Tuesday, February 23

Baer's Den of Wonders

Chris' friend Gretchen from Bisbee AZ arranged for us to stay with her folks while we played our island show; Jackie and Gene Baer were a fascinating pair.  Their lives were full of painting, sculpture, music, writing...and their home was like an incredible museum (sort of a fine art museum meets an antique store meets a children's playhouse.)

Join me on a brief trip through their wold of fantastic imagination...

Jackie and Gretchen decorated a whole table with treasures from a local MV institution "the dumptique" and glued them to a table:
and when she was done, a truly magical land spread over the garden...
Gene was, among many other things, a children's book creator.  He opened a treasure chest full of books he had made by hand, some of which had been published and some of which hadn't.  This one was made of hand cut paper shapes
And before we left Gene sang us an amazing husky piano blues about how you can't get any love if you eat onions before you come over.

Jackie and Gene really inspired me; they are both so committed to doing things they love.

Monday, February 22

Martha's Vineyard

This moning we got a ride with a woman named Treather from Martha's Vineyard to Boston; now we're riding with Senayit and her family to DC. Had a Reubin at Rein's Deli in CT. Napping...

(from the Che's Lounge show last night)

Ford Wagon

It's almost 1AM and we just finished our show: another great one. The truck crisis took an incredible turn tonight; more on that tomorrow. Sleep beckons...

***time warp***

It's the next day (well two days later; 2AM in Washington DC) - the new truck development went as follows:

 at our Che's lounge show in Vineyard Haven I was about to go on stage...when I looked over and saw an old friend - well a family member really.  Sharon's dad was my stepfather for most of my teen years, a wonderful man named Gene.  Anyhow, she caught our show and we spent the night catching up...and after she heard about truxplosion 2010 she told us she had an '66 Ford Falcon Family Wagon that had been sitting in her and Mic's driveway for two years - and that we could have it if we wanted.

As you can see, it's a beauty.  It killed Chris and I to have to turn her generous offer down.  But it needed a little more work than we were prepared to put into it.  Now Sharon is investigating other car possibilities for us, which I appreciate so much.

Sunday, February 21


As requested by the website What's Up, Martha?, Sandino and I wrote this Martha's Vineyard rap.  Well, he wrote it and I helped a little.  I rhymed Gay Head (a town on the island) with K-Fed:

"When I say Martha, I ain't talkin' 'bout Coakly
Who lacked the chipotle to get enough votes, see
I don't mean Martha Stewart or Nancy Pelosi
I'm talkin' 'bout the Vineyard, y'all rock like Lynnrd Skynrd
My name's Sandman and even though Che's dead...
There's a riot goin' on from Nantucket to Gay Head
I'll be at Che's Lounge just loungin' like K-Fed
Stupid as Scott Brown, but sexier naked"

Thanks to Elsa and Jim for taking good care of us for the night, Elsa made a wonderful homemade pizza and salad.

We hit Che's lounge in Vineyard Haven at 7PM tonight.  Tell your island buddies.

Saturday, February 20

Hog Farm, Seed Pod

Our last two shows represented a major breakthrough for me.  I've finally started to loosen up on stage, feel the music, see the crowd.  The Hog Farm Annex in Biddeford Maine was the best place ever.  Coco and Gil, the couple who run it took incredible care of us - feeding us jumbelaya and muffelatea (a meat sandwich) and put us up for the night in their incredible farmhouse (formally an actual hog farm).  They also run this cool store in Biddeford called Loving Anvil (and they sell Mary Robbins' shirts - the woman who made my tour shirts (see this old entry.)

Gil and Coco are also fine artists; I didn't get a chance to see Coco's work (that I know of) but Gil's paintings are some of the most exciting pieces of art I've seen.  Here are a few I really like:
And this is their daugher Chloe; she's six and plays in a band called Sparklefive.
My set at Hog Farm Annex
We're playing three shows with Senayit Tomlinson (next stop DC...
if we can get there without my truck...) Senayit is an amazing singer and songwritier with a gorgeous fingerpicking style:
Senayit and her daughter Koki
Sandman, rockin' it
We do a few of his hits together
I cooked a persian dinner (with Chris as sous chef) for Senayit, her husband Jeff, her daughter Koki and her mom Sally in Orfard NH
And a few photos from the (awesome) Seed Pod coop show last night in Dorchester.
My friend Ayisha and I communicating on paper (since I don't speak sign language)
And finally the incredible Elizabeth Saunders who put the show on, got Sandman and I paid a nice sum AND managed to come up with quite a bit of extra money to give to our friend Pete's non profit AIDG 
who is involved in the Haitian relief effort.
What a smile!

cell phone post #2

With no truck to take us, Chris and I are hitching a ride with our dear friend Elsa to Martha's vineyard. The tour enters it's second chapter: busses and rides.

Friday, February 19

Crisis: Truxplosion

After our best show yet at the Hog Farm in Biddeford Maine, the check engine light went on in my truck on our drive to play a Dorchester show in Boston.  It turns out my truck is no longer at all drivable and I need to find out how to get another truck (after months of work I did to be sure that this wouldn't happen)...I am now in emergency mode.  But I will not be stopped.

Home show at the Seed Pod Coop in Dorchester tonight.

