I don’t much care for bourbon, but I like Kentucky. This was the frontier once too. You may remember hearing in history class about “the shots heard round the world” in reference to the first battle of the revolutionary war that brought independence from Great Britain to these United States we live in. Those shots rang out in a place called Lexington, Massachusetts. As the story goes, the small settlement in central Kentucky, then a part of the commonwealth of Virginia, heard of this happening and decided to name their new town Lexington. This would become Lexington, Kentucky; a city founded as this country was born. Talk about some history, right. Truly a fascinating city, I’m sure I only scratched the surface of what there is to know of this place.
We played at Al’s Bar on N Limestone st. A very straightforward kind of place, it was really jumpin on a Saturday night. Four bands shared the stage; The Middle Fork, Daymoths, I Like You, and The Butchers. It was a varied set to be sure. We drank 1$ cheap beer. a lot of it. You know how that goes. A catfish sandwich and fries provided a good base. Lexington has a very friendly and supportive music scene; people listen, applaude, and enjoy when they get to see live music. We had a fun night, and no where to be the next day. I woke up and got a maple bacon doughnut, then walked down N Limestone to check out some of the sights I could see. Really, the historic district just south of Al’s on this street is an incredible window into the past, and I learned quite a bit. Now, I’m pretty sure Kentucky is a Red state, but by the sheer number of Obama signs, and relative dearth of Romney ones, I’d peg Lexington for a blue city. It’s a really nice place, very friendly people, we’ll be back this way for sure.
Indianapolis has never been at the top of my list for places to visit. Unless you have family or friends here, I imagine it wouldn’t be on the top of yours either. But it’s not the easiest to get a show in Madison or Chicago on a Tuesday or Wednesday, so Thursday night at Indy’s Jukebox on the south side of Indianapolis was our first show of this November tour. Twelve hours on the road is long, a very long drive. We left Halloween night around 10:30, stopped for some sleep near Madison, and woke up to drive the remaining eight hours to arrive around 6:30 after the time zone added an hour. The venue wasn’t easy to find, both our navigation devices started freaking out and either showing us floating between streets or showing the street we were driving on as “road”. But find it we did, and though unusual, the place is quite fascinating.
I’ve sometimes wondered what we’re doing, driving around the country, playing shows. Who is it for? Ourselves? The audience? The venue? The answer would include all of the above I’m sure. Personally, I’ve decided I would like to use these travels to gain some insight and perspective into who we are. As a society and country. As a culture. This music thing is culture if nothing else. Our collective history is what drives that monster and in one way or another creates that culture. Indianapolis turns out to be a perfect locale to get a little taste of that collective history.
Indy’s Jukebox is a venue in an old building. I like historic architecture because it connects us to our past in a visceral way. When you are before or inside an old building you can imagine all the people that were once there, and the lives they were leading, what they cared about and believed in. I asked a couple of the locals what this building used to be; they weren’t sure. A church or a school they said. Neither one actually. Turns out it was a place called Southside Turnvereine Hall. Built before the turn of the 20th century, it was the gathering place for the South Side Turners, a German social and athletic club with a strong focus in Gymnastics. The Turners were even bodyguards for Abraham Lincoln at one point! Though I’d like to think not that fateful night at the theatre with John Wilkes Boothe. wikipedia has a lot more info at this link which is quite interesting. The building has a really cool sculpture done by Rudolph Schwarz, an Austrian stone carver, not to be confused with Rudolf Schwarz, a German architecht who worked about a decade or two later, nor with Rudolph Schwarz, an Austrian born British conductor. Whether or not you believe in actual ghosts, a place like this can lead our imaginations to conjure up whole individuals and personalities that may have inhabited it, and in some way still do.
Enough about that. If you’re into it, follow the links and educate yourself, I can’t tell it all on this here music blog. Suffice it to say I was granted an excellent opportunity here in Indianapolis to satiate my thirst for collective history and cultural underpinnings. The show was not well attended, but it was our first time here in Indy, and we had a good time nonetheless. Luke Knight and Ryan Puett formed the singer-songwriter bread for our Daymoth sandwich. Both were good, and nice people to boot. We’re headed to Bloomington tonight, so a short drive is all we have today. That makes me and my sore back happy. Until next time.
