June 16, 2009

Day 4 - 6/15 Greencup Books (Birmingham, AL)

The Squirms
The Markov Chain

We woke up shockingly late at Jed and Will's (The Squirms) pad in Hattiesburg, we ate some delicious cantaloupe and I drank a cup of my magical throat-health Broncaid tea. We hit the road at around 2 and made it to Birmingham around 6 and checked in at Greencup Books. The place looked awesome and the staff was super nice and friendly. The owner, Mike, treated us to some dinner (he suggested a place called Makrio's) and so we made our way there. We met up with our friend Veronica who brought along a group of kidz quickly felt comfortable and had a great time with. We talked and hung out for so long at the restaurant that we were almost late for load-in. However, we made it back to the venue in time and were greeted by The Markov Chain who were in the process of loading their equipment up the HUGE staircase that led to the venue part of the establishment. The Squirms arrived shortly thereafter and we all took some time to set up the PA, stage, camera, and lights (there was a huge skeleton horse/zebra/tarp thing hanging from the ceiling with christmas lights all around it..oh yeah..we hooked that shit up). After finding a satisfactory setting among all the necessary components and once people started showing up, The Squirms took to the stage (which this time happened to be the floor...YES!) and Sean and I both agreed that we enjoyed their set even more this time than the day before. It was interesting picking out elements of their sound that reflect the music they enjoy (remember? Will showed us some of his favorite music the night before). Their music seemed to make more sense to me once I understood their background. Still, it was fun blindly guessing the night before. This set of theirs seemed more energetic and they all seemed to be having a grand ol' time playing. They set up a VHS camcorder to record the audio of their set (the auto focus is f'd apparently, so the video is pretty useless) and about three songs in, it toppled over on its tripod, but Sean and I came to the rescue and set it up again to record the rest of their set. We wish them the best of luck on their tour that followed this show: "The reprint of the old t-shirt tour" as Will put it. And those shirts ARE pretty damn sweet. Soon enough, Sean and I were setting our equipment up and one of our new friends, Clayton, came up and he and I had a great time making fun of my shitty equipment that I somehow manage to make sound acceptable/unique/ok/still shitty. We started playing and (as the case also was during The Squirms' set) our group of new friends started dancing away and I joined their pit from time to time when I could. It was great seeing them get into the music and let themselves go. I think others took note and decided to do the same. It was either that, or maybe it was me pushing up against those who were motionless (or at least motionless in comparison). All in all, I was super happy with our set and after we rang out the last hits of "That Bitch Was GOLDEN", The Markov Chain began preparing for their set. It was fun watching this local college-aged band rock out and get their fans jumping/dancing/flailing around. They played a pretty solid set that reminded me of some crazy fusion of The Allman Brothers, Kings of Leon, and a few other "southern rock" style bands, while still having their own flavoUr. The guys in the band were all very nice and they seemed to really be interested in taking the band seriously (thinking about coming out to NOLA or Houston) and that's awesome to see in a young group. Once we loaded DOWN the mountain of stairs, we made our way over to Veronica and Ariel's house (where we would stay the night) with some of the bold members of the group willing to stay up till past 2am hanging out in the basement/1st floor/bedroom/parrrrty area with us. I haven't laughed that hard and that frequently in quite some time and I (finally) went to sleep with my face muscles sore and my new beautifully crafted paper fruit hat resting on the table near the cowwwch. We're very very thankful for the hospitality shown to us by everyone we met, especially Veronica and Ariel. Thanks so much.
We're currently driving through The Great Smokey Mountains on our way to DC. We have two days to get there, so that means that this is our first day off!! We can't wait to play the show tomorrow and meet up with one of our favorite people in the whole world, DEX! I'll tell you about all the shenanigans we got into today on the morrow, so come on back now ya'hear?

OH! Also I realized that I definitely shouldn't have counted Sean's drum accessories as "silly personal expenses". I'll make that change right away.

Day four expenses:

Chris: Apple Juice & Swedish Fish ($3) = $27 so far

Sean: Dr. Pepper ($1) = $60 So far

Not bad, guys. Not bad at all.
Chris still staying strong up top.

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