this must be the place....goin strong , yeah baby!!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Real Live Tigers // Airplane Mode @ CuCs, 7/9/14

peace out to max homie musical polyglot and seemingly permanent scene fixture Sean Padilla.  Sean is moving on to future pastures with his family on the East Coast, somehow i forget if its Virginia or North Carolina.  By my count, he was currently active in Real Live Tigers, Zest of Yore, SHMU, and his long running songwriting vehicle Cockerspaniels which was solo for many years and in recent years has a full band.  Also he was a known dude in this town for having a sweet ass van bearing the inscription "sometimes you have to fight to get a little peace" with his afroed likeness on it, and he was a great community resource for recording and posting a shit ton of shows online which would have otherwise been lost to history. Also, he really likes Guided By Voices, somehow that seems like an important detail. :)  

Scope his Youtube Channel

The dude was in the upper echelon of Austin musicians, and his departure ranks up there with that time Nick Hennies moved to upstate New York.  I feel bad for all the musicians he plays with, because he is irreplaceable as a musician, and hes the type of dude that is irreplaceable as a dude.  Those dudes are probably in for some dark months while time slowly heals the wound in their heart of not having their buddy around, but as they say "life goes on."   I love you all

Anyways, last night was his last night in town.  Hes been doing a lot of shows lately, I feel like pretty much everyone had their chance to go and see one lately.  I was a little late on the train, working nights currently.  I just went to the show last night, and things worked out for me super, because the bands where I know someone in the band were listed first but ended up playing last, so I got to catch him on stage, and also a killer Airplane Mode set.  Sean was on drums in Real Live Tigers.  They were good, Cheer Ups sounds really good up close by the stage, at least last night.  Airplane Mode

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Priests @ Mohawk 6-25-14, last summer @ Casa Olander

This band.  FUck yeah !!!  Priests is an awesome band, they are from Washington D.C..  They played my house last year, it was an 8 band bill --  Spiked Punch / Priests / Andrian and Gabe doing double drums / Drider / Triangulators / Night Court / Reverse X Rays / Hunter Jones.  Also Magia Negra was supposed to play like their 3rd show, but it barely didnt work out because the bill was overbooked and i fucked up the times that i told people when they were playing.  I think Moron Mountain was supposed to play, or did play as well?  Maybe it could have been slightly better if everyone played, but it was still yr classic 8 band house show -- my 2 bands got to play, 4 of my coworkers bands played (!), Night Court was awesome as always, and Priests fuckin slayed !!!  The space is so small, it was loud and hot and sweaty and only so many people fit.  Shout out to Indio Beer for fuckin hookin' it up and holdin' it down all summer long last summer.  Yeah motherfucker!!  A real hootenanny.  Mainly with those parties at the house last summer the idea was just to get really drunk and be in the perfect environment where that would be ok, and then when i was wasted i could go back in my room whenever i wanted and just pass out.  That was the jist of it.  I think we did 3 shows at the house last summer, I should prob try to get at least one together for fun for this summer, its almost July already.  Lately Ive been wanting to do some upper level summer shit so i feel like im not wasting my summer/life ... so far my list is I want to play D and D with my coworkers, go skating with them, go to the bar with them, record music.  I dont even count playing shows, thats fun, but I need the hard stuff -- recording sessions that go all night n stuff.  A show like tonight.  And more swimming, didnt I used to go swimming at least every couple days when it was summer?  ive hit up 3 different spots so far, Shhh beach, The Chimney Sweep, and I just hit up Barton Springs today for the first time, but thats it so far.

Anyways, Priests are incredible.  Theres like shit inside of them that they need to get out, and I'm all about that lately.  I dont even want to write about them as a band, because I feel like it would be reductive.  Im glad they exist.  They speak with a voice that really resonates to me, like it reminds me of something important in my past.  They are a hard band to want to write about because gender is pretty central to their music IMO, down to the level of who cues who when, but like me writing on the subject seems like a sure way to put a foot in my mouth.  Generalistically, the point would be that if you compared standard 4 pieces to each other, I would say who is straight and who is gay and who is male and who is female are definitely strong markers in a very complex matrix that spits out what ends up happening and how the music comes out, and its cool to see what happens when you get more towards the margins of that matrix compared with bands more reflective of the social norm. I would be really interested to read anything someone in their band wrote about the subjects, or related subjects....one time I read a like Graduate School level essay on some pop culture show written by the drummer, i think just for fun.  It was pretty amazing, even though it was a show I didnt watch !  I fucked up, I bought all their shit at the merch table pretty much, but didnt grab a free zine the singer made, which i really wanted, now i gotta try and figure it out.

i believe this is her singing in Chain and The Gang, her old band, maybe its the same drummer too?




*--------------*

Bill Baird told me something both obvious and profound today, which was that the point of a show is to win over the audience.  Its pointless to just have a show.


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Friday, June 20, 2014

2 shows: @ CuCs + White Swan, 6-11-14, 6-13-14, Snow Wite // Nu Depth // Michael Stasis // Party Plants // Jagerbumps // Airplane Mode

i started a recap of the last 2 shows Party Plants did and it became sort of arduous.  Im sure there were some good points in there, I just wanted to start over and do a blah blah blah recap. I love you all

First show, last Wednesday 6/11/14 @ Cheer Up Charlies.  The bill was Snow Wite (L.A.) // Party Plants // Jagerbumps // Nu Depth (9 pm, from Charlottesville VA, also played drums in Snow Wite).  Free show, the bands (all $ went to the touring bands) got 100 bucks from the bar, which was fair for the crowd.  It would have been nice to make something on the door for the local bands that put the show together and actually brought the people out, but I think Cheer Up's is a smart bar, the way they are positioning themselves among all the bars to have it always be free, so I dont really fault them.  They are definitely valuable to have around from a booking perspective, exactly for a show like this, and I think theyve done a really nice job with the new spot, it still feels comfortable and fun and like the same place.  

