October 28, 2013

The rest of the Zoo Animal Northeastern 2013 Fall Tour

10/19/13 The last time I posted, I wrote the entire blog on "notes" on my iPhone in Central Park. I was sitting on one of those massive rocks for about an hour and my behind killed me when I got up. Little kids were looking at me funny as I had my running shorts over my thermal pants on and I couldn't keep balance. Anyways, it was Saturday in Central Park and all forms of life were out and about: freshly minted married couples, street dancers, giant bubble making guys, jazz musicians, etc. I'm not really a super big emotional guy but seeing all of those things and the combination of Blur's live version of "The Universal" hit me hard. Imagine a wedding going on by the water in Central Park, to the left you have a crew of kids break dancing, and tourists from all over the world experiencing this place for the first time. Something was striking an emotional cord with me. Perhaps because I was in the city of infinite opportunity and I was humbled this town was hosting my band for four days? I really don't know. I'm rambling now. I went to this little cafe by a lake on Central Park for a bit, then went to get gifts to bring home. I wasn't really prepared to play this show at Goodbye Blue Monday in Brooklyn. It looked like an odd spot as you basically just email the booking person and say "I want that TBA slot on your website", and they give it to you immediately. Goodbye Blue Monday is a little punk rock bar in the Bushwick neighborhood and it isn't exactly totally welcoming. The neighborhood is pretty sketchy, and the house gear was kind of busted up. I did approach the sound guy, who was awesome, and asked if we could use our own gear since we we're 2nd to last and an acoustic duo was closing. He agreed, and all was well. This show ended up being one of the coolest shows on tour. We had a surprising amount of MN friends come out to see us, and the neighborhood transplant kids were awesome and hung out with us afterwards. We played probably our best set of the entire tour at this show. Before our set, Holly came up to us and basically said "chill out". We played to the room and the feeling couldn't have been better. The real highlight? Meeting a guy named, "shirt", who for sure played along with us on the "Forget About It" Tourrettes. He is from Detroit, and I still don't know his real name. On the van ride back to Lance's, Matt started improvising some song about "Hot Bread" for about ten minutes that had us dying. We all crashed hard at a reasonable NYC hour at about 2:30AM. 10/20/13 We had to get rolling to Providence to play at the Columbus Theatre. Lance forced us to walk a few blocks to some hyped up Bagel joint that had lines out the door. We got there at a good time and only had to wait about ten minutes for what was maybe one of the best egg, bacon, and cheese bagel sandwiches I have ever had. We scarfed down our food on the Rockefeller University campus and then made our way to Providence. If you haven't had the chance to road trip in New England...I say do it. This is why I have a throwback New England Patriots hat. I love Tom Brady and think he's the man, sue me, but the region of New England is way cooler. We rolled up to Columbus Theatre in Providence around 4:30PM and I was in full on geek mode when I saw the inside. I love old and historic theatres, and Tom Weyman was nice enough to host us there and his home. Our set was good and we called it an early night back to Tom's as we weren't feeling like staying up late for the 5th night in a row. For what it's worth, Tom runs a cool little label called "Supply and Demand". Highly recommend checking it out. 10/21/13 Matt I shared a bed in a guest bedroom and woke up to find everyone gone, except for a sleep talking Justin. We walked for about a mile and stumbled upon a cafe that Holly and Tom were Holly were eating at. Providence is a small town huh? This was a major laundry, recharge, and watch the most embarrassing Monday Night Football outing ever kind of day. I thought since we had the day off I'd find a bar to watch the game solo, but the gang wanted to tag along. I am so sorry for putting you through 3 hours of Josh Freeman of over throwing WRs by 20 yards. 