Wednesday, March 21, 2012


We have something of a sordid history with the state of Iowa. The shows we’ve played there on previous tours could be described as spotty if you wanted to be nice about it and total let-downs if you prefer candidness. We always left the hawkeye state feeling like we should have just kept driving. It is, however, pleasing to report that both of our shows in Iowa on this tour turned out pretty well, and our unenthusiastic opinion of the state took a real turn for the better.

The show in Davenport was in a rad diy garage space called the Zam Compound. We knew the show would be a success right away, as there were probably as many people in the room as have ever seen us at all our other Iowa shows combined. Sets from As You Were, Lipstick Homicide, and Philly homegirls Luther were all really stellar. We played well and were received warmly by the 100% awesome crowd. There were even a couple stray hippies, either flail-dancing convulsively to the songs in their jncos and tie-dye or just having a full blown meth freak-out. Either way we were stoked. We awoke the next morning and, along with Luther, were hooked up with free Jimmy John’s by Davenport promoter guru, Mike. On to Des Moines, home of the legendary Slipknot!

Hint: Shame it was their last.

Fears about how the show would work out, informed by our history with the city and state were again quelled almost immediately at The Gaslamp in Des Moines. It’s a really cool bar with an impressive smattering of pornography sloppily glued(I hope) to the bathroom walls, which I suppose is a nice bonus. We were also provided with all you can drink PBR and Coors, which is both a blessing and a curse. We arrived at the venue some two hours before the bands were to start, and we were on last. You can imagine how the evening devolved into a characteristic Elway-styled buffoonery, with moderation cast unabashedly into the wind. Opening acts Muddy Rails and The Blendours were really great, the former being of the bearded, Hot Water Music ilk, and the latter being some of the best acoustic pop-punk this side of Kepi Ghoulie. We took the stage with a manly, Kate Moss confidence and drunkenly sweated through our set with what seemed like precision. The show was followed by hangs with the promoter of the show, a stand-up dude by the name of Kevan. NHL Open Ice arcade game in the living room, shots of tequila, and only half-consciously watching the first half of V for Vendetta capped off what was a pleasantly positive experience in Des Moines. Iowa was 2/2 this time around! Exciting news!

Hint: There is no knowledge that is not power.

Another quick note about Iowa, is that we shared the stage with five Iowa bands on this tour, and all of them were really fucking great. No kidding! So if you have a few minutes, check out Lipstick Homicide, As You Were, Strong City, Muddy Rails, and The Blendours. Iowa has got a something going on, dudes. Where you at, Kansas?

Alright… Omaha. A city with great people and places to play this time compounded by the fact that we would be sharing the stage with long-time bosom buddies: the mighty Red City Radio. We arrived in Omaha early, and after perusing a thrift store and Mexican grocery store, we headed to Jake’s cigar bar to watch Red City Radio record a video for The concept was that we were to sit at the tables in the bar while they played their song and look bored and uninterested. The problem with having the attention span of a meth-baby is that when you are supposed to look bored and uninterested, you tend to become bored and uninterested. Tim and tour manager extraordinaire Dave “sweet n’ low” Williams sought after Omaha’s cache of vegan delights. What we found was a pizza place called Night Flight, which made one hell of a vegan pizza. Afucking+! The show was our second time at The Sandbox and was totally decent. The Tuesday crowd was sparse, but several people I was not acquainted with seemed to know the lyrics to a bunch of songs, and the sing-a-longs made the show feel intimate and not just thinly attended and droll. Red City Radio killed it, naturally, and after some tearful goodbyes, we hit the road to make it home in time for Brian to go to work.

Puzzle: (Remember PEMDAS)!!!
Hint: Mr. Grandson of a slave owner himself!

A lot of fun was packed into these 6 days. It’s a great feeling to know that we can hop in the van and play around the Midwest for a week and have good buddies in almost every city who come out to or put on shows that make us feel like this is worth it. So a big thanks to everyone who helped put on a show, came out, bought merch, let us sleep on their floor, or sold us discounted junk food at the Flying J. Cheers!


Monday, March 19, 2012


After successfully screening a new batch of shirts with the help of the indubitably rad and helpful William of Recycled Rockstar and partaking of Kansas City's local vegan fare (a restaurant called FüD which, if you can tolerate the abysmal service, is really quite good), we headed for St. Louis. There, we killed the last few remaining minutes of free time trying before the show to go see the gateway arch in what was either a staggering display of poor navigation skills or a series of Mr. Bean like happenstances in which we were just being fucked with by some covert power. Either way, what should have been a 15 minute touristy pilgrimage turned into an hour and a half long endeavor that ended in, well... seeing the gateway arch up close for all of 3 minutes. Moving on.

