Polite punk from the steel city.

Seven Days Away - Syracuse

We woke up the next morning feeling rested, but somewhat beaten and battered, some probably worse than others.  We showered up, ate some delectable bagels, gathered our junk up, and said out goodbyes.  It’s hard to have to leave family, and we all feel like we have a family in Rochester now, although only figuratively for some of us, it still feels the same.

Once we loaded up, we hit the road for Syracuse.  It felt like we were there before we knew it – first stop, the pizza shop.  We hit up “Di Lauros” – a little corner shop that resembled a bakery specializing in crusty Italian bread.  We snacked up and headed to guitar center to meet up with our homey Alec LaBounty – who plays in a new awesome band from Syracuse called Trespassers.  We hung out and grabbed up some strings.  Once Alec got off, we met him and his GF over at Alto Cinco for some delicious Mexican treats.  That place was the real deal.  We got some drinks, some snacks and had a hot sauce party.  We loaded up a few bottles for the road – sorry AC, they were just too damn good to resist, and headed over to the Badlands where we met up with another of our homioes Matt Travers, who plays in a whole bunch of ridiculously good bands. 

It was good to catch up with those dudes – its been too long.  Stoked to see them back in Pittsburgh on 5/23. 

After hearing from a whole bunch of people various things about Badlands, I was fairly anxious to check it out, but it turns out that the space is really awesome.  It’s a little DIY art space that’s a perfect size for small touring bands and it was pretty legit – like had a decent PA setup and all that. 

Vital Times was already setting up when we got there and the dudes from Dead Ends and Fairgrounds were hanging around outside. 

Unfortunately, our dudes in Storm the Bay dropped off the show cause they couldn’t get off work for both our show and the farewell Of Fortune and Fame show [tear…] 2 days later.  So we started things off right at 7:30, and all the kids hanging around out in the streets and sidewalks poured into the badlands and packed the place.  I was a little nervous about this show since it was the only one we had to front money for to secure the venue, but the turnout was great – way better than we could have even hoped for. 

Vital Times played what was amazingly their first ever set in public, but there is no way in hell anyone could have ever guessed that, because they were really really awesome.  I really don’t know what I would even compare those guys to, maybe the Weezer Blue Album on steroids and a few bumps of crank?  It was really awesome.

Up next was Dead Ends – they were a power pop-punk / easycoreish 5 piece and they were really good.  They threw in a cover that everyone knew, and sang along to, including me, but now I can’t remember the name of the song, but it was fun times. 

Fairgrounds played next – their set was intricate like post emo, it was definitely a little more harsh than I was expecting based on what I had heard on their bandcamp page, but it was definitely great.  Their bassist / vocalist was nice enough to let us use their bass cab and help break it in the first day he has owned it, which was rad and Vital Times let us use a badass Marshall cab – so thanks dudes!

We took the stage next and the space and crowd huddled round and made us feel right at home.  It was a really fun set, but god damn was it hot in that little place.  Not just for us, it was just hot in general for everyone, which is why pretty much the entire attendance of the show would pour out onto the streets between bands and pack it back in as soon as the next band started.  Regardless, we had a hell of a time and hope everyone else did too.

Then Rust Belt Lights took the stage – which was the third night in a row we got to see them play an amazing set, sooo lucky us.  This was the first ‘art space’ type venue we played with them, no stage or anything, so it was cool to get up close and sing along to another killer set.

After the show we gathered our shit, squared up and said our goodbyes to Alec, although we knew we’d be seeing him soon.

We didn’t really have a plan or place to stay, so we were kinda standing around like doofuses until we eventually decided to shave some off our drive to Ottawa the next day and head up to Watertown to spend the night. 

We stopped at a gas station and loaded up with auto fuel and alcho fuel.  We got into Watertown and any type of nightlife we could identify looked beater than the Pens, so we decided we were going to slum out in a grimebox motel, but it turns our regardless of how slummy or nice the motel appeared they were all $100+ - so fuck that we said.  TJ found a what looked like cool little camp site about 15 minutes away, so we headed over to the Bedford Creek Marina and Campground to see if we could work something out.  We rolled in around 1:30am, not really knowing what to expect.  We rolled up on the main lodge area which was all locked up and lights off, but there was a sign on the door that gave a number to call in case of an emergency.  So obviously we called it due to our camping needs emergency and an old somewhat confused man answered and told me it was 2, 3, 4am…  I explained we were looking to camp on his lovely grounds and after a few minutes of coercing, he agreed to come down and meet me. 