10/22/13 Philadelphia. A town I have had zero luck in. Both times I have been scheduled to play here the shows have been canceled. We arrived to the venue after a long six hour drive and hit up a Gastro Pub down the street. I had an incredible burger with bacon and egg on it. Holy cow. Girard Gastro Pub I think is the name. Go go go. Justin's friend, Michael, came up from Baltimore to watch the show. He was one of maybe four people who weren't in bands to see us play. Before our set, Justin noticed some car was about to get towed and that it was Michael's. Michael had parked in a no parking zone that wasn't marked very clearly so Justin stood in front of the tow truck driver and waiting for Michael to come running out. Thankfully he came out in time but had to pay $200 to have to the tow truck guy release the car. Felt bad for the guy. I had a weird gag reflex and puked before our set. Literally as we were about to load on stage I had to ralph. Talk about timing? Set was actually fun and we dipped out to a hotel in western PA for a quick night's rest. 10/23/13 This day was absolutely awful. Had a ten hour drive to Bloomington, IN and for a chunk of it...it was hailing. It also got extremely cold entering the midwest. We arrived to the venue and it looked like they did nothing to promote the show. The kids we played with were all really cool and got us gas money but nobody was there. We decided to experiment and play as quiet as possible with our electric instruments. Oddly enough, kind of a cool set. We got a motel 6 and ate late night at the Denny's across the street. Real big time living. 10/24/13 Chicago. One of my favorite cities but this day was rough. It was about 30 degrees and the wind was ripping. Eddie, the cat who set up our show was awesome. The locals did us and themselves no favors as they maybe brought up 5 people total. I don't blame them as much as I blame my luck with playing Chicago. They were talented bands and good people, but I just can't seem to find people there who want to come see me play. The Subterranean is a great sounding place though with a killer stage. Sound guy couldn't have been more killer too. Decided to skip big city partying and got a hotel in Dekalb. 10/25/13 Daytrotter and Milwaukee. I've always wanted to do something with Daytrotter as tons of cool underground bands have gone through and done a session there. Matt hooked this up and we did new versions of old songs, and one new song. Keep your eyes peeled. We recharged with some decent Mexican food and started driving towards Milwaukee. We arrived to the venue and the owner told us we should just go across the street to grab beer so we don't have to pay bar prices. Ok? I bought Strongbow and since nobody ever likes it...I had it all to myself. The bands we played with were great but we were just too exhausted and did not play well. I felt tired, broken, homesick, and it felt like those four awesome NYC shows were years ago. 10/26/13 Arrived to 331 at 3:00pm and were greeted by loved ones, family, and friends. I didn't expect anyone to be at our last minute show at 4pm on a Saturday but it was probably one of the coolest shows I've played in town for awhile. Solidifies we have people who like our music, or just truly care about us. Overall, I had a great trip and learned a lot about myself and my band mates. Strengths and weaknesses were exposed but that's what tour is for and that's why you practice. Thank you everyone.

