Tahitian Mountains

This Gauguin image has been in my folks apartment since I was born. I’ve starred at it probably longer than any other image. The tress always turned into weird creatures and sometimes appeared in my dreams. It’s held a mystery and sense of adventure and desire to see over the next hill. I’ve never seen it anywhere else (books, shows). Yesterday I saw it hanging in the hallway of Bronx Science High School. Very strange. img_20160917_080310

Tour burnout has set in. Three more shows left, but then off to Sweden for 10 days.

Hopefully I can do some backpacking/hikes.

Feeling pretty discombobulated. Not able to think about reacclimatizing to the real world back in Portland or NY.



I’m notorious for losing things.  both on tour and off. This tour is half over and I’ve reached a new high (aka low.)
The items I’ve lost so far:
Digital Zoom recorder
my favorite jacket
mac charger

I try and take it in stride.  I think about what would hurt more to lose.
my passport
my laptop
my money



And what if I lost them?
what do I prize above that?  I suppose my life at a very basic level? My looks? My health? (maybe my family and friends lives as well)

Until then,  fingers crossed.

 The show goes pretty dang good.

But then we get to the last song

At last night’s show in Belfast Jeff chose a song I didn’t play on so I could go run the merch table. Tonight he’s playing Creeping Brain last. Mem is playing bass on it. We practiced it a week ago, but I’m a little shaky on it to add keyboards. I assume I should go to the merch table. Mem starts the bass line. Brent starts the beat. Jeff gives me a look like I should play keys. I mime to him that I’ll go run mercy but he seems to shake his head, implying that I should play keys on it or sing on it. I’m not sure. Mem walks over and reminds me of the chords. E-A-B-A. Jeff starts singing it. I start playing keys on it. First chords, but then I do single notes with flute sound. It takes me a second but it comes back to me. At one point Jeff throws some guitar strings at me. I’m not sure why. He doesn’t like my keys? He wants me to stop? He doesn’t like that keyboard sounds? He’s singing while he throws the pack of strings at me, so I have no idea what he wants. I continue. I switch to a piano sound, which is a little weird and abrupt. Then I switch back to the flute sound.


I GET HIT IN MY ELBOW WITH A BOTTLE OF WATER.  OOOOWWWW. That really fucking hurt. I pick up the water bottle. It’s been thrown at me so hard the top of it is smashed in. I’m steaming mad now. I take a few deep breaths. “zen, zen, zen” I chant to myself to calm myself down. I calmly turn off the keyboard. I think about throwing the bottle of water at Jeff’s head. “Zen, zen, zen.” I chant. “Don’t retaliate.” I tell myself. Don’t. I pack up my book bag and walk backstage to let them finish the song. “Zen, zen, zen.” I chant to myself. I can’t believe this shit. My arm hurts. There’s going to be a bruise. This is not acceptable. He should not be physically hurting me. This is not that different from when Drummer Dave throttled my neck in New Orleans back in 2012. Not acceptable. Physical attacks are not acceptable. I walk to the upstairs backstage to hide out and cool myself down. “zen, zen zen.” I chant. “Zen, zen zen.”

As I write this about thirty minutes after the incident my elbow still hurts. I saved the bottle of water with it’s smashed in head. I fantasize about punching Jeff as hard as I can. “zen, zen, zen.” We’re supposed to share a hotel room tonight. I don’t want to talk to him. I’m pretty sure he thinks he’s totally in the right. Maybe he’ll apologize. Maybe he’ll say “Sorry about that water bottle, I didn’t mean to throw it so hard. But you were fucking up that song. I … something something something.”

“Zen, zen, zen.”

Only 26 more shows. 

Audio of the song in question: https://soundcloud.com/jacklewis/creeping-brain-live-in-letterkenny

Below an image of a normal bottle of water and the bottle of water that hit my arm.


I’m a realist and a pragmatist when it comes down to it. Sure,  I would pee my pants with joy if Sanders won the DEM nomination.  I’d be willing to bet my house that if he was the nominee he’d win in the general election. 

(I’m sick of Dems/progressives claiming he’d lose because he’s a Jew socialist-and I’m tired of explaining why,  but if you’re interested let me know and I’ll tell you- not to mention the national polls back this up)

But from the beginning the chances that Sanders would get the nomination were damn slim if not nearly unthinkable. So here comes the NY primary where Bernie would have to beat HRC to make up some ground in the regular delegate count. Studying the polls it doesn’t look like that will happen.  Sure,  it happened in Michigan- which will forever be known as the biggest poll miscalculation in the history of modern polling – but I’m too emotional to get my hopes up that something like that would happen twice in one primary season.  HRC leads by double digits in the polls. She’ll probably win by double digits. If she wins by ten percent or less I consider that a moral victory for us as humans/Americans/new Yorkers.

