work to set up shows!  I increasing liked who they were and appreciated their music over the year or so that I'd befriended them and their town was a MUST when planning this tour!  It actually ended up being the longest amount of time I stayed in one place, and it was a fun time exploring where I met many new and enthusiastic fun friends!

     Sunday 6/29
Day One In Canada
     As Jeremy and I had gone to sleep at maybe 3am, it was not surprising that I woke up earlier than him at around 9am, but I'd soon come to find he functions nocturnally!  When I woke up on the couch in the apartment it was extremely hot out as as i stepped onto the balcony to gauge the weather, the head and humidity hit me like some ethereal barometric wall!  His mom had left for work before I woke and having no one to talk to, I showered and shaved my face, even trimming my mustache.  I read O'Henry while I waited for Jeremy to wake in the afternoon, I got restless as I'm wont to do and I took one of his kitchen chairs onto the balcony to read in the fresh air.  Within minutes of doing that the clouds broke into heavy and sudden rain!
Hunter & The Horses
     When Jeremy woke up, he called his friend Hunter and she came to pick us up.  She was a really sweet girl who was funny with a kind heart and down for adventure.  She drove us out to her Grandmother's house where we escaped the heat in the basement and watched some of Bo Burnam's genius act "What." and also a ridiculous/insane Cartoon Network Adult Swim show "King Star King".  Soon after we drove out into a countryside type place to her dad's house which was easily my dream house and was connected to a farm/stable that she worked at with award winning horses. We got to go into the stable and meet the horses and take pictures with them.  One of them kept nudging me and making funny faces at me and it turned out he liked to have his gums massaged and so I did that!  Overall visiting here was such a fun time and it was quiet and it was one of my favorite parts of the trip undoubtedly.  Hunter and Jeremy and I walked around in the heat and through the woods and fields, after being sweaty and eaten up by clouds of greedy mosquitoes we gave up and decided to explore the barn a little, full of memorabilia and the smell of hay and a game that was like a table top version of shuffleboard!  I had my second Tim Horton's experience when Hunter treated us to an IceCap (essentially a coffee slush) and a birthday cake doughnut that her and Jeremy were raving about.  Sticking to the tour diet ethos, I ate it because it was offered to me and I didn't pay for it (dangerous rules by most other experience standards) and it was really tasty!



     Karaoke In Canada 

     We bid Hunter farewell and headed down town in anticipating meeting some friends later on!  I had Jeremy's skateboard in the trunk and I skated around for a while with Jeremy while he took some cool skate videos on his phone!  We had plans to meet Kayla, Jesse and some other friends for a Karaoke night at a really awesome little bar and eatery called Villains that had all sorts of funny names for foods based on puns and amazing hand drawn portraits in frames all over the walls of all sorts of villains from Cruella De Vil and Elmer Fudd to Jason Vorhees and Kahn from Star Trek!  I got to meet Billy and Estevan as well as see Kayla and Jesse again, as well as some other people. The Karaoke took forever and I ended up signing up for "The Widow" by The Mars Volta, which is about two octaves out of my range but I felt capricious and alive and unembarrassed.  Esteban ended up being a great friend and I got to know Kayla, Jeremy and Jesse more, all of them funny and awesome in different ways.  The bar was packed out and I sang the song worse than I'd hoped but not terribly and people loved it.  I never really do Karaoke but it was liberating and fun to just go for it and not care or take myself seriously!  Afterward we strolled around at 1am in the hot glowing streets and stopped at a place called Shawarma Palace and Estevan treated me, they were like Lebanese gyros and they were really tasty! I also got Guava nectar which was so fresh, walked home stickering the hell out of the town!


