Thursday, November 19, 2009

Trapped On A Frozen Lake

The vast arena of possibility is perhaps the most often and easily forgotten as we trudge through the doldrums of home. The days peel away, not without incident, but also not with...something. Abandoning our aspirations of another lengthy jaunt we retire on our newly acquired base. For now. It is comprised of both recent and familiar characters, all playing a different role, filling in the gaps, and making this short (hopefully) interum liveable. The movement presses on. Short clips broken off here and there. Certain instances bring us back to familiar territory while t he faces have changed the feeling remains.

Its mostly business now. Where do we go from here. Stay out of trouble. Keep your head down. Best foot forward. So on, etc...

This flicker still warms our home. At the end of the day, it was all we ever really wanted.

Now we would like some more.

The end of this year looms and the biggest event of our short existence is drawing near. For those of you who have banded together to help us through...we're trying to give it back and someday we will

Thank you friends.

Berlin, we've not forgotten. Time is a rare commodity these days and you are far too grand for a 15 minute reminder.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Lazy London morning spills over into traffic on all sides as our departure becomes an excerise in patience and cooperation. We are headed to the English countryside, Steventon Oxford for Truck Festival. The drive is long for such a short distance though newly acquired passengers make it all the more manageable. Arrive hours later, however not late, in the sleepy town as old as anything we've seen so far on this journey. Coop for supplies then catch up with Claire. Sort out the credentials and build base camp near a fence in the midst of a fully functional cow pasture. We are in view of the site, main stage and all surrounding campers while slowly the masses begin to pour in. The van becomes a hostel and the 2 tents provided are home for the rest of the weekend. We have the good fortune of camping next to David and the other Zoe. They are very generous and we are grateful to be near them.
This seems a well deserved end to a long trip. Within the past months, whether the scene and the sights were peaceful (as many if not all were) this feels like the first time we have nothing to do, nowhere to be, and no one to track down. Most of the day is spent laying around in the grass or taking in long walks around the perimeter. Truck Festival is very simply a collective of positivity. It is good to see old friends and a feeling of familiarity sweeps through the camp. In vast detail every aspect of this experience would take volumes to describe. The sounds, the majesty of the setting, and love for the company we keep are far too expansive. It is again, an overwhelming experience. It will all be ending soon. Best not to think about it.
Inevitably, Supergrass can play no longer. Christine has said her farewells, Neil and Adam pressing on, Mark gone missing, the Bennetts all consumed with post fest details, and the rest of the locals fully engulfed in beat hive bliss or other. We pull up stakes, fold up tents, pack in the bus and slowly limp down the access road. There are a few hours sleep to be had. Morning, pre-sun morning being a rarity in waking, has arrived. Farewell Zoe. Back to Dover. Breakfast at a local 'American' diner and then this unit parts ways. One to stay and the rest to travel onward and connect home. Brothers and sisters, its been a wonderful experience. Truly unforgettable.

This journey had begun at an airport in Berlin as a party of 3. How it ended, if only temporarily, left us speechless. To those we met and to those we did not we would like to sincerely, with all that we are, thank you for making this possible and contributing in some way or form to its growing, pulsing being.

Untill we meet again. A/P.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Close Encounters

Whether or not we would make it had been hanging in the balance since the beginning. We knew we had to go, how and when were the details which were, at the time, irrelevant. The hour was rapidly approaching. Rental car turns into luxurious and fuel friendly mini bus. Bid farewell to the cramped quarters of the Euro eating wagon and slide into the future. The future inasmuch as theyve (Europe) had them for years and we (America) have shunned only to once again embrace the clean burning diesel.
An end to the days of bouncing around homebase is drawing near. Pack, repack, bid farewell to friends and lazily..almost to a fault, begin the push to Dunkerque France.

Arrive Dunkerque 12am after battling torrential downpour through most of Belgium. Nani at the helm navigates the storm like a fishing boat captain whose entire year is contingent upon making port. No hotels, revisit language barrier we keep meaning to tear down. Brief encounter at UK customs. One of us nearly detained and or sent back to from whence we came. We are on the ferry to England. 5 glorious days of English, of friends, the country, and the beach lie in wait.

