Sunday, November 7, 2010

The South, in 2 Parts OR PROVE IT! PROVE IT! PROVE IT! - BATTLEHOOCH U.S. Tour 2010 Episode 11

THE SOUTH




Say goodbye to the comfort zone, yo. (i.e. - Places where family/friends are in abundance. Places where we've played on tours past. Places where we weren't always a LITTLE bit afraid that some crazy police officer or roided out bro would pounce on our brains and faces. Places we know.)

Say hello (HELLLLLLLLLLLLO!) to strange new worlds and undiscovered territory.

We left Oklahoma, stopped through some cities in Texas, making our way into the SOUTH.

(Editors Note: we certainly had great times in Texas but for some reason we didn't really accumulate that much footage. My memories of this visit to Texas were as follows:
  • Best grilled Chicken Sandwhich I've ever had in my life in Austin.
  • Generally, miles and miles and miles of Texas.
  • Walking barefoot on a bar, while doing a guitar solo, while the bartender poured vanilla vodka into my mouth.
  • A HUGE twister matt at a backyard party (Everything is bigging in Texas).
  • Another long night of hanging out with Shaggy.
  • Visiting old buddies, whom I love.
  • More epic BBQ than you could shake a stick at.
  • Drunken weirdos spouting out vaguely racist utterings and then pulling a French Exit....

All this and more went down in Texas, yet it wasn't captured. Use your imagine perhaps, dear readers.

Here's a video of the BUTTHOLE SURFERS. They are from Texas. We love them.)



The REAL South. A land that for as long as I could remember existed purely in abstract. I knew it was a land responsible for a wide variety of things such as Gumbo, Racism and The Allman Brothers... a place that I had been told time and time again was basically just a totally different country.... a place that seems to love Republican politics... a place that wasn't the Bay Area in Northern California.

(Delta Blues. Cotton Fields. Scarlett O'harra. Rugged Accents. Bugs and thick heat. Gators. Hospitality.)

The South.



But I wanted to see if for myself. I think we all did.

PART 1: New Orleans

First we rolled into the utterly delicious city of New Orleans. Here's the New Orleans Episode--->



This city was probably the hottest city we visited during the course of the tour. Como ce dice, "HOT AS FUCK". I have a vivid memory of sitting in the house we were staying at, in my boxers, working on video blogs, sweating so intensely, with a fan on full blast about 5 inches from my face. There was no other way to operate. It was too hot to think.

Sticky. Slimely. The air was like roux. Which brings us to the next point of interest for Nola....

THE FOOD. In my humble opinion, 'twas the best food we ate on tour. They got their own thang goin' on in Nola in terms of food. Jambalaya. Po' Boys. Red Beans and Rice. Beignets. All amazing. And I assure you, dear readers, the authentic food is the way to go. It reminded me of when I went to France for the first time and I had a real French croissant. As I bit into it, my whole concept of the croissant melted. I ate croissants every day for lunch in 7th grade. I've eaten lots of croissants. Or so I thought. As I bit into said pastry, it was an utterly different experience. All I could think was "What the fuck have I been eating all this time?" Upon my return to the US I couldn't eat a croissant for years because I knew it wouldn't compare.

That's essentially how I felt went I had my first plate of authentic red beans and rice. Words can't do justice to how gooey, warm and delicious that stuff is. And the Beignets at Cafe Du Monde. Fried, chewy heaven. So much powdered sugar that it gave ya nightmares. DELISH.


(Battlehooch @ Cafe Du Monde)

We had an amazing show and a lackluster show in Nola. Lets just ignore the lackluster one. Not worth getting into. Not really bad... just kinda.... Smeh. Ya Know?
The amazing show was at a place called The Saint. We rolled in on a rainy, muggy Sunday night and from the outside the venue looked dead. But upon walking in we found a room full of crazies getting down HARD to epic jams (in a 10 minute period I heard "California Love" by Dre and 2pac and "I want to be your lover" by Prince. These cats knew how to mix jams). Apparently the occupants of the bar this evening were a wild crew of kick ball players who had just finished their kick ball season and were looking to get ROWDY. They were wearing costumes, yelling exuberant gibberish and all kinds of stuff. We set up our gear in a corner and within the first 2 minutes of our set it was clear that these people were ready to throw down.

AND THROW DOWN THEY DID. (what a crowd)

It was here that we learned about NoLa's distinctive chant: "WHO 'DAT?!? WHO 'DAT?!?"
At one point, I was tuning my guitar and the crowd just started in with the WHO DAT chant. Not missing a prime opportunity, Ryan dropped a fat beat behind this chant and quickly the rest of the Hooch fell in. Before ya knew it, we were laying down some greasy funk with a crowd full of nutsy southerners chanting. Dear readers, it was really magical. Silly, but awesomely magical.
They also liked yelling "PROVE IT!" For example:

(After playing some rowdy music and getting a super rowdy response...)
Battlehooch: Alrighty, enough of this mellow shit, we're gonna play some crazy, rowdy music...
New Orleans Crowd: PROVE IT!!!!!!!
Battlehooch: (starts playing "The Special Place")
New Orleans Crowd: (GO. FUCKING. CRAZY.)

God damn. Even just writing this stuff I'm getting giddy. One of the best gigs of the tour for sure.
Great city.

Nola. You have stolen the heart of BATTLEHOOCH.

PART 2: Florida


(St. Augustine, FL with our new BFFs, Jane Jane Pollock and Lighthouse Music)

Here's the Florida VLOG---->



Full disclosure: Wasn't really TOO stoked on visiting Florida. Just had a feeling it was gonna be kinda mediocre. But such low expectations meant that the AWESOMENESS that was Florida was felt much more intensely.

It all started off with us filming our 3rd Desolation Video. We played a song standing in the middle of a swamp. Definitely one of the most memorable "venues" on the tour, fo sho. Every official show we played in Florida was cool. Cool bands, cool promoters, cool venues, and cool crowds.

First, there was Orlando.



(Will's Pub - Orlando, FL)

(I - Archaeology Johnson - turned 26 in the fine city of Orlando. My birthday consisted of swimming in a natural water spring, going to see "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" in a movie theater and grubbing down hard on Sushi - thanks for the meal, Ma and Pa.)

Orlando is also, sadly, where we had to bid farewell to our soundman GABE. Thus, the end of THE GABE LEG. :(

(Then Lake Worth....) While in Lake Worth, we made a point to make it out to the Atlantic Ocean for a swim. The water was over 80 degrees. Best experience I've ever had swimming in the ocean. So delightful. Here we played at a joint called "Little Munich". The version of Hope from Vlog #12 is taken from this performance.

