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The Ordinary Way are on tour almost constantly, and this is where we'll be posting occasional dispatches from the front lines. Check back here to see the latest news. Also writing from time to time is Brother Country, TOW's friend, lyricist, brother, cohort, and partner along the way..
Thursday, 8/17 2000
Sitting in Jack Legs in downtown Nashville. Interesting show tonight. The door man, "Pops", called Nashville an "outsiders town" because it is mainly tourists running around all dressed up, and the locals are smart enough to stay home or drink in a local pub where the beer aint stadium prices.
Only four songs tonight, but made up an hour long set. Rosali into Burning City into I Know You Rider into Amazing Grace.
On stage now is a master of the cheese guitar. Really good, but none the less a cheese. The back room was pretty much a big cloud of smoke before the show, and there was a ten year old joint being passed around the room. The story goes that is belonged to a dude in the first bands father, and he had buried it 10 years ago in a ziploc baggie in a mason jar in his backyard. He nagged and nagged and begged until he got his old man to tell him where it was, and decided to bring it to the show. Mhhhhhhh.... 10 year old smoke..
Wow! The guy who was cheesin out on the geetar has now put on an alien costume, and is dancing in spasms on the dance floor with the two women watching.
The Ordinary Way put on a good show as short as it was. Everyone seemed impressed, we got a half page of mailing list, and sold a couple cd's and every little bit helps. Ryan was hitting on this HUGE table of decent looking women, and we ended up getting in a huge water gun fight with them soaking everyone else in the bar at the same time. Pretty wild scene. After a good bit of flirting on the bands part, and everyone thinking they were going to get a little some-some, all the girls started to make out with each other. After a brief moment of really getting their hopes up, The Ordinary Way realized their dates for the night were a massive group of lesbians, and flaming enough for anyone to notice but us virginia boys... The fantasy quickly disappeared when they all walked out of the bar grabbing each others ass... NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
SATURDAY, 8/19 2000
Just took the coldest shower of my life. I don't think I've ever seen them get that small....Here in Danville, Missouri, the friendliness is enough to keep you warm I guess. More on that in a bit.
So we roll in last night around 2 a.m. or so, set up camp, build a fire, drink a bit, and finally hit the hay around 3 or so.
Around the break of dawn (three hours later), I jolt awake to the sound of a mini dog yipping and a man saying "WHOA, NAH! WHAT DO WE GOT HERE!"
I lay very very still..
"WHOA, NAH, WE GOT OURSELVES A PROBLEM HERE!"
I lay quiet, noticing in my mind that everyone else is doing the same..
"AHRIGHT, NAH, IMA GONNA CAW DA RANGHUH, AND GIT Y'ALL TOWED ON OUTTA HERE"
I wake up, and say what seems to be the problem..
"HERE IN THE GREAT STATE OF MUSSOURA, WE PARK OUR CARS ON THE BLACKTOP IN STATE PARKS"
We quickly scan the camp site and see that we are nowhere near the parking space with the trailer, try and tell this man that it is 5:30 in the morning, but he is too wrapped up in his speech about "the GREAT STATE OF MUSSOURA" to listen. We move our cars, and then spend the next half hour busting a gut about the man.
"here in the great state of mussoura, when we go camping, we don't park in the dirt. a sin, I say to put your car in the dirt while camping"
"oh, I see you got some dreadlocked people with you. We don't DO THAT in the great state of Mussoura"
and on it went till we passed out again..
We had to skip Louisville, because there was no way we would have made it to San Francisco on time. Some things you have to learn on the road and this is one of them. If there is any consolation, it is that the event was outside and there was a 90% chance of rain so it was probably cancelled anyway. Now we have an extra day to get to chill in Colorado and SF.
We are going to try and make it to Denver tonight...
SUNDAY, 8/20 10:00 A.M.
