Friday the 14th of January was amazing! The show at Columbia City Theater was packed with great people, old friends, new friends and music lovers all.
And we raised $400 that night for the nonprofit Bike Works!
Thanks go out to Columbia City Theater for inviting us all to play in their beautiful venue. I have to say they take great care of their artists. We've played there twice now and have felt at home and well tended beyond measure.
Thanks to Elk & Boar, Drew Victor and his crew, and Kimo Muraki for bringing out all their enthusiastic fans, to Judith Feist (a talented Fargo artist) for screen printing a unique limited edition poster, Tom Fucoloro at SeattleBikeBlog.com for promotion, volunteers at Bike Works for helping us poster, and Bill Lippe and Lexi Keeler for sharing what Bike Works is all about, empowering Seattle youth through the artistry that is the bicycle.
The success of the evening really illustrated to me that it's not just about showing up, being nice, playing your music and going home. There was a long list of people and a considerable amount of kismet involved in bringing the show together. Looking back, it seems the seed was planted when we meet Judith (a screen printing fiend and bike aficiando, see Red Raven Espresso Parlor blog entry) at the last show of last year's tour in frozen Fargo, ND. Then last month we were invited to play at CoCi Theatre, a great venue in a great neighborhood. The search for a local non profit came full circle back to Fargo when we discovered Bike Works, scarcely more than a five minute walk from the venue itself.
Once all those dots were connected, there was a furiously enthusiastic buzz of activity leading up to the show to make it grand! And grand it turned out to be thanks to all of those above and many others I don't even know of I'm sure. So thanks to all!
Another exiting evening at the Comet! Which could possibly be considered our home base show place. A+ performances by Concours D'elegance, Exploding High Fives and BOAT! And ourselves of course.
After a hearty meal of 4 star nachos at Bimbos up the street, we strolled in to the dance beats of Concours D'elegance and I personally was transfixed by the sound and image they presented. Like like like.
Exploding High Fives packed the floor from front to back. From my perspective, the darlings of the evening. And a drummer frontman! Jealousy.
BOAT! Also high frenetic energy and fun.
It was a great show to end the year on. Loads of warmth and fun. It's been a great year!
At the end of the tour When the road disappears If there's any more people around When the tour runs aground And if you're still around Then we'll meet at the end of the tour The engagements are booked through the end of the world So we'll meet at the end of the tour --TMBG
This song was going through my head as we slid down the pass at 15 mph, while all our fellow commuters were smashing into each other. But we made it safely! And with so much under our belt as a band.
If I were to speculate, The RISK 2010 Tour was warmup for what is to come. We went out on the road as four guys with 2+ years playing shows and writing amazing songs and came back as, well, the same four guys but zippered together into a metaphysical musical monster of genre bending mayhem.
2011 is going to be so great.
Thank you! We love you all who follow the rock. Hope to see you again next time....and your little dog too!
Fargo. This would turn out to be the last show of the tour. But one of the best performances hands down. There were pretty much two versions of the Trouble Starts this tour, with Kelly and without. With Kelly, our best show was unmistakably Why Sound in Logan, Utah. (Sorry Mix crowd, you were great and we appreciate your support but those Logan kids effing brought it.) And Fargo was our best three piece performance and fan response. We played to two people, and it seemed to be the perfect crowd, it just felt right. When I see Forrest smiling on stage I know we are doing something right. The focus was all on giving those two the best show and that totally happened. No dispute. I just wish Fargo was 200 miles further south is all.
Madison, oh Madison. I am surprised by how comforting Madison, Wi felt. If Seattle was not in my blood, either San Diego or Madison would be the place to plant my feet. The show at The Frequency however was a little less homey feely however. Kind of a repeat of the night before at the Bar Pancho. Great bands, great venue, but something quite a bit lacking. I guess in a phrase, the lack of a "scene".
The capital building was a sight to see though.
A swanky bar down by the elevated train, Bar Pancho was a pretty cool space attempting to provide musicians with a place to share their efforts. Seems like there is an indie community growing around it, or because of it. Every band we played with was sharp and tight and each one distinctly different from the next. So much diversity, but unfortunately not much cohesion reflected in the audience. People (and band members) mostly came and went with each set. It was fun, but had something of a foreboding feeling. Regardless, Chicago will be revisited.
The room was blacker than the blackest black. The PA was brutal. But we brought it anyway. We had great visits with cousins and family and made some new fans. So it was allll worth while.
One fella heard us on KEXP and came down to the show. Yeah for the power of internet radio! Thank you sir.
Kelly and I played our last show as Strong Like Woman on the RISK 2010 tour. Look out Seattle, SLW is coming to your venues to dance your peoples.
