November 25, 2005
Check out all the photos on the new photos page.
November 21, 2005
The tour is sadly over, friends. We're all back at our jobs in San Francisco, easing back into our daily routines. Its a relief to be back home, but there's true sadness in seeing the past two weeks come to an end.
Picking up from the last update, we left DC on Wednesday for Pittsburgh. Nice four hour drive through Pennsylvania. Rolled up to the Quiet Storm around seven, and we stayed there for tea and a wholesome vegetarian meal until showtime. Went on pretty early, on account of it being a Wednesday, and played our songs to a handful of folks scattered throuhgout the place. It was good to meet Chris, Jeff and Kevin, together as the Chris Brokaw Rock Band. They played after us, also to only a few fans, but we all liked what we heard.
Stayed the night with a different Kevin and his fiancee Emily -- thank you both for a good time. But you two shouldn't smoke so much, JEEZ! Left town the next morning during the first snow we had seen all tour.
The next night it was UVA. House party. No heat. Played out little hearts out to a bunch of raging Cavaliers. And took in the marvelous fury of Cataract Camp. Lookout for them, because sooner or later they will cast their spell on you too. A truly carefree and joyful night of drinking and dancing and late-night subs.
Late start the next morning combined with ridiculous traffic put us in Philly at eight the next evening. Our last show of the tour! Our friends Remote Islands started things out with their scrappy pop blitz. Brain Surgeons up next, and following some initial sound issues, blazed through a dozen or so of their tunes. That put us on stage at about 1:40, so we madly ran through our fastest songs in the next twenty minutes. Sounds guy eventually releneted and gave us a few more minutes for an encore.
The Surgeons did take to us, surprisingly. Spent an hour after closing time talking to those crazy rockers, snapping photos, hugging.
Then we crushed some cheesesteaks and gulped more beers back at Remote Islands HQ, which is a hell of a spot.
The next day we drove eleven hours to Columbia, SC. There my Mom had an early Thanksgiving Day feast waiting for us. Too frazzled to hit the town, the three Pilots cuddled up on the couch and watched the disappointing Urban Legends: Final Cut.
Sunday we woke up, packed the van, rode up to Charlotte and boarded a plane back to SF. Just like that!
Thanks to everyone who helped us out on the road, and all the kind souls we met or reunited with on the journey. We couldn't have asked for a better two weeks.
Two more things: look out for tour photos soon and we'll be posting the entire album on the download page as soon as Bill gets a hot second. If you bought the album, feel free to burn it for your friends, put it on Limewire, or whatever. Just promise to come see us when we roll through next time.
November 15, 2005
Let's see... Saturday took us to the Jersey shore, about an hour or so south of NYC. The club was a solid rock dive with good sound and decent capacity. Unfortunately capacity wasn't really an issue that night. Undaunted, we took the stage after midnight sometime and played our songs with seaside delight, and the brave handful in the audience seemed to like it. Big thanks to Jacko for the hospitality and Charles and his crew for making the journey. We ended up spending the night at a hotel that night. Slept like logs.
Sunday we continued south for Washington. Took longer than expected, probably becasue I drove much of the way and there was a horrible back-up getting into town. But the show itself was a blast. The Galaxy Hut was the perfect little venue for a Sunday night. Gracious staff, free beer all night for the bands, good sound. Apparently we haven't scared any of our friends away since our DC show last week, as they all showed up and threw down their wages to hear our beer-noise offerings. Our stagemates that night, Roh Delikat from Boston, played adventurous, hypnotic pop songs -- they were great. Check them out here.
Slept in again on Monday. After a fine chicken lunch, we started the relatively short drive to Harrisonburg. The show that night was at a coffee house with a long recreational hall attached to it. Probably could hold a few hundred people easy, but once again, they don't call us "Capacity Testers."
We played an early set to about 40 or so kids. The response was terrific. The songs were fast and tight, in part because all three of us had drunk only green tea. We raced through our set and had to turn down cries for more songs at the end. Athens' Jet by Day followed us and kept the energy up with some blistering guitar rock. Lots of energy, super breakdowns and buildups. Up next was Hail Social from Philly. AWesome dark and dancey rock, rooted with precision drumming and bass lines. Last was The Firebird Band with their dramatic and pulsing electo/guitar sounds. A mighty bill by anyone's standards I imagine.
That is all. Bill has a cold.
November 12, 2005
We are safe and sound in New Haven right now in Nick's warm flat. Very warm. The radiator sounds like a hissing giant about to eat us.
Wesleyan was a blast. Started out with a fantastic dinner at the Smith's in Westport, and we all felt bad because we had to rush and pack up right after we ate. But we'll be back to Smithland today for a Saw 2 matinee, no doubt.
Picked up Nick at Yale around 8 and arrived at Wesleyan a little later. No crowd at first, which is a shame, because Appletown Gun Shop brought some great psychy jams to the early crowd. Pumped us up nice and good.
We got started around 11 or so to a handful of kids but within a few songs there were a good 40 or 50 more, dancing their legs off and bumping into each other like they definitely didn't have class tomorrow. We've never seen people dance to the SPs like they did. Reckless, but filled with love, which is a rare but beautiful combo. 90 x 90 was at least 20 minutes long, as was the tour's first trial of Our Name Rings Out. At one point Pat was just playing the Top Gun score and Mike was ramming his body and bass into the crowd.
Overall one of our most fun shows ever. Some might say that we are Being Our Own, for once, and have finally pushed through the looking glass. Thanks again to all the wonderful people of Wesleyan for a truly fantastic time.
Now it is Saturday morning in New Haven and Nick is treating us to some songs off the new Animal Collective record. Then we are treating him to the Indian buffet down the road. Is Indian buffet a good idea before we pile in the car for a three-hour drive? We'll know soon enough.
