Monday, December 6, 2010

Movin' On Up

Listen blogspot, we've had some great times together. You should've known we were growing apart when I didn't tell you about the tour that started today. Now, this isn't the last time we're gonna talk, but for now I need a little space form you. If you need me I'll be over on Tumblr.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

What We've Been Up to

So here's something from left field. "Artifacts of Sound" is featured in the new video game "Power Gig : Rise of the SixString."

Check it out:

(It's like Guitar Hero, but the controller is an actual guitar)

So let's ketchup real quick...

We had a blast playing and hanging out at LOUfest. Our set was early in the day but we had a sizable and excited crowd. We got to play a few new songs, one of which included an appearance by members of The Funky Butt Brass Band. One of the brighter highlights of the day came while watching Built to Spill form the side of the stage. At one point in their set Doug Martsch dedicated a song to his mom, who was sitting right behind us.

The week following LOUfest saw our luck take a turn for the worse. While riding his bike home one evening Nathan "dynamo'd" his knee cap into a few different pieces. The doctor and his contemporaries describe these types of wounds as "B.T.S." or "Beat to S***." It was really really bad. Three months and lots of physical therapy later Nathan is back on his feet and back and we've been getting into the full swing of things. He's been a real trooper.

The building Norm & Aaron live in also houses a studio and our current practice space. We've spent a few long days demoing a few new songs with Will, the owner of the building and Aaron & Norm's landlord. It's been lots of work but has really helped us become a better group as we continue to write for a new full length.

Last month we played the inaugural Secret Sound Festival on Cherokee Street. Our show was on the first night with Jukaboz and Ad Astra Arkestra. By the time we took the stage my mind was completely blown. The downside to playing with amazing bands is sometimes they, well I wouldn't say they made us look bad, but they set the bar pretty high and prove to be a tough act to follow.

We've got some tour dates coming up next month and a show unlike any we've ever played before coming up on black Friday. We'll post more details on all that soon.

Glad we could talk and catch up.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

STL - This Saturday + Sunday!

Design by Katie Foppiano

We'll see ya'll there. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

This Day in Dynamo History

Hey friends, I know it's been a while. I had one of those reflective moments thinking about where I was a year ago today . I thought I'd share before we catch up...

We first met Harvey Danger on their "reunion tour" in 2006, an endeavor inspired by their sizable and die hard fans. We weren't quite sure what to expect, but HD fans proved themselves to be, as Stan Lee would say, true believers. They are album buyers, obscure songs requesters, completists - the kind of people who really support the artists they love. Every band should be so lucky to have even a few fans like theirs. Luckily we managed to convert a few. In fact we met one of our most ardent supporters that night at Schuba's. The tour was only 2 weeks long but it produced a lot of good times, great (fuzzy) memories, inside jokes, and embarrassing anecdotes.

After a few years of playing a scattered shows here and there they announced they were calling it a day, along with a short string of final shows. We were asked to play the only Midwest date. One of the more memorable things about the evening was Thax Douglas wrote and read poems about each group. If you've been to a well attended show in Chicago there's a good chance you've seen him before. His poem went like this

I felt it was very fitting.

This show was also Ryan's last night as a member of So Many Dynamos and/or our last show without Nathan in the band, making the evening all the more bittersweet.

So what have we been up to?

After our European tour we decided to take a little time out to catch our breath, catch up on our bills, and just take it easy. I spent the summer in Alaska and came back engaged to my girlfriend. Aaron moved in with his girlfriend and got an adorable kitty named Miso. He's been hustlin' at Mississippi Mud House. Norm moved in with his girlfriend and they took care of my cat while I was away. Soon they will have a few little furballs of joy to call their own. He did a medical study and is teaching kids to be awesome drummers at Mojo's Music in Edwardsville. Nathan made and delivered a lot of sandwiches and spent some quality time with his puppy, Tiny Lee.

We've all had time to decompress and process what's gone down over the last year and appreciated not having our lives being completely centered around the band. But now we are back in the saddle with our eyes on making another record. We've got a few new songs, one featuring my debut on keyboards. We'll be performing them at the end of this month at LouFest. We're playing the same day as Broken Social Scene and Built to Spill!