In St. Augustine, we played a music festival that was held in a Surf Board making shop. (The word on the street was that St. Augustine was the Santa Cruz of Florida. In general, Florida reminded me a lot of California.) We also played with my favorite bands that we've come across on the tour: Jane Jane Pollock and Lighthouse music. I was laying in the grass, staring up at the sky when Jane Jane started playing... and (sorry to be laying the cheese on thick right here) I found the music literally calling to me, ushering me to get up and go to it... I made my way through the crowd and just stood totally transfixed by their music. The way I described it after the fact was some kind of lo-fi, Chinese(ish) dub pop music: mellow electro beats, awesome vocal harmonies, GREAT GREAT GREAT songs. (I don't know why I describe it as Chinese. Just feels correct.) After their set I stumbled up to them and gushed like a loony fan. Because I was.

LOVE THAT (Those) BAND(S).


(The Red Moon Festival)

In St. Augustine we also got free pizza from the promoter. Free food means SO MUCH MORE to me now than it ever has. Especially pizza. It was like happiness covered in greasy cheese.

Before leaving Florida we stayed in Jacksonville with new friends... at a college dorm. It had been days since I had stayed over in a college dorm... We watched that shitty Oliver Stone Doors movie and went for a swim. 'Twas nice. We also got a healthy dose of southern hospitality in Jacksonville from BIG WALT. BIG WALT was a friend of a friend, and we rolled up to his house one night and he brought us in, told us hilarious stories and gave us a bountiful RIB FEAST for free. (Once again, free food is so incredible when you are struggling to stretch yr money to get enough food just to survive.) Here's a video we shot of BIG WALT doing a rant about how Bay Area sports sucks... in effort to ruffle the feathers of our buddy Petechow... Squire of the BATTLEPAD and avid sports fan.




THE SOUTH. What a place.

Friday, October 22, 2010

"Wayne Coyne is kinda like everyone's Dad..." - BATTLEHOOCH U.S. Tour 2010 Episode 10


... and then the mid-west.

A state called OK. An OK State.

(This certainly wasn't California... or anything close to the west coast, really.)

This was new, this was different. This was Oklahoma. And Oklahoma was where my conception of this whole damn country started to mutate.

Before the tour, I'd spent 99.9 (with a line over the last 9) PERCENT of my life in California. Day in day out in a place that as far as I could tell was heaven on earth and the most desirable place to be...

I mean, why be anywhere other than California? I wasn't necessarily HATING.... I just didn't understand.

California: The sunshine state, with the bomb-ass hemp beat. The State where you never find the dancefloor empty.



But there was something under the surface in OK (Oklahoma). Anyone there would tell you that everything was a little bit BEHIND... it's not the center of the world... not really EXCITING... and it doesn't necessarily explode with eccentric creativity (see NYC, Portland, SF, etc.). BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT... the people who live there (in OK) were great people.... interesting people... friendly people... open minded people... basically people that you would find in a stereotypically progressive city (see previous city list).

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, most of the people I talked to loved OK.

I heard tales of going out to the shooting range and firing off some AK-47 rounds. Tales of cow tipping. Tales of crazy hippie freak outs in the woods of Missouri (!!!!). Tales of wild jam bands that live in the outskirts. And then I recalled that the Flaming Lips are from OK (The title of this blog is a direct quote from the resident "OK Super Hippie" (Johnny) talking about the infamous Lips front man).... Sounds like GOOD TIMES, Right?

... So a cursory glance at this mid-western institution would reveal it to be so very very boring. So very very up hip. So very very UN-noteworthy.... but such an assessment denies the fact that there's still wonderful, creative and interesting people that dwell within it's borders, having a blast and living a good life....

The core essence of this realization - THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE EVERYWHERE - kept popping up in my brain constantly with every new town/state/scene we went into. This is a beautiful thing. Makes me love this country A LOT.

HERE IS THE VIDEO DOCUMENT OF OUR OK ADVENTURE:



WHAT ABOUT THAT ARGUMENT IN THE CORN FIELD?

What can I say? Some of us lost our tempers. We yelled. We got in each others faces. SHIT GOT UGLY. But at this point in the tour (As of this writing I am in the early stages of week 15) we have yet to have another blow up.

(HA?)

Yet, I think this little squabble that we had, while quite unpleasant, was necessary. I have never had people this UP IN MY GRILL before in my life. I literally spend every day with these guys. And not just every day, but pretty much the ENTIRE duration of each day, too. We wake up together, we eat together, we travel together, we unload/reload the van together, we play shows together, we even sit together when we're on our computers just chillin out. WE ARE CONSTANTLY IN EACH OTHERS FACES... thus we are aware of each others little delightful quirks, eccentricities and randomness.

(VERY AWARE.)

And that's what I think our little fight in the corn field was all about... trying to figure out how to deal when you have no personal space and when your mental state (or really just ones GENERAL state of being) is directly tied to another person (or persons). Its like we're a creature with 6 personalities inside of 1 head. If one personality is angry or bummed... it's hard not to have it effect the other personalities in a negative way. I personally got to a point where I was letting another persons mentality totally dictate the way that I was feeling and that ain't healthy at all. (Fuck, we're getting into some DR. PHIL Shit right here. Maybe we can get Dr. Phil to be our personal band psychiatrist, just like METALLICA!!!!!)


BATTLEHOOCH, QUIT YR BITCHING.

... but thus is the nature of this whole adventure. Learning and discovering with my brothers. Going out into the deep end... doing what is hard in order to achieve something MORE...

My dear, dear brothers. Love 'em.

But it's all good now, friends. Whatever ugliness that may have occurred is but a small smidgen in an ocean of good times. We may be in each others grills, but we know how to work together.

Basically what I'm trying to say IS....

PEACE.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"...And we entered the Mountains to test our METAL" - BATTLEHOOCH U.S. Tour 2010 Part 9



THE MOUNTAIN REGION, boys and girls.

Where air is thinner.

Where we had our first real "struggle" finding lodging. (Admittedly struggle is far too extreme of a word, but it WAS the first time that we had to really hussle to figure out where exactly we would lay our heads each night.)

Where gawdy weed dispenseries littered the roads, devoid of tact.

Denver, What are you? (COLORADOoooooooooooooooooooooooo???????)

Here's this edition's Vlog ---->



HERE'S A DETAILED TALE
(illustrating an aspect of the existential nature of a touring band's life on the road)

Our time in Colorado was quite interesting. It was the first place we visited where we had some truly STRESSFUL shit to deal with. Days that would probably lead to any other band getting INSANELY PISSED at each other... Yelling and fighting and what not.

Not BATTLEHOOCH, dear friends. We're a band of brothers.

