Archive | April, 2010

the southwest, chile, racist bullshit + plush.

30 Apr

we have had a pretty amazing time in the southwest. we’ve met good people, eaten way too much fantastic food, and had good conversations. all this was quite refreshing after a somewhat disappointing experience in Tulsa featuring too many drunk men who seem to think girls in bands = funny/hot. funny/hot is NOT my favorite set of adjective options. in any event, fast forwarding beyond the heckling and on to the amazing Southwest — we ate SO MUCH CHILE. seriously. and as a New Yorker who finds great happiness in New York (and therefore, has NO fantasies of relocating to the southwest, alaska, florida, upstate or any of the other places new yorkers talk about moving to), touring is my time to enjoy all the beautiful and delicious things in this country. i rely on my yearly trip to New Mexico to overeat green and red chile.

one of the most consistently heartening aspects of touring is spending so much time with new people – who usually become friends quickly. after a really wonderful week with my sister and brother-in-law in St. Louis, i didn’t expect to end up having so much fun — i assumed everything would pale in comparison to our week of intensityfest meets fitz-induced frenzy — but what’s awesome is that i was wrong! while time with family (and this family especially) is its own particular variety of awesome, we really had a lot of fun in fayetteville and albuquerque too.

in fayetteville, we learned just how gorgeous the ozarks are, slept to the sound of pouring rain, played an in-store at the awesome Sound Warehouse, for (among others) kids and passersby (a new experience!), and set up shop at Ozark Natural Foods to get some work done (befriending most of the staff by the end of the day.) in albuquerque, we had some really lovely hosts who not only tolerated our post-van hijinks (which really, must be extremely annoying to anyone who’s not us?!), including endless carrying on in our various jewish grandparent personas, insisting on watching entertainment of the “Gold Blend?” variety, and expecting chile at all hours of the night.

the hateful, racist, anti-immigrant SB-1070 was passed in Arizona last Friday. when we realized there were calls for boycotts of arizona coming from all over the country, we paused our plans to head to AZ, and spent some pretty intensive time talking among ourselves, with our awesome host DB, and making phone calls to organizers and activists back home and in AZ. in the end, no one who was actually working on the issue here in arizona was calling for a boycott that would apply to bands traveling through (at the club level), and instead encouraged us (more than encouraged us) to come and try to help move the whole audience toward participation in Saturday’s May Day activities, upcoming fundraisers, and working with organizations here.

i think what made me the most happy about this whole process we went through, was that it was 100% clear to all of us that our decision should be based on being as useful as possible to the struggles going on against this legislation, and not about convenience, or how we would look to people… there is no question that some of our fans don’t give a shit about the passing of legislation that further criminalizes people of color here in arizona. and frankly, if you fall into that category, i’d like to 1) have a conversation about it and see if you’re open to caring about it, and 2) disown you as a fan if you don’t.

so here we are, backstage at plush in tucson, az, following new developments as they come in, excited to play for people here, and to have a speaker/tabler join us from the Border Action Network. more later!



Top 11 (you know, Top 10 with a twist)

17 Apr

Top 11, Lexington and Louisville

1. Carrie Neumayer’s excellent + hilarious cartoon accounts of touring, on display at our comics + rocknroll show at Skull Alley last night.  Not to mention her awesome band, Second Story man and their kick-ass set.

2. Getting to talk with some good people about politics, feminism, modern Orthodoxy and how sad music has the potential to be intensely uplifting over one of the strongest soy mochas I’ve ever had.

3. Ale 8 1.  Duh.

4. Babycakes Cupcakes.  Duh squared.

5.  A diptych of genius vegan brunches.  Still recovering from today’s, which featured some of the most delicious biscuits and gravy I’ve ever had.

6. Secretly decorating the backseat of the van with tiny stickers featuring the woebegone faces of dogs and cats.  Shocked and dismayed faces of bandmates at the sight.

7. Al’s Bar’s sweet potato fries.  And their black bean burgers.  And their incredibly nice staff.  OK, so just: Al’s bar, Lexington.

8.  Did I mention that, in Louisville, our friend’s bird sat on my head?  Yeah.

9.  Cathartic yiddish screaming from behind my new drum kit to a frantically dancing audience during Let’s Go last night.  Waaay better than caffeine.

10.  Salted peanuts and craisins are the Van Snack of Tomorrow.

11.  Tonight, St. Louis.  Counting down ’til my first Fitz’s.

live from louisville

17 Apr

skull alley is an awesome venue. it is so rare that you find a place that so successfully straddles the line between comfortable, heimishe community space/gallery/performance space and NICE VENUE WITH A GOOD STAGE AND GOOD SOUND. skull alley is just that, and i’m so glad we’re here. but louisville, where are you?? this is justin’s last show with Second Story Man! and you don’t want to miss the opportunity to buy one of our new CD/new tee-shirt bonus packs!! ok this is boring, i realize.

the truth is, i am completely preoccupied by wanting an ale8, but remembering just how wired i got last night…

oh shit, i think we’re supposed to play now. see you all in a little while!!

live from lexington

16 Apr

in case you needed an up-to-the-minute report: the fucking amazing Babycakes crew has shown up with 100 cupcakes, available for FREE for all show attendees, so get yr ass over here! in other news, we have been treated to Ale8(1?), a Lexington classic — bottled, caffeinated ginger ale. it is SO smooth and delicious. (AND CAFFEINATED!)  this is me enjoying a nice tall cold one!ale8

real day one.

15 Apr

we are on our way to our first show. it’s been a long year and a half since our last national tour. i love touring. it’s beautiful outside and we’re seeing the country and playing shows – what could really be better? it’s traumatic of course, to visit places you’ve been before under drastically different circumstances. almost every city is a return, and a reminder of what’s changed since 2008. a lot of the change has been amazing – getting a record deal, pouring all the heartbreak into new material and putting out a whole record of it. (it’s yours now, too. so thanks for the help carrying all this heavy shit around.) but needless to say, it’s also been a year and a half of betrayal, depression and recovery — touring is like returning to the triggering place over and over again. maybe once this tour is over, it’ll really be time to wrap our 3rd record – with whatever new themes emerge (crossing our fingers it isn’t “my dear one 2”.)


We patiently waited for DAY ONE. And now it’s here.

15 Apr

hey kids. you should not be surprised to learn that we’re completely wired in the van, as usual. yes, you heard me: rest assured, all shondes are currently logged into social networking sites – so DON’T PANIC – we’re here to share our vantertainment with you the whole way. well except for Eli who’s driving (VERY SAFELY).

it’s surreal, to be honest – we have been frantically pulling this tour together, and suddenly we’re in the van en route to Virginia, to crash for the night, before continuing to Lexington for our first show tomorrow night. i couldn’t be more excited, unless of course, it could be guaranteed that billy dee williams and harrison ford would be attending tomorrow. barring that, i’d say we’re all about as happy as one can be about leaving the greatest city on earth.

will you be following us here, on our humble, new blog, as we travel across the US? we certainly hope so.

wishing you were here in the van with me for temim’s post-dayjob hijinks,