After two weeks in the chilly Midwest, it was a welcome relief to hit the warm air and open roads of Texas. There's something really special about the South, and I think it has to do with how different it is from my hometown of Toronto. Lots of American cities are really similar to Canadian ones, but the vast deserts and weird, misshapen palm trees that dot the Texan landscape are altogether unique.
Of course, the political climate is an altogether different thing. It's definitely a shock driving past enormous billboards warning of the coming apocalypse or decrying abortion and healthcare reform. And don't even get me started on guns! However, it's also easy to pass judgment, and in that respect I'm always amazed by the incredibly positive and open-minded attitudes of the fans I meet at every show. People always ask if I have a favorite place to perform on tour, and I honestly don't. Anywhere (even nowhere) can be special, and getting the opportunity to play some of the smaller American spots has only reaffirmed my opinion.
And while we're on the topic of nowhere, I'd find it hard not to mention Marfa, Texas. Marfa is a small (OK, really small) town in the westernmost deserts of Texas, situated only a few dozen miles north of the Mexican border. It's also the place where the famed sculptural artist Donald Judd chose to settle and work in his later years. As an art school student brought up on heavy doses of minimalism and conceptual theory, Don Judd is basically ground zero. His work is simple, yes, but has also informed much of the popular design aesthetic of last half-century.
Much of Marfa is devoted to displaying the work of Judd and friendly contemporaries like Dan Flavin and John Chamberlain. However, unlike the gallery districts in major cities like New York, these seminal works are located next door to old-school cowboy saloons -- and it's one of the only places you can actually still see the stars.
And speaking of Stars (heh) we've only got a few shows left on tour! Vibes are high as we approach the West coast and final leg of this month-long epic. I'm looking forward to hearing a few of my favorite songs a final few times ("Theory of Relativity" and "Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give it" are my new top Stars jams) and leaving it all on the floor for my fans in California.
Oh yeah! And my new album Free Dimensional drops on October 22nd! I made it just for you and really hope you like it. 'Til next time!