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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oliver di Place - Wasted Love Songs Review

She Swings, She Sways is a six piece band. Between them, they can top the usual drums and bass with twin acoustic guitars plus electric guitar and piano. Or acoustic guitar with two electric guitars and trumpet. They can add in a mandolin or harmonica. And guests on the album bring fiddle, pedal steel, and French horn into the mix. The bass player plays a stand up bass, but sometimes he bows it instead of the usual plucking. So She Swings, She Sways can use a lot of different musical textures. They do so, but with great subtlety, and the whole thing holds together beautifully. But Wasted Love Songs is an album that rewards repeated listens, because there is so much going on musically. Some songs are mostly acoustic, while others rock out. Sometimes both things happen in the same song. There is even the occasional waltz...

Continue reading the review at

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tour in Pictures and Perspective (Troy's that is.)

Photos, recollections, and reflections on our S4 Outing of '09.

We do this when we leave; we do this when we get home, and we do this a whole damn lot in between. Cory and I take loading seriously. We think our first trip with a trailer was a clear success. I open with this photo because it sums up how I see the tour. I kinda even love the labor. According to the cheesily titled "Rock Bible," "You don't get paid to play in front of people. You get paid to sit in a smelly bus or van with your bandmates' collective body funks, listen to your bandmates snore in hotel rooms, eat at Waffle Houses and Mexican Joints, load-unload-setup-and-tear-down equipment . . . and drive all night to get back home to go to work the next day. It's a privilege to play in front of people."

At the Fourth Street Theater, Des Moines, IA

We gave a recital. Imagine more strings and horns.

We brought a little guitar for in-van entertainment.

Captain Jimmie Lee Dalton during our mid-tour sailing expedition on Lake Erie

And we often sang this song:

"Jimmie is the captain of our ship (OF OUR SHIP!)
Jimmie is the captain of our ship (OF OUR SHIP!)
The ship is a tanker, and JIMMIE IS A WANKER!
Jimmie is the captain of our ship (OF OUR SHIP!)"

We changed the name often, of course.

At the Uptown, Minneapolis

John likes to channel the Holy Spirit through the acoustic guitar his wife gave him for his birthday. That bright smear of light there is the spirit. See! It exists, and we have photos to prove it.

Restringing his Guitar, Unknown Stage

There was much less string breaking on this trip. Cory and John finally got some decent guitars.

At the River Music Experience, Davenport, IA

We played with some kids in loud rock and roll bands. Then they all stuck around for this mad accordion drama.

At A.K. O'Connor's in Des Moines
Well, this doesn't happen often. But when it does, I turn red because I'm so full of awesome. John actually held his own on the bullfiddle. I'm thinking a side project is in order.
Our photographer, Jessica Middleton
This is Jess, our merchgal and band business generalist. She loads equipment, sells our stuff, manages the streaming of shows, does on the road finances, and takes photos. We love her dearly.

Summer Tour is Over, and I Don't Like It

A roundup of our final summer shows:

Kirby's Beer Store, Wichita, KS - This is the tiniest most magical place in Wichita. I described it to Jimmie like this: "It's a bit bigger than the van, no - It's like two vans!" The walls, the ceiling, and I'm sure even part of the floor are covered with old posters. Ask Paul the Bartender anything about the bar, and he'll pull down a photo album from the shelves and give you the full illustrated story. Also, it's one of the few bars I've been to where the regulars are real, rabid music lovers. This show was different from past performances there: with some creative engineering, we were able to fit all six band members on the stage. Everything sounded fantastic. Two shows left, and we'd finally hit our stride. Played with Wichita's Chime Owls. They kicked ass. Check them out:

Barn Yard Beer, Lawrence, KS - Barnyard Beer is a home (for now) brewery run by a couple guys named Heath Hoadley and Mike Hummell. Heath (a supercool guy) went to brew school in Germany and has been plying his trade all over the country only to settle in Lawrence. Turns out both Heath and Mike attended IHCC, where I work. This show was supposed to be in Mike's back yard, in front of the barn. Unfortunately, it was raining. Having dealt with that once already, we couldn't afford to set up all the electrical stuff, so John, Cory, Diana, and I jammed acoustic when the rain let up. There were tons of people there, and it sucked to not be able to play full force. Hopefully, we'll get to go back soon. According to Mike, they're going to be doing a lot of these parties and hope to move into a full size bar in the Kansas countryside. We can't wait, Mike. I got to try the Porter and the Golden Ale. I usually prefer whiskey, but this beer was fantastic.

