Friday, May 7, 2010


We left San Antonio after a lovely dip in the pool. We listened to some of Ornette Coleman's "Science Fiction" and then Sly & The Family Stone's "There's A Riot Goin On". We arrived to Mohawk early and loaded in. Then we realized how early we still were regardless of taking our time. We walked around Austin and realized what a not so cool place it can be in downtown.

We stepped into a coffee shop and I ordered a Cranberry/Strawberry Smoothie and had an orange as well. Nehemiah and I discussed Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower". Mainly talking about him being 12 years old and having an old hippie tell him "You like the Dylan version better because you've never done LSD and listened to the Hendrix version". This idea made me laugh and the smoothie was delicious. We got done and headed back to the venue.

Mohawk is probably the nicest spot I've seen in Austin. We played indoors as opposed to the very large and awkward looking outdoor stage. We hung out in the outdoor, upstairs patio area for a bit and I walked down to watch the first band which was sort of just a bad and plain version of Ween to me. I clapped politely during their set and was excited to play tonight more so than usual. Since before the set we discussed one song having dragged more than usual and I felt a bit threatened to be honest. Being the pulse keeper of a very pulse intensive band makes you question a whole lot about your sense of feel.

We went on and had what I personally believe to be the best set we've done all tour. We played the 2 songs that had been cut from the past few shows and they worked way better after having some time off. I probably bruised my thighs and knees pretty bad but I felt great about my playing and our set. It was the first time since Boise a few days ago that I felt like the audience was really feeling the band more so than just Arrington and his thing. Both things I feel are worth attention but I think Nehemiah and myself were really on point tonight and were worth just as much attention.

We finished and I hung out upstairs in the patio again. Unfortunately, I missed Yellow Fever's set but I bet they were great. We spoke briefly but earnestly after the show and they really enjoyed our set as much as I imagine I would have enjoyed their's. I spoke to them about hanging out in Brooklyn and how much it has to do with the people you are with more so than the situation you're in.

Now were are staying with a very nice woman who sat on Arrington's lap on the way here and let me use her laptop. I put on Can's "Future Days" and life feel gorgeous. Lafayette,LA tomorrow and the Tallahassee,FL!!

With Love & Prog,
Ruben Sindo Acosta

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Arrington Tour Days 8-10

So, I awoke in Kansas City to the sound of moving kitchen wear and was wondering who would be up at 10am? Being that I went to bed around 2am and there was still a living room full of kids playing acoustic guitars, banjos, and banging on tables along to Rolling Stones songs. I walk over to the kitchen and find our hosts, wide awake and having just finished making us coffee and food. I walked into the kitchen right as they were pulling the muffins and biscuits out of the oven. I was shocked and delighted. I munched away and Nehemiah, the roommates and I all played Apples to Apples until it was time to head to Norman,OK.

We arrived in Norman sort of early and were able to set up our gear and soundcheck before the other band arrived. They were described to me as an "Afro Beat" band by the owner of the club but he said he had never heard them really. I have one of the free Miller High Life's and talk to the bartender/owner about Neil Hamburger coming through town. She mentions she knows the opening band well having toured with them. I ask what band she's in and she says The Starlight Mints. Knowing several people who are big fans of theirs I expressed how loved they are among them and she is flattered.

There are quite a bit of college bro dudes at the venue by the time we go on and we really freaked them the fuck out. I was pretty happy with our set and how quickly I have been able to tear down my gear after playing. I get a phone call from Dany right after we play and he and I discuss his new Art Gallery endeavor and I am really proud of and excited for him and what could potentially happen to Hialeah because of it. I then have a nice talk with my beautiful Arminda and walk in once the band after us is done. Apparently Arrington and Nehemiah were dying for me to come in and see the "Frat Funk" they were doing which was supposed to be horrid and I imagine it was.

