February 20, 2008 - San Francisco, CA
Time goes quickly, and summer is practically here. My good friend Steve
Poltz and I are getting ready for the 3rd
annual High Sierra Songwriter Workshop which takes place July 23rd through
the 27th. If you are a songwriter, or an aspiring songwriter, you really should
come on this trip. There's usually about 14 people, Steve, me, two mountain guides
(who are gourmet cooks), and ten or so songwriters. A mule team carries all our
stuff seven miles up into the Ansel Adams Wilderness where we set camp near the
beautiful Lady Lake. Then we just hang out, play guitar, talk shop, swim, fish,
hike and eat great food for four days. It's as good as it sounds, and you are
guaranteed to come away with at least a couple new songs. You can check out more
To register, send an email to Ian Elman.
The Mother Hips are proud to be playing the High Sierra Music
Festival over the Fourth of July weekend this year. It looks to
be a great line-up. In the meantime we will be playing a bunch
of shows around the country with New
Monsoon. I'll be going out on a national tour as Jackie
Greene's support, playing solo. He'll be releasing his new
record "Giving Up the Ghost," and I'll be releasing my
newest solo record "House of Bluhm."
Thanks to everyone who supported Greg and I whilst we were on tour
with the incredible Rodrigo
y Gabriela. We played some big fricking rooms and it felt good
to hear some shout-outs! If you haven't, you should definitely
check out Rod and Gab. Also, my wife Nicki
Bluhm has a new record coming out soon. It's called "Toby's
Song" and I produced it.
January 25, 2008 - Los Angeles, CA
I'm on tour with Steve Poltz right
now, opening for him solo. He's got a band with him this time so we aren't traveling
together. It's interesting to play solo in front of an audience that doesn't
know me. It is easy to see when I have them, and when I don't; challenging but
enjoyable. Steve and his band sound amazing! Soon I will be doing this same thing
opening for Jackie.
On the recording front, we are almost finished with Nicki's
record, "Toby's Song." It should be released in the next two months.
My next solo record, produced by Jackie Greene and entitled "House of Bluhm" is
almost finished as well. Mixing has begun on The
Antiques new album, and tracking sessions start on monday for Dave Brogan's
first solo record. Dave is the drummer for Animal
Liberation Orchestra. The
Mother Hips will be releasing a joint single with UK band The
Bees in the next few months as well. Our song is called "Childish Dreams." See
August 2, 2007
It is hard to believe it is August already. I have been in the
mountains for a while, camping and climbing and playing music.
The second annual High Sierra Songwriter Workshop just finished
and went very well. Seven amazing songwriters joined Steve Poltz
and I for four days of writing, singing, swimming and eating.
We camped at 9000 feet. Steve and I came up with this year's song theme "Raining
Gravel," and everyone wrote a song with that phrase in it. On the last
night we all played our songs and it was amazing.
If you hear a song called "Raining Gravel" it probably came from
that trip. I must say, Steve Poltz is probably the most incredible person and
performer I have ever known. You should go see him play if you get the chance.
He may even end up eating breakfast with you the next day. We are already making
plans for the 3rd annual HSSW.
In September Jackie Greene and I are releasing our collaboration, SKINNY
SINGERS STRIKE AGAIN. We wrote, performed and recorded the whole thing at
our MIssion Bells studio in SF. John Hofer played drums on a few tracks as only
he could. Thanks John.
Famous photographer and long-time friend Jay Blakesberg took photos for us and
they are outrageous.
STRIKE AGAIN will be out in time for the
Skinny Singers mini-tour in mid-September. We will be playing in SLO, Santa Cruz,
San Francisco and in Guerneville at a benefit for redwood trees:
"The Old Grove Festival returns to the Redwood Forest Theatre in Armstrong
Woods State Reserve on September 14 and 15, 2007. Expanded to two days, this
year's event features an evening of music on Friday with the sensational, up-and-coming "Skinny
Singers", featuring Jackie Greene and Tim Bluhm followed by Sonoma County
Repertory Theater's rendition of William Shakespeares's comedy "As You Like
It" on Saturday Afternoon. The festival is presented by California State
Parks and is a benefit for Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods."
The Hips are taking a break from two months of touring but not for long. We have
date sin NYC and Chicago lined up for the fall, and we are writing songs for
our next record. I hope to see you out on the road or up in the mountains.
April 20, 2007 - San Francisco, CA
The show at Marylin's tonight is the Hips' last show in California until San
Luis Obispo on May 25th. If tickets sell out you should go check out the reunion
of Kai Kln at Harow's. We used to play with them in the mid 90's and they are
very, very rock. We have been having fun playing the new songs on stage, and
seeing how people are reacting. Mostly good so far. If you haven't heard the
new record you can sample it on iTunes or just go ahead and buy
I got a new guitar recently, custom built by Creston Lea of Creston Electrics
back in Vermont.
He is a great guy and the guitar is wonderful to play. Mike Taylor
from the Court and Spark has one and so do Tom Heyman and Chuck
Two records that I produced are coming out soon, one by Dave
Mulligan and the other by Lux
Nicki Chambly's debut
and Skinny Singers'
debut are next ...
There will be some Skinny Singers shows in June and some more in September.
Another reminder about the High
Singer/Songwriter Workshop hosted by Steve Poltz and
myself. - Tim
March 2007 - San Francisco, CA
A busy time around here. The Mother Hips' new album "Kiss
the Crystal Flake" is hitting the stores on April 3rd. Lots of shows
are scheduled around the release as well as a few other events. Wednesday April
4th at 8am the Hips will be on the KFOG morning show. Saturday April 7th at 2:00pm
there will be a free all-ages apprearance at Ameoba Records on Haight Street
in San Francisco. Not to mention our first national tour in many years. I recently
produced two records, one for David Mulligan and one for Lux Land. You can hear
samples of them here and here.
July 25th-29th Steve Poltz and I host the second annual High
Sierra Singer/Songwriter Workshop. This is a five day wilderness
workshop that focuses on songwriting skills. Professionals from
Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides lead us into the Ansel Adams
Wilderness just south of Yosemite and cook us gourmet meals and
generally take care of us while we discuss songwriting and performing
and write and share songs. This is a mule supported trip which
means a pack train carried in all our supplies and even most
of our guitars. Swimming, hiking and relaxing are also encouraged.
Check out this link for more info and sign-up soon! Last year
this trip yielded at least two new records, one extended tour
and many friendships, not to mention about 35 new songs. There
are only 10 spaces available.
See you in the future.
January 17, 2007 - San Francisco, CA
Hips record is finally done and we are mostly hunkering down
to wait for its release in April. It looks like we will be playing
all over the country in the spring and summer. In the meantime
there are a few events of interest. On February 1st Sensations will
be paying at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco and a band called
Hiss Golden Messenger is on the bill as well. This band features
members of the Court and Spark as well as John Hofer and myself.
Birds record release show will be February 20th at the Cafe
Du Nord. The Hips will be playing two shows right after that,
Chico on the 23rd and Tahoe on the 24th. I am getting tired of
the cold. I am going somewhere warm for a while.
January 5, 2007 - San Francisco, CA
Check out the Skinny
Singers pod cast.
December 13, San Francisco, CA
new Ball-Point Birds record "Two
Discover" just came out and Greg and I are excited for
people to hear it. The records we make definitely serve as journals
or photo albums of our lives and this on eis no exception. Themes
include new homes, inter-personal challenges, physical time versus
psycholgical time, environmental concerns, magic, practical space
travel, William Mulholland and Alan Watts and even dinner-table
politics. See for yourself.
In other news, my on-going collaboration with Jackie Greene is,
well, on-going, in the form of Skinny
Singers. We take the stage with acoustic guitars, electric
guitars, a bass, a lap steel, two snare drums, a kick drum and
a piano and play his songs, my songs, our songs, Willis' songs
and even Elmore's songs. See
I have been hard at work in my studio as well, most recently with David
Mulligan, a singer/songwriter from the desert southwest. (The
recordings on his myspace site are not the ones). Of course the Mother
Hips have been in full swing, playing concerts and wrapping
up the sixth album, to be released (for real) in April.
If you missed the 2006
High Sierra Singer/Songwriter Workshop, keep an eye out for
new dates and trips to be announced early in the new year.
posted June 25, 2006
is my brother Erik playing his old Gretsch bass.
He and his band the Encounter Group were recording
at my studio, Pacific Dust, in mid June.
is Jackie Greene at his home studio in Sacramento.
