Sunday, April 13, 2008

Day 32: Sparky & Clark's. York, PA. 4-5-08

woke up in Baltimore to a home-cooked breakfast by Bob's girlfriend Adrienne -- a culinary graduate -- it was amazing. fresh fruit: mangos, avocados, strawberries. apple sausage patties. bird's nests (egg cooked into a piece of toast). good strong coffee. orange juice. it was sunny out. then Bob played us several Small Sur tunes in his living room. wood floors. gorgeous and patient tunes. it was all pretty dern epic. as a reminder, go listen to Small Sur... they're finalizing the mixes on a new album that will be released on Tender Loving Empire sometime this year. all very very exciting.

we were originally supposed to play in Philly on this Saturday, but the kid working on the show sorta flaked out and it fell through... and we had been trying to scrounge something up for last several weeks to no avail. BUT, the day before, we decided to take a very nice offer from a band in York, PA called Sharks! With Knives!!! to jump on their bill at a coffee shop in York that night. so we did. and it was only an hour drive up there. and a beautiful one at that as we cruised along the rolling hills of southern Pennsylvania.

the place was called Sparky & Clark's and was nestled in the historic downtown area of York. very very cute town and a super mellow sunny saturday afternoon to enjoy it by. it was located right next to an Obama campaign office as well, so i took the opportunity to say hello, get a new button, and smile with them about our successes in Idaho for Obama. then holed up in Sparky & Clark's for the afternoon, as we hung out with our new friend Emily the barista.

show that night turned out to be a blast. due to some miscommunication with Rachel Leah -- the opener -- she was running late, so we volunteered to play first since we were just happy to be playing anyhow. it was a super tiny space, so we used the opportunity to try a very stripped down setup with me just using the organ and Cam stripping down his set. made for a fun and unique set and it seemed to translate well to the room.

Rachel Leah followed with her keyboard-driven pop tunes. she was super sweet and dug her tunes. fun and cute. she was super posi and pumped on life and it's infinite possibilities. word to that.

then our kind kind host, Sharks! With Knives!!!, polished the show off gloriously. featuring the mastermind Chris on acoustic guitar and vocals and his sidekick Martney on glockenspiel. they put up props all over the stage and when they started Cam and I tossed a couple bags of balloons around the room for everyone to frolic in. it was rad. created a great mood in the room. really liked their music too. had me thinking of early Mountain Goats stuff with some of his vocal delivery and lyrical content. he did a great job of involving the crowd... even passed out percussion instruments that several people played throughout the set. lots of clap-a-longs and a nice sing-a-long to finish the set up. coupled with everyone popping all the balloons. we might as well have been at a birthday party or some other festive family gathering. that's how it felt. very fun.

thanks to Chris and Sharks! With Knives!!! for inviting us to jump on with them... what a blessing. and to Emily and Sparky & Clark's for being so nice and making us feel so welcome all day. York, PA is now on our radar. we're in love.

afterwards, we ate at a strange diner called the Majestic across the street... then drove off into the hills to find Wi-fi and crash out in our beloved home -- the Ghost Ghost. she's so cute. and comfy. and tinted. and warm. and cool when she needs to be. and full of power and safety features. we love her. dearly. oh so dearly.

blah blah blah for the whole Finn Riggins clan
uncle gilbert

Day 31: Talking Head Club. Baltimore, MD. 4-4-08

Finn Riggins takes on the nation's capitol head on once again... literally... we drove up 16th Ave from Silver Spring and right up to the front doorstep of the White House... before being turned left and on around through crazy DC traffic... eventually winding around past the Smithsonians -- dropping Lisa off to pee and get in line for us-- and up to the steps of the Capitol Building... then swept around the Native American Museum where we scored a parking spot within striking distance of our target -- the National Air and Space Museum, also home to some of the highlights from the American History Museum, which is currently closed for renovation...
We spent a couple of hours tooling around seeing artifacts and history on American space and air exploration. Pretty awesome spectacle. All kinds of relics from years of amazing developments in flight... everything from the actual Spirit of St. Louis hanging from the ceiling to rocks and crafts used in the moon landing. Rockets. Computers. Airplanes. Space suits. helmets. planes planes and more planes. pretty amazing the strides we've made in the art of flying in a relatively short amount of time.