October 19, 2013

10/19/13 zoo animal tour blog

Sorry for the delay but I haven't had time to sit down on a computer and type this all out. I'll give the best recap I can. I'm currently sitting on a giant rock in Central Park. 10/16/13 @ Two Bit's Arcade. I volunteered to take us into the city as I'm somewhat familiar with playing on the lower east side. I had a feeling a member or two was nervous about taking the holland tunnel. Traffic was normal until we got out of the tunnel where we proceeded to sit at a string of two or three lights for an hour. People honked at me crazy but I said "screw it", and started the aggressive driving game myself. Not road rage but I kind of had fun honking at people. "Eyyyy I'm driving here" am I right? Finally get to Two Bits and found pretty rock star parking for Lower East Side. Alex, one of my bosses at Cause works out here part time and hooked us up with the show. The arcade was great with some classic games: Paperboy, Final Fight, Marvel vs Capcom etc etc. the space isn't friendly to noisy rock bands but the owner, Perry, treated us incredibly well. Although it was a free show they gave us bottles of wine, a comped bar tab, and were all around solid people working the place. We were sloppy from the two days of driving but managed to stay put together somehow. My childhood neighbors, Blake and Sam, came out to the show and we caught up about how are folks are doing. Blake is a rock star photographer around town and Sam hustles like crazy with a bunch of different jobs. Got to run into Grant Cutler and Allegra too! Matt hooked us up with a place to stay for the weekend with a gentleman named Lance Langston. He works at a local university and has a home on the upper east side. A truly fantastic situation. Sleep time was early (2am I guess?) 10/17/13 @ Muchmore's This day started out with us going to a place called the Plaza Diner where I dove into a bagel like whoa (shocked?). At this meal, Justin proceeded to shake the ketchup bottle for his hash browns but the cap was loose and I got dowsed in ketchup. I was fuming at the moment but looking back on it...pretty funny. I tried to wash up in the restroom but they only had air dryers! I got a doggy bag for my condiment covered hoodie. The show was at a cool little cafe/bar in Williamsburg with a handful of younger Williamsburg bands. I generally tend to think the kids here see me and noticed right away I don't belong and are snooty. Not this time as all the kids were really cool and seemed receptive to us. Couple of cool bands we played with had fun names: Shark Muffin and HayBaby. Huge thanks to Rosemary for Sam from HayBaby's contact. Holly, Matt, and Justin went to the totally gross national product showcase down the street as I hung around with Jason Sack and Jason Dorkelson. We laughed at how much of a circus the Vikibgs are and how Dorkelson is actually going to MetLife for the giants/Vikes game for Monday Night Football. I had a beverage or two during all of this but it felt good to unwind with old friends. The gang came back and they drove us (my not so sober mind) home. Hey, Budweiser cans were $3. I'm on tour and I'm responsible. 10/18/13 @ The Gutter As you can imagine, my body was aching this morning. Thankfully Maija helped me get all the medical things I would need for this. Emergen-C, allergy meds, and plenty of stuff for my break out face. The Gutter is an old school bowling alley with a killer show room in the back. Keith from Goodnight Records put us on the bill last minute, but man did we luck out. Open bar during our set time assured we played to people. Paddy Mulloy was the highlight for me. Love him so much! A crew of MPLS folks met up with us and we checked out the Is/Is show in Bushwick at a Punk House. I literally don't remember the last time I went to a basement show but man that was fun. None of us dared to take the subway home (would have been an hour) so we splurged and got cabs to our respective homes. We have one more show in Brooklyn tonight at Goodnight Blue Monday. 11:30pm and it's free as funk. Off to providence tomorrow. p.s. I've been calling Holly, "Linden", this whole trip. She must watch The Killing now to understand me.

October 16, 2013

Zoo Animal east coast tour day 1

I haven't slept much in the last couple of days. The night before I left I was tossing and turning all night. Everything was ready to go but still couldn't muster up a good night of sleeping. I don't have much to say since we spent 14 hours driving to Youngstown, OH for a hotel. We're driving through beautiful PA at the moment and got a few hours until we hit NYC. Justin has a mobile office with 4G in the back! Matt and I played hours of "ditch/date/marry" that got elaborate with things like "11am, 2am, 6am". Hey, east coast has Snapple Pink Lemonade. Minnesota has to get back on that. I'm typing this first update from an iPhone, so apologies if it makes no sense. I'll try to update this page as much as possible. Holly is a driving champion and Matt drove us through a storm last night. How did I sleep at the hotel after being on the road for 14 hours? Like a baby? Nope :( Thank Jesus I packed sleeping pills though and will for sure take one after our set in NYC tonight. Also, there's no radio here so there's been plenty of bad singing to ourselves. Tourettes city.

