Westbound in SoDak, XM Satellite Radio, etc.

Hey folks! One year ago I was in pretty much the same place doing the same thing (check out last year's blog entry courtesy of MySpace)...stopping for the night in South Dakota, bound for the Black Hills. Tonight the Rundman Four rolled into Mitchell, SD, and have made camp here at the Days Inn. I'm up late killing time in between switching loads of laundry in the hotel washer, and Dawn and kids are already asleep. The iPod is on shuffle, and I'm hearing Paul Simon's lovely "Under African Skies" as I type in the hotel lobby, with crowds of Harley bikers checking in after a long week of partying and posturing at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Sheesh, it's tough to get two adults, music gear, diapering supplies, baby food, basic clothing, and two small children out of the house. This morning was many hours of non-stop parenting, packing, and car-loading. Thankfully, we finally hit the road out of Minneapolis at 2:30PM.

My rental car came equipped with XM Satellite Radio. I was quite excited to give this commercial-free digital music source (200+ stations!) a test run. Dawn and I spent the drive surfing between a few favorite stations: "the '70s," "the '80s," "Air America," "Big Hits (or something....it's '70s and '80s classic rock," and "Hear Music" (the Starbucks Coffee channel). Satellite radio was okay, but I was a bit disappointed in the limited playlists on these stations. Imagine this: while surfing between the '80s station and the Classic Rock station, we heard "New Year's Day" by U2 TWICE, and "Walking on a thin line" by Huey Lewis and the News TWICE! I can honestly say I hadn't heard that Huey song for twenty years, but today I heard it twice in the span of five hours. Of all the thousands of classic rock options out there, and with over 200 stations to choose from, why oh why must I hear low-profile Huey Lewis tunes more than once in one day (let alone in one month)? That "Big Hits" (or whatever) station played some freakin' great stuff, though: "Sole Survivor" by Asia; "Rock Me Tonight" by Billy Squier; "You Wreck Me" by Tom Petty; "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty; "You're All I've Got Tonight" by The Cars. Sweet, man.

After a couple hours on the road, we stopped for fuel and M&Ms at a gas station in Windom, MN. We hit the mall in Sioux Falls where I scored some awesome parachute pants at the Gap for $7, and some beige jeans (sounds like a song...) for $4, and five pairs of boxers for $1.99 each. Dawn found some very cool looking hippie blouses for $4 each. The family enjoyed dinner at Panera Bread Company, and then we zipped over here to Mitchell for the evening.

Tomorrow I'm playing the Songbird Cafe in Custer, SD (along with my pals in the band Tangled Blue), and after that I'm the musician-in-residence at Outlaw Ranch in Custer, SD. I'll probably be off-line for the entire week, so this may be my last chance to blog for awhile.

Okay...gotta go. Svea's laundry should be done...time to stick it in the dryer....


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