Monday, March 31, 2008

Day 24: The Soapbox. Wilmington, NC 3-28-08

Apex -- The Peak of Good Living. Pleasantville? sort of seemed that way. in a very suburban sprawl sort of way... pretty hilarious name for a town however you look at it. We visited with my friend Tisha and her cute kids until just after 10am, then tried to find some sort of local restaurant to eat breakfast in... we drove around forever before finally settling on a Cracker Barrell, which was on our checklist, but was definitely not a local restaurant. It was fun though. And the apple dumpling was heavenly.

We arrived in Wilmington -- the home of Michael Jordan and lots of Civil War history -- sometime mid-afternoon and made our way to The Soapbox. Rad place. Three story venue with a laundromat too. Our show was on the middle floor and the main laundrolounge. Lots of cool art on the walls. It was a stellar day in Wilmington and we quickly made ourselves at home. Our friend Mamie from Moscow (now Missoula) had called our attention to her brother Adam that lives in Wilmington and plays in a band called Ponchos From Peru -- he took us under his wing for the evening and put together this show and promoted it and opened his home to us and cooked us vegetables for dinner... some much needed vegetables. So rad of him.

Show that night was so good. The Soapbox is a rad place. It's able to be all ages and a bar simultaneously, which certainly helps, but the bill that night was great and a bunch of people came out on a super nice spring Friday night in Wilmington. Upon arriving we found out that Minmae from Portland, OR had been added to the bill, which was a fun surprise -- another band from the west, but also folks who knew our buddy Jared Mees and some other friends for 'ol PDX. Helped shrink the world once again. Since they were added last, they went first. Pretty cool Crazy Horse inspired moody rock tunes. Really nice guys, and a good start to the evening.

We followed and managed to hit the crowd at its peak. Really really fun set. Lots of energy in the room and enthusiasm to feed us... The Nothing Noise from Chapel Hill followed with a rad set of emo quirk rock featuring trumpet, bells, violin, rad bass playing, and cool vocal delivery. Really rad band. and super nice. check them out at

Ponchos From Peru were super generous all around, including offering to play last on a four band bill. They pulled the weight in fantastic form, and were a fun end to the evening. Super fun. Rad lyrics. Great tunes. Very creative and quirky stuff. Cool arrangements. They'll be recording soon and we're excited to hear what comes of it... in the meantime check out what they're up to at We had a blast with them all around. Adam, McKenna, Matt and Andrew. oh my. crack ups.

we hung out late into the evening with Adam and his girlfriend Nicole... awesome people. we laughed and laughed and tested our growing vocab with their GRE vocab flash cards and ate cheese sticks and half-cooked pizza into the wee hours. oh my.

slept so good that night.

reporting from North Carolina for all of us Finn Rigginses

check out our gracious and hilarious host Adam in his sandy front yard:

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Day 23: The Blind Tiger. Greensboro, NC. 3-27-08

on our fall tour we played at The Flat Iron in Greensboro with Jew(s) & Catholic(s). that night, our bartender was this really nice guy named John, who also happened to be the lead guitarist in a local prog-metal band called Nyos. he was stoked on our set and we exchanged info. as i was booking this tour, i got in touch with him and he was able to get us on this show they were playing at The Blind Tiger. we didn't really know what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised.

we spent the pre-show watching some march madness basketball as all the North Carolina fans cheered UNC to a blowout win over Washington State University -- Palouse brethren from near our beloved Moscow, ID. as soon as the game was over, we started our set. with the addition of Florida-based jamband Burnin' Smyrnans to the bill -- a rather odd fit to the evening -- we ended up playing pretty early, and before most of the crowd showed up. it was a fun set regardless, and those there seemed to really dig it. BS followed, and were ayight... got the hoola-hoops spinnin round and round. then Nyos followed with their epic prog-metal. really got into their set. some serious shredderness. nice and light-hearted too. really fun stuff. cool attention to detail compositionally and really tight. nice dynamics too. and great guys. gave us tons of props and we're extremely thankful for that and for adding us to the show in general. check it check it out

here's a couple more worthy photos from the evening:

we had an appointment to hang out with a really good old friend of mine (and high school girlfriend -- Tisha) at 9am the next morning in Apex, NC. so we drove after the show. about a half hour into the drive we stopped for one of the most all-star Waffle House experiences yet. 3am. and the place was bumpin. lots of southern drawl being thrown around and one particularly frisky old man who's conversation we were overhearing all too well. it was fascinating. and extremely classic. we'll leave it at that.