February 27, 2013


I've been seeing this photograph floating around on the internet the past few months. Have you guys seen this? Part of me feels very conflicted as someone who is a musician, currently plays in bands, has toured since 2003 (I'm still a young buck, I'm aware. I'm not playing the "I'm old" card), but also as someone who has booked and worked for venues in town for the past 5 years. This photograph feels very, "me, me, me, look at how great I am that I can plug in my guitar, be in a band, and perform live". The reality is that so many blind egotistical musicians don't realize: there's just as much work into operating a bar, venue, club, theater etc etc etc. I recently commented on the thread where this started and used a sporting analogy (sorry!): Why would a GM for ____ professional sporting team pay big bucks to player who doesn't perform very well? This photo generalizes bookers/managers as "you think you're just paying someone to stand on stage to sing and play"? No. The venue paying and praying for is that your music is good enough to bring folks into the establishment so you can make money and the venue covers their expenses for the night. We also are hoping you helped us promote your show. It's a two way street. Musicians and bands pay up the arse for practice spaces, gear, recording time, website, van, van repairs, and many other things as stated in the photo. I know how that goes 100% and hear you loud and clear on that bit. I gotta say that the "costume" part did make me laugh just a little. :) Are you GWAR, KISS, or The Misfits? I'm sure any venue would be glad to pay for your services and willingly take your demands with a smile. You know what the venue pays for that's also extremely expensive that you're probably not aware of or even give a damn about? 1.) The Venue's rent/mortgage - Doubt you thought of that one :) 2.) The staff - The venue provides bartenders, servers, barbacks, and security to ensure that the event goes well and keeps the customers happy. A well run staff is truly what keeps a good venue going and keeps the night awesome. This isn't cheap. If bands don't draw and venues slows down...people's shifts get cut. Jobs will be lost. 3.) Sound person - Oh, you've got your own? That's truly awesome and I bet that's in your benefit so you get the sound you are familiar with. However, the venue still pays for their house engineer to be there to ensure everything is ok and to answer any questions. 4.) Liquor and food licenses - Venue's just don't have magic booze and food appear. Depending where you are some venues even have proper chefs or mixologists (Ugh. Hate that word) on the staff. These permits/licenses cost thousands of dollars and take forever to obtain sometimes. Some cases....lots of boring meetings that go on forever! 5.) The PA/Stage - Venues don't have gear and stages donated to them all the time. The cost of amps, speakers, microphones, monitors, snakes, and so many other things can cost a fortune. Thousands and thousands of dollars, pounds, euros... 6.) General bills: Think paying for A/C, heat, trash, electricity, recycling is a non factor at a club? Think again. 7.) Advertising in local art papers, newspapers, and things of that nature. This isn't free either! We try our best to make sure the show goes well. Good venues don't just book for the sake of booking something. There are nights out there where it's better to have nothing than something. Nobody likes that but it does happen. I think it's great that more and more people are getting into music, touring, making great records, and sharing music. I think it's just foolish to think that the venues should bow down to you because you chose to spend money on being a musician. Certain bands and artists will indeed get a guarantee but you too would laugh if you got emails that I've gotten that have said "We're writing to inquire playing your club on a Friday or Saturday night. We're called Excalibur Deep Burger from Hudson, WI and we just won the battle of the bands at the Fish Bunker two weeks ago. We are very excited at the prospect of coming to rock the house down and PACKING the place. We need a weekend date in one month and also will require $1,000. We're a mix of hard rock originals and hair band covers". Right away, I guarantee this....I'm willing to bet you don't "pack the house". - Musician/Booking guy

July 4, 2011

Tour Blog #17-18

I've been home in Minneapolis for about four full days at this point. I've been going to sleep extremely early, eating better, and not drinking at all. Well...I had to finally drink a Strongbow when I got home but that was about it. As I was saying in my last post my stomach was not doing so well on the last day in Iowa City. Just had no appetite or had any will to consume anything. Thankfully I got to think about being so close to home to my partner and at least got to hang/stay with my buddy Adam Kokontis. The reason why I tour is because I get to meet people like him. I met him about 6 years ago on an Askeleton tour when we played with his old band in Iowa City.

