Gig Archives: 2013


(Disclaimer: this may be incomplete or inaccurate)

Saturday, January 26th, 2013
with MoeTar:
Back at the Starry Plough! This was a special event curated by Kurt Matson who has been incredibly good and kind to us. The opening bands were south bay prog heros Mind Furniture, followed by the debut of Heliopolis from LA. Awesome stuff all around! We then closed the show down with a rather punchy set for a large, loving audience. What a wonderful night! Thanks, Kurt.
Thursday, March 28th, 2013
with MoeTar:
Every time I play at 19 Broadway in Fairfax I bump my head on the monitor dangling above the steps going down off the stage. Tonight was no different. I also lost power on my keyboard for a second when a power strip fell off the stage during our world debut of "Confectioner's Curse." Other than that.. can't complain! It was a great show, and it was free, so a lot of happy music lovers were out enjoy the awesome set by the new and incredible Extra Ordinary Astronauts (including pal Jon Axtell) and then us, along with all the background singers and everything. I also manned up and played everything from memory, which was the first time in a long time.
Saturday, April 6th, 2013
with The Fuxedos:
We were back at the Bottom of the Hill, in SF rocking the middle slot as co-headliners for the evening. Opening was the wonderful and trying inspiring Borts Minorts, and then we beat up the lovely Saturday night crowd for a while, once again with Wally guesting on guitar for a couple tunes, including the Bay Area debut of the epic "Space Suite." Closing the night was the always enjoyable Polkacide who I seem to play with once a decade.
Friday, April 26th, 2013
with MoeTar:
Sort of a secret show which we put on a Soundwave studios for a bunch of friends, free to anybody who saw the Facebook event page. About 30-40 people showed up to watch us run our set planned for RosFest next week. We rocked it, and sounded great, but goddammit my laptop rig freaked out towards the end. Will I ever play a gig involving midi where the shit just fucking works like it's fucking supposed to? So annoying. Hopefully that won't be an issue next week...
Sunday, May 5th, 2013
with MoeTar:
This was a big one: We flew all the way to Gettysburg, PA to be part of this year's edition of RosFest! A huge prog rock festival. We were there for the whole weekend to hang out, sell merch, catch a lot of the fellow acts and meet and greet with the fans. We performed in the afternoon of the final day (Sunday). A fairly good response, but I feel some faction of old school proggers didn't know what to make of us. It's kinda funny how prog fans label as "too weird" or "difficult" more than people who largely listen to pop music. One big bummer was the hotel which had a serious sick building syndrome thing going on. Most of us got pretty sick with nasty colds during the course of the weekend. Moe was a trooper though and killed it, as usual.
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
Kind of a last minute replacement for a postponed Europe tour, we booked a "residency" tour hitting only six major markets around the continent. I flew to Seattle and met the gang there. We had barely 2 days of rehearsal to get our four sets of material together for these shows - we did two different sets each night, and two shows per town, the sets largely being Ur and Forms (with Traditionalists and other extras) the first night, and Masada and Ishraqiyun the second night. So lots of reworking old tunes (and learning new arrangements) to flesh out over 4 hours of material. The first gig was at the Sunset in Seattle. Good crowd. We also debuted the new robes.
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
The second Seattle gig, at the Crocodile. Randall was free this night, so he did sound. Nice to have him at the helm and hang out again. Also we got to load into the club around 1pm, so we had a 7 hour rehearsal on stage (to continue working on the tour material) before playing the two sets. Don't let anybody say we don't work hard. Another good crowd. Yay, Seattle. Still dealing with this lingering cold, though. Sucks. We also had to move to a different hotel just for the night tonight, which was no big deal except the room Trey and Fernanda got had somebody already in it asleep as they barged in at 2am. Creepy!!
Friday, May 10th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
Long day off driving down from Seattle (staying near Ashland where we ate at the usual Standing Stone Brewery). Then the first gig in San Francisco, both at the Cafe du Nord. These were awesome gigs, and packed, and Sebastian - the house guy doing sound since we couldn't get any of our usuals to do sound for us - was awesome. The band actually had dinner at my house before the gig, cooked up by Jenya. That was a hit. Always a trip coming home in the middle of tour.
Saturday, May 11th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
The second gig in San Francisco at the Cafe du Nord. Another good crowd, and good energy. I was a bit of wanker and my Brazen Serpent solo was actually me on guitar and keyboards at the same time. Show off. Lots of the local friends came out to these shows. Good times. Oh yeah, Jason Schimmel was in town to sit in with us on the Masada set. We had a rehearsal in my living room that afternoon. Great to have extra guitar on that stuff.
