Saturday, August 2, 2008

Heading west, bad tofu, spirit fingers and 90's indie rock.

My new O.D.B shirt that I got in Philly.. I love it.

Who am I. Where am I. Oh yea, thats right..we're in Rochester, New York at the Water Street Music Hall and I'm sitting backstage wondering why on earth this chinese restaurant we ordered food from had to fry the tofu until it tasted like wads of paper towels. A Disgrace! Tofu is wonderful stuff.. this is why the steak eaters and whiteys get turned off of tofu!

This next segment you're getting from our hotel room in Cleveland, staying true to the nature of tour, you're getting one blog from more than one city. We played the Grog shop tonight and although Cleveland is one of those cities, in one of those places where we as a band just aren't as big out was still a good show. We graciously take our slice of the humble pie especially after our northeast cranial inflation session of sold out shows. I even played through even MORE spirit fingers which have been following me. You're probably wondering what the hell I'm talking I shall elaborate.

Now let me just say that I don't for any goddamn second take for granted the fact that not only do I get to play music and travel the world in a real band, but there are people out there who actually like the music I write and that we play. However, as any normal person would, once you become familiar enough with something that you've been doing for a solid ten years, you build a real relationship with it and develop those things you love and strongly dislike about it. One of the very few things that I really dislike are the 'spirit fingers'. This is when people in the front row who are obviously excited, and obviously giving my jerk-ass props frantically thrust their hands toward my face and wave there fingers at me like angry anemones in a turbulent sea. People at basketball games do this with those plastic thingy's to distract whoever is shooting a free-throw.. Other animals in the wild use similar tactics to distract and stun their prey before devouring them. Although I'm sure that people who come to our shows have no motive towards any of those things, the effect is the same. Its gotten so bad that the whole band is starting to notice it, and no one else gets it but me! Is this a conspiracy towards my slow yet inevitable lunacy? Its been happening in cities across the country.. and its beginning to creep us all out. I know I sound like an ingrate but hey, what is this blog for if not to release my true feelings and thoughts. I'm starting to get nervous about facing the audience now when I have a shred part to play, and during the breakdown of 'Decrescendo' I've started to just go back to the drum riser during my solo part. Matt warned me about writing about this, for good reason thinking that it will just encourage people to 'Spirit finger' me even harder, but implore any of you who read this that come to our shows; if you don't wanna see me implode and supernova onstage then please, PLEASE, no more spirit fingers. I seriously appreciate that anyone would get stoked on my mediocre skills on the guitar, but I really can't hang with the spirit fingers or people yelling creepy shit at the top of their lungs about us when we walk on stage.
"dude, it comes with the territory, you're in a band and people like you so just shut up and appreciate the fact that people like you and are even there to yell at you and spirit finger you" oh yeah? Well anyone that thinks that can shove it up their ass because although I'm on stage and people are coming to watch my band play, we're all equals all the time and so if I don't like something and I don't feel like I'm being treated like an equal whether being put on a pedestal or beneath someone, I'm gonna say something about it. Man, I'm being sassy.

I need to kick back, and relax now.. shower and stretch time before checking out some sportscenter dork style to see whats up with baseball that I don't get to watch because I'm on tour. At least I don't have to regularly watch my Oakland A's get the beatdown while they rebuild for the next 2 seasons. Matt and I did an acoustic set and interview session at Alternative Press today while were in Cleveland, and I was talking with Mr. Scott Heisel who did the interview about all these great 90's indie bands we loved so much and it got me all pumped up on so many records. For all of you who don't know whats up with merge, crank, jade tree, and polyvinyl who are just a few labels from that time period then check some of this out..these are records I really really love. And for those of you who are too cool for school and scoff at this stuff because you "..heard it before anyone else did waaaaaaay back in the day, and kinda just are over it" shut up.

1. Crank records 'Don't Forget To Breathe' compilation - this comp has everyone from mineral, to hot water music to christie front drive and in large part epitomizes what this was all about. so many sick songs.

2. Promise Ring 'Nothing feels good' - 'nuff said

3. Archers of Loaf 'Vee Vee' - if you don't know then keep not knowing or get with the know

4. Knapsack 'Day three of my new life' - again, get with it or beat it.

5. Jimmy Eat World 'Static Prevails' - "they had music before 'Bleed Amercian'??" I'll fight someone

6. Neutral Milk Hotel 'In the Aeroplane over the sea' - this is some honest music.

7. Braid 'Frame and canvas' - you can't write drum parts like these.. no one else can.

8. No knife 'Hit man dreams' AND 'Fire in the City of the Automatons' - rx KINDA borrows some of No Knifes steez.. but just kinda..a little.. ok maybe a lot.