(Audience member: "Hey, didn't ya'll get in a shouting match in a field in Oklahoma?"
Archaeology Johnson: "QUIET YOU! That's the NEXT Episode. We're talking about Colorado.")

Actually, it was basically just one particular day that was kinda rough. So here's how it went down and how we persevered:

We roll into Downtown Denver, totally jived from how well street performing went in the PacNW... we pick a chill looking spot and set up our gear. We start up our first song and then we are IMMEDIATELY SHUT DOWN. The culprits were a small gaggle of smarmy little "Hospitality Officers", who peruse Downtown Denver... keeping it "In Order". Apparently, "Order" did not entail "Electric BATTLEHOOCH Street Performing". "Electric" being the key word here.

So we packed up....

Then we argued. "What should we do?" "Where should we go?" "Should we give up?"

Lots of options were presented and debated... and somehow the one that we decided upon was that Grant should go buy an $800 acoustic bass. Logical, correct?
So we returned to the same spot and then tried our first ever all acoustic street performance AND (drumrolllllllllllll)....

it BOMBED. So Ruggedly. Here is a picture taken from this show....



The cars passing by were just too loud for our instruments, it was wimpy sounding and worst of all the brand new Bass was totally inaudible if you weren't standing right next to it.
Defeated, we packed up. Then Ryan almost got arrested for being smart alecky with the cops.

So we regrouped and argued more and made lots of snarky, bitchy comments to each other. Tempers did get a little heated but we still didn't FIGHT.

(...also keep in mind, all we had eaten that day was some Cereal early in the morning. Grumpy boys, indeed.)

Once again, after all the ideas were presented, we made a logical decision on what to do.... We ended up deciding to drive 30 miles away and try to play for people in the parking lot of a Primus/Gogol Bordello show at the legendary RED ROCKS Amphitheater.



(Again, very logical, right?)

This gig, however, turned out to be a big success. We met lots of cool folks, people seemed to enjoy our music, and we made a little bit of money. General faith for the band was restored.

After all that, we drove back to Denver and then headed to our actual, official gig of the evening. In the car, we bro'd down pretty hard and everyone apologized for being irritable. The bro bond was strengthened. Or as my man Ari Gold says.....

As luck would have it, the venue we played that night gave us a delicious and free full on BBQ meal and free bowling. Very excellent.

SO THE MORAL TO THIS TALE:

When street performing, just about everything is uncertain - where to play? will we get caught? will anyone like us? should we play electric or acoustic? etc. The only thing that is certain is that perseverance will lead to success. When all was said and done, despite all the setbacks, we made some new friends, played our music in an amazing location and then got free Ribs. Sounds okay to me.



The rest of our time was much more delightful. We checked out Boulder, CO the following day and gave the acoustic street performing set up another go. This time we found a more ideal acoustical spot, far away from cars. We played two sets and ended up making about $300. No hassle from the FUZZ. (You could even hear the bass!) Someone even shot 30 seconds of video. (see above.) GOOD TIMES. We played a gig later that night at a Pizza joint. Free Pizza. Flamenco dancers. We played last of 3 acts and only 15-20 people were around when we played but funny enough, we sold merch to about 15-20 people.

BATTLEHOOCH. Gettin' across to ya.

And then we came down from the mountains and stumbled into Oklahoma... that LITERALLY is another Story that will have to wait.....

(P.S. - the lateness of this post is blamed on the fickle nature of YouTube uploads. that is all)





Wednesday, October 6, 2010

BATTLEHOOCH MEETS THE MORMONS (BATTLEHOOCH U.S. Tour 2010 Episode 8)

LAZY LIZARDS IN THE UTAH HEAT



This blog will probably end up sounding something like this (in some order):
  • (fill in the blank with ramblings about tour)
  • (fill in the blank with ramblings about how the stuff in this vlog took place a long time ago)
  • (fill in the blank with ramblings about new york - where I/we currently are)
HERE WE GO!!!!

We are in NYC and have been for the past few weeks. I think that once we rolled into New York, my brain's capacity for retaining/processing all the events and adventures from tour completely broke down.

MY BRAIN OVERLOADED.

Thus my lack of blogging for the past couple weeks. At any given moment I felt like I was half asleep... half awake... bombarded by stimulus.... struggling to take it all in.
Yes, I became awash in the electricity that is the GREAT AMERICAN CITY and before I knew it, it had been weeks since I last did a post on this (lovely) little blog.

So......... yeah, sorry.

I think I'm slowly getting my wits back... Or at least my ability to process the madness going on around me... and thus my ability to process the madness that came before.... (sometimes it blows my mind that I'm STILLLLLL ON TOUR. Still.... I kinda almost feel like how I did in all those years of public school... like I know that SOMEDAY it'll be all over, but it's so far off that dwelling on it's conclusion doesn't make sense... thankfully The Desolation Tour is nothing like 3rd grade... well, other than the constant poop and wiener jokes that go on in the van...)



So this blog is going to cast us back a month or so... as we were moving into the GUTS of the country. As we moved past the GODLESS MECCA OF SIN (Vegas) we entered into the mountain region... with UTAH as our first stop.

Utah was the first place we visited on the tour where I started to notice people staring at us when we went into gas stations and grocery stores. On the west coast we blended in with the general population... our eccentricity being fully noticeable, yet not something that stuck out amidst the fray. UTAH WAS DIFFERENT. Suddenly I was very aware that I was wearing California surfer shorts, Mardi Gras beads and a headband with a feather in it... and my hair suddenly felt WAY longer. Everyone else looked like they shopped at a store called BLAND CLOTHING ETC.

We didn't have a show to play in Utah, but the drive from Vegas to Denver was quite brutal so we broke it up by staying in Moab, Utah at a hostel called the Lazy Lizard.



At the Lazy Lizard, they had a common room where the various travelers could congregate. Here, I would sit and work on Vlogs and various other BATTLEHOOCH RELATED LOGISTICAL STUFF. While I sat in this room, the owner of the establishment (a very humorous fellow with ONE EYE) sat watching "The Shining" and spouting out ridiculous one liners/non sequitors. He was spouting them out faster than I could write them down, but one of my favorites was him talking about the actress, Reese Witherspoon: "Oh yeah, I love [her]... I'd fuck her cat." What could he MEAN by this? He also had lots of little funny little stories about the behind the scenes madness during the filming of "The Shining"... kinda boiled down to Kubrich essentially torturing Shelly Duuvall to get her to give the performance he wanted... and then Jack Nicholson would do the good shit in ONE TAKE. (That movie is awesome.) I wish I had one eye and had funny shit to ramble about in terms of 70s horror movies. (No I Don't)


BUT THIS ISN'T (REALLY) IMPORTANT.

2 (Important) things did happen in Moab, Utah.