Monday 6/30
Writing, Skateboarding and an Open Mic!
   Monday started relatively late, a more sedate, primarily indoor day.  Again, to my surprise, it was humid and brutally hot outside!  I contributed a lot of writing to these tour diaries throughout the afternoon, read a lot and also finished writing a new story-song called "A Midnight Pursuit" for my non-fiction story-rap album I've been working on.  It is based on a story that Owen told me back when I was in Providence!  Jon came over and brought his friend Gabby over as well, we rode around on bikes and skateboards to a place called Phog for an open mic!  I got Shawarma AGAIN (definitely addicting) and Jeremy treated me to a Jones Soda, which I missed seeing and having and it brought me back to feeling like I was in my young skateboarding days when those were more available at skate parks and stores.  My bottle cap read: "Your wit will lead you to a very interesting situation" and based on the beauty of the tour thus far, I already felt that it had!  In Phog, I met Mel, Kail, Connor and Remy.  They are all artistic and creative in some way and as a group they had a funny and connected and inviting vibe that inspired me! The hosts opened as cool drum and guitar/vocals duo that I rather enjoyed.  Then Gabby and Remy performed a beautiful a capella song called "Settle Down", Gabby has an incredible voice that sounds like it should be coming out of an old vinyl record!  Jon performed an original set under his rap moniker Sader (pronounced "Say Dur" like a 90s sassy teen girl, not "sadder with a D missing" like John Bobbit) that was pretty awesome despite having a few sound troubles.
     The place was  bustling and the crowd ebbed and flowed a lot!  I performed Quality Vs. Quarantine, Work In Progress and "Build Here".  It was a loud crowd despite there being a lot of attentive people and the drummer/host was off to the side looking at me during the song and then whispering to a friend and laughing and for one of few times I felt really disrespected and as though I was being intensely critiqued because it was so close to me so I sort of stopped mid song since it was screwing me up and openly addressed that I felt like he was doing me a disservice and it sucked because I respected him.  I didn't like myself for it and it felt unprofessional but a lot of people actually sort of cheered me on.  He was baffled and later I apologized, because my point wasn't to be confrontational or egotistical but just to be honest about my discomfort.  I got another Jones soda whose cap read "Your self-confidence is warranted" which was funny to me after that on-stage mishap that occurred in Phog!  I skated for a bit afterwards outside then we went back to Jeremy's apartment.  I got the masters for the split EP from Michael Korb and they sounded really amazing, I'm very grateful to Michael Korb for his mastering abilities and patience, Ryan Stack did a great job recording and mixing it and Owen and I put a really nice collection of thoughts and sentiments together. Hearing it as a whole with the voicemail interludes was really a powerful experience.  Went to sleep feeling accomplished and loved.


Tuesday 7/1
My first International Show ON CANADA DAY!
     When I woke I was antsy and I didn't want to have another day where I didn't leave the apartment until late.  I met Jeremy's mom a few hours into the day, she was really sweet and offered me food and whatever I'd like, we watched a mellow sort of sad parade go by from the balcony.  I ended up leaving Jeremy a note and going out to find a cafe to sit and write in since I'd gotten an idea for a new song and started up on it.  Turns out everything significant closes on Canada Day, go figure!  Ended up going with Jeremy to a very cool fountain/plaza called Albert Weeks, beautiful place and I skated around.  We drove with Hunter to get there and listened to Sadistik's "Ultraviolet" in the car, which is absurdly good!



     Later on we got to the venue called Milk coffee bar where Jeremy, Jon and I were preparing for our sets.  20 or so of our friends showed up and everyone was fun and seemingly looking forward to it, the vibe there was very artsy and playful. I got a delicious coffee drink and got to know everyone a bit more.  Jon "Sader" and I traded off sets and I made everyone pulled in really close to the stage where we were playing so it felt more connected.  The night ended up being really long and fun, I performed 11 songs from every one of my previous projects and a few from unreleased projects and a poem and Jeremy played beats and Jon and I freestyled for at least 45 minutes trading off raps over all sorts of beats it was a blast and we rapped ourselves hoarse!  During the sets some people walked into the bar and made it a point to stay and watch the set and it was really amazing to see people just come in off the street hearing live music especially indie rap and just support it, as that doesn't happen too often in my American experiences!  Overall it was an amazing experience, everyone was really supportive and I sold a lot of CDs for Canadian monopoly money and lots of people wanted to be a part of the AllOne mailing list and such and there was such an amazing performance high in me, the level of connection between myself and everyone who was listening was outrageous.  The mutual respect was sincere and the energy and attentiveness was really special, this show at Milk with Sader and Signols definitely ranks in among the Onederlust favorites!  I was physically exhausted from the lack of sleep and the performing and walking and skateboarding and yet Jeremy and I stayed up for a while talking, and I ended up going to bed at 4am or so feeling so at home!

