Thursday, July 24, 2008

Da Bears Summer Tour 2008

First and foremost, I would like to attain some sort of regular posting schedule with THIS blog for THIS tour. Last one was a big neglected beyond Denver or so, plus I think I should find an outlet for writing because I have nothing else but a journal that is filled with lyrics and other madness.

This one is short, I need to get vitamins for my sickness.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I moved The Redwalls blog to it's own page, so it's not mixed among my personal stuff. Here's the link:

The Redwalls Tour Blog

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Navigation Proclamation!

I apologize for the lack of updates… Internet has been scarce. And even when we do get it, it’s usually fleeting or leeched in some way… I promise this will be a long one.

I’m currently sitting in the passenger seat next to Brandon on our way down to Boise for our show tonight at the Neurolux. It being around a nine-hour drive, I decided to knock out a super post. We just pumped some gas, and it was only $2.91 a gallon. Not bad for flatland cow town. The air has an overwhelming stench of pies here. Cow pies. The past few days have really been incredible, and it’s going to be hard to remember everything I want to (only because there’s so much!), let alone forget the experience. Rewind a bit…

San Francisco is cold.

Very cold. It’s so cold it’s deceiving. I mean we were hitting temps in the 50’s or something in San Fran, and once we drove over eight hours north, it was back up to 100 or so. Wasn’t expecting that. That was probably the worst car drive I’ve ever been on. I mean, being in legitimate fear of a heat stroke is never a good thing.

A few things dominated our San Francisco experience… Wii, general over expenditure and two mediocre shows. We’ll go in order. I had no desire to play Wii at first until I saw the kind of excitement it provided Ryan with, who really gets into the game and throws arms around as if he were bowling in real life, and not in a simulated game out of the comfort of a living room. But I started to bowl and boy was that fun. A flick of the wrist could change everything, and I definitely saw a few turkeys… Damn the Binns! He defies the laws of nature by getting better as he gets increasingly drunk. It’s some sick exponential relationship…

I spent too much money. I need to learn a new dance move… the old reach, pull and pay is getting tiresome, not to mention expensive. Most of it was for stupid things, so now I’m trying to budget myself a little better and keep things down to $12 a day. It’s hard. I like beer.

The shows were interesting. The first was at the Make Out Room. That was a cool place. The stage was on two levels, so I was raised up and if my feet had eyes they would be looking at everyone else’s heads. I didn’t really like it. But the show went fine. I wasn’t satisfied with my performance, even though the crowd seemed to have fun. I just wasn’t happy with San Francisco shows in general. That place is unforgiving and confusing and many times unwelcoming. Who the hell starts a street on one side of the city, stops it abruptly, and starts it again in an entirely different section? It seemed like the people that lived there didn’t even know where they were going. Worst direction givers ever.

In the day of rest we had between the two shows, we went and explored Haight Street. It’s kind of overdone now, but still a cool place. I met a sarcastic old bum who said, “isn’t it funny how this used to be the Mecca of peace and love and now you can’t even get a bit of change from anyone, funny right?” all whilst laughing and pointing his cup towards me. Ryan and I also bought this horrible hip-hop record from a guy that free styled for us on the street. Talk about a waste of $5. Amoeba Music is sweet, and it was nice to see what everyone talks about. Right outside of the store we ran into a few guys who were also touring, but from New Zealand! They’re called Malenky Robot, and the conversations lead to us realizing we’re pretty much en route to the same place. Seattle… dur.

The second show was at the Edinburgh Castle Pub, which would have been awesome had people shown up. We ended up not charging at the door and just letting everyone in for free, which was perfectly fine. The other two bands we played with were incredible. There was a two-piece called Planets similar to The Locust and Hella, with just drums and bass. Both were fantastic players. They wore all white spandex suits with white sheets behind them, a white spray painted drum set, and random video footage displayed over them. I thought it needed fine-tuning. But it was a cool idea nonetheless. It was their first real show, and for that I give them two thumbs up and a kick in the ass for being so good. The second band that played was Chairlift from Brooklyn. Now those guys were great! It sucks that their EP is shitty. The live show was really captivating, and Caroline the singer has a fucking gorgeous voice. I can’t wait to see them again. How do I feel about our set? We played like shit. But who cares. I can’t really tell what the hell’s going on from behind the drum set anyway.

Oh I almost forgot! Ruby’s friend Andrew from San Fran, who’s been to the Binns’ Inn several times, just randomly showed up at the show! He didn’t even know we were playing, and came for Chairlift, but it was a pleasant surprise. We had no way to contact him, so coincidence/fate hooked that shit up.

I was content with leaving San Francisco. It’s not a place that I enjoyed very much… It’s the third time I’ve been there. I’d be willing to give it another chance though.


Sunday, July 8, 2007

Accident Prone...

Yesterday I woke up from a peaceful sleep in San Luis Obispo and began preparing myself for the day. We shook everyone from their slumber and began loading up the van. The whole time B was shooting tabs down from the second story with incredible precision, and actually made one into the passenger side window of a moving vehicle.

So then we left and got gas and I did the driving up to San Francisco. It wasn't bad... while most people slept I admired the scenery. I like it better every time I go there. We made it to SF with time to spare, so we went to have a BBQ in Golden Gate Park. I had delicious hamburgers and six layer dip and it was nice to fill up on good food before a show. At 6:00 it was time to leave for the Make Out Room, because we didn't quite know where we were going and the show started at 7:30 and we received directions from a drunk girl. We piled into the van, which Jake parallel parked with skill beyond his years, and began to pull out but hit a Russian woman's Civic! The ass of the car was almost two feet out into the street and it was parked unevenly, but we ended up taking out a headlight and leaving a bit of paint behind. This set us back about half and hour, and luckily EJ navigated us to the venue in reasonable time.