Yours Truly, O
Aside from the one really bad review we got in Atlanta last winter, which was a farce to say the least, Georgia has always been really good to us. No, they don’t have the beaches that Florida does, and perhaps not the Urban swank of St Louis or New Orleans. But Georgia is chock full of great people, and great places to play and see music. Last night was our last of 5 shows in this peachy state, and like last time, it will be on my mind until we come back around. After I write this, we’ll be headed Northwards again, with today off for driving, our first day off in over a week. Whew! Thanks again to Soul Bar in Augusta for being such a cool spot to visit again, we will be back. And East Side Lounge Atlanta; Pleasure to make your acquaintance. Lets be in touch. My little Austrian Friend; The Dirty Magazines; Sharps, Y’all rocked it hard, hope to see you next time. See that “Y’all”? I might be able to get used to this Southern speak eventually.
East Side Lounge-full album here
The time schedules have been quite a bit more rigorous this time around. It’s been difficult to find enough free moments to stop and reflect on the experiences, let alone write about them and share with all of you. I’ll just describe the average work day we have right now to give an idea. Basically it’s a ten hour day, every day. Wake up approximately 11-12 o’clock; make coffee; hydrate; attempt to eat something nutritious; a quick check of the facebook to connect with friends made night before and promote show for night to come. 12-1 o’clock: get navigation info for next destination; get gasoline; check oil; check tire pressure; get rollin. 1-6 o’clock: drive, drive, drive. 5 hours is about an average one. sometimes less, often more. 6-8 o’clock: unwind, nap if possible, stretch, make dinner of some kind. 8-9 o’clock: check in at venue; unload gear; find parking; make sure daisy is provided for since we’ll be away for a while. 9-11 o’clock: network with people at the bar; other bands, old friends, new friends, crazy “that guys”, promoters, etc. 11-12 o’clock: Play our music; not the easiest part, but the best. 12-2 o’clock: watch other bands; sell merchandise; have a few; pack up gear; load up the rig; we’re done, unless theres an afterbar, which happens frequently, but I’m not counting that part of the workday, nor the 6-8 dinner break, nor the morning coffee time. It’s great!
So… Instead of trying to tell you about each and every show we’ve played since my last post, I’m just going to put up some links to the photo albums and let the pics speak for themselves.
If every smallish town along the Atlantic coast of Florida had a music scene like Lake Worth does, we could spend weeks just touring in the area. Tuesday nights’ show was at the Speakeasy Lounge, one of several good venues in this little coastal nook. With good sound, friendly bartenders, great drink specials, a built in audience of regulars, and a 5 am closing time,what’s not to like? We played in the middle of a rock sandwich; Casey Hopkins duo opened up with an energy and guitar tone that would impress the likes of Jack White himself. After us was Montage, a trio that might be described as Art-rock, but holds a solid enough beat to bob your head to and tasty melodies to boot. As usual when we come to Lake Worth, we had a really fun night and partied down until the crickets quit and the birds started in. A day at Jupiter beach just a bit north gave us a chance to recover before our show tonight in Orlando. Let’s have some more fun! WordPress photo uploader sometimes works right. not this time apparently. Check out the full photo album from Lake Worth.
It’s been a bit more than a week out on this tour. In the past we have had so few problems and such smooth sailing that I had nearly forgotten how many challenges this kind of undertaking can pose. This trip has been a poignant reminder of those challenges so far. Perhaps it was because I didn’t knock on any wood when I said zero problems in my last post, which was the first of this Daymoths summer tour 2012. I’ll share a few of the major ones just to give an idea.
