Category Blog/Tour Diary

At the End of the Minotaur

The mini-tour was fun. It was booked last minute but every show was fantastic.
Here are pics from the tour:
Here’s video of the Nashville show:

Here’s a dog napping on my belly while I watched Drag Me to Hell:

Here’s a dog watching Dave play Red Dead Redemption:

Here’s us blowing out the sound of the video in Akron:

Here’s the last show of the tour in Denton, TX:

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Good times in Hamilton

I played Colgate University a couple of weeks ago. It’s up in Hamilton, NY. Not having a car, I hitched a ride with my friend, Jerm, who had a show up in Potsdam. He wanted the company and some help with gas. It’s a really pretty drive from NYC to Hamilton. It was snowing on the way up and a few times we found ourselves in patches of blizzards.
Neither of us had phone service at the point we past Sidney which meant that the gps on Jerm’s phone was gone. So, we bought an old-timey map which worked perfect.

I neglected to find out where on campus I was playing, so I wandered a bit. I asked someone and she pointed me to downtown Hamilton. I had a nice walk.

I got to the venue, The Barge, and camped out in the back...

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Monsters of Accordion – San Francisco

Day 4
I opted to ride with the Petrojvic brothers. Charles wanted to leave right after the show rather than get up early.
One of my favorite drives is Oregon through northern California.

It was hard to sleep in the truck but I got a few good naps in. We pulled over to a quiet road near Mt. Shasta at dawn to sleep but because it was so pretty we stayed awake.
We listened to a Dune audiobook for most of the trip. My voice was wrecked from the night before so I kept quiet.
When we got to SF, I stayed with my friends Rich and Jenn. We ordered pizza and played video games. Then, we watched the Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon.

I like Slims. They made us dinner and provided beer and snacks. The security was really nice, too...

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Monsters of Accordion- Eugene

We left late to get to Eugene. The first band was sound checking when we got there. They’re called Aeon Now – Trombone, glockenspiel, banjo, violin, accordion, washboard, bass drum, snare, cymbal. They dress like the Upper Crust but with cooler make up. They were excellent.

This was the most eclectic crowd of the tour. I could play to this crowd every night of my life. They weren’t better than any other crowds but the ages went from one to eighty. That’s a true all-ages show. I appreciate older people coming to clubs. I made a new fan who was in her late sixties.
One of the other things I love about Eugene is the way people dress. There’s an individualism that shuns the conventional hipster boundary...

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Monsters of Accordion – Portland

Day 3
We had a late start leaving for Portland. Renee sang Christmas parody songs like the ones I used to read in Mad Magazine. Then she sang Weird Al’s “Christmas at Ground Zero” for me and Jason. She’s a joy.

Kennedy School is a great, great place. So much attention went into making the former school into an amazing complex of bars, restaurants and theaters. The venue we were in had a shitload of couches. It was an old auditorium converted into a movie theater converted for us into a music venue. Me and the Petrojvics drank at a tiny bar they dubbed Hogwarts.
The crowd was great. So nice. From the stage it looked like the seating for the Muppet Movie...

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Monsters of Accordion – Seattle 2

Day 2
Jason and I went to pick up t-shirts near the airport. They look really good. Jason is better at telling stories than I am. He told me some good ones about hooking up, epic stories that fiction couldn’t hold.
We picked up the Monsters of Accordion t-shirts and they looked really good. I like watching machines make things and they had one that screenprinted the tees.

Jason and Renee went to Petosa’s to take back an accordion. I hung out with Chris Weber.
We ate Vietnamese then went back to his house which was built by the 3rd most powerful man in Washington state. He’d built it with his dad in the 70’s. He’s a state senator and Chris’ landlord. It looks like an old national park building. There’s a small house outside that the senator keeps...

