Haven’t done a blog post in a while although not for lack of action. We had a great summer spending the bulk of our time between the Cape, Martha’s Vineyard and Rhode Island. Oh yeah and we shot/released a new video HERE…and opened a store…and finished our fourth album…and had a baby. Let’s get to the store first.
Since the inception of the band, merch has been an important extension of Crooked Coast. Both Ben and I are artists and fashionistas to a degree. What started with t-shirts soon became five panels, beanies, sweats, lighters and soon spiraled out of control. We’re selling at shows and shipping all over the globe. I basically had a store inside my house that I would pack up for shows. When Grace and I found out we had a baby on the way (more on that later) it was suggested I find somewhere other than our small house to keep inventory. As luck would have it Enterprise car rental vacated their Falmouth location and it was available for a reasonable price. We needed storage, an office space and we had always liked the idea of having a brick and mortar location. The stars aligned and we got to setting up. We put in shelves, mirrors, display cases, a turntable and painted the carpet (yes you can paint a carpet. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t.) It’s been cool having a headquarters where we’ve done acoustic live streams, pop up art shows, held meetings/bbq’s and of course had a place people can see our world of designs.
In June we shot a video for our single Go Slow a song inspired by the impending arrival of my daughter. I wrote the verses pretty quickly, gave John the concept, he came up with a hook and we all put the music together. It was the last song we recorded for the album and it seemed to pull it all together. The video was filmed in a sprawling old mansion in Woods Hole. We lit it up to look like a dream, Stephen C. Atkinson filmed it and Nicholas Santos edited it. It came out pretty surreal and wound up being one of our favorites.
The baby. Yes Grace gave birth to a healthy beautiful girl we named Jane Marie Vose. She makes life more challenging but infinitely more wonderful as well. She is a pretty cool chick.
The new album. We finally got around to recording our new album. Thanks to everyone who came out to the shows and let us know what songs you were feeling. You basically acted as the A&R’s for the album. The crowd always went nuts for People Say so that is our next single. We are really proud of this album and look forward to sharing it with you. We called it Put The Night On, a reference to a line in People Say. We liked the concept of putting on the night sky with all of it’s stars like a hoodie and hitting the streets. We will be throwing a release party at the House of Blues Foundation Room in Boston on September 29th with our freinds The Quins, a killer band we are stoked to share the stage with again.
Lots of shows lined up for the fall and more touring to announce soon. Sorry it was so long between posts. Won’t leave you hanging so long next time!
There is no time and place like Spring in New York. February faux Spring is pretty nice too. We loaded into our big white van and made the trek to Bar Matchless one of our favorite little venues in Brooklyn. It’s an old mechanic shop and the live music room is built into what was the garage bay.
A Valley Son opened up the show. They are Virginia transplants based out of New York. They have a nice southern rock vibe with killer vocal harmonies and slide guitar. Their cover of Bob Dylan’s I shall be Released was a highlight.
Von Geyer hit next. Frontman Charlie Geyer is a Falmouth native who played with Ben and John all through high school in a band called Eighty-Six so it was a bit of a reunion. Charlie has started playing guitar in the band which is a sweet addition beefing up the sound. It was great a raw rock set.
Our set was really fun. The room was filled with old friends from the Cape, NY and MV. It’s cool seeing new faces that keep coming to our NY shows and bringing their friends. We tried out some new tunes from our upcoming album. It was great seeing people react to them.
Charlie and his lovely wife Kate hosted us and we were treated to eggs and coffee in the morning which is way nicer than motel continental breakfast.
Before we got back on the road we checked out Only NY a clothing store owned by a guy named Micah who grew up summering in Woods Hole. The have really cool designs and it’s inspiring to see how far they have come. I got a sweet new hat for my collection. The weather felt like summer which was both nice and disconcerting.
We headed up to Boston to play the House of Blues Foundation Room. It was the Run The Jewels after party and we were stoked about the possibility of catching their show.
After load in we had a nice sidewalk meal from the famous Lansdowne street sausage cart. It was so good I almost went for a second but the idea of singing and jumping up and down after ingesting two sweet sausages with peppers and onions stopped me dead in my tracks.