This show was interesting.  Nu Depth was great in the space.  We did a crowdsurf of him with 8 people in the audience or so.  He went all around the whole place and did some shit with a concrete brick.  it was engaging.  Jagerbumps and Party Plants both played sets that had some growing pains, but I felt like it was a really gritty show.  Its interesting being a part of the band where the band has ppl that come to the shows and have fun, but its also the shared energy between the ppl on stage and the ppl in the audience is completely integral.  We played much better Friday.  We practiced much better Wednesday afternoon than the show we played Wednesday night.  There were all kinds of circumstances involved.  Alot of ppl told us "good show", but really it wasnt.  Our band has magic in it, and unfortunately that magic doesnt manifest itself every single time we have a show.  It def didnt at this show, and it def did appear on Friday.  It would be nice to be in a band where it was magic every night.  If we went on tour we would have that, Im sure of it.  Its mostly about practicing and then sleeping and then playing, otherwise you are trying to play a mimic of yourself.  Snow Wite really brought it.  The most exciting thing that happened was when we went back to my house and drained a case of wine after the show.  Ppl in the audience can get all their haterade out, it still felt like a successful show to me based solely on the hangout afterwards.  Really thats not true, its too complicated a show to write about.  The cool thing is we are a living breathing organism.  Im writing like nothing about the other bands, the other post went pretty in depth.  Snow Wite has got "it", i love that dude.  He is very genuine, and a fun dude, and very talented.  i was playing Love You Like Limeade subconsciously on drums and guitar for days.  Hope to see him again over south by.

Second Show , Last Friday 6/13/14 @ White Swan.  The bill was Michael Stasis (L.A) // Party Plants // Airplane Mode, $3 show

I missed Airplane Mode, which felt especially shitty because Joey was at our show Wednesday.  It was because I was trying to harangue my roommates into coming to the show.  Its important to have the energy of new audience members.  We played balls out dynamite.  Sean Padilla was in the audience and he was rocking out.  It is going to be a loss to Austin when he moves away.  A very talented dude, and a nice dude, with a sharp perspective.  It was really shitty when that shit with his van getting tagged went down.  I was kinda surprised it didnt get repainted over, because I think a bunch of people were down to do so at the time or something, but i never really found out what happened with that.  Yeah, anyways we played great.  Everyone in our band knew we were gonna play good.  No monitors, small crowd, we had just played, and we hadnt practiced since then.  Its really at least 50% that we were just less underpractiiced.  Sorry to our fans on the Wednesday show, if you could read between the lines, its obvious probably that we would play better Friday, but a lot of those ppl were def Jagerbumps' crew.  Michael Stasis is a super dude and we played old guitars and went swimming and got bar-b-que twice.  I was fucking jetfueled off the Party Plants set, and I was like rocking out so hard to his music, way more than anyone else.  I just love music, if it sounds sweet, it is sweet, thats what youa re trying to achieve right, to be able to let yourself go like that?  So if you already have it why roll it back because the music is meerly good and not great.  Anways hes a swell dude, he was playing along to backing tracks.  We booked this show super last second and managed to get him like 55 bucks from the door.

I think its funny enough that there exists a perception that how we are booking shows is in any way capitalistic, that's why i bring up the money part.  It all went to touring bands.  Anytime we have done a show where we have made money, its basically gone immediately to recording.  The innerband vibe is always nicer if people arent being asked to pay out of pocket for that, so i dont really apologize for having a small band fund.  People should have $3 or $5 occasionally to see their friends bands, or bands that arent their friends that are just good bands if they are music fans.  Mostly im thinking of people so orthodox that they would find that too capitalistic or something.



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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Party Plants - Great Interplanetary Romance VIDEO

We made a video yall !  Directed and edited by the band !  Thx Courtney for letting us use your computer !

I love you all

Party Plants
Great Interplanetary Romance
Party Plants EP
Pretty All Right Records
2014

If you are inspired, grab the whole EP here.


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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

BECK !! Live @ Austin City Limits TV taping 4-28-14

hey this episode is gonna air in October, I hope I make it !! I love you all

This was a great show, they played a 19 song set list, and then they came back to redo about 5 songs for TV that they like missed a lyric or a note on or something.  I was on the front row for the whole show until the end i let this drunk girl in a hat be on the very front.  She approached me before the show to try and tell me Im tall* (*uuh, yeah i know this happens every time im at a show) and that she should be in front of me, but I shut her down and then started harmlessly flirting with her so she could be in a good mood.  I learned a valuable lesson thats kinda more a girls perspective thing, because there was definitely a moment where I should have dropped the "yeah my girlfriend blah blah blah" because instead like a gesture or 2 later she like tried to rub up against me and i just backed away so therefore it was awkward after that (i say girls perspective because id be willing to bet 98 times out of 100 this line is the "yeah my boyfriend" line, and hey the cool thing is now i understand it, yay for me.)  If only life didnt have to be so deftly navigated.  I forget how uptight your average person is.....like cant we just talk to each other and be random strangers who arent trying to bang each other ?  but its not that easy, that's not how it works, and anyways I digress because this post is about the show... the BECK show.

