Learning to Fly

Nicholas worked a little photoshop magic on some of the lomography photos…

The new fellows you are looking at are Yoshi and Nevada. It’s great to have four people in our band photo for the first time. Now Nick and I won’t argue so much about who looks stupid in what photo. Because now, everyone looks stupid. Kidding.

I bought a rad keyboard last week, and I’m very excited to play out soon–soon as in May, that is.

Speaking of Yoshi, his band Still Flyin’ destroyed SXSW and will be coming my way this weekend (Friday in Brooklyn@Union Hall, Sunday @Cake Shop). If you’re reading this and live in NYC, you should go.

I’m not sure my delicate constitution can handle two Still Flyin’ shows in a row, but I’m looking forward to finding out. I have my Emergen-C packets at the ready. Bring it on, Still Flyin’.

Hello world

Allow us to clear our throats. This is the beginning of a new era of Eux-ness. We have doubled. Eux Autres are now four. Yoshi has joined us on drums, and Nevada has rejoined us on keyboards. We couldn’t be happier about this. In celebration of this new incarnation, we are…

Pressing things.
A new 7″ is at the plant. It will be a beautiful object. Clear vinyl, silkscreened jacket by Yellow Owl Workshop. Two brand new songs with the new lineup, orderable soon. Pre-orders will get an extra special something from us.

Covering things.
We have a new song coming out on a compilation from Where You Are is Where It’s At Records. The comp is a 2-disc ode to the poet laureate of Americana, aka The Boss. Besides being an incredible performer and one of the most important songwriters of the last century, his work always intrigued me because he wrote a song, “Nebraska” about Charles Starkweather, the serial killer. Starkweather also happened to be both of my parents’ garbage man in Lincoln, Nebraska, when they were kids. Spookiness.

For the Springsteen compilation, we chose to cover “My Love Will Not Let You Down,” a song that walks the delicate line between bravado and desperation. The track was supposed to be on Born in the USA, but it got cut from the album and has only shown up on live recordings and a B-side collection.

Other bands on the comp include Glam Chops (Eddie Argos from Art Brut), Darren Hayman, and Help Stamp Out Loneliness. We’ve got our song streaming on myspace, so go check out.

Recording things.
This weekend (March 8th/9th) we’re recording again with Jason Quever (Papercuts…great new album out soon, btw) in SF. The songs are a little darker, which is what the doctor ordered–it’s been a long winter, at least on my side of the country.

May as well make some music to keep warm with.

Look for these and our last October’s session on an EP of new Eux Autres goodness this summer.

Scheduling things.
We’ve confirmed for both the San Francisco (May 21-24) and NYC  (May 14-17) popfests and are currently putting together a UK/Europe tour, including a stop at Indietracks in July. Give us a shout if you want us to come to your town and we’ll do our best to make it happen.

Glad to be back with a new site, a new lineup, and new news.

Thanks for listening.

December 16–Sacramento

Last we play Sacramento. An early show at an old-school bar called the Press Room. Onstage I say how happy I am to be there—I truly would not rather be anywhere at the moment. Some wondrously nice locals take us to get pizza afterwards. It’s a warm ending to a really satisfying tour. I am grateful we get to do this with our lives. And yes, I want to go home.

After the show, where I’ve had too much Coffee Patron (tequila), we gun for home, making it only to Redding. We watch Adult Swim, which makes me feel as if I’ve been dosed with acid.

Then I start compulsively reading the electric stove ratings on Consumer Reports in some wayward, distant claim on domesticity.

The next day, we finally make it home. My room is clean, my laundry is dirty. My bones are tired.

Who am I, Bob Seger?

December 15–San Francisco

In the AM we’re sent off with a care package, replete with music, beauty products—my skin is having some sort of armageddon–and music. Anya is a saint.

We get a flat tire somewhere north of San Diego. It’s actually been a slow leak we’ve been ignoring for two days, but it’s now low enough for the gas station attendant to tell us to pull over to the garage to have it checked out. Thirty minutes later, we’re back on the road.

We have to get all the way back to San Francisco, in order to revisit Yoshi and our other SF friends, Evan and Chris. We all go to Benihana where we tell the waitress it’s Nick’s birthday. That means three waitresses grudgingly come over and beat on a drum and clap and sing to us. They finish off with a Polaroid of the “birthday” crew. After that, we get get a room for karaoke and spend the next three hours doing a sing along with 15 people. One of the biggest hits is Backstreet Boys “I Want It That Way” (my selection!) Really, with all the swaying and closed-eyed belting, we could be at church camp. Except there’s a lot more whiskey.

December 14–San Diego

Yay to seeing my friend Anya. Anya is a band friend, a singer songwriter we met at Mississippi studios in Portland. She is also a dj on a commercial alternative station in San Diego. We have had some long talks, some winey nights, me and Ms. Anya.

She makes us snacks and cookies and then takes us out to dinner. One of the best and most awkward parts of tour is how much at the mercy of other people you are. When they are so gracious and generous—which is almost always–it’s nearly embarrassing. For each of them, they’re extending themselves for one night, but for us, constantly moving, it’s every night that someone really goes out of their way for us—and that’s not even including all the people who show up to see us play. It’s humbling.

