We woke up and shot at the Pacific Beach pier for our new video Icarus. It’s an amazing spot with lots of people fishing and surfing. Then we headed to LA. After a mandatory stop at In-N-Out Burger we headed to a mall inTorrence where a high school friend of mine Clenet Verdi-Rose was working on a movie set. It’s inspiring to see people you grew up with do things like this. It’s a Dakota Fanning movie. We watched them film a scene both from a little ways off and from the on set monitors. This was cool hollywood moment for us.
From there we headed to the music store and stopped at a coffee shop, trying to work out some issues with the our website. The website issue was a mystery, the guitar store had just sold the guitar John wanted and we got a pretty hefty parking ticket. The mood in the van was a little dark as we headed to BNV Studios. We pulled into a sound stage and a guy asked us if we were the crew from Buzzfeed. Nope, wrong address. Across the street was BNV Studios, located in a cute little residential home. We parked and Nicole Vasquez led us in. We walked through the beautiful home, across a patio with with colored lights and burning chimenea and into a garage where the studio is housed. The place is incredible. State of the art sound and a full performance stage with lights and our logo projected on the wall. They made us really comfortable offering tea, water and beer. Nicole’s husband Brian is the engineer at BNV Studios. He made us feel at home and pulled some good performances out of us. We played around with some vintage pedals and amps like little fat kids in a candy store. We recorded a live set of our songs and a nice surprise cover tune. They also had multiple camera people taping the whole thing. They could not have been nicer. It was an wonderful way to break up the tour a little bit. Keep your eyes out for those videos.
Nicole and her husband Brian have a great story. Brian is a former pro baseball player who went into radio after an arm injury. They worked together at KROCK in LA for eight years then got married and decided to get out of the corperate world and go the independant route. As well as a great engineer Brian is also a song writer. They record bands and voiceover work there. They have something really special. I would recommend it to any musician in the area. We didn’t want to leave. Although all good things must come to an end our studio session at BNV at least ended with a plate of fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies.
We took the long drive back to Pacific Beach and passed out. Today we get in some beach time and relaxation. Tonight is our last show. It’s at Winston’s with The Simpkin Project and DJ Carlos Culture. I think it is going to be crazy.
A significant part of touring is waiting around. If you are lucky you can use that time to do something really fun in the area. Yesterday we went to the San Diego Zoo. Ben’s girlfriend Juli led the charge. In all fairness she’d already seen the Crooked Coast animals do their thing a bunch times so this would be really exotic. She was right. Ben, Juli, Grace, Steve, Shea, Shauna, Aiofe and myself loaded into the van and cruised there. It’s nice having a vehicle big enough for field trips.
The zoo was amazing from neon colored, poisonous frogs to leaping tree monkeys there was never a dull moment. All the animals where active that day. You know how sometimes when you go to a zoo the animals just lie there way in the back of their area where you can’t really see them? On this day we watched a tiger chew on a giant bone staring straight at us. The gorillas and giraffe’s wrestled (with each other in their own respective areas. We didn’t see anything an crazy as interspecies wrestling!) It was a great way to spend the day.
We got home change clothes/guitar strings switched out Shauna for our friend Alanna and headed to Gallagher’s Pub in Huntington Beach. We pulled up and saw a huge crowd out front. We were thinking wow this is a big line for a Monday night. As we got closer we realized everyone was silent and holding candles. Apparently a twenty-three year old kid named Mitch who worked there had passed away a couple days earlier from a heroin overdose.
The mood inside the bar was somber. The opening band, Last Fix was a Sublime style reggae punk trio.
We took the stage. After our opening song decided to address the painful situation. I said, “We didn’t know Mitch but judging by all the love people had for him he must have been a special guy. We know what it’s like to lose people way to early and this song is about one of them. Tonight we are dedicating it to Mitch. It’s called Dancing with the Dead.” As soon as the song started we felt the audience connect with us. Music is a great way to share universal pain with people.
The rest of the set was great. Our friend Itai Isenberg a great saxophone player jumped up and played Down For The Count with us. Alex and Lauren from the band Aloha Radio (who we played with at House of Blue San Diego) showed up. It’s really cool connecting with all these bands. We hope to bring some of them to the Cape when they tour the east coast.
