3.30.2011

2011 Pound Tour: Leg 2 Dates Announced

Look out more places, here we come!




3/31 – Champaign IL
@ Cowboy Monkey
Details


4/1 – Hot Springs, AR
@ Maxines
Details

4/2 – Dallas, TX
@ The Double Wide
Details

4/3 – Austin, TX
@ Momo’s
Details

4/4 – Tulsa, OK
@ The Soundpony
Details

4/5 – St. Louis, MO
@ Cicero’s
Details

3.22.2011

SXSW 2011 Recalled Kind Of

Today I woke up in my bed.  It was the second time since returning home from SXSW. I've been thinking of how to blog about the experience, and came to the conclusion that to write something comprehensive and awesome about the experience would really be impossible...for me anyway.

We played 10 sets in 5 days, at points we were playing 5 shows in less than 24 hours...to say the whole week was a blur would be an understatement.

I read the following blurb on A Continuous Lean just now, and I think they hit the nail on the head.

Resist the temptation to try to come to terms with SXSW logically. These aren’t tax forms you’re dealing with, but 2000 bands, playing in clubs, in tents, on streets, in parks. By design, it reinvents itself every year, and there are countless pathways through the mayhem, all of them leaving you exhilarated and exhausted. You face the assault on your senses and then pick your spots for visceral gratification.

Thus I decided to pick apart a few of the moments that I remember between load-ins, load-outs, line checks, broken strings, drinks, smokes, arguments, nudity, and jump farts; and to simply map out whatever things came to mind in the 15 minutes I gave myself to draw this up.

I apologize to any native Austin residents if I get the scale, direction, or general location of anything on the map below incorrect. Serioulsy people of Austin you are the nicest people I have ever had the chance to generalize...so really sorry if I fucked up your city's layout here.


The number one thing I learned at SXSW was to just take it in. It's going to be stressful, things will run late, you will lose shit in all the madness, and in general, the city doesn't seem to be prepared for it...then again neither were we. But in the end, I can say we learned a lot and we actually came out $8 ahead.















Looking forward to another 9 days of waking up in my bed... but honestly I'm already itching for Pound Tour leg 2!

3.11.2011

Reflections: Tour Leg 1

So yeah, many of you have probably been keeping up with our show by show blogging over the past two weeks.  You are probably familiar with many of the stranger things that happened, but hindsight is always 20/20, so i figured it'd be fun to hash through all the things we learned on leg one of our 2011 Pound tour...

I didn't have a ton of time to write this since we are getting ready to leave for SXSW in two days so I may not have covered everything we learned, but here's some initial thoughts.

You can’t order a Coors in Nashville…you have to say Curs.


Dog’s love my balls….there were numerous instances most notably a dog named Caster in Bloomington, IN. He had his head in my crotch to an uncomfortable degree.


Any song about sexy panties is an instant classic.



If you rock hard enough in Nashville someone will give a you a free bag of shrooms on stage… and shout "it's shrooms!" into the mic... in front of everyone.


Driving a 15-person passenger van through NYC is hard.


If someone yells at your for looking at their dick when you walk in the bathroom ignore them...it's likely someone else will smash a bottle on their head for you eventually.


Be nice to NYC bartenders, even if they are rude, they are more likely to give you free drinks


It’s real easy to re-create the video for the Alanis Morrisete classic “Ironic” on your own, all you need is four retarded guys who grew up in the 90's.



Don't stick your finger in a rat cage, it will bite you.

Things fall apart
  • Two lost coats
  • One broken phone
  • One lost phone
  • One lost phone charger
  • One broken guitar
  • One dented computer
  • One lost amp footswitch
  • Some self respect
  • One tire in the Hudson Tunnel NYC
  • Rear panel scuffed against FBI vehicle NYC

    Don't tell someone from Newport, KY that they live in KY.


    Try drinking pickle juice after a shot of Jameson...it kills the burn..so they tell me... I wouldn't drink pickle juice if it cured cancer.


