War Cries of Northern Aggression

December 14, 2012

This tour is more than half way over and it has been an odd one. We have played a venue that doesn’t allow cursing, one populated entirely with people on whatever drug compels people to lie down on band merch, and a number of fairly last-minute shows that we wish we could have better promoted. We have had a lot of great shows, too. We played the Village Voice Web awards, which was an honor (not sure blog folks will ever be our crowd, though) and our time in the South has been a pleasure as always. I am already putting tonight’s show at the Radio Room in the “great” category. It is the Winter Sounds album release party and people are descending on Greenville from as far away as Charlotte and Carrollton, GA. It should be a mad house tonight and we are super excited to be a part of it.

We have had big shows and small shows this tour, which has only served to remind us that it isn’t the size of the crowd but the size of the response. I know that sounds super corny, but is nonetheless true.

My halo is a disco car.

My halo is a disco car.

We have managed to have a lot of fun in the small amount of off-time we have had. We went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where we were able to get in free in exchange for our album. They now have all three in their archives! In Philadelphia we got to catch Oreo Jones and DMA performing down the street after playing our own show. We had some great tourist time in D.C., one of our favorite places (and a testament to the great things that can come from our tax dollars–Museums should always be free!) as well, and we even got a little Christmas shopping in here and there.

Most importantly, we have been getting a great response to the new album and selling them steadily. We couldn’t be more proud of War Cries and we would love to hear from people who have had a chance to really sit down with it.

More to come soon. Until then check out our feature in NUVO (Indianapolis). One of the best articles written about us so far, and probably our best photo shoot to date!

Read the article here.

Read the article here.

Also, check out the press we got in Charleston.

 

Warcries coming your way

November 29, 2012

So, I have been absent from here for some time. My tour laptop keyboard broke and it was difficult to find time to fix it with our rigorous tour schedule. We have been back home for a couple of  weeks to do our local album release shows for War Cries, which were in Indianapolis, Bloomington and Fort Wayne. We couldn’t be happier with how the new album has been received. We have yet to lose any of you, even with our more eccentric stuff. We also took some time to send out albums and other treats to our Kickstarter backers. We hope these people in particular are happy with the final product. We put more heart and soul into this album than ever before,  and we believe the whole package–music, artwork and accompanying comic (yes, the booklet is a comic!) reflect how pumped we are for the madness to which we have given birth. Here is cover:

To see the rest you will have to come to one of our upcoming shows or wait until January for the national release. That is, if you weren’t lucky enough to get a foot in the door early by backing us on Kickstarter (we have made so many new fans and friends since then).

Tomorrow we are embarking yet again. This time we are heading up to NYC to play the Village Voice Web awards and then down South again–our home away from home. We are armed with a bunch of new songs (War Cries is comprised of 15 tracks!), some new costumes, and a renewed energy. We hope to see you soon!

Motorin’

September 7, 2012

So we have somehow managed not to have as much time with wireless as the last tour, but you should take this as a sign that things are going better than ever. We followed up our raucous Greenville show by playing Shiprocked at Snug Harbor in Charlotte. Thrown by Scott Weaver, who it turns out is a mutual friend (of some of our favorite people), this weekly dance party reminded us of some of our favorite parties in  NYC, and we had an absolute blast. I don’t need to tell any Charlotte people to go check it out Thursdays at Snug, because that place is packed every week already. We can’t wait to go back. The next night we returned to Charleston to play the Tin Roof, which is always a pleasure. We got to see our friends from the band Sleepy Eye Giant, with whom we played on the last tour and played with the incomparable Mechanical River. It was another great one. Thanks to Will for doing us the honor of spending your birthday at an Andy D show.

It would probably be too much to recap the whole last week, but nearly every night has been a great success. We have also managed to make this an ersatz vacation and celebration of my upcoming birthday, making time to explore Savannah (thanks to the Wormhole for giving us our first show there), spending two days on the beach, and visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal. This last part was made possible by some very generous friends, whom we cannot thank enough–Megan, thanks for giving us the VIP park treatment, and Jessica, Pat and Lars for making our Florida time special by coming to three shows in a row as well as showing us the magic of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the E.T. ride. There are more thank yous to be had, but I must move on before this turns into an award acceptance speech. You folks are all aware of your awesomeness.

After triumphant returns to Jackrabbits in Jacksonville, Lil’ Indies/Will’s Pub in Orlando, and New World Brewery in Ybor City (Tampa), where we were again lucky enough for a lovely person to spend her birthday with us (Happy Birthday again, Susie!) we played St. Augustine for the first time. Nobby’s was a great surprise, where we found ourselves amongst rad bands and a rowdy crowd that made us feel immediately at home. This place is definitely one we must return to soon, and we thank Uncle Marty, Slough Loris, and Teenage Labotamy for playing with us.

