I'm sitting down, taking a breath, trying to work out the cricks in my neck and ouchin' something fierce. A.J. just popped in asking me to help him jump his car. I was wondering what happened to him, saw him last at Wakarusa two days ago when he decided he was gonna stay behind and see it out til the end, in spite of rumors of an impending hail storm. We've been on the road since SXSW, starting in Canada (so good to us) then counterclockwise to just about every corner of this handsome country. Last week we had a quick break in Austin where we picked up our freshly degreed PR and mgmt intern Kelsey for the final leg. Before leaving we were rehearsing a new one when suddenly the sounds of instruments transformed to screams. I turned around to find two giant snakes dangling from a rafter, twisting wildly (Kelsey just happened to be recording on her phone, check out the video
). We tried to beat them out with a broom but they slithered back up into the attic. It turned out later they were just harmless rat snakes, but the pest guy confirmed they were definitely mating. Word. Anyway, the Texas dates were amazing, namely Homegrown Fest in Dallas where we got to hang with Austin greats Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears and The Octopus Project, and someone gifted me the biggest cowboy hat I've ever seen. Later our uninhibited Dallas hosts busted out the Franzia and the costume box, culminating in a surreal yet fetching game of late night backyard volleyball.
From there we darted up the midwest to Ohio, where we kicked off the MidPoint Music Fest Summer Series in Cincinnati's Fountain Square. Opening were the hard, lovely southern rockers Buffalo Killers. If you haven't heard them you gotta check em out, they deliver the meat
. A few days before, our original bassist Ryan (when we started the band I was just singing, doing some keys while Badcock, as he was known, held down the 4-string) called asking to be saved from his new home in Cincy and whisked back to Austin. We were more than willing, swooping into town for just long enough to do the show then through the night we rode to the magical hippie wonderland that is Wakarusa Fest in Arkansas' Ozark Mountains. We set up camp and felt right at home among all the great music and friendly madness.
After our Saturday evening set we rolled down to the tucked away Satellite Stage to enjoy the late night DJ sets. As soon we got settled into the vibe the blaring music stopped abruptly and a voice came over the sound system urging everyone to get back to their camp sites immediately, as there were severe storms, massive hail and tornadoes in the area about to come through. Everyone snapped back to reality, and the frantic mass exodus left poor Kelsey saying her prayers (btw - she really took the whole touring and being stuck in a van with a bunch of stinky dudes thing like a total boss). The mood was lightened by a kid in the crowd repeatedly yelling, "I don't want to die a virgin!" Of course, after we woke up everyone in our camp and forced them from the tents into the van, it rained for 15 minutes then all was perfectly fine. In the morning we were all awakened, still sitting upright in Vaniel, by the frantic stage manager asking where the hell we were. We rushed over to the Outpost stage, where somehow we put on a decently lively and together show for a surprisingly lively bunch. We wished our Saskatchewanian pals The Sheepdogs good luck, caught a few of their juicy tunes and darted out just in time to miss the next incoming storm.
It's great to be back home for a minute. Later today the rest of the guys are coming by, and we'll get to work on some new tunes uninterrupted for the first time in a long time. Wait, scratch that, Alex just reminded me in 8 days we're flying to Toronto for NXNE
. But after that
we'll be uninterrupted for a good while (2.5 weeks?) before heading back to Canada for even more killer festivals. Anyway, here's some photos. Stay in touch!