Wednesday 7/2/14  Canadian Excursions
     I woke up around 10 am, not bad considering I went to sleep as late as I did though I still get an innate annoyance at myself when I wake up any time past 7 or so no matter when I went to sleep!  Chrono-miserly I am!  Jeremy had to be out of town for the day so Mel and Jon met with me and we meandered around some beautiful parks and saw some artworks, walking beneath tunnels flooded with lots of terrible but vibrant graffiti.  We also walked along some train tracks and found huge Jurassic looking leaves!  I really got to enjoy Mel and Jon's company and I felt like I was hanging out with friends whom I've known for years that I really just clicked with on the same wavelength!  In addition to Jones soda, it also seems as though there are almost strictly all black squirrels in Canada, and we saw one with a white tail (it was not a skunk) and we saw a weird woodchuck looking thing as well by the water!  While wandering we found crab apples in the woods and ate them!  We threw away some garbage we found in an another wise rather clean environment along the water!  There was a carnival in town (maybe it's always there...I don't know) and it overlooked the water on the River, it was beautiful at night as well as during the day, and I took a few pictures of that!  We walked down a really artful alleyway and saw astounding graffiti murals and paintings all coating the surrounding buildings, Jon bumped into a friend of his so Mel and I admired and took pictures of the remarkable artwork!







We ended up at Milk where we met with Gabby again and their friend Rosalie.  Everyone seemed to generally have an awesome sense of humor in my time in Canada...poignant side note.  We ended up saying goodbye to Mel shortly after our stop at Milk, as she had to be off somewhere, and that was sad because again, in the brief time that we got to know each other, I really came to like her quite a lot, and knowing that I wouldn't see these friends for quite a long time, if ever afterwards.  I got Shawarma AGAIN!  Obviously Shawarma Palace is to the Onederlust tour as Bolton's Hot Chicken was to the little piano, BIG MOUTH tour!!  Turns out Rosalie Weeks (related to the Albert Weeks whose dedicated plaza I'd been skating recently) does a radio show in Vancouver called "The Folk'n Rap Show" and I gave her my music that she said she planned to play on the show!  The enthusiasm and helpfulness of people continues to befuddle me!       While at Milk, I didn't have the money that I thought I would have to buy the coffee I ordered because the ATM didn't accept my card and then the barista Molly ended up buying the coffee for me.  The kindness is too much for me (in a different way than the price of the coffee was)!  We walked into a few stores and talked and traveled about and later I went to sleep at Jeremy's pretty early after watching some skate videos (including his dvd of Blind's "What If") with him.  I kept finding myself looking up the towns I'd been to on the tour on youtube with the sub-search of "skateboarding" to see the locals skate all the obstacles and spots I'd been looking at!  We had an early day since Jeremy had to leave at 8am the next day so I'd planned on hanging out with Estevan most of the day!

