Friday, October 24, 2008

mombie zansions & pooper sours.

Two crucial questions for every aspiring zombie fighter / super hero to ask one's self:

1) Would you enter a mansion and fight a bunch of flesh-eating zombies, solely for the sake of doing so?
2)
If you were given the opportunity to choose a single basic super power, which you could greatly control and use for any purpose you see fit, what super power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

sleepy rainy brain stew.

Tour is over, and we are home . . . sleepy & rainy home! Lately I've been fearing that I've slowly been transforming into a zombie on our big adventure. Maybe its our obsession over the end of the world & zombie-ism, two constantly recurring themes in the van, but I feel that my fears are possibly being slightly validated. I've had a hard time walking faster than an average of two feet per minute and holding my balance. I've been incoherently muttering sounds to strangers and friends alike as my social skills have rotted into nothing. Yesterday my big toenail that turned all blue and black from an injury just cracked in half and is now falling off. It's like when you're playing Resident Evil and reading the journals of the lab workers written as they slowly transform into festering, flesh-craving zombies, only this time it's myself transforming. Awesome! If you don't here from me in the next few weeks, consider me a worm food.

PS If anyone can recommend any awesome zombie and/or post-apocalyptic movies, books, comics etc. for the winter, please do so!

Friday, September 26, 2008

ambien, sarag, pancakes!!!

oh baby! just had my first shower in maybe three days? ...so clean!
we just finished playin a bucket-fulla-shows with our friends maps and atlases and now we're headed west.
the shows were real fun! thanks to everyone that came out and if you missed us- i'm sure we'll post recaps, analysis, and bar-graphs later.
but as for now i'm way too sleepy- cartoon zzz's floating outta my head- sleepy.
speaking of which, i got some ambien which totally helped me sleep last night but served up a healthy dose of the 'sads' today. not worth taking at all... unless you like the idea of DRIVING IN YOUR SLEEP!!!! absolutely horrifying!
and that's not the only thing you'll do in your sleep without any recollection- eat, call people, have sex? one side effect that seemed a lil on the funny side was "uncontrolled crying" but the others are reeeaaaal bad.

anyway, we've made some great friends on this trip. one great friend goes by the name of sarag. (<-typo turned funny)
sarag lives in boston and she let us sleep on her floor. i really liked her and her house-mates. they made us awesome blueberry pancakes from scratch. she wrote this for us.
cool, cool, cruel!

“My friends are playing at The Great Scott. They’re called ‘Nurses’. You’re on the guest list. You should go, and you should let them stay at your house tonight. They’re good guys.” It’s 9 o’clock on a Thursday night in Boston. I’m eating ice cream out of the carton when my friend Veronica calls me from Portland, Oregon.
I’m hesitant, but going to a free show sounds a lot better than my current Neapolitan company. I throw on my sweater and take the 10-minute bike ride to Allston from my pad in Jamaica Plain. Allston is an area of Boston infamous for being overrun by loud, party-going college students – making it a less-than-desirable place to live, but an amazing place to let loose. In addition to the social scene, entailing house shows, parties, lots of bars and music venues, thrift stores, and tattoo shops, Allston is also home to T.J. Scallywaggles House of Vegan Pizza, which I would find out later is a personal favorite of Maps and Atlases .
So, here I am, standing outside the Great Scott, non-chalantly smoking my American Spirit, as any good hipster should, wondering how I’m going to find this band, and whether or not I’m actually getting in free. A huge white van pulls up, and out steps a scraggly looking dude, who with his white and black striped shirt and bird feather-ed hair, looks something like a Native-American pirate (is that racist?). Cell phone in hand, he walks dangerously close to me.
“Are you Sarah?” he asks, while simultaneously handing me the phone, so I hear Veronica coo-ing and giggling in my ear. We exchange names, words, and cosmic vibrations until the friend gods have been pleased, so we head inside.
Nurses set-up is something to wonder at. Synthesizers, drum kit, a Rhodes piano – which lead-singer Aaron Chapman tells me is nothing to carry around since they used to have a real piano. “I was supposed to be a basketball player,” he tells me, standing shy of 5’7”, “but I shrunk like six inches from carrying the piano around.” He is not without wit. A bro standing next to me asks of the Rhodes, “What is that? It’s awesome.” Later during the set, with characteristic Bostonian good cheer, the same bro starts the mantra “Fuckin’ Nurses” as a cry of enthusiasm.
Playing after a loud, screaming, band with heavy guitar riffs – something like Incubus meets every other early nineties alternative rock band – the Nurses set feels like the mist rising off of a frozen lake after an early winter snowfall. By the end of the set, the once self-conscious and static audience is moving and vibing with the music. At one point someone throws up an inflatable beach-ball, and people start a free-form volleyball game.
Most people at the show were there to see the up and coming Chicago based band Maps and Atlases. Majority of the time, opening acts are bands that you sit through, eagerly and impatiently, half-listening, but mostly wishing that you were listening to the headlining act. The critical ear of the audience did not fall deaf to the musings of Nurses and most people seemed enthusiastically surprised that they were actually enjoying the set.
The dudes crash at my pad for the night, and in the morning we give them showers and a pancake breakfast and send them on their way to finish out the rest of their tour. In return, they give us many thanks and a copy of their new EP. I call Veronica and told her that her friends trashed my place in a drunken ego-fuelled rock star rage.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

