Guess where I am right now.
Did you guess in a van??
If you did, you’re right.
Last update was right before the Eugene show. Sam Bond’s was a good time – thanks to all of our friends and Eugenian fans who came out to get rowdy with us!
We stayed at a cheap motel right around the corner from Greek row… which was interesting.
Got up, had coffee and made the gorgeous drive to Sisters, Oregon. The show last night was a sell out party with some of the most earth-shaking crowd stomping I’ve ever experienced. It was a damn good time in a beautiful place. Thanks, Sisters. Also – Angeline treated us to breakfast in the bakery the next morning.
Good coffee, delicious food… I love those two things. It makes touring and these long-ass drives in the van worth it.
We’re headed for Prosser, Washington right now and I really have to pee. So – I’m cutting this little tour update short here because it looks like we’re pulling off in to a nice little wooded turnout.
lots of driving, some tacos, and finally getting to internet in Prosser, WA)
Here we are in Prosser, Washington, home of Brewminatti’s – a fine establishment for coffee, music, food and beverages. It’s a sold out show (woo woo!) and the barista here is gorgeous…
The coffee is made with precision and love as well – have I mentioned the barista?
Had delicious tacos across the street, and are now getting ready for some sound checking.
All is well and good in the world of well-caffeinated bass players.
We’re on day two of tour, and we are being well cared for… so far.
We begin our journey with a stop at Lucchesi’s Deli in Petaluma. The way/amount/degree to which/passion with which certain band members love the Turkey Bacon Avocado sandwich (on sour baguette) is rivaled only by Paseo in Seattle (we’ll get to this in a few weeks – be patient, dear reader.)
Thusly fueled, we drove our well-fed selves up to Arcata.
Once there, we met up with our tour buddies on this run – The Easy Leaves. These guys… can’t say enough good things about their music and their persons. Love them and their groovy, laid back cowboy jams.
The Arcata crowd was huge and rowdy and they sang along with everything and they danced their asses off, and it was glorious. The Humbrews show was the ideal way to start a tour. There was a crew of dudes there launching each other into the air using secret ninja/ballet techniques. Ryan crowd-surfed and got blood on his shirt. It was awesome.
That night we rallied to the Pumpkin house where we were met by Team Bond, warm home-cooked food, beds, and their sweet Bernie Sanders sign over the door.
The late night hospitality was matched only by the next morning’s hospitality. We feasted on eggs, bacon, toast, fruit, croissants, beets, coffee, OJ, good company, good people, and more good coffee.
Leaving the Pumpkin House is never a good idea, but it is necessary if a band is to tour their tour-y selves to their next tour date.
Leave we did (after a group photo – complete with all parties save Sage of the Easy Leaves. He was probably checking out the rad art studio in the back and soaking up the creative vibes to then transform into some tasty songs) and we hit the long windy (as in ‘lots of turns and curves’) road to Eugene.
(Thanks to Bob for the pit-stop along the way where we picked up some amazing smoked fish, which we just dipped into. Salmon jerky? Tuna jerky? Some tasty, delicious fish jerky. We have more bits and pieces in the van. Gotta eat them fassssssst though, right?)
We’re at Sam Bond’s in Eugene now getting ready for soundcheck. In fact, I should probably stop typing and go and play some bass.
We left town last Thursday. We left wonderful, warm, sea-level California coast to drive East into mountains, snow, storms, and snow. Did we mention the snow?
We started in Ogden, UT playing two shows at Snowbasin ski lodge. This was pretty damn fun. We all got time on the mountain, including this six-foot-four no-center-of-gravity-I’ve-only-skiied-once-in-my-life-twenty-years-ago bass player. It was a blast. (There’s a sub-plot here where I had a very hard time finding any espresso, but I don’t want to interrupt this band update to lament the fact that the espresso machine at Snowbasin was closed, and we were forced to drink hotel coffee for 3 days. That would be ridiculous, and excessive.) Lots of Utah friends came out to support, and good times are had by all.
Sunday we drove to Evanston, Wyoming. We played in Travis’ bar, Suds Brothers Brewery. Travis, we should add, became our host, tour-guide, temporary band-mate, and provider for our extended Evanston stay. “Extended?” you ask. Yes. Extended. Monday morning saw the closure of I-80 East of Evanston due to insane blizzards, snow, ice winds, and other things that are foreign and strange to those of us who grew up where 40 degrees is considered very, very cold.
Evanston was snow-covered and cold, but awesome. Travis was the most generous host a stranded band could hope for. (Evanston also had espresso, which brings an end to our tension-packed sub-plot. Peace and happiness was restored.) We checked out some thrift stores, went cross-country skiing on the snowed-over golf course, bought fireworks, and ate all Travis’ food.
Today – after making a video in 20 degree weather (5 if you count the wind-chill – video coming soon) – we found out I-80 was open. So, here I am. In the van, all technologically connected to the internet to let you know that we’re headed for Colorado!
Think safe, friction-full thoughts for us on our driving, and we’ll see you out there on the frozen frontiers of the Wild West.
We spent the better part of yesterday at Ashkenaz in Berkeley (which is a lovely wood-y venue, by the way. My first time there.) experiencing the experience of in-ear monitors.
(Let’s parenthesize a huuuuuge thanks to the dudes in Hot Buttered Rum for letting us use their gear. It is fancy, and it is technologically advanced, and it is not the kind of thing you traditionally lend out… particularly to hairy band-types. Thanks, HBR!)
One of the great excuses of a bad live performance is the sound. Not being able to hear this; that was too loud; the room was too boomy; the room was too this or that; the monitor mix was blah di blah… Any of these are great for blaming mistakes on.