Generator starter motor failed+ AC dependent on generator+ no breeze= extremely hot and stifling nights and mornings for sleeping. Solution= none so far, no one has had the parts or expertise to fix the damn thing on the time frame we are working with, they all need two days plus however long it takes to get the part ordered. We have decided to just learn to love the sweat, and try to stay hydrated. Thankfully, it’s actually a bit cooler and comfortable down south than it was in the Midwest. A bit.
Blow out on inside dually tire+narrow shoulder on heavily used freeway=uncomfortably close to very fast moving 18 wheelers. Solution= crawl at 10 mph on remaining tire to next exit, where, by some miracle of serendipity, there is a travel stop with a tire shop, where the friendly, but somewhat hard to understand technician took care of a swap within 40 minutes for only 30 bucks. Back in action.
Long drives+lots of drumming+sleeping somewhat poorly= sore back to the max. Solution= a day off at Kort and Kristin’s in Tampa where we enjoyed the pool, the jacuzzi in a rainstorm, and an evening of vegging out in front of the TV with some pizza and a nice air conditioned bedroom to sleep in. Hallelujah! Thank you so very much for being the kind, hospitable people you are.
Anyway, these and a few other small difficulties aside, we have been having some really great shows and meeting some really great people. I finally got a new camera before our show in Tampa on Saturday, so I’ve got some pics to share, I know you all want to have the visual to accompany the literal. We played at Yeoman’s road Pub on Davis Island just south of Tampa proper. Therapeutic Chokehold opened the evening with some good old fashioned Grunge/Post-punk that reminded me of things like Fugazi and Nirvana in good ways. We played second, and were well received, the scene in Florida is really a lot better than touring musicians generally make it out to be. Benjamin Zero closed out the night with some spot on Industrial electronica that honestly would have fit better in a different venue with a better booming sound system, but was delivered with aplomb despite the lack of subs to fill out the low end most people need to dance to that kind of stuff.
We shall persevere, and we shall prevail. If the universe is testing our will to continue this venture, so be it. It’s not the first time, nor will it be the last. Every drop of sweat that pours off my brow can serve as an affirmation of commitment to continue doing this. This world of travel and music is our life, our love, our progeny. There is very little we would not do to keep making it happen. Perhaps the rest of this tour will prove problem free, perhaps not. We’re trucking on either way, and we love it. Cheers to you all at home and abroad; miss you, love you, until next time, Adieu.
Here we go again.
Welcome to the latest series in the Daymoths tour blog, where I tell you all the fascinating and enchanting tales of our life on the road with Gracie (the rig), and Daisy (the dog). We might just be a little crazy or foolhardy to be headed south right now in the middle of July; slated to arrive in sunny Florida and Georgia for what may be the hottest days of summer. It can’t get much hotter than ole Minnesota has been though, right? Ha ha, we’ll just see about that. Des Moines is almost always our first stop on this southbound loop, since really, where would one stop in between? Albert Lea? Maybe Ames, Iowa. Next time. I hear the USDA veterinary labs are charming this time of year.
We had to throw together a sort of last minute show at Vaudeville Mews, as our show at the GasLamp fell apart for whatever silly reason. Dresden Style is an eclectic mix of men, and it comes through in their music. Solid rock n roll with enough quirks to keep it interesting. Dan, the drummer, has a big driveway for Gracie, and a big backyard for Daisy. It’s always nice to enjoy the Iowa hospitality on our first day back out, as it can be a little chaotic getting everything organized and running smoothly at first. Fetal Pig was the other Iowa band that shared the bill last night. Really tight Post-punk sound that I think would be cherished in the Twin Cities, we’re gonna have to bring them up for a show when they hit the road.
A really nice rainstorm cooled things off this morning, I imagine it’s headed north, so folks in MN may get a nice respite some time today. I can already feel the water evaporating into the air, bringing the humidity back to those uncomfortable dewpoints we all know and love. This should be an interesting adventure in sweatiness. I may take to wearing nothing but a towel as I drive, though that may get a little too funny if we were to get pulled over or something. See you tonight Omaha, keep the AC cranked for us if you would be so kind.