Friday, December 26, 2008

Here's to Another Goddamn New Year.

hey, ya'll. we hope you had a good holiday.

things are kind of slow right now. we've all been taking some time off after finishing our tour with Ra Ra Riot and Princeton, so we can hang with family, friends and girlfriends.

clayton and i have been practicing and rehearsing with our best bros. we're actually playing a show with them on Friday, January 16th at Cicero's in St. Louis. it should most definitely be off tha chayne. guitarmonies and double drumz. what more could you ask for, right?

oh, and this is pretty cool.

we're not going to be touring very much until SXSW in the spring. so, what that kind of means is that we're going to be pretty broke as individuals for the next two or three months. so, if you feel like throwing a party and need a band to play, just holler! and believe me, it's not limited to just SMD. we have Thor Axe and In the Garage: a Tribute to Weezer. oh, and there have been talks of the possibility of a New Order cover band. i know, right? it WOULD be rad.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Clap, clap, spirit fingers.

Athens, like always, was rad. The hookah bar in Nashville was too, more specifically the jasmine shisha and the honey berry. So was the photo shoot with Ryan Russell in Louisville and the giant Louisville slugger. Dawnie from London is awesome, so is Ra Ra Riot's tour manager Elise and 3 of the 4 members of Princeton (you're just going to have to guess which three). The corn chowder that Christin and Ross in Atlanta made was delicious, as were the egg sandwhiches Norm made yesterday morning and the crucial 2:30 AM Papa John's. Now we're going to go eat a 3 PM breakfast with Dawnie and some of the Sharkemechanicas and then play in Asheville, North Carolina with RRR and Princeton at a venue that has a kitchen that serves alligator balls. All is right in the universe.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

"Dude, we just recorded an album in space"

I had a dream last night that we recorded an album in space. There was this kind of community of orbiting space buildings like some space city, and some sort of ship that was floating around the atmosphere that had a studio built in. Norm and Aaron were in the studio ship while Griffin and I were in some vessel that seemed to be built for the purpose of just hanging out. The hangout vessel got struck by a meteor or something and Griffin and I got sent back to earth. When we were on earth, we listened to the CD (it was actually songs from The Loud Wars) and realized we wanted to redo some guitar parts. Then we had to figure out if we have to get sent back up into space to record or not.

In reality, I'm sitting on the floor at a house in Cincinatti. Norm and house resident Brian are sharing music on the couch, currently listening to an amazing song by The Bronzed Chorus that's called something about waking up under an overpass. It's harder to figure out song titles when the band is instrumental.

Hanging out at home for three days was nice, not because we were on tour for that long (it was only five days) but because our drives were so hellishly long. Now we're on what seems to be the feelgood part of the tour. All the drives are short and we'll be in the magical kingdom of Athens, GA in a few days. Our show in Newport, KY right across the river from Cincinatti was fantastic.

So far, every place we've stayed has been excellent. We realized a while ago that we really really like the people that like our band. Like, we seem to appeal to people we enjoy hanging out with. It's an awesome feeling. And on the Ra Ra Riot shows where we don't really know many people, we've been having good luck finding nice folks to stay with. I know I keep comparing this tour to the ones we've done with hardcore bands, but I've enjoyed the vibe of this tour so much more. Maybe it's because there's less intrinsic negativity floating around the venues. Or maybe it's just nice to be on tour with a band that's not completely racist.

Tonight is Louisville, KY, a town that we've never played in before. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

They don't call it the windy city for nothing

The morning after the last blog post, we received a call while in line to deposit money at Bank of America. Wesley from Ra Ra Riot had lost his voice and they had to cancel the show in Swarthmore, PA. We had 3 days off afterwards, so we decided to drive from Northampton, Massachusettes to our house Edwardsville, IL. After a quick stop at the 2nd largest mall in the country at King Of Prussia, PA to meet up with the State of Mind design folks and pick up our new shirts (13 animals riding a bicycle) and an 8 AM continental breakfast at a Holiday Inn Express outside of Indianapolis, we entered our freezing house.

Now it's 11:20 AM and I'm sitting on my lady's couch, watching a live breaking news report on how Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich got arrested this morning for attempting to sell Obama's empty Senate seat to the highest bidder. When Megan and I heard, we high fived each other. He's been on my shit list ever since he decided to shut down 11 state parks and 25 historical spots in the state, including the Dana Thomas house, a beautiful mansion in Springfield, IL that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and gives free tours. Hopefully now that Blagojevich got busted and lost his cred, these places can stay open.

Anyway, we leave tomorrow to continue our tour with Ra Ra Ra Ra Ra Ra Ra Ra Riot and Princeton for another week. Let's hang out.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I hope the smoking man's in this one.

I am sitting on a couch in Northampton, MA right now and I just overheard RJ, the dude we're staying with, say "did you guys hear about the 8 year old kid that shot himself in the face with an uzi?"

Well, anyway, you may have heard that we have signed with Vagrant Records. All of these lame super cryptic blog posts we've had to put up lately are over. High fives all around. Album comes out April 7.

We're currently on tour with Ra Ra Riot. We have made no qualms about being huge fanboys about them, so this has been pretty fantastic thus far. It's nice to play in front of people that like good music. No offense to thehardcore bands we've toured with, but I doubt I'm going to have any girls come to the merch table with a bloody nose and ask about first aid at an indie pop show. These are our people.

We have also buddied up pretty hard with Princeton, the opening band on the tour. They make me want to be on a canoe.

Aaron has recently discovered that he has the ability to sing the words "it's been" in the EXACT same tone of voice/melody combo that begins "One Week" by Barenaked Ladies, and he hasn't been shy about sharing this discovery with us. Jeff Tobias from We Versus the Shark once told us that he was going to make a Wikipedia page for "One Week" that has links to all of the pop culture references in the song, but then he found out that it already exists.

This tour is the first one in a long time where we've brought another person with us. Our pal Marshall Cox is doing tour managing/merch for us, which has been pretty fun and helpful. Our van has 4 seats, so usually everybody in the band has a sleeping surface. 5 people means that 2 dudes have to share a seat and (in Billy Bob Thornton "Slingblade" voice:) that just ain't right. LUCKILY we've figured out a way to turn the stack of sleeping bags and luggage into a makeshift bed that's about as comfortable as a bench seat, which is code for "not very".

Aaron's mom made some intensely delicious Amish friendship bread. The idea is that you make a lot of it and then give it to your buddies. We left with 8 loaves, gave one to Princeton and 2 to Ra Ra Riot*. We ate our final 2 loaves last night on our way back from a late night snack run to our van. I want more, but it takes 10 days to make.

Tomorrow we hang out with a fat guy and a lumberjack in Philadelphia, and then we play a show and drive home for a few days while RRR plays a show with Vampire Weekend.

*Here's the reason that Ra Ra Riot got 2 loaves of bread and Princeton only got one. It has nothing to do with favoritism. Last night, Alexandra from RRR told us how much she liked the bread, and Aaron asked if she wanted more. Of course, she said "no, it's okay". Meanwhile, Marshall had gone out to the van to grab another loaf to give as a gift, which, of course, Alexandra accepted once it was placed in her hand. The thing is, Aaron had no intentions of actually giving her a loaf of delicious friendship bread. He knew she would say no, because it's the polite thing to do. The important part was that he offered. Marshall screwed the whole operation up, and I have less friendship bread in my belly as a result. Thanks, Mr. Nice Guy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Keep on Keepin' On...

so, yes. it IS true. it's officially been over a month since either one of us has updated the blog. it's not that we didn't want to, it's just that we've been busy doing the not-so-exciting things that have to be done in preparation for the record to be released. this includes going over contracts, creating a bio and press release, doing interviews, having press photos taken, making final decisions on the masters and the artwork, etc. oh, and i think we managed to squeeze a show or two in between all of those activities.

i realize this is old news by now, but i do feel it's appropriate to mention the fact we elected an excellent new leader for our country. HOORAY! here's a photo i took of a painting in some art gallery in Manhattan during CMJ this past October:

and here's a photo i took at the final rally before the election, under the arch, in St. Louis, MO.

pretty epic, right?

oh, we hope you had a good Thanksgiving, too.

as far asThe Loud Wars is concerned, we're getting extremely close to where we can spill all the beans on the details. this includes the name of the label who will releasing it, the date in which that will happen, and the tour(s) that will coincide.

oh, yeah. speaking of which, we're going on a tour that starts tomorrow.

- All dates w/ Ra Ra Riot -
Dec 3 – Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
Dec 4 – Albany, NY @ Valentine’s
Dec 5 – Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse
Dec 6 – Swarthmore, PA @ Olde Club
Dec 10 – Newport, KY @ Southgate House
Dec 11 – Louisville, KY @ 930 Listening Room
Dec 12 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
Dec 13 – Athens, GA @ 40 Watt
Dec 14 – Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle
Dec 16 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar

and finally, a song from our show as In the Garage: A Tribute to Weezer, has been posted. thanks to Ben at WUTV at Washington University in St. Louis for the video.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Foxes Mate for Life

CMJ came and went before we could blink. Played one pretty good show at a dive bar on Tuesday night, a pretty dismal show at a dive bar Wednesday afternoon (after which i ripped my jeans on a fire hydrant while loading out and had to spend the next 3 days with an ever-growing slit down my right leg), did a pleasant video interview with Seattle radio station KEXP and played the fantastic Hello Sir Records showcase on Wednesday night. It was probably the most intense 26 hours of our band career.

