Uncharted Territory: ND, MN, WI

06/12/2010 at 8:56 am | Posted in 49>50, Stories from the Road | 1 Comment

This blog entry goes with the photoblog taking shape over at http://flickr.com/mariancall. The photos are less great photos, more a way to tell the story, which is in the captions.  The experience I’m referring to in this blog entry is chronicled in this photoset.

Of everywhere I visited in the upper Midwest, Fargo was the only place in the middle of the country I’d ever really been (except for Wheaton, IL which is not really anything like Chicago).  And the Midwest has never much interested me, cuz, no mountains.  But that lack of interest or expectation set me up to be totally blown away.  The scenery was a lot prettier and more varied than I imagined, the culture was awesome, the food was amazing (and cheap!).  And I was kind enough to bring better-than-predicted weather to most of the places I visited.

And the people.  The people are why I love to do this.  I was lucky to be meeting almost entirely strangers, and I met entirely awesome interesting people.  Of course, my listeners tend to be awesome interesting people.  Hence all the portraits of folks you don’t know — I like to remember that one significant conversation I had with someone I’ve never met, about that time in college when they XYZ and it changed their direction in life.  Talking to strangers is my hobby.  Taking photos of people who claim they always look ugly in pictures is also my hobby.  Beware my merciless lens; I am the Candid Bandit.


  • Art galleries in Fargo/Moorhead.  Lots of them.  With awesome art.  And with three colleges and not much else to do, there’s an incredible theater and classical music scene there.  Did you not know?  It’s one of those towns that must create its own scene, since the rest of the world is unlikely to stop in.  People there have decided to make it happen on their own, and so it’s happening.
  • Watching a 12-year-old semi-pro competivite yoyo-er do tricks absentmindedly while talking to us.  Yoyo-ist.  Yoyo-phile.  I’m not sure, but he ruled.
  • Double the expected audience at my cafe concert in Minneapolis/St. Paul (!!)
  • My iPhone died in Tok, Alaska.  Thankfully I am enough of a nerd that I carry an old backup iPhone on six-month road trips.  I made three attempts to get it replaced, and had three failures and redirects.  But on the plus side, I got to visit the oldest mall in America in Roseville, MN.  And you can guess how much I love malls!
  • Hearing Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown for the first time.  I’ve been eager to get this album for months.  It’s a folk opera retelling the Orpheus myth set in Depression America, featuring Greg Brown as Hades and Ani DiFranco as Persephone, plus a kickin’ band.  You can buy it here.  And if you can possibly catch it live, you should.
  • We camped outdoors in rural Manitoba.  The first campground we pulled into was mostly deserted, and I had an ooky feeling about camping where no one else was.  Then Scott asked, “Is that a graveyard?” True ’nuff, there was an ill-kempt and crumbling graveyard right across a chain link fence from the numbered tent sites.  Crooked tombstones and all.  I’m not superstitious, but I really couldn’t do it.  We opted to drive on to a site that turned out to be conveniently located right next to the late night freight train express corridor.  (And killed the battery in my car using the headlights to set up the tent, and had to get a jump from some Alabama boys with molasses-thick accents in the morning.)
  • I was instructed to go barefoot more often, at least once a week.  Sound advice any way you look at it.  Easier to follow down here than in Alaska, of course.
  • I didn’t get how the Great Lakes had beaches. I mean, it makes sense logically, but witnessing them was something else.  Rehearsing with a guitarist on the beach in the sun is exactly how I like to spend my afternoons in the fantasyland where I get to mostly make music instead of send e-mail — so I was a lucky lucky lady in Chicago.
  • Cheese. Dude: CHEESE.  I love you Wisconsin…

People everywhere love to talk about their own state, and other states.  And I love to listen.  My first question is usually: “Why do you live here?  Why did you come here, or why did you stay here?” I even ask baristas and bank tellers.  I love the answers I get.  My favorite was so far, said of Milwaukee: “Tea.  Have you ever tasted $400/lb. tea?  Let me get you some.”  To which I, of course, say slainte.

