A new album approaches rapidly

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First, open this song in a new tab and listen to it while you read:

http://soundcloud.com/johnnyunicorn/sadness-companionship-remix

I know I haven’t finished giving you a day by day account of my last tour (way back in February), which is one of the reasons I keep neglecting to blog. But that has long past, and though I cannot remember the events with enough clarity to describe them to you in detail here anymore, I can assure you, that second week was amazing. I’m sure a lot of stuff happened…I recall a lot of driving around at night and a lot of unhealthy eating that was sure to stop after returning home. I remember lots of colors…but the color blue not so much, despite the fact that, to replace the paisley pants a fan bought off me in the parking lot out side the Ruby Room in San Diego, I bought a pair of blue sky-pants. I think it was because of all the warm lighting. Also, most of the colors I remember were dark, even though we slept through most of the nights. I remember wishing the vehicle were roomier. I remember in L.A. the drums fell apart, but we kept playing while my friend Chris, another drummer, saved the kit. I remember a really cool jazz rock band.

I hope that satisfies any curiosity that someone might have.

Now, if I’m right, you’ve arrived at the keyboard solo (and of course, if I’m wrong, you haven’t). This remix you’re listening to was designed with a dual-purpose. Since the album I’m releasing is a thirty minute aerobic exercise album, I thought it would be nice to include some more material, for the sake of having more material (I may have felt less inclined to do this if my last album weren’t nearly 80 minutes long). The second purpose is because the “exercise album” constraint I gave myself didn’t allow me to explore certain musical elements I otherwise would have. Plus, I just really like doing remixes. I never do it because I never prioritize it. But it’s fun. If you are a musician and you have any raw tracks you’d like to send me, I’ll do a remix.

The only thing in this recording that’s the same as the album is the vocal track (which has been severely cut-up). Everything else was put together step by step, using bits of the vocal track and trying out different basslines and drum beats underneath it, until a basic song was constructed, and then I went back and added synthesizers and guitar.

I’m aiming to release the album before the end of the year. The album is entitled “Sadness And Companionship.” It has two songs: “Sadness” and “Companionship,” each a little under fifteen minutes long. The compact disc and downloadable release will contain the two remixes. I am also working out details of a cassette release (which was the reason I did this project in the first place).

So, enjoy this remix, and please imagine what the album might sound like. Thanks!

Plack, Smith and Unicorn West Coast Tour Diary Part One

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Photo courtesy of Tamberlie at the Triangle.

O merciless heavens!

The prickly drizzle unregrettingly penetrated my too-thin vestiments, sticking cotton to flesh. No time for retreating to the warm comforts of the indoors, however, bound to the tour schedule as we were. Autumn Electric on tour with Plack, Smith and Unicorn! It promised to be an exciting and educational voyage; possibly lucrative, but probably not. The trip to Portland was cramped and damp, with sharp metal objects placed precariously behind us, shaking, as if anxiously awaiting the chance to kill. I hoped that probability and the laws of motion would have the decency to deny them that chance until we had time to pack properly.

We first performed at the Lents Commons coffee house. There, in front of an intimate audience, and with our first nachos of the tour rolling around happily in our bellies, we made our music. For PSU, it was our first out of town performance. I was not certain the audience knew what to think of our opening number, what with the free-jazz noise section…but they apparently got it, and it seemed that the owner was happy he booked us. I’m happy he did, too.

Our next stop was the Triangle in out-of-the-way Salem, Oregon. We had no idea what to expect. All we knew was that we were the closing acts of an open mic, which at the time seemed a grim prospect, but one that nevertheless we were hired for. So, in the spirit of professionalism, we showed up at the bar, ready for anything. The open mic turned out to be mainly a blues jam, and everyone was great at what they were doing. We still feared what they would think about our act, but when we finished, we got nothing but compliments. They truly liked it, and I learned this: Trust your audience!

Next time I will tell you all about the nation of California.

Good and Evil – volume one

I was thinking about good and evil, and this is what I came up with:

If good and evil switched, it would be weird for a couple of days, and then we would get used to it and it would be just like before, like with upside-down goggles.

