Wednesday March 7
Santa Cruz Farmer's Market 2-4:30
Backstage Lounge Doors @ 6pm. Show @ 6:30. $10 1209 Soquel Ave. Santa Cruz, CA
Thursday March 8
Redhanded Artisan Shoppe - Topanga, CA with Nicolette Y Christopher 5 PM - FREE SHOW 155 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Topanga, CA
Lulu's Beehive - Studio City, CA 8 PM - FREE SHOW 13203 Ventura Blvd. Studio City, CA
Friday March 9
Lazy Hummingbird Coffee and Tea House - San Diego, CA with Old Man Wizard 6 PM - FREE SHOW 4876 Santa Monica Ave. Ocean Beach, CA
The Go Lounge - San Diego, CA with TBA 9 PM, 21+ 7123 El Cajon Blvd San Diego, CA
Saturday March 10
East Jesus - Slab City, Niland, CA (the middle of nowhere) 8 PM *** 23 Sidewinder Rd. Slab City, CA
***This is no ordinary show, and no ordinary place. The show will be at 8PM, but the rules at East Jesus state that no one is to show up after dark. Please read the survival guide, specific directions and other important details at EastJesus.org before attending. Seriously, take the whole day, wake up early, go out to the desert and spend some real time in one of the strangest, most fascinating places you will ever see in your life. East Jesus is "an experimental, habitable artwork in progress" located in Slab City just outside the town of Niland, CA by the shores of the Salton Sea.
Sunday March 11
TBA -Tucson, AZ with Missing Parts and Foxtails Brigade
Monday March 12
TBA - Arizona
Tuesday March 13
TBA - New Mexico
Wednesday March 14
Scalo Northern Italian Grill - Albuquerque, NM 8 PM 3500 Central Ave. SE Albuquerque, NM
Thursday March 15
Fair Bean Coffee - Austin, TX 3 PM - FREE SHOW 2210 S. 1st St. #1 Austin, TX
Friday March 16
Cathedral of Junk - Austin, TX 4422 Lareina Dr. Austin, TX
Sunday March 18
Yellow Feather Coffee - Denver, CO with Fiction is Fun 7 PM - $5-10 742 Santa Fe Dr. Denver, CO
First a big thank you to the generous people @ San Franola, a San Francisco based granola company. Secondly, a thank you to Townshend tea in Portland. They replaced the areas Kombucha when GT Dave's got recalled. Instead they gifted us with tea. Lastly, thanks to Bauhuas Kaffee in Farmington Missouri for the amazing coffee and the unbreakable french press. Ooh la la. If anyone wants to contribute anything to the band please reach us and we would kindly accept. Peace. Love. Unite.
Our first show was a replacement show for the Muse Lounge in Eugene that went out of business but our buddy John Whipple help acquire us a show in Portland @ the Camellia Lounge in the Pearl district. From one lounge to another. It was a swank type of tea bar with tea infused cocktails. A small venue but the staff was pleasant and it was a great show to work out the kinks. We had only rehearsed with all traveling members for the past couple months prior to leaving but American Nomad aka Hassan had been on his own tour the month before joining ours. We connected with Emo who we met the previous summer where we played at his speakeasy but he is no longer hosting shows but did put us up for the night and it was good to be back in Portland. The next night we played at Alberta St. Pub with Jesse Noll aka Simply EZ and the Underscore Orkestra a local Portland band. The show was well attended with My Dads in the audience and a friend from the bay that was in town for a wedding. The venue is a darkened pub with a separate space for music lined with pews from an old church. The next day we drove to Olympia for a show at Le Voyeur. We heard that the Olympia music scene is brutal and some people in town are apathetic but we got some people in off the streets and met a couple of traveling farmers from Ohio that let us stay at their house. I have slept in the bus every night except once so far in this trip when I camped in my tent in the parking lot. At this point people's personalitities and idiosynchrosies have begun to show themselves. Steve is the most comical but also the most disorganized. Constantly looking for one of 3 toothbrushes or one of several pairs of reading glasses. A shoe, a porkrind, a book, a CD. As neurotic as Woody Allen or Larry David this gentleman that buys, sells and trades high end guitars is a collector of many things. Colie has been quiet most the time or at least quiet enough for me not to hear much from her from the drivers seat. But her being the cute and sweet young girl that she is is naturally causing sexual tension for some of the other travelers. Cute as she is the inexperience is not attractive to me but for two others it is maddening. We drive on. Tacoma is met with showers the day of arriving but after meeting up with an old friend and bandmate we get clear skies heading to the venue. Bob's Java Jive on South Tacoma Way is as historic as it gets with an equal dose of diviness. Once about ten years ago when Bob passed away our band S.E.Z.M.A.B.I.T.M. and other local acts held a fundraiser to keep it from closing. It since has been turned into an historic landmark. But looking at the inside and smelling a putrid sewage smell I wonder if it wouldn't have been better to have it condemned. The line up for the night consisted of Simply EZ, American Nomad, John Whipple, Spirits of the Red City and Dum Spiro Spero. Not the turnout we expected but in the eclectic setting that is Bob's we made the best of it with the company we kept. We loaded up the bus and unloaded some dead weight from the past and moved forward with the future in sight. The next day we played a farmers market in Tacoma our second in two days to a better turnout than the one the day before due to the weather. We made some money got some good organic produce and headed to Seattle for a night with Viva la Villains, John Whipple and Simply EZ @ the Can Can. Another classic venue, an unforgettable cabaret lounge in Pike Place Market. Viva la Villains the headlining local act for the night was one man down because our buddy Brett the drummer broke his ankle a week prior but they held it together as an accoustic quartet. The turnout was solid almost a packed house with a professional sound. Our best show yet up til then on tour.