Of course the regional stereotypes are a little true and a little false, and everywhere people see the grass as greener on the other side of the fence.  Everyone thinks they live in the least cool place until you tap into a funny, juvenile source of pride and they light up as they sing some stupid old song about their baseball team.  After collecting this much informal folksy knowledge about the country, I expect I’ll be able to settle a lot of arguments at cocktail parties.

(Speaking of which, may I have a word with you, Kansas?  Dude, you are not flat.  I’ve driven all the way across you both ways now, and I have seen nothing even close to as flat as Fargo.  And Manitoba totally takes the cake.  So don’t you be trying to steal North Dakota’s thunder.  You nice and rolly compared to the N.D.)

Must sleep, as it’s 4am.  Now have most mountain states booked, on to cementing the West Coast in late July and then my August trip from Seattle to Florida.  New dates are up at http://mariancall.com — tell your friends!  So I can keep rolling along.

And let me know what sorts of reports you want back, too.  It’s hard to encapsulate this experience, but I’m trying a number of methods and seeing what works out.  All my best —




06/06/2010 at 7:14 am | Posted in 49>50, Stories from the Road | 6 Comments

The most significant accolade I earned at Stanford was a shiny certificate that declared me “MOST LIKELY TO BE LOCKED OUT” my freshman year. Twenty-two times or more, if I recall. My friends earned Phi Beta Kappa and Fulbrights, and I misplaced my bike seat. Losing things is a gift of mine. An art, really.

In fact, the day before I rolled out on this monstrosity of a tour, I managed to lock myself out of my house (with the car keys inside, of course) just minutes before my last appearance on my beloved local radio station, http://knba.org. My rescue, which involved two friends, three cars, and a beer, took the better part of an afternoon (which I desperately needed to pack and confirm little details such as whether I would be allowed to cross the Canadian border).

I am leaving pieces of myself all across the continent. I lost a pillow in the Yukon, jewelry in Saskatchewan, and candy bars in Minneapolis (Wunderbars! Available only in Canada! And they’re gone!). I lost my music stand in Michigan, broke sunglasses in Indiana and Iowa, and left half a gourmet pizza and Bryan’s music notebook on top of the car in Des Moines. And in Des Moines they remain. Thankfully I’m nerdy enough to have another complete notebook at the ready, just in case. Oh, and if you find my charts, don’t sell them to terrorist organizations or anything.

[**Interlude: in which I leave off blogging to go play an (amazing) show at the Manhattan Arts Center in Kansas, and in which I significantly misplace my keys twice. I am not making this up.**]

The only thing that made me sad to lose happened yesterday, and that was my favoritest kermit green fuzzy blanket that has gone everywhere with me on my travels for a few years. When you sleep in a different place every night, it helps to have just one blanket that’s the same. I’ll sigh just once, write this blog, and be done with it, but it’s still a little bit sad. Losing stuff is nothing new to me. In fact I can probably only take this journey because I feel like I’ve been stripped of all my belongings so completely, and so many times, that it’s hard to cling to the idea of owning anything. I’m more astounded when my belongings stay in one place than when they’re lost or stolen.

I have also turned into a de facto delivery girl. I’ve brought a guitar from Anchorage to Grand Rapids, a baby shower gift from Fargo to Minneapolis, tea from Madison to Chicago, cheese from West Bend to Indianapolis, and cookies from Fairfield to Des Moines. Watch your back, FedEx. Better step up that customer service. #iamnotyourerrandgirl

So really as I redistribute odd pieces of myself and my friends around the country I’m embodying my own experience of loss, growth, death, rebirth, and other vague abstract-ish nouns. Which I’m pretty sure makes me eligible for a grant. Losing things is my superpower.