A Brunchtime Performance by Johnny Unicorn’s Universe Music Concept Band

Would you like to see an entire Johnny Unicorn show from the comfort of your own home? Well, here you are! Shot in beautiful HD by  Seattle musician and friend to musicians everywhere, Mingus O’Bannon, this video captures a 2pm Brunch show in a living room in North Seattle. Click on each of these videos in order to see the full performance. Thank you!

click for playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDA6F53DAF20AF9FB

Johnny Unicorn’s Universe is:
drums – Rogelio G Garcia
synthesizers – Naomi Adele
guitar and vocal – Johnny Unicorn

1. “The River Grand” – Turn the riverbed to concrete; direct the flow of the river to the heart of the steaming city; pray at the bank of the river for more revenue in your bank account. But the river makes its own choices. From the “Riversongs” album: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HMzbvXieFs

2. “Science” – This is a very concise progressive rock epic from 2010’s “Sweet Edith Manton.” Don’t worry, the chorus has that pop feel that will get your hips a swingin’ and your head a bobbin’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvT_78kMdB4‬

3. “River Come My Way” – A real rockin’ jam from “Riversongs.” If you listen carefully, you might hear some music by other bands in the middle of the song. Talking Heads and Lynyrd Skynyrd, I thank you for allowing me to provide free advertisement for your music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGEp-eSgJZ4

4. “White Man Red Hand” – From “Thinking Hard To Overcome Nervousness.” A real fun tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N20GfLbVdzU&feature=related

5. “I Can’t Believe It’s Christmas” – From “Thinking Hard To Overcome Nervousness” originally written for Lansing, Michigan’s “Bermuda Snohawk 2” Christmas compilation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMabBXma42U

6. “Aware Of the Bear” – From my latest album, “Thinking Hard To Overcome Nervousness.” Good grief, buy it already: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rA53g2S5X4I

7. “The Last Day” – You can hear this song on my album “Sweet Edith Manton” if you listen carefully: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmqFnN-x6T4

8. “Could It Be Wrong” – this cheeky little number is off my upcoming 2012 album, “Heavy Jugs To the Moon.” I hope you enjoy it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg3KACjdexY

9. “Sapphire Bullets Of Pure Love” – here’s a little arrangement I’ve done of one of my favorite songs by They Might Be Giants: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBAyBtHmmYs

If you liked that show, you might like my live performances. As of this moment, in Seattle, I usually perform with this band, and am always looking for more musicians to join the line-up. Currently, my tours are myself only. I thank you for listening.

Top Favorite Albums

Here are the albums that I like the most, in no particular order:

Frank Black “Teenager Of the Year” – A friend of mine in high school once said “there are two kinds of people in the world: ‘Surfer Rosa’ fans and ‘Doolittle’ fans.” I asked him “What if you like ‘Bossanova?'” He replied “then you’re just a Frank Black fan.” The Pixies is one of my favorite bands. They are gritty and raw, and their sounds are haunting, and they are completely unique. When Black Francis went solo, and changed his name, he got kind of cheesy in some ways. In the Pixies, he seemed like a scary genius, but by himself, he seemed somehow different. I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it was the sunglasses. Nevertheless, his second album remains one of my top favorites of all time, and while the Pixies may have written some of my favorite songs, none of their albums stick out to me as being a favorite album. “Doolittle” is very close, however. Despite being kind of cheesy, “Teenager Of the Year” is so full of kick-ass songs that it never gets boring. There is not one skippable track on the album. If I hear “Whatever Happened To Pong?” I have to stick around all the way to the end of this double album. On long drives in my silent car, I often play this album back from start to finish in my head. That’s how much I like it.

Cornelius “Point” – My good friend and colleague, Jamie Grefe, introduced this album to me in his living room when we were in college. He put it on, and I was instantly blown away. I had never heard anything like this music. After hearing this album, I understood why major seventh chords were invented.