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Monsters of Accordion- Seattle

12/14/10 – Day 1
Flew Delta. It was an old-timey plane that still had the “No Smoking” lights that turn on and off. They showed Eat Pray Love on the aisle televisions. I didn’t want to watch it but had nothing else to do. I was too tired to read or write. So, I made myself sit through it. I unplugged my earphones within the last 20 minutes. It was that bad. Even when I saw The Postman I had to finish it. (The book The Postman is much better than the movie and the movie strays from the book). This movie was like looking at a Rothko. It just pissed me off. At least Rothko didn’t have someone looking over him to make his painting more appealing to movie audiences. Just restaurant ones. There’s really no reason for me to get upset. I do admire Rothko for making me upset.
Then, I...

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3/12/08 Austin Beauty Bar

We stopped at the Czech Stop in West on the way to Austin.  Ron and Suke had never been there and wanted to make sure we stopped there again on the way back so they could stock up on kolaches (Czech pastries).  I wrote a song about that place once and gave them a recording of it.  The town has a big festival and Myron Floren and Brave Combo have played there along with many other accordion players.

bravecombosimpsons.jpg brave combo on the simpsons

It’s a great town.

SXSW registration was overwhelming. Ron and I went to register while Suke and Dave looked for a place to park the van.  At one point we were going up the escalator and Ron said, “Do you feel a knot in your stomach?”  “Yeah, I do.”  I’ve never seen such a concentrated cool contest as I did there.  Not that everyone was trying but enough were to ma...

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3/11/08 Driving Day

We drove to Dallas from Athens. We stayed at my old roommates’ (Corbett and Becky) house where they were watching Cat Soup. Beth made ravioli lasagna for us. She’s real sweet.

We’d been craving Shiner Bock since the tour was planned and Corbett and Becky had it. Corbett was in an art rock band with Dave and me called The Dooms UK. His moniker was DJ Geeky C. He had good samples. He also has an awesome dog named The Baron. I love that dogs don’t worry about being over excited. What a joy. I had a dog in high school that pissed everytime she saw me come in the door. That’s a lot of excitement.

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3/10/08 Athens, GA – 283 Bar

On the way to Athens, we stopped to get gas in Harlem, GA. It’s the birthplace of Oliver Hardy. Subsequently, there is a museum dedicated to Laurel and Hardy. It was closed. I’m sure it's excellent.

oliverhardy closed. coño. photo by suke

Lori, the owner of 283 bar, is a sweet sweet lady. We arrived in Athens and she immediately gave us drinks and let us hang out a bit before loading in. During the load-in she made note of the coin-slot disco ball by the jukebox. She would deactivate the monetary switch in order to give us carte blanche with the ball along with the smoke machine.

athens5 photo by suke

We wandered the downtown with cd’s trying to put some on consignment. They are good with the local music but understandably not willing to burden themselves with unsigned touring bands. Except Wuxt...

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3/9/08 Augusta, GA – 1021 Bar

We checked into the Budget hotel.  They had a Coke machine that dated before Coke Classic.  I have a theory that New Coke was introduced as a smokescreen in order to replace sugar with corn syrup with Coke Classic.  Theories are fun.  I also had a theory that if you looped the electromagnetic spectrum you could reverse time.  Here’s some digression to magical realism:  If you put a radio at the end of a rope and spinned that rope at a 5-foot diameter from yourself during a nuclear explosion, then you could go back in time to a date that you really enjoyed and cut the time line into the form of a Wheel-O. Problem solved.

We were early so we hung out in the room and watched Randy Jackson’s Dance show.  A dance crew dressed as vampires were my favorite.  They were beat by Fish and Chicks.  T...

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3/8/08 Greenville, NC – The Spazzatorium

Ron and Dave drove to Jersey to pick up the van and met us back at the rehearsal studio.  Our gear was a tight fit.  It started raining. All the way from NYC through Richmond the rain was torrential.  But we hauled ass because we were supposed to load in at 8pm.  We had a gps system and tried to keep the arrival time before 8.  After Richmond we hit a couple of rubberneck hold ups due to wrecks.

