Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Time seems to have hit fast forward while we were having too much fun. As a band, we had just been through Colorado on our way out to meet up with Fools Gold/Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and now we were here again to play a show with them in Boulder. I felt like a fifth grade kid during the summer break. A whole season can seem like its passed in a matter of days and at any given point your not exactly sure what day it is or what the clock reads. It was a surprising and very grateful feeling to see that many of my home town friends along with most my family showed up to our Boulder show. This surprise has been consistent throughout each one of us as we crawled across the states. We have been having a lot of good times these past couple of U.S. tours and it was needed. Finding a balance between what we are trying to accomplish as a band/individual musicians and drawing on hotel walls at 5am in Portland is what my mind see-saw's over.
In reality we have been out playing in some form or another for about 3months straight now and I feel fortunate that amongst my summer break I was able to touch base and say goodbye to my first pet. I am currently sitting in my hostel bunk at 5am in the UK. We'll be here for about a week and then back home for the holidays.
Friday, November 27, 2009
I can still remember the fear of the unknown road. Ominous tales from the more seasoned musicians I knew warned that tour either caused you to quit the dream of being in a band or left you hooked for life. As we started touring it become apparent that we were of the latter breed. We became addicted to the weird bars and gas station stops and the random acts of kindness from strangers that we encountered on the road. It still shocks me how often people will answer yes to the question, “Can five doods you don’t know come over and crash on your floor tonight?” It’s the unplanned happenings that make the monotonous 6 hour/day drives seem like nothing.
Case and point: Kelcey got to talking to the woman next to him on the flight home from our first tour in the UK. Kelcey explained how he was a musician, and Diane, who was finishing a vacation by visiting Los Angeles with her mother, offered to put us up any time we were near her home in Vermont. Diane would later write to inform us that she had, as Kelcey had asked her to, checked out our music, and that the song Airplanes especially spoke to her as she had gone through a recent death of someone close to her. Three months later we are playing a show in Burlington Vermont and racking our brains to think of a friend or relative whose house we could commandeer for the night. Diane shows up at the concert and graciously offers her place, a beautiful home in the woods of Vermont with several open rooms where her children have long since vacated. The comfortable sleep space and homemade breakfast in the morning were incredibly rejuvenating to a group of exhausted people.
In the morning we said our thank you’s, took a group photo, and backed into the mud of her driveway, getting completely stuck. We tried everything to get the van unstuck and we’re at it for over an hour before the entire community began to get involved. A 70 year old woman and her grandson helped us put dry brush under the tires. In the end it took two tractors and two hours to finally pull the van free. Though it was still early by musician standards, we played an acoustic version of Airplanes for our new friends as a thank you, barely making it to our show in Montreal in time to play. But rather than frustrated, I felt completely refreshed by the experience, remembering why it is that we love the touring life.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
It was our first time as a band playing in NYC for CMJ. A similar yet not so similar SXSW festival for the east coast. We flew straight in from London and quickly had to settle into an all to perfect Brooklyn loft Matt somehow found on Craigslist for only $80/night. We were lucky enough to be asked to play six shows for CMJ. Two a day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
After a few of us had a New York argument with a number of grumpy equipment rental employees and after locking down a bruised and battered mini van to haul ourselves around in, we headed over to Fontanas for our first show. Jet lag is no excuse, but I would be lying if I said we weren't all feeling a little "out of the ordinary" when we starting playing in this basement. Overall, however it was a great little first show. I think the fact that our eyes were swelling shut and our heads were higher than a kite actually played into the overall good feeling of the whole set. A large thank you to our friends at Aquarium Drunkard for having us. That evening was our official showcase at The Mercury Lounge. We packed down some falafel and made it in time to see Patrick Watson whom Kelcey had been convincing us all to listen to for the past few weeks. He had such an amazing set! Everyone in the band were true artists and along with being a great performer Patrick was also a stand up gentlemen. Our set went over well and the sandwiches at Katz are over rated and touristy.
