Strange Famous Records

“Reflections from Hell” prt 1

I just returned home my Going Through Hell Tour, which followed last year’s Copper Gone Tour (163 shows in all.) When I decided to tour again after “retiring” from tour, it was balls to the wall or none at all. But now it’s done. And I’m back to my cave with the ghost of hibernation past breathing its sexy winter breath on the nape of my stiff neck. Ugh…you vixen winter temptress. Nevermind that. The tour shirts are officially discontinued, but the remaining bunch are available in men  & women sizes HERE.
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Wanna know what I did for my birthday to celebrate my last year of being a dirty thirty-something? ABSOLUTELY FREAKIN’ NOTHING. I already did my thing. In fact, I probably overdid my thing with the last 88 shows by doing virtually everything on my own. I saw things, I heard things, I showed things and I said things. When it felt like I had nothing left to give, I kept giving. When it felt like I had nowhere else to go, I kept going. D.I.Y. or cry. I plan on doing more shows at some point, but there’s no way I could ever do it the way I just did it. That’s how I’m able to make a proper transition. It’s time to focus on my general health and my ambiguous home life. Outside of that, my time will be spent working on art, specifically. I’ll be posting some stories and insights from the road soon, but for now I just want to thank the following places for all the support and hugs:
5/29/14 Stanhope, NJ – Stanhope House
5/30/14 NY, NY – Le Poisson Rouge
5/31/14 Boston, MA – Middle East
6/02/14 Toronto, ON Canada – Opera House
6/03/14 Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar
6/05/14 Chicago, IL – The Abbey
6/06/14 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon
6/07/14 Minneapolis, MN – First Ave
6/09/14 Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre
6/10/14 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
6/11/14 Missoula, MT – Palace Lounge
6/12/14 Vancouver, BC Canada – Fortune Sound Club
6/13/14 Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
6/14/14 Portland, OR – Alhambra Theatre
6/16/14 San Francisco, CA – The Independent
6/17/14 Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern
6/18/14 Los Angeles, CA – The Troubadour
6/20/14 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
6/21/14 Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
6/22/14 El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls
6/25/14 Austin, TX – Mohawk
6/26/14 New Orleans, LA – Southport Hall
6/27/14 Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
6/29/14 Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
7/01/14 Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
7/02/14 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
7/04/14 Providence, RI – Fete Ballroom
10/04/14 Reykjavik, Iceland – Húrra
10/09/14 Cork, Ireland – Cyprus Avenue
10/10/14 Sligo, Ireland – Fifth on Teeling
10/11/14 Belfast, Northern Ireland – Voodoo
10/12/14 Dublin, Ireland – Sugar Club
10/14/14 Newcastle, England – Think Tank
10/15/14 Glasgow, Scotland – Oran Mor
10/16/14 Manchester, England – Gorilla
10/17/14 Leeds, England – Brudenell Social Club
10/19/14 Cardiff, Wales – The Globe
10/20/14 Bristol, England – The Fleece
10/21/14 Brighton, England – The Haunt
10/22/14 London, England – Village Underground
10/24/14 Reading, England – The Bowery District
10/25/14 Brussels, Belgium – Botanique
10/26/14 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Melkweg
10/28/14 Paris, France – Point Ephemere
10/29/14 Dijon, France – La Vapeur
10/30/14 Vendome, France – Les Rockomotives
10/31/14 Strasbourg, France – Laiterie
11/02/14 Cologne, Germany – Underground
11/03/14 Hamburg, Germany – Uebel & Gefaehrlich
11/05/14 Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
11/06/14 Oslo, Norway – Sawol
11/07/14 Stockholm, Sweden – Debaser Strand
11/09/14 Berlin, Germany – Privatclub
11/10/14 Munich, Germany – Ampere
11/12/14 Frankfurt, Germany – Zoom
11/13/14 Geneva, Switzerland – Usine
11/14/14 Zurich, Switzerland – Rote Fabrik
11/15/14 Bern, Switzerland – Dachstock-Reitschule
11/16/14 Vienna, Austria – B72
11/19/14 Lund, Sweden – Mejeriet
