Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Touring machine: STATS/Dysrhythmia East/Midwest

The STATS fall tour came to an end this past Sunday night at Brooklyn's Union Pool, where the above pic was snapped. I had a hell of a time. Thanks to my bandmates for copious fun and for playing awesomely at all times, to Dysrhythmia for allowing us to tag along and for summoning total prog-fusion fury each and every night, to Laal and Kristen for joining us in Cleveland, to Longmont Potion Castle for providing hours of in-van entertainment, and to everyone who bought stuff, offered congratulatory words, headbanged during one of our sets and/or housed us for a night. Some thoughts on the shows (interspersed with better-annotated words of gratitude) follow.

Friday, Oct 23 - Philadelphia, PA @ Danger Danger with Shredfest + The Protomen
We played in Danger Danger's low-ceilinged basement, a great showspace. Smallish crowd, but folks seemed to dig our set. Afterward Nick Millevoi (axman of the sick Many Arms) led his very cool guided-improv project, Shredfest, and Nashville's Protomen played a really impressive costumed rock-opera style set upstairs (think Meatloaf meets Magma). Had a great time talking music late into the night with Yanni from Stinking Lizaveta and John from Capillary Action. Thanks to Tyler for coming all the way from NYC to see us and to Bryan (of the awesome Shot x Shot) and Caroline for the luxurious accommodations. Delicious Ethiopian-style chicken cheesesteak at Gojjo preshow.

Saturday, Oct 24 - Akron, OH @ The Matinee w/ Clan of the Cave Bear + Megachurch
We and our showmates Clan of the Cave Bear both pretty much cleared out the bar with our loudness, but this was still a fun show. Cave Bear were as eccentric and shredding as always, and Megachurch offered some really driving, muscular post-hardcore-ish grooves interspersed with insane samples. Crashed at the amazing pad of CotCB's John, where we Ping-Ponged at length.

Sunday, Oct 25 - St. Louis, MO @ Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center w/ Foreign Theaters + Mellified Man

A long drive out to STL. We've had fun shows at Lemp in the past and this one was killer as well. Against all odds, we actually seem to have a few fans in this town and people were really supportive. Foreign Theaters played an absolutely savage set and Mellified Man really impressed me with their peculiar, stripped-down mathcore. Great to see my friend Mike P and my future brother-in-law's sister and her husband at the gig. Joe, Tony and I did some deep, microvolume after-hours free improv. Not sure we'd ever play like this live, but it was awesome in private.

Monday, Oct 26 - Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle w/ Dysrhythmia + Lord Mantis

Our first show with Dysrhythmia and a big step up in room and crowd size. Venue (a club I'd seen on other bands' itineraries for years and years) was quite pro, and we were afforded a graciously lengthy soundcheck. Dysrhythmia floored us with solar energy and dazzling technicality, and Lord Mantis brought some seriously evil black/thrash vibes. Thanks to Joe's Jazz Foundation connections, we dined preshow with the legendary guitarist Pete Cosey (of electric-Miles fame), a super nice guy. Accommodations came courtesy of Tony's kind friend Sam.

Tuesday, Oct 27 - St. Paul, MN @ Big V’s w/ Dysrhythmia + Guzzlemug + The Yoleus + The Crinn
Very cool dive bar where we first played back in '07. A really killer bill, featuring several outstanding, weird and outstandingly weird bands: Guzzlemug, which played an extraordinarily odd blend of avant-psych and savage math rock; The Yoleus, which offered exceedingly groovy wordless art punk; and The Crinn, which played take-no-prisoners tech-death; and another killer set from Dysrhythmia (which featured some of the most pristine sound of the tour). Fun Longmont Potion Castle listening sesh with Dys's Colin in the van postshow. As we were loading out, some drunk guy got in his car next to us and proceeded to drive directly into my drum set, which was still sitting in the parking lot. Fortunately he was only going like 3mph. Accommodations, frozen pizza and great conversation courtesy of Dave Erb (currently of the Yoleus and formerly of the unbelievable Sicbay), who just might be the nicest guy - not to mention sickest unknown guitarist - in the American rock underground.

Wednesday, Oct 28 - Dubuque, IA @ 180 Main w/ Dysrhythmia and more
Had never heard of this town, but this gig was extremely fun. Preshow, we dined on delicious $2.25 cheesburgers at Paul's, a dive bar decorated with tons of unsettling taxidermy. Venue was a beautiful, cavelike bar in the basement of a subtly classy restaurant. One opener, Dredge, offered sick progressive grind, while the other, Bull Dyke Rodeo, purveyed jokey stoner metal. Dysrhythmia had played here a few times before, so there was a pretty good crowd that gave us a warm welcome. Midway through Dysrhythmia's burnin' set, the Papa Roach show across town let out, and the Roach boys and their entourage stormed into the club. Apparently a few of them were mesmerized by the Dys set, and they stuck around to offer hearty congratulations afterward. So don't be too shocked if you see a Dys/Roach bill in the near future! Accommodations and more great pizza courtesy of the promoter/soundman, Aaron, who had an unreal 7" collection, which we sampled at length. Great breakfast at Chuck & Jo's diner/bookstore next morning.

