I had a birthday this weekend. My 41st. As the old-dometer continues its forward lurch, I’m happy to share that this past year has been a most creatively fulfilling one. It’s also been an extremely busy twelve months—and not without its hair cuts and face-plants—but I feel more in control of my happiness than every before. It’s nice. I’ve even made time to take adventures with no goal in mind other than to have fun. This is something that my workaholic self would never have considered until recently.
(photo by Scott Utterback)
One of the above-mentioned fun-ventures was a trip early this month to Kentucky for Lebowski Fest. As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of the film The Big Lebowski, and ever since I learned of the existence of the Fest—some ten odd years ago—I’ve been joking with friends about making the trek. I should state that there are Lebowski Fests in my home state, but something in the idea of experiencing a weekend of Dude-ness with a bunch of Los Angeles hipsters, didn’t seem as fun. The Lebowski Fest started in Louisville, so that’s where I headed. I made a date with some of my closest friends, packed a suitcase with a bathrobe and flip flops, and bought myself an early birthday present.
The Lebowski Fest was both as wonderful and as shitty as I had hoped. On day one, there was to be an outdoor screening of The Big Lebowski in a mini-fairground-type setting. The open air screening, however, was detoured by a rain storm. The festival’s attendees, fleeing for shelter, piled inside of the festival’s adjacent bowling alley, where the movie was screened on a crappy TV overhanging a bar. The sound and picture quality was terrible, but it didn’t matter. It was a magical, cramped 90-minutes spent with diehard fans, drinking White Russians and shouting every line of the film’s dialogue in concert. Yes, I shouted with them.
By day two, the storm had passed. We were treated to bad bands, costume contests, and Dude-themed carnival games, including a “Ringer Toss” game. The goal of the game was to pitch a bowling bag full of dirty undies from a car window at a target, just like John Goodman’s character in the film. Behold! My life’s crowning achievement… and proud we are of all of him.
Some of the fun I’ve been experiencing in my personal life is also rubbing off onto my creative works. My writing partner, Saar Hendelman, and I just completed recording a new American Murder Song album, “The Donner Party”. Sure, it’s about early-American cannibals, but it also includes surf rock guitar, theremin, and a whole lot of fun.
The album is in advance of The Donner Party Reunion Tour that Saar and I are hosting this Halloween season. Tickets for the 37-city event are on sale now, and all tickets come with a free download of The Donner Party album.
Continuing with the fun, we’re creating a The Donner Party lunch box, which will be on sale at our merch booth on tour. I’ll be drawing the artwork featured on the lunch box, and want to invite you into my studio to be a part of the fun.
This Thursday, I’ll be live streaming my lunch box drawing on American Murder Song’s Official Facebook page. Not only will you see the artwork come together in real time, but the completed piece will be put into a raffle. If you buy (or have already bought) a ticket to The Donner Party Reunion Tour before August 1st, your name will be entered into a raffle. If your name is drawn, the original TZ drawing will be mailed to you. After which, you may do your own Facebook Live stream consisting only of gloating.
Buy your tickets to The Donner Party Reunion Tour today to be eligible for the raffle (http://www.AmericanMurderSong.com/GetTickets), and then tune in this Thursday for the Facebook Live lunch box drarwin’ (https://www.facebook.com/thekillingplace).
See you there!