Saturday, March 28, 2009

When I say "Sophista", you say "Funk"


5 days into this tour and we still haven't morphed into Passion Pit. People in Rochester are apparently pretty pissed about that.

Olive Garden, then Syracuse. Let's do this.

Friday, March 27, 2009


The travel plaza on I-90 by Buffallo, New York has a walkway that is built over the interstate and the entire place smells like clothes that have soiled from soaking in the washer too long before drying. We pulled over here to urinate and get coffee and swap out drivers, and this tour's rotation puts me in shotgun and Aaron in the driver's seat. Griffin has taken over my most recent spot in the far back bench seat of the van right in front of our personal belongings and the wooden wall that separates us from our gear. This is the most comfortable seat to nap in, and one obtains this coveted position in the van as a reward for finishing a driving shift.

We woke up this morning in Ann Arbor, Michigan in a giant, almost Victorian house that was probably home to a fraternity in the recent past. A fellow named Sean had invited us to stay over before our set was even finished. The conversation went like this:

Me: Thanks a lot for watching us, we have CD's and shirts and records in the back. Oh, and we need a place to stay tonight.
Him: You can stay at my place!
Me: Oh yeah?
Him: Yeah, I live in a mansion!

We're on tour with Ra Ra Riot and our new friends Cut Off Your Hands. COYH is from New Zealand, and they prove that being a sweet dude is a universal concept. The show last evening in Ann Arbor was decent. It was at a dive bar called The Blind Pig whose claim to fame is that Nirvana and Tad played there together once. The show actually sold out, but we couldn't seem to crack the audience. I did the math and if everybody who came to the show put a dime into a bucket and donated it to us, we would have made more money than what we made on merch last night. Oh well, what can you do?

Douchiest Cut Off Your Hands fan moment at the merch table last night: A woman asked their drummer Brent, "Where's Murray, your band manager?" After Brent made it apparent that he had no idea what she was talking about she continued, "oh, come on. You're from New Zealand. You HAAAAVE to love Flight of the Conchords!"

Why this is lame: Yes, she was just trying to be affable, and she just mentioned Flight of the Conchords because they're a band and they're from New Zealand and that's all she knows about bands and New Zealand. But it would be the equivalant of somebody assuming that she likes Meg White's drumming style because she's a chunky woman from the Detroit area.

Douchiest Ra Ra Riot fan moment at the merch table last night: A dude leaned all the way over all of our merch while Alexandra and Rebecca from RRR stood at the other end of the table yelling "Kayla!!! Kayla!!! Kayla!!!" After about 20 seconds of this he turned to look at me and COYH's merch girl Sarah and asked "Is that chick's name Kayla?" without specifying which girl he was referring to, to which we replied "No" to which he asked "Then what's her name?" to which we replied "Well, it's not Kayla" to which he replied "Oh man, if I don't get her name then I'll NEVER have a chance" and moped away from the table.

Why this is lame: Say, hypothetically, that he had gotten Rebecca's name right (sorry Rebecca) and leaned over to scream "REBECCA!!!" while she was busy selling merch to the giant line of people that had surrounded the table. Was he expecting her to turn towards him and lock eyes and stop what she's doing because she's just fallen madly in love? Was he thinking that maybe, just maybe, the ladies in Ra Ra Riot have just been waiting for the right intoxicated bro in a backwards baseball cap to sweep them off of their feet by yelling their name the loudest? He'll never know though, because he blew it by randomly pulling "Kayla" out of his ass. Sorry, bro.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Don't just stand there...

Gas stations are a huge part of our daily routine on tour. These daily stops provide us with much needed fuel, coffee, and snacks, but also serve as a great source of entertainment. I always seem to come home and find the only photos I took are of ridiculous things at gas stations and incredible sandwiches I ate. Aside from being funny in and of themselves, I think the absurd trinkets available at a lot of gas stations speak volumes about America. I mean, where else would someone think this stuff up and go the trouble of mass producing it. More importantly, who do they think would (unironically) buy it?
Either way, I hope you think these are as funny as I do.

Seriously, who buys these things?

For a brief ironic moment we contemplated using band money for these things.

This is the newest shirt I have seen in a line of Christian parody shirts available at gas stations. I guess they must be selling well because I've begun to see them more frequently, yet I've never actually seen someone (outside a gas station) that was wearing one.

Nobody wants your stupid Cub's merchandise.


Tonight we are in Bloomington,IN (for the first time!) for the first of 5 shows with Ra Ra Riot. Tomorrow we get to see our pal Dawn at Musica in Akron,OH. Hopefully I will get some decent photos of her cute kittens, assuming I do not get sidetracked being cute overloaded.

Monday, March 2, 2009

There were marigolds.


It's the second day of the third month of the year and it's my first post on the blog in 2009. I guess I've been neglectful. A few months ago I kind of looked ahead at what was coming, at how intense things are going to get after our album is released, and that part of me that desires an identity outside of "dude-in-a-band" started taking over.

But now I'm sitting in our friend Liz's apartment in Brooklyn with a belly full of eggs, pancakes, and coffee half-watching Lord of the Rings. We drove all night to New York from Boston, where there was a prediction of 14 inches of snow. At about 4 AM we had to pull over at a rest area because the snow was creating that sort of low budget sci-fi movie "time warp" effect where it seemed like we weren't even moving. Then there was a total white-out and we couldn't even see the road.

We're currently out on tour with Maps and Atlases and Pattern is Movement. When I heard rumors about this tour, I kind of thought "yeah right" because it's just sort of too good to be true. But it happened, and every show has been fantastic and we get to see two of the greatest bands in the universe every night.

It's also a feel-good tour because Maps and Pattern are such kindred spirits. Both bands have a similar position as us of genre-less, sub-culture-less bands with minimal buzz. The whole package has a sort of grassroots feel, and I can't help but think that the people in attendance are true believers. There's been a lot of air-drumming.

Tonight is Manhattan, tomorrow is Brooklyn, then it's DC, then it's Hoboken, then it's Holiday Inn express continental breakfast in Indianapolis, then it's home.