Blog Archive

Blog Archive 2004

September 18, 2004 - First Entry

Well, here is the official first installment in The Silos’ tour journal. Written in our own hand, in the van, and on the road. Seeing as how this tour kicked off in Berlin, we should start there. Here we go…..

Drew says, "We get to the hotel in Berlin after a nice long bus ride through town and we are greeted by Steve Wynn’s big face hanging on the wall. It’s good to see a friend so far from home." We didn’t have too much time before our sound check, so the kooky ex-pat desk clerk checked us in and we were on our way. His accent was some sort of mutation somewhere between the Bronx and the Berlin Wall.

The show was great and well attended. There was one guy yelling out "Does Caroline still live?" Lots of friends showed up: Edgar from our great German label Blue Rose, Stephan and Christian from our hard working publicity firm Volume 11, people from Radio 1 who have been playing our record, and lots of fans. After a loud set, lots of German bier, a couple of encores, we headed back to Steve Wynn’s big face.

We had a day off in Berlin, and Walt was responsible for doing interviews. Drew was in the hotel recovering and NOT smoking, and Konrad walked around town to commune with his people.

Drew was recovering? You may jest, but it was a little more serious than your garden-variety hangover. He was in the hospital for 10 days just before the tour thanks to a rancid hamburger at a Lucinda Williams show. No fault of Lu’s though, she just happened to be singing. Now Drew is one appendix and a smoking habit lighter. So, no offering Drew smokes before, during, or after the show.

"On to London!" says Drew.

We had a couple days in London to do press for the new album, and Walt presented the rock cause to our distribution company, Pinnacle. Walt says, "One of the great things about that meeting was the various accents from the representatives that flew in from all parts of the UK and Ireland." The two nights there, Walt and Konrad went to The Globe Theatre as groundlings to see the bard’s plays with real English accents. Not the ones you get in the East Village.

"On to Spain!" says Drew.

The Bilbao airport is a magnificent piece of modern architecture. When we got there for our flight out, we accosted travelers to take our picture for some possible publicity shots. But, I digress. We had some people from The Azkena Rocks Festival pick us and some other artists up for the hour drive to Vitoria. Little did we know, but The Violent Femmes jumped in the van too. When we got to the hotel it was like checking into rock and roll summer camp - lots of sunglasses and black pants. Our rooms were great, but the Vodka just wasn’t cold enough, and I specifically requested brand new sheets for the beds.

Hands getting tired. Hope someone is reading.

We would like to thank Luis and Alfonso from Muskerra for believing in us all of these years. Also, who could not forget Mondo Sonoro crew? Sergio and Dani are great people who really love music, and Sergio’s baby girl couldn’t have been more beautiful.

"F*cking MC5!" says Drew.

The first night of the festival, we saw Josh Rouse, Mark Lannegan, Fun Loving Criminals, Ryan Adams, and the MC5. In an epic proletariat rock moment, we saw Wayne Kramer venture into the Porta-Potty dressed in all white, and…with his guitar strapped to his back. Yes folks, THAT is rock. But, nothing could take away from one of the best live shows of the year. MC5. Their rock flag waved higher than anything at the festival. They were powerful and inspired. All of us who were lucky enough to see them from the side of the stage were completely awestruck over the spectacle. They had several singers with them, but the stand out by far was Mark Arm from Mudhoney. He was incredible. And, who could argue with Kick Out the Jams. Classic!

Inspired, we played the next day along with Matthew Sweet, Johnny Kaplan, The Violent Femmes, The Flaming Groovies, and Turbo Negro. It was a gas to play in front of thousands of people and on a huge stage. Konrad was on the right on a riser so Walt could look at him in the eye, and Drew was on the left playing through a huge SVT cabinet. Walt, in the middle, was playing through a Vox AC30 and a Fender Deville. "The point of it all was that it was fun to play insanely loud and to have it all work," says Walt.

Word.

That Sunday, Walt played the Johnny Cash Tribute at the festival and actually played some Cash songs. Mike Farris from The Screaming Cheetah Wheelies and Roger McGuinn played too. Walt came back from his walk just to hear 8 Miles High. Basically, it was a day off for us to heal. Heal from the massive imbibing with Hags, Curt and Marc from Josh Rouse’s band, and Brian- The Violent Femmes soundman. And, those guys had to leave for the airport at 6am- straight from the bar!