I've played the Mill before and didn't really have a pleasant experience last time but the sound man made the experience good for me. I couldn't even take more than 3-4 bites of my salad and I was done. Really on my last lags at this point. I coughed and it felt like everything I had ever consumed wanted to come up but didn't. I was pretty miserable. It really came into the way I played my set. I just could not concentrate at all. The band ,"Grand Kids", had a cool dream-pop sound about them that I have been digging but I just couldn't watch anyone that night.

After the show; Tim stayed with some friends he knew in Iowa City. Holly and I stayed with my friend Adam in Cedar Rapids. I drink a giant glass of water, took vitamins, and had a hot shower before I hit the sack. Thankfully those dudes had an extra bedroom that I could crash in. Never had I ever had such a great tour "I get a bed" experience. Thank you sir. Thank you, Carol. I woke up to their kid, Leonard, running down the stairs and calling my name. I saw him about two years ago and the only word he said to me was, "TOUCHDOWN". Haha.

Check out this video of Leonard passed out at a wedding:

Holly and I hit the road at 8:30a.m.
The road to Minneapolis came and went. We made it back by 1pm and seeing Maija, Linus, and my new home couldn't have been a better site.

p.s. the photo of Tim, Tim's Dad, and I eating breakfast is just outside of Seattle @ Tim's Dad's new crib.
the photo of me thinking all deep n stuff is at "The Donut Whole" in Wichita, KS
and the driving shot is of us entering Chicago traffic. Yes...I did drive on this tour.

June 30, 2011

Tour Blog #14, 15, 16 (2nd to last entry)

Woke up in Sheridan, WY which is maybe the most bizarre little town ever. I don't know why or how to explain it but the vibe was just interesting to me. When we walked into a diner to get breakfast the entire place did the classic "record stops suddenly" movie cliche thing. They all stared at us as they knew we weren't one of them.

We drove 7 hours to get to Denver which is a city I've always been interested in. I explained this to the locals who I chatted with after the show as well but... growing up there wasn't much MN sports to cheer for outside of the 91 twins. The Nuggets and Broncos were the joint. John Elway for the Broncos and Dikembe Mutombo was sort of early heros of mine. Not to mention all I could think of was the 2009 season opener the Broncos played against the Bengals. Orton threw a hail mary bomb from 87 yards out and was tipped in the air before Brandon Stokley came down with it for the game winning TD. Gus Johnson, who announced for CBS at the time, absolutely lost his mind. A great call in sports history.

Oh yeah...Denver. My friends Steve and Lee just moved down there and after a quick bite of food we met them outside the venue. This was the first time on the entire tour I got to actually drink, laugh, and catch up with friends. The show was also great as Zoo Animal had done a trade with the headlining band. Kick ass Monday evening in Denver for sure. I didn't sleep much due to the fact I knew how close we were getting to the Minnesota.

We made our way to Lincoln, NE the following morning. This is a town I've always liked but there's just not much I can say about this show. While we had a good audience and the bar was solid...the other bands just were not my thing. Nice enough guys as I chatted with the 50 year old bass player in the first band about Dead Kennedy's for a while. I just don't understand how bands don't realize you're a traveling band and when there is only a small amount of $$$ at the door you insist on splitting it three ways. Dudes!? I think at this point Holly, Tim, and myself hit a wall and were just tired of the road. Holly was baller and drove us to Des Moines so we'd cut our Chicago drive time down. I also didn't sleep very well there as we rolled in around 4:30am and left a little after 10:00am. I think I maybe got an hour of sleep this night.

Chicago...maybe one of my favorite cities and always get stoked to play there. This time we played The Beat Kitchen which is a kickass little club in the Roscoe neighborhood. The hospitality, the food, the beer (oh god...lot's of it), and the green room were kick ass. The last band "On Again Off Again" were a good band and all nice fellas as they gave us all of the door money. See Lincoln?! This does happen!

