Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Atlanta the Snowman

Here is our last bit of cake in Asheville. Today we're in Atlanta. It's snowing. Yesterday was spring-like and we walked all over up to the Virginia Heights neighborhood we accidentally found. We had some tea and coffee at the friendly Aurora coffeehouse, and took care of some tour business there. We left and walked back down to Trader Joe's where we were the number of customer that warranted a bell-ringing and prize. Rob went reluctantly to pick the velcro fish off of the wall to discover the prize that awaited us. Would it be vegan? You could cut the tension in the air with a dull knife. Somehow Rob's return to the register became slow motion...everything stopped. “ miiiiiiix!” he managed. The cashier went to fetch the mix, the same mix which I'd seen earlier and thought, “I can make that from scratch, beotch! Who needs a mix?” But it was ours. Every vegan crumb.

Also picked up some pizza, burritos, chipotle hummous, tapanade, and bread product. We were hungry. Earlier in the day we had eaten at the newly established Calabash downtown. Nice, nice folks with delicious vegan food buffet-style. Three dishes for $6 – we had the mac & cheese, which had a nice bread crumb crust, and thick, creamy sauce on the large macaroni noodles, and the steamed vegetables, as well as the esco...somethingarather fish. It was like nothing I'd ever had and quite 2nd tripable. We'll be back. For anyone in the Atlanta area, they are having a party in March to celebrate life and the hard work of the owner, the wife of the man who told us about it. Open to the public.

We also found this awesome coffeeshop in Cabbagetown that serves some vegan food and has a dog park attached to it (see picture). We so need this in Durham. Anyone?
Today was the search. Where will Rob leaflet? Where is the Kinko's so I can make handbills for the screening? Where to park? Where is Little 5 Points? Where is the Cosmos Vegan Shoppe, most importantly? We didn't find the Kinko's but stumbled upon the very street that Cosmos was on and took it. All of this searching made us hungry. Lucky us, we stumbled upon the Soul Vegetarian Restaurant by accident. I'd been wanting to try it. It was all decked out with Eternal Soy Kream and their exclusive kalebone seitan. And it was all vegan goodness. I had the gyros, and Rob had the basket that included a tempura mix of cauliflower, onion rings, kalebone, and mushrooms. The sauce for the salad preceding the meal had to be the best thing since Vlacho Nacho. After lunch I had the vanilla pistacio cream and Rob had some berry flavored concoction.

We continued down the road and found the wonderful Cosmos Vegan Shop. They have handmade handbags, wallets, shoes, and most importantly, Stonewall's Jerquee. We got a handful of those, and Rob bought a new Vegan shirt that they commissioned. Pictures to follow. You can buy yours here.

The nice folks at Cosmos were as much about this screening happening today, if not more, than anything else. Not only did they hook me up with Second Opinion radio, blog about the screening, and post the flyers, they printed out flyers for Rob and I to hand out around town when we inquired about a Kinko's. When we found out that there was no projector at the venue, they printed us directions to the nearest Office Max. Then, when we bought the projector and realized it didn't have the appropriate S-cable, I'll be damned if they didn't buy one and bring it down to the screening. Crap. These kind of folks make me feel like I can sure sing songs about liking people too. All this and a cool store to boot. Check them out when you're passing through Atlanta, vegan or no. They also have an assortment of snacks, like my favorite rice milk bars, candles, and journals.

Right now we're at the 11:11 teahouse awaiting the hour of the screening to arrive. It's a peaceful little place, with tea steeping sounds, soft music, green pastel-ish walls with vintage clothes hung on them, and low lights. It's more peaceful than I could ever be, and I envy the little teahouse that. I can't imagine hurting its little teacup ears with our songs tomorrow when we play, but we'll try not to shatter the teapots. From the look of the PA , however, it appears that there is more to this place than yerba matte.

We will be performing with Batata Doce and Pete D. We are looking forward to seeing the show and playing too, course.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hello Spindale: Don't go for the cheap rooms

It is day 2.5 and we're having a great time. We played and interviewed on WNCW yesterday at Isothermal Community College in Spindale, NC. What a kind group of folks...I recommend this station highly. The studio was huge, and they have a bunch of bands come through there all the time. Dennis, the sound engineer who recorded the session, played some Old Ceremony they recorded recently and the recording was amazing. We also interviewed for another show that Les (see picture) runs featuring indie bands. They will be sending us our recording from the live show in the mail and we'll post something from our new song Unification of + and -. I think this show will be running at midnight on Saturday.

