Last week, we got the tremendous news that we would be opening for one of our heroes, that being the band Swervedriver. It goes without saying that we...
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Well, for once, I'm not nodding off in the passenger seat, fighting T-Mobile wi-fi, or reading back issues of The New Yorker. So, here it is, back by popular demand (2 people): Tour Blog. Or, Travelblogue, if you prefer.
Well, what's happened in the 4 days since Raleigh? We've been some places, played some gigs, met some people, and ate terribly. Here's the Happy Recap:
Day 3: Athens, Ga.
Oh, Athens, we hated to leave ye. What a truly awesome night last night. Though our gig had some competition around town, we had a pretty decent turnout for the opening slot. Flicker Bar is a great spot, staffed with some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet (shout out to JoJo the bartender).
Speaking of super nice people, John Ferguson and Rob Schneider of Spaceflyte (and, of course, Apples in Stereo) are as sweet as their harmonies. They gave us some generous and effusive praise for our songs, our sound, Tom’s guitar work, and my and Lysa’s “solid block of ooze” rhythm section. More importantly, they played beautifully. Their songs kept everyone at a hush, absorbing their gift for wonderful melodies and perfect harmonies. Special guys, they.
Sounds of Ceres were mind-blowing. On a little stage in a little club, they provided enough atmosphere to fill an arena. Their dark, lush tunes…the fog machine…the lights—they transformed the club and transfixed the audience. Killer band.
We also stopped by the offices of Team Clermont, our partners in public relations. In keeping with theme of Athens, an amazingly sweet and genuine crew there. We took some pics, snagged some swag, and got our bleary-eyed selves sufficiently caffeinated via the adjacent coffee shop, the wonderful 1000 Faces.
Chillin' at Team Clermont, appreciating Steve Keene's artwork
Day 4: Nashville, Tn.
High off our Athens gig, we sacked out in a swank Days Inn and hit the road for Nashville. We got in early and made a poor food decision at Logan's Roadhouse. That, however, would be the only dud of the night.
Our partners in gigging this night at the Springwater Supper Club (home of the Dirtbags) were super cool locals Nightblonde and aave. Nightblonde opened, visibly striking in their all-white outfits and blue eye makeup, and musically engaging with their dark brand of dancey synthpop. The so-called "Shoegaze Thursday" was underway. aave closed out the show with some high-energy hard-rock tinged dreaminess.
We met up with my old friend -- and, now, new Overlake supporter -- Desiree, who put us up for the night in her lovely cat ranch. It's been a pretty good outing for meeting tour kitties thus far. We had some time to kill before heading to Memphis, so we hit The Basement and the attached record store, Grimeys -- and,.yadda yadda yadda, we left more than hour later, light in our wallets and heavy in music swag.
Tom & Penny
Look, a band photo!
Day 5: Memphis, Tn.
This is the real shit, as local bar patron, Al, would tell me at Murphy's ahead of our gig. Apparently, there's some Memphis-Nashville rivalry I was not privvy to. I got educated real quick. We talked about how much time we had in his fine, fine city. Not much, I replied. Hopefully, enough to see the Stax Museum (didn't happen) and Ardent Studios (HAPPENED!) Al, informative and lovely soul that he was, informed me that Ardent was right down the street. I would soon find out my bandmates are not quite as bonkers over Big Star as I am. Lysa, unenthused but mildly excited for me, accompanied me on the 15-minute walk to Power Pop Mecca; Tom napped in the van, no doubt also mildly excited for me. Thank You, Friends.
Big Star forever
The Murphy's show was a fun one. Old Overlake friend Jack Alberson hyped the gig tremendously for us and we had a pretty nice crowd out on a Friday night. Another old friend, Matthew Trisler, opened the show with some gritty, minimalist power pop (spirits of Ardent, eh?). He was backed by a drummer who rigged his kit to play the kick and snare with his feet and play bass at the same time. Pretty cool. Jack's band closed the night with a tight, big rock sound. Swell players, these guys, and great tunes, too. (Shout out to Dik and his mighty Gretsch kit!)
Us, Murphy's (photo: Jack Alberson)
I know the question on all your minds: Did we get BBQ? The short answer is no. Lysa and I had some vegan-y fare at this place down the road from Ardent. Heathens. SORRY, FOLKS.
Day 6: Kansas City, Mo.
After the 7+ hour drive from Memphis, we arrived right in the heart of KC's World Series hangover. The parade had been the night before, and it basically shut down the city. Schools were closed, no one went to work. If I never see a KC Royals hat on anyone again, I'll die happy. I kid (somewhat). Exceptionally cool and friendly people in that city. They deserve to enjoy their WS win, despite having to rip out my blue and orange heart in the process.
We were at recordBar that night. What a place. Good food, good beers, FANTASTIC sound. I got to experience a fully-mic'd drumkit for the first time all tour. We sounded pretty fucking great, if I do say so myself. It helped that we were flanked by some the rockinest bands we've encountered thus far. The Wet Ones opened and damn near had us adjust our setlist--but, then we realized we don't really have any punk songs. Pure punk rock savagery from those cats. They were supposed to hit Jersey City a while back, but a broken arm scuttled those plans. If you see them in your town, see them. The night closed with some gutteral hard rock from Birth Defects. From the jump, just a wall of sound firing off the stage. These guys are relentless. They are wrapping a tour right now, but if they come through, see them as well. Demented rock fury.
The Wet Ones (setup #1)
The Wet Ones (setup #2)
You wouldn't think we'd fit in with such bludgeoning, but then you'd misunderestimate our own abilities to knock some heads in our own dreamy way. Probably our best show this tour. Special thanks and shouts out to Cassandra, our lovely local host, and to her addition to our tour kitty roster, Mrs. Cubbins.
Alright, dear readers. We're right close to tonight's destination, Lincoln, Neb. I'm sure you'll hear all about this show in another week when I'm awake long enough to blog.