Today, I'm so excited to announce that I’ll be joining Listener again this March to join them in touring their new record in Europe. Brandi and I have wanted to tour overseas for years, and for one reason or another, it just hasn’t quite happened. Welp, this time it’s gonna, and we couldn’t be happier about who we’ll be there with. Thanks to everybody in the Listener family, we’re gonna get to see and play a bunch of places we’ve never been to. Nothin like ending a tour to announce another one. Mark the dates you want to go to on a calendar and we will see you there!
I already posted about this all over social media, but it felt wrong not to say a bit more.
My album Correspondence (a fiction) is three years old today. It’s hard to believe. I’ve talked about that record quite a bit lately with guys that I write and record with back in Albuquerque - Alex Sugg and Andy Othling.
There was so much that went into the Correspondence project.
I remember the day the idea popped into my head, and the meetings that I had with my friend Donovan - all geeked out with his whiteboard and dry erase markers - ready to take on the world. We made mood boards in Evernote. We listened to other records for ideas. We put calendars together to help us stay on track for the project. Kickstarter was the craziest thing I’d ever done. The whole thing felt like this huge, comprehensive undertaking that - somehow (either “by grace or by fate or by luck or by mercy…”) – came together.
I can’t believe it’s been three whole years since this album came out.
That’s - like - an eternity in today’s music world. I’ve had about a billion panic attacks about how long it’s been between the Correspondence record and all of the new stuff we’ve been working on. It doesn’t make sense to me that you guys have helped me provide for my wife and our life together for three. whole. years. off of a record that I was terrified everyone was going to hate.
Words will not do my thanks justice, but they are - so often - all I’ve got. So thank you.
Thanks to Donovan and Alex and Andy and Drew and Brianna and Timothy and Caleb and every single Kickstarter backer and every single person who's written in or come to a show or streamed online or bought a record since then.
It feels very much like a miracle, and I'm willing to say that it is one.
Today – in light of the 3-year anniversary – I've made all three "Correspondence" releases 3 bucks.
(Or don't, you know? Being an adult is crazy.)
We're on the road right now, headed to St. Louis. Three more shows before this tour ends, as well. Seems like a theme today.
Love you all. Thankful for you all. So appreciative of and humbled by you all.
With love and sincerity and all that I have to offer,
Today, I'm pleased to share with you a beautifully written letter from Tyler Lee Schaefer. Every month, I am featuring a piece of art submitted by a member of Fraction – be it poetry, photography, painting, video, etc. Whatever your craft, I'd love to see it. Check out Fraction today for an opportunity to see your work here.
Tyler posted this blog (originally published on his own website) to our private Facebook group about a week ago, saying, "I never thought I would be writing a letter to a dog..." But gosh, what a beautiful letter it is. I enjoy Tyler's writing style, and I resonate with the loss of a boxer who felt like the only friend I had when my family first moved to New Mexico when I was a kid. My boxer - who I named Cali in reference to California, which I loved, and "caliente" (because she was hot and I thought that'd be funny) – used to pull me around the streets on my skateboard, and when we had to put her down, I wept. There are still days that I miss her, and Tyler's piece reminded me of just how incredible a friend she was to me.
Abita, though – now that's a great name.
I hope you enjoy this month's Featured Artist, Tyler Lee Shaeffer.
As I write this now, I can see the Canadian geese flying across the spray-painted Denver sunset. I hear their wings clapping, and your paws galloping across the dirt. The pitter-patter sounds like a heartbeat.
Heartbeats are such funny things.
At the moment, I am running through every memory I have of you. Those memories are like snow globes. I am taking turns turning them upside down, letting the details float to their bottom. Flakes of white recollection falling slowly against my medial temporal lobe.
As I turn the snow globes over, I can’t help but remember the times you fell asleep on my chest and our heartbeats danced with each other. Two similar survivors of a different kind of abuse, snoozing as one. You know, I never thought that I would be writing a letter to a dog. Or to be more direct, I never thought that I would need to. Yet, In the wake of your passing, I feel the strongest of compulsions to offer up some of my words. However late they may be.
