Greetings to this assembly from John, Jon, Matt, Peter, Brandon, and Trudy, the six minerals which, set carefully within the sextant of the crystalline sea-goat, gleam with a dark and mysterious oceanic energy, radiating clear and pleasant vibrations to those who are drawn toward it. In its clear but really weird six-tone voice, the six-mineral chorus wishes to say THANK YOU to everybody who’s made 2015 such a special year for us: we will be remembering this year for many years to come.
One thing that happened this past year was at City Winery, in April, where we did a session down in the cellar between soundcheck and the show. We hadn’t really thought a whole lot about the session in advance — on tour, your default response to things is “let’s just show up and play” — and we were kind of under the gun time-wise when we got to the club. So we decided to just do it quick and dirty, old-school style. Like the open mic nights I used to play: unamplified guitar and vocals, friends with their axes playing along, arrangements arrived at on the fly and infinitely flexible.
Four songs later we felt really inspired – me and Matt played a song or two without anybody else around because we’d gotten down to the basement before the others, the total song choice was strictly “what do you figure we should play now?”, the mood was relaxed and free…we loved it. Later that night, we decided to strip down the drum kit to essentials and play a choke-the-motor set echoing and elaborating on what we’d done downstairs: a sort of small-ensemble feel, lower in volume but actually higher in intensity. Like what we do in concentrate.
It was one of our two favorite performances of the year, the other being the second night at the Fillmore. It felt like acres of new terrain opening up atop an ancient foundation. As soon as it was over, we all wanted to do it again.
So in 2016 we’re taking that set on the road. Not that exact set, obviously; the particulars will vary from night to night. But smaller rooms, audible frequencies, up close and personal: this is the general plan. Making eye contact with people in the back row, being able to go off-mic when I want to and still be heard. Total visibility.
We couldn’t be more excited about this tour. I love the big album release shows as much as anybody, but that City Winery feel of just playing together with bare essentials in close quarters…there’s nothing like it, and when the whole room locks onto the signal, it’s really special. (You don’t have to take my word for it; NYC Taper has the show in question up right here:).
I probably don’t need to mention that because these are smaller-capacity rooms, the tickets will probably go fast. Mentioning it just in case. Some of these rooms won’t hold a lot of people.
I now return to my sea-cave for the winter. It’s cold as hell in the sea-cave! There is no such thing as a space heater for sea-caves, I have learned too late. Still, I have a very nice cardigan down here, and some blankets. Hoping to find a quilt, but you have to be particular about quilts. See you in the spring!
Feb 24 Tallahassee, FL – Sidebar Theater (solo show)
Feb 25 Gainesville, FL – High Dive (solo show)
Feb 27 San Francisco, CA – Swedish American Hall (Noise Pop) (solo show)
Feb 28 San Francisco, CA – Swedish American Hall (Noise Pop) (solo show)
Apr 01 Woodstock, NY – Bearsville Theater
Apr 02 New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall
Apr 03 Providence, RI – Columbus Theatre
Apr 04 Portland, ME – Port City Music Hall
Apr 06 Buffalo, NY – Asbury Hall @ Babeville
Apr 07 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
Apr 08 Ann Arbor, MI – The Blind Pig
Apr 09 Indianapolis, IN – The Vogue
Apr 11 Chicago, IL – City Winery
Apr 12 Chicago, IL – City Winery
Apr 13 Chicago, IL – City Winery
Apr 14 Grand Rapids, MI – Covenant Fine Arts Center at Calvin College
Apr 16 York, PA – Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center
Apr 17 New York, NY – City Winery
Apr 18 New York, NY – City Winery
Apr 19 New York, NY – City Winery