also got a kick out of the American History section, obviously just a taste of what they have in the actual museum, but i was admittedly pretty excited to see some of these infamous relics: kermit the frog, Abraham Lincoln's top hat, Albert Einstein's pipe, signed babe ruth baseball, C3PO & R2-D2 from Star Wars, several Wizard of Oz relics, early telephones and computers, one of Prince's guitars, Declaration of Independence, Elvis relics, war relics, civil rights relics, and so on and so on. all kinds of exciting things. including a faux-portrait of Stephen Colbert. oh my. would love to see the whole museum sometime. pretty grounding in the magnitude of this nation's history.

we quit the sight-seeing early as we could only handle so much -- brains and feets were maxed out -- and we got a headstart on our 45mile trek to Baltimore... little did we know that it would be bumper-to-bumper the whole way and it would take us nearly 4 hours and we'd barely make our load-in time. omg. it was kind of fun, but definitley a reminder as to why we love Idaho. granted, it was Friday and rush hour, but still... pretty intense. thankful that that's not a daily routine in our lives.

show was at The Talking Head Club in Baltimore -- a place ran by musicians for musicians. great place. great sound. nice intimate setup. great staff. all led to a great show. big thanks to our buddy Bob Keal for putting the show together for us. Bob has a project called Small Sur. really great songwriter / guitar player / singer. really really cool stuff. go get yourself a taste at watch out for his enormous beard for it will swallow you hole if you're not careful.

he put together a really interesting and good show for us with three great locals. Neil Cotterill opened with his project Infinite Honey. awesome tunes. loved his voice and guitar style. and he sang about beekeeping, which had us thinking of our Woodland Honey friends back in Moscow. tasty tasty:

we played after him, and took advantage of the space he'd created to play "a whale, a fish" again. as well as plenty of our ragers. really fun set. sound was solid, good crowd, and we were pretty fired up.

after us, Jason Dove & the New Aerosmith followed with a raucous set of pop tunes and guitar shreddery. they were fun. pretty hilarious stage presence and friendly delivery for it all.

Caleb Stine closed the night out with an inspired set of folk tunes sans mics.... he stood in the center of the room and gave us a glimpse into the future of music with a set of pre-post-apocalyptic music... mostly comprised of old traditionals, even sang a tune out of an old shape-note book. he had some vocal accompaniment by some lady friend, and by the end he had vocal support from the whole room with rendtions of "Circle Will Be Unbroken" and "I'll Fly Away". it was awesome. reminded me of my days hanging out with the Chubbs Toga boys back in Moscow and singing tunes around campfires. really cool to watch a bar be commanded by a set like that. loved it. really nice aural treat in the midst of tour. he has a band he plays with too... great guy. check him out:

crashed at Bob's that night after some late night hanging. it was great.
here are some more photo highlights from our time in DC earlier in the day:

reporting from orbit for all of us Finn Rigginses
=== gilbert ====

Friday, April 11, 2008

Day 30: Quarry House Tavern. Silver Spring, MD. 4-3-08

we accomplished our goal of getting into Washington D.C. by midday... although it was pouring rain... didn't phase us too much though. cam and i dropped lisa off close to the Smithsonians than undertook the journey in search of parking, which ended up taking us over behind the Jefferson Memorial where we had parked in the fall... and were confident we could find spaces there... although it led to a decent hike in the rain to get back to the Smithsonians... we were excited for it, though, as the infamous cherry blossoms were in full bloom -- a stroke of luck for us -- and we learned more about the history of the trees that were a 1912 gift to the city of Washington of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan... there's even more cherry trees today. pretty awesome spectacle. even in the rain.

we worked our way to the Natural History Museum, where we rushed through the last hour that they would be open taking in tons of history on wildlife and nature on our planet... lots of dinosaurs, giant ground sloths, ancient birds, ancient fish, mammals, plantlife, peoples, rocks, stones, gems, crystals, all kinds of educational displays, diagrams, facts, artifacts, fossils, the hope diamond, geological marvels, stories of the evolution of living creatures on our planet, cultures, life on earth of all sorts, tons of people, it was intense... really way too much information to try and consume in so little time... but it was fun to breeze through it all and take in the overall spectacle. pretty awesome.

from there we headed back to the van and jumped into the absolute cluster fuck that is is DC traffic. holy shit. what a nightmare. we were very thankful for our GPS babe at this point in time as she kept us on the course... took us about 50 minutes to travel the 4 miles up to Silver Spring and to the Quarry House Tavern... still pouring rain.