So, now I find myself at A & M Theater in Panama City, where we had yet another first show in a new town. This place, which is more than just a venue, instead something of an art and music community, felt more like a party than a show, something we greatly appreciated and helped ward off the tour zombie mode that sets in. Checkout the poster below. We always appreciate when people do rad posters for us (New World Brewery also does a great job). I should do a gallery of these some time.

And now, we are on to Ocean Springs to again play the Squeaky Lizard. We expect the next couple days to be ragers (Mobile on Saturday) and then we finally have a day off. Until next time.

xoxo

V.

Tour de Force

August 30, 2012

Andy and I have been back out on the road for a week and are using our first day off to recuperate in Greenville, South Carolina, where we played last night at the Radio Room. This is our third time playing this venue and it has yet to disappoint, even on a Tuesday night. Wes always puts together a great show, pairing us with other bands with great energy. This time we played with Dables and No’Counts. As I always say, it takes less time to click my links than it would to read my poor descriptions of their sound, so check them out! I know I have said this before, but shows at the Radio Room are a singularly awesome experience for us.  There are few places that provide such a warm atmosphere, where people show up ready to really support the bands. They are attentive, encouraging and willing to buy our merch and for that we thank everyone who has come to our last three shows. We will always try to come back as soon as possible.
Our other shows so far this tour have been similarly heartening. We started out the tour playing a show in Bloomington at the Root Cellar, which is always bittersweet for us. We got to play with Ursa Major again, who only gets better every time we see her, and the place was absolutely packed with our Bloomington friends. We started the night of right with an incredible dinner at Farm and then snuck over to the Funny Bone to say hi to to Garfunkel & Oates, who are two of our favorite comedians and also happen to be some of the raddest ladies we know.  If you haven’t been keeping up to  date on their videos, you have watch 29/31 immediately!

We went on to Louisville, one of our favorite towns, and played Zanzibar, one of our favorite clubs, with Dirty J, a fellow Hoosier, and Bus Hus. As usual we had to end the night right by heading over to see the OKDeejays. If you haven’t already, check them out on Night Visions Radio. We then went on to have our best Chattanooga show yet at the Honest Pint, a truly beautiful venue with RoboSapien. Thanks to all our friends who came out to see us once again, and to the new fans who spread the word after seeing us play with Electric Six in Nashville. There are some really amazing photos up from this show at 423braggingrights.com, like the one below. Check them out!

By this time we were brimming with confidence about this tour and couldn’t wait to get to Atlanta, which is home to some of our favorite bands, many of which came to Star Bar to show us support. We followed a comedy night, which was admittedly a little weird for us, having to change the momentum of the night completely, but we had the honor of playing to members of Baby Baby; Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun; The Winter Sounds; and Cousin Dan, i.e. a dream band lineup and it suddenly occurs to me that this was a missed opportunity for an unbelievable show. I have posted videos from all these incredible bands at one point or another, so follow the tags to see the greatness.

So, now you are just about up to speed. There have been a couple minor setbacks. My laptop keyboard broke, and dragging around a peripheral one has made blogging a bit more burdensome. We also got a nail in one of our tires, which we have to get fixed before our Charlotte show tomorrow, but all things considered we have been pretty lucky. It has been a blast already. Only 3 more weeks to go!

Nap is the Future

August 3, 2012

We are still working hard on mixing and producing the album, which should be done in about 2 weeks. Throughout this process we have been talking a lot about our influences and so I decided to start a tumblr page on the topic. I like to keep this page free for news and tour info, so getfreakywiththeVD for fun videos and the occasional lengthier exposition on our artistic philosophies. We are beginning to finalize plans for the physical album and had a photo shoot with Mariah White last week for the album artwork, which is going to look incredible and really different from the last two. We also have Wayne Bertsch cooking up something special for you all inside the album booklet. We are in the early planning stages for videos as well, so look for those in weeks to come. We are super excited about where we are heading and that our new label Rad Summer is helping us get there.

We played the Rad Summer Anniversary show in Indy at the White Rabbit on July 20th with our label mates Oreo Jones, Black Fabio, Lemi Vice, Knife Fight, B Qwyatt, and Party Lines. It was a packed house and a really great show for us. We couldn’t be more stoked to be with such a talented roster of musicians. This has really been Oreo’s summer, with an incredible new album out and NUVO cover coming on the heels of “Reggie Miller” from his other project with Action Jackson, Black Fabio becoming the summer jam. His album Betty (out next month) is going to be a hard act to follow, so we are motivated to make this album the best yet. Click the links  to check out Party Lines, and to read about how Oreo Jones rules the Indy universe.

