Manchild 4 Release (Double Negative, Des Ark, The Loners, Goner)
Tir Na Nog, Raleigh
Saturday, April 4
To celebrate the release of Brian Walsby's fourth comic book, Manchild 4, Bifocal Media one-upped their Manchild 3 party—a doubleheader of Double Negative and The Loners at Tir Na Nog—by adding Goner and Des Ark to a stacked line-up, again at the downtown Irish pub. Though the event was competing directly with the second night of Viking Storm and a UNC/Villanova Final Four showdown, well over 200 local music backers, Raleigh barflies, and yes, Tar Heel faithful, passed through the green double doors for Saturday night's rock sampler.
Kicking off the progressively heavier bill was Goner, whose fist-pumping synth anthems for grown-up sots in denial peaked during a mid-set spree that featured the pop spazz of Rock 'N' Roll Always Forgets' opening triumvirate: "Better Than Blue", "Hella Jean" and the title track. Check video of that and each of the other bands after the jump.
Tuesday, March 24
We're driving to Chicago right now. We've just finished listening to Stephen Colbert's audiobook I Am America & So Can You for the second time. It's 5 a.m. in our world, but we just crossed into the Central time zone, so technically it's 4 a.m.. We decided to leave Detroit after the show tonight so we could make it to Chicago for an 11:00 a.m. interview with Heave Media. We thought about staying in Detroit, but we were afraid we might hit rush-hour traffic in the morning and miss the interview.
Monday, March 23
We woke up around noon on Monday morning, still in Johnstown. We had only an hour and a half drive to Pittsburgh, our shortest drive yet. We left our equipment set up the night before at 709 Railroad, so we had a little band practice before packing everything into our Honda CR-V. It was fun playing new songs that we haven't yet had the balls to play live on tour. We then drove to Pittsburgh, passing a huge (nuclear?) power plant.
Sunday, March 22
Tonight is our ninth show of the tour. So begins what we consider the "second leg" of our 15-date quest. We're leaving the east coast and heading to part of the country where none of us has spent much time, let alone played music.
Saturday, March 21
I (Joe Hall, guitarist) woke up at my cousin's apartment at a less than respectable 1 p.m. He lives right in the heart of the Lower East Side on Houston at Avenue A. I only had to walk out of his building to get right where I wanted to be for the day. My band mates were still in Brooklyn, so I had the afternoon to myself, a rare thing when you're on tour.
Friday March 20
As we approached New York City, we decided to drive through Staten Island instead of fighting Friday evening Manhattan traffic. We crossed the Verazzano-Narrows Bridge, which offers the most radical view of the entire city of New York as you head into Brooklyn. You forget how dense and crazy this place is. We drove on to the Brookyln-Queens Expressway, which whizzed us straight to Brooklyn's hipster haven, Williamsburg.
Thursday, March 19
The next morning we finally said goodbye to our Caverns brethren, then drove to our friend Brad's apartment in Philadelphia. Thursday night we played in Wilmington, Del., just outside of Philly. Brad's apartment is two blocks from the Pat's/Geno's cheesesteak corner in South Philly. We immediately crushed a few steaks from Pat's, watched a little NCAA basketball, and later drove out to Delaware. Wilmington is a fairly large banking town on the outskirts of Philadelphia—not the most happening place in the world. However, we heard it was the hometown of WKNC's own DJ Stevo, so we're happy to be here.
Wednesday, March 18
Next we made the short drive from D.C. to Baltimore. It was the first time we have been back to Baltimore since we recorded our album here almost a year ago with our longtime hero, J. Robbins. That was the best week of our lives: We spent our days in the studio, living on pizza and coffee. The pizza was delivered from the world famous "Pizza Deal" restaurant. We made many pizza deals that week. J Robbins is the sweetest guy. It was such a pleasure to work with him. Baltimore was also the setting of a television show that I (Joe) hold close to my heart, The Wire. It was fun to dork out, drive around and point out specific locations from the show. I've been trying to get Jeff and Duncan to watch it for a while now.
We played at the Talking Head, a small venue tacked on to the back of a larger venue called Sonar. A lot of venues in larger cities have two rooms like this—one room for larger acts, and one room for smaller acts. It's great for relatively unknown touring bands. You get the same benefits from the club (i.e., beer discounts, door money and good sound), but you play to a much more intimate audience. We played between two local acts, Don Pennington and Vinngy Vegas. It was a great night all around. Baltimore's vibrant music scene is one of many we're struggling to break in to. After the show, we drove back to our crash pad in D.C., picked up some Cup o' Noodles from 7-11, watched even more Eastbound & Down, then hit the hay. Phew. —HNMTF
Tuesday, March 17
The trip from the Black Cat to the House of Caverns is one for which we no longer need directions. At the house we kicked back, drank some more Coors (the "silver bullet" this time), watched more Eastbound and Down and generally chilled out. Two of Patrick's friends stopped by and were running around like headless chickens. With good reason, as it turned out: From here they're hitting the road and driving to L.A., hoping to live their dreams as filmmakers.
Over the next two weeks, Durham’s Hammer No More the Fingers will offer daily glimpses into its touring life as the band tours the East Coast in anticipation of its Triangle CD release parties April 3-4.
Monday, March 16
Oh no. Do I remember correctly? Five guys, no shirts, duct tape, terrible accents and a video camera? I'm pretty sure that happened.
I searched Facebook to see which ones possibly made the cut. Seven videos popped up as soon as I logged in. Fortunately, I laughed a lot harder than I thought I would. On the downside, the videos turned out to have very little to do with Viking Storm.
Oh well. . . on to the next show: It was at The Black Cat Backstage, a venue similar in size to Durham's The Pinhook or Chapel Hill's Local 506, and rumored to be co-owned by Virginia native Dave Grohl.