Sept. 12 - Washington, DC - Rock And Roll Hotel
Sept. 13 - Brooklyn, NY - Bell House
Sept. 14 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
Sept. 15 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
Sept. 16 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's
Filmed by Kevin Hilliard & Tim McCready and edited by our own Chris Murphy, this "elegant & classy" video premiered on VEVO yesterday. Check it out below.
I am in a great little joint called Hattie’s Hat where there is great food, free wireless, AC (power) and bottomless coffee… and hopefully a private washroom. The White album is playing and Abbey Road was before that so I am happy as a clam but it’s my younger son Santiago’s 1st birthday today, which is a little sad for me. I did sleep in until 2pm PST (5pm EST) so it’s bittersweet. You’d think I was in Australia but not so. I think I will be away for my older son Francisco’s 4th birthday in September but a guy’s got to work. There are a bunch of things going on in Toronto when I am home but I am making the promise with you as my witness that I will be 100% available to my family while I home between these tours… unless it’s cool for me to see The Descendents… or Off! Happy birthday sweetheart.
PORTLAND Sunday, June 5th
Well, every night can’t be a Saturday.
MEDFORD Monday, June 6th
We always play Seattle and Portland and the next play is always San Francisco but it’s too far to drive in one night so we need to park the bus somewhere and let the driver sleep. Our day off in Medford OR at The Red Lion Inn has been a tradition for the past 7 years or so. There is a multiplex nearby. We have had movie nights there. It’s kind of romantic for the whole band to do anything “extracurricular” together. There’s not a lot of hanging out together at home and it’s a fun, bonding thing to do.
We saw Avatar last time we were in Medford and Tropic Thunder the time before. We’ve been a band for 20 years and that is hammered home by some other movie memories: We all saw Reservoir Dogs together in Glasgow in early 1993 and we saw a premiere of Pulp Fiction in Chicago in 1994. In 2002, we were working in Toronto with producer, Tom Rothrock and he stopped us in the middle of rehearsal and made us all go watch Standing in the Shadows of Motown. I guess he thought it might make us play better or maybe he was simply tired of watching us rehearse. I don’t really think it helped but it probably didn’t hurt and it was memorable.
We didn’t go to the Cineplex this time but we all watched game 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs and later (after a vote at an Irish pub) Fletch beat out Midnight Run for the movie that would play that night on the bus. I hadn’t seen either movie in its entirety. I voted for Midnight Run at the Irish Pub but in the name of democracy I watched Fletch with everybody and it was pretty bad. The people who had voted for Fletch laughed loudly to make it seem like it had been the right choice. I wish we had all gone to see The Hangover part 2 or a movie from this year. It would help me organize my memories so in 20 years when I ask when did we all watch Fletch, I won’t wonder if it had been 1985.
For those of you who haven't had a chance to stop over in Medford, OR. Here is a short travelogue to provide a bit of context:
We played the Commodore Ballroom, which seemed like a stadium compared to last night when we played the hotel in Penticton. We have had the good fortune to play the Commodore the last few times we have been through Vancouver. We played several more times in our 20 year history. One time in 1997(?) opening for the great Stereolab and the first time to 30 people on the night of the infamous L.A. riots in 1992.
Last time we were in Vancouver, it was in the throws of Olympic fever. This time it’s Stanley Cup fever. Toronto, by contrast had the G20 and the election of Jabba the Mayor. Our good friend Craig Northey of Odds fame was generous enough to include us in their latest amazing project. The Odds are playing rock music at the Vancouver Canucks home games. They are up in the nosebleeds for the home games but they are at centre ice at the sold out BC Place for the AWAY games!
The Odds have had several guest singers accompany them including Elvis Costello, Randy Bachman, Colin James, Bobby Baker from the Tragically Hip and Ra McGuire from Trooper. The talented Mr. Northey arranged for some CBC folks to come to the Commodore to video Sloan playing the intro to our song Money City Maniacs so that it could segue into The Odds playing the main riff in game 5. The very idea of their being a game 5 means that we have to root for The Bruins to win at least one game. Vancouver’s own, Gregory Macdonald is very conflicted about this.
Continued (at length)...
Penticton is a beautiful small town between Calgary and Vancouver. It has a gorgeous beach surrounded by mountains and the most amazing used bookstore. For Sloan’s purposes it has a place to play to help take care of expenses during what might otherwise be a night off. They treated like kings and fed us amazing food. Kevin “Lamps” Hilliard and I went for a nice bike ride around the town. I spent well over $100 on kids’ books at the amazing used bookstore.
We played here once before at the same venue (hotel) but the configuration of the room was different. The show was fun for weirdness value. Sound test was like a matinee for a handful of seniors who were trying to have a nice lunch. At least one seemed to leave a new convert. At the show, people were right up to the tiny stage and one woman thought nothing of coming up and trying to take my glasses off me while I was playing. I could have handled her myself but security intervened before I had to do anything. Another guy brought his yo-yo and proceeded to whip it around. A first, and hopefully a last.
There were a few people who had driven all the way from Vancouver, who came again to the Vancouver show and I’ve got to hand it to those people. But don’t come to too many shows then I feel bad that we’re doing essentially the same show every night.
My high school friend Scott Kennedy came to the bus for a visit. I probably wouldn’t have invited him because I had some stuff to do and I would have felt bad dragging him around to that but because he came of his own accord I didn’t feel bad about it. He came with us to a radio station, which was mercifully close to the bus. Jay, Gregory and I played Your Daddy Will Do and Shadow of Love.
I dragged poor Scott to the hotel where I showered and then he watched sound test. We eventually had some free time so we went to the bookstore and had a nice dinner together. It’s June and hockey is still going. Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals was on that night but Scott is very uninterested in hockey so we didn’t watch it. I am not up on the NHL but the finals are a big deal with the gang on the bus and part of me was getting sucked into wanting to watch. I’m glad I hung out with my old friend. Traveling the way I do enables me to see people I wouldn’t otherwise see, which is nice. I guess that’s what facebook does for the rest of the world. Maybe I should get on that.
As mentioned earlier, we played the Republik in 1992 on our first trip through town with Jerry Jerry and the Sons of Rhythm Orchestra. The show this time was pretty wild. The crowd was pretty rowdy and I had a good time. Kevin “Lamps” Hilliard had a couple quibbles with the food vendor selling “east coast style” donairs outside the club after the show. We are traveling with a few experts who took issue with the use of extra ingredients including mozzarella. Donairs have meat, (very specific) sauce, onions and maybe tomatoes. This guy’s credentials included one trip to Moncton. Kevin was incensed.
We had a mini bus party with a few people including a brief appearance of the donair guy but the star was a young woman (name withheld and maybe even forgotten) who was apprenticing to do sound at the club. There was some dancing. She did a bit of “crunking” and insisted we blast Search and Destroy and scream along like a bunch of fools. Cheers to young cool kids coming to our shows (even if they are required to be) but be careful out there.
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