July 26, 2006
Planting Ostrava

Greetings from the farthest corners of Eastern Europe, the industrial city of Ostrava. Backstage at a festival with one of my boyhood idols, Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin. Wow, wow - what a voice - entering the world of the mystics. Peace, -Todd

Posted by calico at 02:56 AM
July 22, 2006
Greetings From Prague!

Hi to all, from the Golden City! Tomorrow I get to hear of my two favourite singers - the great band Monkey Business featuring Matthew Ruppert, and the legendary Robert Plant, singer of Led Zeppelin !!!! And all this is the sleepy Czech village of Ostrava. Rock! Peace. -Todd

Posted by calico at 01:12 PM
July 16, 2006
For My Main(e) Men

For the 2 shy Kings from Maine ...
(And the coloured girls go,"Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo!")

Just wanna let you-two know that that amazing evening went exactly as planned. Yes, I knew we would pick up those two hot chololate beauties, just like I knew you would miss yo train. Enjoy! Rejoice! And YOU GUYS made it happen, not me! Even though/as I participated by calling impromptu-imagined people on their shoe (phone-y) on the underground, as they giggled. You did it, guys, respect! What energy ... And to think that you wanted to catch an earlier train, shame! Are you nuts? Heh, heh. Those two dark 'n' lovely ladies were ready to go-go from the very start, and I hope ye boyz made it (somehow) to Switzerland, where you read this in a relatively neutral space - but WHAT A NIGHT! (The dream of most, let's be honest.) They missed their train, too, just to be fair. Ah, brown sugar - how come you taste so good? Looks like I have some new back-up singers, eh? They fell right in with every little ditty I hummed, backed me up doo-wap proud, did you catch that, or what? Hot. And now some thoughts from the Schwarzes Cafe (emphasis!) in Berlin, home of our dark renegade early mourn rampage. That's some sexy breakfast, baby. Oh, and by the way y'all, as the girls left at 8 am, as the construction guys were coming to work, one guy looked up at us and rolled his eyes, and went, "Damn!" Hot stuff. (Send photos, please!) What happened here last night?? Only the silent walls of this hallowed building know (and won't tell) and the secret corriders of my soul. Everyone left, and then I took a cold shower and went to bed. Ahhh. But I must comment on the evening's earlier zany events, such as when Generous Dave bounded up the stairs to the U-bahn with 3 cold beers in his hand, and man, they were delicious! Kudos to you! Felt like the gates of heaven were opening, and that tram was our golden chariot. Or when we asked that guy in his car at 4 am (shortly before we missed the first train) to drive us to the main(e) train station, as we wandered luck-less on down to find a taxi, me asking him politely with perfect (slurred) german and all of us with breath from Hell. And he almost did it!

And in this spirit, I am sure that we can save the world ...

"Had that worked ... you'd be the craziest motherfucker I have ever met." Well, it almost worked and guess what, I already am. (Come on, guys - haven't you ever hitch-hiked before? Heh! OK, 4 am is extreme.) And now for Mikey from Maine, you're great! Those girls wanted you BADD. Oh, yeah. They loved yo ass, "Wiggle to the left, wiggle to the right," they sang. And your curly locks. Your shy-locks were da hit! Remember how they squeezed your bozom with glee? You were so shy, and they kept saying in some forbidden langauge (to american ears), "He's sooo CUTE!" Gee whiz, it started out as just another night at the hostel with Jonas the Great (thank you, too!) inviting me down for a beer to kick it all off, the Seattle Kidd and Doktor Tequila from NYC, that annoying girl from OZ (who Generous Dave may or may not have smooched on the stairs) and it turned into a whole 'nuthah thing completely ... Now I gigglehard as I write this (Brandon in Santa Barbara, are you reading this?) I swear, those fine girls were so toasted by the time the main(e) boys got 'em home (!) that they saw those photos of you and me 'n' the Beatsteaks, and thought that YOU WERE THE GUY FROM MAINE with the curly locks. Yes! "Sooo sweet," they cooed in perfect unison. Hilarious! And I corrected-them-not, gawd that was funny! Mistaken follicles. Now I say just for Brandon, um, "Black Beauty!" Yep, those Hornygorgeous Negroes (man, what a great new song title!) fell in love with you AND Mikey from Maine, simultaneously. Instant. And now I gotta say that if you've read this thus far, then you need to know the truth (about this outrageous night). I'm a rock musician (slightly larger than Robbie Williams, if ya know what I mean) and the young/old me would have porked those yummy girls silly (sorry mom), given 'em what they wanted until they saw every colour of the rainbow, but ... I've had enough meaning-less sex, and Love's where it's at! Yeah, thassright, I've a new honey, (so I just said no) and this means I am gonna BEHAVE ...