We got back to NYC late Monday night and played our record release show at The Living Room the next night. The show was great. So many friends showed up to see us off on our US tour. Mary Lee Kortes sat in on "Holding on to Life," and Don Piper sang on the title track, "When the Telephone Rings." It was inspiring to be on stage and see Steve Earle and Roscoe Ambel sitting out there enjoying the show.

There wasn’t much time at home to spend any quality time with our friends before having to hit the road again.

Wednesday in Philly - our first Clarence sighting. We played the Khyber Pass to a very appreciative crowd. The new t-shirt design was a hit. Although Khyber is the classic Philly stinky rock club, it was the first time The Silos performed there. Gibby Haynes and Mike Watt are both playing there soon.

Thursday night, we went down to Baltimore to play The Mojo. We got a great write up (with a huge picture) in the City Pages and Andy Grimm from June Star opened the show. The music was great, but the chili was questionable.

Friday, we hung out with Chad, Lisa and Evan Cooley at The Cooley Compound. Yes, Chad Cooley is a real person. They have been great friends over the years, and it was a treat to have some time to spend with them. Thanks for everything guys!

That night, we played an incredibly fun show at The Iota with Jon Dee Graham, and Co. Konrad ran into an old friend, John Chipman, who was playing drums with JDG. They sounded massive! Their new record, The Great Battle, is really fantastic. Go out and buy it right now- well, after you get ours. I think there’s a special at on the two-pack at Best Buy while supplies last.

Saturday night - Clarence sighting number two. We played the Club Café in Pittsburgh and got to have dinner (massive portions of Italian food) with our good friend, Paul Nelson from WRCT. The accommodations at the stately Nelson Manor were stupendous. The Club Café is a great sounding room. There was a fan from Bakersfield who was in Pittsburgh visiting his brother sitting in the front row. His band had covered "Tennessee Fire" and he dragged his brother down and requested the song. I hope he enjoyed the experimental performance piece a.k.a. Walt’s guitar solo that was injected into the middle of the tune.

And, here we are on our way to Cleveland. The weather is beautiful, and I think Clarence is somewhere in Columbus right now. Thanks for enduring the first installment, and we’ll talk to you soon!

September 26, 2004 - Second Entry

First of all, let’s give a big shout out to the Madison Parish sheriff for officially recognizing The Silos for our ability to slice through that 55mph zone much faster than anyone else around us. Now, back to our story…

Where were we? Ah yes, how do say…Cleveland? The cook was a little grouchy. When we asked him what was in store for us, he said "I hate it when people ask me that. You’ll get food that’s cooked thoroughly and you’ll get 3 of the 4 food groups." Ok then, thanks man. Looking forward to it.

The owners, Cindy and Mark, are first-rate people. And, we had a great time hanging out with the newlyweds, Florence Dore and Will Rigby. Will is about to go out on tour with Steve Earle for several months. We know what that’s like. At least he doesn’t have to do any of the driving.

Detroit was the next night. The good thing about that show was the great Lebanese food beforehand and seeing Jim Roll at the show. The band that played before us had a singer (who will remain nameless) that insisted on talking to some of the older male fans about some of her solo pleasure adventures. Needless to say, they were enthralled. And, boy could she not sing. Did I say that out loud?

That night, we hung out with Jim Roll at his house, and experienced the joy of Bernie, the world’s cutest dog. Jim has a cool studio in his basement where he has been recording some local bands. We heard some of it, and the sounds he gets are completely hi-fi. No sign of Jim’s wife Laura this time. She had to get up really early for work, and that’s something that we rarely do on these trips. Especially when we get to bed close to 4AM.

The drive to Cincinnati was painless. It was the first great Mexican food experience so far. During our meal, we got to have salivary glands stimulated even more by the super-sexy Mexican soap opera vixens. QUE CALOR!!

Walt decided to try out a Johnny Cash song, “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town”, that night at The Southgate House. He had to spread out the lyrics on the floor. Unfortunately, the fans kicked up the wind and the lyrics went in all directions. Next thing you know, the handcuffs come out. Now, when you think of all the things you could pull out of your back pocket and use for a paperweight what would you guess. Wallet? Cell phone? Big money clip with wads of cash it in? Well, in Cinci it’s the trusty pair of manacles. Let’s all keep that in mind next time you want to do some cutting up in Ohio. Thanks to the fan in the front row, whoever you are.