We've all been up since 8 a.m. and have been swimming since 8:30. We just crossed the state border of Kansas into Colorado last night, and decided to check out this State Park. We drove in, set up camp, and went to bed. When we woke up, we were on a beach of a massive lake. The sun was shining, the water was clear, and in we went. Beautiful sky out here. I swam about a mile or so to this other beach and back trying to get in a little exercise to get all the pollutants out of my body.
Sand spurs everywhere, and some of us are seriously injured. Damn things...
We get on the road around 11:00 or so, and decide to drive to Boulder about three hours away and get some late lunch, and hang with the hippies a bit. We've heard good things about Boulder...
We arrive in Boulder, and I go in search of Contact Lenses at a local Mall where we all agree to meet. One of my contacts has ripped on the edge and down the middle, and like a dumb ass, I am still wearing it. I try several stores , but all the doctors are closed, and it is seven back home on a sunday so I can't get my prescription. I got my lenses, but the way I did will have to remain on the road for now due to the fact they might be watching right now... Sears rocks!
We decide that we will meet back at the Mall at around seven, because we all want a couple hours to walk around and check out the action. We've heard Pearl Street is really cool, and The Hill is also a cool place. Ryan and I go off in search of a haircut and some grub. Joe and Michelle go off to a friends house, and the rest of the crew goes to The Hill.
So Ryan and I are grubbin and we are thinking out loud that we should stay in Boulder for the night and try and find a gig. We call some places and ask if they have had any cancellations, and would they like a band to play for free. None had any slots. We asked a band that we saw if they would like an opening act for the night, and they turned us down as well. We asked some people about Fraternities at the local University but got nowhere.
Ryan and I keep talking and the idea arises to just set up on the street and start playing. Pearl Street is kind of like Old Town Alexandria with it's shops, but six blocks or so is closed off to traffic. There are street performers all around. Drummers, magicians, jugglers, guitarists, saxophonists, etc.. We ask around and find out that there is no way for amplified music to be set up because you need permit. You would be shut down quick from what we heard.
Anyone who knows me, knows I am far to stubborn to let a simple think like legality stop me, and Ryan is the same way. We walked up and down Pearl Street, and found that each lamppost had an outlet in the bottom.
SHORT VERSION OF WHAT HAPPENED NEXT....
Ryan and I call Gordon.
Want to play?
What do you mean?
Do you want to play tonight?
Yeah, of course. Where?
We decide that we are going to pull the trailer around, set up all the gear, start playing and if we can get away with one song, we will be happy.
guerilla warfare kicked into action. The gear was set up in less than twenty minutes. People started staring. We kept going. People were saying " What the hell do you think you are doing" "You'll never get away with it"..
Up Downtown Kicked off the set, and what an amazing night followed. The music continued for over two hours. A crowd of about 150 watched with over 400 watching throughout the night. We put out a guitar case, and made $150. Two people put in twenties, 10 people put in five's. We got several offers of gigs. Tony Furtado watched for about 10 minutes, shaking his head in disbelief. He taught Bela Fleck Banjo, and is touring nationally. More people were saying " How the hell is this happening'". People were dancing. 2001-Amazing Grace-2001. A saxophonist hopped in. A fiddle player hopped in the mix. Two hand drummers sat in. An offer to play the Funky Fish in Long Island came in. An offer to play High Sierra next year came in. We got a place to stay. Another guy was just visiting from Tucson, and going back that night to he is bringing all his friends to see us on Friday at the Nimbus Brewery, and he has a place for us to stay. The police walked by several times, and did not say to stop.
The Ordinary Way AMBUSHED Boulder Colorado on Sunday, August 20th. I have it on film for anyone interested in seeing it. A GREAT night for all of us. We were high off the good feeling till we went to bed.. We got over 90 names on the mailing list. Boulder will not forget us...
We are going to try and make it to Reno tonight. It's three and we have an 11 hour drive. I'll try and check in on Wednesday. The band is going to practice with David Gans tomorrow and possibly have a radio interview...