Ok, one thing you gotta know about Beck and one thing I learned about pro music as a commercial artform is that Beck is the Boss (like Springsteen, or Wayne Coyne) and its not about the band, its about the Man, thats what people are watching.  Just cause Im watching the other musicians thinking "the keyboard seems like a cool guy and reminds me of my friend Matt in L.A." doesn't mean that's "Where Its At" (<----beck .....="" 0-60="" 80="" a="" able="" actually="" also="" and="" are="" as="" ask="" aspect="" at="" band="" be="" because="" beck="" best="" between="" big="" buddys="" but="" can="" confounding="" could="" couple="" didnt="" diehard="" difference="" different="" do="" ediocrity.="" energy="" essentially="" ever="" experience="" experiences="" f="" fans="" far="" for="" freaked="" getting="" go="" gonna="" gonnna="" great="" have="" hes="" hey="" holy="" hose="" house="" i-love-rock-and-roll="" i="" im="" in="" into="" is="" it="" its="" just="" kinda="" know="" known="" let="" life="" like="" little="" ll="" me="" milwaukee="" mushrooms="" nbsp="" nd="" night="" nights="" not="" of="" oh="" ok="" on="" one="" or="" out="" p="" people="" play="" point.="" probably="" question:="" question="" really="" refined="" rock="" rockstar="" same="" say="" saying="" share="" shit="" show="" similar.="" small="" some="" something="" songtitle="" splat="" star="" strangers="" tell="" that="" thats="" the="" them="" then="" time="" to="" totally="" tour....="" tuesday="" up="" wake="" way="" went="" what="" whatever.="" why="" will="" with="" would="" you="" your="" yourself="">
But contrast that to playing a venue a standard deviation or 3 larger.  The crowd is gonna be made up of regular people.  Theyre not all musicians, or musicians girlfriends who are also musicians, or college radio djs or whatever.  They just like the music !!  So when Beck is playing with his band (they were a 6 piece), the other 5 guys are like the pinnicle of hired guns.  They are guys with a gig and they are getting paid and they are getting to express themselves fully in terms of their capabilities, but they are not writing music as a band, so they lack that sense of ownership, but they are all prob super chill dudes.  From watching their show I felt like I could get into a conversation with 3 of the guys in the band and feel like i had met someone super cool and that that feeling was recipricated, because I felt like I was sharing energy with them.  Why?  Well its a pretty intimate venue and I was on the front row, but besides that the main factor is that out of everyone on the front row I was probably the only musician, and I like to listen to music in a way where I am playing along with the music even tho its not my show cause of course a guy like me would imagine that.  Thats what musicians all feel when they first see a Jimi Hendrix video when they are 13 or whatever, so it would be only natural for those guys on stage to catch my vibe out of the corner of their eye, and since unlike in Milwaukee where everyone is on the same page, everyone else is having a good time but is basically a layperson, there is gonna naturally be a focus on the only dude who is a musician's vibe.   And that is quite dangerous because if they dose out and get into it with me, we might get lucky (totally random) on some changes, but I dont know the music so I am probably going to give them a number of bad cues and fuck them up.  So thats kinda ironic isnt it?  So thats my question to Beck, who is The Boss, because he did some professional shit by asserting his dominance in a weird way that would to a layman seem like a rock star and to a lower level musician seem like an ego trip like the classic "oh why does this guy....etcetc" but I wonder what a rockstar acts like, because how cool is it to fuck up your buddy's show, or to not make it about him, when the making it about him is what ties it together.  And ultimately when you have musicians that good (def including Beck, who wrote the shit, and his new material is great btw, even tho its slower tempo) its mega worth checking out what they come up with even if its mainly one guys shit and the other guys are just guys getting paid (((as opposed to a band where the band members are contributing more equally, or maybe not that so much, as that they are more vested in the compositional process  <---main 150="" a="" able="" about.="" actually="" all="" and="" at="" band="" be="" been="" biggest="" combine="" crowd="" doesnt="" escapes="" even="" exist="" for="" get="" grail="" had="" has="" have="" holy="" huge="" i="" im="" in="" is="" ive="" level="" like="" max="" megaparentheticals="" more="" musicians="" nbsp="" of="" on="" p="" point="" ppl="" pretty="" quite="" rock="" roll="" seen="" shit="" show="" shy="" situation="" so="" sure="" talking="" than="" that="" the="" think="" those="" to="" ultimately="" ut="" was="" we="" what="" where="" which="" with="" you="">
OK THIS HAS BEEN A SWEET RAMBLE !!  I have nothing to say about the show, watch the video when it comes out, seriously its fucking sick.  Becks material is sick, I love seeing such an advanced musician.  Actually, OK, I have critiques....i guess i should spill the beans while I remember the show.  The bass player was super sick and doing some sick ass shit.  I liked where the chord went from major to minor on the same chord and he played the root--5th and then root an octave higher.  He was doing some really incredible shit just getting around the neck, it was very smooth, never harsh.  I thought his Gibson bass (some weird super rare 70s model) sounded the best thru his amps, but for playability I noticed when he was playing the more light blue surfer one, I think it was actually a Jaguar bass.  I couldnt figure out if the amps were daisy chained, or if one was a backup amp, he had an Ampeg and an Acoustic Rig.  I laughed to myself because he could have gotten the sound I wanted him to have out of my bass rig HAHAHAHA (Sunn 2000S thru 2x15).  The EQing could have been a little better IMO, that room sounds incredible, gotta give The Black Angels credit for how they actually sounded sonically for their set there, the only other show ive seen there) so it still sounded good, but I would have liked to have a good ol fashioned tweak at it.  Beck should have used his Fuzz Pedal more, he used it like 2 times the whole show, and that was really an energy and volume that I thought was essential and underplayed and should have been more tapped into.  It sounded like Cherry Glazarr.  The guy on the bolo tie is pure gold.  I feel like there should have been a pedal steel in the show, with all the other shit they had going on.  The Hohner Clavichord should have had more high end, and "Where Its At" (the encore) IMHO should have been played faster.  It seemed that they had the slower tempo of the other material in their head, which I totally understand.  I also feel like they didnt peak out on that song like they should have because of the showbusiness aspect where the show had to be about Beck, because that show starts with the Keyboard, but the keyboard player wasnt allowed to get funky with it in a way that would attract attention to him.  Commercial Concerns IMO.  Maybe Beck should have gotten up there and played the riff to start the song or something, and then come down later and done the part where he is just straight up rapping.  Oh yeah, there were hints of Neil Young, serious ones, but also pretty subtle.  The boom boom -chick beat on the one with the banjo, and on that "never never never never never never blah blah" song there is a sweet Em7 chord.  Not saying Neil Young owns that chord but I did lean over to the guy next to me after that and say "Sweet Neil Young chord," so there is that.  Thats all the really pertinent stuff I can remember.  It would have been cool to have a little more faster material....it was cool the way they were pimping the new album....it was definitely a promotional show in that regard, and everything they played off that album was super sick (the one where they play in 3 for a while and then go back, I really loved how that worked, there is like a dropped measure in there, but I really felt like one could follow the music, like if you focused on the melody it would all make sense and the momentum wasn't harsh at all, therefore since it was so weird, it was really awesome).  but at  one point Beck was like "were getting the slower material out of the way now" but then they went on still really fucking long with that, like most the show was slow material it felt like.

Ultimately it was really fucking badass.  Im the tall dude on the front row in the Sleep Good shirt, which is a hammerhead shark with some diamonds on it, V neck style.  Hope i make TV, hi mom and dad!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Party Plants // Shiny Voyage // Jagerbumps (first show) @ Scoot Inn 4-9-14

yo.