we drove on and crashed in a grocery store parking lot about a half mile from Tisha's house in Apex -- home to her, her husband Curteis and her two beautiful children Adley and Ani. It was 4:30am. we had a solid 4 hours of sleep to look forward to...

reporting for all of us Finn Rigginses

Day 22: Joli Rouge. Asheville, NC 3-26-08

this was a date we were particularly excited for since we had had a good show at the Joli Rouge in October and were enthralled by Asheville in general... unfortunately, the show didn't live up to its hype as it ended up being a quiet wednesday night at the 'ol Joli Rouge that has apparently been going through some internal strife... and definitely showed as the overall energy in the place was pretty dead. and despite the low turnout, it still managed to be super smokey. ahhhh!!!

the saviors for the evening were Stephanie and Chuck from local band Stephanie's Id that came out and gave us their enthusiasm and support. and offered up their home and comfy beds for our travel weary bodies. so incredibly kind of them. they even took us out to breakfast the next morning and gave us a tour of the town... helping to point out the places we should look to play next time through. really really sweet of them. can not thank them enough. we didn't play with them, but may someday. either way, check them out. so awesome. and such sweet sweet people. we had a blast with them.

show was pretty fun despite the smoke and lackluster crowd. thanks to On The Take and Agrolola -- also from Asheville -- for playing. Agrolola is pictured to the left basking in their red light and post-hardcore rockisms. nice guys and appreciate their help setting up the show and attempts to get people out.

by the way, drive up from Georgia that day was absolutely stellar thanks to the recommendation from the bartender at Tasty World... as we took the scenic route through the Black Mountains of northern Georgia up into North Carolina. even stopped at a roadside chocolate shop for some ice cream and truffles. oh my. gorgeous drive. here are some photos from the drive and of our afternoon in Asheville...

reporting for all of us Finn Rigginses from North Carolina

Day 21: Tasty World. Athens, GA 3-25-08

time on the internet or with the computer has been hard to come by recently... so i'm going to employ some quicker tactics for reporting on recent adventures... we'll see how it goes.

hung out all afternoon in Athens. historic Athens. rad town. beautiful day.

show that night was great. mostly because our buddy Matt made the trek up with us and Jeremy and Kevin from the night before cruised over as well. drove over three hours for the show. the three of them brought so much energy and helped make up for the mostly empty room with their ecstatic dance and overall enthusiasm. the set was really really fun. going to let the photos do most of the talking.

the other factor that made the show rad was that after us, Captain #1 from Athens played. awesome set. acoustic guitar, toy piano and girl+guy vocals. tim and jenny were so rad. super cute. and took us in for the night. and directed us to a rad burrito ristorante the next day. their music is awesome. checkiddy check them out. seriously.

jeremy + kevin + matt = ecstatic dance clinic

reporting for all of us Finn Rigginses

Friday, March 28, 2008

Day 20: Atlanta, GA. Kavarna. 3-24-08

Consistent with our looping strategy that we seem to employ when out East, we found ourselves returning to Georgia for another couple of days for shows in Atlanta and Athens. We were shocked as we were driving into Atlanta to see some snow flurries -- it had cooled off a bit -- but we were caught off guard by these reminders of home. It flurried just long enough to justify mentioning it, then subsided.