Check out Barnyard Beer: Also, add them on Twitter: and find them on Facebook.

Iowa State Fair, Des Moines, IA - Last show of the trip - an Authentic Records showcase on the A&E stage. We sailed the van through a shit ton of people to a spot behind stage near the air conditioned trailer (yeah, swanky. Complete with meat and veggie tray). Being the last day of tour, I was broke, and the smell of all that food on sticks was torture. Luckily, Jason Walsmith treated me to a porkchop and the stand near the stage (The Birds Nest) treated us as well. Thank you all. Got to watch Mike Butterworth try to unstick the Nadas' van from a muddy hill. Turns out the parking break was on the entire time. I'd laugh, but that's something we would do. Watched Benjamin Wagner, Mike Himebaugh of Hello Dave, and Fat Andy play some great sets. Our set was the best feeling of the entire trip, and the sound was excellent. After the show, there were hugs all around for a tour well done.

Now we're home. Back to work/debt control. Making big plans. I can't wait to do this again.

Home always looks so good to me until I'm there.


Friday, August 14, 2009


Last night we got to play music and feel like a band again. After spending three days in Houston, dealing with van wreck bullshit and getting awfully snippy with each other, we were able to remember why we're out here.

Let me back up a bit. We had two problems in Texas: a broken van and a broken trailer. We ended up getting the trailer fixed. Mark and the guys at Trailer, Wheel, and Frame replaced the bent axle on short notice for us. We spent all Tuesday at Tennison Collision Center while Jason and Cory looked for a van. They found one: a 98 Dodge conversion thing they found online and then bought from an old Lebonese guy. Shady maybe, but effective. Diana was able to find us a place to stay with Michelle, mother of Ty, one of Diana's college friends. She got us pizza, let us shower, and even asked what kind of cereal we liked. We annihilated her boxes of Lucky Charms and Cap'n Crunch. Wednesday was spent waiting for the trailer and getting the ac in the new van fixed before driving to John's brother's house in OKC. Big thank you to Marvin and Darrell at Tennison for helping is out and making us feel comfortable in their shop.

(That's them on the left. The green machine *sniffle* sits, dead (RIP), behind.)

So, we have a new van:

It's pretty cool. They ac is still a little wonky, but it keeps us cool, pulls our stuff, and got us to Tulsa yesterday. Ah yes, the show in Tulsa: we played at the Agora Coffee House. We played there this winter on New Year's Eve. Needless to say, last night's show was much better attended. It's a big room and has a good Bose pa. Jason ran our sound, and we sounded glorious. Then we sold a bunch of stuff. Love it. A woman doing a project for a class called American Song as Literature even interviewed some of us. We stayed with our friend Stephanie Kellog and her uncle, and she made us pancakes this morning.

Round up of thank you's: Marvin and Darrell at Tennison's. Mark at Trailer, Wheel, and Frame. Ty and Ty's mom Michelle. The ladies at Super 8 for looking the other way while we packed seven people in one double room, John's brother Chad for letting us arrive so late and his great dane Riley for slobbering on me while I slept in the kitchen, Stephanie and her uncle, all the people who electonically expressed sympathy for our plight, and all the venues and fans affected by our having to cancel shows. We love you all.

Tonight, Kirby's Beer Store in Wichita.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Two days ago we were on the freeway into Houston. It had been raining; the roads were wet. The semi in front of us screached to a stop, forcing us to do the same. The van skidded on the wet road, giving us three options: veer into a lane of traffic, collide with the rear end of the semi, or take it onto the shoulder and into the concrete guard rail. Our sensible driver chose the guard rail.

The result is three bent axles, two bent rims, and a bunch of other broken stuff: in short, a totaled van.

(It doesn't look like much, but the tire is bent out and the wheel assembly and axle destroyed.)

A passing tow truck was kind enough to stop and help us out.

We, thank the gods, are all fine. We've spent the last two days holed up in a Super 8, dealing with all the complications of the mechanics' shop and insurance company, becoming very familiar with Whataburger (a "Texas treasure"), watching too much tv, and smoking way too many cigarettes. We've had to cancel three shows so far, and this makes me the saddest of all. I hate that. Right now, we still don't know what we are going to do. We wait.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The P&H, Landy's, and our First Trip to Louisiana.

