Social Distortion at the Pageant, 5/4/11: Photos + Setlist

Social Distortion. Photo by Jason Stoff
Taking the stage to 2Pac's "California Love," Social Distortion brought its California hustle and flow to The Pageant Wednesday night and treated the packed house of rowdy punks, jocks, skaters and auto mechanics to almost two hours of unadulterated punk rock n'roll.

Check out a full slideshow of Social Distortion at the Pageant

More »

Tour Diary, Day Two: The Incurables Open for Alejandro Escovedo in Cincinnati

Categories: Tour Diary

In October, the Incurables had the opportunity to open several Midwest dates for Alejandro Escovedo. Guitarist/vocalist Jimmy Griffin agreed to keep a tour diary for A to Z. Here's the second installment; part one is here. All photos are from the Bloomington, Illinois, show. Stay tuned to A to Z for more recaps in the coming weeks. -- Annie Zaleski

Thumbnail image for incurables_bloomington_escovedo.JPG
courtesy of Jimmy Griffin
BY Jimmy Griffin
10/16 The Madison Theater -- Newport, Kentucky/Cincinnati
Cincinnati for me is like going home. I lived there from [the ages of] 6-15, and still have friends that I keep in touch with = nice place to crash. You know the routine: 9 a.m., pick up van, 9:30 meet band, load up, on the road by 10. This time we're headed out 64/40 across Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky, much more tranquil than our million-orange-barrel march of a few days ago.

The band has decided that comedy discs are good time passers. Patton Oswalt and Bill Hicks light our way. I stop the van about 30 miles outside our destination and retire to the Mancave (the back seat of the van reserved for drivers and those about to drive, who are then saluted with a steering wheel). No food for us til I find a Skyline or Gold Star Chili. It's a Cincinnati thing that some folks will never understand. Get to the venue as Al is beginning to check. Load in. Friendly promoter greets me with our money and buyouts (if a club doesn't want to feed you, they give you ten bucks apiece).

More »

Tour Diary, Day One: The Incurables Opening for Alejandro Escovedo

Categories: Tour Diary

Earlier in October, the Incurables had the opportunity to open several Midwest dates for Alejandro Escovedo. Guitarist/vocalist Jimmy Griffin agreed to keep a tour diary for A to Z. Here's the first installment. Part two is here. All photos are from the Bloomington, Indiana Illinois, show. Stay tuned to A to Z for more recaps in the coming weeks. -- Annie Zaleski

courtesy of Jimmy Griffin
The Incurables opening for Alejandro Escovedo in Bloomington, IndianaIllinois.
Words by Jimmy Griffin

Anyone that's ever played in a band knows that as much fun as it is to play in town for friends, the true test of your mettle is to get out of your cushy surroundings and play for people who have never seen or heard of you before. Touring is often glamorized -- a series of screaming crowds, hotels, free sex and drugs and all the adoration you can stand. The reality, however, is a much harsher mistress.

Hours upon hours of sitting in a van, super nasty truck stop bathrooms, quick stops for sustenance ("You guys want Arby's or Subway?"), only to arrive at a club, find the band's name not on the bill, none of the posters you sent hanging, and play to the staff, the other act on the bill and their girlfriends. Sell one CD, give one away [and] accept apologies from the other band ("We just did a show last week, totally packed," "Everybody's at the _______ show," "We usually play the other club, it's way better than this"). Get back in the van and drive home, or worse yet, stay with a "friend" of one of the guys in the band. This can be the saving grace after a long day of disappointment, or a swan dive into the harsh realities of local color -- "Yeah, this town kinda sucks, but we get the best meth here, sorry my dog pissed on all the blankets."

More »

Photos + Recap: Scripts 'N Screwz Invades NYC for CMJ

Categories: Tour Diary

Last week, hundreds and hundreds of musical acts descended on New York City for the annual CMJ Music Festival. St. Louis had a few artists there performing, including Rockwell Knuckles and Scripts 'N Screwz. Screwz (a.k.a. Damon Davis) was kind enough to pass on some photos and a few words about his group's experience. Enjoy! BTW: SNS is performing at this weekend's St. Louis Secret Sound Festival.

Jerrime Rogers, Damon Davis
Who knew Elmo was the exact same shade as Cardinals red?
So, this week, we descended upon the isle of Manhattan for this year's CMJ conference. It was amazing! We here in St. Louis have no idea what it means to be able to get everywhere you need to go without a car, but we definitely learned this week. I think my feet are permanently swollen from walking all over the place. This subway was also an adventure. I saw people breakdance, pass out, make out, throw up -- and that's just what I can remember. It was crazy. All the shops and store where cool, too. (Not a Walmart in sight -- down with the evil empire.)

More »

Tour Diary: DJ Mahf Competes at the Red Bull Thre3style U.S. Finals in Denver

Categories: Tour Diary

(Last weekend, Earthworms member DJ Mahf competed in the national finals of the Red Bull Thre3style DJ competition. In June, he took top honors at the St. Louis regional event at the Old Rock House. Mahf was kind enough to keep a diary of his Denver experience for A to Z. Read on below! For more coverage of the event, see our sister paper, the Denver Westword.)

Photo courtesy of Red Bull
DJ Mahf in Denver last weekend.
For those who don't know, Thre3style is one of the biggest DJ competitions ever assembled, with twelve participating countries and fourteen qualifying cities across the U.S. Red Bull's quest is to find the top "party rock" DJs around the globe. Each participant is given a fifteen-minute set in which they have to spin three different genres of music and are judged based on technical skill, stage presence, originality and crowd response. Judges included the incredible drummer/producer of the Roots, Questlove, the turntable legend Jazzy Jeff and a few local music critics.

