US Tour Diary – 2nd Week

Good people, the 2nd week of the US tour diary for you to read !
In the meantime get ready for what we’re up to with La Colonie de Vacances :
06/26/2013 | FR | BORDEAUX | Rock School Barbey
06/27/2013 | FR | TOULOUSE | Sièstes Électroniques Festival

04/01/2013 | NASHVILLE, TN

The Owl Farm is a DIY space in the outskirts of Nashville. An office space turned into a venue, the door right next to it is a church, some obscure Christian cult. We get there around 7pm and the venue is closed, so we drive around town. The Music City, as it is called, seems to have a crossroad of 7/8 bars including Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville… Every bar has some band play some FM-rock or country, we grab some Indian food and head back to the venue. We load in and the band Altar Of Complaints plays, we play then a band from Baton Rouge called Baby Boy plays and finally Gnarwhal. It’s a strange place and there seems to be a strange combination of people there and playing even though the show is fun. Gnarwhal are very impressive, the promoter Tyler is a very talented drummer, and we’re definitely looking forward to seeing them again some time soon. Jesse from Altar Of Complaints takes us back to his place; the house he shares with 4 other people is also a small rehearsal space/venue. It definitely feels like Tennessee or what I would imagine anyway, white men barely out of teenage-hood struggling with different jobs all that mixed with southern culture. The walls have Xeroxed punk-rock show posters as well as anti-birth control ads and other weird stuff. While one is listening to screamo in his room, one is playing country style violin… the mash up is rather awful. We wake up to the smell of bacon in the kitchen, they kindly offer breakfast and we head to Georgia. There was a hint of melancholy and a sense that they were left behind, something I could hardly put into words.

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04/02/2013 | ATLANTA, GA

We get our friend Max at the Airport. He’s an old buddy from middle school who now works for the state housing department. It’s really cool to get him on board. Under The Couch is a venue inside Georgia Tech campus. Compared to last night, the surroundings are quite different, looking for the venue; we walk across the “food corner” : a perfect selection of American fast food so the students can “eat”. We pay 5 dollars to unload our gear and then wait for the show to start. The show is supposed to be broadcasted on the university radio called WREK. We also meet another old friend Antoine who now lives in Atlanta, he pours beer into soda cups so no one notices, alcohol is prohibited on the premises. Two girls under the name Little Boxes start playing. They play an Alanis Morissette cover and I decide to stroll around campus and end up watching PSG-FC Barcelona on a huge screen close to the food corner. While the whole campus smells like Subway, Life At Sea plays. Then, we set up and wait for 45 minutes so they set up all the mics and prepare the broadcast. The sound people do not seem to know what they are doing and by the time we listen to the CD they burnt for us we’re pretty sure they don’t know. Of course, we play when half of the audience is gone. The college boys take us back to their place after a nice Chinese restaurant, Matt, his roommate and Aaron are most definitely on the other side of the American system compared to the Nashville boys. They all study engineering in different specialties and seem to have a future planned out for themselves. They let us sleep as long as we want.

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04/03/2013 | WEST COLUMBIA, SC

Standing outside Conundrum Music Hall, some guy tells me this is one of the most conservative town in the most conservative state in the United States, I’m not sure it is true, but judging from the confederate flag right in front of the South Carolina state senate, I’m going to trust him on this one. Anyway, Tom who owns and runs the Conundrum is great. The club is perfect and the eclectic music that comes through makes it even better. Unfortunately the venue that night is poorly attended, I spend most of the night out talking with a nice chap who tells me a little bit about the area and even shares his family’s story. His grand father was a drunk that used to beat his family and one day his wife tells him that if he comes back to the house drunk again she’ll leave and take the kids with her, inevitably that occurs rather sooner than later. As the family has found refuge in his great-grand father’s house, the grand father came drunk as ever violently claiming for his family, the great-grand father couldn’t bear with it anymore and shot down his daughter’s husband on the front lawn. Our trip is going rather smoothly, after the show we drive to Tom’s beautiful house in the woods. Chili and wine as well as interesting conversation make for a good night. Tom trying to bring challenging music to West Columbia is probably a struggle but it’s definitely worth fighting for.