Frank Zappa “Uncle Meat” – I was first introduced to Zappa when I was 12. The album was “Absolutely Free” and I loved it. It proved you can make a good album without practicing your instruments, and it’s complete disregard for other people’s ears made the album special to me. A couple years later, I was looking for more Zappa and I stumbled on “Uncle Meat” in the store. I really liked the album cover. I got it on tape, because it was a single tape, and the compact disc was double and cost twice as much. I’ve never heard it on vinyl. Between the three formats, I don’t think any track lists are the same. It is possible that I have never actually heard the real album. In any case, this album made me rethink everything about my life. The sounds were so beautiful and weird. And it’s the perfect combination of orchestral work, rock and roll, jazz and comedy. It never gets old. Listening to it is like drinking a glass of water: necessary.

They Might Be Giants “Lincoln” – TMBG is my favorite band, as you may have heard. This is my favorite album by them. Perhaps my favorite album of any band. If I had to bring one album to a desert island, it would be this one, so long as there was a record player (if all I could do was look at an album, it would be something with more artwork, like Jon Anderson’s ‘Olias Of Sunhillow’). 18 songs, and not one of them even hints at making me want to skip to the next track. This album also has some of my favorite lyrics ever.

Magma “M.D.K.” – My friend Alan turned me on to this band. First he lent me a cd of “M.D.K.” and I dismissed it as…i don’t know…too something. Too operatic? Then I saw the band live, and I understood. Then I relistened to the the album, and I understood. This band stands alone…sweaty, hairy and alone.

Phish “Junta” – When will you jerks stop pigeon-holing Phish as a jamband? These are four top-notch composers and players. This, my favorite of their albums contains almost entirely pre-composed material. This album goes against everything else that was happening in the eighties. It has perfectly phrased lyrics, and the singing makes me smile (probably because it sounds like they’re smiling as they sing). And the album cover is awesome. There is nothing wrong with this album. Good lyrics, musical ideas and playing.

Genesis “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” – This one’s a bit obvious. Maybe I should take it off the list. But it’s such a cool album. Don’t take it off the list. Maybe I should…but if this comes off, “Duke” is going up, and we can’t have that. Ugh.

Frank Zappa “We’re Only In It For the Money” – First, I heard “Absolutely Free” and loved it. Then I got “Freak Out” and I loved it. Then I went for the beautiful compact disc of this album, and I loved it. Plus it had “Lumpy Gravy” on the disc as well, so bonus! And what strange production for the sixties! I wouldn’t call it one of my favorite albums of all time, but I loved it all the same. I loved the album for fifteen years, and then someone told me the story about how Zappa in the eighties hired his then current bassist and drummer to replace all the bass and drum parts on “We’re Only In It For the Money” and made it sound bad. “What do you mean, bad?” I said. My friend explained to me the exact details of the bass and drum sound that had been changed on the album. “Hey, that sounds like the CD I own!” And sure enough, I got a hold of the REAL album, and it is ten times better. Wow, what a record. One of the best things recorded, I think. Even today, I am trying to rid my memory of that monstrosity that the record store owner allowed me to buy when I was just a kid. Why didn’t he warn me? Why didn’t Zappa warn me? Why did the eighties have this horrible effect on people? In any case, the original is a beautiful album.

King Crimson “Red” – The perfect King Crimson album. Short and to the point. Simple and effective. A perfect palindromic instrumental, a slow sad song with a heavy part, a fast scary song with a slow repetitive jam, a noise piece, and a jazz rock thing with a slow part and a really fast part. Slow, fast, loud, soft, guitar, trumpet, bass, sax…it’s got all the stuff in it. I think what makes this more likeable for me than, say “Starless and Bible Black” or “Lark’s Tongues In Aspic” is that it feels more balanced. Those other two albums seem to give a little too much weight to noodling for my taste. There’s something about the simplicity of “Red” that I really like. It feels like the album transpires in a logical fashion, when the other albums seem to be a bit more random. Maybe it’s just the album title.