It was a Monday, and a day just a week and a half ago we were supposed to have off, but our good friend and former roommate from Moscow, ID -- Matt J. Lowe -- was currently residing in Atlanta and managed to find us a place to play on super short notice across the street from where he worked in a cute little neighborhood in Decatur, GA -- which Atlanta blended into. The place was called Kavarna -- a Czech word meaning cafe/coffeeshop, which is essentially what it is. Very cool place, with a rad owner and stellar staff. We were very grateful to fill the date on such short notice and be able to play for our friends in the Atlanta area. And they were kind enough to feed us from their tasty menu.

The show was a lot of fun. They had a nice big stage surrounded by all kinds of rad art throughout the place. Great environment, and despite having to play as quietly as possible, was a super fun show. Actually kind of enjoyed trying to translate our stuff in a quiet setting, and it gave us the opportunity to play some quiet tunes like "Passing Through" and "Pokerface" that we hardly ever play. It was fun. Nice to have Matt there -- he brings a whole new level of energy to the plate when he's around -- very cool. And our friend Ashley -- who spent last summer in Sun Valley -- also made it out. And our new friend Jeremy Sharp -- met him in Chattanooga -- came down and brought his buddy Kevin. It was rad. Loved hanging out with both of them. Rad rad guys. And toward the end of our set, during "Hraka", despite the mellowness of the environment, Jeremy started bouncing around and helping channell the dance madness of the Chattanooga show into that room. So awesome. Really pumped up the fun factor.
We wrapped things up by 9:50pm, ending before most shows start. It was nice, but we ended up taking our time getting out of there, and then managed to stay up super late hanging out with Matt, Jeremy and Kevin in Matt's studio apartment. A lot of fun, though. Covered all kinds of conversational goodness, including the pros and cons of the existence of Las Vegas. That one was fascinatingly tense. We all piled up around 3am for what would be a spotty night of sleep, and then greeted by the remodeling crew outside in the hall sawing and hammering around 8am. Quite classic. We managed to sleep through it for the most part... and it made for some interesting audio-inspired dreams.

Atlanta treated us so well. Really pretty city. Lots of trees and blooming flowers. Pretty pretty pretty.

Thanks to Wystan, Greg, Lisa, Jimmie and the rest of the Kavarna crew for hosting on such short notice. And thanks to Matt, Jeremy, Kevin, Ashley and everyone else that also helped to make it such a special show.

Reporting for all of us Finn Rigginses ==
== gilbert

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Day 19: Snug Harbor. Charlotte, NC. Easter Sunday. 3-23-08

On our tour in the fall, we fell in love with North Carolina. All of our shows there were super fun and all the people we met were awesome and the between them and the countryside the state really reminded us of home. So we were pretty excited to be headed back there, and we got our NC fix started with an Easter Sunday show in Charlotte -- a place we didn’t play in the fall, but were pumped to be hitting this time around... It was a really short drive from Florence, so we got in town with plenty of time to chill -- went to the neighborhood where Snug Harbor was and set up camp at a nearby market with wi-fi and eats.

Snug Harbor is a pirate bar, which had us curious about the North Carolina / pirate connection, since the Joli Rouge in Asheville, where we played in the fall and would be playing soon, is also a pirate bar. Not really sure on the historical ties that North Carolina might have with pirate-dom, but regardless, you can’t go wrong with a pirate bar. Snug, like the Joli, has a great scene built around it -- ran by great folks and overall stellar vibe to the place. Nice stage setup too. And it was one of the regulars’ birthday and several people had brought some trays of cheesey mash potatoes and fritatta with some Texas Pete hot sauce and some other goodies and were kind enough to share with us. Very grateful for the home-cookin and the pot-luck community dinner.

Our friends Jews(s) & Catholic(s) made the drive from Winston-Salem to play with us. We rocked a few shows together in the fall -- including at the Joli Rouge in Asheville -- so our pirate escapades were closely tied. They opened the show. Great to see them again, both personally (eddie & alanna are awesome -- and Alanna is from Idaho too… and childhood friends with our buddy Milo) and musically (very interesting drum machine w/ electric guitar + upright bass + vocals stuff… they had some sound trouble early, but by the end of their set were scorching the place. They have a new EP coming out April 2nd. Very excited to hear it. Dug the new stuff they played at Snug). Definitely check them out.