AND we got our contract in the email for the record label we're signing to. Big announcement soon.

And there's an article on about our first gig opening for Death Cab.

And the new "genuis" feature on iTunes is freaking me out. I know it's freaking out Norm too.

And, related to the above, is it just me or is No Age really really horrible?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bee log.

It's kind of unfair to this blog that the more busy we are and the more exciting things are, the less we post on it. So where did we leave off?

We wrapped up our tour with HORSE the band and Heavy Heavy Low Low and then played our 2 shows in one night extravaganza in Visalia. We drove 34 hours home and got a phone call in Oklahoma asking us to tour in December with Ra Ra Riot, which we said yes to. Rested for two days and then drove up to Chicago to play a secret show with Death Cab For Cutie, which was in front of the most people we had ever played to at that point in our lives. Hung out for a day in Chicago (and ate incredible egg sandwiches made by our old friend Corey Smale, who insisted that I blog about his egg sandwiches), then drove down to Champaign, IL for an intense show at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall (which looks like a spaceship from Independence Day). The show was also with Death Cab For Cutie, and is now the most people we've ever played to because there were 4 more people at this show than the first one. Drove back home, hung out for 3 days and then played a local show with We Versus the Shark and Pegasuses XL. Home for two more days (I saw Broken Social Scene, woo!), then drove to Columbus, OH and played with Shark and Pegasuses again. Now I'm in the kitchen of Logan from i Against the tower, standing while typing because all the outlets in the couch room are two-pronged instead of three, surrounded by Peanut, an adorable cat that's in heat and is making us all very very aware of it. Driving to Pittsburgh to play with our good friends One For The Team and hopefully hanging out in a cargo net underneath a bridge (again).

So that's all. What's new with you?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So Many Dynamos: 0, Missouri gas station rednecks: 1

Drove all night to Denver and now my tired ass is typing from a coffee shop around the corner from the house that The Photo Atlas lives in. It's apparently the only place in Denver that advertises for free wireless internet and actually has it. McDonalds, Burger King, and Starbucks in the neighborhood all lied to me.

Our shows in the Midwest recently were all much more home-y than we were expecting. Chicago was the best show of the tour (sorry Philadelphia) and possibly our best Chicago show in general. Iowa City was fun, the St. Louis show was a party, and Lawrence was actually painless unlike every other show we've ever played in Lawrence.

In the middle of Missouri yesterday, I woke up from an unsatisfying van nap and stumbled into a gas station. I bought a Laffy Taffy rope and a small package of Now and Laters, both of which were 25 cents. The guy behind the counter (stocky redneck with a bright gold cross necklace) tried to charge me over a dollar. I asked him how he got that number and showed him that it blatantly said 25 cents on the Laffy Taffy wrapper.

He looked dumbfounded and glanced at his fellow redneck employee behind the counter. "Can you believe this is only a quarter? How are we supposed to make any money anymore?" As I paid the man, he leaned to his friend and said "well, if Obama becomes president, we'll be selling everything for a quarter. We're all going to be his right hand man." I don't know what that sentence means, but it's retarded.

His friend replied "He's already Bush's right hand man!" I know what that sentence means, and it's completely retarded.

So I told the men behind the counter, "you guys are both retarded."

"Oh yeah?" they chuckled.

"Yeah," I replied. "Completely retarded."

Then I left and got into the van and realized that I left my Laffy Taffy rope on the counter. I guess they win this round.

We're going to be driving a lot in the next few days. I got the new Chuck Klosterman book and it's great. The Loud Wars is coming out in February.

more news to come.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Michigan, Ohio, and the art of pooping snot.

We're all sick. I started today on a diet of Day Quil and Mucinex. I have never used Mucinex before but apparently it eliminates the mucus from your cavities and you eventually poop it out. Gross, but in a different kind of way than having to swallow my own drainage because I'm in the backseat and I can't get a window open to spit out of and even if I could get a window open I'm not very good at projecting my saliva so I'll probably end up spitting a loogie all over the inside of the door instead of the pavement and then having to clean it up and being embarassed. But I digress....

It feels good to be back in the midwest. We're in Warren, MI just outside of Detroit at a bar called The Ritz. The place is filled with old people that are taking advantage of happy hour and their privelage to smoke indoors. This is Gary, HORSE the band tour manager's last day with the tour. He's Canadian, and whenever he's at a show where smoking is allowed inside he wears one of those blue doctors' masks like he's trying to avoid SARS.

Last night was Akron, Ohio. Small place, packed with kids, no heckling retards. Watching the kids freaking out and falling over each other while singing along to HORSE songs was a blast. I was standing by the side of the stage and this kid ran past me to get on stage and dive into the crowd. When he passed me, he lightly bumped into me and he quickly apologized. It seemed weird that he felt sorry for grazing my arm on his way to jump on top of a bunch of other people. Life is funny sometimes.

Got some news on the prospect of The Loud Wars actually coming out today and we're very very very very very very excited.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Overheard in the parking lot: "I HAD to go outside during So Many Dynamos. They were so awful."

Philadelphia was a party. Kids new our songs and they danced and we got them to do foolish things like sit on the floor and do "jazz hands". Our show at First Unitarian Church the other day was the best of the tour so far, much like how our show there years ago with Harvey Danger was the best show of that tour.

Our show in Danbury, CT last night was the polar opposite. I won't complain about the cold reaction from the crowd during our set, as we are never going to be the band that expects anything from the audienc and people were more friendly and supportive of our band than their inbetween song cheers indicated. There's nothing worse than the mosh-metal opening bands we've had yell at the crowd for not dancing. The Heirloom Arts Theater in Danbury has a bar in their balcony, which gave a prime view of the pit ninjas. This, of course, is what I'm going to complain about.

During HORSE the band, Danbury had the most stupid, reckless pit yet. Kids were running around just pointlessly pushing each other and knocking each other down, and it looked more like a drunken WWF cage match than a hardcore pit. It would be different if their movements seemed to coordinate with the music being played on stage at all, but it didn't.

I'll never understand this type of dancing. The kids swinging their arms around and kind of doing this tough-guy version of skanking. There are a few things that I find confusing and somewhat hilarious about it:

1. Some of these kids are really, really good at this dancing. That means that they HAVE to have practiced it. And the way the pits are set up, there's a big circle and people take turns going in the center and doing their "solo", kind of like Soul Train. This leads me to point two.

2. Nobody looks cool at all doing this. Nobody, one bit. It just reminds me of a 8 year old kid having a hissy fit.

3. It all comes together to be the lamest dick-measuring contest I've ever seen. When the arms are windmilling around in the pit, the mentality is that if you run into the dancer and get hurt, it's YOUR fault. It's all about territory marking. It's all primitive in a strangely metrosexual post-modern way.

The hilarious thing about it is that HORSE the band and Heavy Heavy Low Low are two bands that are simultaneously embracing and mocking traditionalist hardcore ideas, and there are tons of kids that just don't get it.

This, of course, is not how every kid acts who dances at every show. This is just how Danbury was last night, and only for about half of the time.

During HORSE's set in Orlando, there was stage diving and the kind of non-violent mosh pit that happens when you cram too many dancing folks into too small of a room. A lot of times I look at the pit ninjas and I can tell they aren't taking themselves too seriously and it honestly looks like it might have been fun when I was younger. I used to go to ska shows and skank, so I can't judge them for doing the thing they're supposed to do by tradition.

Also, this dude in Danbury peed in front of our van and there was a stream of urine that ran under the vehicle and ended in a puddle about five feet from our back left tire. I hope he got ejected.

Philadelphia put things into perspective about what we want crowds to be like, much like whenever we play Visalia, California and everybody just freaks out in their own way. Tonight we play the School of Rock in Hackensack, New Jersey, which was one of the best shows last time we went out with HORSE and HHLL. Hopefully the kids will like it, that's all we really want.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So Many Dynamos: now available extra-crispy

I've never been one to say that So Many Dynamos, as an entity, is the "best" or "most" of something. I mean, we're all pretty good at Tetris or Ms. PacMan, but I wouldn't say we're the "best band at Tetris" by any means, because a. that's cocky and b. it's probably not true. However, I think I can say this in complete earnesty without feeling arrogant: I think So Many Dynamos is currently the most sunburned touring band in the country.

We went to Daytona Beach a few days ago inbetween Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida. For five dollars, you can actually park your vehicle on the beach. Granted, we got stuck twice (first time from coming it at an angle and the second time from trying to back in). A bunch of shirtless beach hunks helped push us out of the sand the first time, and they got dead bugs all over their hands from the grill of the van.

