Good morning! 🙋
I put a lemon sage conditioner in my hair and now I smell wonderful. That’s it. Oh and I wonder what it sounds like to break your neck. That’s really it.
Manhattan view from the CMJ artist lounge.
Sweet projection backdrop from the Oddity Bar in Delaware. They cut a hole in the sheet for the deer.
Day 30 - Brooklyn, NY
So CMJ is this festival in NYC that has like 40 venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn. It’a kinda like SXSW only instead of being on one street, it’s spread out like a mu-fucka. It’s really cool though, and I plan to return in future times. We had played 5 shows with the band Eureka California and they told us that they were heading back to Athens, GA, after out Sex Dungeon show in New Jersey. They had a showcase booked at CMJ and asked us if we could pose as them and play their show for them. We were more then happy to do that. Also, to sweeten the deal there was an open bar during the time we were playing, boo yeah. This show was a lot of fun and some of our friends from Seattle and Minneapolis came out. After the show we had a nice crew of people and had all these plans to go to a bunch of shows, but we just ended up drinking instead. Such is life. Also, our drummer found a subway card on the ground with $18 on it, double boo yeah.
Day 31 - Brooklyn, NY
During this particular day we traveled to Manhattan to get our artist badges for CMJ and The Dismemberment Plan was playing in the area that you get your badges, YAWN. After we got our lanyard things we decided to pretend we were rock stars and go to the artist VIP penthouse. This shit was pretty sweet. We got free backpacks and coffee, as well as an amazing view of Manhattan from the rooftop of a 20 story building. The coffee was from Cafe Vita and it was really nice to get a taste of home.
Our showcase that evening was at this place called Muchmore’s and it was pretty friggin great. What was extra awesome about it was, the band that played after us was this band called Honduras. We played with them when we in NYC a few months back and they are so good. The turnout to the show was awesome and there was also free beer, triple boo yeah (ok, I’m done). We have been really lucky with our New York shows. In a town that size it is difficult to get a crowd because there is so much going on at all times. We have received a great response from the people there and I really do love that city. I am not sure when we area going back, but as far as I’m concerned, the sooner the better. Even if you think you would hate it, I would recommend going to NYC. I guess it is about the same size a Seattle as far a square miles, but Seattle has 700,000 people where as NYC has 8,500,000. It is just endless miles of city, it’s hard to imagine it until you see it. Although, when you visit you will be the least stylish person you see, but you can get amazing and cheap food 24 hours a day.
Day 32 - Atlantic City, NJ
Atlantic City is a weird place. I went there a long time ago with my mom and checked out the Boardwalk or whatever. This time around we just drove in at night and played at this divey venue called the Boneyard. Atlantic City is so weird because by all accounts it’s a dead city. There are plenty of abandoned buildings and the town has a pretty rundown and seedy feel to it, then out of nowhere is this giant flashy casino. What is different about Atlantic City as opposed to Vegas or Reno is that Atlantic City doesn’t seen to have a centralized casino area, they are just randomly spread throughout the town. Even though Vegas and Reno can feel pretty scetchy at times, it is not even close to how Atlantic City feels. The people we played with were super nice, but I was pretty happy to get the fuck out of there. The show was ok, we actually made pretty good money off the door and we sold a surprising amount of merch for the amount of people that were there. This was also our first of 3 shows with this band, Zebras and Bulls Fight Tonight. They are all amazingly friendly guys and I was a really big fan of their band. They have a lot going on and I feel like they ask a lot of their audience. It bounces from super chill atmospheric stuff to pretty harsh noise, but there is a really great pop sensibility to their songs and you can tell that they put a lot of time and thought into their music. Also, they are all stellar musicians.
Day 33 - Phidelphia, PA
Philly was great because we got to stay with my aunt and uncle and they were amazing hosts. We each got our own rooms and after being on tour for over a month to have a little privacy was amazing. We could not have asked for more. They show in Philly however, was probably my least favorite show of the tour. The venue didn’t have a drum rug and the drum kit was sliding all over the fucking place. I had to stand with my foot holding the kick drum in place but it didn’t really help that much. We actually cut our set short because it was impossible to keep that drum kit still. Also, there wasn’t really anybody at the show and the night just had a bummer vibe. Oh well, at least we had our own rooms to sleep in.
