IMG_0101.JPG

Europe, Here we come....!

06 22 2008

Tomorrow, we board a plane bound for London. I can't tell you how excited I am to play in this band over in Europe for 3 weeks. Its a dream come true. We'll be sharing the stage with our hero Neil Young and we can't really process how cool that is, what an incredible honor. On top of that, we'll be opening for our friends My Morning Jacket! It couldn't be a better tour. So, wish us luck...I'll try and keep the blog updated as much as possible, but I may be a little slower on the draw.

I'd like to say thanks on behalf of the band to our families, who've supported us in ways we'll never be able to repay, thank you all so much. We couldn't do this without you!!!

Quick recap of Spaceland and Pasadena shows:

Spaceland was amazing. Best one yet!

Pasadena was interesting. Played an outdoor courtyard to a bunch of friends and family and a lot of people who didn't know the band. I think it went over well. It was so hot, we felt like we were baking up there...so the energy was a little low. It was a good show though and afterwards we hung out with family and it was really sweet to be together and catch up. The night ended perfectly...as it always should.

joelgtr.JPG

Home

06 18 2008

The rig is parked for now and we're home for a week before we fly to Europe to open for My Morning Jacket and Neil Young. I cannot put into words how excited we are!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the shows and supported us on our first trip across the country and thanks to the staff at all of the venues for hosting us. We'll see you next time and we appreciate you more than you'll ever know! A special thanks to Mr. Joel Graves for working harder than anyone we've ever known. Without him, we wouldn't have made it! We love you Joel!!

Peace,

^^^^^^

IMG_0313.jpg

6/12/08 New Orleans, One Eyed Jacks

06 14 2008

Spending my birthday in New Orleans with my friends was amazing to say the least. I have a deep respect for The Big Easy and it’s culture and music. As we pulled into the French Quarter, we headed down Toulouse St. toward the venue. The clouds were huge puffy white in the blue sky, outlined by the sunlight and appearing to glow behind us. The venue was inviting and cool and they welcomed us with southern charm. The sound guy Jay is a friend I’ve made from playing there in the past. What a great person, always happy. He taught me a New Orleans birthday tradition by pinning a $5 on my shirt, he told me that if I walked around with the money on my lapel that people would add $$ to it throughout the night. He was right, during the show, after the show and at dinner, people kept approaching me and wishing me happy birthday and pinning money on me. I smiled a never-ending smile, thanks Jay! Thanks New Orleans!!

IMG_0292.jpg

6/10/08 Wilmington, N.C. Soapbox

06 14 2008

We got into Wilmington on Monday, with the night off. I stayed at the hotel while the rest of the band went out to eat and explore. I worked on some new songs and got some rest.

Next day, Joel, Derek and I got a cab and went down to Wrightsville beach for a swim. The water in the Atlantic was 76 degrees. What a heavenly walk out into the surf, were we floated together in the waves and let go of ourselves for a moment. It was healing and it felt like childhood discovered us and gently invited us back. If you ever need a moment to be present but without any clutter in your mind, head to the beach and get in the water.

The show was good. Played super late to very few people but we played with our hearts and we turned it on for them. Playing music is what it’s all about…no matter what.

IMG_0279.jpg

6/8/08 Philly, Johnny Brenda’s

06 14 2008

Philly has always been a good hang. It’s a town full of history and culture, and it’s haunted. We sat down and enjoyed a relaxing meal downstairs in the venue’s restaurant, conversing and laughing. Between dinner and the show, I took a walk around the streets surrounding the club. The sunset was beautiful and the air smelled like clean laundry and grandma’s cooking and flowers and garbage with each turn, something different and I was feeling the humidity and like a human being.

photo-1.jpg

Boston Mass. 6/8/08

06 09 2008

As we rolled into Boston, we couldn't help but feel slightly paranoid that Celtics fans were going to find out we are from Los Angeles and string us up by our toes and beat us with a stick. Not that Bostonians are violent but, I'm just sayin'. Case in point, the first person who paid to get into our show was wearing a shirt stating, "I Hate L.A.". We kept our mouths shut and played the music and that worked out well for us. In fact, several of us felt it was the best Boston show to date. The room was full and I saw a couple of people singing along throughout the set.

photo.jpg

Brooklyn 6/6/08

06 09 2008

Friday Night at Union Hall was such a great experience. It was the icing on the Brooklyn cake for us. Thanks to our New York family and friends and the staff for making us feel welcome and appreciated. For those who have never been to Union Hall, it’s a beautifully appointed establishment, decked out to look like a study in a turn of the century aristocrat’s home. Though the décor and lighting leans toward sophistication, the vibe is mellow and inviting. I’ve loved this place since the first time I visited a couple of years ago while J. and I were on tour with The Watson Twins.

photo(3).jpg

Tip The News Boy

06 06 2008

When staying in Brooklyn, I often think of a line from the Tom Waits song "I'll Take You New York," where he asks, "Hey , do you have two tens for a five?" You can easily spend ALL of your money here in no time at all.

We are staying with our lovely friends Lauren and Aaron. They've got a great place in Brooklyn and we've basically moved in this month. Between the Conan show and this week we'll have stayed with them 7 nights. They are too kind. The photo at the top of this blog is of their cat Fergie. She is a sweet cat. We had a photo shoot with her this morning and I think it went really well. She seems happy.
Joel and I are on the lap tops now, he's checking emails and I'm here doing this. Gonna try and go for a walk in Prospect Park today, then meet our friend Marshall for lunch. Thanks to our friends Meagan and Jeff for having us over for a Bar-B-Q last night at their place in Williamsburg. Jeff cooked some wonderful food and we played horse shoes. A really good night.

Tonight we play Union Hall here in Brooklyn.....More soon....

Off to get a shoe shine.

photo(2).jpg

New York City 6/04

06 06 2008

The city is a seductive place, and every time we come here, we think of ourselves living here a little bit more and more. Its raining today, a little muggy and windy. We're playing The Mercury Lounge on E. Houston. we were a little early so we loped around the neighborhood for a spell, talking on the phone, window shopping, Joel bought J. a beautiful guitar strap, very kind. I saw a 5 year old boy order an ice cream cone, vanilla with sprinkles, when he was handed the cone, his smile lifted my spirits. I remembered being right there where he was.

robGC.jpg

Z. The Great

06 04 2008

6/2/08 Chicago - The Abbey

We tried very hard to make it to Chicago by 3pm, reason being, Hot Doug's. A hot dog/encased meat stand that claims to have the freshest local meat (they also have vegetarian options). Another highlight on the menu, fries cooked in duck fat. Wow. So... We hit some traffic and missed our window so we drove to the club. The Abbey is one of my favorite places to play, thanks largely to the sound engineer Gary, who also plays tuba and drives a toyota. The sound is amazing! At one point during soundcheck, my monitors sounded so fantastic that I asked Gary to marry me, "okay." was his response...Haha.

Our friend Zoran The Great and the Expert showed up. Zoran brought his wife Anita and about 30 friends! Bless you Zoran! You made the night really special for us.
The show went really well. We played together real well and the people in the room seemed happy to be there which is all you can ask for. After the show, we met some friends and had a beer. Great night!! Thanks Chicago. Thanks to all the staff at The Abbey, you were kind and hospitable and we appreciate you.

Russell