Sunday, May 12th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
Had to get up early the next day to haul ass to LA for the two shows down there. Luckily Jenya was coming along, so the ride was comfy in our air conditioned Prius. Just us with Toby crashing out in the back. We made great time, so we had a window to find some yummy tacos before loading in at the Bootleg Bar. We had SF soundguy extraordinaire John Karr with us for these gigs, which helped. Another good show. But.. had to strike everything as there was another show here tomorrow. Annoying. On the bright side the night ended with a standard issue party of 13 hanging out at Canter's. Ah, Canter's. Had to get the matzo brei. Again.
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
Had a day off during which Jenya and I and others went to check at the Kubrick exhibit at LACMA, and later that night rocked out at a karaoke bar with various local peeps. Jenya and I also hung out with old pal Mike (and Jenya's former bandmate in Giant Ant Farm) before she headed back to Oakland :(. Then back to the Bootleg for show two, once again with Jason on guitar for Masada stuff. Like SF we had lots of local friends coming out to these shows. Very nice. We were hanging out on the curb after they locked up the place and I suddenly realized I was missing my phone, last seen on the stage. Shit! Luckily Trey noticed it and threw it into his bag. Phew.
Friday, May 17th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
A couple days off deal with the song and dance regarding west coast van/trailer rentals and gear, then to fly from LA to NY, and squeeze in another day of rest and rehearsals before the east coast stretch. Also lots of hanging out in Bushwick, or one afternoon in Williamsburg where I sat at a cafe working on miRthkon recordings on my laptop - I felt like such a hipster! Anyway.. during rehearsal we actually learned a new tune which we snuck into the Ur sets without any fanfare. This first gig in NY at the Mercury Lounge was an odd bird. We were squeezed to start and end early - classic Manhattan venue cramming in two shows in one night, plus we had two shows in Brooklyn which could contain our standard four sets. So we did a "melange" set of all the "hits" from all the various other sets. Kinda fun to mix it up. I was borrowing a guitar from Ron (of Kayo Dot) which was strung like a baritone guitar. I never bothered to change the strings the whole rest of the tour, and thus relearned how to play the parts with this other tuning. Marie kicked ass on sound tonight, but will be passing the baton to Alex, who will be working/touring with us for the remainder.
Saturday, May 18th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
The first of two gigs at Union Pool in Brooklyn, and thus back to the normal two sets per night. I had a bit of a subway clusterfuck getting back from visiting my cousin Jonathan and family elsewhere in Brooklyn that afternoon, but managed to make it to the gig on time. We debuted that new song, confusing some fans. During the gig my second cousin Elliot said "hi" to me from the crowd. Hey, dude! After the show found him, and his brother (also my second cousin) Jeremy who I hadn't seen in 20+ years. Nice to catch up with them. Other NY peeps were around, and there was a fun bar hang across the way, and then super late night eating at M Noodle before heading back to Toby's (where I've been crashing this whole time).
Sunday, May 19th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
The second Union Pool show. This time we had Gyan guesting on guitar for the Masada set. Sweet. Hung with the Cleric guys eating tacos out back before the show. There were plans to go out partying or dancing or whatever but this got derailed when we all returned to Toby's (where we have been safely parking the trailer each night in a secure lot) and found his driveway blocked by some asshole. Police were called, but it was really a matter of waiting for a tow truck to come around and deal with this. Some of us hung out waiting while others went on home. As annoying as this was, it was a truly precious moment watching this brand new black Jeep Laredo got super fucked up by the tow guy dragging it into the street, breaking into it to pop it into neutral, then dragging it away with the tires still locked. Ha ha ha!
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
Back on the road, heading to Chicago. Had a drive day during which we made it Cleveland, then made it the rest of the way to Schuba's Tavern for the first of two gigs. However, as we entered the outskirts of Chicago the drama unfolded regarding the gig tomorrow night - the slated venue Beat Kitchen (where I played with Faun Fables on that tour, and I remember they vastly underreported attendance to our booking agent which was kinda screwy) was freaking out about low pre-sales (which hasn't been an issue) and refusing to renegotiate suddenly cancelled the show, triggering refunds to all ticket holders and confusing a lot of fans. Totally fucked up. However we had another venue (Township) already happy to squeeze us in, so not a complete disaster. But first.. tonight's show. Great club, good food, good sets. I like Chicago. By the way a band first: Timba addressing the crowd at the end of the set, which was kind of necessary to clear up confusion about the gig tomorrow.
Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
And tonight was our Township gig. Even with the confusion, and therefore lower attendance, it was a good show and Township really did a great job handling this last minute show and they treated us really well. In fact, this venue made a lot more sense on this tour than the other one would have. Another couple of fun sets, hanging with local pals. By the way there was a restaurant two doors down called "Masada."
Friday, May 24th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
Before leaving town hit Nana Organic for brunch, which we loved last time we were through and loved even more this time. Then a long drive day to Toronto, during which I was coming down with another cold that seemed to be going around the van (blech). This was made worse during the border crossing, where the Canadian border police had us wait outside in the freezing cold while they searched our van and all of our phones (and cameras) searching through all our texts, emails, and pictures. Um, what the fuck? The rest of the Canada experience was more hospitable. Had the first of two great shows at the Drake Hotel, and a really great late night dinner after the show in the restaurant upstairs. We did have to strike everything and cram all the gear into a tiny closet within 15 minutes of ending, which was a bit stressful.
Saturday, May 25th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
I was totally sick now, nose running all night, couldn't sleep, etc. So I got up at 7am and walked around town for a few hours to exhaust myself and crashed out again. Super low energy all day, but still had a good second show at the Drake. Just before the gig bumped into that gang of kids (now a bit older) who totally hooked up Faun Fables with Canadian shows/hospitality back 2006. Hey! I had no idea how I was gonna make it through the gig tonight as I was ill and crashing hard, but did a deal with the devil called Red Bull and it totally worked. Then another panicked quick strike during which I sweat out a lot of the demons. This was actually kind of the end of the tour "proper." We then headed down to NYC the following day (making great time even after stopping at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo for their famous Buffalo wings).
Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
An extra day off to regroup and hang in NY. I stayed with my sister Lisa for this stretch. Hung out around town, doing laundry, and we also got pastrami at Katz's - second time in less than a year I ate at Canter's and Katz's within a few weeks of each other. Then set up shop at the Stone where we had six nights, two sets a night, to do whatever we went. This first night we did some familiar sets just to settle in and figure out the sound/gear picture in this small space.
Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
Night two at the Stone. Did a first crack of our new Tesselations piece - a solid 60 minutes of this crazy evolving pattern. Lisa brought her workmate David to the second set (Ishraqiyun) - he is the bar manager at Lit (the bar attached to Fuse Gallery where Lisa works). David was sufficiently blown away that he fed me all kinds of free drinks back at Lit the rest of the night.
Thursday, May 30th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
Night three at the Stone. For the first set did a bunch of new Forms tunes we learned just for this, including a ridiculous jazz version of "Crosswinds." Then did a Masada set with Gyan. That was rad. I should mention NYC is going through an official heatwave that will continue for the remainder of my stay here, and I am dripping sweat all day and night. It's pretty fucking gross.
Friday, May 31st, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
Night four at the Stone. We did a "horror movie" set, which contained a debut of our renditions of John Carpenter movie scores - namely the main themes from "Escape from NY" and "The Thing" (which was awesome). Then one more crack at "Tesselations" but with both Gyan and Ches joining us. That rocked.
Saturday, June 1st, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
Night five at the Stone. We took another crack at that new Forms material, adding Ches on vibes. Much better this time around, I think. Then a two-drumkit version of Ishraquyin (with both Ches and Kenny on kits). Fun as hell.
Sunday, June 2nd, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Spring 2013
Night six, i.e. the final night at the Stone. A "greatest hits" set to start things off (featuring some technical gremlins plaguing us throughout, unfortunatley). But we ended on a positive note, doing the Masada material one last time, but with both Gyan and Ches as guest additions. Another tour drew to a close. Then the thunderstorms finally hit the city, just in time for me to fly home the next day (miraculously no flight delays).
Thursday, June 13th, 2013
with MoeTar:
We had such a fun time last time that we did it again. Same place, same bands, same night of the week. Specifically, we played at 19 Broadway in Fairfax, along with the lovely Extra Ordinary Astronauts who once again kicked things off. Both bands pretty much played similar sets to last time. Good show, though I wish bored soundpeople wouldn't add reverb and echo to singers despite the obvious shitty, shitty effects it's having on the music.
