Tuesday, June 23, 2009


This tour has brought us major (minor) success. That was all we were asking for. Morale is high. Socratic is a cool band to tour with for sure. Their concentration on musicianship is impressive - the way it should be.

We kicked off this run in Toledo, where one of the opening bands, The Light Ahead, covered our song "Getting There Is Getting By." They asked me to sing it. I was flattered. It is so cool to see someone inspired by something you've been a part of writing. We didn't get pulled over after the show this time, but did get a good look at the "No Left Turn 7 AM - 9 PM" (or close to that) sign down the road from the club. We were pulled over last time for making a left at that sign at around 2 AM. Thanks guys man. Here's a video of us playing "My White Collared Shirt."

The second show was in Hazel Park, MI. I felt bad because it was belittled by the Stanley Cup with our Penguins vs. their Red Wings. We obviously won. We obviously had cupcakes thanks to Amanda Huey. Talked to David Harris and his mates for a bit about ink and holes. I wanted to get my lip re-pierced that night, but Fish didn't make it out to the show. Fish is my "piercist," as if I have several. I have none but wanna make it one.

Show 3 was in the windy city. That's what they call the Chicago. The windy city nickname was actually coined from the political wind and not the wind wind. Do you know what I mean? We played at Reggie's, which is a beautiful club. Just Left, Scissors, and Thrillage were on the billage. Two of the guys in Thrillage had been in Spitalfield, with whom we toured with in late 2006. I actually think that was Belan's first tour with us. It was. JD is a good drummer. The girl from Scissors is going to fill in for Heather on some upcoming Teen Idols show. Very cool. I remember this show in Missouri somewhere with Less Than Jake and the Teen Idols where Heather said she'd make out with the first guy that came up on stage.. Kyle Baker was the man for the job. Heather was intimidating. After the show we tried to find a watering hole to have a drink with the odd array of women we had with us. I don't know where our guy friends were in Chicago that night! We had a drink with about 12 women including Amanda Yu and Kris and Michelle from Fearless Radio. You can listen to our interview on Fearless Radio via this podcast. Speaking of Chicago, I am listening to This Is Me Smiling right now. Click here to see us play "Heart of Gold."

Day 4. Cleveland. This was possibly the best show of the tour. Peabody's offered us to play a show which was basically free to the public. Who would turn that down? Good times with good bands. Man, I love The Promise Hero. Me and Dan are good at having an awkward conversation every time, haha. Saw some old faces. My apologies to Herbee & crew, who had some trouble with getting into the show. Here's a video from that show,

Day 5. Lemoyne, PA @ The Championship. Good times with our old friend Blag1. I love to call people by their tenured online aliases. Sidenote - this bridge makes me dislike our nations first president. I think I'll tweet that now. I support the Championship because it is SDIY. "Super Do-It-Yourself" for those of you who thought I meant "Stupid Do-It-Yourself. "

Day 6. Baltimore. We hadn't played Fletcher's in years. I really like that club. I guess it's down the street from where I'll be in August when I'm co-producing the new Spontaneo record with my good buddy Kory Gable. There's a bread factory near Fletcher's. I totally recommend everybody to make a point to smell that out next time your in B-more. The band Left Hand Out has a great style. Their singer has a voice that you wouldn't expect to come out of him. Kinda like Gilbert Gottfried, but not at all.

Day 7 (I am really stuck on this format at this point). Johnstown. Ghost town. I love the people that come to our shows in this area. They have been there for us for a long, long time. Troy and his little brother's band opened up the show. They were invited to play the show as the band Arc, but showed up to play as Noah's Bark. Perfectly fine. Spontaneo played second - got to see the songs post pre-production . They are brilliantly constructed jams which remind me of old Brand New meets Lola Ray meets Pinkerton. We went to Denny's after the show with some great Johnsfolk. Three guys gave me directions to a hotel that was visible from where we were standing.

D-eight. Vineland, NJ. We were late to this show. So what if you show up a little late? No. We're late. We're having a baby, Carlito. The sound at the club was incredible. Made this show very fun to play. We let some of our fans pretty much write our set list. He picked all the right songs!