And now, one more thing for the two boyz: Mike, you're wonderful, please remember that despite all the euro-headaches there are people in Iraq that would change places in a heart-beat and would WISH upon the stars to have the "problems" we have, such as which train to get on. The point is: Don't worry, man! And for Generous Dave - I say go for it in Switzerland with the girl of your dreams (your words) and don't delay ... and she's not outta your league. Don't say such non-sense, don't even think it - leave that to a lesser man. Remember, you deserve this! Mike said at the end, turning slowly to me as if in a dream, "I will never forget this night as long as I live." Good! Please don't. Me, too, you two. Thanks for listening. Peace. -Todd

Posted by calico at 08:00 AM
July 12, 2006
On This Dead-End Street

So many things have happened on this corner, over the last few years. This/that corner in one of my favourite cities. Stuff like this: one time I was having this affair on that street, and all we'd do all day/night long is have sex and drink coffee. Then we'd play checkers or chess and fuck (up) again. Until I ran away one day to Vienna, disappeared, and fell in love. Oh, yes, and I drove my Trabant up and down the streets of both of those towns. That's punk. Wrote a song that went, "I'm in love with a girl who's name I can't pronounce." Another as-of-yet-un-recorded gems. There was a bit of drama when another girl hunted me down and I came out on the street in a bath-robe, and told her that this was really NOT the right time. She slumped away, but now we're really good friends. She dances to Goa music on weekends. All these people are just living on student stipends, and just barely going to class. If that isn't Heaven!? And the mayor of this town is to have said, "Our city is broke ... but unbelievably sexy!" Another time I called a politician friend of mine in LA, from a pay-phone on the very same corner (wow, those things are goin' outta style!) and yelled, right before one of those phoney american elections, "Death to the 2-party system!" I am absolutely sure that shit is on tape, in some shadowey file somewhere. Urgh! But I stand by my words. We need mo choices, people! Then there was that overcast saturday way-back-when when I had breakfast at that cafe with my all-time SECOND FAVOURITE drummer (after Matt Chamberlain) with his kids, too, I think. Ratt-a-tatt. Another time I randomly bumped into a long lost friend from far away (walking down the same street) and they let me use their phone. To call whom, I cannot recall. Fast forward to the present: a few nights ago ... Ooooh ... what a delicious kiss ... we were kissing right in front of said phone booth, in a passionate embrace, and it was so strong that we knocked our beer over. Crash! And right at that moment a guy walked by and said, "But it really WAS worth it, right?" That was some funny shit! And true ...

And so, greetings to you all from a seedy internet cafe, somewhere near my favourite street in one of my favourite cities.

And someone said to me recently, "I really like the stuff you write - but sometimes it's so ambiguous - you seldom say what city, time, or place it is ..." "That's true," I replied ... Peace, -Todd

Posted by calico at 05:49 AM
July 04, 2006
With Luis As My Witness

With Luis as my witness, some of my best performances are in the strangest, most spontaneous places - man, I swear that was some show - at 4 am on the subway and then a night bus, I turned into a secret mime and ENTERTAINED! Ok, let me explain ... There's this crazy thing called the World Cup, which I don't really understand (my high school didn't even HAVE a soccer team). Luis is a young guy from Brazil, so he does understand, and after the imported beer kicked in, and riding the contageous excitement high of it all, coureageous we found ourselves tuckered out on the all-nighter public transportation. Something got into me, and I woke up! Wanted to play. With Luis as my witness, I started "miming" out and guessing was the fuss was all about, to some real soccer fans. I pretended (?) to not really understand what sport they were all hyped up about, and started acting all the sports (without a peep) I could think of, this much to the delight of my fellow spectators on said bus. I took the center isle as we cruised down the road, in unison, a good-vibe bunch of strangers on a wild-ride home. World cup, world cup, hmmm. Basketball? I acted out. "No!" came the happy reply of about 5. Baseball? my arms swung and I called myself out. Now ten spoke up. Chess (to chuckles), badminton (to uproarious laughter), even the shot put (this time I huffed and puffed, my only sound of the night during my command performance, and hurled an imaginary iron-ball down the isle). Which, of course, led me into bowling. "No, no!" they screamed, and now even the bus driver was cracking up. Hang gliding? I mimicked. "Nooo!" and they were rollicking and shouting words like fussball/footbull/sockerr/kickerr and many other words I didn't recognize (probably Swedish). Fencing? High jump? My shtick was unlimited: cricket, hand ball (sexy!), waterpolo (try to act THAT one out!). At the very end, I said, "I've got it!" and proceeded to hand myself an Academy Award for the top sport of opera, very modern, and sung an impromptu aria. It seemed to be sporty! That was some pretty funny shit, I was outside o' myself - I'd like to thank my fellow producers, directors, and co-horts on that bus. By the time we reached our stop, the place was cheering me and my Brazilian friend, who rewarded me with pizza and beer, pulling off a major (european) miracle of finding all these snacks at 5 am. With Luis as my witness, we tore that place up, made everybody happy. Everyone but one ... there was a solemn-faced pirate in the back (was he Turkish? Greek?) who was NOT amused. His black beard looked sinister and his eyes were unflinching. He looked liked he was gonna slice me up at any moment. It just made me fight harder, be more cutting-edge. But that's the story of my life, I guess: most people like me (the Real me, the Artist and the clown inside) and then there's always one guy who hates my fuckin' guts. Peace. -Todd

Posted by calico at 03:41 PM