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!