Thursday, Oct 29 - Lansing, MI @ Mac’s Bar w/ Dysrhythmia and more

Dingy, smoky bar. Smallish crowd. Really fun show. Two grindy bands opened, one of whom (Omnia Discordia) covered the Carcass classic "Corporal Jigsore Quandary." Great, attentive audience. Particular highlight was this old drunk dude who got up onstage uninvited during our set and proceeded to dance a jig. So weird but basically harmless. Sadly, the same could not be said for Old Drunk Dude's antics during Dysrhythia's set - while they were playing, he pulled the same mischief and proceeded to crash directly into the drum set. Fortunately, no major derailment ensued. From the stage, I dedicated the show to Chuck Biscuits (who's been one of my favorite drummers for about 15 years), only to have an audience member bring me up to date on the hoax. Chuck lives! Amazing accommodations courtesy of the way-friendly Kevin, who cooked us a delicious autumn-vegetable stew and served homemade hard cider. We stayed up late, slumber-party-style, with Dysrhythmia and rocked out to Confessor, Henry Threadgill, Queens of the Stone Age, Ween, Steely Dan and more.

Friday, Oct 30 - Lincoln Park, MI @ Floyd’s w/ Dysrhythmia and more
Worst show of the tour, hands down, but I still had a good time. Four local teenaged bands (most of them offering post-Dillinger metalcore) played before us, and when the last of them finished, pretty much *everyone* in the venue (a sort of rec room underneath an ultraseedy suburban bar) left. We played to like five people and poor Dysrhythmia played to literally three souls aside from us and the staff. They killed it nevertheless. Big thanks to my cousin Brian and his wife Monica for trekking out to the gig and for letting us crash at their beautiful Ann Arbor house afterward. Day was spent record, tape and book shopping at said town's many cool media outlets. Great lunch (BBQ sandwich and mac 'n' cheese) next day at the famous Zingerman's deli.

Saturday, Oct 31 - Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class w/ Dysrhythmia + Keelhaul + Clan of the Cave Bear and more
Insane show, masterminded by the aforementioned John of Clan o' the Cave Bear. Something like seven bands performing in three different spaces. Rotation was mind-boggingly smooth so there was very little between-set dead time. Clan played a special Halloween set in the guise of Lightning Bolt, and their LB covers really nailed the band's detonative impact and chaotic precision. Dysrhythmia rocked modest costumes and proceeded to lay waste. Keelhaul topped it off with world-class artful brutality. Our set, on a tiny stage near the bar, was sweaty and loud and a blast. I cut my hand midsong and bled copiously (yet painlessly) all over my snare. Laal, who had valiantly driven all the way from NYC with a friend, was dressed as Glenn Danzig (I made her one of those upside-down-cross/cow-skull necklaces out of cardboard), and she joined us for a concluding cover of the classic Misfits tune "Hybrid Moments." (We used to do that one all the time in the early days of Stay Fucked.) The mike failed, but Laal screamed mightily and was heard by many nonetheless. Back to John's after the show for more Ping-Pong and homemade grilled cheese.

Sunday, Nov 1 - Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool w/ Dysrhythmia + The Smother Party
Low-key yet awesome homecoming show. Many friends out (Maya, Alexander, Charlie, Will, Russ, Dan, Kaben, James, Kevin, et. al) and a warm vibe. Smother Party (featuring guitarist Mike Eber from the very cool Zevious, in which Jeff from Dysrhythmia also plays) was outstanding - sort of like a jazz-tinged mix of U.S. Maple and the groovier, mathier side of Cheer-Accident. I was very happy with our set. It's quite cool to play at home after having warmed up with a bunch of shows in other towns. Dyshrhythmia was once again masterful. We rolled into town just in time for the show and afterward it was off to bed for the early work-time rise the next day. Stressful but so worth it.


In case you missed the announcement, STATS CDs and shirts (only a few left!) can be had via statsbrooklyn @ gmail.com. Just write and tell us what you'd like. It's all cheap. Thanks again to everyone who helped make this tour a success.


Phil Freeman said...

Dude, you met Pete Cosey!

Unknown said...

I posted "Yo King" from the St Paul show onto my youtube channel. I had never heard any music from STATS prior to this night and really was blown away. This bill was intense! Great night.