This was me a few days ago in NewArk Deleware, learning how to enjoy myself on tour and not just be a busy beaver behind a computer all day long. Spinning around and running in the middle of a field helps a lot more than one would think.
Skip backwards a few days and I am on a bus ride (as usual) from Maine to Worcester. I get into town just in time to get to The Raven to set up for a showing of Rocky Horror Picture show that SFTD is playing the halftime show for. (note: present/past/future tense is gonna be super screwed up in this blog post, as its late and we just drove through North Carolina)
Anyways, we get everything set up along with Worcester Pride, whom the show was a fundraiser for. Suddenly we realize there is no shadowcast. For those of you wondering, a shadowcast is when there is a live showing of RHPS and a group of people act out all the parts in the movie as its happening. We thought a group of drag queens were going to be doing it, but I guess not! So SFTD to the rescue! The wonderful and talented Rodya Crow took the ringleader position, and whipped up portions of SFTD into a full cast of Rocky Horror! Considering there was no prep time, and half the crew had never seen the movie, everyone did an amazing job! The show was well attended and we rocked out as usual!
(SFTD looking really metal at the RHPS at The Raven)
So I slept SOMEWHERE in worcester (its a secret!) and then woke up to get picked up by my tour partner Denise Dill! They are a powerhouse of a songwriter from Lewiston ME! We drove through CT and NY to a cool town outside the NY/NJ border called Rahway, and landed at The Railhouse.
(the fair city of Rahway NJ, pretty accurate depiction)
The Railhouse is a somewhat upscale restauraunt, with a ride room for a bar. But even the bar is a pretty friendly atmosphere, and a nice sized venue to play in. We walked inside and saw it was basically just a dining hall, but then the sound guy rolled in, and took a bunch of gear out of nowhere and turned it into the House of Blues.
Safe to say, I was a bit sad to do the show totally unplugged and waste all that cool STUFF. but it was what I was feeling at the time. Denise wowed everyone, of course!
We also played with two cool local acts: my friend Ben from Lady in the Radiator (an awesome band from NJ) and a band called Strawberry Jam, who is much cooler than you would think based on the name, and also once you see them play/meet them, they totally radicalize the title as well.
LADY IN THE RADIATOR- shoegazy indie punk
STRAWBERRY JAM- proggy spacy pop rock
The director of the Railhouse also was amazing and friendly, if you ever pass through there and meet Matt, buy him a drink or a puppy or something. Cause we totally spaced out and forgot to pay our bill and he doesn’t hate us! phew!
Back to the Green I mentioned before, this is what I woke up to on Monday. We drove through the night from NJ to Deleware to get to a friend of a friend who had housing for us. It wasn’t too long of a drive, only two or three hours (due to getting lost a bit), but it was probably 2 in the morning by the time we rolled into town.
As usual all my tours get turned into fantasy adventures, and we went through a twisting, turning forest of evil looking trees that bend and shape sharply over the road, which twists and turns over hills. After a bit the trees started to thin down (as in, get thinner). Then every house looked like the shire, and then we came to a mansion of unlimited pancakes and cute puppies.
After a good nights sleep we bid our new friend and amazing host Mike goodbye and went into town to get materials for new CDs, business cards, and to maybe find me a new t shirt. Newark is an amazing spot, a college town with a boardwalk that reminds you of the beach despite being nowhere near the ocean. It is also kind of a proggressive liberals wet dream: Food Co-Ops, science fairs…we even played a show at a Bike Project (a space you can go to learn about and build bikes).
After some time exploring and enjoying Newark (including a ice cream shake HAPPY HOUSE at a 50s themed diner, I always thought it was crap that beer drinkers had the monopoly on happy hours) we met up with our friend Shane at the Newark Bike Project. Shane is a rad musician I met on the last SFTD tour in philly, and indirectly met beforehand through happenstance phone calls and being nice. He has a rad band, and runs this open mic every monday at the Bike shop.
There was seriously too much talent to even consider covering. Everyone who entered that room was astounding, and there was a comraderie and community that you could feel around you. Everyone was very respectful for both mine and Denise’s sets, and they even brought us out to another open mic afterwards where we were well received (a place called Mojos). It seems Delaware has quite the music community rooted. I cant wait to go back!
We stayed at a new friend Em’s house, and she showed us all her musical toys and burned us a CD of her music, which lasted us most of the way to Chapel Hill! (check her out, I will be bringing her up to MA/ME, if you like Uke/classical guitar/flute/dulcimer/pretty vocals that go punk rawk sometimes)
Chapel Hill is a wonderful place. I have been there a few times and seen a lot of sides of it, from the upscale main street that I assume has lots of tourists from the looks of it (which I guess I count as one, come to think of it), to the college, to the outskirts of towns which has more rowdy warehouse sized bars, and broken down houses that crust punks rebuild and live in.
Somewhere in between all of this, is Internationalist Booksellers:
Ibooks is a community oriented collaborative bookstore and info shop that centers around cool topics like: feminism, anti-racism, abolishing prisons, and all that other cool stuff. They also let folks such as us play shows! Awhile back I played a show there by myself and got some cool kids to come in off the sidewalk to watch me play, who later saved my life by buying my CDs and giving me gas money to buy a bus ticket home.
Now, probably a year later, those kids are Elayna and Sam, who came to play a show with us and sing along! Elayna has really great vocals and witty songwriting, and Sam played his first acoustic show with us tonight (I am really stoked I got to see that) and did some really cool covers (AJJ, Leonard Cohen, Neutral Milk Hotel) and a few originals. It was great seeing them again, and the folks that worked there. Also, a friend of SFTD named Ellen who I had not met before came and giving hugs was had by all.
Now, we have been doing well enough at these shows we decided to go out for dinner. We tried a market place, but there were too many smells and choices and I got freaked out so we left. Then we went to a greek restaurunt which was kind of expensive but they did the whole light a candle/bring you bread/talk to you nicely before you can leave trick so we stayed for dinner. I am glad we did! although at first i thought the salad I got (I know..salad, what is wrong with me) was small, it was actually very good and filling…..
Then I ate the largest piece of cheesecake I have ever had.
Now I am in Charlotte NC. not sure what happened in between.
goodnight, world! (….to be continued)
EDIT:: its the morning, and I decided to make a list of things I am grateful for back home.
I miss my home, Dreamship
I miss my parents
I miss my comrade in organizing, TLove
I miss Rhythmic Cypher
I miss everyone in SFTD
I am simultaneiously glad nobody I know got hurt in the attacks on the Boston Marathon, and I am also incredibly sad it happened and I hope everybody turns out ok.
I am grateful for the amazing worcester community of DIY artists
I love my boyfriend, Cal.