Category TMBG Tour ’04

Last show of the tour

Last night was a sad bye bye.

It won’t hit me for a day but I’m gonna miss those Common Rotation guys. They are stand up friends. I called Jory yesterday to see if he was watching Rocky III. That’s gonna happen.

I’ve got new friends that came to the last 3 shows and sing along in the front row. It makes me smile. Those guys are stand up friends. They made my night.

We had a nice dressing room with a big L-shaped couch. I watched Pirates of the Caribbean and then took a nap.

I rode home with Flans and Ana, the merch girl, and her boyfriend, Yasha. Flans coaxed me into singing “Caro Mio Ben” for him and then told me some stories. He’s very, very smart.

As he pulled up to my house, I got out and did the thing where you try to open the back while someone is trying to unlock it...

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Day off

I had the day off today. No shows. No driving.

I watched some Damon Packard movies today. He’s a trust fund guy who made some movies.

I’m listening to ELO’s Time right now. It’s real pretty. The first two tracks are beautiful.

I hung out with my friends tonight. Jason called and wanted to hang out so we met up at Redd’s. He’s gold. If you’ve seen the corn modvd he’s in Big Boote’. And other friends were there, also. And my roommate Shane came with his girl, Kim.

My friends are awesome. They came to the Prospect Park show and supported me by being there. That’s awesome.

I have beautiful friends.

I love my friends. I love my mom. I love my girlfriend. I love my nieces. I have it good today.

I had a good tour. I got to be with heroes...

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Prospect Park

Tonight was one of my favorite shows ever. I played with the Giants in Prospect Park. And I got to bring my band with me. It was magic. For me it was magic. And later on I performed magic with my drummer, Ron, who had drunk hiccups. I made them go away by staring at him. After his amazement I explained that it was an old magician’s trick, where you make shit up as you go. I guess that’s a bad magician’s trick. But it worked.

It’s cool playing big shows and your friends come. It’s really cool. I’m sleeping very well tonight. I feel really good. Really good.

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Steve’s Living Room

We played another living room show last night in Dubois, PA. It was at Steve’s house. Steve’s real cool. Real cool. He invited all his friends, got snacks and beer, and treated us very well.

“I like your town.”

“Yeah, but you don’t live here.”

I liked the town.

The dressing room assigned wasn’t like the 4 year old’s room. It was Steve’s room and he had a Danger Danger poster on the wall. He was impressed that I knew who they were. It was a lovely home. I could live in that town.

I opened and went downstairs to set up. My backdrop was a wall of signed pictures of different characters from the show, “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.” Two were Spike, two were Julie Benz (she’s real pretty), two were the guy with the green face, and more of people I didn’t recognize...

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Living Room Show-Pittsburgh

I played my first “Living Room” show with Common Rotation last night. These are shows that CR books online with their fans. It’s a great idea: CR shows up at your house and you host them and strangers adorn your living room couches and floor.

They’d told me stories about them-like the host freaking out because there were too many people, or the surrealness of waiting in the kid’s bedroom until showtime.

When we arrived at the suburban Pittsburgh home I started getting nervous as I always do. Jory went to check things out (it’s protocol for us to wait in the car until the lay of the land is sussed out).

He came back, poked his head in the car and said, “There’s like 8 ladies there. We’re gonna wait for more people.”

I said, “I feel like Patrick Dempsey.”

Then Adam goes, “We should del...

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Jory’s Gameboy, Caruso

Jory (of Common Rotation) got a Gameboy. I played 007 on it. It’s good to have when you’re driving at night and your booklight is out. I’m reading “Them” by Jon Ronson and it’s a great read.

My voice is better. The beer fast helped.

I watched Steven Segal last night. He focuses well when he fights. I liked Timecop with Van Damme. He’s a little tragic and I like that. I hope he wins.

Jory’s got Rhapsody. I’m listening to Tiny Tim sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. I love Tiny Tim. I got to open for him once. What a wonderful performer. He gave his all. He would go on one knee to bring it home and would need help getting back up. Genuine and genius he was. A beautiful man.

You know who else is still awesome? David Lee Roth...

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Playing with the Johns

I’ve been playing with the Giants during their set on Particle Man. I feel like I’ve won a contest. It’s awesome. I stand in between them and they smile on me. If you took all the adjectives that describe amazing that’s what it’s like.

John Linnel and Carl Finch got me into playing accordion and so it’s kickass to trade licks with Linnel on stage.

Flansburg shows me his guitar hands to remind me of the chords.

The Giants are true gold. True gold.

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pittsburgh 2

I just finished my set. I’m worn out. The stage was real hot. I’m gonna run tommorrow morning. I play better when I’ve run. I drove last night from my folks house in Kentucky to Pittsburg and then stayed at a shitty motel with a nice staff. All the motels were full. The motel lounge band was just finishing their set with “Sgt Pepper”. My room didn’t have a working light so the guy put a new bulb in while I had half a beer at the bar.

I asked for a late checkout and he asked for 5 bucks. So, I gave him five bucks cause I was real tired. I usually like to fall asleep to the tv but I was too tired to bother. I think there was a shitload of bedbugs in my bed. I had a hard time getting to sleep because of the little bugs. I couldn’t see them when I turned on the light.