Day 34 - Wilmington, DE
This show was at this bar called the Oddity Bar and it was a lot of fun. The fun might have had to do something with the $50 bar tab that bands have, and when only 2 people in your band drink that’s a pretty healthy tab. It was also our last show with Zebras and Bulls Fight Tonight. Like all the bands we have played a few shows with on this tour, I tend to like them more and more every time I see them, these dudes are no exceptions. This show was one of those cases were there were not a ton of people there but it was super fun. Delaware is not historically a state with a massive music scene, but a lot of the people we talked to are really trying to get something going. I would totally play there again and would encourage other bands to book a show there if you’re on the East Coast. Give Delaware some love.
A lovely picture of a new England fall and a picture of a Sex Dungeon.
Day 25 - Sunderland, MA
This was a great house party. The name of the place is, Palatial Rock and Roll Forest Estate, and it is awesome. It’s this amazing New England house on five beautiful acres, it’s even got it’s own pond and a fire pit. This place in kind of in the middle of nowhere, but a ton of people showed up and it ended up being a great house show, and party. A few times on this tour when we are driving to a house venue or wherever we are staying, we are at least 50% sure we are gonna get murdered, driving up the long driveway to this house was definitely one of these times. For this house show there was a solo guy and four bands playing and they were all really great. Again, Eureka California was awesome and every band had a really great crowd. After we played I proceeded to get the drunkest I have been on this tour. The way I see it is, if it takes me 25 days to get really drunk on a national tour, I am doing alright. I maybe tried to climb on a roof to no avail. I also might have embarrassed myself by playing a horrible Blackbird cover at the campfire. I possibly knocked a plant onto the living floor spilling dirt everywhere, and I maybe raided their fridge at 5 in the morning and ate someones lunch, whutcha gone do. When I awoke with the next morning I actually didn’t feel like drowning myself in the pond, so that was a plus. Also, we had happen to run over some glass or something in the parking lot of this place and got a flat tire, so we had to make our next drive on a spare doughnut thingy. Why do car troubles always happen on Saturdays so all the shops are closed the next day? All was well though, and we enjoyed a lovely 50mph drive through New England during the Fall. In Seattle we ‘kind of’ have seasons I guess, but in New England the Fall is absolutely gorgeous. It is just endless rolling hills of greens, browns, yellows, reds, and oranges. I am sure raking all those leaves is a monumental chore, but it is seriously some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen.
Day 26 - Worcester, MA
This is a pretty weird town and it’s pronounced Worster. We played at this crazy old collective house called, The Distant Castle. I think like 12 people lived there and there was shit left from the remnants of roommates past everywhere. This was a crazy house built around 1890 and it had character for days, and you could see the awesomeness under all the piles of weird shit they had laying around. The house was on this epic hill and you could see for miles from the porch and it was an amazing view. Also, they had a Super Nintendo and I played Super Street Fighter 2 and Donkey Kong Country for a good amount of time. I was crushing people until Leif decided to play my with E Honda, that damned 100 hand slap is bullshit. Even if you block it, it still seriously fucks you up.
The show was pretty awesome. It was a small basement, so even though there wasn’t a ton of people there it felt crowded and we had a lot of fun. Once the night wound down I somehow ended up with a couch to myself and slept like a champ. I was fully expecting a horrible nights sleep that night and I was fortunately mistaken.
The next day was Columbus Day so we were scared that we would have to drive another hour on our tiny spare tire because shops would be closed on this weird holiday. Fortunately that was not the case and we got a used tire installed for $50, and that was pretty much the best case scenario in that situation. Now we could drive to Boston at the breakneck speed we crave. We can’t drive 55.
Day 27 - Boston, MA
Boston sucked, the turnout was shit and we didn’t get any dollars. I found a great coffee shop to write my blog in and there was free pizza at the show so that was good. I saw one street of the city and it seemed like a fine street. What else? I ate a bagel and parking by the venue was a nightmare. Go Sox.
Day 29 - Lindenwold, NJ
We had a day off to hang out in NYC and that was great. I went to a CMJ showcase sponsored by Pop Chips and ate some and they are not good. I also watched videos about the Rockafeller’s and the Rothschild’s and now I am a conspiracy theorist, so that is fun.
The next day we had a show in New Jersey at this house called the Sex Dungeon. This was a surprisingly amazing show. We had a fair bit of time to hang out with the people living in the Sex Dungeon and they were swell folks. They have a great basement space and for some reason or another there was a lot of people there. It was easily one of my favorite house shows thus far. The crowd was a rad balls and it just felt really good playing there. I can usually tell how good the show is by how sweaty I get and this was a sweaty one fo sho. Every musician wants success and to play to large crowds, and I am no different. Yet there is something about playing a fucking great house show that feels so good. We usually don’t make a ton of money on these shows, but it always feels like your part of something special in those situations and I love it.
