Dubuque + Louisville

I am sitting in a coffee shop/bar called Monk's in Dubuque Iowa. We just finished playing an outdoor art fest (DBQ Fest) downtown and it's now pouring outside. It is late at night and so good to be in such a chill spot with free internet, comfortable couches, and really nice lamps.

A quick update on everything: We made a music video to a song from our new album that will be released in July-ish and I'm super pumped about it. It's really bizarre and exactly what I envisioned. Keep you posted on when it will be up online. Daisy finished booking our million-year-long tour. It is a seriously long tour. I am super excited. We are heading to Michigan, then through Chicago and the midwest and then all the way out west. We'll be doing short week long tours for the next two months, but then will be on the road for 2 months straight starting at the end of June. Knowing Daisy it'll probably end up being a longer tour, because we'll probably just decide to tack on dates at the end. Because Wisconsin is amazing, and why not play Madison if you're already going to be passing through?  Other random things include my older sister having a kid. I know that's personal information and this blog mainly deals with our adventures and not life stuff, but her kid is kind of the cutest child in the world.   Anyway. Thought you should know that I'm officially an Aunt and am very stoked about it. 

The last few days of shows have been super strange but good. We played an after hours  party at the Speed art museum in Louisville yesterday, and today we played DBQ Fest- which turned out to be a family-friendly outdoor festival in the heart of downtown Dubuque. I occasionally edit things a tiny bit for family friendly crowds, but sometimes my edits end up being pretty "on the fly" and consequently a bit ridiculous. Today during our cover of "I'm afraid of Americans" instead of saying "Donald grabs pussy in cars" I rambled out "Donald grabs kittens in cars"......which doesn't even make sense and is also pretty weird. It just kind of came out on accident- and Daisy and I both started laughing uncontrollably. Anyway, fuck Donald Trump. Keep him away from all of the kittens everywhere. 

Bands that we played with today and yesterday that were epic include:::: Har-di-har (art pop from Minneapolis) and Second Story Man (indie rock with harmonies from Louisville)

Tomorrow we drive to DeKalb Illinois to play a show with our friends Crystal Gravy and Richardson Richardson. Love those people. It will be really nice to see good friends. 

 

 

 my lovely cousin Tessa came to the show in Dubuque. 

my lovely cousin Tessa came to the show in Dubuque. 

 DBQ Fest

DBQ Fest

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WISCONSIN SPRINGTIME TOUR

We played Urbana IL and it was cold and rainy--but fun because we got to hang with our good friends from the band Spandrels. Isaac ended up putting us up in a giant co-op he lives in and made us delicious breakfast. Anytime you wake up to a warm raspberry croissant with a note that says "eggs and coffee upstairs!" you know that it's gonna be a good day. We headed to Madison after that...and..

.....It snowed and snowed and snowed and snowed. We played in Madison with our good friends in The Hussy, Twelves, and His and Her Vanities. That show was super crazy because snow doesn't bother anyone in Madison. They all wear t-shirts and shorts in 40 degree weather anyway, so it probably felt only slightly chilly to locals. We played at a place called the Crystal Bar which had a stage that was like 5 feet off the ground, meaning that for one of the first times ever I got to TOWER over the crowd in my chair instead of looking up from the ground at the first few rows of folks. It was great. When I'm a millionaire, it will be in my rider that I need the stage to be at least 5 feet tall, right next to the clause on my blue m&m's and mango lecroix. jk. But really. But jk. 

We ended up doing 2 Milwaukee shows because our Appleton one got cancelled. We played at a spot called Sabbatic on Sunday at what ended up being an all day affair of bands and general debauchery. On Monday we played with our friend Thea at Frank's Power Plant with her band Layers and Layers. She plays the cello. So did a woman in the other band Warhola Cats. I love playing on cello night. I wish we had gotten a photo. I always forget when I'm at places, but I secretly-not so secretly want to have a giant wall of pictures of all the cello bands we play with. 

After our last Milwaukee show we booked it back to Cincinnati. I had to work at 4 the next day at a local restaurant, and did my best attempt to look like I hadn't just rolled out of a van and wasn't wearing the same clothes for the third day in a row.  Thank the universe for red lipstick and good deodorant. Anyway. This week has been insane. We did a Super Satan show yesterday--which is a live video show where you play a few songs and get interviewed by a puppet version of Satan. You can find the video and others at Super Satan's Facebook. 

We have also been planning and prepping for a VIDEO SHOOT we are going to do for one of our songs on our upcoming album. Not going to give away too much, but Rachelle and I are getting heavy into some Shellshag+Hedwig and the Angry Inch influenced props. We are playing Bloomington tonight at Blockhouse Bar, and then in Cincinnati tomorrow at Urban Artifact. And then we are shooting a music video all Sunday. Pictures of the video shoot and the weekend to come :D

-KW

 SPRINGTIME TOUR IN WISCONSIN YEAH! GET THE SHOVEL! GET IN THE VAN!

SPRINGTIME TOUR IN WISCONSIN YEAH! GET THE SHOVEL! GET IN THE VAN!

 Casey from Spandrels and I always try to take bitchy selfies together. It's our thing. This was the meanest. 

Casey from Spandrels and I always try to take bitchy selfies together. It's our thing. This was the meanest. 

 THE HUSSY listen here 

THE HUSSY listen here 

 The Red Flags, from the Sabbatic show. 

The Red Flags, from the Sabbatic show. 

 Layers and Layers with Thea rocking it on the cello. 

Layers and Layers with Thea rocking it on the cello. 

 Warhola Cats. Listen to them  here

Warhola Cats. Listen to them here

 I found those glasses on the table at the Super Satan show. You can't really see anything other than kaleidoscope shapes out of them so I blindly tried to take a selfie of daisy and i. and this is what happened....hahaha.

I found those glasses on the table at the Super Satan show. You can't really see anything other than kaleidoscope shapes out of them so I blindly tried to take a selfie of daisy and i. and this is what happened....hahaha.

 hanging with Satan. Whatevs. No big deal.

hanging with Satan. Whatevs. No big deal.

Home?