Friday's shows were a little bit later in the day and it was nice for all of us to enjoy eating yellow starbursts and sleeping in. We met with many of our UK friends/family at Santos for our Neon Gold/Chess Club show. The rumor was that Andrew WK of all people owned the bar and after noticing the 2-3 hundred large speakers literally covering the length of the side walls the rumors were confirmed. I think we were all a little bummed that we couldn't hang out longer with all our friends as we crammed into the van and headed to the next show right after the set. I had been emailing back and forth for some time about this next gig. It was described as a "brooklyn loft house party" and past that none of us knew that much... yet it somehow just felt like it was going to be something special from the get go. Our Mom van ravaged the rain soaked streets of back alley Brooklyn as we pulled up to our destination around 9pm I think. I want you to imagine the best and most unique loft house you've ever been to or seen and then forget about it because this loft was at least three times better than that. Somehow the 5 to 6 wonderful people who dwelled here manged to fit three stories inside the box. Each floor connected with staggering staircases lined with people. A kitchen full of veggie lasagna, waffles w/cream and a wooden swing hung with rope from the ceiling greeted us as we entered. An oak bar with a kind bartender served PBR's and red wine in the corner while good live music was filling the room and about 310 ears, which is 155 people, which is just the right amount. We met some new friends, played a loose set and Taylor randomly ran into one of his favorite artists there...which is an understatement. Thanks to Robbie and Brooklyn Vegan for letting us in. Good feelings all around.
Our first stop on Saturday was a Brooklyn Vegan show at Pianos which is also the same place where we played our first show ever in NYC. Then again, we have only played NYC twice ever, but I thought I'd mention anyways. We arrived at the venue early and started the day off with bloody mary's and good conversation. Straight after our show we had to high tail it over to Delancys for our last show of CMJ. Amidst the leaves and vines of a roof top jungle we scurried into a damp corner and put together a relatively on the fly acoustic set. Sound was being tweaked, songs were being ad libbed and we made up the set as we went. Matt managed to put together some percussion with his foot on a tambourine and his sticks playing anything in front of him. Ryan found a dead pig floating in the jungle pool while celebrating after wards.
We spent the next few days soaking in the rain, eating the sandwiches around the corner and learning the ins and outs of the L line. New York treated us all very well and across the board a memorable and significant experience. Thanks again to everyone who invited us out to play. We leave in 30min for our west coast run with White Rabbits.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Currently enjoying a delicious penne pasta with a light spinach creme sauce. Paired with a pint of Berliner Kind at our last show for this tour in Berlin.
Seeing as the below mentioned humans have literally been our eyes, ears and muscle for this expedition, I feel its not only appropriate, but necessary to expose their amazingness to the world. Not unlike two giant English Eagles riding into the apocalypse atop horses made from the steel of the Eiffel Tower, these two fine young gentlemen have entered the Local Natives family in all the right ways.
He can either be found behind the wheel of our "hell van" or in most cases twiddling his thumbs behind the sound board. In his right hand a latte and in his left an blood pudding sausage. None of us know whos holding the wheel. He sense of humor is spot on, his sound assessments are even better and he deserves his own late night talk show. Truly a good person all around. Also the only man I know that drinks hot chocolate when he needs a pick me up after driving for 6 hours.
He can be discovered inside any Travelodge that exists in the UK or pacing outside working way too hard on his blackberry. We get to where we need to be because of him. We get the things we need because of him and we get woken up every morning right as Im about to enter a wonderful dream because of him. He's on top of literally everything. We are like spoiled children around him and are truly lucky to have come across such a man. In his left hand is nothing bc he misplaced his blackberry again and in his right is a half lit American Spirit...which I think might be a little too "strong" for him.
If you have read anything remotely good(which there's been a lot) about the past four weeks on this blog then its because of these two. Thank you.
Friday, October 9, 2009
As a support band, it can take a few songs for a crowd who don’t know your music to respond, but the Glasgow kids would have gone crazy for a miniature monkey clashing a cymbal thrown out onto the stage. These were kids ready for new music. Everything is cake until halfway through the second song we hear muffled yell through our monitors; “stop f*cking playing!!” Confused, half the band decides to keep going with the song until the fire alarm kicked in, completely drowning us out. We finally relinquished as the crowd evacuated the building. They say it was the smoke machine that did it, which I think is a much better theory than someone straight hated our set and in a last ditch effort to escape misery decided to try and end the show.