Thursday 7/3
My Last Day In Canada (skateboarding, drum circles, and freestyling)
I hung with out with Estevan early in the morning.  We went to 711 and got breakfast at Tim Hortons as well.  He is very like me, very introspective, quick to succumb to the annals of his own byzantine mind.  He was very taken by my music and my presence and theories as a person, and he shared with me a theory that his great grandmother had "there are 7 people like you in the world"  which is rather interesting.  I'd like to think there are more than that, but I suppose I can settle for 7!  I met His grandma and his funny white cat "Cuddles".  We ended up at the mall where we got popcorn on the way out at the movie theater! During our drives in the car he showed me some rappers, the best of them being a British fella named "LowKey".  We went to this fun outdoor local skate park where I talked to some kids and played SKATE to warm up, which I actually won and it helped me relearn a bunch of tricks I didn't even think I could do!
      We went to this place called Optimist park but it was too buggy throughout the overcast day!  Eventually Estevan had to go home to get some rest and he dropped me off at a Burger King to wait for Jon to meet up with me.  In the mean time, I used the gift card Owen's mom gave me to pick up a salad, a grilled chicken sandwich and a milk shake.  Its so odd that I felt guilty and gross eating a grilled chicken sandwich and a salad when they're advertising triple cheeseburgers with bacon and onion rings on them with friends and drinks with an option for a LARGER order.  Western culture is a weird place.  Connor and Jon met met at burger king and we were going to "Sandwich Town" for a drum circle event!

     The Bloomfield House
   
 After a short bus ride and a walk, Connor, Jon and I arrived at this small little house/storefront in the midst of a neighborhood block.  The subtext of the Bloomfield House sign describes it self as a "Community outreach, food share, free school, music and meditation center"  It is run by a group of people, primarily a musician named T.J.  We met Mo and hung out on a back porch of the house where Connor used a djembe to drop a beat and Jon, Mo and I freestyled exchanging turns where we all shone really well because the energy was immediately inviting and encouraging and no one was flexing or critical either.  We ate ice pops and white chocolate Reeses' peanut butter cups in between the cypher being active! Mo is an incredible energy, he is unapologetic in his joviality and sincerity and we found ourselves connecting immediately excited over one another's similar rap ethics and poetic interests and freestyle abilities!  I took a short video of Mo and Jon during the freestyle which you can view below!  After that we went out front and met with 15 or so people and had an incredible drum circle for an hour or so where I sang a bit and rapped as well, and we all felt very connected and supported, and again I left that beautiful little place with a big group of friends and positive and invigorating interactions, with promises to return soon on another trip! T.J. gave us a ride back to Jeremy's house and Jon and him caught up and we all hung out.

     Jeremy got a new skateboard while he was away and was all pumped up about an amazing skate park he saw in Tecumpseh.  It was about a 25 minute drive and Estevan agreed to take us, so I rode there and back in the bed of his pick-up truck with the navy sky above me, stippled with luminescent celestial freckles.  My back smarted from the bed of the truck but I couldn't even notice it or complain because of the feeling of the cool night wind kissing my face and the real life time-lapse montage of trees and light posts that I was watching unfold in my periphery.  I thought about how I wanted to write a poem about this, and how funny and insignificant our technology and little cities were as they blurred past while the night sky.The skate park was fun and we ended up leaving around 2am, marking it Friday, officially a month since I had left home on this trip.  It really didn't feel that long, but it also seemed so comfortable like it was a lifestyle that had always happened and always should.  Estevan dropped us off and we hugged one another fiercely and said our goodbyes, glad to have met a new brother and sad to see one another go!  Jeremy said good nights and good byes to me as well, as he wouldn't be up when I left to head back into the United States, appropriately on Independence Day where after nearly 30 hours of straight travel I'd arrive in Atlanta to hang out with my friends and perform on the last weekend of the trip!
We're parts of the puzzle, the bigger picture is incomplete without us,
We are the bigger picture, and without others we are incomplete as well.
-AllOne


video

AllOnederlust Tour 6/26-6/28 Meandering Motor City

With a huge smile on my face and a warmth in my heart from all of my new friends and experiences in Chicago I boarded the bus to my next stop, Detroit, where new shows and friends experienced me!

Thursday 6/26
     My bus ride from Chicago to Detroit was longer than I'd expected! I realized that my O'Henry collection was unfortunately too hefty for me to carry onto the bus so I ended up listening to an eclectic mix of music during the drive including old and new music, local artists and national acts.
The Decemberists - Picaresqueties ep
and the "Creative Differences (A Split)" EP to be sure I was content with all of the mixing and mastering.
   
