Warm greetings! Mixed some new songs in Santa Fe a few nights ago, going into the wee hours of the morning behind a killer SSL mixing console. Yeah, bitch! The vocals sound great, and the band is tight. The songs feature the amazing Matt Chamberlain on drums, Norwood from Fishbone on bass, screamin' Bijon Watson on trumpet, and many more ... Anyone who wants to hear 'em should call tel. 310-859-2287 in Los Angeles. Remember to get hoarse and try the spicy-hot green chile salsa. International flavour. Rode the train for a day and a half, mixed ALL NIGHT LONG, then took a zig-zag plane way back to Madrid, Spain, where I write to you now ... Whew! Muchas gracias to all who helped on both sides of the Atlantic, you know who you are. Let new music ring! Peace. -Todd
Hello there. I'm taking the long, winding road to Santa Fe (where an amazing studio awaits) to mix some new songs. This is what I dream of every night, and now it's happening! I'll be on that classy Iron Lady for more than 24 hours. She runs from Chicago all the way out to LA. I'm riding the "Southwest Chief." Peace. -Todd
They wrote to me: "We are the caffinators of life!"
My reply: "WE ARE PERCULATED MODS - THEY ARE DECAFFEINATED CLODS."
One word for y'all: IMPEACH.
I'm somewhere in the Midwest ... I am driving with my father. It is a snowy, dreamy morning, the sun just coming up. Cold 'n' crisp as winter is. We come over the ridge, head into the valley. There's a sign that warns us of deer and elk. Will they cross our path? In my mind's eye, I "see" a deer coming onto the road. "I wonder," I think to myself, "what will happen when we hit that deer ..." Sure enough, a minute or two later, a deer runs out from a ravine (real life), yes - there he is. Like dreamtime, as if in slow-motion, I see the deer's head right next to my passenger's side window - it's so close I could touch it. I expect a thud. We see the deer go down, but hear no sound. Savage Nature. I cannot understand (it's all happening so fast) how we hit the deer but there's no sound, and how I just KNEW a deer would run out. In all sincerity, I can sometimes see things before they happen. Call it psychic, call it premonition. But perhaps every event has numerous endings. I turn over my shoulder and look out the back window, expecting to see a freshly killed deer in the middle of the road. Sunlight catches my eyescape golden-red. I see the deer, un-scathed: he is bent down on one knee, he must have stopped in his tracks and knelt just inches from our car. Still no sound, as if in a dream (but real). He gets up slowly and majestically, and runs across the road to safety. I see his little white tail bouncing as he runs. The deer, just inches away from death, escapes into the silent morning fog. We drive on, look at each other and say nothing ... -Todd
Thank you for your, um, "submissions" ... Gee whiz - did EVERYONE read that story (2 back) about losing the girl and the bird shitting on me? How come they only read it when I'm a loser, baby? Ok, I'll re-print what someone wrote me (I KNOW you just wanna be on the blog, fools!) and the author shall remain anolymoose:
"Bummer About Summer Blondie" (A Ballad)
Oh, Blondie came strollin' in across the Miami heat
A subtle young goddess with long legs growin' outta her feet
and a'top a torso of lucious scrumtious meat
Her face looked so perfect, until the B-word was bleat
Oh, Blondie, Ohhhhh Blondie, where did you go?
that time the foo bird shat upon our whole show?
Oh, dear supple one, why'd you say yes,
when you knew an hour later, you'd fail the test?
Well, Blondie was a flirt, and a good one at that,
she sat talking politics, metaphysics and other crap,
Until Kidd Calico could stand the tremmors no more
so he got up (didn't get off) to wash his shorts!
Can anyone put a melody to this one? 'cuz I sure can't. Peace. -Todd
(PS - everyone loves ya when you win - but hey, hey ... Way to kick a rapscallion when he's down!)
Wow, (Miami "Vice") Dick Cheney (and I do mean DICK!) shot someone, and he needs to go. These jokers are dangerous. He and his loony co-horts are the real "weapons of mass destruction," and We The People need to remove them! The world is watching ...