I have to skip a lot of the drama that went on with this show, because i want to follow my own rule of "rock and roll cool" which is that the cool thing to do is to cover someone elses faux pas so that we can all have a good time.  There was some things that happened at this show that made me feel really low.  To speak in vague generalities, I will only say that when ppl play shows, if they are doing it right, what happens is they are bearing their soul.  George Harrison slyly said it best, i dont think i could find the interview, but basically he pointed out that people aren't their corporeal beings, which is what its standard to mistake them for, what people really are are souls.  Everyone gets pent up from, well you know how it is, you're a human who ever is reading this, going to work, monotony, responsibilities, running out of money, trying to sign up for health care, etc.  Getting caught under the gears of life.  Whenever I play a show, especially whenever the band I'm playing in is good, which is def the case with Party Plants right now, by the end of the show i am very exposed emotionally.  Its just naturally what happens.  And I am a very emotional person, and Ive been accused in the past of always being in a hurry, or being uptight, and you know what, theres some time in my past where I was super uptight, and to the point where I couldn't even have regular interactions with other people, so if anyone is reading this that feels the same way or ever has, solidare!  The release of emotion that happens to me at a show is kinda sacred, or at the least, essential to my being, and I dont think Im alone in that, I think thats universal for anyone who gets seriously involved in doing music or art or really any creative pursuit i guess, the whole having an outlet thing.  At the end of a night when I have played a show, its like being in a wave in the ocean like I am forced to accept not being in control, and thats also a solid metaphor for life, because, really if we end up in a WWIII scenario or something, or theres an earthquake, I mean, its worth taking a cue from Alcoholics Anonymous that there is a higher power than us.  Shit happens way outside of our control.  And that's why I'm comfortable putting myself thru a itinerary (playing a show) where the end result is I'm not going to be completely in control, because that's more true to life than thinking you can control everything.  So that's what my rant has crystallized into, I think it obliquely captures the essence of why I think its important not to harsh anyones mellow, especially right after they played a show --- because it isnt a corporeal thing you are fucking with, its a soul.

UMM....ok so the show itself.  Jagerbumps played first, they went on at 10:20, and holy shit, i did a headcount there were EIGHTY PEOPLE there.  For a 3 band local bill on a fucking Wednesday night.  Chris Smith brought out a shit ton of people.  I was too scared to be up front for their set because I thought I would in some way get pancaked, or something would happen.  Jager bumps is a 6 piece --- 3 guitars, 2 members of Basketball Shorts, playing instruments they dont play in that band,  Casey on bass and Ben on drums, and then Chris singing and just generally being a badass frontman.  I liked some of the genre fills Ben was doing, it gave the band the right flavor.  I didnt realize hes a badass drummer, he had a beat like he has a kit set up in his house he can practice on or something.  Yeah so 3 guitars, super loud, and .  My favorite part was the alternating guitar intro on the last song ("who you gonna fuck tonight? / nobody! nobody!")  Chris Smith had good menace and just a good loosing your shit look and was a great frontman.  He knows how to rock out from his Dark Meat days, probably before that, but as a guy whose seen a lot of bands, I definitely felt like I was watching a guy with pro level experience, thats a good vibe for their band.  Him and me were kinda going at it during the Party Plants set, I tried to lock him in the bathroom by dragging a big ass monitor or subwoofer or something in front of the door.  Oh yeah, the soundguy was a super chill dude, he totally thought it was funny and just put the thing back where it went and I went back on stage, and Chris didnt ever see any of it happen, b/c he was in the bathroom, and then I talked a little shit from on stage and hopefully he knew it was a joke too and I wasnt trying to hurt his feelings because he's one of my FUCKIN BESTIES.

The Shiny Voyage set in the middle was cool, they have new songs.  A lot of their set was instrumental, which I didn't remember from the last show we did with them at Willard's house.  They had some songs that utilized the very highest part of the guitar neck, and also they are doing a thing with an octaver pedal because they play 2 guitars (and a drum kit) but sometimes they make one of the guitars play a bass line.  Someone remarked that they raised their game ---  personally I remember them being really fucking good at Willard's too, that's why we wanted to do this show with them, but this show was tight as well.  They are a hard band to compare to anyone...they had a couple songs that used acoustic guitar that was cool.  I was talking with Tessa from that band about Broken Water, I'll bet thats a band they would like, also a 3 piece, but not really that similar in sound to what they are doing.  I was just saying I feel like the grunge sound is coming back in vogue or something (even tho Broken Water has been around for a while).

Our set was good.  We didnt need to play all of our songs, I think we went on around 12:20, 12:30.  Its cool just the different vibe of the 3 band bill, I think people appreciate going to such a show, just to mix it up.  I actually like that all the shows at Trailer Space are 3 band bills (mostly, I think).  If it had been a 4 band bill I would have felt like the urge to rush the other bands, but for a show that "starts at 10" if people are still showing up, and the bands set is 25 minutes, whats wrong with not starting until 10:20?  Some bars will be adamant that you start by 10:10 at the very latest.  But just in terms of how the night goes....

More on our set that I can remember, not much in particular, i remember really rocking out, viscerally, physically convulsing while playing the bass.  I thought of P-Bo, aka Patrick Boseman the bass player from Quiet Hooves.  Something about the bass, i think its cause its less technical in the sense that you only have to play 1 note, but it really lends itself to going nuts with your entire body.  I did some singing too which I normally don't do.  We didn't play Electric Bill, which was nice, actually I dont like to sing on that one anymore because i think it slows the beat down, takes the other singers out of the moment.  I think i sang harmonies on songs that it was like brand new harmonies.  Chris was upping his pedal usage pretty significantly.  I rolled off a lot of the high end from the bass on the EQ on the amp after playing a few shows with Naked Pictures over sxsw (Louis uses a J-Bass, mine is a P-bass style, thats what most ppl play on IMO), but I think i found a spot where I added back just a little of high end in a particular place, and it was doing good.  Finding that sound tweaking it.  I think we sounded EXCELLENT at the Chain Drive show, we had a show the night before that was fun, but as far as playing in top form, it was cool the way it was a warm up show for the Chain Drive show.  Also I got a girl now, and I met her at that show, thats tight.  She didnt actually see us play, she got there right after.....wished she could have been at the show tonight, prob would have made it a lot more fun of a show for me (not that it wasnt already hella fun), but the audience people are like a seed bank buried deep underground, they are really the holders of the vibe keeping everything cool.