The old man was way cool after I explained the story and he hooked us up with a cabin for 10 bucks a head and simply asked us one favor, make sure the place still exists the next morning.  We felt pretty confident we could handle that.  After cruising to the back of the campgrounds, we came across our cabin, which was one of 2 in the entire campground.  We jumped out of the car and into 4inch deep puddles surrounding us, which were everywhere for some reason, not sure if they got a downpour the night before, but whatever, it was kinda like swamp lands, but the cabins sat up on a little hill, so they were nice and dry.  And also, these things would loosely be considered cabins…  They looked more like little lawnmower sheds, but fuck it, they had a fire pit and a picnic table and there was nobody around to tell us to shut the hell up in the middle of the night, so we blazed up the fire, mixed of the liquor and listened to the most hilarious 20th century fox saxophone reenactment to ever exist. 

We hung around the fire making moderately amusing jokes and enjoying the outdoors for a while, glad the threatening rain had held off.  Around 3:30, the clouds lifted and the moon lit the place up.  Mostly everyone was already assed out, but TJ and Nick decided to head down to the beach which was only about 500 yards down a wooded slampland path.  Lake Ontario looked really awesome in the bright moonlight and the water was calm like glass.  Hung on the beach for a little while and decided to roll back around 4:00am and things just kept getting better.  Literally the 2nd step on the way back and I caught something out of the corner of my eye that my brain immediately identified as something I didn’t want to step on, but it didn’t recognize what it was until I had a chance to catch my balance and look down.  This was our first froggy friend of the tour.  He was a neat little guy.  I gave him a little nudge, he pissed his pants and hopped away.  We turned and took a few more steps and bam – another frog.  I had a good feeling we were in for a good ol fashion frog party, and we definitely were.  This one was less pissy, so he let us pick him up and model him for a couple quick pics and we took some sweet slowmo videos of him hopping around, which were hilarious to watch.  We found like 20 other frogs on the way back, but the last one was by far the best – this thing was mongo king slob frog.  He was like the size of a softball and he was pretty chill, he didn’t really take leaping too seriously, he was more of a strolling type frog, just kinda walking around, kinda like if biggie smalls was a frog. 

After playing with him for a while we headed back to the cabin to piss the fire out and turn down for the night – we had at least a few hours before the sun gonna come up, we hoped, so we hopped in our sleeping sacks, hit the lights, left the door open and let the woodland sounds put us to sleep.

The Roc Talk - Day 6

So we woke up in Rochester to our newest best friend - Billy.  He is a white lovable fuzzball who loves everything except the mailman apparently… 

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Billy looses his head sometimes, but he was pretty much down to hang out all day every day like a fluffy shoulder parrot, which was pretty awesome.

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We rolled out with a weak running squad that morning. Peepop Brandon’s old dusty knee couldn’t hold it together and after a few blocks NM was completely fed up.  Chris, TJ and Anthony continued on, climbed a pretty brutal hill with some Rocky style steps at the top just for good measure and found this mountain top reservoir with a huge track around it.  The sunshine was cranked and we made our way around.  We ran into a quirky old foreign shirtless man about 3/4th of the way around and he stopped us to ask us a question.  The question was - “Can you please explain to me this thing called the ‘selfie’ - what is all about this selfie?”  Which was a hilariously strange thing to stop a jogging trio to ask, but we decided to stop and chat, and we gave him an interactive selfie demo…

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Then he continued to ask us about ourselves and tell us about himself.  He was stoked that we graduated college and shared stories about how when he worked for Xerox and Jobs stole their trade secrets and started one of the biggest companies ever out in Palo Alto.  He seemed pretty bitter about it, which was kinda ironic, cause we had just taken a selfie with him on an iPhone.  He told us we were the last of the Mohicans, but I’m pretty sure he meant to say Brohicans.