  • THE MUSIC PARK: Utah is covered in Mormon. Moab is a little eccentric oasis amidst this Mormonism. This is perfectly exemplified by the fact that in Moab there is a little park (off the beaten path) where there is a whole gaggle of percussion instruments that are free to be played by the general public. We recorded almost an hour worth of stuff at this park, and it was whittled down for Episode 8 of the VLOG series. This place was truly magical. There should be free musical parks EVERYWHERE... and it was so pleasing that it was found in the middle of MORMONLAND. Weird America. Popping up in the funniest places. Constantly Surprising Me. Redefining WEIRD (WEIRD WEIRD WEIRD WEIRD WEIRD WEIRD.)
  • DESOLATION VIDEO #2: Remember our video that we shot in Arizona on the way back from SXSW? That was Desolation Video #1. It was a huge moment for our band because we had discussed the idea of doing shows in the middle of nowhere for a long while BUT THIS TIME WE ACTUALLY DID IT! So, with all our new cameras and all this new terrain we'd be visiting, we decided to try to make more Desolation Videos on this tour (Thus this tour being THE DESOLATION TOUR). With "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" not far from our minds, we found a cool location (off the beaten path) in Arches National Park and lugged ALL OUR GEAR into a red rock canyon... In mid-day desert summer heat... Twas, in a word, BRUTAL. In two words, BRUTAL SAUCE. But wouldn't ya know it!!! we pulled it off!!! BIG THANKS to our sound-guy Gabe Armstrong, who surprised us all with his amazing FILMIC SENSE (yes, I used the word FILMIC) and keen eye for framing shots. His involvement made the shoot VERY SMOOTH. Sadly, I can't show you the video JUST YET because we have big plans for how it'll get unveiled BUT I can show you some of the screen shots to give you a sense of how EPIC this shit was. (EPIC EPIC EPIC EPIC.)





After this point we moved on to Denver, CO. There is a Blog ready to go about our adventures in Denver BUT, wouldn't ya know it.... I've been waiting for DAYS for the Denver Episode to finish processing on YouTube..... (literally Days, yo. been constantly checking it, too) So I'll wrap this blog up with the guarantee that the Denver Blog is coming very very soon.

I know I know... you'll believe it when you see it....

LOVE and MUSH.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lets Revisit Shall We (BATTLEHOOCH U.S. Tour 2010 Part 6)

Woo-wee we are lounging! LOUNGE LOUNGE LOUNGE. That's how we roll here in Seymour, Indiana at Pat's G'mas house. Seems like enough stuff has gone down in the past Vlogs that a recap of sorts was (is) in order. Sooooooooooooooooooo.... here's the first 6 episodes of the BATTLEHOOCH Desolation Tour 2010 VLOG.

EPISODE #1 - Start of the Tour Interview


EPISODE #2 - Seattle, WA


EPISODE #3 - Portland, OR


EPISODE #4 - Eugene, OR


EPISODE #5 - Solar Living Institute - Hopland, CA


EPISODE #6 - San Francisco, CA and Los Angeles, CA


ADDED BONUS!!!

Here's the playlist from the BATTLEPOD (My Ipod) from our drive to Atlanta, GA to Seymour, ID. Ya know.... just incase you were wondering what we've been listening to on the road....

Playlist Order: AJ-Ben-Pat-Grant-Ryan-Tombo

Keep The Streets Empty - Fever Ray
Sinner Man - Nina Simone
I Don't Really Mind - Tame Impala
Suspicious Minds - Elvis Preseley
Spring Hall Convert - Deerhunter
Agoraphobia - Deerhunter

Forest Fire - Dead Kennedy's
Trill - Clipse
Sunshine Superman - Donovan
Zig Zag Wanderer - Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band
Heaven or Las Vegas - Cocteau Twins
Soldier's Grin - Wolf Parade

The Fall of Mr. Fifths - WHY?
Friend of the Devil - Grateful Dead
The Wayward Part 4 - Harry Partch
Freak out Requiem - Amon Duul II
Fluorescent Grey - Deerhunter
Rainy Day Women #12 and 35 - Bob Dylan

Flume - Bon Iver
Tropicalia - Beck
Bunch of Lonesome Heroes - Leonard Cohen
Seek and Destroy - Metallica
Intermede - Oliver Messaien
El Azteca - Man Man

I'm Your Man - Richard Hell and the Voidoids
1979 - Smashing Pumpkins
Zig Zag News - Sound Sandwhich
Hairy Candy - Tobacco
Sheer Heart Attack - Queen
Where It's At (Skanky Remix) - Beck

(Slight Change Up In Seating Order)
2nd PLAYLIST ORDER: AJ-Ben-Ryan-Grant-Tombo-Pat

Dancing Queen - ABBA
Skeng - The Bug
S.O.S. - ABBA
Looking at the Invisible Man - The Dead Weather
Hellhole Ratrace - Girls
The Attic - Van Dyke Parks

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me - U2
(BEN WAS PASSED OUT)
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) - ABBA
You Can Make It If You Try - Sly and the Family Stone
Pastime Paradise - Stevie Wonder
Dirty Diana - Michael Jackson

Jogo Da Calcada - Os Mutantes
Shake - Otis Redding
O Religio - Os Mutantes
Where I End and You Begin - Radiohead
People of the Sun - Rage Against The Machine
Cold, Cold Heart - Hank Williams

History Lesson, Pt. 2 - The Minutemen
(BEN WAS PASSED OUT)
Roulette Dares (The Haunt of) - The Mars Volta
Transformer Man - Neil Young
Smash - The Offspring
One of Us Cannot Be Wrong - Leonard Cohen

Master Song - Leonard Cohen
Travelin' Band - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Vanished - Crystal Castles
New Electric Ride - Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band
(...and then we arrived)

Mad Love for ya'll. Episode 7 is finished, I'm putting it up in a few days.

PEACE. (I've never felt like more of a hippie than I have since being in the midwest...)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Gonna Set My Soul On FIRE (BATTLEHOOCH U.S. Tour 2010 Part 7)

VIVA!



Its a wild thing...

...this whole "being away from California" thing.

Archaeology Johnson (Moi) is born and raised in California, dear readers. The longest I've been away from Cali was back in fall of 2007 when I traveled around Europe for 3 and a half weeks with my good friend Sofia Bell (who currently plays in the truly mind boggling Little Teeth). I've done some domestic traveling too. Always short jaunts, and mostly just visiting the kin in the east coast and occasional Nevada and New Mexico jaunts...

YES SIR, until this past July vast swaths of this fine fine country had remained unexplored/inexperienced by your humble Blog wrangler (Archaeology Johnson... moi).... and really pretty much the whole band (in various degrees).