Brian Woodbury “Brian Woodbury and His Popular Music Group” – When I was a teenager, the guy at the record store said “You like TMBG, right? then you’ll like this.” Boy, was he right. I listened to that album for 12 years before I even found out that Brian had other albums. His other albums are amazing, but this one still sticks out in my mind. Every song is a masterpiece of wordplay and noteplay. This album is pure euphoria from beginning to end.

Van Dyke Parks “Song Cycle” – Like everyone else, I was introduced to Van Dyke through Brian Wilson’s “Smile.” It turns out that Parks is at least as good of a composer as Wilson, and this album shows him at his best. He writes orchestral pop like it’s easy. I can’t even figure out how it’s possible to achieve some of the sounds that happen on this record. And his voice is amazing. No one sings like he does. He sings just like he talks…like a smiling old man in overalls. I couldn’t even think straight at 24 and this character makes an album like this? It makes me more angry than anything.

Brian Wilson “Smile” – You’ve heard this album already, right? Of course you have. I don’t even need to include it in this list, do I?

Anekdoten “Nucleus” – Okay, so they aren’t the best lyricists. I’ll give them a pass on that because they aren’t singing in their native language and this is one of the best things I’ve ever heard come out of speakers. This is scary music. Anekdoten is almost a metal band, but they’re too cool for metal. They’re often labeled as King Crimson wannabes, and there is certainly Crimson influence, but they are doing something way different. They are ice lords. This album will make you rethink having been born, to be sure, but you will come out of it with a positive outlook on life.

Paul and Linda McCartney “Ram” – Everyone’s second least favorite Beatle, I’ve been told, but Paul is one hell of a songwriter. Good lord, I love listening to this album. And people knock Linda for her voice. Phooey! I like her voice. I prefer this album to any Beatles album, although the white album has been moving up quickly on my list and could overtake it in the next decade if I listen to it enough.

Gentle Giant “Free Hand” – Gentle Giant is, of course, one of my favorite bands, and I can never decide which of their 3rd-7th albums is my favorite. So maybe they should all be on this list, but I don’t like Gentle Giant so much as to give them a quarter of a list of my top favorite albums. I suppose “Free Hand” has a lot of memories for me…the title track, “His Last Voyage” and “Just the Same” were the first songs I ever learned on bass guitar. The album is the rockinest, also. It seems a little less self-aware than the previous few albums. In any case, they’re all good albums.

Summer 2011 tour part one conclusion / part four part five / epilogue

Photo taken by Ryan Schweitzer at Rhythm Records in Bismarck, ND

Hi there, my little Unis,

I have now finished telling you all about my 2011 Summer tour. Are you satisfied with the information? Well, if you aren’t, I’ve got a little bit more for you before I start posting about recording my upcoming album, “Heavy Jugs To the Moon.”

1. I would like to add a little bit to part one of this summer’s JU blog tour posts:
I wanted it to be clear that [the post] was intended as informational for those who imagine traveling around and performing music as some sort of a non-work-party-thing. I love performing, and while sometimes it can turn into a party, it is most certainly work. It’s composing, recording, contacting people, mailing stuff, making artwork, putting together stuff to be printed, driving, carrying equipment, and for a wonderful 45 minutes a night, performing. There is little time for fun adventures…i save that for my days off (just like when i have an office job during the other part of the year). There is no time for drinking or drugs…I certainly would not be able to do what I’ve been asked to do if I were intoxicated, and it would be difficult to make it to the next gig in a punctual fashion if I were intoxicated after I performed. I am absolutely in love with making music, and I’m slowly learning how to make it work as a career. I don’t want the fact that I live on the road for a few months and “get weird” for 45 minutes a night instead of working a job to be confused for laziness on my part. Soon, I will learn how to streamline some of the work, or perhaps delegate it, and then I’ll be spending just as much time working on something else that I’ve been neglecting. I’m working on turning my music into a smoothly running machine. At some point in the future, I might be able to afford the party lifestyle that goes with some musical careers, but I will not choose it. I will use that time and energy to develop art and other things in my life. Please do not read my explanation of what it’s like as a no-name touring act as a complaint. I’m bringing this on myself for the purpose of learning; learning how to do what I want to do, and learning what other people think, and I don’t even know what else.