The Holland Tunnel Toll is $15, uhg.
The O+ Music Fest logo
Day 23 - Brooklyn, NY
NYC is a polarizing place. People either love it or hate it and I can see both sides of the argument. I however, happen to love it. Week of Wonders had our first stink in NYC about 3 months ago and it was an absolute blast. This time around we had a car and driving around New York suuuuucks, but I still love that city. Heh, guy behind me honking, “Shut the fuck up,” there is obviously a car in front of me, and I would be moving if I could. I understand you are in a hurry for some power meeting in a sky scraper, but honking your horn is not gonna make the worst traffic in the country move any faster. Anyway, we played at the really great DIY spot called the Silent Barn. This place has it all, a sweet venue, a bar, a studio, apartments, and barber shop. This was our first show with our friends Eureka California, and they are super rad. They are a 2 piece garage-y group that has a great presence and I liked them better every time I saw them, not to mention they are super great people. The show in Brooklyn was pretty fun, I would say it was amazingly average. The first band brought a decent crowd, but the time we played their crowd had to go to power meetings in sky scrapers the next morning, and most the people left before we played. Alas, I guess we’ll have to em next time or something.
Day 24 - Kingston, NY
This was easily the best day of tour so far, sorry Minneapolis. Somehow we were fortunate enough to get booked at the 0+ Music Festival. This festival is all about health care. All the bands that get booked get a free day of health care, say whaaa! Leif got a dental cleaning (no cavities) and I got a check up, massage, and some reiki which supposedly cleared my energy pathways. Also, free food and drinks were provided for the artists. We felt very spoiled and it is crazy to get such good care taken care of us just for playing music. If I wore hats they would be off for this amazing festival. We were done with our pampering pretty early so we had enough time to check out some bands before we played. To be honest, nothing was spectacular as far as that went. There was this dude playing a pipe organ in a 300 year old church that was pretty great, also there was this crazy noise project made of at least 10 giant metal machines that was fun for a bit. Really it was cool to just walk around this super old town and take it in for a few hours. There were maybe 6 or 7 venues and we had the absolutely amazing fortune to be the only band booked at the Stockade Tavern that night. We checked out some of the other venues and attendance wasn’t amazing, this was not the case at the Stockade. This was and will probably be the only time on this tour that we played at a venue that reached capacity. I am really not sure why all these people in Kingston gave a shit about us, but they came out in a big way. It is always interesting to me that the same songs played by the same people can feel so different from night to night. Energy put out by people is a real force and it is obvious to anybody in the building, especially the band. It was truly an amazing show and they gave us $100 in addition to all the other amazing stuff we got. We were all so grateful for this experience, and it really is a testament to the waves of ups and downs that a band goes through. It all comes down to loving what you are doing, sacrificing, and working hard. The rest is all chance, which kinda sucks, but there are no guarantees in this or any business.
Since people are so obsessed with putting tapped messages on the backs of their guitars, I put this on Tim’s bass to flip up when he is down in Florida.
Santa, from Santa’s Pub in Nashville
A Nigerian Dwarf Goat
Fresh Start’s Feed Werehouse, in Louisville
Our next 5 shows were in towns with ‘Ville’ in their names. Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Asheville, and Charlottesville.
Day 18 - Louisville, KY
Well, this show was a weird one in the best way possible way. We had a venue booked but we were having a hell of a time finding local support, and then this dude Eric came outta nowhere and saved the day. I guess every Saturday in Louisville there is a farmers market/flea market thing that goes down at this place called Fresh Start. I am still not sure what this place is all about, but they wanted us to play this weird Saturday market thing and offered us $100, so we told the venue that the show was a no go and got ready to play a weird spot in Kentucky. Unfortunately for the market it rained most of the day so that shit got shut down, but fortunately for us the show got moved into a giant farm animal feed wear-house. This is by far the weirdest place I have ever played a show. There was a shit ton of hay and corn feed (non gmo in case you care), and it smelled like a barn in there, sans the cow shit. Anyway, somehow this guy Eric had heard about us and was super excited to have us play, and apparently he had told a lot of people about us and there was a good 20-30 people in a Kentucky that were really excited to see us play, plus about 20 other people. The crowd for the show was a mix of damn near every age group from 5-60 which is awesome. There were 3 other bands that played that night, and they were all super great different in their own special way. We played last and it was fucking great. This was probably the most sweaty I have ever been in my entire life, and I rocked out so hard I bumped my bass stack and it fell the fuck over, don’t worry though, she’s a trooper. After the show there was this insane thunderstorm that would not let up. All of our phones kept getting flood warnings and we all got 100% soaked loading the gear into the car. Eric, the dude who put on the show was nice enough to let us crash at his place after the show and it was a super sketchy drive to his place about a half an hour out of Louisville. All was well though, and we got to do laundry, hella baller.