One time,...

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I’m in Pittsburg right now. My stomach feels uneasy. Common Rotation is on stage right now. They do really well with the crowd. I get nervous before every show and I can’t tell if this stomach is just nerves or partly the chinese food I had earlier. I think it’s both.

My sweet grandmother was upset that she forgot my birthday and made me a pie for my birthday. My birthday was last month and she made me a pie then. She’s a sweet, sweet lady.

I hope I rock Pittsburg tonight.

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Madison review

The show opened with a short but well-received set by the amiable trio Common Rotation, which played clever pop-folk music. But the most memorable of the two opening acts was Corn Mo, who boasts a sparkling suit and a glorious mane of hair and plays heavy metal songs on his accordion about his eighth-grade girlfriend and being mistaken for actor Gary Busey.

It was pretty funny, but what made Corn Mo’s set click is that he really sold his music, never for a second winking at the audience or suggesting it was all a put-on. When he closed with Queen’s “We Are the Champions” and a speech exhorting the crowd to “get on your horse and ride,” it was weirdly inspirational.

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response to Madison

Dear Colin,

I seriously teared up reading this. I will take on

your mission. I think you’re right that there is a

lot of good music that is uninvestigated. Most radio

is enjoyed by running in the hamster wheel. I think

clear channel is a beast that cannot be conquered

until satellite radio is the norm. Sunday night radio

shows are an oasis for people like you but you have to

have your sunday’s scheduled for such. Inspiration

needs to happen every day.

I get pissed off when someone casually brushes off the

Polyphonic Spree as another Flaming Lips when the

radio is full of bands that sound like the band before

it that sounds like the band before it. It’s hard for

some people to allow the magic to rock them. It takes

a concerted effort. So, I don’t know. I’ll keep doing

what I’m doin...

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Columbus 2

My friend, Matt, came to the show. I met him when I was out with the Spree. His job allows to pop up at shows all over the map. My rider requires “a townie to drink with” and I dubbed him the guy. I’d planned on sleeping in the car that I’d borrowed from my roommate’s girlfriend, Kim, but Matt needed a place and he knew people. 2 people more than I did. He got hold of this girl, Amber. She said a little more notice would be good. Matt had met her at a show she did with her band in Dayton that ended with a real shoot-out.

We met up at Brothers. I thought it was a place to get pizza. It was a bar. A good bar but I was beered out. I had to drive, too. There are some days when I just don’t want to drink and that was one of them. After shows, sometimes I can’t really drink beer...

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I’ve been out of shape lateley. I’ve been spending time with my folks in KY. Since my mom is sick, the nice folks from church have been bringing food to the house so I’ve done my part be eating it. I didn’t want to bother my dad to use his gym pass so I got Lose Weight Exercise my mowing the lawn (a treat since my Brooklyn home has no lawn).

So, when I got to Columbus after driving 8 hours from Brooklyn, I was excited and tired and nervous about playing a show so rusty.

I think I’ve mentioned this beofre but opening for the Giants couldn’t be a better fit for me. It’s as if someone tailored a crowd to fit what I do.

“Here you go. Now rock them.”

The Promowest Pavillion is a mini-amphitheater in the style of Dallas’ Starplex with the size of Austin’s Stubbs...

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Minneapolis was excellent. We played at 1st Avenue, the club from Purple Rain. Common Rotation ruled their set. The Giants ruled their set.

My accordion was back to “normal” so I had complete confidence and took that to the stage. It felt really good.

I met some nice folks by the table, including Rick, who saw me about 4 years ago in New Orleans when I was in the Circus. He and friends came to our show at the Shim Sham Club for a bachelor party.

There were good pinball games but I couldn’t get the change machine to take my money. I used to play Funland all the time. They didn’t have it, I just remember it.

I’m kinda sick right now.

Jory got some new shoes. They look real good. Co Ro’s friend from a movie set invited us to a party. She’s real nice...

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Too much technical notes on Madison because my axe broke

I broke my accordion in Madison.

I’ve never been to Wisconsin. I love cheese and there’s a place to get some at every major highway stop. Me and Rotation split some cheese curds, which are hard to find.

I got picked up at the airport by my old roommate’s sister, Jess. She showed me the Oscar Mayer factory and as we passed by, it smelled like sweet cooked meat. I shit you not. It didn’t smell like I thought it would.

I met Common Rotation for the first time at this show. It was like a first day of school with them for I would be sharing the car with them for the whole trip and didn’t know what to expect. They’re all nice fellows.

My accordion broke during sound check. I had just had it serviced the day before...

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letter from Madison

Dear Mr. Mo:

I saw you perform before the They Might Be Giants

show in Madison,

Wisconsin. I don’t expect you to remember, but I

shook your hand and said

that I’d never heard an accordion rock so hard

before. I’ve just finished

listening to your album I Hope You Win!, and I would

like to make a request.

Could you please rescue us from the current state of

popular music? I

understand that I’m charging you with a big quest,

but myself and others

like me are looking for heroes. Many have tried –

oh, how they have tried.

They Might Be Giants have been releasing

consistently good music for

years, and they’re still under the radar. Older

acts like Blue Oyster Cult

have tried to rescue us by releasing good new music,

but I don’t think

anybody’s listening...

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