Things are looking up for us.

We'll be in touch.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

UK / Euro Tour: Mar. 8th - Mar. 14th

You know how you can wait and plan and prepare for something for a REALLY long time and within a blink of an eye it comes and goes?  That's how I'm feeling as I write this post and upload these photos. 

From the food, to the languages, to the roadways and the architecture, I know I can speak for all of us when I say our trip to Europe was surreal and filled with many moments of culture shock.  However, on the other side of things, there was a moment in Paris where I felt like we could have been in San Francisco.  We were outside the venue, and there were young people drinking and smoking and laughing and I had this realization that no matter where you are and how different places and people seem to be, there's comfort in knowing that everyone is working towards the same common goal - and that's enjoying life.

 Gent, Belgium

Belgium Chocolate Cake with Espresso       

We found this kitteh peaking over the stairs in the café.
Café Video - Gent, Belgium

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Clock Tower in Amsterdam
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

The French Countryside

Window Decal Inside of a Café - Paris, France

I was SUPER stoked to get a picture of this.  

On the Way to The Eiffel Tower

Arc de Triomphe

The Eiffel Tower

Underneath the Tower

The Courtyard Next to the Tower

Proof That We Didn't Make Any Of This Up

I feel we learned a lot on this trip; and not just about other people and different cultures, but about ourselves.  We came to many realizations during the course of the month, some that may bring forward big changes to Camp Dynamo in the near to immediate future.  (Don't worry, it's nothing bad.)  If anything, we're more excited and more inspired to do what we've always wanted to do, and that's making music that we love and that other people can enjoy.  
I'm sure we'll be chatting soon.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


We made it back to St. Louis yesterday at 7:30pm CST.  The weather is ABSOLUTELY wonderful.  St. Louis looked marvelous from the airplane yesterday.  Seeing the Arch and Busch Stadium made all of us ready for baseball season.

So, we're headed down to Austin tomorrow for SXSW.  Here are the details on our showcase.

We'll be posting more pictures from the Euro portion of the tour within the next week or so.

We're stoked to be back home!  Let's hang! 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

UK / Euro Tour: Feb. 22nd - Mar. 7th

We've been to a lot of places over the course of eighteen days.  It's weird getting in the van and driving somewhere and then waking up the next day and being in another country.  Back home, it takes eight hours to drive from St. Louis to Atlanta; while in that amount of time over here, you can drive through about three different countries.  Most of the pictures below were taken during The UK portion of our journey.    

China Town, London.

The British Museum.

 Ceiling Inside the British Museum.

London Eye.

We've tried to make food as much as possible.  We've made Dal twice now.

We made some new friends who let us stay at their seven-bedroom house out in the English countryside for four nights.  They had chickens in their backyard.  Nathan is vegan.  This is funny. 
Tour Manager, Daniel Pooley.

New Friends.

In The UK, instead of a bunch of cattle along the side of the road, they have sheep.

The Dover Cliffs, southeast coast of The UK.

I still have never seen Titanic, but I imagine it would look something like this...

This was aboard the ferry from Dover to Calais, France.

Photo by Dan Pooley. 

Today, we're leaving Amsterdam.  I'm writing this from the bar in the hotel where we played/stayed last night.  We only have three shows left of this tour and then the long journey back home will take place.  We'll be getting back to St. Louis on Monday evening and on Wednesday morning, we'll be making the thirteen hour drive down to Austin, TX for SXSW.  We'll post pictures of the Euro portion of the trip soon.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Waffles, Beer, and Chocolate.

BELGIUM RULES.  We've only been here for less than a day and the fair city of Brugge has already been too kind.  I'm writing this from a hostel in said city.  We're sharing a room with a Spanish couple.  At least I think they're Spanish.  I overheard them talking to one another and that was the assessment that I made.  I wonder how the two of them felt when they thought they had the room to themselves, and then five un-showered doods came strolling in.  Sorry to ruin the moment guys.  I can't think of anything less romantic than sharing a room with us.

