On Record Store Day, This Piano Plays itself overloaded their tour van full of friends and fans and bussed everyone to Athens for their show at Caledonia Lounge with Kebert Xela. Clint and I hitched a ride and came along for the adventure. We bounced around Athens and hit up bars, record shops, and second hand stores during the day with everyone before catching the show that night. It was a fun-filled, epic sort of day trip, not returning to Atlanta until well after 5am that night.
Photos by Clint Miller
- Posted by Davy Minor on April 26, 2009 at 6:42 pm
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- Posted by Amanda Locke on January 27, 2009 at 4:33 am
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This little blog has been trucking along for 2 years now, so we are going to celebrate next weekend with some really great music. The show is completely free and is going down at our favourite DIY venue in Atlanta, the WonderRoot Community Art Center. The lineup:
So let us thank you for reading by having a great time at our party. Things get started around 9pm next Saturday, January 24th. See you there!
- Posted by Davy Minor on January 17, 2009 at 7:14 pm
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On The Road With TPPI/KX Day 4 & 5: (Saturday, Sunday, & Wrap-Up): The Harder You Cry, The Sooner It Will Be Over
Saturday was the only day of tour that the bands had no show, so we headed to a movie theater to catch The Dark Knight as soon as we woke up. It was alright, but that Keith Ledger guy is a terrible actor isn’t he? Just kidding. Seriously though, I was pretty sick of the hype already but I doubt anyone could come out of seeing that movie thinking it was bad, so jump on the bandwagon.
We headed out of Lynchburg late in the afternoon and traveled about halfway to our Sunday night destination, crashing for the night at a cheap hotel in the middle-of-nowhere Tennessee. We hung out in the room and watched TV and got a little wasted. The next morning we jumped back on the road and made our way Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
- Posted by Davy Minor on July 25, 2008 at 3:57 am
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We started the day with another Cracker Barrel stop, which has become the official breakfast place of the tour. After that is was time to hit the road again. The fact that a touring band spends a majority of their time in their transportation was something I knew before this, but I don’t think I fully appreciated that until about this point. Being in such a close proximity to various other humans for an extended period of time, where there is no escape and you have to deal with everyone else’s idiosyncrasies, it is an abnormal scenario that can lead to a wide range of outcomes. So far, it has been the perfect conditions for a constantly growing comradery between all involved.
As we were approaching our destination, we were listening to various sing-along sort of songs like Tom Petty hits, Beatles songs, ironically hilarious rap joints, and whatever else while the two bands were jamming again on their percussion toys and the melodica. Riding along the road in a place I had never been before while everyone is singing and laughing and having such a great time, well, it made me wonder how some people can live a normal, 9-5, straight laced sort of life. I mean I just felt so lucky and happy to be savouring this strongly positive experience. I can’t recommend going on tour enough.
We arrived in Lynchburg, Virginia in mid-afternoon and hung out at the house we were staying at that night. This was the hometown of Kebert Xela‘s Chris Howe, and we were greeted as liberators because of it. If you don’t know, Lynchburg is the home of the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, so there was certainly an aura of the so-called “Culture Wars” in the town, and we were quickly co-opted into the seemingly tight knit counter-culture contingent.
Kebert Xela‘s historical ties to the town proved to be an asset for the show, as the small coffee shop the bands played in was packed. After two lightly populated shows, it was great to have a respectably larger audience for these guys. This Piano Plays Itself‘s set had to overcome some technical difficulties, but they showed these Virginia folks how we do it in the A. Kebert Xela were the superstars for this one, commanding an enthusiastic crowd. It was truly a heroes welcome. After the show, we all returned to the house where we were crashing at that hosted a rather large post-show party. Lynchburg is certainly not the sort of place I would ever want to live, but the kids there received us with style and grace, so I’ve got nothing but love for them.
Enjoy some videos I took from the night:
This Piano Plays Itself:
- Posted by Davy Minor on July 20, 2008 at 2:27 am
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I woke up fairly early Thursday morning after only getting about 4 hours of sleep, but after chilling out with our gracious hosts, we hit up Cracker Barrel and headed to Greenville, NC. The drive across the state of North Carolina would end up taking us close to 8 hours to accomplish. The mood inside was a bit more low key than the first day, with people trading off naps and chilling out with video games or Mad Libs. We hit up a Wal-Mart halfway through and picked up some percussive toys and the two bands had primal drum circle plus melodica jam sessions, often playing along with accompanying music from the ipod.