Love from Manhattan (the other one),


My first ever crawfish avocado red pepper goat cheese pizza, in Indianapolis IN
which incidentally contained my first ever crawfish

Upcoming shows, details at http://mariancall.com:

6/6 Lynn Riggs Park, Claremore OK
6/13 Open House Concert, Houston TX
6/14 Open House Concert, Austin TX
6/17 Poor David’s Pub, Dallas TX
6/19 KISS Coffee Courtyard, Albuquerque
6/22 Open House Concert, Green Valley, AZ (Tucson area)
6/23 Open House Concert, Phoenix AZ

From Fairfield, IA

06/03/2010 at 5:40 pm | Posted in 49>50, Stories from the Road | 5 Comments

I love house concerts. Last night I played on a deck in a backyard in rural-ish Iowa, surrounded by fields, frogs, birds, and fireflies. It was a rapt audience and a magical night with an amazing sky of stars overhead.

After the show we stood about the living room and sang Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell and Greg Brown songs. My 16-year-old concert host, @hawthornegalen, played a bluegrass tune he’d written for his girlfriend in Guam: “We’re both stuck on rocks in the middle of nowhere / she’s got bananas, we got corn in rows / she’s got beaches, we got hoes…” (paraphrasing). Then three of us decided to have a Map-Off, in which we drew the United States as fast as possible, freehand and from memory. At this point I would like to apologize to everyone east of the Mississippi, as I’ve only barely been there:

Arkansas, Alabama, Rhode Island and Delaware now deserve songs. Because I forgot them. Sorry. In my defense, neither of the other contestants remembered Alaska or Hawaii, knew the shape of Idaho, could abbreviate states properly (AR is not AK is not AL) or had any idea where any Canadian Province was. And it’s better than the freehand US map I drew at age 10: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mariancall/4225098598/

A good friend of mine from college was able to come with her two very small daughters, and they behaved themselves very well (and charmed the crowd for sure). She could never have brought the little ones to a club, and probably would have hesitated to have them at an indoor show at all. Again: house concerts are the best. Watching a 2-year-old stalk a barn cat while I play is just the best thing ever.

In Saugatuck Michigan, a 3-year-old boy and his 5-year-old sister sat in a double stroller in the garden of a coffeehouse and listened, rapt, for almost an entire two-hour show. Their mom reported that they go to concerts all the time and love to listen. I can’t say how happy that made me. Both children decided they wanted to give me their ice cream allowance for the day in the tip jar: each one put in a crisp beautiful $2 bill. I wanted to tear up from smiling so hard. I do not ever want my career to evolve to the point where that doesn’t happen.

I feel lucky to be a bit off the beaten path here in Fairfield. My GPS took us a back way through rural Illinois — on windy country roads without another car in sight — and I’m so glad to be off the interstate and seeing trees. Fairfield has fantastic espresso, for the record.

Booking and posting dates on gigs is totally overwhelming, but fear not, they’re getting nailed down. Still need help with Boulder, Las Vegas, Moscow ID, E. WA, and Portland.

See you soon, Heartlanders!


Upcoming shows, details at http://mariancall.com:

6/3 Java Joe’s/4th Street Theatre, Des Moines IA
6/4 Salva O’Renick 1st Friday Art Walk, Kansas City, MO
6/5 Manhattan Arts Center, Manhattan, KS
6/6 Lynn Riggs Park, Claremore OK
6/13 Open House Concert, Houston TX
6/14 Open House Concert, Austin TX
6/17 Poor David’s Pub, Dallas TX
6/19 KISS Coffee Courtyard, Albuquerque

49>50: the Unobserved Life is Busy

06/02/2010 at 7:29 am | Posted in 49>50, Stories from the Road | 4 Comments

Currently in state #5.  And Canada — you are so very large. 6 days x 10-14 hours of driving = Anchorage to Fargo.

Nearly everyone I know says they like travel.  But I find that once I’m on the open road with them, or in a stuffy airplane with them, or trolling around some strange downtown with them, 85% of those travel-lovers really mean something different: they mean they like the idea of travel and the memory of travel.

Because travel itself is stupid.  It’s hot or cold and smelly and tiresome and sometimes hazardous.  It’s completely repacking the car a fourth time.  Being unable to push your seat back.  Dropping dairy products in your carpet.  Buying crap gas and getting only half the mileage you ought to.  Seeing the worst part of town instead of the best by accident, and eating the least desirable burger in town instead of the world famous aweseomeburger because of a GPS error.

