THE CAVE, Chapel Hill, NC 11.9.17

Another great venue. Before the show we were treated to drinks by some fans from the area. The show itself was great and we played with pop genuis Disqo Volante and ambient artist Ty Lake. I'm pretty sure you'll be hearing both those names in the future. Another name you'll be hearing is Sarah Shook, the bartender that night. She told us she plays outlaw country, which I'm a big fan of, and that she'd be coming to NYC to play Union Pool in Williamsburg soon, so we'll probably check that out. Meet us there! - Jake


ACOUSTIC COFFEE HOUSE, Johnson City, TN 11.8.17

Now this place was weird, in a wonderful way. Really sweet people. What we saw of Johnson City, which wasn't much, was industrial, somewhat remote. This place was seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but we had just come off the highway straight to it so its hard to say with certainty. In front of the entrance was a fire pit; huddled around it were about 10 people, mostly dudes, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. Most of them had dreads, beards. They wore drug drugs with camo pants and workboots. It was a scene that felt post-apocolyptic, except that everyone was incredibly nice and polite, and probably not at all interested in flaying us and eating us. They seemed to really appreciate our music. I didn't think it was our best set, but compared to the previous night it was a masterpiece. After us an artist named Kate Grom was on; she and her band were very complimentary toward us. Turns out they were also from Brooklyn. Of course. We're out in the middle of nowhere and there's another band from Brooklyn on the bill. We couldn't stay, we were staying in Asheville with one of my best friends, and that's an hour's drive over the Smoky Mountains, which are downright stygian at night. At some points we couldn't see a foot in front of our car because of the fog. But we got to Asheville safely and had some beers with my friend Ursula at a place right near hers in West Asheville. We didn't play in Asheville but we definitely want to in 2018. - Jake


PRESERVATION PUB, Knoxville, TN, US 11.7.17

This venue, the people, the bar staff, the other bands we played with, the location etc were all awesome. We especially hit it off with Glass Mansions, we hope to do some touring with them in 2018. We had a lot of technical issues, because I made a mistake programming the vocal looper we use. So we had to stop in the middle of the set to fix that. But it was a really casual atmosphere so I didn't feel panicked. Great looking stage and sound system in there - but it was a little too big and noisy for us; the band that was on last - ElectroChemical - definitely had the right vibe for the place. In the same complex (presumably owned by the same people) there's a place called Scruffy City Music Hall, which looks amazing. Hope to hit that place next time we're in Knoxville, hopefully soon. Great people there. - Jake


ROOFTOP PARTY! BROOKLYN NY 9.30.17

We were invited by our new bffs Psychic Selves to play this rooftop party in Bushwick on a beautiful late September night. I anticipated maybe some hipster aloofness but I ended up being pretty knocked out by how kind, generous, welcoming and supportive people were at this party. When we played people were appreciative, this one was one of our favorite shows of the year. - Jake


BERLIN, NY, NY 9.23.17

What a venue. Arguably the best looking small venue in NYC, along with Pete's Candy Store and Rockwood Music Hall. You really feel like you're in a David Lynch movie in these places, they have a vibe all to their own that enhances the music. We were on first at 8 for this show, so another of our trademark scant crowds was in attendance, but we really enjoyed playing. We were asked by the great band London Plane, who sound a bit like the Motels and have a lead singer with a great vibe, to play along with the art rock band Arpalice and Kristeen Young, who apparently is pretty famous though I hadn't heard of her which doesn't mean anything. We'll definitely play Berlin again if they'll have us.  - Jake




PIANOS, NY, NY 9.8.17

The downstairs venue at Pianos is one of the best places for live music in the city. We, however, were upstairs, which needs some work: there's no door blocking the sound from the loud bar downstairs; the sound is atrocious; we were playing to a decent sized crowd of something like 25 people, and, unfortunately, also 2 dudes at the bar shouting so loudly that we could barely hear ourselves, and we had microphones. Outraged, I stopped mid-song to tell the guys to go somewhere else. Why I would even need to make that request in a room full of people in which no one is talking except for you is beyond me: I don't fucking understand people. They left but they totally killed our vibe. It's my fault for allowing my vibe to be killed. I should add that the staff, and particularly the booking guy, Elliot Bottoms (great name) were a pleasure to deal with. And it really could be a great venue with a few small changes. - Jake

THE FARMHOUSE, Burlington, VT 8.27.17

My good friend Scott manages this restaurant right on the main drag in Burlington. We played a couple sets, had some of their great food and beer. It's interesting playing a restaurant, I generally try to avoid it but we were playing outside on a beautiful late summer evening and that area seems to be more reserved for pre-dinner drinks so it was more like a cool outdoor bar, and I'll play an outdoor bar anytime. Burlington has become almost like a second home to us. We love you Burlington.  - Jake