 We stopped at a "Loves" Truck stop with showers and all sorts of products like audio-books and chargers and foods and clothes that made me think about the life of a trucker and sort of romanticism it.  Driving around with all sorts of time to yourself to think and see distances measured in hours.  I arrived in Detroit feeling disoriented and out of place.  I stopped into a diner called "Luci and Ethel's" realizing that my impending show at The Atomic Dawg in Berkley was rather far from where I was. I'd hoped to just sit down get coffee and use wi-fi to call an Uber car but they didn't have wi-fi so I resignedly ate a chicken sandwich and called a taxi.  A heavy woman named Josephine ran the counter, everyone added to one another's conversations like a sitcom where everyone knew one another and joked with excess and sass.
      Arriving in Detroit, Poetry and Hotdogs
   
 To my chagrin, the taxi ride in a decrepit green mini-van cost me $40 dollars.  I arrived at this crazy hot dog place a little frazzled.  They had all sorts of hotdogs with crazy and excessive toppings and styles on them, I actually opted out for financial and gastrointestinal concerns myself!  The event was booked by international performing poet, Wayne State University professor and Detroit poet laureate M.L. Liebler, whom I met 2 1/2 years ago in a lecture series we both performed/presented at SUNY Oswego!  I had no idea what to expect and when I got the email from M.L. that I'd be featured during a poetry reading at a hot dog place I really didn't know what to expect and sort of laughed to myself excitedly.  Well, M.L. being who he is, a gregarious, talented man of many friends, had the place packed out with good people!
     Several poets performed, Nick and Dan played a country acoustic and harmonica song set.or two.   Fiction writer Brian Smith read a great short story and a hilarious and talented woman who went by Diamond Dancer shared some poems as well.  Many people purchased CDs, signed my mailing list and just gave me money "put it towards a bus ticket" they said. It was a beautiful generosity, which set the pace for the little four person family of Diamond Dancer's extremely thoughtful and generous offer to drive me the 20-30 min drive to my friends and hosts Jaye and Lisa's house so I didn't have to pay taxi fare.  
   
All five of us, Diamond, her sister and her two nieces and I piled into a van and drove to the apartment.  We all had each other laughing, Diamond's young niece was so smart and asked so much about why people were obsessed with television and their phones and such nonsense music.  They thought I was hilarious, and I feeling so comfortable and jovially warm with gratefulness!  They told me Detroit really isn't as bad as people say it is and that people are generally good if you give them a chance.  It was suggested that it was good that I'd only stopped in Cleveland earlier in the tour because it was such a crazy dangerous place.  We spoke about a lot of things both laugh and thought provoking!  They dropped me off and waved goodbye with potential hopes to come to my show at Corktown Studios on Saturday! I was so grateful for them and had such a great time meeting them and hanging out, feeling like a part of their family!  Lisa and Jaye of the awesome band ROGUE SATELLITES.  Again, being in their apartment was a weird feeling of nostalgia and even though I only spent three days with them a year and a half ago I felt immediately reconnected with old friends.  Jaye and Lisa are both so great, they're calm and thoughtful and they're playfully funny without sacrificing their intellect.  A great and sometimes cynically humorous couple who make awesome music and art, that's a life I could live out!  After recapping some events in both our recent lives and plans for the weekend, they had to go to bed in anticipation of work and I was rather tired so we all retired.

Friday 6/27
Wandering amid decorative ruins
    The weather was brutally hot and humid out and Jaye and Lisa were at work, so I spent much of the day writing. I wrote and submitted a new story to a publication.  I also Listened to Sadistik's new album "Ultraviolet" and really have loved it!  Go and get it, it is worth your time, surely! I finally went outside to an uncomfortably aggressive sun.  The neighborhood was oddly quiet.  Wandering around the half alive near-ruins of Detroit I'd felt initially uneasy but then remembered by conversation with Diamond's family and that what I was experiencing was a reaction to a pre-existing stigma the area had and that people are all generally good if you give them the chance.  I walked through a place called Grand River Creative Corridor, and as though to apologize for the crippled structures strewn abundantly about the neighborhoods, vibrant, beautifully painted graffiti murals swirled and corkscrewed confidently along the wounded walls, it was all very inventive and impressive! I liked that the city seemingly sanctioned an area for people to do something positive and creative and "doll up" an area that was hurting socio-economically.  It was a progressive and intelligent point of view. Make the best of what is available to you!











