Tuesday, Jun 17th, 2014 thank you wichita. once agin we had a great time at kirby's beer store. the place is tiny, but we always get to play packed shows there and the people always have such good energy. thanks to david for opening up with his loops, clicks and gizmos set. also, a special thanks to paul, who always treats us like rock stars even though we are far from it. thanks to christina behind the bar as well for helping us out with the tips and being a gracious host. we met a bunch of new folks and got to catch up with people we've met over the last couple of summers. thank yous and nice to meet yous to alex, adrian, blake, calie, kale, becca, jayde, and craig. thanks also to the nick and sean band, who brought out a lot of folks and played a great set after we were done. looking forward to hearing them again, maybe out west even. a shout out to japanese game show, who let us crash at their place after the gig.
i should probably thank king taco also for some delicious burritos late night. we almost got washed away by the down pour, but it was worth the drive through all the rivers of rain water flowing through wichita. it had been since last summer i'd been in such a thunderstorm. it turned out to be a bunch of lighting and rain, but no tornados, so no worries other than getting soaked to the bones trying to load out gear and secure the van up for the night. it was fun to sit on a midwest porch and listen to the rain and smell the fresh air. though, i'm not sure if people consider wichita a part of the midwest, but it definitely has that vibe to me.
it was a short drive to lawrence and it was nice to not be in the van too much that day. though, i'd have to say we are doing pretty well with spacing out the shows and there haven't been as many monster drives as the last couple of summers. lawrence was hopping when we pulled into down town and i found a coffee shop to get some work, booking and emails done. took a great stroll in one of the neighborhoods by the 8th street tap room where we played and saw my very first lighting bug of the season, which i promptly captured and released by hand. our friend, bernie from folkicide, who we played with last summer and joined us that night for a couple of shows, had posted on his facebook page that it was bad luck not to catch the first lightning bug of the season, but if you did the summer would be yours. so, hello summer 2014, you are mine. speaking of bernie, it was great to see his band folkicide play and the expanded line up with marco on guitar and matt on drums. excellent translation of bernie's songs. we also met craig from this is my condition, and he proceeded to blow our minds with a one man noise extravaganza. he straps an electric guitar to his drum kit and pounds away at guitar and kit with drum sticks getting some really great textures going. a great way to kick off the night and fun to see someone doing something truly original and good.
after the gig we headed to kansas city to crash at bernie's place and chill out before our kansas city gig that next night. on the way we stopped for gas and almost lost steve to a stupid drunk driver pulling out of the gas station like a bat out of hell. nothing like one idiot to nearly ruin an entire tour. fortunately steve was able to stiff arm the car a bit and hope slash roll off the back end and out of the way. the real kicker was when the people in the car starting yelling at steve for touching their car after nearly running him over. some choice words were exchanged and they decided to eventually speed off into the night when we said we were more than happy to settle it in the parking lot or have the cops come and just see who was right and wrong. stay out past 3 in the morning and you are bound to find the crazies and the drunks. fortunately we don't play that and always make sure someone is sober for the drive.
we pulled into kansas city and crashed at bernie's and got to sleep in the next day. hello. nothing like these short drives to keep you fresh. wound up getting laundry done and even had time for some laying around in the sun in bernie's back yard. unfortunately, bernie didn't get to sleep as well as we did on his couches since his old pug linus was a bit excited that someone was downstairs in the house. we went to arthur bryant's for a taste of classic kansas city bbq and culture. i had to order fries, potato salad, and pickles as the only real options for veggie off the menu, but definitely enjoyed all the different bbq sauces on the fries along with a thirst quenching ice tea to wash it all down. quite a place and the amount of meat that was served to some of the tables was impressive. nothing like half a cow slathered between two pieces of wonder bread. there were some people even mowing down full racks of ribs. not a place people go away hungry. plus it was good for bernie's sadistic side to take a vegetarian into the lion's den.
