Tim’s Tavern – Seattle, WA 4/24/14

Show Notes: Tim’s Tavern, Seattle 4/24/2014 (the “Steel Yer Beans” thing)

dudes.  we LOVE Steel Beans, like a whole can’s worth.  ran into him for the first time at local band Thursday at Tim’s, and lo-and-behold if we didn’t talk ol’ Greg Chaos into booking this gig.  the nicest part about looking back on the things we have played is to see how far we’ve come.  so this is as much about the journey as it is about any particular night.  the thing that was our touchstone here was the fact that, the first time we played with Steel Beans, we were just new Seattle babies, having grounding issues with our guitar, hating life, mostly, and thinking about quitting music and pursuing our eventual death by wrist-slitting (a.k.a. legal career) full time.

thank the stars for touchstones like this. 

the night was pretty good.  we think we might have pissed of ol’ Greg a little bit, though, since we had to leave before the bitter end (had to make a 16 hour drive through the night for a gig in Wyo territory and couldn’t stick around to jam).  that’s the rub, though, with a life as a barefoot wandering idiot.  sometimes you win.  sometimes you piss folks off.  sometimes you play with people who can play the guitar and a full drum set at the same time and you feel like a crappy musician with no talents.  sometimes, you have to be artist-promoter-businessperson-fluffer-partyanimal all in one package.  all while smiling.  that shit can get a little old, but we’re pushing 37, right now. 

37 is old as methuselah’s crotch.

 

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South Bay Pub & Eatery – Olympia, WA 4/19/14

Show Notes: South Bay Pub & Eatery Olympia 4/19/2014 (the “friends in green places” thing)

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first, a little note about the flier – it was a melding of a pic from our previous tour and a great mountain pic by a very good friend from the middle o’ nowhere, Wyo. (thanks, Antonio).

now….

the South Bay Pub & Eatery was a weird, roadside mirage in the otherwise nearly indelible green hue of Olympia. though it wasn’t our first time in town, it was definitely the first time we paid attention to the surroundings. impression of Olympia: “hill hill hill tree. tree. hill. building HILL tree.”

ha. ha.

so after several repetitions of this mantra, we drove right the eff past the venue. turned around at the next tree, and pulled into the parking lot. entered the place, shook the hand that shook the hand of PT Barnum and Charlie Chan, and got to setting up. we should say that we showed up scandalously early for this – like so early that Tim, the GUY there, thought we were delivering donuts. we were early because we were meeting a friend, one of…oh….thirteen…in the PacNW at the time, and so we set up and went to coffee and traipsed back to the venue, friend in tow, chatted a bit, and finally went to work.

though we write these a long time after (because…BUSY), we remember these two sets like the bottom of a glass of scotch, neat. the room just kept filling up with people, like…who actually WANTED to be there listening to music. bizarre.

finished up, jawed a little with Tim, promised to be back (which we WILL, ahem…when the 21st century does its magic), and scooted out of there. our friend? well. let’s just say that, since high school, some odd 90 years ago, some people have grown up.

we have just grown weird.

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Tim’s Tavern – Seattle, WA 4/18/14

Show Notes: Tim’s Tavern Seattle 4/18/2014 (the “we got in on a friday” thing)

look.  sometimes it pays to know people.  sometimes that is the only way a solo guy will get hired on a friday night in seattle.  that’s how we did get hired for this show, and a big big thank you to Greg Chaos for having another show to run and for forgetting to book this night at the Tavern until the last minute and for having our number so we could come save the day.  it was an alignment of planets kind of thing.

we’ve previously expressed our unashamed love for this venue, and this night only made our crush more poignant, more tangible and sweat-soaked.  we pulled up early and parked in my regular spot on fremont st. only to witness a crackhead fighting with cars at the stoplight.  guy actually chased a car and was punching it and screaming as we unloaded our stuff and made our way into the place.  this is what my friends mean when they say that neighborhood gets “a little sketchy” after the sun falls out of the sky.  we figured the guy had a legitimate beef with the car, though, and just went about our merry business.  sometimes, for performers, life is the stage and WE are the audience – so keep up the good acting, crackheads.  A+ friday night entertainment. 

the show was with Paul Diamond Blow (good guitarist, FUNNY stage personality, fantastic shades), Ashton George, and Speedmop.  we had a number of beers at this show, because the venue gave out more neat-o tickets than usual, or maybe we opened a tab, feeling fat with benjamins.  not sure, exactly.  our set was third, there was a decent room going on, and we made 30 bucks from the door, handed to us by the door guy who apparently had to punch out the same crackhead who’d been fighting cars to not lose the cash box to the crackhead.

if you look up, you just trip over things.