We decided to sleep in Spindale because we'll be in Asheville a few days already, and wanted to experience the town. We filmed a little bit for the video we're making for "Got married on myspace" and found an awesome Thai restaurant complete with Veg options listed on the menu. We got the Phad Thai and Ginger/Garlic tofu vegetable marinade thingymadishybop.

On a quest for a cheap hotel to stay in, we stopped at a couple of $20/night options. I took a look in one of the rooms, and it seemed that it would work well in a movie setting where someone ODs. So we paid a few bucks more for something with less stains and HBO.

Today we arrived in Asheville, one of the shangra-la stops for vegans. Starting this tour properly, we stopped at Rosetta's after Rob leafleted at UNCA and had some smoked tofu wraps and chocolate peanut butter cake.

Delicious does not describe this food appropriately. Awesome environment...I've been here working on press stuff for about five hours and not one odd glance. Except from Rob, who is quite ready to leave and meet up to have a beer with some new vegan folks he met while leafleting, who were kind enough to offer up their home for us to stay.

I'll be screening my documentary tomorrow at the French Broad Coop.

It's cold here but it feels nice and mountainy, as to be expected from a location in the mountains.

We'll be heading to Atlanta around Monday to screen and play. A huge thanks to Atlanta's Second Opinion Radio for interviewing me on Wednesday about the doc.

Thanks to everyone for checking in and reading our updates....means a lot to us.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hello Charlotte! Stop #1.

It was the night of the lunar eclipse. I could have sworn you're not supposed to look at those things straight in the eye. Accordingly, my eyes blurred a little bit when staring up to see moon partially covered in pink disc. Is this what Nick Drake was talking about? It was hard to see through our speckled windshield while we waited for the longest train ever to pass.

Better seen it was at Snug Harbor, where we kicked off our little SE tour eclipse-style. I couldn't get that song out of my head, “All I can say, total eclipse of the heart....turn around bright eyes...turn around bright eyes!” Just like when Rob and I play rummy and I get the Queen of Hearts and can't stop humming Juice Newton. It totally gives my game away and I really should stop it.

On hand at this most friendly club (thanks to Beth of Red Collar for recommending), besides an extremely friendly and attentive sound engineer (Daylon = sound love), were a troupe of improv performers and a bearded man that was extremely fond of the moon. He stood outside almost howling at it with a few other Snug regulars. When an airplane flew in “front” of the eclipse, you would have thought his spaceship was arriving.

Luckily Rob was able to capture a recording of moon man and a short interview and song from the kind band we shared the night with, Seth Boulton and the Dream Machine, as well as some tips for bands from Daylon. This will be our first podcast as part of the BB Radio series we're launching from the road. Stay tuned, we'll be uploading this soon & it will be available at our friends Subdivision 67 site. Pictures will soon follow.

We asked for a floor and received a couch. What more could we ask for? A breakfast recommendation, of course. We ate at the vegan-friendly, and friendly-friendly, Zada Janes ( When we walked in and a man said “Hey!” I tried to recall if I met this man at the show last night. Was this the guy who said he'd put me in his pocket, take me out so I'd play drums, then return me to his pocket? No. I was hoping it was because that sounds like a great gig. But we did not know this man, he was just very welcoming. Stay tuned, Rob got a clip of him for BB radio. I had the roasted potatoes and vegan sausage patties. Rob had the Indian tofu scramble & toast. The food was delicious and the coffee strong & medium style like we like.

We're on our way to Spindale now to leaflet then play on WNCW.

Tour regrets: We packed way too many things. Since we're not camping, due to our low tolerance for cold/bears, we should have brought less blanketage.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Setting up Tours

Let me tell ya. It's a lot of work. I'm driven to eat during this time. Things like apple pie in under-lit rooms next to my home, the computer.

But I am excited about heading on the road with both the band, outreach, and the documentary. There has been an outpouring of support and I've been happy to connect with many different folks interested in helping to screen it in their cities. Feel free to contact me if you have not done so already.

Here is a recent radio interview I did with 89.5 Animal Voices Radio of Toronto. They said nice things there in the description.

Rob and I just biked to the post office to send out our master CD for Beloved Binge's upcoming release, Blender Theory, as well as the DVD for Seeing Through the Fence. We were lucky to work with Quick Brown Fox Design for the BB album artwork.

For the film, I painstakingly created the artwork and fully anticipate something being wrong with it. I am bracing for the inevitable barrage of expletives hurled my way from the printer including "CMYK, damnit!" "Bleed," (me, not the artwork), "Hello, Safety Zone?!" and other unreasonable demands.

At least it's not so cold anymore.