The night was mellow on the streets of Eugene but as we looked for parking for Rosa we heard what seemed to be an amplified band playing on the streets. Once on the streets we began looking for the prime busking spot and came across the amplified band playing in a doorway but they weren't amplified. As we approached they were in mid song and we listened enraptured. Harmonies, accordion, banjo, cello, slightly reminiscent of Spirits of the Red City yet not. We read a sign in their guitar case that read van is in shop band from Denver. We bought a CD to support and chatted them up for a bit. Fiction is Fun from Denver broke down just outside of Eugene and were stuck until the repairs were made. We bid them farewell and headed to Kesey Square named after Ken Kesey, the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and a key player in the Merry Pranksters. There were a group of street kids hanging out near one end of the plaza but the acoustics were really good so we figured we would take our chances and set up shop. Soon we had people dancing, some money flowed and we had guest musicians lead us in song. We packed up after a couple of hours and headed to where the bus was parked, which happened to be in front of a club which had a show happening. As we loaded in we got invited to a house party where we reunited with Fiction is Fun. Had a little session on a locals porch and headed home to sleep for the next day we began a non-stop string of shows.
The Lost Art of Writing and the Discovered Science of Typing. This is to update friends, family and fans of Dum Spiro Spero's first cross country journey. Thank you in advance for reading and participating in our adventure which could be your adventure too at any time. Aug. 12th 2010. The last two days before departure were dedicated to preparing the bus and people riding on the bus for tour. We built a new bench to accomodate extra sleeping and traveling companions. Fixed the necessary things on the bus including a sway bar linkage arm which gives our shuttle bus extra support when barreling down the road as it is now, almost two weeks into the trip @ 85 MPH. I am not driving don't worry. A big thank you to Tip from Samvega who helped us tweak a couple of things on the bus. Today has been the first day since we left on Aug 2nd that I have not driven. I thoroughly enjoy driving long distances but it was time for a break. Before we left El Cerrito we spray painted the bus, Rosa del Sol Ruiz, the Dum Spiro Spero color schematic black and red and under advisement from Autumn the violin player left the roof white to reflect the summer sun. And our most esteemed bass player Rik Murray who couldn't make it on this trip carved out some decals for Rosa. The Suspects: Rosa del Sol Ruiz our transportation and motherly bus Kyle the stoic classicly trained touring rhythm guitarist Hassan the opening act and D.S.S.' touring lead guitarist Anthony the saw playing percussionist photographer Autumn the people magnet violinist Bowie as narrator and driving songwriter for D.S.S. Colie as the sweet hearted touring bassist Steve the guitar dealer and comedic relief The seven of us left including 6 guitars that Steve intended on selling in Portland and all the necessities and more for a month of traveling. We departed from the I Am We House around 7pm to avoid Bay Area traffic and drove straight through til the lines began to blur and we had arrived late night near Ashland Oregon where we rearranged all 7 of us onto the floor, our three beds and Anthony slept across two of the bus seats and our navigator chair. Comfortable? It wasn't bad, I slept like a baby in a burrito as the foam mattress curled on either side of me until the summer sun came beating down on our bodies and we drove on to Eugene where a friend we met on last summer's tour in Ashland now lives. After arriving in the heat of the day that meets the setting sun we refreshed ourselves in the backyard garden with beer and home made hummus. A few of us headed to town to mingle with the locals.