Day Eight - The P&H, Memphis, TN. When we made it to Memphis and had time to kill, we thought it would be a good idea to at least drive by Graceland. They charge something like $30 a head to go in, so we weren't doing that, as poor as most of us are at this point. As we drove through the neighborhood, our attention was drawn to the circus that's grown up around it. There's the "Heartbreak Hotel;" there's the tour one can take of the King's airplanes. There's the tourists. We wondered "Where's the house?" Then we turned around to head to our night's abode and found it: directly on the other side of the street. I hope this kind of collective lack of attention never results in a wreck. We met our friend Rob at his new house and hardly recognized him. His chest-long beard was gone. "Rob?" I said. "Yep, it's me," he replied. He's the one who introduced us to the P&H last year, which at the time was his neighborhood hangout. They serve cheap beer and cheap food (P&H stands for poor and hungry) and they have a stage and a dedicated group of regulars. Jefferson Fox opened, and he was amazing: great guitar player and performer. I can't wait to put on his record so I can hear the lyrics. Closing the night was Slowclaw, who were super tight and reminded me of a DC band called Q And Not U. Sandwiched in between was us. The show was rockin'. Some places just seem to make us sound louder.

Day Nine - Landry's, Ft. Smith, AR. All the waitresses were wearing our tshirts. They love us at Landry's, and we love them. Loaded in and ate some of their tasty Cajun food. We were a bit late hitting the stage as we have to run our own sound there, but I think everything came off well. After the dinner crowd
cleared, we played a set for the bar staff, including a raw version of a new song we've been working on. It was a hit. Found a Motel 6, did some laundry, and crashed.

Day Ten - Overtime Sports Bar, Shreveport, LA. It turns out Louisiana is a sauna, and the AC at the bar was broken. We spent most of the night dripping. Luckily, part of what was supposed to be a four hour show was chopped off so they could show UFC fights. Cool! We got to watch Anderson Silva kick Forrest Griffin's ass in a about two minutes. Silva's the master. The two hours we played were fun but miserable. The side of my bass was slippery with sweat after the first tune. We came off stage dehydrated and edgy. It was a surprise when Jess asked us why we didn't have that much energy all the time. Energy? Really? Awesome. The last long bar show of the trip is now out of the way, thank the gods. Tonight: Notsuoh in Houston.

- Troy

Ps - I want to sleep, too. -t.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer Tour - A Bunch… Pt. 2

Second Leg, Day Two - Chicago, Uncommon Ground. I had a horrible misconception of this place before we arrived. Since the name contains the word "ground," I figured it was a coffee house. Turns out it's the greenest restaurant in Chicago; they grow their own veggies on the roof: pretty badass. They fed us in their basement, which was different and reminded me of stories I've read where they only allow the musicians to use the back door by the dumpster. It was nice though. We all got to eat together around a big table. The food was tasty even if it was only from the "musicians' menu." Oh yeah - the show was great, mostly due to expertly dialed stage sound by soundguy Matt. We got to meet some of Jason's film making friends. A good time was had by all.

Day Three, Cleveland, Hanging with the Millers. The Millers are the reason we go to Cleveland. They welcomed us into their home last year and we've gone back every tour since. This time, they introduced us to their friends Scott and Joyce, who have a cottage on Lake Erie… and a sailboat. God damn it was awesome. We ate sloppy joes and corn on the cob. We all took turns making our way to the front of the boat (without falling off) to dip our feet in the water while Scott and Mr. Mark Miller made the boat heel. After the sun went down, we put on an impromptu show in Scott and Joyce's front yard. The whole neighborhood showed up with their lawn chairs, and we sold a bunch of CDs and tshirts.

Day four - Still with the Millers. Jason bought a mandolin with a built-in pickup at the local Guitar Center. The rest of us suffered through the awful din. Jimmie and I decided that if we thought of the sound of all the teenagers wanking on the guitars full blast as an avant garde piece, it wouldn't be so bad. That worked for about fifteen seconds. Sue Miller made everybody tacos that night, and Jimmie, John, and I had a margarita fueled conversation about god late into the night.