had a great time at the Quarry House. staff treated us super well and we loved their food and beer selection and overall ambiance. cool place. a new friend named Trevor from Pennsylvania opened the show as his solo project Triangle Shirt Factory. cool stuff. and super nice guy. he brought out a nice little posse of folks thanks to his girlfriend Jesseka who is going to school in the area. we had a great time with all of them. ended up staying with a really nice guy named Dan and going to breakfast with all of them the next day.

the show was pretty laid back and we used it as an opportunity to play some different stuff, including the first "A Whale, A Fish" of tour. really fun playing that tune again, and it felt rejuvenated and ready for the live stage again...

reporting for all of us Finn Rigginses
>>>> gilbert <<<<<

Day 29: The Nightlight. Chapel Hill, NC. 4-2-08

with the University of North Carolina Tarheels about to head to the Final Four (as if that was anything new), i was excited to be rolling into infamous Chapel Hill. and it was a gorgeous afternoon to be in Chapel Hill. we spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine, the sights and some time on the 'ol cyber highway.
show that night was at The Nightlight, which by day is a used bookstore / vinyl / cds / cafe / coffeeshop / etc. place called the Skylight Exchange due to the nice skylights it boasts. cool place. great scene. kind of like playing in someone's basement... for most of the good reasons. bill that night was great as well.

locals The Pneurotics opened the show with their alt-countryish rock tunes. really tight and fun stuff. and just absolutely fantastic people... we hit it off immediately. thanks Rich, Mimi, Marty and Gabe!!! check them out at

we followed and had a great crowd for our set. sound was very raw, but fed the overall diy vibe of the place. dug it. a new friend that we'd met in Wilmington a few days earlier -- Marney -- came out and hung out with us again. what a sweetheart, and an absolute crack up. very awesome. this would be our last North Carolina date on this tour, and we were bummed to be leaving as we'd once again made some great new friends. the kind we'd like to be hanging out with all the time...

after us, the nice folks who had helped setup and promote the show in I WAS TOTALLY DESTROYING IT played a fun set of their trucker-hat wearin proggy power pop. tight stuff. super rad people as well. what a fun bill and a great way to end our stay in the Carolinas. we're excited to be hosting IWTDI out in Idaho this summer... stay posted for specifics on that. pumped to help them experience Idaho in all its glory... check them out at

we decided to hit the road after the show as we had visions of sight-seeing in Washington D.C. the next day... so we hit it. and crossed into Virginia and spent yet another spectacular night in the belly of the Ghost Ghost.

reporting for all of us Finn Riggins

Day 28: April Fool's. East Carolina University. Greenville, NC. no joke

we returned to Greenville, North Carolina midday on April Fool's Day so that we could check in to our hotel early... our show that night was at East Carolina University, and the students of ECU were nice enough to put up for a hotel room for us to lay our weary heads. we were very excited about it. thus we drove into the night after the Roanoke show to make sure we could check in nice and early. it was sooooo nice.

compared to two days earlier, Greenville had turned downright tropical. warm and muggy. it was a welcome weather change...

we cruised over to ECU in time to enjoy our pre-show deli tray and snacks in our green room in the Student Union Building. it was admittedly nice to be a little spoiled for a day...

show that night was in the West End Dining Hall on the ECU campus. it was an interesting space and made for some pretty weird sound. show was fun though and we had a nice representation of friends thanks to Corbie, the Awesome Heroes crew and some other friends.

thanks to Adesola from the ECU Entertainment crew for making this show happen and to Jacob, Kay, Ashley and everyone else that brought it to life. it was a lot of fun. and having a hotel room for a night was pure bliss... what a difference the little things can make...

we were so thankful that it wasn't all some elaborate joke to celebrate the holiday...

reporting for all of us Finn Rigginses

Day 27: Martin's Downtown Bar & Grill. Roanoke, VA. 3-31-08

Monday night show? Expectations are usually pretty low for mondays... Especially on a rainy night like this one. We were, however, playing with the infamous Illbotz on their home turf on this particular Monday night. We met them in Greenville, NC when we played with them there in October. They are incredible. Super hilarious and talented comedy hip-hop. So we were pumped and had been looking forward to this show. We were playing with their friends Doug Cheatwood & the Bastards of Fate as they would be touring together, and had no idea what to expect.

The Illbotz kicked the night off. Even dedicated their tune “Gyeah!” to us. Oh my. They make me so incredibly happy. And they played Biz Markie’s “You got what I need” again. Love it. There whole set filled me with all kinds of naughty joy. And a lot of people had already showed up at Martin’s, could definitely tell the show was going to be good. Not sure what the crowd would think of us, but were pleasantly surprised. We played next and were greeted with some moving bodies and some great energy from the crowd. Really really fun set.

