Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Krommenie, Wednesday 26 April 2006

Home! Fantastic!

Friends, if you are in the Netherlands, please be sure to check out THE BENT MOUSTACHE playing live, on their big tour! We play in Amsterdam on Monday 1 May, we do a radio session on Thursday 4 May in Zaandam, and we play at the Vera in Groningen on Saturday 6 May. I am darned excited about these shows, and I know that Pim and Wilf are itching to get at it too. It promises to be fantabulous.

Come on down!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Los Angeles Saturday 22 April 2006

"TV Party" this afternoon. We are at the recording studio of some ex-stone temple helmet to play 2 songs for the Henry Rollins TV Show! Bored! Could have had a nice day in Hollywood, instead of in the dark confines of a warehouse. Hank is excited though....he especially flew back from New York this morning to meet his favourite band.

Eugene, Oregon.....friends, that is a weird town, filled with weird people. Crack addicts mingled freely outside the venue with the punks and deadheads. Inside, it felt like a meeting of the local youth club with the Betty Ford Clinic. Kids pogoed at the front, and the Vietnam Vet acid heads did their weird 1960s trippy, zoned out cosmic shakes. The town is kinda detached from civilisation....not near enough Portland or Seattle to pick up their cool vibe; just stuck in that weird Pacific Northwest belt.....a perfect place for cool bands to come out of. Think "The Thrones" from Olympia, "Nirvana" from washington, "The Melvins" etc etc. Dino easily played the worst set of the tour....Patrick was a wee bit sauced. Top entertainment for those watching though. The end of the tour is nigh.

San Francisco...2 nights at the American Music hall. Lovely....get to sleep in a bed in a hotel! And not on the bus! The Phoenix Hotel is where the Sex Pistols stayed after their last ever show....ever get the feeling you been cheated...and all that. "Comets On Fire" are openers and they are fantastic. Cycled through San Francisco, and hit Haight-Ashbury where I ended up at Amoeba records!!!! Oh dear! 2 hours later, and the wallet feels a wee bit empty.

Los Angeles....2 nights at the Troubador. Rock central. Totally sold out. The stars were out last night....apparently. I only recognized the drummer from The Shite Wipes (...White Stripes). I couldn't tell a top actor from the valet at the car park. Some hoary old rocker introduced the band last night.....he just rambled on and on. Who the hell was he? Get off ya old fart! Met many old friends....I love the fact I get the chance to meet up with them by travelling to their neck of the woods. Tonight is the last show. Tomorrow home. I can't wait.

I must make special mention of the football team I coach when I am at home....Saenden C1.They won their last game of the season today and became champions for the first time. I am so pissed off I missed out on the celebrations today. But Yoke and Arun were present for me and Arun handed them the cup and flowers. Well done boys....I am so proud of you! (

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Eugene, Oregon Tuesday 18 April 2006

If ya ain't playin', yr payin'. So those road warrior musos claim. We just completed 19 shows in 19 days, and the day off that we had yesterday was a drive day! Darned! Poonk rock! Watt and his flannel beaters, and those assorted DC hardbore types would surely approve, but would still think us to be a bunch of fannies for not getting a pick-up show between Salt Lake City and Eugene. Tonight Eugene, then San Fran for 2 shows and LA for 2 shows. Dino also play at the Henry Rollins TV show on that hunk of punk sure has climbed the ladder of SUCKcess.

But what of the last 2 weeks? North Carolina was wonderful as usual. Chapel Hill is home of Merge Records....Dino's label. I have other reasons for holding this town and peoples with affection. A wonderful band by the name of "The Kingsbury Manx" live here. They have released some of the best records in the last few years and are criminally overlooked. I toured with them many years ago and we have remained firm friends. Returning to see them again presents us all with a chance to go over the latest chapters in our personal lives......marriage, pregnancies, new jobs, getting old! The Cat's Cradle venue is run by friendly people, and CD Alley is a great record shop containing gems you never thought you could find again. North Carolina in the spring is a wonder. An explosion of beauty. Asheville proved to be a old hippy town in the north of the state, the streets are tye-dyed and the food gets you high man! Just kidding. But it is hippy central and set in a beautiful location....mountains, lakes, and the sky above.

Record shopping Atlanta

Graffitty Atlanta

Nobody from Outkast came to see us in Atlanta, although our good friends "Dead Meadow" (who were opening) told me that Andre 3000 is a big music fan and can be spotted at the odd indie show or 6....he once checked the Meadow out when they played in Hotlanta. Nashville was a rootin' tootin' hoot.

Dead Meadow vs Dinosaur jr.