Thursday, June 27th, 2013
with MoeTar:
One more time pairing with our new sister band Extra Ordinary Astronauts! But not in Fairfax this time - we were in San Francisco at the 50 Mason Social House. A new club for me, not sure what to expect. Well, it was in the Tenderloin. So parking was a nightmare. And there was a variety show going on and a packed house before the band portion of the evening. Fair enough. Things got easy once it was our turn to go, we quickly set up on the tiny stage. Oddly it felt and sounded great given the meager PA/monitor situation. But we picked up a couple new fans and had fun. Left right after the gig though as I had to go help miRthkon load the van heading to Seattle at 7am tomorrow...
Saturday, June 29th, 2013
with miRthkon:
A one-show tour of sorts. We headlined the Saturday night of the first (of hopefully many) annual SeaProg music festivals in Seattle, WA - a gathering of all interesting local bands except for us and Thinking Plague who I was very happy to finally meet and watch on Sunday night. The whole event was at the lovely and friendly Columbia City Theater. The band drove up with all the gear (I flew like a rock star, sick of I-5 already, and met them there). This was our first show with Ryan on sound - what a major positive difference that made. Very fun show, and great response. There was only one bummer: turns out the Tone Dogs, a band I vastly enjoy, was having a small reunion as a duo during this festival - on the alternate stage in a totally different room during our soundcheck. It was their first gig together in like over 10 years, happening literally 100 feet away from me, and I couldn't see or hear it. Alas.
Friday, July 5th, 2013
with miRthkon:
One of those rare gigs where there's really nothing to bitch about. I got to finally play at the New Parish in Oakland. Starting the evening of freaky music was the historic public debut of Free Salamander Exhibit. They rocked. Of course they did. Then we took the stage and were still primed from the Seattle set, so we burned through our material and blew some minds. And whoever survived that were surely obliterated by the Stolen Babies, who are always wonderful to behold. Good times had by all on stage and in the crowd. I was very happy to be part of that one.
Wednesday, July 24th, 2013
with MoeTar:
A big 50th birthday party show for Brian Kenney Fresno at the Bottom of the Hill in SF, and we couldn't have been more honored than to participate. We rocked the middle slot after Extra Ordinary Astronauts opened the evening. Lots of familiar faces came out to celebrate. Yay Brian! He rules. And like most good shows at the Bottom of the Hill these days, I was flying out of the country the next morning, added a little anxiety to my evening.
Saturday, July 27th, 2013
Like in Marciac last year Secret Chiefs 3 were invited once again to play selections from John Zorn's Book of Angels for the 2013 Masada Marathon at Heineken Jazzaldia in San Sebastian, Spain. What an amazing town, what an amazing festival, and what an amazing lineup for our show - over 30 musicians largely from the NYC new music/jazz scene. I felt very lucky to be part of this magical evening of amazing music. So much love and talent. That's all I can really say about it. Just.. incredible.
Sunday, July 28th, 2013
While in Spain, why not do another gig? We got to do our own show on an outdoor stage at the Basque Culinary Center in San Sebastian. A nice melange of tunes from our whole repetoire. Despite claims we didn't need it they provided a B-3 for me anyway. That ended up being quite fun and useful to have on hand. After the show Jenya and I hung out another week to explore the north coast of Spain. Highly recommended uncommon travel destination.
Saturday, September 14th, 2013
with miRthkon:
On Tour: miRthkon Europe Fall 2013
We pulled an allnighter to get ready and hit the airport at 4am just to be sure we could check all our crazy extra/heavy baggage full of gear. And then flew two epic legs (to JFK first, then Milan). Met up with Steve our driver (who came all the way from London) and headed to the venue. Completely wiped, we then played this first gig of the tour that night. First time I landed in Europe and played a show the same night. Oy! But it was a great one: an AltrOck Records showcase put together by Marcello Marinone who runs the label. The lineup was Calomito, Sonata Islands Kommandoh, Yugen (with Eliane Di Falco of Thinking Plague - we crossed paths again), and then us. So much great music and great new friends made, all fueled by a thick, thick slice of Milanese pizza. By the way, Jamison speaks Italian. How helpful. Who knew?
Monday, September 16th, 2013
with miRthkon:
On Tour: miRthkon Europe Fall 2013
After a day off to sleep and travel we landed in Marseilles, France to play a very new venue Upercut. Small and perfect for us. Played after the awesome Das Simple to a loving crowd. So far I'm quite pleased with the audiences. Couldn't ask for better first time though. Well fed, and then put up in a giant loft space where I hacked the router so we could all get free wifi before bed.
Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
with miRthkon:
On Tour: miRthkon Europe Fall 2013
As soon as we got out of town the brake line blew on Steve's van. Uh oh. We waited over two hours for a tow (basically invading a kebab shop right there to kill time), then walked to the dealership where the van was taken. We were basically screwed except Matt befriended the owner of the shop while fearlessly exercising his French. The guy took a liking to us and helped grease the wheels so to speak to get a new part fabricated and installed by 6pm. Just enough time for us to make it to the gig 4 hours away! We were so excited to make it after pretty much figuring it was a lost cause. The venue: Amanita Muscaria. Played in the hot, brick oven of a basement. So moist and sweaty down there as Stabat Akish were on stage as we loaded in. Good stuff. ALSO! Alex from Three Piece Combo moved back to France three weeks earlier, and thus was at the gig, so it was great to catch up with him a bit before and after the show. We played all the upbeat rockers because we were all so stoked to be there. And the club owner let us keep playing until after curfew. Party!
Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
with miRthkon:
On Tour: miRthkon Europe Fall 2013
Headed further east into France to play the smaller town of Tarbes. I got the lead on a cool place to play from Pedral of Vladimir Bozar - the Celtic Pub. A perfect smaller show in a wonderful pub. Jean-Luis and Yas who owned/worked there were super sweet and awesome and lovers of interesting music and quite happy to have us. They moved the pool table out of the way, we set up on the floor, we rocked our longest set of the tour to a crowd of 50 likeminded fans and friends of the pub. Another surprisingly good gig. When will our luck end?
Saturday, September 21st, 2013
with miRthkon:
On Tour: miRthkon Europe Fall 2013
We then headed to Carmaux for the big, annual Rock in Opposition Festival. We were honored to play this event, much more to play last on Saturday night! We were actually hanging out there all weekend, seeing as many bands as possible. Our day contained Cheer-Accident, Poil, Univers Zero, Soft Machine Legacy, and Korekyojinn. And we followed all that business! All kinds of amazing bands on the other days, including Guapo and the big closers Present. It was very amusing to me how Nils's face was used on every sign and poster and lanyard, by the way.
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
with miRthkon:
On Tour: miRthkon Europe Fall 2013
Thanks to our connections at AltrOck we headed back into Italy and played a wonderful showcase gig at the University in Trento. Wasn't exactly sure what to expect from this but we were well fed and well received by a large crowd of students and teachers and others. We stayed the next day and fell in love with this lovely town nestled in the cloudy, green Dolomites.
Friday, September 27th, 2013
with miRthkon:
On Tour: miRthkon Europe Fall 2013
Finally back in Germany. My first German gigs since.. Mumble & Peg in 1999! We were pulled over and questioned by police within seconds of entering town. Standard procedure. We played at the Kafe Kult in Munich this evening, hidden in the woods on the outskirts of town. Okay, finally we're going to have a dud show, but turns out over 20 people showed up and they were a small but great crowd. We even got people yelling our own song titles at us! And we sold a bunch of CDs. Another good one.
Saturday, September 28th, 2013
with miRthkon:
On Tour: miRthkon Europe Fall 2013
The final gig of the tour, and it was another festival - the Freakshow Festival to be exact - in Wurzburg, Germany. A lot of the same bands from RIO played this festival as well, including Korekyojinn and Present today. But this time we were before those guys, and we really finished the tour with a bang. It was the perfect show for us - kind of a rock club vibe which is more to our liking than the RIO reverent audience. Happy times, though shortly after playing we packed all our stuff in the parking lot and headed on an all-night drive to Milan to catch our flight home.
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
Out of the frying pan.. I got off the plane at JFK and said goodbye to the miRthkon gang, and then went straight to Toby's house to more or less officially start the Secret Chiefs 3 US tour, which would be us opening for Goblin. Yes, THAT Goblin - from Italy - their first US tour *ever* during their 40 year career of making many famous horror film scores and defining that whole genre. We were beyond excited. The first gig was in Altanta, GA. So there was a day of schlepping down there and meeting Trey and Fernanda at the club - The Loft. Pretty soon it was clear this was going to be a fun but difficult tour - we're going to get the stepchild support band treatment, with little time for soundchecks, and then only getting to play 40 minute sets and scrambling to get off stage. Tonight was bad enough - as we hadn't rehearsed together at all or tested any of the crazy gear - but also this was the smallest stage of the tour. Nevertheless we manned up and dealt with it because we're fucking road warriors, got our sounds fast, and then melted faces, including many new ones dressed in zombie makeup here to see Goblin and not prepared for what we had to offer as well. Good times. We did have a day off the next day and thus had a chance to rehease properly.