When we got there Sir Salvatore was waiting outside for us, and generously provided us with a giant parking space right in front of the venue. The stage was a double level thing, but I don't think I like being raised above the rest... it diminishes eye contact. We were kind of rushed along, so I wasn't happy at first, but then we got some drink tickets, made some money and apparently the crowd responded nicely towards us. I cheered up after that.

I slept in the van again last night. #2! I'm done for a while. Now we're all sitting in the living room of an apartment right off 19th street and we're thinking about leaving for some food. Bacon, egg and chee? Though I don't doubt I can find one... none compare to Philly!

Friday, July 6, 2007


Right now it's 4:30 in the morning and I'm somewhere outside of Los Angeles at one of the pimpest houses I've ever been in.

I'll start this story at the Che Cafe, where our new merch guy, a hitchhiker from PA named Eric, offered me some kale, chard and spinach to munch on. He asked to accompany us up to northern CA/San Francisco area, so we obliged, picked him up at the Che where he had been sleeping on an couch outside for the past few days, and now we have a guy to keep an eye on our stuff!

The drive up to Long Beach was an easy one, and will hopefully spell out how the rest of tour will go for us. But, the first 15 minutes into driving Mr. Hanks, it started smoking and smelling like burnt rubber. I freaked a little inside, thinking that it would all end there and none of the work was worth it. But it turns out there was just some excess gas fluid on the new brakes we just had installed.

We played the Prospector tonight in Long Beach, like Snoop Dogg Long Beach... the LBC baby. We showed up at the time they told us to, but when we got there another band was already loading in and they told us we had to close at that point since the next two bands were sharing equipment. It was kind of a one band in-one band out type of place. Teeny. But the stage was really cool and we had this weird oil light shining on us the whole time. They made all the young ones stay outside until is was time to play, which was pretty lame, but understandable. So we were allotted something like 25 or 30 minutes to play, did a 5 song set, and I think a pretty damn good job of attracting the remaining attention from the audience and workers. The people accumulated rather than dissipated.

I think the most exciting parts of the night occurred on the street right outside the band entrance directly before and after our set. As we were waiting for the band right before us to finish, Bill, one of the guys that worked there, came out and informed us that the bassist in the band (Highway) was Peter from the Dandy Warhols. Having just watched Dig! again, it was pretty mind blowing. And then he said that Anton was supposed to DJ tonight, but flaked out because he's not very reliable in general. At one point, EJ stated to the crowd, "I wouldn't stay for your set if I were the last Dandy on earth!" It was classic, and several audience members adopted the hand to mouth "no he didn't!" gesture. During our set Eric got kicked out for being young, and decided to take a walk. He came back as we were loading back up and worrying that he left permanently or that we lost him. There was this bum guy trailing behind him who Eric had just spent time talking to and sharing cigarettes with, without the intention of bringing him back. The guy followed anyway and began to harass us for change! We all said no, finished loading as fast as possible, and took off to where I am right now. Evan/Nave's house. His older brother does artwork for Ed Templeton, which is siiiiiiiick!

So as for tonight, I can rightfully say that a Dandy Warhol opened for us, a bum tried to close us down, and right now I'm about to pass out in this La-Z-Boy.

Here's what we played:

Sword In Hand
Lindsay Lohan
Cowardly Cobra
I Want A Girl Who Knows HTML

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Che Cafe Cha Cha Cha

Tonight in three words...

Rock and Roll. Or maybe...

Sweaty Dress Debauchery. Or maybe...

Jesus Fucking Christ. And in that case...

The Second Coming.

I had a blast. It was the best show that could have happened to kick off the tour, and I heard that it was a favorite Da Bears experience from several people. The entire day was just epic, with the video shoot and loading up and all the excitement leading to this one hour long opportunity to say both hello and goodbye to all those people that stuck around to see us.

I'm in a strange mood right now. It's mostly because I'm tired, but I think I'm a little intimidated by the fact that I have to do this 35 more times (potentially) over the next two months. Actually, I'm just really fucking excited. I've waited to do this for so long, and I cannot wait!

Another thing I noticed tonight is that right after the show, I really appreciate the quiet time I have while breaking down my set. It's nice and contemplative.

More to come tomorrow when I feel like typing. And maybe some pics too.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

It Was An All Out Brawl!

Let me lay it down for y'all.

Practice today began with a meager push and shove, but it escalated to fists and bottles and snare drums and mic stands and cowbells and oh so many percussion instruments and a cloud of dust reminiscent of Wile E. Coyote and that craaaazy road runner (see figure 1).

(Figure 1)

But then we all hugged and played music.

The photo shoot went well. I was amongst much debris, and the vertical nails were abundant. One went through my shoe, but I caught it before the bastard poked me. Even GALF came out for the fun and sun (see figure 2).

(Figure 2)

So then we went and hung out at Chel-C’s for a while, and swam in a salt-water pool, which was amazing and very pleasant. But her canine Hara is a freaking spaz. Tazo iced teas are incredible.

I finally went and picked up directions, which are fatter than the latest Harry Potter novel.

So right now we’re about to shoot a music video for Sword In Hand, and afterwards is the first official tour date at the Che CafĂ©. It’s our San Diego going away show, and I really cannot wait to see how it turns out. Unfortunately the re-release isn’t going to make it in time, so we are going to sell some buttons and t-shirts I think.

Tomorrow is our annual 4th of July BBQ, hopefully our friends The Bee Team from Philly are going to make it to provide some entertainment… but they’ve been slacking on answering the phone.

Come to the show if you can and say goodbye to us!