it was davey's that night in kaycee and we got to play with bernie again and his drummer's band schwervon. it was folkicide's record release and they had a lot of people out looking to get their hands on the new vinyl which was looking super cool. bernie did the artwork and it was a very good looking record. definitely looking forward to hearing it. schwervon were great and nan even did some tap dance during their set which was fun. we enjoyed being on a stage with good sound and byron, the sound guy, helped us file in a nice tone. this time i made it all the way to the very end of the set before breaking a string. much different then the night before when my guitar fell apart during our second tune. but, thanks to the bullhorn i was able to pull it off like no big deal. nothing like a little slight of a hand to keep things interesting. after the gig at davey's we had to say our goodbyes and head to indianapolis for a 12:30pm festival slot. it was a first drive through the night, and it didn't go too bad. we got into jimmy and diane's and crashed for a couple of hours and then headed downtown for the show.
we were at one of the main stages for the indianapolis music and arts festival and we pulled right in and set up nice and easy. it was our first outdoor show in awhile, but the sound guy, steve had us all dialed in and there was a cover over the stage keeping out the hot hot sun, so everything went off without a hitch, except another broken string, but i just switched up guitars and we kept on rolling. note to self, my back up guitar needs to have a scale length a bit closer to my main axe if i want to keep things easier. oh well, didn't seem to be too big of deal, since i've had to go to the back up a few gigs now on this tour. after our set we hung out at the festival and i moved some tShirts and cds for a couple of tanks worth of gasoline which was awesome. we went to the music store from there and who do we bump into but faux paw, who we were playing with that evening. we caught up a bit and got the things we needed and headed to the gig for sound check at the hi fi. which turned out to be a very sweet place. green room and all, so we felt like we were getting the royal treatment. we had a great show with a real good crowd and faux paw sounded great as well. definitely looking forward to hanging out with them over the next couple of days as we go through ohio with them on the line ups at canton, cincy, and columbus. special thanks to jeremy from indie rock live who came out to see the show. he is the one who hooked us up with faux paw a couple of summers ago, and has been super kind by drawing attention to our music around indianapolis on his blog indy rock live. we ended up getting late nite grub at bennies again with him and then back out to fishers to crash for the night.
had a good night's sleep after only getting two or three hours the day before and a great breakfast made by diane. then back on the road. and that's where things stand now as we are in the van headed to canton. lh
Wednesday, Jun 11th, 2014
and they're off…hello meow meow tour. we aren't even done with our first week of shows and we have already met tons of cool folks and played with some great bands. a big shout out goes to stabby ...more
...faux fiction is that album blasting from behind the closed door of your older cousin's room in the city on the day you visit from the sticks. his room is 100 percent off limits, but even hearing the music through the walls is exciting. you can't wait to get your hands on a copy of your own. turn it up loud in the car with the windows down. cruising along with the bold rhythmic and sonic brushstrokes resonating through each song.
...metaphorically speaking, estocar's fifth studio album, picks up the groove right from the start as the snare drum kicks in followed quickly by electric guitar. the energy is quick and rolls out into a galloping groove in the first few measures. this first cut 'painted black enamel' is fitting as it is reminiscent of the garage rock roots estocar has explored in the past while also giving a glimpse of how the tones and structures will be expanded. the lyrics 'observations from the beautiful mess you just so happen to be in...painted black enamel' gives the sense of the difficulties life can bring, but even if it is a mess and black, well it still shines like enamel over that. from there comes the funk as 'static fever' launches like a space craft out of a sci fi flick. lanceH and charlotteO tangle their vocals through this groovey little indie rock number mixed with funky keyboard and splashing cymbal crashes. the album is off and racing through fireflies, twilight, burning cities, flames, and screen doors. the songs have a jovial feeling that comes across as the band really enjoying making music together. the step is light and you can imagine them grooving while capturing their musical conversation. throughout the arrangement is sparse but creative deploying subtle nuances without relying on studio tricks. these songs bring you to the dance floor in a sweaty small club in a crowd full of people having fun bobbing up and down. 'beverly glen' is another song worth noting as every sound seems to be a part of the rhythm. rushing forward like a wave as it crashes to shore and gives us a slight pause...before the drums arrive to rachet it back up with 'n.m.'s eulogy' a snappy little number with punk auctioneer and doo wop vocals summing up the peculiar nature of patriotism and self. metaphorically speaking manages to crest again with the sweeping simple folk song 'word sure' climbing and climbing in the smoldering groove. bam the 70's disco groove is ratcheted up to break neck speed and the band races toward the finish then a slammed door, and you know estocar has put a line in the sand and then promptly stepped over it looking toward the future...'throwin' eyeballs, throwin' eyeballs, throwin' eyyyyyye baaalllls!