Hey internet world! We have been home for a week or  two or so but it kind of feels like it's been a month. Time has been moving very slowly. The weather in Ohio has been skyrocketing back and forth between 70 and relatively pleasant and 30 degrees and snowing. It has definitely been making my brain feel confused, especially after being in Texas for a lot of the last month. I keep thinking we are in November. It is April. I guess that's just where I'm at. 

All and all it has been good to be back. We got a cool write up from a friend we met in Laredo TX on her new indie music blog, Indiemuck. We chatted with her a month ago and she was an excellent interviewer  (in my top 5, right up there with Syd Bishop from Leo Alt Weekly in Louisville). Her site already has 5 artist interviews up, and the page has been online for less than a month. I'm excited to see where this takes her. You can check out our interview and others here: https://www.indiemuck.com    

Other things we've been up to include doing a SOFA SESSION with the folks at Sofaburn Records. We did a few live videos of songs from our next record that will be popping up around the internet in the next couple months. I'm pretty excited about the new album we are about to put out..It's officially coming to you this summer and is going to bet 14 tracks of all-over-the-place madness. The album art is also gorgeous. And the dates that Daisy is putting together for the next 5 months of touring are crazy and all across the map. 

Another random thing I did while home was to make a solo video for NPR's tiny desk competition. I've been submitting random stuff every year since NPR started doing the competition and it has become a bit of a yearly habit. You can check out a super low budget (aka my iPhone 5) video of looped cello here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcaRJndiT4Y&feature=youtu.be . Also recorded backup cello for a local band in town called Sungaze. I'm digging their sound a lot, and it's always fun to do stuff that is out of my norm musically. 

Being home is strange right now. When you get into a routine of playing shows every night and meeting new people every day, being back in one place can feel incredibly isolating and bizarre.  We are going to be in Indy and Wisconsin this weekend and I absolutely cannot wait. Too much home-time is making me feel stir-crazy. The next time I post on this thing, I'll be back to sleeping in my real bed (the van), and waking up in one of my favorite 5 star hotels (Walmart Parking Lot, Love's gas stations). Sending love and sunshine to all the folks out there who are feeling seasonal depression right now, and to all those who aren't as well. 

 Photos taken from our Sofaburn Session by Steve Mathisen

Photos taken from our Sofaburn Session by Steve Mathisen

 Photo taken by Steve Mathisen at our Sofaburn Session :D 

Photo taken by Steve Mathisen at our Sofaburn Session :D 

Pictures from the road

Hey! We are back in Cincinnati and it is kinda nice to be home for a minute. This was by far my favorite tour we have had--the people we met, the energy of the shows themselves, the insanity of SXSW--was just incredible. I think another thing that held me together was meditating on the regular. I'm not an expert meditator  by any means, but have taken to at least 11 minutes of focused breathing a day. Things that would normally make me hyperventilate or panic were a lot more manageable. When I became stressed out at a show, I could just focus back on breathing for a few minutes and come back to a clearer reality. I highly recommend trying it out to anyone who hasn't before. And my non-expert advice is to start with a ridiculously small amount of time. It's like running. You don't start with a marathon. Try 3 minutes. 

But enough about breathing and back to the tour itself---here are some pictures from our travels and little stories to accompany them.

 This was the morning of the last day of tour. We ate breakfast at our friends house but then needed more coffee and doughnuts because it was that kind of a day. We were haggard from a million shows-and pleased with second breakfast. I think that day I had 3 large gas station coffees as well. Good times.

This was the morning of the last day of tour. We ate breakfast at our friends house but then needed more coffee and doughnuts because it was that kind of a day. We were haggard from a million shows-and pleased with second breakfast. I think that day I had 3 large gas station coffees as well. Good times.

 I think our 2nd morning in Austin was spent here. We stayed about 10 minutes from downtown with our friends (in the band Street Sects//there are earlier blog posts about them)-and this is a coffee shop that was near their house. It's called Flitch Coffee. I remember the weather being perfect, and the coffee being delicious. There was a DIY folk music festival going on there that week and everyone was setting up. It was a great feeling, having a half hour or so of calm in this courtyard before going to SXSW craziness. It isn't in the picture but there were a lot of plants and great seating. I think the barista could tell that I was a broke musician, and she gave me my second cup of coffee for free. Sometimes it's the little things. 

I think our 2nd morning in Austin was spent here. We stayed about 10 minutes from downtown with our friends (in the band Street Sects//there are earlier blog posts about them)-and this is a coffee shop that was near their house. It's called Flitch Coffee. I remember the weather being perfect, and the coffee being delicious. There was a DIY folk music festival going on there that week and everyone was setting up. It was a great feeling, having a half hour or so of calm in this courtyard before going to SXSW craziness. It isn't in the picture but there were a lot of plants and great seating. I think the barista could tell that I was a broke musician, and she gave me my second cup of coffee for free. Sometimes it's the little things. 

 We played in Fayetteville at a spot called Backspace. I think it was a Wednesday? Anyway, the other bands we played with (Bonemagic, The Wirms, and WOMBGLOW) were super good and all had totally different vibes. This picture is from WOMBGLOW's show---an industrial, emotional ride with this space-age brightly lit 'womb' hanging from the ceiling. 

We played in Fayetteville at a spot called Backspace. I think it was a Wednesday? Anyway, the other bands we played with (Bonemagic, The Wirms, and WOMBGLOW) were super good and all had totally different vibes. This picture is from WOMBGLOW's show---an industrial, emotional ride with this space-age brightly lit 'womb' hanging from the ceiling. 

 In Dallas we played at RBC- which has a really awesome Monday night scene. People show up and stay out the entire night. We got put on a bill we didn't fit on (which is my favorite, remember the Renaissance festival??) which was GREAT. I love it because I get to hear music that I don't normally hear. In this case it was a bunch of solo femme acts that were somewhat pop-like in nature but more complex. All of the acts had beautiful voices, and their songs had intricate melodies occasionally reminiscent of Bjork. Pictured above is Rat Rios who started out the night. Some of her music can be found on spotify, but it doesn't really do her justice. It's great-and recorded well- but to get the full experience, follow her on Facebook and check her out when she is in your town. 

