On the road, coming home after a brilliant weekend of touring. Currently listening to the wonderful new Fast Computers album Heart Geometry. Beautiful synth layerings, satalite beeping loops, and rich string sections.
So where’ve we been?
Friday, we drove for thirteen hours straight to Eugene, Oregon, and met up with Peter and Jen of TFC, who were kind enough to put us up in their mid-century party pad. Very quickly we got to playing Guitar Hero, ripping it up on such classics as Balls to the Wall and other fairly obscure, half-forgotten rock songs that make for great faux guitar playing.
Tapas for dinner, and then a quick set-up at Sam Bond’s Garage—a great little venue ranked in Esquire as one of America’s best bars. It’s a humble neighborhood haunt with great Oregon beer and of course, the local favorite—mead.
The last time we played Sam Bond’s, we noticed a hippie hanging by his knees from a tree down the street, and one stoned dude weaving on a bike down the middle of the avenue, riding no-hands while playing the sentimental section of “Free Bird” over and over again on an acoustic guitar. Eugene was living up to the hype. So this time around we didn’t know what to expect.
We set up our equipment for our first ever duo performance—just C and G with drum and bass tracks run conveniently through our iPod. There was a good sized crowd of Eugene citizenry who were nice enough to not heckle us. The other bands on the ticket—Ed Cole and The Underlings, and Luca, were in the crowd, nodding their heads and tapping their feet, a whoop of appreciation here and there. Worked out some of the kinks of our set in front of a live audience.
Later, we went back to the party place and had pizza rolls with Apple Jack and other mixed drinks from Fox and Dean’s vast collection of top shelf liquors. More Guitar hero till late into the morning.
Next day we all packed up for our show in Portland where we would share the stage with Home Before Sundown and Fast Computers.
After a relaxing afternoon of champagne and synth sessions at the HBS house, all three bands caravanned to a kick-ass sushi house.
We arrived at Kelly’s Olympian to load in. Kelly’s is a biker bar with about two million dollars worth of motorcycles hanging from the ceilings and walls—Harley’s and Indians and cafe racers of all kinds. A drunk punk with ripped jeans and chains was flailing around a taped up machete and trying to hug everyone. I guess the tape was to make the machete somehow acceptable in a crowded public place, but we found him just a bit unnerving.
The excellent sound man Nalin was dressed à la Richie Tennanbaum. He gave us a choice of background visual footage on stage—Saharan lion chases and killings or Twilight Zone footage for our background. We chose the Zone—couldn’t pass up the moody black and white weirdness.
Played about a 25 minute set of new tunes, and then Home Before Sundown—a self-proclaimed synth army of a band with four synths and backbeats and soulful vocals. Depeche Mode lovelorn angst meets earnest lovelorn kids of Portland.
Then Fast Computers took stage—an always ecstatic Jen Fox bouncing positively about those drums, the stylish Peter Dean cranking out upbeat synth and electric piano tinklings and masterful tales of their recent US tour. Fast Computers have a new line-up featuring the ever-cool Brenna Sheridan on guitar and synth and enthusiastic-dancing Andrew on bass.
Oh, and then to wrap up the night, of course, arm wrestling to the soundtrack of Sylvester Stallone’s masterful 80’s classic, Over the Top. This was a mini-tour worth remembering.
Pictures posted soon!