I’d played Greenville in the past with the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus.  It was a great time.  This time was a little stressful getting to the venue. 

They have Galaga there.  I love that game even though I usually die before the second challenging stage.

 spazzatoriumphoto by suke

Jeff, the co-owner, was really nice. “We’re about to order wings if you guys want some.”  I did because wings are so good.  But I...

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SXSW Showcase Review

Jim Shearer at IFC reviewed our set.

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video of Charlottesville show

A nice lady named Ellie put this on youtube:

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Stubb’s Fan Fiction

“Can I get a chopped beef sandwich with a side of collard greens and an order of wings to start and sweet tea.”


The fellow who went and ordered such things received them and privately said grace because he was so excited that he felt compelled to say grace even though he hadn’t done so in a long, long time. His collard greens were amazing. He’d tried to boil them himself on a couple of occasions but was never able to get the texture like this. Perhaps next time he will steam them.

After he finished his dinner, he went to use the bathroom and accidentally walked into the green room intended for someone else...

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Lancaster, PA 7/20

Lancaster is Awesome:

What a fantastic show with lots of smoke from the fog machine.  I’ve never been to this town before.  It’s got a good scene.  And the Chameleon is a great venue.  One part of the bar is Atlantis themed.  Jesse, the manager, told me it used to have more stuff like the bottom half of a lady in the water and a shark and a fish at the end of a fishing pole.  Jesse studies composition at the university.

They have a wall of fame with promo 8X10’s of bands collected over the years.  I never had one made.  Linnell told me it was a good idea for the newspapers to promote your show.  I’m very unorganized.  I saw a Bogmen picture.  I know what Vic Thrill is doing now but not the others.  I worked with a girl in Texas who had “Princess” on her convertible’s l...

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Dewey Beach, DE 7/19

On the way to Dewey Beach:

I got up at 6:50 this morning, packed, and got a car service to Penn station and took a train to Baltimore. Then, I took the shuttle to the rentals and picked up my car for the tour. I got a gps system. It’s one less thing to worry about. But my gps wouldn’t let me enter Highway One or DE-1 or any other combinations, so I got lost a little.

I get excited on the first day out and get the shittiest food I can. Its stupid. I got Taco Bell. I didn’t ruin myself but I should have stuck to fruit. I will pace myself tomorrow.*

Bottle and Cork, Dewey Beach:

This venue is partially outdoors. The stage is inside and most of the people would be inside. I like playing inside...

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Bowery Ballroom 7/18

Last night was one of the best shows ever. Usually, the front row is full of people who have been waiting to see the headliner and have no patience for me. And I can see it on their faces. And that’s all I see. But last night many of those faces were familiar. And they were smiling. What a wonderful thing. I tried to do my show different. It was fun. I almost threw out a song that I’m still not comfortable with but decided to leave it in. Magic. I slept well. Very well.

It’s also cool to see your heroes excited to see you. Flans and Linnell were all smiles. Fantastic.

Shaky after-show hands took picture


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Junior High in a movie that may never come out

The song, Junior High, provides the background for the opening credits of Puberty: The Movie.

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The McShiddle

From Kittenpants on Repress Yourself

These Modern Socks!

This is a conversation I had via AIM today

Fishboy: I just got a TM* that the p’zone is back
Kittenpants: excuse me?
Kittenpants: the pizza calzone?
Fishboy: best food name ever created
Kittenpants: wow.
Kittenpants: someone texted you that?
Fishboy: yep
Kittenpants: and then you IMmed me.
Fishboy: yep
Kittenpants: that makes this the saddest use of technology, ever.

Reminds me of the time I went on tour with Corn Mo and The Polyphonic Spree. I was only joining him for a few days, so at one point, I went back home to NYC and Corn Mo kept going on the tour. A few hours after we parted ways he called me. I was in the mountains somewhere in North or South Carolina and there was no reception, so the cell phone kept disconnecting...

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