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The Hi Fidelity Lounge – Bremerton, WA 4/10/14

Show Notes: The Hi Fidelity Lounge Bremerton 4/10/2014 (the “first time in Bremerton” thing)

so, first, a big shout out to the venue and to the promoter.  The Hi Fidelity Lounge is the kind of bar/venue that we’d probably sell our souls to play and fill with people.  they have a great stage/band area, though the headroom is a little bit low for a jolly barefoot giant (yes, whaaaacked our head twice this night…), but the sound is good, and the room is long and low and dirty.  plus, it features a dive-bar front with a home-cooked menu where most of the people sit and listen to the music going on in the back.  makes for a nice dual-room atmosphere.

now, as for Dave Morgan Promotions, in our short time here in the PacNW, we have yet to meet a guy who does more booking/organizing/promotion of shows than this dude.  he has the same kind of heart that we do – trying to make a music scene in lower-populated locales, trying to build a good scene with the local talent as well as with whomever will come to play, and just all around trying to keep too many musical balls in the musical air.  he is darn good at it.

shout-outs done, this was a straight-up fun gig.  a nifty drive over from Seattle using the Tacoma narrows bridge (zero toll on the way over, $5.25 on the way back), and great scenery as you drive through that part of the peninsula.  played it with a local navy fella who was on shore leave (we believe) from a sweet-ass nuclear sub and a dude from peopletank. Dave runs these shows in a great format, letting each performer take 4 songs apiece before rotating in the next performer.  in Dave’s words, “that way the people who are there for happy hour get to see all the musicians…and the people who come late….get to see all the damn musicians.”  it’s a really nice philosophy, especially for people like…well….pretty much everyone…who can’t guarantee they’ll bring a crowd of…well….any size.  so also, although maybe Dave hadn’t considered this, the format works out well for the musicians who come play the show, as well, since we’re not left to our own devices when our set isn’t going on because the set is ALWAYS going on. 

it’s best not to leave musicians to their own devices.

 

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Darrell’s Tavern – Seattle, WA 4/7/14

Show Notes: Darrell’s Tavern – Seattle, WA 4/7/2014 (the “finally feeling the late-night Monday love” thing)

it has taken half a year, at this point, to realize some of the (perhaps) insurmountable obstacles to being a solo act in a sea of other solo acts in a city that only hires non-solo acts for all the coolest gigs.  it’s difficult, especially when you are the sole member of a power Americana act, to swallow the “hey, nobody wants to book you because you aren’t really a band, dude,” pill, but after 100 or so rejections, you start to realize that your self-realization as a “band” is meaningless except to yourself.  barring any change in the future that starts to bring 100,000 people to every dive bar that we play, this is simply a matter of perspective change, and less a thing to take personally. 

it’s more like a grasshopper thing. 

so, that said, whenever we run across a place that treats solo acts like they were the rock stars they pretend (portend?) to be, we are all over that like a fly buzzing around our mud-stained bare feets.  this was either our third or fourth time at this particular gig, and it was the best time, to date, for sure.  the last time around, we’d filled the whole bill because the regular guy was sick.  this time, we got the luckies in the form of playing a late set to “mix things up a little.” 

now.  in Wyoming, where we play with country bands from time to time, the late set is usually reserved for the likes of…well…us.  since we aren’t country, the bands we play with put us either WAY early or WAY late to make sure we don’t scare off their crowd (rightfully so, since we’re 7 feet tall…).  here, it meant that we played to a nice room full of hootin’ folks, hung out in the parking lot with them, and had too too too too too too many tall boys of imported ranier.  this Monday night gig is starting to be our damn favorite. 

thanks, Darrel’s Tavern!  you are aces.

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We Play For Charity – 4/3/14 and 4/5/14

Show Notes:
Ballard Elks Club – Ballard, WA 4/3/2014

The Gig Spot – Gig Harbor, WA 4/5/2014

sometimes, just to fit in and also to hope to do some good with their tunes, a band will play some shows for charity. these were a couple that, despite our greatest hopes to help, kind of fell short. the first was at the Ballard Elks Club, where we set up and played to a happy happy hour crowd in support of scholarships for high school students (one of the club’s many generous local efforts). the show was fantastic, people jawed and hooted, drank like the fish they are, but in the end, we decided to pony up $20 to match the $20 that someone tossed into the kitty at the beginning of the night. good intentions, empty wallet. it’s a kind of equation.

the second was a show to benefit the victims of a horrible landslide in Oso, WA, that had happened about a month before this show. i don’t know if it was the place (GREAT venue, btw – amazing stage and sound system, plus a nice intimate theater feel, but a little out of the way), or the musicians (none of us were “a” list….hell’s bells….i don’t even know if there IS an “a” list….), or the day (saturday…ftw), but pretty much this was a show attended by the musicians performing IN the show. some good acts, though.

so it crumbles – charity made $30.

