Right now I’m hanging out at a weird cafe in Memphis, Tennessee where This Piano Plays Itself will be playing later tonight. Getting on the road with a band and sharing the experience really helps put perspective on things for me, and if you ever have the chance to do the same, I can’t recommend it enough. Each day and night is a new mysterious adventure for a mostly unknown touring band, wrought with obstacles to be overcome. It is a long, arduous road to travel, booking shows in cities where no one has heard of you, financing the gas and food, finding places to crash each night, there is so much to take on. Of course, there are plenty of upsides to the experience as well.
The first show of this tour in an “anarchist bookstore” in Birmingham, Alabama Monday night ended up getting canceled due to almost nobody showing up. But the band set up their gear anyways and played a set comprised of instrumental jams I’ve never heard them perform before to a couple of friends who came up from Atlanta, myself and the bookstore staff. It was a fun kickoff party and a truly special set, and luckily I caught most of it on video that I’m saving to post up here one rainy day in the future. Last night they ended up playing their first real show in Chattanooga to a decent crowd and then most of us stayed up until dawn talking about silly stuff.
Since I’m in Tennessee, I figured I would talk about a few of my favourite Tennessee bands. Knoxville’s Royal Bangs are getting closer to finishing up a new album to follow up last year’s We Breed Champions (my #17 album of 2008). I was on the fence about the new material when I caught them playing in Atlanta a few months ago, but the recorded versions sound great. Here is one of them that has just hit the blogosphere:
At one of the final shows at the 1084 House last summer, we hosted Nashville’s Jeff The Brotherhood to a packed out crowd on a Monday night. I know the guitar/drummer duo thing is a bit overused at this point, but it is hard for me to recall anybody pull it off better live than these guys. Here’s a track to preview:
My biggest Tennessee crush band right now is Murfreesboro’s Blastoids. Since I’ve been talking about them plenty lately, I’m just going to drop a live video on you:
Finally, while we were tailgating yesterday before the show, a Chattanooga local who called himself Spoonz dropped by and performed a song for us (LULZ):
- Posted by Davy Minor on July 8, 2009 at 10:49 pm