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August 29, 2010 emblemPhotos from the tour

Can be seen here and also some live shots!


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August 27, 2010 emblemTour blog 2: “Is that a mountain?”

Brooklyn is always less stressful than Manhattan, though the severity at which Manhattan chewed us up and spit us out that day (after such a nice entrance, too) via tickets and parking and low morale had us truly STOKED to get off the island. Beautiful friends and drinks and my god, yet another good NYC show (and venue) under our belts! I’m amazed- we managed to play 2 great NYC venues in one tour. Nevertheless, still felt good to be driving to New England the next day.

In Boston we played TT the Bears (!!), a venue at which I’ve seen The Cardigans, The National, and countless other amazing bands over the years. Suffice to say I was honored to play the stage, and we had family members in attendance so it felt comfortable all the way through. Spouse incited the crowd tonight, even roused up an encore and some dancing.

We split off from Spouse for a night to make the homecoming gig in Portland happen the following evening. Got we some family time, ocean, and anticipatory musicmaking to prep during the day. The show that night was legendary in its heat and intensity…best crowd of the tour so far and we really reigned it in onstage, though the humidity had us sweating bullets. Afterwards we all ended up puking from heat exhaustion, actually…don’t ever say we don’t mean it onstage, dammit…

When you spend all night doing that, though, the following night’s show can’t help but be hindered. We played safe and subtle in Easthampton, MA, with the highlight being a dedication cover of Spouse’s “Knob” to the boys we had just spent a week with on tour. It shall not be the last time we do this, gentlemen…

Pittsburgh. Last night. Feeling A-OK. Our set was a great sendoff, and we set new records at the merch table. I even managed to find 4 Sunny Day Real Estate fans in the same room. Our hosts walked us around the city and as we drove home Kevin and I saw fireworks exploding over the city. Felt some closure.

We slept under a massive, ornate shrine of Pittsburgh sports memorabilia and drove home in peace the next day under miles of sun and sky blue sky. Good tour.

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August 3, 2010 emblemTour Blog 1: The Power of Now, or was it Then?

I’ve grown so used to touring by myself over the past few years that the prospect of this summer tour- in tow with both my rhythm section and our tourmates Spouse– is truly exciting for me. Still travelling in a Saturn though! Some things never change.

Also, we have rope light this time around. It’s serious.

Old haunts and familiar sights in Raleigh and D.C., and we played in an old police/fire station in Richmond that pre-dated the civil war. Such a cool venue. It also had a giant banjo spider on the ceiling and a gargoyle overlooking the stage. Made for the best set of the tour so far. Spouse killed it too- and though JJ keeps asking me why Harry Anderson of Nightcourt was in our new video, I’ve kept him in the dark for now- just for the suspense. Maybe in Brooklyn, JJ! hahahaha…

So far we’ve managed to overuse the following words in the car to the point of utter meaninglessness and turn them into ridiculous jingles to get us through the 4-hour traffic blocs: malleable, transcendent, honky (we are but three white boys playing rock music), akimbo.

Whatever it takes to keep you sane on the road (which is sometimes insanity).

If only we had walkie talkies so that we could have heard Spouse sing Huey Lewis acapella to ward away the traffic for us (it didn’t work, but…). Those boys can sing some super harmonies- as evidenced on one of their new tracks, “No Sudden Moves”. That one’s been going through my head a lot…

We’ve sold at least one shirt to a half-naked drunk who claimed to have “a car full of sex” but could not locate his car. What a tragedy!

Got some time in on the Jersey shore with Scott’s friends, which Kevin couldn’t discern from the TV show that I thankfully have never watched. We played a great set in Philly and was sad to hear about the Khyber closing down there (I know the pain of losing your favorite rock club).

Some more beach, and then BY FAR the easiest entrance into NYC ever. No traffic, easy parking, and the Mercury Lounge proved to be the best venue I’ve ever played here. Good crowd, family around, morale high- and we almost- just almost- got on MTV. But we declined. Who watches that these days anyway…right?

Let’s hope there are more giant arachnids (the kind ones) and no parking tickets in Brooklyn tonight!


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