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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.