Ultimately the plotting beforehand is more fun for most — the hours spent over maps, those magic paper portals.  The guide books, the reviews, and the reservations are all so inspiring.  And later the rehearsed summaries for jealous friends, the slide shows and souvenirs, make the whole experience feel magical in retrospect (even if in reality the only time anyone smiled or quit arguing was to take photos in front of a scenic body of water).

But if you want to ride with me, you have to LOVE THE TRAVEL.  Itself.  In real time.  Because I do.

I’m kind of a dork, and by dork I mean someone who gets really happy and invigorated by little things like funny truck stops and the lumbar support adjustment lever in my car seat and my favorite brand of almonds.  I love the driving itself, taking huge strides across the country.  Washing my windshield has to be one of my favorite daily rituals.  So if you really love the entire process, which is inconvenience and insanity itself — ride with me.

I’m visiting all 50 states.  Currently I’m in state no. 5: Michigan.  It’s hot.  But I found ice cream and a bookstore with a friendly owner, so I’m good.

I’m having a problem, and that problem is not being able to report back to all of you in a remotely satisfactory way on my experiences on the road.  It just can’t happen.  Too much goes on too fast when you’re traveling at this pace to be a proper reporter.  But perhaps it’s good I’m being so much in the center of what I’m doing.  The evaluation may have to come later on such a fast and furious and incredible adventure.

But rest assured I’m saving up my memories.  When I arrive in a cafe, which is the one thing I do pretty predictably every day, I grab a scrap of paper — a menu, a coaster, a flier for some local event — and scribble my thoughts on the back.  My purse and glove box are filling up with these little physical objects.  Sometimes I’m dork enough to ponder my purse as a physical model of a sloppy ill-formatted livejournal.  I don’t know what these scraps of paper will become, but I like them.  After spending my winter months almost entirely online, it’s odd to be unplugged for most of the day as I drive, then socialize, then play a show.  My handwriting is improving again.

A great collection of concert pics by other people is accumulating over at my tagged photos on Facebook, but aside from that, almost nothing directly from me so far (since my plan to vlog has not yet materialized, what my new phone dying in Tok, Alaska).  If you have taken photos and posted them on Flickr, please do add them to the “Marian Call Concert Photos” Flickr group, which lives here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/mariancallphotos/pool/.

And now, hoping to get in the habit of posting short travel stories here when I can.  I think I will blog more if I take it in tinier chunks.  Wish me luck.  I am wishing you luck, and I feel such excitement when I meet you in person.  I really love you guys.


Annual Spring Fundraiser, or, I Got Your Number Baby

04/29/2010 at 11:59 pm | Posted in 49>50, How to this-or-that, News & Explanations | 2 Comments

Let’s talk, darling.  As in — let me call you up and leave you a custom voicemail, including any snippet of any song I’ve ever released, on your phone.  If I catch you in person, let’s chat for a couple minutes!  A singing telegram from Alaska.  This is my idea of a client meeting.  I’ll sing for you over the phone.

Announcing the Marian Call 3rd Annual Tour Fundraiser Extravaganza Bash Thing!

(This is how I do accounting and pay the bills, with a little whimsy.  You see, in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.  You find the fun, and — SNAP!  The job’s a game!  If you’re wondering why I need to raise a little more cash at the beginning of the 49>50 Tour, see below.)

Nearly everything I’m offering this year was requested by fans.  You guys.  So please, have a look, snag something sweet, bid in the auction (4/30-5/7), download an album, or spread the word!  It’s time.  If you don’t want any fanstuff, but you’ve enjoyed either my music or my tweets or my friendship — please help me come down and see thousands of people all over the U.S. by dropping $5 in my online tip jar.  You can do that.  Like NPR or your favorite local bar, good music only exists if you support it now and again. Here are some of the items up for grabs this week at http://mariancall.com/fundraiser.php:

