Tour 5: Fall 2010, midwest/east
The night after our wild show in Fayettenam, we played in Raleigh at one of our favorite places to play: the Busy Bee. The Busy Bee is partly owned by an old friend of Jordan’s named David Meeker and he takes excellent care of us whenever we are in town. The Busy Bee is a 2 level coffee shop / bar and restaurant and the food their is bomb! Meeker had us eating well (for the first time in weeks (months?)) and eating often. The show itself was a good one too. In the past we had played on Sunday nights, and this time it was a Saturday so people were out and ready to have a good time. We played 2 solid sets and made some new fans for the next time we came to town. The post-show celebration was great too, as there are a wide selection of high-alcohol content and delicious beers of which we all took advantage. Thanks Meeker and if you are ever through Raleigh make sure you stop by the Busy Bee!
(photos by Emma Howell and Greg Monroy)
DC was a great time. The Asylum is a vegan – biker bar – music venue that lures locals to become regulars by offering 50 cent pitchers on saturdays starting at 4P, with each 1/2 hour increasing the prices. We played on a Thursday night, but needless to say we had a solid crowd. We have a lot of friends and fans in DC, from high school, college, study abroad, and other. Unfortunately, we could never get a solid start time from the venue, so we had to tell people to get there around 930, and we didn’t play until midnight, which meant that about 1/3 of our crowd had to leave before we sounded a single note. Who knew government jobs required you to be on time?
Really I just want to thank those of you who were able to stick around, and apologize to those of you who didn’t get a chance to the badass show we played. The space was nice and small, and the crowd was nice and rowdy, so we really got things moving.
After all was said and done, we got to spend some quality time with some old best friends. There was also band from New Zealand playing that we really enjoyed hanging out and swapping stories with. I wish we could have stuck around longer, because there were too many great people and too little time. Plus, it was Hooch needs more time to see the monuments. All in all, a wonderful night, and we can’t wait to go back.
The show in Brooklyn was a really fun one. We played a cool bar called the Charleston, and per usual, the time we were slotted to go on wasn’t actually revealed to us until earlier that day, and of course it was extremely early (8 pm) so getting people out was a little hard, but we managed to get 10 really awesome friends to show up! Once again because of the nature of the music business, and the errant behavior of booking agents and club bookers, Achachay! was a little lost in the shuffle and forced to go on before all of the other bands, hence the early start time. This turned out to be a huge drag because not only were a lot of people unable to make the early start time, but because the guy who performed after us played for all of 15 minutes and brought out no one! BUT that’s just how it goes some time. Our crowd was awesome though: mostly old friends from Houston who now live in NYC. It was also my first time to really hang around Brooklyn and that was cool too. I hope we can play Brooklyn again in the future because the vibe of the neighborhood (Williamsburg) really suits good live music and just an overall thirst for life, which we thoroughly subscribe to.
Monday the 8th we played in Albany with a great band called Spaceland. They’re super nice guys, and have a very polished and pleasing sound reminiscent of Coldplay. There’s a little U2 / Keane thrown in there as well. I highly recommend them, especially if you like Coldplay. We were super excited to jam out to them since we see many, many bands. They are at the top of my list for this tour.
Plus they are just really friendly and approachable guys. They also worked hard to bring out a crowd on a Monday night- not an easy feat. Their fans all stayed for our entire show, and some of them even offered us a place to stay. The whole affair just put a big smile on my face.
After the show, we went to the house of Kristoph, a couchsurfer. There was another band called World History staying with him that night too. They’ve been on a relentless six month tour as a duo and it was awesome to talk shop with them. One of them set up a diy site for booking shows called dodiy.org as well.
We started talking deep philosophy, social action, brainstorming ideas, sharing stories, all while playing Megaman on the SNES. It was a great night and it really pumped me up about life. Kristoph and I both lived in Ghana and had many other shared experiences. Good times all around. We’ll be back.
It was a cold and windy Sunday night when we played Boston. We actually played in a little town that makes up the greater Boston area called Allston. The venue was called O’brien’s (surprise!) and had a cool vibe to it. We always enjoy playing Boston and this time was no different. With the weather and it being a Sunday night we didn’t have the largest crowd, but we played really well and our friends who did come out to support us really enjoyed the show. We also played with this uber-awesome band from Boston called Grooveocracy. They are 3 very talented guys, on bass, drums and guitar, and they were just awesome. Impressive skills and groovy songs. We will definitely be back in Boston!