Wednesday, August 23
The day began with me huddled up on the hood of Joan's car with Chris's blanket at 5 in the morning. Seems the 12 drinks I had in 3 hours did a little damage to my system. Last thing I remembered was Chris saying "Wait for me, I'll be right back", and 5 hours later The Security for "THE NUGGET" in Reno found me out in the parking lot. I couldn't help it. The drinks were free, and I was losing money.... Not too much, thank God, but enough to justify getting stinkin drunk.
So Chris drives us about an hour to a Redwood rest stop, and we get some sleep for about three or four hours. I woke up cursing the day, but got in the car and drove to San Francisco, stopping along the way for some lunch.
got into San Francisco around four, and find the Last Day Saloon with few problems. The bar is two floors, and the upstairs is chained off till the manager gets in so we huddle for a bit and go off our separate ways. Jesse and Ryan took off on the mountain bikes heading for the Wharf, everyone else but me did the same but on foot, and I drove in search of a vegetarian meal. Found one at the Golden Lotus, and sat there for about two hours till we had to be back at the club. Read a really good book called "The Key of Immediate Enlightenment" which had a major role in an interesting evening a few days later which Jon will kill me when he reads it. :->
The big gang ended up going to Haight-Ashbury and "The Magnet" put his skills to use. Within minutes, the attraction was complete with the first person they met. Walked around checking out the shops, and throwing up stickers wherever possible.
The first band was called Azibo Tribe, and they were pretty good. Latin grooves with a touch of Funk and Reggae, and Hip Hop. Tevia, the lead singer was a real nice guy and had a great voice.
Ted Kartzman and Deanne Herman from Jambase.com came to the show making our night. They brought along their friend Andy which made them three of the nicest people we had met so far on tour. They stayed and danced, and when TOW whipped out another Amazin-2001-Amazin, I think it gave them a good idea of what the band is about. Rosie's Return, Burning City, Franklin's Tower, I Know You Rider and a few more finished out the set. There were about 40-50 in the club and it was satisfactory for us, and aside from a soundman Chris, who wasn't the nicest person in the world, we had a pretty good night. Back room was kicking once again. Funny places in SF and the rest of Cali, smoke a cigarette and you will be killed but they are pretty cool about life in general.
Slept in our cars that night, due to the fact that Santa Cruz with it's 4000 hotels had no vacancies.
Thursday, August 24 2000
Drove to Universal City, and Jon and I went ahead to the Furthur Festival to hand out flyers and try and make it in the show. Pretty wild scene with all the tourists there to catch "The Magic" of Universal Studios mixed with every conceivable type of hippie you could imagine. The security had no clue what to do... I was laughing the whole time....
The band arrived a little bit later and joined us. We hung out for a bit, put up some stickers, I talked with John Molo (drummer on several Other Ones/ Mickey Hart/ Bruce H. tours) and invited him to the show. Made sure I gave him a flyer as well. He was a real nice guy, and said he would try, but alas, he never made it.
The club was The Patriot's Cafe of Universal City California. Same size, same crowd, same feeling. With the 400 flyers we gave out, we got about 10 people to the club. There were about 60 people total, many of them friends and family of the band. The guy who booked the show, Vinnie Amoto was a real nice guy and the staff were blown away.
After the show, we were packing up, when we heard a car crash. The kind that makes you think someone is dead. Chris was the first one on the scene. There were two cars involved. A girl had been drinking and rammed into a pickup truck doing 50-60 miles an hour, sending the truck into a concrete abutment. She careened off and hit a lamppost head on. Chris went to her because the dude by now had stumbled out of his truck cursing, we all believe now because he was in shock. The girl had a huge gash on her face, and looked really bad. Chris held her hand and tried to calm her down. I arrived at the scene about this time, and she was saying she wanted to call her mother, so I got that task. I called her mom, and told her that her daughter had been in an accident but that it appeared she was going to be okay. The girl ended up being able to talk to her mom, probably scaring her more than anything else. The fire and medics came next. All the while the girl was saying "I fucked up so bad". "I want my kid" " I want my mom" "I'm so sorry" "I'm so sorry".
