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Sunday
Feb222015

Three (stupidly long) Days Off + The Story of the Bus - Part Ten

Brian's bunk with TG

Feb 22, 2015 day off

This is the first of three days off. Not something that anyone would ever plan during a tour. And not one that this group can afford.

We began with 15 hour drive, then 24 hours in a German truck stop. We spent over 8 hours in the truck stop's McDonalds. Our standards are so low, we loved it. Cheap food and free wifi. Though, clearly we are hitting the wall here. While trying to have simple, regular conversations you could see our brain cells retreating and swirling down the drain. Thoughts and, even, words that we were able to access just a few days ago have slipped away to the unreachable realms.

 

 

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Friday
Feb202015

Milan/Verona, Italy -- Part Nine

Feb 20, 2015 Milan, Italy – Cusano Milanino Teatro Giovanni XXIII

Old-ish theater. Crazy scene around the soundcheck. We are filming and recording tonight. Well, we are recording every night thanks to our amazingly awesome Berhinger mixer/monitor system. You can record the whole mix to an internal two track recorder that looks like an old cassette deck. Or you can hook up a laptop via USB and record the whole show in a multi-rack session. We are doing 32 track outputs!

But tonight we (meaning mostly Roger Salem our promoter/guardian for many of these shows) are filming because we have some guests in the performance Two drummers from Cameroon and a dancer. Added to this mayhem is the general Italian backstage mayhem that can appear at these bigger theater shows. For some reason tonight there was a crazy amount of traffic backstage. All sorts of people coming and going. Walking around the stage during our soundcheck and coming in and out of the dressing room while we were changing or practicing.

 

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Wednesday
Feb182015

Rome, Italy - Part Eight

Feb 18, 2015 Rome, Italy – Planet Club Rock

Ezra joined us on drums for "Intruder" tonight. Kudos to Jerry for bringing him up and getting him on it. This is slamming drum part, originally played by Phil Collins of Gabriel's third record (the Melting Face cover.) He got to play the fat snare. This is one of Jerry's signature drums. He has a regular snare and then a low tuned snare off to the side. And by low-tuned, I mean the nuts are hand-tightened. Super loose. For “Intruder” Jerry alternates between the two. Ezra nailed it, I have to say. Super fun and quite moving to be onstage together.

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Sunday
Feb152015

Florence, Italy -- Part Seven

Feb 15, 2015 – Florence, Italy – day off

My son Ezra is here. Now part of the Security Gang. Due entirely to timing, he has never been out on the road with me. And so, at 17, he is finally here. Only for one week but still very, very cool.

We couldn't get right into our AirB'nB place so we went to lunch with friends of Julia Hensley  (badass artist/graphic designer who did the cover on my new disc). Classical guitar luthier John Weissenrieder and his wife, baroque harpsichordist Anna Clemente.

What a treat this was. It is so rare to have the right kind of space to be with people while on the road. Oftentimes, socializing on the road can be discordant. Road life puts me in a strange, hypersensitive space. It doesn't quite work hanging out with folks for more than a short amount of time. My focus is either on the show in the evening or, on a day off, taking care of all of the things that I haven't been able to deal with due to the traveling and performing. But this afternoon was wonderful. We had a lazy lunch full with lots of interesting conversation.

Afterwards we went down to Anna's workspace and met her harpsichord. What an amazing instrument. So many strange acoustic phenomena with this thing. Firstly there were only single strings per key, unlike the piano's three. And all the strings are single steel – no wound strings.

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Saturday
Feb142015

Pratteln, Switzerland - Z7 -- Part Six

Feb 14, 2015 Pratteln, Switzerland – Z7

Hands down our best performance to date. Sadly, possibly the worst day of the year to be doing a gig here. Carnival is on, plus it is a national holiday. So attendance was piss-poor. And couldn't have been otherwise. But again everyone there was crazy enthusiastic. There is no doubt that every single person in the room with us, for every single show, has become a fan for life.

We somehow pushed even deeper into the material tonight. “Lay Your Hands On Me” – stunning again. Getting even stronger. “Here Comes The Flood” is taking some interesting twists, as Brian and I are getting very comfortable with the phrasing of each line. In our first few shows last year there was a kind of baby-stepping through the phrases to make sure we were together. Now we just flow with it. Sometimes slowing the end of a line, sometimes leaving an extra small gap. Like real music. Actually playing music! Not tapping out notes on a continuum.

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Wednesday
Feb112015

Security - Germany/Switzerland -- Part Five

Feb 11, 2015 Truck Stop outside of Dresden, Germany

If we weren't so hysterically high on the general absurdities of our day-to-day, 24 hours in a truck stop in Eastern Germany might just do us in completely. But somehow being pushed over the precipice, just makes me mellow into the experience.

Due to very strict European bus driving regulations, our driver can only drive a certain number of hours before taking various kinds of rests. None of us seem to be able to understand these regulations. He can drive four hours then must take a one hour break. He can drive 10 hours and then must take a 12 hour break. Over the course of a week he might have to stop and take a 45 hour break. So, we find ourselves in these absurd situations where if it takes us 11 hours to get somewhere, we might have to stop at hour 10 and take a 12 hour break.

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Sunday
Feb082015

Poland - Three Shows -- Part Four

Feb 8, 2015 Wroclaw, Poland (Polish show #1) – Zaklete Rewiry

Beautiful drive into Poland this morning.

I really love it here. Poland took me by surprise the first time I came here in...hmm...probably 1997, with King Crimson. I didn't expect to feel such warmth from the people. Since then I have been back six times. Every time I feel the same.

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Sunday
Feb082015

Bochum, Germany - Christuskirche -- Part Three

Great venue tonight. OK, wait...I take that back. Beautiful venue. Not great for sound. This was a larger church with some amazing, modern, stain glass windows along the sides. But, a 4.5 second reverb. Thankfully we had a good solid crowd that helped soak up the reflections.

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