big happs in the big apps.

I'm so sticky from this brooklyn summer heat, I could probably climb walls if I wanted. But other than having to swim through the air to fetch a glass of water across the room, New York has been great to us, and so has the tour in general. After a day of walking the streets of brooklyn for the first time in my life and getting to see old friends in their new habitats, we ended up in a Foot Clan-like version of a warehouse skatepark party / punk show. Altough the Shredder was nowhere to be seen, his influence on the youth of New York was undeniable. Oour good friend geordy showed us a great time. We had some rooftop hanging out, some first hand experiences of concrete gentrification, mid-day park lounging, shitty late-night Mexican food and pastries, an emberrassing Moby run-in, chance run-ins with old friends, and some hands-down fun. The east coast has been awesome in general. Our new friend Sarah in Boston took real good care of us and made us feel at home, and I'm sure we've got more friends yet to be made.

We've played about six or seven shows with Maps & Atlases so far around the northeast. Being around them is great. They are awesome people, and absolutely great musicians. I haven't sat out for a single live show yet of theirs through the tour, and the more I watch them the more I fall in love with what they're doing. Aside from the somewhat lazy & genre-fying terms like "prog" or "mathy" that may be thrown their way, they are so much more, and I can't wait to see them do more and more awesome things with their music and traveling. They will be touring Europe with Foals in about a week and a half.

We are in D.C. tonight, and it's so hot that I might melt at any moment. The computer is burning a hole through my crotch so I must depart, with more updates soon. Until next time.

P.S. You can see photos from the last tour at my flickr page - www.flickr.com/photos/jamsandwich/sets - with photos from this tour to come soon. See ya!

Saturday, September 13, 2008



it's beanawhile!






it's been a while since we've said anything on this blog, hasn't it?  we've been extremely busy finishing up our record, rehearsing, meeting great people, and in general being distracted by all of the great things in our lives. so distracted, in fact, that i'm now 10 years behind on sleep. james takes awesome photos all of the time, and i swear i'll put them here for anyone to see.  we have some from the last tour that i'll put up right now!
we're halfway through the pool party of a tour with maps and atlases! we've been wanting to tour with them since they were letting us sleep in their bathrooms last summer when we were homeless in their town of chicago, and now we're reunited!
we're in brooklyn right now, spending the day off on rooftops and walking around being real excited to be in such a big apple. you see, we're small town folk, and this is a real big apple to us. tomorrow we'll be in washington dc lobbying for big oil, and we're going to play a show too. here's the first installment of pictures... which are from the last tour. new ones to come!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

huzzaahhh!!!!!!!
we're back in the third dimension- aka back from teaching rock n roll camp in seattle. it was craaaaazy! john will have more on that later. 
right now i'm stoke city, usa 'cause we just got a sneak peak at our album artwork. 
i couldnt' be happier.   
we're working with our new friend aidan koch.  she's definitely one of my favorite new artists, and she's from right here in portland!  squeee-103!