Dover. Early am. Near terminal driving disaster narrowly avoided and a message from Zoe. We have a destination in London. Traffic is nearly as disgusting as NYC actually twice as disgusting as NYC traffic. Sprawling enormous city, something which in all the years of travelling to and from, never quite grasped. Hello Zoe, lovely to see you again. Brief rest in the garden, get aquainted with Charlie and we are on to the next.

It was a few years ago when first contact with Nigel and Bertie had been made. Mildly horrifying with wit just short of genious. They are the greatest comedy never produced for film or TV.

Greetings new friends again. Phoenix singalong winding through the narrow streets of sleeping London. Afterhours reggae dance party. Our entourage are the only attendees.
Sleep at last.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Expect The Unexpected

In December our Munich date had been cancelled. Apparently for lack of interest. We had heard upon returning home that people had in fact purchased tickets and were somewhat frustrated that we had not turned up. It was not our decision.
Leaving Holland in our wake, Munich was a quick 9 hour hop. These lanes are going to be our end it would seem. One can literally reach out and touch the traffic to the right or the median to the left. We opt for neither. Every 50 miles is met with a gasp of relief as the corridor gets wider. Beginning to hate the Autobahn.
We have been told Bavaria was the conservative district of Germany. Apparently the people are rather reserved, the traditions well accounted for, and the rules a bit more adhered to. Parking is impossible. All are very warm and receptive.
Aftershow dance party is assembled and our hosts gladly accept our suggestion in the mix, buy us drinks, and invite us back. Not only is this venue in their possession but the other in town, as well as a late night restaurant up the block. We are pulled into the street. Center of Munich contains a square within which all of the local youth and those not SO far removed from youth gather. Acoustic guitars again. Skateboarding, singalongs, and streets flowing of drink. We are ushered to the restaurant. Placing orders with a visibly displeased daughter, toasted to, and urged to carry on playing. This is the furthest possible concept of conservatism. Small group funnels out into the street taking residence along the curb and the songs continue. Polizei arrive to calm the commotion. They instead request more music. We are on about 4 hours of collective sleep. Bavaria is alive and well. Sun returns. Rest is a distant acquaintance. We wonder what happened in December. This couldnt possibly be the same Munich.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Three Gypsies

Random opportunity has been a theme for this operation. It has been with us since the beginning and carried us through the duration of our stay. Planning, rehearsal,direction...concepts and theories elusive for as long as memory serves. Not only a mantra but a lifelong pursuit. We landed in Europe half knowing the road ahead. Open dates, shifting schedules there is always room for a little movement. In Czech we had crossed paths with a woman whose mystery we would only begin to experience. She was in Prague having left home Amsterdam for an afternoon walk. She, having missed the Rotterdam event, put us on course for such a shift. Show is assembled in Amsterdam, day off is filled.
Arrive Holland. Road worn. Fatigue and financial duress are beginning to step out of the shadows. Europe is expensive for Americans. The exchange rate for the euro is hovering somewhere around 1.6. If we were not all consumed by the adventure we would probably start to notice.
Enough time to take in some of the town. Wander through the sand colored cobblestone and drinks on the canal. The call comes in, we are meeting in 20 minutes. Re-enter Farah with bicycle. Rendevous at the venue where she has obtained our second dutch show. Discuss over dinner life and history, we are sincerely worlds apart. Open mic, condensed set, busking in the city square. Few had noticed. Upon the discovery of no accomodation we are offered space with our host. Walk lazily up the Canal of Princes and enter second palatial spread in a weeks time. Discussion is primarily centralized upon our cultural difference. Suddenly starved for information. Again the hospitality is staggering. What forces are at work? Settle in. Homemade food, fireplace, accounts of eastern life, ceiling to floor mirrored walls and marble floors. Vampires waiting in the wings. The mystery evolves. Surreal morphing into almost fiction but somehow remaining very true while the fire cracks well after the hour. We are spinning. Evening winds down in the garden. One by one the crew begins to peel off. Sun rises and all left standing retire. Morning...early morning, stumble into the blaring light. Farewells. Farah and her young son pedal off into the ether as three gypsies are left to ponder the mystery. Coffee with the passing boats, our parking tag expires. On to Bavaria.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tale Of Two Cities

Early am wakeup in France and wearily pull out of town. Benji joins us to bid farewell to Clifton and family. Farewell friends. See you on the other side.

