Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Rob's new hair
Is everything a selfie?  When are we over-sharing? I don't know the lines by definition, but when it happens the feeling is not dissimilar to experiencing an annoying advertisement.  So I figure it's a thing. How much can we be involved with one another's lives? How much do you need to see from me, and by extension, my band? (Bandies. You heard it here first.)  

It's less about the sharer and more about the habits of continuously processing stimuli – stunning photos, albeit, in many cases – still akin to spending hours in museums until you can't see anything anymore, clearly.

One of our good, dear friends Dawn (Yarner Studios) and I were discussing her explorations of audience, and what this comprises.  What does it mean to release music out into the world?  Well, my friends, stay tuned for some creative new ways she's cooking up in the coming year. Seriously, it's some good crazy Wendy Spitzer type stuff.

Dawn Dineen, Yarner Studios, good good friend, DC w/new BB shirt

Musician or not, we all crave being heard or social media wouldn't be so successful.  Being ignored is felt deeply as loss of audience, whether that is the literal -- playing a show to people texting selfies and talking, or playing to no one, selling no records, etc. -- somehow, it's the recognition that your voice isn't significant. The ultimate unlike. 

Lots of reflection going on

I thought back to when I was writing my Dad a letter one time, making sure to tell him all the good things (before he died, naturally), and in a flash though of how that letter was really to me, in the future; somehow, to prove that I told him how much he mattered.  Similarly, these blogs and photos are a way of remembering, for me, as much as they are for sharing updates you may or may not want to see.

All packed, dog head in position

Rob and I kicked off our 10-year bandiversary tour with a stop in DC at the Velvet Lounge. 

More stickers than my kid-canopy bedframe
It's the opposite

We were excited to be playing the debut show of Jon Camp, our friend and animal rights hall of fame inductee who happens also to be an excellent musician. 

Jon Camp at Velvet Lounge by Sarah de Munck

He played his debut show with us to celebrate the release of his first album, Earwig, which will hit stands soon. You can preview Earwig here [LINK]. The bill couldn't have been more perfectly paired (that is, we were the odd band out – the other two were perfect pair), with Andras Fekete's Boat Burning opening.

In the absence of a photo from the show (forthcoming when I figure out my camera) I present Lightin Rick's photo of Andras conducting

Boat Burning invited Jon Camp and BB to play for their last song, which was a mini version of Music for Massed guitars.  It was a phenomenal experience, and I was a bit intimidated at first.  As we went along, it all made sense ... and was a fun way to open the show together. 

Post-show with the Campers!

A DC visit would not be complete without Sticky Fingers pilgrimage.  

Cupcake, redux
Bun n' beans

As we headed to our parked car, we came across a good omen: 

#endtimes #bacon

Then it was back on the road again.  

The road isn't so bad when it's stations are decorated with plant life. Ferns n' fuel.

Ferns at every endcap.  And special treatment (if yr big).
We're trying to get as much camping in as possible on this trip.  It's a nice break from the Urban Jungle. 

Syba also takes breaks from us. Here, at left.
And a closeup.  Because, when you're trying to get alone time, it's nice to get your portrait taken.

No description needed for this pairing. Except, thanks to my former co-worker Bells- a delicious wine.
Rob found a way to secure the Foldys on top of Weston

I fell right back in to cooking in Weston ... to all those people who need counter space ... you don't
Onward to Philadelphia.  Though we weren't able to secure a show due to our last-minute booking for much of this tour, we had to stop and get some work done + vegan treats at Grindcore: 

Grindcore: One Way
 If I could set up shop and live here I probably would. 

Specifically, I'd live here, on this plate, next to or on the mocha cheesecake.

We could even keep Syba nearby (and entertained via Kong - oh Kong! - what would we do without you?)
And some Field Roast pastrami deliciousness. Background: Rob's devoured sandwich
Next we forgot the parts of our memories where it said that truck stops were different than rest stops and really, really, really loud. 

In the background: trucks (engines running)

We couldn't leave Love's Truck Stop soon enough.