All previous vlogs covered our last days on the West Coast (the west is the best) so all ensuing posts document the band's journey into new and wild frontier... ...seeing new parts of the country that we've never visited before. New experiences and adventures coming at us everyday.

(The last time I woke up in California was on my blow up mattress on the outside deck of the apartment inhabited by the band's good friends Sasha and John Paul (who play in the marvelous band "The Hot Moon")... It was a beautiful day (Of course. Ya gotta love San Diego in the summer, yo)... not too far from the ocean that you couldn't smell some salt... we had a delicious breakfast of homemade tacos and then gorged on free (FREE!!!!!!) gelato before saying good by to our sweet, sweet home.... good bye for Months..... AND Months.... AND Months...)

So now that I've rambled on (briefly) in a hyperbolic (superdupercrazylooper....) manner... here's some footage of us being stupid in Las Vegas.



(Gambling. Dancing to FUNKY MUSIC. Playing some jams in a sleak bar. Gambling.)

Vegas is enjoyable. Had some good times in Vegas every time I've gone. (Ya'll seen the Beatles Cirque de Soleil show? In a word... sakdfjyasdbfascjsydnsdfkjsfabsmdfas!!!!!!!! <------- TONGUES) Vegas is SUPER FAKE though. Not that that's even really a bad thing... more like it's kinda amazing. Like, Las Vegas shouldn't be where it is. It's in the middle of the Desert. There's no water. And yet through Sinatra, mobsters, vice and light bulbs it's become THE GODLESS MECCA OF SIN (or something.) A place to go for FUN FUN. A place to go to act like a FUCKING ANIMAL. I've always liked it. I've been there 4 times since I've been of proper Vegas age... and every time it mystifies me in some new way. Always looking for tangible soul in THE GODLESS MECCA OF SIN... always feel like I'm getting close BUT I still haven't found what I'm looking for... (hey, maybe that's why U2 filmed their video in Vegas... cosmic?(?).....)

So there ya go. As an added bonus I've added some super BOSS photos of us playing Frisbee and just looking HARD at a Nevada truck stop. If you've watched our vlog posts from this tour, you've probably noticed that we do a good amount of Frisbee playing. We're getting super good, yo. Getting dangerously good actually. Thinking about leaving behind this whole MUSIC thing and trying to make our money on the road hussling pick up games of DISC. We cannot be stopped.




(We're currently in Detroit Rock City, listening to Loretta Lynn, eating tamales and hanging out with the ever so charming Kim Paris, otherwise known as the booking agent for our Midwest/South/East Coast dates on the tour. She's groovy groovy groovy, to say the least)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Many Worlds Have Come Since I First Left Home (BATTLEHOOCH U.S. Tour 2010 Part 5)



A MOTHER Post!
(as in "don't turn it loose, cause it's a MOTHER!" as my man James Brown says)


So much activity recently. (you always say that, lame-o)

Right now, we couldn't be any more in the South, boys and girls. Yes, we are knuckle deep in the bible belt.... visited so many states that until now have existed only in abstract forms in my mind (Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, ETC!) Learning so much about this country... people... stereotypes... weirdness...

The spectre of religious madness and corrupt asshole police are always around, yet they have yet to interfere with the tour (knock on wood).

All this southern livin' is funny cause all the vlog posts I'm about to put up/talk about are from events from a month ago.... When we were still on the west coast (awww, the beautiful west, how I miss thee).



You wouldn't believe how hard it's been for yr humble blog wrangler to find a decent Internet connection to upload these videos, let alone write this very blog post. Quite difficult.... (oh, 1st world problems....) so, sorry for the lag since last post... (you always say that, lame-o)

Last time I posted, it was to tell tales of adventure in Portland, OR. The next 3 vlogs track our journey back home to SF and down to LA before we left the west coast and embarked on the guts of the tour. (We are NOW in the guts)

  • Episode #4 - Eugene, OR.



We were only in Eugene for a little over 36 hours but it couldn't have been more action packed. We rolled into town on the late night tip and shacked up with our friend of a friend of a friend of a GIRLfriend, the lovely Francesca McCormick (what a babe). Being that we arrived very late, I chose to turn in while the rest of the boys went out to check out the town. I brushed my teeth, put on my jammies, whipped out the sleeping bag and pillow and literally had just closed my eyes when RRRRRRRRRRRRRRING my celly starts blowin' up. Wouldn't ya know it, it was the other battleboys with an important message! Apparently, the downtown area of Eugene was absolutely CRACKIN and the word was that we would be damn fools to not street perform. Next thing i knew (literally), I was standing on a street corner amidst a plethora of drunkards, piecechows and foxy ladies. We started our first song some time after 2:15am. Cars kept driving past and each time I was sure that it was a cop car coming to shut us down and throw us into the brig..... yet, it never happened (!!!!!!). As the set progressed, the whole downtown scene basically turned into a ridiculous dance party: bumpin, grindin, pop lockin, and there was even Russian dancing at one point! Tripped out weirdos headbanging! Boobies being flashed! Sexy glances this way and that.... it was literally insane. When we busted out our trusty cover of "billie jean", things just went OFF. It was literally a night I will never forget... so glad I didn't demand to be left alone so I could sleep. Episode 4 is a highlight reel (of sorts) from this event. The show was so hot, you must be careful that your youtube doesn't blow up. (okay, Archaeology Johnson... calm down, yo)



  • Episode #5 - Solar Living Institute (SLI)



After a failed attempt at trying to street perform outside of a Ringo Starr concert (closest I've ever been to a Beatle, yo.) and a show with our good friends Dirty Wink (not to mention the most splendid night of romantic gallivanting I've had in recent memory... word up Allison, :) :) :)), we bid farewell to Eugene and started making our way back down the west coast. Before getting to SF we stopped off at the Solar Living Institute in Hopland, CA. Our drummer, Hubaloinz, went to SLI for a spell after he graduated from UCSC. He lived in a little trailer for a few months and learned the nitty gritty about green energy, climate change, etc. and so forth. (FUN FACT: It was here that he got the initial idea for our trusty battery bank.) Since we were more or less going to be going right past SLI on our way back to SF, we decided to stop off there and get some upgrades done to the battery bank.


Episode 5 has Hubaloinz explaining a little bit about the battery bank, Grant giving you a luxurious tour of the premisses of SLI and as an added bonus some footage of nearby Clearlake... which, in a word, is really FILTHY. (Like, FILLLLLLLLLLLLTHY.) Also, Pat slept in a house made of hay that night. The rest of us slept in a yurt. A good time was had by all. Don't use plastic. Long live the Sun.