Being that Leif and I are wearing white clothes pretty much all the time for 2 1/2 months we really don’t take for granted the opportunity for some mutha fuckin free ass laundry. Also, I am finding that I am becoming hyper aware of any behavior that would potentially stain my closes. I am super careful to check where I sit down and I never kneel on a stage, and eating food has become a process in which I partake in with surgical precision. Also, I will write about it later, but I had to pass on a chance to pet 5 baby Nigerian Dwarf Goats because I was scared they would stain my white clothes. Curse you clothes, those goats were so fucking cute. According to the owner of these goats, Nigerian Dwarf Goats are ‘Blowin Up’, so all you urban hipster farmers better get on it now before its totally not cool.
Day 19 - Nashville, TN
Music City, USA, the town where people go to karaoke bars to get ‘Discovered’. Oh Nashville, I can feel the hustling and soullessness in the air, or maybe that’s the damn cigarette smoke. Tennessee is one of the few states that you can still smoke in bars and people take advantage of that in a serious way. Now, as a smoker that lives in a state in which you cannot smoke inside I do cherish the occasional house or DIY spot that allows smoking, but holy shit-balls I DO NOT miss being able to smoke in bars. Maybe my lungs, nose, throat and eyes have been weekend by years of going into smoke free establishments, but it was borderline torture at certain bars, beautiful beautiful torture.
Our show was pretty shitty, 2 bands didn’t drop off as much as never showed up. So we ended up playing to maybe 10 people, but somehow managed to get out of the venue with $85. It was probably due to the fact that the lead singer of the band that actually showed up gave us a mystery envelope with $50 and said it was from some of our Bay Area friends who came through a few weeks prior. We really have no idea what that was all about, but I feel like we owe a favor to the Oakland Mob.
Since there was only 2 bands the show got done with plenty of time to go to a karaoke bar. The place we went to was called Santa’s Pub, and this is not a spot where people go to get ‘Discovered’. This place was literally a double wide trailer that sold cheap beer out of a fridge in the kitchen. The dude tending the beer looked like one of those bikers that looks kinda like Santa, so that was swell. Our drummer had been dying to karaoke on this tour and he finally got his chance, albeit in a smokey double wide in Nashville. Our drummer is a karaoke God, his voice isn’t the best but his stage presence is something that words can’t really describe. He likes to mix up voices during a song. Let’s take the song ‘Uptown Girl’ by Billy Joel for example. The song started off in the stylings of a crooner, then white boy falsetto, and he closed it down with some guttural metal groans. Also, his dance moves are, well I don’t know what they are, but they rule super hard.
We were fortunate enough to get to crash at this great old house and had some sweet tacos for breakfast. While waiting for our tacos one of our hosts told me about a drink called, Sidewalk Slam. This simple drink involves drinking a half a forty of the malt liquor of your choice and then re-filling it with a Blueberry Sparks. Let me say that again 1/2 forty and 1/2 Blueberry Sparks. Oh my fucking god, that sounds like the worst idea in the whole world. I can’t even imagine what the next day would feel like. I thought Jungle Juice was brutal, but this is a whole new level of shitty. If anybody gives this drink a go, let me know how it turns out, and then kill yourself.
Day 20 - Knoxville, TN
We also had a hell of a time finding local bands in this town, but luckily the day before we drove to Knoxville we got added to a bill at a DIY spot called The Poison Lawn. The highlight of this show was this solo acoustic guy from Israel. This was seriously some of the least pretentious music I have ever heard. It is really refreshing when someone does not give a shit about being cool or excepted and just let’s flow whatever the fuck they want. He was absolutely great, he wasn’t a master but it was a seriously entertaining set that had the rooms attention from start to finish.