The next morning we made our way to "Hot Doug's" as Tim was wanted to go there from day 1 of this tour. The line was 30 minutes long but we toughed it out. A great place to get some insanely good dogs. Unfortunately I was feeling a bit hungover (the one and only time this entire trip!) from the night before and my stomach didn't like me very much. Thankfully nothing happened but just required huge doses of "Emergen C" and Earl Gray Tea. Holyoke, the band we played with in Chicago, gave us a bunch of free Noodle & Company punch cards and that's pretty much what we did upon arrival in Iowa City. Right now I am nursing the Earl Gray Tea and catching up on emails. Playing our last show of the tour tonight @ The Mill. It's crazy to think I will be home very soon. Like...less than 24 hours. Love and miss you all.

sorry: no time to edit again.

June 28, 2011

Tour Blog #12, 13

First of all. I have to give it up for the "R's" that have saved my brain on this tour. Ricky Gervais Podcast and The Rich Eisen Podcast. Thank you for providing me with great entertainment.

I have a lot of writing to do but I won't make this too long.

We hit up Mother's Cafe in DT Portland and afterwards we tried to hit up VooDoo Donuts. The DT location was closed for remodeling so we decided to hit up the other location. We get there and there is a gigantic line outside the building. We passed on the donut idea and drove to Tacoma. I've never been to Washington but Zoo Animal has been there 2x before. We played a friend's living room to about 30-40 people who knew all of Holly's lyrics. Great show with pretty nice people. The Hosts Aaron and Stephanie were great house show hosts. Holly's other sister lived a few blocks away so we got to do laundry, shower, and just recharge after the brutal SF to Portland drive we did the other day.

The next day we woke up and just lounged around the house. The weather was perfect (raining and 60s) and made us all sleepy. We had some lunch near "the sound" in Tacoma. Basically a sweet body of water (see pic). I totally had to blast Julee Cruise and Angelo Badalamenti (Twin Peaks soundtrack) while driving around in Washington. Anyways... we got ready for our show in Seattle. It was pride weekend and the streets were packed and impossible the park on. We parked downhill a block away and loaded from there. The Arabica Lounge is a new place in Capitol Hill that has a cool vibe but not too many shows. The show was slow but the local band, Slow Skate, totally killed it. For any fan of "Beach House" you would dig them. I took a walk before they played and kind of explored the neighborhood. So this is where Sub Pop, Nirvana, Sunny Day Real Estate is from? Hell...even Kill Sadie moved out here (Minus The Knol)....Cool town but man it was loud and just too busy for my extreme love. I want to give it another chance but perhaps on a vacation. Visually...Seattle is fookin' awesome.

Tim's Dad just moved out there so we stayed with him as we had to get rest for our 14 hour drive to WY. Denver was two days away and this is where I'll stop. My wrist is killing me. No time to edit.

Coming up: Steve Yasgar & Lee VanLith sightings!

June 24, 2011

Tour Blog #10 & 11

So we left off in San Fransico I believe. I hadn't been to SF in about ten years and didn't remember too much about it. I remembered some of the best chinese food of my life was consumed there and that's about it. We rolled into town to see our friend, Farrah, visiting from MPLS. She made us dinner at her friend's house and that really couldn't have been better. A salad, spaghetti, chicken, and some baby potatoes. We showed up to Hotel Utah where we saw a bunch of MN Twin jerseys as they were in town playing the giants. The bar staff gave us a weird look when we said we were from MN. I guess the Twins slaughtered the Giants 9-2 the night before.

The venue was rad as the soundguy, Chuck, knew the very small room really well. He was the drummer in the Fat Wreck Chords band "Swingin Utters" at one point. He mentioned he played at first avenue a couple of times and there's probably a good chance I saw them play in the early 00's. Small world huh? Michael from the SF based band "Birds and Batteries" opened the show solo and I loved it. He had a drum pad, loop pedals, and two synths. Very cool stuff. The band who played after us, Sands, were probably my favorite of the tour. Very low key psychedelic style of music with great guitar work and a smooth rhythm section. btw - the soundguy also barbacked. workin' man!