2. In the interest of continuing being transparent about things, I will let you in on a little secret about my performing: I always play music that’s easier to play than I am capable of. A short search on youtube will reveal that I often make horrifying mistakes on stage. Many of these mistakes are indelibly archived by people who happened to be in the room at the time. These days, I try for perfection…and that means only playing that which I am sure I can successfully pull off. I do leave about 20% room for experimental material, though. Another trick is that I get the audience involved. Once they are complicit in the performance, I can shift blame to them if anything goes wrong. “Why did I sing a crap note? Because there were at least two guys in sector 3 of the audience who could not hold a tune!” The other good thing about involving the audience is that it lightens my work load. And having an audience do some of my work for me is more cost-efficient. At the end of the tour, when I add up the numbers, I find that I’ve made more money if I subtract the minutes saved by making the audience sing. Also, you may notice that there are times when I stop doing anything for long periods. This serves two purposes: a. it’s my break time, and b. it creates tension for the audience. and when that tension is released, the audience feels like it got something from it. At the end of the show, I have done 30 minutes of work, and the audience has got 45 minutes of entertainment. Now that’s efficiency! And it’s necessary when, like me, you’re working on a very tight budget.

3. I’m a “multi-instrumentalist.” That means, I play many instruments badly. A lot of people come up to me and ask “what’s your main instrument?” Well, that’s a really hard question to answer, because they all seem like secondary instruments to me. I mostly just try to keep my head above water as I struggle to make my fingers press the buttons that will simulate most closely the music I have written. So, I suppose my main instrument is my own brain. In my head, I play music that will blow your mind. By the time it gets to my stupid fingers, it turns into something a little less amazing. Even if I can get one section from my brain to my fingers, by the time I have learned it, I have forgotten the other parts. I guess maybe I can’t answer that question properly. Maybe singing is my main instrument. I wouldn’t have said so a couple of years ago, but it seems to be the thing I have the most control over. It’s certainly the thing I “feature” at my shows. But I’m hardly a “singer.”

4. My second tour is over. It was twice as big as last year, with bigger audiences, and it seems like I even have a fanbase in a few places. The situation looks very optimistic for this music making venture. If you are a fan of my music, please be on the lookout for shows in your area in the next decade. And wear a horn to the show.

Thank you,
Johnald Hibiscus Unicornopoulos

Johnny Unicorn Tour 2011 Summer Final Part Four Part Three

After the haircut

I found myself at GTG Fest Part Three, watching 11 bands over the course of an evening. They asked me to perform in between bands to an audience that was hanging out in the alley behind marxist art gallery Basement 414. I did not know I would be performing, so I had no instruments or stage outfit with me. I performed in cargo shorts and t-shirt (a no-no for JU performances usually). What an audience this was. One section at a time, I got them to sing a four part backing track, while I sang “River To the Sea” and they got it perfect. I don’t know what it sounded like out in the alley, but from the stage it sounded great. They took direction very well.

Next, I found what during the school year is an open mic in Bloomington, IN. Since it was summer, there were no musicians. But they still had a stage and a PA, and when I asked if there was the usual scheduled open mic, they said “yes, but you’ll be the only one.” So I set up and performed for the six people who were there. It was a shame I had not had a real show there, because the sound system was good and the acoustics were decent.  I plan on booking a show there in the Spring if I can remember the name of the place.

Then it was off to The Mill in Iowa City to perform at their usual Monday open mic. What an appreciative audience. And a nice room, completely separated from the main bar area. J Knight’s open mic has been happening there since the seventies, or so I’ve heard.

Then, I had a scheduled appearance at Roxie’s Patio in Sioux City, IA. Now that I’ve been there, I understand the name. All the furniture inside is patio furniture, and there are umbrellas at the tables. I gave them the full performance, and I made a few fans. Someone even bought me a root beer!

