Wednesday, March 21st, 2007
We are in North Carolina. Last night we played in Jesse’s Home town, so there we lots of people at our show. There was a very amusing gear-head in the crowd that kept asking Nate questions like "Just curious, my friends and I had a little wager going on and… is that a rosewood neck?" I think after one of the Castanets’ songs he yelled out "Memory Man Rules!!" It was funny.
Chapel Hill is a small place… lots of nice things: gardens, fences.
We (the shapes cru) had a riveting game of small midnight-coloured foam ball in the streets of Chapel Hill after dark. Our exercise regime has gotten under way; we are ready for good-health living. Taco night in Van-ada, hosted by the talented Rory S followed.
Touring with Castanets is really nice… it’s such a relief to know we will be opening for a good band every night. It is like night and day from our last tour. I’m becoming aware of the mental space that is freed up from not marveling at the world of bad bands every night- it is very liberating. I guess there is something about the "stand alone" kind of solitude that can empower, though. But, comfort is comfortable and that is good for us now. Plus their set is different every night, which is good to keep the juices flowing.
Jon and I are drinking cool Modelos in the back. We just had a heated and quite satisfying talk about art and science. Jon seems to be obsessed with practicality and anything that can’t serve a functional purpose (ie opening a can of beer) is under his scrutiny. That means stuff like paintings and songs are in the hot seat. We did however manage to come to some sort of terms. I think we agreed that science (sometimes practical) is similar to art and that scientists and artists are often driven by the same existence-questioning motives. we are brilliant, I’m glad I’m recording these gems of thought.
Ok, done. cool.
Today is our first day off since the beginning of the tour. We’ve really become gung-ho and days off have kind of lost their charm. But we are thinking of seeing a movie tonight, which could be good.
The turn out last night was kind of disappointing, but I think we all agree that it was our best-played show yet. Athens on a saturday night is full of hot-headed college kids pickled in 3% beer. The liquor laws are weird here.
There is something about the south that really scares me. Of course it is the lore, history and reputation that is influencing me, not any concrete experiences; I just have to keep reminding myself that the one really bad red neck experience we’ve had was in Seattle. Anything goes.
It appears that I have been either slacking or omitting (due to lack of anything to say) the last few days’ logs. So update time. We have just lived the wonderful horrible SXSW festival: the notorious 4 day orgy of hand shaking, free beer and grid locks. upon arrival into Austin we had to go to the Austin Conference Center and get all the badge-y stuff. Waiting in line, the unavoidable celeb scouting and just general sizing up the crowd seemed uncannily like the worlds largest American Idol audition. It was a strange and somewhat tell-tale beginning to a festival that I resolutely loved and hated.
The good: shanty-town staple gun and plywood bars undoubtedly equipped with BBQs and concrete patios, schedualing out the days (haven’t been this organized or motivated since my days of music theatre rehearsals in Jr. high), many good and great acts (some favs were Lexie Mountain Boys, Dirty Projectors, Weird Weeds, Best Fwends).
The Bad: 6th street and St. Patty’s day/Saturday night crossover.
Credit: John Beeler
fully realized the greatness of Austin during SXSW. The east side (where we stayed with the very generous and awesome Nick and Meghan) is this over-grown collection of houses and taco shacks that seem to be the product of sunday afternoon half-baked construction whim-rampages. I mean this in the best best best way. It seems Austin has no building codes, or they aren’t enforced. But most buildings are a safe ground level.
Filed under: tour diary