Day Five - Cincinatti. The show in Cincy fell through. The venue was in a terrible neighborhood and it was a Tuesday, so the bands we were to play with told us it wasn't that big of a loss. That may be, butlosing a show still sucks. It results in boredom, and boredom can be expensive. We took our time leaving Cleveland. The Millers were amazing to us, and we didn't want to say goodbye. On our way out of town we stopped by the firestation where Mark works and had lunch with the his crew. Mark gave us the grand tour, and I was viciously attacked by a meatball. That night we packed the whole band into one Motel 6 room outside of Cincinatti and went to a movie - "Moon" starring Sam Rockwell. It was fantastic.

Day six - Nashville, French Quarter Cafe. Jason woke up early and took the van to a mechanic. Turns out we have a leak in what they call the pin seal in the rear end. They said it would cost near $1000 to fix, but if we make sure it stays greased up, it should make it the rest of the trip. Here's hoping. Loaded into the French Quarter around 7:00. It was a good room, and they served good Cajun food. We played with the Million Sellers and Leadwood Folk from Nashville. Everything sounded pretty good, and the soundguy Will put us up in his apartment. It was by far my best Nashville experience yet.

More later today.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Summer Tour - A Bunch of Days

To the call of the green machine's mighty honk, we're setting off again, tank full of gas; tires full of air; shoes full with feet, and hearts filled with hope. (burp). … And guts full of gas.

Playing the Uncommon Ground on Devon in Chicago tonight, then staying in a church gym/home to my friend Jim's theater company. Should be a great Saturday night.

I dropped off a bit during the last few days of the first leg. My apologies, faithful readers. A good portion of the band was suffering from lung infection, so my thoughts at the time would have consisted of various renderings of cough, hack, and spit sounds: not too pleasing to write about. Now, being in a better mood and state of health, I can share some recollections of those days.

Day twelve - Davey's Uptown Rambler's Club, Kansas City MO. Played with the Expassionates, who were great. We got to hear ourselves through the best sound system in KC. It was glorious. The sound guy was all business, and the bartender was kind. She noticed my sniffling and offered me green tea. I sat at the bar with the day drinkers and sipped it from a mug while watching an Obama health care plan speech. We stayed with Jess' cousin Jason. He made us his signature bean and meat concoction, and we destroyed it. Cory and I were facsinated by his magnetized fish tank cleaner, and Jimmie read a book Jason keeps in his bathroom called "What Your Poo Tells You."

Day thirteen - Ottumwa, IA, RAGBRAI show at the Central Park Stage. Mother nature was being an emo goth chic and spat on us. We'd never been rained out before. Now we fear it. We cleared the stage as fast as we could, but the drums and the keyboard got soaked. It all turned out okay, but the at the time we were all melted into soaking rage. We had to haul everything into our house to dry out. The organizers were great though, and we are disappointed that we didn't get to play for the riders. To the the people who came from Missouri to see us: we'll come your way soon. We were interviewed by a film maker working on a documentary about RAGBRAI. We looked and smelled like wet dogs and waxed intellectual on the relevence and viability of Midwestern culture.

Day fourteen - Pop's Blue Moon, St. Louis, MO. Sickness was fully upon us and moods were sharpened. The highlight of the night was eating at a place called Guido's in the Hill district. Best meal in months. Played with a duo called the Big Idea. They were great - guitar and guitar/banjo thing and some strong vocals. We survived the show and slept in a top secret location. We like top secret locations. They have plenty of floor space.

Day fifteen - Cherry Street Artisan, Columbia, MO. Jimmie got a new amp here, a Fender FM 212. It sounds good. We observed tradition and ate at Shakespeare's Pizza. The Artisan was eerily quiet. Drove home for five days off, coughing and tired.

Days off - Ottumwa, IA - for some, it was wives and girlfriends. For others, it was the job. Wives and girlfriends. Yay. Jobs. Buh.

Second Leg, Day One - Live After Five at the Central Park Stage, Ottumwa, IA. Outdoor show in otown, take two. Mother nature finally checked out our tunes on MySpace and found out we're actually kinda good, so she put on a nice blue sky and some puffy white clouds for us. Live After Five is a series of concerts put on every year in July, and it's a big deal in Ottumwa. Everyone brings a lawnchair and drinks beer in the park. We had fun. My mom got smashed. Just so I get it right at least once: thank you to South Ottumwa Savings Bank, Golden Eagle Distributing, and the Ottumwa Childrens Theater (for the kid's games). Special thanks to Pam Kaupins, who organized the event. Whew finally -- I couldn't say that on stage to save my life. Quote of the night, said to merchant gal Jess: "Can you get these guys to play some Jimmy Buffet and turn up the energy a little." Fuck Jimmy Buffet. Sorry… had a little outburst.