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
Got to Asheville, NC and loaded into the Orange Peel, which quite possibly had the best set up for loading in and loading out, especially for an opening act (all our dead cases were left downstairs open and ready to receive the gear after we loaded off into the elevator right off stage). A much bigger show than Atlanta. Still figuring out our optimal 40 minute set of "hits."
Friday, October 4th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
And back to the Ottobar in Baltimore, MD. I will only ever play the Ottobar in Maryland (fourth time since 1998). Another small stage show which meant some crazy set up and break down around the Goblin gear which stays on stage and is unmovable. Before the show everybody got crab cakes. I got a shitty burger. Packed house, great show, and then we hightailed it to Philadelphia to spend the night there.
Saturday, October 5th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
Since we spent the night near the airport in Philly I got up super early (ugh) and went to the airport to surprise my mom - she was flying out this morning to visit my uncle Alan in Texas. And she was indeed surprised. Later I got my own surprise as I was expecting to just hang with the family in Phoenixville (dad, sister Ruth and her family) but my brother Ben also came down from Bucks County with his family and joined the party. Yay! So this was a nice impromptu family day, then followed by another gig at Underground Arts downtown. They had a piano in the dressing room area, so me and Timba could really dig into Toccata for a couple hours and get that solid for once. After the gig hightailed it to NYC for the night.
Sunday, October 6th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
Woke up on Toby's couch being kneaded by Bentley the cat. Basically slept in until show time at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Big place, great show. Mixed up the set a bit as we have two NYC shows in a row - just in case anybody is going to both. My sister Lisa came down from the Bronx to pick me up and take me back there for my first real night of sleep in a while.
Monday, October 7th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
After some morning hanging in the Bronx headed down to Manhattan for the rainy afternoon load in to the Metro. The only real rain load all tour. I've been so lucky on that front. Lots of stairs, too. Wet, slippery stairs. Huge place, full house, great show. Getting into the rhythm of loading in, Goblin wrapping up their soundcheck and VIP stuff, then maybe we'll get a few minutes to set up before doors. Tonight was one of the tightest setup time crunches of the tour. Still, a great show, and hung out with Lisa and her pal David watching the Goblin set before taking off for the Bronx again for the night, and the day off tomorrow.
Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
Played the Sinclair in Boston. Not really much of a college town. Fun show revving up again after a day off. Hung out briefly with some old Binghamton pals (Paul and Chris) that I hadn't seen in forever. We couldn't find a hotel room in town so we stayed at a random weird place an hour east. We got there at 3am, and found another band already waiting at the front desk for 20 minutes for anybody to check them in. Turns out it was Steve Kimock's band. We did finally get rooms, and had to get up 4 hours later to hit the road (leaving extra time for a border crossing).
Thursday, October 10th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
Beautiful drive up to the Canadian corder through New York. You know, despite growing up in NY and going to school upstate I never actually been this far north on highway 87. Beautiful fall colors and shit. The crossing was extremely cordial and easy. Unlike last time. So random. So we got to Montreal with enough time to load in to Le National and then walk a mile to Schwartz's for our Jewish smoked meat sandwich fix. Yum! After the gig got Montreal style bagels at the same place we hit last time. So fucking good.
Friday, October 11th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
Then over to Toronto to play the Opera House. Two big venues here in Canada and two big crowds. Fun! After the show ran into John from the crew of guys who hooked up/helped out Faun Fables back in 2006. Ah, the people you get to know all over the place.
Saturday, October 12th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
Back into the US to play in Pontiac, MI at the Crofoot. There was actually a huge Halloween-ish party going on between all the clubs/bars/venues on this city block downtown including us. So there was a huge crowd and they were stoked. Great gig, except the downstairs green room smelled like poop. This was the only gig all tour where I had the time and energy to steal away and go jogging to let off steam and shake off the long drives. I aimed for a park I saw on the map, which took me into this quiet, creepy hood and past an abandoned church. Met a pit bull chained up outside one house. And a groundhog going through the trash. I got to the park and it was all overgrown. Fuck this. Hightailed it back to the club.