    Tony can do amazing things with his ass.  I’ve never heard so many farts from one person in 9 days in my life.  He is also quite inventive.  Jump farting was all the craze on this tour, he invented the phenomenon in a Columbus parking lot where he jump farted Mike for the first time. Not only was I impressed that he could get his ass up to Mike’s face level, but that fact that he timed it so well as he ran by at full speed was equally amazing.


    Paddy’s Pub doesn’t exist...saddest thing we learned


    People are pretty ok.  We got offered a place to stay almost every night of the tour...coolest thing we learned.

    I'm sure there is more than this...but like i said no time right now...so if I think of more I'll be sure to post...for now enjoy this photo MONTAGE!

    3.08.2011

    (Back Log) Tour Day 8 and 9 Recap - The Bitter End (New York, NY) 3/4 and 3/5/2011

    27 Steps to Rock and Roll in NYC


    Where to start.  Well I should start with a thank you to all our fans who traveled from Chicago and other parts of the country to join us for our NYC debut at The Bitter End.  Thank you also for renting an apt for the weekend and letting us stay there and letting us eat your eggs.

    Thank you to the Glorious Veins for helping us land this show at the historic Bitter End.  You guys played a fantastic set.  Check these guys out HERE!

    Other than this I don’t think I want to try to tell the rest in a story format so I’ll just go with the facts.


    Day 1.
    1. Crossed from NJ in NYC around 1:30 PM
    2. Hit the side of the of the Hudson Tunnel in the van about five minutes later – Chris
    3. Hit a Chevy Impala labeled “Federal Officer Vehicle” while trying to parallel park the van outside of our friend’s apartment about twenty minutes later – Chris
    4. Rehearsed for Bitter End show at Smash Studios 4:30 – 7:30 PM
    5. Dinner with Diane
    6. Drinks at Amity Hall
    7. More drinks at Four Faced Liars
    8. Wastieland
     
    Day 2.
    1. Black out and somehow begins to make way home around 2:15 AM - Chris
    2. Lost recently replaced phone somewhere along the way - Chris
    3. Scream and bang on random doors looking trying to find the right apt building on 15th St. – Mike
    4. Discovers Mike screaming and banging on doors on 15th St. around 2:30 AM – Chris
    5. Splits a pastrami sandwich with Chris after giving up on figuring out where friends live – Mike
    6. Friends find Mike and Chris wandering the streets and let them into their apartment around 3 AM
    7. A pastrami sandwich is dismantled and tossed all over the apartment - Chris
    8. Back at Four Faced Liar a connection is made and a disappearance into the night is underway around 3:30 AM – Tony
    9. Confused, alone and broke the long walk home begins around 4 AM – Adam
    10. With no key and no friends sober enough to hear their phones there is only one option, scale the fa├žade of the apartment building, climb on top of a second story laundromat sign and bang on the living room window 25 feet above the sidewalk at 4:45 AM – Adam
    11. Awake at 9 AM sandwiched between two dudes with a delicious and completely unfamiliar hunk of pastrami lodged between teeth and cheek – Chris
    12. Awake at 9 AM sleeping on a suitcase – Adam
    13. Awake at 11 AM on an air hockey table in Brooklyn – Tony
    14. Band showers and breakfast from 12 – 2 PM
    15. Band goes in separate directions to promote all day for show at Bitter End later that night
    16. Band regroups around 8 PM
    17. Load-in to The Bitter End at 9 PM
     
    Day 3.
    1. NYC debut underway at 2 AM
    2. Rock and Roll from 2 – 3:30 AM – Chris, Mike, Adam and Tony

    What a fantastic way to blow off some well earned steam and close out the tour.  NYC, you are large, full of dog shit and are very hard to drive a 15 person passenger van through...but we love you anyway.

    (Back Log) Tour Day 7 Recap - The Fire (Philadelphia, PA) 3/3/2011

    Last night in Philly was a mixed bag of experiences. We met some cool folks and some really not cool folks. I won’t focus on the negatives here, instead I’ll just start with noting that the staff at The Fire kicked ass.