     I had a few people begging me for money and such, I felt bad for them but they also felt predatory somehow.  They were aggressive at times, but never harmful.  Hungry and sweaty I was craving a milkshake and so I ended up in this Motor City Grill.  Plexiglass bullet proof wall separated myself and the cashier.  The food came out on a lazy Susan made of the same materials.  Hard to believe.  The burger I got was huge but so was it's price, luckily it was really tasty.  The chocolate shake was good, and my cheeks hurt because of the narrow straw, that's a real milkshake!  I called my grandmother and spoke to her and wandered back to the apartment where I wrote some more and waited for Lisa and Jaye to come home.  They were actually going out to a Ringo Starr and The All Star Band concert but ended up missing it and arriving with more greasy burger food and milkshakes...typical for neither of us but coincidence prompted it!  I didn't have the heart to tell them I'd already eaten so I gobbled it up.  Some days are milkshake days!  Although I'd been eating strictly healthily all year, the tour motto dietary wise has been "take what you can get while it's there" within reason.   
  
     Since Jaye and Lisa ended up having their night open, we went to a local show at New Way Bar where I met lots of Jaye and Lisa's friends.  Encountering someone's group of friends is a decent way to judge or learn about those you are with.  For one, they have friends, that probably indicates something, and two, In Jaye and Lisa's case, the company they kept was primarily a group of talented, interesting and kind people.  We saw two bands, a touring group called Ghost Wolves from Austin, Texas who were kind of trying to do a Yeah Yeah Yeahs meets The White Stripes duo thing with a sexy high pitched female singer with a distorted guitar and a drummer who beat mercilessly on the drums, passionately if not skillfully.  They had a crazy and practiced (maybe too inauthentic at times) stage presence and they rocked out like it was an arena despite there being only 20 people in the audience at most.  They were signed by a small label it would seem, as they had a while and overstuffed merch table!  Later they brought an actual pet wolf of theirs into the bar, what  a way to be memorable. Beautiful animal!  While their music wasn't amazing, they certainly knew how to make an impression!  Next up was a big local band "Duende!" who were fun and odd, full of good people that I'd met earlier.  After the show we went to Eric, Rick and Sean's house of the psychedelic rock band "Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor".  They were great guys, goofy who meant well, very smart, shared tour stories and ridiculousness.  They didn't take themselves seriously but clearly took their music and care for it seriously, I envied their focus and connection. It made me miss original trio of AllOne & The Room how we would hang out constantly and make music together, appreciating one another and our creations strongly!  I ended up going to sleep around 3:30 am!


Saturday 6/28
The Last Day In Detroit
     Saturday was a quiet start, I woke up around 7:30 and stared at the ceiling and tried to focus and let my mind wander in my thoughts and reminisce.  This was to be the last day I was in Detroit, after the show John and Jeremy were going to take me back with them to Canada for some fun there!  For whatever reason,  I felt introspective and hypercritical and as though I wanted to cry.  Wrote a little bit... 
"My life schemes are most people's pipe dreams. You know what a mid-life crisis is?  It's that wake up call, reminding you've got life to live, you realize you could have done what you might have wished."
     We all had an early start and wore bright yellow shirts without discussing it.  That made me laugh. Simple things, easy things sometimes hit the spot!  We went to breakfast at an awesome place named after Brooklyn, and there were all sorts of artsy and musical types there and a merging of generations and such.  It's funny to see places or things named after what seems hip and mysterious and yet is so within reach to me!  There was a young beautiful waitress decked out fully in tattoos all over her neck and hands and skin and she had sub-dermal piercings and gauges in her ears and colored short hair and she was serving an elderly group of women, which was funny to see the interaction and made me nervous for both parties but they all interacted with engaged and respectful amity, which made me happy to see.  We went to Corktown Studios which had changed on the outside having added a sculpture garden of sorts.  Jaye and Lisa have a new vinyl project out and you should pick it up...HERE.  I played guitar for a while and they cleaned up the art space.  We got a late lunch/early dinner at a place called The Green Dot which was like a bar-restaurant and they had incredible sliders and fries! I got a BBQ Bacon and Buffalo chicken slider with chili cheese friends.  Nothing short of amazing!  Jaye fronted the bill again on the food in his typical gentlemanly hosting fashion that I was really grateful for and admired a lot.  They are good to people in a way that chokes me up sometimes thinking about it!