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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Austin Pickers

TOWNES:
I love you all

JERRY JEFF:


CLASSIC JERRY JEFF:

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Monday, March 31, 2014

What's Up @ Treasure City SXSW 2009 -- proto escapes "coffee + grilled cheese"

This band was from Sacramento, or Portland or S.F. or something, wonder what ever happened to them.

I love you all

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Friday, March 28, 2014

How Party Plants did for SXSW 2014

uuh, we kicked ass duh.   I love you all

Our schedule:

SHOW 1.  Previous saturday, a show at Swan Dive .... backlined we played to about 70 ppl.  we played at 8 or 9 PM and the Goodhearts played after us.  It would be nice to do another show with them, they were good and we liked them.  Definitely the juices were flowing, it felt especially good as a first show, but our approach to it was more like just playing a local show in the sense that we were playing for a new crowd in a new venue and we have really been trying to play around town.

SHOW 2.  Tuesday night 11:30 @ Club 1808.  I was pretty worn down by the time of this set, having already run over 20 bands that day, and couldnt play my parts perfect but we gutted thru it.  Lots of guts.  Guts everywhere.  Take it to the limit.

SHOW 3.  Wednesday morning -- Burger Records thing @ Trailer Space.  We played at 11:30 in the morning.  We played a clean set.  I thought we sounded raw as fuck, like as in that would be a selling point, especially to someone interested in bands as a long term nurtured growth type scenario.  I like being in a band that sounds raw.  There were already people there, ready to drink and to party.

SHOW 4.  Thursday @ Sammi and Burgers' House.  This was a sick house show, we played around 3 PM.  I got there early to set the PA up and stayed til the end of the show to take the PA down.  There was a secret path down to jack in the box, and i took many urinations nearby.  This show was outside.  We played a lot of material that we hadnt played at any of the shows up until that point, and were kinda going in blind as far as we didnt have a dedicated practice to remembering how they went or anything.  I think we really won over the crowd, like they could tell something cool was going on, and being ppl in bands they are naturally supportive of looking at certain processes in a particular light, but it was our first open air show and I think the guitars could have been a little louder.  Its hard to tell from where you are standing sometimes.  I felt like I was overplaying on the bass a little, but all and all this was a great show, in terms of the ppl who saw us and liked us and also in terms of getting experience playing outside the first time.

SHOW 5.  Thursday Night @ Willard's House.  This was the best set we played, by a mile.  If we could perform at that level for all the shows we will have cracked some kind of code.  That house has good vibes for us and also for me.....in different bands i may have played there 5 times by now!  That was Party Plants' 2nd or 3rd time.  Our set was follwed by killer sets from Cloud Becomes Your Hand and Killer Bob and also they had a friends band play who killed it.

SHOW 6.  Friday @ Julian's parents house, aka Burger Pool Party.  This show was dank.  I thought we played well, I dont particularly remember playing anything out of the ordinary, and so it must have had some momentum.  It was the right time of day for us to play.  I think we took a second shot at a couple songs we had done from our "B" set. Our alt fakey kickslider.

SHOW 7.  Saturday night @ Up Collective.  We actually had a show at Club 1808 that day that we dropped off because the show was running late and we were getting burnt out, but we prob should have taken it because some ppl would have gotten to see us that in hindsight, I was like assuming they would have seen us at some point, but they didnt and this would have been the show where they did.  But we were still playing that night.  We were slotted for like 11 or 12 and ended up going on at 2.  The party went til 6.  Advaeta's set was transcendent.  Carol Ann wore something that I didnt know was in her closet.  I think it was a good show, ppl really freaked out for Big Bill.  We pushed ourselves pretty late in the bill, I think its a sign of respect, or a way of peacing yourself to book yourself to play late and to do a show for less people, not only just so the other bands can play to ppl, but beacuse thats a time when ppl are more bondy.  Mercer used to do this all the time, probably still does, but I used to love seeing bubbly mommy gun at 4 am, that was like their favorite time to play.

We got a shit ton of nice offers for April and May, so I guess some good came out of it, or we are now on ppls radars or something

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Rock and Roll Cool

yall may have heard about "rock and roll cool", i wanted to write a little ode to it.  Rock and Roll Cool is probably one of the most important philosophical points of rock and roll.  Not cool like Obama is gonna keep his blackberry to keep from getting stuck in the bubble gutter, real rock and roll cool, like the Ramones, or the Beets, or Lou Reed.  NYC has always had the market on rock and roll cool a little more firmly gripped by the balls than the rest of the country.  I think just because how it is there.  If you sound like you are going thru your personal journey, and you are at an earlier stop, ppl just tune out.

One enemy of rock and roll cool is the vibe rollercoaster.  You feel real great like you played some cool shows or whatever, and then there is an emotional drained period before you build yourself back up again, potentially fraught with self-doubt and lack of perspective.  This is the perfect time to send some emails where you dont say what you are trying to say, or at least you are gonna send something counter productive.  Being cool in all circumstances regardless of position in the vibe rollercoaster is an indication that you are getting there.  Smoothing out those rough edges.  Resistance against the dark arts.

My advice for rock and roll cool --- dont ever get mad at ppl except your bandmates in private.  someones gotta hold the line, actually its best if you can pawn this responsibility off on another bandmate so then you dont have to deal with it and you can save your vibe capitol for doing shit you wanna do rather than keeping your bandmates from fucking up, but if thats not possible sometimes someone has to be the field general.  Obviously good ol fashioned butt chewings should be used as sparingly as possible, that is not rock and roll cool at all and it can easily lead to built up bad vibes, which is your enemy.  But definitely dont get mad at bands if they cancel off your shit.  Save that existential why for another day.  That's what its all about right, the existential why?  Its understood.  Oh yeah dont bring up stuff thats understood.  If I see a girl and her band just played, personally I like to tell her good show, but not with the first comment and also its kinda a joke, bc ppl never tell each other good show, its just a convention that its better to get the conversation going rather than start in on anything mechanical.  

Rock and Roll cool exists because the energy of the music is a real thing.  Existing simultaniously to commercial considerations, music has the ability to bring out peoples souls a little bit and get people a little closer to each other on a real level.  Thats whats up.  So if you wanna be cool, remember flash photography and video recording devices kill the vibe, just get in the moment and get on board with whats goin down.