Tomorrow begins the first day of our European portion of the tour.  I know I can speak for everyone when I say that I wish we could have planned more shows over here and played less in The UK, but now we know what to do for next time.

Oh, I'm not sure if we've mentioned, but we're playing SXSW this year.  We're playing at Emo's Jr. on Thursday, March 18th with our VERY BEST BUDS, Maps and Atlases.  A lot of other really great bands are playing, too.  If you plan on being in Austin that week, you should come out.  T'will be a hoot.

And like I said before, UK photo blog coming soon.  I just have to change out the batteries in Alison's camera - the one she was gracious enough to let me borrow for this trip - before I can upload anything.  

Peace Out, UK

Roughly two hours from now, we'll be taking a Ferry from Dover, UK to Calais, FR. 


Euro tour starts tomorrow in Belgium.
UK photo blog coming soon!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

So Far, Soooo Good's been a few days. We've been a bit preoccupied; basking in the lap of luxury. For the past three days we've been making curries, sleeping in individual beds, showering frequently, baking cookies, retrieving eggs from actual chickens, and watching classic Harrison Ford films projected onto our new friend (or shall I say, mate) Brent's wall. Brent lives in the most Dickensesque village we have seen so far, a part of Kent county. He's been to several of the shows, and with this crucial stay, has single-handedly boosted band moral tenfold. Thank you Brent.

The shows have been prettay, prettay, prettay, prettay, prettay, prettay...good. We played a nice early evening in-store in Kingston the other day. We were a bit concerned that we would be playing only to cynical record store clerks and large posters promoting the new Alkaline Trio record (advertised as "sounding like the old records"), but there was actually a line of people interested in hearing us play. Heartening indeed. The night before we played with our new BBFs (Best Band Friends) Tubelord and Tall Ships in Leeds, a show that we had been looking forward to for the entirety of the trip. These are two bands worth checking out (I would link their name but I'm in a hurry, so you'll just have to do the Google work yourselves). Putting on an amazing show for us was enough, but the hospitality made us feel like King Henry VIII himself. Homemade chilli, tea and biscuits, pizzas, beers, a bottle of scotch, and a floor to sleep on....thank you Leeds.

All in all, the shows have been good, but the stays have been better. The U.K. is frigid, its beers are watery, its djs are ubiquitous, and its chips and salsa aren't free at its Mexican restaurants, but its people are fantastic.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mr. Pooley

We are spending our first day off in London, eats in China Town and a trip to the British museum (a very free way to spend our afternoon). Right now, we are getting our shower on at our tour manager Dan's friend's flat (note: this blogger is not actually in the shower whilst blogging, as this is potentially dangerous). Speaking of Dan Dan the tour managing man, I'd like to share an anecdote about him, who himself is the King of anecdotes.

The venue which was the sight of our first London show provided a lift (British for elevator) for the bands, thus, simplifying the process of loading. Loading into the show was a breeze, this was no coincidence, thanks to Dan Dan the tour managing man. In fact, Dan has been such a tour-managing force on this trip that it has prompted a running joke between us (bear with me here, I realize that "band on tour inside jokes" can be painfully boring to anyone outside of the van) that Dan "tour manages the shit" out of situations. It's really a play on the absurdity of having a tour manager, which is still such a new concept to us. For instance, last night, Dan "tour managed the shit" out of finding us delicious Kebab and Falafel, a few nights before he "tour managed the shit" out of pulling a lodged earplug out of Clayton's ear with pliers, etc.

Anyway, loading out was a bit of a different story. Dan was too busy "tour managing the shit" out of something more important, and wasn't able to "tour manage the shit" out of loading our gear back into the lift. Feeling confident as men in our mid-twenties, we decided to take it upon ourselves to load the lift. Doing ANYTHING without Dan proved to be a mistake. When we reached the top floor, we were unable to open the accordion style door. We had thrown our gear into the lift willy-nilly and were paying the price, the door was jammed, and we were trapped in the elevator! Just then, Dan delivered this classic line: "You guys really have So Many Dynamoed the shit out of this situation". Eventually, with Dan's aid of course, we shifted some gear around and escaped from the lift.