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Montana To-The-Sound Tour – 3/27/14 to 3/30-14

Show Notes: 

Ear Candy Music – Missoula, MT 3/27/2014 (the “nobody in the store” thing)

The Palace Lounge – Missoula, MT 3/27/2014 (the “gawds almighty we ARE a thing” thing)

Der Hinterhof – Leavenworth, WA 3/28/2014

Sirens Pub – Port Townsend, WA 3/30/2014

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so these shows all go together, not because we planned them that way…(plan?!??  ain’t no plan)….but more because we got a decent gig in Missoula with our good friend Kyle, who really kicked tailpipe on getting the word out for the show.  we then started to wonder what in the name of dickens we were going to do with the rest of the weekend….so…….took the liberty of booking a few other shows to make this a nice glide from the mountains of Narnia to the coastlands of Port T in one fell swoop.  it…worked.  yeah.  it worked.  but holy gadzooks of gawd, what a long and strange trip.

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started out with a drive to Missoula that was really REALLY beautiful – took off in a fog from seattle in the early morning that didn’t clear until we were long over Snoqualmie pass.  suddenly the sun, you know, came breaking in.  that, friends, is #momentofclarity kind of things.  arrival in Missoula sometime after noon and had a LOVELY in-store show at Ear Candy Music (thanks to our new friend Adelaide), then was followed by a hearty meal prepared by the Kyles and then multiple beers at Draghtwerks Brewery and various others.  the show, which had had booking issues from the get-go, was at the PALACE (not the Badlander), which, unless you’re familiar with the venues in Missoula, isn’t nearly as funny as it got for us.  when we got there, they had totally messed up the sign…which we fixed:

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also on the bill: the aforementioned Kyle Kulseth, P.D. Lear, Matt Kettelhake, Rochelle Cote.  a fine bunch of grizzly musicians and funny folkers. 

it was such a busy night in town (we were up against a local punk show and the weird appearance of Steel Pulse) that we’d already written it off as a loss.  however, somehow enough rad stragglers stumbled through and bought booze that we met the venue’s bar limit and made us a couple dolla bills on the side.  seriously, like 2 dollars apiece, but it was well worth it – at least $500 of alcohol went down gullets to our buffoonery, so that’s GOOD Missoula.

we went to a punk party after and got bazooded.  slept in the car at the curb, awoke to the bright new Montana day breaking through my windshield, had coffee at some lovely café where the Missoula morning people met the Missoula from the night before (me).  then climbed back in the car and headed west to Leavenworth. 

after a stop for second breakfast and a longer trip than we’d bargained for, we made it all sleepy and blurry eyed to Leavenworth for the night’s show.  we walked around handing out fliers for the show to earn some more money, then ran into some locals who were pow-wowing in the street – our natural environment is smack dab in the middle of the street, usually, so we felt right at home.  made some nice new buddies, there, passed the proverbial peace-of-mind talk back and forth, and got some people to come to the show.  our first time as a street-juggling act. 

the night’s show was great – as usual (seems like this is happening more and more, which is kinda kick-ass).  the bar at der hinterhof is this weird, out of the way room, kind of the basement of a larger building, and looks like somebody tore up a pre-school to make room for an all-ages venue that serves bad ass beers (we are no expert, but the taps there seem quite ample for any drinking taste).  the strangest part is they make musicians play through a bose tower system, which is usually hateful, but for some reason this one really pumps out the jams.  the night trundled forth into four sets, followed by a beer and order of fries before I stumbled to the top of the stairs and slept in the musicians “suite” on my face.

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so then there was a night break that we spent in seattle, moaning about such a prolific gigging schedule to our manager, who is the same person as the band, and he was all, like, “shut it, ya slags,” and whipped us up and to Port Townsend on Sunday afternoon for the culmination of the tour. 

it was our first time at Siren’s Pub (first time in Port T, as well), and great gawds almighty what a time.  we remember (vaguely) wondering if anyone would bother to come hear us, but it turns out that people in Port T actually come and support their venues on, apparently, all nights of the week.  the pub is done in a dreamy, dark wood interior, sweet mood lighting motif, and the windows look out over the sound (we think it’s the sound, it could actually just be a damn ocean…), so you’re like floating away whilst playing, which is always a nice feeling.  we remember feeling, at the close of this show, like we’d maybe finally made it to the Pac NW, after all.  folks were friendly and diggin’ our dipshittery rather nicely.  beers were finally free.  someone even tipped us.

not too bad for a barefoot.

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