At this point there was not much more we could do, so everyone but Chris went back to finish loading up the trailer. He came along about 5 minutes later. There were tears in most of our eyes, but the girl seemed like she was okay, and we all agreed maybe she got a lesson she will never forget and that she was actually very very lucky...
We drove for a bit and slept... Hard.
Friday, August 25 2000
Arrived in Tucson in the middle of major Monsoon. Earlier in the day, we had been pelted with hail out of nowhere. The Nimbus Brewery was the best place so far we had been to. Free drinks and food for the band, and they said to drink up so we all did. So refreshing to have people show kindness. Nimbus, the owner, was an excellent host who made great beer, and all staff members went out of their way to be nice.
We hung out for a bit, then set up to play. The place really was a huge brewery, and in the back was the bottling device. They have been in biz for 5 years and already have the best selling Ale in Tucson.
There were about 150 people in the club that night, and TOW opened for Good Question. The show was really good, and everyone in the room had their jaw on the floor at some time or another. They also played The Thrill is Gone for the first time in months. I got some good video out if it if we can see it, because the light wasn't that great.
We sold several CD's, and got 3 pages on the mailing list. So many leads also.
Went to a girl named Alissa's house who knows Nik Cowan (part time lyricist for TOW) and spent the night. Extremely nice girl. We have been shown so much kindness on the road, it is hard to describe. Right when we need it, it is there. She cooked Turkey Bacon and Eggs in the morning, I did some laundry, and we headed for Vegas. I swore I would not end up asleep on the hood of a car tonight. Ended up asleep on the floor of the bar, but that story is still to come....
Saturday, August 26 2000
We drove. And drove. And drove. And then we crossed the Hoover dam. And then we saw the HACIENDA. I big ass casino with cheap rooms so we got two, and headed towards Vegas now about 30 miles away. Found Legend's Lounge with not much of a problem, and this had to be one of the cooler clubs I have ever seen with regards to Hippiedom. Walls were covered in Tye-Dyes, Stickers everywhere. Moe played there, Disco Biscuits, Gov't Mule ( by this time we had found out about Allen Woody) , The Recipe, Wise Monkey Orchestra, The Slip, and anyone who was anyone.
Found out that the band didn't go on till 12. Also found out that there was no curfew. The first band played, and I think their name was the Bacchanal. They were pretty good, and jammed hard.
The Ordinary Way took the stage for their first set of the evening and threw out at 40 minute Rosali-Rider. Whew! This had to be one of the best shows I have ever seen them play. They played for about 1 and a half hours. Then they took a thirty minute break. Then they played for about 1 and a half hours and took a 30 minute break. Then they played a 50 minute 3rd set. We left Legend's Lounge at around 5:30 in the morning.
The best part is that http://www.digitalclubnetwork.com is webcasting it in a month, so you will be able to hear the whole thing. We also got the first two sets on video, and clips on the video camera.
Met Jim and Laurie also. Another of the people who stood out on the tour. The offered their house to crash if we needed it, gave us 3 cases of beer just out of kindness, and said TOW was the best band they had ever seen, and they had seen all the bands listed above at the club. Always a big honor to hear that, but you all know I believe that anyway. Wouldn't be here at the great Northern Arizona University typing a butt long e-mail if I didn't.
We are now on the way to Florida. Lots more stories to tell, and I will fill in the days in-between Boulder and SF when I get the chance.
Wednesday, Nov 22 2000
THE STATE THEATRE with The Recipe and Keller Williams
The State Theatre is the nicest venue in Northern Virginia so it is always a pleasure to go back there. got there around 5 and began setting up for soundcheck. TOW took the stage at exactly eight to a crowd of about 400 people. Started off with a drum circle that began with Chris banging a Tabla, Alison on the kit , and Joe and Ryan on the percussion. That evolved into No Place I'd Rather Be > Flicker > Apraxia. After about 30 seconds, the opening notes of Dark Star rang out and the crowd went crazy. Dark Star went into Where Love Lies, which has not been played since the summer time. That went back into Dark Star. All Along The Watchtower came up next, and saw Keller Williams sitting in for a bit on mouth fluegel. In the middle of all this, Fabienne busted out a verse of SummerTime. Last song, which we were not expecting was Populous Groove.
