Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This was the 40th anniversary show for The Milestone. Rock clubs tend to age in dog years and it's extremely rare for one to make it this far. Add in the fact that The Milestone is essentially a pressboard chicken coop in a particularly nasty section of Charlotte and you've got a miracle on your hands. That being said, the sound was excellent, the staff was friendly and the crowd was on fire. The opening band was an amazing instrumental trio from Charlotte called Hexagons and the headliner was a krautish post rock outfit from Athens GA called Maserati, also amazing, also instrumental. Check them out. Extra thanks to Scott's Mom for putting us up and making the best breakfast I've had in months.

UPDATE - RIP MAserati drummer, Jerry Fuchs. He was one of the most talented drummers I have ever witnessed.


Second to last night of tour was in the nations capital. Specifically in a pizza/ping ping parlor in the nations capitol. Show was fun because we had lots of friends there and a nice crowd and they fed us lots of premium pie. Late night was back at Gianna's as per usual in DC and we rounded out things with a little bang and sizzle. Know what I mean? I don't either.

The next day Paul backed into a sign in the parking lot of the DC Children's Hospital. Take that sick kids!

NYC 3 days off

We had a couple days off in NYC, our first real break in weeks. Activities included but not limited to:

Kandinsky at The Guggenheim
Cooper Hewitt Design Museum
Dumplings from Vanessa's
Walking, walking
Tuesday night at Freddy's
Blue potatoes with Leeks
scotch bonnet marinated onions and carrots
shopping for digs
more walking
more dumplings
happy hour at holiday cocktail lounge (though with friends, not waiting on them)
happy hour at Winnie's in Chinatown
happy hour at The Library
ginger carrot and kale juice for hangover
walking across Manhattan bridge
dinner at Bia
cemitas from Rico's in sunset park
probably some more walking in there somewhere


This show was at the Thunderbird Cafe, which is technically in Lawrenceville but who cares. When we showed up the vibe therein was decidely Grateful- they were pumping Terrapin Station through the mains. I, for one, was grateful for this welcome departure from typical sounddude rock. I was even more grateful there was a coin op laundrymat right next to the club as my laundry situation was getting kinda hectic. Extra special thanks to our friends Paul and Leah for putting us up and for taking us to Primanti bros after the show for a traditional P-burg sammie featuring your choice of meat/ fish, cole slaw, and fries- all on the sandwich, Soooo good.

Detroit Oct 18

In honor of it being one month later I plan to catch up on the posts I've been slacking on. I know all 6 of you readers have been chomping at the bit so lets get to it shall we?

We played at the Majestic Theatre Cafe which sounds way cooler then it actually is because it's the cafe part, not the theatre part which is truly majestic. I know this because David and I snuck in there and got a peak. It's friggin' sweet. I imagine a White Stripes show there back in the day was pretty fun. The place feeds you which ain't too shabby so there was that. Upstairs was the dude from TV on the Radio's other band and rumor had it that they were not very awesome. Rumor was carried by some dude who came down to see us and got hype. Can't remember his name but his enthusiasm was appreciated. We were supposed to play with Fidrych but Fidrych never showed so we did it solo style. NEXT!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Troika fest this weekend...

This Friday at Duke Coffee Shop- We'll go on around 12. Neill will be mixing live video projections during our set. Details on the Troika blog here

The full lineup for this show-

12:00 Birds of Avalon
11:00 I Was Totally Destroying It
10:15 The Pneurotics
9:30 The Ringing Cedars

Full Troika schedule here

More about Neill and Juxtapongo

Chicago, Bottom Lounge

Despite having been there at least 10 or 15 times, Chicago is still a mystery to me. I can't ever figure out where anything is, or how different parts of the city fit together. This was our first show at Bottom Lounge, a large concrete room in a seemingly bombed out area, but for all I know it might have been right next to the hippest/ swankiest district in all the land. I never even saw the front door. We stayed with our friend Doug McCombs who plays bass in Tortoise. I've been listening to their new record, Beacons of Ancestorship, quite a bit the past week. It's spectacular. Doug also gave us a copy of his recent album with David Daniel, Sycamore. Sprawling, richly textured ambiance that hovers like a thunderhead- great driving music.

Madison - Real Jaguar's B-Day Bash!

Oh man, Madison. Well this was a good one. We started out meeting up with our buddy and local Madison gadabout, Gabe. Gabe is a DJ (real jaguar) for the local college station and knows more about music than most. He also lives in a fantastic place with three porches and a rooftop patio which overlooks the downtown area. What up, playa? The show was at a place which escapes me right now but it had a killer downstairs greenroom and the bartenders were super friendly. The great bands we played with this night were Trin Tran (my favorite, personally), Spires that in the Sunset Rise and Peaking Lights. Also did I mention yet that there was a magician performing in between sets. Why can't every show be like this? At one point the magician, James Grainger (who also made the pizza we ate for dinner!...not magically he actually works at a pizza joint. Fuck that would be cool though.) made a dollar bill, Craig's dollar to be exact, appear inside of a lemon that he cut open. He ripped of a quarter of it, ate it with his teeth, then somehow made that shit end up inside a lemon!!! Got that? No? Ask Craig to demonstrate when you see him because it was some otherworldly shit.

Back to Gabe...he also (in addition to the pizza) went and got us some killer pre-show thai food and keep us libated All. Night. Long. All night! It was his birthday party too btw. At his house was an after- party and it got ugly. Hot tubs, boobies, driving a Mazerati 90mph the wrong way down a one way don't want to know (nod to Fat Bobby).

