Blog Archive

Blog Archive 2006

March 20, 2006

Nothing like driving in the wintery mix of sleet/rain/snow to get the juices flowing to do a little writing on the old journal. We're headed up to Chicago today to do a photo shoot with a great photographer named Andy Goodwin that contacted Walter. Has anyone thought about how the composition might be great, but the subject matter might be really tired and unkempt?

FYI: just passed 2 accidents, 1 spinout, 2 trucks stopped on the side of the road, Drew just woke up, Konrad started weeping softly. Mom, don't worry we're ok just as long as the guy who freely admits that his eyes are going bad keeps driving.

Drew's quote of the day: "So far 20 percent of the cars I've seen have been OFF the road."

Let's start from the beginning of this tour. Walter, Konrad and Drew all converged on Austin, Texas this year for the SXSW music festival. As you may or may not know, Walter and Michael Hall have been hosting a party the Tuesday before the music festival for the last 11 years at the Hole in the Wall. This year the acts included: Little Pink, Dayna Kurtz, The Moaners, Pete Galub, Chris and Aurore, Matt Keating and Emily Spray, Us (of course), Jon Dee Graham, Michael Hall, A Don Piper Situation, Cordero, Scott Kempner, Ed Petterson. Only 4 bands this time had Silos augmentation. It was a fun one once again, and all of the performers were wonderful!

Wednesday took us to the GuitarTown party. We can't remember how many we've done, but they are always great and it keeps on getting better and better every year. Muchos besos to Deb for having us. Tom Freund, Steve Wynn, The Gourds, Jon Dee Graham, The Gourds, Patty Hurst Shifter, Tres Chicas and Stan Ridgeway were among the many performers. That night was our official SXSW/Shout Booking show. We played our concise rock show- just the hits. Also, we've been getting into playing songs from the last 3 studio albums that the 3 of us have worked on.

Also, we want to take time here to give an extremely huge thanks to our booking agent, Andrew Colvin. He really has been crucial to the survival of The Silos. So, THANKS ANDREW!!!!!!!!!

Thusday we played a couple of day parties. The first one was the SXSouthAustin party at our friend Pamela Miller's store, Plume. Drew and Konrad also played with Peter Salett, A Don Piper Situation and Pamela Miller. It was very fun afternoon of music! Then we headed over to Cheapo's to play an in-store. So many of these in-stores and parties are becoming very cool traditions that we are honored to be a part of. Thanks to everyone down there in Austin for letting us play your: house, store, record store, front yard, back yard, living room, parking lot and deck. Shout out to Thor- you heard me, Thor- for letting Konrad use your drums/vibes!

We didn't get to see too many bands this year at SXSW because we had to take off early Friday morning to go to New Orleans to start our tour with The Minus 5 at the House of Blues. (Some crazy new Little Richard song just came on the radio. That cat is crizzzaaazy! I think it's "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story. Any doubts about about his preferences?!?) Ok, I'm back. The Minus 5 are Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows & REM), Peter Buck (founding member of REM), John Ramberg, and Bill Rieflin (REM, Ministry & Revolting Cocks). Those guys are very cool to be touring with. Peter Buck has been sitting in with us on guitar on a song every night. That guy just can't get enough playing in. He's in a handful of bands, including that big one, and he still wants to play more! Cheers to him! Whatever he wants to add to our finely tuned slop-fest is certainly welcome.

New Orleans, the city, was pretty weird. There were lots of closed businesses, abandoned houses, and blocked off streets. Walter saw much more on his drive over, but what we all saw just doesn't translate to TV. It's sad that wonderful city is destined to change. Better for some, worse for most.

The last two nights in Memphis and Nashville went just fine. We got to hang out with our great friend Bobby Memphis in, you guessed it, Memphis. And, Deanna in Nashville was so kind as to let us crash at her house.

That brings us to today. We got through the sleet and we're on our way north back into winter-land. More later.

