art, Binghamton, Buffalo, California, Case Western, Columbus, Cook n Maid, East Aurora, Fitzie's Irish Pub, Houghton, Houghton College, house show, Jamestown, Kafe Kerouac, live art, Mojo's, New York, Ohio, Ommegang, Pennsylvania, piano, Rochester, the Forvm, the Tram, tour, Utica
I considered making a completely new post for the past… 18 Pocket Vinyl shows we performed in the month of November. But that seemed like a bit much… So then I thought I’d squish them all into one massive blog post. That also seemed like a bit much. I’ve divided them up into three sections instead. I hope you enjoy these condensed (but not too condensed) versions of the shows performed, the paintings created, and the adventures experienced. Sorry I was neglectful in updating more regularly.
17 days, 15 shows, 5 nights sleeping in our car, and 1 unsold painting:
November 1: We started out on tour by heading up to Utica, NY to play at the Tram for the second time. We stayed with Eric’s brother Tyler and his family. Three good college friends came out to see us.
November 2: We continued on to Fitzie’s Irish Pub in Binghamton, NY. We met an adorably playful dog named Seamus in the bar. We went for a nice walk along the river. We were treated amazingly by the owner; he’s trying to change the bar’s atmosphere to a more artsy place, and he was incredibly enthusiastic that we were cool with helping him take steps toward his goal.
We decided to try driving through the night, but only made it as far as Horseheads, NY, where we slept in our car in a Walmart parking lot. It felt very strange to be sleeping in our car so close to where I use to live. It’s sad how people move and things change.
November 3: Woke up in our car, continued on to Rochester, NY. We had the day off, so we bummed around Millennium Games before going to play some board games with good college friends.
Met up with Eric’s parents for dinner, then all headed to Houghton, NY.
November 4 (Happy Birthday Nicodemus!): Went for a hike in the woods around Houghton (touring means not being able to keep up an exercise schedule, so we try to remember to stretch our legs as much as possible). In the evening we drove down to Jamestown, NY for a show at Mojo’s. We’d been warned by a local not to play at Mojo’s, because it had a bad reputation. But we’d played there before, so we weren’t worried. Besides, someone said similar things about JD’s Bar in Green Bay, and that turned out to be one of our best shows. We had a great show and a couple college friends came out to see us.
November 5 (Happy Birthday Eric!): We stuck around Houghton all day and played a show at the coffee shop on the Houghton College campus. (No longer Java 101, which we’ve played at before. Now it just looks like and serves Starbucks.) An old college friend recently moved back to the area and won the painting bid. Also, the coffee shop was packed. It felt good.
November 6: We headed back to Rochester for a show at our friends’ Joel & Carina’s house. A handful of old college friends came to see us, and Carina made Pocket Vinyl themed cookies.
November 7: From Rochester we continued over to Buffalo for a show at the Forvm. The venue was massive, with the crowd evolving every few hours. We played towards the end of the long lineup, and hung out with an old college friend most of the night before we were up.
This painting was done in about 25 minutes; one of our shorter sets.
After the final band we headed to East Aurora to quietly sneak into my college roomie’s parents’ place. They were all asleep but Jenny, my roomie’s mom, left us a short survey to fill out about what time we wanted to get up, what we wanted for breakfast, etc. Pretty awesome idea.
November 8: Woke up to a leisurely breakfast and good conversation with Jenny, before hitting the road towards Ohio. Got to Cleveland early evening and walked around Case Western Reserve University for a bit before heading over to Travis & Elizabeth’s. They supported our Kickstarter for a house show in their huge 100+ year old house. Our friend Scott came out, along with our new(ish) friend Luke, who got the bid on the painting.
November 9: Left Travis & Elizabeth’s after breakfast and headed towards Kafe Kerouac in Columbus, OH. Not gonna lie, it wasn’t a real memorable show. Not many people and not much of a response. They did give us some seriously quality beers (Ommegang). (And after seeing that it might be a not-super-awesome show, I decided to pull out a painting idea I’d been saving for a special occasion. I never want to phone-in a performance, so I often save my favorite painting ideas for what look like might be the worst shows.) Slept in our car again that night.
November 10: We had a lot of time to kill, so we did a few laps around a mall between Columbus, OH and California, PA. In the mall we were asked to take a couple surveys. We watched a handful of unreleased movie trailers and answered some questions, and I looked at a bunch of beauty product packaging on a large screen where they tracked the direction my eyes looked. We came out with about $25 between the two of us. After the mall we got a little lost, and ended up watching three deer munch away an old pumpkin in someone’s front yard.
We had our second show at Cook n Maid in California, PA. While carrying the piano in through the basement door, Eric took a step backwards onto a section of the cement porch that had worn away. His leg dropped about three feet, the piano slammed onto the ground, and Eric went tumbling down the hill. The piano turned out fine, but Eric’s shin and knee got some really rough bruising. He was limping most of the rest of the tour.
After the show we continued on towards Elizabethtown, PA for the night.
And that’s the first half of our tour!