We followed up that incredible night with a Dayton show at Blind Bob’s bar.  This show was also packed, despite a rager the night before in the form of the Grime Prom. It was a killer lineup: Night Beast, God Bless and Asher Jones, and Orange Willard, so people braved their hangovers to come out for a second night. We always have a great time in Dayton, but this show was extra special and we can’t wait to do it again! Look for us to make it back around in October.

This Saturday we  have a show at Locals Only with Mic Sol, Ace One, Grey Granite and more. This is one of the last shows before Locals closes so come party up one last time. It has been a while since we have seen any of these guys perform ourselves, so we can’t wait for Saturday to roll around.

Rad Summer

July 18, 2012

We have tracked all the vocals for the new album and are now knee-deep in post-production. It has been a exciting couple months for me in that I have been a part of every step of the process for this album. Andy has taught me to use Cubase and the ins and outs of recording. It has been fun playing engineer while Andy records his vocals.  On Warcries I will be singing lead on several songs and have even done some writing, so this will be a special album for me. As with the last album, there will be some some  guest vocals and instrumental parts, and we are extra excited about who we have lending their talents this time, though I won’t reveal them quite yet. I know many of you will be as stoked as we are, so stay tuned! In the meantime, I have created a tumblr page of the things that are influencing the new album, as well as the last two.

We have only had one show since last I blogged, but it was a doozy. Thrown by Bloomington legend Daun Door-Key, the woman behind bands such as The Door-Keys, Vera Maleta and Fat Shadow, this all-day festival in French Lick featured some incredibly talented Indiana Musicians. It turned out to be the hottest day of the year, with a heat index of 115, but it was great to be able to relax outdoors and hear some of our favorite Indiana bands. Andy also designed and implemented a candle labyrinth, which lit up the night for sure.

Though it is already over, I recommend taking a gander at the event tumblr which has a list of the performers with links to their respective Bandcamp pages and other places where you can check out what they have to offer. You will thank me later.

You should also check out this live performance video we shot for Off the Avenue when we were in Orlando. My awkward dancing is coupled nicely with a selection of only the best viral videos the internet has to offer. Check it out!

Our show schedule is picking up again. This weekend we have the Rad Summer anniversary party on July 20th at White Rabbit and a show the next day at Blind Bob’s  in Dayton with the incomparable Night Beast. Many of the dates for our next tour are up as well, so check our the Calendar page. We will be ’round to rock your faces soon!

We are the Future

June 30, 2012

We are a third of the way done tracking the vocals for the album and everything sounds incredible so far. As many of you already know, this with be a post-apocalyptic-themed album, and so I would like to talk about the future for a minute; the far, far future that is this August, because though I know it is only another month away, summer months defy all laws of physics and last an eternity–if you are doing it right!  Starting late August we will be setting out on another tour, armed with a new setlist and more wonderful things for you to buy. It will be a nice mix of familiar towns and virgin territory, and we can’t wait! Dates are still being finalized, but I have started adding confirmed dates to our Calendar page, so click the link and see if we are coming near you. If your town isn’t on the list yet, check back because many more dates are still to be added.

Until next time, here is some fan-made wallpaper to keep you company.

Our Playground is Your Face: New Music Video!

June 17, 2012

I have once again been neglectful in updating the blog. We have been busy working on the new album and I was waiting for some exciting news to inspire me to take a break from our recording and show schedule. The impetus for this blog has come in the form of yet another completed music video! We are pleased to announce the release of Playground, directed by the incomperable Xack Gibson of Bagfry Productions. His style is visually striking and uniquely compelling – just like us, and we were super excited to work with him. We already have almost 1,000 views on youtube after only a few days since launch. Watch the video below and then check out his other work at bagfryproductions.com. Take a minute to process the magic once you have watched it and then move directly to my update below.

For those of you who might be wondering about the next album, not to worry, we are hard at work recording and are on track to release it in early Fall. So, those of you who supported us on Kickstarter, please don’t send in the goon squad just yet! Despite my recent absenteeism here, we have still had a busy show schedule. We did a run through Ohio and Pennsylvania before going on to the wedding of our friends Seung and Jessie in Connecticut. We had our first show in Columbus, our second in Pittsburgh, one of our favorite towns, and on our way back  made a triumphant return to Toledo and Detroit, where we again played at Smalls in Hamtramck. We were also happy to return to Dayton and the Southpark Tavern. We always look forward to playing in Dayton, where we have some of our warmest audiences.  We finally had our first show in Cincinnati and returned to Columbus, where we are building a supportive fan base. It is always heartening to see familiar faces, and we thank all of our new Ohio friends (and old ones who came to support us!).