We made our way back, showered up and headed out for some lakeside dining - we hit up the Pelican’s Nest.  The place was rad.  They had a huge outdoor deck overlooking Lake Ontario and the docks.

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The waitress managed to mess up nearly everything we ordered, but we didn’t mind, we were busy watching this giant crane mine giant globs of mud from the bottom of the lake and unload it all over the barge.  No idea what they were doing, but it looked like a crane dropping mountains of shit all over itself, which was amusing…  

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Then we headed out and grabbed some ice cream for desert and headed over to the beach.

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There were psychopaths in bathing suits and bikinis hanging out like they were in the Caribbean, but they were clearly mistaken cause it was god damn freezing, but it was good to feel some sand under our feet.

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After gettin our beach bods on, we went back, chillaxed with some Always Sunny until it was time to head to the Bug Jar.

The Bug Jar was a really really awesome divey type place in the middle of a cool little neighborhood on the outskirts of the city.

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It reminded me of what the Smiling Moose used to look like a little bit with giant hanging bugs gyrating around over the bar…  The front bar was awesome - the back music room was really awesome, all around great.

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We met up with the dudes from Hideout, Sexy Teenagers and Envious Disguise, who were all really awesome, as well as Tim Avery, who was nothing short of awesome allowing me to set the show up and helping out with everything.  

We watched the Pens shit their pants in Game 7, which was a bummer, but music started nearly immediately after, which didn’t leave us with any time to sulk, which was cool.

Envious Disguise took the stage first - they reminded me of a Dookie / Duderanch era pop punk trio, which was awesome.  They even threw in a Greenday cover to follow suite, which was cool.

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Then Sexy Teenagers took the stage next, who are, in fact, not teen agers, and the sexy part is probably questionable, but they did know how to rock - super energetic punk rock that was really fun to watch.

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Up next was Hideout - really awesome melodic hardcore which reminded me of the first Such Gold album a little, which was really awesome.  They added some grit to the lineup and they were really rad dudes. Glad we were able to play with them.

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Then we took the stage and low and behold, some of the awesome people we met in Buffalo the night before made the hour drive to Syracuse to see us and Rust Belt Lights again, which was really really cool.  This show was really fun.  The stage didn’t leave much space up in front, which was fun cause we had to get a little cozy and avoid knocking each others teeth out while playing…

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Rust Belt Lights rounded out the show and we were stoked to see them play for the second night in a row.  There were a bunch of kids singing along with every word at this show as well.  Their set had just as much or more emotion as their hometown show the previous night - which was awesome to see.

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A bunch of the new friends we had made in Buffalo and Rochester stayed to hang out at the Bug Jar with us for a while.  Some of them had work at 8:00am the next day and an hour drive back to Buffalo, yet still hung out till almost 1:00am.  They really have their priorities straight in upstairs New York.

We played a game of billiards to settle the night, but after a bad beat, TJ tried to kick down a brick wall and shoot through the ceiling via climbing the green pole and Brandon drown his sorrows in 48 blue tubalubas or whatever fruity shitty blue drinks he was drinking, which coincidentally turned him into a red tornado or disaster.

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It was about 30 minutes till close so we busted out and into Marshalls right next door for some late night eats and another round or two of drinks.  Strangely competitive gaming continued, darts, pinball and then Brandon got into a fight with a mountain of ketchup.  It was either a fight or some kind of strange and demented coitis.  Either way, it was quite disturbing.

Last call, they kicked our asses out and one last competition for the night - a jumping contest?  yeah, why wouldn’t we be doing that.

The ride home was relatively short, yet, during the ride Brandon managed to climb from the front see to the 3rd row of seats, crushed everyone’s bones and junk in the process, shit his yoga pants, and fall out of the car into the street.

At that point, we figured it was about time to call it a night - thus, that is what it was called.

