I started off taking Megabuses to DC, Richmond, and Durham with no shows booked. The first night of the tour was spent busking and sleeping at OccupyDC, which is yet going strong. Richmond, on the other hand, was recently broken up by the cops and a friend of mine was arrested. So I hung and slept with the Wingnut Collective crew instead of the Richmond occupation and was inspired to write my latest work, Poem for the Pyre.
I was then picked up in Durham for my show in Burlington with punk sensation Crumb Catcher and instrumental mountain-sound finger- picker, Snohomish. The show was meagerly attended but otherwise amazing. Zach Corsa (of Snohomish and Lost Trail) and I snacked on granola bars and fruit roll ups as we also packed them for our shared leg of the tour to Columbus, GA.
Our first scheduled show, at Firestorm Cafe in Asheville, went really great though it was also meagerly attended. We shared the stage with local post-rocker To All My Dear Friends, who I first met in NYC when I booked him for a sweltering summer show at Edgecombe House. He blew us away with his electric-violin hurricane of awesome. We then rushed to the Asheville occupation, where we were hearing reports of police harassment. I played songs to encourage the occupiers and frustrate the police. Perhaps I succeeded on both counts.
One of the press liaisons for the Chattanooga occupation invited us to join him for a talk radio appearance, where we were also encouraged to play our music live on air. Then we joined a group of ten to fifteen occupiers at the city council meeting, which was pretty boring overall; but it was neat to hear three of the OccupyCHA crew make statements to the council on behalf of their tiny community, encamped outside the city's courthouse steps. Their evening GA followed immediately thereafter, huddled below umbrellas and the steps' overhang. Zach and I missed most of it as we ate dinner at a local bar. When we arrived toward the end we were thanked for our support and it was announced that we'd play some music to close the night's activity. It was surreal and beautiful, playing for them in the light rain. With our resolve we showed that though a battle had been lost at Zuccotti Park, the ideological war for peace and justice raged on across the country.
We didn't sleep very well that night, for reasons I don't care to explain at length. We had to get up early to beat the parking meter, so we made an early start toward Athens, GA.
There is a humble occupation there, near a UGA campus entrance known simply as The Arch. There were about ten tents erected on the sidewalk, flush against a low wall. They also have a small canopy where they try to keep at least two or three people posted at all times. They deal with much harassment from dude-bros. We joined them for their general assembly and played 90's hits all through the night.
We left Athens at sun down on November 17, the second big day of action in NYC, and a day of solidarity for occupations around the country. Zach and I thought we had a show booked in Atlanta, but we got screwed pretty hard by the DIY venue there. We ended up not playing at all. Instead we planned to join the occupiers in Atlanta, but their venue was totally wiped clean when we arrived, not unlike the pictures of Zuccotti park from two days prior. SO after an anti-climactic drive around Atlanta, we stayed with a friend in the city, drowning our musical frustration with coke and peach schnapps.
Next stop: School of the Americas Watch protest and vigil at the gates of Fort Benning, GA.