Thursday, October 29, 2009


We've been doing shows at 7th Street Entry for a couple years now and it's always a good time. Tonight we played with a reformed Beatifics and the legendary Grant Hart, formerly of Husker Du. Grant was celebrating the release of his new CD, Hot Wax, and did a mostly solo set of songs from his long solo career and some old Du stuff as well. Grant is a gifted performer and songwriter and it was a joy to watch his set. It was strange seeing him do songs like "Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill" after having seen Bob Mould do them with No Age at ATP a few months earlier. Both performers were amazing in their own right but there was of course a sharp contrast in the surroundings we saw the two of them in. Between our set and Grant's this friend of his set up a "light sculpture". This consisted of several light bulbs affixed to a bicycle wheel which she sprayed with a super soaker until they burst. It was surreal. Rock shows need more stuff like this. Still I think my favorite moment of the night was when a journalist was bothering Grant about a guest list spot and Grant hummed a full beer bottle at him. He missed, on purpose (i think) and it exploded against the dressing room wall. Excitement!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Des Moines, Iowa

Well, then there was Des Moines. Slipknot is from Des Moines. Nuff said? Ahhh, I won't lie to you people, there weren't a lot of folks in attendance at this one here. In fact there were exactly four. However, those four people did come specifically to see and hear us so that was somewhat comforting. In spite of the numbers (i think everyone was at the high on fire, mastodan, deathklok shredfest across town. i know I would have been.) we put our best psychedelic foot forward and ate a bunch of mushrooms. Nah, not really but we did decide to improvise a space jam here and there. And I think we can all pat ourselves on the back and say jorb well done.

The other cool thing about this show is that we played with a good band. The were called Church of the Snake. Worth looking into.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

De Kalb IL

Our first time in De Kalb. We played Otto's club, a nice sized venue with good sound in this old timey saloon type place- looks as though it had once been some sort of theatre. The opening band was a free jazz improv group that set up stations around the club with instruments so the audience could participate in the jam. For some reason i spent most of their set in the basement playing megatouch, 11 ball to be exact. I'm addicted, have been for years. There's something about being repeatedly forced to add to 11 that appeals to me.

The middle act was a New Orleans sort of thing, scratchy vocals, waltz tempos and a small horn section. I think they even covered a Squirrel Nut Zippers song They were really good. Unfortunately, the two bands we played with were called The Information Delivery Service and the Great Influence Machine and I have no earthly idea which was which.

One additional note- some girls from a local "hoop troop" came to this show and hula hooped throughout our set. It was slightly distracting but I do kind of wish it would happen every night. Maybe we could take them on tour with us sometime. Girls?


I've been slacking big time here so lemme sum up real quick. Played at a very cool bar called Northside Cafe. Great bartender. Our good friend Brian from the recently resurrected garage punk torch bearers the Long Gones was our hospitable host. We stayed at his crib. CK got chili from Skyline which was reaaaaally fucking good. Also ate at the Blue Jay diner. Also really good.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DAYTON OH 10/11/09

DAYTON, CITY OF THE TIRE. The original settlers camp, Daytone, was founded in the late fifteenth century as a fur trading station. The area did not see any true growth until the late 1700's, when a group of enterprising Portuguese explorers, the so called rubber barons, bought large parcels of land from the native tribes (for several gallons of lamp oil and a block of field chalk, so the legend goes) to harvest the vast groves of rubber trees blanketing the area. Soon a booming industry developed as the demand for rubber musket clips exploded. Several years later the invention of the combustion engine and, subsequently the rubber auto tire ushered in a new era of prosperity, productivity and widespread latifundia during which scores of former field hands rose to become powerful robber barons.It was during this "golden age" that Dayton came to be known as "The City of the Tire". As the worldwide "hub" of the Tire industry, Each voyage of the Goodyear blimp began and ended in Dayton.
This growth and prosperity came to an abrupt end in the late 1990's, when a series of microbursts uprooted 97% of the rubber trees in the region. Many of the city's elite migrated South to Florida, establishing the expat colony of Daytona Beach. What remained of the city was a smoking husk of crime drugs and corruption. This scourge of misery and wasted lives has only recently abated due to a new cottage industry springing up in the region, The Pizza Venue. In these establishments, a seemingly innocuous Pizza Parlor, providing Neapolitan nourishment throughout the day, transforms into a cutting edge venue by evening, wherein musical explorers of every description ply their trade. We were lucky enough to experience one such an institution and let me tell you: the transition was seamless. You couldn't even tell.

See? Pizzas. Tubes. Circles. It is as though the spirit of the Tire has spun off into the Daytonian subconscious. Or even that the concept of an unending tire has resided here since time immemorial. Pancakes. We ate at this pancake place. I had Biscuits and gravy. It was delicious.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Athens, Ohio

Well we took 6 days off to recharge our batteries and give our pets some love before heading out on this second little tour of the North. Luckily we kicked things off with our favorite Athenians of all time, the Makebelieves! We go way back with these cats and there is a lot I can tell you about them. Dirty Johnny is the very funny "frontman" and guy-about-town. I think you probably all know Johnny. Then there's Matt, the guitarist who has been our sleepover host probably 50+ times. He shreds in the best possible way there is to shred. The bassist, Jeff plays in a style that recalls Cliff Burton and Steve Harris - I have know idea what his hands are doing but he literally punches the bass with his fist often and somehow it works. He also happens to be an incredible illustrator. Then there's Al, who looks like he's going fishing later but not before he blazes some tastey fretwork. Finally there's Chris, who BQ agrees is simply one of the best drummers out there. The dude is just mind numbingly talented. In the words of MC Greenweeds "Dey handlin' dey buisness." I hate that we already used up this token at the beginning of this tour.