As we approached the venue, the place looked like a ghost town. The area was made up of old run-down commercial buildings and very little signs of other human beings nearby. We parked and walked up to the door, and found this:
One of the things that interested me most about this trip was seeing what trials and tribulations an unknown touring band has to go through when they are just starting out. With an ever increasing amount of competition, rising gas prices, and a limited amount of venues, it has to be difficult for a band to tour and make an impression on people. I imagined it to be quite a battle to wage to grow fans outside of your own city, and two days into the tour, the challenges became crystal clear.
We contacted “Jeff” and found out the show had been moved to a weird alcohol store in a shopping center called 21 Eleven Beer and Wine. I have never seen a place like this before, carrying very high end microbrew beers only for cheap prices and being pretty much a specialty store that had been hosting other shows as well.
Jeff and the few other locals who came out for this one turned out to be cool dudes, but with a bill completely filled with obscure out-of-towners, there wasn’t much in the way of an audience except the other bands. Apparently the Spazzatorium was facing typical problems a DIY venue faces when it is no longer under the radar (think ISP Space, 585, 141, etc). The two bands that opened before our Georgians were two groups steeped in the Minus The Bear school of Hardcore, but Native was pretty good, so if that’s your bag, check them out. Both of our bands put on great performances regardless of the circumstances. I am really digging Kebert Xela right now. We finished the night at a cheap hotel watching the ridiculous Batman And Robin movie while partying late into the night.
Both of these bands are damn spectacular and I feel honoured to get to experience the chemistry between these musicians and fun atmosphere on this tour so far. There may not have been many people at the first two shows, but you can’t win a fanbase overnight, and these guys are having a great time together earning it the hard way. I’m having lots of technical difficulties as per usual with getting reliable Internet service, but hopefully I’ll have much more for you soon.
This Piano Plays Itself:
- Posted by Davy Minor on July 18, 2008 at 10:59 am
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Wednesday started with me running all around town doing last second errands before getting picked up by This Piano Plays Itself in the van they are borrowing from XO while Say Anything is on the Warped Tour. We headed to Athens to pick up the duo of Kebert Xela, squeezed their gear in the trailer, and headed on the road 7 people deep. The journey to Asheville, NC seemed to fly by due to hilarious yet lewd and offensive conversation and jokes. The mini-tour has been dubbed “The Red Velvet Cunt Cake Tour ’08″ by the two bands, so you can imagine the dialogue that lead to that. The first day of any road trip is always filled with electric anticipation and excitement, and everyone was hyped up for this.
The Asheville venue, The Rocket Club, was actually in West Asheville, a sparser part of town I had not been to before, but there was a great record shop right nearby that I blew some money in. The place was pretty cool and the sound system was very nice. A few ATL superstars also made the trek up to catch this show and support their crew, so us ATLiens bounced back and forth between a restaurant across the street and the club pregaming before the show.
Our two touring bands were on the bill with a local Asheville band that was playing their last show ever. The band supposedly drew lots of people to their shows, but other than our crew and a few bar regulars, there was very little attendance for this one. The bands were not deterred, though, and both put down some great sets. Kebert Xela are really cool and I highly recommend checking them out. Doug and Chris each play multiple instruments and run everything through various looping devices. I will have some videos from the show up soon, but all of you planning on coming out to Lenny’s Monday night are in for a real treat.
This Piano Plays Itself ruled the joint as per usual blasting it out hard. They played a new song from the new album they are currently writing. The fresh material I have heard from them so far is actually a bit different then what is on the self titled EP, but just as impressive. The night ended with some more krunkness, and then an hour and half drive being lost in Asheville trying to find the family member we were staying with. Late in the night we finally arrived to a warm welcome and got a little bit of sleep. Day one was a fun adventure and stay tuned for total coverage.
- Posted by Davy Minor on July 17, 2008 at 8:49 pm
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TPPI @ WonderRoot
I’m about to leave with Atlanta’s This Piano Plays Itself on their first ever tour. I will be blogging on the road and documenting the short trip across the southeast. Today we are heading to Athens, GA to pick up the other band going on tour with us, Kebert Xela, and then heading to Asheville, NC where they will both be playing tonight. I think this is going to be an interesting experiment so I’m excited. I want to shout out to Earfarm, just because that is where I got the idea for this. For any of our readers at the following cities, come on out and say hi:
This Piano Plays Itself/Kebert Xela Tour Dates:
7/16 – Asheville, NC @ The Rocket Club
7/17 – Greenville, NC @ Spazzatorium Galleria
7/18 – Lynchburg, VA @ Starlight Cafe
7/20 – Murfreesborro, TN @ Casa De Juan
7/21 – Atlanta, GA @ Lenny’s
7/25 – Athens, GA @ Caledonia Lounge
- Posted by Davy Minor on July 16, 2008 at 12:27 pm
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