  • Episode #6 - San Francisco Visit/Los Angeles

The 2 or so weeks that we spent up north were textbook examples of perfect weather. Delightful breezes, comfy warm temps, blue skies, etc. and so forth. Utterly perfect, yo. So it was certainly a shock to come upon the Golden Gate bridge and see how completely smothered in fog our beautiful city by the bay was. It just looked like a huge, cloud shaped fat guy was sitting on the whole city... and it was COLD!!!! For the majority of our time up north I was wearing shorts and a tank top, yet as soon as I got to SF out came the sweatshirt and the knit cap. (love this town, no matter what) That night we played a "secret" show of sorts at one of the best sounding rooms in the city, the Rickshaw Stop. It was a mellow affair with some close friends, but damn good fun none the less. We shared the bill with New York's absolutely radiant Setting Sun and Quitzow (which is actually the same people in both bands, but don't tell anyone).
This show was also noteworthy because it marked the beginning of THE GABE LEG. THE GABE LEG was/is the section of tour where we had our invaluable sound engineer Gabe Armstrong joining us for the adventure, making sure we sound GOOD and STUFF.

After the show, we went back to the Battlepad for an after party with the homies. Now, the Battlepad is certainly still our home, but while we're gone on this 4 month adventure we have a bunch of people subletting. We may have only been gone for 2 weeks but the place was already VERY different looking once we came back.... Yet, it was still very clearly the same Battlepad. It reminded me of those dreams that you have when you go back to an old house from your past/childhood and you can tell it's the same place, but everything is moved around and a little off.... was a little bit trippy, if you ask me.
It was so nice to see our homies one last time, have a day off sitting on the couch watching tv (On Demand)... seriously love the BATTLEPAD... Clips from the Rickshaw Stop show and some of the after party are in part 1 of Episode 6.

...but we weren't meant to stay in SF for too long... the road beckoned. We got down to LA and played a show in a guitar shop in Venice, CA. This, unfortunately, was the first BAD show of the tour. Not so much that we played bad but I think pretty much everyone was bummed out during the show. The fellow (or should I say FUCKTARD) who owned the guitar shop refused to let Gabe do our sound, took fucking forever to set up the mics, didn't listen to our requests for what should be mic'd and then proceeded to a REALLY shitty job of mixing our band. UGH, he was just a smarmy little bastard of a man and totally took the wind out of our sales. Also, Ben's keyboard completely crapped out right before the show, which he was not too pleased with (in fact, this couldn't be more perfectly illustrated than the look on ben's face during the footage from Time Warp music in Episode 6. LOOK AT HOW FRUSTRATED THAT MAN IS!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!). The funny thing is that two separate videos of us playing that show wound up on Youtube within days of the show. Oh well.... so much for putting the best foot forward.
That night we fit a good chunk of the band into our friend Amelia's TINY little studio apartment (gabe and I slept in the battlevan)... probably the smallest place we've fit the band for a night sleep, yet. The next morning we were chilling hard and Gabe shot a video of me being super EMO and playing classical guitar improvs on a fire escape... (Gabe wanted the video to look French.... does it look French?)


Luckily, the next day's shows fared much better. First, we played a really fun street performing style show in the upstairs loft of Origami Vinyl in Echo Park and then we played a concert at the Hobbie Shop recording studio in Highland Park. Our set from the Hobbie Shop was also recorded on a 16 track mixing board and run through a bunch of sweet (sweet) analog gear. We are currently working at putting together the footage and recordings from this show for inclusion in later battleblogs... However, our musical abilities sadly don't translate over to competence with film editing software, so it's taking longer than expected. (EXCUSES EXCUSES.) Snippets from the LA shows are in Part 2 of Episode 6. (Seriously, yo. Check out ben's scowl. So HARD.)

You know the drill at this point. We're trying to crank this stuff out as fast as we can... thanks for reading... love ya'll.

If only you could hear the bugs in the Athens, GA night..... so lovely

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Think I Recall Portland...... (BATTLEHOOCH U.S. Tour Part 4)


MAD PRODUCTIVE.

(Setting records, boys and girls. 2 blog posts in (almost) one week.)

(Archaeology Johnson pats himself on the back)

Time for Tour Vlog Episode #3!!!

(Is the word "Vlog" lame? I think it's kinda funny... sounds like the name of a Russian butcher...)

As I'm writing this I realize that it's only been 2 weeks since the events captured in this VLOG/Post have happened. A short amount of time, yet the past few weeks have been so dense with adventures that I'm wondering if I can recall it all... EH! Lets just give it the ol' college try...



Episode #3 finds the Battlehooch crew returning to the beautiful and ideal city of Portland, Oregon after our successful jaunt in Washington state. We were in Portland for longer than we were in Washington so in turn the Vlog itself is a little bit longer. (Lots and lots of good stuff). The first cut of this episode was approximately twice as long as it is now... I had to cut a bunch of videos of various performances and different Piecechows and what not... leaving in just the cream of the crop.


SOME POINTS OF INTEREST!
(or NOTES ABOUT SOME OF THE LIVE SHOWS WE PLAYED, as seen in Video Blog #3:)


Portland State University South Art Blocks - This time around to Portland marked our 3rd time playing on the outdoor stage in the South Art Blocks of Portland State University. This tree flanked and utterly splendid stage has become a highlight of our northwest journeys. The clip of us playing "Fishmilk" is from this show. Another reason why we love gigs at PSU is because we get to hang out with our friends from the SOUND HOUSE.

Our relationship with the SOUND HOUSE started a couple of years ago when we met a fellow named Joel in SF. He came upon us while we were street performing and we became fast friends. He worked for PSU and invited us to come up and play there next time that we were in Portland. We took him up on his offer and thus started a great partnership. Assisting Joel with the sound at our PSU shows are his good friends/house mates. This crew of gentlemen are all well versed in the ways of live sound (thus their house being called the SOUND HOUSE) as well as the subtle art of allowing Battlehooch to sleep on their floors/couches. On this tour we spent a solid chunk of time hanging out on their porch, shooting the bull and checking out the many trinkets that hung from the overhangs.
You can see us all hanging out by the BBQ in the Vlog. Exciting. Their neighbor Jim is a whole other story. His house is the one above that has the "Krusty The Klown" face painted on the garage door. We'll save an in depth look at Jim for another time... Probably it's own special blog/vlog combo... He'll blow yr mind.....
(SLIGHT TANGENT ALERT!) Another particularly funny thing about this recent PSU gig was the fact that in a nearby building a convention was being held for the association of medical illustrators. More importantly though, they had a BIG FAT BUFFET. (contextual note: In order to make ends meet on tour, each member is trying to live off of $100 a week for all our food/random expenses. In other words, we're often hungry.) So, most of the band decided to head in and mingle with the crowd... and grab some snacks.... this little (mis)adventure can also be found in the newest Vlog. Utterly Classic.

