Feed Us A Live Insect

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Back to Los Angeles

We made it back to Los Angeles yesterday (Monday...I'm back at work on Tuesday) with no real problems, except that when we got in the van in Berkeley the temperature was in the 70's and when we got out at a rest stop somewhere in the Central Valley it was about 150 degrees outside in the shade. It was like walking into a hair drier...welcome back home...I have never seen the hills here look so dead and dry.

We're both kind of sad that the main leg of the tour is over. It was great...the van didn't break down...nobody got sick...we only had one disaster show and only one where we played badly. The bad thing is that our expenses on tour exceeded our earnings by somewhere between 10-15x (no lie)--but we knew this was going to happen, and because our expectations for the trip were so incredibly low (like, will the band survive the tour?) we're very happy with how things turned out and we're antsy to do it again! We'll probably be able to manage a week-long excursion sometime in the fall and another two-week trip in January, on top of long weekend-type trips...

One thing that became clear to me over the course of the tour was that, surprise surprise, some of our songs consistently went over better with audiences than others. I would say in general that our "rock" songs fared worse than our, er, less-rock material. "Our Tears Have Wings," "Red Lamb," "Best Friends In Space," and, especially, "We Fell Dead" got pretty good responses no matter where we played, and unfortunately things like "Strawberry Roan" did not. I'd even say that "Captain In The Army" and "Eagle Fighting Zebra" got lukewarm responses at best, although Mary thinks the latter song did fine..."Medium High" did very well...it's kind of hard to judge these things, but I'd say that in general when we played for younger (i.e., sub-hippie-burnout-aged) people they weren't quite so interested in retro rock-type sounds. Clearly there was a preference for dance-able type music, but beyond that distinctive and memorable things, rather than just rote hard rock. If nothing else came out of this trip I feel like we need to work even harder on songwriting and arrangement for our next tour. And cobbler. There needs to be more cobbler.

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