Thus sayeth my ode.  Also, there was a reason why Nirvana and everyone liked Neil Young so much, that dude is a badass.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

ESCAPES 2014 // SXSW RECAP pt 1, preface

Yo. I love you all

I like to do a recap every year on what went down, mainly so I can remember exactly what happened and save it for posterity, since its all such a blur, but also for other people interested in what is going on with this weirdo rock thing and sharing perspectives, but I think I am going to do it a bit differently this time.  SXSW is a major vibe bomb for everyone.  Without going to far into it, it was really sad what went down in front of Mohawk this year, and I do think it weighed on everyones conscious a little bit.  Before that happened, i noticed people driving like batshit crazy style (as Thor would say "drunk driving is for rich assholes", well sxsw is pretty much the largest rich asshole magnet known to man). Then afterwards it seemed like people were driving with more courtesy.  I couldn't help but think of the short story "The Lottery" which like any good middle schooler I read.  Basically the town sacrifices one random person to "ensure" a good harvest because they are superstitious or something.  At least thats how I remembered the story going.

But yeah, I am very tiptoey, because the whole vibe bomb thing casts a pretty wide net.  For example, someone left a mini-Korg at one of the shows I did and I posted it on facebook "is this your mini-korg?" yet I couldnt help but wonder, actually I thought it like this, "probably someone is going to see that post and think i am bragging about what a great guy i am getting ppl their gear back, and they are going to hate me for it."  Because people do think like that, trust me.  Its weird the ways you can inspire hatred, and its worth being tiptoey about.  Some of the best advice I have gotten recently, or maybe it wasnt the best advice so much as it was the advice most applicable to my life, was sort of second hand......I was at dinner with my dad and 2 of his business associates (he is a wine importer) and this dude who is now like the #1 salesman in Austin or Texas or something, his bullshit is real good ol' boy style, but I have met this guy enough times to know its an act, he said something about this woman in the business and he said, authoritatively "she needs to keep her mouth shut."  The way he said it sounded real chauvy, but it was a little more nuanced then that --- actually I had been looking over at my dad cause i got confused what to do in this situation (I have no business with these guys obviously, i am just sort of at dinner) and the answer was, hey everythings cool, you just need to keep your mouth shut.  Thats what I should have been doing, just watch, learn, and be comfy while these guys do their shit.  So I took it to half-mean the guy was talking to me, and actually telling me something really helpful.  But also, in a way, this is the liquor sales business in Texas we are talking about, not the fuckin friars club or whatever, this guy would have no trouble saying some other male needed to "keep his mouth shut", it actually is important business information and probably appropriate in a weird way, and he is actually doing his job to talk about this other business actor in the same way, be that actor male of female (as well as being convincing as a salesperson by talking authoritatively in that manner).  double edged sword of equality.

And I do have something to say a little later about what women face, especially being in bands, cause I didnt really notice it before this year, but women do have it harder in certain basic regards --- harder getting the soundman to do his fuckin' job, harder because x number of ppl you meet are all trying to get in your pants (at all levels of industry), and if you do you are slut shamed and if you dont they just all get mad at you, and its difficult.  like, wow.  Or maybe i should say its tricky.  As a guy, I face certain things too, but I think all and all humanity would be better served if the average guy had a better understanding of what the average woman goes thru in certain situations.

Peoples gear getting stolen is a major fucking vibe bomb.  Its happened to me in years past.  This year, miraculously, I lost nothing except my computer charger (who knows, maybe its around here somewhere).  But Cloud Becomes Your Hand and Moonsicles definitely got gear stolen and it just puts such a bad taste in your mouth.  Moonsicles was down to play this art gallery show I had set up for them at 5 AM, and they had to cancel because they had their gear stolen --- I cant imagine they would have agreed to play at 5 AM unless it was something they were excited about, so think about that for a second.  Cloud Becomes Your Hand, I exchanged with those guys this pissed off sideways knowing glance because "its always at the best shows that your gear gets stolen, isn't it?"  you let your guard down for one second because you are having such a great time, and the vibe of the place seems legit like you are welcome and at home, etc, and boom, that show just cost you $1000 to play.  Fucked up shit.  And that aggregates and it matters.  CBYH has really nice gear, they are serious musicians from Brooklyn and they have an electric vibrophone and a violin player and a lot of electronics -- some people would probably see all their fancy gear and assume that they are rich or something, but I see it a bit differently -- I assume all musicians are basically broke, so if they have more money invested in their gear it probably will make it even harder for that band to replace.  "oh theyre rich, they have all this nice gear, they can probably afford to replace this."  bullshit.

SO that was some of the negativity.  There was a lot of positivity too  -- MAJOR positivity.  I met a lot of cool people and psychedelically bonded with some people who stayed at my house.  There were some people who legitimately get what I am doing, and why, and that means the world to me, because the status quo basically feels like you do all this shit for other people and then you get misunderstood and people treat you with suspicion. I will say, that when it comes to the Major League Baseball of Rock and Roll, you need to punch your own ticket, and there is no way around that, unless you want to be at the mercy of someone else's beck and call.  as Jerry Jeff Walker says, "if you want to be free, you have to be your own boss."  So I have been trying to do that, and in a weird way that could be considered an expression of the will, or of the self, but the way I do things is really about other people, thats actually a trick that I think is what makes the whole thing work, and what other people by and large miss.

I got to book a lot of my friends bands and I got to see a lot of my friends from out of town all at once.  I got to see my friends in Austin lose their shit on a number of occasions, and I personally got to lose my shit (i mean this in a good way of course, as in "i just saw the most awesome band and the whole crowd was losing their shit").  I had this thought towards the end of the pool party like about the absurdity of the situation is the sense that I was asking myself the question "so is this what it takes to get me off?"  Like why should it be going to Herculean lengths, planning something for 3+ months, dealing with a mountain of bullshit, etc, .... why cant i just be a normal person?! ha.  But it all works --- the best things that happened to me over sxsw are weirdly mundane in a way --- my parent's told me they loved me, my best friend's dad called me a man, and I went on a sikk ass date, which I have no idea how that happened, first of all people dont even go on dates any more, and second of all I am typically retarded when I try to talk to a woman I am attracted to.