The show was at Lemmons, a bar which the Elway blog enthusiast (should one exist?) might recall that we played an acoustic set at on our last tour. The show was well attended and we played alright and people bought some merch and things were generally good. Word to Bruiser Queen, The Winchester and Guy Morgan for putting on good sets. We were again provided with delicious pizza and a ridiculous amount of alcoholic beverages courtesy of Darren of The Haddonfields which that filled the overnight drive to Chicago with the sound of gross beer farts and the smell of... well, gross beer farts.

St. Louis

Fuck this because anarchy!

What's next? Chicago? Oh shit...

Ascending the stairs to super-friends Matt and Rachel’s apartment, our ears (and those of all other neighboring tenants likely asleep at 6:30am on a Saturday) were filled with the now all too familiar sound of Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back In Town.” It’s become something of a tradition between us and our Chicago besties, along with 7am beers and a general lack of responsibility for physical well-being or hygiene. A brief morning respite provided the much needed energy to power through what was certain to be a banner day for getting stupid shitty with awesome friends, and we headed for Atlas, where a similarly ragged Holy Mess slumbered after a late night of drinking with recording titan Matt Allison.

Joyously reunited in Episode IV post-death-star-destruction fashion, we Elways and The Holy Mess embarked on a daylong drinking and music sojourn. Backup vocals were recorded on The Holy Mess’ new record, Art of Pizza was again consumed in impressive quantities, and the Busch Light flowed like Coolio… like in his prime.

The show was our second outing at The Beat Kitchen. Everything about the evening’s festivities from the venue and staff to sets from local dudes Having Antlers and forever-buddies The Holy Mess to the amazing crowd and new friends made was a perfect testament to why we are so hopelessly smitten with the city of Chicago. If you were involved in anyway with the goings on of last night’s show, whether just coming out to the show, running sound like a G (Matt), promoting the show the way every promoter ought to (Toby Jeg), bringing us delicious vegan food (Katy), or serving up several rounds of shitty shamrock shake shots, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Oh, and sorry if you were at all offended by the anti-irish commentary I may have slurred between oblivion-seeking gulps of booze. Not sorry because, you’re offended. Sorry because you’re irish. Moving on.

The night ended (for me anyhow) after tying on another metric shitload of Busch Light and hollering 90s alt rock covers into the warm Chicago night alongside Ramblin’ Roadshow companions Rob and Steve-o from The Mess. Glorious hangs in America’s finest city.


Toby Jeg teaches Tim how to play Santa Barbara by Everclear. 2 dudes 1 guitar.

Hint: The unseasonably warm weather makes us want them.

Friday, March 16, 2012


One might think that the drive between Fort Collins and Kansas City may eventually seem shorter to those so accustomed to traversing it. The reality is that the human mind cannot simply gloss over the abysmal void of shittiness that is the I-70 through Kansas. It will forever remain a 400+ mile expanse reminding even the most seasoned traveler that death is impending, inevitable, and most unforgiving.

Seemingly moments before these thoughts took permanent root in our minds, we arrived at the famous Club Mustache in midtown Kansas City; a second home of sorts for us. Nary a foot was set on the groud before we were taken into Bent Left's tour steed and carted across town to an indoor sports...uhh... place... of sorts. Anyhow, the guys in Bent Left and a bunch of their friends play in an indoor soccer league on a team called The Deersharks, and us along with about 20 of their loud mouthed drunk friends were to form a peanut gallery to cheer them on. The ensuing matchup featured our boys clad in snazzy matching blue uniforms against a team adorned in whatever they happened to be wearing that day, most of which happened to be white shirts, so let's call them the White Guys (though it should be noted that the 'white guys' were almost uniformly of latino descent). So against our admittedly culturally-skewed expectations, the white guys on team Deersharks dominated the Latino guys on Team White Guys a blistering 12-0. The shame of being ruthlessly dominated by a pack of barely functioning alcoholics must have been compounded absolutely by the cackling, howling, and obscenity-peppered screaming of the makeshift drunk fan club we gladly belonged to. And presto! With the speed with which we arrived, we set off again back toward Club Mustache, leaving the befallen White Guys in a cologne of shame and accumulated ball sweat mist.

The show was, as expected, another great testament to why we haven't any reason to stray from playing dingy basement shows. Great sets from Iowa's Strong City, Lawrence Kansas' The Rackatees, and local sensations The New Lost souls. Good times, great oldies.

A quick note on professionalism for the aspiring touring musician: Before heading out on tour, you should probably make sure that you have the adequate number of tshirts, so that you don't have to spend your entire morning scambling to print some more after only one show, which for those curious, is what we're doing right now.


Yeah, it was like this for 8 hours. Jealous?

Thanks to our boy Dave Williams for taking pictures and selling merch until he is too bored/drunk to do either.

No haikus this time. Picture puzzles instead! Solve all 6 and get... erm... something!

HINT: Both Tim and Brian are reading it.