    If you were at Empty Bottle last night, you likely saw our bartender Arrah and her band Arrah and the Ferns performing. Arrah is a hell of a bartender at The Fire and in general is just a badass chick. So far we’ve seen our fair share of folks get bounced from bars for drunken assholery...but have yet to see a bartender take charge of a chaotic situation like Arrah did on Thursday night. All I’ll say is don’t smash a bottle on someone’s head when she’s around…

    Next, El Fuego…holy shit these guys rocked. Great sound and absolutely great guys to meet. Turns out we’ve played a lot of the same places in our respective travels. It’s so nice to meet bands who blow you away with their show, and have the personalities and professionalism to match. These guys offered us a place to stay which was awesome of them too. Unfortunately, my phone died and I couldn’t get their number back until way later in the wee hours of the morning.

    For us, the show was one of those quality over quantity shows. There were those who had a warm welcome for us.


    And yet several more that were difficult to pull into the venue from the adjoining bar (please note these are NOT the assholes I'm referring to above).  At the end of the day it was a fun show. We played for a small but really energetic and fun crowd, most of which ended up on stage with us by the end of the show (videos still to come). Sometimes you can’t ask for anything better though, if our “letting go” inspires others to do so as well, it’s a win in my book.

    On a positive note we patched up the broken guitar from two nights before, thanks to handy man Tony Focht. It was nice to get the hollow body back in action.



    The night ended when someone got a bottle smashed on their head and the cops came and threw everyone out. Arrah let us stay for a few more drinks and then it was off to the 24 hour diner around the corner.

     
    We slept in the van outside the bar next to a hooker. Didn’t get to see Paddy’s Pub after all…it’s okay we confirmed it doesn’t actually exist. Thank you for the closure Milly.

    Verona Red is Playing SXSW!

    2011 has been a great year to us so far, with the release of our new record, the completion of our first kickstarter project, our first tour and show in NY, and now an appearance at SXSW! We're really excited to bring our show to Austin, so if you're going to be in town on March 15, head over to the GigMaven Showcase at Emo's at noon. We'll be sharing the showcase stage with Empires another cool Chicago act as well as Gary Lucas, Heaven, The Holidays  and Megafauna to name a few more.



    A BIG thank you to everyone who helped make this happen, including MAJOR thanks to our good friends Mike H., Siiri, Blake and Bridget. We couldn't have done this without you! We had a lot of people expressing their wishes that Verona Red head to Texas next week, and some of these were just too funny/cool to not share.

    Thanks again everyone, and we hope to see you on March 15!











    3.07.2011

    (Back Log) Tour Day 6 Recap: Garfield Artworks (Pittsburgh, PA) - 3/1/2011

    So we’re on the road driving through the great Quaker state of Pennsylvania from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. Rumor has it this will be the most boring drive we ever undertake on the North American landmass, although I have to say the tunnels, bridges and scenery are pretty sweet so far.


    So that said we’ve decided to kill time by playing I-phone air hockey and telling stories of all the things we’d do if met the cast of Always Sunny at Paddy’s Pub when we get to Philadelphia. So far the best thing we’ve come up with is to staple ourselves to one of their faces so they couldn’t remove us, and we’d get to be on the show. By the way, does anyone know if Paddy’s Pub is a real place? So far the internet has been providing conflicting answers to this question.


    The show at Garfield Artworks tops the list of shows in terms of crowd participation so far on this tour. There was a massive tambourine solo during All We Ever Had performed by my uncle Kevin’s girlfriend, Rhonda, and an ongoing speaker phone conversation with my grandma between several of our songs.

    Here's me with my Uncle Kevin and his girlfriend Rhonda. Way to kill it on the tambo Rhonda.



    Also, huge thanks to my Uncle Randy and Aunt Cindy for letting us stay at their place and to my cousins Niki and Tyler for offering up their beds for us to sleep in. Thanks to all of them for feeding us (sorry if we smelled guys). Raviolis and pulled pork…delicious.

    Amanda and Kevin, don't think I'd forget about you, thank you guys so much for coming out and enjoying the night with us.

    Finally thank you to Boulevard of Allies and Wine and Spirit for sharing the stage. Was a blast, can’t wait to get back to Steel Town soon!