I was up there for a few days recording and rehearsing
for a show we did together.
is Kyle Field of Little Wings and Jake Bunch of Last
of the Blacksmiths. We were on a surf trip down south.
Though we are all musicians, I don't remember talking
about music at all.
is my mom and I celebrating her birthday in San Francisco.
We were waiting to eat at Pacific Cafe in the outer
Schwartz (of Fast Atmosphere) and I named this day "National
Hammond Day." I had bought these organs and
Dave was nice enough to help me move them. We got
pretty good at it. Let us know if you have a Hammond
that needs moving.
incomparable Nicki Chambly. She and I together are
Chambly Towers. We played the Blacklight Folk Festival
up in Chico. Nate Pendery, who sang and played on
LAND AND SEA CHANTEYS, played with us as well.
cousin is a school teacher and she had her kids make
this fantastic poster based on the words to the Mother
Hips song, "Time-sick Son of a Grizzly Bear." She
brought it up to Santa Cruz so I could have a look
little guy came right up to our boat after a surf
session down south.
May 25th, Sacramento, CA
Jackie Greene and I are hanging out at his house practicing for
a show and messing around with some recording equipment. BIrds
are singing outside. It is Springtime. I was in Yosemite last
week and enjoyed hanging out at the top of Yosemite Falls for
a few days. There is A LOT of water coming down there right now.
Kind of scary.
The Mother Hips are
swinging back into action after two months off, so you should check
out the concert dates and see if you can come out.
Here are some favorites:
* Sean Hayes
* Gregory Page -
He opened for Jackie at the Belly Up last month and was amazing.
So is his new CD.
* A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS- 1966 film.
* Tamari almonds- About 100 times more expensive than gas but
way more delicious, and blood-free as far as I know.
* The drums on Galactic's CRAZYHORSE
MONGOOSE. They sound really really good.
Thursday May 25th:A Special
w/ Jackie Greene and Tim Bluhm
Jackie and Tim share songs,
stories and new material.
Want to go camping this summer?
Join Tim Bluhm and Steve Poltz for a 5 day camping trip in the
Ansel Adams Wilderness, just south of Yosemite. Let the mules
carry your stuff and let the guides cook your gourmet meals while
you discuss songwriting and play songs with Tim and Steve around
the fire (and come away with a brand new song!). Check
out High Sierra Singer-Songwriters Workshop.
May 11, 2006 - San Francisco
A strange Earth Day to be sure. I have been on tour with Jackie
Greene this past week, having a great time playing and watching
Jackie and his band put on great shows. (More on that later.)
This morning I drove down HIghway 50 from South Lake Tahoe. There
was a ton of traffic. I stopped for coffee twice only to be turned
away both times by long lines. Just too many people.
The news was dominated by the high price of gas.
Apparently not too high yet. I guess we will keep on buying it
for a while. In Europe, and South America gas costs twice as
much and people still love to buy it. What price really will
be too much?
I spent ten days in a small town in central Brazil, mostly meditating
and learning about spirituality. My friend who has ALS turned me
on to a medium named John of God. (www.johnofgod.com) The whole
experience was very mind-opening. In Brazil, and probably in a
lot of other places, the idea of mediums channelling enitities
for healing purposes is commonplace and totally accepted, and it
works. Why not?
JUST ANNOUNCED- Southern Yosemiite Mountain Guides is offering
a trip in late July that may interest you: click
here. Steve Poltz and I are the featured singer/songwriters.
JACKIE GREENE INTERVIEW
Bluhm will be performing solo opening for Jackie
Greene in April. Jackie was recently interviewed and
had some nice things to say about Tim. Check it out here!
Tim stopped by the MP3.com studios
and brought some of his favorite
records to discuss and play. Check out this in-depth 45 minute
long interview podcast here!
I just got back from South by Southwest in Austin and I am glad
to be home although the rain is kind of getting to me. The Mother
Hips had successful shows in Texas and are showing up at the
Sweetwater in Mill Valley March 24th and 25th with Ettiene de
Rocher, Willow Willow, Billy Midnight and Hawk is Landing.
The Hips are going underground for a while after that to finish
up a new record. I am finishing up recordings with Tarnation (Paula
Frazer) and the Antiques from Southern California and then playing
some solo dates with Jackie Greene at the end of April in SoCal.
Right before that I am going to Brazil to visit and assist my good
friend David who founded a group called Heaven's
There are some new downloads available here and
I drove through Big Sur after the Mother Hips shows at the Belly
Up and saw 650 gray whales, one bobcat and a California
Condor that had a wing span of 9 feet!! It looked like a pterodactyl!!
I just watched that movie FESTIVAL EXPRESS. I didn't really find
the story that interesting, kids wanting music for free and all,
but some of the performances were incredible. Richard Manuel's
voice on "I Shall be Released"!! The last scene of
Janis Joplin singing made me cry a little. Rick Danko conducting "Ain't
No More Cane" has got to set some kind of a record for the
most f#%^ed up person on film. Tied with the girls in MANSON.
Greg and I just finished up our new Ball-Point Birds record. It
should come out sometime in May. We recorded it at the same studio
where BACK TO THE GROTTO was recorded in 1991. The Mother Hips
are adding new shows throughout the spring so keep checking for
new ones. I am playing only one solo show and it is in February
at the Delta of Venus in Davis. It is a free or at least very cheap
show that is open to people of all ages. Other than that I have
been trying to surf in between these storms and doing a lot of
recording in my studio, Pacific Dust.
See you around.
<< RECENT INTERVIEWS
(Posted January 27, 2006)
(Posted January 18, 2006)
DARK SIDE OF THE RADIO
Tim was recently interviewed on Dark
Side of the Radio, an internet radio site. The interview has
been archived for
your downloading pleasure. Check
it out to find out about why lead to the hiatus and what lead
to the band's return, the Hips future recording plans, and what
Tim has been listening to lately. Also be sure to check out earlier
interviews with Mr. Bluhm.
TIM'S DECEMBER FAVORITES
Tom's fennel toothpaste
November 21th - Home
I had a fun weekend playing music with the Mother Hips. We got locked
out of our two dressing rooms and had to walk across wet cement
and kick down the door to a sushi restaurant. Thanks Missy for taking
us out to dinner in Davis. It was fun. I hope everyone has a good
November 17th - San
and I were at the Hangar, a studio in Sacramento, for the weekend.
We got a big chunk of a Ball-Point Birds record recorded, consisting
mainly of brand new songs. Lots of work yet to be done. Lots more
Mother Hips shows coming up too.
Have a nice day.
TIM'S AUTUMN TOP TEN
ALL MANKIND - Documentary about NASA's Apollo program with great
music by Brian Eno.
2. Off-shore winds
3. Celebration Ale
- Sierra Nevada
4. Jonathon Glazer- Music video director
5. Full moons
6. Looking west from the Berkeley Hills on a clear day
7. Flat-wound strings
9. The nice folks at Camera Records
10. Arch-top guitars
November 11th San
Francisco, CA -
It seems like we missed Fall this year but maybe its still coming.
John, Greg, Paul and I are going up to Chico this weekend for a
show at good old LaSalle's. I wonder
how many fun times I have really had there? After that Greg and
I are heading to the Sacramento studio The Hangar to start work
on the second Ball-Point Birds record. It will be finished by February
and hopefully out by summer.
Don't forget to check out the Mother Hips' new release RED
TANDY. See you around.
25th SF, CA -
I spent a week in New York
City and played a few shows there. It was a really good time and
I made some new friends.
Thanks to everyone who came out and helped me feel at home. Now
the Mother Hips
are getting ready to go into action along the coastline of California,
gearing up for the release of our single. Check out the SHOWS
page for our schedule. Also, if you are a mySpacer, go and listen
to their exclusive Mother
Hips podcast ...
TOP SIX THINGS IN NEW YORK:
1. Polar bears at the Manhattan Zoo
2. Apizz- Italian restaurant on Eldridge and Houston
3. House of Oldies- All-vinyl record shop in the Village
5. Hudson River
6. Joe's Pizza
MUSIC OF INTEREST:
October 9th San Francisco
, CA - There is lots happening here this fall. The wind is blowing
like it's spring so I am getting stuff done instead of surfing much.
The Mother Hips
have lots of shows for the remainder of the year, and a new release
is coming on November 1st on Camera
Records. I have a few solo shows
coming up too, in SF and NYC.
Thanks for checking in and ,if you want, visit my MySpace site:
The Mother Hips have one too: myspace.com/themotherhips.
Two of my songs, Eucalyptus Wood and Tinkerbell Perfume
are featured on the soundtrack of the movie "Water
Under The Bridge".