  • Personalized Voicemail from Marian — get a singing telegram of any song snippet you like! Only $25 (no shipping of course).
  • T-shirts (for the first time ever!!!) — sweatshop-free garments, organic options, choose any color or cut for any design!
  • Photo Prints by Brian Adams, valued at $125 each, now only $55 + S&H.
  • New Tour Posters! Autographed with any show date or inscription you like. Only 30 are available. They ship rolled domestically, folded internationally. $16.99.
  • Auction: Original Marian Call Lyrics. First scrawlings of the songs “Dear Mister Darcy,” “Good Morning Moon,” “Perilous Road,” and “Temoporal Dominoes” (commissioned inadvertently on Twitter by Phil Plait).  Straight from my journal! With doodles.
  • Auction: Autographed Limited Edition Serenity Blueprints by Quantum Mechanix, Inc. Signed by Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk.
  • Auction: Handwritten Framed Lyrics to “I’m Yours” or “In the Black.”
  • Auction: Custom Typewriter Necklace, one of only two — Marian owns the other! — by Take to the Sky Jewelry (featured recently in the celebrity gift suites at the Oscars and American Music Awards. Not too shabby! Image avail. soon.)
  • Auction: the last 3 existing copies of the First Run Limited Edition of Vanilla, with a bonus track and hand-assembly and home printing, made in 2007 for Marian’s earliest fans.

Any questions, just ask me at mariancall*at*mac.com.  Again, all these items are linked from http://mariancall.com/fundraiser.php.

I received this question on http://formspring.me/mariancall the other day, anonymously, and it’s one of the best I’ve ever received:

I am not familiar with how the art world of independent musical artist works. I take it that you are not making enough money selling your music and merchandise and you are also asking for donations to go on tour. Is this correct? Can you elaborate?

My answer: This is SUCH a good question. Allow me to explain why I am having my 3rd annual fundraiser.

1) I love Alaska and I love living here. But getting outside of Alaska, with touring gear, is a proposition of at least a grand or two. The Al-Can is one of the more expensive road trips you’ll ever take — food and gas in the Yukon are pricey. And I can’t earn quite enough just gigging here in-state to kickstart me. So that’s the first reason I do a Fundraiser just as I begin my annual touring season.

2) I’ve been working on an album this year. So nearly half of my income over the last 9 months (what I’ve earned AND what I’ve raised so far) has been spent on the musicians, recording studios, artwork, plane tickets, and now the mix and master for the new album.  (Thanks to my incredible Donors’ Circle, by the way, for helping me to raise the money!)

3) I’m quite new at this. I’ve only been a full-time musician for two and a half years. I’m proud to proclaim that I believe my business model is a sound one, because for the first 9 months or so I operated in the red (like most small businesses), by 18 months I was barely in the black but not enough to make a living, and now, if I weren’t making a very expensive double album, I WOULD have a full-time living. And I’m one of very, very few Alaskan musicians for whom that’s true. So I believe the business is worth investing in, and hope to not have to solicit donations or have fundraisers when I have a couple more years or many more fans under my belt.

4) Unexpected divorce, breast lump, and a year without a home describes my 2009. I was left homeless, carless, and deeply in debt in the middle of last year’s tour. Currently making good progress on the debt, relieved not to have borrowed from friends or family, investing in my own business, and totally solvent (aside from album project).  And proud of making it through to this point. ‘Nuff said.

5) My fans often ask for special weird stuff, since they’re special weird awesome fans. I can’t offer said stuff all year, but I can once a year. So I do! I love giving fans things they value. And I hope to keep coming up with creative merchandise even after I don’t “need” the extra income.

Thank you all for being awesome.  My Donors’ Circle most of all.  I will see you as soon as I possibly can!  And I mean that.  If it’s too hard or too far off for you to wait — tip me and I’ll call you, and sing right in your ear.


Instructions in Excruciating Detail: Booking Shows Near You, or, Fan Power!