In Dallas we played at RBC- which has a really awesome Monday night scene. People show up and stay out the entire night. We got put on a bill we didn't fit on (which is my favorite, remember the Renaissance festival??) which was GREAT. I love it because I get to hear music that I don't normally hear. In this case it was a bunch of solo femme acts that were somewhat pop-like in nature but more complex. All of the acts had beautiful voices, and their songs had intricate melodies occasionally reminiscent of Bjork. Pictured above is Rat Rios who started out the night. Some of her music can be found on spotify, but it doesn't really do her justice. It's great-and recorded well- but to get the full experience, follow her on Facebook and check her out when she is in your town. 

 This is a hot spring..in Hot Springs Arkansas. Hot Springs is a weird and super cool little town and has a unique vibe. We played Valley of the Vapors-and they treated us super well-giving us a place to stay, and treating us to a really fun evening of music. Our friends from Canada, Beams, played, and it's always great to watch their sets. They have really great harmonies, so if you are into that kinda thing, you should look them up. The morning after the fest we had a few hours to kill. I decided after sticking my wrist in this spring that maybe there was something to the acclaimed healing powers of the mineral rich water in hot springs. My hands-which I've always had off and on problems with since I was a kid- felt so much better from the water. I walked straight to one of the 5 or so bathhouses and bought a bath. 30 bucks is a lot of money to spend on anything, but I figured I would see what all the hype was about. It was really weird. The bathhouse that I went to was not as traditional as some-meaning, there wasn't someone who came in and ACTUALLY SCRUBBED me down (thank God). It was still an odd experience to walk down a little hall to a private bath with water that felt different than any other water I've ever felt. It was so relaxing I got kind of nauseous after 20 minutes or so. If you ever go to bath-houses, you should ask them what exactly is going to happen- because I had no idea what the deal was when I went. I had a moment of relaxed panic part way through my bath that maybe I had been in the tub for an hour and had racked up a 60 dollar bath bill (which would have been insane!). I checked my phone and it had only been 15 minutes. Some bath houses get you with that kind of thing though. No one knocked on the door to tell me that the short-bath time was up- so if I hadn't been keeping track, it would have been easy to spend way to much money sitting in a freaking bathtub. All that being said, it was really relaxing and my hands and headaches were all miraculously healed afterwards. My friend Heather, from Beams, was telling me about her bath experience the night before which sounded horrifying and hilarious. I guess at some places there is a machine that intensely washes down your genitals before you get into the tub- like a horse-powered bidet. During her bath, a lady knocked on the door, entered in with big loofas covering her arms, and insisted on 'scrubbing her down'. When she acted shocked about this, the woman insisted saying that it wasn't anything she hadn't seen before-that it was her job. While this sounds like an experience, I'm very ticklish and it's probably good this didn't happen to me. If my feet were scrubbed someone would have gotten accidentally kicked in the face and I'd probably be in the Hot Springs county jail.

This is a hot spring..in Hot Springs Arkansas. Hot Springs is a weird and super cool little town and has a unique vibe. We played Valley of the Vapors-and they treated us super well-giving us a place to stay, and treating us to a really fun evening of music. Our friends from Canada, Beams, played, and it's always great to watch their sets. They have really great harmonies, so if you are into that kinda thing, you should look them up. The morning after the fest we had a few hours to kill. I decided after sticking my wrist in this spring that maybe there was something to the acclaimed healing powers of the mineral rich water in hot springs. My hands-which I've always had off and on problems with since I was a kid- felt so much better from the water. I walked straight to one of the 5 or so bathhouses and bought a bath. 30 bucks is a lot of money to spend on anything, but I figured I would see what all the hype was about. It was really weird. The bathhouse that I went to was not as traditional as some-meaning, there wasn't someone who came in and ACTUALLY SCRUBBED me down (thank God). It was still an odd experience to walk down a little hall to a private bath with water that felt different than any other water I've ever felt. It was so relaxing I got kind of nauseous after 20 minutes or so. If you ever go to bath-houses, you should ask them what exactly is going to happen- because I had no idea what the deal was when I went. I had a moment of relaxed panic part way through my bath that maybe I had been in the tub for an hour and had racked up a 60 dollar bath bill (which would have been insane!). I checked my phone and it had only been 15 minutes. Some bath houses get you with that kind of thing though. No one knocked on the door to tell me that the short-bath time was up- so if I hadn't been keeping track, it would have been easy to spend way to much money sitting in a freaking bathtub. All that being said, it was really relaxing and my hands and headaches were all miraculously healed afterwards. My friend Heather, from Beams, was telling me about her bath experience the night before which sounded horrifying and hilarious. I guess at some places there is a machine that intensely washes down your genitals before you get into the tub- like a horse-powered bidet. During her bath, a lady knocked on the door, entered in with big loofas covering her arms, and insisted on 'scrubbing her down'. When she acted shocked about this, the woman insisted saying that it wasn't anything she hadn't seen before-that it was her job. While this sounds like an experience, I'm very ticklish and it's probably good this didn't happen to me. If my feet were scrubbed someone would have gotten accidentally kicked in the face and I'd probably be in the Hot Springs county jail.

 This is a picture from our drive from Hot Springs to Lafayette. The back roads that we ended up taking were absolutely gorgeous. Lots of hills, lots of early springtime green.

This is a picture from our drive from Hot Springs to Lafayette. The back roads that we ended up taking were absolutely gorgeous. Lots of hills, lots of early springtime green.

hey time flies when you're playing a hundred shows and not sleeping well ( and having fun)

It's been a minute since I last updated this thing! I think about a week? A quick recap:: we played 10 shows in 5 days at SXSW which was one of the most exhilarating and simultaneously exhausting things I have ever done in my life. The routine was seriously wake up, find coffee, drive to a show, load in, play said show, hang out and listen to bands, load out, get more coffee, play another show..pass out..rinse and repeat. And since I love all of those things, and since we had enough coffee-it ended up being one of the best 5 days I've had in a long time. 

After SXSW we played shows in Dallas at RBC, Hot Springs at a festival called Valley of the Vapors, Fayetteville (AK) at Backspace, and today we are in Springfield (MO) playing at outland this evening. We are playing right before Karaoke Night, which sounds like it'll be a great time. I really enjoy when we do gigs that seem to make no sense whatsoever, because they always turn out to be the most interesting of evenings...more on that tomorrow after it's over!

We have 3 more shows before we are home again. We have some big news for our next album that we'll be sharing in the next week or so...in the meantime here are some scattered pictures and stories from the past week. 