Keller Williams then did a set of his unique effects driven acoustic guitar. His information can be found at www.kellerwilliams.net.
The Recipe hit the stage around 11 p.m. and proceeded to tear the roof off. Not knowing all their songs, I can't tell you the set lists but you can usually find them at http://www.therecipe.com Gordon came out played during the middle of the set with Ryan and they tore some serious shit up. Then Alison, Joe, and Ryan sat in with a drum solo that I can't even describe with words. Absolutely amazing! Gordon came out again for the encore, and finished off the evening nicely. The Recipe are an amazing band, and everyone was glad to play with them. We've always felt that the two bands share similar attitudes about life and music, and it was nice to spend the evening together.
Saturday, December 30th
JAXX in Springfield, VA with Down to Earth and Unprovoked Moose Attack
This was an excellent show all around. Made all the better by the fact that the night before, we thought there was a slim chance it might not happen.
There was supposed to be this massive snow storm on Friday night and all day Saturday, but by the grace of God it hit just north of us. Every member in TOW including myself prayed hard, and somehow it worked.
The doors opened at around 6, and by the time the free buffet was up, most band members including Down To Earth and UMA and their signifigant others were grubbin away. Everyone was in a great mood and other than a few snags, we were up and running at nine. The first act called in sick so it gave more time to get ready anyway.
UMA hit the stage and put on a tight show, with flavors of ska, reggae, and modern rock. Three horns spiced up the mix, and everyone I talked to thought they were a solid band. Based out of Maryland, they are beginning to tour the entire East Coast and it looks like they are on their way to a good future. Check out their site at http://www.mooseattack.com.
Down to Earth was up next, and damn they got the place funktified. The first songs warmed everybody up, and I walked out to do a lap of the parking lot, and when I returned the dance floor was jammed. Did I mention that there were over 300 people in the joint by this point? Anyway, they broke out "what type of mc are you" towards the end and people were sweating. After their encore, people demanded another one so they broke out Dr. Poop. Next time DTE is at Jaxx, they will be headlining their own show. http://www.dtefunk.com
The Ordinary Way hit the stage around 11:30, and had people up and shaking their ass from the get go. Lots of songs tonight that we had not seen in a bit, and some new ones. They broke out Rocky Racoon, 2001 to celebrate the night, Gordon sang One by U2 solo and it was a good one. They broke out War into No More Trouble for the first time by Marley as well. Apraxia jammed, Heaven got everyone singing along, and No Place I'd Rather Be was moving as usual. Jesse broke it down during the Flicker solo, and probably clocked in at around 10 minute solo. Alison was in prime from, and Joe and Ryan blew the place up during the percussion jams. By the end of the show, there were just under 400 people in the room, and it was pretty damn close to sold out. Everyone got home safe, and we are all looking forward to the Tuesday series at Club Heaven which begins next Tuesday. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Saturday, June 9th 2001
The road jounal continues. Must be stress that makes me write. Seems like stess drives the band as much as it does me, although I won't complain when things get easier.
It's now 8 p.m. on Saturday night, and it has been a full day. TOW just got done with a Franklin's Tower soundcheck which sounded beautiful.
Now 9:45 p.m. and they just started playing. Just spent the last hour or so wandering the streets, seeing Boston / Allston has to offer. Nik is back from Vermont, and rejoining the band on the road from now on. I'm looking forward to what him being there will bring to the picture. Two of his friends, Farley and Jackson came down for the show, and we had a good time talking with each other. I love the good discussions in life that come out of nowhere. Nik has written a poem which he will be spouting on stage tonight, and it dealt with a topic that I find recurring in my life. Our untapped ability.