The Bastards of Fate closed the night out with a super fun set of their “avant party music”. Fantastic stuff. All over the place and great stage antics and hilarity. Reminded me of the Talking Heads meets They Might Be Giants meets Zappa meets crackrock. What a great night of music. check these kind and awesome folks out:

ILLBOTZ there new album "Ringtones for Rotary Phones" is enourmously creamy. seriously.

DOUG CHEATWOOD & THE BASTARDS OF FATE need a band for your next wedding? next Sweet 16 birthday party? order these masters of everything PARTY and FATE today...

After the show we were tipped off to visit the infamous Texas Tavern. oh holy twilight zone. a language and timezone all its own... the Texas Tavern transcended all of human existence into a whole new realm of dinerdom and grazing experience. sure the time of night on a rainy monday night may have played a role, but the entire operation -- however tiny it may be -- was a site and an experience to behold... unbelievable.

we used that as a launch pad into the wee hours as we hit the road in anticipation of our hotel room that was waiting for us in Greenville, NC the next day...

reporting for all of us finn rigginses

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Day 26: day off. Fuquay-Varina, NC. 3-30-08

we enjoyed a nice quiet rainy day off, our first since in 10 days, with Lisa's sister and family in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. it was sunday. felt like sunday's should feel. calm and comforting. at home. with family. while the rain pours down outside... feeding the thirsty landscape.

Fuquay-Varina. two towns that married each other back in 1936 to form one of the more unique town names we've come across thus far. pretty awesome that Lisa's sister lives there. you can learn more about this crazy town here:,_North_Carolina

ahhhhhh.... rest. its a so nice.

reporting in my pajamas for all of us Finn Rigginses (((
))) gilbert

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Day 25: 21 Eleven Beer & Wine. Greenville, NC 3-29-08

we said our goodbyes to our new Wilmington friends, then followed their directions to the beach as we thought this might be our best opportunity to taste the Atlantic Ocean.
it had been really warm and sunny the day before, but the weather had turned quite cold and windy this day, making our beach experience not so beachy. good news was that we were pretty much the only ones out. needless to say, we didn't go swimming, mainly because the waves and currents looked pretty nasty, but the chill didn't help either. i did, however, roll my pants up and do some wading. love the ocean. the wind put the salt water on our lips and in our hair. was fairly close to swimming. got some sand between my toes. we wandered the beach collecting shells for about an hour in the wind, then headed for cover and some clam chowder at a nearby cafe. then hit the road for Greenville.
we were excited to be back at 21 Eleven in Greenville after a really fun show there in October at which we were met with lots of goodness, including our host for the evening Corbie of the Awesome Heroes, Where The Buffalo Roamed, Spruce Bringsteen and many many others. Corbie put the show together, BBQ-ed up some dinner for us and offered up his place for us to crash in. And the Awesome Heroes headlined the show that night. So rad of him and of Patrick and Liz from the Heroes to join us.

Maple Stave from Durham, NC opened the show with some good 'ol post-rock glory. Rad stuff. Trio. Two guitars and drums. minimal vocals. pretty epic construction and delivery. great art and design on their merch too. we had a good time with them. look em up:

21 Eleven Beer & Wine is a really interesting place for a show. It's literally a beer and wine store ran by a very cool young gentleman by the name of Richard. Bands setup on the floor. Very intimate. Rad art on the walls. Good wine selection to sip from. Great beer selection too, but recently were told they couldn't let people drink the beers on location. they've been playing host to lots of great shows... a really cool asset in Greenville.

Our set was fun. Definitely appreciated all the enthusiasm of those there. Awesome Heroes followed with their awesomeness. It was a night of trios. Hard to pin them down as well... sorta post-punky quirk pop. pretty off-the-wall. love it. some serious cowbell action too. go be awesome: awesomeheroes

Post-show might have been the highlight though as we busted into some late night photo shoots and human pyramids. giggling all the way to the bank. felt like family. hard to believe we live so far away. check out the Awesome Finn Riggins Heroes photos... aren't we a cute couple?

and some more show photos:

Jeff and Richard... whom we owe tons of thanks to. big reasons why Greenville has a rad music scene... here they are rockin themselves out to some finn rigginses

thanks greenville. yer awesome.
reporting for all of us finn rigginses.