Nine. New York City. I love NYC. I used to kinda hate on it, but then I went there on foot. So many friends that I'd call family. I had dinner and a beer with Timmer and Matt the Hat. You should listen to Timmer's band - www.myspace.com/smilefromtokyo. I sing on one of his songs. Some of the FBR crew came out to the show. Always a pleasure. John Oliva came out and even bought me a drink on his own birthday! We went out with him afterwards along with some other great all stars. Jack O'Shea even made an appearance. He and I have had zero conversations that make any sense in the last few times that I've seen him. I love it. Our band stayed up 'til sunrise together. Something that our band hasn't done together in ages. Symbolism.

Tenn! Day off in Jersey. Kevin from Socratic had us over to his house for a lovely barbecue with games and drinks and good company. I was wicked tired all day, didn't have the energy to drink even an energy drink. Kevin's dad made fun of me, but I'll bet it's because he was jealous?

Evelyn! Jersey just. Woke up and haggled with the hotel manager about the cost of a night's stay. I inquired of the Sunday rate because hotels are generally more expensive on the weekends. He told me that it cost $25 more than what I was originally quoted for a Friday night. Everything is negotiable in New Jersey. They don't have prices. They completely make them up as they go along. Yes sir, I like to buy this Tropicana Orange Juice. Ehhh, give me 2 bucks. Some guy tried to sell Belan crackers for $1.50, and they were actually marked 75 cents. That really grinds my gadgets. My girlfriend calls me to tell me that she just met Jason Segel at a park in London. A sunny celeb filled day in London. A towel-less overpriced hotel room in Jersey. Hmmmm.... Anyhow, we played at a snazzy venue in Teaneck called Mexicali. Try the chicken burrito with the sweet potato fries! Thought about this one song all day that Chris wrote. I can't live without your love.

Day one to the two was in Danbury, CT @ a club called Billy Baloney's. Listen to the podcast to hear about this one...

In other vibes...

I am pretty excited about this iPhone update. I've been doing nothing but copying and then pasting. Then I cut. Copy. Paste!

I want to listen to nothing more than Superdrag, Nada Surf, and the Phoenix.

I am excited to go to Europe in less than 2 weeks. London, Venice, Barcelona. I won't even know what to do. I think I'm playing a radio show in Spain. I will have been to the two most bridge filled cities in the world after visiting Venice. And London, what can I say.

I get to meet my newest niece when I get back from Europe. I had a dream last night that I had a baby that was the size of a hot dog bun. My friend Seth just had a baby. I wonder how big it is. Both of these bigger than bun babies live in North Carolina. Maybe they'll be friends.

I am producing the Spontaneo record in Baltimore in August. So, so excited to give this record everything I have.

Maybe working on the new BTE record as well after that?

This fall we are heading out on tour with Between The Trees, Farewell, and Action Item. It feels great to have it all lined up. I don't know if I'm supposed to announce this yet, but it's all over the internet. What's the BD?

Word count. 1 million.

Life is good.




AndyC. said...

Tour sounds great so far, Steve. Wish I could've been in Chicago for the show at Reggie's, it's the closest you guys've been to Iowa City in four(!) years and I missed it because my sister took my car to, coincidentally, Chicago =\.

Just wondering, by "the Phoenix" in bands you just wanna listen to do you mean the French band Phoenix that was on SNL in March and Lettermen last week?

Hope the tour continues to go well!

amanda burkhead said...

Hope that tour is coming to Indiana..wink wink...

Halley said...

The buttons are epic, it reminds me of the ones the soccer moms wear with their kids kneeling on the grass, holding a football with the most serious of faces.
should have done a pose like that.
I still want my action DVD

Lindsey said...

I wish I could've been at the Hazel Park show. My transportation fell through about 300 times. I was extremely bummed. Fall tour better come to Detroit so I can make up for it! haha

nickkraft9 said...

I honestly believe that Jersey not only makes up their own Prices but also their own rules. I have some good Jersey stories. My favorite is about three years ago when I saw "Flogging Molly" play at The Starland Ballroom. I got into a near fist fight with one of the security dudes because he snatched a cigarette out of my mouth and told me no smoking in this club. I said well this club sells Cigarettes right in the bar area, and then he told me "Welcome to New Jersey."

One week later I quit smoking and I haven't smoked since.

The band Phoenix is good stuff. I'm addicted to their song 1901.

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