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Sultan Records

Another tour has come and gone, this time it was North America. I ended up having to book the thing myself, pretty short notice. It was stressful to book, but I managed. It was stressful to get through, due to short-notice routing, but I did it. I had ups and downs, but it was mostly a great trip and a great time. I finally saw Puerto Rico, and if that ain’t one of the best places to play and visit, I dunno what is. Very few shows were disappointments, but the couple that were took place in cities I had expected better from. Now I know. I also realized that I am an outsider to the press, and even to the people in whatever ‘scene’ I may be dragged into. This in particular was not depressing or surprising, but kind of amusing to me, in that I seriously have had a major role in influencing a lot of the same stuff that is being written about and heavily attended – whether people wish to know or acknowledge that or not. I think a lot of folks, for example, don’t realize just how much I wrote and sang in The King Khan & BBQ Show or if I was even there at all, hahaha! But I was. And my contributions may not be respected right now, down to the biased, side-taking reviews, lack of coverage, the sullying, the vilifying etc… but my music and its breadth will be remembered in the future, when image and this moment’s attitudes are forgotten for the façade that they are. The music will always rise to the top – even if it is coveted by few. One thing I DID, however, find unsavoury was how some ‘friends’ and music buddies I had made through the last few years had no problem turning their backs once they had concluded that I am not part of something ‘hip’, anymore. That would be my assumption. That some folks are scared to not be ‘cool’ and possibly face lensless judgement. I guess I had just assumed that kind of clique-y desperation was happening far away from my world. The truth is that no matter how tiny the ‘scene’, how inconsequential the music, however 3rd rate the media coverage and ‘celebrity’, people are consumers and suckers for the most part, generally reverting back to their adolescent insecurities and mechanisms. Oh well. Good riddance. You follow the leaders, and I will be over here doing my own thing.

I am proud of my many contributions. I am proud of my 2 (3!) new albums. I am proud to be doing something perceived as being cloying, while remaining pure. I am proud of my live show. I will paraphrase and combine what I was told once in NYC and once in Paris. My patience and defeat are often rewarded in observations like this from excited strangers, who feel how much I give from my soul at a show and inspire me to continue:

“When I close my eyes I hear pirate radio, complete with the static, with the sound of the signal cutting, the styles changing, tempos crashing, vinyl popping and scratching, like on a juke-box. I am excited to hear what will happen next. When I open my eyes, I see only one man lovingly sacrificing himself for a purpose he doesn’t quite understand. It’s magic.”

I love everyone who helped me out, housed me, drove, promoted me, lied to me, loved me, hated me, had a drink with me, laughed with me, lent me gear, bought my stuff, played with me, came to the shows, tried to fight me, fed me – even those who prove me right by saying shit like, “He doesn’t wear a turban live?! I’m not going.” I just want to play my music, make my music. It is what keeps me going.

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT

Months ago, I was trying to book a small tour around the holidays in Europe. But like with anywhere else, it has proven unnecessarily difficult. Here is what was managed:

 

Dec 15th: Copenhagen, DK – Stengade
Dec 16th: Stockholm, SW – Vielle Montagne
Dec 17th: Goteborg, SW – Showdown
Dec 22nd: Rome, IT – Init
Dec 27th: Bergen, NO – Garage
Dec 28th: Berlin, DE – Monarch

 

My plan is to come back to Europe in 2012 and play some other cities and see some friends. If you read this and promote, feel free to write me with ideas.

 

MARK

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