The second leg of the journey was a success for the most part. We had a day off after two shows last Sunday and relaxed around the Noll compound, played music, writing new songs, jamming with an old friend from Puyallup named Chris Crenshaw who has been helping us load gear and shooting video. We are about to leave to head to Olympia for the day seeing if we can land us a spontaneous show and if not then we will busk on the streets and throw a guerilla show at the Gazebo downtown. Then we have a radio interview in Vancouver on Friday and two house shows in Portland for the weekend. But for the now we are loading up after staying around the Union/Belfair area for nearly a week. Got a little rain the other day driving from Seattle but nothing to write home about so I will type instead. Three shows since the last blog and we are making a little bit of money and selling some CDs and T-Shirts. Seattle was generally not very generous but the people who organized our show on Tuesday treated us with great respect and we love them for that. Just so happened they weren't from Seattle. Someone summed the people of Seattle as Passive Aggresive. Another one said "I don't like most people in Seattle but the handful I do I love". Last night we were in the Robin Hood Pub in Union. Really cozy pretty good sound and we were well received. Now I say farewell as we head to Olympia, "It's the water". There are artesian wells from the springs that lie underneath the city. Once when I was there I drank from the well that keeps running endlessly into a parking lot and someone told me that if you drink the water you're bound to come back. Well here I come. I definitely need a shave and probably a shower but for now off we go. Peace. Love. Unite.
Our first tour as a band has brought the beauty and some of the beast out in all of us as we travel with Jesse Guy Noll south. We have had many beautiful omens and good fortune so far on this trip. We played a show in Pt. Townsend where a gentlemen from British Columbia Canada had the same motto of the band name Dum Spiro Spero. Also got to play with an amazing 8 piece band called Spirits of the Red City from Minnesota and Alaska respectively. We are smoothing out the road worn blues and getting tighter as friends and musicians naturally as we play more shows. Our show in Pt. Orchard fell through today but we managed to play randomly at a bar where a jazz band was finishing up. So we set up our gear and went to work. We have had great weather and an entertaining and inspiring celebration of our Independence yesterday as people battled with the night sky and the ocean. The irony of it all was made clear as we drove through Native American reservations where fireworks stands advertised half sticks of dynamite and the real things. Each stand had clever titles such as Temple of Boom or Pyro Mama, trying to lure mostly white tourist off their path to summer homes near a pristine area called the Hood Canal. The Chinese invented gun powder which helped to eliminate the Native peoples of this continent and now the Natives sell gun powder and fireworks that are made in China to mostly white Americans. Tomorrow is a day off to rest, read, swim, fish and play then to Seattle for a Tuesday night gig. Looking forward to seeing you soon at one of our tour dates. If you say you read this at a show I will give you a free t-shirt. Peace. Love. Unite. Bowie Johnson
"Your music sounds like a Jewish funeral but when you pick up the tempo it sounds like a Bar Mitzvah" Wow some of the most honest and hilarious feedback we have gotten yet. The future is looking bright as long as we play fast.
For those of us who do and those of us that don't. When loss becomes darkness, hope is the relief in knowing that somewhere there is light.
A friend passed this poem onto me and thought it appropriate to put it here.
Hope by Emily Dickinson
Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune--without the words, And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land, And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity, It asked a crumb of me.
Names aren't who we are really. Maybe who we become as a default a construct of the name or names we are called as we evolve. Names aren't who we are they are who are parents or guardians were in their evolution when they named us. It seems that the native peoples of this land had a brilliant concept of names and naming. As the individual grew and became more of an asset they would take on a more mature and responsible name as well. From Bear Cub to Brown Bear the Provider. Well the birth of this band's name was on a train heading north to Seattle from the aroma of Tacoma and I met this girl. Age I suppose is what the magnetism was at the time but I saw she had a tattoo. What does that say? I am sure I asked. She replied "Dum Spiro Spero". What does that mean? I quickly shot back. "While I Breathe I Hope". So years later I have held onto that name like the last seed of an almost extinct race. Hope. I now have mixed views associated with hope. Such as hope as a kind of drug, a blind faith, a lack of choice in our daily lives, leaving our destiny in the hands of another. Those forms of hope I detest. But as far as Hope as a way to foresee a better tomorrow and make conscious choices to arrive at said visions, well that I stand up for and in that sense I hope to see you around at sunrise when the new dawn rings through mist and confusion. Now let us go and build a fire and dance.