anarchists & whiskey (a tour recap)

Posted on August 12, 2009

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I’ve decided to start updating this with a serious frequency, mostly just to wake up my writing chops, which are dying in the expanse of time between the end of my newspaper gig and the start of school. Expect an update every day, if I can manage any sort of self-discipline.

On Sunday I returned from a 2 week Tiny Tornadoes/Gracious Calamity tour, which ranged all the way down to Athens GA and up and out to Minneapolis MN before rolling on back to Boston. We had a pretty great time, and I used my handy little flip camera to get quite a few videos, many of which are now up on youtube. Here’s a quick selection of my favorites.

I don’t really know what was going on here, but I think this is the new #1 summer jam girls, girls, girls…and sometimes, boys. Hot off the streets of Minneapolis.

One of the most fun shows was in the basement of Cranky Yellow, a shop featuring art and clothing made by local artists in St. Louis. We bonded with the audience with a quick game of PDQ, and the balloons all over the place lent a festive atmosphere, especially to my song Sha La La. Keep an eye out for Shira hitting me in the face with a balloon and then derailing Mickey right after.

On the way to Nashville we got stuck in traffic for HOURS, at an almost complete standstill. Naturally we went kind of crazy, and this happened. Check out the sibling symmetry at the very end. Also, got mark twain on my right and shania on my left is a brilliant lyric.

Charleston was another awesome, intimate house show, at which we got a great version of one of my favorite songs of Shai’s, Anyone Can Walk Out On Love, AKA Anyone can rock out in gloves.

In Boiling Springs, PA, in the middle of nowhere, we had another of my favorite shows of all, playing with Josh Dean and Tara Toms, both brilliant songwriters, and playing to an amazingly friendly audience in their trailer, and eating delicious stew Josh cooked for us. Here’s one of Shira’s songs, Oh Eva.

You’ll notice there are a lot of favorite shows. That’s because most of them were unbelievable amounts of fun. For instance, this one, in a basement in pittsburgh with a bunch of anarchists and whiskey. Every Night When is the first song we all wrote collaboratively, though honestly Shai wrote most of it.

As rough as tour can get (too much diner food, no private space, 6+ hours a day in the car) one thing that’s great about it but which you don’t usually notice mid-tour is how nice it is to have your whole day planned out. You are constantly either looking for food, driving to a show, playing a show, or trying to get some sleep, and even the small chunks of free time you have are defined by this constant busyness, such that just sitting on a couch by yourself spacing out or playing with a dog feels like the most worthwhile activity in the world. Coming back home I always have a hard time readjusting, realizing that I have to shape my own days, that I have to choose how often to eat, read, write, play guitar, given that I can do all of those things whenever I want. Kind of an odd reason to feel hung up, but I don’t make the rules, I just notice em.

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