You were by no means a good looking beast, and I think you always knew that. The two brown eyes that lived on top of your smooshed face bulged out a bit. Sometimes in different directions. Your ears weren’t cropped, although we think somebody may have tried. Jowls, as macabre curtains of flesh, hung from beneath your nose. For a boxer, you were small for your size.
Your dad used to say that when figuring something’s cuteness, the scale works as a circle, and you were proof of that. This meaning, that once you go so far one way, you end up coming back around on the other side. Basically, you were so godawful you were cute. I don’t disagree with that sentiment.
Every now and again, there would be a stench that would arise from your ass that would make the paint of the house bleed. The other end, your breath, wasn’t much better. Abita, I am trying here but I cannot romanticize you. Perhaps, you don’t need to be.
I believe that some things in this hard life are not meant to be romanticized. One of those things not to be romanticized is home. To romanticize is to omit the imperfections, and imperfection is the foundation to any home.
Home should be exactly as it is.
There should be a grime on the floor boards that hasn’t been contested in years. Holes should should pepper the hallways where you were unafraid to hang pictures. The carpet should be worn from midnight dancing. Paint should accent the conversations, and the conversations should accent the love.
Home, for me, in those days was in Lakewood, Colorado. I lived with you, your mom, your dad, and two psychotic cats. There was a Beta fish named Drew as well, but we don’t really consider him a tenant. At least, I don’t.
While we lived in a townhouse, I will always think of it as mansion. There were alabaster columns of conversation that held up cedar headers of friendship. Throughout the halls the angelic chorus of laughter played on a loop. With the floors paved by loyalty, and the foundation built by something none of us understood, we danced over them both the same. The cheap whiskey we put down on the weekend was all single malt, and at least a thirty-five year. We’d add water to our box dinners, and eat like kings. There is a unique beauty to struggle that is found in the details. There is a mosaic of elegance if you’re willing to look it straight in the eye.
This, believe me, is not romanization.
When I came into your life, Abita, it was during the hardest years of mine. I was robbing Peter to pay Paul, and Paul was still leaving me voicemails daily threatening legal action. Nobody likes the delinquent account in collections. The title of “Drunk Driver” hung around my neck as I paid my dues to the state. Nobody likes a drunk driver. We met just a month or so after I seriously considered suicide. My mental state was fragile and maxed out. Fragile and maxed out in a way that haunts me to this day. Nobody likes suicide.
There are no illusions being cast, nor realities being altered. There is nothing in me that wants to pretend that you were a beautiful dog. Everyday, seemingly, back then was definitely a struggle. Most days I spent wishing that my entire situation was different. I am not romanticizing a thing. Don’t misunderstand my words.
Instead, now I can find the beauty of coming home to a house filled with souls that make the imperfections into affluence. All the snowflakes I see falling, Abita, are imperfections. It’s the imperfections that haunt my dreams, and make my heart understand what it means to long. I see the beauty of a dog that’s just happy you’re home.
Home has changed for me, once again. I am sure that it will change several more times before I am done here. While I have been away from you, I have found a girl who has promised to be with me from now on, and in any home. No matter how perfect or imperfect it may be. If we are lucky, that promise will multiply our name. If we are lucky, our imperfections will be combined and displayed on a tiny face or two.
I guess, with all this, I just wanted to say thank you one last time. There are many names, faces, and hands that I must thank for those days. Perhaps I will spend my life doing so individually. For now, however, I am addressing you, Abita. Thank you for liking me when I didn’t even like myself. Thank you for being a home to me. Thank you for all the memories like snow globes. I will be turning them upside down for a very long time. May you rest easy now, girl.
I hope Heaven has sunsets like Denver, and I hope you are chasing the geese across them.