Returning to Corktown
  Corktown Studios is an artist space/gallery/performance space in Detroit that Jaye and Lisa work through.  Last year my show with Alexa there was easily my favorite of the bunch so I was really excited to return!  I practiced my songs while Jaye and Lisa worked on setting up the space for the show.  It was to be an acoustic show where we cycled out after three songs.  Jaye played solo, then Eric played and I played.  Jaye did some great acoustic originals while Eric did some more electric riff driven guitar playing.  "When in Rome..." the saying goes, so I opened my set with an acoustic song that I wrote called "Never Return".  Because the environment was so intimate, I performed a set entirely of unreleased (at the time) songs.  I also performed "Work In Progress" "Quality Vs. Quarantine" "Rush Hour '98" "Sloth" and "Riches Of Value [Her Account Of A Chase]" over the course of the night, material spanning four different forthcoming projects.  It was a small but an appreciative and attentive group that sat in (literally!).  Jon and Jeremy came in and caught the last half of the show! It was good to see them again.  Jaye and Eric were both extremely generous and forfeit what they made during the show to support me on my trip.  Beautiful people.  

A Return to Canada!
     I said my goodbyes to Lisa and Jaye, who I felt much closer to than last time I left and who I'd be seeing in NYC in September as well as Detroit later in September at their sidewalk festival.  I stocked up on delicious cookies and went along with Jon and Jeremy to head over to Canada.  It took a lot of walking to get to the Rosa Parks center.  I got to catch up with them a lot, spending the first extended amount of time with either of them that I ever did.  Jon is more abstract and enthusiastic while Jeremy is more practical and mellow, they make a good team as friends and do a cool project called "Signols".  At the border, they asked me rapid fire questions at 1am and kept trying to catch me in lies "Where are you from?" "How do you know Jon and Jeremy?" "How long will you be here?" "What are you doing?" "You're a musician? Where's your instrument?"  ?"What do you do back home?" "how do you know them again?" "Where are you from?" ect.  Finally they relented and let me through.  Once we crossed the border to Windsor, Ontario, we walked with my maddening broken-wheeled suitcase to get to Kayla and Jesses' big old house!  It turns out Jesse is a big fan of my work.  The story goes that when Jon and Jeremy asked if their rapper friends could stay at her house, she was wary about the idea.  When they mentioned "Oh it's our friend AllOne" she lit up and accepted immediately!  Upon meeting her, she exploded praise upon me and funny enough, sad "Somehow I thought you'd be chubbier" which of course I laughed at.  The fact that my music stretches this far and connects so strongly with people baffles me.  It is surreal and I feel blessed. I've always said that I want to have a relationship with the supporters of my artwork that would allow either of us to be mutually comfortable to invite one another into our homes, both in the nature of my work and the connection with my audience.  This was "international" example of that goal being accomplished in some wonderful small way and it was astonishing and inspiring!  After a few hours we decided to go to Jeremy's to sleep, the walk was brutally sweaty and the suitcase being broken was really cumbersome but eventually we got to Jeremy's little apartment and I passed out promptly, looking forward to several days in Canada!


"Make the best of your situation, 
and also allow your situation to make the best of you!"
-AllOne