Ready to jump out by New York; threatening paw.
Visiting NYC by foot?  9 out of 10 stars.  By bike? I'm sure it's high.  By Weston with Syba?  3 stars. However, there was some reprieve in the form of the dog beach at Brooklyn's Prospect Park. 

Biggest water bowl ever

...and soaking tub

The next day, we returned to the park earlier, and the were about 10 dogs running around completely off leash. Syba was content to fetch (steal) tennis balls, run around the grass area, and dip.  Perhaps contributing to the Prospect/Central Park rivalry, some nice park users said Prospect was way better because at Central Park they make you leash your dogs after 9 am, whereas this rule is not enforced at Prospect. All I could think was, dogs can be unleashed and it's legal, at any time? Damn, we have a ways to go.

We might have to side with Prospect after we'd long left the dog beach and a man came running up after us in a different section of the park.  "Is this your phone?" he asked. It was in fact Beloved's iphone, which had slipped out of his trunks onto the bench at the dog beach. "I recognized you due to the dog picture on the phone." Another reason to have photos of your dog on everything. 

S'nice in Brooklyn.  Outdoor seating good for dogs, except your dog has to be on the other side of the iron fence. 

Which might seem like jail to them. Or us. But she had Kong.

Just like Syba awakens in the woods, Rob's at his most natural in the Aikido dojo. Here he stopped in for a session in Brooklyn. You can read more on his forthcoming blog "Rojo."

Rob after class.  The sensei at this Dojo was taught by one of the students in this photo, who was in turn taught by Morihei Ueshiba, the inventor of Aikido pictured to the far left.

Cookies n' Cream

A cool fence + Rob, part I

Cool fence, part II + upside down floaty head to left of Rob

Culmination of cool fence, final chapter

Dun Well Donuts, Brooklyn.  All vegan, all donut.  No bathrooms.

Vegan toilet.  See, we do poop.

Favorite place by far.  Champs Bakery in Brooklyn.  Diner style awesome food.  A music video shoot to the right while we dined.

My tuno salad with "bacon" and some sandwich for Rob.

Though Rob  cautioned against it, I took home a slide of lemon cake. This would later be our post-show dinner after Syba ate our dinners while in Weston during the show.

Going to Manhattan #sybaselfie

Weston in the lower east side atmosphere, across from the club we played, Leftfield.

Pre-show foods at Moby's Teany. Because, you know, we were hungry again.

What can I say? The Rungs were phenomenal.  Listen to them!  Thanks to Schooner/Organos for connecting us!

Leftfield, though?  I'd never play there again for a few reasons.  First, it doesn't seem like an original music venue that actually cares about bands in the way somewhere like the Cake Shop, which we played last time, does. The folks that greeted us were nice, but there was some bartendatude.  Though we were legally parked (and this is hard to find in NYC) the bartender told us to move our van so that patrons could see their club (um, we need to load equipment).  

There was another show going on downstairs, with the most gawd-awful sounding classic rockish band in the world with drunk cheers leaking into our empty space.   It was worth it just to play with the Rungs, but I don't recommend this place to other touring bands. It was my fault for booking too late!

#byeNYC #Sybaselfie

Happily out of the van, illegally on Rob's sister Jaime's couch

Rob and sister Jaime, on the way to Bridgeport, CT for a show
Bob.  He actually introduces all the bands.  He tirelessly supports indie music in CT.

Talking to Walls

Rob Beloved's Twin Peaks shot by sister Jaime

Met some super nice kids at this show who had just been to the Vibes festival, Bridgeport's Burning Man (sort of). This is the show where Rob's loop pedal went to loop pedal afterlife and we had some absences of key sounds during songs.

Note that I did not mention nor include a photo of the first act, who shall hereinafter go unnamed due to what I'm going to call playnleave.  It's a phenomenon excusable only in two distinct scenarios: 1) someone you know and/or love is in dire need and you must evacuate immediately or 2) the room is so packed you wouldn't be missed anyway.  There are smaller reasons that playnleave is permissible, such as needing to leave for the next stop and get an early start, but this reason must be accompanied by a short statement to the band you're leaving pre-show.