The third time was a charm on the parking front. We swam and played catch but none of us used proper protection from the ultra-violent rays of the sun. My shoulders feel crispy and my chest is burned in an awkwardly splotchy pattern that makes it look like I have a skin condition. As it heals, it gets itchy, but I can't scratch it because it's sunburned, but the sunburn is what makes it itchy. It's a viscous circle. The other guys all have it pretty bad too; Griffin's shoulders look maroon.

I'm typing from a loveseat at a very clean dudehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, which we nabbed for lodging as a result of our "we need a place to stay" sign. Show was good, I was a little worried at first because the pit ninjas were trying to dance all hxc during our set. In the past, this has resulted in some unwarranted and innapropriate shoving, but it was more calm than that. Dancing is dancing, as long as the kids are having a good time I can't complain.

Aaron did guest vocals on the recording of the song "Rotten Church/Mall/Parking Lot" by Heavy Heavy Low Low on their new album, so he's been coming up on stage almost every night during their set to sing his part. It's really funny every time and I can't really explain why.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

We have a whirlpool.

We had one really good and two pretty good shows in Florida, and now I'm more than happy to say goodbye to its swampy hotness. Last night in Tampa we played one of the most brutally hot shows we've ever gotten through. It was in this big theater venue with no air conditioning and blazing white lights on us the whole set. My shirt looked like it was painted on by the end.

The stage at the venue last night was homemade, and my side of the stage (some folks call it "stage left") was made from a different piece of wood than the rest of it. As a result, my part was a lot more wobbly, and before the first song was over some concerned kids in the front row pushed my microphone stand back from having shifted to the edge of the stage. Unfortunately, nobody (myself included) noticed that my Casio was slowly sliding off of its stand until it fell on the ground and broke open, exposing its innards. It looks pretty busted up. I'll reassemble it today and see...

There was a tree by our van yesterday that was dripping water consistently for a long time and it sounded like somebody was peeing by our van. I was concerned, because it wouldn't be the first time somebody was peeing by our van.

Currently at a Marriot Courtyard hotel in Charlotte, NC that we got a sweet deal on. It's WAY too fancy for us which makes it hilarious that we're staying here and so is Heavy Heavy Low Low. We drove all night from Tampa, FL and now we're spending the day in air conditioned bliss.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Are you disconnecting me? Are you?

First off, the British lady that lives inside of our Garmin GPS unit is going insane. She keeps telling us to take nonexistant exits and get on highways in the wrong direction. Crikey!

I'm in the "game room" of a home in Orlando that houses 4 video game loving college students. I'm about two feet away from the drum set from "Rock Band" and all I can think about is the notorious drum fill from In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins. The 2 people that live here that invited us over from the show are both going to school for computer animation, and last night they showed me some of the stuff they do for school and for hire. This includes a video by a talking CGI copy machine for a sales DVD that explains its features and eats memory cards. It was every bit as good as Veggietales.

Today we have one of the shortest drives of the tour so we're going to hit up the beath in Jacksonville, FL before our show. We might do the Anheuser Busch brewery tour too, it depends on when we get out there.

We were THIS close to catching Lisa Loeb last night around the corner. We worked it out so that we could get in free, but it turns out she played the early show and we just plain missed her set. Bummer.

Here's a video somebody posted of one of the first shows on this tour:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In Atlanta at the clean house of Harvey Danger superfan Christin with an awesome dog and awesome cat. Ate some awesome pasta and awesome Heath bar ice cream. About to have awesome slumber on awesome couch. Awesome.

Tonight we played Wiffle Ball outside of the venue, watched ridiculous videos that Heavy Heavy Low Low made on their computers, played a decent set, watched HHLL play the most punk rock set i've seen them do, listened to You'd Prefer an Astronaut by Hum on the PA between bands, watched HORSE with their intense new backdrops of "Paradise and Hell" by Bosch, loaded out, drove to Harvey Danger superfan Chrstin's place, see above.

Nathan from HORSE met a potentially homeless guy outside of the venue that he's completely convinced is himself from the future. I think his mind exploded.

This evening's set:

Search Party
We Vibrate, We Do
New Bones
Keep it Simple
Home Is Where the Box Wine Is
In Every Direction
If You Didn't Want to Know

...or else you're leaving with a fat lip

In Athens at Bryant from Cinemechanica's place. We played last night at the Go Bar, which is a tiny brick room outside of downtown that Michael Stipe has some form of ownership in. It's the only show we have this month that isn't with HORSE the band and Heavy Heavy Low Low. The only thing that's kind of a bummer about the HTB/HHLL tour is how the local opening bands for each tour have been (with one exception) bad hardcore bands, so it was definitely a relief when we found out that last night's opener was called Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel. And that's exactly what the band was: two dudes playing ambient soundscapey stuff and plugging the theremin and lap steel into their computers to run live effects on them through software. WAYYYY better than drop A- chug metal.

While Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel was playing, Jeff from We Versus the Shark leaned over to me and said "you're totally going to blog the shit out of this, aren't you?" And here I am today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

There are no red states or blue states

Gas stations are a crucial part of our daily routine. Aside from the necessary fuel, bathrooms, and snacks, they also are a source of entertainment. I've been getting a kick out of the things people write and etch onto the bathroom walls, mirrors, hand driers, and any other hard surface they can scribble on.
We've been knee deep in the Bible Belt for the past few days and our rest stops have peppered the rural South so it is no surprise that this is what we would find:

This did not sit too well with me.

It's hard to read, but "WHITE POWER KKK" has been etched into the Xcelerator hand washer.
By the time we pulled out of the parking lot it looked like this

Here are a few souveniers we chose to pass on during our pit stops:

"Drinking doesn't cause hangover waking up does" and
"Jesus is the key to eternal life" hats on the same rack.
I think it's funny.

I found this gem on the wall in the Men's room at The Door in Dallas.

Here are a few pictures from our night on Bourbon Street with HORSE the Band

Thumbs up/Thumbs down

Today marks the end of the first week of tour. We've been losing a battle with having internet access, so we have to play catch up.

Bartlett, Tennessee

Thumbs up: To the Taco Johns we stopped in on the way where two guys came up to us and said "good show the other day." We didn't realize we were back in Atkins, AR where we had played a few days prior. Minutes after they left, the dude who booked the show came in and was pretty surprised that we were there. To the band Nights Like These who put us up at their apartment where they were having a birthday party with a keg and a great dog. To the kid who said "you guys are in So Many Dynamos? Once I took acid and listened to your band for 10 hours straight."

Thumbs down: To the Bible-beating moms who took offense to the lyrics of us, HORSE the Band and Heavy Heavy Low Low and tried to get the show shut down. To the Bartlett police department for being too aggressive and randomly checking ID's of kids hanging out outside the venue for warrants. To the kid at the party that stole HHLL merch guy Erol's Wendys. To my stomach for rejecting the keg beer and vomiting on the grass outside of our van.

Metairie, Louisiana

Thumbs up: To Sonic for offering tater tots instead of fries and having real strawberries in their strawberry limeade. To the High Ground for being an overall rad DIY venue and also for moving their show area to downstairs to avoid loading up the hellish staircase that leads to the upstairs. To the kid from the opening band that nerded out with me about early 2000's Vagrant Records emo bands like The Get Up Kids and The Anniversary. To the French Quarter of New Orleans and to bar that existed inside of a gift shop, where we had a drink and looked through offensive t-shirts. To the invention of the "hand grenade" girly drink that I'm not man enough for.

Thumbs down: To my right eye for being irritated all day. To Chris from Heavy Heavy Low Low for asking me if I had pink eye. To the High Ground's lack of toilet paper and generally disgusting bathroom. To HORSE the band for staying in a four star hotel while we stayed in a Motel 6 because we forgot to ask around for a place to stay after the show. To Erik from HORSE for saying "Motel 6? It's that a ONE star hotel?..." To the National Guard for trolling the streets of New Orleans and informing us, gun in hand, about their 2 AM curfew.

Anniston, Alabama

Thumbs up: To the best Pizza Hut buffet that has ever and will ever exist. To Maps and Atlases for making the You and Me and the Mountain EP. To the kids who drove from Birmingham, Alabama to see us. To Model City Records for putting little pieces of irregularly shaped foam on the walls sporadically in an adorable effort to make the room acoustically more sound (it's the thought that counts). To HORSE for making us watch Xavier: Renegade Angel. To Griffin for letting Danny from HHLL borrow his guitar and forgetting to put it in drop D first. To the first set we've played on this tour that felt like a party.

Thumbs down: To the thousands of bugs that died by way of our van's grill driving through the swampy paths that lead out of New Orleans. To Heavy Heavy Low Low's trailer for blowing an axle. To HORSE the band for eating at a nice seafood restaurant while we held ourselves over with Doritos before we could eat at Taco Bell after the show. To somebody being drunk and urinating in the middle of HORSE's mosh pit (subsequent semi-ironic thumbs up to the kids who said "fuck it" and ninja-danced in the urine to the breakdown in "Cutsman" anyway). To the girl who was vomiting in a bag in the greenroom when we were leaving.