The thing about rock and roll is it really expressed the peak of what humans are capable of, the individual and also as an aggregate, and most people dont have that much of a reference point with peak experiences.  Anyways, more blogging recap to follow but I am going to keep it brief to the point of being curt and also not really talk about Austin bands since that would turn into a circle jerk real fast, obviously I only went to see or booked Austin bands that I really like and also that I want to support their music because I believe in it.  

PEACE

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ESCAPES 2014

FBOOK EVENT PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1427669520805245/ I love you all

Escapes is going down this year.  I am in full on rock promoter mode.  i get up in the morning, smoke some herb, make breakfast, life weights, shower, and get involved deep in email land.  its fun to talk to all these super cool ppl in awesome bands.  theres other stuff too.  I cant wait for this to go down in real life.  Plz RSVP and help spread the word if you can.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Party Girl // XXXPRSNXXX // Party Plants // Horne + Holt @ MoHA 2/8/14

This was a really fun bill to play, and I think a very interesting bill as well. It came together as 2 bills being mashed together, but i think if you look at it from an obtuse angle the common punk thread runs straight thru. I dont know how I am even defining punk for myself these days, other than to say seemingly arbitrarily. pretty much whatever i say is punk is punk, hahaha.

XXXPRSNXXX ("expressions") was from New Orleans.  That makes them punk right there, practically.  I had seen 2 of their members play in different bands, Dark Dark Dark and The Back Pockets, who I am getting confused with other good band from Atlanta (the other band im thinking of, im sure theyve played bills together). I think the lead singer painted my face during Escapes one year when she was with Back Pockets. Very battle hardened musicians, and they were doing some funky shit -- the guy from Dark Dark Dark was playing a pattern on a foot organ the same time he was playing i think electric banjo, and the drummer had a lot of pad things and electronic looping things he could do, but his style was mainly the thing that stood out --- kinda hard for me to put my finger on it, but he definitely had his own style, his own patterns and stuff. It kinda reminded me of Smashing Pumpkins, in terms of heaviness, or Trent Reznor, but very musical, a light touch at times.  They had a bitchin smoke machine strobe light combo going and there were a lot of electronics.  They were playing as a 3 piece most the set and then a guy joined them at the end with a moog like synthesizer, with a lot of non keyboard knobs, and maybe a patch bay.

All the first 3 bands got to set up during load in, across the venue, and then Party Girl played on the stage to close the night out.  Party Plants played second and we set up behind the semi-portable L shaped bar, with the mics coming over the front of the bar.  All the musicians stood basically in between that and the crux of where the stage met the wall, and then we set all the amps up on the stage, and boosted on these other speaker cabinets.  I busted out my Sunn bass rig for this show, and both the guitar amps we used were of decent enough size for the space.  Charlie was offset so that his drum kit could be heard without being obstructed by the audience from one side and by the band as well from the other side of the bar.  We got a lot of nice compliments after the show.....it was our biggest crowd yet, and it felt like we naturally rose to the occasion, so thats a good feeling.  Also we debuted 4 new songs, The Grey, Hipster Stew, Voyeur, and Who Forgot to Pay the Electric Bill, so that always makes the band feel a posi-nervous energy that I think is the kind of thing that is fun to translate to an audience.

It was my first time seeing Party Girl.....my buddy had played their record off his computer for me, and I knew a few of them from The Carrots and other bands.  I danced the whole time....a lot of it reminded me of Gary Newman at times.  I was expecting it to remind me of Blondie, I guess it did a little.  Towards the end it wasnt really reminding me of anything, it was just fun.  The lead guitar was painted so it was glow in the dark green.  I like that song "Romeo" it got stuck in my head.  It was cool to see Trotter rock the bass.  

Horne + Holt was awesome to open the show, they were the ones who originally it was their show.  Jonathan left his like ten thousand dollar amp set up on top of a cabinet about 1 foot wide and 6 feet tall, and i almost bumped into it during our set, i was like wtf is this even doing here still?!?  he would have hated me forever if something had happened to that gear I know it !  I had seen the Horne + Holt duo before, but it had been a while.....Randall Holt is a cool musician straddling the line of punk and classical/experimental, and he also used electronics...I think what he was playing was a cello, I guess it might have been a stand up bass, but pretty sure it was a cello.  I had a good angle on him for part of his set and he really has some serious bow precision, cool stuff.  




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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Party Plants EP release @ Beerland 1/23/14 // Spiked Punch in Argentina!!

Yo! We released our tape, the Party Plants EP. It was a rush getting it together, not in the sense that we rushed it, but we really set out to do a lot from the get-go and we were just in power mode getting it done with deadlines 'n stuff. superstitious about momentum with bands, superstitious about energy....we played our first show in September, and we put out a tape by January! Pretty good! Its a 4 track tape, we did tracking on 11 tracks, so we have a lot in the can already, we just need to have a couple fun overdub / mixing days. The plan is to record a few more songs that we already have written the 2nd half of March, when its kinda a dead time in town as far as taking shows, because everyone is hung over from sxsw still. We will prob be around 16 tracks total at that point and make an LP out of it, goody goody~~!! ....A lot of hard work and a sprinkling of stress, and i think it led to a great success! Special props to Courtney for helping us with the artwork, she knows graphic design, yall! It was engineered by none other than Paul Millar, base band tracking at Flabby Road and then with overdubs and mixing done at Paul's house aka Bug Sound. THE SHOW: The show itself was on an ice day at Beerland! It was freezing! Everyone was worried about driving, i think there were something like over 150 accidents that night. One of those classic cool beerland shows where its cold outside so everyone stays inside the club, mostly. The bill was set for Party Plants // Big Bill // Naked Pictures // Hamburger Kisses // Spiked Punch, and it ended up going down Party Plants // Big Bill // Hamburger Kisses // Naked Pictures // EMHU/S.P. solo. My solo set was fun, just me and a barstool and an acoustic guitar killing some time for the show to go on. I could hear my country bass voice come out a couple times, it was fun to do with monitors, what a feeling of crazy power! ha. Naked Pictures killed it, I didnt realize Lewis is mostly the singer in that band, he is also mostly the singer in Rattlesnake Milk which Chavez plays guitar on (whereas Chavez plays drums in Naked Pictures). Those guys just have an amazing creative output. I saw some video of Rattlesnake Milk from when they played in Lubbock, and man they really put on a show, that bar was feeling it. It was one of those shows that I have the minority opinion on are "good shows to play", that they some how help you long term. I like shows where , hey theres a date and a place and here are the bands and whatever happens happens. Hey it iced out that show, thats what happened. We prob would have had a huge crowd, but as it was it worked out....the ppl there are like our best friends thanks for playing yall!!! Hamburger Kisses I should mention is a new band from the guys who do the band Fellows. It was really awesome to get to play a show with them, it just sucked about the weather because I would have loved to get to play for their crowd some. Naked Pictures probably played best on the night...i know at least i wasnt drinking and to play at 1 AM after not drinking all night, lets just say I played a lot better 2 nights later when we played a show for Willard's birthday. -------------- In other news Spiked Punch - Chill out and Eat a Mango is seeing re-release in Argentina! There will be a bonus track on it, I cant wait to have one mailed to me and post pictures.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Waco Girls // Bottom Chef // Party Plants // The Cocker Spaniels // S T I C K E R S // Spiked Punch, 12/13/13

