Smile Politely

Elsinore: Petroleum Industry — Shove It

Saturday, July 5th: The Blue Fugue – Columbia, Mo:

Day 1 of our 35 days out on the road. This tour will be 4 times longer than anything we’ve ever done. We’ll put 7,000 miles on the van, spend $2,000 on gas, and inflate our air mattresses just about every night. So, you start somewhere familiar, and Columbia is our 2nd home. We’ve played the Fugue 4 times before, so it’s a nice shoving off point. Columbia is what Champaign-Urbana would be if all 3 downtowns (Cham/Urb/Campus) were smooshed together, so you’re almost guaranteed a crowd if you hit The Fugue or Mojo’s.

But, it’s also the day after the 4th of July, so the crowd was about 40 strong from 11 p.m. on. Our friend Casey Reeves opened the show with a soft solo country set. He’s the reason we’ve been so welcomed in Columbia. Good man. Then, a pretty duo from Lawrence/Kansas City called OKJones, who will soon be known as Hidden Pictures, hit us with soft harmonies, an acoustic guitar, and a flute. Richard and Michelle are something. We’ll be bringing them to CU as soon as we can. We had a strong set with a pleasant reaction from the 40 scattered bodies. Then, a White Stripes-y duo called Jerusalem & The Starbaskets hit us at full volume. He ran his Les Paul through a Twin Reverb, a 4×12 MEGA cabinet, AND a Fender Bassman. It was like having John Goodman tackle you in a game of flag-football. But, they had some good sounds and a Pitchfork-y, retro vibe. We stayed with Casey after the show. He’s always got some nice pullout couches for us anytime we need them.

Sunday & Monday, July 6th & 7th: Jerry’s Bait Shop – Lenexa, KS & Lee’s Summit, Mo:

These two places, of the same name, are owned by the same guy and always have Sunday and Monday shows for touring bands to hop on. So, we hopped on both. It was slow both nights, but everyone who was there gave us love, bought t-shirts and the new EP, and reassured that the people who didn’t come missed out. We love sincere encouragement. Monday during the day we shot over to Lawrence because none of us had ever been and I knew it was a necessity. And, we quickly decided we needed to add Lawrence to our Midwest routing. Bitching venues, the best record(as in vinyl) store I’ve ever seen (Love Garden), and a downtown Champaign should definitely take some pointers from. For instance, how do super-progressive, culture-in-the-middle-of-nothing cities like Lawrence deliver free Wi-Fi to the district? Solar-powered newsstands with wireless routers hidden inside at almost every intersection! Lawrence, you are fair, you are beautiful, and we will be back. Sunday we stayed with Mark’s uncle Dave, and Sunday we stayed with Josh & Holly who loved our sound and quickly befriended us.

Tuesday, July 8th: A driving day – 9.5 hours from Kansas City to Denver…

Wednesday, July 9th: Albums on the Hill(in-store performance) – Boulder, Colo. – 3pm

La Blogoteque-style filming of a few “unplugged” songs in front of Albums on the Hill and on the side of a mountain…

Owsley’s Golden Road – Denver, Colo.:

This record store is amazing. The owner was top-notch, the space was cozy and perfect for a quiet, stripped-down set, and two Boulderians, Adam & Ted, videotaped the show, as well as 1 song on the busy sidewalk outside of the store and 3 walking up a hiking mountain just below the flatirons 5 minutes from the record store. Hopefully we’ll have these to post within the week, so keep an eye out. Then, we played Owsley’s Golden Road, which I’ll sum up by using the review Spinal Tap’s album “Shark Sandwich” received…

Shit Sandwich.

Thursday, July 10th: Drive 10 hours to Idaho… House show @ Grandpa Karl’s w/ Cary Judd

A LONG drive, but worth every mile…because…the house show we played was warm, welcoming, and a perfect morale boost after Denver’s flop. 30 people seated comfortably on couches and chairs in Cary’s huge living room listened to a local guy, Brent, play sincere acoustic pop songs, Cary play his fully-orhcestrated synth/loop/pop with all the grace of a touring veteran, and us play a record store-esque super-relaxed set. House shows might just be the perfect antidote to too many consecutive rock club nights.

Friday, July 11th: Bown Crossing Block Party – Boise, ID

This turned out to be a great despite us showing up and the local band having NO idea we were playing before them. But, The Steve Foulton Band saw the “young, feisty, indie-rock” look in our eyes and smelled the hours in the van on our bodies and completely came through with an open door and welcoming handshake. We’ll definitely hit Boise again and triple check that everyone involved knows we’re on the bill. Now, it’s 7 p.m. Mountain Time and we’re on the road to Portland! Day 7 almost complete.

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