August 9th North
Fork, CA - August and September are the months of the summer for
me to put on my shoes and walk a long ways. The only driving will
be of pack animals. The only buzzing will be of mosquitos and sometimes
flies. The only smoke will be of campfires. The only music will
be of wind in rocks and trees. The only bright lights will be the
sun and sometimes the moon. It is good to be gone and then good
to be back.
July 13th The High
Sierra Music Festival was a success for the Mother
Hips. It was so fun to play at a festival again after so long.
There is nothing quite like it. We played two shows, one very late
at night inside a large building and the other the next afternoon
on a large outdoor stage. there were bands playiing all night long
and I don't think anyone slept very much. I know I didn't. After
watching the Steve Kimock Band for hours The Hofe and I walked around
the festival, enjoying the generally hippy atmosphere. There were
thousands of friendly people milling about. We were eating pizza
when we saw the dawn breaking in the east. Karl Denson and his Tiny
Universe were only about halfway through their long set. Ithink
everyone in the band is hoping we will get to play more festivals
next summer. As it is we are all looking forward to playing
together in August.
June 19th I just
woke up from the little tour that the Mother
Hips was on. It was like a good dream, but I feel pretty tired.
All the shows went great thanks mostly to lots of people coming
out and being nice to us, and to our friends giving us help along
the way. I saw some good bands too; Pinata, Virgil Cain, Ape and
the Mermen. Ape was crazy. They play surf music and they have this
guy who stands in the middle of the stage and carves a tiki idol
out of a log with a hand-held hatchet, wood chips flying everywhere.
It sounds weird but I really liked it when I saw it. It will be
a busy time ahead for me. We played with them at the Ocean Revolution
Benefit in Santa Cruz. This event was very enjoyable for me because
it kind of blended two of my interests. I saw a lot of my surfing
friends down there. The tickets were expensive but all the money
went to a cause I feel is very important. We were honored to be
able to help out. Check it out at www.oceanrevolution.org.
The Sheets are opening for Louis
XIV at the Fillmore on Wednesday June 22nd. Tthere will be more
copies of the EP) and then
the Hips are playing the Neil Young thing at Slim's on Friday and
then going up to Quincy to play the High
Sierra Music Festival.
May 20th I went to
Yosemite to lead some 9th graders on a backpacking trip to Little
Yosemite Valley. I stayed at a friend's house south of the Valley
the night before and it rained hard all night long. I knew I was
in for an interesting week. I got into the Valley the next morning
right before the road was closed due to the Merced River flooding.
The Park Service prohibited any of the outfitters from taking groups
into the backcountry due to flooding as well so we ended up taking
the kids out on dayhikes on the valley floor. The waterfalls were
outrageous. I had never seen them like that before. The guides all
stayed in one of the tent cabins in Curry Village after eating pizza
and drinking beer with everyone else who was stranded there. Those
kinds of situations are always kind of cool because everyone is
in the same boat with everyone else. On wednesday the weather cleared
a bit so we took the kids out on an overnight. We headed up the
Merced into Little Yosemite Valley and looked at Vernal and Nevada
Falls. There was so much water that it was scary to even look at
them. Look at the pictures. Today the Mother Hips are going to a
studio in SF to do some recording.
May 4th My New York
| 1. Playing to a packed
house at Jack's in the
2. Wandering through the park on a spring
3. Listening to Rufus Wainwright's POSES
in a thunderstorm on Greenwich Ave.
4. Listening to Brian Eno's BEFORE
AND AFTER SCIENCE on a late
night walk across town. Spooky.
5. Omelette at Tartine in the Village
6. Seeing old and new friends
7. Finally kind of figuring out the subway
8. Seeing the Yankees at Yankee Stadium
from 4am til 11am and feeling good about it
of North America at the Museum of Natural History
|4/29/05 @ Jack's
Stir Brew Coffee in NYC
April 21st I
went to Mexico for five days last week.
The surf was fun, if a little crowded, the water was warm and the
living was easy. I camped out on the East Cape one night. It is
an almost empty desert that runs right into the Gulf of California
where clean waves break down many rocky points. Randomly I ran into
one of my childhood friends out there and we spent a pleasant evening
eating and drinking and laughing. I bought Jules Verne's 20,000
LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA which I had never read. I didn't think I would
find anything worth reading at the airport book store, but there
it was and I liked it a lot. I never realized that the title refers
to travelling under the sea for the distance of 20,000 leagues.
I always thought it meant 20,000 leagues deep, which is about 60,000
miles, and I could never really grasp that. It is a fine book. Captain
Nemo is a remarkable character; mysterious, fascinated by the natural
world and repulsed by the world of humans. He is both ruthless and
compassionate, a freedom fighter who keeps the narrator and his
companions captive for the duration of the story. There is a whole
lot of scientific classification of sea life which gets pretty dry
but it is easy to pass over it without getting lost.
I am home now but I am leaving for New York on Sunday. Be sure to
come to one of those shows if you are in the area and/or tell your
New York friends about them. - Tim=
P.S. Here are some random pictures from my underwater camera.
April 8th, San Francisco As
I had mentioned before I spent six days
working as the caretaker at the Ostrander Ski Hut in Yosemite, filling
in for one of the full-time guys. The weather was incredible, five
days of sunshine and shirt-sleeves and one day and night of snow
and lightning. At on epoint it looked like I was going to be alone
out there for a few days and I got a little spooked about that.
I really like to be around at least one other person. But it turned
out that some people came in and brought lots of delicious organic
food which they shared with me. My favorite part might have been
talking on the Park Service radio. It felt very "Adventure
People." I had to refer to the little booklet about
how to talk correctly. You have to say "Break" instead
of "over" when you are done with your sentence, and "clear"
instead of "out" at the very end. I got it down pretty
good by the last day.
When I got home I found that there are going to be quite a few
rock shows happening in June, which
will be posted in a little while. Also check out the California
Report segment from NPR that aired Friday April 1st.
1. poke- Hawaiian raw fish salad
2. Little Wings- GROW
3. Bart Davenport live in concert
4. Kubota Sushi in SF
5. Jack Kornfield A PATH WITH HEART
6. Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY trilogy
7. Tartine- bakery in SF
8. writing in my journal
26th, San Francisco There have been a few really
nice days in between a lot of storms here in northern California.
I finally surfed a bit today and it felt really good. Mostly I have
been recording songs in my house and taking it easy. On friday April
1st a radio piece about me aired on National Public Radio's California
Report. This program is aired by most of the NPR stations in
California, a list of which can be found here.
I talk about growing up and living and working in California, songwriting,
localism and Robinson Jeffers. There is some new videos in the "music
and video" section of Paul Hoaglin and I playing some songs
on the Bruce Latimer Show in Pacifica in January. Bruce Latimer
is a very special kind of person and you can see him play a song
in the introduction. Next weekend I have the honor of being the
substitute hutkeeper at the Ostrander
Ski Hut in Yosemite. If you feel like a little backcountry skiing,
check it out.
March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, San Francisco
I am wearing a green shirt, not so much because
it is St. Patrick's Day but because it is what I put on yesterday.
I have just returned from a small tour of California and Utah. A
sincere thank you to everyone who came out to hear the music and
have a good time, and especially to Momma and the Silent Sevens
for letting the Hips use all their gear. I had fun at every show
and never got tired of playing and I got to surf "Big Wednesday"
at Trestles. CALIFORNIA WAY is doing well, the first pressing has
sold out and we are into the second. I recently did an interview
for the California Report on KQED radio and it is hopefully going
to air next week. If it airs it will be on several NPR stations
across the state. I will have more details as it gets closer. Greg
Loiacono and I (Ball-Point Birds) are playing
on wednesday the 23rd of March at the Swedish American Hall, opening
for Tom Baxter at 8:00pm. Its all ages so bring your kiddies.
February 28th, San Francisco
slept for 13 hours last night. It was a long weekend of playing
music and hanging out in small places with a lot of grown men. The
Tim Bluhm Involvement got back together for a few shows. We played
with Jackpot in Redwood City, and though there were scarcely 30
people there it was a great time. Momma played their set at about
the 10thy of the volume they usually do and it sounded nice to me,
and Jackpot "trotted out" some brand new songs for us.
The stage manager showed us an owls' nest in the back alley that
apparently has been there for almost 30 years, which is 12 generations
of owls. We even saw a little baby owl up there, looking down at
We played in Sacramento the next night to a full house. Bart Davenport
played solo right before us and it was amazing. His voice, his guitar
playing and his moves were things that I have never get to check
out in this day and age. It was a "hard act to follow."
