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Sep 29, 04 10:06 PM


My iBook died. I took it to the Apple Man, and he sent it to the iBook Patch for eleven days. Eleven emailless days = fabulous and terrifying.

Last Friday, I went out to San Francisco to open for Karl Denson at the Fillmore. I hung out with my good man Frank Riley at a Peet's, talking about Diane Arbus, and his days on the barricades in the 70's. Then I walked back in the cool foggy night, ambled onstage, and played a 45-minute set during which my guitar shat the bed. I stumbled through to the end.

After, I was selling CD's in the lobby (where they still offer free red apples to concertgoers, a tradition dating from the heyday of Bill Graham in the 60's), talking to a couple fans. A guy walks up just as I'm telling two dudes about Ethiopia. "Oh yeah, you were in Bahar Dar, right?" says the guy. He speaks with an accent, and says "Bahar Dar" correctly--like "Bar Dar," with big rolling R's, so I say, Hey, are you Ethiopian?

"Yes." We talk for a little while. "So, you enjoyed the Azmari, he sang about you?" He makes casual mention of a few other details from my journals.

You mean that you read my blog?! "Yes, I enjoyed it." He says he's from Sacramento, that he's been in the US since 1999, and that he drives to San Francisco with friends for concerts occasionally.

So, are you a Karl Denson fan? "No, I've never heard him. I Google Ethiopia every once in a while, and I came upon your site. I saw you were playing the Fillmore, so I drove here."


It turns out that if you Google "Ethiopia Bahar Dar" I'm on the first page! And, incredibly, if you Google "Ethiopia Azmari" I'm NUMBER ONE.

Posted by Mike at September 29, 2004 10:06 PM

please play again soon....need more philly dates or anywhere in bout the lehigh valley...ah whereever, whenever!

Posted by: JJ at September 29, 2004 10:22 PM

I wonder if "Ethopia iPod" would work...

Posted by: DJ My Dad Takes Prevacid at September 29, 2004 10:32 PM

Ranked 2nd, but you have to spell it right. "Ethiopia iPod"

Posted by: hary at September 30, 2004 6:41 AM

To do:
"Attend a Mike Doughty show - try for a city that's reasonably close."
It's listed right above:
"Clean out upstairs closet."
And below:
"Get a haircut, you shameless slob."

I'll keep an eye out for one of your appearances coming to Salt Lake City. But the next time you're on the west coast will do.

Posted by: B. at September 30, 2004 6:57 PM

Why would you go to San Fran and not hop on down to L.A. or the O.C.? Why?????

Posted by: Gertrude Bobaluski at September 30, 2004 8:23 PM

I told a friend who works in the same building I do about your blog, since I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your time in Ethiopia, and my friend is a new fan (he saw you in West Seattle). The first words out of his mouth were something to the effect of "I'll have to tell the other guy that works here sometimes - he's from Ethiopia!" So there you go...

Posted by: Tara at October 1, 2004 2:01 PM

any chance you took photos in ethopia?
any chance you'll be posting them up on this here blog here?

Posted by: centric at October 2, 2004 2:01 PM

a couple months ago i got a ride home from the airport from a cabbie who couldn't break $100 bill. so once we arrived in front of my building, i told him to sit tight and i'd get change from my quickie mart man.

when i came back, half out of breath after running, and started to pay the cabbie, he said "no worries. i trust you. you see that place?" (and pointed to the quickie mart i had just left, named "abyssinia mart")

i said "yeah."

he said "that's my country. you okay."

and ever since then, i've been okay.


Posted by: bdf at October 4, 2004 8:44 PM