Drew has taken on saying "You Bastard" at the end of many of his sentences. So if you hear him say it at the bar, like "Hey, man we had a great time playing here. YOU BASTARDS!" Please don’t be offended. Just nod knowingly. Thanks, we’re trying to wean him of it before we all get our teeth get kicked in.

Louisville-Tudor-Radio Station-Tattooed Brown Girl (her own words)-Jeffrey Lee-Amy-Punk Rock Club-Math Rock bands on the bill-Woodford Reserve — you get the idea, our biggest victory so far.

Here begins the initial invasion of Nashville by the forces of rock. We prepared ourselves by eating a healthy dose of BBQ in the morning to fortify our constitutions. Then, we hit traffic. Nothing wears down that fighting spirit like 2 hours of mind numbing car watching. We tried to outflank our enemy by taking the long way, but we were outfoxed by everyone else who also had the same bright idea. By the time we got to Ray Kennedy’s studio, we were lucky to be able to speak to another human. Ray was there in his amazing studio with all of his amazing gear mixing an album by Australian Ben Mullin. Good stuff. Ben and his brother, Leo, caught Walt’s show at the Annandale in Sydney, Australia 10 years back, and they had fun talking with each other about the outback.

We left there before we wore out our welcome, and went to the Cowboy Jack Clement cd release party that was thrown by our own Dualtone Records (did we mention what a great job they’re doing for us. If not, let’s mention that again. Be sure to check out the press links on the site.) We were going to meet a few friends a little later on for dinner, but the BBQ there was too amazing to pass up. By the way, we have been fine-tuning our digestive systems through a strict regiment to handle such a double-massive BBQ day. So, don’t worry too much about us.

The fine folks at the label were there, as were: Jim Lauderdale, us (of course), Guy Clark, that dude from that band, that drummer guy, Tony Blair, The Shah of Iran, and Green Lantern. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when Green Lantern was chatting with Tony. Green Lantern would surely know how to handle this Middle East crap. Was that The Shah riding around with Jack in his golf cart the looked like a 57 Chevy? It must have been the wine that was blurring my vision.

Jack’s studio is a treasure of old recordings that were done in that house. The studio is basically the upstairs of the place. All along the walls there were tapes of Hank Sr., Patsy Cline, The Carter Family, U2, and Louis Armstrong to name a few. You could walk right up to these things and touch them if you wanted to. We even snuck in a picture of Walt wearing Cowboy’s hat.

The show that night was great. It was by far the best Nashville gig we’ve ever been a part of. Thanks to all that came out to that.

The next day in Birmingham was fine. We got to hang out with The Honorable John P. Strohm, Esq. You may know him from The Blakebabies or The Lemonheads, but we know him as that guy who’s going to save our asses if we ever get arrested in Alabama. Kevn Kinney played with us that night. He was traveling around with his son who was a pretty good harmonica player. In 10 years, when he’s 20, he’ll be amazing.

Thanks to the hospitality of the Colvin’s, we left Birmingham well rested and full of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. They have been so generous to us over the years. Thanks to them, we each got our own room for the night in the Colvin compound.

We’re going to gloss over Jackson, Miss.

Last night, was Little Rock, AR. We played the early show at Vino’s, the town’s punk rock club. Pizza in the front- rock in the back. Go Fast played first. Let’s put it this way: Gold-top direct to 2 Marshall heads powering a half stack. Everyone who walked out of that show looked like they had been on the back of a Harley for an hour with no helmet on. The lead singer/town tattoo guru was great. He was full of energy and incredibly nice. He pulled up a chair to our table at the end of the night and filled us in on the local bar and tattoo scene. Both were pretty entertaining. He would end some of his sentences with “Fried Chicken”, using it as a kind of exclamation. “We’re just having a good time down here…fried chicken!” If you get a chance to hear Go Fast, you’ll have fun.

We are now on our way to OK City, OK with a belly full of gravy and hopes of seeing some of the Hanson team, a Starlight Mint, or maybe Mr. Coyne. See you out there, fried chicken!

Drew’s quote of the day:

“Maybe we should get rid of all these damn cds and fill it (the van) up with Zapp’s.”

