May 22, 2003 3:48 PM
My third day in Portland. Yesterday, Brian and I sat inside an unusual old cypress (?) tree whose bottom branches along the ground were the size of large tree trunks. We were completely sheltered as we rehearsed for the performance on the radio last night. Looking around at the tree surrounding us, I kept seeing scenes from Lord Of The Rings in my head. We worked up Reason To Live, Miracle Of Love, and Honey, as well as Blood On Your Hands a la blues. Arthur (a friend of mine who works at KBOO radio), Brian, and I had dinner at The Farm, and then we explored the world famous Powell’s Books. I leave Powell’s with: The Essential Ken Wilbur, Turned On – A Biography of Henry Rollins (which mentions SWANS), Cave In The Snow – Tenzim Palmo’s Quest For Enlightenment, and Odd Nerdrum – Paintings, Sketches, and Drawings. We arrive at KBOO, do a sound check, and embark on the adventure that is “live” radio. I’m cool with all of it as I have done radio performances many times. We find out that the performance has gone out in mono; we find out that there is distortion and phasing,,SO we do it all again! I gave my vocal a different treatment and embellish with alternate notes…..in other words, a reinterpretation the second time around. To me this is pretty exciting because it is the essense of LIVE. What the audience thinks is perhaps another thing entirely ! Yet we do the set TWICE LIVE and Brandon the DJ , who is a gentleman, offers us a beer before we pack up the guitar and head ‘home.’ I stayed up last night readng Cave In The Snow from cover to cover. “How an Englishwoman, the daughter of a fishmonger from London’s Easr End, has become a Buddhist legend and a champion for the rights of women to attain spiritual enlightenment.” Tenzim Palmo spent 12 years in a remote cave 13,200 feet up in the Himalayas engaged in intense meditation. She slept in a traditional wooden meditation box, three feet square – she never lay down..She faced unimaginable cold, wild animals, near starvation, avalanches; grew her own food…cut off from the world by mountains and snow.