Thank you for checking out these words by Tyler. If you'd like to see your work featured here on the site in the future, consider checking out Fraction: an online platform where fans and friends of Levi The Poet can sign up, not only to receive exclusive writing and content, but to submit work of their own to be discussed and considered for publication – be it the poem by Christian Mack last month, or John Blackley's photo set and poem.
I'd love to invite you to consider joining Fraction, yourself, on either a Yearly or Monthly basis. Your membership supports this Levi The Poet project, as a whole, including other things, like being alive. If you'd like to consider participating in Fraction with a bunch of other folks, please check it out here.
Finally, you can read more of Tyler's work through his own blog, here at lettersandspace.com.
On August 28, 2017, I asked a question:
"Would you send me a video you've taken that acts as a reminder of why life is worth living?"
In the days that followed, hundreds of people submitted their memories. Their reasons. Bits and pieces of life that attest to its beauty, and each person's answer in the form of cell phone footage as captured in the moments that were worth it...
I love both of these artists and count it an honor to be a part of their evening. All of my thanks, and we'll hope to see you guys there for a great show.
Today, I'm very excited to announce that I will be joining my good friends in the bands Listener, Comrades and Everett for the Oktürberfest 2017: Legends of the Fall Tour.
The run begins October 13th and lasts all the way until November 18th. It's going to be a full US tour, and it's going to be great. All of the bands on this run are incredible, and all of the people in them are wonderful human beings.
Tickets are on sale right now, right here!
This isn't going to be a house-show run, folks. Claim your spot while it's available. I am honored and excited to be able to participate in this tour. We'll have the remaining ticket links up shortly! I can't wait to see you out on the road this fall!
Introducing SANCTUARY – a brand new, 7" vinyl release from Levi The Poet – now available on 43g. Orange Crush w/ Black Smoke colored press.
Today, I am thrilled to publicly announce a brand new release of a brand new 7” vinyl: Sanctuary.
The word sanctuary means "a place of refuge or safety." It's a word that has fascinated me for years. A word I've spoken in poems past and written into countless others never released to the public.
At the beginning of this year, for better or worse, I sought sanctuary of my own in cities whose pride was built upon offering exactly that to whomever found themselves inside their walls.
The story is long. But there are glimpses within this release.
I wrote both ANXIETY and Sanctuary Cities during that trip – one that felt like a shot in the dark, or a cry for help, or a cloud – and they are inextricably connected to one another.
They are pieces that grew from soil tilled with the pain of searching and joy of those glimpses of freedom that come from walking alone along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, California or the streets of Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington.
These tracks represent a dichotomy. Paralysis and movement. Fear and courage. Despair and hope.
I am so excited to share them with you.
I am writing today to tell you about Sanctuary.
I’d like to do my best to answer a few questions that might arise in this process. To those who are hearing about this release for the first time today, here’s the invitation and the breakdown:
This new, 7" vinyl pressing of Sanctuary features two tracks – one of which will be familiar to you, and one of which is brand new.
- Side A: ANXIETY
- Side B: Sanctuary Cities
Sanctuary is being pressed to 7" 43g. Orange Crush w/ Black Smoke colored vinyl at 45rpm to give you the best sound quality possible.
As of right now, Sanctuary is in production. I submitted all of the artwork and master tracks to my printer last week, so we're fully invested in this release, and working on making it something as special as these tracks are to me.
As you may know, creating vinyl is an art form, and the turnaround isn't immediate. The supplier that we use estimates about 4 to 8 weeks on completion. Because all of us will have to wait until the production is complete, I am treating today's announcement to you – and what will be an upcoming announcement to the public – as a PREORDER that will be shipped as soon as the record is available in the months following your purchase.
Okay now, why is THAT important?
Because we are only releasing 500 pressings of the Sanctuary 7", and we will never press them again.
That said, perhaps it would be helpful to consider your purchase as something more like a downpayment, or a reservation.
HOW & HOW MUCH?
Sanctuary is available for preorder right now, right here.
We are selling Sanctuary for $10, flat.