9. Superchunk - any superchunk.. just check it.

and list goes on and on.


p.s. The studio we did our acoustic session in had and SSL console that got me hot and bothered.. the fact that it was repping 4 HD's and og 1176's and LA2A's among other stuff and only was 65 bucks an hour blew my mind.. fuckin Ohio man.


jennyloves said...

My heart smiles when you say "we are equals" and you don't strut yo' stuff around like you're one of those I'mtoohotforyou&myhairispretty kind of rockstars.

You're true & i luv it.

Anonymous said...

I was at the Cleveland show and I noticed some hate going out to the spirit fingers. I thought that was for cheerleaders, not fans of rock music, but who knows?
As far as your show went, even though the sound system at Grog is so-so, that was the best I've ever seen you guys play by a long shot. Keep up the good work.

rissa said...

thank you for coming to cleveland again.
i was afraid that you wouldn't stop this time due to the poor showing at the HOB last time. my sister and i have been to every show you guys have played here since warped tour 2002. the show in cleveland on tuesday was AMAZING. i just really wondered what the hell was the deal with the kid who was wearing those bizarre hand mitten things. haha we're not all that weird here, i promise. i can't wait to hear the acoustic stuff, when/where will it be available? i'm so excited for the new material, the song you played was wonderful.

next time you're in cleveland i'll bring you some decent tofu, too. the place i work for [mustard seed market] has the best baked ginger tofu. it's veryyy tasty.

hopefully there are no supernovas or imploding on stage the rest of the tour. i'd really like to see you guys again ;0)

i'll be sending some pics from the cleveland show to the rxb myspace. check them out if you want
be safe out on the road.

Anonymous said...

I was at the grog on tuesday, standing right next to the guy with the mickey hands, and even though it was a just a huge cry for attention, I don't think any performer should hate on the "spirit fingers." I feel that the spirit fingers are just another way for the crowd to convey their excitement and appreciation, and as someone that just spent their hard-earned money on a ticket and merchandise... I'm a little offended that you'd just trash the crowd like that.

S. Choi RXB said...


Chill bro.. If you're offended by me just being honest about how I feel then perhaps you need to realize that performer or not, I'm a person who has every right to express what I like and don't like. We are not owned by the audience, and as much as we appreciate the hell out of our audience (which I wrote about) I have every right to talk about what I like and really dislike. We've never stopped people from throwing shoes at our heads, throwing bottles of water all over my keyboards and guitars, crashing themselves onstage sending mics throttling at our teeth all out of their excitement.. So when I humorously write about how I hate spirit fingers and someone pulls out the "I spent my hard earned money on your tickets and merch" card I am WAAAY not down. We're a band, musicians, artists, PEOPLE. We're not a restaurant or a service, that owe you something for your patronage..Anyone who follows us knows how much we appreciate the people who support us and listen to our music, don't start talking like we're selling something, we're just trying to play music and live.

Pat said...

Yea I totally get what you mean, although I can't say I can completely relate.

I've always found RXB crowds to be pretty chill, but this time there just didnt seem to be any respect.Maybe it was just easier to notice sitting upstairs.
You're right though. You deserve respect, probably even more so cause you're performing. Jumping up on stage or throwing dirty shirts at the stage just strikes me as inappropriate.

Chase said...

Ripping off some great chapel hill bands there. I'll take Icky Mettle over Vee Vee. We're slowly rebuilding the greatness that was once the triangle area music scene. Merge is still of course killing it. Thanks for the stop in Wilmington. It was amazing to see you guys in Boston a couple years ago and see a 1000 people going nuts and then play a small show in Wilmington and you guys still have the same enthusiasm, love it. Keep melting faces.

Ohio Nate said...

spirit fingers? hehehe.

Anyway, it's good to see you guys get a good response this time as opposed to the disaster at the House of Blues last tour. =(

Daniel_athf said...

shit man i'm totally guilty of spirit fingers...sorry. its awesome to hear TX treated you right, I sure as hell enjoyed your stay in Dallas, and even got to have a word with Balling himself. I, and the horde of fans here, would love to see you guys down in the dirty south again if the accident will.