*edit.this coffee shop internet is not really working....so more pictures to come when there is functional internet. 

 

 SXSW official Showcase was at Swan Dive presented by Old Flame Records and Outer Orbit Booking. We played with our good buds Dawg Yawp, and Frontier Folk Nebraska (both out of Cincinnati). 

SXSW official Showcase was at Swan Dive presented by Old Flame Records and Outer Orbit Booking. We played with our good buds Dawg Yawp, and Frontier Folk Nebraska (both out of Cincinnati). 

SXSW day 2

Holy hell this is a good time. There is so much energy and music in the air that you can feel it in your bones. We played two shows yesterday--one at Beerland after an amazing solo artist named Julie Odell, and another at Hole in the Wall. Walking down the streets of Austin is insanity. Every bar, coffee shop, restaurant is flooded with all types of music. Also...there are so many food trucks....

I'm writing all this from Cherrywood Coffee House which is doing a side fest called Uglyfest. Dan, the guy who is running it is on top of everything-and we play in about an hour. There are so many amazing bands, I'll post tons of links to people's music after the fest is over. 

here are some pics from yesterday and today! 

 Julie Odell

Julie Odell

 Downtown

Downtown

 Rachelle and Daisy at Cherrywood Coffee House

Rachelle and Daisy at Cherrywood Coffee House

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SXSW DAY 1

We are headed in the van to Austin to play our first days of shows. Rachelle is joining us for south by and I'm excited both to see her and also for all of the help maneuvering Austin. I have never played SXSW but from what I've heard it is fun chaos-cramming a extra million people in a city built for far less.

Shows today::: 

Beerland at 2:15, for Ship Channel's Showcase

and

Hole in the Wall at 6:30 for Howdy Gal's Day Party

more pictures and stories to come!  

all the love-

Kate

 

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Laredo Laredo Laredo Part 2

 Inshadestx.bandcamp.com

Inshadestx.bandcamp.com

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LAREDO! This was hands down one of the best shows I have played in a long time. First of all, I want to give Beto from Second Chance Music a huge huge thank you for booking us, and for promoting the hell out of our show. It makes a huge difference, and we really appreciate it.

I already wrote a bit about Laredo yesterday-but to recap, it is a beautiful small city about 10 minutes from Mexico. The food that we had was delicious (Tomatillos for lunch, more on dinner later..), the people we met were incredibly kind and interesting, and the venue we played at was gorgeous. The  event got moved from Second Chance Music’s record store to an event space across the street. The venue was very different than most places we play and was covered white shimmery fabric draped everywhere, and lots of christmas lights.  The sound system was also incredible.

The night started out with a great interview done by blogger Leci Solis. She is starting a music blog out of Laredo and wanted to do a feature on our band. As soon as it’s up on its’ feet, I’ll post a link on our website. I am a sucker for good music blogs, and am excited to read her take on underground music in Texas and elsewhere.

We played with some really cool bands. I especially loved In Shades from Mission Texas. Listen at inshadestx.bandcamp.com . I will say, another out of town bands’ lead singer was saying such shitty things that I wanted to clean his mouth out with soap. For real. I am pretty sure that it was some sort of male-bravado act and was not meant to be horribly offensive, but part of his “flirty” banter was to say during a song (pointing down to a woman in the crowd) “I’m probably going to fuck her tonight”.  This is REALLY not cool, and if you’re reading this- know that your band is tight as hell, and you don’t need to say derogatory things to get a reaction out of the crowd or to make you look cool. It does the opposite.

After the show we hung out with Luis Guevara and did an interview that ended in photos taken from a MINI AIRPLANE DRONE! I don’t know if that’s it’s official name, but it looked like the robot from a futuristic movie about robots taking over…the future is here. The video interview will be up early this week.

We stayed out late, chatting with new friends, and enjoying the incredible weather, and ended things at Taco Pelinque.  Another northerner note—we do not have free salsas in the Midwest or the northeast…ever….the delicious salsas at Taco Pelinque would cost at least 3.50 a piece for a smaller amount anywhere past the TX or FL border. And they probably wouldn't be as good.

Thanks again to Beto, Leci, Luis, the bands we played with, and all the folks in Laredo who came out last night for making it a truly special evening. 

Victoria yesterday, Laredo today!

Laredo Laredo Laredo. We are finally here. And it is a different world. It is 90 degrees, the sky is blue, and there are  fragrant flowers on the trees..and ORANGES. I feel like people who live in the south must feel when they see snow for the first time. I was tempted to grab one, but don’t want to accumulate bad orange-karma. We are about a 10 minute walk from Mexico. Everything is written in Spanish, and there is so much insanely good food on every block. For lunch, we stopped at a Mexican spot, and the molé I had was so delicious I almost cried. The food we had yesterday in Victoria was also incredible. If I stay too much longer in Texas, I will surely turn into one of those assholes who is always taking pictures of their food. (Pictures of food below..) Anyway.

The show yesterday was a good time. We played in Victoria TX at a restaurant-record shop called Rosebud Fountain and Grill with a solo artist, Joe Reyna. Joe played one of the best singer-songwriter sets I’ve seen in years. He had a Bob Dylan-Leonard Cohen vibe to his music- but I liked his voice and lyrical style far more than Bob Dylan’s. The lyrics were perfect with his songwriting. One lyric that jumped out at me from a simple, beautiful song of his was: “Consciousness is such a drag-I’ll come to wear the earth again”.  We talked afterwards about lyrics writing, and it was clear that everything he wrote about came from important, and honest parts of him. The song with the lyric that jumped out was about his brother who passed away five months ago. I can’t find any of his music online to post here, but when I do, there will be links.

Huge thanks to Anthony, the owner of Rosebud Fountain and Grill for treating us incredibly well-making us delicious dinner, inviting us to a screening of a local indie film at his restaurant earlier in the day, and for the great show!

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 Joe Reyna

Joe Reyna

Are we in Laredo yet?

It's day 9 of shows and being on the road and I'm getting that delirious and forgetting small things like "where was I yesterday?" "where am I right now?" "what day of the week is it?"