In the coming weeks, I will be hosting a small, informal listening party for the members of Fraction through our private Facebook group.
Think of it like the live, monthly hangouts that Fraction members participate in, but specific to this new track, Sanctuary Cities.
I'll be posting the lyrics to that song beforehand so that you can read through it (if you want to), and prepare to ask any questions that you might have about this release – whether in relation to these tracks in particular, or the trip and headspace that inspired them.
I will be in touch with information about the "when" sometime next week.
If you are reading this, and you are not a Fraction member, consider this an invitation to sign up now, and participate with us.
We'd love to have you join us.
WHAT ELSE, ELSE?
Everyone who supports this release and preorders the vinyl will receive a free, digital download of both tracks. The download links for the tracks will be sent along with the physical copy of your Sanctuary 7” when it is shipped to you.
WHAT ELSE, ELSE, ELSE?
I am super excited about releasing this 7" to you today.
Thank you for your support, and for participating in this thing called life with me.
You matter. Thank you.
There is a whole world inside of the mind of each and every one of us, and none of us quite understands the other, and this place is full of enough confusion as it is without adding flames to one another's fires, or releasing wasps atop the entropy and groaning this earth already sounds beneath our feet.
Thank you for checking out these photos by John Blackley – our resident Australian and one of the members of Fraction: an online platform where fans and friends of Levi The Poet can sign up, not only to receive exclusive writing and content, but to submit work of their own to be discussed and considered for publication – be it the poem by Christian Mack last month, or this photo set.
To the sons and the daughters who’s fathers have been stolen – whether by others or themselves or the nature of the knowledge of good and evil – welcome to the family...
We are only releasing 25 of the Not Floating Alone T-Shirts in white as pictured above, and will never print them again. They are being pressed as we speak, and we will pay them forward to you as soon as we receive them, here.
If you are able to join us at an upcoming date on the Summer '17 Tour with Keyoung, we'll have an alternate version of this design available for you there. As for the posters, I hope you love them. I've got one of my own hanging in the hallway of my house. I need the reminder as much as anyone.
Today, I wanted to highlight an amazing artist and friend, Caleb Davis – aka. @Trash_Flower_ – specifically related to his work on my newest release: ANXIETY.
Today, I am pleased to announce our upcoming Summer '17 Tour with fellow spoken-word artist and friend, Keyoung. This tour will feature brand new and unreleased material from Levi The Poet, as well as a combination of poetry and songs from Correspondence (a fiction) and other previous albums. Keyoung will be performing material that can be heard here.
I wrote “ANXIETY” in conjunction Mental Health Awareness Month and To Write Love On Her Arms – hoping that it could be an explanation extended to those wondering what the word means. Or perhaps it could resonate with others like me—an attempt at empathy that gives breath to suffocating lungs. Like the way that—even if it is in seasons of despair—knowing we’re not alone in them somehow breeds hope and resuscitates us.
My mom drinks Barley Green in the morning, and then uses the same cup to eat her granola and yogurt, and then uses the same cup to drink orange juice, and then wonders what my sister and I are talking about when we tell her it’s disgusting.
Today, I'm pleased to share with you an incredible poem by Christian Mack. Every month, I will be featuring a piece of art submitted by our Fraction members – be it poetry, photography, painting, video, etc. Whatever your craft, I'd love to see it. Check out Fraction today for an opportunity to see your work here come May, and please give Christian all the love possible for his piece here.
I will be hosting the first of our monthly Fraction Hangouts tomorrow night – Thursday, April 6th, at 6pm Mountain Time Zone. Here's your invitation...
Today, I am giving you the option of a Monthly Fraction Membership. But I'm going to give you a lot more with it...
The release of Fraction yesterday was amazing! Thank you!Honestly, I wasn’t 100% sure about what to expect, but I've been really encouraged by your excitement. So many of you showed your support for the LTP Weekly and the rest of what Levi The Poet is through joining Fraction.