After the show, Bart, me and John Baccigalupe (owner of the Hangar
Studio and publisher of TapeOp Magazine) decided we would do a tour
together in John's new 1981 BioDiesel Mercedes. I hope they weren't
Nucci had to go home on Saturday so we needed to figure something
out for our gig in San Rafael that night. I had planned on having
John Hofer play but he got "double-booked" and couldn't
make it. Our very own Paul Hoaglin suggested that he play drums
and versatile Jack Reynolds switch to bass. We did a "rehearsal"
at my house, in which Paul air-drummed the set whilst Jack played
bass and Dan and I played guitar. Paul played his heart out and
it sounded amazing. He played really well at the gig too. It feels
great to be around such good musicians. After our set at in San
Rafael we sat at the bar and drank pitchers and watched the Mother
Truckers. At the end of their set Josh called us up to help him
sing "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" with members of the
other bands. It was a fun night.
On Sunday Bill DeBlonk's movie THIS IS THE SOUND played at the
ATA Theatre on Valencia Street. Hofer and I went with some friends
to watch it, despite being a little wierded out by the concept.
There were about 15 people there and the movie was good. very strange
to sit and watch a movie about yourself though. I wouldn't recommend
I am grateful to all the people who come out to the shows and pay
money to hear the music and put their email addresses on the lists.
Thank you one and all.
15th, San Francisco Rain fell steadily most of the
night and still falls this morning. Days like this it feels as if
San Francisco has slid up in the Northwest. Two weeks ago it seemed
like San Diego. I spent a few days in Los Angeles and took a look
around Griffith Park. The views from the ridge there are very fine
and that city is undeniably beautiful. Mt. Baldy stands to the east
with its snowcap and the ocean shines like metal to the west. I
don't think there is a place like that in Central or Northern California,
at least not with air pollution. I played some songs at the Hotel
Cafe while I was there. It felt good to see so many people there,
and my injured lip stayed out of my way mostly.
I drove up 395 to Mono County where I stayed with my family and
skiied a lot. My brother and I went up San Joaquin Mountain one
day. It is not a dramatic peak, although it is 12,000 feet tall,
but it is significant nonetheless. It stands at the very headwaters
of the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River which flows north from
there (immediately west of Mammoth Mountain) and then hooks west
through the Ansel Adams Wilderness, joining the North and South
Forks before it flows out into the Great Central Valley and the
San Francisco Bay. Though
this mountain is on the Pacific Crest, it is actually shorter than
Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak which lie to the west. We skiied down
the north side of San Joaquin and into Horseshoe Canyon, where the
little town of June Lake is located.
4th 2005, L.A.
The Brookdale Lodge was a creepy place, reminding me of THE SHINING.
The once-opulent dining room had a real creek flowing through it,
and the room where I played had a window looking into a swimming
pool, like under the water. There was a sheet of plastic over the
surface of the water which was kind of spooky. Nate and Jake joined
me on stage and the show went really well. Matt Bauer, who opened
the show, was very good. I stayed the night in a room at the hotel
there, which is reportedly haunted, but nothing strange happened.
Then I drove to Sacramento and played alone at Old Ironsides, which
is always an enjoyable show for me. The next night at the Swedish
American went very well. Conspiracy of Beards was remarkable on
stage and off. It was a trip sharing the dressing room with 26 band
members. And the Moore Brothers sounded so good in there. i was
very happy that Greg and Paul came down and sang.
After a few days off I headed south to San Luis Obispo and played
at the Frog and Peach, an unlikely place for a hushed music event,
but one that has been cultivated over the last few years and works
quiet well. Tom and Angie drove up from LA and sang some old-timey
songs, sounding like Richard and Mimi Farina or something. The (mighty)
Butch Boswell palyed and sang and sounded great too.
Then some friends and I headed down to Santa Barbara county for
some surfing, where unfortunately I smashed my face on my heavy
old surfboard and had to get fifteen stitches to the inside and
outside of my lower lip. It is still pretty swollen as I write this,
but the only consonant that really suffers is "F". So
tomorrow don't ask me to sing "Thinking of Home and of Mother"...As
always, thanks for coming to the shows and supporting my musical
26, 2004 -
From myself and on behalf of the band a heartfelt thank you
to everyone who made last weekend so fine. Rock hurts, I've
said it before, but not this time. We can't wait to play again.
On thursday October 28th I am playing solo at Henfling's in
Ben Lomond, near Santa Cruz. This place is known for being quiet
and "musical." It is a sit-down show. On Friday and
Saturday the Mother Hips re-instate their traditional Halloween
stand at the Sweetwater in Mill Valley. There will be two shows
this time; Friday October 29th and Saturday October 30th. Wear
a costume on both or either nights and compete for cash in the
costume contest. Opener for the 29th TBA, Two Gallants open
on the 30th. These guys opened for us in San Diego and they
were really good, like you just know they are on their way.
I would highly recommend seeing them play. Check www.motherhips.com
and www.timbluhm.com for more info. See you soon. - Tim Bluhm
2004 - Thanks to everyone who came to the Great American
Music Hall on Friday. Paul Hoaglin and I had a fine time playing.
I am playing this Saturday (the 16th) at the Rickshaw Stop in
San Francisco. This is a new venue located on Fell Street between
Van Ness and Franklin. I checked it out the other night and it
is a cool place, and parking is no problem. I go on at 9:00pm.
After me is D.W. Holiday and Sun of Mercury. Remember that you
can check out the rest of my schedule here.
I have a new record coming out of Fog
City Records in November. I hope to see you at the show.
26, 2004 - It has been four months since I played any
That is the longest I have gone since I learned to play guitar
17 years ago. So am I really excited to play again. Here is what
is coming up:
Wednesday November 3rd - Tim Bluhm by himself at the
Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, other acts to be announced later.
5th - Tim Bluhm by himself at Old Ironsides in Sacramento
6th - Tim Bluhm by himself at Hotel Utah in San Francisco,
supported by El Capitan and the Last of the Blacksmiths
8th - Tim Bluhm by himself at the Frog and Peach's "Mondays
at the Peach" series, San Luis Obispo. Dan Moore of 5 Foot
Tuesday supports as well as others.
12th and Saturday November 13th - The Mother Hips at Ego's
in Salt Lake City, UT. The Court and Spark support.
will be an acoustic show on Sunday night as well. The Holiday
shows in San Francisco are going to happen right around the
middle of December. More details on that later. For more information
on these shows please visit the shows
I have recorded a new record for Fog
City Records that will come out in early November. I will
say more about that, and other releases, soon. I hope to see
you all at a show. Take care, Tim
16, 2004 - I have been spending most of my time in
the mountains of California this summer. Sorry for the lack
of updates. It's hard to send emails via mule train. I have
been sneaking back to the City and doing some recording
for a new release, of which I will write more later on. New
show dates are posted for late October/early November. These
are mostly solo shows and the other acts will be figured out
later as well.
will be a few more California dates as well as some in Utah
and even Colorado. The website of Great
God Pan Magazine, creation of my brother Erik and good friend
Mark Sundeen, is up and running, filled with captivating nuggets
of liturature, journalism and opinion. If you go to the TB
Sessions link don't forget to check out the rest of Golden-Coast
Lowers with Dan Moore and
OB with Jack and Nucci
at Sands in Isla Vista on a sunny summer day
new boots and their effect on his "macho"
using a Bigsby tailpiece
Du Nord and the Bit'n Spur
Taylor; the guy can dance!
in cold, black, smelly mud with a helmet and a backpack
Deli on La Playa in SF
in my clothes
9, 2004 - Tim has announced a solo show will take place
at Henfling's Tavern in Ben Lomand, CA (Santa Cruz County) on
Thursday, October 28th. More dates will be announced.
- Hello, Just a reminder that I and the Involvement
are heading out for some shows this week. These are about the
only shows I will be playing until October;
- The Casbah in
San Diego on tuesday the 15th.
- The Silverlake Lounge in Hollywood on wednesday
the 16th. My brother plays with the supporting act
that night, Tom Watson and the Best of All.
- SLO Brew in San Luis Obispo on thursday
The Farmer's Market happens on thursday evenings downtown...
- Slim's in San Francisco on friday
All set times for
the Involvement are 10:30ish. Amy Cooper opens all these shows,
with Jack and Nucci on bass and drums. And don't forget that
Paul Hoaglin stands in for Jeff Winfrey on bass during this
tour. I hope to see you all there.