Unfortunately we couldn’t catch the RTJ set because we started right at the same time but I caught opening act Cuz Lightyear perform a cool song called Pots & Pans and southern rapper Gangsta Boo run through some of her Three-Six Mafia classics. I forgot how much I liked those songs. They sounded great pumping through the massive sound system as well.
We played two sets and the energy in the packed room was great. More people from the Vineyard that night as well (sensing a trend.) Stephen C. Akinson took the attached picture. After the show John met Gangsta Boo at the bar they had a brief conversation and he said she was really nice.
Saturday night we set up at Grumpy’s Pub our homebase in Falmouth. It’s one of the world’s greatest dive bars. We brought Boston band Six Fox Whiskey down to open the show and they absolutely killed it. I thoroughly enjoyed watching their whole set and look forward to playing with them again May 18th at Once Ballroom in Somerville, MA.
We hit and the room was electric. There is something so free about playing on that stage. Having our light guy Erick back in action made it feel like all the better. Also there were more people from the Vineyard! Joni who has been running the merch lately crushed it, selling out of multiple items. At the end of the night after last call and the doors were closed we shot the breeze with the staff for a few and then headed to our respective homes ready for some sleep.
March is going to be a busy month. We play Pour Judgement in Newport, RI the 4th, the Crooked Coast store opens the 11th (more on that soon), back at Grumpy’s on the 17th for a St. Patrick’s Day show with Tigerman WOAH, the 25th at New World Tavern in Plymouth, MA with Sarah Blacker and the 31st at Red Square in Burlington, VT. All the while recording the new album. Yup that feels pretty good…
We circled the building housing The Met in Pawtucket, RI looking for a parking spot. From the back side the old red brick mill looked derelict and ominous with lots of rusted metal and broken glass. The front half of the building however has experienced a great transformation. As well as the fantastic music venue it’s also host to shops restaurants, and office spaces. It’s like a mall, if malls were really cool.
We loaded into the venue. The guys from Spiritual Rez, the headliners of the evening were onstage sound-checking. We wandered around the club admiring the giant paintings on walls of music legends like Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Hank Williams. When Spiritual Rez was done with their soundcheck we exchanged warm embraces, hauled our amps onto the stage and did our soundcheck.
Afterwards we headed upstairs to a bowling ally with a bar and restaurant. The bowling lanes were super old-school, candle pin style and they even had “ball boys” who manually reset the pins and rolled the balls back. Rhode Island has a knack for doing hipster things without being pretentious. It’s a gift.
We met a nice couple who had been to a few of our shows in Falmouth. They bought tickets to our St. Patrick’s Day show at Grumpy’s and told us we should play at Ocean Mist in the summer. They described it as “Grumpy’s on the beach.” Sounds pretty cool.
We got on stage and played a pretty brief (forty minute) set with some minor sound issues but it was a full tilt blast. Time constraints can help put some urgency into the music. A big crew showed up and was raging with us. We met a lot of fans for the first time and made some new ones. We signed a set list for someone and tried to act nonchalant but we were probably as pleased as them.
The next band was Cosmic Factory a local jam band trio. They played some funky stuff and threw in covers ranging from Primus to Rage Against The Machine.
Spiritual Rez took the stage and put on a hell of a show. Their energy is infectious. They have been touring nonstop lately and it comes across. They are super tight and the songs off their recent album Apocalypse Whenever are taking on new life. The lead singer Toft is a Florida native and has a southern preacher’s ability to work a room and raise people spirits. At one point he had the crowd singing, “Don’t be afraid,” raising the phrase in volume as he repeated it, building to a wild crescendo as the band all joined in.
I spent a lot of time at the merch stand selling our gear and made friends with Spiritual Rez’s merch guy Jay. He is s good dude. On the porch outside huge clouds of fragrant smoke hovered all evening. I guess that’s just how they get down in Rhode Island.
My sister and her husband came out with some of their friends. It was great to see them at a show. We don’t play their neighborhood often so it was a treat.