October 7, 2004 - Third Entry

These things are starting to get a little long winded. This playing every night thing really puts a cramp on our ability to put out for our folks who are keeping score at home. By the way we’re 12-6-3. We’re headed to Lincoln, NE after playing a great show last night at the 400 Bar. But, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. The trail picks up just before OK City, OK…

No Mr. Coyne in the bubble, but we did have some super-I’ve been waiting for 10 years to see you guys-does my girlfriend look good in the silos baby-tee shirt (and, the answer is YES!)-hey, do you wanna smoke out before you play-fans show up. Me thinks OK City, OK might be our new favorite town in OK. We still have to tally up the votes here in the van. Let’s see: Walt’s never played there, so there’s one vote for. Drew played there once at a festival where it was “104 degrees in the shade, and we didn’t play in the shade.” But this time, he had great Thai food. Konrad was just happy to be anywhere near The Great State of Texas. It’s settled, OK is ok with us. Fried Chicken!!! Muchas gracias to Blue Door Greg for having us there. We’re looking forward to going back through there in March.

St Louis. Nice place. Sounded good in there. Beatle Bob shakin’ his thing down in front. Jimmy and Steve from Nadine sat in with us for a rousing version of “I’m Straight”. Or as some fans say, “that Hippy Johnny song.” Anne Tkach, also from Nadine, did some mighty fine singing in the first band. We heard that the new Nadine album just came out in the UK. We wish them well with that. Alrighty then, moving on.

Chicago was great, as it always is. Let us start out by thanking Beth Ann and Sheila for their love and support over the years. They are great people and deserve a free round at The Lakeview Lounge. We’ll have our people set that right up.

The show was fun and you can listen for yourself at www.emusiclive.com. The whole night was recorded and is up on that site. It was great to hear Deanna Varagona sing with her new band, the Radio Shack Tape Player Symphonic Wonderfulness Project. It sounded great, and we’re all jealous of the amount of equipment that she does not have to bring in. The Great Crusades, featuring some Great Suits, were Act II of the evening’s program.

Clarence! Where are you?!? You had the good stuff!

The next night at Gil’s turned out to be one of the best shows of the tour so far. Not to say that we haven’t seen a million faces….and rocked them all all all all (stadium echo). It’s just that Milwaukee has been betty, betty, good to us. Gil is the man. He doesn’t book much music in his place, but when he does the people come out to support. He has taken it on himself to educate his community and we thank him for it. His place is more of an acoustic room, but we still rocked them. We just did it in a very adult, sophisticated and sometime subtle way. The rest of the time we bashed away, enlisting the talents of The Milwaukee Guitar Shaman Mike Hoffman, and they ate it up. The talented Michelle Anthony opened up the show, and Konrad sat in and played some drums with her.

Madison was fun. We had a great dinner with the promoter, Tag Evers, at the Weary Traveler and then went on to play at The High Noon Saloon. Nora Roberts played first. She has an amazing voice. And, thanks to Dave for letting us crash in the mansion under the stars.

The next day, we drove up to Minneapolis to play the 400 Bar. That day marked a first in The Silos history book: we passed by the Norske Nook without stopping for their award winning pie. It was a sad day indeed.

Last year, Walter produced Jonathan Rundman’s album and had Konrad and Drew play on it. It just came out, and he had his album release show in the early slot at the 400 Bar. He did a great job and the songs sounded great in a live setting.

That next morning officially started our week of hell drives, and we’re still in it. The show in Lincoln was fun as was the show in Kansas City.

Drew’s quote of the day, “Look at all those damn lights! We should have cell phone service!” After driving for 8 hours through Kansas with no cell service, he jumps out of the car and starts to run around like his cell phone is a divining rod.

In Denver, we popped into KCUV to do a little radio bit then headed off to the club. Walt’s grade school friend, Kevin Klinger, showed up out of the blue after 30 years. All hail, the power of music and the internet. Walt says it was great to play Denver after not playing there for 18 years. By the way, the same promoter did both shows.

The next morning, thanks to Drew, we all went to the Rockmount store to look at their amazing western shirts. If you know Drew, you probably have heard of this place. We all blew a bit of money, but walked out of there very happy. We stayed there a bit longer than we had planned and we barely made it to our show in Salt Lake City.

“One thunder clap, then hail.” That was our experience while we stopped for a bite in Laramie, Wyoming. We were all quite a bit punchy by this point, and that nearly sent us over the edge.

We did get to Salt Lake City in time for our show.