Five on Five - Buffalo

Woke up on a stage in the basement of the Crawlspace listening to Chris’s head crinkling around on his dust possibly free pillow, surrounded by 37 half drank water bottles and solo cups of jack.  Did our best to clean up the junk and finished off a few games of foos for good measure.  We headed upstairs to grab our gear and load up.  Carefully avoiding trampling on the Reverse the Curse corpses and various shrapnel strewn around the space by disco ball light was challenging, but we managed to get our gear and hit the road for Buffalo.  

Since we were unable to locate a shower amongst the arcade games, mountains of musical equipment and various lightless closets, hallways and mask filled cavers of the Crawlspace, we decided to hit the gym on the way to Buffalo.

We rolled up, lunked out, showered up and slunk out.  Feeling all buffed and beefed, we rolled into Buffalo and found our way to Broadway Joes.

The place was awesome - garage door front completely opened the place to the street, they had a back deck area, the stage and bar were tight.  Anthony Carluccio was already there getting things set up and worked out, as were the Harbour dudes who had rolled down from Toronto.

It was great to finally meet Anthony in person - he was such a huge help and setting everything up and it was cool to shoot the shit and talk music with him while we got organized and waited for the other bands to roll in.

Apparently there was a shop next door that sold a whole sack of doughnuts for like $1.07.  So everyone creampuffed up and the Toronto dudes schooled us on the Sushi house we are going to be playing on the 19th, awesome Toronto restaurants, and how to outsmart the border patrol.

Reverse the Curse apparently didn’t all kill each other the night before, cause they showed up soon enough, as did the dudes in On The Cinder and Rustbelt Lights.

Harbour took the stage and kicked things off we a super tight early-mid 00s pop-punk sound.  They were really tight and we were pleasantly surprised to find the sound at Broadway Joes was just awesome.  Everything was mixed up just right.  Harbours songs were all really good and they threw in a Starting Line cover for good measure. 

Next up was On the Cinder.  They are just a 3 piece punk rock powerhouse.  If they were a band back in the early 00s, they would most likely have been signed to A-F records.  Which was amusing cause their guitar player looked EXACTLY like Mark Code - same height, same build, same face, same hat - it was really ‘eerie’ cause we had just seen Mark in Erie 2 days ago - haaaaaaaaa.

The dudes in Reverse took the stage next and like they had been doing consistently for the past 4 days, just killed.  It was slightly depressing that this would be our last show with those guys.  We had to part ways, as they were picking up a new leg with Signals Midwest (#jelly) and heading back to start in Pittsburgh.  But on the flip side, this was our first of what is sure to be an awesome handful of shows with Rust Belt Lights - which we were really really excited about.

We took the stage next, and after jumping up and scrambling to get ready, I looked out from the stage and god damn the place was packed.  It was really awesome to see some of the people that had came to the show in Erie come out again in Buffalo just 2 days later.  Our new friend Michael Silvestri, who had come out in Erie to snap some shots came out again to grab a few more - seriously can’t wait to see them.  It was awesome to see Anthony from the Traditional come out to hand again and I was blown away to see Michael - the drummer of Pentimento come out.  It just goes to show you how awesome the scene in Buffalo is - it really seems like everyone comes out, hangs out and genuinely supports each other.

So after we played, Real People took the stage and god damn.  I had been listening to their Bandcamp recordings for a while, but their live set just blew em out of the water - just really good with more emotion than a recording can convey.  Really want those guys to come to Pittsburgh soon.

Then Rust Belt Lights took the stage to blow the place up and they did just that.  They sounded so good and played a bunch of songs off their new album Religion and My Ex - which is just bonkers good.  There was a pile of kids singing along to every word and everyone in the place was having a great time.

Although every show we played on tour was just absurdly fun, this was probably the most fun show we’ve played since we played with I Am the Avalanche, The Swellers, and Turnover about 2 months ago, and definitely our best and biggest show every outside of Pittsburgh.

After the show, we hung around the bar for a minute and said thanks and our goodbyes to all the new awesome people we had met.  Steve and TJ raided Joey’s vinyl collection for some new wax.

We decided to book it to Rochester after the show to meet up with Chris’ sister Lauren, who graciously allowed us to infest her lovely home for a few days.  We rolled up in what seemed like no time and were warmly welcomed by Lauren with a tray of assorted cheeses and pepperonis, and some Gennesse, which we immediately devoured.