The road through Paris is long. Bastille day looms and traffic keeps us simmering in July car heat. Paris is an impossible city to drive through and/or around. The only direct route...using the term direct sparingly, is a 2 lane highway jammed with metropolitan traffic. Its a trying scenario sans any sight from the city of light in view. Miles of commerce, grafitti, and other horrible cars.

Eventually make our way back into Germany. We are 7 hours into this journey. If it hasnt been mentioned yet, there is no stretch of Autobahn which is not under construction. Traffic piles accordingly. The GPS still reading at least 4 hours left. Rain. Sideways rain. Sheets of rain.
Unrelenting then a break...somehow, and its not that difficult of a mistake to make, we had searched the wrong Muenster...There are two. One has an umlaut, one does not. We are pushing on towards the Muenster mit umlaut. We are 50 kilometers from our destination as a result. Its a break which suddenly breathes life back into the sails of this 9 hour hike.

Hello old friends, hello new friends. Thank you and goodnight.

Late night imbiss. Some drink in the park with our wonderful hosts. Hedgehogs, weasels, rabbits and then surly drunken German intent on a fight. Polizei step in and we are back in the room.

Morning to reconnect with our gear which was left in the club night before. Theres a lock, we dont have the key. Minute of panic then east coast sensibility enters to pop said lock and recover our belongings. Pack up. Out of town...onto the next.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Family Reunion

Le Havre illness lingers until mid-afternoon. Garrett and Nani head off for the countryside while the remaining two limp to the coast. Historic re-enactments are interrupted by the news from the earlier birds...'you wont believe this, get here immediately'.

Motor out or Normandie towards Le Mans. 5 hours later arrive Courgenard, France.

A winding, dusty, country road off the horror of French toll laden highways leads us to the center of a sleepy, almost medieval neighborhood. Gate opens, familiar faces direct us to park. The other 2 have been exploring these surroundings for the majority of today. They are still in awe of its grandeur. Chateau Pinon, is a stone throwback to life long before global wars, telephones, America, and more or less everything we are familiar with. It is a standing piece of history still fully functional and still in tact primarily due to the skilled hand of its inhabitants. A 500 year old farmhouse/palace, whose personality is nearly eclipsed by its neighbors.
The cast at this gathering, too rich of personality to properly describe, is in a word: electric.* Old friends, new friends, international stars, and a town dignitary share food, drink, music, stories, and laughter as the sun sets over a barely dusk bonfire. Local performers shower us with beautiful songs, the subject matter, we can only imagine. Night falls fully and the footlights blaze upon the stone farmhouse an eerie, yellowing light. To say this experience has been overwhelming is by far too limiting. The feeling of love and comraderie that descends upon us is like none we've experienced. The local culture, completely unreserved, is in full is the opportunity of a lifetime for those who care to embrace it. Jean, his wife, and grandson, neighbors of the Pinons and characters larger than life carry us through to the early morning hours in song. The fire is winding down, some have climbed the stone steps and retired through the ghostly halls. We could stay here forever and I have a definite feeling there was a plan within our camp to see that reality through. Jean has had enough, only because his audience is fading...and we are. Sunlight begins and this party sets off to sleep.

*There is far too much to consider in a single blog. This recount is simply highlights. To all who attended you know who you are. Thank you from all of us for making this such a special occassion. We will never forget it.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The End Of The World

Onward to coastal France. Leave Cologne and bid farewell to Tina and Nani. One we will see within a few hours time, the other regrettably we will say goodbye to for the rest of our journey. Germany falls beneath our wagon relatively quickly as the language barrier ratchets up in our first Belgian port of call. We arrive France in roughly 8 hours time. First order of business, find the sea.

Le Havre is not a typical French town. Badly damaged by the conflict which stormed through in the early 40's most of the original architecture has been levelled. Predominantly replaced by squared symetrical brick ediface.
It would later be explained to us that for this very reason our town here is not one of the most renowned tourist spots. We disagree and we are thoroughly tourists.

Arrive beach. Dash to the Atlantic. 3 pints of the finest Belgian and off to meet Pierre.

Pierre, strikingly handsome with beautiful family, hands over keys to a flat located in an old part of town which has obviously managed to elude some if not all of the bombing. The hospitality we are offered is beyond generous and equally appreciated.
Arrive Nani. Quiet evening in with a movie and early nights sleep. This is a first.