One big reasons why we had ended up with a show in Charlotte is because of this girl Leah who is a friend of Woven’s and had befriended us on myspace and encouraged us to come there, and thus we obliged. She had driven about 45 minutes from Waxhaw, NC for the show on a Sunday night -- it was rad to finally meet her and we all hit it off fantastically comparing Woven stories and chatting music in general. Awesome girl. And we had her to thank for what turned out to be a really sweet show, despite it being a Sunday -- and Easter Sunday at that.
We got started around 11:30pm. The crowd had filled out a little bit more, with a nice little posse of people that had apparently checked us out online and had come out to see us. Combined with J & C and their friends that had stuck around, we had a great little crowd -- an enthusiastic one at the very least. Inspired a really fun set out of us. They even milked three encores out of us, which was a lot of fun. We finally ended with a rambunctious “TV” and then yielded to the DJ.

Thanks to Daylon, Lisa and the rest of the staff at Snug Harbor. What a rad bar. Highly recommended to other bands or anyone looking for a good place to hang in Charlotte. They definitely seem to be the hub of a really cool scene there. Thanks to Leah for being awesome and for encouraging us to come to Charlotte. Thanks to Jew(s) & Catholic(s) for playing with us again and for being rad and for all the support in general. And thanks to everyone else that helped make our Easter Sunday 2008 so radical. Oh my.

We hit the road for Atlanta and found a nice cozy truck stop to park the Ghost Ghost at and crashed out in her belly of goodness.

Reporting for all of us Finn Rigginses =
= gilbert

PS and in a somewhat holiday appropriate reference, thanks to Cheesus for being a funny piece of conversation for a good 4 days -- starting on friday thanks to the local news in Jacksonville -- check it out... some guy found Jesus... in his bag of cheetos... and has spread the good news for all to hear:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Day 18: 511 House. Florence, South Carolina. 3-22-08

This was the first day in two weeks -- since our Colorado dates -- that we wold be playing somewhere we had played before as we had played at the 511 House back in October during our Fall 2007 East Coast Tour. It was a rainy October evening and despite there only being a few people there, was a really fun and unique show. Thus we were pumped to be back despite the rather limited space and limitations considering our big sound. We were pumped for multiple reasons, but mostly because the people behind the 511 House are awesome. David is a music enthusiast / technophile / photographer with a fantastic beard and a ton of goodness in his heart and his dancing feet -- all of the action photos in this blog were taken by him. Carmen is a sweetheart and writes rad tunes for her ukelele driven duo with her brother Tony called The Mountain Yellers. Really awesome stuff. She also makes some killer muffins. She's also an owl lover. So we get along great. So many fun knick-knacks throughout the house... but the wall of owls is definitely a highlight.
They greeted us so warmly again and cooked up a couple of pizzas and we all plopped down on their couch to watch a movie. Truly felt like we were home having a casual family evening. So nice. We put in “Lars and the Real Girl” per their suggestion. Great movie. Really funny and interesting about a guy who falls in love with a life-size doll. Sort of. It’s pretty wild. Definitely recommend checking it out. We didn’t actually finish it before people started showing up, so we paused it and would finish it in the morning.

A band from the Columbia, SC area called Castalia cruised over to play with us. Beth from Castalia is originally from Florence so that helped get some people out. That and there had been a positive buzz from our last show there. Made for a fun scene. And Castalia was great. Nice edgy alt-rock stuff. Beth playing bass and belting out the vocals. Fun set. We, however, didn't play that well. Sound was weird for us and overall vibe was a little off. Made for a weird set. We did get some crazy dance moves out of some folks by dropping Pump It, Fill It midset -- which was fun. We weren't horrible, but we did all feel uncharacteristically off. Grooves weren't hooking up and kind of affected our energy. Still, everyone was nice and clapped and moved their bodies all over. Then we all through our fists in the air and hung out into the wee hours. It was fun. We got over kinda sucking for a night pretty quickly. The good news is that David got some radical photos. Check em out, we'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story:

thanks to everyone that came out to the 511 show. we had a blast. y'all are a special breed.

reporting for all of us Finn Rigginses.

