Bringing this back cos - a. it’s a real good song y’all, and b. I miss playing music.

Listen/purchase: Freight Train Heart by Oakland Wine Drinkers Union

You know how sometimes you meet a special someone who makes you wanna quit your rambling ways? Haha, just kidding. 

But you know how sometimes you meet a special someone and you want them to travel with you? This song’s about that.

I’m a restless mama, got a freight train heart 
Yeah, I’m a restless mama, got a freight train heart 
Well, you know I need to leave 
But it’s not cos I like to be apart 

Before I knew you, baby, I used to ramble all alone 
Before I knew you, honey, I used to ramble all alone 
Still gotta ramble, darlin’ 
But would you like to come along? 

Cos I’m a restless mama, got a freight train heart 
Yeah, I’m a restless mama, got a freight train heart 
Well, you know I need to leave 
But it’s not cos I like to be apart 

Just like the wind blows, I gotta move along 
Just like the wind blows, I gotta move along 
I want you moving with me, baby 
That’s why I’m singing you this song 

Cos I’m a restless mama, got a freight train heart 
Yeah, I’m a restless mama, got a freight train heart 
Well, you know I need to leave 
But it’s not cos I like to be apart 

Well, I love you baby, now that is plain to see 
Yeah, I love you honey, now that is plain to see 
And if you feel the same, sugar 
Please come and ramble with me 

Cos I’m a restless mama, got a freight train heart 
Yeah, I’m a restless mama, got a freight train heart 
Well, you know I need to leave 
But it’s not cos I like to be apart 

Yeah, you know I need to leave 
But it’s not cos I like to be apart

  • Listen

Freight Train Heart by Oakland Wine Drinkers union

You know how sometimes you meet a special someone who makes you wanna quit your rambling ways? Haha, just kidding.

But you know how sometimes you meet a special someone and you want them to travel with you? This song’s about that.


the first single, from the first album, from the Oakland Wine Drinkers Union.  now officially for sale!!!

You’ve heard the old adage, right? “Drink is the curse of the working classes.” Oscar Wilde turned that on its head and said: “Work is the curse of the drinking classes.” 100+ years later, OWDU agreed with Mr. Wilde, and wrote a fist-in-the-air singalong about it. Click the image above to take a listen and download.

Go Out Drinkin
  • Go Out Drinkin
  • Oakland Wine Drinkers Union
  • Oakland Wine Drinkers Union, Local 88

lookin for a sweet bouncy tune about sharing stories and fallin in love with the stars with your pals? well here you go.

Go Out Drinkin’ by Oakland Wine Drinkers Union


Girls Are Insane
  • Girls Are Insane
  • Oakland Wine Drinkers Union

Girls are Insane - Oakland Wine Drinkers Union


Fun fact: Not only was this the first OWDU song written… there is a distinct possibility that nutty things Emchy and Jessie have done are included in this song!

Girls are insane
Girls are insane
Keep drinking that booze
Keep riding that train

music music music poetry music

so damn that poetry reading last night. the stage was set for my dream music video performance. and it made - it literally forced my hand while my head was full of poems and jazz and wine - to write new work. to see myself going back to this literary land again. to reading on a stage. it’s been a few years now since i left the queer open mic that i founded. and after hosting two readings a month for four years plus attending every local open mic that i could - especially the queer ones, it makes sense that i would take a break. but poetry. the words. they are the bread and butter of me. they are how the rest of me figures out how to function. so now i’m sitting with a full view of a park, new songs stuck in my head with harmonies repeating and telling me how absolutely good this new song is. it’s called our song. not to be confused with elton john. and in fact maybe the title will change to make that confusion a non issue. but man it’s just there on repeat. and i’m full of ideas and excitement and love for pretty much everything. and you know just when our song holds up and gives my brain a break - the one beer prophet tune Restless Mama pops into my head in it’s OWDU arrangement that we’ve been working out and there i am again in love with a musical loop and just walking out in the world in love with new songs. it’s the coolest feeling in the world to be in love with new songs that you have a hand in the creation of. coolest thing.

i gave a poet a ride home last night and i was giving the rhubarb whiskey album the car test to make sure it’s sounds good on multiple systems and i loved his energy. how excited he was getting to hear these songs that i’m so proud of but most folks haven’t heard yet. he couldn’t believe they’re almost all originals. he told me my voice was haunting him when he stepped out of the car to have a smoke. as we parted ways he told me that he wanted to have sex with his boyfriend to the album and hoped that wasn’t weird. weird? highest compliment ever.