We're in Athens right now playing our only show this month that isn't with our two heavy handed friends. Tonight we're at the Go Bar with free-jazz obsessed pop band Mouser and some touring bands that nobody has told us who they are. Thumbs up to Luke Shark for letting us into his home at 5:15 in the morning.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Now with footnotes!

I'm backstage at the Marquee in Tulsa, OK while HORSE the band plays their set. This means that I'm about 8 feet away from the metal-est Nintendo band (or Nintendo-est metal band) in the universe. They're playing, i'm backstage writing on our blog and drinking Coors with 3.2% alcohol in it. How lame is that?*

The 4 hour drive from Dallas today was about as painless as it gets. Before the tour we downloaded the "200 best songs of the 1960's" according to Pitchfork Media.** We listened to 1-50. Realizations:

-The Who rule
-"Tomorrow Never Knows" by The Beatles is the best recording of all time.
-Records sounded better 40 years ago.
-"I Want You Back" by The Jackson Five is also the best recording of all time.***
-James fucking Brown.
-I want to listen to "Pet Sounds" really badly

Griffin's old childhood friend Chuck lodged us last evening (is that proper terminology?) and made us homemade pizza. The crust didn't involve sugar, which is fascinating. Apparently it's more "Italian" that way. We hung out and listened to "Judy Blue Eyes" by Crosby Stills and Nash more times than I can count. So good.

Tonight in Tulsa, I could totally tell which kids were here to see us. This is actually a common phenomenon on this tour. Kid with the Devil Wears Prada shirt and headband? Here for HORSE and Heavy Heavy Low Low. Guy with gigantic Dan Deacon glasses and a jew-fro, here for us.

Chad Matheny (aka. Emperor X [aka. complete genius]) caught me on Gmail chat today and sent me a link to a pulsar recording of the big bang. I don't even know what that means, but after HORSE plays "Cutsman" and this crazy mess chills out, i will. Oh yes, I will.


**out of fear of appearing "lame", i feel obligated to mention that I downloaded this folder after randomly finding it in somebody's Soulseek folder. Saying that I didn't compile the tracks myself or search it out myself seems necessary to me for some reason, I guess as to not appear like a Pitchfork fetishist. However, I do respect the individual that did assemble these tracks, and the Pitchfork writers to compiled the list. They all made our day better.

***calling this a realization of the day is unfair. This is something that has been fact for quite some time.


One of the first times we played with HORSE the band, inbetween songs, their frontman Nathan said "are there any Native Americans here? You guys have some pretty sweet pottery."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

We've fashioned moon boots now.

I woke up this morning with a bad case of what we call "rock neck": neck pain caused by non-ideal sleeping situations and physial stress from strapping on a guitar daily. I can roll my shoulders and the sound of my sore muscles rubbing against each other is loud enough to create an echo if I were to be in a large, cavernous room or an actual cavern. It's offical, we're on tour.

Two mornings ago we drove to Atkins, AR to play at this warehouse-ish venue called the Godbey. When we arrived I asked where the bathroom was and the promoter pointed to this door at the top of an out-of-place looking staircase. I hiked up the stairs and the door, expecting to walk into a bathroom. Instead I entered a really nice apartment with a kitchen and a bathroom. Played a show, made some spaghetti and drove all night to the house of our pals Toto (from The Octopus Project) and Brandi.

On the drive to Atkins, we were listening to the new Target Market album, which I finished recording in our basement mere hours before we left for tour. TM used to be an angular-ish spazz-ish dance-ish band not unlike us until they got obsessed with Pavement a few years ago. We were driving and listening to this record while we passed a sign that said "New Pavement". Maybe you had to be there, but we got a hearty chuckle out of it.

Arrived at Toto/Brandi's at 9:45 AM after our GPS got us lost and angry (please reference sentences 5-7 of the third paragraph of this). Slept, made some grilled cheese and tomato soup and fruit bowls, drove to San Antonio. Accidentally drove to the promoter's house instead of the venue, then hastily figured it out. Played show, drove back to Austin and Toto/Brandi's, drank Lone Star. Lone Star is Texan for "Budweiser".

San Antonio was significant for us for a few reasons. It was our first of 30 or so shows with our buddies HORSE the band and Heavy Heavy Low Low. The other thing that makes San Antonio somewhat important is that, last time we went out with these bands, our show in San Antonio was the first one where we felt like we had done well with the crowd.

Last night's show in San Antonio was one of the rare-ish shows on this tour where we had a significant part of the draw. We made a lot of friends last time and we got to experience that sheer excitement of watching people you've never seen before sing along to our songs. Today is Dallas, where our show on this same bill last year was one of the coldest responses we received. I feel like, if we can win them over this time, we'll be on top of the opening-band world.

It's hard to be the weirdo indie rock band on the hardcore tour, but I think we've got our heads on straight about it this time. Last time, our sets were as much (if not more) about heckling as playing music. For fear of sounding like a hippie, we put out some bad vibes and got worse ones back. I can already tell this one is going to be different. Things are gonna change, I can feel it.

Oh, and we got added to two shows with this band. Booyah acheived.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I've got Ace Freely, I've got Peter Chris

We just finished practicing for our performance tomorrow evening as "In The Garage: A Tribute to Weezer". Playing these songs is so intensely satisfying, it's hard to really explain; it's like we've unlocked the secrets to our favorite songs of all time. We're stoked.

Last night we played at the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL. It was what we expected, playing outdoors on a makeshift stage in the early evening to passers-by. Slightly uncomfortable but not terrible.

As we were loading out, this guy came up to us on his bike and said "Were you guys playing Search Party over here? I love that song" and started talking to us. I think he thought that we had covered it, he didn't realize it was our song until we told him that we were So Many Dynamos. I felt strangely rewarding, for somebody to know a song of ours but not attach it to us.

Today on Pitchfork Media, our buddies in Pattern Is Movement mentioned our song "New Bones" as one of the best songs of the last year in their "Guest List" feature. Thanks guys! They also mentioned the excellent "You and Me and the Mountain" by Maps and Atlases and said they were "afraid of those dudes." We second that.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Shirt related antecdote: The Scion Guy

Remember a few months ago when we were wetting ourselves over the fact that we were playing a show with Ra Ra Riot? Well, the gigantic shirt order we just placed reminded me of this story:

The tour Ra Ra Riot did with The Little Ones (great pop band who made this awesome video) was sponsored by Scion. As in the car. So there was this dude that followed the tour around in a Scion and set up an information booth with promotional keychains and shit on the merch table. Well, we were a little bummed because the merch table wasn't big enough for RRR, Little Ones, Scion, and us, so we got tucked away in a dank corner of the club to sell our shirts and cds and records.

WELL, the Scion guy came up to the merch table and asked for a small T-shirt. At this time, the shirts we had ordered ran a little bit large. He unfolded the shirt and kind of gave me this suspicious, raised-eyebrow look, then checked out the label and indignantly said "THESE AREN'T AMERICAN APPAREL!" and threw the shirt down on the merch table. The dude bought a CD so I could tell he wasn't totally pissed, but it was pretty weird for a second.

So anyway, we ordered American Apparel shirts this time around, so if Scion guy is out there, we've got you covered!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm gonna give you every 2.54 centimeters of my love

Almost halfway though the last week of confinement at Gateway Medical Research, and it's getting easier to do. Today the 8 hours of laying down in a bed and having hourly blood draws zoomed by, although I was trying to listen to The Glow Pt. 2 by The Microphones and the TV 8 feet away from me was blaring a mini marathon of Charmed. It's insane how much louder commercials are than TV shows. Every once in a while a Direct TV ad would come blasting on, which made it a little difficult to concentrate during Phil Elvrum's "sensitive moments", of which there are many.

Still getting ready for our tour. Just placed a massive shirt order, which involved spending more money than we've ever dropped at one time. We had our first practice yesterday with intent on working out more song transitions and making old songs a bit cooler so we don't feel like we're digressing by playing them. We'll be playing some songs that we haven't done in at least a year at our set Saturday at The Lot party @ Schlafly Tap Room. By the way, that show is free and all ages. We play at midnight, so technically we play on Sunday...

Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" just came on my iTunes shuffle and it reminds me of Chuck Klosterman asking Robert Plant why he said "i'm gonna give you every inch of my love" when they use the metric system in the UK. This has to be the most successful song to feature 2 minutes of drum solo, guitar noise, and sporatically-panned male orgasm sounds. Ever.

It also reminds me of Alex Newport talking about Plant while he was mixing our record. I believe the quote was something like "I fucking hate Robert Plant. If Kurt Cobain sang for Led Zeppelin, they'd be the best band of all time." I can't disagree.

