Sunday, September 09, 2007

Falling into place

Today's show was canceled due to rain. It was an outdoors show and it was in the afternoon after we drove back from NY. No huge deal. The make-up date is next Sunday, we'll see if we can make it.

Last night, we played Hank's Saloon in Brooklyn. Scott said he didn't enjoy the show, but I actually really did. Sure, the crowd was small, and so was the place (though it lacked any NYC pretension, which I thoroughly appreciated), but for awhile people were really into it. We played two complete sets, 24 songs total (we were the ONLY band on the bill, so we exercised pretty much our entire catalog [the only songs left off that we have recorded are "Marie," "Empire Central," "Like Secrets Beneath," and "On Our Own," which shows just how far our "single" has fallen, though we didn't have the lap steel]), so you can't expect to really hold them the whole time. I think it may have been the best crowd interaction we've had in awhile. They were talking, we were talking. For the second straight night, Fritz slowdanced with a Lithuanian girl (see below). Plus, a dude came who has seen us a bunch of times (I guess he grew up with Matt?) but he works with Stephen Kellogg and Dr. Dog and Zox and Dispatch, and he said he'll try to either a) get us on a couple shows or b) a full leg, maybe. That'd be sweet. And he had really nice things to say. But we'll see about getting on those shows. That's very very tentative. Anyhow, the playing was only so-so through most of the show. If there was one aspect that I didn't like, it's how we played, particularly in the second set. The weird thing was we didn't mess up the songs we rarely play -- all the glaring mistakes were in songs we play too often to be messing up. That can't happen. Matt and I just had it out about this last week, and we both reached the conclusion that by now, we should be playing the songs nearly perfectly every time out. We practice them enough. There shouldn't be at least one mistake in every song, but right now, there is. But hey, that's what these road gigs are for -- learning and addressing our weaknesses.

SET LIST 1: Carolyn, Don't Leave Like This / Shotgun Wedding / Debts / Trouble From the Start / Loose Lips / Golden Fleece / On The Lam / You'll Be Crying Soon / Seasons / Six Hours / The Devil's Arms / Shine A Light
SET LIST 2: She's A Bright Light / Whitewashed / The Nadir / St. Anthony / Better Than This / Lightning In A Bottle / Ambivalent Farewells / We Could Be Solo Acts / It's Gonna Take Time / The Weight (cover) / Research Blvd / It's Gonna Be Alright

The tour is coming together. Over the last week, I gave up on email for the most part and started making calls. We have re-routed our tour so that we are no longer header for Chicago/Milwaukee, but now back to the east coast for the Dewey Beach Americana Festival in Delaware and then up through Pennsylvania, NY, and Ohio. It's a silly thing to do in some respects -- we are playing Nashville the night before Dewey Beach, so we'll face a nearly 14-hour drive to get there. But the opportunity fits us so well, and playing a festival will be a nice change of pace from the empty club shows that may occur. The big scores of last week in booking were confirming Norfolk, VA (near where my parents live!) and TWO shows in Rochester, NY (one this month on the way to MPMF and one next month at the end of the big tour). Today, I'm working on two Ohio shows, one en route to MPMF (which would make us leave fairly early) and one after the Rochester date in October (which would be backtracking but if the opportunity is there, then we need to take it, long drives or not).

How are we getting to these gigs, you say? Well, funny you ask. Here's the biggest story of the week: My parents bailed us out again. I didn't really want them to. If there's one person I don't like being in debt to, it's my mother. But she knows we're taking this seriously, and she is an excellent shopper for used cars. We were out of options in a hurry. We put all our eggs in the big van basket for so long that when it was obvious that our worst suspicions were true and that it wouldn't make it, no way, we were stuck. Furthermore, no one had any ideas how to solve it. We were completely and totally dumbfounded. Beyond asking other bands if we could rent their van, I didn't do much. I did not want the finding a van obligation to fall on me, and really, it didn't. My mother is pretty much giving us a van (I am forfeiting just a couple thousand, mostly in the form of no longer gettting a pre-arranged college graduation gift) and asking nothing in return. What would we do without this gesture? It may be the single biggest and nicest thing anyone has ever done for the band, surpassing when she loaned us a large amount of money to finish the last record (all of which was promptly paid back -- again, I don't like to be in debt to my parents). While I am excited about having a van for the tour, it's one more thing I have to worry about. That's why I didn't want to be the van guy. But that's how it worked out, and so be it. We owe them big now.

If you're wondering, the van isn't much different than the one Matt currently drives (meaning yes, it's a minivan, a fancy Town & Country) except three key things: it's got bucket seats in the back (which means we can show the instruments up the middle of the car and have proper leg room that we don't have now) and an extended rear, it's newer (2005, though it's made for travel and has a fair bit of mileage on it, making it a bargain), and perhaps most importantly, it has flip down TV screens and a built-in DVD player. Don't tell me that the DVDs won't play a key role when we're making long hikes like the 14-hour Nashville to Delaware drive. It's going to be good.

Now, I just have to fly down to Virginia, where the van is located, and drive it back up to Boston. Just another long drive, eh? It will get me ready for A LOT more of them.

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Anonymous mel said...

turns out one of my new co-workers is in the band the luxury, and i told him it sounded familiar, then we realized it was because i had been to your show at TT's a few weeks ago when they were on the same bill. small world! anyhow, i can't wait to see you all soon, since i'm back in the same city and all...

09 September, 2007 22:05  
Anonymous fritz said...

just to explain, glenn was talking about me dancing with vaida, a lithuanian who works with scott and tara at cheers.

a lady at hank's saloon in brooklyn was cheering loudly and yelling out positive comments after every song yelled out that she was lithuanian after hearing glenn's story of me dancing with a lithuanian. then, she got up off her seat and told me to show my moves. i gladly did.

10 September, 2007 13:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh ok cool thanks fritz for the clarification

10 September, 2007 14:50  
Anonymous glenn said...

why did that need clarification?

10 September, 2007 15:54  

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