We also ate at Burrito Buggy (see above) which is one of those places I can not believe isn't in every single town. They serve burritos for 5 dollars on the street until 3am. What is so complicated about this Towns of America That I Play in Every Night?

The show was at the Union, where we play most times and I just like to give a shout out to the bartenders there who are cute, friendly and generous with dey pour.

ATL, Star Community Bar

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Well played, David, well played. The morning after our Memphis gig technically started at Tommy Teardrop's new house where he showed off his tremendous Star Wars collection. You read that right. Please David tell me you have pictures. We then retired to the back yard to listen to some tunes and finish off that bottle of Canadian Club that had been kicking around the van. It's always good to see Tommy. He's a dude's dude and plays bass in a bunch of killer Memphis bands. Most notably the Squirrels and the Jackmonkeys. Look 'em up.

The next morning I split off with Zac, Justice and Tom to get some breakfastlunch at Soul Fish which is a great place down on Cooper near the Memphis Drum Shop. The Memphis drum shop is pretty nice mostly because they have a "museum" of rare drums including one of Al Jackson's old kits. He played in the MGs and kept better time than about 99% of all drummers.

Al Jackson Jr.

We spent most of the rest of our time in Memphis at Goner Records which is co-owned by Zac and Eric Friedl. Eric was in my all-time favorite garage revival band the Oblivians. Between those two, they pretty much are a one-stop resource when it comes to Memphis, records, bands or where to get the very best food in town.

OK, on to Nashville. We played that night with Hans Condor and Church of the Good Hustle at 5 Spot. Good crowd although I confess that I only saw COTGH because after our set I went honky tonkin' downtown with some friends. I will say this about our show: never ever set up the drums behind them amplifiers ever never again.

Downtown Nashville traffic was jammed up pretty good so my buddy Rick and I got out to walk. The mile long traffic in both ways was caused by a Cadillac and an SUV pulled up next to one another with all the passengers from both vehicles outside doing something I can only describe as car humping. Like 10 dudes making love to the top, front and sides of the vehicles, music blaring, while traffic was at a perfect stand-still. Pretty sure Young Jeezy was on the radio. It was by far the greatest thing I saw all tour. No pictures, sadly.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I don't remember most of the drive from KC to Memphis as my brain had become a charred lump from overexposure to Gilmore Girls that I downloaded to my Itouch. Before you say anything allow me to note that i only did this to drown out the sound of Scott watching snuff films in the loft. He only paused briefly to regale us with tales of the time he saw Phish in Memphis at that pyramid thing ( i think he followed them around the country for most of his 20's or something).

Upon arriving at the Hi Tone the sound guy told us we had better have brought our "A game" because the opening band was hot shit, even implying that a third band had cancelled so as not to have to follow them. I was thoroughly inundated with existential dread. He was right, they were hot shit. Luckily we brought our "A game". In fact it's the only game we have anymore since we left our B and C games in Sandusky a few years back, along with two guitar stands a rack mount tuner and an S- video cable. We never even bothered to pack our D game for tour and I hardly think this is the proper forum to discuss our "F Game".

Lots of friendly folks a this show and an exemplary barkeep to boot. Our buddy Tommy Teardrop put us up for the night. The next day some of us had a delicious soul food lunch at The Cupboard. Go for the eggplant casserole if you ever make it down that way.

Kansas City

I'm going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come
I'm going to Kansas City, Kansas City here I come
They got a crazy way of loving there
And I'm gonna get me some.

- as sung by Wilbert Harrison, who is from my hometown of Charlotte, NC booooy! I always liked the Beatles version because of the "hey hey hey" part but you know nothing beats the original. Which is usually the case, 100% of the time? Give me an example of a better remake if you do not concur.

So we played at the Record Bar
which is where all our good shows in KC have always been. The people at this place are very nice and get you beers super fast. Plus they feed you, which is rarely not a good thing. I'm in construction now because I built my own pizza and It was the best thing I have ever eaten.

We got there kind of early and the music that was warming up the way older crowd was some shit, man. I don't know. I just don't even feel like explaining it. All I know is that it forced 3/5 of the band to go get in the van and that Paul took video of people dancing. I won't say anymore about that. Hollar, Paul.

The band we played with were called the Architects which I thought was a funny name given that it wasn't math rock. Boom bah! They were fresh off the Warped tour and you could tell. The singer said that all of their songs were about "two things: drugs and going to jail." He didn't say they were his favorite things. I was hoping for "falconry and Russian MIGs" but alas he must have different hobbies than this kid. Or is it "then this kid." David?

After we finished our blazing set we were happy to see our pal Doug from Chicago. This has been quite the rockstar tour as Doug plays in a band that is starting to garner a little attention as well. His band had played earlier and he was kind enough to drop by to bid us a cordial "how-do."
It should be noted that as we were leaving, the guy who pulled a gun on Craig while Craig was asleep in his kitchen (see tour '07) was also one of the friendly bartenders. He introduced himself to us and explained that he may have been drunk that night. Apparently he made it up to "us?" by buying Craig a round and almost all of our merch (see tour '08).