Went to sleep that night feeling that we had actually accomplished something special and excited to spend some QT with family in a new city.

Tour Day Four - Girard Ohio

Woke up at Tims place feeling like we were ready for more running but less rum. We all donned our nicest white shirts and rolled out like a tough guy jogging club. We weaves through some cool neighborhoods and hit a path along Lake Erie. Sun was shining and our pale skin was glowing in the warm light. Most of us made it the 4 miles. 
We showered up back at Tim’s and headed out for some nooner snacks - we hit up a place called Avanti’s. When we got there we found that there were already some moms partying pretty damn hard with various bottles of BYOB. We figured, when in Rome, so we cracked into our supply as well. Nick ordered “the hotdog” like he was having mental struggles.. We all smashed our snacks and TJ realized he left his card at the bar the night before, which happens way more often then he actually remembers it, so we booked it back to Rum Runners and decided to slam another Rum Runner for the road.

So like 10 minutes out of Girard, we saw Brian posted a message in the FB event for that nights show saying the power was out and the show was going to be canceled, which we weren’t going to let happen.  We ran some extensions and mustered up enough juice to host a show. Everything was back on track and the bands started rolling in.
Everyone was rad and met up with a dude who is also named TJ and coincidentally liked all the same Pgh bands from back in the day.  The TJs actually even played on the same show like 7 years ago when our TJ was in Frame to the Floor and their TJ was in A Voice Like Rhetoric. Crazy tiny little world. 
Severini kicked off the show with some really cool and dynamic instrumental jams.  Don’t think we have ever played a show with a xylophone player before, so that was rad.
Then Distractions took the stage. Apparently they are a 4 piece, but both times I’ve seen them, they played as a 3. I’d love to see them as a 4 though, cause they remind me of a kinda small brown bikey type vibe, which is rad. 

Then Kid Detective, who is typically a 5 piece, took the stage as a 3 piece, which was impressive because the were harsh and sounded pretty damn tight even missing 2 members. They got that glassjaw-ish vibe going on which I love.
Then we jumped up and blasted through our jams. Apparently there was an electrical fire going on downstairs while we were playing or something, but it wasn’t able to stop us…  No technical difficulties this time. The set was real fun, we thought it sounded pretty tight - hope everyone else did too.
Then Reverse the Curse took the stage and I think it was honestly the best I’ve seen them yet, which is tough to say cause they are always super tight. Everyone was stoked on their set. 
Then Daydreamer took the stage and barreled through a really awesome and energetic set. They had a Thursday-ish early 00s screamo throwback vibe going, which was awesome - fun to watch and sounded great. 

Finally, Outcomes took the stage to close the show out. Unfortunately, the show was running long due to all the power issues that were going on and they had to cut their set short, which was a real bummer. I mean really short, 2 songs total.  This was their 2nd show ever and the 2 they played were awesome. Sounded like Nothing Gold Can Stay - which was really rad. Hope to see more from those guys. 
After the show we hit up Chestys next door.  Ok, we had already hit it up before the show, and basically in between every band, so we were feeling right at home by this point. Pens shit in their hats, but that wasn’t going to ruin our time.  We bullied the jukebox with the RVTC dudes and flexed our billiards skills in some mixed partner matchups.  Things got pretty wild. The bartender was really nice. She sent us on our way with a garbage bag filled with popcorn and we headed back to the Crawlspace.  Brian was cool enough to let us and RVTC crash there for the night. 

We kept the party going,  we really had no choice, the place has a nuts game room with a Tornado table. So we foosed hard and boozed hard. Brandon’s nose exploded, Freddy Kruger fucked with us, some kinda all out warfare broke out upstairs between the RVTC dudes, I’m pretty sure mortal shells and hand grenades were involved…

We all found a spot and crashed out eventually.  It was a doozie for the books for sure.

Erie PA - Day #3

We ended up rolling into Erie right around 3:00 and met up with our dude Anthony Anglikowski - it was awesome to meet him in public - he was clutch in helping us set up the show.  Actually he basically did everything 0 like before I knew it he had a bunch of really rad bands added to the show and was promoting the show to get people out.  If you are ever going through Erie - you need to meet up with Anthony.