28 - Amy
C. and I are off to NYC today, carrying one suitcase, Paul's
blue Jazz Bass and Basky pedals, an electric guitar, and a snare
drum. Wish us luck.
- It has been a busy time for me and my musical partners.
Hips shows went very well from the band's perspective. It
was so enjoyable to crack into those songs again and lift into
harmonies with Greg and Paul. John was in fine form and spirits
and explored his "looser side" which I appreciate
so much. A heartfelt thanks to everyone who attended and anyone
who wished us well in non-attendance. Dawn Holliday and the
staffs of both the GAMH and Slim's treated us like family the
whole weekend, as they have for many years. Now Greg and Paul
and I are getting it together for the Palms show in Chico. We
will be playing lots of songs from the Sheets, Ball-Point Birds
and other inter-determined selections from the insides of our
collective eyelids. John Bittle of Chico and of the olden-days
Bisonfield Trio will be there at the Palms (he might even live
there) and will be joined by the Birds for some nostalgic harmonizing.
Amy and I have been practicing for two shows in New York next
week. One is a singer/songwriter thing upstate, wherein I will
be backing Amy up on bass, and the other is in Manhattan and
will feature Amy on electric guitar and bass pedals(courtesy
of Paul Hoaglin) and me on drums and harmonica (strictly in
the key of C). A small Tim Bluhm Involvement tour in the second/third
week of June is planned. Amy Cooper will be playing at most
of those shows as well, and my brother Erik plays in the Best
of All, which is Tom Watson's group and they will be performing
at the Silverlake Lounge. As for the "new" album I
am making headway on getting it released, but it is safe to
say that will not happen until shortly after the new year due
to personal engagements this summer and the dreaded "fourth
quarter" blackout thereafter.
- Mi Pueblo
restaurant in San Anselmo (Sir Francis Drake)
Jockey (the Mother Hips van) to Momma
- The Palms
Winfrey's Top 10
Sundown over Santa Margarita Lake,Ca
2. Pints of beer and Bowling For Columbine
at Bagdad Theatre Portland,Or
3. The Casbah show in San Diego,Ca
4. Greg Kemptons unfailing hospitality
5. Tim Seely's set in Seattle,Wa
6. Exploring the backroads of Northern
Cal for 12 days with Brutus (my harley) between shows
7. Exploring the treacherous, dark, dank,
stinky, yet beutiful narrow
canyons of Zion,Ut
8. Feeling glad (and kinda lucky) to be
alive after a 120 ft. free space
repell out of the treacherous,dark, dank, stinky, yet beutiful
9. The amazing undersea adventures Fatty
Patty of Aqua-Nucci
10. Playing a show without having to re-wire
the P.A. and saying "were in
hell aint it groovy"
Gerhard's August Favorites
- Lake swimming
- Tim and
Dan late night Portland porch acoustic harmonies
- Car rides
- Ron Work
- The Monkey
- Life changes
(for the better)
Field's top ten list of the moment:
national forest hikes
2.the smell of my girlfriend's clothes
3.rabbit bartholemew's segments in the
surf film "free ride"
4.the artwork of matt leines
5.the idea of living away from electricity
6.pods of dolphin in the water
7.being at home
8.playing a recent show with my little
brother,michael playing second guitar
9.eating large mountainous salads
August Favourites from Japan
Pocari Sweat - the Japanese Gatorade, it actually tastes
more like heavily watered-down cough syrup
2. Coffee Boss ("the boss of them
all since 1992"!), or any other coffee-style beverage
served in a can and available at street vending machines
3. AM/PM, Circle K, Lawsons or any other
American truck stop transformed into Japanese corner store
4. The Golden Temple in Kyoto
5. Sanju-Sangen-Do, also in Kyoto; the
temple of the thousand images of the Buddhist deity Kannon
6. The most well-organised and friendly
music venues I've ever encountered
7. Nao, Noiseman, Ryo, Chiba-san and
all the rest of the staff at Bad News Records - you rule!
8. Quruli - the best rock band I've seen
in absolutely years; thank you, Shigaru, Masashi, and
9. Dismemberment Plan - for rocking out
and watching me get drunker than I've ever been in my
whole life; thanks Eric, Jason, Joe and, yes, even Travis
10. JV, Jay and Christopher - for letting
me come at all, period!
Old Iron Sides
in Sacramento for the 1st time and
Silver Lake Lounge for the 1st time. Nucci's drumming
and Trevor's guitar playing at the Bit and Spur.
Surfing overhead lowers under a full moon and meteor
shower. Playing baseball, golf and boogie boarding
with my family. Open mic night with Jack and Tim at
Bink's in Portland Or. The Electric Theater sound
system in St. George. Mars.
Johnny's Burritos in Ventura
Bink's (NE Portland) open mic night, first monday
When Nucci is sleeping
The Casbah in San Diego
That little bar next to the Crocodile Cafe in
40s of Pabst at the Delta Cafe in Portland
Portland band the Wrecking Balls
My first wave at Ocean Beach in San Francisco
2. Bacon eating contest
3. Meeting all the nice doctors and nurses
at St. Mary's Memorial after the bacon eating contest
4. Wearing shoes
5. Pinching twenties from Trevor's wallet
6. Pinching Trevor's wallet
7. Pinching Trevor
8. Wearing shoes (I really, really like
9. Quiet time with Tim
10. Yeah right! I've never been quiet
in my life
- First of all, thanks to everyone out there who were
supported me and the boys through our challenges last week. I
had so many doubts as to what to do and my friends and supporters
helped out a lot. It was a stressful time to be sure but everything
worked out great other than the fact that Greg had to stay home.
Rusty Miller of Jackpot sat in for Greg and we had a wonderful
time. Some people said it was loose, well, maybe it was, but I
haven't had so much fun in a long time. Mike Campbell came backstage
wearing his 1960 Gretch White Falcon, just like the one sitting
next to Neil Young on the sleeve of AFTER THE GOLDRUSH. He said
Rick Rubin had recently given him a copy of SHOOTOUT and that
he played in it his car for a couple weeks. The San Francisco
shows are going to be even better, and it seems we just added
one more because the first two are sold out. I talked with Greg
today and he seems to be feeling better every day. Paul, Greg
and I are going to Chico on the 23rd, and the three of us will
play as the Sheets and Paul-Point Birds. On the new record front
I am still working on getting it released. It shouldn't be long
now. I am almost done writing songs for my new new record as well.
Thanks again for being so nice to us.
19- The big news is the Mother
Hips shows coming in March and April. Tickets will not be
easy to come by, which is kind of cool for me and the boys, kind
of a bummer for those who don't get them in time. And as far as
more shows in the future, no one can say. I am excited to play
them and am still focused on life and music apart from the Mother
The shows that I
played with the Involvement were very enjoyable. The Palms, in
Chico, is such a nice atmosphere to play in and I hope to do another
show there in early May. Greg L. and I played some shows down
the coast and had a great time, despite Greg feeling poorly at
the beginning. Amy Cooper and I played two shows together this
month and we will play more in the future. Next week at the Parkside
i will be playing with the Involvement and that will pretty much
be my last show before Solana Beach.
I am still trying
to find a label to put out my newest recordings so I can't say
when it will be available. Hopefully I will figure something out
very soon. I plan on touring with the Involvement in June...Thanks
to everyone who came out to the shows and to all who care about
Amy Cooper and I travelled to the east coast for some shows in
the middle of January. We had planned on writing bunch of songs
together but managed to come up with only one complete song, "Night
Comes for Grasshopper." To fill out the set we played several
songs of our own. We played Philadelphia first and then the next
two nights in New York. There was a good number of people at all
the shows despite the cold weather. The night we played the Parkside
it was -25 with wind chill. Amy and I both thank everyone for
coming out and being nice to us. We are planning on touring the
east coast more extensively sometime in late spring and we will
have more collaborational songs by then. February will bring some
more west coast shows.
The Involvement will
be playing early on in Chico (supported by Nate Pendery's The
Deer)and in Fairfax (supported by Dave Gleason'e Wasted Days)
and Ball-Point Birds (Greg Loiacono and me) are doing a little
California coast tour, starting with an "evening with"
at the Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco on the 8th. Also of note
is my residency at the Parkside in SF. I will be playing every
tuesday night (with the exception of the 10th) in February. On
the 3rd, the esteemed and aforementioned David Gleason will also
play, on the 17th Ben Weaver will be there, and on the 24th I
am hoping the Involvement can join me.
My solo record, which
for now I am calling WINGBEATS, is more or less done and I am
looking for a label to put it out. Hopefully something will come
of that soon so it can be released in a timely fashion.
