CelloJoe - Cello, Beatboxing, Singing & Looping - Classical Hip-Hop. International bicycle touring vagabond troubadour cellist beatboxer

Friday, November 30, 2012

CelloJoe Gear Photo

Before I set off, I went through all my gear and laid it all out. Here I will describe everything in this picture. From left to right we have: 
  • two dry bags
  • stickers, email book, download cards, banners, batteries for JBL, pedal power motor, pedalometer, two power strips
  • quarter inch and xlr cables, lr baggs DI, RCA cable, mic stand, 2 packs of CDs, 
  • Boss RC-50 looper (sticker box), ZOOM H4N recorder, Power adaptor for loop pedal, 
  • mac nut oil in jar, toiletries, sunscreen, pens
  • keith mcmillan 12 step MIDI pedal, AKAI LPD8 controller, laptop, presonus audio interface, external hard drive, cables and adaptors, chargers,
  • Rock the Bike modified JBL PRX 612, bike helmet, 
  • cello with cardboard case made out of bike box painted by Wombat
  • skully boom, pack cover, rain coat and pants, sun hat, fedora, cycle cap, wool sweater, riding shorts, 3 pair pants, three short shirts, one long sleeve shirt, swim trunks, 
  • sleeping bag, camp mat, tent
And that's all the stuff I have. I estimate that the gear weighs about 60 kilos. The luggage I took weighed 70 lbs and the speaker is about 40 plus the carry-on bag I took which was probably 25 lbs.. so about 135 lbs of gear. then the bike is about 50 lbs. so about 80 kilos in total.  

I went up a super steep hill on the first day and I wasn't sure if I could do it. I had to stop every 100 meters to catch my breath. but I made it up that hill and i've since gone up many more. and DOWN!

see ya down the road,

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nimbin, New South Wales, Australia

I set up my pedal powered sound system in the food court at Eclipse and was able to get a video of one song by asking Tabitha's boyfriend to film it on my phone.  I hope you enjoy.

It's interesting to note that after the Eclipse festival, I ran into people everywhere I went that recognized me and said, "Hi CelloJoe!" I did play just about everyday on my renegade sound system and twice on the Earth stage. I went for a hike in Speewah and I saw a couple people that had seen me. I was hiking at Mossman Gorge and I ran into some more folks that had seen me. I arrived in Nimbin yesterday and I went to the community center and someone said, "Hey you're CelloJoe. I love your work." He had seen me at Eclipse. Small world.

In some rather sad news, my team aka Toni Tone is not going to be joining me for the last half of the tour due to an injury. She's getting better, but a number of factors combined to cause her to change her plans. I'll miss you Toni Tone.

Here's a few photos:

at the border of queensland and nsw

 I met this dude (i think his name is Kai) from Japan. he'd been on the road for 6 months in portugal, spain, france, turkey, syria, iran, and australia. he had saved up $50,000 USD for his trip. right on buddy. He's the only bicycle traveler I have met so far. 

 Yup. Saw some of these this morning when I woke up. They were 50 feet from me and hopped away when I got out. 

 video update from Sphinx Rock Cafe. 

 Cows and countryside. 
 Dang that's a heavy bike. 

downtown Nimbin 

golden hour

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 2: Mount Burrel en route to Nimbin

Mount Burrel, New South Wales, Australia. November 29, 2012 3:55 PM Location: Sphinx Rock Cafe Day 2 of serious hard riding. I rode up some super steep roads with a super heavy bike. Yesterday I rode from Carrumbin to just past Murwillumbah. I stayed with Lee and Tanya and their two kids Ruby and Jack. They shared some dinner with me and I played them a short concert in their home. I had a fantastic week staying with Jamie Mckalainy and his folks Dawn and John, visiting the Daintree Rainforest, going on a SCUBA dive, and playing three shows in row in Kuranda, Cairns and Speewah opening for the Melbourne based band 8 Foot Felix. They I hopped a ride in Will Tait's van with Brenden Jones (both from 8 foot felix) in an epic two day road trip from Speewah to Currumbin. I'm on my way to Nimbin to play at Grapevine Organic Vegetarian Cafe. Gotta go! I'll hopefully add some photos soon! - CelloJoe

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

CelloJoe begins Australia Bicycle Music Tour!

Yeah! I am in Australia. I have been here since the Wednesday the 7th of November. Today is the Wednesday the 21rst of November, so I have been here for two weeks. How time flies.
Here's one of the main reasons I am in Australia:
total solar eclipse.
It's funny. I came half way around the world for this two minute spectacle and it was worth it a million times over. It is definitely one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had and I will remember it forever.

This will be my first long form update from the road. I'll include some pictures and videos and written musings.

It's funny how when you go to another country, you notice all the small differences. Different toilet designs and manufacturers. Showers in the public restroom at the Cairns airport. (That was definitely a very appreciated shower after nearly 23 hours of traveling!) People speak in a unique Australian manner. There are 'heaps' of new phrases to learn and pick up on, but 'no worries.' It's 'too easy.' I 'reckon' by the time I leave this country in two and a half months time, I'll have the colloquial lingo down pat. It seems that people here just shorten everything. "Pass the tom." is short for "pass the tomato sauce" Peoples' names because half as long. Red heads are nicknamed "Ranga" (short for orangutan.)

They have escalators that are ramps so you can take carts on them. Who'd have thought? Australians I guess. 

The Australian character seems very industrious and hardworking. People are so friendly, polite and helpful. Maybe it's the hybridized British accent.