Special thanks to Our Promoters and Assistants:
- Top Dog Dumpster Rental Middletown OH
- dumpster Diamond Bar
- dumpster rental Euclid
- Medford OR dumpsters
- dumpster Loveland CO
- Top Dog Dumpster Rental Warwick RI
- dumpsters Huntington Park
- Lauderhill dumpster
- dumpster rentals Upland CA
- rent a dumpster in Longmont CO
- Top Dog Dumpster Rental Greenville NC
Tonight we're in Jersey, headlining a four-band bill on the shore. Some of the NYC dudes are coming down.
No change in points.
Weather: 51, clear.
Traffic: Light for now, but wait until we hit Jersey.
Restaurant: Smithland. Italian Cod, roasted roots, asparagus, lovely company.
Headline: Marrow Donors Turn Out In Droves
November 10, 2005
Done with Washington DC, Boston, and New York, which went by like a freight train hauling ass and hauling an enormous amount of cargo. Because that's what we're doing every day -- hauling ass from one city to another, with our gear in tow. Any town, anywhere, anytime. Today is our day off.
Highlights: Our show in DC was in a tiny venue and was a ton of fun. New York was not in a tiny venue but was also a ton of fun. Both were great shows and were both well-attended. Boston, while not packed to the gills, brought in some great people who showed us how they do it up there in that cold, icy place. The Misfits (well, The Misfits without Glenn) were playing right below us in another club, too.
Thank yous go out to Mike's Mom (DC), Per (Boston), and Josh Meghan (New York) for both putting us up and putting up with us and our stuff.
Points: Pat 1.5, Mike 0
Headline: NYC In Love With Hybrid 'Puggle' -- Half Pug, Half Beagle
Restaurants: In DC, Mike's Dad's dining room: great lasagna, potstickers, salad, and company. In Boston, The Middle East.
Traffic: Light, moderate, heavy. Holland Tunnel was a mess.
Weather: Partly cloudy, windy, 51 degrees.
Casualties: Aside from being road weary, we're good.
November 7, 2005
A wee bit hungover after a raucous night in North Carolina. Our show was fun, highlighted by a 20-minute psych rendition of 90 x 90. Our hosts for the night, Will and Frances, stuck it out for the show and put us up nicely in their apartment in Raleigh. They even took us drinking at The Jackpot, some sort of NC hipster headquarters. Pat met a lovely girl named Brittany who was DJing, sending all the kids into a corporal frenzy. She wisely had only slight patience for Pat's sleeveless antics.
After the bar we broke into some hotel pool and went swimming and had races. Mike won each time. He's still beaming from victory. Pat lost.
Today we head to DC. Yes please.
Points: Pat 0.25, Mike O
Headline: Web Images Used As Evidence of Violations
Restaurant: Mediterranean Delight. Good Salad, But Beware the Hummus.
Traffic: Moderate but moving.
Weather: 70 and clear.
Casualties: Bill's lense cap.
November 6, 2005
The first night of the Sky Pilots Be Your Own tour was a smash! After a redeye to Charlotte and a quick drive to Columbia, we were all a bit tired and scattered, but still too excited to sleep. So we went to the music store, took in some local sights, and slurped some boiled peanuts before our afternoon naps.
Woke up, down to the WUSC for a quick radio meet-and-greet. Fantastic dinner at local Greek standby. Got to the Art Bar for the show, featuring six or seven local acts and us. Look out for COlumbia bands Vinyl Are MY Pants and Why Johnny Kills. Vinyl are angular, start-stop guitar and drums duo. Reminded me of The Lapse. Johnny rocks pulsing drone with good flourishes.
We tried our best and the crowd seemed to like us. GOod stage, nice sound, real loud. Highlights for me were Bill's fills and Mike's energy.
On a travel note, the flight out was a cinch, although Mike has it out for the TSA. NO baggage charges, nothing broken, no delays. We destroyed a bar called The Fogbank outside the entrance to gates 1 - 17 in the US Flairways terminal at SFO. Thanks to Lisa for the $10. Upgraded the rental car to an executive minivan with Sirius. Current favorite channels include 70s hits, Backspin, HardAtak, and BUzzsaw.
Now we're off to brunch with the parents. Then we shoot up to Chapel Hill.
Points: Mike 0, Pat 0
Headline: "Bridge Demolition Shaking Up Residents"
Restaurants: Devine Foods. Get the Roasted Chicken. $8.50
Weather: 77 and Sunny. Slight breeze.
October 27, 2005
News is what you want so that is what I will write.
Our tour is completely booked. People ask us to play more shows here or there, and I just tell them, "No more shows! Our addled bodies have to rest at some point!" Then they try to lure Sky Pilots with money and women, but it's of no use.
A few tour notes: The Brain Surgeons/Sky Pilots/Remote Islands show in Philly is at a small bar so it will sell out. Get there early. Not sure what the deal is with advance sales.
And the Sky Pilots/Appletown Gun Shop show at Wesleyan is for students only. So if the NYCers need a second dose, it will be administered an hour away in New Jersey, at the Brighton Bar on November 12. We will be coordinating some caravan/lodging scheme that night.
Back at Sky Pilots Central Command, we're screening our album covers. All I can say about the process is that I'm glad it will be done, although it has given Mike and me a chance to spend some quality time together. They'll be available for $8 a pop at the Sky Pilots party on November 3rd at The Knockout.
This is perhaps the last update until we hit the road. Expect some tour updates every few days, including some good play-by-play from drummer Bill "The Referee" French. And I'll try to post headlines from the local paper in each town, as well as restaurant reviews. Mike will be bringing you reports on the weather and traffic conditions.