Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Crack Shack and beyond!

Friday night 10.23.09, found hi8us shooting toward Falmouth, MA on the Cape to play back at The Beach House. We were all psyched to play, and also looking forward to chilling at the Crack Shack after the show. The Crack Shack is the little Cape Cod-style bungalow located right next to the venue that the owner Pat lets us crash when we play his room. There is nothing in the Shack to really speak of, but conveniently, the living room does sport a huge projection TV and a college-apartment-style sectional couch. It's sort of surreal, but what more could we want?

The gig was super fun; the second set was better than the first from a playing perspective. As anticipated, we had a great time over at the Shack afterwards as well. As the evening gradually evolved into the morning, Mike and I were the last two standing during those wee hours. We split half of a chicken-parm calzone I brought as leftovers from my dinner Thursday night, and watched Giada make her version of Po-boy sandwiches and try out local Po-boys in the French Quarter down in New Orleans with all the neighbors. Oh incidentally, we will be playing down in NOLA during JazzFest on the first weekend of May this year. We are psyched for it. Check in for more details soon. The shots up to the right are from the infamous Crack Shack.

The next night 10.24.09 we were down in Norwalk CT at O’Neill’s. The place was packed, and the Yankees/Angels game got rained out… the perfect scenario for a band from Boston. The night turned out well and our Norwalk UMass contingent came out in force to get down with us. It was quite the special gig. Mike had this fine commentary so stylishly summarizing his experience in Norwalk that evening. My favorite part is when he starts back in with "you think the night is perfect." Enjoy.


Monday, October 12, 2009

In Vermont… ya do what you want!

I got home from this weekend’s run of shows at about 7pm on Sunday night. Mike and I spent the afternoon driving back home through VT listening to Boston teams lose in their respective sports… first the Sox, then the Pats. Besides that, the whole weekend was a blast. Our first time at the Perfect Wife on 10.9.09 was excellent. This cool little tavern was filled with tons of nice folks that definitely enjoyed listening to music. We had a great group of folks that just returned from the Johnny Cash Festival down the road. They wanted to hear Johnny Cash tunes, so we played the closest thing we knew… Sex Machine. They loved it.

We stayed at Emerald Lake in East Dorset, VT for the weekend. We shot back to the campsite after the gig and set up in the dark. Max and Colin had arrived earlier, so they were just hanging out. After setting up, we enjoyed some quality time around the fire drinking beers and listening to scary ghost stories told by Max. Max gets so animated when building suspense as his story develops. He would even shine his flashlight in his face as he approached the climactic moment in each of his horrific tales! Unfortunately, time after time his stories were a huge let down and not really scary at all. We would all give Max a look of displeasure as each story ended, then start up another conversation. He would seem a little upset and was quiet for a while, but then would chime back in telling us he had another one that was definitely scary and it would make up for the last one. This was never the case. *

Saturday 10.10.09 we returned to the Two Brothers Tavern in Middlebury. The lounge was bustling and people were getting down all night. In navigating the fine line between hooking a crowd with a cover or two, and playing your kick-ass originals, this was a night when people were into the originals, so we played mostly our stuff. This is always a good sign for us. Also, I had meatloaf at the upstairs bar before the show. It was served to me by the bartender who was dressed in turn-of-the-century barkeep attire. I appreciated the attention to detail that he paid to his craft as he served my loaf of meat. It was a good loaf.

On the way home we stopped at Quechee Gorge to take a look down at this natural wonder. Mike was especially taken-aback by the Ottauquechee River flowing 165ft below Rt. 4. You can see his expression of disbelief in this picture.


*in reality Max is probably very scary when telling ghost stories; )

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This weekend’s run of gigs was quite excellent. We hit The Stone Church in Newmarket, NH for the first time on 10.1.09. Our set went really well, and it was a good feeling to be playing in such a cool room. We have been playing some of the same new songs consistently in our sets, lately. A few of them are called ATM Tune, Rode, Derek Does Ohio, The Donkey Kong Collaboration and another one called I Know U Know. We might change the name of that last one. Anyway, we are planning on putting these songs, along with some others, out in studio form in the coming months. We are looking forward to the whole process. Our collective style has been really coming together in recent months, and we have all felt that added swagger on stage as a result. Show note: we played this show with an act out of NYC called Stratospheerius. They were insanely good musicians and did a version of Magic Fingers by Frank Zappa during their set. It was excellent. Well done, guys!

Friday night, 10.2.09, we returned inside at Cap'n Carlos in Gloucester, MA. The stage was a little tight, but as a result I think we played some of our tightest sets in recent history… yes…pun; ) At this type of gig, it is wise to pepper the sets with a few more covers. There was a wedding party there, and some other folks who don’t know us that would have likely beat us if we didn’t play something they knew. Anyway, by early 2nd set everyone was getting down to our songs right along with the Bill Withers tune. Not a bad night at all. I thought this might have been the best quality we played all weekend.

The final gig of the run was up in Portland, ME at Brian Boru in the Old Port on 10.3.09. Some old friends were in the house for this one. Everything felt good on stage. Gig note: they stopped the house music halfway through Billie Jean… which left us with a totally deflated room of drinkers looking at us in silence like we just ruined their science fair project. Being the on-our-toes kind of quartet that we are, we jumped right into our own little rendition of Billie Jean, and quickly won the cougar-filled crowd over. It was all good from there on out. We crashed at a dumpy hotel that night. I guess it was a blessing in disguise, though. We all got up early, and there was an extra sense of urgency in getting out of there. We cruised back to the Commonwealth, and were home in time for the Pats kickoff at 1pm on Sunday... and they won! YAY.