"PDX Pop Now" Guerrila Show -

At the same time that we were rolling through Portland, the PDX Pop Now festival was revving up. The festival is a groovy annual soiree with all manner of bands playing at some outdoor stages in downtown PDX. We rolled up looking for an opportunity to set up and do some street performing but the vibe didn't quite seem right.... we didn't want to ENCROACH, dig? We were getting ready to head home when we bumped into the fellow who had booked us earlier in the week at Portland's own Mudai Lounge. It turns out he (THE BOOKER) also did some booking (BOOKING) for the festival (!!!!!!). We asked him what he thought about us setting up our street performing gear in between bands. He gave us the go-ahead. We made haste and set up on a loading dock behind one of the stages and played a quick 5 song set for a group of a few hundred people. A snippet of the (unfortunately poorly lit) show is also in this Vlog.

Alberta Street Fair/Saturday Market - In Portland, on the last Thursday of every month there's a fatty art crawl/street fair on Alberta street. The scene is truly something to see: quirky folks selling their home made wares, street bands abound (Editors Note: Portland truly is the land of Street Performers. So many street bands, yo), and tons and tons of people looking for something to catch their eye.

We found a cool little spot amidst all of this and set up our gear. Shortly before we got started, we were approached by a group of "breakdancers". These "breakdancers" informed us that they were going to be setting up their "breakdancing" station in close proximity to us and, in all likely hood, drown us out with their P.A. system. We figured we'd give it a go anyways and started doing our thang. The set started well, we got a crowd going... you can see a fragment of a version of "Red Tide" from this performance in the Vlog. However, right at the end of "Red Tide" the "breakdancers" started "breakdancing" and basically totally took away out crowd. We were all but ignored from then onward. We were pretty damn super pissed yo. HOWEVER, a few days later we came across these same "breakdancers" at the Saturday Market. Like Alberta Street, the Saturday Market had a bunch of really wild street performers, crafts and other madness (Note: dig the 10 piece gypsy/pirate/punk band and blues guitarist who had a stump for an arm in the Vlog #3 ).

Also like Alberta Street, we came to the market to do our street performing set... but the "breakdancers" were already setting up their stuff near where we had signed up to play. But we had learned our lesson the last time we dealt with the "breakdancers", so instead of getting out the busking set up, we pulled out the FULL set up. Big amps and everything. (I've mentioned/included a video of us playing at the Market in a past blog post, but you can also just check it out here.) This time we were the ones that did the crowd steeling.

DON'T FUCK WITH BATTLEHOOCH.
(Look at these Thugs..... LOOK AT THEM!!!!!!)

• Fireworks Pizza (in Corvallis, OR) - this show is sure to go down in the BATTLEHOOCH LORE OF MEMORABLE SHOWS. After having a rip roaring good time in Portland, we cast off and headed south a little ways to play a show at Fireworks Pizza in cozy Corvallis. This was a sit down restaurant, boys and girls. Quiet, mellow and far from the type of places that we normally play (insane street corners, sweaty bars, tripped out hippie parties, the like...). On the posters that advertised our gig we were billed as "Folk Rock from San Francisco".

Right......

So we set up our quiet street performing set up (so as not to blast away the dinner patrons like we would with the big amps) and started in with "I'll Crawl Into Your Mouth", a new jam and one of our mellowest, quietest songs. Shortly after we finish it, the waitress comes up and says something along the lines of "you guys are a little loud, can you turn down a little bit?" This left the band a bit freaked out. We were supposed to play for 2 hours, but our quietest song was already too overbearing.... WHAT TO DO!?! So what did we do? Well, we did what any shape shifting orchestral rock band would do... we shifted shape. We took all our nutty ass material and just went ahead and played it smooth and mellow. Like Hall and Oates does the complete BATTLEHOOCH songbook (except "Fishmilk", I don't think I can even fathom what a smooth version of that would entail). If this is too hard to imagine, just check out the clip at the end of Vlog. Yes that is "Human Ram", yes Pat is crooning and yes a few feet away families were eating Pizza.


So much of the touring adventure falls through the cracks of my story telling.... the NBA JAM battles, the silliness during the HOURS and HOURS of driving we do, visiting Ben's cousin Asher and his epic band called "My Dads", the sheer joy of being able to sleep in a real bed for a few days when we stayed with "My Dads", the PDX food carts, visits with our good friends Jeff Green and Nate Goldman, "The Mist", the list goes on and on...
Yet, I suppose that's just the way it is... I mean, as I write this, I'm in an Executive Inn in Amarillo Texas, and only last night was I dancing with a belly dancer, slamming free pineapple juice, watching people willfully electrocute themselves and hearing the murmur of a shitty biker blues band butcher "Roadhouse Blues" in close proximity.

Too much is happening. Too much is happening.

Hopefully you can kinda get a sense of what it is that we're going through out here in Weird Ol' America... A Weirdness that only gets more elaborate and all consuming with each day and each new experience....

I'm Out. But just for a bit.

P.S. - we found Ryan's soul mate... or at least the residual echoes of their great explosion.... or something like that....


Monday, August 9, 2010

A PLAN TO STAY CLEAN AND ORGANIZED (BATTLEHOOCH U.S. Tour Part 3)

I'm currently in the "Old Man" (Official Title of BATTLEVAN 2.0).

Remember in the last post when I was lamenting technologies lack of dependability... and the general frustration it (Technology) had dispensed on me?

SCENE: (Dark interior)-(Crying noises)
Archaeology Johnson: "I can't blog cause my compy is FUCKED."
(Crying noises)


Well enough of that boys and girls, I'm hear to sing the praises of the 21st century and it's numerous technological marvels.

My Computer is working fine. (knock on wood)
I'm writing this blog in the van.
While it's driving.
Around these parts we call that AWESOME.

(QUICK, COOL STORY ALERT!)
We are speeding along into the night (9:01pm Mountain Time @ The Moment), and plan on staying in Moab, Utah for a couple days. We just stopped at an In and Out Burger and much to my delight and surprise, one of my favorite new songwriters, Avi Buffalo, was there as well. If you don't know who Avi Buffalo is, DIG this song. I LOVE THIS SONG.

Very pleased with the fact that he owns all our albums now. Nicest fellow too. It was almost like he was more excited to meet us, they we were him. Looking forward to jamming with him in the near future.

MOVING ON!

So, here's the FULL SEATTLE BLOG POST (with notes)

First off, if you haven't seen it, here's Episode 2 of the Vlog.