I got to Cairns with all 80 kilos of my gear pretty easily. San Francisco to Sydney to Brisbane to Cairns. It was a lot of traveling and a lot of gear to drag around. Luckily I was able to use carts everywhere.

wow. that's a lot of stuff.

I stayed with a guy I met on CouchSurfing named Nevan. He was such a gracious host and we had fun talking and hanging out. I played a mini concert in his living room for some of his friends, Patti & Josh and his dad John. It was great fun. Thanks Nevan! Really appreciate the help. 

It took me a few hours the next day to assemble my trusty steed Krendara (my bicycle.) Then I caught a bus into town to get online and take care of some internet business. While in Cairns I went to the Telstra shop and got a mobile phone for my time here in Australia. Pretty essential gear for getting in touch with venues, couchsurfing hosts, and directions. I stopped at a pub and was drinking a beer when I overheard a guy saying he was stage managing the Earth Stage at Eclipse. The whole place was full of festival type people with dreads and tattoos and funky clothes. So I said, "Hey I'm playing on that stage!" His name is Craig and we chatted about the synchronicity of meeting then and there. "See ya at the fest!" Craig said as he hurried off to some party. 

So the next morning, Friday Nov 9 2012, I loaded up my bicycle with all of my stuff for the first time as I had packed the day I was leaving San Fran and had never actually put all the stuff on Krendara before. Pedal Powered Speaker, collapsible cello, two bags of gear full of camping gear, music equipment, a few outfits of clothes, and a backpack full of odds and ends. 
not the best photo.. but I forgot to take a pic of it.. will do soon.

I rode the short distance from Kewarra Beach to Smithfield to meet Chloe and Dre who Dan from Coco Poco Loco (a burning man connection through Ashram Galactica) had arranged for me to get a ride up to Eclipse in their rented RV. They had had quite a time getting from the airport to Smithfield. Apparently Dre had clipped a shade structure in a carpark and nearly upended the RV! I hung out at the shops at Smithfield and met them there when they got there a few hours later. We did a supply run and we were off. 

The site of the Eclipse Festival was called Maitland Downs and was a gold mind, but is now a cattle station. It was way out in the middle of nowhere. I met a girl named Una who had cycled there and she said there wasn't any water for 70 km. She had had to flag down a car and ask for water. Good thing I had decided to hitch a ride to the festival. The weather was so hot! 

I was scheduled to play on the Earth Stage at 6:30 pm on Thursday Nov 15. I found out at 1 pm on Monday Nov 12 that my set time had been switched to 2 pm on Monday Nov 12. Luckily I found out this information right after I had just played a short set at the Reggae Cafe (a small renegade stage/cafe) so I had all my gear right there and I just shuttled it over on my bicycle to the stage. It went great and there were actually a lot of people that came over to check out the strange cello beatboxing music (probably a first for Australia I imagine) despite the afternoon heat. There were misters set up under the shade canopy. Many booties shaking and I sold a few CDs to boot. 

view from the Earth Stage

I rocked out pretty consistently and steadily every day. As much as I could, I got out there and played in between the stages on my own mini renegade sound system. People were digging it! They were pedaling to power the speaker and tipping and offering compliments and getting CDs. I also went around and saw some really world class talented DJs and bands. The full lineup is at Eclipse2012.com

I also played at the Cosmic Alignment Gallery which was one of my favorite places in the whole festival. It featured the art of Alex and Allyson Grey, Autumn Sky, Amanda Sage, Luke Brown, Chris Dyer, Android Jones, and more. Here's just a few of the pieces: 

Chris Dyer painted this during the festival.

I unfortunately do not know who did this, but it's awesome!
Autumn Skye
Wednesday at 6:30 AM or so was the Eclipse. SO AMAZING. It was morning and the sun was climbing higher. All of a sudden the light changed to an eerie twilight and I saw the corona of the sun behind the moon as it darkened the whole sky. Really there is no way to explain how magical it was. You had to be there..

On Thursday I was told by Schuddy to check in with the Earth Stage because they might be able to get me on at my assigned slot by shuffling the inter-act DJs a bit. So I got to play on the Earth Stage again! Stoked. Lo and behold, during my sound check, my G string breaks. Imagine my embare-ass-ment! No seriously the G string on my cello broke and I didn't have my extra strings with my cello; they were back at camp. Talk about a bonehead maneuver! You'd think I'd have the sense to keep my extra strings with my cello, but somehow they got separated in all the packing and shuffling and moving around. I was on right then and I didn't have time to go back to camp to get the extra string. So what did I do? I just said, "The show must go on. I'll play with three strings." I proceeded to rock out for 45 minutes with only three strings. And amazingly, I was able to pull it off. A bunch of people came up after and wanted to get a CD and congratulated me on a good show. Who'd have thought? It was an interesting mental exercise to transpose songs so I could do them without a G string. I was playing at 75%, but the show was a ten out of ten in my book!

Well I am racking up a huge charge for my hours on the internet at this expensive as hell internet cafe in Kuranda, Queensland, Australia. I have so much more to post such as videos, and pictures, etc, but I'll have to do it another time. I have to get back to Speewah where I'm staying with the band 8 Foot Felix. We're playing at a party in Kuranda and I have to hitch a ride back to grab my stuff and head to the party. 

I'll update this post ASAP!

Mad love,

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Bike girl by CelloJoe

Bike girl by CelloJoe

This song used to be called "White girl with a ghetto booty."
I like it better now. It's about a bicycle and a girl.

Leaving for Australia in five days!
Donate some money to my campaign!