Ok. Enough rambling. More tomorrow. This job kicks ass.

Love, Troy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Tour - Day Eleven: Lincoln, NE

I have no idea why I haven't been naming the cities in the titles of these posts. It looks funny to start now, but whatever. I like it.

Woke up this morning in our friends Todd and Amy's fantastic house, ate some donuts. Their nine-year-old son Ayrton cooked me some burnt scrambled eggs: nothing a slathering of catsup couldn't fix. Spent the day on the porch listening to tunes.

We played in a brick courtyard outside the Crescent Moon Coffee House in Lincoln. Here we are in the midst of setting up:

The sound reverberating off the walls was glorious. As we played, more and more people filtered in. By the beginning of our second set, a good crowd had gathered. We played; they came. We played some more; they bought CDs. Sweet. Thanks to our new friends in Lincoln for being so damn cool! We promise to return soon.

Tomorrow: the mighty KC.


Summer Tour - Day Ten

We started the day with a trip to the Luthery Shop in Des Moines to get the jack on John's guitar fixed. (It came unscrewed during the previous night's show.) We were out of there in ten minutes. Thanks Tim.

We drove to Omaha to play O'Leaver's Pub. It's the coolest(?) hole in the wall we know. The great Turtle Moon opened. It was kick ass. People were singing along and bought me drinks afterwards. Oh yeah. Thanks to Brandon for running sound and to Brady for doing door (good luck in Ireland).

We're currently staying with our friends Todd and Amy in the house they just built. Were very comfy, and Jimmie gets to play street hockey with their son Ayrton.

(…holy shit! They have hidden speakers built into their porch! What a cool house.)

Summer Tour - Day Nine

Woke up, did laundry, maybe mooched food from our parents, kissed the girlfriends/wives goodbye (again) and trucked it to Des Moines to play Nada 'Nother Sunday at AK O'Connor's.

It was a nonstandard show for us - no drums and quiet. We started the show with only John, Cory, and I. After the break, Diana and Jimmie joined us. The highlights of the night were a slow, melancholy version of "He Loves Me" and an unexpectedly rocking rendition of "Folsom Prison Blues" with ripping on the guitar.

We ate food; I got to hang with my friend Frank; John got into a conversation about socialism with a drunk Bosnian.

Now, here's another interview conducted a few days ago by the Ottumwa Courier's special S4 correspondent, Spencer Aurwut:

(We miss you Jess and can't wait to see you on Thursday.)


Summer Tour - Day Eight

It's been a few days, so you'll all get to read multiple posts today. So, day eight - played Balloons Over the Mississippi in Ft. Madison. We parked the van and got to sing along to "Every Rose Has its Thorn" played by a terrible cover band. We were waaay into it. We played two sets that night, with a break in the middle for a hot air balloon glow and fireworks. It was great. People were more interested in the balloons during the first set, but the second brought out the dancers. Then, people bought a bunch of our schwag. Balloons, fireworks, and selling a lot of stuff: if only every night could be like that. Special thanks goes out to the soundman, Gary. He dialed in the best outdoor sound we've ever had and introduced us to his excellent family.

Our next show was in Des Moines, so we drove home for the night and slept in our own beds.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer Tour - Day Seven

Spent part of the day today on a movie set in Davenport. Ever since Iowa passed tax credits for film makers and investors, the Iowa film industry is exploding. It would be awfully nice if the same could be done for music. It was a good time. We got to eat lunch with the crew, and Jason got to hang with his film making buddies.

Then we headed to Iowa City to load into the Mill. The Mill is definitely our favorite place to play in Iowa. Good stage, good sound, good food, and super nice people. Best of all, I got to hang out with my old friend Sam Locke-Ward. His band the Miracles of God put out a record this year called "What a Wonderful Day," and it's on my top records of 2009 list. Do check it out.

The show went off without a hitch, and people bought a ton of stuff afterwards. Thanks to those came! Also, thank you to those who watched online via ustream and spent the show looking at my ass.