This last weekend we returned to Bloomington to play a show at the Bishop with Ursa Major and DJ Wally Wonder. It was really wonderful seeing everyone again, and it was touching to know that the town where we recorded our last album and where I began performing as part of The Weekend still cheers louder and dances harder than any other town. It has given us a renewed energy that will help us finalize this album and make it the best one yet! It was a highlight, too, to play with Bloomington’s own Ursa Major, who killed it as our opener. She has gone from fledgling rapper to fulfledged badass in our absence and we are happy to see how far she has come – She is a giant magical golden bear AND the biggest of dippers – If you are in B-Town in July go see her bounce it with Big Freedia. We also got to kick it with our buddy Beverly Bounce House on his birthday! Bloomington will always have a piece of our hearts, and we will be back soon to rock all your beautiful faces.

We are finalizing another longer tour starting in August and I will start adding confirmed dates soon, so check our Calendar page to see when we are coming to your town again. Until then, we only have a couple of shows so that we can focus on recording. We have a lot of other exciting things in the works, so check back here for future news! 

We have been particularly lucky this past month when it comes to playing with bands whose style and energy mesh with ours, and I will leave you with an acknowledgement section listing some of them. In no particular order:

Night Beast Daton, OH. Thanks, Nick for giving us a place to stay, great converstion, and one of the most comfortable times we have ever had with someone we just met.

Cliffs Columbus, OH Ditto to Aaron and Adam, who were nice enough to put us up after both our Columbus shows.

Teen Fiction Columbus, OH

The Saturday Giant Toledo, OH

Sneaky Mike Pittsburg, PA

Mustache Required Pittsburg, PA.

Thanks also to If I Ever See You Out of Town and The Minor Leagues for playing our first Cincinnati show at the Comet with us, which turned out great despite some anxiety on our part.

Love,

V

May Update: Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun, Electric Six and FIRST AVENUE!

May 15, 2012

Though we haven’t been touring nonstop over the last few weeks, we have been playing shows every weekend. It has been a busy time, culminating in some of our best shows to date!

We spent the first weekend of May playing two dates with the incredible Atlanta band Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun. Our Indianapolis show at Skybar Live with Modern Motion and Buster Eagle was a typical slow Sunday, but Fort Wayne lived up to the high expectations that we had given them for a Brass Rail show. The crowd was visibly wowed by the band’s performance, and we were happy to bring them up to play with us. If you missed them at these shows, check out this video by MonkeyEatsMonkey Presents. A video for this song is forthcoming, and I will post it as soon as it is finished. There might even be a special cameo or two.

The next weekend was probably the best of our career. We joined  Electric Six again for three special performances to celebrate the ten year anniversary of their album, Fire, which will result in a double live album of the entirety of Fire and a selection of greatest hits. It began with a show in Dekalb, Illinois on May 10th at Otto’s, a new market for us.  We made many new fans here, and were happy to meet a number of devoted Electric Six fans (of which we also count ourselves), who would attend all three shows.

The next night was a huge one for us. Our next date took us to First Avenue in Minneapolis, which as both Prince fans and musicans was an absolute dream for us to play. We have never been more nervous and excited to play a show before, but the whole experience went off perfectly. The audience was cheering from the moment the screen that covered the stageraised, and we played one of the best sets of our lives to the largest audience we’ve ever had. There were even a number of people cheering for an encore, but we were happy to end our set on a high note and get ready to join the E6 boys for “It Gets Hot,” which we were thrilled made the cut and will be immortalized on the live album. This was a special honor for me to be able to add my vocals to this version of the song.  We were as stoked as everyone else to to see all of Fire performed again, and both sets sounded incredible.

The boys killed it for the second night of recording at the Double Door in Chicago as well, though we had a hiccup in our set when Andy spontaneously attacked the ipod. You can watch this hilarous moment on http://gigity.tv/event/266/, where the Double Door has an archive of recorded past performances. It was hard to see this weekend end, but we have a feeling this will not be the last everyone sees of us and Electric Six together. When Andy says he spreads it like VD he isn’t kidding, and it is going to take a lot more than penicillin for Dick Valentine to get rid of us now!

Now we set off for a few shows on the East Coast, with a break for a wedding (super excited for you, Jessie and Seung!) and to visit all of our friends in New York. Tomorrow we have a show in Columbus, OH at Double Happiness, so spread the word. I promise to keep this updated once again.

Kickstarted

April 19, 2012

This is old news on Facebook, but I keep forgetting to document here that we were mentioned in a Gizmodo article on the subject of Kickstarter. As most of the readers of this blog already know, we recently used Kickstarter to successfully fund our next album, which is being recorded now. Though the article is about why they are over the whole concept, we were mentioned as one of the few exeptions to the generally outlandish and unworthy campaigns on the site. The author, Joe Brown, says “I have funded more Kickstarters than I care to admit. Somewhere in the neighborhood of a dozen. The only ones I have not regretted were Longshot Magazine and Andy D’s  forthcoming album, Warcries. (Sample tracks here. It is liquid sound insanity.)”

Not too shabby. Check out the full article at gizmodo.com


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