Monday, August 18, 2008

thank you internet

I was shamelessly reading our wikipedia page earlier and came across this:
"In July 2007, So Many Dynamos began recording the follow-up to Flashlights with Christopher Walla. Sessions took place at Tiny Telephone Studio in San Francisco, Alberta Court in Portland, and the band's house in Edwardsville, Illinois. The record was mixed by Alex Newport at Metropolitan Sound, Brooklyn, NY in December 2007. The band recorded another track for the album in February 2008 at Great Western Records Recording in Champaign, IL. This track was mixed by Alex Newport in May 2008. The album is set to be called, "Chinese Democracy."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I had a dream there was a ghost here, and the ghost knew my name

They guy in the bed next to me at Gateway Medical research wouldn't stop snoring last night, and there are few things more annoying than being kept awake by somebody else's snoring. It's like somebody is enjoying their sleep so much that they decide it's more important for you to be aware of their awesome slumber than participate in your own. Griffin is the snorer in our band, and although I'm getting anxious and restless about this tour we're about to do, last night was a reminded of one aspect of sharing a room with all of the other dudes that I don't miss.

Not that I could have slept well anyway; my mind was racing with ideas we're working out for our live set on this next tour, transitions and whatnot. Trying to channel a little bit of that DC no-setlist thing. We only get 30 minutes every night on this next tour, and all the time we wasted on stage banter/heckling last time we went out with HORSE and Heavy Heavy Low Low could have probably been better spent, you know, playing songs.

But for now, Norm and I are confined to the research facility until tomorrow evening while we test a medicine for the treatment of Parkinsons Disease and Restless Leg Syndrome. We're currently confined to an 8 hour stint laying down in hospital beds while the phlebotomists come around and draw our blood hourly. The strange thing is that this isn't the "boring part", but after this when we're free to move around and there's nothing to do and we've napped too much to be able to sleep and TV is boring and the internet is boring and there's nothing in the inbox and nothing new on Craigslist or Pitchfork or The Onion or the Tape Op messageboard. This time I brought a few more things with me, like a guitar and an ipod and some books, so hopefully I won't be as bored to tears as last time. That might just be wishful thinking...

Oh, and the "You and Me and the Mountain" EP by Maps and Atlases is so, so, so very good. Obtain it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Labels, contracts, light refractions

So our lawyer sent in the first official draft of a contract to the label we've been talking to (not naming names here), and then the real negotiations are about to begin. It's the closest we've been to having this record out so far and we're all pretty nervous/excited/terrified/ecstatic and with any luck, we'll be able to make some announcements soon. In the meantime, check this out:

Thanks to Yenie, our wonderful manager who also works at Youtube, for putting a link to this video on her Gmail chat away message.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


It's been a pretty hectic 2 days, really. There was all the Nashville drama and then we finally announced the dates for our tour next month with HORSE the Band and Heavy Heavy Low Low.

Meanwhile, Norm and I have been at Gateway Medical Research again. Yesterday I was forced to watch 3 hours of Monk while I had "Mexican hat dance" in my head. Of course, this was before the 5 hour marathon of So You Think You Can Dance. No comment.

Oh, yeah, we finally have a title for the record. It is:

The Loud Wars

It has three meanings:

1. It's an uber-nerdy reference to the phenomenon of albums getting louder and louder but losing actual quality in the process. In the digital realm that CDs exist in, there's an actual physical threshold for how loud things can be, so in the mastering stage of album making, people have been overcompressing music in order to make it APPEAR louder. The result is a lack of dynamic range and records that are fatiguing to your ear after a while.

2. When you hear a sound and turn your head towards the sound, the reasoning behind it is that hearing something out of just one ear is disorienting so the physical reaction is to turn your head so that the sound is balanced between your left and right.

3. The almost nightly battle we experience on tour between the sound guys that want us to turn our amps down so they can have more control over our mix. 99.9999 percent of the time, this means we are going to sound terrible.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The worst night ever/the best night ever

Just returned from two shows, here's how they went:


NOTE: At the request of the venue, promoter, and our friend Molly who set up our show in Nashville, we've removed our post about the troubles we had at the Exit/In last Wednesday. The same miscommunication that caused us to not get paid extended into us not knowing the entire story behind the show before our post. We try to be open and honest on this blog to give an insight in the highs and lows of being in a functioning band and are sorry that our post rubbed some folks wrong. - management

Athens always seems like the land of Oz, especially after a horrendous experience such as Nashville. Our show was part of the "Summer Camp" series of shows put on by promo company Team Clermont. We headlined again, this time to an attentive, filled out crowd, AND we got our guarantee. God bless.

The worst part: I had been joking around with Bill, the head honcho of the radio department at Team Clermont, because he's a Cubs fan (boo) and I'm a Cardinals fan (hurray). After the show, we were standing by the bar talking to the bartender (Bryant from Cinemechanica). Bill pulled out his Cubs credit card to show me, and I grabbed it and very lazily threw it behind the bar. And it completely disappeared.

I went around the bar and started looking for the card on the ground. While searching under the giant ice freezer, I cut my finger on an overturned bottle cap and it started bleeding WAY more than it should given the size of the wound. It's right on the knuckle, so it keeps getting ripped open, ESPECIALLY when i play guitar. This is kind of a problem.

Back to positivity: hung out after show w/ Bryant, slept for 45 minutes (which was 30 minutes less than Griffin slept and 45 more than Norm or Aaron), had breakfast at the Grit w/ Luke Shark, former Shark Sam, former Cinemechancic Erica, and former St. Louisan Christine, and drove back. Rolled into St. Louis just a few minutes late to catch Boyz II Men play for free under the arch. The sacrifices we make sometimes....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I've woken up before the others, doing a quick post before I jump in the bath tub (don't judge me!) and get ready for this pair of shows we're about to play. We weren't planning on doing any shows right now; the process of getting this record out has engulfed our summer and, I can finally say, the finish line might be in sight. But alas, we were offered two wonderful shows in two days, one in Nashville and one in Athens, GA.

We've only played in Nashville once before. We played with a blues band and, two hours into their set, I walked up to them to see how much longer they had when they responded "oh, there's another band tonight? We didn't know."

Our obligitory we-haven't-played together-in-a-while set runthrough last evening was really comforting. It's not that we forget how to play the songs, but sometimes things like keyboard settings and pedal switches get lost on us after a few weeks of non-Dynamo related activities.

Our individualized non-Dynamo activities as of late:

-I've been working on records in our basement for these guys and this guy, as well as writing for this and this and teaching some of these.

-Norm has been driving these around and occasionally playing these in this.
-Griffin just went here with these people right after spending time

-Aaron has been pushing one of these around and learning a lot of these songs on one of these.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Take Out the Trash, Gettin' Ya Cash Like 'em Fast...

you know that thing in your email that's referred to as a spam folder? when checking the band email account, or the more affectionately dubbed dynamail, sometimes i think i'm the only one who ever empties it out. but, there is the occasional important message that is accidentally sent into the spam folder, so i've taken on the habit of checking out the subjects and senders before i delete them.

with that being said, i'm sure everyone is familiar with the usual "Policelink Scholarships," or "Shopping Spree Department," or "Deeds for Dollars," or even "Work from Home." but today, the sender line read !!!PANDA RESEARCH!!! (note: these exclamations were included in the line. they are not my own.) needless to say, i thought that was really funny.

oh. so, here...

Monday, July 14, 2008

On a lighter note...

...or at least on a note that doesn't involve talking shit, there's a new Livin' the Dream article on Crawdaddy today.

ALSO, remember Emperor X? Not that he's really gone anywhere, but he's been hiding out and working on a 4 part album called The Blythe Archives. Griffin bought the vinyl of volume one on tour and I finally got around to listening to it. It's so so so unbelieveably good. He still has that bedroom pop home recording lo-fi thing going on, but there is a lot of crazy drum experimenting stuff that he hasn't done before and a little bit of Steve Reich hidden in the mix. There are some clips on his website, as well as previews of future Blythe Archive volumes.

Blythe Archives is a pretty insane concept. First off, it's named after Blythe, California, a city where Chad (Emperor X) was in a car accident on tour once. A few months later, when we did a tour as his backing band, our van broke down just past the California/Arizona border and the only logical fix was to get towed back to Blythe. Chad went and visited the automobile graveyard where all of his gear rested while we drank Thunderbird wino wine and swam in a motel pool at 4 AM (or at least Aaron did).

The other genius thing about Blythe Archives is that, with each released volume, Chad is hiding cassette tapes of non-album bonus material in a predetermined city with clues on the album for where they could be found. Once the code is cracked and the tapes are found, the material on the cassettes is posted online. Wow.....

Monday, July 7, 2008

No's in unison.

So there's this band called Simian Mobile Disco. I don't know much about them other than: A. They get a metric fuck-ton of press and B. We have the same initials. So now I'm noticing that websites are starting to abbreviate them in news stories, which means that about once a week I get excited like "what?!?! we're playing a festival in Brussels?!" for exactly one second before I realize what is really happening.

We played two shows this weekend.

Chicago was rad. Played with Russian Circles (soooooo good), barely understood the eastern European soundguy during soundcheck (I think at some point he was asking to hear the keyboard rig and I could have SWORN he was saying "manhattan"), enjoyed a large cooler of Goose Island Beers (my favorite microbrewery, except maybe New Belgium), ate well (pulled pork!), etc.

