The life of a troubadour can be Puritan. Almost Amish. Among the excesses not presently in my life are those of a working computer, operative internet, or outside contact with the greater world. Did I mention I'm currently in Arkansas?
But, I've wrestled a computer away from Hendrix College long enough to answer my overflowing mailbags. Turns out anthrax is still a VERY REAL danger, by the way. I'm writing this from the hospital. Other thoughts, while sifting through the hatemail:
Hallo, Chris! How did you find Louisville? -Ronnie Deutsch, Driscoll Connecticut
Great question, Ronnie. Louisville is a city with an old spirit, somewhere between its railroad roots and its industrial future. It's gray and blue collar, and without much pretense. I like it very much. I'd say that it has much more in common with my hometown of Memphis than its sister city Nashville. It felt a little like home.
The SHOW in Louisville, however, was quirky. I opened for two death-metal bands. This meant that the audience had to be open-minded. I think they were. Definitely some good music fans in Louisville, and I look forward to seeing them soon.
Oh, and real quick: thanks to my hosts in town. I had two great meals and plenty of good conversation and both are hard to find on the road. See y'all around the bend.
What summer blockbuster are you most looking forward to? -Jeffrey Katzenmoyer, Greenville Alabama
I saw Akeelah and the Bee last week and am pretty sure it will be remembered as the greatest film of our generation. As far as eye candy goes, however, I hear Aniston gets naked this Friday.
I think the Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sangwich is the greatest delight that fast food has to offer. Your thoughts? -Bobby Daniel, Tullahoma Tennessee
In the past month I have gained a marginal expertise in fast food cuisine. The traditional powerhouses (McDonald's, Wendy's, etc.) have completely dropped the ball. It is their job--and their job alone--to make America morbidly obese. I remember when I went to McDonald's four times in one week to get the Batman Returns signature cups and gained 75 pounds. Now they serve Asian salads and something called a "sangwich frescata," which in Italian means "put on some sweatpants and just give up." Don't talk to me anymore, McDonald. Don't call, don't write. I don't know you anymore.
KFC, meanwhile, offers a bowl of lukewarm mashed potatos, mealy corn, giant strips of genetically engineered "chicken" meatoids, topped with a literal boatload of gravy and a "melted three cheese blend." This "Tato Gravy Bowl" boasts 8 million calories. It also has microbiotic gravy cells that hunt down vitamins in your bloodstream and kill them with tiny gravy guns, then camp out in your butt and wait for reinforcements should you eat a vegetable. Scientists are calling this "The Colonel's Army of Fat" and they want you to be a part of it. $3.99. With a large Pepsi.
How was Birmingham? -Marsha Fuller, Flagstaff Arizona
Birmingham is a lovely place, but I didn't see its entirety. I mostly saw the bar I played in, which featured your average patronage: old men in golf shirts, high school girls with fake IDs, and fratty guys who probably minored in Dateraping at Auburn.
I kid. There were many, many kind people there and Birmingham is the type of town that likes their music in a very visceral way. They raise their glasses and hoot. They sing along. They holler. They request songs I've already played because they've already forgotten I've played them. But mostly they just have a good time. And I did too.
Where should I take Reggie Bush in my fantasy draft? -George Yancey, Marion Ohio
Second. Behind Mario Williams.
Seriously, I wanted to mention football here because it's baseball season and I want to hang myself. Baseball: you were passed by football and basketball in popularity a generation ago. You experienced a mild resurgence on the heels of a homerun race that we now know was a fraud. Your only compelling storyline (The Hapless Red Sox) has concluded itself (David Beats Goliath and Wins World Series). Your league is made up mostly of superior, foreign-born talent. Your regular season is too long and arduous to ever be meaningful. And Barry Bonds has rendered your last piece of relevance (the importance of stats and their comparibility over time) completely void. You are admittedly dull, even to fans, to watch on television. You are tedious, dull, obsolete, and useless, and you take up the largest section of the sports calendar and monopolize major media sports coverage. If you were a person, I would absolutely murder you.
All this to say: I miss football and I want it back. That's all.
Is Halle Berry perfect? -Chris McGillicutty, Conway Arknsas
Yes. Yes she is.
Where are you now? What are you doing? And why? -Your mother
Hi Mom. I'm outside Little Rock, Arkansas typing right now. I'm a little hungry, tired, and cold. I have two more shows before I get back to Nashville. Here they are:
Wednesday, May 31: Sticky Fingerz in Little Rock, 9pm
Monday, June 5: P&H Cafe in Memphis, 9pm
After that I'm going to sleep for about five days, wake up, and spend the rest of the summer in Nashville working on and with my band.
Why? Only time will tell.
Hopefully I will get back here soon. Here are a few things to look forward to:
-New pictures courtesy of JRizzle
-New blogs ("Top Ten Musical Movie Moments: Times When Film Rocked" et al)
Finally, if you haven't signed up for my mailing list (or you have, but that email address is obsolete), then please hit up www.chrismilam.com and sign up again. We're reorganizing at Milam Nation, and it's all in an effort to make you, the fan, easier to spam. Thanks.
While my guitar gently weeps,