11/21/14 Helsinki, Finland – Kuudes Linja
11/22/14 Wroclaw, Poland – FIRLEJ
11/23/14 Prague, Czech Republic – Klub Podnik
11/25/14 Zagreb, Croatia – Mocvara
12/03/14 Adelaide, Australia – Uni Bar
12/04/14 Melbourne, Australia – The Corner Hotel
12/05/14 Sydney, Australia – The Roller Den
12/06/14 Riverwood Downs, Australia – Subsonic Festival
12/07/14 Brisbane, Australia – The Brightside
12/11/14 Wellington, New Zealand – San Fran
12/12/14 Aukland, New Zealand – Cassette Nine
12/19/14 Daegu, South Korea – Jeng-iy Collective
12/20/14 Busan, South Korea – Club Realize
12/28/14 Osaka, Japan – Conpass
12/29/14 Tokyo, Japan – Shibuya Plug
1/24/15 Indio, CA – Date Shed
1/26/15 Fullerton, CA @ Slidebar Cafe
1/28/15 Fresno, CA – Fulton 55
1/29/15 Sacramento, CA – Harlows
1/30/15 San Francisco, CA – Mezzanine
1/31/15 Portland, OR – Alhambra Theatre
2/02/15 Bend, OR – Domino Room
3/12/15 Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory
3/13/15 Providence, RI – The Met
3/14/15 Boston, MA – Great Scott
3/15/15 New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
4/02/15 Atlantic City, NJ – Boneyard
4/03/15 Long Island, NY – Amityville Music Hall
4/04/15 Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
4/05/15 Baltimore, MD – Metro Gallery
4/17/15 Jacksonville – Underbelly
4/19/15 Tampa, FL – Orpheum
4/23/15 Orlando, FL – The Social
5/02/15 Las Vegas, NV – LVCS
5/07/15 Flagstaff, AZ – The Green Room
5/08/15 Tucson, AZ – Congress
5/09/15 Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
5/16/15 Narragansett, RI – Wheel House
5/21/15 Santa Barbara, CA – Velvet Jones
5/22/15 San Diego, CA – Casbah
5/23/15 Corona, CA – M15
5/24/15 San Luis Obispo, CA – SLO Brew
5/25/15 Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst
5/28/15 Honolulu, HI – The Republik
6/13/15 Jackson Hole, WY – Contour Music Festival
6/14/15 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
6/17/15 Durango, CO – Animas City Theater
6/18/15 Fort Collins, CO – Aggie Theatre
6/19/15 Denver, CO – Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
6/20/15 Colorado Springs, CO – Black Sheep
6/23/15 Albuquerque, NM – Sister Bar
6/25/15 Austin, TX – Red 7
6/26/15 Dallas, TX – Club Dada
6/28/15 New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
6/30/15 Pensacola, FL – Vinyl Music Hall
7/01/15 Gainesville, FL – High Dive
7/02/15 Atlanta, GA – Vinyl
7/03/15 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
7/14/15 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room
7/15/15 St. Louis, MO – Firebird
7/16/15 Covington, KY – Madison Theatre
7/17/15 Columbus, OH – The Basement
7/21/15 Pontiac, MI – Crofoot Ballroom
7/22/15 Grand Rapids, MI – Pyramid Scheme
7/23/15 Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
7/24/15 Iowa City, IA – Gabe’s
7/25/15 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
7/31/15 Durban, South Africa – Freedom Cafe
8/06/15 Johannesburg, South Africa – Iron Tusk
8/07/15 Cape Town, South Africa – The Assembly
8/28/15 Virginia Beach, Virginia – Shakas Live
8/29/15 Washington D.C. – U Street Music Hall
8/30/15 Stanhope, NJ – Stanhope House
9/12/15 Butte, MT – Original Festival
9/13/15 Spokane, WA – Swaxx
9/14/15 Seattle, WA – Neumos
9/16/15 Victoria, BC Canada – Distrikt
9/17/15 Vancouver, BC Canada – Alexander’s
9/18/15 Kelowna, BC Canada – Habitat
9/19/15 Nelson, BC Canada – Spiritbar
9/20/15 Osoyoos, BC Canada – Jo-Jo’s Cafe
9/22/15 Edmonton, AB Canada – Brixx
9/23/15 Lethbridge, AB Canada – Inferno Nightclub
9/24/15 Saskatoon, SK Canada – Amigo’s
9/25/15 Calgary, AB Canada – Dicken’s Pub
9/26/15 Red Deer, AB Canada – Wild Bills
10/03/15 Uppsala, Sweden – Ordsprak Festival
10/16/15 Syracuse, NY – Funk ‘n Waffles
10/17/15 Buffalo, NY – Waiting Room
10/22/15 Guelph, ON Canada – District
10/23/15 Toronto, ON Canada – Adelaide Hall
10/24/15 Ottawa, ON Canada – Ritual
10/26/15 London, ON Canada – Rum Runners
10/29/15 Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
10/30/15 Portland, ME – Port City Music
11/07/15 Newport, KY – Thompson House
11/09/15 Omaha, NE – Waiting Room
11/12/15 Fargo, ND – Aquarium
11/13/15 Duluth, MN – Red Herring
11/14/15 Virginia, MN – Mirage Bar
11/15/15 Madison, WI – High Noon Saloon