On the way up to Chicago, we listened to the new Ra Ra Riot album. As you can imagine, it's wonderful. I think I may have gotten too attached to the old recordings of some of the songs though; even though the fidelity and performances on the record are far superior to their EP, it will take me some getting used to.

Played with The Mae Shi in St. Louis last night. We played 3 dates with them about 3 years ago (gas was $1.89/gallon), and it was great seeing how much more insane they are now. It was like going to a performance art rock show in 2005 at Lemp Arts Center, except the music was great, there wasn't a creepy old guy making everybody uncomfortable, and there were girls in the crowd.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What's Bacharaching?

I'm a HUGE Burt Bacharach fan. He's a guilty pleasure that I feel absolutely no guilt about. I mean, just look at him:


Anyway, today I typed "Burt" into my iTunes search bar and "Slow Jamz" by Kanye West and Twista showed up! This is interesting, because Burt Bacharach is one of the best songwriters of all time and "Slow Jamz" is one of the greatest hip hop songs of all time. I did some research, and that song is built from a sample of Luther Vandross (the pitch-shifted "are you gonna be, are you gonna be, are you gonna beeeeee, well well well well" is Mr. Vandross chipmunked-up by Mr. West in the studio). The Luther Vandross track that the sample came from is his version of Burt Bacharach's "A House Is Not A Home." YES!!!

ANYWAY, we just got added to a Russian Circles show in Chicago this upcoming Saturday, July 5. RS is doing 2 shows in a day, an all ages one and a 21+ one. We've been invited to play with them on the all ages bill, an early show that starts at 7 PM. We're very excited because we're overdue to play Chicago and also we get to hear Russian Circles play "Death Rides a Horse" really loudly for free. What more could you possibly want out of life?*

*(the answer to this rhetorical question is, of course, Russian Circles covering anything by Burt Bacharach. They could do a sweet stoner metal version of "What the World Needs Now Is Love". I'm sure of it)

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I'm not sure who's seen this yet, but our friend Sam Pura sent me this link today and this is pretty unbelieveable. I would recommend skipping forward to about 1 minute in, since it starts kind of slow:

Big Ideas (don't get any) from James Houston on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

No news is good news.

Actually, that's not true. No news is completely boring.

We've been getting ready for our Weezer Tribute band/Thor Axe show this Thursday, so we haven't been doing much with our real band. We just started rehearsing for our first video. We're playing a song in a different way and trying to do it as a one-take thing, so we have able to play it well.

If anybody is interested, the Weezer Tribute/Thor Axe show is taking place on Thursday at the Stagger Inn in Edwardsville. It's 21+ and starts at 9 PM. There's a very small cover charge. Thor Axe is probably the loudest thing that has ever been at the Stagger Inn, and we're probably going to piss off some hippies.

In the meantime, read this thing that I wrote today when I was insanely bored.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Getting there

Last night I mailed off the disc containing the files for our last (and longest) song to the mastering people. They'll get started on that later this week. When they are done the actual music that will eventually get burned onto cds and/or pressed onto vinyl will be complete, just shy of a year in the making.

This is really funny:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Clownvis Presley

I guess we were a bit far away at the RFT awards ceremony last night to notice that the announcer, Clownvis Presley, is the scariest thing that has ever lived:


Also, new Crawdaddy article is up.


We didn't win anything at the Riverfront Times awards last night. It was kind of a relief at the time, the awards ceremony was pretty uncomfortable and it would have been weird to have to go up there and make a speech. We witnessed a few clumsy acceptance speeches and a few that turned into pleas to the RFT of "how about an interview?" and "we want a cover story!" from the podium. The ceremony was hosted by "Clownvis", which is a clown/Elvis impersonator. Weird...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm waiting, with nothing to do. I'm wai-ay-ay-aiting, just a-waiting on you.

It appears that we're going through a period of time where a lot of little things are happening, but it feels like absolutely nothing is happening.

-We're playing a show later this month (June 26 to be exact) in Edwardsville, IL where we're performing a Weezer tribute set. It's been pretty fun to obsessively figure out how to play these songs, work on the vocal harmonies, and tweak our amps to make them sound as "Weezer-ish" as we can. We're only hitting the period between 1994-1998, so just Blue album, Pinkerton and a few key B-Sides. It will be a fun night, Thor Axe is opening the show.

-We're working out the ideas for our first Youtube video. The only thing I can say for sure is that it involves our dining room table.

-Tonight is the Riverfront Times Music Awards night at the Pageant in St. Louis. We're up for Best Indie Rock band and Best Live Act. I've never been able to attend the awards ceremony (Griffin and Aaron went last year I believe), so it should be fun. If we win, we'll be able to put it next to our "Best Indie Rock" award from 2006 on top of our toilet.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Things of potential interest

It's the third and final study period here at Gateway Medical Research. I'm listening to music and trying to pretend that looking at the same websites from 5-9 AM is still interesting. I decided last week to start my itunes at A and just let it go. It took me a day and a half to get to the B section. I'm currently on Cursive's Domestica, which still rules. Outside of my headphone world, the steady routine of blood draws and movies is commencing. On the overhead projector screen, Jim Carrey is incapable of lying.

We played the Riverfront Times Music Showcase on Sunday. Other than the extremely difficult heat and the equipment issues (it's hard to see those little red lights on your guitar pedals when the sun is shining on them), we had a good time. At least Say Panther and Target Market were excellent.

Here are some links:
Video interview of SMD from the festival with a short live clip
Pictures from our set at the festival
Little article Chris Walla wrote about us for a British music site
Death Cab performance on Minnesota Public Radio. About 8 minutes into this, they start talking about SMD and our lab-rat tendencies. It's cute!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Gotta spend some time, love.

Yesterday, the 4 of us, along with Nicki (Griffin's lady), Annie (RFT music editor) and Clay (Target Market guitarist), went to Columbia, MO to see Death Cab For Cutie. An intense thunderstorm hit Columbia before we arrived and then started making its way east towards our van. You know when it's raining so hard that you can't see out of your windshield, your wipers can barely keep up, and the other vehicles around you just look like blurry taillights? It was one of those. In hindsight, we were actually fortunate to drive through it; the show was outside, and the most dedicated DCFC fans wound up being the most soaked.

Because of the rain, the show was delayed a few hours. Although we were one of the last few people to get through the gates (there was some drama/complication with the guestlist), we wound up getting a spot on the side of the stage right next to the crew folks. One of these crew members is Rachel Demy, who is currently tour-managing opening band Rogue Wave. Rachel lives with Chris Walla (they're, like, dating or something) and therefore lived with us for a week in July when we were making our record.

Whenever Death Cab took the stage, it was one of those "oh yeah, I really like this band" moments. I hadn't anticipated how excited we'd be when they pulled out something like "We Laugh Indoors" or "Photobooth." It brought out the 15 year old girl in all of us.

A drunk girl came up to our little corner of the crowd during the show and gave Aaron her camera and told him to take pictures of the band for her because she couldn't figure out how to use it. We were all standing next to a bit potted plant. Towards the end of the set, she was blatantly pissing on it.

We met up with Walla afterwards and got to hang out and talk some shop concerning our record. Norm drum-nerded out with Jason McGerr for a bit. They both had the same hat on. It was adorable. We had a drink with Rachel and Graham from Rogue Wave (sweet dude) at the Blue Note and then made the trek back to Edwardsville. Pulled into the driveway at 4:15 AM.

Now we're off to go play a hot, humid, sticky outside show at the Riverfront Times Music Showcase in the Delmar Loop in St. Louis. We're debuting our epic closer song and pulling out an old song we haven't played in ages. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

If you can dodge a wrench.....

Norm and I are at Gateway Medical Research again, enduring the second part of our three period study. Each period has three days: check-in day, study day, and check-out day. Today is study day, meaning today is the day where we take the pill being studied and get our blood drawn the most. I'm typing this during our first two hour break between draws (all other draws have been hourly or half-hourly). By the time we go to bed tonight, we will have been poked 15 times.

The movies have been better today. Dodgeball and then The Longest Yard. And then, this dude puts on Ladder 49...again. WTF, bro? We watched that last week! I have no interest in re-watching a movie that could be called a "firefighter drama", nor do I respect "firefighter drama" as a legitimate genre of film. Why do they do this to us? Maybe the pill and the blood draws are just distracting us, and this is a Ladder 49 tolerance test. This is the beginning of a really bad Kubrick movie for sure.

Also, I've witnessed two extremely passive agressive phone arguments that people in our study have had with their significant others. First, at 4 AM when we were waking up and this dude's girlfriend was still out partying, I got to hear the "Why are you hanging out with that dude? I'm going to kick his ass. Why are you hanging out with that fat bitch? You don't even like her. I don't need to get your friends to vouch for you, I know they'll just lie for you" conversation, and less than an hour ago I witnessed the "So you're not going to work, you're just going to drink with Mark? Are you already drunk? I don't even want to talk to you right now, you're not being very nice" talk. Party!