The real highlight of Knoxville for me was after the show. One of our hosts in Nashville gave us a name of a dude in Knoxville that let us crash at his place. Every so often it feels nice to have a cliche experience in a different part of the country, and this was my cliche southern moment. The roommate of the guy we stayed with plays in a ragtime band that is currently going by the name Camo Capris, and they had a show coming up, so obviously you drink moonshine and practice in the basement until 3 in morning. The moonshine was an apple cinnamon hooch that was so good as well as being strong as shit. I am glad that I didn’t drink a lot of it because it tasted a bit like a hangover, but I had enough. The ragtime band was just a normal guy playing an acoustic guitar and this crazy dude that was an absolute beast on the fiddle. I just sat there, sipped some shine, smoked cigs, and listen to a solid 2 hours of ragtime standards, I loved every second of it. Thank you Knoxville.
Day 21 - Asheville, NC
Asheville was a blast. We were lucky enough to get a show at this place called Blackout Effectors, which is a guitar pedal shop as well as a DIY spot that puts on a few shows a month. This guy Kyle, who put the show on was nice enough to supply us with a cooler with some cans of Budweiser inside of it, free beer = good. Well I guess those cheap bastards at Anheuser Busch thought people would love a can with an hourglass shape to it? Yeah Yeah, it was a fun conversation piece for like 2 seconds, and then you realize that there is only 11.3 ounces of beer per can, Boo I Say. It must have tested well in whatever bullshit focus group they threw together, but I see through your shenanigans. I wish I drank that horrible brew just so I could boycott it. Gather around kiddies, it’s math time. Let’s say you drink 6 beers, which is a fine warm up for most of the people in my circle. Each beer is .7 ounces shy of the standard 12 ouncer, .7 x 6 = 4.2 ounces missing from your six pack, I want that 4.2 ounces of golden refreshment, that’s a third of a beer, that’s like a good gulp and a half to 2 gulps depending on your gulpability. Bullshit I say, King of Beers my balls. I mean it’s not like your drinkin a stubby where you know you are getting 11 ounces per bottle, this is a conspiracy and I will not rest until this evening when I have my nap.
Where am I? The turnout to the show was really great and the crowd was awesome. I am not sure what the rest of the scene in Asheville is like, but thank the good lord the Jimmy Eat World show across town didn’t take from our draw. The town of Asheville is pretty fucking yuppie mixed with a dash of crust hippy, but Blackout Effectors is a really great spot and I highly recommend anybody touring through The South to check this place out, even though they don’t put on shows very often.
After the show we stayed at Kyle’s place which was about a half an hour out of Asheville. Enter the Nigerian Dwarf Goats. Oh man, these tiny goats are just adorable, and don’t worry, he is using them for their milk and they should live a long happy life (I’m pretty sure at least). He has five of them, each one cuter then the last. I had to pass up a chance to pet them because of my stupid white clothes, but I gazed upon their tiny bodies and heard their goat cries that sounded like a group kidnapped toddlers. I seriously want a goat now. Another amazing thing about Kyle’s place, and easily one of my favorite things that has happened on this tour was the night sky in rural North Carolina. Oh my god, it is absolutely amazing how many stars you don’t see in the city. In Seattle we can maybe see 1% of the stars I was gazing upon this night. The center of the Milky Way was so clear, it was literally a cloud of stars stretched across the sky. This was the the clearest I have ever seen the stars in my life, and I fucking loved it so hard. I couldn’t help but think of ancient civilizations and their fascination with the cosmos when I looked up. I feel like thinking about all the lights in the sky as planets, balls of nuclear fusion and galaxies held together by gravity is all fine and well, but just to take in the night sky as a whole is awe inspiring and nothing gets my imagination and sense of awe going more then a perfectly clear sky with almost no light pollution to block it’s majesty. I am a nerd, and fucking proud of it.
Day 22 - Charlottesville, VA
This show was a quick one. We knew we had to drive over 6 hours to Brooklyn as soon as we were done playing, but I absolutely hate leaving a show before all the bands play. We were super apologetic and let everybody know ahead of time that we had to leave because we didn’t want to leave after midnight and hit any traffic between 6am and 8pm (It took us an hour to travel 1.2 mile the next day leaving Manhaten). What made it even worse is that it was a super great house show at a place called the Magnolia House and there was a ton of people there and they were all super nice. Anyway, on a weird side note, we are becoming a super efficient machine. We played our show, packed our gear, said our apologetic goodbyes and were driving exactly 45 minutes from when we started playing. No Sleep Till Williamsburg.