As I ride and while I camp, I’ll be listening to some music, podcasts, and audiobooks.  This is the page on which I’ll share information and thoughts about those things to which I am listening, pondering, and enjoying.

Since the first week of this ride overlaps with the Tour de Fat shows and I have to be ready for everything and anything the bands and performers throw out, my listening choices are committed to just three bands this week.  I am listening only to the bands that will be performing at the Tempe show so that I have the lyrics memorized to such an extent that I can play “Name that Tune” as quickly as possible when I interpret for them.  Some of the bands on the tour have been fantastic collaborators and we have had repeated discussions about their music, word choices, and subtle meanings on their songs.  Not only do I grow in greater admiration for these artists, I get the privilege of gaining a deeper grasp of their creations, the powerful beauty of music, empower the songwriters with artistic power to shape my interpretations, a greater enjoyment of both languages (ASL and English), and share the beauty of these songs as poetically expressed in signs.  Many times the musicians establish their play or set lists the morning of or just before they go on stage.  These lists are always fluid and subject to live changes.  Having a set list is extremely helpful and the resulting interpretation is far better but hundreds of hours of preparation is not overshadowed by the fact that it is a live show and anything can ad will happen.  Some musicians choose not to collaborate, share, discuss, or even provide a set list.  Those ones make my role infinitely harder and my own performance of their work and reputation of my skills suffers as a consequence.  Either way, it is always a challenge, joy, pleasure, honor, and above all-an experience to share the stage with creative people.

So this week the listening was all about the following three bands:


Esme Patterson

Dr. Dog

For just a little variety, I did slip in from time to time the main band that played at the New Belgium birthday bash in Asheville a few weeks ago.  I had to interpret for The Naked and Famous and grew to greatly enjoy their work as well.  They approached me afterwards and expressed their own appreciation for what I brought to the stage.  They even invited me to their show in San Diego since it overlapped with the Tour de Fat festival.  While it was hard to keep my hands from expressing myself and interpreting their songs, it was a pleasure to sit and enjoy their performance from the audience instead of standing along the side stressed to perform.

While I did not have to interpret in Tempe for them, I’d be amiss not to include a mention of Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds here.  They performed in four of the nine shows this year (last year they did eight of the ten) and as always were great collaborators and have to be some of the hardest working bands that I have ever met.  Fun, funky, and so energetic-they are a band to keep and eye and ear out for.

*As I passed through New Orleans and other locations way down south, the lyrics and beats of Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds come back to me often.  Still love these guys (and gal) and you will, too.  Check them out at Sister Sparrow’s website