We are now on our way to Missoula, Montana. The weather has been great, the lunch was good, and the tank is full of gas again- things are looking up.

More updates to follow…

October 19, 2004 - Fourth Entry

This is a double entry including TWO Drew’s Quote of the day.

Let us first say that procrastination can really sneak up on you. Hear we are driving….and driving…..and driving towards Texas, 12 days from our last journal entry, and we haven’t even taken the time to placate our adoring fans all across the world who hang on our every word, every funny story, and let’s not forget Drew’s quote of the day. (By the way, we couldn’t possibly put all of Drew’s quotes in here because, frankly, you would piss yourself. How do I know? Because I just did.)

Where were we, ah yes, Missoula, MT. Let’s start out by saying that the drive was epic. Not in the Star Wars Saga sense (the original ones, not the crappy new ones), but in the if I don’t get out of this van soon we’re going to go postal sense. We did have some great chicken fried steak (not to be confused with FRIED CHICKEN!!) before we nearly ran out of gas. It was pretty tense at the time, but we made it- barely.

Let’s start out by giving a big shout out to Paul, “The Promoter with the hot tub that we sat around in under the stars after the rock show”, Rudd. Paul’s bar was a blast to play. He had set up a happy hour with free beer. It was a very happy hour for some. The guy that was serving the beer was as Walter says, “a real German dude with lederhosen and a wooden hammer to tap the beer barrel.” The visual on that comment is Walter driving with the cell phone in one hand and waving the other hand around like he’s brandishing his broadsword over the felled carcass of Trogdor, The Burninator. Just a little slice of road life for you out there in cyber land.

The show was fun. People danced. We stayed at Paul’s. We found out that he has been a Silos fan for a while, and he was psyched to hear us play. It makes a huge difference to have a fan put on the show. He did a great job. Thanks be to Paul.

The next day we drove to Seattle. It was the last day of our 4-day marathon driving leap across the western US. We pulled up to the Sunset Tavern and proceeded to play a great rock show. It’s those brink of exhaustion shows that can sometimes be the best. But, even for being on the edge of insanity as far as driving and playing for over 25 days straight, we still had two shows to do before our first day off. Did I make that clear? THE FIRST DAY OFF ON THIS WHOLE TOUR. But not quite yet.

Fortunately for us, the drive down to Portland wasn’t too bad. The Planet The, fronted by Walter’s nephew Charlie, was great. They just got signed to Kill Rock Stars, so look for their album in May. Bobby Bare, Jr also played that night. He was doing some duo shows before heading out to NYC for CMJ, asap, swak. Thanks to Michael and Cathy Koerner for putting up the band. Drew was planning on getting some sleep that night, but their kids had a different plan. We think their plan went something like this: wake up early, sniff out the guy that needs the most sleep, proceed to practice your new karate chops on his upper body. Ready!……Break!

Now, we get to our last show of this stretch of the tour: Eugene. Nice people, good food, local wine. And, total mental shutdown. Let’s tally this up. We think it’s 16-8-3. Up next, our day off… Drew’s Quote of the Day

“Free shit makes people crazy.”

When we say a day off, what we really mean is that we have grueling drive ahead of us but we don’t have to unload our stuff, rock, then put our stuff back in the van. We got that goin’ for us.

The day off can be summed up in two words: HOT SPRINGS. Thank you, Tim, for telling us about this great place, Stewart Mineral Springs. We wandered around in a daze from our hot mineral baths to the sauna, then to the freezing cold creek. 46 degrees people. It was so cold that the old wedding tackle decided to take a short vacation, if you know what I mean. We were pretty worthless after that, but we made it another couple of hours to stay outside of San Francisco.

Before the San Francisco show, we did a radio appearance out in Point Reyes. It was a cool radio station on the coast. We drove back to town on the Pacific Coast Highway. The PCH is a beautiful highway that hugs the west coast line. It also causes carsickness in weary rock dudes. It winds this way and that way, then back again, then around that corner, then back to the left, and then a sharp turn to the left, then- you get the feeling.

The show that night at 12 Galaxies was fun and Rosie Flores played solo before us. She is a great rockabilly guitar player who plays some country music too. She normally plays with a band, but she put out a solo album this year and she was playing songs off of that album along with some of her classics. All in all it was pretty relaxed. Konrad even got in a few innings of wiffle ball with Andy, the manager, and Donny, the sound engineer. It did sound pretty great in there.

