August 29, 2003
Karl Reed Gets Married

On my way to Santa Barbara ...

Karl Reed, saxophonist extroidinaire, solo gawd on the Calico Soul CDs, is getting hitched. He is an artist. He is brilliant. He is strange. He is my brother. How should I feel about this? Will I lose him? Will he keep playing? Love him already? Feel like you know him? Yes, Karl is the guy you've heard about in tales like:

- Karl and the Sailor ("Let me show you my kniiiiiife!")
- Calico tour with an extreme Vegan horn section.
- Singer of the song, "Hash Cookie In Berlin."
- He coined the phrase, "Beave Weave."
- Famous for saying, "Renounce your renunciations!"
- "Todd, there are NO BEANS in France!"

... and I could go on and on ... But it's gonna be great! Yes, this is his big day, and I'm gonna be there! Oh, man - I remember one great show in Switzerland, where Karl started barking like a dog on stage. Whoa! Of course, I was egging him on, screaming, "Down, Fang!" and "I'll bite you back, you crazy mutt!" It was nuts. Grrrr. He had this snarl that he'd whip out after a solo (or during!) or smack dab in tha middle of a song. He played up a storm, though. I've known Mr. Reed a long time, all the way back to his early days with the late, great, band Improfusion. They weren't really fusion, they were more, well - improvised! OK, they were pure jazz ... with hints of calypso. But Karl and Co. would git down! Yezz, I know he's got a screamin' demon in his soul, and when he really cuts loose, well ... ya better watch out! Hope his new bride knows what she's getting into! Heh.

So now, right here on this universal piece of white paper / computerscreen seen 'round the world, I wanna dedicate the moment to Mr. Reed, and his lovely bride!

CONGRATS!

Show them all that real love exists, that two people can wade through these troubled times, arm in arm ... Embrace each other, friends, trust and nurture each other, and LISTEN to one another. Karl has got some biggluv in his soul, and I know that he will shine. He has promised me a killer dinner of Indian cuisine, and California's finest wine. Let us feast! (In a sacred way.)
-Todd

Posted by calico at 06:02 PM
August 25, 2003
Boris In America!

Yo. Greetings from Oakland, California ...

My friend Boris is here, visiting from Bratislava. He is a scientist. He has never played baseball. It is a disease that must be cured. We will do it today. This is the time to be bold, poetical-athletical heroes. We are the champions!

Yes, today, me and my friends will take Boris on his virgin baseball voyage. I will be Bob Feller, or Babe Ruth, whilst he will adjust into the role of Goose Gossage. BK, the drummer, will play the roll of Rollie Fingers. And we will be manly types in the brash California sunshine. We will play a pickup game, a strange mix of West Coast dapper skullduggery, mixed with a hit of midwestern charm, topped off with nine innings of special "new Europe" flair. We will run the bases, will run the gamut, we will be macho's who refuse to not indulge in fun. We're the shit. We will not eat apple pie. We will not drive Chevrolets (today).

We will play baseball.

Not for world peace, not for change, not for learning and growing, not for other phoney-balloney highball ideals. Not for money. not for love ... We will play for FUN! Remember - no bunting! If Boris' first taste of mexican food (last night) is any indication, then this new step, today's leap of faith, will be HOT!

Posted by calico at 03:24 PM
August 14, 2003
Bjork At The Hollywood Bowl

For Bjork:

The moon crept up over the Bowl, you began to sing, and I began to weep. The sounds were so pure, like Nature herself. How dare you! How DARE such beauty exist?! I'm on such a high because of that show, and I can't come down. And now, as I sit here and write, this black cat is watching me, and wants to know,
"What's so deep?"
And the answer is, a girl who sings like a volcano!

We'll let them keep guessing whether we met last night or not ...

Oh, you elfin singer of songs, you frosty wet iceberg of human feeling, you dazzler of Tinseltown, you intense bringer of the Mood. Bjork, you're fantastic!
As she sang, I thought of sinister deeds I'd performed centuries ago. I saw witches burn and empires fall. In that growl was the eternity of the present. Long, soaring notes - chills. She started slow, and then built them up into a frenzy, the dancey stuff at the end put it over the top. I thought of Vienna, of Berlin, of SN and dancing with Tanja and Anja while your music played behind candlelight.

Emotional landscapes, traveling through time and being precisely in the second of the now, of the moment. The earth moves and the moon stays still. Reach for the stars, and you just might get there. And the guy right next to me told a tale of hitting a car head on at 75 mph, and living. Get it? And he saw the look in their eyes, his headlights on the grill, just before impact. It was all so surreal. This is really dangerous ...

What a girl - What a voice! Viva the Icelandic Octet! The Icelandic Octet!
Nature is eternal ... just like pure love.
-Todd

Posted by calico at 11:35 AM
The Multi-Orgasmic Man

Hanging out with David Abercrombie, one of the world's best bass players ...

We were driving down the 10 freeway, the Santa Monica, actually (Hmmm - the "S'n'M" freeway?) on the way to his gig, and tellin' stories. I gave him an official printed version of a story about us on the road, called, "Whacky Wednesday." He loved it. He's something of a mountain man from the 15th century. A manimal. So there we were on a Friday night, in rush-hour annoying traffic at 10 p.m., on our way to another CD release party from one of his countless bands (that he's probably too good for). Ha!

He doesn't know this Blog exists.
He doesn't have email.