Caught up with Cortney Tidwell, who is a fine singer with a bright future. My only bit of A+R "work" I have done was recommending Cortney to a record label in Europe, who heard her songs, fell in love with them, and signed her up immediately. She showed me around one of the big recording studios used by the biggies of the country world, and I pooped where Garth Brooks has also done the do. Her new album will be out in the summer and it is excellent. After the show, my friend Krista (from Louisville) drove us to Tootsie's Bar in downtown Nashville. Tootsie's is the famed bar behing the Opry where all the country greats (Hank, Johnny, Earl, Jimmie, etc) would drink before and after shows at the Opry. On the walls, behind glass, are fading black and white photos of all the greats who passed through Tootsie's doors. We passed through bars on the strip and drank and danced in a c+w stylee to the many bands twanging their way through the evening.
Memphis was punk as fuck. The venue was a damaged eaterie which must have been shelter to every food disease possible, and when the tables and chairs were removed, it was transformed into a rawk'n'role hole. Elvis didn't even enter the building. The PA was an old stereo converted. But fun it certainly was. Its the grittier shows which are unpredicatble that make for enjoyable evenings. There are safe shows aplenty, and the rough ones are the ones that keep you on your toes.
I always EQ the venue PA system to a song by "The Fall". It used to be "Blood Outta Stone" for ages and in the last year I have been using "Blindness" (the Peel session version). Its always a great way to start your work day. It puts a spring in your step and its great to hear "The Fall" over a big PA. The interesting thing is that there is always one or more person/people who ask what the music playing is. They have either never heard of "The Fall" or have never heard that particular track. Almost everyone loves them instantly and I have had more people telling me that they are going to buy stuff by the band after hearing them. Shouldn't I be on a commission from Kamp Fall?!
New fan of The Fall in Memphis

Midwest madness......Indianapolis, Columbia, drive for miles and miles and miles through flatlands and then you hit a town. What do people do there? Are they the offspring of those young pioneers from yesteryear that beat a path through Indian land? There are references to the Native Americans everywhere...names of rivers, towns, streets, etc. But there are no Native Americans to be seen anywhere. Only pasty white faces and Asians and Afro-Americans. The kids who turn up to the shows are very happy that you made it through to their town and make a big deal out of it. Many get wasted and pogo. Some hang out by the bus after the show hoping to catch up with J, Lou and Murph.....many of these kids werent even born when the records came out. The older ones are just happy to relive their youth and tell you how much this particular show took them back through the years, and just about everybody is blown away by the volume and power produced by the 3 old farts onstage. And the songs are timeless. I hear new things in particular songs that I thought I knew so well....thats a sign of a great song for me. I have never been a big fan of guitar fret wankery but J's improvisations have opened up a new door to me in guitar appreciation. And Lou and Murph are rock solid. Lou's bass playing style is truly unique and I never ever get bored of watching or listening to him.
Incidentally, if you are in Lawrence Kansas, visit Lovegarden Record store.....a wonderful place....inhabited by 3 cats who rule the roost.

Lovegarden recordstore Lawrence Kansas

Lawrece Kansas...Pipes of peace

Boulder, Colorado. A beautiful setting for a town. Mountains galore. Hippies and students everywhere. A bit too much zen in this town....its all patchouli oil, massages, mountain walks, organic everything, rocky mountain high weed and sushi celebrations. Where's the dirt? Where's the real world? I have been confronted by people in every town thus far asking for change. In this town, it felt like I should be asking for change! But I really liked the place. It was nice to pitch camp at one venue for 2 nights, and great to sleep in a bed in a hotel insted of the bus...absolutely impossible to sleep on that rocking boat. Boulder is also home to Dino's management, and so the chiefs of staff made us feel welcome. Went for a run into the mountains on the second day there and hugged trees and gave thanks to the gods of!

Two sold out shows in Boulder Colorado

Salt Lake City.......good grief. Only a Mormon would come up with an idea for a town here. Set in the middle of nowhere, it is the final frontier for anyone who wants to get away from the world. The huge Mormon church spires dominate the city centre landscape, and the majority of the large, imposing buildings in town are connected to the Mormons. We arrived there on Easter Sunday, and just about everything was closed....except the church off course. Attendants wait in the forecourt outside the church, waiting to swoop on visitors to take them on guided tours. I resisted and did my own tour. The city itself is a joyless place and everything seems to be under Mormon control, which feels strange. The Mormons have seagulls as their animal of choice, because as the tale goes, when the Mormons were escaping persecution a few hundred years ago, they had to eat whatever they could from wherever they could. On their journey west, a plague of locusts descended and proceeded to eat their crops and everything else edible. Fearing that death was on the horizon for them, the Mormons prayed for salvation, and what they received was a flock of seagulls that came down and ate the locusts. Saved!
That was 19 shows in 19 days. Everybody was exhausted. Sickness came and went. The day off turned into a drive day from Salt lake City to Portland, Oregon. That is a long way. Many films watched and many cups of tea were sunk.
Saw "eX-Girl" last night in Portland...very good 3 piece Japanese girl band. punk meets metal in a cute Japanese style.

Onwards to California my's up dude!