The next day was a 3278 mile drive to Memphis and it was freaking amazing. David was busy downloading Gilmore Girls on his iTouch the whole time so I don't know if he saw much of the drive.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lawrence KS, The Replay

Lawrence is always one of our favorite stops- we generally have good shows at the Replay, they have one of the best record stores in the country (Love Garden) and we get to hang out with our buddy Kliph. Kliph plays drums in this band and they're getting kind of big.
The drive from Norman was shorter than it seems. Having grown up on he east coast, traveling across the plains is always a surreal experience for me. The landscape seems so vast and featureless. I'm used to trees and hills obscuring the view. All the gas stations we stop at seem so isolated, so far from anything. It feels like stopping into some far flung galactic (or post-apoctalyptic) outpost. The people don't look like space aliens but they look at us like we are. Hello sir, I am from a distant planet. I am only here to purchase White Cheddar Cheezits as they contain compounds that can be converted into fuel for my spaceship which has crashed in a nearby field, just east of the roadside abortion graveyard. I mean you no harm. I do not enjoy the "heartland" music blaring from your intercom system. It frightens me.
Our show at the Replay was the best so far. The Old Black warmed things up with some cannabis jams. I was relieved that the two shit-housed guys doing the weird squatting dance in front of the stage during their set left before we started. Not before one of them inexplicably gave Craig a healthy smack on the ass, though. The Replay is one of those clubs that has a nice outside patio behind the bar. So nice that it can be tough getting people inside to watch the band. When we started playing there only a handful of people in the room. It was great to look up after the second song and see the place had filled up. We had a great time playing. the crowd was responsive. We sold stuff. This is how these things are supposed to go. Thank you, Lawrence.
The next day we said goodbye to Kliph as he had to leave early to go to OKC, where the Lips are working on a special new project. It sounds like its going to be amazing but I'm not sure how much of a secret it is at this point so sorry, no details. With only a 40 mile drive to our show that night in Kansas City we had plenty of time to kill. I went down to Lovegarden's fancy new location and picked up a record I've been trying to find for years. "Smokey Room" is my jam.

And with that I'll pass the blog baton to Scott. Make sure to ask him about the guy who pulled a gun on Craig in Kansas City that one time. It's cool, we're bros.


Monday 28 Norman, Oklahoma – The Opolis w/ Junebug Spade

We awoke from a big night out with Crow, Blythe and Alex after a rousing Grand Champeen/BOA reunion show. Crow and Blythe and I drove to Torchy’s to grab everyone tacos while PS, DM and CK went to our favorite store, Guitar Center because CK’s amp had fried the night before and needed to be replaced. The tacos at Torchy’s are really good, my man. My pork taco was the best thing I have ever eaten in my life. Next to my fried avocado taco. Jesus.

The Opolis is owned by a guy named Andy Nunez and he is in a band called the Starlight Mints. This is cool for a number of reasons but mostly because he is super nice and very accommodating. We played with the Junebug Spade who seemed like a pretty young band but very good. Kind of shoegazer-y at times, kinda rockin’. I dug it.

Steven and George drove down from N. Oklahoma City to see us and brought us a very nice bottle of Bulliet Bourbon. The show went pretty well except that I broke my kick pedal during the second to last song. Luckily the drummer from JS, Matt, stepped in to help me out. Thanks, Matt.

Another nice stay, this time at La Quinta. Continental breakfast was a failure but the stay was very pleasant and the decorations were fucking rad.


We were excited to get to Austin and see our friends (and co-rockers) Grand Champeen. Aside from being dear friends, they're also one of the best live bands we've ever played with and a frequent feature on our van's soundsystem. We stopped by Jenny and Alex's house on the way into town. They just got a choice new place up the street from Blythe and Micheal's home/ studio, our perennial guest quarters in Austin.
We headed downtown to load in for our show at The Beauty Bar. We had to take a long detour because, guess what? Sixth street was closed off for a festival. Really? A festival you say? In Austin? Weird.
After load in we split up for dinner and I walked over to the street fair, like an idiot. Wandering aimlessly, starving. Or maybe I wasn't even hungry. Couldn't tell. I bought a giant turkey leg from a dead eyed street vendor. As soon as I saw her morosely shake her puffy head when I asked for hot sauce I knew I was doomed to be food bummed. No hot sauce? Aren't we in Texas? Maybe this is why Texas Pete is made in Holly Springs. Anyway, I doused the slimy, sinewy thing with powdered cayenne and gnawed on it dejectedly, like a dying animal.
I missed most of the first band (sorry guys, everybody said it was great) because I was over at Lovejoys with some old friends. Grand Champeen player a killer set. There is theoretically some good video of it but I'll let Scott tell you about that. I felt great about our set, best crowd so far. The only hitch was during soundcheck when Cheetie's fender combo started smoking and made a sound like someone shooting an automatic rifle at a tree trunk. Unfortunately i know what that sounds like but that's a story for another time. Luckily, somebody from GC came to the rescue and lent her an amp.

All the Beauty Bar staff were so helpful and friendly, go see them for a drink next time you're in town. Better yet, hunt them down and corner them and buy them drinks next time your in town. We went back to Crow's after the show and stayed up way way too late. This is what always happens when we're in Austin and I love it.

Dallas Y'all!

September 26 Dallas, Texas – Lounge on Elm w/ Yam, Maleveller

Buc ‘ees: A colossal gas station we somehow managed to stumble upon along the route from Houston to Dallas. I’m here to tell you, it may be the best gas station experience I’ve ever had on tour. The place was like wal-mart sized and super clean. Probably brand new. Their mascot is a cartoonish beaver and his mug is plastered everywhere. It reminded me of Wally the moose from Vacation. The bathrooms were immaculate - every stall had it’s own hand sanitizer! The loot inside this place varied from corny to bizarre to amazing. In front of the store they had all these custom built iron smokers, grills and fryers in all sorts of sizes and varieties. They looked like works of art I tell ya. Some lady gave CK a sample of their own candied jalepeno dip. After hundreds of shitty, mundane, banal, carbon copy gas stations this place was like heaven. Plus they had Topo Chico for next to nothing. I got a leather wolf wallet.

