Monday, June 15, 2009

Boarder Crossing times 5

Our first trips to both Toronto and Montreal were very pleasant. The sun was out(which from what I hear is more than whats going on back in LA), the French was flowing and we learned the hard way the Canadian Indian food wasn't the best choice before our set.

If I had to pick between the two cities it would be Toronto hands down. I'll have to blame that solely on the area we played in Montreal. The words "ghost town, alleys and depression" come to mind. There was just something off in the air and I think we'd all like to give it another chance soon. Despite the red hot sun during the day, Mother Nature did hurl some thick rain at us while trying to load into Ryan's Cousin's house to crash that night. A sleepy head on a soggy pillow case was a new experience.

The area we played at in Toronto reminded me of Downtown LA in a way. We were on a mission for some fun and after asking around for only about 10min we found it. Plesantry was in the form of a 3rd floor Apartment, kids jerkin in the streets and a caged, plastic tipped, hollowed out swisher sweet which we freed from the local 7/11. Oh and the sound guy at the venue's name was Axle and he saw Red Hot Chili Peppers play at The Viper Room in 1988. He made a very strong point to make sure each one of us knew that so I thought I'd pass that on. Ryan's Mother's Cousin's Mother had a wonderful house only about 5min away from the venue and we were able to enjoy a comfortable couch and a gourmet burger in peace.

Buffalo NY is right on the boarder being tugged between the US and Canada. It was the first really small and comfortable pub we had played on this tour and despite it's size, it felt really nice inside. We invited Blind Pilot up to jam with us on Sun Hands and I think everyone was in a great place that night. During a rough sound check we ran into a nice gentlemen by the name of Marty and his wife Susan. God bless America that people like this still exist. We had no where to stay that night until running into these two saviors. They lived about 20min east in one of the most creative houses I've seen in awhile. A breath of fresh air from the scented candles, shades of tan living rooms and flat green lawns. Marty makes a mean quiche and combined with Dave's Insanity hot sauce makes for quite the pick me up after a night of wine and great conversation. The Blind Pilot guys stayed with us as well. It was quite nice getting to knew each of them better. I remember having some great "music" dialog with Katie until like 3am, upon which we each escaped to our individual cave dwellings for some much needed rest.

Local Natives

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Straight outta DC

Second date was straight outta DC(we listened to NWA on our way from NYC and damn there is some great lines in some of those songs). I think its safe to say that the people in DC like music. We were blown away with how many people turned up to the show early to take a gamble on us before Blind Pilot. Thank you for that. We got a $10 food credit there and quickly proceeded to eat enough pita bread and hummus to fill a pregnant whale. The set itself was good overall. A few mishits here and there but fun all in all. I think we are still in the "just excited to be here period" stage.

The next day we had off so we slummed it over to the local park square for some much needed acoustic rehearsals. The center of the square housed a gigantic fountain surrounded by the who's who of downtown DC. To the left were two gritty young men giving eachother haircuts with a rusty razor. To the right was an internet tv crew that actually ended up filming and interviewing us for their fashion site. And right in the center was a man with his smelly pants rolled up, wading knee deep through the fountain waters stealing peoples wishes. I can't imagine the bad karma that comes with the coins that ended up in his pockets.

From DC our path led us to Philly. Being "way to touristy" to the area we were off to get cheesesteaks in our bellies. "You gotta go to Ginos" "No gibroni Pats is da spot" "Go screw yo mutta, Ginos is da best" "Screw my mutta? Someone told me Gino himself screwed yo mutta...go to Pats". I'm going to speak for the whole band on this one: Pats serves fatty meat on dried bread with canned mushrooms and crusty unmelted imitation provolone for $8. You can make up your own mind from there. We didn't go to the other spot. Our show that night was at a rad little bar/restuarant called JohnnyBrendas. Funny enough the last time I was in Philadelphia on business actually, this is the bar we ended up at the one night I went out. Its run by one of the nicest guys we have ever run into on tour and the microbrew/food selection is quite impressive. We finally got some much needed hang out time w/Blind Pilot whom all are great people. With no money for hotels and not a single realible friend in Philly, we had to make some new friends in hopes for some floor space to sleep on. Our oasis was owned by our new friend Dano and his two roomates. They were renting a huge art loft in the city and on top of that they left us bagels and muffins in the shitting bagels AND muffins.

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ps. a gujogillion thanks to Mel, Mrs. Mel and Mels Mother's Cousin for their hospitality. The DKNY bubbly is still lingering on my tongue:)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bowery Ballroom

Back on the road means back on the blog. Being the responsible and forward thinking young gentlemen that I am, I forgot to bring my camera out with me on our first date in NYC.

We were slotted to play Saturday night at Bowery Ballroom with our new tour friends in Blind Pilot(very much looking forward to getting to know these guys). With shows on the west coast all the way up to just weeks ago, we literally had to jump in the van and make a bee-line across the country straight to the Ballroom. This meant driving.......a ton of driving. Ryan, Matt, Taylor, Kelcey, Amanda and I all become very comfortable with Mrs. Pandora on the iphone and quickly learned the pros of caffeine.

The trip was planned out to precision. We arrived in the city a day early to ensure a good night's rest. It was raining quite hard outside upon arrival and after soaking in enough of the dampened streets I found myself alongside two proper UK gents in the local pub. We talked about music and soon after the rest of the band wondered in, we talked about pints and 3-4 shots of Jameson. It was now around 4:30pm w/dinner plans at 6pm and we were all as wet as the sidewalks outside. Lets just say we are still learning. All of us met with some great people who spoiled us at dinner and things went very well. Rule of thumb that I learned: you can't experiment with oysters without immediately chasing it with vodka. We exited the restaurant and proceeded to immediately receive not one, but two tickets from the NYPD. In our swirled state of mind, Kelcey and I thought it was more than ok to drink open beers outside on the streets. When Doughnut Joe asked me what was in the bag I told him it was Welches Grape Soda. With about 5 hours of sleep and 40hours of straight driving we were ready for our first show. These are not normal things for us.

The Bowery Ballroom is a wonderful venue. I stood on stage wondering how the hell they own this much real estate in one of the most expensive places to live in the world. The building was quite massive and must of been very old. Its experience and wisdom was shown quite brightly through its beautiful sounding walls and reverberations. I think all of us were very pleased with the set and the surroundings. Thank you to everyone in that room that took a chance on our little band. A great night all around.

Local Natives