03/28/2010 at 10:13 pm | Posted in 49>50, How to this-or-that, News & Explanations | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

**NOTE: This is an awesome blog post, but it is out of date!  Instead, see this page for updated 2013 show booking notes!  The writing below is wonderful but also it is a historical document from early 2010.  New info:  https://mariancall.wordpress.com/booking-a-house-concert/**

This blog entry is your complete guide and FAQ to making a Marian Call concert happen in your area on the 49 to 50 tour.  Odds are I sent you here so we can make a show happen!  Below you can find links for the forms you’ll fill out and answers to a number of questions.  Please read the applicable sections before requesting a concert.

There are two kinds of shows: House Concerts and Venue ConcertsHouse concerts I set up directly with you (even if they’re not at a house, or not at your house).  For venue concerts, such as cafés, bars, farmer’s markets, and music halls, I collect information about a venue that you think is really a perfect fit and has dates open, and I contact them myself (unless the manager happens to be your brother-in-law or something, in which case you introduce us).

If you get a mass e-mail or a contact from an minion of mine during the booking process, I hope you’ll pardon me.  This project is so huge and so exciting I need a little help and a little automation to manage it all.  But the good news is it makes it possible for me to meet you in person at sometime soon!

The bestest newest ever e-mail address for booking questions, which goes to me and my various helpers: mcminion42@gmail.com!!!!!

Use this e-mail address for booking questions and venue suggestions.  No need to cc mariancall@mac.com; all the mcminion42 messages are forwarded to me automatically, and I still read everything myself.  I might have a very cool helper answer some of it though.  Don’t worry, your personal information (home address particularly) is very very safe.

Applying for a House Concert:

If you want to host or set up a house concert (even if it’s not at a house), be sure you’ve read all about how I do house concerts and then follow the instructions here.

  1. Check my Public Google Calendar by clicking here [link disabled later] to see when I plan to be in your area, and what dates I already have scheduled gigs.  The schedule and map are flexible — until I have concerts anchoring me to this location and that (so don’t cry if you don’t see your city just yet).  You can ask for a date when I’m trying to be elsewhere; worst I can do is say no.  You’ll notice that later in the fall, i.e. farther east, I’m not sure which state comes in which order yet — gigs that get nailed down will determine my route. Also note: some days I will designate for “travel” or “rest” and those are unavailable.
  2. Choose a date or dates to request. If it’s way in the future when times are flexible, just pick something you like!  Know that for house concerts, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sunday afternoons or evenings usually work just fine — and even more non-traditional times, like brunches or lunches, have worked in the past if you’re interested in something a little different.  If you’re looking for a date in, say, August, September, or October, know that we may have to hold out on nailing down the date on one show until I’ve confirmed a few others, etc. (events are very interconnected). So let me know if you have a time constraint, too, i.e. “I can do Thursdays but not Wednesdays,” or “I’ll be home this weekend but gone the next.” I deeply wish I could play in every town on Saturday night, but I can’t. I also wish I could play every day without resting, but I can’t do that either.  I’ll accommodate every request I can without running myself into the ground.  If I can’t play your town or your day, I’m sorry — hopefully I can come back!
  3. Gather information and make decisions about the kind of event you want to plan. Just figure out the basics — find out how many people you can fit (more than you think); if it’s not a house, make sure you can secure the space or find out if it costs anything; if it is a house, check to be sure that it’s yours, or that the neighbors won’t mind coming home to a big surprise.  Decide what kind of food you want to provide or coordinate, and whether kids will be welcome.  And actually count how many people you believe you can get to come from within your own social circle (I can provide more sometimes).  Decide whether you want a public or private event.  Feel free to ask  questions: mcminion42@gmail.com or, for quick questions, @mariancall on Twitter.
  4. ****Most important**** Fill out this Google form: [link now disabled]. This is how I can keep all of these requests organized and make the tour happen.  If you don’t have ALL the information, especially the optional stuff, don’t sweat it.  Though the more clearly you can visualize the event, the more likely I am to approve your date over someone else’s.  (But it’s not the LSAT.) Then e-mail me so I know there’s a new entry in the form. mariancall@mac.com
  5. If I can’t choose your proposed concert, I’d like to say in large, friendly letters: DON’T PANIC. I still love you, and I will nearly always provide you with a personal invite to another nearby show. Please don’t be bitter.  If you want to know what makes me choose some shows over others — larger house concerts will probably be better than small ones if they’re in the same area; public ones are usually preferable to private ones, so other fans can come; kids and pets have no influence on the yes or no vote, I just need to know about them; if you or your community can lodge me for free, you may have a slight advantage (though no lodging is not a dealbreaker); money overall is less important than connections — i.e. lots of people barely listening is worth less to me than just a few people really listening and caring.  Also, please don’t hold back because you think I’ll reject you — I’m happy to do small shows and out-of-the-way places if they fit into my schedule and you’re willing to bring some open ears to the event.
  6. If I do choose your concert: DON’T PANIC.  You may freak out about it sometimes, but trust me, when you look back you will find it was pretty easy.  And it will be really fun.  I’ll notify you, we’ll iron out the details and reserve the date, we’ll arrange a (very informal) contract, and I’ll equip you with what you need to set up/advertise/invite/manage RSVP’s and so on.