The headliner the Originalites played funky ska/punk. The drummer wore nothing but underwear and absolutely smashed on the kit. The saxophone player jumped in the crowd and skanked with everyone. It was pretty wild.
Today we are back in LA for a studio session. Our last show of the tour is tomorrow night. It’s hard to believe how fast it’s happening.
Yesterday we realized that it wasn’t going to work just telling everyone what our west coast tour dates are. We needed something they could hold. I set off in search of a print shop. I wound up at an address that supposedly housed a print shop but was actually a hotel. The kids at the front desk were super cool though and printed up a bunch of hand bills for me anyway. I gave them CD’s and they asked me to autograph them. It was funny because they didn’t know who we are but maybe in LA you just never know who is sort of famous.
Back at the hotel John was unscrewing the top on this 2×3 foot box in the back of the van. We’d assumed it was full of safety equipment or something. The top came off and it was full of…sand. That’s a first. Maybe we will bring some home and make a little California patch at Stoney beach.
We ate at Fire and Ice. The guy running the grill had a lot of questions about the band. Mostly about different towns and different women. We had to let him down gently. John told him “No we all have ladies so we don’t really do that,” then seeing the painful disappointment on the grill masters face he quickly added, “I mean, we all used to.” We probably should have just lied to the guy.
The load in for House of Blues was 5 o’clock so we didn’t have time to go anywhere that afternoon. We ran through a few songs in the hotel and practiced harmonies.
Our friend Ryan Lannon came by. Apparently he’d come to Anaheim at midnight and started looking for a spot to park his RV. The guy is something else. He also has a really cool dog that is definitely going to make an appearance in our new video. He gave us all “Broakies” a cool new product he designed and is selling. They’re like Croakies but with a bottle opener on the back. I think they’re going to be big.
Finally load in time. House of Blues Anaheim is at downtown Disney this sort of giant open air mall. It’s kind of surreal. The venue is beautiful with a great light and sound system. All the other bands were really cool. We set up our merch and shot the breeze about music, merch, touring etc. On the bill was Slime Kings, Tunnel Vision, OKT, Special Blend and Zen Robbi. They all put on killer sets. The overall vibe was reggae influenced ranging from hip hop style to surf punk.
We got on stage did a quick sound check and the curtains opened. Charles dropped the beat to World Spins and we launched into it. It was a good first set to kick the tour off.
Afterwards we chilled in the green room for a bit then went out and hung with our Cape friends who showed up. Sax player and Cape transplant Itai Isenberg made the trip as did former Boombasnap singer guitarist Dennis Christiano. Our friend Scott White made the drive from Mammoth, CA and helped with the merch while we played.
Got a great response from people, a lot of contacts and are already are making plans for the next tour. After the show we all headed out feeling good. Charles said what he really needed was “to get 10 pounds of breakfast” so him and John headed to Denny’s and did just that. Next stop Riverside where we are playing the Mission Tobacco Lounge.
We landed in LA along with our good friend and photographer Steven C. Atkinson on Tuesday. The California sun immediately put us in a good mind frame ready for a great adventure. We jumped into our sweet Toyota Sienna rental and hit the road blasting LA themed music from Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001 to Randy Newman’s I Love LA.
In Studio City we ate Tacos and bought a new Crooked Coast van. It’s official. It even beeps when it backs up.
At Guitar Center Hollywood we bought a few essentials as well as checking out other music stores in the area. Steve was overwhelmed by all the awesome photo opportunities
. At the infamous Rainbow Bar and Grill we drank Jack Daniels in honor of the late Lemmie.
The next day we woke up enjoyed some continental breakfast (Waffle Machine!) and took a soak in the hot tub. We hit Venice Beach that afternoon. Charles and I b-lined for the water and jumped into the Pacific, which people say is cold but not for Cape Codders. Ben got a hair cut at a cool barber shop. We met our friend Ryan a Cape transplant who now lives in an RV on Venice beach. The RV is stocked with a silk screen where he makes and sells custom T’s. That is definitely California dreaming! Ryan introduced us to some of the state’s famous all natural medicine. We filmed some for our new video Icarus. The sunset was unreal. We chilled at a bar on the boardwalk for a few and then took the long drive back to Anaheim.
Today we are gearing up for our first show at the House of Blues Anaheim. Restringing guitars, drinking coffee and enjoying life.