The booking game is a crazy world… we finally confirmed the show that was supposed to happen on December 10th exactly ten days before it was to occur. On December 9th, I got a call from the booking agent saying that their email account had gotten hacked and he never confirmed the show, so we were SOL.
Luckily, we have been through this before and applied the Achachay! spirit. Focus on the solution, see the opportunity and make the most of whatever is in front of your face. After a few phone calls, it became apparent that nothing would happen that night. I’d have to wait until the morning.
We woke up at the usual time and I started calling all the bars in Winter Park. At first I got the usual run-around, but when I mentioned “We’re an awesome Austin TX funk rock band that got our show cancelled, do you want us to bring you an awesome show TONIGHT?” or something similar, they get things moving.
The Winter Park Pub came through in the 9th inning and opened their arms… not just a place to play, but a decent last minute guarantee, free food, free drinks. The show ended up being packed and well received. The staff was cool, and we’ll definitely be back! Even though Hooch and I both felt a little sniffly and hoarse, we played a top notch performance and had a great time busting out some covers we haven’t done in a long time. We closed off a three day weekend of 4-hour-a-night performances with gusto and energy.
We’ve been shown time and time again to keep the faith. In spite of whatever circumstances life throws your way, maintain an optimistic outlook while working hard to achieve whatever your objective is. Almost every time we’ve done this, the result is better than what we expected from the original plan. Even if it isn’t better, the experience is beautiful.
To top it off, we all three got to sleep in individual beds at the family place of a buddy I studied in Ghana with. We got to meet some of his family and catch up on six years of traveling, craziness, and life. All in all, a phenomenal day.
This is a bar that is seriously about 7 miles down a dirt road off the highway, about 7 miles outside of any major town. You’re literally drinking on some farmland. It used to be a crazy little dome structure, but then it burned down. I can’t even fully explain it.
This place is unlike any other. We went there after another show about a year ago, and the bartender randomly threw on hard-core porn on the TV behind the bar. What?
We were booked to host an open jam night on Sunday. Or, so we thought. Turns out they normally have an acoustic jam. The crowd was not expecting the all out funky madness of our straight improv. On top of that, Hooch was expecting a lot more of his musicians friends to come jam. Everyone was confused. We pulled it together, it just ended up being a weird mix of achachay and jam and just having musical fun on stage, in front of strangers.
Some of our best buddies like Dom and Andre and CJ came, and we had a really good time playing with them.
All in all, it was a night befitting of the Spider Dome. To be honest, I was a little disappointed that the rebuilt bar is not a dome, and being new, has a distinct absence of spiders.
As we packed out, I looked back at the TV behind the bar. Lo and behold, a giant cock…
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.
Hello all of my Achachillians! I write to you from a lovely coffee shop in sunny El Paso. Last night was the first night of the tour and it was a great start to our 2nd west coast (western US) tour. Our first show was at the Deadhorse Saloon in San Angelo, Texas. It was our second time playing there and we were happy/excited to be back. We opened up for a popular local band called Bugota. There were a few familiar faces in the crowd from the last time we played (which is always nice) and we ripped through a 70 minute set. It felt nice to be back on stage after not playing together for about 3 weeks.
So after the show it was time to find a place to sleep. We typically can get away with couchsurfing in most places we play, but unfortunately San Angelo doesn’t have a couchsurfer community, so we were forced to ask around at the bar. This time around we couldn’t find any takers– the most popular response being “my old-lady is really strict about that sort of thing…”. So it was up to us to find some where to sleep. Luckily Jordan brought two tents with him this time, and everyone was game to find a camp ground for the night. After driving through some fairly spooky terrain outside of San Angelo we came across a state park. We decided the safest thing to do would be camping out right in front of the welcome center, so as to not piss any park rangers or other authority figures off. It was clearly a permit only situation, but at 3:00 am we couldn’t give two shits.
I should take this moment to introduce the newest addition to our group: Amanda the merch-girl. That’s right, the three road warriors have welcomed a new member to the fold for this tour. Her name is Amanda Shaftel, and she is a friend of the band who volunteered to come on the road to help us sell merchandise. She’s a trooper as on her first night with us, she was subjected to a night sleeping in a hot tent (and yes it was FUCKING HOT).
Anyways we all tried to sleep the best we could, all of us expecting to be accosted by some random vagabond or park ranger/cop at any second. Personally I slept for possibly a grand total of 90 minutes, finding the heat and my own paranoia unbearable. We managed to make it until about 8:45 am before a stereotypical mustached and southern-drawled park ranger asked us for our camping permits. Luckily we explained that we had arrived too late to register, and he didn’t give us any gruff as long as we would leave or register.
