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.
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
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
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?
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.