It is a night off. I am in Boise, Idaho, sitting in the Crux, a coffeehouse on Main Street. Not many people in here tonight. The front of the place is all glass and I am afforded a great view of the street. Music is coming through the system, loud and not to my liking, and so I have brought my own. I always do.
I have learned I shouldn't go anywhere without a personal music device. I learned that on a night just like this a few years ago. I was sitting in a coffee place writing while enduring a woman's one-sided cellphone conversation. The next afternoon I purchased my first iPod.
A couple of hours ago, I went to a great local record store called the Record Exchange. It's not the most interesting name for a record store, but over the many years I have been doing shows here, visits to this store have always been fruitful.
On this tour, I am trying to get to as many small record stores as possible and support them by making a purchase.
Tonight held some great finds. First Boston album half-speed master version, Eno/Moebius/Roedelius After the Heat and Cluster & Eno, Sky Records pressings, both apparently unplayed. Coltrane Sun Ship, first pressing, perfect condition. Can't wait to get these spinning.
It's always great to come back to a place after a couple of years and find that the local record store has held on. Quite often that's not the case.
The shows have been flying by: Salem, Ore.; Sacramento; Carson City, Nev.; Phoenix; Salt Lake City. The audiences have been very friendly and it's great to be onstage night after night.
We had to fly ahead of the bus for a couple of shows as the distances were too great. I was in line to go through security in Reno and on a monitor to my right was Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano talking to us travelers about safety. I heard a loud male voice behind me protest that she is a "dyke on a bike" and then he went into some strange rap about Sept. 11. The line of people went silent as the man bloviated. TSA officers zeroed in on him.