Picture this: 8:00 AM. I’m asleep on a half-deflated air mattress with T-bird Scurlock when we both get tackled into consciousness by the most excited pitbull puppy I’ve ever seen. I follow this new friend out onto the porch and remember that I’d been sleeping ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN in Asheville, NC.
We had a short drive ahead of us to Winston-Salem, so we took a few hours off to go swimming in a waterfall just outside of Valdese, NC. The falls were freezing cold and I fell down some slippery cliffs, but the whole thing was a pretty awesome experience, After we got our fill of rocks and cave jewels, we got back on the short road to Win-Salem.
We were headed to the Garage, a place we first played on our Behind Enemy Lines tour in 2010. We played with the Turbo Pro Project, a combination bluegrass/hip-hop band with a rapper, a DJ, a double bass and an electric banjo player. We had a really long slot to fill, so we ended up playing most of Team Spirit and Coast in order. Really fun, and really strange.
The crowd was sparse, but we made some really good friends of Beth, Bryan, and Bryan, who decided to stick around for the show and let us stay in their house (and gave us some pizza).
After staying the night in Knoxville with our new friend Brandon, we headed out early in search of a Mac store to fix Devin’s crotchety old laptop. We had a reliably-par lunch in the food court and loaded up into the vehicle. It was my day to drive. The mixture of swerving mountain roads and our big bad trailer kept me on edge, and the 3 hours to Asheville went by pretty quick. The city was especially charming. We played in a strange little restaurant/venue and made lots of inappropriate jokes about the rapture. After the show, we decided to light some gas station fireworks in celebration. They were supposed to be sparkler fountain things, but 2 out of 3 just exploded… relatively unsafe, yes. But a damn good time. We arrived at our friend Jon’s house a little later to crash. It just happened to be UP IN some mountains. Asheville was a beautiful place.
We woke up this morning at House Pride, one of our favorite places in Tennessee. One of our good friends there, Nick, made sure we awoke to an awesome breakfast and we couldn’t have been more thankful for that. Other than that, I just played with Step the cat a lot more in the morning until we all got packed up and left. The drive to Knoxville wasn’t all too long. We got there early and ended up just hanging out in front of the venue as usual, cooking up some rice and bean ‘to-ritos.
The show that night was a lot more calm and smaller than the house party the night before, but we still had a good time. The other two acts were solo-acoustic, so we definitely stood out. The crowd was genuine and fun, and we ended up making a good friend, Brandon, who he hung out with and got to stay with that night.
Overall, we collectively, mostly, agreed that this day had gone by in a huge blur, faster than the others. We were on the road, in the venue, then in our beds and ready to head to North Carolina before we could remember to check out Knoxville.
Step (Nick's kitten) Biscuits Child
Thanks to a combination of our good friend Sarah, her good friend Scotch, and a very effective bon fire (nice going ross), I woke up whatever day of the week it was refreshed, but in still no way ready for what was about to occur. We had a terrific breakfast courtesy of the Wagner family and made a new 3-year old friend Austin, who found it very easy to bond with us over not having any money to his name either.
We said goodbye to Austin and headed to our second home once removed, Murfreesboro, Tennessee. We arrived at a house venue by the name of Houselhoff, which is run by some of Murfreesboro’s finest citizens, and after a fair amount of hanging with our new friends the house quickly became a beautiful mixture of the parties documented in such classics as almost famous and dazed and confused.
Our friends from House Pride Records came out that night and their faithful leader, Nick, opened up the show under her stage name “Mr. Nasty.”
We went home to House Pride later that night and got our minds sufficiently blown by Neil Young’s “Trans”, Bruce Haack, and Raymond Scott’s music for baby. I forgot to mention that we went dumpster diving for the first time with our resourceful friends. We made out like bandits and the next morning had a the most TO’ breakfast in the world.
On the day we headed out to Nashville, things started off awesome. Awoken by the scent of pancakes made by our spectacular friend Alec and the crew over at the Dairy House in Memphis, TN, we started the day off right with full stomachs.
We got on the road around 1PM and arrived in Nashville sometime around 4PM with time to explore a bit before we had to load in at six. Ended up grabbing some vegan chilly at Cafe Co Co (The most incredible 24 hour coffee shop & venue) and getting some work done on the ol computer.
After a few hours passed we were playing to a crowd of both old and new friends and overall the set went awesome, the sound guy was hilarious, and The Great Collide was awesome. We ended up catching some Zs at our friend Sarah Wagner’s house but only after a warm bonfire on a chilly night in May.
Day four started off in a beautiful hilltop home in Birmingham. After a few hours spent sleeping in and listening the sensual styles of “Disco Bill” with our BFF’s Josh and Simon, we headed out on the long road to Memphis, TN.
Four hours later, we finally found our way to the Lamplighter Lounge. This was probably the coziest place I’ve ever been to, like the living room your grandmother never had. The small, dimly lit room was filled with a pool table, knick-knacks of all kinds, and an almost intimidating assortment of Pabst merchandise. The owner even acted like everyone’s grandmother, and kept trying to give us fudgesicles with our beer.