I hope to see you
all at the shows.
23rd - I flew down to San Diego a day before the Casbah
show to practice with the boys. Dan Moore picked me up at the
airport and we met everybody else at Benny's for some beef tacos,
according to tradition. After a while we headed over the Jack's
garage and messed around with some ideas for about two hours,
mostly just to stretch out and warm up. The show at the Casbah
that night went really well, we had good sound, the crowd was
into it and we had fun. The next day we headed up to Hollywood
and found ourselves in some really horrendous traffic. It would
be an omen of what was to come.
Upon arrival at the
Knitting Factory I discovered that we were scheduled to play about
two hours later than I had thought and I was unable to convince
the production manager to change the schedule. I had hoped to
be out of there by 11pm, but we didn't go on until 10:45. It is
a pleasant place to play nonetheless. The sound system is great
and the staff is professional. The attendance was modest but enthusiastic
and we had a good time. After the show we needed to cover some
ground toward Arcata, where we had a show the next night. I got
us as far as the north end of the Grapevine, right at the base
of the great San Joaquin Valley. We slept for a few hours at a
hotel and got on the road at about 9am. By 2pm we arrived in San
Francisco. I needed to stop and pick up some stuff there and we
crossed the Golden Gate at 3 under darkening skies. It was a Friday.
It took us over 7 hours to finally arrive at the club in McKinleyville,
a drive that should have taken us 4 1/2 hours. The discrepancy
can be attributed to the awful, awful traffic in San Rafael and
Santa Rosa, the absolute downpour that started in Cotati and didn't
stop for three days and 800 miles and to the simple fact that
six guys in a small-ish vehicle have to stop very often for a
variety of reasons. We showed up at the Six Rivers Brewery and
pretty much had to load in (through a mud-puddle and in the rain)
and start playing right away. There was a good crowd there and
everybody had a great time despite missing dinner. (I managed
to gulp down a few nasty chicken fingers that the bartender found
in the kitchen.)
The drive to Portland
was rain-soaked and mountainous. We saw a number of wrecks and
a rockslide or two along highway 199. In Portland there was sleet
and ice but we made it safely to the Tonic Lounge. Five Foot Tuesday
played a set without time for dinner and then Tim Seely played,
singing intermittently into a lavalier microphone hooked onto
a harmonica rack running through a synth-string effect pedal.
It ended up sounding like a one-man Mercury Rev record. Trevor
flew home the next morning and would not join us again until San
Francisco. We had a night off the next night and we hung out with
friends and dined on oysters and catfish at Montage.
I managed to hook
up a house party at the home of Karl Blau in Anacortes, northwest
of Seattle, through my friend Kyle Field. Karl is a third generation
oyster farmer and a creative and beautiful songwriter. When we
showed up at his house he was cutting the feet off some chickens
from his backyard. He and his wife Calli cooked those birds up
and pulled out a whole lot of oysters and we had a big meal there
in the kitchen. Karl then played a short set in the living room
of the house he grew up in, quietly commanding the small crowd
of locals that had showed up, playing a Danelectro and using a
sampler to create loops of mouth-percussion and singing to accompany
his songs. Then two Anacortes musicians from a band called Spoonshine
played some acoustic songs, and then the Involvement got up there
and gingerly set about playing, trying hard not to lay into our
instruments too hard. All these big amps and drums set up in this
little living room in a very rural area...After the show we played
liar's dice far into the night.
The next day I started
to feel ill and I was convinced I was getting the flu, the famous
flu. Before the show I was unable to touch my dinner and went
to lay down in the back of the truck. It was cold in Seattle and
the truck was parked in a pretty bad area and I was miserable.
Dan called me on my phone when it was time to play and I walked
back to the club, shivering uncontrollably. Once on stage I felt
OK and the band played well I managed to sell a bunch of CDs before
walking back to the truck and crawling back into my sleeping bag.
I missed Tim Seely's set and Friend for Heroes' set. I heard FfHs
covered my song "Tear it Down."
I felt much better
the next morning and Dan and Trevor had flown home so there was
plenty of room in the truck. We drove south all day and stopped
in Ashland for dinner. The whole town was lit up like a Christmas
tree and we tasted the Lithia water that flows out of a fountain
downtown. It is said to have bolstered the health of the early
settlers here, but it tasted really awful. We arrived in San Francisco
at about 2am.
On Thursday night
I had commited us to playing a song (The Beach Boys' "Little
St. Nick") for a toy drive at the Parkside. The only problem
was that I couldn't find a recording of the song until earlier
that same day and Jeff, Nucci, Jack and I tried our best to learn
it well enough to perform it, but could not. We took the stage
eagerly and started in, inspired by David Gleason's Wasted Days
who had just been on stage, and proceeded to train-wreck worse
than I had ever train-wrecked before. Luckily it was a short song
and we were done in about two minutes and we slunk out the door
in shame before anyone could react.
Friday was the big
show, the Show of the year. This one was especially big for me
because I was fronting or co-fronting three of the four bands
on the bill. It was a hectic afternoon of getting ready and trying
to get through soundcheck but at last it was time for Ball-Point
Birds to play. Greg and I were both pretty sure it would be a
token performance to a chatty crowd and were prepared for that.
But when we struck the first chords of "Daisy and Joaquin"
the audience fell hush. It felt incredible to sing with Greg again
and our harmonies were right where we left them. We played for
about a half-hour. I missed Chuck's set entirely because I had
to eat dinner and write rough setlists for the Sheets and the
Involvement. Luckily Nucci volunteered to write out the latter.
Paul and I walked onto stage and launched into "Long Journey
of the Eye." I had played Greg L.'s Les Paul at the Fillmore
and it kind of became the Sheets guitar for me then, so I played
it now too. It is much hotter and raunchier than my Gibsons, which
are pretty raunchy already, but in a flappier way. We all had
a blast, Greg and I watching Paul and Paul bashing the %(^*&
out of his drums. I wished I had had some of those guys' vocals
in the monitors, but they were set up for the Involvement, for
which I can hear Jack and Dan enough without putting them in my
own mix. We didn't play perfect, to be sure, but that's kind of
what the Sheets has been all about so far. More heart than brain.
When it came time
for the Involvement set I knew it would be a piece of cake. We
had been playing everyday for a week and had paid a lot of attention
to what we were doing. Those guys have been so concientious and
earnest and it had paid off. I was really proud to see it all
come together at a place like the Great American and in front
of such a cool and attentive audience. It was a perfect close
to a scary, challenging and exciting year. I can't wait to play
more shows with Greg, Paul, Dan, Trevor, Jack Jeff and Nucci in
any of the possible combinations. Thank you to everyone who supported
me in my pursuits this year and in past years. Happy Holidays.
15th, San Diego, CA - The-Man-Who-Would-Be-King and I
made it to San Diego and here we await tonight's show. After playing
two shows (tripling our show count)we are starting to figure out
a few things about the Sheets. Thee Parkside show was really fun
because we had Greg L. join us on his black Jazz bass. We wished
we could take him along on the rest of the tour, but he declined,
citing an appointment at the barber as his reason. I saw Vertibird
for the first time and enjoyed watching Jack step to centerstage.
Nat and Simone of Essen came through with the 200 handprinted
and numbered EP covers and we have sold a lot already. I saw the
Court and Spark's EP cover that Essen did and had to get them
to do the Sheets. We will probably be sold out at Sacramento,
but will have more for Saturday. We were offered the opening slot
for Lucinda Williams' Saturday show at the Fillmore
and so had to cancel our appearances with Vertibird in the northwest.
Our sincerest apologies to all who had plans to attend. Vertibird
will be there in full force.
3rd, Sausalito, CA - The mixing of the "solo"
material went well, and in fact is all done except for one song
that still has to be mixed. I had some demo CDs made up and began
passing them out to industry types. I even went to New York City
for that purpose, and to play two shows. I loved New York a lot.
It is a huge city, truly huge and people stay up all night and
they don't get tired. Greg Kempton and I walked about 25 miles
while we were there. We visited the World Trade Site. It is a
giant hole in the ground surrounded by a fence and a whole bunch
of people looking down into the hole. There were a lot of trucks
and workmen down there. The most poignant thing was the damage
on some of the adjacent buildings. It was difficult to imagine
those huge towers crashing down in the midst of the city. Sandwiches
were $20 straight up. Brownies were $6.95 pretty much everywhere.
Americanos cost about the same as California. I would say that
people were generally friendlier there than here, but that is
difficult to say. Maybe I was just in a really good mood. The
music scene was interesting. I saw every musician I knew from
San Francisco. We all fit into one club. We stood around, passed
out demos to one another and talked about Cafe Du Nord.