So what then?  Some Bernie folk will refuse to give up on his nomination. What happens if he loses in California? Some will give up completely and not vote/campaign for HRC in the general election.  And some like myself will vote for Bernie in the primary in Oregon.  Some like me will write in Bernie’s name in the general election.  And if you live in a solid blue state – NY, California, Washington, Oregon -these are also the state’s where most of the people I know live – I would highly encourage you to write in Bernie’s name,

but if you live in a swing state or have friends/family who do I would beg you to vote for and encourage others to vote for the Democratic nominee. At the very least … At the very least that nominee will keep #Obamacare aka my healthcare/my brothers health care and millions of others.  At the very least that democratic nominee will get to choose the next supreme court justice and … this is a long shot – someone who would repeal citizens United. 

At the very least – that democratic president will protect women ‘s reproductive rights/health/etc.

There are a few other things this democratic President would do,  but I’m done writing for now.

The problem is whether this Democratic nominee will make voters just as apathetic as Gore and Kerry did.  because she is a woman I’d like to think this isn’t possible (negating a possible Bengazi or email bombshell)

I’m trying to get you Bernie lovers (and I’m one) to think about the consequences I/we/the world might face other wise.


As the NY primary nears (probably will make or break the campaign) Bernie has been getting a lot of flack the past couple days for

1. his Ny Daily News interview (which if you read the transcript/analysis is not an issue at all despite media outlets trying to make it one)


2. His quote that Hillary is not qualified to be president. (On the front page of the NY Times)


Tensions Flare as Sanders Attacks Clinton as Unqualified

When you click the link it has this more balanced headline WTF? ”

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Spar Over Presidential Qualifications

I think he was being a little harsh here, but he was responding to what he perseeved as an attack when Hillary on MorningJoe refused to answer the hosts question about whether she though Bernie was qualified to be president. I think Bernie should have been the bigger person and just said “yes, I think Hillary is qualified and so am I.” but he turned it into an attack. fine. Whatever. What is getting less play in the media (surprise, surprise) is this Tax shelter in Panama that is blowing up.

If only main stream Hillary supporters could appreciate what this guy does, day in and day out. People complain about people on welfare sucking our economy dry, how immigrants are stealing jobs, how Obamacare is hurting our free choices. No. No No. the rich and powerful are not playing fair. We’re losing huge amounts of tax revenue to these off shore tax havens. And he spoke out against it in 2011.

Inspired by this article:
and it’s headline:”Sanders sharpens attacks for N.Y. showdown that may dash Clinton’s unity hopes”
Well geez. “Dash unity hopes”?
What the Clinton campaign and her supporters should know is that we (progressive Dems/Democratic Socialists/Commies/etc) have no interest in a conservative president. Clinton and her people want Sanders to go easy on her in advance of the general election. In some way I agree he shouldn’t attack her in such a way that would make swing state voters apathetic in the general election  (key point here-some states are safe in the general election. What we’re really talking about for a presidential election are the 5-8 swing states that mostly all went to Obama. ). But ideally Clinton’s people would do best to slowly pivot even more so to the left. Ideally Sanders’ beautiful and inspiring campaign messages and his wide and constantly spreading support would inspire Clinton and her people to see that the way forward as a country is to be a government for the people (the middle class and the poor) and not a government that favors corporations and the rich.
We need a government with a fair tax code. A government that properly taxes business and individuals the way we did in the 60’s and 70’s  (like many European and Scandanavian countries do) (http://www.factcheck.org/2016/02/sanders-corporate-tax-comparison/)
We need a government that provides health care to those who can’t afford it (like many European and Scandinavian countries do). We need a government that provides low cost or free higher education (like many European and Scandinavian countries do).
The US needs this. Hopefully Clinton and her people focus on what the majority of the American people need.
“The intensified and scrappy approach by Sanders comes as Clinton is eager to pivot to the general election. Clinton keenly understands the imperative to unite Democrats for the fall campaign and, thinking that the nomination is nearly locked up, wants to spend the spring building bridges to the Sanders wing.”