The door guy, Rich, was awesome as we talked NFL for quite a bit and he performed a great Morris Day impression by doing his "The Bird" dance. Had me floored as how well he had it down.

We woke up early around 7am to hit the road by 8am. I truly love the SF vibe (outside of the smog) and was sad to leave the town as we only spent such little time there. We made the 12 hour drive to Portland rather smooth like...yes....12 hour drive. I finally realized my iPod has games on it so I killed some time very nicely on the trip. When I drove I played Julee Cruise's music and I think Holly dug it a lot. I guess for me; driving through the Pacific NW and listening to songs from the Twin Peaks soundtrack made me feel giddy. Such a lovely place to drive through. Truly awesome.

The Red Room is a bar in Northeast Portland that really doesn't like "Hipsters". The food menu says "Fuck Off Hipsters" with a guy holding up a middle finger. Oddly enough...I saw plenty of hipsters in there the entire night. I guess dudes in denim sleeve less jackets, with an obscure crust band's patch attached to the back...I would call that hipster? No? I actually liked the room and they could not have been a cooler staff. They got us half off food as I finally ate my first burger this tour. A burger with Bacon, Avacado, Onion Ring, Lettuce, and Tomato. Pretty righteous. Tim had wasabi on his burger and I could tell he was struggling. Too much of that stuff will kill you. The set was cool and I couldn't have been more stoked to see my friend Will Meek at the show. Dude taught me a lot about touring and how to book tours back in 2003/2004. A really cool guy who made his way out to Portland a few years back for work. We talked about the sporting broadcaster, Gus Johnson, for a little while. Along with horror tour stories. Miss that dude.

Holly's friend recently moved out here so we stayed with her in an amazing house. They have a cat but thankfully I prepared on this trip and brought night time allergy medicine and slept through the night. I'm currently writing from her house now in Portland and getting ready to maybe try "Voodoo Donuts" which I saw Anthony Bordain go to in his PDX episode. I guess the locals call Portland "PDX". Off to Tacoma today. Love you all!

June 23, 2011

Tour Blog #7, 8, 9

Oh man. Where do I start? Well I will certainly try to be brief with these as I can be. We drove from Van Horn, TX to Phoenix, AZ in about 9 hours. We forgot about the time zone change and got to the venue HOURS early. Surprise surprise huh? We hit up a dunkin donuts like I said and hit the wi-fi before load in. The show was a slight bust as the local band was one guy playing solo. Maybe 10 people there? The Rogue Bar is actually a cool venue to play and the staff + owner were super cool to us. They got us drinks and bought a few records. The doorgal got the record and told us what bands would be helpful to know next time Zoo Animal plays Phoenix. We stayed in Holly's family friend's guest house in Phoenix which was great because I finally got my own room. Of course...nothing against the band...but stretching out was pretty killer. Not to mention my shoulder was throbbing in pain when we were in the desert.

Alright...San Diego...perhaps my favorite U.S. city ever. PERFECT weather as the drive was sheer brutality on us and the van. Going up and down the hills on highway 8 made the van overheat for a quick second. Thankfully, it was only a slight scare. We arrived at Holly's sister's house in North Park and proceeded to get coffee and food at a Mexican joint. I phoned my Mom seeing if she'd send a message to my SD relatives and sure enough...two of my cousins (Mike and Joel) came out to the show. It had been at least ten years since I had last seen them. Another bonus was seeing my older brother's best friend from Edina, Chris Clarke, who I hadn't seen since Josh's wedding. We really didn't talk at his wedding so it really had been about 12 years since we really hung out. By hung out...I mean...he babysat me as a kid. I really enjoyed the show as the Soda Bar is a pretty cool venue and the bands were great. The first band had this guy Brandon in it who plays bass for Rooney. He was a solid dude to talk tour stuff with. Virgin Islands were a band from Seattle but we had a lot of mutual friends from MPLS: Erin Tate, Kruddler dudes, Jacy McIntosh, etc. He was in a Omaha band called The Cops. With a band name like that I think of Gus Johnson's commentary on Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson. "He's got GETTING AWAY FROM THE COPS SPEED". Hahahaa...I wish Gus was the announcer for this tour.

