exactly 36 minutes...will it be enough??


I am back in italy in one piece and gearing up for band shows in May and June...but first, I would be remiss if I didn't give a proper wrap-up to the end of the Dutch tour...and I know you were all sitting here with bated breath (what exactly is bated breath, by the way? I have always thought it sounded kind of gross.) and so I will launch in...now! Ah, lax punctuation. :)

Okay, so Friday night was the smashing-success house concert with Hugo and Margriet. Saturday dawned sunny (again??!) and I headed to Rotterdam to meet up with Marco, who I think has the distinct of being my first Dutch fan. He bought "Sparkler" way back when and has even seen me play twice in Austin. He's the one that started asking me to come to the Netherlands and so at the root of all this I have Marco to thank.

He picked me up at the station and we headed to Velvet Music in the center of town, where I played an in-store and sold a few CDs (as well as purchased a few that I haven't even had time to unwrap yet - very sad story). Then we headed to the radio station to do a show that he co-hosts on Mondays and Saturdays - www.lonradio.nl - and I did 6 songs on-air. And THEN he took me out for dinner at this amazing Greek restaurant and THEN (it just gets better) I got to do another incredible house concert (thank you Dennis!!), this time totally unplugged. I did the show with Eva, and she started off with a spine-chilling set - really lovely. I actually loved the songs in Dutch, though I had naught idea of what she was saying. Bonus: my Italian friends (from the last blog) came to the show and brought two of the German friends...so we had two Italians, two Germans, an American, a Japanese-Dutch guy, and a handful of true Dutchies....and we had a smashing good time speaking my language, thank you very much. :) Whew. I'm really pretty spoiled. All of us English-speakers are. It's quite lucky that my cards fell that way. I think about that often - if I had been born a speaker of another language, would I have wanted to write songs? Or poems and short stories? Is that a stupid question?

Anyhow, I woke up Sunday and bid farewell to my kind kind friend Marco, and then I headed to Amsterdam for my last day in the Netherlands. I dropped my stuff with Anne-Marie and went for a walk around the canals (while, predictably, the sky began to swirl with dark muddy grayness). I stopped in at the FOAM, a photography museum that was alternately lovely and horrifying. There was an exhibit called Sacrifce by James Nachtwey, an American photographer from New York, and it included photos from Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq, 9/11, Romania, Sudan, Indonesia....you get the picture. I loved it, and I wanted to sob for every second that I was looking at those photos. In my opinion, that's the most powerful medium - there's nothing fake about the man in that photo, the man who is just shy of being a skeleton crawling for food. There's no pretense there, no fancy words spinning metaphors - there's just a man who is entirely bones with a touch of skin, trying to make it to the next day.

Perhaps appropriately, it began raining almost as soon as I walked out of the FOAM, so I headed for a cafe, finished off a few postcards, and then went to the KHL, the koffiehuis where we were playing our last show. And really, it was a humdinger, if I may say so myself. First of all, the venue is amazing - great stage, great sound, just all around lovely. The food was great (I had the tilapia!) and Marijn, who did sound, and Richard, who seemed to be the co-host for the night, and Sido who ran the door...they were all so nice. Alex and I played a fun set (so nice to finish the tour playing one more show with Alex) and Sera Jane Smolen and Tom Mank, two musicians from NY, joined us on stage for "Love Story." Sera played cello and Tom sang harmony with me - it was so great. Then we got to watch their set, as well as Mike Alviano's (from Canada) and it was wonderful to actually be audience members for a change. :)

More greatness from KHL - Anja, a new Dutch friend of mine, came and she brought me a HOMEMADE APPELTART (yes, you read that right), and I ate half of it that night - the other half got me through staying up all night at the Schiphol airport. (Ugh). I got to meet a lot of my Myspace friends (Anja, Joost, Anita, Edwin, Inge, Sido, Marijn, and countless others) and it was such a perfect way to end the tour. So thank you a million times over to everyone who loved me and fed me and traveled with me and biked me around and played songs with me and who generally made me feel at home so far away from home. I have nothing but happy memories (and some funny ones as well) from this tour. THANK YOU!

And now I have to go unpack and unwrap those new CDs, among other things...get caught up on email...and practice, because we have a band show on Friday in Bologna! Hooray!

love and noodles,

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