We drove down to San Jose after the show so we could get a head start on the drive to Los Angeles because we had a live recording to do at Sony Studios. Let’s also give some big props to Steve Brewer, et al for getting us some cheap swanky hotel rooms on this tour. We saved so much money on the rooms that we could have easily afforded to totally trash the place. You know, a real Keith Moon-style treatment.

The live recording we did at Sony will be available on Sony Connect soon. It just has to be mixed down by the incredibly talented engineer, Robert. This guy got us all set up and sounding amazing in record time. We think you’ll really like this live recording. We recorded 5 songs and then peed in Bab’s private special-built pee-pee chamber of solitude. That’s THE Bab’s for all of you who are not in the biz.

The Spaceland show that night was fun and we had a great time seeing our west-coast friends.

The next day, Drew and Konrad drove out to Claremont early to hang out by the pool and enjoy a little down time before the show at Pomona College that night. It was not very exciting unless you take into account the cool western shirt accumulation factor. Then, the excitement level was off the charts. You’ll see some of the fruits of our labor on the 2nd half of the tour. On a side note, the day off that we were supposed to have in Mississippi somewhere may have just vanished into Pensacola. Oh well, we are a traveling rock band aren’t we? We should buck up and take it.

Back on focus here. The show at the college was put on by the resident student go-getter. This guy, Dan Driscol, was on it. He was organized and energetic. He seemed to have the school politics thing worked out. He talked the school into sponsoring these concerts in the student union. He basically books bands that he likes and gets to rack up the cool points with the ladies in the process. Not a bad little racquet, Dan. The show turned out to be quite fun.

We played Pappy and Harriet’s the next night. That place is out in the middle of the high desert in California. As you might guess, the place comes with a unique cast of characters. One of them being Ace, Number One, Coltrane. This biker from Corpus Christi, TX looks like he auditioned for the part of the bad guy with the heart of gold in the series finale of CHiPs, then went into a tailspin that ended with a 3 year tanning session. The show was fun and all, but the real fun happened afterwards. Ace Number One had sauntered off to his hotel room with the woman he had been slow dancing to our rock songs with while Drew and Konrad decided to shut the bar down. For some reason, a gaggle of marines from 29 Palms decided that Pappy and Harriet’s was the place to hang that night. Unfortunately for them, the ladies of the dessert had not made the same choice. There were a couple of girls and we thought that there would surely be a brawl over the rights to escort one of them back, but things ended up pretty tame. We decided to head back to the rooms at what felt like 3am, but really was 12:30am- we just started a little too early.

The next morning at 8am, Ace, Number One, Coltrane decided that it would be more than appropriate to give everyone an open truck door concert of The Animal’s greatest hits. We were not too amused, but had little trouble getting back to sleep. For more tales of Ace, Number One, Coltrane, be sure to catch Konrad or Drew at one of the shows.

The Tucson show was cool because we got to open for The Dirtbombs. They sounded great and Mick Collins wore the now famous “crow and thorn” silos tee for their performance.

The good thing about the Phoenix show the next night was the great Mexican food at Poncho’s. The place where if you want more food, you just raise the little Mexican flag at the table. Viva la digestion! There were a couple of people at the show that we should mention. First of all, there was a roller skating dancer-guy like the ones you see in old episodes of Charlie’s Angels. That was one thing, but the real distraction was the “Fuck the Police” ensemble that included a matching hat and chef’s jacket. Oh, and to round his costume he had a one of a kind painting of a little pink piggy on his jacket. Just to hammer the police=pig image home for all of those who might still need a little clarification of his view of the local authorities. The other guy was sitting in front of Konrad taking pictures, a la rain man, and claiming to have recorded with Elvis at Sun Studios. At least that was what we think he was going on about. He’d had a few by that point in the evening.

We are now in the middle of the great state of Texas making our way towards Dallas at roughly 1am. Our bellies are full of steak from the Cattleman’s Steakhouse, which is east of El Paso, and we are about ready to stop for the night. Stay tuned as we bring you stories from page two of the tour schedule!

Drew’s Quote of the Day

“Just El Paso-ing through, maing.”