By the time we had to play, the tiny little room was packed to the brim with Memphis’ finest. We were joined that night by our good friends in Di Di Mao bringing the garage party, and the night ended with some great 90’s alt-rock sing-alongs as the bar was closing (missu chris rehm). Memphis rules.
We woke up in a swanky hotel in Mobile and had to remind ourselves that we were in fact still on da to’, and that our luxury landing pad was just 1 stop amongst many smellier, louder ones. The next logical step was to try and devour / store as much free food as we could. We then said goodbye to our traveling NOLA friends and headed for Birmingham.
The Sun Hotel to’ boat arrived at The Nick about 4 hours before load-in… plenty enough time to score some free BBQ from the venue’s happy hour and shoot a few bottle rockets under the interstate. We played our hot-fire-rock-n-roll set and then chilled to the pleasant gypsy folk tunes of The Blue Ribbon Hearts. We spent the evening hanging out with our loyola bros Josh and Simon and crashed in Josh’s beautiful Alabama home.
Oh yeah, and none of us are quite sure what’s going on… but the Endless Summer tour has been.. a bit chilly? maybe a little overcast? confusing. Nonetheless, our summer spirits remain and the to’ continues to treat us wonderfully.
We awoke at noon in the house of our new best friend Judson. Wiping sleep and dried tears from our eyes, we quickly packed up, said our thank you’s and good byes, and hit the road for Mobile.
Only a 2-hour venture – nothing big. After snagging a half-off meal and unloading into the upstairs comfy-attic feeling room of The Blind Mule, we… basically just hung out really hard until the show started.
We all agreed the show felt really good. The crowd was sparse but endearing, and we had recently purchased new strings/sticks/heads/stands as well and that may have played a mental role in our exquisite performance.
After our set we were met by some of our closest friends from New Orleans who were just coming from a…
wait for it…
Beach Boys performance at Orange Beach.
Apparently John Stamos was playing with them and stealing the show.
Anyway, we ended up leaving the car parked there at the venue and walking to a hotel room our friends had, bro-ing down, hooka-ing, and cracking up at the Halloween Episode of South Park with Korn in it.
Sounds like the ‘to to me.
The evening before last ended with a mix of excitement, anxiety, and whiskey, as we prepared to set out on our Endless Summer Tour. We said goodbye to our families, loved ones, and school books, opting instead for a month of what is sure to be nothing short of beautiful American debauchery. We enjoyed the fine sounds of our friends Brian Wilson and Odd Future(swag) on the way to our first stop in Jackson, Ms, and spirits were as high as alex.
Once we arrived at the venue, we ate the finest free dinner this side of the mississippi and busted out the bottle rockets (for some reason something about shooting off bottle rockets in the parking lot of venues really makes you feel like an event is about to occur). Circumstances got stranger and stranger as the evening progressed until after being asked to “bump” in the bathroom after the show by some strangers/new friends, we respectfully declined and followed the guys from the other band sharing the bill (LOOSE ROOSTER! who rule…) to a house 2 hours away in the middle of the country in Hattiesburg, Ms. Arriving at 5 in the morning, we settled in to our temporary home and rested up before reality and our internal clocks set in.
Also, last night I threw up for the first time ever on tour!
Our BFF’s in Caddywhompus are putting out their new EP ‘The Weight” this Saturday. This four-song EP will be released on Chinquapin Records and Community Records, and we’ll be playing the release party at Studio 3 with Ballzack, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and Empress Hotel. [RSVP Here]
Also wanted to let you guys know where we’ll be heading this summer. Here’s the full schedule:
5/13 Jackson, MS – Ole Tavern
5/14 Mobile, AL – The Blind Mule
5/15 Birmingham, AL – The Nick
5/16 Memphis, TN – The Buccaneer
5/17 Nashville, TN – The End
5/18 Murfreesboro, TN – Houssellhoff
5/19 Knoxville, TN – Longbranch Saloon
5/20 Asheville, NC – Mo Daddy’s
5/21 Winston-Salem, NC – The Garage
5/22 Richmond, VA – The Triple
5/23 Charlottesville, VA – Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
5/24 West Chester, PA – Fennario
5/25 Philadelphia, PA – Chinquapin Records Bedroom Session
5/26 Philadelphia, PA – The Station
5/27 Brooklyn, NY – Union Hall
5/28 Hartford, CT – BOMB Fest @ Comcast Theatre
5/29 Brooklyn, NY – DAY OFF, let’s chill?
5/30 New York, NY – Pianos
5/31 Boston, MA – Plough & Stars
6/01 Pittsburgh, PA – TBA
6/02 Chicago, IL – TBA
6/03 St. Louis, MO – TBA
6/04 Denton, TX – TBA
6/05 Houston, TX – Free Press Summer Fest @ Eleanor Tinsley Park
6/06 Lafayette, LA – TBA
6/07 Ruston, LA – TBA
6/08 Little Rock, AR – ACAC
6/08 Shreveport, LA – Fatty Arbuckle’s
6/10 New Orleans, LA – Allways Lounge
(let us know if you can help out with any of these TBA’s}
Thanks for reading!
John & Sun Hotel