In the last few days, we've also been graced by the presence of Mr. Spencer Aurwat, special S4 correspondnent for the Ottumwa Courier. This time he interviewed Jimmie Lee Dalton, the newest member of band:


-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, July 16, 2009

End of Day Four and Days Five and Six

Monday (technically Tuesday, but we haven't gone to bed yet), 12:16 am - Staying at the Sabertoothman house. Listened to lp's: Buddy Holly mostly. Sabertoothman is a great band made up of great people - a fellow six-piece, three of whom are siblings. I wish I wasn't the only musician in my family.

Tuesday - Ahh. Day off. Woke up and said goodbye to Sabertoothman. Stopped at a Toys'r'us so Jimmie could pick up a present for his son and Jason could look at at Transformers. Made our way to McHenry to stay with Diana's aunt and uncle. They fixed us burgers and dogs, and we anhilliated them.

Wednesday - Woke up early to make it to a meeting in Chicago. Then, we found Jess a Jamba Juice, and ate at an Italian place nearby. We checked out the bean. Later, we were greeted at the Abbey Pub by Gary, the soundman. He was fantastic. Thank you, Gary. Stepnaniesid sounded great. Our set was rough. Jimmie's amp blew two fuses, so he had to run to the trailer for his other amp. We ended up going off setlist a bunch. Overall, I think we held it together pretty well. Post show we ended up staying with our friends The Future Laureates, who were gracious enough to allow seven peope to take over their apartment. I wonder what their sleeping roommate thought when he woke up to find two guys sleeping in his kitchen.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer Tour - Day 3 and Part of 4

3:30 am - I am drunk and tired. The bartender served ruuuuum and a only a little coke. Woo. The show was great - great sound provided by Mike, on loan from First Ave. He kept the upright bass feedback under control.

Since he's interested, no Butterworth, no one got laid tonight. Damn.

Monday, 12:30 pm - Back in the van, on the way to Madison to play the Frequency with Madison's Sabertoothman. We have headaches, but we love this job

Monday, 8:00 pm - getting on into day four now. I'll have retitle this post. We're now watching Madison's Sabertoothman - loud indie rock craziness with a lot of gang vocals. We love it. It's Monday, but the crowd that was here was enthusiastic. I have to mention in a public blog that the first band who was supposed to play tonight - Daniel the Lion - did not show up or call. That made us sad. John' voice started to go out during our set. We all hope that only a tonight thing. We need that voice.

Goddamn, Sabertoothman is awesome.

Monday, 9:03 pm - Ok, for real this time - pizza. Have to have it.


-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer Tour - Day Two

3:00 am -- Opened for The Nadas at The Hub in Cedar Falls. Driving into town, we saw broken trees all over. I was told that there were over 100 mph winds yesterday - enough that a medical helicopter was picked up and dropped on a fence and a tractor was thrown into a grain silo - but according to the local paper, it wasn't a “tornado.”

There was good energy tonight, and there were plenty of people to feed it to us. The Nadas were outstading, despite their claim of running on little sleep. Met some cool people - Diana's friends Ned and Alyse (I hope that's close; she said there was a y and an a in it). Thanks to all the people who came to see us and those whom we'll see again.

John, Jimmie, and I are staying my Dad's house; Diana, Jason, Jess, and Cory are staying at Diana's. Diana promised me guacamole, but I don't see my dad that often - others were lured over by the prospect of sleeping on beds and comfy couches. John, dad, and I drank Black Velvet and talked about real estate and car accidents.

Sunday, 2:00 pm - I'm told the guacamole didn't happen. Dad brought us donuts. He and my stepmom looked awfully cute in their matching S4 tshirts:

Now we all have heavy guts from eating "New Century International Cuisine."

In the van now, headed Minneapolis. Playing with the Slats at the Uptown tonight. Rock.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Summer Tour - Day One

The Ottumwa Courier's She Swings, She Sways field correspondent, Spencer, interviews Cory on our first night of tour.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Here's what we did last Tuesday.

Last Tuesday, we started recording the Nadas tune "New Start" for an upcoming compilation to be released on Authentic Records. Here's John and Cory outside of "the Studio."

Yep, it's being recorded by Jonathan Natera, who recorded Wasted Love Songs. The space we're recording in is a new venue in Fairfield, Ia. The new Appleseed II studio is being built in the basement. Cory got Jonathan on camera for a bit. If you listen hard, you can hear some of our spin on the "New Start" groove.