Anyway, there's a good amount of people coming in now while The Way belts out a nice Sundancers. The soundman, Eric, is excellent. I can hear everybody loud and clear.
So let's talk about the last 24 hours, and what it is like for a band on the road. This time last night, TOW was at a festival waiting to go on as headliners. Right before Jacob Fred Jazz Oddysey was about to go on, the cops came. Then the stage was moved. Then the generator ran out of gas. Then things finally got under control. Then the cops came again. Then the show was shut down. TOW never got to play, and to finish the night did not get paid the full amount because there was no money left due to everyone wanting refunds. So at this point, they packed up the cars at 1 a.m. and headed to my house. 2:30 a.m. Band gets to my house, and after a fifteen minute session, we all get on the road. We drive, drive, and then drive some more. At about 6 a.m. I pull into the Baltimore house for some gas, greasy Roy's breakfast and as much caffeine as I can put into my body in the shortest amount of time.
We haver three cars. Jay's, Austin's, and mine. We all switch up drivers. We continue. Day breaks as we leave. We make pretty good time, and pull into Worcester, MA aroune noon. We find a comfort inn around 1:30 p.m. after driving through what has to be the biggest pain in the ass , no tourism, hundred frickin yard sale, absolutely no hotels anywhere city in the world. Sorry, worchester...
So we check in almost 10 people into 2 rooms, telling the hotel of course that there are four of us. So from 2 til 5 we did our best to eat and sleep. We woke up and got on the road at 5:30 to get to the club by 6:30.
Around 6, my tire blows out on the highway. Imagine a scene from Mission Impossible. "You have to change a tire on a busy highway, but do it in less than five minutes. You must avoid veering drivers, and be done before Johnny Law stops by. You must avoid criminal charges and hurlting missiles from cars" Now imagine instead of Tom Cruise and his gang, you have a mixture of The Merry Pranksters, Bob Marley's illegitimate children with every type of woman, and everyone with a massive sun burn on one arm. That was us. We had the tire changed in five minutes, and were back on the road.
As I write this, TOW just broke into the Brush Dance. First time I've heard it. I love this band. I believe in them. I believe in us. Almost 200 in the bar now, and I'm off to work the mailing list. Peace to you until next time.
Thursday, June 21 2001
The Firehouse Grill in Fairfax, VA
Journal Entry from Brother Country..
so there it was, thurs june 21st, and there we were, the ordinary way, and everything was kind of crazy tense like a spike about to driven through the center. but we all sat down and looked each other in the eye, hashed out what had to be hashed out, and hugged our hugs of forgiveness and love. and if anyone ever comes up to you and asks a question, tell them family is the answer! so that being said, the ordinary way was set up and now ready to play. one of the first things i'm sure folks noticed was the abscence of joe, but this one was planned for, so alison was on scene, and ready to sit in. first set started with a quiet and rather tight free jam which allowed everyone a chance to sort of warm up into the night. i don't remember all of the rest, or the order, but good fun reggae blues were kicked down for a bit, and then the break came. now, i'm not really too sure what happens during the break at these shows, but for some reason most everyone disappears for about 15 - 20 minutes before reconveining to the original situation. but whatever it is that's happening, i'm not quite sure it prepared everyone for what was about to happen, i know i wasn't!! again, the second set started with a jam like little groove, and deep enough to get folks moving chairs and rollin' the bones all across the spot. brother country stepped up to the mic for quick kick down, and then stepped back off and then danced to the meltdown. that first jam went places that i've rarely been in my lifetime, and just
when it couldn't ride any higher, the whole thing got kicked into full gear and the whole world danced together so smooth and intense as to really touch the heart. and then came "none the wiser", true roots which talks about ignorance like racism and prejudice, and included sweet voicings by all members. the night was really starting to fly. and then came the brimstone and fire as the band brought on the melodic grooves of "jingo", which included blood, sweat, and tears like controlled chaos, or beautiful rage. alison and ryan came out with a drum exhibition in the middle of this one where i think even the owner of this fine establishment started to tap his foot! and then the band
chimed back into to jingo, rockin' back down to quietness, and then gently into "freedom", which featured a smokin' hot kathy lions on the ol' blues harp, y'all!! and another off the charts and way out of hand jam. and then came to another quieting of the universe, as the rains and thunder and lightning calmed, and the show ended. i don't know about anyone else, but that thunderstorm started right as that set did, and ended at the same time, too, and i saw it as the gods shedding their tears, and ripping lighting and rumbling thunder, just as the chaos which brought us to this venue in an uncertain tension had. and so the rains came and the winds blew, but we were all still standing together
at the end!! so in closing, if you missed this show, i'm sorry, but tonight you'll get a second chance to come on out and help us burn down the firehouse!!
