Home, bittersweet home
It is always bittersweet to be home after being on the road, meeting new people, seeing new places, feeling the energy of the world around. I am glad to be home with my bb's. So, let me recap what I experienced over in the Southeastern and Eastern parts of the country.
TL:DR : I went to a lot of places, ate a lot of food, saw a lot of bands, and hung out with a lot of friends. It was a good time.
Keokuk - I live here. But, playing a great show here is few and far between, mainly, because I don't play in town very often. This was a great show. My dear friend Nik Sorak came down from Ottumwa, and played some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard. Then, we went to the arcade and played 1-2-Switch at home. A fun night indeed.
Des Moines - Despite my mental breakdown during my set, my dear friend, Courtney Krause killed it, playing both originals and covers to appease the bar scene.
St. Louis - Dear sweet Rainey twins. Delia and Hannah Rainey set up the best show I've been to in awhile. Paper Ceilings had a full band for the first time, and it was rockin. Breathe Owl Breathe, from Michigan, really made me think about performance, and how I don't practice enough. THEY were my favorite band of the whole tour. For. Real. Dubb Nubb is so sweet and thought provoking. They played so many new songs (to me) that were even better than their last, and that's so crazy to me, because I thought their last works were the best. The. BEST.
We all went to get breakfast after the show, and the next morning, Delia and Hannah took me to The Mudhouse in STL, and I absolutely loved it. The next time I'm in St. L, I'm going there.
Paducah - Monday in Paducah was delightful. I arrived at Dry Ground Brewing Co. just in time to set up my p.a. and get to playing. The first brewery of many, it was in a beautiful old Coca-Cola factory. My friends Ryan m. Brewer and Jake Book joined me, and I'm so happy to have had them there. On a weird note: it was the first of many times I would see Mellow Mushrooms (the pizza place). It was kind of like a way for me to stay grounded to home, for some reason (there's one in Iowa City).
Nashville - I got to Nashville a little early, and took a walk around The Parthenon, Nashville's own life size replica of the Grecian ruin. Met up with my old friend, Matthew, and old pals Von Strantz (Jess and Kelsey) for dinner before the show together. Jess cooked up this fantastic salmon taco thing, that I really enjoyed, which is saying a lot, cause I kind of don't like fish. We played together outside of a cigar shop, and enjoyed the balmy evening. The morning brought another wonderfully home cooked meal of quiche and sweet potato fries by Jess, and I was off to Atlanta, with a pitstop in Chattanooga.
Chattanooga - I had to stop here for Wayne White's "Wayne-o-rama". This art showing was surreal for me. To see huge parade style heads made of all sorts of textiles. Things I watched being made through the eye of instagram. The magic mountain, the huge chief overlooking the space, the large tv set. I'm realizing now, I can't really ever describe seeing it. You'll just have to make the road trip.
Atlanta - From Chattanooga, I made my way into Atlanta. Lucky for me, my host for the evening, was available to have me stop by before my show. Show time, I had the chance to play in Bone Lick BBQ, the restaurant attached to my original show location, Edgewood Speakeasy. The booker really helped me out, because the original show had been cancelled, an unfortunate, but somewhat normal happenstance. What really blew my mind was my old FB friend, Nick, new real life friend, came into town to see me play. That was a true treat.
After the show, I got to meet and hang out with another new friend, Chloe, a woman from S. Korea who is traveling the Americas and learning English, hoping to emigrate one day. I hope she makes it back soon. I also hope I can visit her in S. Korea someday as well.
Statesboro - I made it to the venue to meet up with Hard Fabric, Marisa and Brendan, and we found out that the venue had double booked. Not to worry, they made it work, and not only did we play, but the DJ that was booked also spun, so it was an eclectic night of music. Hard Fabric was such a fun band. They spun pop hits into folk dreams, Violent Femmes style. Shortly after the show, I made my way to Savannah to meet up with my girl Julie, and new friends, for her bachelorette party weekend.
Savannah - Historic walking tour in the morning. Not so great fried chicken for lunch. Shopping in the afternoon. I played with Cyril Durant at Southbound Brewing Co. I learned that in Georgia, breweries are unable to sell individual pints, but they can sell tours that have tastings attached. So, a ton of people came to the tour, and enjoyed the music along with it. All the girls (from the bachelorette party) came to the show, and Cyril was fantastic, playing some of my favorite alt. rock/grunge songs as soul and r&b tunes on the piano. His versions of "War Pigs" and "Smells like Teen Spirit" were pretty awesome. The show was followed by the usual college town shenanigans, ending the night with a drag show with some of the top notch Qweens of the area.
Saturday, we hit up the beach of Tybee Island, found our way to Paula Deen's restaurant (I thought it was awful food (not my choice to eat there)), and hit a Haunted pub crawl, which was a historical walking tour, disguised as a pub crawl. I was way more into the history and the hauntings than the drinks.
Sunday, we said our farewells, and I made my way to Charleston.
Charleston - My dear friend Mary was a lifesaver, hooking me up with a hotel room on the cheap, which gave me a little rest and recuperation after the first week on the road. The show was at The Mill. I played a solo set on the patio, and enjoyed fellowship with a couple that had lived in Hawaii for a few years, and really brought some aloha to my heart.
Winston-Salem - I got into town a little early, so I found myself at a local coffee shop, eating quiche and sewing an embroidery piece to pass the time. Upon arriving at the venue, Test Pattern, the sound guy was the most accommodating and interesting person I have ever met. I played with Arcus Hyatt, Tim Poovey, and Bjorn & Francois. All three had a unique twist on the acoustic. All three, completely different in approach. I hope to go back there soon.
Towson/Baltimore - Now, I did not make it into Baltimore, but I had the opportunity to play at Goucher College, in Towson, a suburb of the great city. The folks there were phenomenal. Big shout out to Greg and Aidan for hooking me up with this show, and for putting together the three phenoms I shared the stage with - Christa Wilcox, Purrer, and Slug Queen. Double shout out to Greg for giving me their room for the night.The night was full of love and good vibes. A special shout out to the girl who could have very well been Mitski's dopplegänger, which inspired me to sing a Mitski cover.
New York City - The joy of being on the road. I knew I was only a few hours from NYC, and knowing that I have dear friends there, I made the journey up. Amy and Griffin are the coolest people I know. Their travels make me envious, but also super happy that they get to see the world. I arrived just as Griffin was finishing up some of his work (you can find him HERE) and he showed me their favorite udon noodle place. When Amy got home, we hit the town. I busked the subway for a short spell, and then we were off to a chicken and waffle place (the best chicken of the trip), followed by a comedy show, and a little arcade time. We finished our night playing 1-2-Switch back at their place. Thursday morning, Amy took me to her favorite bagel place, and I got to have this fantastic gravlax bagel that I ate for both breakfast and lunch. We said our farewells, and I was back on the road for a two day journey home. Big shout out to Mary again for getting me another hotel in Ohio. You're the real mvp.
The journey was long, but welcome. I traveled over 3000 miles. I look forward to when I'll get the chance to do it again. Maybe sooner than later. (Definitely sooner... like June!)