Then the northern road to Fargo and the Red Raven. I’ve been going back to the Red Raven and building up fans a few at a time. A great coffeeshop, in a new location since last year. Nice stage and sound system, although the room is a little verby. Really cool people there. Bicycle people, artists, gamers…my kind of people. Folk duo Kaboom Rawr opened the show with their guitar/accordion rock songs, and electronic act  Lava Proof Boots did the middle slot and hypnotized us all with hard-hitting rhythms and electronic noise.

The next day, a scheduled appearance at the Thursday open mic at Rhythm Records and Cafe in Bismarck, ND, one of my favorite towns. The thing that separates Bismarck from most other cities in the country is it’s vibrant “strip” straight out of the fifties. Standing on the sidewalk outside the record store for an hour, I saw no fewer than 20 big trucks with a bunch of people in the truck bed screaming at people in the sidewalk. If you haven’t been screamed at from a passing vehicle, then you haven’t truly experienced the city of Bismarck. The show went well. Some of the regular people from previous Bismarck performances were there, plus a bunch of new people. Ryan Schweitzer did a poetry set, as usual, but this night in particular he was dead on. Man, what a performance! I purchased Weird Al’s first two albums and Paul and Linda McCartney’s “Ram” on vinyl. Records are arranged by price, and in no kind of alphabetical order. You simply have to look through every single record each time you go to the store. That night there appeared to be about 50 people, and it looks like about half of them were purchasing vinyl. I don’t know how well the store did that night, but it sure looked like it was going well.

Off to the three-day Why Not? festival in Minot. Three days and about 6 million bands. Highlights: the joke band Gallons of Bacon put on a stellar performance at 62 doors to an audience that was singing along to every song. I enjoyed their song structures and their sense of humor. Progressive Metal band from Australia, Dead, performed a bit after me, and I was transfixed. I bought their LP. And then there was the highly impressive Atom’s Rite. Honestly, listen to their music…it’s up there with Tortoise. They played a disappointingly short set. My show went as well as it possibly could have. My fanclub showed up wearing unicorn horns. People sang along. Everyone had a good time. And once again, the people in Minot showed me more hospitality than I could have asked for. It was the last show of the tour, and it was the best possible end for the tour. The floodwaters have receded, and the city has begun to clean up. The art community there remains as vibrant as ever!

Thank you everyone who helped me get in the black on this tour. Stay tuned for next year!

Johnny Unicorn 2011 Summer Tour Part Four Part Two

Michigan, U.S.A. – In the muggy mists of Michigan’s musty west I take a rest. With family, friends and foes from distant pasts I reunite. Mosquitoes thirstily drink my blood. Growls and tiny bleeps in the blackness of the nightwoods betray either terrible animal murder, or something much nicer; I never find out. The lake never has waves; I am forced to wade in still water so cold my feet freeze and returning to shore becomes difficult. Deadly solar heat only breaks for a horrifying storm: rain that sounds like a million frogs falling onto a lake of maple syrup and lightning that is as bright as the sun and almost as frequent. A small pool of swamp water builds on the floor of my car.

Tour: Eastern leg:

GTG Fest part two: Lansing, MI’s GTG throws their second of three shows. It’s Josh David and the Dream Jeans (check out “Aware of the Riverman”), Cavalcade and me. The audience is so good that it’s overwhelming, and I’m not even sure what to do. I fear that I could have done better for them. But they get to see part of the Universe music band. Naomi plays synth for half the set. The Plurals’ Hattie Plural sits in for a couple of the songs also!

Next I go to Lawton, Michigan’s Old Hat Brewery, where I play a long solo show. The audience is the best first-time audience ever. The show puts the whole tour in the black.

Bozart’s (a really cool gallery) in Toledo allows me to perform for unwitting art-lover’s during the city’s artwalk. Some of them enjoy the show. Some seem indifferent. All stay to watch the entire show, which is more than I ever hope for.

Jamestown, New York’s Labyrinth Press Company let’s me play a show at their coffeehouse, opening for progressive metal band Exemption. A great show, but a small audience. Afterward I go to a dance party and regret not dressing up.

