Warm welcome home.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I couldn’t say it enough. We had so much fun last night, and it’s all thanks to you, the friends and family that came out last night to make it a wonderful evening. What a wonderful conclusion to our short little midwest tour. Thank you Aldine for your sweet serenades at the beginning, and Paul Engels for yours at the end. We are nothing without the people who come out to support, and that’s you. We might be some of the luckiest people in the world to have such great people supporting us. Again, Thank you.

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Dragonflys, Daymoths, Felines, and Furs. Schwervon!

Madison, Wisconsin has a new venue. The Dragonfly Lounge is a dimly lit basement room under a posh Italian restaurant on the Washington strip in Madison. It’s only been around for five months or so.  This place was swank and stylin’; the perfect spot for the awesome bill they put together for this balmy Saturday eve. We’ve done shows in Mad town before, from co-op house shows to big bars with too much room to fill. I’d say Dragonfly is the perfect addition to the city’s music scene, they’re doing it up right. We opened up the bill, and though the sweat was dripping from my brow like never before due to the sweltering Wisconsin heat, that’s rock n’ roll for you as it should be. We were followed up by Psychic Feline out of Portland, OR; a really tight and energetic post-punk trio. Schwervon! came next, a duo from Kansas City via NYC. Pretty straightforward Indie rock with superbly crafted vocal call and response arrangements, a very fun and listenable sound. Venus in Furs closed up the night with their Madison bred brand of danceable surf punk four piece awesomeness. It was an eclectic bill to be sure, but a well conceived one that flowed like proper Feng Shui. The best part of the evening; All too often the rock and punk scene is a big old sausage party with the players being so very male at a ratio of 10:1. Last night was an inspiration in that regard, the ladies represented in proper fashion this time.  Three bad-ass women bangin’ the drums in the other three acts made this chap look a bit like a sissy-boy. They all really tore it up. James Brown take note please; It’s not a man’s world anymore, the ladies bouts to melt yo’ face shreddin this scene apart.

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See all the pics from the night here.

Birthday bash @ The Crack Fox

There’s plenty of bars and venues in St Louis, but I don’t see any reason to play any other besides the Crack Fox on Olive street in downtown. This place proves that St Louis knows how to party like few other places in the country. We’ve played there perhaps a half a dozen times, and each one has been a highlight of whatever tour we were on. The people truly do make the place, and the great people we’ve grown to be friends with here make the place very, very great. It doesn’t hurt that it has a great sounding room and awesome drink specials, cool art on the walls, and a solid built in audience. Brown Bottle Fever played a couple really great fun bluesy sets later in the evening.  Happy Birthday Carrie, thank you for sharing it with us. We had a barrel of laughs and a bucket of fun as usual.

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See all the photos from the evening here.

Columbia, not Columbus

Columbia, Missouri lies about halfway between Kansas City and St Louis, which makes it a perfect stop for a little midwest tour like this one. We had played KC and St Louis several times before, but we hadn’t made it to Columbia yet.  It was about time we did. This is a relatively small college town, yet it really has a good scene for music. Our gig was at a place called The Bridge, which is a bar and venue offshoot of the Columbia Academy of Music. Very cool spot, and even though only the cheap beer was unlimited and free, it was unlimited and free. We played as a featured act of an open mic night, so there was a whole lot of musically inclined folks around for the evening. If you ever get down that way, check this place out. Friendly folks abound. See the full album of photos here.

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Mondays can be fun too.

Sunday night was the first we had to spend in a Walmart lot. Up until then we had shady luscious lawns and hospitable friends welcoming us to their homes. It’s all good though, we had to stock up on a few essentials, you know, eggs, contact solution, beer. We had already driven to Kansas City the night before, so we pretty much had the whole day to just kick it on Monday before our show at Record Bar with Maryam and Heather Thornton. We made a delicious potato scramble with bacon chunks for breakfast so we had a great base for the heavy drinking we were destined for later. Now, perhaps we got a bit carried away, not  everyone is ready to throw down like we did on a Monday, but that bar was way more lively than it would have been were we not there to bring the cheer. The other acts were very ecclectic. I could only describe Maryam as an avant-garde disco princess, and Heather Thornton did a sort of Jazzy lounge singer thing backed up by hand percussion and some sweet guitar licks.  Record Bar is really a great venue; superb sound and really excellent free pizza for touring acts.  The turnout wasn’t great, even for a Monday, but we still had a ball and played a pretty solid set considering how much we had imbibed. We would have slept later in the strip mall lot where the venue is located, but someone seemed to think we were taking up too much of the parking with our two spots, even though the humongous parking lot was less than one third full.  So we hit the road to Columbia, MO, where we are playing tonight. It’s not a very long drive, so right now we are at a rest area about an hour out; preparing the chicken and waffles that I’ve been looking forward to since leaving. Hell yeah, with gravy, and syrup, and maybe some whipped cream to top more waffles for dessert.

Some pics, more here.

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Drinkin’ in Lincoln

If Nebraska’s music scene is the subject, Omaha might be what first comes to mind, and Omaha is cool, but Lincoln is not to be ignored. The music scene here is solid, there are some really great venues and a lot of really great bands and music lovers. Over the years we have toured with one band or another, Lincoln  has always been a great stop for us. We were at Knickerbockers last night. It has a big hall and a great sound system, and although the place was far from packed, especially for a Saturday night, the people there were kind, welcoming, and best of all enthusiastic about music. We had a real solid set, after two rehearsals and three shows, it’s really coming together as a four piece, and people are loving the fullness and rockin feel, even though some miss the ethereal dreamy space we conjure as a duo. We played with two local acts: Guilty is the Bear, and Time Hammer. There is a vast world of difference between the two, but both were really enjoyable. Guilty is the Bear was a four-piece, now a three. I would describe it as fairly straightforward Indie with just a touch of alt-blues perhaps, it sometimes reminded me of Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals. Time Hammer really blew me away, these guys put on a hell of a show. Think of Beck songs delivered in the style of the Beastie Boys. Raucous, a bit raunchy, and a ton of great lively stage presence. If you ever get the chance, go to one of their shows. We went to an after party with a great driveway we could park the rig in for the night. A lovely campfire in a beautiful backyard and about twenty-five great friendly peeps kept us doing a sing-a-long and enjoying beverages until the sun was fully up. Fully up, like seven a.m. we finally hit the hay. Thanks for the good times y’all, it was really great.  Here’s a few of the pics from the evening.  I will now be making the full catalog of photos available here for your further viewing pleasure.

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Omaha sounds like OMG!

Des Moines on a Thursday was fun, but kinda tame compared to Omaha on a Friday. This town knows how to throw down, F’real yo. We played the Barley street tavern, a small but lively venue which we have been to before. We like it. Omaha has always treated us well, and last night was no exception.  We saw some old friends, and made some new ones, exactly as it should be. Chromafrost opened the evening with their three piece awesomeness. Think Pixies meets Fugazi and you might get an inkling. Nice stuff.  We played a bit too early perhaps, because the place really started filling up near the end of our set. C’est la vie. It was great fun.  Dead Wave closed the night with their debut show, which was right up my favorite alley a la Joy Division, Bauhaus, Echo and the Bunnymen, etc.  I never really did the whole goth fashion thing, but I sure love the music that comes with it..love love love it. So glad people are keeping that sound alive with new bands. Afterwards, some of us went to bed, and some went to another bar and then an afterbar. I wont tell you who did which, let’s just pretend we all did whichever you dear reader think is the right one. 🙂

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