What's up, party people?
The fellas and I drove to Sturgis, SD this week to play shows on two consecutive days. I think the highlight of the trip for everybody was getting to see the scenery of The Badlands. It's almost as if God set that part of the country aside and said, "Alright, I'm going to do something very cool here, and I'm going to make it mostly un-inhabitable so that you guys can't screw it up." And we're glad He did.
Sturgis didn't match my pre-conceived notions of what it'd be, but that's not at all a bad thing. Honestly? I'd say about half of the people there were the full-on biker archetype who could kill you with their bare hands, but because of their big hearts, they instead vow to protect and avenge you (of anybody who might do you harm) by killing that person (with their bare hands.) The other half were doctors and lawyers in their 50s who could afford to buy a nice bike and take off to Sturgis for a week. It's ok - I liked both types. We had fun with them all.
We played another motorcycle event a few weeks ago elsewhere, and of that one, I'll say it fit-in a little more with my idea of what makes up a bike rally. There are things that I saw there that weekend that still have me wishing that I could get in touch with Lacuna, Inc.
On the way out, the closest lodging we could find that wouldn't cost us $400/room was in a little town called Murdo, SD. They had a gas station, a hotel, and a few diners. During dinner, Nate, Chris, and I were able to walk down the middle of the main street of Murdo completely undisturbed. I think you're beginning to see what I'm talking about.
For about 100 miles, we saw billboards leading up to Murdo advertising the Pioneer Auto Show, but on each sign, the "P" and "i" were close enough together that they resembled a "B," so many jokes were made, and for 100 miles, the mood in the van was emotionally erect.
As soon as we found the Pioneer Auto Show, Owen excitedly jumped out of the van to take a few pictures for you:
Nothing rusts like a Deere.
They see me rollin'. They hatin'.
The shows were good, but I'm going to say this: If you work for the production crew, your responsibility is to help the artist put on the best show possible. The artist is there to entertain the audience. YOU are there to help the artist entertain that audience the best they can. The crew of the second show seemed to have a much better grasp of this than the crew of the first show. Alright. I've griped enough.
Twenty-plus hour drive home - got back to Seymour, IN around 11PM last night, and was glad that I could flip back to the Discovery Channel and take-in a little more of Shark Week.
But I'm spent, and taking my Saturday evening easy. A few friends wanted to catch a show, some others a movie, and some others wanted to just hit up our favorite watering hole for a few drinks. I wish it was in me, but instead, I'm chillin' at home, working on a few things, and probably going to throw Goodwill Hunting on in a bit (Owen played Elliot Smith tunes on the drive back home - took me back.)
Thank you thank you thank you(!) to everybody who pre-ordered the album, re-posted the official trailer for their friends to see, embedded the TGAM Widget on their site, and/or Twittered about the band releasing "The Great American Midrange." Some of this stuff, we can't help but notice, and just know for yourself that it does not go unappreciated.
I'm excited that we made a strong record that industry types are responding to, and will have an excellent team to help us spread the word via radio, retail and publicity, but there's a part of me that still doesn't want to underestimate the power of viral/word-of-mouth marketing that all of you guys do. I know I find out about most things from the people that I trust. So again, thank you. If you're interesting in helping us, and if you think there's something we could do to better equip you, we're all ears. Either leave us a comment here, or feel free to shoot me a line -- thomas[AT]theelms[DOT]net.
Cool? Playing an ASCAP showcase in Nashville, TN on Wednesday, and then playing the Indiana State Fair on Thursday with my old roommates: Jon McLaughlin, his bass player Luke, and his guitar player Dylan. I've missed those guys a lot - so Thursday in particular is going to be a lot of fun. Come out and hang with all of us.
Much love. Talk soon.