Thursday, February 18

Nima on the Radio??!

Played a show in Montpelier on tuesday; my best set yet (but still a little shaky).  More on that soon.  Just remembered I'm being interviewed on WKYRS's Persian Radio Hour on May 1st in Spokane WA - a guy name Sharo does the show, this is him:

Persians, baby.

Monday, February 15

cell phone post #1

I just foud out that Chris hates Lyle Lovett. It is the first major rift in our friendship.

Sunday, February 14

Greenfield, MA

This morning Sandman and I scrambled to pack up my green Toyoto Tundra, making last minute decisions about what to take and what to ditch.  I left my winter gloves and hat (since we're mostly heading southward for lovely warm weather) and now I'm underdressed in western MA.  Greenfield is beautiful, the evening sky was a cloudy electric blue.

Our show was a lot of fun; we're staying at Chris' friends Dan and Shira's house for the night.  Dan and his band, Daniel hales, and the frost heaves (preceded by a fun harmonizing duo) played before Chris and I; I played two songs and then accompanied Chris on two songs.  In the middle I interviewed a group of teens on my flip video camera who unanimously agreed that the show rocked.  Then I realized we left $500 worth of tour posters sitting on the curb for the whole duration of the show.

Here's Chris playing "Damascus" - it's a new song, not on any album yet.

At the very end I met a young woman named Tisarra, who walked in with her guitar strapped on her back.  She said she'd been playing for a few months and was in the middle of writing her first song and she let me record it:

Our interview got cut off when my video cam died - she's about to say that she's from New Jersey but she moved up to western MA.  Chris noticed that she had a CrimethInc sticker on her guitar - that's the label that his new album is on.

Then tonight Dan and Shira invited me to make a persian meal which we just ate - lamb stew with eggplant, pickles, thick yoghert, shirazi salad and crunchy bottom rice (tah-dig chelo). Wasn't half bad.

February 14th

I took art classes at UMass Boston with Neil Horsky.  He's put together a piece of valentines day animation that I like a lot.

Tonight we sing love songs in Greenfield...I'm debating adding an old French song I used to play by Francis Cabrel to my set list.

Saturday, February 13

Midway Cafe

It's official!  The tour has begun.  Wednesday night Chris and I Sang our hearts out to a crowd of my closest friends at the Midway Cafe in JP.

We spent about four hours beforehand rehearsing together at Amanda's apartment, making set lists, packing gear and trying to figure out what to wear on stage.  In spite of threats of an 8 inch snow storm, a good 30 or so folks came to listen.  Thanks to everyone who came!  It was great for me to play my first show with some of my biggest fans.  Your heckles were all well placed, you seemed to enjoy when I forgot the words and liked when I sang the slide solo on heartbreak blues.  S'good to have friends.  And it's a lot of fun seeing you wear my tour t shirts, thanks for buyin'em.  Now I'm ready to brave the unknown climates of our fair nation, to sing songs to strangers and try to let my creative mind go wild.  Last night Chris and I had a great conversation where we started thinking about how to present our collective act as a Middle Eastern man and a man from the western US.  It feels like being on the cutting edge of something.

Next stop: Greenfield on Sunday with a 2PM show.  Today I need to finish finding a homes for my remaining belongings (it's like having 4 homes!  My crap is everywhere.)  After Greenfiled, Montpellier on Tuesday the 16th, Biddeford ME on Thursday the 18th and then back to Boston for our Dorchester show on the 19th.  Then, southern US here I come.

Friday, February 5

T Shirts!

I met Mary and Nabil at the "Bizarre Bizarre" - a big hodgepodge of vendors in the South End a few months ago.  I fell immediately in love with Mary's work - she blends images with Arabic words to create a sort of conversation about our world, human beings, Arabic language, cultural exchange and other things.  I saw these three shirts and said to myself: They will be mine.

Says: Kiss Me I'm Irish
Says: "Breakfast"
Says: "Glasses"

This happened right around the time that I was starting to think about silk screening some of my own T shirts.  I came up with a few designs (which most people agreed were awful) and was still trying to work out something good when I met Mary and Nabil.  I had already been thinking about having my name in Persian on my shirts...it was a little too perfect.  So I ran the idea by Mary, she was excited about it - and the rest is history.  I am now the proud owner of 100 shirts with guitars that say Nima Samimi in Persian (read it "backwards" now, don't confuse yourself.)

Here's my big box of shirts

My friend Ania

With her partner Ralf

Mary was kind enough to let me make a short movie of her silk screening operation (if you're like me and you love learning about how people make things, this one's for you.)

You can see the rest of Mary's work on her website,


Man, am i busy!  Chris and I are knee deep in emails, tour posters, bookings and plans.  Our first show is coming up this Wednesday in Boston.  I picked up my T shirts and pins from Mary and Nabil in Maine (I'll post a video and some pics about that soon) and we have 2 tour posters; one from Glen Hutcheson and one from Nikki Mclure (also the album art for Chris' new CD.)  I pick chris up at Logan on monday and then (woah) we have liftoff.  And on monday I start training my good buddy Patrick at work, he's taking over my job while I'm gone.  OK, back to the grind...

Here are our posters:

From Glen:

And from Nikki