The show is our last with Fishboy and I can’t really say goodbye because it’s making me all sad. I think all of the bands are rendezvousing at a tacqueria later, but we end up being the only ones. I’m bummed, but a pound of carnitas helps me through the pain.

December 13–Los Angeles

The next day we drive to LA. Since last tour, we have learned to be looser with the schedule. We used to stress about being late, stress about having “zone” time before we played. We never had the stomach for food anywhere near show time. Now, we can eat, be 30 minutes late, dress in bathrooms, all without having a heart attack. Progress!

We’re playing the Silverlake Lounge, a place we played on our first tour, where I got my purse and Nick’s camera stolen.

This is a redemptive experience though—a really fun show with plenty of people. I have a private temper tantrum because I thought we made $14 but it was a fuckup—we made significantly more. Not that one can ever think about the money; it’s beside the point, really.

I get to stay in a five star hotel with my friend who is working in LA. It’s a humongous suite—the nicest room I’ve ever been in. In the morning, we get room service and watch Return of the Jedi. Wicket still sucks.

December 12–San Francisco

We wake up in Chico and go to record store we like, where last time we bought Bee Gees Odessa on vinyl and a sweet Muppet Show poster. I saw in Seattle that the first season of Muppet show has been released on DVD, so if anyone is trolling for a Xmas gift to get me, then, ahem. In first grade I had a Muppet Show lunchbox, a metal one. On the reverse side was Pigs in Space. This prompted a bratty crossing guard to call me Miss Piggy for the entire year. It probably didn’t help that I have a rather upturned nose.

Our show is at the Rickshaw Stop, a club with unbelievable sound and the nicest soundperson/owner I’ve ever met. His name is Waldo. We are on a bill with familiars—Si Claro, Fishboy, and The Mantles. It is my favorite show of the entire tour. The sound onstage was so clear I almost ask Waldo to turn me down in my monitor.

Fishboy, especially John the drummer, destroy. I catch some of it on camera video. I am technology-impaired, so this seems like a miracle. I keep watching the footage, awestruck. It may as well be an old nickel arcade movie—gadzooks! what’ll they think of next?!

One of our friends, Chris, is obsessed with a bar we walked by earlier, which she has dubbed “The Santa Bar.” All night she keeps entreating us to return to The Santa Bar. I love that stuff, so it’s a given. The bar is terrifying, something out of a Stephen King novel. There are 1000 Santa Claus dolls packed into about 200 square feet. There are Santas on every surface–hanging from the ceiling, encased in glass, revolving on a Santa ferris wheel. The bartender is an unbelievable dick. He clearly doesn’t want us there and keeps hissing about how we’re playing the same fucking songs every fucking person plays: Fleetwood Mac, mostly. But we keep staying, keep singing along with gusto.

December 10 & 11–Shasta & Chico

We leave Portland late. Around 8 PM, we arrive at a cabin outside of Weed. There are three dogs and our hosts make clam chowder and salad. It‘s a dream meal with dream company. I sleep in a cozy bed for 10 hours. Then we go to lunch at a bar. We stop by our host’s office. I am drunk so I brag that I can do 20 pushups. No one believes me. I drop and give them 20. Nick announces that I’m drunk. We go to a townie bar called the Vet’s club, which is oddly Marilyn Monroe themed.

Then we drive to Chico. It’s finals week so almost no one comes except a few really lovely people who are our heroes. Still, it’s the best show so far—at least in my mind. Fishboy have kazoos. They are fucking funny. I make us get a hotel so that I can sleep in.

Sunday, December 9–Portland

Back in Portland, I take care of business, doing laundry, hitting the gym, and doing other chores. The show is at Slabtown with Gingerbread Patriots, who we’ve been meaning to play with for about a year after two botched attempts.

Finally, I’m loosened up this night. Anna Shee Bee Gee sings the Christmas song with us. Ellen SBG is sick, sadly. We miss her.

Saturday, December 8, 2007–Anacortes

In Seattle in the morning, we dawdle and Ethan, our host from the Math and Physics Club (a band that plays beautiful pop), reads to us from a book on film by a guy named Vern. We listen to records and then go eat a the volunteer park café. Normally, I would bitch about manicured, rich sanctimommies ad nauseum, but something weird has happened and I think I might want to have one of those little monsters one day, so my hypocrisy meter is telling me to shut the fuck up.

In Anacortes I make us go to a thrift store. It is shitty, full of half used nail polish and exhausted Christmas decorations but I find a vintage slip, one of the many things I collect. Then we go to a bar. I get an oyster shooter and chicken wings on the argument that it’s not white flour.

We are playing the Department of Safety, an all ages venue that feels like an arty compound—really cool. The show is freezing cold and fun. Nevada’s keyboard keeps cutting out because the amp is broken. I really love Fishboy. And Tullycraft are terrific—we could learn a thing or two from them about audience participation. Nick says he thinks we’re talking too much during our shows, that it’s turning into VH1 Storytellers. There is fresh baked banana bread from the DOS kitchen and I totally hog it.