    Tonight it’s The Fire in Philadelphia. Hoping it’s warm inside the The Fire….lost my coat two days ago…hoping we get some nice weather… Anyone know some good coat stores in Philly or NYC?

    (Back Log) Tour Day 5 Recap: The Treehouse (Columbus, OH) - 2/28/2011

    So these next couple posts will be back logs, meaning I wrote them during the tour, but could not find a healthy wifi signal along the way to post them.  Pretend you're Doc Brown and enjoy living in the past for a minute here....we'll start with the day 5 recap of Columbus... here we are on our way to Pittsburgh the morning after.

    This morning we woke up early in an attempt to get to Pittsburgh early enough to see some of my family.  It’s been two hours and I swear we’re like 5 miles from the rest stop.  The fact is that while it’s really awesome to just plug in an address and follow your GPS without a map, it’s also a huge pain in the ass when it has no idea where you are and decides to recalculate every two seconds.  We’ve fallen off the highway completely at this point, however, once again we all agreed that taking the scenic route off the highways made for a way more interesting drive. 
                                                                                                                           
    So yeah looks like I’ll have some time to write this little blog here about last night’s show in Columbus.

    So on Tuesday night we arrived in Columbus with plenty of time to spare... the first time that has happened thus far on the tour.  We stopped at an Ace Hardware to try to fix the brand new guitar that I broke the night before (pics to come soon).  After buying some goodies from the Place that is Ace, we hopped on over to the Starbucks to grab some coffee and wifi (future Chris comments that this is the last good wifi we had on the tour).


    We met some real cool folks there and got a lot of internet style work done.  After checking out some record shops and meeting folks we headed over to the Treehouse.  It was more aptly named than we thought.


    The tree in the middle of the room was the highlight of the place…that and the people we met.   Right when we walked in we saw Casey from The Receiver working the door.  He's in a really cool band we played with at the Vollrath in Indianapolis many months ago.  Was great catching up with him and getting to know the rest of the staff there too…all really cool people.  Again impressed by how tight knit the scene in Columbus seemed to be (similar to Nashville and Newport).

    Thank you to The Seasonal Help, Gelatinous Cube and Matte Black Silhouette for sharing the stage.


    Can’t wait to see some of my family in Pittsburgh later tonight at Garfield Artworks!

    3.01.2011

    Tour Day 4 Recap: Southgate House (Newport, KY) - 2/26/2011


    We just sat down at Starbucks in Columbus, OH, as if I haven’t had enough sitting so far this week, haha (not complaining at all). This has been one of the best weeks so far in my Verona Red life.

    The show at Southgate House in Newport, KY, was one of my favorite out of town shows we’ve ever played. The Southgate House is a historic landmark in Newport. It used to be a mafia house, the inventor of the Tommy Gun was actually born there. In his honor, we tried the Southgate House's signature "Tommy Gun Shot" (Jameson with a pickle juice chaser). I had to sit this one out…something only the thought of drinking pickle juice could make me do…that or onion juice if there was such a thing. Mike and Tony assured me that the pickle juice did something good for them after the Jameson…but I’ll just have to take their word for it. Anyway, they turned it into a really cool venue with three different stages and each one feels like you’re in some old house from Boardwalk Empire. "Marjorie" was especially fun in this setting.

    I tried to get some good pics of the place…and I have some cool vids I can post later. (when we get to a better internet connection) For now, here’s my pictorial summary.






    We shared the stage with some fantastic bands last night. The Plastic Inevitables, Horsecop, and Static Vessels all rocked the house.

    One huge thank you to Josh from Horsecop, who let us crash with him. He had one of the coolest places I’ve ever seen. Crashing on his couch next to Adam in this beauty salon chair was pretty entertaining (see pic at top of blog).


    To any band who is looking for a fun show in KY/Cinci…call the Southgate House. Seriously.

    Tonight it’s the Treehouse in Columbus! Does O-H-I-O know how to party on a Tuesday like Newport does on a Monday?  Guess we'll find out.