March 26, 2006

We made it! We made it to Minneapolis! The good people at the 400 Bar always treat us well, and we always have great shows there. You know, we always have a great time in the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul metroplex. There's something about the people that go out to see shows there. They love their music.

Drews quote of the day was in response to someone's really inane comment after one of the shows: “Yeah, that's nice. I gotta go take a shit.” (spoken very frankly) It's nice to know where you stand with that guy.

Chicago = Fun

The show at The Abbey was great. We got to see our old buddy, drummer Gerald Dowd, in the first band. That dude is everywhere you want to be. The real fun happened later, much later. Several of us went back to a friend's house for a little nightcap. Just to put this in context for you, the last several days have had us driving at least 8 hours before our shows. We're talking not much sleep here. And, on top of that we have to get up at 7am because a guy wants to take our picture. We're lucky to have the opportunity to do that, but we certainly weren't doing ourselves any favors by not getting any sleep the night before. Also, we're were looking at another 6 hour drive to Cleveland.

Back to the nightcap. This guy showed up that seriously knows so many songs it'll make your head spin. Not just the chords, tons of people can pick those out, but this guy knows the words too! It was unbelievable! We were not going to miss this chance to witness this. We're talking XTC (some of the obscure stuff), Genesis (Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. I mean come on!!!), The Kinks, you name it he had it. It kept on coming. His name is Dag Julen, pronounced daaaag.

The pictures looked great, the subject matter….so so. Come on! We didn't sleep much! I'm sure you'll see them soon enough. We went to this metal and furniture workshop and tried not to fall into the vats of acid while we stumbled on the creaky wooden floors to look like, well, sleepy rockers. They did turn out pretty cool though- you'll see.

Cleveland was fun. We played the ballroom of the Beachland Ballroom. The nicest thing about that was that the drive to Pittsburgh was only 2 hours. At last, a break!!!!

We played the early show at the Club Café in Pitt. This was definitely one of the best shows so far. The Minus 5 completely kicked ass that night. Not that they haven't before, but there was some more spark in it. The place was completely packed and everyone loved the sets. Special thanks to Paul Nelson for putting up with us.

That brings us to The Iota- every time a winner in our book. The show was sold out, and the fans were super cool. Both bands kicked ass. Fun Fun Fun!

Did I mention that Peter Buck has been sitting in with on guitar for a song or two every night? Yeah, that's pretty great!

May 1, 2006

Germany. It's a pretty big country as far as countries go, but not like the western US by any means. You think you could get to pretty much anywhere in Germany in 6 or 7 hours. Most places in just a few. Well, our tour managed to take us on several cross country- literally- adventures. What that means is that the routing was a bit suspicious much to the chagrin of our wonderful, hardworking driver/tour manager, Thomas (toe-MAS). MAS cool, MAS funny, MAS a great guy to hang out with. He's been driving us around for several tours over in Europe now, and his great work makes our time on the road in Europe so much more enjoyable.

Let's start at the beginning. Even before the the playing started. Walter had come over a bit earlier, so Drew and Konrad were meeting up with him and Thomas in Munich before heading up to the first show in Langenau- just a few hours outside of Munich. Drew and Konrad's flight had some technical issues- like several power failures while we were on the ground, mistakes in loading cartage so the weight was distributed incorrectly, and, well, after 2 hours on the ground at JFK a cranky rhythm section. We kept our spirits up until they lost our bags. Not our clothes bags, but our instruments! Drew and Konrad played the first show on some borrowed stuff- thanks whoever you are that lent us those things. The show went well- Drew played some crazy metal bass lines in honor of his brand-new-Kramer-on-loan bass.

The next night we played in Lauchhammer (after driving back through Munich to retrieve our instruments- muchas gracias Mrs. Konrati!!!!!!) for an event promoted by our friend, Ralf. We hope the people of that area appreciate what he and other promoters do to bring music to their area. He has been a Silos fan for a while, and this is the first time that it has worked out that we could play his venue. It was a blast and he treated us extremely well. We played with Marah that night, and they were massive sounding.