Morning, 3 Americans and 1 German motor to the site of the invasion. Lunch at the harbor. Trace the steps of Sword beach conflict, complete with climbing through abandoned bunkers and a swim. Very surreal to witness. Seen the films, read the books, watched the mini-series time and again and here we are.
Back to town. Dinner with our gracious hosts. Show is set in an Irish Pub near the center. Walk off the fatigue.
Post show A/P with entourage wander to the 'end of the world'. Beach singalong with guitar and assorted drinks one as unnecessary as the next. Wander in turns into stumble out and through the town some in song, some in drink, and some just keeping pace a wave of friends weave through the dark streets of a place where these tourists will absolutely be visiting again.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Home Away From Berlin

Back in Cologne. Chips and beer at local Imbiss. Discuss astrology with the landlord and realize how cosmic Travis' birthdate really is. Hoffi calls to let us know the show will be accomplanied by Portland band Portugal The Man. Aces.
Stereo Wonderland, great spot in town immediately next door to the Rose Club, a host of all night dance parties everytime we've been here.

Crowd is expanding at the door.

Post show dinner at Tinas, very nice way to end. Garrett skates back to the club to settle up. 1am, 2am, 3am decide collectively (with a little persuasion) that Rose Club is the best option. Dance party is on. At this point in history we have been inundated with Michael Jackson singles for better and worse. Granted a reprieve by the Rose Club which is primarily decent R&B with the occassional flare of bad hip hop. Portugal the Man/AP+ leave as the sun begins to rise.

Sleep in a bit. Hit the road and we are passing through Belgium before we realize how we never have enough time in this beautiful city. Someday.


Stopover in Cologne courtesy of Tina to break up the marathon drive from Czech to Holland. Early night and some skateboarding in the morning. We always leave this city on a wonderful breakfast and a positive vibe. Onto Rotterdam. Show in December was one of our favorites, so very much looking forward to it. Arrive with the rain to Watt and load in, soundcheck, and enjoy Dutch hospitality. Quick wander though the city to reconnect with coffeeshops and cafes of days past.

Right shoe = almost completely destroyed.

Somewhere exists a live recording of our set. Officially sold out of tshirts. All 6. Regroup with the locals afterward and head off to the spot. Nice to have some friends in town now.

Rain pulls all stops, floods our outdoor position. Back to the hotel.

Next morning, staff gorillas too boring to elaborate on block a stress free departure as we collect our gear. Lates.

Back to Cologne.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Country Living

En route to Prague, short stopover on the way, first encounter with German wildlife. Chance photo of a particular moment in history turned into a horrorshow. Couldnt feel it, couldnt hear it, but as I stood to ready my camera the largest living beetle ever seen dropped out of the left leg of my jeans. A frantic dance coupled with a near blackout and on to Czech.

Prague is an old city. In the summer its feels a lot easier to lose track of time and purpose. Sat on the river bank, stared at the panoramic beauty and fed the ducks.
We met quite a few fantastic people at the show.
After sundown, another walk around the city and then a drive to the country.
Thank you Farah, you are a particularly bright light in the vast realm of highlights which we have accumulated over the weeks.

Morning, Czech breakfast courtesy of Chateau Guichard and the lovely Blanka. Rolled around the hills for a spell and then a swim in the local community pool. Beautiful country. Endless sunsets.

France is waiting.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Day 2, easy drive to Bremen. Morning and early afternoon we spend on a thorough walk in the city. Many photos to take. Relax in the park briefly and then off. Atlantic/Pacific to a local waterfront restauranteur: 'Sorry, do you know of a venue named festival?' Venue didnt exist but the Bremen Festival did. The Bremen Festival is a massive 3 tent affair which consists of pretty much the entirety of the city. Local food, and drink and an enormous roster of bands set on the riverbank. We play our second outdoor show under a large red and white tent. Sky opened immediately after and soaked the grounds. Thank you to everyone who made it such a surreal and magnificent evening.

Post show we are given the keys to a beautiful home on the outskirts of the city equipped with a front and rear garden as well as full fridge. Germany, we love you.

