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!