Day 17: Jacksonville, Florida. Shantytown. 3-21-08. sunshine

We enjoyed an absolutely stellar drive on some backroads through South Carolina as we began the trek down to Florida. Drove through some cool little towns and were blissfully enjoying the near perfect weather. One area we drove through appeared to have suffered a recent tornado knocking down portiions of the forest and causing scattered damage amongst some homes and a town, including one particularly striking image of a steeple knocked off a church and laying in the yard next to it. Pretty epic. Should have stopped for a photo op. Then again, maybe the damage was caused by an army of choppers like the one pictured to the right.

Our drive then took us down through Georgia, however, most of that drive was on I-95 and not near as cool as the backroads. Much more traffic. Much less personality.

We had plugged in the wrong address to our GPS babe and found ourselves in Jacksonville, but out in the middle of nowhere. Upon fixing the address, which luckily hadn't taken us too far out of our way, we were still 15 miles away from our destination, yet still in Jacksonville. Weird. We'd learn later that evening that Jacksonville is the largest city in America based on its city boundaries -- not on population -- a big sprawling city area... interesting that we got to experience it first hand. That, and it was the first place we'd ever seen almost all the highway signs mysteriously blocked out... lucky for us, our GPS babe takes such good care of us. Oh how we love thee... fairest GPS babe of them all...

The show that night had been put together by Kevin from local band Helios Eye, and he and his girlfriend Cameron were kind enough to play host to us as well. Kevin even cooked up some dank chicken fajita/burritos for us all. So yummy. Oh my. What a blessing in the midst of tour.

The show was at a little divey / local hang called Shantytown. Very cool place. Tiny, but with tons of character and a really cool backyard with a fire pit and lots of chill space... and apparently with a very cool built in scene. Very cool scene. We had a blast. This dreaded fella that goes by Zeke opened the show, despite being really drunk due to drinking all afternoon. He tried to get out of playing, but everyone heckled him into playing, and had to continue to do so after each song with him flipping everyone off and resisting with all his might. It was classic. Despite his condition, he was pretty rad. Really cool tunes and surprisingly well delivered considering. A few fell apart into expletives, but that only fed the show. It was great.

Helios Eye played next. Apparently they used to be totally acoustic and just a couple of guys, and this was their first show electric and with drums -- now a six piece. We all lovvved their set. Sweet sweet psychedelic / garagey / punk stuff. Awesome tunes and stellar presentation. Loved it so much. I had left my camera back at the house, but i was able to snap a few shots with my camera. Thus the fuzzy photos you see around.

We played after that to a packed, pumped and sweaty sweaty room. It was so fun. Vocals feeding back and distorted. Super raw and energized. One of the hottest shows on tour thus far. In several ways. Temperature included. Can't imagine what that room would be like in the heart of summer. Wow. Jacksonville was so welcoming and warm to us. What a blast.

Local duo Elevators Making Analog closed the show out with their wall of amps and stellar female drumming. It was a fun set as well, although i had to take most of it in from out back in the fresh air. Holy goodness. Met lots of rad people and felt incredibly at home in Florida. My first time there.

Went back and hung out late at Kevin and Cameron's. Great people. Thanks to everyone that made our short stay in Jacksonville so good and so memorable. Especially: Kevin, Cameron, Amber, JT, all the Helios Eye clan, Thomas, Zeke (mike), Charlie and EMA co-conspirator, Aubrey and all the other characters who's names are alluding me. thank you thank you thank you.

Reporting from the warm confines of the South for all of us Finn Rigginses :::
::; gilbert

PS lisa captured the Shantytown in the act of a common misspelling / missreading / missunderstanding of the name of our created character and band name: