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Posts Tagged ‘tour diary’

Photo Diary: The Warped Tour, Part 1

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Couple months ago I went on the Warped Tour as … a book tour. Yeah, I know. Here’s how it looked. What you won’t see in these photos is how horrible the music was, how mean people were about a table of books, and how HOT it was all summer. This is the Warped Tour, part 1.

Caught up with Castanets' tour in Bloomington on the pre-tour and drank some whiskeys.

Caught up with Castanets' tour in Bloomington on the pre-tour and drank some whiskeys.

Castanets' tourmate Mikey Turner sets off fireworks and me and David Stith and his pal hide behind a tree.

Castanets' tourmate Mikey Turner sets off fireworks and me and David Stith and his pal hide behind a tree.

The much maligned book table. My books.

The much maligned book table. My books.

Wild sumac outside Hartford.

Wild sumac outside Hartford.

The wonderful E. Chris Lynch was along tabling Microcosm Publishing and Deep Roots Animal Sanctuary.

The wonderful E. Chris Lynch was along tabling Microcosm Publishing and Deep Roots Animal Sanctuary.

Early early early morning. Crazy from no sleep.

Early early early morning. Crazy from no sleep.

Eastbound and down.

Eastbound and down.

BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact: adam@asthmatickitty.com

Shapes and Sizes Tour Diary, Summer ‘07

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

We had a day off planned for the 14th after Atlanta and before Cincinnati but we decided to play a show in Nashville. Fate had something very special for us that night.
We arrived and (as is our usual routine) found a coffee shop called Coco’s Cafe. It is a big place that has a front cafe and a back bar. That night was an open mic night. we had a lot of time before the gig so we got something to eat and hung around for a few hours. Being a natural explorer and general thrill-seeker, Rory ventured into the back room and caught a song by this girl named, as we would later learn, Lola. He came running into the front room where the rest of us were toiling away on the internet and said with an electric conviction "you guys have to see this girl". I followed and was blown away by this force on stage. I have never seen anything like her. Think Anthony and the Johnsons with the presence and spirit of a 19-year-old Nina Simone. We invited her to our show and she loved it as much as we loved her.
She was amazing. I cannot explain properly. We are now sitting in the car listening to her band A Parade and I am astounded. She is incredible and I hope she continues to do what she does.

Ok I am going to include a track from her CD, but I have no track names, unfortunately.

This leads me to another topic. It seems that sometimes these small shows allow for meetings with people that you wouldn’t necessarily meet at the bigger (green-roomed) venues. Why is that? It seems that aside from logistical thing, such as smaller audiences cheaper tickets and no back-stage beers, the smaller shows allow for different experiences. I really got this impression during our Nashville experience with Lola and. Perhaps the lack of pressure and expectations that inherently come with larger, higher profile gigs give room for strange, uncommon meetings and experiences.

With this said, however, there is much to say in favour of the scale of this tour with the National. We are paid well, fed, pampered and can always expect large audiences to play for. And in this instance, we get to tour with some really special people and musicians. We are enjoying this tour immensely.

Stream "White Beard," by a Parade
[Visit a Parade on MySpace]

Shapes and Sizes Tour Diary, Summer ‘07

Friday, June 8th, 2007

June 5th

To Toronto today. Last night was with the National in Montreal. We are officially in the rock star world and I personally feel excited and completely out of my element. I sort of like the discomfort of the big time. The sheer fact that I’m calling this the big time proves how small fries we are. When the promoter asked us what kind of booze we wanted I froze and all the stage hands lifting our gear just threw me off. Plus, all of a sudden we are faced with all this bureaucracy that apparently comes with rubbing elbows with a life of fame and money, but not having enough of either to have a manager. So we’re asked to do merch counts, merch floats, follow strict load in times, call ahead to venues and generally be more organized. We are our own secretaries, sitting behind a dashboard desk writing dates in our dollar store day planner. I love it!! Really really really.

I think it’s because I am a little bit control-y. Or maybe I just don’t yet know how to live the life of an uncontaminated artist, uninhibited by chores and work of this world.

Shapes and Sizes in Toronto, Photo by David Topping

June 7th

Now we are in Chicago awaiting gail-force winds expected later tonight. It is the windy city. Last night we were joined by another band called Talk Demonic from Portland so now it is a huge posse of good people.

So an update on our exercise routine. Last night the club we played at had a bowling alley!! AHH. So good, except I truly can’t bowl. I have this wicked curve ball that I can’t control.

The new van is way cool, except for those annoying seat belts! But the noise level is soooo much lower so now when we have heated conversations both back seaters and front seaters can participate. We really miss the stove though… for coffee.

Today’s conversation was on whether the date of a certain music should influence our opinion of it compared to similar works of later dates. And furthermore, whether if unaware of which artists came first or not, would our informed preferences be the same as our ignorant preferences?

Why are we so fixated on chronology? I don’t know but I think we are.

Ok enough for now!


Castanets-Shapes and Sizes ‘07 Part 9

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Hot cause I’m fly. You ain’t cause you not? Weird. Hooks.
Leaving Texas with that wiped-out post SXSW glaze. All the Oklahoma
passing by in the night outside looking like Mexico.
Set breakdown for the past five days goes-
1. Eh.
2. Maybe. Outside is weird. Bright. Hot.
3. Yes! Night!
4. NO! CAN NOT HEAR! I am sorry to the folks who watched this one.
5. Yes. Again yes. A nice send-off. Awesome evening vibe.
Baltimore wins this fest hands down. Ectstatic Sunshine. Ponytail. Dan
Deacon hitting the single best dance move of the year in the middle of
the Wham City Round Robin. Lexie Mountain Boys. Seriously, B’more=RAD
Good night.

Castanets-Shapes and Sizes ‘07 Part 8

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Events blaze across time with the speed of blackstrap. Texas under the influence of anise and the blood of some vague ungulate. Though we drag our feet, though empires rise and fall in the time it takes dice to roll off the fingers and come to rest, though events take Texas Time in Texas, they still fit in a single day. Whirling form of dust and mesquite, hickory and redbud, the bleach of bones and the tanning of hides, all embedded in this land as sand embeds in lash and skin. And when the company is fine in Austin, it is Mighty fine (one, not I, but one, might say Texas Fine). But there is another maelstrom, one of flesh, that writhes and shivers along E 6th St, which, by John Hunter’s account, is the true earthly embodiment of the discarded (or, as They say: fallen) angel. By this other storm, this other beast of human bodies, shall we be devoured; consumed, of our own volition, in body and will. Is this the Lone Star? The revolving impenetrable singularity beckoning with bent finger to all that which lies outside itself. If, as the scientists say, the universe tends towards entropy, then, perhaps, Texas, true to the desires of it’s prodigal son, is truly fulfilling the "plan" of "god."

Castanets-Shapes and Sizes ‘07 Part 7

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

March 10

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.

March 11.

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.

Castanets-Shapes and Sizes ‘07 Part 6

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

Chopped and Screwed set in Houston after an epic, afffirming and brief stop to Screwed Up Records and Tapes. Promised land. RIP SKREW. Set went skewed dance and sloow funk. Jana on the low end. Chavez serving up the Dark Crystals. Kind Texans kindly bought us way too many shots and beers. Too kind. Stayed at the Hunter house and woke up all weird. Need to catch up the blog in detail over the next couple days. New Orleans stuff. Drive stuff. Swamp stuff. SXSW day stage was not epic this morning. Looking good though, blazers. Overheard in the van this morning- "If anybody has any mood killers, I would love to jam all over your body".