Two great tips for you up-and-coming musicians out there: 1.) When you make a mistake, look very disappointed at the person next to you – give them a look that tells the audience: “this guy over here to my right has – clearly – made a mistake”. Classic misdirection. 2.) If the mistake is non-transferrable, blame it on the sound. This allows everyone else in the band to quickly agree that, yes, that sound was bad and – conveniently – the reason for all of their mistakes too. Everyone is happy, egos are soothed, and (best of all) you can use this excuse – literally – every night…. Unless…
What if you were to all of a sudden have a device that made it possible for you to control your own sound mix directly into your ear holes? What if every night you could press a button and have the same perfectly balanced mix show up in your custom molded, sound isolating, high-fidelity ear buds?
Well, then, you’d be:
a.) stoked to be playing and listening to such a heavenly, accurate mix.
b.) eternally damned to own and admit to and work on your mistakes.
So. You can see that the decision is a difficult one. Not at all clear which path to take, and surely, no easy answers.
In moderately more seriousness, we really enjoyed trying out the in-ear experience. Not sure if or when it will make its way into the regular Brothers Comatose swing of things, but it was a very enlightening experience. It was only one day of a trial run, so there are – undoubtably – many things we would discover both pro and con in time. But, after one go, it was really wonderful to be able to hear instruments, parts, harmonies and dynamics so very clearly.
We’ll be gearing up in furred jackets, fuzzy boots and toasty mufflers for our upcoming run into the Hinterlands of the Rockies. See you Coloradoians in a week or so!
Holy van time, Batman. We’ve been driving.
After driving from Trumansburg, NY (Saturday night) to Telluride, CO (got in Tuesday evening) we were exhausted. Weary. Delirious, even. Thankfully, having no oxygen and looking at some of the most rugged, dramatic and beautiful landscape in the world brought us back… that and two nights in luxurious accomodations where we didn’t have to spoon each other on saggy mattresses.
We are now in Flagstaff, New Mexico. We’re upstairs above the venue where we are lodging for the evening. We’re having some landscape/scenery whiplash, but are otherwise doing fine. The high desert is beautiful, and we detoured today through Monument Valley – so we’re still shocked and awed – just in more desert-y way. Less alpine-y.
There are more stories up on the ‘ol Benedettiville site (link is in the blog post below) – that roughly follow the band tour schedule, though I have recently derailed pretty severely. As the story stands, Stella Gene (AKA the Pink Heart [famous superhero]) and I are saving the day on a distant planet while the band drives to Colorado with a robot bass player stand-in that they don’t know isn’t me. It’s good times.
Take care all.
Hey folks! Gio is back in the band, and that means blog updates! I do love writing these things… and there’s a fun twist to this particular tour. I’ve been drawing and writing tour-related adventure stories for my 4 year old daughter (and family) back home to stay in touch. They don’t interact well with our current website, so I’ve had to leave them on my own website – but I’m bolstering up our own blog with some words here or there.
So – please do check out our blog from time to time, and – if you’re interested in wizards, towers, monsters and super heroes – check out the tour adventures.
See you on the road soon!
We are currently… somewhere between our last gig in Trumansburg, NY, and our next gig in Carbondale, CO. There is corn all around us. There are also beautiful blue skies, thick, fast-moving clouds, lots and lots of the color green (didn’t realize how much we’ve been missing this out in California).
The tour is going well. We are in the middle of a hectic drive right now, so we’re at a low point as far as the excitement and musical interest goes… but as far as 30 hour drives go, it’s going well. Podcasts, lots of music, comedy records, band meetings, Slug Bug, 99 bottles of beer on the wall, I Spy – you know. All the classics to make a road trip more fun.
I’ve been making little comics that relate – distantly – to our time on the road for the kiddos back home. For those of you who don’t know, I have a 4 and half year old and a 1 and three quarters year old daughter. The 4 year old and I have a long and rich story telling history. On this long tour I was looking for a way to keep in touch in a more special way, and so I started making these little comics and stories. I’ve posted them all over here on my family-stories-and-music website, Benedettiville. I WOULD have put them here, but our current website is a bit stubborn when it comes to interacting with large quantities of media. So… the stories stay at Benedettiville.
The stories roughly follow our own road adventures… or, they did up until the most recent story where I am travelling via rocketship and the band has a robot bass player. But up until then, you know, it’s ~dimly~ related to the tour.
If you’d like to check it all out, please do so right here!
See you all out there, good people!
Hail hail!! We Brethren Comatose are in Philidelphia right now. We got in yesterday to go to a FOO FIGHTERS SHOW!!! (Courtesy of the legendary Uncle Pierre. Thanks again, Pierre.) Dave Grohl rocked our socks off for 3 hours. He is a Rock Lord, and we want to be his disciples. Where do we apply for that?
Before we head off on a rock pilgramage to follow Dave Grohl around and learn his mystical ways, we’re going to play a ton of shows and do this massive, zig-zaggy tour route across this massive United States of America.
Come out and say hello, people!
DelYeah…is what the people say when headed to this fine festival…of which we’ve only had the pleasure of hearing about. People all across the land praise it, saying it’s one of the best of its kind. We shall see this weekend and report back to all you fine people. I mean…look at that lineup. It definitely will not suck.
Well that was one crazy show! Ups, downs, fiddle string breaks, banjo re-strings and ultimate triumph with much rocking from the Terrapin Family Band and Phil Lesh. It was nutty…and we had a blast! You can read all about it in Alan Sheckter’s review here: http://www.gratefulweb.com/articles/brothers-comatose-w-phil-lesh-review
And here’s a pic from Stuart Levine..