The end of Chicago, the triumphs of St. Paul, and the drive to Colorado

this post courtesy of Adam Schatz

Greetings from Boulder, Colorado! We’re staying at Ian’s aunt’s place and it is so beautiful here, with enough places for us to sleep and a hilarious dog.

The final two nights in Chicago were funny ones. Our show on Sunday the 11th was supposed to happen at The Cave, but that venue got shut down a few nights earlier so the champion Doug Rosenberg (of the awesome band Eastern Blok, and the fellow who booked the show) scrambled and found a new location, the Impala Gallery. But, due to a big rain storm and the change of venue, attendance was preeeeetty light. Still, the show was a blast and the folks who run the Impala Gallery are all awesome artists who were kind enough to let us throw down in their space. Plus we got to play and hang out with New York transplant Tony Barba, who killed it.

The next night is harder to put a positive spin on. We had set up an improvisational workshop and performance through the Rumble Arts Center in Chicago, and the folks there said they would  advertise and get some of their students to show up for the clinic at 6, and then the show was at 7. We got there at 6 and no one was there, BUT there was a small african drum class in the next room which continued throughout our time there, which made for an interesting performance for my grandparents and one friend (the show was still fun, just super super weird). The true highlight, however, was a 13 year old kid named Daniel who was hanging out at the center and seemed to know what was going on in the center more than anyone else we met there. He had never played drums before and wanted to learn, so Ian taught him a few beats and we improvised with him for a while. He also sat in with us during the show for Spencer’s new song, which was awesome. He was an awesome drummer, especially for someone who’d never picked up sticks before, though he wants to be an actor. Stand by for video of us playing with Daniel, but for now, here’s him interviewing a table


That night we drove to Madison, WI where we stayed with my uncle who was nice enough to wait up until midnight for our arrival, only for us to take off at 9 am the next morning to head to the twin cities in Minnesota. The drive was easy and we got in early, dropped our gear off at the Turf Bar where we were playing and then met up with Paul Hirte, who set up the show and was giving us a place to stay.

One of the great things about this tour is that we’re getting to meet folks who are building their own empires of support for touring and local bands. The phrase DIY Culture is over used and may have lost it’s meaning but there is some magic term for people who are selfless and creative enough to help out bands coming through town with an exciting show. Jake from Ball Hall in Chicago is one of those folks. And Paul is definitely one of those. We all had a cushioned place to sleep in his house, he offered to make us food and put us in the middle of an awesome bill at a really awesome club. The most insane part was that he slept in a tent outside so that everyone could have a bed. Amazing. Before the show we hung out on the Mississippi river, near Paul’s place in Minneapolis, then moseyed over to the Turf Bar in St. Paul. It was the first rock club we’ve played on the tour, and it felt right. The folks there were awesome, and were up against the stage rocking out by the end. Twin Cities sax staple Mike Lewis (Happy Apple, Dosh) was playing in the basement of the club, and it was great to hang out with him for a bit and hear him play, the man is a monster on the instrument.

The drive to Boulder was intense, 15 or so hours of driving, corn, corn, driving, corn, corn and driving. We had the Best Show on WFMU podcasts to keep our attention and made it to Boulder at 1 am. Photos I took throughout everything I just wrote about are below. Check on back for more video and photos and whatnot. Tomorrow marks the start of our marathon drive to Seattle, 15 hours, the 6 more the next day, but then we’re on easy street for 5 days or so.

We go on and we go on and we go on, the maroon minivan is a workhorse like nothing else, and it’s been amazing to sell records to people in all these different states. By the time we get home, we’ll be everywhere.

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