showblog stardate...

We played a truly great show tonight. Me and Chris Wigington played in 3 bands --- Spiked Punch, Party Plants, and Bottom Chef. I was asked to play during Bottom Chef earlier in the show, and I was also informed that it was going to be a secret Waco Girls show. The entire bill in that regard was Waco Girls // Bottom Chef // Party Plants // The Cocker Spaniels // S T I C K E R S // Spiked Punch. It was a pretty special show --- there were people there and the bands got paid. Im not sure why thats important to me in my old age, but fuck it, it is so it is. Hey we are doing good. Get paid is a relative term, once the bands split the money up, but at least something to offset our recording. Hey we gotta eat too! My ears are ringing right now and even though it was pretty loud all night, its from one moment (isnt it always) where I spilled Joey's cymbal over on the ground while wrecking his drum kit. I never would have done it except Shane Wood was there and i just had to act the fool for that guy. The night I got arrested I wrecked the drumkit and he was there so its kinda an inside joke between me and him. Joey for his part told me if I did that again he would punch me in the face, so I assured him I wouldnt and I was sorry and I wouldnt do it again, and I didnt.

Spiked Punch practiced yesterday for the first time in a month and Eddy wasnt there, so we played the show without having practiced with him. We played everything perfect. Writing out a setlist and not playing Buddy Cop movie probably had something to do with it, but there was the perfect amount of nervous energy or something, because we were like fucking note perfect the whole show. It helped having Ricky and Casey rocking out in the front row. Ricky stood right in front of me and i was like "oh." Its easier to play a show with someone right in front of you like that, its like youre playing to a whole room because you dont really think past that person, but also you are on full on 100% front row energy. That band really needs to record, hopefully in January. Its comical how good we are and what we are doing right now I think we hit a spot that says "what crack were these guys smoking? these guys are from the future" because I think we really did that, mfuckers! I want to tour with that band this summer really badly.

Party Plants is recording right now, so we unloaded a bunch of shit at the studio with Paul Millar (aka Slugbug) on 4th street. Its some dudes house and his dads, they have it tricked out to only be a studio. It smells like gas on the side of the house in a way thats disconcerting, but the control room and the live room are both sick as fuck. there is a room with all mirrors, Paul said for Reverb. Genius. We start recording tomorrow at 2 PMish. Paul has a beautiful 1" 16 track tape machine and today, to all of our joys, a part came in the mail that allowed us to solve this minor but still noteworthy flutter issue he was having.
So we dropped some shit off before the show(to circle back, this is why we were using Joey's drums the whole night.) After the show, I went back there, had a beer, and we fucked around to try and get the perfect drum sound until 4:30. It was sick. It would have been a good date for my crush, kinda dorky, but arent you supposed to try and impress chicks, whats more impressive to a chick that likes music than having a beer and getting the perfect drum sound with me and Paul? Its kinda cliche, thats what I hate about meeting someone -- anything you do seems cliche, like "oh this is something about me! wow its like my hobby but its really filled with meaning for me, isnt that great?!" im the guy that digs music, get it? dude, that shits not gonna cut it, you gotta get some better looking clothes and some stuff from Ikea before you fall behind the heard. such a psychological trap....anywho, Im looking forward to this recording session, the show tonight was a big show for us....ppl were gonna be there, it was somewhat on our draw, at least we put the show together, but just we needed to play a show where afterwards we could have a consensus that we played well going into this recording session. Especially because we have all been stressing a little bit -- its kinda cool, its a flashpoint, but I think we bit off something manageable and I think we are gonna pull it off, so thats how you do it.
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so the rest of the show, i just wanted to blab about my shit, ha, thanks for reading this far, but I watched all the bands and everyone played really good. Stickers, all caps, all spaces, played their first show with a new drummer. he is still figuring out the songs but you wouldnt have guessed, you would have thought he was just playing real minimal. he has a good feel on the open high hat tension buildup. They are doing good, they just need to keep doing it. Thanks for playing with us!! Cockerspaniels killed it --- I have seen Alan like a lot lately playing with Big Bill, and his style in Cockerspaniels is pretty much the same, but it fits the music and the music is a different style. I dont know if those guys practice or if we are all juts getting old, but they were extremely tight. It was really good. Bottom Chef was a fucking wreck....I had no idea who was going to be in the band and it turned out to be Nick Hennies, Chris Smith, Chris Wigington, and me. I dont even know what we did but I talked a lot of shit into the muc for fun at the beginning of the set and tried to make Shane laugh. I think I got some fake laughter from the back of the room from one of my bandmates or something. We played "Makeout party" and "Style Points" (which is really a Coach song) and "Wah Wah" (the lyrics to the whole show were Wah Wah), and then i think that was it, and then the Waco Girls came on stage and kicked us off and those guys did a set. It was really noisey but at least they didnt break the PA this time!! Ha! There was a part where I was leaning on a monitor and I looked at Nick and groaned because I was gonna miss him and it was that time of the show where you think about how youre gonna miss your friend whose been a part of your life for like a while. But he is such a good musician that that moment was mercifully short, I let him know after the show. There was definitely a war whoop coming out of the stage at different points of the night. Anyways the whole show was just great, its the first time ive actually felt like i accomplished something tangible by putting a show together in a while.





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