The first week of the Desolation Tour made us a bit worried. While we certainly enjoyed ourselves, played some great shows, made new friends and managed to save lots on food costs by cooking at friends/family houses, we also barely made any money. While the experiences certainly make the journey worthwhile, we also understand the reality that we need a certain amount of money in order to make a journey of this length sustainable. So, as we rolled into Washington state we had serious fund raising on our minds...

AND wouldn't ya know it, brothers and sisters, everything turned around in the most wonderful way.

First off, we went and visited Tom's sister Joanna in Olympia. This visit was extra special because Tom's Dad and Grandma were also visiting when we were there. You can see G'ma killing everyone at Gin Rummy in VLOG #2. We played a quirky show in the hallway of a practice space in downtown Oly... good times for sure, but like the previous gigs didn't lead to crucially needed funds. We also filmed our second Desolation Show in the forests around Jo's house.... (still editing it though... keep an eye out...)

But then things started to really turn around with our show at The Black Lodge.

For those who don't know, The Black Lodge is an awesome live/work space in Seattle. Super colorful psychedelic walls and is inhabited by a crew of some of the coolest chaps around . Twas our 3rd time playing there... probably our (MY) favorite Pacific Northwest venue. We played with our old friends GOD and they sounded great. Stoked. Good night of music AND we started to chip away at the deficit.

Dig some of these pictures. Feel the Vibe.


Feelin' good, we went off and sought to street perform in close proximity to the Capitol Hill Block Party. The Block Party is basically a couple of downtown blocks set aside for HIP concerts by HIP bands. We set up near one of the entrances of said Block Party and played for a few hours.

And I say without hyperbole that it wasthe most successful day of street performing we've EVER had.

It was just completely fucking ridiculous. No other way to state it. Lets just say that with that one day of playing pulled the tour/band out of the red (financially speaking). The whole evening culminated with an impromptu concert in a park, where we had a deliriously raucous dance throw down with a whole gaggle of new friends. Scenes from this are also in Vlog #2.

After the gig we were elated but exhausted. We planned on just heading back to the place we were staying and then calling it a night.
OH NO SIR. Before we new it, a bunch of our new friends hopped right into our van and demanded that we drive to the beach. So, about 12-13 people deep, we rolled out to Madison Beach at Lake Washington.
Appropriately, the band and our new friends went for a night swim. We swam out to a diving board in the middle of the lake. 20 feet high. No clouds. Full moon. Everyone took a jump. Twas absolutely amazing.

Love my/our life.

We did a little more street performing the following day, and we managed to capture a video of us doing "Piecechow"-era track, "Looks You Can't See".

We wrapped up our weekend with a brief set in a coffee shop and then headed back down to Olympia for a day off.

We were literally elated for days afterwards. Where we had been apprehensive and nervous before coming to Seattle/Olympia, we were now filled with supreme confidence and excitement! Thanks Washington State!

That's it for this edition of the blog, ya'll. But I promise more good stuff happens in the next episodes... Wait till you see the footage from our second trip to Portland.

Love you. See ya when I see ya.

(Utah is weird, yo)---------------------------------------------------------(Utah is Beautiful, yo)

(Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus Bonus!!!!)

This one fellow really dug our set and then came up and asked if he could play Ryan's drum set. Normally, we don't let people play the set because most people who ask are morons who either hit too hard and/or don't know how to play at all. But I had a feeling about this dude. So we let him play. I think the video speaks for itself. Peace.











Monday, August 2, 2010

KEEP DISCO WEIRD!!! (BATTLEHOOCH U.S. Tour 2010 Part 2)

WHAT A LIFE I LEAD IN THE SUMMER!


There once was a band called Maus Haus. (was? is? was? is? DEFINITELY is. Love those dudes.)

This band wrote a really nice song called "We Used Technology (but Technology Let Us Down)".

I can relate to this song.

My computer had an epileptic fit and swallowed its tongue... Started yelling something about folders full of question marks.

It was mildly distressing. (understatement, yo)

So for the past week I had a FUCKED computer and thus my abilities to blog, make videos, make songs, etc. was basically totally compromised. THUS, 2 weeks without new blog stuff.

(SILVER LINING ALERT!!!)

I took my computer into the good people at the Apple Store in Pioneer Square in lovely Portland, OR. The girl who checked me in got a kick out of my headband and lucky feather. ANYWHO. Not only did the GENIUSES fix my computer.... but the GENIUSES did it for FREE.

Love it.

When I found out it cost NOTHING, I clicked my heals together and then went and played a very loud E major chord (in root position) on a piano.

So I am currently writing this blog entry on my own computer.....

...Inside a Yurt. A REAL, HONEST TO GOD YURT, yo. (We are currently at the Solar Living Institute kinda near Santa Rosa, CA. Yurts and Teepees ABOUND!)

Even though my computer died, we still filmed TONS and TONS and TONS of footage from the past couple weeks and we're gonna be putting it up over the next couple days. As I had mentioned in previous blog posts (here), we were doing a KICKSTARTER project to raise money to get the band some snazzy new cameras. Well good friends, we met our goal and then some! Now, pretty much everyone in the band has a camera/video device and we are trying to capture the seemingly never ending barrage of crazy wonder that surrounds us on tour.


(This is by far the most thoroughly documented adventure/tour for the band yet)

Seriously so excited to post some of the videos we're gonna post (...can you say "Human Ram: Lite Rock style in a small town restaurant"? Believe it, it happened. We have proof.)

But first here's all the videos (so far) that have been made by new friends we've met on tour. (Maybe you saw em on the ol' BOOKFACE)

The first video we're showing off actually just got posted today, and it's of us doing Human Ram/Somersaults at the Saturday Market in Portland, OR.

(BACK STORY: while staying in Portland, we attempted to street perform at the Alberta Street Fair. We played for about 35 minutes or something before a crew of break dancers, set up shot RIGHT NEXT TO US, turned on their loud ass P.A. system and drowned us out and completely stole our crowd. Needless to say we were bummed. A few days later, we bumped into the same crew when we went down to the Saturday Market to play. But we learned our lesson before and this time we rolled out our FULL ELECTRIC SET UP.

They HAD a crowd, but after two songs by us, their crowd became our crowd.

We leveled them. Sweet Revenge, yo. So Sweet.)

The next video is a little mini montage that a friendly chap made from one of our sets we did outside of the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle, Washington.



...and last, here's another video of us playing outside of the Capitol Hill Block Party, doing our new Sly and the Family Stone cover, "Stand".

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL. Here's some pictures of various Piecechows we've seen on the road.

WE SEE A LOT OF PIECECHOWS ON THE ROAD, boys and girls.

Here's just a taste:



MANY MORE TO COME!

(BONUS!!!!) here's ben sleeping.


Alright, now time to get cracking on putting together some videos. See ya in a bit.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I met Jimi Hendrix. AWESOME.