Once they let everyone back inside our set time was almost up, so we finished with a couple songs and ended with Sun Hands. We invited up Nick from Marina, Alexis from Golden Silvers, and Joey from Yes Giantess for a massive ending drum jam session. So many drums on stage my ears were bleeding after the set. Needless to say that will be a repeat set closer for the rest of the tour.
I was determined to get in a solid night at Glasgow based off two reasons: 1. We had a day off following and 2. When we asked the bartender what was the recommended Scottish beer, he replied, “Whiskey.”
We ended up at the local Art School turned euro trance club in downtown. Three hours of intense communal dance moves and a few “beers” later, we were ready to go find a place to continue the celebration of Glasgow, but unfortunately had no common sense. First place we were kicked out of was Yes Giantess’ Hilton suite. Dance moves were auditioned, beds were somersaulted over, lamps overturned, and a three member Hilton employee confrontation council was at our door not to be haggled with within a half an hour. Next we tried to bring the group to our own room at the Glasgow Travel Lodge. We literally didn’t make it through the door as the desk woman was threatening angrily to call the police the moment she saw us approaching. Soggy, miserably tired and near deciding to just bum it and sleep in some cushionless couches left outside for the trash, we finally found victory at Nick and Nick’s (Marina’s rhythm section) who were at another hotel down the street. We pushed the two single beds next to each other and crammed seven people horizontally like sardines, finally closing our eyes at 7:30am. Needless, to say Glagow lived up to the infamy.
Monday, October 5, 2009
There is a little tail end on the album artwork so for sharing purposes only...
An idea is sparked somewhere in the think blob of the better known human brain. This idea soon sprouts a new think stem from which blooms a road map of new trails, rails and roads. Every once and a while we will focus and dwell, analyze and reanalyze this idea to the point of over inflation. The head throbs and swells like a belly breathing and suddenly your focal point is lost and bursts into varieties you can't recall. It's funny how this idea, this dream and this pursuit over time molds itself into an ever constant pressure to obtain what you've always wanted...and it makes you feel as if your head is going to explode.
With this atrocity in mind I headed out to Ralphs(supermarket) around the corner from our house to get some supplies. I had been really wanting to use meat in something for awhile so I knew I needed that. With the rest of the bits and chunks I tried to find elements that would apply to each one of our personalities. I could go into detail on why Taylor has foil in his head or why Kelcey has cottage cheese but I won't. White trash bags which were taped to the yellow tile floor in our upstairs bathroom. I had a pile of groceries, dirt, weeds, paint and a camera. Like a fool with a sleep mask on I proceeded to blop, drop and throw specific liquids and solids onto the flattened trash bags. For the broken skulls I supplied shattered bottles and broken melons. Cleaning the melon seeds out of my bath tub drain proved to be the longest part of the entire process. I thought a splatter logo would fit well enough with the rest of these piles created and the words were brought about with left over black paint. The layout of LN was based off the wolf poster we had.
The mouths on the back were simply my way of fucking with an image of each of us singing. I just really liked the idea of someone imaging those images when listening.
The inside poster was done by Matt. It was originally a random photo someone had taken at a party turned food fight at our previous house. All of us have always loved this image and thought it really captured the idea of "Gorilla Manor" in a nutshell. Notice how Matt is literally in mid air caught in the mayhem of flour, peanut butter, pasta, sugar, cereal and liquor.
Thats it. Hope you enjoy
Back Cover:Inside Lyrics/Info fold out:
Sunday, October 4, 2009
In many ways we are on a first awkward date with the UK. We have decided to meet solely based on pure fascination with each other. Neither of us know exactly what we are looking for and don't really care. Unsure of what to say we sip our wine and spew nothing by hot air making asses out of ourselves. We'll drink, we'll dance and maybe, just maybe not one of us, but both of us will get lucky.
just discovered animation on photoshop...
Making me queasy at the moment:
2. Space art
6. Travelodge bedding
Making me healthy at the moment:
1. Vernon Courtland Johnston
3. bad animation
4. Mark and Spencers