Playing shows feels good, and I'm glad we have been doing it more often. A few days ago, we played with a bunch of bands we usually don't play with (Harvey, Novella, Tonight at Seven) at a great new venue in Alton, IL called illiNoise that we hope continues to do shows. They get the shows catered, so anybody over 21 gets free beer with admission until the kegs inevitably run dry. We have the RFT music showcase on Sunday in the Delmar Loop (we play at 4 PM) and we MAY be playing a party in Edwardsville on Friday? Not sure.

OH, and we're getting ideas together for videos for our Youtube channel. More info to come, but it's going to be fun.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Of whales, strippers, and number-one albums.

Wow. KDHX's Midwest Mayhem show last night at the City Museum was pretty remarkable. It was definitely the first time we've had a New Orleans-style second line marching band lead folks from one area of a venue to the stage where we played (but hopefully not the last). It felt great playing New Bones in front of people who may have actually heard it, and the end of our set devolved into the type of clusterfuck that I wish could cap off every show. It was exactly what we needed in this confusing state that our band is in right now.

I have to say, I don't really get the Alley Cat Revue burlesque dance group. At least, I don't understand the apparent legitimizing factor that makes dumbed-down stripping appropriate for a community radio event. In 2004 we opened for the Suicide Girls burlesque troupe and it felt the same, except they went as far as to expose electrical tape covered boobs. If the same act was performed in a dingy club with Guns 'n Roses playing, it'd be trashy. Somehow performing it next to a giant whale-shaped obstacle course with a dude juggling at intermission is wholesome and/or liberating. I guess, in some weird way, their act made me feel degraded so they didn't have to.

So ANYWAY, concerning our album coming out, we've gotten a couple of offers from labels and are weighing our options while still trying to make sure that everybody who has expressed any form of interest gets the chance to throw their hat in before we make any decisions. Sorry about being so vague, but it would be in bad form to name names (and we don't want to jinx anything). We're aiming for a fall release, but it's mostly out of our hands.

Oh, and the guy who produced our record? This is probably already old news, but his band just got the #1 spot on the Billboard albums chart. I'm still waiting for that to sink in, but that doesn't seem like it's going to happen anytime soon. I think our album will see the light of day before my brain processes the concept of Death Cab selling 144,000 copies of an album in one week.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Dukka dukka boop boop boop. Dukka dukka boop boop boop.

We practiced the other day and it felt good. For all living together and loving what we do, we still sometimes view band practice as an obligation. This makes sense, because sometimes it is just that, and sometimes it's anything but fun. But for the first time in a while, picking up our instruments and playing them together in our own home was an extension of hanging out.

There were two main reasons for practicing:

A. We have a show tonight at the City Museum in St. Louis. It's a benefit-type show for KDHX, the local community radio station. Basically, we haven't played in town in a while and we didn't want to suck.

B. Norm and I are currently holed up in a large white room at the Gateway Medical Research facility in St. Charles, MO being labrats and watching terrible movies. As I type this, The Mummy (starring Brendan Fraser, one of the greatest comedic voices of our time [try saying this sentence out loud without cracking up ((hint: you can't, it's completely impossible))]) is playing a little too loudly over the house speakers. Earlier we were subjected to Ladder 49 (simply terrible), Spiderman 2 (entertaining at points, but in general a bad movie), and Shade (huh?), but at least we got to see The Wedding Singer and Coming To America.


It seems like the first track we've posted from our record, "New Bones" is going over well. People have been saying nice things, and that always puts a smile on our collective faces. That song is a bit of a departure for us, but we're insanely proud of it and we're glad that other folks are into it as well. If you haven't heard it yet, you can check it on our Myspace page.

ALSO, there's a new self-indulgent article in my series about being a dude in a band on Crawdaddy magazine.

Monday, May 19, 2008

FINALLY (new song posted)

We've finally posted a new track for our new album. It's called New Bones and it's the one we did all of this crazy shit for. Check it out right here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Blow up the outside, blow up the outside, blow up the outside world.

Seventeen days, two countries, fifteen shows, two days of mixing at Alex Newport's studio, and one seventeen hour drive from New York to Edwardsville and we are home from our tour. We finished up the 6 minute album closer track and now have a completely mixed record!!!!

So here's what's going on with us:

-We are taking the summer off. We will go out again in September and do a lot of touring from then on, but for now we need to take some time to get some non-tour things together. This includes figuring out once-and-for-all the best way to get this record out.

-We are planning on starting to make some videos and starting a So Many Dynamos channel on YouTube. Watch out.

-We will probably start writing some more songs again very soon.

So we're trying as hard as we can to be active without actually being on tour. It should be pretty exciting.

ALSO, I am writing a bi-monthly column for Crawdaddy Magazine. The column is titled "Livin' the Dream" and is just about being a dude in a band.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

New York, I love you but you're bringing me down

As a result of a lack of internet access, I have to summarize our last few post-canadian dates.

MAY 5 @ Death By Audio, Brooklyn, NY - We played with Tera Melos (a band we have been unashamedly enthusiastic about) and Fang Island (a band that, for lack of a less indulgent reference reminded us of Thor Axe). Decent show, oddly messed up by some timeslot drama that involved us playing last out of 6 bands instead of third out of 6 bands. Eh, what can you do. Some things are out of your control sometimes...........

MAY 6 @ Red Door, Portsmouth, NH - The last time we played New Hampshire we weaseled our way onto the Christian rock stage at the jack-o-lantern festival in Keene, NH. This time we played a legitimate show with electro-pop folks Tiny Whales. It was rad, and Ryan from TW (former dorm-mate of mine) was more kind to us than any human being should ever be. This hospitality involves a free places to stay, one free meal, and 90 Pabst Blue Ribbons.

MAY 7 @ O'Briens, Boston, MA - We expected nothing going into this show and had an amazing show as a result. Played with Tiny Whales again, as well as Ho-Ag side project "Zoig Ma-Noig". They used a highly specific Game Boy program to generate beats. No complaints.

MAY 8 @ Pianos, Manhattan, NY - New York venues tend to do this thing where they ask the people coming into the show what band they are there to see and then pay the bands accordingly instead of splitting the door money between bands like normal people. That's all I have to say about Piano's.

MAY 9 @ Rock Star Bar, Brooklyn, NY - This show happened about 6 hours ago. Because of some form of miscommunication, we were forced to stop our set after only playing two songs. This is unfortunate, since more people came to see us tonight than any of our other New York shows. We started setting up at 10:10 PM when the promoter of the show informed me that we were going to most likely be cut off at 10:30. This was all because of the bartender, who was spiteful because of another misunderstanding (she interpreted my claim of trying to "play as many songs as possible as quickly as possible" because we knew we might be cut short as me saying we would play "as many songs as we possibly could"). Earlier in the evening, the same bartender (one of few females I've met in my life that I have no regrets referring to as a "total bitch") pre-emptively scolded me and Aaron for not tipping after we ordered PBRs. Of course, this was before we even had the opportunity to tip.

Needless to say, I tried to steal a DVD played from this bar. I failed.

I've never been so bombarded with rudeness as I was tonight. Four people drove two hours to see us (which translates to one hour per song we played) and my sister spent two hours riding public transit from far-north Manhattan to see us. I didn't know what to do, so I went into total Fugazi mode. I ran out to our van and grabbed a box of our "Flashlights" CDs. I walked around and gave a copy to everybody I could see that seemed to care about our band. A few minutes later, I only had one copy left. I was watched like a hawk by the bro-douches as I leaned over the bar, trying desperately to give the asshole bartender a copy of our cd. "I WANT YOU TO HAVE THIS CD" I yelled at her, "IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME."

In a few ways, this is the best New York show we've ever played. Tomorrow we're going to finish mixing our record at Alex Newport's studio in Brooklyn. Hey, New York; you can stall us but you will never stop us. We're not bigger than you, but we're more determined than you will ever understand. You will never crush us, no matter how many times you try.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I simply cannot stop freaking out about this.

Barrie, ON is about an hour north of Toronto. We were walking around before our show there last night and came upon a skate park. All the skaters were taking turns doing tricks on the ramp/handrail thing (proving my knowledge of skateboarding), and they were basically all showing off for each other. Perfect time to not feel creepy watching kids skate in a public park. These were the epitome of skater kids. They told us they didn't like "new music" and only listened to "skater music", and somebody claims to have spotted a Lagwagon tattoo on somebody.

Here's the weird part. One of the twenty five or so skaters said "oh shit, look over there!" There were five "emo kids" walking on the sidewalk just past the park, and all of the skaters started yelling at them, calling them fags and such. The emo kids, naturally, just walked by all sad looking. It's one thing to make fun of the emo kids, but they were yelling at them like they were a rival gang. It was brutal. I really think these kids get beat up in Barrie for being emo.

This scares the living shit out of me, especially after the "emo riots" in Mexico recently. There have always been genre-related scene drama, and I've heard stories from years before I started going to shows about the skinheads and the straight edge kids fighting and things like that. I would have NEVER in a million years thought that there would be a conflict between dudes who skateboard and dudes that wear guyliner. And in Canada?!?!?! You'd think the free health care and basically legalized marijuana would chill these guys out enough to let the kid with the My Chemical Romance hoodie and girlfriend that is too hot for him walk by unscathed.