After a few minutes, the dudes from Northern Weather rolled up as well as some other friends and our homie Tim to go exploring in the Erie gorge.

we had a pretty raw time out there - Isaac from Northern Weather ruined his precious suede shoes when he fell down a waterfall and it just went downhill from there…  we slid around in the stream, climbed some shit, accidentally killed a snake, which we feel really really bad about, found a ‘kinda’ cave, and a rope swing over a waterfall, pretty much all the shit that you would ever want to do out in the woods…  Stefan Brandow brought a legit camera along for the ride and captured some of the excursion.

 

we found our way out of the woods and headed to Basement Transmissions to load in. While unloading, we ran into a dude that is friends with one of our best homies Eric Downs and used to play with him in a band called The Jungle - super random, but awesome to meet him.  He runs a studio up there above or close by Basement Transmissions - so anyone in Erie, if you know who I’m talking about, let me know.

Basement Transmissions is a really rad little art space close by to a bunch of restaurants and other shit, so it was pretty tight.

Bungler musta been caught up doing something strange super intensely, cause they were late getting there, so Anthony and the dudes of Northern Weather kicked off the show.  It was awesome to see them play and super glad they were able to fill for Sonder, who had to drop off the show.  They ran into a few technical difficulties, which turned out to be the theme of the night, especially for bassists, but their set was really rad - great group of dudes.

Bungler rolled up as soon as Norther Weather finished, so they loaded right onto the stage and took the second slot.  So I can safely say Bungler is the most intense 3 piece I’ve ever seen.  It’s very rare that you see a 3 piece with a singer that only sings - but it doesn’t seem that those dudes prefer doing anything following any standards.  Anyway - they basically went bonkers and caused havoc for 30 minutes, which was really interesting and pretty damn entertaining.  Their guitarist had an entire bass rig, plus a full guitar stack split - I’m still not sure what the fuck he was doing or how, but it was pretty legit - sounded really full.  Basically dudes went nuts and trashed the place, which I am totally for.  This was what was left after their set: 

After the carnage was cleared, one of my personal favorite bands took the stage - the Traditional from Buffalo.  We were supposed to play 2 different shows with them in Pittsburgh over the past few years, but unfortunately, something super shitty and unavoidable ended up happening each time and we had to drop both shows, but I’m really glad that I have had the chance to catch them on both of those shows.  They get better every time I see them, which is really hard because they were fucking awesome the first time I saw them.  Even though there were already 6 bands on the show, I basically forced them on because they couldn’t play the Buffalo date of this tour with them, and I’m a selfish prick, but they are just too good not to try to see if its within the realm of possibility.  Super glad it worked out - they were down to make the drive to Erie and Anthony was down to make it a 7 band show.  Anyway, their set was nothing short of phenomenal.  Everything was super tight and just so good.  I feel like these guys could blow up at any minute, and I’m really glad I was able to see them 3 times in little DIY venues before it’s too late.  They played a song off a new album that they are working on, which was just as good or better than the most recent few they released.  I’m already eager to get my mitts on it when it drops.

Its really hard to play right after one of your favorite bands and right before another one of your favorite bands, but we took the stage next. We had a great time doing it and met some really awesome people who had came to check us out after seeing some of our videos utube, which was surprising but really awesome.

The dudes in Reverse the Curse played next and as always was just too good.  They just sound so damn big - its just great.  Love watching Joey just brutalize the percussion.  seems like everyone was as stoked as us to see them, so this is the best pic we have of their set - haha

Up next was Skylime - going into their set I really didn’t know what to expect - but they blew me away.  They were super fun to watch, regardless of what you are into, it’d be hard not to have a good time at one of their shows.  Everyone got rowdy and had a great time dancing.

Archway closed out the show with a killer set.  Those guys are working on a new album that I am really excited for.  I’ve heard a few snippets thus far and it sounds so legit.  Hearing the full songs live was awesome - stellar set and great way to close out the show.