Speaking of routing- remember?- the next several dates sent us criss-crossing the countryside. First was Vienna, Austria. There's a cool club underneath the above ground railway. It has all of the feel of a private underground club, but you don't have to descend into an abyss to get there- or load in for that matter. Then, back up to Halle where one of the coolest venues lies. The Objekt 5 is built onto the old walls of the city, so it makes a great backdrop for their concerts. Then...back down to Innsbruck, Austria. We played the punk rock club, PMK. It didn't seem like much at first, but when we got into it, wow, it was ear splitting.

Up to Heilbronn for a show promoted by illustrious label chief in Europe, Edgar Heckmann of Blue Rose Records. He taped that show for an upcoming live DVD/CD. We'll let you be the judge of that show. We did meet a cool German singer/songwriter named Markus Rill that night. He played before us. He's got cool songs and he's a really good singer.

The next two shows were in the northern part. In Wessel, the show was promoted by Mathias Schuller. The last time we were over here he and his friend, Heinz, opened up for us. We didn't get to see Heinz this time, but it was nice to run into Mathias again. He didn't play with us that night, but hopefully he will next time. The next night was in Wredenhagen about an hour outside of Berlin. We played this really cool old barn that was turned into a restaurant/performance space. Thanks to Hansi and family!!!! They are great people, and he's another one of those people who is real asset to their communities bringing in cool (if you think we're cool that is) performers to places they wouldn't normally go.

Finally, a day off!!

Ok, enough of that. After doing a slight bit of sightseeing in Hamburg, we played a venue that is attached to a record store just north of there. Wolfgang and his wonderful lady, Andrea, were excellent hosts. The club they run is in the basement of his record store and people from all over the area come to see what music he brings in. Playing places like this with good friends as hosts really make these trips fun. We played his place last year and we were glad to be able to do it again. We think he taped that show too. Maybe that'll turn up somewhere at some point- can anyone say Moby Dick? You will when you hear it!

Unfortunately for us, Calexico was playing in Frankfurt the same night as us down the street. But, we had a surprise visit from our great friend, Steve Wynn. He was going to play a set before us, but he brought the wrong guitar. You should have seen his face when he opened up the case. It was classic. Sad, but classic. Like "Oh crap! What am I going to do now?" I hope things worked out for him, or else the Miracle 3 will have a bit of 12-string guitar for a slight change of direction. Steve ended up singing on our hacked up version of his song "Tell Me When It's Over". How cool was it to have Steve up there singing that song with us- very! I hope we didn't screw him up too much. We do what we can.

Solingen was fun. Our man, Fritz, put on that show. You know, it's interesting driving around, playing shows, meeting people...This guy, Fritz, is a wonderful person who brings cool music to Solingen. He also has this amazing voice. He really should have his own radio show. Maybe we'll get a recording of him doing banter in between our songs and play it at our shows- in German. How cool would that be. Also, Solingen has these stickers that call the town "Rock City No. 1". I don't know about that, but it was pretty cool.

Magdeburg, ahhh Magdeburg. 4-star hotel with time to actually enjoy it!! Enough said.

You know, we haven't had a Drew Quote of the Day in a while. Why you may ask? Well, let's just say that Drew was pretty potty mouthed this time. He was on a real role. Unfortunately, we can't really put any of it out there in this forum- being a family show and all. You'll just have to ask Drew about it the next time you see him. You may want to ask about the drive to Vienna in particular. It was some classic funny sh*t.

Erfurt.....nice people. ok.

BRUSSELS! We played the FNAC festival at the Botanique. Also on the bill was Ceramic Dog. It's a group that the great Marc Ribot has with two fine musicians: Ches Smith on drums/stuffs and Shazad on bass/stuffs. They were great!

Overall a fun fun trip. Lots of long drives, but nothing like the Denver-Salt Lake City-Missoula-Seattle nonsense. Thanks to all of our German support: Edgar, Chris, Toe-MAS!, and of course the fans.

See you out there!