Also, I keep thinking we are going to be playing Laredo "tomorrow". I think this means that Laredo is going to be a really good time. Today at our new Beaumont bud Latasha's house, we learned the sign language for Laredo is making a shooting gun motion with your hands rhythmically 4 times.

The last few days have been good and bizarre! We played in Houston at notsuoH- a bar that we played the last time we were in town. I was filled with memories of the last time we played there. It had been the day that Leonard Cohen died, and the bar owner played his earlier works on repeat. That was also RIGHT after Trump had gotten elected. It was a weird mental space to be in. This time around the atmosphere was less solemn, although still vibe-y. The spot has a magical feel to it, with an old school stage in the middle of the bar with red velvet curtains, and peeling paint behind it. The couches are worn and comfortable, and the art on the wall were all compelling pieces that added to the strange atmosphere that is notsuoH. We played with a band called Morning Bliss that sounded a bit like the Pixies crossed with more mellow 90's bands. We ended the night with Taco Bell and stopping off at Texas's large crazy truck stop. Featured below..

Yesterday we played a RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL. HA! YES we did that and it was super odd and dream-like. Everyone was dressed up in renaissance garb eating large legs of meat. I have never been to one before, so I was just wearing what I normally wear. I made a joke during our set about how we clearly didn't get the memo on the dress code and nobody laughed. It was cool and funny to be there, in the middle of it all, sandwiched between two very very traditional renaissance bands. We were so out of place that it kind of worked? Some people got it. And I think everyone else was at least amused. We ended up meeting some kindred spirits who took us out to Waffle House afterwards and let us crash at their beautiful home. Latasha and Olivia- THANK YOU! At the Waffle House in Beaumont there is a party room. Daisy and Latasha were super vocal with the manager on how we would like to have a party there, and they were not having it. Daisy is super into Waffle House, and said that the next time we play Beaumont, we are renting the Waffle House Party Room and doing the show there. Knowing Daisy, this will probably happen. So, Beaumont, see you in about a year, at the Waffle House Party Room.

Today we are NOT heading to Laredo. We are heading to Victoria. The day after that we will be in Laredo. Ohhhh my confused brain. Sending all the good vibes to you all on this cloudy Friday.

-Kate

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 notsuoH

notsuoH

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 Houston at night.

Houston at night.

 The Ukeladies Man. He is hirable for all occasions: weddings, first dates, funerals, bar and bat mitzvahs Seriously though, he is, and he was charming and great at what he does. 

The Ukeladies Man. He is hirable for all occasions: weddings, first dates, funerals, bar and bat mitzvahs Seriously though, he is, and he was charming and great at what he does. 

 We played with Madeline's band last time we were in town, and she is also an amazing belly dancer! Good times.

We played with Madeline's band last time we were in town, and she is also an amazing belly dancer! Good times.

 Band from eastern Europe, Stary Olsa- tours the USA Renaissance Fest circuit all year. They were very very surprised to see and hear us. They were fantastic players-keep an eye out for them if you're into Ren Fests.

Band from eastern Europe, Stary Olsa- tours the USA Renaissance Fest circuit all year. They were very very surprised to see and hear us. They were fantastic players-keep an eye out for them if you're into Ren Fests.

Nacogdoches, TX and good tasting coffee

Yesterday was pretty chill. We made an early road stop on our way to Nacogdoches in Shreveport. Daisy digs that town, and needed coffee. I'm a coffee addict as well--I turn into a total asshole if I haven't had any caffeine within about 30 minutes of waking up. This has been super expensive in the past--2 to 3 dollars on coffee a day adds up pretty quick over a month or two. This tour I haven't spent much money on morning coffee (with the exception of the occasional Waffle House cup) because I figured out how to make it. Here is my recipe for how to make good tasting coffee that you don't have to pay much for on the road.

GOOD TASTING FREE-ISH GAS STATION COFFEE

What you'll need
A to-go coffee mug//thermos of sorts. I use a 16 oz one. It gets you 2 large mugs of coffee.
A real mug.
Ground coffee
A tea strainer that sits on top of your mug
A gas station
Gas station creamer

1. Put 3 giant spoons (probably table spoons??) of ground coffee into your to-go thermos. Put 2 sad spoons of coffee if you are one of those people who likes weak coffee. If you want to avoid having everyone think you are stealing coffee, do this AT the coffee spot in the gas station. This way they won't think you are stealing coffee, they'll just think you're really strange.
2. Use the hot water spigot to fill the thermos. Don't fill it all at once. Do it like you would for a french press- so put a little bit in there/enough to cover the grounds/and swirl it around for a bit. I don't really know WHY this makes a difference. Barista friends have told me something about it helping to release flavor? In any case, it makes you feel fancier, swishing your coffee around. Smelling the coffee like a weirdo.. Looks super official.
3. After about 10 seconds of swirling the water/coffee around, fill the coffee mug all the way to the top. Seal the thermos.  
4. Wait about 10 minutes. I shake it up occasionally. Put the tea strainer on top of your coffee mug, take of the lid to your thermos, and slowly pour the coffee. You'll be in the van at this point, so be careful not to accidentally pour the coffee on your lap. Watch out for pot holes. 
5. Throw the strained grounds in the garbage or out the window. DIY compost..?
6. Enjoy! There should be 2 cups of coffee for you. If you like cream, add your favorite gas station creamer.

Nacogdoches was a REALLY good time. I'm always impressed with small towns that have music scenes that come out to see live shows on weekdays. The bands we played with were Matt Moore (solo), Dirty Dianas (sax based group that sounded reminiscent of the Billy Tipton Sax Quartet), The Dead Chachis (fast driving rock), and Spiral Eye (lots of Slayer). Everyone was big on having a "texas time". More on Texas Time and what that means exactly later. 
 

OH random crazy Texas fact--in Nacogdoches (and I'm sure other spots in TX) they have taco bells that are open on WEEKDAYS inside until 4 AM, and 5AM weekends......!!!!.....!!!.......

We are headed to Houston today to play NotsuoH. best-
Kate
 

 Drive Friendly. No angry drivers. This is Texas. Get it together.

Drive Friendly. No angry drivers. This is Texas. Get it together.

 LOOK AT HOW DELICIOUS THIS IS. Wow.

LOOK AT HOW DELICIOUS THIS IS. Wow.

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 Spiral Eye at Headliners Sports Bar. 