Explanations and disclaimers: The calendar and route are subject to change, because they must be.  The reality of such a large tour is that I may have to rearrange a date with you if my travel schedule changes (or my car breaks down).  I hope for no cancellations at all, but the universe will ultimately decide that.  So please be understanding and a little bit flexible.

If you’re offering lodging, that lodging will be for me and an accompanist (almost always a guy). We’re cool sharing a room but we don’t share beds. We’re also cool crashing on couches, air mattresses, cots, the floor, what have you.  Some accompanists are allergic to pets, so let me know in advance if you have them.

Let’s make it happen!

Recommending a Venue Near You:

If there’s a local cafe, restaurant, or music venue — or maybe a podcast or local radio station spot — that you think I should play, please, let me know about it!  It’s so hard to know which places are a good fit or locally loved when I’ve never been.  I may or may not hit them all on this tour, but I do want to know what venues I should be aiming for, and fan recommendations are the number one way I decide where to try to play.

  1. (same as above) If you want to recommend a specific date, Check my Public Google Calendar to see when I plan to be in your area, and what dates I already have scheduled gigs.  PLEASE check your venue’s website or calendar to make sure they have openings around that time before you send me pursuing them — if they’re already booked I’d hate to waste your time or mine.
  2. Not all venue recommendations require a date. So if it’s more a recommendation to file away for the future — or a radio station or podcast or another musician to work with — and not a specific concert for this tour, that’s ok.
  3. ****Most important**** E-mail Marian at mcminion42*at*gmail.com.  Let me know what the opportunity is like, and if you really want me to book a show there on this tour, please provide a date if you can and let me know you see this as a real, immediately possible event.  Let me know if you think you could bring people you know to it.  Otherwise I will probably file it away for reference and use it only if I need it, since this tour is mainly made possible through house concerts.
  4. Venues that might seem great but aren’t actually that useful: the premier venue in town, i.e. the Grand Ole Opry or Carnegie Hall. I’m unlikely to be able to play in the best spot in your city (yet).  Also, music festivals.  Folks are always inviting me to play at music and geek festivals, and I’d love to because they are FUN, but generally they aren’t the best use of my time.  I don’t make much money or connect with fans very well, the dates aren’t flexible, and I can’t take the time to keep track of all the different application processes.
  5. Venues I might like better than you think: bookstores, galleries, shops, radio stations, farmer’s markets, really good local open mics or showcases, cafes open to free lunchtime background music. 
  6. Really Good: connecting me with a local musician who does roughly what I do (someone making acoustic music full-time, touring, accessible to all audiences) to share a show.  I love to open for other artists, I love having other artists open for me, and I love to share the stage with locals.  Recommend a musician!

It’s really preposterous to attempt a tour of this size without a booking agent or full-time manager or promoter.  But you are already helping so much, and I’m hopeful your enthusiasm will only grow as this thing takes off.  I know mine is.  I can’t wait to hit the road again!  And I can’t wait to meet you or see you again.

I’ll be there soon — all my best,

Marian Call

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