We had two very different shows last week. On Wednesday, the Rub Wrongways Caravan of Stars played a quiet almost-unplugged concert in a small old wooden room in a library. On Friday, School for the Dead (with Lesa Bezo) played a two song full on loud rock set at a large full rock and roll venue.
On Wednesday, it snowed in the morning. The streets were empty. I was in a hat and gloves and snow blowing in the morning. By afternoon it was raining and sleeting and raining. There were giant slushy puddles everywhere. There was even lightning. We decided to put on the library show anyway and we pulled up in the almost empty parking lot and loaded in through the rain.
Inside, it was warm and welcoming and we set up our stuff in the historic room...and lo and behold...people started filing in. By the time we were starting, we had to put out extra chairs. There were even people sitting on the floors.
(photo by Max's telephone)
We put on a quiet and friendly show in which we did our best to utilize the sounds of the room. For example on certain songs, different members would scatter out into the room around the audience and play from there. We sometimes sang with microphones and sometimes without. The acoustic guitar and banjo were never plugged in.
We played for an hour and then shared hot chocolate and peppermint tea with the crowd and we thanked everyone profusely for coming out on that dark and stormy evening.
Here's a video that Dan Richardson filmed, of this evening's version of the Fawns song "Friends":
On Friday evening, Lesa, Brian, Ken, and I all piled into one car and made the drive down to New Haven, CT. We were playing as part of the CD release concert for Ciao, My Shining Star - the songs of Mark Mulcahy. On the ride down, when there was a break in traffic, we listened to the newly mastered and previously unheard new Sitting Next To Brian EP, "The Wrong Tree". It sounded really great coming out of the car speakers on the dark highway.
We magically found a parking spot right in front of Toad's Place and loaded in. Immediately, I was surrounded by old friends. I feel like I spent my first half hour there just shaking hands.
Toad's Place is a big classic rock club. The bands that performed treated it as such. There was a lot of great guitar rock going on and the stage had great lights. I sat in the back and just happily took it all in.
When School for the Dead took stage, I felt completely at home and we belted our way through our two songs (each band had a ten minute set scheduled). We played Omnivore and I Just Shot Myself In The Foot Again (our Mulcahy cover). The audience seemed to dig it and judging by their faces (Brian, Ken, Max, and Lesa) so did the band. The only casualty was Max's bleeding finger which he quickly wrapped in tape.
Want to hear something strange. School for the Dead immediately followed a performance by Jounce. This is the band of Pete from Pete and Pete and joining them on guitar this night was the other Pete and joining them on vocals was Mark. We were in a sublime slot.
After us was Winterpills and then Brian, Ken, and I took the stage again to join Rick Murnane and Chris Collingwood for their set. We played Cookie Jar (Mulcahy) and Fire in the Canyon (Fountains of Wayne/Gay Potatoes) with Philip Price. I played bass which was fun. My finger did not bleed.
The night continued after our set and I enjoyed it thoroughly from the back looking over the room at Elvis Perkins and the Butterflies of Love and Chris Harford to name a few.
Here we are doing "Omnivore":
(photo by Brian Akey)