speaking of aidan, there was this kid named aidan frye in gradeschool that rode the same bus as my brother ryan and i.  he was totally bad to the bone.  ryan and aidain used to get in fights on the bus and aidan would always scratch ryan's face real bad.   i'm pretty sure he's got some scars from that...aidan looked like scut farkus from a christmas story.

also!!!!!
we just played pdx pop now-  it was number one-fun fun fun!!!!
we literally drove straight from 2D camp to portland, rehearsed our set once, headed over to rotture, set up and played.  it was a crazy day but it was aaaawesome!
here's some pics n stuff.



i look super mad, but i'm just meanin it! aka gettin 2008. i got that flower ring from one of my students at the camp, she was way sweet and sang real perdy.

all of us

james

johhhhhhhhhhn

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

3, 2, 1, NOGGIN!


After 2 of the most eventful and exciting weeks I could have asked for, including tourism at the Grand Canyon (majestic!), Mount Rushmore (small! very very funny!), and so much more, we were welcomed home by all our friends in the best possible way.  We spent all of yesterday BBQ'n the best durn veggie burgers in all the land, hand prepared by John o' Inside Voices, and celebrated being True Americans by lighting off the most hilarious possible firework: The Exploding Bin Laden Noggin.  Yes, you read correctly.  A firework effigy of Mr. Infamous with skulls in his eyes and dagger in hand, and when lit, he screams for 3 seconds and then his head explodes!  Thank you, Wyoming!  
Our show at Valentines in Portland last night with Inside Voices and The Dead Trees was squbbady squeen, and it was nice to see all of our friends again.  Ready, Set, Noggin!



Friday, June 20, 2008

Yaowzers

Cool Ranch Dorritos. Check. Java Monster Energy Drink. Check. Passport and Wallet. Whoops. Losing the most crucial travel items possible fifteen minutes before tour departure is not a good way to start a trip. The inability to buy a decent spirit as any 24 year old man should able to is a pretty heavy harsh on the mellow, but I've somehow found comfort in the company of awesome people, awesome shows, and frighteningly synthetic gas station snacks. Seattle was a perfect beginning point. Aside from a show that I was pretty stoked on, we got to chill with my buddy and inspiration Ian Furgeson, who's music, art, and general presence are a huge breath of fresh air. Seattle was a lot more welcoming and appealing than any previous trip. It really is an awesome city and I can't wait to stay for a decent amount of time and explore it.

Thus far we've also played Salem, Portland, Reno, San Francisco, and Modesto, with the SF show undoubtedly being the best. Bottom of The Hill is a great venue, the familiar faces were refreshing, and the show felt genuinely awesome in general. We were lucky enough to stay in the company of my good friend Eric Eischer, who's story and influence are much the same as Ian's in Seattle. His daily delivery of Eric-style motivational text messages are some of the highlights of each day. "You are capable of anything and everything. Always believe in yourself. I do. Blessings" is just one example.

We ended up in Dolores Park the next day, lying in the grass and taking in ample amounts of sun and stray exhales of sneak-a-tokes from the park-goers. The scene was surreal, like a setting from some utopian dream. People lay freely in the grass, being young, being healthy and happy, and taking the time to simply be, and be stoked on being. There was a couple there rolling around and kissing in the grass. I wanted to tell them how beautiful they were, or maybe take a snap shot of them so as not to forget that moment of theirs, but I realized that was moment was theirs and not mine and I simply let them be. By an hour into our indulgence in the sun, John had a beard stuffed full of flowers, we were enjoying some coconut popsicles, and my good friend Kelsey from Portland had somehow managed to coincidentally cross our path in the park and join. As much as that city has changed in the last few decades, there are still heavy traces of undeniable benevolent energy that permeate that place as they likely existed in the sixties. That place is still magical.