walk in peace,
Monday, July 2nd
a cool breeze and a mostly full moon glowing ghostly from behind a cream satin vail; it was july 2, 2001, and there we were preparing for another monday night gathering at the firehouse. all the ordinary way was in the house, which is quite a sight on that tiny stage, plus one jabari, who hits on the drums and throws out ill flows, creating a scene on and around the stage which i've not witnessed. let's just say the band and the crowd become one in a physical sense as well as that mental sense, and so we all jammed and danced and howled together. the band opened the first set with thier signature free form inprov jazz jam which moved smoothly into all along the watchtower. somewhere in the midst of all of that enigma looked at me with a grin and said, "it's gonna be one of those nights". quite right, was my thought! the first set ended up being short, just about an hour, but was packed with some tight reggae and rock and roll. once again, the set break looked like a fire drill, and everyone exited for a moment or two. but we all made it back in time, and prepared to dance. the second set opened with perhaps the smokenest, no place i'd rather be, i've ever seen, during which i stood on stage for a few moments talking into the mic. that portion goes like this:
welcome to the appocolypse;
united states of america, 2001
in W we trust
but your missile defenses won't work
for we're coming not with bombs
we're gathering in the ghettos
and suburban are gaining strength
this is the revolution of the mind
this war has no battle fields
and there's no one who can defeat us
for the only enemy is ourselves
so deep within the sangha
our solotaire warfares rage
but with each battle won
more feathers for our souls wings
that sangha is a community
a shelter for us to be
while we set our souls free
but are you here to be seen
or do you see
each one of us is a rogue nation
our souls deep within our minds
a threat to past generations
for whom more's the answer to find
your missile defenses will not work
for are not coming with bombs
this is the revolution of the mind
where no one can defeat us
for the only enemy is ourselves!!
all of that was spouted during the spacey break in the middle of no place. and out of that came the fire. the jam which comes out to end no place went off like a rocket bound for the ends of the universe. gorodon solo'd hard like a rip cord electric eel chasing it's prey. then austin ripped it off in a way that i don't believe i've witnessed, scorching it chopped rhythm style. and then there's jesse, the mad scientist, working his bitch leslie into the ground with mad organic fills spreading like sweet cream, or jam. then, just as that exploded, it came to a half second break, boom, lo-jac and sticks fired up first tube. then, i believe it was after that, a gentleman who's name i do not know, got up on kit and helped light another inferno. they really tore out this free form blues jam with everyone taking their turn at spinning the solo wheel. i can't describe it, it was really beyond the pale!! then allison took the kit and sticks mccoy became hands christian and swayed a nice weeping candy, and a bouncin' roots heaven. heaven broke out into a drum fight with ten very determined hands laying out the funk. it was sick, y'all!! then for the close, a very smooth lightbulb forest (man, i love that groove). an old, old gordon original. "maybe someday you'll join us in our garden party" watch out, y'all. the firehouse is turning to be the place to be!!
walk in peace,
Wednesday, July 4th 2001
The 32nd Rally to Legalize Marijuana and Hemp
lightin', thunder, fire and brimstone...