Spiral Eye at Headliners Sports Bar. 

Ruston Louisiana and thoughts on libraries

Ruston Louisiana is a small small town that is the home of Louisiana  Tech University. The store fronts and central downtown area felt somewhat old western-y but the neighborhoods and houses had the charm and beautiful architectural style of New Orleans--lots of tall thin windows and crafted iron fences. The bar we played at was called Sundown Tavern. They treated us right with delicious dinner and a good spot to play, especially for a Monday. Definitely recommend their reuben. Thanks so much to Dave and Ella for setting this up! We played with Doris Delay and The Mango Plate.

Daisy spent the day hanging out at the Tavern and chatting with folks. I heard from him later that Ruston is super big on watching jeopardy. It's like the Super Bowl there. Daisy is also a jeopardy person (or at least knows so many random useless facts that he could probably win at that kind of thing) so he quickly made tons of friends. I was feeling like wandering and exploring the town. After an hour or so of walking around, I ended up  at the library. I've been hanging out more and more at libraries on tour. I think I might eventually rank all of the libraries that I visit and do a "top 15 libraries in small town and downtown America" list. So far on this tour I've been to 3.  

GREAT THINGS ABOUT LIBRARIES WHEN YOU ARE TRAVELING
1. You don't have to spend any money, and you can escape the elements. Whether it's too hot or too cold, you can count on a library to be a least a little bit more temperate than the melting 90+ degree world outside. 
2. It's a cool way to get to know a place. Every library seems to reflect the needs and voids of a town. If you take some time to wander the stacks, you can see patterns in what books they prioritize, and what sections may be lacking. In Murray KY the library had a HUGE christianity section, like rows and rows of christian books- and probably 1/2 a row total on all the other world religions. In this case, knowing what is public and prioritized in the town makes places like Terrapin Station that feature all sorts of counter culture books even more special.
3. Comfy chairs. Best arm chairs live in libraries. Just make sure to check for bed bugs if you're in a city that has a history with those critters.
4. Free wifi
5. BOOKS! Realizing now that this should really be higher in the list- but I feel like that would have been too obvious. I like to pick random poets I haven't heard of, and other really bizarre non-fiction and flip to a page. 
6. If you want to take a cat nap or meditate and not be bothered you won't receive any outward judgement in a library. It's too quiet for them to berate you or wake you up.  On the other hand, if you started to doze off at coffee shops, folks might get worried or prod you. Pro tip, wear headphones and set a phone alarm. You won't piss anyone off when it goes off and you won't accidentally sleep through the show you're supposed to play. 
7. Bathrooms. Sometimes really great private gender-neutral bathrooms depending on the city. We sleep a lot in the van on tour, and having a spot to brush your teeth, and clean up without getting weird eyes from strangers is a huge plus. If you do all this just leave the place prettier than it was when you got there. That's  just good tour-bathroom-karma.

Basically libraries are the best. Support your local library. I support Cincinnati's library financially due to never returning my books on time. Do your part.

 

 

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 Doris Delay

Doris Delay

 Obligatory small town railroad shot.

Obligatory small town railroad shot.

 Someday I will live in this house in Ruston, LA. 

Someday I will live in this house in Ruston, LA. 

How to ferment things in your van

The last few shows we have played have been pretty cool! Memphis is always a good time-and P&H Cafe definitely treated us well with a good show and really really buttery and delicious dinner. I think there is more butter in everything the farther you head south in this country. No arguments here. Little Rock was a good time---played a house show, met some cool people (Carl- if you're reading this, thanks for setting up the show!)

BUT. I'm kind of bored of writing about shows...so I'm going to write about how to ferment things in your van.

I'll preface this with saying that I'm a huge DIY fermenter, especially when I'm not on the road. I love making kombucha, krauts, kvass, yogurt...whatever really- but it is a hard habit to translate to touring.

My history with fermenting things in the Lung van has been a long one. For the first few tours, I tried to ferment different kinds of sauerkraut in the van. This was alright for a few days, until everything in the van started to smell like kraut. I remember one particular morning, Rachelle and I got into it over the fact that everything in her suitcase smelled intensely of sauerkraut. At the time I defensively denied it, but it was really pretty terrible, and I quickly composted it on the side of the road in Utah somewhere. 

A few tours later I developed a system of putting kraut in several airtight bags with baking soda and coffee grounds. When you do this, it doesn't smell too much but it usually ends up getting messy somehow--something will spill--and then no amount of bags can save you from smelling like a cabbage. 

This time around I decided to try Beet Kvass. Beet Kvass is a probiotic rich drink that is hailed as being a blood and liver tonic. When it's done, it is a super deep gorgeous magenta red color, and tastes amazing. So far it has worked out really well. It doesn't smell at all, because it is a drink not primarily a solid-and everything that is fermenting is pretty submerged in brine. It's also the lease messy thing I've fermented, and is much cheaper and easier to make and keep going than kraut is. You can make it at a gas station in 10 minutes.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE BEET KVASS IN A VAN:
1. 2 medium sized beets, washed but not peeled and roughly chopped
2. 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
3. 1 Jalapeno (optional, makes it spicy)
4. a large 1/2 gallon glass jar with a sealable lid
5. Parchment paper
6. kosher salt
7. A jug of filtered water
 

HOW TO MAKE IT
1. After chopping veggies, throw them in the glass jar (that you cleaned beforehand. don't be gross)
2. Fill the jar with filtered water. Fill it pretty much to the top, but not all the way. You don't want to spill it in the van. Your bandmate might kill you.
3. This is the part where you can measure, or you can do it to taste. If you measure your salt, you are going to want to figure out how much salt  1.5-2 percent brine is. If you want to do it to taste, pour in about a heaping soup spoon of salt, seal the jar, shake it, and taste it. If it tastes almost as salty as pickle juice but not quite, it is the perfect amount. Just add, shake, and taste until it gets to a level of saltiness that is definitely SALTY but not so salty that you can't physically drink it. 
4. Put a small piece of parchment paper between the lid and the jar. This is because metal interacts in negative ways with ferments. I don't think you would die without doing this, but it's best not to mess with bacteria. 
5. Leave in a dark part of your house, or if on the road, in a cooler (with no ice!!!!!). Shake it every day. You can ferment Kvass for up to 2 weeks, but you can also start drinking it after 4 or 5 days. Depending on how warm it is, it will ferment at different rates. If your house is warm, it'll ferment quicker. If it's cold, it could take a lot longer. I've been keeping 2 going at once so that one is in early stages of fermentation, and the other is ready to drink.
6. Once you are done drinking your giant jar of Kvass, you can use the same beets+vegetables for a second batch. I leave a little bit of the first batch in to kind of kick start the second batch. After you are done with your second batch, make a salad out of your picked veggies, or blend them up and make some sort of crazy salsa. Haven't done the salsa thing before, but fermented salsas are delicious, and fermented beet salsa (maybe just add tomatoes, peppers, and vinegar? more garlic?) sounds amazing. 
also side note, you can make this with ONLY beets, water, and salt. I like adding garlic, jalapeno for taste. Also, ginger and turmeric can be delicious as well. 
 