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04/04/2013 | ATHENS, GA

Back in Georgia, we eat and chill in Athens until the club opens, we meet with Joel, our host for the evening and also an active member of the Athens music scene, playing in Cinemecanica, engineering and mastering. Basically a really good guy! The Caledonia Lounge is a nice club, owned and run by musicians. The poster has a boy dressed up as Napoleon bleeding, presumably because he’s been slapped in the face, strange for us but it’s one of the rare posters on the tour. Nurture starts off, us next and then Lazer/Wulf closes the bill. There’s a decent crowd here tonight, and the music the bands are playing is pretty different, the people are paying close attention to what we are doing. I meet some of the people from the band Man Ray. It feels like the first real show in the last couple of days. After shooting the shit with all the people, bands, bartenders, promoters etc we hit Joel’s house, the living room is a control room, a mixing board and outboard gear make for the usual coffee table and TV. We talk Seinfeld, music and finally crash late. The next day we go out for lunch with Joel and enjoy a glimpse of the Georgia sun.

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04/05/2013 | GREENSBORO, NC

North Carolina! The sweet suburban life surrounding us as we drive through the neighborhood looking for the TYP Haus. We park in front of the “Haus” where two guys are blowing up firecrackers taped with eggs filled with confetti: “I should stop but this is way too much fun” our host is an exuberant hyperactive young student. The two hosts were fooling around with a mandolin and a toy guitar on the front porch when we arrived. He now describes the recycled furniture on his front porch and points out it was made by his father a “redneck weirdo sculptor”. The house is enigmatic, just a small living room is open on the corridor and kitchen where the shows take place. The exuberant excitement all over the place is pretty crazy due to the hosts of the evening that are all over the place. There’s a certain tiredness in my mood, I’m not really up for socializing. The show is a lot of fun. The audience is jammed into the room, and the show is very energetic with an enjoyable communion. Nevertheless drinking is still the audience’s main concern and we’re wondering if we’ll sleep here on the floor or grab a motel room. There’s a great mix of punk kids, goth ladies, wannabe hipsters, and random dudes, all getting along and interacting. To our surprise by 1:30 in the morning everyone leaves and we’re able to set up a camping site in the living room/stage. The hard wood floor is particularly soothing tonight.

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04/06/2013 | WASHINGTON DC

We get to La Casa late. Really late. The Richmond show was unfortunately cancelled, I called the promoter when we were in Chicago, he said he might be going to a festival but the show was still on. It seemed like he knew exactly what he was doing. So we tried to find another show and Melissa saved us on this one. Pierre who booked the tour has been in contact with her to book a show in DC. She worked at Dischord and plays in Soccer Team but we’ll get back to this later. I step in La Casa and introduce myself. We proceed to unloading the gear directly with kind help from everyone. We set up directly and play. It feels kind of rushed. La Casa is a community center in an old church and the show is a benefit show for radio CPR. Stypex is on right after us, as Antelope fans it’s really great to meet two of the members (Mike and Justin), this band is also a three piece with Amanda on drums, it’s their first set ever and it’s very promising. I hope to hear this again some time soon. We load and leave before Mind Over Matter Music Over Mind plays, to eat and go over to Melissa and Dennis’ place to sleep. Moussa our waiter at the diner joint speaks French and they check our ID’s twice before we can order a drink, thinking our ID’s are fake, or I don’t know what they’re doing. Anyway, the conversation with Dennis and Melissa is great. It’s always a fantastic feeling to meet the right people in town. Sadly, it’s our last night with Maxime. Really nice to have him here on tour!

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04/07/2013 | WASHINGTON DC

We get up to go to the airport to drop Max off and get another good friend, Julien. We met Julien 5 years ago when he set up a show for us in Limoges. He’s quite a character and I’m quite excited to see how this is going to work out, it should be incredibly fun. After we leave Dulles, we set our minds to visiting the Washington Monument, White House before heading to the Comet Ping-Pong for sound-check. The problem is that things don’t turn out exactly how we planned. I’m sitting at the back chatting along with Julien. Arthur gets the Washington Monument in the GPS. But when I see the Orioles stadium, I tell Pierre who is driving that unless they’ve been transferred to DC, we’re in Baltimore… And it turns out there’s a Washington monument in Bmore. Anyway after driving for an hour or so more the tension builds in the car. We get to DC and still have time to visit the White House and stroll quickly around the historic center of the city before getting back to Dennis and Melissa’s place to meet Soccer Team. We get to Comet Ping Pong, a particular venue combining ping pong, pizza and live music. Soccer Team sound check and starts the show, they play in front of a nice crowd. We set up and play to half of the crowd that was there earlier. That kind of ruins the show for us, then Dubpixel plays in front of nobody. Even though we have been very influenced by Dischord we can’t help but think the scene became bored. We get back and talk with Dennis and have a good time. I have mixed feelings about DC, on one hand it was fantastic to meet so many important people for us (guys from Antelope, Chad Clark, Ian Svenonius at our show…) and on the another hand it was frustrating to fail to make any impact music wise at all. Then again what was I thinking?

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