We have arrived! I forgot how big Texas' sky is, and how much I love just driving with no particular location in mind. My boyhood town has sadly developed most of the rural parts I remember, but that's the way it goes, I guess. On the plus side, it was 87 degrees when we got in, so we spent a fair bit of the day shirtless, playing a game our bassist invented years ago, and I'm fairly certain we found a cult in the countryside. Pretty nutty. Anyhow, today, most of the day was spent at the airport, arriving first then returning to pick up various band members and stragglers as they made their way to Dallas/Ft. Worth. From here, we'll get a van and equipment and head south Tuesday. But first, Cassavettes has a big show tomorrow, which has been rumored to have a fair-sized crowd.
Our bass player Scott and I were seated next to each other on the plane ride here. This gave us plenty of time to talk through the important issues: growing "tour beards," coming up with a motto for this trip (see this blog's subject line), and reminiscing about old Saturday Night Live skits, much to the chagrin of those seated around us, I'm sure. Either way, we also had a chance to talk about the state of the band, an imperative before you play a string of a few shows. Once our drummer Matt arrived, we were able to talk about potential songs we'd like to get to on this mini-tour. Matt revealed he's extremely excited about the new songs we're playing this go-round, which is always uplifting. It shows we're all hitting on the same page at the right time. An important job in organizing the group's thoughts is to make sure we're collectively focusing on the same goals, both short-term and long-term. For instance, the goal of this trip is to make an impression and have a good time. Relatively simple, yet harder to execute than you may think. We have to be hitting on all cylinders and to all have our hearts into what we're putting forth. I know it's simple in theory, but getting four heads to meld into a common goal is the most common and frequent struggle a band faces. Therefore, I think it's promising that we're all not putting too much pressure on making this trip into more than we should; we're just riding it and seeing what happens.
Today I got a call from old pal, the affable Jake Brennan, who has taken a different route to get to SXSW -- he's driving down a couple other bands' equipment, like Buffalo Tom. He asked if we needed anything brought down, which would have been perfect, if only we'd known sooner. Either way, we decided to meet up in Austin for a beer and some tunes. I'm actually planning to seek out a number of locals down there, in between doing our best to hit the streets. In sadder news, I found out that local legend, and producer of our last album, Jabe Beyer is officially moving to Nashville in May. While I'm sad to see Boston lose yet another great musician, I wish him all the luck in the world.
But we've got some pressing issues to sort through. For now, I've just got to track down some equipment we're without (a keyboard and some drums), find another means of transport from Dallas down south, and find a place for everyone to sleep tonight. In fact, I'm lucky enough I found a place to blog! But, hey, you make time for what's important.
About Sound Effects
ContributorsSarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Julian Benbow is a staff writer at the Boston Globe, covering sports and music.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.