Reno, A.K.A. Captain Unexpected. We had absolutely no clue of what to expect from the biggest little city in the world, but it somehow ended being completely awesome. My friends Alisa and Marcus who I met in London a while back made a detour on their trip to Portland and took the time to fly out to Reno and come hang out for the night and we had a blast. A friend of Jonathan's somehow managed to get us a free suite at some ridiculously lavish Reno hotel. We must have cracked up for the first twenty minutes about how ridiculous the place was, and I could never accurately describe how over the top the room was. John, Aaron, and Jonathan jumped back and forth from the two king size beds, like Tom Hanks in that trampoline scene from Big. John and Aaron put on the two robes awaiting us. I attempted to indulge in every way possible, taking a shower with not one, but two shower heads pouring down on me from two different directions, and watching the plasma screen TV placed in view across the bathroom. At one point as I was drying off, I stood there, center of the bathroom, naked in my blinding white Portland glow, staring at this place in bewilderment, and most likely must have mumbled to myself, "You gotta be fuckin' kidding me."

Back to the reality of driving countless hours in a baking van, we're on our way to Los Angeles tonight. We are super stoked on L.A. and San Diego in particular, which are, for all intensive purposes, our "home" areas. All in all, this trip has been and will most likely continue to be an amazing one. Being able to play music that I truly enjoy with some of my closest friends, and being able to play every single night for people all around is seriously an incredible opportunity in my life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Slyd & Clime

TWO WORDS: RENO, NEVADA. Who wouldda thunk that a town which is known to the world as one which contains the most inept police force that which is could be so awesome is?

The inhabiting humans brought their hospitality with a massive abundance. However this didn't come without trial and error (mostly error)!

We left Portland on June 16th around 9:00 o'clock, and our original intention was to crash at a cheap motel that John's dad comped for us in Medford, OR. We figured if we knocked some driving out of the way prior to the Reno show, we'd avoid losing insurmountable amounts of sleep and having to be rushed. Two hours into the drive, though, we realized that we left an incredibly important bag full of electronic goodies at the house in Portland.

Five minutes before this realization, our conversation went as follows: "Dude what if we forgot something? There's no way we'd turn around, that'd be such a bummer."

Wakka wakka wakka!

We then drove two hours back to Portland, picked up our abandoned utensils and made the trip back to Medford. We didn't arrive until 7 o'clock in the morning, and our check out was at 12, so we were all proprietors of notenoughsleep.com.

Our nap was short lived and was immediately followed with a 5 hour car drive to Reno, Nevada. On top of our bodies and minds being drenched in the fog of a sleepless confusion we were pretty unsure about what a show in Reno, Nevada would even be like. There was a point in my life where I imagined Reno to be completely void of any music scene.

Oh boy oberto was I wrong!

The show went awesomely awesomely well and we made a ton of new friends. It surpassed our expectations 10,000 fold and I feel proper in saying that we all can't wait to return again.

A fantastic lady (and fantastic friend of mine) by the name of Alyse helped us get this ridiculous hotel room in a nearby casino for absolutely free! I'm talkin' flat screen TV in the bathroom, huge king size beds, spa-bath, walk in double-headed shower, etc. We are forever in debt to her kindness!

Right now we're on the road to San Francisco, where we'll be playing at Bottom Of The Hill. Not too long ago we made a stop in a town called Truckee, and literally 200 yards away was the spot where the Donner Party had quite a peculiar feast. And our homies Idiot Pilot just zoomed past us! Race to the bay! Vamos vamos!

