Saturday, March 08, 2008

Spring Cleaning

What a boring freakin title. But this post relates to both. Today Rob and I participated in our neighborhood's (Cleveland-Holloway) cleanup. We found cool and gross things. I did end up throwing this little (Cinderella?) away.

This trashy picture here is part of Ellerby Creek. Not the best part. It's hard to tell from the picture, but countless bottles, plastic bags, and trash coat the surface. We're hoping to clean this up soon too.

As you might imagine, most of the trash we picked up today wasn't exactly healthy trash. We're talking Twinkie boxes, Wild Rose, Chips, Coke, candy bars. Kinda made me want to give up my junk food eating ways. I mean, there must be a connection between the litterer's diet and the litterer.

So I was very disturbed when I stumbled upon members of the vegetable carrot, mr. celery, and baby cauliflower.

I can only be consoled by the nearness of Spring. Each year when the untrimmed bush in our front yard transforms from dead brown twig to this, it continues to amaze me. How do they all come back like that?

Then there are these flower bulb thingys that Rob planted last year. They came back too! So we must be ok, I mean, as people.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Pay Me to Eat Your Vegan Cake ... & Greensboro

One might think, from reading this blog, that Rob and I have a slight addiction to vegan baked and/or frozen goods. Nothing can be more removed from the truth. As most of you know, tours aren't exactly get-rich-quick schemes. And we've got bills to play, plants to water, etc. How to make ends meet and still get the show on the road?

Endorsements for vegan baked and/or frozen goods, of course! So we're not actually eating the items like the pineapple-basil sorbet you see Rob holding there in the waffle cone. But he is getting top $$$ from the Pineapple-Basil Sorbet Co., let me tell you. I think he even shined his sunglasses before this shot.

The last night of a tour is sort of important, I think. We were fortunate enough to have an awesome, awesome last night in the company of Wilmington's Ponchos from Peru and Greensboro's Invisible.

We've played with Ponchos a few times now, and each time I see them they just keep on getting better. I'm trying to get them to record an album so that we can all have some Ponchos in our homes and computers, but they are procrastinating so when you get a chance gently encourage tracking and recording behavior.

I had heard of Invisible through a friend who attended their show at BCHQ, and reported that they were amazing. Then I saw one of their contraptions in a production held at Manbites Dog Theater (presented by Little Green Pig theatrical concern), Europe Central...the Selectric Piano.

In any case, I love it when bands do some things not the same. Some different things. Like making therimins and funny sounds...but
doing so in a way that is interesting and more honest than hokey, if you know what I mean. Invisible are that unique combination of band that is this: nice people, inventive music, great performance, fun songs.

We left Greensboro and headed home to Durham. It was so good to be back home. Huge thanks to Resist Not and Evelyn for taking care of Syba. We heard that she slept on their bed and everything. Big thanks to Keelee and Catherine for taking care of moody little Greco too.

Summary: The best part about touring, apart from vegan cake endorsements, is hanging out and hearing other musicians. This can be the worst part too - but fortunately, that was not the case on this tour.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Atlanta, Athens, Winston-Salem: Gaining Weight Fast

And here we have a random dog that I named Chile. Little Chile sat with me as I awaited the screening at the 11:11 teahouse. Chile was instant love. Chile did not care about my harsh words or evil doings. Chile just wanted to be near. The screening went well.

The next night BB had a show with Pete D (of Gringo Star) who played an awesome acoustic set. He was so kind ... instead of accepting money for his 7" he asked folks to donate to the touring band (us). Since he tours for a living he understands. Hurrah to kind musicians!! The more we tour, the more I realize things we could do differently or better for bands coming through too.

Batata Doce played after our set. They were, from what one of their fans said, tropicalia style. This music comes out of revolution. At the end the drummer played on glass jars filled with different levels of water. Sounded way better than my wood block.

The next night we were supposed to leave and go see Kim's band play in Athens, but Justin was kind enough to get us a last minute show at the Earl with Dylan Kight & the Nightbirds as well as the Preakness.

Here are my drums on the stage.
We played out front and it went pretty well. Pictured here is Dylan Kight and the Nightbirds, and the Preakness, below.

Before the show we went to Athens to leaflet (rob) and check out the Grit, an established veg restaurant
of deserved awesomeness. In addition to real food, we had two different kinds of fake food, namely, vegan cake - the Grasshopper (my favorite) which tasted sort of like the mint chocolate chip ice cream, but way better, and then the other cake, which had a name I'm forgetting (see, Jamie, Rob looks happy again). These were especially good after the show at the Earl, on our way to a house party that Patrick's new project was playing. Unfortunately we missed his band, Hawks, but got to visit with him and accidentally walk into a frat party.

The next day, we headed to Harmony, which has vegan chinese food. It was no Teapot (Seattle) but pretty damned good.

We found the Werehouse and screened my documentary there. I was kind of nervous because I haven't been doing this as long as the band. But load in sure is a lot easier. Go Triad and Relish were kind enough to write articles about it. There are links to these here.

I think that the Werehouse is my new favorite place. There was obviously a lot of work, love, and thought put into this place. They even roast their own coffee.

Here Rob is interviewing a member of the collective,
Eric, for his soon to be streamed podcast, BB radio.

We will be playing in Greensboro tonight with Invisible and Ponchos from Peru. More on these amazing bands tomorrow....