I left before 10:00 that night (uh... because I have a JOB. hehe). I don't think the guys were there this late... They're crafty foolers, you know. In this video, you get to see and hear some of Jimmie's first recording with the band.

This Tuesday? Practice, practice, practice. We've got graduation parties coming up. Woo.

Peace out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Last night, we played a few songs on the second-floor mezzanine of Principal Park before the Iowa Cubs played the Nashville Sounds. It was a damn good time. We were a full six-piece band, and we got to introduce our new guitar player, Jimmie, to a real audience.

This is a picture of Jimmie.

I asked Jimmie to write me a few words of introduction and about playing in the band, and he had this to say:

"My name is Jimmie Lee Dalton. I am the new electric guitar player for SsSs. I was a big fan before I got the chance to become a member. I love these guys and girl, and I am happy to be in the band and glad these guys have given me the chance to play with them. Troy asked me to write what it meant to me to be in the band, and I just have to say "WUBBA WUBBA." I love their music, and playing it is a dream come true for me. I can't wait to see all the people who love and cherish this band. I am looking forward to meeting all of you. Thanks, Jimmie Lee Dalton


Despite his taste in movies, we think we'll be keeping him around for a while.

Tonight, we head to Appleseed II in Fairyfield to record something tasty. Oh yeah.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Iowa Source Article – Ottumwa’s Indie Artists Revel in Their Own Voice

Check out this very sweet article in the new May issue of the Iowa Source Magazine! The Iowa Source is Iowa’s only free monthly arts and entertainment magazine. The Source brings a unique regional voice to nearly 16,000 appreciative readers, plus another 15,000 readers online.

And this month we’re their cover story! So either stop and pick one up or read the article here:

Thanks and have a great day!

She Swings, She Sways

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

John, John, John...

... IS GETTING MARRIED!!! Congratulations, sir. He has found himself a great, strong, and beautiful woman, and we all wish him luck and happiness. He'll be moving out of the house, and we'll miss his daily presence and dirty dishes.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Home at the Green House

We've come home and returned to "life." To me, this seems to be a strange time of year for us as everything has slowed down. The period between our winter and spring outings felt very short. The time until we leave again in July feels very long.

So, news and goings on at The Green House: She Swings, She Sways Headquarters during the boring time. First, individually:

Jason: Jason has returned to making movies, giving drum lessons, and being a damn cool guy. "The Offering," for which he was the boom operator, is now in post production, and he's already in on preparations for a new project. And, he's been spending some weekends in Minneapolis, being a "boom operator," laying down drum tracks for the next Slats record. He just bought a motorcycle. That's badass.

Cory: Cory has gone back to working his two day a week job (lucky bastard) and hatching his motorcycle machinations in the garage.

Jess, merch gal extraordinaire and Cory's lady: Jess is moving into the Green House! Hell yes. I'll get to pick on her all day.

John A.: Ok, he's not in the band or on the staff, but he has moved into the house. Wow, this place is getting cramped.

John - John stays locked in his room all day. We're not sure what's going on, but nothing smells yet, so we assume he's still alive. ;)

Troy: I've gone back to working in "higher" education and middle management (gotta pay off those debts, so I can tour more). I'm sick today, and I don't like it.

JimmieD, the S4 Fairfield contingent: Jimmie's been learning parts and writing new ones. We're thinking you might being seeing him perform with us as early as May.

Diana, S4 Cedar Falls contingent: School, school, school. I'm so jealous.

Now, as a band:

We're putting together new material. We've collectively recorded forty odd demos, and we're putting parts together. We've also been arranging a version of a Nadas tune ("New Start") for an upcoming compilation record on Authentic Records. It's super weird and cool. We've got a few private parties booked. We're going to be playing Ottumwa's Live After Five and providing some entertainment for the RAGBRAI riders when they come through town.

Well, there you are. Stay tuned for updates.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


The next day we woke up, hosed down our undercarriages, picked up John in Round Rock where he stayed with his family, and set out on a seven hour drive to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where we played Landrys's and ate some great Cajun food. The waitresses were all wearing our tshirts, and I'm kicking myself for not getting a photo.

Landry's, you kick ass, and we hope to see you this summer.