Love love love,
Jonathan M



Monday, June 16, 2008

blog
seattle/mate/portishead/awesome!

we played our first show of our west coast tour last night in seattle.
seattle is great- hung out with my brother, and met up with a bunch of pals. excellent!
we're playing a string of dates with a group called idiot pilot. they're a pretty rockin band so, we get to play to a different crowd than usual which is pretty fun!

speaking of rockin- we just got the new portishead record and its amazing! we're fully juiced on yerba mate playing it so loud in the van right now- (you see, i've got these delicate earpedals and i usually cant listen at top awesome, but this record fully warrants it.) this song ;machine gun' is so VHS. awesome- check it oot.

much more to say later, must hang out with friends. passing this off to one of the other boyzzzz.
-aaron

i've been meaning to tell a story that happened the other night, and now that i have the time, i just have to get it off my chest......
our friends Russian Circles were in town and we went to see their show. for those who don't know of them, they're a very epic instrumental metal band who have no problem filling the room with Loud. In the middle of the Loud, i noticed a man probably in his late thirties with long grey wizard hair and a long-yet-tasteful grey goatee/soul patch, calmly reading a book with his legs crossed! So I says to him, i says "What on earth could you possibly be reading?" He says to me, he says "It's a mystery!"
"A mystery?!" I ask/exclaim.
"Yes, a mystery." He was getting nervous.
"Can I see what it's called?" He had hid the book at this point, and he pulled it out, showed it to me quickly, then put it away. "The Monster Squad" he says.
"Is this the best atmosphere to read The Monster Squad?"
Then he said the best thing he could have said as a late thirties professor-type at a metal show- "I find the music to be soooooothing."
Nuff said? I think so.

-John

Friday, June 13, 2008

james, jonathon, join jorces. + tour begins today

Recently, we've been having a lot of people ask questions like "I get nervous when I get around your drummer and I forget what to say, is that normal?" and "your bass player is dreamy, but he's definitely out of my league. What should I do?" Well, dear reader, we'll introduce you to them and you can see if you hit it off....
You see, our extremely talented friends James and Jonathan have been playing with us since we moved to Portland, and boy has it been fun! James, who is a sensitive and understanding Taurus and a fantastic visual artist, is playing percussion n' things and singing with us. We met him in California but had no idea we'd meet back up in Portland. Jonathan, a sprightly young Aquarius (I think) and multi-instrumentalist, is playing bass n' things and singing. We met him in California too... eerie! They were the first people to offer us a floor to sleep on when we got here, and then, serendipity-do-da, they started playing shows with us and it was a blast. Now we're going on tour together and we couldn't be more excited.
We're playing in Salem, OR tonight and we'll be making our way around the Wild West over the next couple of weeks. Yip Yip Yoo!

John and Aaron

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

are you this person?

are you a bald man who paints giant, surreal paintings that you refer to as "goth pops?"
we just spoke a moment ago in a dream and your artwork was rad.
i couldn't pin-point our location but something told me we were in post-apocalyptic san fransisco. (i'm talking 'the sky is orange' apocalyptic.)
are you out there?
would you like to make art for my group?
thanes!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

portland june 15th

hey all our portland friends, we'd love to make our june 15th show a rompin fun time, and the nice folks at satyricon are helping us by having doin' some presale tickets for $5! follow this link!http://www. brownpapertickets. com/event/35044

a light in the attic

It's 7am, and we're both still wide awake because we drank our combined body weight in yerba mate last night while recording music. We wanted to go to sleep, but the strange bug named Ayule that lives in the attic with us insisted that we press on. He's highly critical, a bit too critical for a bug if you ask me. Nevertheless, we're debating whether or not to make Ayule a member of our band. He seems dedicated to the music, and his influence is being felt more and more every day. We don't have a camera, so this cell phone picture of Ayule will have to do for now, unflattering as it may be.
The attic we live in is quite the place, I wish you all could see it. In fact, we're going to have a new friend of ours help us take a few pictures of us while we crawl around on the floor and mess with all of the doo-dads we've brought up here with us to record- You might even get to meet Ayule!
Oh yeah, did I mention that the reason we're in the attic recording is because we're going to release a collection of homemade songs? Well that's what we're doin, sure as heck! And we're mighty excited about it. We'll be writing regularly about the experience and hopefully have some photos real soon. We also have some shows and a west coast tour happening in june. The dates are all getting filled in and are poppin' up on our myspace music profile every ten seconds, or am I just saying that so our internet profile gets tons of visits and we can start selling ads on our page to Marlboro and Applebees? You decide.

John, Aaron, and Ayule