I survived the big fun.
Uncle Sage

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Nov 22

THE FINAL 9 SHOWS: Vermont, Maine & Midwest

The “Going Through Hell” Tour of 2015 consisted of 88 shows in all. The 15 remaining dates are posted below!  Sign up for the newsletter on the homepage of so you don’t miss any future announcements.
This tour is in support of 2014’s Copper Gone album as well as the TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY of A HEALTHY DISTRUST.

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10/29 Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground w/ Metermaids + B. Dolan TICKETS
10/30 Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall w/ Metermaids, BRZO, B. Dolan TICKETS
11/7 Newport, KY @ The Thompson House with B. Dolan TICKETS
11/9 Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room w/ B. Dolan TICKETS
11/10 Sioux Falls, SD @ Icon Lounge w/ B. Dolan TICKETS
11/12 Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium w/ B. Dolan TICKETS
11/13 Duluth, MN @ The Red Herring w/ B. Dolan TICKETS
11/14 Virginia, MN @ The Mirage Bar w/ B. Dolan TICKETS
11/15 Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon w/ B. Dolan TICKETS

1 hell shirt

“Going Through Hell” shirts are now available in Men’s and Women’s sizes! CLICK THE PICTURE.

“ID Thieves” is my newest video:

Click image for all “Copper Gone” album options






Follow Uncle Sage on: Twitter + Facebook.

Oct 09

Fancy Fran and the South African Fam (2015)

As I embark upon the last leg of what has turned into an eighteen month tour, I realize I’ve only shared scraps of what I’ve experienced this past year. During the big moments I feel inspired to share each story in total detail, but by the time I settle down I’m either too exhausted or busy to type it all out. I suppose that’s why I’m a songwriter instead of a blogger. My songs are not linear play-by-play accounts of what I experience on any given day. Often they’re composite sketches of experiences I’ve had some time to reflect upon as I try to make sense of the big picture. Well, whoopty-frickin’-doo. Heh. A lot of memories get lost in that process. As much as we believe we’ll never forget the precious stuff, time fades the brain. Maybe that’s why our culture has become so picture-crazed. Photos help transport us to specific moments and they help us remember the sights, sounds, scents, etc… I should take more of them, but they never really tell the full story.

As many of you know, I was invited to South Africa in 2011 to partake in a program that was meant to assist HIV+ orphans receive treatment. That trip didn’t turn out to be anything like I thought it would be, and I’ve never been able to properly explain what I witnessed during that period, but I made a strong connection to one particular group of kids. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay in touch with them over time with the great help of my Durban friends, Ewok & Karen. I felt ill-equipped to take on the macro problems (some of which I address in the “Water Into Wine” song,) but Ewok has been instrumental in helping me focus on accomplishing smaller goals — many of which were tackled through the “Ubuntu” fundraiser that I organized once I returned home. With the generosity of your donations, we were able to fix the roof of the kids’ home, purchase bunk beds so they didn’t all have to share the same bed, and we were able to get them things like clothes, school supplies, and food with the remainder of the funds.

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When I shared my goodbyes with the kids that first time around, I promised them that I’d return. “Probably next year,” I said. Once the van drove them away, I stepped behind a building to shield myself from the sight of others. Had a little breakdown that day. Had a fair share of breakdowns ever since. I’ve been haunted by many things I witnessed during that first trip, and, yeah — maybe all of this is coming across as melodramatic. Well, la-di-frickin’-da. Heh. I need to keep writing before it all goes away. For now I’ll spare you a bunch of details and skip forward to 2015…

The only break in my tour schedule was during August, so I purchased a flight to South Africa even though I had been unable to lock down a single show in the past 3 years. Thanks to the help of some quick-acting promoters I was able to get gigs in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town. The main purpose of my trip, however, was to reunite with the kids and make good on an old promise. When I was finally able to visit them at their home, it was clear that they tried to look as fancy as possible. Adorable, adorable, adorable. Hair all made up, faces all made up, clothes all crisp and freshly laundered. It was like a little fashion show. I’m not sure I looked any different than I did four years prior, and it’s possible I appeared a bit disheveled after all the traveling I had done. They didn’t hold it against me.