To borrow a line from the PBS ad campaign: Dan, we need you now more than ever.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

UK / Euro Tour: Feb. 18th - Feb. 20

We arrived at London Gatwick Airport around 7am GMT on Wednesday. After getting about an hour of sleep on our 7 and a half hour flight, we were met and greeted by our new pal/tour manager/all-around-sweet-dude, Dan. His van, The Great Red Shark, is our means of transportation for this tour. It's been kind of different getting used to riding shotgun on the left side of the vehicle. We've definitely all made the mistake of trying to get in the van on the wrong side.

Once we left the airport, we embarked on what would be one of the longest days of our lives. We've been told that trying to power through jet-lag is the best thing you can do, and I'm glad we did. However, lack of food and lack of sleep made the whole day feel like a dream.

We spent the day running errands and picking up the amps and drums we've borrowed from Vagrant for the next month. You wouldn't believe the keyboard stand I was given to use. It seriously looks like it was developed by NASA. It's HUGE, COMPLETELY impractical, and looks like something that once belonged to Rick Wakeman. Luckily, at our first show in Glasgow - more on that in a bit - the sound guy, Dougie, sold me his old two-tier keyboard stand for a mere £15.

I'll give you one guess as to who has the worst luck in the world with vehicles...

Answer: We do.

After finishing our errands the first day, we embarked on a four hour drive to Leeds, UK, where we would stay with friends and promoters, Matty and James. On the way there, in the middle of the highway, the clutch on the Shark went out, and we were left stranded in the middle lane with cars whizzing by and no chance of getting over to the shoulder. Within four minutes of us blocking the lane and slowing traffic, a miracle occurred and man in a van pulled in front of us, hopped out, opened his back door, pulled out a tow-rope, hooked our front end to his back end, came rushing to the window and asked if our brakes still worked, and pulled us off to the shoulder. Honestly, it happened so fast, none of us could believe it.

Once we were off on the shoulder, we tried to come up with ways to express our gratitude, but nothing other than "Thank you soooo much," could be muttered in our shocked state. The man stayed only long enough to tell us that he had broken down in nearly the same spot a week before and that another motorist had plowed into him from behind. I still have NO idea what we would have done without his help.

Luckily, Dan has the UK equivalent of AAA, and after standing on the shoulder in the cold for approximately 35 minutes, we were joined by a repair van. In cases where the repair is easy, it's these guys' job to actually fix it on the side of the road. Unfortunately, that was not the case for us, and we had to be towed to a garage for the night.

Now, normally in cases where we've been towed to a garage in The States, we've had to wait until the next morning to have anyone even look at the van. But, because everyone is overly-friendly and everything is incredibly convenient in The UK, we had the van in the garage and repaired in under a half hour. It was 11:30pm.

The first show of tour was what every first show of tour usually is: rough around the edges. While setting up for sound check, we had a scare with some blown fuses and blown power adapters. Luckily, Dougie - the most helpful sound guy we've EVER had the pleasure of working with - came to the rescue again and sent Dan on his way to pick up a magical box that would provide us with the correct voltage we needed to run our American plugs into the UK outlets. (The next day we dropped £40 and purchased our own magical box.)

After the show, we drove to Sterling, Scotland and The Miniature Dinosaurs treated us with some real hospitality. Upon or arrival, we were greeted with drinks and snacks and Musical Trivial Pursuit: 90's - Present. I answered a couple of questions correctly and disappeared upstairs to catch up on LOST, while Griffin, Nathan, and Clayton stayed downstairs to hang tough.

The next morning, we awoke and stepped outside, and realized a giant castle was looming in the distance on top of a huge hill. The general consensus was, "Well, we have GOT to go see what that looks like up-close."



The view was absolutely breathtaking, and honestly, the pictures don't do it justice.

It's Saturday now and I can't believe we've only been here for four days.

More posts to follow...