I’d like to mention at this point that I had pictures of all this amazing goodness but after our show in Austin I somehow managed to lose the memory card from my camera. It makes no sense and I’m super pissed so leave me alone about it. No, I have no idea how the card could have fallen out. Yes, I had fucking video of Grand Champeen. And Buc’ees. And like a billion other cool shots. Fuck.

Anyway we drove to Dallas on this day. Other then the aforementioned stop it was fairly uneventful. Oh I did meet up with my good buddy Holden earlier that morning for tacos. And we did stay at Eric and Virginia’s house, which is always super special. They treat bands that travel through to fine cheeses, fruit, excellent booze and some delicious egg and soy chorizo breakfast. Not to mention wonderfully comfortable bunk beds. Eric owns and operates Uncle Booking. It’s people like them that make touring a lot of fun. They also have great pets and know a lot about music.

OK, Dallas. CK worked her magic and pricelined us our finest hotel stay yet, the Doubletree. We was on the sixth floor with a lovely skyline view of Dallas, homie. I couldn’t get that fucking theme song out of my head. You know the one. Seriously this room was really nice. Also visible: the Hawaii Spa across the street. Shady rub and tug within walking distance. I used to have pictures…

What is it with Dallas and tattoo parlors? I ask because while we were walking around looking for something to eat I think we passed like 10 tattoo parlors in 3 square blocks. Take it easy with the ink, Dallas. We ended up eating at a place called Texas Tacos, which wasn’t really bad but kind of expensive. Everybody sort of ended up getting sides of stuff because the portions were fucking TEXAS SIZED!!!! Sorry. DM wins here because he got some sort of mashed potato concoction that came in a glass bowl jar. It was something. I took pictures but of course you will never see them. I’ll say this, he looked like he was crying the whole time he was eating. And not a happy cry, it was more like a scary, tears of a clown cry.

The club was hurting a bit. Mostly because the place had lost it’s liquor license a couple nights earlier. So the show was BYOB. It worked out fine though. The sound guy was super friendly as were the people that worked there. The show was made great by a number of good people who drove 45 minutes down from Denton to see us. Some nice people put video on youtube for you to check out.

Later that night we returned to the hotel and I witnessed some crazy domestic weirdness going on in the parking lot of ye old whack palace. Basically it was drunk rednecks fighting.


Houston, Houston

We rolled into Houston about suppertime for our show (with Fired for Walking & Hell City Kings) at Rudyard's, which has become a regular stop for us over the past few years. Rudyard's is one of those wonderful (and increasingly rare) bars that provide you with a nice hot meal prior to your set. This goes a long way, especially since it's one less thing to worry about amid the load in/set up confusion. The show was great and I think everybody had a blast.
But really the best thing about coming to Houston is hanging out with our friends Virginia and Eric (from Uncle Booking). They have been kind enough to open their home to us on numerous occasions. It's sort of an oasis we all look forward to on tour. We stayed up late after the show talking and snacking and drinking while some James Spader movie played on the TV with the sound muted. The next morning E & V made us a rad breakfast and we played LP's from Eric's massive collection, like this one. Really, these people are saints. Did I mention Eric books a bunch of killer bands?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 24 New Orleans, Louisiana - La Maison du Musique w/ Silent Cinema

The night before we stayed in another lovely hotel in Tallahassee. I think it was a Comfort Inn. None too shabby. Gone are the days of the Super 8s and the Motel 6s. We have definitely moved up in the world. Thanks, Priceline!

I got up a little earlier then everybody else and went and sat in the lobby drinking the hotel coffee, internetin and watching Fox News. Let me take a second to say that Fox News is fantastic television. Eventually the gang all reconvened at the Waffle House for breakfast/lunch. Then we hit the road for N.O.

It was about a six hour drive so once we arrived it was definitely time to get out of the van. Luckily the place we played was on the border of the French Quarter so there was all kinds of cool stuff to see. The club itself was pretty big and looked like it had some neat history behind it. It was old school music hall style with a balcony wrapping around a huge dance floor leading up to the stage. In the front room a swing band played while we set up and then continued for the next 3 hours or so until we took the stage. It should be noted that this seemed to be the place the kids that took swing dance lessons came to strut their jams because there were quite a few people out there jitterbuggin’ and hootenannyin’. Before I picked up on this and before most of the dancers showed up there was one girl dancing by herself. I was sure she was on meth. Man I wish I had video of that craziness.

We played a great show even though there were no monitors for me and the other band was basically running sound. It felt like a nice solid performance although after we were done the swing dance clinic had beat it, natch. Afterward I wanted to clear my head so I skated up to Bourbon Street which was killer. But then a cop on horse back told me to get off my board and asked me to give it to him. To which I politely declined. I headed back to catch the tail end of Silent Cinema who were like a jazzy, bar bandy, indie rock affair.\
After packing up we all took a shot at the bar and I met a nice guy from Venezuela named Danny. Here is his story: formerly a professional breakdancer with Cirque du Soliel turned cruise ship break dance instructor. He was in N.O. because two girls on one of the ships had convinced him they were going to have a 3-way. Jackpot!? Sadly for Danny it didn’t happen but we kicked it for the better part of the night eventually at another bar. I nearly had a meltdown though when I realized my sleeping bag was missing. Turned out it didn’t get packed when loading up and got left in the street. Low and behold some dude on crack shows up at the bar we are drinking at carrying both mine and CKs bag. What the fuck?