THE MONKEY HOUSE, Winooski, VT 8.26.17

It's odd how many shows we seem to play where we're the only act. It's a lot more fun when there's another band there to share the experience with, in this case it was another dreampop band from Brooklyn, Psychic Selves, with whom we hit it off with immediately. (They'll appear again in a later post.) They have great songs and are great live. A small but appreciative crowd. Tons of beers. It's as good as it gets when you're on tour and nobody knows who you are.  - Jake


MOCHA MAYAS, Shelburne Falls, MA 8.25.17

Had a wonderful time playing this place for some reason. Almost no one there but it was the third show in a row and all the muscle memory is kicking in and it's so joyous to make music in that environment, when you're not so worried about fucking something up. The purveyor of the place was really great to us; we'd go back despite playing for (most of the time) two (really great) dudes in their (I think) 60's. (The entire town seemed comprised of people that were just about to die, I don't know if that was just a coincidence or if it's always like that). It's not exactly what the young version of me was dreaming of but I've grown to appreciate and value connecting with people no matter how small the crowds are. The young version of me would have been crushed and devastated in Shelburne Falls.

(photo: Ashley Sevcik)

THE PLOUGH AND STARS, Cambridge, MA 8.24.17

Here's another show where the audience, who seemed to appear and pack the place to capacity right as we went on, were very loud and it was hard to hear. We managed to stay on point and turn this one around though, and they shut up considerably for the second half of our set, which ended up being great. I am from Boston so there were a lot of old friends there, they all have kids now so it takes a lot for that to happen, which I appreciate. I always love going back to Boston. Now that I've been in NYC for ten years I know a lot of people don't like Boston. You really have to know the stuff that's hidden away to appreciate it, since it seems the entire city proper has turned into a giant shopping mall, with the exception of the Esplanade, which has always been the best part. If you're visiting I recommend heading straight there for a long walk during the day and then going to either Jamaica Plain or Central Square in Cambridge for drinks, there's a lot of good bars in both those places. Avoid Newbury Street and Downtown Crossing, unless you want to go shopping at Foot Locker after a nutritious smoothie at Pinkberry. Also don't bother trying to make friends, very few Bostonians want to do that. We're a bunch of dicks. - Jake


THE LINDA CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, Albany NY 8.23.17

I want to play this place every day. It was theater in Albany, a legit large (way too large for us) venue. I think there might have been 25-ish people there and the venue probably holds 300. Great staff, great stage, I wish every show was like this. There was a green room with snacks and everything, it was like we were rock stars. Rock stars always get snacks. - Jake

(photo: Ashley Sevcik)

HALYARDS, Brooklyn, NY 8.19.17

We had just learned that Halyards, which is a bar with a venue downstairs, is closing the venue. This seems to happen to us a lot; venues that book us are closing. It's the reason we named our album "We Are A Curse" - we had learned that this sort of thing had happened to a different venue, forcing us to cancel and it wasn't the first time. I texted Elizabeth: "Rock Shop is closing. we are a curse!". We were able to play Halyards anyway, what I think was the very last show there, and it was a fun evening with a lot of friends and drinking too much. - Jake


JIMMY'S, Newport, RI 8.17.17

Jimmy's was a great place, the staff was great to us. A scant but very appreciative audience. There was a man with a confederate flag tattooed on his arm, who I avoided, but the nutjobs always find me. He seemed like a very nice guy. What do you do in that situation? Punch him in the face? Try and have a meaningful political discussion with him? I don't know the full breadth of his beliefs but a confederate flag tattoo says a lot. It's also not the type of thing you expect to encounter in Newport RI. How does one have, for example, a conversation with a person that equates homosexuality with beastiality? Under normal circumstances, in a conversation with a reasonable person, there
would automatically be a tacit agreement that those two things are not the same. When we're essentially living on two different planets and speaking two totally different languages,
how do we talk? -Jake


SIREN RECORDS Doylestown, PA 7.13.17

Siren Records is a record store with a great stage. No bar or drinks available, which was weird, but there were bars nearby. Drinking is very important to us. We made a bunch of new friends. The show was all ages so there were a lot of teens there. Sonnder, a young band from the area played after us, and Hectic Holiday, a really young local band played before. Really nice people. It's nice to play for kids. They might not have as much of a frame of reference for what we're doing so they maybe can't spot all the derivative stuff going on. - Jake