Then our man Tim took us to this cool bar right on the lake and we for some reason all decided to slug rum runners.  After the brain freeze subsided, we decided to run up through a few more.  Turns out the place was actually called Rum Runners, so it actually makes more sense now.

After that, Anthony commandeered a pirate ship, TJ plundered a greasy human skull and we rolled back to Tims to crash out for the night.

 

The good time just keep rollin.

early onset awesome

first night out of town turned out to be pretty god damn awesome.  after a solid show at Roboto with our good pals in Barons [who just seriously kill and remind me of all the awesome bands + how much I loved the pgh music scene back when the original Roboto was young and thriving] as well as the dudes in Firestarter [can’t wait for the new EP to drop], PostSeason and a band we met from Staten Island called Everything Ever [super catchy solid jams] who jumped on the show late cause our homieos in Skull Kid had to drop - we packed up our shit for two handfuls of days on the road.

after 47 minutes of trying to get turned around with a trailer in a tight alley - we hit the road.  stopped off at Melt to meet up with our good friend Elizabeth Siegel before hitting the venue and crushed some of the most ridiculous grilled cheese sandwiches that were ever dreamed up.

we got to Now That’s Class! just in time for Max Stern of Signals Midwest’s solo set.  dude is the real deal.  amazing artist, amazing song writer and amazing all around dude.  If you miss Signals Midwest when they come to Pgh on 5/14 you are seriously fucking up.  

the show came together pretty well despite having a few of the Cleveland based bands dropping off.  we were pretty bummed that the dudes in Worship This had to drop because they are just phenomenal, but we were able to find some dudes in a band called Hot Ham and Cheese who were willing to fill, which was really awesome of them considering I asked them like 18 hours before the show.

so those dudes played next and then Reverse the Curse played a seriously killer set.  So stoked to get to see those dudes play for the next handful of shows.  

Then we played some songs less horribly than we feel we usually do, so, cool for us i guess…

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then we rounded out the show with the dudes from I mentioned previously - Everything Ever.  Turned out that they had a day off after Pittsburgh, so we offered to jump on the show in Cleveland since Daylight is the dream had to drop, and because I actually just really wanted to see them play again.  They took us up on the offer and I’m really glad they did.  they played a seriously amazing set and I’ve had a few of their songs stuck in my head ever since.  those guys are super cool dudes and they are going to be out on the road for a few weeks, so if you have the chance - definitely get out to see them.  they quickly became one of our favorite new bands and dudes.

also - Now That’s Class was cool enough to give every band member 3 drink tickets, which could be redeemed for a whole shit ton of different drinks, but 2 of those on the list were 24oz OEs and 24oz Colt 45s - so obviously we slugged some of those and hung hard for a while with everyone after the show.

Then Elizabeth as cool enough to let us stay with her at her grandparents place - which was completely amazing.  it was literally the nicest place i have ever actually been inside. it was literally a mansion, like one so big it was hard to find each other in the place.  just simply awesome.  we literally cant thank her enough for all her hospitality.

got a good night rest and then woke up and took run for a few miles along this cool path along a river through like wooded neighborhoods and stuff - it was tight.

showered up and headed to meet up with some more friends.  we stumbled across a cool old timey town and discovered the Chagrin Falls which was real cool.  resisted the temptation to jump out of a tree over the falls, which was hard, but probably for the best.

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We finally said our goodbyes and packed ourselves back in the whip to head to Erie.

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Super stoked for the show tonight and trying to get there early enough to go explore a gorge with Anthony, some friends and some of the other bands playing tonight.  

seriously amazing start to this run.  things honestly couldn’t have gone any better up to this point.  

blue skies and trees turning green before our eyes.

excited for what the future holds

We’re goin’ tourin’! OH, PA, NY, Canada - see you soon.
Starting tomorrow, we’ll be stopping through Ohio, PA, New York, and Canada. On our way to and from Pouzza Fest in Montreal. DATESMay 8 | Pittsburgh, PA | @ The Mr. Roboto ProjectMay 9 | Cleveland, OH | @ Now That’s ClassMay 10 | Erie, PA | @ Basement Transmission May 11 | Youngstown, OH | @ The Crawlspace Concert ClubMay 12 | Buffalo, NY | @ Broadway Joe’sMay 13 | Rochester, NY | @ The BugjarMay 14 Syracuse, NY | @ Badlands May 15 Ottawa | @ Avant-Garde BarMay 18 Montreal | @ Pouzza Fest, St. CiboireMay 19 Toronto | @ Izakaya Sushi House

We’re goin’ tourin’! OH, PA, NY, Canada - see you soon.