Nehemiah had some friends who were on a road trip come through and they had some camping grounds booked for that night. We drove out there and stayed with them. They were kind enough to lend me a sleeping bag and I slept outside for the first time in my life. We were outside of Norman,OK and the stars were absolutely stunning. I spent some time working on my tossing and turning technique in a sleeping bag (another new experience for me). I was awaken by the sound of a weed whacker and Nehemiah's friend placing a red plastic cup by me and asking "Coffee?". I was very happy to say yes and I joined them at the picnic table for some coffee and oranges. They took off for their journey over to the Tennessee, West Virginia border and we headed south to Denton,TX.

We get to Denton pretty early and have some Mexican food that Arrington suggests. I order a shrimp quesadilla and it was a bad move. Just shrimp and a whole ton of cheddar cheese. Not my scene but I enjoyed what I could and was glad to be out of the Texas sun for a bit. We start to walk off the meal and go into a record store. I get a copy of Mustafa Ozkent's album on B Music for $8 and Sade's Lovers Rock for $5 as well. We head to the venue and load in.

Rubber Gloves is supposedly the best place to play in Denton and it seemed alright to me. The opening band was called Drug Mountain and had T-Shirts with huge dicks on them or upside down crosses. I got one with the crosses. We play our set and I happy with it. Afterwards I re-meet Natalie whom I had met when she was on tour with Daniel Francis Doyle! Apparently she speaks Indonesian and came to see Arrington. The owner of the bar buys Nehemiah and myslef a shot of Tequila and we go stay at a strangers house with several nice couches, a pull out bed and 2 extremely cute cats.

We head down to San Antonio in the morning and the hot Texas air is pretty brutal. I have a very enjoyable experience in traffic listening to Terry Riley's "In C" something I had never really listened to and the last time I tried to listen to it I was in traffic as well. We get Arrington's parents house and his father is standing in the lawn watering it down in flip flops and swimming trunks. I have a good handshake with him and Arrington's mom gives me a hug.

We jump in the pool for a few minutes and it's extremely refreshing. After a bit we get dried off and head to a mexican restaurant with Arrington's parents. The food was just OK but the conversation was great. I really love meeting and talking to parents and Arrington's parents are fascinating. We walk around the river walk for a bit and grab coffee before heading to the venue.

The Ten Eleven is directly next door to Rock Bottom, where I had played with Afuche in San Antonio and apparently it's roof caved in just a few weeks ago. Every beer at this bar is $2. Sierra Nevada, Real Ale, and 16oz Lone Stars all $2. It was really nice. The opening bands were... diverse. The first band was a death metal band that looked just out of high school. Then a sort of weird uncle band went on that sounded just like Living Colour and I'm pretty sure they know that. Then we played. The room was full of people who were dazed, confused and entertained. A girl had her eyes closed and seemed in a trance for a bit before dropping her bottle which broke on the ground and she swept it up. The singer of Living Colour told us our set was good... it was weird but good... "and good and weird is wood"... I didn't think that was funny either. We pack up and head back to Arrington's parents house and watch half of "Some Kind Of Monster" before knocking out.

I slpet extremely well and we had a nice lunch with Arrington's dad. We finished the movie and are now about to dip back in the pool before heading to Austin. I am having a great time, but I greatly miss my Brooklyn, my friends and my lovely lovely Arminda.

With Love & Prog,
Ruben Sindo Acosta

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Arrington Tour Days 5-7

So, after finishing my last blog we started out set and it went incredibly well! Nothing went wrong with the drum set and I was happy about my playing. The band actually sounded amazing in the coffee place. It was a huge warehouse with glass windows lining the walls, a few feet of bricks and then the ceiling was made of wood.

After the set I met Ryan, a friend of James Cunningham (he lives in NY... works at trader joe's... you know him). I mentioned we'd be interested in possibly doing a basement show that night as well, seeing as how our set was done just before 9pm. He said he could get the wheels rolling on it and I said "the night is young and I'm not tired".