Now we are recouping in Kansas. Tomorrow, on to St. Louis where we'll do some sight seeing, maybe play an impromptu show, and then to Chicagos.
That's right, I typed Chicagos.
So I'm in this massive hotel suite on my own overlooking some kick ass mountains. I'm drinking two things, hot green tea because it is really cold out, and the strongest combo of Grey Goose and orange juice I've ever swallowed. Thanks Daniel.
The other guys are somewhere in the building visiting with some friends and hopefully having a great time. They should still be riding high because we just finished an all ages set at the Why Sound in Logan UT. And it was fantastic!
We all four were touched and honored by the mass of new fans that came out to the show. We're not really used to that amount of support from strangers in a cold land. They warmed the room for us with their applause and beaming hearts. It was pretty cool.
The room itself was nice too. Cozy but roomy all the same. It sounds great playing electric if you play to the room and don't fight it.
The two opening bands (White Ivory and Mock White if I'm not mistaken) played some great sets. They were technically proficient to the point of intimidating, and ambitiously eager. And they know how to gather a crowd.
Thank you thank you thank you.
Memory is starting to flee, so let's get this down before hyperbole and exaggeration reign.
After we arrived in town and situated ourselves at the (I'm sorry to say, and it's totally my opinion) underwhelming Hooters Hotel and Casino we immediately hit the town to see what else we might be missing.
Daniel and I hit New York, New York for a quick shot and some portable booze for the walkabout.
The lights were pretty fantastic, and the architecture made me think the whiskey had kicked my stomach's ass to the ground far faster than it should have, but then I realized that no, for the most part LV is a fantastical place. Like Epcot Center at night. Minus most of the children and costumed characters. And with a thinly veiled urging, nay, insistence to copulate, throbbing just beneath the surface.
We made our way to fake France, which is about the time the whiskey and 24 ounces of Alaskan made it into my bloodstream full force. Stepping inside a frenchy structure whose interior imitated France at daybreak stopped me in my tracks. The sky was loyally held in place by towering black lacquered columns. They promised not to drop the Parisienne heavens on my head.
It was time for food. Stat. Then back to the streets.
To illustrate my naïveté, I assumed (despite my man-child stature) that I would be propositioned by at least one courtesan somewhere along the line. At which time I would bashfully say no thanks and be on my way.
But instead of any slyly veiled offering of service whatsoever, we were bombarded by gangs of immigrant workers all wearing the same tshirt uniforms and thrusting handbills that promised a girl of choice within 20 minutes. Every corner, gangs of at least five people each quietly and vacantly promising the delivery of satisfaction guaranteed. Like hot pizza. It was sad. Especially sad and sobering when I would pass someone who could be my grandmother, essentially operating as a low rent disposable pimp on the LV strip.
Sobering up back at the hotel, I napped quietly beside Kelly.
Alright! Time to rock!
Brent Amaker and The Rodeo. Buster Blue. Fanfuckingtastic. If I was a fella less inhibited by other people's opinions, I would have shaken and scooted the night away on the dance floor. Both acts kicked the high energy and charisma to the roof of the Bunkhouse. I could only hope our opening set had primed the pump for their collective onslaught. Because they brought IT to the stage.
The Bunkhouse itself is a really nice room in a cowboy motif. Big stage, friendly staff. Sad restrooms as with any of these places we've played. I really wish more attention would be given to where I have to do the deed. Sometimes even my safety is a concern in those 5x5 squares.
Something should be said about the night before in Scottsdale. Rogue Bar.
It was bitter sweet. I had been waiting waiting waiting to see the local-ish band Underground Cities. They play some amazing music. Some days before the show however one of their members was in an accident, so they had to pull out of the bill. I was sorely disappointed, but hopefully their mate will recover fully so they can come up to Seattle next spring.
The sweeter part of the show was the tour premiere of one of Kelly's many solo projects, of which I'm a performer, Strong Like Woman!
It was a great exhibition. We have video and we're not afraid to use it! The venue staff is probably the friendliest we've worked with, though everyone has been quite exceptional. Go there, play there if you can.
Two days of relatively low key performances, some quality time on the beach, and season one of Metalocalypse culminated in a "metal" performance at the Ruby Room.
Well, maybe not metal, but pretty heavy and loud. The venue was great for it, though the stage right below the drum kit bounces like a trampoline with every kick of the kickdrum, which was very disconcerting until the third or fourth song.
Daniel's family and some high school chums were in attendance, didn't necessarily lead to any TMZ moments, but provided an interesting dynamic to the eve.
I like San Diego, it's a ghost town trafficwise. I'm not positive but I think maybe 30 people live here.
On to the desert SW!