Smile Politely

On the road with Urbana’s Morgan Orion

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Last night, after completing an exam concerning the writings of George Berkeley and David Hume at the very last minute, I got in my car, and left Champaign to the tunes of “If I Were a Carpenter.” Thus began my tour journey with Morgan Orion.

I was to meet him in St. Louis. He had been touring for a week already, throughout the Midwest-St. Louis was something of a transition stop, between the Midwest tour and the impending tour of the South.

As it turned out, nobody showed up to the St. Louis show. Instead, St. Louis’ Rollercoaster Club (who was hosting us) spent the evening jamming with Morgan and C-U local Peninsula.
I was too late to encounter the jam session or Peninsula (who returned to Champaign that night), but I arrived in time to enjoy ridiculing some generic sound samples and sculpting some Play-Doh.

Today, we awoke to a note left by Rollercoaster Club’s roommate, Jake.

He ended up returning from the movie before we left, but not before Morgan whipped out his guitar.

Before we left St. Louis, we walked across the street and over a hill, and picnicked on the banks of the Mississippi river.

Driving to Nashville, we found ourselves later than we expected. We also got a CD stuck in the car’s player. So the drive was not as pleasant as it could have been. But when we finally did get to Nashville, the show was still fairly well-populated, and we were well-received in spite of our 2 hour tardiness.

The performance was in a basement, and as Morgan was about to start his set, the rumble and whistle of a train came from above. That set the mood for the set; Morgan played several songs dealing with travel, and some of his slower songs in general.

After Morgan were Nashville’s Pineapple Explode, who were played on BBC radio that night. Their set, and especially lead singer/host extraordinaire Steven, reminded Morgan and I of Andrew Bird.

There was a great variety of instruments lying around the basement, so after the show was over, several audience members and performers coalesced into a jam band. Eventually, this died down amid departures and tales of horrid shows-gone-awry.

Bedtime it was. We got our own futon!

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