More »

Pokey LaFarge Tour Diary, Part One: Conquering the U.K., One Town at a Time

Categories: Tour Diary

(Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three are currently touring the U.K. He passed along some thoughts, which you can read below. Part two coming later.)

Bill Streeter
Thursday 8/5, Big Chill Festival
Our first performance of the tour. Big crowd with lots of young people dancing, which was surprising because most people don't usually go off dancing to our music over here. A great way to start the tour.

Highlight: Played on a stage that was solar powered. Also, talks of us coming to this festival as well as Glastonbury Festival next year started immediately after our set as the promoter and booker of the festivals saw our performance.

Friday 8/6. Private Function
We had a nice chill time playing for some friends and their wedding anniversary. Some good swing dancing by some folks ensued. 2 for 2 in the dancing category. Not bad!!!

More »

Tour Diary: The Blind Eyes

Categories: Tour Diary

The Blind Eyes are Seth Porter, Kevin Schneider and Matt Picker. They are playing on October 17 at Off Broadway with the Safes, Gentleman Auction House, and Beth Bombara. But last weekend, they trekked to the upper Midwest for a few shows. Porter was kind enough to share what happened. Read below!

6:15am: As with all major rock tours, day one begins with the lead singer [me] getting up and going to a half day of work. Rock & roll.

12:27pm: Pick up van, or more precisely, the minivan. Is the Toyota Sienna better suited to hauling kids to soccer practice than rock travel? Perhaps, but I appreciate the agility. If the Econoline van is the Spanish Armada of rock touring, consider the Sienna the Sir Francis Drake.

1:43pm: Stop at QT and purchase, among other things, one bag of Combos to share. I'm not sure that any of us actually enjoy eating Combos, but they have become a road tradition. The bitter herbs of our rock seder.

6:05pm: Speculation arises that Meatloaf and Brian Dennehy may be the same person.

9:20pm: Show up at the Borg Ward and unload in absolutely miserable weather. It is significantly colder than St. Louis, and it's raining (as it has been for the bulk of the drive). The Borg Ward is an art space with a spot for shows in the back. It's pretty cool, but I am a little disheartened by the "NO DRINKING" signs everywhere.

More »

Tour Diary: Spelling Bee. Show One

Categories: Tour Diary

Joseph Hess from the band Spelling Bee wrote in to say that Internet issues and time have slowed the band's ability to send us tour missives. Instead, his friend Mitch Gilliam -- in the band Only the Bugman -- penned the following account of the tour's first show. And don't worry -- Hess promises a full report when the they return!

Spelling Bee's Mini Cooper, clutched by the cold hands of oblivion, rolled into Joplin, Missouri. The Cesspool Castle (French slang for Cesspool House) sat ominously atop a mountain which rose more ominously above ground level from a trench of interminable depth. Thunderclaps tore through the thin veil of comfort they had managed to maintain in sight of the cobblestone fortress. The bridge that gave pass over the chasm creaked and swayed under the weight of their car and gear. Joe's eyes seized Mabel's and they both understood the silent ocular agreement they had made: "We may die, but we will shred."
More »

Tour Diary: The Pragmatic in Portugal, Day 3 and 4

Categories: Tour Diary

(Local synthrockers the Pragmatic are currently in Portugal playing the Optimus Alive 09 fest, which is one of the country's biggest events. The band is keeping a diary for us about its travels. Here's the second installment! The first one can be found here, while part two is here.)

Our new friend Silas (Seelosh) picked us up from the train station in Lisbon yesterday, I like to call him "the face of Portugal." This guy uses the force on everybody. There wasn't a place we went that he wasn't getting the hook up. So first he took us out for snails. He told us snails are what they eat here in the southern part of Portugal. They are cleaned and then made completely unhealthy by cooking them in a Papa John's-like garlic butter sauce. I must say that if you can get past the little antennas sticking out of their cute little heads they are quite tasty. So we had small snails and then they brought out bigger snails, which tasted more along the lines of salty rubber, but probably helped a bit in soaking up all the grease from the smaller ones.

Courtesy of the Pragmatic

More »

Tour Diary: The Pragmatic in Portugal, Day Two

Categories: Tour Diary

(Local synthrockers the Pragmatic are currently in Portugal playing the Optimus Alive 09 fest, which is one of the country's biggest events. The band is keeping a diary for us about its travels. Here's the second installment! The first one can be found here.)

Courtesy of the Pragmatic

After sleeping for 13 hours, I woke up feeling fatigued and my throat felt pretty dry. However, some lunch, tea and granulated Ibuprofen (must be a European thing) made me feel a lot better.

We headed into Porto this afternoon to check out Taylor's Port, one of Portugal's famous wineries. The parking at the winery was blocked by some construction so we had to park at the bottom of a huge hill. It was quite the trek up but well worth it. Atop the hill we were greeted with free wine tasting and an excellent tour. For those who aren't familiar with Port Wine, it is a dessert wine that is fairly sweet in its flavor. Wine is good.

We got a beautiful view of Porto today and our personal photographer (Andre's mom) got some sweet shots. Later we went to pick up some of the EPs we had released here in April on Optimus Records. We only got 50, but hey, we didn't have to pay for them?

Courtesy of the Pragmatic

Tomorrow we are going to head down to Lisbon and hang out with some friends there. Talks of an MTV party tomorrow night.

-Karl (someone else will say something one of these days)