Blogs are nearly impossible to keep up with but we are trying. First few days was spent fighting jet lag. Everything after that has been constant motion and lack of wifi. Hopefully we get better at it.

Berlin is next and so is Phillip. Look out.

Thank you Bremen.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hello Hamburg

Tuesday morning apartment rehearsal. Newark airport. Anxiety, excitement, extremely full flight, and not a single minute of sleep. Arrive Berlin. Hello Travis. Car, slight GPS language barrier. Autobahn and 4 hours later. Hello Hamburg.

Hamburg, though we've seen you 6 months ago feels like we were here yesterday. We are scheduled to play at the music building atop the roof of a concrete bunker commissioned during the fiercest of WWII fighting. Sold out.
Familiar avenues inundated with German wall art lead us lazily through to our afternoon destination. Breakfast finally and then an impromptu rehearsal at the local spielplatz. Children pull up benches in front of ours, at least a dozen, and we have our first proper show. At first they were intrigued then gradually slipped back into their waterballoon business. We were happy to play for them.

Spiral concrete stairs. No sleep in 36 hours. Soundcheck.
First show goes on remarkably well considering physical and mental condition. Post show. Drinks. We are approaching 72 hours awake. Lights out.

Morning. Wander Hamburg. Beautiful weather. Docks. Hundreds of photos. Off to Bremen.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

1 Last Time

Before we are without the devices which enable us to keep this project moving along, ie computers, microphones, etc...we would like to offer this as a preview of the live set. All demo material barring 1 track. We will more than likely be sounding closer to this on the road. Enjoy. If youre not already there, come to Europe.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Counting Down

2 days left.
It seems like an eternity ago when we first discussed this experiment. Second time around. 1 year in. Almost. Very excited to begin again. New cables purchased, trans-Atlantic rehearsals conducted. We will attempt to avoid the disaster which plagued us throughout our one and only NYC show. The laptop which was determined to butcher our set is somewhere on the west coast courtesy of ebay. New techniques will hopefully ensure a smooth production. Who knows. Someday we will put a full band together and do it without technology. Maybe, maybe not. I do believe the technology bit is here to stay. Can work with a full band no? Doesnt matter this time. 3 guitars again. Hamburg in 72 hours. Hope to see you there.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Orange County California. Beautiful. Having been totally outclassed by Socal waves, called this trip off early. I have no business out there when a 10 foot swell rolls into town. Thank you to all involved. Fun week.

Stranded at the Sky Harbor in Phoenix. Never a good time.

2 weeks until tour. Can that really be?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


woke up early and decided we needed to get out of the city and went
north to a spot i know and have been going to for over 10 years.
sun was shining and the water was cold but fuckin a it felt good.
the drive up reminded me that we are, in fact, leaving for a european
tour in 20 days. i played guitar all weekend. singin old songs, new
songs, borrowed songs, lost songs, etc.

Officially excited

Not So Golden

Typically quiet and I are pretty close. We have a real fondness for one another. However lately, some might say its been a little too quiet in these parts. Tour is almost completely confirmed. Tickets have been purchased. Sat down and rehearsed as a duo last week for the first time since the NYC show. Sounded just fine. A relatively interesting weekend on this end. Good music, some fun with friends, so on and so forth...Going to try out flying with this hearing deficiency this week. Viva LA. Hopefully it all happens without incident.

Sunday, beautiful and consistent though incredibly crowded. Shed the boots and took in the sun. Waist to chest high with slight sse wind.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bradley Beach, NJ USA

Photo: Bill Dougherty

Endless Divide

Its never easy standing in the middle. Half decided, half realized. Being adrift may be one of our strongest suits...half of us that is. To one of us, and to some degree both, it is unsettling. Staying productive, photos today, rehearsals as well. I can imagine having answers would make a lot of my daily routine a bit mundane. Regardless, moving along...

southeast windswell is disappearing, chop is making everything unrideable. Hopeful for the weekend.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Ship To Shore

This week we picked up where we left off. 1 new track and plans for the next few. Ian has been putting in double time. We are grateful. Tour is taking shape. Continental European dates locked in. Still looking for something in England week of July 17th. Remains to be seen. Hopefully we get it sorted this week but as of now...not looking good.

Waves were good on Sunday and then the south wind flattened everything out.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Out Here On The Horizon

You're coming too if we live and die for you.