We stayed at the guitarist for Silent Cinema’s house with his ladyfriend. They had a really cool house and I sweet cat. The next morning we were all hankering for an oyster Po Boy so we went to the usual spots (Mothers, Johnny’s, etc…) but they were crowded as fuck. We spied some joint called Commerce just around the corner which turned out to be perfect and I can tell you that my sandwich was the greatest thing I have ever eaten in my life.

Looks like I’m kicking David’s ass in this blog was. Ball’s in your court, Mueller.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009


What can I say about Tallahassee that hasn't already been said? What has already been said? This show was at Club Down Under in the Florida State University Student Union. We played with an In The Red band called The Intelligence. The whole thing went smoothly, everything was well organized. We were fed and even got Oreos. Actually The Intelligence got Oreos and we got Chips Ahoy. By the next day they tasted like Soft Batch though. I always hated soft batch. Luckily, The Intelligence traded us a couple Oreos for a couple Chips Ahoy. I didn't even care when those went soft the next day because, you know they were Oreos.

After the show we got to hang out with our old friends Malcolm and Sara who have a great little house near the university. Malcolm said he'd take us by the Chi Omega house where Ted Bundy killed several Co-eds (of course that term is only ever used in pornography and true crime stories, otherwise they're just called female students) but we never made it. Got me thinking though. I looked up Ted Bundy's Wikipedia page. I don't recommend it. It gave me a nightmare the next morning about some guy who murders his girlfriend on the way to a Red Fang concert and stuffs her body in a grain car. It was pitch black inside the car and it scared me so bad I woke up but my eyes wouldn't open right away and for a second I thought I was the murdered girlfriend. Chilling. Couldn't go back to sleep. Then we left for New Orleans, which was great and I'd love to tell you about it but instead you'll have to sit through Scott's lackluster, phoned in account cause it's his turn now. Take it away, Nurkin.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tour Blog Battle - Day 1

Well David and I are going to go head to head in a blog war. Basically we will be switching off each day giving you a play-by-play account of our current tour. I'm gonna kick it off. Here I go. Ready?

Tuesday, September 22 - Athens, Georgia. Caledonia Lounge w/ Dark Meat and Hot Breath

It's been awhile since we've toured. Wait, no it hasn't. We had about a week off from our ATP trip so that was a completely false statement. But none of that matters anymore because I'm talking about the now, dude. From the start: The big white Chef's Hat we call our van picked me up at our usual drop on 40 and we drove the super non-scenic 6.5 hours to Athens, Georgia. It was overcast mostly. Once we arrived we hung out and waited for the place to open. David and I went for American/Mexican at some place called Burrirribetos or something. It wasn't bad. It wasn't good.

Eventually we loaded and settled in for the big wait. We hadn't actually played all together in 10 days or so so I was pretty excited to put a bangin' donk on it. Which we indeed did, although not before the doomish/punk stylings of Hot Breath, who are a three piece with a girl playing blast beats (occasionally) on drums which was a first for me. I enjoyed a lot of it. They reminded me of Schlong.

Next up us. We slayed.

Then came the psychedelic freak show known as Dark Meat. There were some new people on stage. So new in fact that they literally did not know the music. Which frankly didn't matter that much. I will say that as per usual, Dark Meat was impressive and fun as hell to watch. It was very good. Jim is a great battle commander and somehow manages to navigate the chaos surprisingly well. I think I would have a meltdown playing drums for a group that size. The crowd seemed to be in good spirits for a Tuesday and we eventually left with a happy, warm feeling. Also, I'd like to mention that the bartender at the Caledonia was especially nice and anticipatory.

This warm feeling could be due to the fact that we retired to the excellent Microtel which I found to be a great sleep. Incidentally, earlier in the night, a group of construction workers were grilling up right outside the hotel and offered Craig a taco. He brought it back to the van to share. It was the most delicious thing I have ever put in my mouth. Some sort of jalapeno marinated flank steak or something. Holy
crap it was good.

Ok we are in Talahassee right now getting ready to leave the hotel, but I'll let David tell you all about that. Take it away, David!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009



Monday night we played Philly at one of my favorite clubs, Johnny Brendas. There was an awesome crowd for a Monday night, thanks in no small part to The Big Jangle, a local supergroup (sorry guys) of sorts who did an all covers set. The opening band was a stoner/ psyche 3 piece called Gondola who totally vibed on one note their entire set while the guitar slayed on and on. Unfortunatley there is no photographic record from this show. I do believe we have some video from later in the evening at Mary Ellen's and I bet it's heavy on the hijinx.

$kate Blooperz

Over the weekend we did a couple of outdoor shows with ASG on the Zumiez Couch tour. These were cool because we got to witness some top notch skate demos courtesy of the Volcom team with world class skaters like David Gonzales, Caswell Berry and Jake Duncombe but also weird because we played at 3 in the afternoon in a mall parking lot. There was an MC (Mr. Greenweedz) hyping the crowd between bands (turns out kids love freestyle flow about Chipotle Grill- esp. if there are gift cards flying around) and on the second show we actually backed him up before our set- if anyone has any pics or video of this please send it my way.

OMG, can I get a pic wih you? Scott with Duncombe, Berry, and Gonzales

Friday, July 10, 2009


Close call on the drive from New Haven to Brooklyn. On the interstate, about an hour from the club, our BATTERY light came on. This was not an immediate cause for concern as our ABS, CHECK ENGINE et. al. lights have been on for years. Then Craig noticed the voltage gauge was dipping harrowingly low. After some momentary deliberation, we found a service station and had the alternator tested. Sure enough it was dead. Somehow we managed to get it replaced quick enough to make the show on time. Of course it was expensive but still far better than being broke down on the crowded interstate in the midst of a violent thunderstorm.