He does play a mean bass, though. Any of you out there who have seen/heard him will know what I mean. He did that, "Bwep-dee-doo - Bwarg, Bwaaaarg!" thing he's famous for. We also talked about Karl Reed the sax man, who may be getting married in "Under three weeks ..." That could be in 2 days, said Abercrombie. Hey, you're right, says I, that IS under three weeks. Laughter. It could also be in 2 hours! So Cumbie jammed, and fun was had by all, and then we returned late to his pad, after a brief stint in a limousine, with un-disclosed amounts of whisky. (Read about it in the next Blog?) So when I woke up, I was in his rustic dungeon, somewhere in East Hollywood. In case you're wondering what he reads, here's a small list of the books that don his walls:
He's got some Stephen King, some Carlos Castenada, one called "The Two Germanies Since 1945," "The Death Of Yugoslavia," some Karl Marx, also "Book Of The Strange," The Bible, "Rebirth Of Nature," some E.E. Cummings, and perhaps my fave, "The Multi-Orgasmic Man ..."

During the gig there was this extreeemely wasted babe who decided to dance right in front of us, so I started edging her on, to do other dances, and she did. It was a kind of dare contest, if you will. I started with, "Hey, can ya do a Cher, pretending to be Elmer Fudd?" And she did it! Then it was Jesus does Saturday Night Fever, which she pulled off splendidly. Yes, it was turning into one of those Mystic evenings. Then I requested a mythical Fairy god Mother on crack (which was QUITE interesting! Her interpretation wasn't what I expected!). Then Marilyn Manson goes to Disneyland. But I stumped her on Billie Holliday does the watusi! High fives all around ... Dance, mad-girl, dance!!!!!!!!!! Ah, yes, hanging with Abercrombie.

We don't drink American beer.
We are not responsible people.

Then driving back, way after midnight, and the SM freeway is empty, and we get on this tangent of imagining that you were making love on some railroad tracks (he claims a girl took him to that place), yes, your on the tracks, and it's the best sex you've ever had, and you start to hear the train a-coming, and you hear the, "Toot toot!" getting closer and closer, and guess what: it's sooo good that you JUST DON'T CARE! Bam! Dream upon that one for awhile, friends! And I talked to my sister on the telephone (who's now married - my sister, not the telephone), telling her that I'm hanging out with Abercrombie, and she goes, "Some guys have just GOT it ..."

-Todd

Larry Flynt For Governor!

Posted by calico at 11:19 AM
August 08, 2003
How I Keep My Edge

Yep, back in L.A., after another quick 2000 mile jaunt.
Now, for those of you who asked, here's a short list:

1. I tell Sacramento to "Fuck Off!" to keep my edge ...
2. I ride trains/planes/busses/cars/boats/motorcycles to keep my edge ... *
3. I go to Green Party meetings to keep my edge ...
4. I drive through Mexican deserts with the likes of West Side, to keep my edge
5. I listen to Sonny Rollins and drink coffee to keep my edge ...
6. I read Henry Rollins and drink coffee to keep my edge ...
7. I read Henry Miller to keep my edge ...
8. I fly in the face of "code orange" to keep my edge ...
9. I tell people in famous rock bands that Andy Warhol was from Slovakia ...
10. I go to places like Long Beach and Oakland to keep my edge ...
11. I fly through Toronto without a hint of SARS to keep my edge ...
12. I push the other musicans to their maximum capabilities to keep my edge
13. When others give up, I push on - to keep my edge ...
14. In fact, I yearn to defy all odds, in order to keep my edge ...
15. I drink with the locals in Ostrava across from the factory to keep my edge
16. Playing with Fishbone helps me keep my edge ...
17. Listening to people like Flea and Noam Chomsky helps me keep my edge
18. I listen to their marital woes, to keep my edge ...
19. I listen to the guy with the Led Zeppelin jacket at 5 AM in Salt Lake City
20. I go to Spaceland with my bud Debby-deb to keep my edge ...
21. On the bus, I befriend the couple from France, when no-one else will ...
22. I speed through three countries in a night with the Malacky Macho's ...
23. I counsel Nakedman on which courses to take in the fall, to keep my edge
24. Scream my holy scowl on stage, to keep my edge ...
25. I bug the clubs and festivals 'til they finally say yes, to keep my edge ...
26. I ask others to dream with me, to keep my edge ...

* (#2 - Sometimes without a ticket.)

Posted by calico at 03:43 PM
August 05, 2003
I'm In Beaver

Greetings. On my way to L.A. - passed through Beaver, Utah. Just thought you should know ...

I like beaver. How 'bout you??

Posted by calico at 03:03 PM
August 03, 2003
Poem For The Rocky Mountain People

Somewhere near Denver, 6 AM ...

I woke up with my arms wrapped around my guitar case, in a pickup truck. It's a Ford, with Texas plates. How the hell did I get here? There's a hullaballoo mysquito buzzing in my ear. I swat him with precision - SPLAT! This is when I discover how much of our blood he has already sucked. Alot. He moves on to the next spirit world, my blood stays right here in this truck.

We've been listening to the Dixie Chicks. They're "country."

We had to change a fan belt somewhere in the middle of the desert. I think it was Wyoming. The Dixie tunes help to distract us from the excruciating heat. It works for about two songs ...

I'm not sure which one of the Dixie Chicks I like. I guess Emily. 'Cuz she's tall and sexy and plays tha banjo. Wonder if she stands by her man ... bet she makes him stand tall. High above it all. I can definitely dig me a banjo babe. A three-way Dixie jam on tha Highway. And they got hot harmonies. Mmmm. Harmonious fantasticus. They really are fine musicians. Makes me wanna say, "Chix Rule."

Enough of this musical malarky ... only 24 hours 'til I get to L.A.
-Todd (driving/dreaming)

Posted by calico at 08:46 PM