October 30, 2004

Where are we? What’s my name? Are those my feet? These questions and more will be asked on this edition of….”What the hell were we thinking when we booked this massive, non-stop, hell drive, hair on fire, Maker’s Mark bath of a rock tour.” Special guest stars include (in no particular order):

Jon Dee Graham Brent Best Robert Mache New Orleans Clarence Mike Hall Mike Mantione Bald Guy #1 Bald Guy #2 (with the red uniform) Girl with Mickey Mouse Ears The Pastor Girl in the Audience Cletus Drunk Girl in the Audience This Bike is a Pipe Bomb Bearded Man Ivan

For this one, let’s try out a slightly different tactic. We are not going to go through each show and describe how much we kicked ass while trying to be demure and coy about it. We’re going to give you the Reader’s Digest Version.

We pick up the story as The Silos slowly make their way into Denton, Texas. A wonderful young student named Aaron Grant has generously offered to fix the boys and their trusty friend, Brent Best, a powerful Mexican meal. Not the run to the toilet in the middle of the set praying to whoever you think might be able to help you in this particular situation kind of fuerte (there must be some saint for this. Hell, we just passed by the Church of the Holy Comforter. Get the VC on it asap.). It provided an excellent drinking base for the boys, especially Aaron. And at the end of the night, he needed it. We assumed he made the 2 block journey (possibly made into a 4 block journey if you include the zig-zag pattern) back to his crib. Oh, to be young again. Special note to his mom: the above events have been greatly exaggerated for the benefit of our peeps.

That night… Dan’s Silverleaf = great music room Brent Best = awesome songwriter Dan, et al = great owner and staff

Well after we packed up that night, the multi-instrumentalist from Brave Combo stopped by to hang out. All we see is this guy come in with glasses on- the kind that have the sunglass attachment that you can flip up when you’re inside or, in this case, the middle of the night. He is an extremely talented musician who had just come from some sort of classical ding-dang thing rehearsal, so we left and let he and Brent sort out the rest of the Maker’s Mark.

Austin was a blast. We all were able to see many friends, family, new additions to families, and yet another Mexican meal. This time the cumulative effect of the meals put the fire in our bellies to blow out the rock. We got Jon Dee Graham to sit in with us at The Continental on a few selections. And all we had to say to him was, “Please JD, don’t hurt ‘em”. But, did he listen to little old us? NO! He killed it! Holy crap, that guy plays like the guitar is a fire-breathing rattlesnake that refuses to be caught. Every time you think things are going to get a little tame, he grabs on again and wields that thing around. It’s like he’s waving the rock flag so hard the whole gulf coast could see it, and then he raises it a little higher. If it sounds as if we like this guy, you are right. We could go on and on about this dude, but it’s getting a wee bit embarrassing. But, the guy does kick some serious ass.

Houston. Fun. More family. More Mexican food thanks to the continuing tour of the Grant family. This one being Kevin. Houston losing game seven of the NL championship series didn’t quite help us either. Next.

We all know that New Orleans is a fun town, but thank you Robert Mache for saving our butts from the bar gig by playing a little flash guitar for us. People were a little upset that there was some music getting between them and whoever they were trying to pick up. No outrageous stories that we can remember other than Drew randomly running into an ex-guitar student at breakfast the next morning.

Speaking of outrageous, check this out. The gig was cool in Hattiesburg. It kind of made up for the soul-sucking citrus in open wound that was Jackson, Miss. But the real fun happened after bedtime. First, let’s describe the sleeping situation. The owners of the bar are VERY nice people, but the accommodations left a little to be desired. The owners have the whole building, but the club is just in the back. In the front, there’s a kind of hang out/green room with some mattresses on the floor, some paintings, a loft bed with a machete stuck in it so it looks like they use it for the Amazing Fondolini and his knife tricks rehearsals, and other random instruments. Overall, not the most relaxing sleep arrangement that one could hope for. But, there was an upstairs. It was starting to feel like we were on the set of Halloween XXII, but there were no hot women with us. We’re just three stinky dudes, who wants to chase us around? We’re not sexy, just sleepy. So, back to the story. This is just about at the point where Drew’s aero bed is starting to look pretty good, but Walter and Konrad decide to drag up one of the mattresses up stairs so everyone has a place to sleep. A little while after we all fell asleep- it could have been 3 minutes later, or 3 hours later- Konrad wakes up with these things biting him all over his upper body. In a daze, he tries to figure out what is happening to him. Is this the fourth of the seven signs of the apocalypse (we’ve had hail, famine, locusts in the stop-and-shop)? He would have really been freaking if the rivers had turned to blood. Come on, that would have just been it- tour over time. But, Konrad gets up, looks over at Walter with an eye of contempt for someone that is getting a good nights rest, and picks up his bedding to go into the next room. He tries to sleep, but is haunted by the feeling of whatever it was that was biting the hell out of him.

