I have been in New York state for roughly two weeks and will be here for roughly two more weeks. Needless to say I have been doing lots of driving and plenty of road trip music listening. As I get older and grow up with fellow musicians who are also getting older and moving on to other interests in their lives I feel like it is more and more important for us to support one another. Many relationships I have with folks started because we played a random show or two together. I have moved past just being music friends with many people into relationships that continue to add substance to my life. This could not be more true than with the fellas in the Pink Balloon band, especially their front man Ian.
I actually cannot recall the first actual moment that I met Ian. I know that it was at a show that one of our bands was playing and I know that I loved PBB from the very first time I saw them. The point of all this lead up is to stress again the importance of taking time to listen to what I am going to call small music. Guys and gals with jobs that are somehow for the life of all of them finding time to practice, write, record, and play live shows in the very little free time that I know all of us have access too. Realize that all the guys in PBB and all of us in TDR and all the other guys in so many great small, local bands have other jobs and other obligations. The facts are that even though we would all love to write full time, it isn’t the reality. What makes it worth the time for bands like mine and PBB? I do not mean to speak for PBB but I am sure they would attest to the importance of peers really enjoying what they are playing and how they are playing it.
I realized this during maybe the 100,000th conversation about music that Taylor and I got into about writing songs and lyrics the way that we want to hear them in our own songs. I realized that we are not writing for anyone other than ourselves, for the moments we get to sweat those songs out in my “band room” upstairs or on stage with all of our friends who continue to support us. But this is what makes the songs mean so much to anyone who gets a chance to listen to them. I remember hearing Dan’s band, Big Money and The Spare Change, long before he became a member of TDR. The one line I will always remember from his live shows is, “God damn, take it like a man.” Does anyone write a line like that if they are writing about something someone else is going through? Would it had been so captivating watching Dan sing that line if it wasn’t coming from a hard time in his life that somehow was able to be wrapped up in seven simple words? Maybe as listeners we are able to be faked out, to be swindled into believing a story that is not personal, but I give us all the credit.
I don’t think anyone really cares that California girls are unforgettable in their daisy dukes. I think that for a brief moment in our lives we want to cut loose, not think about what we are hearing, and party to top 40. Take it from someone who has had many dance parties letting loose to top 40 pop jams. It is important to seek out music from individuals who are still writing because sometimes writing a song about a great time or a terrible time is what it takes to get over it or re live it. I know that when I have heard, “Two Dollars Only” play over and over and over again through my car speakers I believe what Ian is saying. There are so many bands writing music right now that means so much, it helps that some of them are my friends and that we are going through the same things together, even though much of it is extremely personal. I know that I have been experiencing a whole new world and a mess of new faces and personalities in my time in New York and believing that Ian wrote this song with care and passion has helped me get through with inspiration.
So I will leave you with a link to just one PBB song and this is because I realize that it is difficult for anyone to listen to a whole album anymore, even if it is only seven songs long.
I know, I forgot we had a website too. As many probably already know, we have slowed our roll a bit over the past year. Life gets really busy, opportunities present themselves, priorities start to tip the scale one way or another, and time flies by. However, I want to take this moment, right here on this website to let everyone know that as long as Dan, James, Taylor, and myself continue to live minutes from each other, we will continue writing new music. For those of you who are musicians, you know that it is just what you want to do, it is soothing and therapeutical to brave a new song and come out in the end with something that is appealing. Chances are most bands probably like their music better than other bands, and I am not different, part of the reason I keep writing is because I still feel like there is a void of good, loud rock and roll music on the radio waves.
For those of you who are still listening, thanks, you are probably the ones still coming to shows and thanks for that too. It is a good feeling to be a part of something that has gone on so long and continues to go on, I just hope we are better now then we were years ago, but who really knows.
For those of you who have seen us play the last couple shows, thanks for coming out. You have no doubt recognized that we have added a new guitar player. His name is Dan and he has been a friend of mine and a supporter of our band for a few years now. I want to thank him for taking the time to seriously learn Chad’s parts from our newest album. When I talked to him about possibly playing with us he told me that he would be very serious about learning the parts because he wanted to do justice to what Chad had written. I had a conversation with him after the first show we played after Chad passed away, the one that we played as a three piece, and he told me he thought the show was great, but we needed those other guitar parts. We struggled with the idea of having another guitar player in the band, but in the end we decided we wanted those songs to be heard live as they are heard on the album. Dan is turing out to be a committed addition. He is no stranger to life with us on the road as he spent a week with us filling in on bass when we went out East a couple years ago. We will be moving forward with Dan, so be nice to him and spray some beer on him next time you see us play.
With that said, I want to thank everyone who has been to the most recent shows for coming out and supporting us and Dan. The truth is, we don’t know where this band is taking any of us, or where it takes any of you, but we all love playing music and are hoping that you love hearing music. As long as we get to be a gathering point for a drunken Saturday night for a group of friends, a reason to call some buddies to go out and have fun, we will keep on playing as long as we can.