Hell of a first night! I’m running on a ton of caffeine and a giant Mexican torta right now, but I know I’ll be crashing at some point. The fun part is we don’t have a place lined up to sleep tonight either! Yeah! Well, until next time folks…
So the title is a terrible Chris Farley reference…. But on our way from Boise, Id to Ft. Collins, CO (a 14 hour drive) it’s absolutely beautiful driving through the mountains in Idaho and Oregon. Then it gets dark and we we stop at IHOP to eat and the waitress asks us “How are the roads?”. At this point in the trip the roads are fine. So we just shrug it off because it was raining a little bit and tell her they’re fine. We leave IHOP and probably 45 minutes down the highway we run into one heck of a snow storm. Because I grew up in Oklahoma I’m the designated snow driver so I get to take the wheel…. At one point there was a foot and a half of snow on the road and the only way I could tell where to drive was by the sidemarkers on the highway…. It didn’t help that I was driving at 11 PM but luckily that meant there was very little traffic. So after driving 2 hours on 2 feet of snow we get to Laramie where we find out the interstate and the state highway we would take to Ft. Collins are both shut down. So after some slippin’ and slidin’ around Laramie we find a closed truckstop (they’re all closed) and decide to set up camp for the night in the van. We watched a terrible tv show on Ryan’s computer and tried to sleep for a few hours. At about 7 am Jordan decides he’s going to brave the conditions and see if the roads are opened. We get to hwy 287 south out of Laramie and it’s still shut down…. We sat parked on the highway for an hour or so before they finally open the highway and we could make it to Ft. Collins. So the moral of the story is if it’s going to snow and you’re traveling in Wyoming you’re going to want to book a hotel in advance.
After our Washington shows, and a few days spent exploring Seattle, we traveled to Boise, Idaho. We drove straight to our show at a place called Bouquet that was on the main drag in downtown Boise. We walked in to the bar and what did we see? Another band playing on stage! Apparently, there had been a mix-up with the booking and the show we thought we had no longer existed (this is probably the worst thing we could have heard after driving 8 hours). This is just one example of the day-to-day music industry based struggles our band goes through. Each show is booked in advance, but little things like set time, pay, and set length are often times up in the air until we get to the bar. There is a certain bit of anxiety before arriving at the club because of this uncertainty, and on this particular occasion it looked like we were hosed. Jordan had in fact booked the show for that date, only the booker had fumbled the date and accidentally forgot to put it on the calendar: it just slipped through the cracks.
Luckily for us we had 3 key things going for us. First, we didn’t have a show booked for the next day which allowed us to seek a new show, secondly after some finagling we managed to get the venue to book us for the next day, and third, our couch-surfing hostess Michelle was kind of enough to extend our stay with her for one more day. So with a new show on the books, we spent our day working in a coffee shop and doing some grassroots style promotion for the show that night. We actually managed to get some people we met during the day to come out, and the show went fairly well. I have to give it to Bouquet: even though they messed up our original show, they more than made up for it with the show the next day.
We enjoyed Boise and made some new friends via couch surfing.
The basics of this story, our night in Lafayette:
- Get to the Artmosphere, turn around to park and the car stalls. I realize immediately that we’re out of gas
- Listen to some kick ass music from Teddy Lamson and Leo DeJesus (his first solo show, clearly an old hand on the stage though)
- Play a great show
- 1AM: Get gas, but it won’t start. Run down the battery trying to get it to start.
- Get more gas, get the manager Chantel to jump us. Still won’t start
- Call AAA to get a jump. They send Pop-A-Lock. Still won’t start.
- Call AAA to get towed from Lafayette to New Orleans. 130 mile tow (free, thank goodness for the AAA Premier + RV card).
- The Tow truck tried to jump it, still won’t start. It is now 5AM and we’ve been at this for 4 hours.
- Get towed to Metarie (Don’t tell the tow guy that Charlie was sleeping in the back of the bus cause it’s technically illegal)
- 730AM: Sleep.
- Call AAA again, they send an automotive God who knows everything about Diesels and what happens when you run out of gas. Hooks up to a commercial battery charger and does a little trick with a rag soaked in unleaded (regular gas) pressed against the air intake. Tells everyone to back off in case of an explosion.
- The trick works, we’re back in business.
- Oh the Ho Bus. This time, it was our fault. Granted we don’t have a gas gage. At least it makes for some good stories and video.
There’s a reason 6th street is famous around the world. Last Monday night we stopped playing so that everyone could see and hear a birthday girl take a body shot off a kind stranger. Yep, you heard right. A fan of Achachay’s volunteered to have a shot of vodka-gelatin mix dumped on his bare belly button to be slurped up by the lucky birthday girl. If you’re looking for some crazy times, go no further than the Dizzy Rooster on Monday night. We’ll provide the soundtrack to your adventures.
For dudes, the tradition is a little different. Instead of finding an attractive woman and convincing her to give you a body shot for your birthday, the female bartender will jump up on the bar and pour crappy whiskey down your throat from the bottle. We’re not saying you can’t find jelly on the womanly belly, it’s just not par for the course.
For those who aren’t into the pub piquancy, rest assured that such silly shenanigans are never mandatory, and the music remains as dulcet as ever.
PHOTOS from THE DIZZY ROOSTER’S MONDAY NIGHT SHOWS:
One fine evening at our great friends the Sortes, we decided to relax in a a hot tub. Out of nowhere GASP! bubbles formed before our very eyes. Within minutes there were feet of bubbles covering the surface of the tub and spilling over into the pool like a shallow soapy waterfall. Insanity ensued!
The pictures say it all. Check back for more pictures as they surface and dodge all the dodgy bubbles.
Also check back for updates on our calendar. We’re working hard to book shows in and around Austin, and will likely head out East on I-10 again in early September.