Sunday, October 13th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
And another schlep and gig today, this time at the Metro in Chicago. Huge place. Easy load in and stuff so I had time to hook up with pals Marshall and Liz who were also in town, and their pal Dante, who as it turns out I just met briefly a couple weeks ago as he's the bass player in Cheer-Accdient. Small world! We had dinner before the show. They oversold the place - after I played it was impossible to get back into the venue through the crowd packed like sardines to see the Goblin set. Also ran into local friend of the band Matt who would join us for breakfast tomorrow at the beloved Nana. At the merch table met the current tour manager for Rush who had a lot of fun war stories hanging with various classic prog rockers and he bought a miRthkon CD.
Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
After overeating at Nana (which you have to do) and a sad goodbye to Alex our soundguy (who had to get back to NYC) we hit the road to Denver (which will consume our day off). Coincidentally stopped at the same rest stop miRthkon did last year where Jamison found glass in his Panda Express meal. I did a bunch of the driving. We stopped in Des Moines, timing it perfectly with dinner where Toby's local friend Angela told us where to meet up for dinner: Zombie Burger. Yet another fitting meal for our horror-movie-themed tour. Fun meal, and back on the road in some mega storm for a while but I powered through well into the evening and Timba took over to get us to our hotel in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska for the night. We made it to Denver the next afternoon. Loaded in and found out Steve from Cephalic Carnage was front of house guy, so we were in good hands with sound tonight. We were expected low attendance but there were enough walkups to pack the place. Cool. Kenny's monitor (which we were borrowing) seems to have bit the dust. Luckily the venue had one we could borrow.
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
Another short night as we had to haul ass to Salt Lake City tonight. The good news was this was a headlining gig - Goblin was actually heading to Vancouver to play without us. So we got to stretch out and play a real set for once. We also got in town early enough to hit a Best Buy and get a cheap replacement monitor which worked. The bad news was we were at the hands of the house sound person, which ended up being fine. Also the show wasn't well promoted. Enough people were there though to make it a real show. Opening was Nik Turner's Hawkwind which was trippy. They had a lot of gear so I had to pretty much strike the stage after sound check. You know how that goes. Also not so great: I seem to have gotten some mild food poisoning from somewhere. Ugh.
Friday, October 18th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
Of course hit the Red Iguana for lunch before leaving town, and headed to Seattle through southern Idaho. This was also new territory for me - never been to this part of the state, which is as weird and beautiful as eastern Oregon. Got to Boise (which I never set foot in) and got some coffee/snacks and continued pressing forth towards eastern Washington. Stayed the night in Yakima, then pressed forth towards Seattle the next day. Played at Neumos. Met up with Jenya who came in for the gig and will be hanging out the rest of the tour. Yay! Also Randall was back at the helm for us tonight (and tomorrow). Totally packed house, definitely feeling the home stretch part of the tour coming down the pike.
Saturday, October 19th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
Got down to Portland to play the Hawthorne Theatre but not much else (so sad to come to Portland and not have any brunch or donuts or anything!). Good show, smaller club, happy crowd, lots of friends out for the show. One guy in the crowd spotted me and told me he was also a fan of Three Piece Combo. Cool. That pretty much never happens. After the set hit the road right away, slowed by intense fog, making it to Medford by 5am so we could get 3 hours of sleep and then continue towards SF.
Sunday, October 20th, 2013
On Tour: Secret Chiefs 3 Fall 2013
Made it to San Francisco and to the Warfield with plenty of time for a casual load in. Except as opening band load in meant piling your stuff right on the street there in the Tenderloin and waiting for an hour. Despite this and the stage staff sending the equivalent of a point blank gun shot out of my monitor into my right ear during soundcheck, it was great to finally play the legendary Warfield. We also had Kurt at the soundboard helm which made everything okay since we were squeezed as usual and had zero time to run a single song. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful way to close out the whole adventure, with the largest crowd of the tour right by my home city. Lots of friends made it out, of course, and our set was super fun and felt great and over just like that. Jenya and I and the whole gang hung out well after the show was over around the venue, then finally loaded out and headed to Oakland. Finally home and happy to see Laszlo again. The next day after a giant post tour brunch Timba, Toby, and Kenny started the long trek with the van and trailer back to NYC over the next four days. Fifteen minutes after they left I noticed the first warning signs that I had Shingles. Doctor confirmed it the next day.

back home