Starting tomorrow, we’ll be stopping through Ohio, PA, New York, and Canada. On our way to and from Pouzza Fest in Montreal. 
DATES
May 8 | Pittsburgh, PA | @ The Mr. Roboto Project
May 9 | Cleveland, OH | @ Now That’s Class
May 10 | Erie, PA | @ Basement Transmission 
May 11 | Youngstown, OH | @ The Crawlspace Concert Club
May 12 | Buffalo, NY | @ Broadway Joe’s
May 13 | Rochester, NY | @ The Bugjar
May 14 Syracuse, NY | @ Badlands
 May 15 Ottawa | @ Avant-Garde Bar
May 18 Montreal | @ Pouzza Fest, St. Ciboire
May 19 Toronto | @ Izakaya Sushi House

We decided to roll five deep and add guitarist and good time specialist Nick Miller Martin
But who is this new guy, really?
Anonymous Mace Ballard Tumblr Reporter explains, via in-depth interview:
AMBTR: Why did you join Mace Ballard?
NM: My previous band had fizzled out. I was out with TJ one night and I was telling him how I’d love to get in a new project. I asked him to keep his ears open for me. A few days later he invited me to join MB. It’s been pretty fun ever since.
AMBRTR: Guitar is a complicated instrument. There are at least 6 strings and several frets. Why have you chosen to be a guitarist?
NM: I really don’t know. It was probably a huge mistake now that I’m thinking about it, but I started playing when I was 11. I picked it up kinda quick and have really enjoyed writing songs ever since.
AMBTR: What are your official aliases? (describe each one)
NM: My real name is Nick Martin. I use Nick Miller sometimes cause I had a couple friends think that was my real name by mistake, so I stuck with it as a joke.  And a long time ago I used to do an acoustic solo act under the names Candywrapper and then Nicholas James.
AMBTR: Tell us The last 5 bands you listened to.
NM: Grand Piano, Speedy Ortiz, Modest Mouse, Sun Kil Moon, Legs Like Tree Trunks.

We decided to roll five deep and add guitarist and good time specialist Nick Miller Martin

But who is this new guy, really?

Anonymous Mace Ballard Tumblr Reporter explains, via in-depth interview:

AMBTR: Why did you join Mace Ballard?

NM: My previous band had fizzled out. I was out with TJ one night and I was telling him how I’d love to get in a new project. I asked him to keep his ears open for me. A few days later he invited me to join MB. It’s been pretty fun ever since.

AMBRTR: Guitar is a complicated instrument. There are at least 6 strings and several frets. Why have you chosen to be a guitarist?

NM: I really don’t know. It was probably a huge mistake now that I’m thinking about it, but I started playing when I was 11. I picked it up kinda quick and have really enjoyed writing songs ever since.

AMBTR: What are your official aliases? (describe each one)

NM: My real name is Nick Martin. I use Nick Miller sometimes cause I had a couple friends think that was my real name by mistake, so I stuck with it as a joke.  And a long time ago I used to do an acoustic solo act under the names Candywrapper and then Nicholas James.

AMBTR: Tell us The last 5 bands you listened to.

NM: Grand Piano, Speedy Ortiz, Modest Mouse, Sun Kil Moon, Legs Like Tree Trunks.

"Evolution of a Song" is an observational documentary about our latest song, "As a Matter of Stats." We started this blog to write about our writing and recording and haven’t posted in a while, so consider this a catch up session. The video includes the studio recording, the writing, rewriting, new ideas, scrapped ideas, and all of the little forks in the road that happen as a song evolves. There’s no one way to do it, this is just how we do.