After last call we loaded out into the bitter cold, reminded that winter wasn’t over just yet, but having played The Met, a venue on our wish list we knew the future always holds warmer nights.
See you at Grumpy’s on St. Patrick’s Day 8 PM. Get your presale tix at Grumpy’s or from a band member.
There was no slow transition from sunny and in the 70’s southern California to colder than a well diggers ass Cape Cod. We got home from the tour and were treated to a nice blizzard that dropped about twelve inches of snow. It’s okay though. That’s part of the deal when you live in a place as awesome as New England. We are pretty handy with shovels as well as guitars.
It’s fun catching up with everyone about our trip and a little surreal standing in the hardware store in my Carhartt’s buying joint compound and telling a story about the House of Blues show in San Diego. I’m thinking: was that me?
We had two homecoming shows. One at the Ritz on Martha’s Vineyard, an Island that has become a second home of sorts and the following night at Grumpy’s Pub, the world’s greatest dive bar. Both were near record breaking low temperatures. The kind of cold where you take off your gloves and the wind feels like bee’s attacking your unprotected skin.
Friday night was our new van’s maiden voyage across the Vineyard sound on the Steamship ferry boat, a trip she will take many times. The Ritz is a wonderful little townie bar in Oak Bluffs. It’s one of the only places open year round. Our good friend Philly D was playing any early acoustic set so we got to listen while we ate dinner and had a pre show drink. John and I even got up and did a few acoustic tunes.
We started playing and although the place wasn’t jam packed it was a pretty incredible turn out for such a brutally cold night. Charles works construction on the Island and knows everyone. Everyone loves Charles wherever we go. It’s good to have a guy like that in the band! We’ve been playing the Island a lot the last year and it was great to see a lot of our friends from over there. During our west coast tour we played all show case shows with a bunch of other bands on the bill which is great but means 30-45 minute sets. At the Ritz we played for over two hours and got to get into a bunch different things. It was loose and fun.
In the morning we got on the ferry before the wind really started howling. This can be a hazard playing on the island. If the wind really starts screaming you don’t know when you are getting off the rock.
We drove straight to Grumpy’s and set up. I love the afternoon vs. late night scene at Grumpy’s. There’s always a crowd sipping the afternoon away as we set up our ever growing pile of gear. One of these days we have to do a set for those guys.
I went home did some work and dozed off. When I woke up it felt like the wind was going to blow my house down. It was cold outside, not just bone chilling but soul chilling. As my brother Tommy said it was, “really chipping down!”
The Silent Trees were at Grumpy’s setting up when I got there. They’re a great band we’ve been trying to book something with for a while and finally our schedules lined up. The band plays as a duo sometimes with John and Mary trading lead vocals and always floating beautiful harmonies but that night they’d brought a tight rhythm section with them. The vibe was more rock than folk and the crowd loved it. Mary is a member of the Brazen Belles, our very own local burlesque troop. They put on a killer show and had sold out two nights at the big theater in town. The band warmed the crowd for a few tunes and then Mary came through the side door, still in full burlesque hair/make up and a saucy bell bottom/belly shirt combo. It was a really cool moment, very rock ‘n roll. They played a tight set of originals and covers including a epic Led Zeppelin number.
Earlier in the evening I resigned to the idea that it would be a light turnout do to the insane cold but to my surprise the place was packed. It was fitting that it was Valentine’s eve because there was so much love in the room. John’s sisters Mariko and Eva ran the sound board and did a wonderful job. The Brazen Belles crew was in full effect and it felt like a real hometown throw-down. We started our set with Life Is Just A Dream a song that seemed in line with the recent series of events. It was a rollicking ninety minute set. I couldn’t stop smiling. I don’t know the color of energy but I know I could feel it and it was good.
It was great be home, enjoy what we’ve done and get ready for what’s next. We play with Spiritual Rez Saturday February 27 at the Met in Pawtucket, RI. We are really jazzed about this venue and line up. It’s always a good time when we play with those guys. It’s also an all ages show which is awesome.
If you’re reading this and you’re rocking with us, we love you. Let’s keep rolling.