We played Union Hall in Brooklyn on Friday night with Library on Fire and Gigantic Hand, which features NC expats Alex Cox and Eddie P. Lot's of old friends in attendance and we all piled in the van afterwards and went to..... uggh I can't remember but it looked like this

New Haven CT.

We had a rad time at Cafe Nine in New Haven. This was our first time playing here and we didn't know what to expect from a summer thursday night. We had a great local crowd, played with a very cool Brooklyn by way of New Haven band (The Stoned Ambassadors) and there was an excellent DJ between bands. Everyone was so friendly here; crowd, promoter, bar staff, bands, dj- all just good folks. All around good vibes from this town, can't wait to come back. We even got a great deal on a room at the Marriott- where there was a blackout the following morning, creating a surreal scene as people tried to check in/ out in the dark with no elevators.

We had great CT style pizza ( brick oven, thin crust, lite sauce) @ BAR. Sweet cherry peppers. The next day i tried to go to Louis Lunch, alleged birthplace of the hamburger, but the tiny place was stuffed with European tourists, the line snaking out onto the sidewalk. No way.

Monday, July 6, 2009


We played Harper's Ferry with a really excellent Boston band called The Needy Visions. They were my favorite new band from this tour and you should definitely do yourself a solid and take a few minutes to check out some of their tunes. Top notch stuff. We stayed at their label/ arts collective house, The Whitehaus. This was a fun night and there is some funny video I'll post as soon as I can dig it up.


Night two was in Manhattan at Santo's Party House, a club owned by party dude/ rock star/ motivational speaker Andrew W.K. This show was part of the weekly "Sessions at Santos" series. We played downstairs while this guy in a tutu played upstairs. The guys putting on the show partitioned the room by splitting black trash bags open and draping them from the ceiling. Who knows why but it looked cool. We were also lucky enough to have our pal Ted Leo spin some records before and after our set. Here's some video of us playing(via wwwhatsup/ Punkcast, thanks). The song's called Invasion and is at this time unreleased.


We kicked off this little 10 day run in Washington DC at The Red and The Black, a relatively new club in the recently dubbed "Atlas District". This is basically a few blocks of bars, restaurants and clubs that developer Joe Englert crowbared into a section of Northeastern DC that had been a thoroughly blighted urban wasteland since the 1968 riots. While this is certainly an improvement for an area the city had largely forgotten, it does have a rather contrived feel when contrasted against the gritty perimeters. This common trend in urban renewal seems generally undeterred by the fact that if you drop a Target onto an open air drug market, folks will probably just continue to shoot each other in front of the Target.

We had a good show even though the security was so airtight that our longtime friend and benefactor, who put us up for the night, was prevented from attending the show for lack of a valid ID, despite clearly being of age. But I guess without rules a society disintegrates.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

East Coast Pt duex

Most of our touring over the past few years has been either in the Midwest, the west coast or in Europe. I'm not sure exactly how or why this happened, it just worked out that way. It was nice to get back to the east coast, our ancestral landscape. We were able to catch up with a bunch of old friends made a few new ones along the way. Somehow we managed not to melt, despite the fact that our van has no ac. Just keep the windows down and do NOT slow down to avoid heat stroke. We pretty much did it all on this tour. And when I say "all", i mean, in addition to the regular rock club beat, we even played in a mall parking lot next to a skate demo and were introduced by MC Greenleaves who rhymed Birds of Avalon with Louis Farrakhan. More on this when Scott sends me the photos. Seaking of Scott, he developed a new look on this tour in order to more effectively appeal to the 14-17 demograhic.

What's up with it, vanilla face?

East Coast I

They used to sell these at a gas station up the street from my job. I’d go through about 4 or 5 in a week. Then one day I came home from some tour and they didn’t have them anymore, ever again. I made it a personal quest on my travels to seek them out. I look in every single ice cream cooler in every single gas station we stop in, scouring most of the continental US in the process. It turns out they are extremely rare. In almost 4 years of searching, I’ve only come across 3 places that carry them- outside charleston WVA, off the turnpike in Northern NJ, somewhere in NB (or was it IA? there are no records…) and then yesterday outside Hartford CT. A golden calf, rolled in almonds and hidden in far flung tombs, like puzzle pieces that, if you could unite before they melted, would form a fantastic amulet through which the sun’s rays coat the entire world in ambervision.

We are three shows in and once I get somewhere with the appropriate resources we’ll have some photos/ video to share. People have been very cool thus far. Extra special thanks to Jeanna in DC, Rachel in NYC and our new friends at The Whitehaus in Boston for putting us up. Details to follow…

Now, on to New Haven CT. Our second show ever in CT.

And whoever's ipod is playing in this coffee shop, I just don't get.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Just in case you missed the free download of "Your Downtime is Up" from, it's now also been posted on RCRD LBL and AOL Spinner. The links...


AOL Spinner

Stay tuned for more info on our upcoming album and east coast tour, both taking flight next week

AOL Spinnaz, kids

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Show with Dark Meat, One Man Machine @ Local 506

This Saturday June 13th at Local 506 in Chapel Hill. We'll be playing a bunch of songs from our new album, which will also be for sale at this show for the first time ever, weeks ahead of the actual release date and our upcoming east coast tour....

