In Rhode Island, I Rocked in a Cage.

This one goes out to all my brothers on lockdown.
(Photos ganked from listener Keith Antaya)

(Or: Ersatz Go-Go in Providence)
The place we played, Lupo’s, is usually a dance club. When we showed up for soundcheck, the go-go cages hadn’t been put away yet. So I did the acoustic mid-show miniset inside the thing, jumping off the stage and running over there as the fellaz played a polka fanfare. NICE.

Toronto: Disaster!

Fun and mishaps in Canada.
(person who sent me these pix, please write so I can put your name here, because I am a tool and I forgot)

(Check out that guitar face. Right?)
Maybe the loss of our Canadian ex-keyboardist Handsome Dan cursed us. Firstly, when we walked up onstage I realized that I hadn’t put my in-ear monitors on. I got on the mic for the traditional “Toronto, are you ready to rock?!” and thought to myself, that’s funny, I can’t hear my voice, have they not turned on the mic yet?
In the middle of the first song, Kirby’s electric piano began to emit apocalyptic grinding noises. It died right there. He had to do the whole show on a tiny circa-1993 Casio SK-1, which is a toy keyboard, essentially–about the length of my forearm, with keys the size of a girl’s pinkie. It has a rudimentary sampler onto which most users usually say “fuck” or “shit” and play it back at a variety of speeds and tones.
It was loads of fun. Also: hot dogs.

Troy: Awesomest Thus Far.

A killing show.
(Above pic ganked from {??}; Kirby pic ganked from Christine McKenzie; cake pic ganked from Trina Evans)

It was my birthday, and so the fellaz (plus opener Nicole Atkins, and her piano player, the legendary Handsome Dan) came out and gave me a cake. CAKE!
And just a great show. Dancing crowd, yelling, etc. As Pete McNeal says: “We got it dialed in.”
Pete often says “We’ve got it dialed in.” Sometimes: “We’ve got it dialed up,” or “dialed out.” Or sometimes, simply: “We’ve got it dialed.”

What Else to Mention?

These pix ganked from listener Christine McKenzie.

Let’s see:
I am killing the fried food, and am happily getting pudgier.
Pete took us to Sally’s pizza in New Haven–where he grew up–en route to Providence. Insanely good, second only to DiFara’s in Brooklyn.
We have an insane overnight drive from Cleveland to Bonnaroo–we have to be there at 9 am to load in our stuff–hence, the moment the House of Blues show ends, we will haphazardly throw everything into the van and start jamming the 600 miles to Tennessee.
We are instituting a tradition in which Scrap sings and plays guitar in a solo rendition of a medieval tune called “Guardame las Vacas.” The sole lyric, which he came up with, is “Keeping watch/over some cow.”
I have repeatedly forgotten to burn Chuck a CD of Ennio Morricone’s “Il Ritorno de Ringo,” our usual walk-on tune.
Being men trapped in a van with each other all day, the ebb and flow of homoerotic jokes has become alarming.

A Buffalo Dude Tossed a Box of Caramels Onstage Last Night; Thank You, Buffalo Dude.

A smashing opener.

Probably the best first-gig-of-a-tour ever. We played outdoors, on a square in downtown Buffalo (so many stately old buildings in Buffalo), under a big column topped with a bronze statue commemorating something.
Big energy, fun crowd, lots of smilers. The Brave Youngster John Kirby–playing, as he was, his debut gig with us–looked a little startled whenever something got fucked up, but we all were grinning. At one point, he was messing with a control on a Memory Man effects pedal, and a huge blaring note that would not stop ’til he shut the thing off came out. We laughed. We love fuck-ups.
I think it was his first, like, rock-star experience. He was smiling the whole time. And having his picture taken with teenage girls afterwards. I’m guessing that’s not happened to him before.
Stunning, stunning face calls from our drummer Pete McNeal last night. (face calls is a kind of jamming game we play during shows) Just rocked the hell out of it.
Scrap’s Tribeca-based bass guru, David Gage, fixed up his bass so it’s a lot more audible now, which is fantastic. He was kind of buried, previously. He’s also rocking the bass with a bow a lot, which is super fun.