From Laura: the good, the bad, and The Duke

Yesterday was probably the most eventful days of our tour thus far, for both good and bad reasons. Just to build suspense (I know you’re sitting on the edge of your seat right now, filled with anticipation and foreboding) I’ll begin with the good.

Tuesday, January 10, we woke up at 5:30am to get to our in-studio performance at KEXP.  I’m confident that the last time at least half of us saw 5:30am we weren’t waking up, if you catch my drift, but miraculously, by 6:45, we were out the door, in The Duke, and not really moving, thanks to The Screech (see Liam’s blog for more details). After an hour of being stuck in traffic with our tour vehicle screaming at us, and concurrent panicking on my part, we made it to the studios fifteen minutes early and ready to go.

I could devote an entire blog to how much I love KEXP. This is a radio station that reaches millions of listeners worldwide, and those listeners tune in because KEXP plays really great music that will probably never make it on to mainstream airwaves even though it should. Everything at KEXP is a shrine to indie music. Even their bathrooms are covered in signed posters. Their dedication to providing listeners with awesome music is unbelievable.

Needless to say, it was a total honor to be able to play a live show in the same room as musicians like Fleet Foxes, Death Cab, and Iron and Wine, to name a few (of hundreds).  As a band, KEXP is a mecca of sorts; playing on it is an arrival. And I have to say, it was an absolutely pleasure to be there. From the second we walked in the door, everyone was incredibly warm and helpful. Their enthusiasm for music, and for what we’re doing, was so reassuring to us as we prepared to play. All of us get nervous about our own stuff, but we were universally anxious to hear how Liam’s voice sounded. Since he got sick his voice has tired easily and playing early in the morning didn’t bode well. Luckily he’s a champ and completely pulled it off! See for yourself – click here to listed to the archived recording of our live performance. And here’s a video of us adorning The Duke with it’s first bumper sticker – a KEXP sticker, of course.

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After we played at KEXP, we stopped by my new favorite place, Top Pot Donuts, and being indecisive, of course I had to buy 6 of them to sample the flavors. My choices: the Bulls Eye (glazed donut filled with raspberry), pumpkin old-fashioned (I know, amazing), maple bar (standard and excellent), chocolate peppermint, powdered cake (classic), and blueberry cinnamon-sugar (honestly, this was like a fried bagel and I should have gone for the sprinkled and frosted cake donut). Excuse the tangential donut report; I’m enthusiastic about fried foods.

Post-donut run we headed to Fremont because we were to play The Round at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center. Our set lasted about 40 minutes, and like most of our experiences in Seattle, the crowd was incredibly warm and welcoming, particularly as more people trickled in. We ended the night at the Abbey with mulled cider and chocolate-peanut butter whoopie pies (yesterday was a healthy day).

Here’s when things went downhill: when we got outside, we realized that our beloved but fickle tour vehicle, The Duke, wasn’t starting. A good Samaritan tried to help us jump it, it didn’t take, so we thanked him profusely and gave him a CD for his trouble. Then, five minutes after he left, he came back, new battery in hand! Despite our best efforts, The Duke wasn’t having any of it, so we waited for AAA. An hour later, we were on our way.

It just wasn’t our night. We’ve been having what we thought were annoying electrical complications with The Duke but it turns out that unbeknownst to us, our taillights weren’t working. So we got pulled over.

I’m not one to go on a rant so I’ll keep it simple: the results of our run-in with the King’s County Sherriff’s Department weren’t pretty. Another hour and a citation later, we arrived at home and are now unable to drive The Duke until we work some stuff out.

On that note… do any of you know any Seattle-area mechanics? I’ll leave you with a happy image – of donuts.


Until next time! lb

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