The next morning, Walter goes to get his shorts out of his bag when he discovers……………ANTS!!! Konrad had ants all over him! He would have taken a shower, but Drew had used the only washcloth in the whole place to dry himself from the primitive shower operation. This was getting a little too strange. We had to hang out in Hattiesburg a while the next afternoon while Walter did his laundry again after having done it the previous day. All in all, it was still much better than Jackson.

We do give up the serious props to Eric and Brad at The Thristy Hippo for bringing a cool art scene to Hattiesburg.

This place has a defibrillator. I already checked.

November 11 , 2004 - Sixth Entry

Clean clothes and all, we head towards the ravaged Pensacola coast. The entire town looked like it had been put in the washer and taken out before the spin cycle had a chance to stop. There were tree parts all over the place. The Carnage! Practically every house had a blue tarp where a roof had been. And this was weeks after the hurricane had hit. You could feel how bad these people were feeling just driving into town. The club, wow, what a mess. But, the people inside were all smiles. It was incredible. These folks were amazing. Walter knew the owner, Terry, from back in the day. Her band is called This Bike is a Pipe Bomb. Terry, et al, greeted us at the door and offered us a choice of things to eat from the all-vegan menu. These guys were completely punk rock about the whole thing. While the hurricane was blasting their bar, they were inside with lots of beer (it is a bar after all) and lots of canned goods. When the storm was over, they closed off the dining room, which had been decapitated, and started serving bean burritos and whatever else they had left from the party.

Our show was fun and afterwards at 1am, just to demonstrate just how punk rock they are, when we stepped off the stage we found out that the owner had already headed off to Mobile to do a wee bit of gambling. RAWK!!! Viva la revolution!

We’ll not talk too much about where we stayed that night. Suffice it to say there was no running water and Drew, God Bless HIM, had to poo. Poor guy. WHY? For the love of God, WHY? We thought we were your friends, man. It’s a good thing he comes up with some pretty funny shit to say.

The next three shows- Athens, Atlanta, and Asheville- were with Mike Mantione from the band Five-Eight. He is a great guy. Talk about a bundle of energy. Being around this guy is like trying to follow a group of coked-up kittens around a yarn factory, but not in a bad way. He has a ton of great ideas, and he is constantly on the phone. His band just opened up some shows for REM, and some interesting things are coming up for the band. We wish him well. Thanks to him and his lovely lady, we didn’t have to stay in a Red Roof for 2 whole nights.

Sidenote:

In Athens, a club around the corner was showing the new Bill Hicks DVD. We all went over there and got all hopped up on Bill Hicks before hitting the stage. Did it really make a difference, you may ask? Yes. Yes it did. Mickeyfickey (that’s a voice over the foul-mouthed explicative. You can find it in the UPN version of “Do The Right Thing”.).

4 shows to go. We’re almost home.

In and around Raleigh, it seemed like we had only played these acoustic shows. We had played some rock shows in Chapel Hill, but they were special unannounced shows- read, no one was there. One show at Tilty Farm was supposed to be a rock show, but it started to rain and well, water plus amp equals no good. We were worried that those people would think of us a just an acoustic act. We were wrong. Marianne, the booking agent at The Poor House, did a great j ob in getting the word out and being an overall great person. She and that whole crowd are in it for all of the right reasons. Muchos besos to Marianne, Mel, Vicki and all of the others who came that night. Many of whom know us from the house concerts we do there, but they were totally into the loud show. We are definitely looking forward to heading to her club again soon. Thanks to all of the Afternoon Nap people!

Oh, we left out one of the cast member in Pensacola. There was a very tall girl who came in the club really early. She had the Mickey Mouse ears on. It was getting close to Halloween, but we don’t think that this was a special occurrence. We think this was part of her normal get up. That’s it. Just a little odd sighting in the middle of a hurricane ravaged town.

Drew’s Quote of the Day: “If I got all of my shit out right now (of the van), you couldn’t handle it.”

Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of The Silos Tour.