Ntokozo, the first of the kids who I made a special connection to in 2011, is 15 years old now and beautiful as ever. When I asked what she’s interested in doing once she’s out of school, she said that she wants to be a singer and an actress. “I’m not shy,” she proclaimed. This is true. I saw her own the stage during a theater performance the first time I visited Durban. When I asked her what songs she likes to sing she didn’t answer. When I asked again, she turned her head away from me as tears streamed down her cheek. It was such a sudden change of mood from the cheerful vibe I’d been enjoying up until that moment. I became concerned that I was being invasive or insensitive somehow. When I asked her what was wrong she said, “I didn’t think I’d ever see you again.” Ah. Straight dagger to the heart. Trying to explain why it took so long for me to return wasn’t worth the excuses at that moment. It was nice to just hold her for a while as her siblings made fun of her for crying. Kids will be kids. I’m sure she’ll survive.

When I returned to see them the next day, I felt like it might be for the last time. Maybe so, maybe not. It’s obviously not the kind of thing that can be promised (though, I fear that I did.) Ewok and I discussed what types of stuff could be fixed in and around their home to make day-to-day life a bit more pleasurable. A bit more safe. The kids were more casual and comfortable overall on this day. There was a return to normalcy and silliness. We made fun of each other’s accents while attempting to speak in each other’s tongue. Their English remains to be a lot better than my Zulu will ever be, but they can’t make the round “R” sounds. I can’t make their click/pop sounds. It’s always a fun exercise for cheap laughs.

When it was time for us to say our final goodbyes, the kids decided to tag their names on my arm. Ntokozo wrote her full name, pointing out her surname, and then she told me when her birthday was. Because I keep missing it for some reason. Zakheni, the older brother, was too cool and reserved to interact much, but that couldn’t save him from a departing hug from “Big Show.” His friends pointed and laughed. I’m sure he’ll survive. Zinhle, one of the elder sisters, put lipstick on me without warning. I didn’t fight it. I’ll survive.


Clearly, it was my turn to be fancy.

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Aug 25

Copper Gone 1 Year Anniversary + NEW VIDEO!

“ID Thieves” is the newest video off of my Copper Gone album. SFR’s Aupheus took close to a year animating this bad boy, and it shows:

1 cg anniversary

Today is the one year anniversary of Copper Gone! To help us celebrate, Strange Famous Records is offering 30% off all CG-related items. Use the code “CG1YR” at checkout:

If you’ve already supported by purchasing the album, some gear, or a show ticket, I’d like to force an ice cream scooper through my chest and offer each of you a heart dollop. The fact that Copper Gone hit Billboard’s Top 200 the first week of its release was a proud moment for all of us at SFR. Many obstacles have been placed in our path, and media elites have all but written us off, but we’re still able to hit significant milestones thanks to the constant support of the fans. That’s what makes these accomplishments especially sweet for me. That’s often what pushes me through the exhaustion. As many of you may have noticed, I’ve toured practically non-stop since this time last year, and the dates keep piling up. I can’t play everywhere at once, and I can’t please everyone at once, but I’m grateful as hell to have the ability and opportunity to keep going.

With every dollop of my ice creamy heart…THANK YOU.
-Uncle Sage

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Jun 04

Crumby Art

1 crumb pedalstrike

“Breaking bread with the best of ’em. Crumbs are left under the table for the rest of ’em.” – Sage Francis

This portrait was made entirely with bread crumbs. The person who made it calls himself Pedalstrike. His work is amazing. You can read his explanation in regard to this Uncle Sage portrait here. Part of that writeup reminded me of a poem I included in my Personal Journals booklet by Bill MacMillan called “The World’s Worst Rapper.” I’ll leave this here and wish Pedalstrike the very best in all future endeavors:

the world’s worst rapper is a devotee of the old school
understands the importance of knowing your roots
is the neighborhood historian hip hop
he has memorized the soundtracks to krush groove & beat street
owns everything by kurtis blow & grandmaster flash
can trace musical influences like an anthropologist

the world’s worst rapper has stepped up to the verbal plate only once
an ugly incident remembered by no one but himself
now he plays the interested observer when friends flip to freestyling
in a circle of would-be stars, he is the audience everyone plays to