The Recap

I started the year in an artistic angst that was all about having no personal practice and being unsure what was coming next. The wife and I went home to visit my family and I had some realizations and musings about family, culture, and unconditional love. I got to see my favorite Judi girl and we all went to a new lovely swanky bar in Ferndale and it felt as normal as if we three all lived locally and got together all of the time. She shared some personal info with us that was worrisome, but we promised to not worry too hard.  My Mrs. Fox was very ill but I got to visit her and see her eyes not see me. My heart felt broken and I filled myself with regrets. We got home and had to bring the foster cats back to our house where our vet gave one of them only a couple of days to live and we balanced the reality of being home, with the grief over Mrs Fox’s illness, and the work of medicating and caring for the cats. I also spent much of the month being under the weather myself and realizing that my thyroid medications were off. Vagabondage started planning for a March music video shoot and then Mrs. Fox died and I felt like I lost myself.
SHOWS: Era Art Bar (Oakland), Amnesia (SF)

I started the month in mourning and with the wife’s help was able to fly back to Michigan for the funeral.  It was good and surreal to see my family again so soon. Judi and I went to that same Ferndale bar again and all of the staff was like - but aren’t you the one from California who loves rye?! you’re back so soon. The waiter and I traded emails and started a fun correspondence since over regional artisanal recipes. And they gave me the old Prohibition recipe for Rock n Rye. I cried a lot and thought about how all of the people in life affect and form us in different ways. I was alone a lot on the trip and it gave me a lot of time to just think - surrounded by dirty road snow, frozen lakes, and the dead trees of my youth. Lots of thinking. Got back to Oakland and had to immediately work the Super Bowl at my bosses house. Had practice with Sizzle for our annual Music in Schools benefit show, had lots of Vagabondage practice, played another Oakland Underground Foodie dinner. Woke up crying a lot and thought about trying to move to, or at least give myself a month in New Orleans. Said goodbye to Angelique & Davey as they moved across country and generally stayed pretty introspective. Oh and we started going and looking at houses with our real estate agent J/M.
SHOWS: Hubba @ Uptown (Oakland), Three Ring Circus @ Elks Lodge (SF), Canvas Underground (Oakland)

I spent a lot of this month freaking out about having five cats. We got the new ones healthy again and just spent a lot of time after dealing with their health and our allergies. Work got another new CEO and I start to feel like I have control over nothing. I am still grieving pretty actively for Mrs Fox and bursting into tears at times when I normally feel good. After practices, shows, seeing friends. I start being really really sad about Rhubarb Whiskey and OWDU not being local and the albums not moving forward and start to really appreciate not only the music I write with Vagabondage but the bonds I have with the guys and the fun we have together and the work we put in. At the end of the month Vagabondage plays at a winery and I have an unusual reaction to the wine (or something). I end up being incredibly appreciative that my bandmates look after me.
SHOWS: DeRose Winery (Hollister), Eli’s Mile High Club (Oakland), Era Art Bar (Oakland)

The month started going to the ER with my mother in law. This sparks a lot of family dialogue and we put our own family planning thoughts on hold.  Layoffs started at my job. The wife’s cousin passed away. And that was before we were even two weeks into the month! We put a bid on a house, got it, and let it go. Played a bunch of shows with Vagabondage, wrote and arranged three new songs for myself. Worked on a Vagabondage / Sweet Trade collaboration song. Got into Big Fight #1 of the year with my best friend. Made some plans for a Rhubarb Whiskey mini-tour / final recording sessions for the album. Had the wife’s family to our apartment for Easter. Got sick again. ugh. Had one of the best Vagabondage shows maybe ever and turned my heart around and got my memorial tattoo for the Fox’s the next day.
SHOWS: Stork Club (Oakland), Amnesia (SF), Hubba @ Uptown (Oakland), Boxcar Studios (SF)

Started the month seeing an old high school friend and having him clue me in on all of these crazy things I had never known. We talked poetry and drank champagne and I got reminded of who I used to me. He told me things about old relationships I’d had that inspired me to write a few new songs. The wife and I kept looking at houses and feeling stressed out. We went to the Rufus Wainwright show at The Fox Theater (swoon.) Had one of the best Sundays ever that started with Cajun breakfast, moved into super gay wine tasting, and ended with Arts Crab Shak.  Got closer to finding the right house. Hung out with another old high school pal / ex-boyfriend and took him out for tasty mexican food. I feel sad and tired a lot but spring brings the smell of fresh cut grass which I love. The 12 hour days for work and the unstable nature there wear me out. Headed up to Mendocino for the weekend to work on the modern German /Weimar Republic opera with Sizzle and M. Played accordion next to the campfire and Sizzle and I played some Rhubarb Whiskey that we hadn’t touched in 8 months. Vagabondage songs were sung to the heavens as well and I felt so much gratitude for the music in my life. And on the last day of the month our home loan got approved.
SHOWS: 50 Mason Social House (SF)