"Southby" = SXSW = South By Southwest = Good God.

We made it into downtown Austin a little after 4:00, and the roads were blocked off a couple blocks from the Soho lounge, where we were to play the Authentic Records (our record label) Party. The Texas contingent of John's family was there to meet us. They're good people. After some haggling, we convinced a cop to let us in long enough to unload our equipment, and with the help of John's cousins, it was done in about ten minutes. I bumped more than a few people with my bass as I dragged it down the sidewalk, and one of them was J. Mascis.

By 5:30 we were on stage: the last band of the day before the club went into night mode. There was a quick soundcheck, and we played our set. It felt just like any other show. One of the Millers of Cleveland was there: Maggie Miller, the dancer. She was radiant. I also saw Matt Wiengartner, who we met when he was playing drums for Kelly Pardekooper and radomly saw in Alabama last summer.

All through the show, there was a photographer snapping pictures of us. I have no idea why he was photographing us (I never got to talk to him), but part of me hopes he's scouting for new fashions and that next year button-down, collared shirts and blue jeans will be in style. I hate buying clothes.

Ten minutes after finishing our set, Jason, Diana, and I were whisked away to the Authentic Records cocktail party for some shmoozing and, in my case, whiskey. I had six shots of Iowa's own Templeton Rye within half an hour on almost no sleep and having eaten only a few baby carrots within the previous few hours. I talked to everybody in the room, and then went to smoke a cigarette with the hiphoppers of Mad Decent Productions. Then I swiped a bottle of Templeton, and we made our way to our hotel. The label set us up at the Double Tree, and since our labelmate Bonne Finken decided to head back to Iowa that night, we had two rooms, each with two huge beds, a roomy bathroom, a kitchen, two flat screen TVs, and balconies: definitely the swankiest accomodations we've ever had on tour.

We were hungry, and walked downtown to find pizza. The streets were crammed with people. Girls in sundresses and boots. Guys in tight pants and waxed moustaches. Buses, van, and backbeats were everywhere. We walked by a free show by a band featuring the guitar player from Blue October and his stupid haircut. The whole band was facing away from the audience (and towards the sidewalk where we were standing) with their grand and pretentious entrance music playing, and I heckled them, yelling "Nice hair! I love your big earrings!" The guitar player heard me, and we busted up laughing. We went back to the hotel exhausted, and we were out before our shins hit the bedskirts.

We'll have to spend more time in Austin next year and get some of those fantastic wrist bands that will get us into the good shows.

Des Moines to Austin in Five Minutes (er... 16 hours)

Some sweet kids invited us all out to pizza after the Devotchka show, but we had to turn them down because we had to leave immediately if we wanted to make it to Austin in time. As we left, I found an unattended camera in the van.

Spring Break Tour

Ten minutes later:

Spring Break Tour 2009

Then three hours after that at our first stop for gas, John starts feeling it:

Spring Break Tour 2009

Then most of us fell asleep. When we woke up, it was warm; we had already been in Texas for awhile although Jess seems to have no idea where we are:

Spring Break Tour 2009

When we started seeing signs for Austin, we were ecstatic. We had also lost our minds. We were convinced that this was going to be the big single on our next record:

Spring Break Tour 2009

Leaving KC and People's with Devotchka

Jason Shadonix brought us bagels this morning. Jason, consider yourself an official friend of She Swings, She Sways. You'll be receiving your complimentary badge and kazoo in four to six weeks.

Meet Jason S.:
Spring Break Tour 2009

We arrived in Des Moines early and met Sam Summers, the promoter with First Fleet. We also got to watch Devotchka soundcheck. Pardon me while I geek out: Devotchka's upright bass/tuba player Jeanie was running a K&K Bassmax with a Golden Trinity mic into a Acoustic Image Clarus 1 head with and EA Whizzy 110 cabinet, and it sounded glorious. My birthday is coming up, so if anyone is feeling generous...

The show was great. We were seven piece band for the first time (I think...). Here we are during sound check:

Here we are during the show:

Devotchka was fantastic. We spent to show in awe. If you see they're playing near you, buy a ticket and go. Bouzouki, violin, double bass, sousaphone, and rock'n'roll drums. They make a glorious sound.

Welcome All

Welcome to our new blog. From this day forward, we will be posting here. Gimme an hour, and I'll post some of the good stuff.