In this particular case, the first act (solo dude with guitar) was not our cup of Chai, but in in true Curtis Eller fashion* in the interest of the show we cheered, we sat up front, we sang along. Then, during our first song, after he stood talking in the back, then left. 

Holy tamale! Good luck with that approach. 


*A couple years ago Curtis Eller wisely noted the benefit of making a show not just about your set but good for the entire lineup - and I'm interpreting that as not just while playing (which is great to keep in mind) but from the sidelines. 

Visiting Jaime in CT was a great chance to relax and bring out the foldies.

Rails to trails in Vernon, CT. Rob multitasking (photo by Jaime)

Lonely foldy

Cousins (April & Syba)

Sister Jaime, Grandma Hazel, Rob

It was great to visit Rob's sister, who hosted us, and grandma, Hazel; as well as Rob's nephew Roger, cousins & more. 

Troy & Julie's kids Karl & Gwendolyn
Next,  Providence, RI.  Rob's Dad has lived here for over 20 years, and we had a show.

Rob Senior and Rob JR

Rob, Rob, and Nicki, who kindly hosted us during our stay and made great vegan foods; in the meantime, a genuine vegan bakery!

Weston, Providence

 The show in Providence was nothing short of awesome. From the bands we shared the bill with, to the space, to the sold out crowd ... we had an awesome time at Psychic Readings. 

The set opened with Dan Dodd - if you get a chance, listen to his songs. I didn't want his set to end ... it was a lullaby of sincere encouragement.  

Next up was a duo (for this show), Divey:


Then we played (video forthcoming). It was one of those perfect shows where there was a good crowd who participated, made you feel welcome, signed up, bought merch, etc etc.  We were followed by our buds Tapestries - awesome stuff & also fronted by a great vocalist.


Rob watching the Tapestries

Cool ghost picture of Tapestries

Huge thanks to Motif and the Providence Phoenix for writing about BB and the show! And to Psychic Readings for hosting it.  

While in Providence I also used the "Y Away" program to work out here and in CT.  Thanks Y!
The next day we spent mostly in Providence with Rob's Dad and friend; I got a traumatic haircut (will share details with you in person...).  We left after dinner heading to Canada ... which I might say is a bit farther than anticipated...

Doggie patience

Beginning of doggie impatience

Same stool, different direction

Full blown doggie impatience; trying out different seats

Doggie equivalent of "are we there yet?" at Canadian border

We ask people "What are you going to do today?" and have them draw it as shows. One example.
Next up was a show at the Cavern, part Hostel, part bar/club.  Our motivation for visiting Toronto however is our family.  Two of my Dad's brothers settled here and we are visiting them + our cousins and their kids.  To kick things off, our show.

Merch table ... we bring the table. Sometimes bands must think we're rude to take up the entire table, not realizing that we brought it, and put their CDs on the edge.


Databats! In green ...


Blue switch

Green switch

Rob and cousin Maria
Deeper Arcades ... super nice guy with some awesome beats!

After the show we were (almost) off to the lake cottage and received a warm welcome.

 It was great to get away from the city for a bit and enjoy perfectly temperatured days, even though they were in Celsius.  

My uncle Sotos, combing his grandson Daniel's hair
Rob getting Kayak lesson from cousin Billy while Daniel watches

Taking a fake picture of Kayak action realizing paddles needed for authenticity

Syba trying to be together

Strategy #2, Syba trying to be together at the end of the dock
Cousin Dimi & Bernie
Awesome nephews Evan and Daniel

Cousin Maria & macaroons
Today we're heading to try Yam Chops (world's only vegan butcher?) and a vegan bakery near their home. HELLO, TORONTO!!
Next stop Detroit ... more selfies and bandies soon. 

Being on the road again is like riding a bike...I feel like we never left.  But I miss our home too.



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