When I was getting this tour together, I got a nice msg from a cool German couple in a small city called Montabaur.
First off, just being touch with nice people around the world through the music I've made is something that never fails to make me smile, even in my worst of moods.
They wanted me to come and play in their living room, donation-style. I love me a good house show, and their invitation seemed especially nice and clear (my favorite combination), so I happily accepted. They kept in touch as it neared. They booked me a hotel room (though I would've happily stayed on a couch, etc). They made a nice, simple meal, which we all shared before the guests arrived. They set up their modest, beautiful home with chairs and snacks and drinks for all. A bunch of their equally friendly friends came out and we had a really, really nice night of music. Everyone there chipped in 10€-ish or more or whatever they could, people bought stuff, I'm sure there was plenty of money in my pocket at the end of the night (I never count the money, takes away from the experience for me) to cover my travel costs, with some for savings.
When it goes this well and it's this personal, it is the best sort of humbling ever.
But wait, there's more.
The next day was a day off. It was a sudden schedule change, so I didn't have anywhere to stay. Thanks to the first cool couple inquiring on my behalf, another cool couple kindly said that I could stay at their nearby home. That's where I'm sitting right now. I just went out to see what nice-sounding music they had put on, and I saw this CD. I didn't really get it at first;, thought maybe someone had recorded the show and made up a CD incredibly quickly, which wouldn't really have surprised me, given how incredibly thoughtful everyone involved had been thus far. Then I was told that it was actually a little homemade promo CD that the hosts had made up and shared with their friends and colleagues as an invitation to the show.
Clearly, it blew my mind. THIS is why I'm so effusive with my gratitude (whether in person or over the internets) to anyone that cares about the music & me. This is why I try so hard to show it; not just in words, but also in actions. For anyone that's ever wondered about that (or doubted my sincerity, all you cynical critics haha), this 24 hours is it. This is what helps when I miss home and wonder about what I'll do with the rest of my life. If it can be anything like this, I'm in. This is the sort of communication and community I will steer towards for however many more years I make stuff for a living.
Oh, did I mention the big cardboard cut-out of Are Two in their living room, or the mug that everyone put their donation into? So there's that, too. Nice nerds unite.