Best, Kernel Gun-shy
In a hotel lobby in Miami, thinking I don't know anyone and no-one knows me ... until the cute blonde walks slowly by, does a double-take. OK, now she's definitely looking at me. "Hey, I know you, she says, "Calico Soul!" Gawd, I love this job. She says she's on the email list. I put down the book I was reading, "Eleven Minutes," where I'd just read the word SEX right as she said my name. Then, pretending I'm a rockstar instead of a musician, I say to her (with the others now watching) non-chalant in a completely BORED tone, "That's nice. Should we get outta here and get some coffee?" She agrees, and we walk down to the beach, which is exactly two blocks away. It's February. It's 70 degrees. I can't believe my luck. Paradise. She went to UCLA (like me!) oh, we have so much in common! We talk for an hour about all kinds of trippy metaphysical shit. You know, why things happen, how things are meant to happen, etc. I'm horny, and she is, too. We order Coffee Cubano, black and delicious. We laugh, flirt, the sun is swept back by the cool breeze, people around us are relaxed and the vibe is just perfect. Not a care ... And then just when everyone thinks we're about to go do something really sexy and animalistik, two bad things happen: she says that B word (nasty and just wrong), "Boyfriend." And just as I'm absorbing that one, some sea-gull with a sense of humour launches the biggest yellow poop-bomb you ever saw RIGHT INTO MY LAP! Uck! And now the vibe is definitely gone, yeah it slinks away underneath my scowl, as I trudge off to the toilet to clean up and think about what coulda been ... -Todd (Imaginary headline: "Impatient Bowels of Winged Rascal Taint Picture Perfect Moment")
Hi ya. Still in the sun-shiney state o' Florida ... Hey, why don't we count those votes! (Painful ol' joke - ugh.) Anyway, moving right along, did everyone see the Grammy's a night or two ago? There was an All-Star jam with Edge from U-2, Elvis Costello, and Bruce Springsteen - and MY MAN BIJON WATSON PLAYING TRUMPET! Way to go, baby!!! (You can go right now to our mp3 section and listen to him playing on my song, "Helpless.") I know you're reading this, Bijon, and I just wanna say I'm PROUD of you!!! That's wild, man - pretty big time. He's the big, BIG guy with the big sound, and his trumpet looks like a tiny toy up next to him. Any of you out there with Calico Soul's "Mona Lisa," "Noam Chomsky," or "Don't Do It For Me, Do It For You," well - that's all Bijon, too. You should also check out his main swing-thing, The Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, where Bijon plays lead trumpet. These guys will knock the socks right off you, your ma, your pa, and any and all left 'round ya. Yes, they ARE simply that good. Bijon is the best trumpet player I know (and I know more than a few!) and he can play anything. Absolutely anything ... One time I'd just written a fiery new horn chart, and I ran in there to record it, before I had even transposed the horns. (B-flat to C for those who don't speak Chinese, meaning all the notes were exactly one note off.) Bijon looked at it and transposed it WHILE HE WAS PLAYING IT. And it was a difficult horn arrangement I'd cooked up, lemme tell ya. He's the best, and I feel honoured to have him on my last three records. (Eat your heart out, Boss!) Called him up to congranulate him, and he was already in DC for the next gig, saying, "Well, Todd, I appreciate that ... we HAVE been through the trenches together, eh? It's about time we BOTH made it, don't you think!" So here's hats off to a talented musician and real friend - Mr. Bijon Watson - SIR! "We rock, we swing - we can play anything!"
Keep on swingin' Dawg ... -Todd
A new town, another hotel room ... Some kid (who's about 9 or 10) is trying to break into a gum-ball machine as I walk around the corner. I give him a faux stern look, pretending to scold him, as a joke. To my suprise he quips, "Well, you're a bad boy, too!" I wanna say something rude, but I walk on, thinking, "Kid, you have no idea ..." -Todd
Yep, "The South" is a trip, in the Land of the Free. To say the least ... But my hotel DOES have a hot-tub! (Offsets the occasional curious encounter.) So it's not all bad. And I cooked up a great band name: Redneck Miami Mindfuck. Peace. -Todd
This is the story of the Calico Kid, a guy named El Dante, The Big Englishman, The Czech Guy Who's Never There, and Ernesto from Sweden. Yes, Sweden. And it all took place somewhere near Little Havanah. (Bad rep, great coffee.) It was a hot night in Feb. Misquitos galore. A good time was had by all, and many philosophic points were made (burp). Flying in from (must have been) Madrid, all the newspapers in Spanish, I read something about a mis-hap in Santa Barbara, someone "going postal" to the tune of 6 dead. Here we go again ... hope my friends are all awright. Perfect re-entry into the Land Of The Free. More on Ernesto's salsa dancing in the next blog. Hot! But furiously/seriously guys, here's more current stuff: first I just wanna say - now tune in and dig this - the Superbowl is in Detroit, right? After a brief but deep chat with a Soul Brother on the bus at 5 AM, I just wanna ask, "Um, how many MOTOWN artists have they asked to play at half-time??" None? Think about it ... Furthermore, the man known as El Dante (south America) just bought a Cadillac and is a pimp if I've ever seen one, talks about big business and racism, and The Big Englishman nods and agrees. Tales of, "But you know, I've done some terreeeble things in my conntreee," never cease to amaze. Yeah, we were all stuck in a hotel together, warm rain/thunder outside, and I listened to everyone's stories over-n-over intently (until their E pills kicked in, heh! sponsored by a local thug, I believe The Big Englishman vomited it away, and we talked about The Clash) then we wrestled with pristine delimmas artificial and subverted literary weasels extreme, with not the least concern for the Law or moronic societal inhibitions. Free Speech, indeed. All this in the place where they stole that election a few moons back - Miami Dade! Silent rebellion ... But I say now, as a tribute to the Dark Wave Girl With The Eyes (that we encountered), and she was undoubtedly a siren (The Big Englishman agrees) so in the name of Beauty, let it be said here that all things spastic or didactic or hispanic or orgasmatic DO BEGIN IN THE MINDS/HEARTS/SOULS (or perhaps womb/tomb/perfumed balloons) of crazed men! Let freedom ring ... So we should not fear the reaper or the wrath of phoney minions of president's millions, and instead move towards the Ultimate Truth (dainty in deed, indeed, in theory but HUGE in practice) of brutal universal kindness. I write this for you, new friends! even though we were brought together by way of a dark, seedy hotel, even though the lanky Czech Guy did nothing, absolutely nothing, and we may all never see each other again, well ... what a beautiful, courageous and outrageous night! And at some point I dragged you all straight down to that Haitian restaurant, and ended up SINGING! ("Summertime" I think it was, hey, that flute player was good) with two guys I'd never met, yeah singin' blues just for you, careening high and low on my vocal solo impromptu, and hours later as the duo left, one of them said (I think it was the guitarist), "Hey - I love you," and he meant it, and I said it back, and I meant it, too ... PEACE. -Todd