...tugging at the abstract notions worn on the everyman's sleeve. giraffe riot bolts thru the angles of shifty brain rock...careeming off obstacle to obstacle. a stampede of songs yelling out the observations of forward motion. a circus barker delivering a garage rock band through the acrobatic show. 'soupcan telephone operator' is a fine example of the nerve this album tries to strike...voice after voice played out before the words even begin to form. sound tracks of places where the microphone tuned in. found sounds breaking into the clever atmosphere of a twisted folk tune. a clawing crescendo of questions posed in the way of answers. 'wobbly arrow' steps in with a scattered groove that steers itself by the skin of it's teeth all the way to the finish line...perfect sounds teetering in and out...a pulsing indie rock dance number. it leads further into an album that continues to escalate the vibe...'mr.e' shreads, 'wittle' dives on, and 'truss' uses all the twists and turns to clamber it to the brink. the sounds continue to please as 'nacimiento' is a replenishing truck stop off the highway, a place to put chains on in order to drive thru the pass. on the other side giraffe riot continues to roll on until it explores every nook and cranny along the parade route...the final destination is reached in 'circle the wagons' revisiting the daylight, bringing back to a head..the other end of the ribbon. an oragami bow tie start to finish.
...in late October of 2003, five inches of rain fell in such a short time span in seattle, that lance found his new album's basic guitar and drum tracks in serious danger of become a part of the flotsam jetsam of a quickly flooding basement. a bucket brigade was formed though, and with science tips picked up from zoom, the water was held at bay...the salvaged tunes were brought up to the main floor to be finished in dryer confines, but in the light of day it was evident that these were songs meant for a band sweating them out in one room live, not how the past albums had been built around a sole guitar...estocar's first release as a garage rock trio would hit the pavement two years later...some of those original songs rescued from the oncoming waters in the basement of the nougat house would survive...songs like 'invisible mayan', a full throttle indie folk punk anthem, 'blue heron', a bipolar art rock number, and 'capable+1', hippie metal groove rock at it's finest...those songs and other songs on garage philosophy capture the true spirit of a solid rock trio unleashing a racous sound that could only be realized within the confines of their own rehearsal space. self recorded and self released this album delivers the essence and urgency of a band completely at ease with it's underground stature...a raw intimate look into estocar's earlier psyche.
...pawn e5, king's knight c6, pawn a6...from the opening lyrics of the poet's blindspot, one can tell that this will be an album with intentions of seeing a game thru. an album truly taking form in the studio...from layered vocals, door slams, kitchen knifes tapping on linoleum, popcorn being poured into glass bowls, beer cans being crushed, sounds amped and reamped, drum tracks made from found objects, and even horn players brought in to add that true experimental texture that these four songs would coagulate into. strange birds meant to clear the palate, act as a sorbet for the upcoming entree. one where all the stops are pulled out. like a kid who just learned how to play with matches and has found a stash of them...each song strikes another and another until every match in the box is ignited and used as fuel to the fire for these intuitive soundscapes. this ep stretches out estocar's feathers, goes overboard and climbs ashore in order that no stone is left unturned...
...as estocar's first release eludes to in it's title, there are plenty of moments of idling buses, rumbling semi-trucks, revving motorcyles, passing cars, ambulance sirens, and even the voices of a steady stream of pedestrians wafting into the small crowded room above street level where it was recorded...an array of folk songs given a psychedelic white washing, peppered with the happy accidents that create an album when the recording process becomes an instrument as well...'six degrees from seventh heaven' the opening track is a loping mellow folk number brought in by drum rolls as it gathers steam like a tumble weed in open field...'render' adds a more sinister side as the album twists and turns thru layered guitars and keyboards. traffic noises from north street in chicago poke their head thru now and then as the album grows more rock oriented and full blown as wah wah guitars join the ruckus and drums add more drive. traffic noise continues to go down as many streets, avenues, nooks and crannies as a long commute...stretching out toward a foreboding blues folk number, 'atmospheric kettle', that explains the pit falls of finding oneself in hot water that continues to get hotter and hotter...traffic noise is a glimpse of the folk tunes in lance's head beginning to grow into numbers that will require a full fledged band...in the mean time it explores the freedom that can be found in the studio as sounds are piled up and around sturdy songs laid down on acoustic guitar.