Yo... lagging behind here, I know. Sitting at a Starbucks in SoHo with Nate at the moment - we're playing a showcase tonight at famed NYC club, Arlene's Grocery.
The last couple of weeks have been fantastic. I think everybody in the band can feel the momentum behind this new record, and of course, we're all excited, and ready to work really hard for the next 18-24 months of our lives doing what we can to tell everybody about "The Great American Midrange."
Back on August 12th, we played an ASCAP showcase at The Basement in Nashville, TN. Since it was a showcase with multiple bands, we used most of the house gear already provided, bringing in a few things to supplement what they had. We dis-affectionately call this type of show a "throw-and-go." You know I'm a Marshall guy, but for this, I just dragged in my little Tonemaster head and 2x12 cabinet. After we finished our first song, Owen tells the crowd, "This feels like an unplugged show! It is, for us." But hey... you embrace the moment you're in and make the best of it. It ended up being kinda fun.
I've talked back and forth with Kyle Cook (gunslinger for Matchbox 20) for a few years - he's an Indiana boy, and we've got a few mutual friends. Three minutes before we started our set, he walked up to the stage, and said "Kyle Cook" as I was saying "Kyle Cook?" Good to meet him in person finally - cool of him to watch us play.
The next night, we played the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis - a high honor for a bunch of Hoosiers. Generally, I think the saying "A prophet is without honor in his own country" is true, but that night in Indy, we felt embraced and celebrated by the homefolk. Jon McLaughlin and his boys played a fantastic show that night, too. Good to see them.
Two shows in Michigan the next two days. One near Lansing with the stage directly in front of a lake, which seemed like a good idea at first, but... well... Entomophagy really isn't as bad as I thought.
Then a radio festival show for WIOG in Midland near Detroit - Lizard Fair - where we played to 10,000 screaming beautiful girls, 78% of which tried to molest Nate after our set. Nate's a good-looking guy, and fortunately his wife is a confident, secure woman.
Blew two trailer tires within an hour of each other en route from one Michigan show to another. The first one, a lady in a convertible with one of her girlfriends was motioning us to let us know we'd blown a tire (which, we'd already discovered ourselves). As we're pulling over to the shoulder to check things out, she pulls ahead and comes to a screeching halt about 50 feet in front of us, which, might not be a big deal if we were a car, but when you're pulling a few tons of gear in a trailer behind you, 50 feet doesn't exactly allow you to stop on a dime.
Thanks to a little fast-thinking on Chris's part, he was able to maneuver so that we didn't smash into the woman's Jetta. Smoke was all about from our brake-check - it didn't help that our ABS alert light had come on just minutes before. She gets out of the car, smiling as she walks towards us, oblivious that she, her passenger, and her little Volkswagen almost made the newest Faces Of Death DVD. I think she expected to be greeted and thanked for telling us we'd blown a tire, but instead, she was met with a, "We almost rammed into you and killed you - get back in your car. Get back in your car. Get back in your car. Go. Get back in your car and go."
And away she went.
In that moment, as an observer, I wasn't really sure if she deserved a little sympathy or not. I'm still choosing ambivalence.
Long overnight drive from Detroit to Fayetteville, AR - 14 hours. Played the Arkansas Music Pavilion w/ Peter Frampton. Got to see a lot of my family, and even some classmates that I haven't seen in a decade or more. Fayetteville is only about 45 minutes away from where I grew up in Missouri. Anytime I get a chance to go back home, it's always good. Made the mandatory stop into Gringo's for lunch.
Came home for about 4-5 days, but didn't really have the option to rest - everybody had various stuff to do. Owen put together final planning for our videoshoot, I worked with my friend Mike Petrow to finalize some "Strut" stems for Rockband, and Nate and Chris re-organized the van and trailer, which reduced everybody's OCD-induced stress by... 43.47%. I meticulously crafted that figure.
Show in Ft. Wayne, IN on Friday, then a show in Columbus, IN (20 minutes away from Seymour) w/ Blues Traveler on Saturday. Blues Traveler is one of those bands that I've always admired for coupling technical prowess with excellent songwriting. It was good enough to share the stage with them, but even better that they took out the time to watch our set, and extended the offer for us to play with them more in the future. Fingers crossed.
All day Sunday was spent in a Seymour soybean field getting performance shots for the "Back To Indiana" music video, and I think we captured some really cool moments. The rest of the video is being shot this week. Hopefully you'll dig. I'll blog more about it later and post some photos from it.
Thanks for reading. TGAM Release Day is a little over two weeks away. Yellz heah!