We had to be in LA at two pm for a radio interview in Silver Lake so we left SD early in the morning. Some wires got messed up and the radio thing was off so we walked around Santa Monica before the show. The record store (blanking on the name) was huge and two stories...and...had tons of people in there shopping for vinyl. Refreshing to see for sure! We finally got done walking around and made our way through the hellish L.A. traffic to get to our Long Beach show. I'm pretty sure the street we played on was the site for The Bluth Frozen Banana Stand in Arrested Development. We played a building literally 300 yards from the Queen Mary. The show was in a yacht club rented party room and while we had fun...we were for sure starting to miss home. I finally had my first alone time by walking the docks and calling Maija.

Scrambling to find a place to stay...I called my friend from MPLS who moved to Silverlake a few months ago. He was my boss years ago at CD Warehouse. Zero Selon is the name. He works on the set of the reality show "The Bachelor", and wasn't going to be home until 4am. He was cool enough to tell his roommates to unlock it for us. Unfortunately I only got to talk with him for about twenty minutes in the morning as we had to make our way to SF. We got our oil changed and headed for the city that plays host to DJ Tanner. I did text DJ and told her to come out to our show but she ignored me. Whatevs.

More to come...

June 19, 2011

Tour Blog #6

Today is Father's Day and I finally got to open the card Maija & Linus gave me before I left. It was totally sweet and silly as the card featured Elmo and when you pressed his t-shirt it said "Elmo loves you hahaha!" Couldn't ask for a better family! I'm glad we live in an age where technology is moving so fast. Smart phone? No...but at least my cell phone is able to call home and keep up with texts. Last night I got to use skype for the first time and got to chat/see my Mother. The desert was rough on us. We were in Van Horn, TX for the past couple of days recharging ourselves, drinking coors light (getting real crazy huh?), and eating Mexican food. As I said before we did not go to John Madden's favorite place, Chuy's, but...yes....we ended up doing that because we had to compare.

Your taste in food is questionable. While it wasn't garbage...it just wasn't nearly as good as the joint a block away. The place is decked out in NFL stuff and has a bunch of pictures of Mr.Madden himself with the owners. We got back to the hotel, I mixed the podcast, Tim watched Daily Show on Hulu, Holly watched Neko Case videos, and we eventually all crashed pretty early. Even with 5-6 Coors in us...yeah...come on...it's water beer. I woke up in the middle of night in throbbing shoulder pain. I got up to take some advil and noticed that someone was trying to get into our room. I looked through the peep hole and saw it was a woman with her child in a sling. I opened the door and she exclaimed "Wrong room! Sorry man!". I said "Yes..indeed...wrong room man".

We drove 9 hours to Phoenix and we're currently sitting in Dunkin Donuts. Holly disapproved of her Chocolate Glazed Donut, and Tim seemed to enjoy his apple fritter just fine. For the record: I love the hell out of Dunkin Donuts and MN needs one badly. I did get to talk to my Dad today and he sounded pretty happy about how his Father's Day went. I guess The Twins were victorious AGAIN (what's happening here?) in a thrilling bottom of the 9th victory. Good job team! Tonight is our first time playing in 3 days and we couldn't be more excited to be actually doing something. I did edit the ZA podcast a little bit and hope to put that online as soon as I am complete with the mixing and editing. Oh yeah...did I mention I got to ask Tim and Holly a bunch of stuff and recorded it? I threw in some Paul Allen/KFAN stuff for the missing Thom.

That's all for now!