the Notes and Scratches

image by Betsy

Home Safe and Thanks!

monday, july 24th, 2006 at 04:40 pm

There are various reasons to travel — curiosity, variety, inspiration, out of boredom, but I think these most lead to the same end: We want to return home somehow changed; to re-enter our lives and see with new eyes.

We wrapped up two and half weeks on the road last night with a homecoming show at the Empty Bottle and while I’m unsure how drastically my eyes are changed, it was so wonderful to be home, to see our friends and sing to them.

That said, tour was very kind to us. No trouble with the van, only one negative experience with a club and so many opportunities to see friends and family, meet new friends, play with great bands and glimpse how cats like us are making their lives in other towns. We are deeply grateful for all the kindness shown to us while we traveled; we ate well, we were graciously taken into to people’s homes, kids clapped when we played our songs and sometimes bought our records.

And now home. I am exhausted today but lighthearted.

This is a video taken by Betsy in Chapel Hill of us playing Rainbow Connection.

Thank you Jeanne and Bob and the Water Thieves and Mon Frere and Jonah and Kate and the Tower kids and Brian and David and Mary Claire and Ian and Cara and Jessica and Michael and Kerry and Ana and Lejuene and the Galaxy Hut and Roy and Sue and Zoe and Nicole and Zero and the Trekky kids and all the wonderful cats at the Werehouse and Autopassion and Shannon and Monty and Ben and Elle and Rufus and Stone Jack Jones, for all your hospitality.

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image by Anika Balaconis and Joshua Dumas

Tour Tour Tour Tour Tour

friday, july 07th, 2006 at 03:56 pm

Well friends, we’re off to see the world! Check on over at the shows page for details of our rapidly (tomorrow!) approaching tour. My pops is giving us a camera for the tour so expect some visual documentation upon return. Huge advance thanks to all the clubs and bands for helping us make this happen. I’m impossibly excited to play our songs for strangers all over the east and south and meet new folks and crash on floors and see the ocean and eat pb&j and learn new towns and drive the van and be stinky and stay up far too late for two weeks straight. Wish us well and come and visit if you live near where we’re going!

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image by joshua dumas

In the Meantime

wednesday, april 12th, 2006 at 07:18 pm

I’ve been sleeping on keeping things fresh ‘round here, so I’ll just hustle through some recentlies:

1) This update will be in list form because, on Leslie’s good recommendation, I just finished Sandra Newman‘s The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done and it is all po-mo-list-ridden. Surprisingly, to me at least, it provided a sense of hope that David Foster Wallace-y textual chicanery can actually, in the right hands, produce a moving narrative. (Oh, and for those who’ve read it: i wonder, is the only good thing anyone’s ever done is ‘tell stories’?)

2) We’re visiting Kansas City and Lawrence this weekend, to play shows with the amazing and charming Harvey Girls. They are generous and kind and make great music and were interviewed recently ‘cos of that. Do you live in Kansas? Come to a show, say hello! Do you have friends, relatives, lovers in Kansas? Tell them to come say hello! Details on our Shows page.

3) Met and played with Unlucky Atlas and Some by Sea who were both charming and good. Poor Some By Sea seemed real tired at the end of a long-ish tour, we hope their trip back home was great! Really adored the spirit of Unlucky Atlas, nice cats, willing to help carry instruments, smiled and said hello immediately, hand-make their musics’ packaging, made lovely songs, a great poster, and just generally had a warmth i dig. Check this, their Terence Hannum is a great visual artist, too— this is an oil on linen.

4) I met Jessica Hopper what feels like forever ago, we were probably both like 20 or 21 or 22, and holy crow did she leave a bad taste in my mouth. She was doing promo (i think), for Pedro the Lion and i had dinner with them all and old friend TW Walsh who was on tour/playing in Pedro at that time. Jessica Hopper was nothing short of condescending, manic and mean-spirited through out the meal. Fast-forward to the present and dang, it’s nice the world affords second-chances; these days, i completely want to smooch and then one day marry her prose. Why? Well, there’s this, this, this, this, this (yes, i did it) and finally, and perhaps most importantly this. I have no idea what she’s like in person nowadays, but if half as charming and intelligent as her writing, i’ll have to suppose our first encounter, years ago, was just a bum first-impression. Hopper also makes a great zine called Hit It or Quit It, and i hearts me a zinester on principle.

5) We are planning a big old tour for July. MI, OH, Canada, eastern seaboard, Carolinas, KY, TN, MO, best start hiding your children now, ‘cos we’re a coming and are a good at playing hide ‘n seek.

6) Barnard College Zine Library :: improbable wonderful and true sentence #17 = arcade fire on pancake mountain :: the Midwest Nest Fest is going to be lovely-great :: fave band #329 = the Spectacular Fantastic!

7) David Rees of Get Your War On fame on the why the Minutemen are are the greatest punk band of all time:

D. Boon’s bassist and best friend, Mike Watt, still plays bass, writes music, and tours the country in a Ford Econoline van; and that Mike Watt ends his gigs with the exhortation to “start your own band, paint your own picture, write your own book”—twenty years after his friend’s death broke his heart—and that Mike Watt continues to champion this D.I.Y. punk philosophy while many other punks have burnt out, grown soft, or given up; and that Mike Watt (I imagine) perseveres in part to honor his brilliant friend’s brief life and the possibilities bequeathed to future musicians, artists, activists, punks and outsiders—is one of the greatest American success stories of all time.

8) Thanks to all who’ve come out to shows recently, see you soon!

image by Cortney Groves

Songs from 800 Winters

sunday, february 05th, 2006 at 06:55 pm

Had a real wonderful time at the Subterranean last week, we really appreciate folks coming out. Eric, from WLUW was kind enough to record the evening, so, a few songs for y’all:

the Safecracker’s Lover (live) [4.1MB] [mp3]
a Compromise Unraveled (live) [4.5MB] [mp3]
Baba O’Reilly (live, a cover) [5.6MB] [mp3]
on Belle Isle (live) [5.6MB] [mp3]

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