 Enjoying some kvass. 

Enjoying some kvass. 

 Leftover beets from 2 full ferments of Beet Kvass. delicious. You can make Borscht with the leftover beets too. I've never made Borscht. If I ever figure out how to do this on the road with glass jars and gas station hot water, I should get some sort of award. 

Leftover beets from 2 full ferments of Beet Kvass. delicious. You can make Borscht with the leftover beets too. I've never made Borscht. If I ever figure out how to do this on the road with glass jars and gas station hot water, I should get some sort of award. 

 The ferment on the left is the one that was JUST made at the truck stop, the one on the right is a few days in. After a day or so more the one on the right is going to be crazy deep magenta purple red. 

The ferment on the left is the one that was JUST made at the truck stop, the one on the right is a few days in. After a day or so more the one on the right is going to be crazy deep magenta purple red. 

 see you later Little Rock!

see you later Little Rock!

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 Waffle House. We needed it. 

Waffle House. We needed it. 

 WHAT HAVE I DONE

WHAT HAVE I DONE

Murray, KY

Murray is a small small town in southern Kentucky. It was our second time coming back, and it was a blast to see people we met again. The town itself is a small college town-with an odd downtown that I accidentally discovered on a jog. The downtown closes and empties out by 3PM, so it felt like I was running through a ghost town of sorts. The real places to be in Murray are not downtown area (in my humble opinion) but instead the independently owned hole-in-the-wall businesses you find scattered throughout town. My favorite of these is hands down Terrapin Station. Terrapin Station is primarily a record store but it also sells tons of used books, incense, and tie dyed clothing. The walls are covered in band posters, but also newspaper clippings of everything Bernie Sanders. Tim, one of the main minds behind the shop, is what makes this place special. Tim is an incredibly kind, warm, accepting individual who saw a void in the Murray music scene, and opened up the shop for shows. Everyone is welcome, and shows there seem to be a safe haven for all the music lovers, the weirdos, the free thinkers in town. At the end of each show, Tim thanks everyone for showing up, and encourages people in the community to start bands. We had such a great time playing here. My only deep regret is that we didn't eat at the delicious and inexpensive diner with Tim this time around. After the show, which got out crazy late, we booked it to Memphis. I'm now sitting in the most incredible library I have been to in awhile. Also it is spring here. Cheers to Memphis public library for the free internet and the wide open quiet space. Tonight we play at P&H Cafe and then tomorrow we head to Hot Springs!

 Terrapin Station- King Krator was playing!

Terrapin Station- King Krator was playing!

 Springtime in Memphis. Picture from a jog. I think I only am healthy//run on tour. If I don't go for runs, I seriously do not move more than 3 feet a day. Van life..

Springtime in Memphis. Picture from a jog. I think I only am healthy//run on tour. If I don't go for runs, I seriously do not move more than 3 feet a day. Van life..

 CHECK OUT THIS LIBRARY IN MEMPHIS WHAT!?!?!??!

CHECK OUT THIS LIBRARY IN MEMPHIS WHAT!?!?!??!

Louisville

Ahhh Louisville. There are a few cities that we have traveled to that are starting to feel more and more like home, and Louisville is in that category. We had such a good time playing at Kaiju. Thanks so much to Second Story Man to playing with us, and to McKinnley for setting it up//running sound! Also, here is a write up of the show. THANK YOU SYD BISHOP FROM LEO :D 

Semi-interesting things that happened at the show were...

I met a very cool artist named Sabra Lynne. We hit it off because we both love birds, and she happens to be obsessed with painting them. She told me about how she grew up loving birds because it was what her and her Grandmother, who she lived with, bonded over. I got to see a lot of her work-which sort of personifies birds. Sabra said that a lot of her recent bird paintings are politically inspired with all of the tension, unease, and hatred of the Trump administration. Here is a link to her work. click here for art

Other semi interesting part of the night was that my cello's G string broke early on in our set- WHICH MEANT that I was forced to try out the backup cello we have had sitting in the back of the van all this time.. it has a super rich dark tone, but we haven't quite figured out how to lessen the feedback on it. Anyway, it was fun to try it out. Pictures of the two cellos hanging out below. 

BEST-
Kate

 

 "Exaltation" by Sabra Lynne

"Exaltation" by Sabra Lynne

 Cello Besties

Cello Besties

 Interview article we did with Syd Bishop before the show. Again, thanks so much Syd.

Interview article we did with Syd Bishop before the show. Again, thanks so much Syd.

Baltimore

Hung out at Red Emma's, a socialist bookstore that is worker owned and pretty awesome. There is a sign at the front register that says "please do not assume anyone's gender/preferred pronouns". The space was wide open, and most of the tables are communal. The staff allows homeless people to hang out in the building- which REALLY shouldn't be that revolutionary but is. I was told later by one of my friend's that sometimes other costumers complain about this fact, and the staff at Red Emma's couldn't care less. 

The show was super fun--we played at a mexican restaurant called Holy Frijoles. Our friend June put it together. She always hooks us up with great shows in the city. We played with M'aidez, and Infinite Pizza. Thanks so much to June, to the folks at Holy Frijoles for hooking us up with delicious free mexican food, and to all of our Baltimore buds for coming out and making that Sunday show such a good time.