– see you soon
Wanted to let you in on a little news, we are playing at The Brass Rail on July 26th with a band called Black Actress (https://www.facebook.com/blackactresschicago) Check them out. Apparently The Brass Rail is throwing a block party during the day before our show, so plan your Sunday around hanging out, drinking drinks, eating food, and then listening to The Dead Records that night.
We have also just recently booked a show in Canton, OH at Buzzbin. Buzzbin is the first place we played in Canton about 4 years ago. It is wild to think that we have been traveling back and forth from Canton for that long of a stretch, but every mile has been worth it and we love going out there every time we get the chance.
We will be playing both of these shows with another guitar player. Our good friend Dan, from Big Money and The Spare Change, has taken the time to learn our songs and practice with us. Luckily he knows what it is like to be on the road with us as he spent a week filling in on bass last October when we traveled out to Boston. He is a good guitar player and has made it a point to learn the guitar parts and play them to the best of his ability in honor of the great work that Chuck did on every song he wrote with us.
We are hoping these will be two very energetic and fun shows, so come on out and do some singing… hopefully by this time you are familiar with the new songs. If not, do what Taylor does and make up your own lyrics.
see you soon,
Last night was the first night we got to sleep at a rest stop and it was fantastic. Will and I both slept under a tree and Aaron and Chad slept in the van. I woke up at about 9:00 and Aaron was sitting at a picnic table wide awake and we all slept like shit. Oh well it was still fun and that is the kind of stuff that makes touring awesome. Sure, we would rather sleep on a floor or on couches, but if we didnt sleep at a rest stop at least a couple times on tour then it wouldnt seem right. I never want to have a bus with bunk beds and a driver to drive us to the next city while I curl up in a bed and fall asleep in air conditioning. That isnt touring is it? Just kidding, I want a bus and a driver really bad haha.
We played in Lexington, KY last night and it was a really cool bar and we got to meet some real swell people. Thanks to Ryan Kerr for hooking that show up for us. Tonight we are going to be back in Bloomington and we are playing with our friends in a band called Buttonhoof. Go ahead and check them out, it is worth your time. Hopefully we will find a floor to crash on tonight, because we have a long drive to Memphis tomarrow and I could use some quality sleep. I will be posting a new video
We are still in Chicago. We have been here for two days and really havnt done that much and it has been quite relaxing. Our friends up here and Will’s grandma have been nice enough to let us take over there floors for the past couple nights. I really cant stress how awesome and important it is to have friends who let us stay at there place on random nights of the week when we are in town. It is so great not having to stop at a rest stop and sleep in a minivan with three other dudes. To be able to lay down and stretch out with a blanket makes touring so much easier so thanks again to everyone who has put up with us so far.
Tonight we are playing in Lake Villa, IL and none of us have ever been there. After tonight show we are heading back to Fort Wayn until the 18th so Chad can celebrate his sister’s wedding. On the 18th we are going South and going to be playing in plenty of new areas to us. As always we are excited to see some new places and meet some new people. Tour has been fantastic so far and I wish that it would never stop. If anyone wants to book us for the rest of my life let me know and we can make that happen. Loo
Hello everyone. I am currently at Alec Williams apartment in Chicago, IL. He is nice enough to let us crash here for the night and possibly tomarrow night too. He has WIFI so i am able to connect with all you people. We had today off and we also have tomarrow off and we are spending our free time in the large city of Chicago. There was a huge storm this morning and from the 21st floor of Wills grandmas apartment it seemed like the apocolypse. Luckily it wasnt, but if the world would have end at that moment I would have been pretty bummed. Anway, like I said we are kicking it is Chicago for the next couple days and we are pretty excited about having a day off. Last night we got to spend an evening in Madison, WI after a show and it was excellent. We absolutely love Madison and we will be going back as soon as possible. We ate a delicious Gyro, saw some packed bars on a Sunday night and pretty much just painted the city like we usually do. Our goal tomarrow is to eat some deep dish pizza and probably sit around, because we are all almost out of money. Cant wait to get back to playing shows on Wednesday and then a few days off again before we head out west.
see you soon
I wanted to take a second to say happy Memorial Day and I hope that you all are enjoying the finally sunny weather. I know that I am about to get outside and soak it all up.
I also wanted to thank everyone who made it out to the Brass Rail and especially the people who stayed until 2 o clock in the morning to watch us play. I apologize for the confusion about our time spot, but you guys stuck it out and made the night awesome as usual.
Hopefully you have been watching our growing tour schedule in July. I am super excited about how the booking has been going and the extent of shows that we have. I wish that everyone could follow us out on the road but I know that is impossible. I will be updating both this website and our facebook often so you guys can know whats going on. I am working on booking a local show in June