So the blogging kinda flagged off for the back half of the tour. Sorry about that.
We’re home now after a long drive back from Richmond, Virginia. Let me play catch up real quick.
The day after the show at the Dame we drove back to Lexington and played Al’s Bar. We played a short set, followed by Dawn, and then we played like 25 more songs because the crowd just wouldn’t let us stop. Brothers Josh and Les were super kind to us.
We had the next day off so we relaxed in Louisville, eating at Lynn’s again and paying a visit to the Muhammad Ali Center where Michael bought me a tee shirt.
Tuesday we drove to Cincinnati and picked up Douglas at the bus station, and then we played at the Northside Tavern. Our last show with Dawn, sadly.
On Wednesday, Clanton and Babbie and I drove back to Lexington to pick up our lost Wurlitzer power cord. On the way back we picked up Cotton Tyler at the airport, who was playing banjo curbside when we arrived. That night we played at the Rudyard Kipling with the Town Criers. They did a really cool cover of Radiohead’s ‘Optimistic’, with their tuba player playing bass notes and humming a haunting melody line at the same time. Words fail to describe how cool this was.
On Thursday we said our goodbyes to the lovely Lawrence home (having left our mark in some small way) and made our way to Memphis. There we played at Ernestine & Hazel’s, a bar that once housed a brothel and has played backdrop to several films. Clanton’s brother Adam met us there to film the show. Before the show we watched the sunset over the Mississippi, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. Felt strange.
On Friday we drove to Birmingham to play the Upside Down Plaza with my friends’ band Every Alice on Earth. On the way we stoppped at an America’s Thrift Store in Jasper where I bought a new pair of overalls for $2.88. The show that night was probably my least favorite of the tour. Somehow everything just seemed too loud and it kinda messed with my head and I felt like I screwed up a lot. But Every Alice on Earth played an awesome set and I’m glad we got to see that.
On Saturday we sent everyone in the van to Atlanta, and Lauren, Kyle, Therese, and I drove to Montgomery to visit my sister Erin and her newborn baby James Aidan. He was so beautiful and calm. Got to see Mom and John and Alex too, which was nice. Then we drove on to Atlanta to meet the rest of the gang. There we played at the Eye Drum which was awesome. After the show we all went outside to watch a giant cardboard cityscape get burned to the ground. While it burned we played an acoustic version of ‘Explode’ and folks sang along while other folks hula hooped nearby. After the song ended, while the city fire was dying down, we wrote a new song called ‘Burn it Down Again’ which kind of took on a life of its own. We marched around the dying fire playing it over and over, and at some point Luverne became kind of possessed and we kinda lost her for a while. We got her back a little while later, unharmed. Sadly, Mike O checked out for the night shortly thereafter, taking his place along the edge of the loading dock with his head hanging off the side.
On Sunday we drove to Huntsville to play at the Flying Monkey. Brewton met us on the road and had us in stitches with his bizarre behind-the-wheel antics. Once we got to Huntsville we met up with Nick and Muffin and eventually found some food. The show that night was probably the best of the tour. It was definitely the best crowd. A lot of them already had the record and knew all the words and they danced like crazy and generally acted like fools. Brewton played extra drums along with Titus which was really fun, especially during the Beach Song. The screen for this show was the biggest of the whole tour, and they had a nice high projector platform so Toxey’s drawings were huge behind the band. Really great show all round.
After the show we dropped some of the town off at lovely Rita’s to stay the night, and then Douglas, Toxey, Georgiana, Brewton, and I all went over to Nick’s friend’s house for a very bizarre and egotastic after-party. We played guitar and drank beers, but it was really strange playing music with and for total strangers who somehow know the words of your songs better than you do. Not sure I could get used to that. Probably it was a one-time thing, which is just fine. It was really fun, though.
The next morning we had an amazing communal brunch at Rita’s, and then we drove to Nashville to play the Bongo After Hours Theatre with my old friend Molly Thomas. The show was pretty light on attendance, but it was a small room so we played really quietly (for us) and it felt very nice and musical. The folks who were there seemed really into it, so I like to think we started an 8-person viral marketing team in Nashville. We’ll see how effective they are the next time we go back there.
The next day, Tuesday, we drove to Asheville to play the Bobo Gallery, but first we took a detour through Great Smoky Mountains National Park where we went swimming in a cold mountain stream. It was an amazing experience and it felt terribly successful to have found the beautiful spot that we did. I think we all needed a little vacation thrown into the mix, and the timing was great. We got to Asheville in plenty of time, and the show that night was really well attended thanks in part to a couple writeups in the 2 local weeklies. The local acts we played with, Woody Pines and Hope & Anchor, were awesome as well and brought out a lot of folks. Hope & Anchor reminded me of an unplugged Rainer Maria. I got most of their set on video, it was so good.
The next night we played our last show of the tour, at the Nightlight in Chapel Hill. It was a pretty good show but a little anti-climactic. Afterward we drove 3 hours to Richmond to crash at a hotel for the night and cut some time off our drive back to New York the next day. Haha, yeah. The drive from Richmond to NYC should have taken about 6 hours but ended up being like 11, mostly due to traffic in DC. Blah.
Anyway, we made it! And I think we’re all eager to get out there again, which is very exciting. We’re that much closer and stronger now, I think. More of a town than ever before.