Good Night and Good Morning are on a two-week tour through the South, and they sent the first of what will hopefully be several dispatches from the road:
July 1 — Lemp Neighborhood Arts, St. Louis, Missouri
While this southern tour is mostly made up of places completely foreign to our Midwestern eyes, we started the trip somewhere familiar: St. Louis. We performed for a small and attentive group of people at an intimate space in Benton Park called the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center. Many of our close friends have sworn by this venue up and down, and we are on the same page ourselves. We enjoyed insightful conversations with Mark Sarich (who at one time worked with the Independent Media Center), and ended our day falling asleep to Groundhog Day.
July 2 — House show, Nashville, Tennessee
We headed straight south from St. Louis for a low-key house show in Nashville with the Sunshine Brothers and Sisters. Little did we know that afterward we would be sneaking our way up to a rooftop pool in downtown Nashville. Needless to say dripping wet is fine way to see the music city. "This place is littered with the bones of people who tried to make it happen," one of the Sunshine Brothers told us. Sometimes a quiet house show is good way to handle a big city you've never been to.
July 3 — Meridian Underground Music Exchange, Meridian, Mississippi
This date was originally slated for Memphis, but a last minute cancellation had us starting from scratch. We dodged a bullet and hopped onto a show at a local record store in Meridian, Mississippi. Despite watching two people swing crowbars at each other, the southern hospitality was beaming at this show. We played on the sidewalk in front of the store to a very respectful group of people. Since it was outdoors we were unable to project video, but we did have a Mississippi sunset as our backdrop. It worked just fine. A true southern woman named Sonya opened her home to us for the evening, and we rested well after filling ourselves with sweet tea and free pizza.
July 4 — New Orleans
If you're going to have a day off on tour, New Orleans is a pretty great place to be hanging out, especially on the 4th of July. We got into town in the afternoon and drove past a lot of the Katrina destruction as well as the now-infamous Superdome, then headed to a hotel on the other side of the river. We took the economical way into Nawlins, which is to take the Ferry from our side of the river, then walk four blocks over into the French Quarter where the real lunacy takes place. We ate gumbo and sandwiches on the balcony of Frank's restaurant and watched the fireworks over the river (pictured at right), which has been a definite highlight thus far. We spent the rest of the night walking up and down Bourbon Street, having our fair share of fun and witnessing some pretty crazy sights. By about 2 a.m., the street was almost packed shoulder to shoulder with people, and at one point there was a massive stampede of people rushing down the street. We're fairly sure several people got trampled, but the commotion only lasted for a minute or two, and we never found out what caused it. We went back across the river at about 4:30 a.m. after checking out some seriously creepy voodoo shops, and considered this 4th of July a 100% success.
July 5 — New Orleans
Several people told us that The Dragon's Den bar we were supposed to be playing at was a really great place, but unfortunately we never got to play there. GPS users out there, take note: if the only bridge into the city is a toll bridge, you'd be wise to take your GPS off of the "Avoid Toll roads" setting. If you don't, your GPS will try to take you to some back roads bridge entrances that are not exactly legal or safe. We learned this the hard way, and didn't arrive at the venue until ten minutes AFTER we were supposed to start playing. The bartender kindly informed us that we had "missed that train," so we took our stuff back to the hotel and took the midnight ferry back into town so we could still make the most of our night. A few hours of wandering led us to Jackson Square, where Ryan offering a cookie to a drifter led to a two-hour conversation with Bobo, as he was called, about life, drifting, his old punk band, and how his high school shop teacher chopped off his own finger while not following safety regulations with a table saw. We had a guitar/djembe jam session with Bobo and a homeless lady named Mother Nature, and then headed to the hotel. Bobo claimed he had a Myspace, and swore he would find us on there someday, though it may be six months or so. We hope he's doing well, wherever he is.
First days of Texas coming very soon!