last week or so + guide to not staying sick on the road

Hey folks!

We just got back to Cincinnati from a few little runs around the midwest and it was definitely a good time. I was sick for part of it, so I’m including a list of remedies for getting better super quick so you don’t have to cancel shows at the bottom of this. The shows were all really great. We got to see a lot of old buds in lots of different spots and got to meet new ones as well. Grand Rapids was a particularly great time- we played at 741 Leonard with our friends Bet on Rats to a lot of folks. When we showed up to the bar, we were warned that it was the “kind of bar that people throw beer at the performers”. Which was a hilarious thing to hear when I was already un-showered and kinda gross from tour. Think about what you would do if someone chucked a beer at you while you played? One time long ago I had a partner who threw an apple pie in my face because he thought I would find it hot. I didn’t. Apple pies actually hurt when you get them straight to the face. Anyway, I ended up not getting any beer thrown in my face or at my cello, but decided that if it were to happen I’d probably throw it back at whoever threw it at me. Or drink it. I don’t know. I guess I’ll figure it out in the moment if it ever happens. Bet on Rats got beer thrown at them, which I think was a local gesture of “we like you guys! Keep doing what you’re doing! Here is a half open beer!”

Bay City’s festival Hell’s Half Mile was AWESOME. We opened up for Maps and Atlases which is a band I really got into a few years ago. Their song Old and Gray is a fantastic break up song if anyone out there is going through that right now. Everyone was super friendly, and Cole the organizer of the fest treated us super well.

Rewinding to a week or so ago- MURRAY KENTUCKY WAS FANTASTIC! It was Tim the booker and manager of Terrapin Station’s birthday, and everyone got him a cake and surprised him at the end of the night. It was so fun to see a whole scene full of kids singing happy birthday to someone they all clearly adore. We adore him too. Tim is great.

Enough will rambling about shows- here is a list of ways to ward off signs of flu, cold, and sinus problems. These are mainly holistic remedies, and I am NOT a doctor- I’m just sharing things that have helped me get through flu season while having to play a crap ton of shows.

  1. Eat garlic. So much garlic that everyone around you finds you a little bit gross. Make garlic tea! Eat garlic with honey! Eat it in a can of beans! Just eat it like a really savory and off putting apple! Anyway, it helps (just get some good mints..)

  2. I swear by the Wellness Formula by Source Naturals. It’s a bit pricy but got me through playing a million shows at SXSW this past year. Take 3 to 9 pills a day when you’re warding something off or already sick. They have lots of herbs that are helpful to your immune system.

  3. Probiotics. Yogurt. Sauerkraut. Beet Kvass. Any of that. Spicy sauerkraut always feels really good on my throat when it’s sore. Highly recommend any of these things, just keep your gut flora up.

  4. Sleep. Get some.

  5. Pressing pressure points. If you feel like your glands are getting swollen, pressing pressure points on the tongue can help. If you take a metal spoon and scrape your tongue, and stop at the points that it hurts a little to press down for a second or two, it can help with swelling. I can only speak from my own personal experiences, and picked this up from a reflexology book I love- but it seems to work well when I feel like I have strep throat coming on. Also massaging your lymph nodes below your ears on your neck can feel good and help a bit.

  6. Scrape your tongue several times a day. This will help with getting un-wanted bacteria cultures out of your mouth.

  7. Yoga, kundalini yoga, or light exercise

  8. Teas with echinacea, marshmallow root, and licorice root. Usually throat coat teas will have all of these ingredients. You can also just go to a health food store and make your own blend. Adding clove and cinnamon to these can be delicious. The clove is also antimicrobial.

  9. Water. All of it.

  10. Eating spicy food. There is a common component to hot spices that is called Allicin (also found in garlic) that is an anti-inflammatory agent. Helps with swelling. And spicy foods taste good.

  11. This one is a weirder remedy, but give it a try if you are desperate or in the mood to try something strange. There is an oil blend called Thieves Oil (has clove, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon, and cinnamon) that you can buy from most places. It is sometimes marketed under different names so just check the ingredients. Anyway, this blend was used by people way back when the plague was going on. Thieves would cover their bodies in this oil, and go into plague victims houses to rob them and they could do this without getting sick. Definitely not recommending you do this, just recommending that if you are sick, you put a bit of this oil on the bottoms of your feet before you go to bed, or on your chest to help you breathe a bit better.

  12. Neti pots are very effective in clearing the sinuses. You do not need to buy a neti pot either-a ladle will work just fine. Make a solution with warm purified water and a little bit of kosher salt, tilt your head, and pour the mixture into your sinuses allowing it to drain to the other side. If this freaks you out, just get a saline nasal spray. It’s basically a similar less dramatic neti pot.

Had a great time playing at ACRN’s radio station in Athens! We did a bunch of live videos, and this picture is after we turned into lobsters.

Had a great time playing at ACRN’s radio station in Athens! We did a bunch of live videos, and this picture is after we turned into lobsters.