Next, I backtrack to Erie, PA and the Crooked I. A bigger music venue / bar. It is their open mic, and they have given me a special slightly longer slot. I perform for a room full of people who have no idea what to expect. And as far as I can tell, a decent amount of them are impressed. The next 8 hours are the weirdest of tour! For legal reasons I will not talk about it publicly.

The next day, I go back to Jamestown to retrieve a cable I left there. Then it’s off to Buffalo, to host “Monday Night Inventory,” an open mic that takes place at Allen Street Hardware…this place has nothing to do with Hardware. There is not even a hardware theme or anything. It’s a restaurant. I spend most of my time being confused about this fact. The open mic allows me to just talk, without having to think about a big set of music. I meet some interesting people and hear some very interesting music. The artist who particularly stands out in my mind is Forevra Evra. just click on the link and listen. You’ll know what I’m talking about.

That leg of the tour complete, I drive through Canada and up to Alpena, MI to spend some quality time with my friend and fellow artist, Jamie Grefe.

More soon.

Religious statement

A personal history of my spiritual development.

When I was 2, I saw some shirts float by the window, and look in menacingly.

When I was 4, I saw Santa Claus flying across the night sky.

When I was 5, I was curious why people were so interested in the “holly bibble.”

When I was 6, I decided that the dozens of transparent blobs floating around in my eyes at all times were angels.

When I was 7, knowing that God was everywhere all at once, I wondered if he watched me when I went to the bathroom.

When I was 8, knowing that God could read my thoughts, I wondered if he would be angry at me for trying to imagine him naked.

When I was 9, I thought demons were out to get me.

When I was 10, I thought Hell was a place where you just sat in the darkness for eternity, and had no interactions with anyone or anything, and I wasn’t sure exactly who was sent there.

When I was 11, I had my first religious experience: I created music. Since then, I have not seen supernatural things as necessary for my spiritual fulfillment, or for making sense out of the universe.

I hope this doesn’t alienate some of my fans, but I thought it would put into perspective some of the themes of my current and future music.

Johnny Unicorn Tour 2011 Summer Tour Part Four

U.S.A. – My tour from Minot to Michigan.

The “scheduling gods” had me going from the submerged Minot to the distant Fargo/Moorhead megalopolis. Standing floodwater in the roadway nearly aborted one preferred route, but trust in the truth of the sun’s shining light and a trust in my own sense of sight was enough motivation to drive very carefully through. The drive after that was uneventful at its most exciting.

The blistering sun of Fargo had me running for the shade. At the Red Raven I put on a fun show and lost some important equipment. Saw the act entitled Jesus or Genome, which I very much liked.

In the Twin Cities I swiftly procured the replacement equipment, which immediately and irrevocably broke. The only person who could fix it now is a master welder. Fittingly for the Twin Cities, I had twin shows. One at the Acadia Cafe with the wonder-band Drug Budget, and the one-piece punk outfit Frederickson. The crowd was large and friendly. Then, at the secret Psychic School, I played another show for a smaller, but more packed crowd with a lot of other bands whose names I cannot recall at the moment. One person laughed hysterically throughout the show. For that, I gave her merchandise.

Then it was off to Wisconsin, where I performed for a handful of very nice people, and some children, at a place called the Latte Cafe. For them, I took out the swears.

My car continued to not fall apart, so I moved on to the White City, where I performed at Reggie’s for a group of people who had just come from a baseball game. Some of the crowd got my act, and some of them looked at my act the way I look at baseball: questioningly. It was an early show, so I was able to make it to the very end of Mark and Reyna’s “Music in Widescreen” where they gave me a brief interview and played a track off my new album. The next day I performed an acoustic show at the Elbo Room’s upstairs lounge with Rich, Rob and Nan, and a metal group called Skinwalker (which for that night had wonderfully gone acoustic). Musically a happy time for everyone. Also present were the “Miller Lite Girls” who actually appeared to be adult women.

After that, it was up to Michigan, the South of the North, to rest and relax with friends and family. More about that in part three!