Mon 6/22/09 The Red and Black Bar Washington DC

Tue 6/23/09 Santos Party House New York NY

Wed 6/24/09 Harper’s Ferry Allston MA

Thu 6/25/09 Cafe Nine New Haven CT

Fri 6/26/09 Union Hall Brooklyn NY

Sat 6/27/09 Zumiez Skate Tour at Monmouth Mall Eatontown NJ

Sun 6/28/09 Zumiez Skate Tour at Crossgate Mall Albany NY
Mon 6/29/09 Johnny Brendas Philadelphia PA
Tue 6/30/09 Talking Head Club Baltimore MD

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Free Download from

The music blog has posted a free MP3 download from our forthcoming 2nd LP- Uncanny Valley, as part of their Gumdrop series. The song is called "Your Downtime is Up" and there is also a short interview with Cheetie and me about it. Follow this link to have a free mp3 sent to your inbox.

Locals- There's also a little write up and link to the mp3 on the outstanding New Raleigh website.

Also, in addition to our upcoming east coast tour, we'll be doing two local shows- 6/13 at The Local 506 with Dark Meat and July 3rd at the Pourhouse for Weese fest.

We'll have some more previews of the new album in the coming weeks so check back for updates.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Top Ten Lists on WKNC, Show June 13th

Our good friends over at the excellent NC State, student-run radio station WKNC seem to think we have taste. Not necessarily good taste, but something worthy enough to request that we post our top 10 songs at this point in time. Although somewhat challenging, I gotta say that the ubiquitousness of the 'ol Ipod makes this game a lot easier than it would have been say, 5 years ago.

Anyway, if you give a toot you can find out whats rocking our individual domes here.

Also, as it happens we will be playing our first show in 7 years on June 13th with those crazy bastards from Athens, Dark Meat at the Local 506. Just a heads up.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Uncanny Photos

Here's some pics Paul took from the Uncanny Valley sessions, recorded at the lavish enomansion studios in Mordecai, under the watchful guidance of P&C's cat Eno.

While these sessions were completed over a whirlwind 11 days, the familiar atmosphere put us at ease somewhat and we were able to stretch out and experiment beyond our normal instrumental roles.

I've got a sort of Flowers for Algernon thing going on here

Craig stepped into the role of Enforcer. Here he is intimidating me to hit my drum machine cues

All in all, these sessions went really well and I think we were all a little stunned by what we were able to accomplish with the resources at hand. The final product was mixed with Mitch Easter at the Fidelitorium in Kernersville NC (our home away from home) and mastered at Studio B in Charlotte. It really is a different sort of record than what we've done in the past, new territories were explored. As Scott mentioned below, we are beginning the process of carving a live set out of the huge amount of material now available to us. We'll be doing shows both locally and up the east coast in June and July. Also, sometime in the next few weeks, we will have a streaming preview of a track off the new record called "Your Downtime is Up".

More soon.....


By the way, you would not believe how much confusion can arise from this seemingly innocuous situation.

Friday, May 1, 2009

And we're back...

So last night we had a rehearsal for the first time i don't know when. It's been a really long time. In fact it seems like we've dedicated the last 6 months or so to writing and recording 2 new records. If we could just fill the other 6 up with touring then we would totally be like ACDC circa '76 or Aerosmith or Abba or Angel. No not Angel.

But the point is this, David wrote out the potential for set songs and I got to tell you...we are sitting in the veritable cat birds seat when it comes to the 'ol setlist session. Or maybe it's more like the devils chair. I dunno, either way there are a lot of new songs to play live which is very exciting.

After rehearsals i got to chum it up with our bros from Venus Valient Thorr, fresh off a 2 month tour. They looked and sounded great. They did not smell good though. No one smells good after 2 months of touring. I think tonight they are playing in Greenville, NC which is their "hometown" of sorts (on Earf of course) and let me tell you something...the kids in Greenville are certifiable. We are talking batshit crazy when it comes to you can imagine the party.

Anyway, if you made it to the end of this post I applaud you.


Monday, April 27, 2009

New Album, Tour Details

Photo by Gary Copeland

The new Birds of Avalon album, Uncanny Valley, will be released June 23rd 09 on Volcom Entertainment. Recorded in Mordecai, mixed at Fidelitorium in Kernersville. Tracklist is as follows

Unkaany Valley
Side Two
I Never Knew
Your Downtime Is Up
Dad Cage
Student Teaching
Spirit Lawyer
Last Rites (Funky Slide)

Thanks to Mitch Easter for the tape, the 3M 16 track machine... everything else. Thanks Ash Bowie and Brian Quast for the microphones, etc and Kings for the board and cables.

All songs written by Birds of Avalon, Raleigh, NC... Spring, 2009.

We should have some preview tracks streaming on our website sometime soon so check back.

We will be doing east coast shows in late June, here's some dates-

Mon 6/22/09 The Red and Black Bar Washington DC

Tue 6/23/09 Santos Party House New York NY

Wed 6/24/09 Harper’s Ferry Allston MA

Thu 6/25/09 Cafe Nine New Haven CT

Fri 6/26/09 Union Hall Brooklyn NY

Sat 6/27/09 Zumiez Skate Tour at Monmouth Mall Eatontown NJ

Sun 6/28/09 Zumiez Skate Tour at Crossgate Mall Albany NY

Mon 6/29/09 Johnny Brendas Philadelphia PA

Tue 6/30/09 Talking Head Club Baltimore MD

Scott put together some killer artwork for this release. I don't have a preveiw for you yet but in the meantime check THIS shit out.

top that, Nurkin.


Friday, March 27, 2009


we have been hard at work on a new project with Eno

Eno the cat, of course. The other Eno was busy or something. Who cares? This cat's great with drums.