We crossed the border this morning at about 4:30 AM and re-entered the United States of America. Time to find a Bank of America and turn our loonies and toonies into foldin' money.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

We showed them what the backs of our hands were for

"There was nobody at the show" is a phrase you hear often, usually a figurative phrase regarding an under-attended show. It varies greatly, though, when it becomes literal. We played in Hamilton, ON two days ago, and there was nobody at the show. We played to the staff and the headlining band (the very sweet An Albatross). The only glimmer of hope came in the form of groups of kids that kept wandering up to the front door of the club, but they were all there to see Silverstein play a block up and were just confused as to where the venue was.

Luckily, in some sort of proof of Newton's Third Law, we bailed on the Hamilton show after our set and headed to Guelph, ON, where we played a show in a dive bar to a handful of kids who danced and knew lyrics! There is no reason that people in middle of nowhere Canada should know the words to So Many Dynamos songs, and if we hadn't played such an awful show beforehand they probably wouldn't have; the bad show was necessary to put the earth back in balance.

We're kind of infatuated with the Toronto alternative rock station. Apparently there's a government-issue requirement for Canadian radio stations to dedicate 30 percent of their programming to Canadian music. That means that the mainstream rock station is playing Tokyo Police Club, Weakerthans, and Stars in normal rotation. It's awesome! Also heard the new Death Cab For Cutie single (the radio edit of the 8 minute song) and we're all completely into it. The new record is pretty wacky, I can't wait to see how the general public reacts.

We have to drive all night from our show in Barrie (north suburb of Toronto) to New York City, which means we'll be making a late night border crossing. I don't see how there could be any problems getting back to the country. What are they going to do? Force us to stay in Canada? That wouldn't be so bad, eh?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Oh Ontario, Oh Jennifer Jason Leigh.

I just saw a mouse. It was small and gray and adorable, and it was hauling ass to not get eaten by a cat. I was able to assist in its release, opening the door so it could scamper out. We are staying with Rajiv, a member of the Toronto band Oh No Forest Fires that we played with last night and will be playing with twice more before we leave this bizzaro country. We got across the border painlessly.

Today we play two shows, an early one in Hamilton with An Albatross (who we have always wanted to play with, but now we have to bail out before their set) and one in Guelph (which we know nothing about other than it's a "party town" and has a fun name to say. Say it with me: Guelph). All of the shows we're playing in Canada are in Ontario, are an hour apart, and were booked by a dude named Eric Warner who deserves more high fives and bro-hugs than we're able to give him. We are also going to try to hit up at least one brewery tour in Ontario.

Time to go out to the van, which we know we parked where it shouldn't be. We also know that if we get a ticket they're not going to pursue us all the way into another country for a $15 parking fine. At the same time, we could have been towed right now. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Oh, Canada

I don't think I'll ever understand why bands want to stay at hotels all the time. We're at a Holiday Inn (priceline, motherfucker) in Buffalo, NY and they don't even have a free continental breakfast! So weak. At least I can take a nice bath here.

We had a day off yesterday, so we went to Buffalo to see Tokyo Police Club and Smoosh. It was a fun show; TPC has these crazy lights that blinded the audience in tempo with their songs. The people around me were whining about it the whole time, but the diehard fans came prepared with sunglasses. It must be fun to be in a band that can play a sold out show in upstate New York to a bunch of Corey Harts.

Today we head up to Toronto. It will be the third border crossing in our touring history. They've all been relatively painless, and we're going to spend the afternoon making the arrangements to be given the least amount of shit possible at the border. I'm curious how different it's going to be since the Canadian dollar is now worth more than the US dollar. It seems like it will just kind of make everything over there seem WAY more expensive; it's one thing to spend 7 dollars on a $5 in-the-states meal when we know that Canadian currency has less purchasing power than ours. When that isn't the case (like right now), it's just going to seem like we're spending more than we should on everything since the prices we are used to haven't quite caught up to the inflation over here yet. If it seems like I know what I'm talking about, then my online Economics class has paid off!

Our show 36 hours ago with Ra Ra Riot and Little Ones in Columbus, OH was rad. We opened the show, and I talked about 6 people out of leaving after our set to stay for the other bands. At the end of the show, all 6 of them were in line at the other bands' merch tables. Success!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I like it when you (boom boom)

Ryan Allen, guitarist from Thunderbirds are Now! is a married homeowner. We used to play with TAN a bunch, but it's been about 3 years. We played together last night in Pontiac, MI (with the always-excellent Enon) and it was fun to play catch up. Nothing seems to have changed in our department in 3 years. Meanwhile, they're off getting married and buying real estate.

We're starting to settle into the tour on today, day 5. We started with two college shows in the Minneapolis area, the kind where you play on campus somewhere bands probably shouldn't be playing. Made our way over to DeKalb, IL to play a decent show at the House Cafe and catch up with our friend Bojan and 75% of the band formerly known as Troubled Hubble. Today we drive south to Columbus, OH to play with Ra Ra Riot and Little Ones. So stoked.

Last night, the bar below the venue had a very metal-looking dude serving drinks. He was about six-foot-four and probably 250 pounds, with the Scott Ian from Anthrax braided beard thing. He was blasting his music really loudly and he had that intense metalhead face on as he would headbang and look over to his friend at the bar as they mouthed the lyrics together, as metalheads seem to do. The strange part was that the music they were actually rocking out to was all modern emo: Paramore, Brand New, My Chemical Romance, etc. I'm not dogging those bands or the bartender, it just really weirded me out at 1 am last night that the visual wasn't matching the audio.

ALSO, we're currently being haunted by new-ish Metallica songs on alternative rock radio. Not the totally new, undeniably bad St. Anger stuff, but the Load and Re-Load stuff from before people could actually admit that Metallica was starting to suck. Give me fuel, give me fire. Give me that which I desire. Ooooph.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Second verse, same as the first.

Our washing machine is completely adequate, but our dryer totally sucks. It usually takes at least two rounds to get anything actually dry, and in the past few months it started doing that bouncing around thing that I thought only happened on television. When it does this, the heat vent hose gets disconnected, threatening to overheat the dryer. We remedied this partially by duct-taping the hose to the dryer and weighing it down with a box of Dancing Feet March to War CDs from when we tried to start a record label in 2004. Even so, it's hellishly loud and 15 feet away from my computer.

Why am I talking about this? Because I have a metric fuck-ton of laundry to do before we leave for tour tomorrow and I'm sure the other dudes do too. This sentences me to a few hours of miserable dryer noises today. Right now I'm cherishing the relative silence; all I can hear is my own typing and Phil Collins' Greatest Hits playing from my iTunes.

This tour snuck up on me, which tours tend to do. It should be a good one, I don't think there are any shows that have potential to totally suck. There's the aforementioned shows with Ra Ra Riot and Tera Melos that we're thrilled about. We also landed a last minute show with Enon and Thunderbirds are Now in Detroit! Here is the list of dates:

04/25 - Minneapolis, MN @ University of Minnesota (w/ One For the Team, Poison Control Center)
04/26 - Northfield, MN @ St. Olaf University (w/ One For the Team)
04/27 - DeKalb, IL @ The House Cafe (w/ Kid You'll Move Mountains, Picture Books)
04/28 - Detroit, MI @ The Pike Room (w/ Enon, Thunderbirds are Now!)
04/29 - Columbus, OH @ The Basement (w/ Ra Ra Riot, Little Ones)
05/01 - Toronto, ON @ Ukula - OVER THE TOP FEST (w/ The D'Ubervilles, Oh No Forest Fires)
05/02 - (EARLIER SHOW) Hamilton, ON @ The Casbah (w/ An Albatross)
05/02 - (LATER SHOW) Guelph, ON @ The Shadow
05/03 - Brampton, ON @ Bramalea United Church (w/ Oh No Forest Fires)
05/04 - Barrie, OH @ Foundation (w/ Oh No Forest Fires)
05/05 - Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio (w/ Tera Melos, Anamanaguchi)
05/06 - Portsmouth, NH @ The Red Door (w/ Tiny Whales)
05/07 - Boston, MA @ O'Briens (w/ Tiny Whales)
05/08 - Manhattan, NY @ Piano's (w/ These Bones)
05/09 - Brooklyn, NY @ Lost and Found (w/ Get Him Eat Him)

The only things we have to figure out are these:

-We are playing May 9 in New York and then driving back home. Griffin has to fly home for his sister's graduation, so the rest of us are taking the van home. Mapquest approximates it at 15 hours and 20 minutes, but I think we can make it in 15 hours and 18 minutes.

-We have April 30 off. We're in Columbus, OH on the 29th and Toronto on May 1. What should we do on the 30th?!

Also, I didn't know that Phil Collins covered "Can't Hurry Love". This sketches me out a little bit. I'm watching you, Mr. Gated-reverb........