Friday, June 25, 2010

MBD oh 10'

MBD in oh10'


We've done 2 high profile shows since the bowery show in january. Both of which have been great fun. Here are some pics from the Big Ears festival in Knoxville, TN, and the Vivid festival in Sydney AUS.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Roaming. In Rome.

We woke up late after a hard day's work yesterday and set out to burn this town down. And, of course, when I say burn it down, I mean check out all of the popular tourist haunts. And by all, of course, I mean the coliseum. It's the bomb. We ate some lunch, we snapped some selfies, we made some friends, and we watched Ninja Asssasssins in Italian.

**For the record, you're really not missing that much by way of dialogue when you see a movie called Ninja Asssasssins in a foreign language.**

Shara and James are on to Paris for a solo show tonight, so Brian and I have held down the Roman fortress in the mean time. Tomorrow will ferry us on to our next destination, Athens, the site of recent riots and the cradle of "western" civilization (irony). How the mighty have fallen.

As for Rome, it is indeed something special. But the people really have to learn to pick up the dog shit. Seriously. It's obnoxious. We Americans may be loud, presumptuous, obnoxious, and acutely arrogant, but at least we know how to keep operate a plastic bag. Also, what the fuck is with the graffiti? Seriously, it's not that cool. We're not in the South Bronx circa 1979, and there can be no argument that graffiti is improving the visual aesthetic of this historic city. Having just finished my honeymoon in Athens, we will be seeing plenty more pointless tagging in the days to come.

We had a simple, blissful day today, and we both managed to avoid stepping in a turd. Funny looks aside, I really do love being a TOURist.


Coimbra, Espinoa

On to the next, on the next! It’s been a couple days since my last post, so I’ll give the old “reader’s digest condensed” version. We arrived in Coimbra in the afternoon after a short two hour trip north from Lisbon, settled into the comfort inn, and made our way over to the venue. The city itself is small, but our soundman Nelson (aka Nelly aka Son) told me that it’s the most educated place in Portugal given its status as a primary school town. Apparently Coimbra is home to the oldest university in Europe, a fact which I can neither believe nor confirm. But I guess we’ll take his word for it.

Nelson is an interesting character. He speaks great English, has a beaming smile, and tells some of the filthiest jokes I’ve had the pleasure of hearing. Something about a joke being translated into a secondary language is hilarious; the punchline always needs a little help from the body language and gesticulation of the teller. One of them involved Sean Connery and his famous prowess in the sack, but it’s just barely over the line enough to validate its omission from my blog (my Grandma won’t find it very funny).

After sound check we ate a MASSIVE lunch of grilled meat, including steak, pork chops, blood sausage and some of the most goddamn delicious chorizo I’ve ever tasted. The show was a little tough on account of some technical difficulties, but we powered through.

The next day brought us even further North to the seaside city of Espinho, where our venue was the performance space of the Espinho Academy of Music. Playing music for an audience full of music students requires a top-notch effort, and that’s pretty much exactly what we put out.

Before the show, we recorded a little stripped-down live performance of Apples and Gentlest Gentlemen for some Portugese Indie music blog in the foyer of the auditorium which should turn out pretty cool. The guys seemed pretty p r o and filmed using a mini-steadycam rig. Shanda and Nelson took us for lunch afterward in a restaurant with an open-fire oven, and we ate some true authentic Portugese food. Only downside was my sweater now smells like a campfire.

The show itself was the best so far by far, as evidenced by the fact that we played three encores, each one receiving a standing O. I think last night was the most connected I personally have ever felt to an audience, probably because of how close the seats were to the stage. We finished up, packed our gear, and said goodbye to Nelson and the rest of the crew, who would be heading back to Lisbon directly.

Today’s trip puts us back in Lisbon for the night before our flight to Italy tomorrow. By chance, our friend and fellow MBD member Marla will be in the city tonight, so we are on our way to meet up for some lunch. Our next show will be in Rome, followed by Athens, and then home sweet home on December 12th. More to come soon.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Lisbon day off.

Thursday, December 3, 2009 kind of "gal"

Wow. What a day. What a day and what a night. I guess at this point I'm writing about yesterday, but it's all sort of blended together into one present tense memory of an amazing city called Lisbon. There's a certain familiarity and warmth to this city - and this country - that resembles the essence of a exuberant golden retriever. I'm a dog person, so I mean this in the most positive possible way. This whole place sort of wags its tail all the time.

Part (or most) of the reason I'm enjoying this place so much is because of the fact that I'm having a blast with my peeps in MBD. I haven't played a show with Bdub and Shara in almost a year and a half, and I have to say that it kind of had the bicycle effect feeling - we certainly didn't fall on our faces. With only a couple of rehearsals, we seem to have achieved mid-tour form rather easily. Our set last night at the gorgeous Theatro Sao Luiz (I don't know how to make the squiggly accents on blogger) included songs we haven't played since our tour opening for the Decemberists in 07', which now feels like EONS ago. The show felt like a million bucks, and Shara's pipes were a-blowin' last night. Like, furreal. Many of you know Shara has been an honorary Decemberist for the past year, KILLING tracks on "Hazards of Love", and touring the country NAY the globe. But it is nice to see her straight fronting again. Big ups to jenny john colin funk marcel rick cuddles natequizzle wherever they may be.

Theatro Sao Luiz actually reminded me of some of the venues from that tour, like the Tennesse theatre in Knoxville, or the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham. Sao Luiz had a magical, ornate vibe, drenched in history in spite of a renovation 7 years back. The acoustics were fantastic, and we took full advantage. This was the first MBD throwdown in Portugal, and it felt like the people dug.

After the show, we retired to the "oh"tel with our bottle of Jaymo to discuss the decay of Western society and the melting of the arctic ice shelf. Kind of reminded me of our inconvenient truth convo in Glasgow so many moons ago.

As I mentioned yesterday, I've gained a wife, Bdub's gained a son, and Shara and James have become homeowners (D-troit!) since last we rocked the house. I guess these facts make me further realize how much I adore these people.

I woke up at about 10:30 and strolled about snapping way too many photos and sipping the best cafe con leche (lesh???) I've ever had. The day off afforded us all the opportunity to truly see Lisbon in its entirety, and provided a pretty good number of laughs as well. I mean, the night literally ended with watching animal bloopers on Nuno's couch.

Yeah, that just happened.

Needless to say, today was fun, and last night was great. We saw a city with a true place in history, and got to be true tourists in the purest sense of the word. We've had a chance to eat some beautiful food, listen to some gorgeous Fado (pronounced Fadu), and seen our beloved Nuno in his true element. Day off pictures on the way.