Now we are back in Cincinnati for a few days and then off to Louisville! all the love

-kate

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Philadelphia: 2 piece fest

Day 3 of this run went well! The day started off at a spot called The Golden Violin shop. I rarely put on new strings, and yesterday halfway through the first song of our set I realized that my A string was hanging on by a thread- which means that it was definitely time to shell out cash and put new ones on. Mr. Golden is great at what he does--he makes violins, repairs them, and also carries strings at a good price point. If you are in a pinch in Philly, give him a call. After that we spent a bit of time in Philadelphia. I found an amazing bookstore. I think it was called Our House bookstore. It was one of those super dense book stores that had rooms and rooms laid out in beautifully disorganized mazes. It was a good way to spend the early evening before the show. 

We played a DIY festival called 2 Piece Fest at a really nice spot called The Rotunda. The idea of this fest was that the only requirements were that every band must have only 2 members. The show was run super effectively- everybody had short 15-20 minute sets, and there were two stages, making it so that each band would play back to back. The coolest part about this fest was hearing all the different kinds of music coming out of Philadelphia. The bands/groups that stood out to me were Static Brothers (a duo of rap/electronic artists), Rukut (heavy doom-y band//the lead singer was femme presenting and had insanely powerful vocals. Baltimore based group), Danjo, and Geb the great cackler (members of Invasive Species, playing ethereal folk songs that made me think of Diane Cluck). 

One of our new friends that we had met the night before in Mt. Joy came out again, and a big group of us did super late night Philly pizza. I still don't really get what makes Philadelphia pizza different from other pizza...but it was delicious.  We are now heading to Baltimore to play at a mexican restaurant! Should be a time!

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Mt. Joy

Played at Bube's Brewery for the second time! It was great to be back. The show was with our friend's in the band What's her face, as well as another band from Jersey called Will Wood and the Tapeworms. The lineup was super eclectic- and Will Wood played with so much energy and stage craft that it was hard not to watch the set. Their music kind of reminded me of The Scissor Sister's early stuff crossed with cabaret or musical theatre. 

Other highlights of the day::: WE ATE PHO. There is this amazing Pho spot on the drive between Pittsburgh and Mt. Joy called Kim's Pho- If you are ever making the drive google map that as quickly as you can. Basically it's the cheapest and most delicious Pho in the midwest/eastern side of the country I have ever had. Pictures below.

After the show, Joe from What's Her Face took us out to a late night breakfast at a diner around the corner. I tried Scrapple. If you don't know what Scrapple is, it's a mysterious sort of breakfast meat-concoction that people in PA are all about. It has a crispy exterior, and a creamy interior. You are supposed to eat it with syrup. I think it's one of those foods that the less you think about it, the better it is. The texture is super strange----creamy meat...........???? I'm not a huge meat person to begin with though- so take my opinions with a grain of salt. If you are into meat, you will probably love Scrapple. If not, it is mildly horrifying, but definitely edible.

Sleeping in the van has been great! Daisy and Rachelle (my best bud and Daisy's partner) built an insanely amazing loft in the back of the van with tons of sleep space. The last tour we went on we spent a lot of nights on bench seats in 20 degree weather. There was one night where I seriously put on every single article of clothing that I had brought with us. Anyway, this loft situation and this nice weather in comparison feels fancy as heck and turns gas-station/walmart parking lots into 5 star hotels. I successfully brewed drinkable (actually kind of tasty) coffee in my to-go coffee mug with ground coffee, gas station hot water, and a tea strainer. More on that later. 

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 SCRAPPLE

SCRAPPLE

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh 2/22

 

Yesterday was the first day of a long list of dates, and oh my god it is great to be back on the road. We took this winter off to finish recording and mixing our next record. I love Cincinnati, and our music scene there- but there is something very liberating about getting in the van, and leaving our little neighborhood, knowing that we are going to be seeing so much of the country and playing so many shows. 

Our first stop was Pittsburgh. We played at a bar called  Howler’s with Past Life, Valerie Kuehn, and Portrait People. Huge thanks to Jackson and David for setting up the show! People have  been telling me about Valerie Kuehn for a long time- probably because she also plays the cello. I think this is kind of funny, because we play pretty different styles of music—and you don’t hear me going up to a blues guitar player saying, “HEY! Have you heard  of this amazing metal guitar player? THEY ALSO PLAY GUITAR! Just like you!”. That being said, I do think us cello-non-classical-musicians should stick together, and I really enjoyed her set. 

This tour Daisy and I are trying to be healthy and cheap as heck. I’ll probably be posting weird recipes on here if I actually keep up with this blog this time around. If you’ve been following it, you’ll know that I can be a pretty sporadic blogger. Anyway, here are some pictures from the show, and from our rainy and foggy drive through Pennsylvania. 

We are heading to Mt. Joy today to play at Bubbe’s Brewery with our friends in What’s Her Face. You can check out their music by clicking here. Sending love. 

-Kate

 

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Hello 2018

Hello internet- Kate here. 

Just a few updates with what we've been up to. The past year has been crazy. We played over 200 shows, released our first record, and are ready to do it all over again for 2018. Daisy and I spent this past week in the studio mixing our latest record with John Hoffman. I think it'll be done in another 24 hours, with the help of a few pots of coffee. After that, we'll be heading to Texas for a 3 week tour in March, and then we'll figure out what to do with this 14 song record we are working on :) 
This year was one of my favorite years ever. We have met so many amazing people through playing shows with folks, and traveling around. Sending a huge thanks to all the people who played shows with us/set up shows/let us crash on your couches. I can't wait to be back on the road but in the meantime, we're going to be practicing our asses off writing more material, and maybe buying even more bass amps for future tours. Because I can't seem to get this cello loud enough.

All the love.

KW

PS We actually do have one more show before we take a break till March- it'll be in Chicago at Ian's Party. We play the Chop Shop at around 9 this Saturday (January 6th). See you in the windy horrifyingly chilly city????

 DAYTROTTER!

DAYTROTTER!

 4 in the morning mixes...

4 in the morning mixes...

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 opening up for Murder by Death! Such. a. good. time.

opening up for Murder by Death! Such. a. good. time.

 Got to guest sing for a few songs at a Brainiac reunion show. Photo by Leah Hoy Gale

Got to guest sing for a few songs at a Brainiac reunion show. Photo by Leah Hoy Gale