Dan Mapp, tourmanager

Road Warriors
Train a rollin'

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Tuesday 4 April 2006

Houston, Texas : the first city I ever visited in the USA. 10 years ago when "Donkey" toured. Our label was based in Houston and that was our starting point. So it was fine to return to a city that seems to get flak from other Americans on a regular basis. Met old compadres who took us to a fine Mexican eaterie....ah those Mexicans again..ay caramba! None of the restauranters/ waiters / waitresses spoke English, just Spanish. Brilliant. Put that in yr Homeland Security pipe and smoke it. Definitely a Friday night feeling at the gig where the cowboys and cowgirls yeehawed well into the night and pogo-ed. Got to hear some Houston hip-hop....fresh flavas from the south.

New Orleans, Louisiana : boy this town sure took a beating from that hurricane. Some might even say that this city needed a clean up anyway, but I will resist from such suggestions. Canal Street is still a mess. Shops and buildings are all boarded up. Looking through the windows of stores, you can still see everything has remained untouched from that fateful week. Chairs and tables strewn everywhere, wallpaper dripping from the walls, and a general stank that hangs over the area. Meanwhile the French Quarter is doing its best to live it up. There were tourists aplenty in for the weekend and at night, Bourbon Street was jumping. Party animals with those gaudy Mardi Gras beads falling over their drunken, slurred chat up lines, yo-boys shouting "nigger" at any opportunity at each other, oldies who were trying to keep apace with the young 'uns in the party stakes. And all those girls gone wild! Snoop will surely be making an appearance down in these neck of the woods again to help the ailing economy with his schnizzle videos.
Cracking show.....punk rock a go-go.

Tallahassee, Florida : this is the state capital of Florida. the home of Governor Jeb Bush, brother of the incumbent. This is where the first W election was rigged! Enough said.

Jacksonville, Florida : down by the beach. Florida is a giant graveyard. The oldies come to retire down here and spend the last remaining years of their life. Beach bums with surf boards clash for space on the seafront with the pensioners. We had a big stopover at a truck stop due to our driver Tal having to fix a hose in the motor. This gave us the chance to observe hick life at a truckstop in the middle of nowhere for a couple of hours. Most of these people must eat out of a bucket judging by the large appearances of most of them. Truck drivers wired on coffee and ephedrine load up on gurly mags and country tapes for the road. Locals who live in the area use the truckstop as a meeting place and shopping stop, driving through in their huge trucks and hummers. Stetsons, cowboy boots and mirrored sunglasses are for the good ol' boys. The black guys are the ones cleaning up the forcourt of the station. Alot of them just stared at me and wondered which planet this brown looking guy had come from....or did they have ter****st running through their head?

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina : playing at House of Blues. HOB is a chain of venues in the USA, started by a fellow who is a devotee of Sai Baba (an Indian guru / saint / living God with millions of followers around the world). His photo hangs above every stage which is always strange to see I think in a rock'n'roll environment. There is an alligator farm behind the venue and we witnessed the feeding of the thousands at 5pm! Gnashing teeth and then back to sleep for the 'gators. These animals don't eat for 4-5 months through the winter period. They store all their energy from the food they eat in the summer months and use that sparingly in the winter. there have been reports of alligators roaming many neighbourhoods in South Carolina and Louisiana, where they will visit homes to knock over trash bins and eat the contents within. How long before a human gets to be plat du jour? Managed to hit the beach but way too cold for any dipping.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Houston Friday 31 March 2006

we arrived into another shitstorm that the douchebag of a president of this land had created. They are now concerned about illegal immigration into the States especially by Mexicans. Dumbass "broadcasters" (shouldn't that be hatemongers?) like Lou Dobbs (from CNN.....Complete Nazi News) and Rush Limbaugh are advocates of building a wall between Mexico and the USA and throwing out all illegal immigrants regardless of case history and dubbing them all as criminals. They are concerned, amongst other things, that the immigrants are taking jobs from US citizens. Very rich this! Its precisely the jobs that nobody else wants to do that the immigrants are doing. Anyway, with Texas being so close to Mexico, it has, unsurprisingly, many Mexicans amongst its population. (Lets not forget that Texas is stolen land). In Dallas, Austin and Houston, students have been going on strike at schools, and taking to the streets to protest against the proposed Republican moves to curb immigration. Fantastic and inspiring. There is hope for the future. Also, not only is it now a felony to be caught as an illegal, but if any employer or person is trapped and seen to have helped these illegal immigrants, then they too are seen as committing a felony! Good ol' W....making friends all over the world.
Played at a great venue in Austin....Stubbs BBQ. Its actually outside, and so it feels like you are playing in somebodys backyard for 1300 people. This town never seems to sleep and there are bars and bands everywhere. There is a bridge in the middle of town, under which live thousands of bats. Everyday at sunset, these bats start flying out in their droves down to Mexico and return the next day. Quite a sight! No walls are going to keep them out of the land.