We loaded up and headed to this house. It was a nice place and we hung out for a bit. I was playing in the music room and a larger man asked his friend, clearly in my face, "Who's this pussy?". I laugh and introduced myself. He didn't laugh and I felt a bit strange. We end up realizing that people are not going to show up and we're more tired than we thought. Later the previously mentioned Larger Man said while walking by with one of his female friends "why do I get to hang out with hot chicks? Because I'm AWESOME!". I laugh a little bit harder and realize what a pathetic attention seeking loser this person is.

We head over to stay in the nice house owned by the nice people who set up the show. Nehemiah chooses the floor and Arrington and I share the futon. I awoke to something touching my leg... This is the first time I end up sleeping next to Arrington... I look strangely over to find a very cute and friendly orange cat.

We all wake up and Lisa, the lovely woman who hosted us, makes us and her daughter, Fern, breakfast. He husband, Steve, had to take off for work but before leaving he mentioned "your drumming sounded like a machine that was made out of Iron"... that really made me very very happy. Then we had amazing scrambled eggs, asparagus and a delicious desert. We start the drive to Denver, and it is absolutely gorgeous.

The drive was easier and more entertaining than I thought it would be. Being that Arrington had told me that the drive though Wyoming was going to be "mind numbingly boring", I was surprised at how spellbound I was the whole time. I had a chance to feel mountain style cold in May and spoke to my lovely girlfriend. Then we got to Denver.

Denver was... well... it was the Denver Noise Festival! It was kind of a teenage version of INC in Miami. I was earnestly not impressed...but we set up and ended up doing a set of the most raw, just bass and drums with vocals and the occasional bass clarinet. The audience responded well and we sold a shit ton of merch. Then we immediately loaded up and started the drive to Kansas City,MO. We were in Denver from 7:30pm to 11:30pm. So Denver was so brief I have no idea what the hell Denver is like.

I had the fortune of getting the backseat and took a serious powernap. I was awoken by Nehemiah kindly asking me if I wanted anything from the "Travel Shoppe" in Lucas,KS. I aggressively said "no!" and went back to sleep. I awoke again upon both he and Arrington driving in and I apologized for my prior tone. He laughed and I mentioned "I'm mid-power nap, I must do everything powerful" I really thought was hilarious at the time. We drive into Lucas and sleep in a park.

I have no sleeping bag or blanket in tow so I slept in the car and had an awful nightmare that all the bartenders at Ontario were absolutely horridly mean to me. The night was freezing and the morning sun cooked me in the tiny car facing east. I wake up and decide to sleep outside on the grass and my shutting the door awakens Arrington who decides it's time to see The Garden of Eden... I could write pages and pages about the Garden of Eden in Lucas,KS. There is a Skeletons album named Lucas after it. I will leave it at google search "Garden of Eden Lucas,KS". We check out Eric Abraham's gallery, a New York born but Kansas raised, interesting fellow who spoke to us about his art and anything else that would come up. The we ate food at the only restaurant that was open on Sunday's and we just beat the "post-church rush".

A few eggs and hashbrowns later we hit the road for Kansas City,MO. We got into town around 5pm and Just hang at the venue, which is in a shopping center, for a bit before hitting up the Book/Record store near by. I get a copy of RAM by Paul McCartney and, Martin Denny's "Exotica" on vinyl and Rush's "Fly By Night" on CD. Then the Kansas City show starts. "This is my Condition" opened and it was amazing! Check him out! The Conquerers play as well. Great kids.

Of course during our set my bass drum beater flies off but I covered the floor tom while taking care of the bass drum beater with only my left hand. I was happy with our set and got some very nice compliments. The Conquerers are hosting us now and I am using one of their roommate's laptop. He mentioned he had never seen the ocean until he went to Hawaii for his honey moon. He also asked that I please put his laptop away when I'm done because it has all the photos he has on his daughter on it. Shortly after, the drummer of The Conquerers asked if I've ever hung upside down and then the whole household excluding myself start jamming on instruments and it's a crazy mess.

Now, I am off to bed and preparing for a drive to Norman,OK tomorrow.

With Love & Prog,

Ruben Sindo Acosta