We flew into Long
Island on Southwest and that was a mistake. The train ride form
Islip Airport to Manahttan was about 85 minutes. And then on the
way home to San Francisco we somehow got stuck in Vegas for three
days because of fires in LA, and somehow agreed that the Hard
Rock Hotel was the most prudent choice for lodging. There were
a lot of famous people there. At least they were dressed like
famous people. I pretty much stayed in the room the whole time
and switched back and forth between the Who channel and the Zeppelin
channel. We went to New York New York but it just felt weird.
We had crepes at a cafe in Paris. I learned that French people
love nacho cheese. A middle-aged woman wearing sweat-pants shorts
had a poorly executed Charlie's Angels tatoo on her ankle. I was
ready to get back home.
The Ball-Point Birds
show at the Sweetwater was very enjoyable and well-attended. I
loved playing with Greg and watching Amy Cooper play. I have about
twenty shows between now and December 19th. Some of them are with
the Involvement and some of them are with the Sheets. One is with
Butch Boswell. The Sheets EP is done and will be available for
sale starting November 13th at Thee Parkside in SF. It has five
songs on it and a hand-printed cover, limited to 200 copies. The
Mother Hips will release a live recording on motherhips.com in
a new, high-quality downloadable format. Album art will be downloadable
as well. As I mentioned before my solo record is done and I am
looking for a label to release it, ideally by early next year.
Thanks to everyone for supporting my music and ideas and for the
great conversations and hospitality that I and the boys have been
lucky to recieve wherever we go. I look forward to seeing you
San Francisco - There has been a name change. Now, when
I play with 5Foot Tuesday as my backing band it will be called
Tim Bluhm Involvement. The line-up will still be the same, and
5Foot Tuesday is still 5Foot Tuesday.
September, the Golden
Month. I had planned on spending most of it in southern Baja with
my brother and and few friends, but instead decided to spend that
time helping out with the construction of the family home in the
eastern Sierra. I spent three weeks up there, largely working
very long days laying hardwood floor and painting. It is said
that manual labor is rewarding and I suppose it is, but mostly
it just further enforced my commitment to being a musician. My
back was sore, my hands had blisters and splinters and I drank
too much Dr. Pepper. During the quiet evenings I did manage to
work on some new songs and just play a lot of guitar for no reason
at all. On the 23rd I played the first of three shows opening
for Josh Ritter. The Largo is a real nice place that enforces
the no-talk policy with rigor, which is great if you are a solo,
acoustic performer and kind of a bummer if you are trying to whisper
something to your companion. Josh was great and the audience absolutely
adored him. The song called "Wings" is truly amazing. The next
night was at the Cafe DuNord in San Francisco and the place was
sold out. I really enjoyed playing in front of Josh's audience.
They were a little older than what I am used to maybe, and very
was time for Paul and I to meet up and record the Sheets EP. We
convened at Pyramid Audio Headquarters (of "Maybe" and "Purgatory"
renown)and very quickly set up and quite literally bashed out three
songs in four hours, including a trip to my favorite retail spot
Guitar Center. The next day we sang our parts monitoring off the
stereo speakers thereby completing the recordings without once using
headphones. (A fairly desirable accomplishment.) The next two days
found Paul and I at Scott Solter's studio recording three more songs
for my "solo" record, which we did live and together, and completing
some overdubs on a few others thereby completing that phase of work.
I flew to Seattle the next day to play the third and final show
with JR, which went well, and returned awfully early the next morning
to begin mixing the "solo" stuff at Tiny Telephone. Paul was in
rehearsals with John Vanderslice for their upcoming five-week stint
as the support act for Beulah on their alleged final tour, but Paul
managed to come by and grace us with his magical ears for several
mixes. That is all for now because I realize I am already writing
about early October... Look for November and December tour dates
with Involvement and the Sheets and don't forget October 22nd is
Ball-Point Birds at the Sweetwater in Mill Valley with my favorite
31 , 2003 - The Moore Residence (5Foot Tuesday Headquarters):
I have just completed the run-on sentence of August tour-dates.
Hemingway used a lot of run-ons and no one said he shouldn't. I
am sad to have it be over. Me and Dan and Jeff and Jack and Nucci
unloaded the trailer for the last time and I felt helpless and nostalgic
to see all of the musical equipment unloaded in the cul-de-sac.
It has served us well; my beloved Wurlitzer being the only casualty.
I left in St.George to be fixed by Sean Taylor. He may even amputate
the speaker console to make it more portable. I have no idea how
it will get to California but it doesn't really matter.
Obispo was the locale for some great times earlier in the month.
I played at the SLO Brew with 5Ft. and Jackpot and local boys The
Coyotes (not to be confused with the Court and Spark acoustic).
We headed up to Ben Lomond and played Henfling's with David and
Mike from Wasted Days and Ron Work joined us onstage as well. I
actually prefer playing Henfling's as an acoustic act more. I went
back down to San Luis and played at the Frog and Peach with Greg
Olin and Adam Selzer and Little Wings. The place was packed and
I felt good there. I camped out at my favorite place for a few days
and surfed with Kyle Field and Justin Fuller and Hippy Johnny and
ate shrimp burritos. A woman was killed by a great white shark in
Avila while I was there. In
LA Jack and Nucci and I went to Pink's Hot Dogs with Patrick Murphree
after the show and then hung out in the Hollywood Hills and Jack
and Nucci swam in the pool. The next day we drove up to San Francisco.
At the Starbuck's on the Grapevine we looked at pretty girls and
decided that looking at pretty girls might be cooler than dating
them. The next morning we went surfing at Ocean Beach. I gave a
girl a guitar lesson for her birthday but we mostly just talked
and drank Gatorade. I don't think I really taught her anything.
The show that night was the best yet. I feel like I smiled the whole
night. The place was sold out, the other bands were amazing (Amy
Cooper, Four Year Bender and Golden Shoulders) and the staff was
very nice to us. Guy, the owner, even helped us load some gear down
Steve Poltz section was next. He played between 5Ft. and me at the
Old Ironsides in Sacto. He was amazing. I couldn't stop watching.
His guitar playing is impossible and he jumps all around while he
is doing it. He had the whole crowd transfixed all by himself. It
was a hard act to follow but we did our best. Then we headed up
to Guerneville for a show at the famously gay Fife's Ranch. Everything
was fine until Nucci started in to one of his routines, jumping
in the pool with his boots on, dragging people with him, and mounting
a giant blow-up sex doll named Fatty Patty. Amazingly we were not
kicked out of the place.
flew up to Seattle to meet up with Steve and his friend from Austin
named Scrappy Newcomb. We all played on the stage at the same time
and had a great time. Later on we drove down to Gig Harbor and stayed
with Nucci's aunt's house there, singing songs into the early morning.
At 2:00pm we dropped Scrappy off at his hotel in Seattle and started
driving toward Salt Lake City. We camped in the blustery wind near
the Snake River and played guitar in the grass the next morning.
The Zephyr show was really enjoyable, just Steve and I on the stage
for about two hours, trading songs and stories. The next day we
hooked up with 5Ft. in Springdale, gorged on rib-eyes at the Bit'n
Spur and played a long, raucous set on the tiny stage. In the morning
everyone got up early (those guys are amazing at that) and we headed
for Pine Creek narrows with 800 feet of rope and our swimtrunks.
Nick and Dag from Provo guided us through this spectacular canyon.
Four rappels, numerous muddy, stinky, blackwater swims and about
four hours later we emerged in to the sunshine celebrating our lucky
lives. We made it to St. George just in time to play the show at
the Electric Theatre, exhausted, dirty and happy.
11 , 2003 - I just returned from the first leg of the August
tour with 5Foot Tuesday. The Fairfax show was really nice because
a lot of people came out to see it and Paul Hoaglin sat in and played
the slide solo on "Rich Man's Mind" and the piano part
on "Evelyn From Switzerland." I felt happy to blend all
of those excellent musicians together on one stage. We all stayed
at Greg Kempton's house, who was as generous a host as he always
is. We drove up to McKinleyville and had some trouble with the club
not being too together or respectful. Paul came up there too and
was in fine form. We played a few songs just the two of us ("If
Love Has No Pride" and "Tinkerbell Perfume" and "California
Way") and it felt really good. It was also clear by this point
that 5Foot Tuesday and I had gotten so much better as a band. The
harmonies with Jack and Dan were really making me happy and everyone
played with spirit and humor and pride. Too bad there were only
about 20 people to see it. We were grateful that they came. After
the show we sat around in the little cottage we rented and talked
and listened to CROOKED RAIN CROOKED RAIN by Pavement. Portland
was nice because we played with Greg Olin and Adam Selzer, friends
from San Luis Obispo. We played very well that night as well to
about twenty people. I was pretty frustrated about the lack of publicity
at the club, especially when hardly anyone showed up, but after
that night I got a handle on my feelings and was able to simply
enjoy travelling and making music with my friends. Seattle was good.