More Dr. time with my mother in law and we’re just worried. Meanwhile packing packing packing and stressing out about if the whole home ownership thing is really going to happen. Felt hurt slighted by a queer pride thing that I ended up pulling out of. Recorded the Henry Lee song for the Sweet Trade Vagabondage collaboration and fell in love with it. Freaked out about the cats / allergies again.  Got the keys to our new house the day before our 14th anniversary. Vagabondage has seven new songs written and workshopped for the next album, we have three music video shoots planned for the summer. We accidentally burn a bridge with one of my favorite bookers. The whole summer is packed with shows, some even fancy. I get a few shows booked for the fall Rhubarb Whiskey tour after we cancel the summer plan and refigure things.
SHOWS: Starry Plough (Berkeley), Actual Cafe (Oakland), Disco Volante (Oakland)

We find out the house has a million issues and freak out because we’re broke. We get them fixed and manage to roll with it. My asthma is worse in a scary kind of way. Vagabondage makes a video for our song Two Stars and then a couple of little live one offs for Hey Amanda Palmer and Sesame Street. Much fun is had. We have an old friend of the wife’s stay with us from Seattle and it’s awesome. I start moving more forward on my solo music project. I start to see light towards moving forward. The anniversary of my father in laws death comes and goes and in marking it I grieve for him and Mrs Fox in a way that feels like catharsis and love. Oakland starts to look magical to me again and I wonder… what comes next.
SHOWS: Actual Cafe (Oakland), The Crucible (Oakland)

The big Rhubarb Whiskey fall tour falls apart and I have many feelings about it. The second Vagabondage video shoot of summer happens and is awesome. Vagabondage plays the 5 Cent Coffee wedding at a gorgeous tree farm. Work has another new CEO who is settling in and we all hold our breath for no more layoffs and stability. The wife and I both struggle with RSI and pain while trying to unpack the house. Vagabondage releases the Henry Lee song and the Two Stars video, both of which get Sepiachord song of the day and we are excited. More Vagabondage video shooting. At the end of the month I decide that I need to get off my ass musically.
SHOWS: Coyote Counter Collective (Oakland), Tree Farm (Los Gatos)

There is a big push to get 99% of the house unpacked. We make it to about 80%. Vagabondage’s fall show schedule gets insane and we sign on to play a bunch of shows with Carolyn Mark in October and hit the road a bit. Rhubarb Whiskey decides to push the release of the album back to winter.  I get angsty about my birthday and start feeling sad a lot. I take a bad fall and start having a lot of constant back pain. I get too busy to blog or journal much.
SHOW: Bazaar Cafe (SF)

I start playing music more and having more Vagabondage practices and things are coming together for tour. My mom came to visit and see the new house, we go on boat tours, get pumpkins, go wine tasting, and generally have a wonderful time. She gets to meet the wife’s family and I feel really happy and wish she lived closer. Right after she leaves the Canadians come and for a week my house is full of charming, hilarious, fun, and generous people. After a million shows in the Bay area we hit the road for Southern California and play an amazing show in FrontierTown / Joshua Tree and then a full weekend at the Hollister vineyard. I get to join Carolyn Mark and Hank Pine on stage for their various sets and Vagabondage is joined by the New Best Friends for one of our sets as well. I feel happy and drunk on music for essentially the whole month. The Giants go to the World Series again and the wife and I watch the game and feel snuggly, nostalgic, and happy.
SHOWS: Steamstock (Richmond), 410 Ballroom (Oakland), Actual Cafe (Oakland), Aubergine (Sebastopol), Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace (Pioneertown), Eli’s Mile High Club (Oakland), DeRose Winery (Hollister)

One of our older cats goes into Congestive Heart Failure. I get in Big Fight #2 with the best friend and think that this might be it this time. The family comes over for Thanksgiving. A couple of days later we sit with the cat while he passes away. We’re both overcome with grief. The best friend and I work it out. I get the tracks for the OWDU album and have a pal mix them for me. Get started on the album artwork and start planning the release. This time my sadness needs productivity.
SHOWS: Boom Boom Room (SF), Pallet Space (Emeryville), 50 Mason Social House (SF), FCC Free Radio (SF), Gaslight Cabaret (Brisbane)

We release the first single from the OWDU album and start the wheels in motion for digital release, album press, CD production. Vagabondage does an incredibly successful free giveaway promotion for Whiskey & Starlight, and then a week later we record and release our xmas song ‘Zombie Xmas.’ Vagabondage also went down to Gilroy for an official all band members photoshoot - so it’s nice to finally have all of us in one pic. Kept playing lots of shows. The holidays without Mrs Fox hit me hard. And I finish up the Rhubarb Whiskey artwork and we have a plan to release in late Jan / early Feb.
SHOWS: 23 Club (Brisbane), DNA Lounge (SF)