Tonight we were planning on playing in Toledo, OH but we got a call mid-afternoon today saying that the show had been canceled. Seems to be the story of the tour thus far. But as usual we decided to take advantage of the situation. Jordan’s friend from college Nick lives in Ann Arbor and just happened to be throwing a house party. So it just made sense that we would stick around an extra night and play at the house party. The party started with a DJ and a lot of dancing then at about midnight we went on and played until about 2. It was a blast. Turns out law students know how to party! We even pulled out a Rage Against the Machine cover…. It’s been a while since I’ve played Rage! So after the party we have a long drive to Providence, Rhode Island so we leave Ann Arbor at 4 AM. This part of the story has been told in Jordan’s post but I suppose I will hit the big points from my point of view. Basically I set up Garmin for Providence and didn’t take the time to look at the route (or check the settings on Garmin to see if you we would go international) and well we are about an hour and a half into our drive and we see a sign that says Canada 7 miles… Awesome. So after doing some mapping it turns out we basically have to travel through Canada or go 4 hours out of our way around Lake Erie. So we get to Customs and we have to answer some questions and they look through the van briefly and we are on our way into Canada without passports… So that was easy right? Well yes getting into Canada is easy…. Getting back into the US is not easy. Crossing back into the US we basically had everything but a body cavity search. They just couldn’t believe that the Canadians let us into their country without passports. So after an hour and a half of interrogation we are back in the US… On the plus side we did get to see Niagra Falls. What a day/night…..
We’re one hour outside of Ypsilanti, MI, when I get a phone call from the booking agent.
“Yeah, so the venue doesn’t have power. I’m sorry, but its not going to get fixed. Tonight’s show is canceled.”
Unbelievable. Again? Another show messed with? And this one, where my best buddy Nick lives (10 minutes away in Ann Arbor) and might be able to bring some friends?
We took this like we take the news of all the other times this craziness occurs on the road. Just an inconvenience easily overcome with some dedication and optimism. So we hit up every bar that might consider having live music in Ann Arbor to see if they had a slot for us to play that night. An hour later, no go. We drove to Ypsilanti, and started the process again. We walk into this basement martini lounge called the Keystone Underground and I start the story…
“We had a show canceled tonight, and…”
Before I can even finish, the bartender interrupts. “Wanna play here tonight?”
Yes, actually. Thanks! Great.
We ended up playing after a jazz combo, so we started later than expected and none of Nick’s hard working law studying compatriots could come out, but we had a dang good time. We made some friends, sold CDs and sunglasses, and got more people signed up on the mailing list. The bar even paid us a little and gave us free beer. All in all, a successful night.
Another reminder that life is what we make of it. We could have been bummed and complained and just sat around without a show and with no one to play for. Instead, we knew that if we tried we could some way to make the night worthwhile. We saw an opportunity instead of a loss. It doesn’t always work out – we’ve discovered that a couple of times on this tour. Yet for every time it doesn’t work out we have two stories of times it did, and often we end up with an even better crowd and pay situation than we would have in the original.
Do you have any examples of times that seemed terrible but with the right attitude you made something good out of it? Other ways you’ve discovered that life is what we make of it? Feel free to share them here.
We played Columbus Ohio just the other day. This was a special show because our merch-girl from our last tour, Amanda Shaftel, was a bartender at this bar when she was in college and she helped us get the gig. Unfortunately, she wasn’t within 1000 miles of the bar or Columbus in general! BUT we still managed to have a great time and a great show. The bar we played was called the Park Street Tavern, and even though it was a Wednesday there were a good amount of people out. A large portion of our crowd was actually couch-surfers from the area. Our CS host, Jeremy, got together a great group of Columbus CS’ers and it was a pleasure hanging out and playing for them. CS is truly an amazing network when its parlaying a place to crash with helping us gain new fans!
We played 3 monster sets and had the place hopping. The night ended with a couch-surfer gathering down by a local river that lasted into the wee-hours of the night. Columbus was a great time, and I was very impressed with the city.
They were a great mix of polka and punk rock that made for quite a ruckus. They sang songs about cider and were spitting on stage as expected from a crazy polka/punk band. Off stage they were great guys and we had fun sharing road stories. Our second night in Cleveland we had off so we just relaxed and did absolutely nothing and it was glorious! Our second show in Cleveland was at a bar called Wilbert’s. A cool little hole in the wall on the back of a building downtown. We had some great free grub and played with a great young band called Noize From the Basement. They may be young but they still know how to rock! We stayed with Fred (Ryan’s cousin) and Allison downtown Cleveland. Fred was actually in NY on business but Allison made us feel totally at home. We couldn’t have asked for anything more from a host! Thanks so much Allison! Overall it was a great stay in Cleveland. We got some rest and played some shows and we even got to celebrate Halloween at our first show! Unfortunately my Pac Man costume was a little too large to play in as you can see by the pics… So there you have Cleveland in a nutshell. Where did I get this giant nutshell? Hooch over and out….