We’re back on the move again. We left the hotel this morning after doing some free printing there to try to get some more flyers out to new shows added to our Austin plans and for the changes in times for some of those visits. The hotel had some breakfast for us, which was a nice change from never eating. I’m still having a super-tough time not feeling exhausted. I think the bed could have been less comfortable, but it would have taken a crack design team full of genius engineers to make it much worse. I guess I just really hate soft beds.
We drove through hours of nothing…nothing…and some more nothing. We decided to stop at a Taco Bell for some “food.” Actually, when it comes to crappy fast food, I know I can always count on the reconstituted powder beans of a Taco Bell bean burrito to keep me alive. Patrick tried to convince the cashier to accept $5.12 for a $5.13 bill, but she just would not budge.
As an aside, I learned today that Pat’s mom was an expert Pac-Man player. I think she probably could have won tournaments and had her bunny slippers in the video game hall of fame.
For days, I’ve been trying to buy DVD-Rs to archive all of the video footage we’ve been taking. I’ve got some 15 gigs so far. I’ve had no luck at all finding blanks, so I accepted the cold, harsh reality and bought them at Walmart. It’s strange and frustrating being in towns where nothing else exists.
We also hit the $1 store. It was full of fine curiosities including a non-licensed “Masters of the Universe” toy, a play plastic version of the club (the red steering wheel kind), and a pop-up Pinocchio book. The toy club amazes me. I can’t imagine why young children might enjoy playing with anti-theft devices, but maybe parents want to prepare their kids for the harsh realities of auto theft.
We rolled into Springfield and it seems like a really cool place. I got a soy latte at a coffee shop and now I’m writing to you. More after the show…
The show was a fun time. The venue, The Front Porch, is a neat little community room where they host all-ages shows. The venue wasn’t packed when we played, but it was an enthusiastic group and we had a fun time. Nathaniel Carroll set up the show and performed some great songs “about wrestling” after us. He was a great kid and it seems like he’s working hard to bring awesome music to Springfield. It’s good to know that people are trying to bring music to cities that might otherwise be neglected. A bunch of the kids at the show seemed really excited and supportive of music in Springfield, so we were really glad to meet up with them and feel like we contributed a little something to spreading music into places otherwise plagued with unfortunate musical experiences…For example, next door to the venue was a terrible dueling pianos, cover band bar straight off of Lansdowne Street. We could hear the terrible covers leaking through the walls…Piano Man, Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting), and other terrible crap. Patrick just pointed out to me that the people going in looked like they were headed to a New Year’s Eve party at some fancy place. I only bring this up to provide context for why I was extra happy that The Front Porch exists. Anyway, enough about the annoyances next door…
The acts we played with were all great. Two bands from Detroit were on the bill…apparently both had won “Best Band in Detroit,” The Hard Lessons some time back and The Silent Years last week. It was really an honor to get to play with two great indie bands and it made the night really fun.
The Hard Lessons were a Detroit-Rock-City blues-infused rock-pose-spreading trio playing songs in the spirit of bands like Jimi Hendrix, The White Stripes, and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. It’s not my favorite genre of music (I’m a lyrics guy), but those kids were tight, entertaining, and awesome. They really took over that room and reminded us how it’s done. Whenever I see a band like that, I am reminded that maybe I need to start jumping on chairs and licking my pick. Anyway, they were great and entertaining and I can’t imagine anyone not being totally rocked by those guys in rooms ranging from tiny to arena-sized. Very cool.
The Silent Years were also really great. The songs were really compelling layered, dynamic numbers with natural flowing intensity and really nice melodies. All 6 members of the band were contributing really nice pieces to the mix and the sheer quantity allowed for the sonic spectrum to grow and shrink with the movement of the song. We’re playing with these guys again tonight and I look forward very much to hearing them again. I need to get a closer look at the singer/guitarist’s effects system. He had a lot of really cool things happening. We didn’t get a video interview with these kids tonight, but we will get one tomorrow, so check out the videos from 3/9 if you want to see that.
Across the street at a bar, Patrick met some people and one woman asked what band we were in. When he told her, she insisted that she had heard of us. It took a little while to figure out, but it turned out that she regularly listens to a SPIN podcast that we were included on in 2006 – http://www.spin.com/articles/spinsider-jan-25-2006. She knew “Satellite” and even started singing it to us. I guess we’ve had enough national press and stuff that this happens pretty often, but for some reason, it’s still shocking to me that a random person in a random city knows about us and listens to us. It’s always a fun find. I kind of expect it with music and radio kids and people who are obsessed with music blogs, but that’s about all…She missed our performance, but bought some merch anyway.
We were lucky enough to be graced with the kind hospitality of Julie and Noodle (her snake). You can see some video of the two of them in the day’s video post. I got a solid night’s sleep for the first time on this trip, so I am feeling a little more with it today.
We’re off to Tulsa.