the worlds worst rapper has never been jealous of others
he is always encouraging, supportive, never a negative word
he wishes he could work the words but sits silent instead
fear & failure keeping him closed

dreams deferred become dreams denied

the world’s worst rapper works in a record store to feed his vinyl addiction
keeps up on the latest sounds, can spot a winner a mile away
uses his discount to keep tables turning & mixes fresh
provides the musical steel the local DJs will fire-hammer

into soundtracks for saturday night sessions

the world’s worst rapper has a lot of friends, is well liked
he has never been beaten down or harassed
he has never been kissed

he sits alone at night on the fire escape of his apartment
listens to queen latifah & draws the faces from his day into an old notebook
tito, d.j., mikhaila, the lost & confused tourist
the young woman in his store who picked up the lil’ kim CD

his drawings are masterpieces sketches of ordinary people
done with all the all the love he feels for them
he sees timeless beauty in everyone
except himself

the world’s worst rapper is an artist who doesn’t know it
so focused on the failed dream of rap stardom
that the talent he does have is overlooked, scratched out
he is the silence between the beats

he may never know just how close he is to wonder
& no song can ever make up for that

…& so
…& so the
…& so the beat
…the beat
…goes on

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Mar 20

Are You Adult Enough to Use a Flag as a Cape?

Apparently, capes were too soon for Madonna.

I’ve been rocking this SFR flag as a cape for over 10 years though. LIKE A CAPE PRO. No accidents, no injuries, no diseases, nothing. It just provides the super human strength needed to keep my indie grind going. Oh, and they’re finally available to the public HERE:

photo by ty watkins

photo by ty watkins

My SFR flag is probably the most requested item at shows. Some people offer to pay for it, but usually they’re just like, “Gimme that cape, man. PLEEEEEAAAASE!” Well, I couldn’t sell it or give it away as only one was made. And it’s for me. However, after ten years, we finally figured out a way to manufacture 100 of them at a price that wasn’t ridiculously high. So, no, I still can’t give them away. But if you really are about that cape life, or you want to let your freak flag fly, get this before it’s no longer available.


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Feb 25

East Coast Tour: Sage Francis x Ceschi x Metermaids THIS MARCH

square with dates
Although I’m kicking off 2015 with a west coast tour, it was important bring it all back home for a few dates with the east coast homies, Ceschi and Metermaids this MARCH:

3/12 Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory (All Ages) TICKETS
3/13 Providence, RI @ The Met (All Ages) TICKETS
3/14 Boston, MA @ Great Scott (21+) TICKETS
3/15 New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place (All Ages) TICKETS

Get tickets ASAP because these shows are poised to sell out. This is not only my homecoming from the Copper Gone World Tour, but the Metermaids have just dropped a new album, and these shows will also serve as Ceschi’s album release on Fake Four! Pat the Bunny and Brook Pridemore will be joining our New Haven show (FB event page here.) Additionally, we will be joined by Storm Davis at the Providence show (FB event page here.)

header for east coast
If by chance you’re looking for a new cover photo for your social media, HERE YOU GO! Many thanks to Pat Jensen for the incredible poster artwork. It will all make sense when the video gets released next month.


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Jan 16

“THE PLACE SHE FEARED MOST” – Sage Francis lyric video

Thanks to the wonderful work of morgans brother, here is the new lyric video for The Place She Feared Most from my Copper Gone album:

By this point I hoped to post a full account of everything that happened in the past 6 months during the Copper Gone World Tour, but that’s going to have to wait for another time. For now I just want to thank to everyone who joined me on my road to recover. The agents, promoters, journalist, tour mates, and the fans who came out to help make this one of the most successful tours of my career. Many people in the industry thought it couldn’t happen, especially after my 4 year hiatus. I’m not sure why. But hey, it’s fun to continue proving those people wrong. That’s my life juice. They didn’t get me in the beginning, so I’ll be damned if they get me in the end. Enough of that though. I only have two weeks to catch up on the mountain of sheeeyiiiiittttt that built up during my absence before I have to head to the west coast for more shows. My full list of upcoming date are here:

1 space the place she feared most

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Jan 12

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Brand new SNAPBACK styles & colors are in stock now, including our first Sage Francis name logo cap! Click here to see them all.

Sage Francis "Make 'Em Purr" T-Shirts! Available in Men's & Women's sizes here.

The SFR Flag Cape is an exact replica of the one worn onstage by Sage Francis! One of the most-requested Sage merch items of the past decade is finally here!

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