About one hundred people showed up to see the show, which included
Tim Seely of the Actual Tigers playing solo. He was amazing and
I think a lot of the people were there to see him, but I didn't
care. We talked for a while and discussed playing more shows together.
The idea of 5Foot backing him up was even thrown out there. Some
of us drove down to Nucci's mom's house in Gig Harbor after the
show. It was dark and peaceful there and mist hung over the pond
behind the house. Nucci's mom and aunt (rhymes with want) treated
us to a gourmet breakfast of waffles and berries and coffee. We
headed over to Idaho the next day, getting to the band condo in
Ketchum very late. The car stereo was broken so we mostly listened
to Nucci's comedy routines. He is so consistently entertaining that
we kept track of the jokes he told that weren't funny and there
were only four. But that was not including the repeats, which were
only funny the first ten times and then they weren't that funny
anymore. The favorite seemed to be his impersonation of Al Stewart
singing "Time Passages." Jack and Nucci joined me early
the next morning for a radio appearance. We played "Isn't Now
Forever." Their ability to party late and get up early and
cheerfully is unprecedented in my experiences. The show was OK,
not a lot of people, but we played well again. Dan was feeling a
little sick but insisted we play until closing time, leading me
into songs I could not remember the words to. Salt Lake was the
best show musically, but the crowd was thin, probably about 50 people.
The next day we drove down to Cedar City and played a free show
at Groovacious Platters record store. It was really nice to play
in that setting. Young people and old people sat around on couches
and listened to the songs for about two hours. Then we drove down
to Mesquite and I looked around there for a while, watched the guys
play craps, watched the house band drag through another wretched
gig and felt how they must feel. I have it easy compared to that.
I lost about four dollars on the quarter slots, smoked a cigarette
and left the casino before I could start having negative thoughts.
Early the next morning we headed for Southern Califonia, through
the awful, awful I-15 corridor Sunday traffic that we always seem
to be stuck in at the end of these tours. Everyone is looking forward
to the upcoming shows.
9, 2003 - My last few days in the City were exhausting.
Sunday morning Greg, Paul, Patrick Murphree (the filmmaker) and
I convened at Sean Coleman's studio in the Mission to mix the recording
from last December's Great American Music Hall Hips shows. Patrick
filmed Saturday night's show for use in his film and he needed the
soundtrack. We would mix the twelve songs he wanted and then get
started on the other sixty (!) or so remaining songs. The best of
these for a tentative release on California Recordings sometime
in the future. It was fun and games the first day because the music
sounded great and we were all hanging out again, and the task went
quickly and pleasantly. Sean really knows what he is doing. The
next morning, only Patrick and I returned. We quickly got the soundtrack
stuff finished, Patrick left and Sean and I waded into the rock.
The sounds on these recordings are really nice for a live recording
and the performances aren't half bad. But listening to those cursed
Super Reverbs for twelve hours straight is not easy. John Hofer
came by in the evening and helped us tune up the kick drum. We stuck
it out and managed to get through all the songs. They will all need
at least one more mixing session before
they are complete.
1, 2003 - Paul Hoaglin has returned from his ramblings
and we are getting our act together for our July 4th Sheets appearance.
June was a fine month for me, travelling, playing music with lots
of great people (The Court and Spark, Andrew Bird, Five Foot Tuesday,
Nate Pendry and Mathew Struyf, my brother Erik, Tom Watson, Greg
L., Bart Davenport and Paul Hoaglin. My most diverse month of music
ever. At the end of July rehearsals with Five Foot will start up.
We will be refining and reworking a lot of songs, and learning some
new material as well. Work will continue on the new record throughout
the summer at Tiny Telephone, Scott Solter's studio and PH's studio.
20th, San Francisco CA - 12:00pm Jeff and Nucci of Five
Foot arrived from Southern California to help me record a song.
Joe from California Recordings had urged me to include "Jaguar"
on this next collection of songs and until now it had not been recorded.
We got a good take of the song, with me playing wah guitar and Nucci
playing his drums and Jeff his old G and L bass. Dan arrived later,
waiting to sing his parts. I played the lead guitar, as much like
Jack's part as I could (Jack was in Tennessee) and then sang the
lead vocal. I changed some of the words at the last minute, feeling
like they needed to be stronger and a bit darker. I text-messaged
Paul a request for help. Paul was en route to Salt Lake City from
Seattle as John Vanderslice's bass player (and van driver.) I needed
a word to rhyme with jaguar and I had already used guitar, car and
are and I didn't want to use bar, star, avatar or far. He came through
(as usual) with scar. Then Dan warmed up and laid on Jack's vocal
part. His voice was feeling a little rough so I ended up singing
Dan's original part, the highest one. Then I put on a Juno 60 part
for the spookiness I wanted. I like those Junos. I used one all
over LAND AND SEA CHANTIES. "Jaguar" was finished by about
11:00pm and I felt like we had a little more in us, and the drums
were still set up. Scott Solter (the talented engineer) seemed enthusiastic
about getting into another song so he set out getting the drums
changed to what I was looking for the song that I will call "Isn't
Now Forever?" I wanted that kind of "Out on the Weekend"
sound; super sparse and deliberate. Nucci played brushes and had
two symbols touching for the "sizzle" effect. Jeff and
Nucci learned the song and we ran it a bunch of times while Solter
dialed in the sounds. We only had three minutes of tape left so
we had to make the count short at the top and we played the outro
for only a few seconds before the tape ran out and recording stopped.
We finally got a good take at about 3:00am.
lakes, streams, holes, bays, coves, creeks
- Chutney and
horseradish on sandwiches
- Neil Young's
one acoustic song during "Greendale"
- The Sheets
- Anna Karenina
- Brown Cow
whole milk yogurt
- Wild salmon
- Fuji apples
- "If I
Needed You(?)" by Townes Van Zandt
- Jim Davis'
Auto Repair in Palo Alto
KEMPTON 'S JULY FAVORITES
baby carter out of hospital
2. the sheets at cafe du nord
4. dirt that made my lunch
5. Thank you dirt, Thanks a bunch
8. left over fireworks
9. hot days and cool nights in the city
10. shirt wearing dogs
HOAGLIN'S JULY FAVORITES
2. Driving (again; also see #1)
3. Finding Nemo
4. Covering the Fabs' "In My Life"
with Our Boy, at Rachel's suggestion
5. The Sheets gig, esp. playing "Princess
Of Darkness" with T & G
6. Dinner with T, G & Melissa at Goat
Hill Pizza after the GAMH mix session
7. Enjoying the fruits of the Klickitat
Band Camp sessions with Shay Scott & Brad Brooks (including
"Krapftwerk - Organs At Midnight"!)
8. Being home once in a while
9. Left Luggage
10. Hearing Love's "Always See My
Face" playing in Pendragon Books in Oakland
- CITY OF GOD
- WINGED MIGRATION
- Four Star
Theatre on Clement St.
- Jack Cornfield
- Paul Hoaglin's
- Dewey Weber
- Ropa Nueva
at Habana restaurant on Van Ness
- New York steak
at Blue Plate restaurant on Valencia
the Alcatraz Triathalon
- Josh Ritter
at Cafe Du Nord
- solo performances
HOAGLIN'S JUNE FAVORITES
- Driving (anywhere,
all the time)
(esp. in Florida)
- Aimee Mann
- any and all but especially Bachelor No. 2 (does she need
a new MD post-Michael Lockwood? I'm available)
- The new Jayhawks
record (okay, I'm a sucker for that sort of thing, besides
Chris Stills sings all over it. The demos disc is the best
(inquiries to C. McGuire c/o General Post, Minneapolis,
- Text Messaging
non-functioning hands-free devices)
- Gregg Keplinger
- or "Keppie" for short (as in, "where's
- Bonnie Hayes
(Love In The Ruins rules)
- Marriott properties
the world over ("JW, your empire is far more powerful
than my own")
- Cruise control
- Mocha Frappucinos
and blue Gatorade (inexplicable) and last but not in any
- Cracker Barrel
(grilled cheese, and/or pancakes and hashbrown casserole)
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