july 4th came down to those four things. i wasn't too sure we were going to get to play, for as we were setting up a bolt of lightning flashed out over the kennedy center, but silent and distant. the stage manager looked at me and said,"one more of those and we shut it down". but i guess it was just god winking at us, letting us know we were in the right place, for the storm blew north leaving us with a cool shower of his tears to dance in. beautiful. the show kicked off with drums (allison and joe on kit, ryan on the illleaonardo) and brother country reading the following quote from dr. martin luther king, jr, may 1967:
"we have moved from the era of civil rights to the era of human rights, an era where we are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society. we have been in a reform movement...but after selma and the voting rights bill, we moved into a new era, which must be the era of REVOLUTION. we must recognize that we can't solve our problem now until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power...this means a revolution of VALUES and other things. we must see now that the evils of racism, economic expliotation and millitirism are all tied together...you can't really get rid of one without getting rid of the others...the whole structure of american life must be changed. AMERICA IS A HYPOCRITICAL NATION AND WE MUST PUT OUR OWN HOUSE IN ORDER."
then the band stepped into "no place i'd rather be" with brother country coming back out and doing "rogue nation" in the middle (to see what rogue nation is go back to the review of the last firehouse show). no place had a nice jam at the end, quieting down, and then smoothly falling into "addiction affliction", an old gordon original. mr. mendenhall stepped into the ring of fire during this one, and proceeded to pour more gas onto the flames, sizzle snap crack!! that was followed by "burning city" which came along into a funky deep trance like techno psychedelia where the mad scientist, low jack, and gordon really lead the insanity parade down that strange space dance groove. hot!! followed by a rockin' reggae cover of "freedom". very nice, good grooves. and then gordon called, "come down my selector!!" and the band crashed into "none the wiser". rockin' roots reggae to kick and chuck like skank to. smooth. all in all, we all were all together, one cause, one groove. thanks for being open to our energy, and giving us yours!!!! we were all deeply touched by yestardays experience, and we all thank you all, and look forward to many more shared experiences.
walk in peace,
Saturday, July 21st 2001
Jerry's Birthday Bash in Terra Alta, WV
july 20, 2001, and austin, allegra and i were loading the ever faithful crv for yet another trip to the other side. picked up fabienne along the way, with a quick side show distraction break with pat and her man john, and then on down the road, into the mountains. we arrived at about 11 pm that evening, just in time to catch ekoostik hookah's second set melt down extravaganza!! we set up our tents, and then floated on down into the dream, and danced in front of the stage for a bit. if you've not seen these guys, consider it a mistake, they rock hard with great control!!! go see them!! so then the fray from that froth settled back easy, and we journeyed back off into the patch work campfire tent town on the hill, and strayed for a bit. what good vibes, how nice it was to be back in the stray amongst so many good folks. it was then that i could tell tripp had really put something special together here, and the smile still hasn't left my face. so our wanderings led us to the barn where fat apple was setting up for the late night session. now i've heard of late night sessions before, but anyone there this weekend, especially saturday night, knows beyond anything that fat apple redefined the late night set!! those cats rocked steady through 'til the god damn sun came up!!! and i mean rocked! and just what was that friday night, was that an hour long drum frenzy fiasco break down and get it on break!? what ever...got my little head spinning, and then i went to sleep for a bit. woke to the sound of tires and gravel, and to the sight of a car parked on the side of a hill. but, not just any side of any hill, this hill was so steep tree climbing creatures were having trouble mounting it, and here was this guy parked right in the middle, and hanging on for dear life. a sure sign of a long crazy night. so we tried to give him a jump, and tried to do this and that to get him going again, but it was all for not, that car was broke. so i got up and walked around with austin allegra and fabienne and we ran into ol' george, one cool cat. then we went and had a little pow wow with julia and little orphan annie, always nice to sit down with these two extremely kind ladies and enjoy some chat. and then off to some food. so the rest of the band showed up a few hours later, and we were able to fully relax and enjoy ourselves knowing we had all made it and were about to play. we set our stuff up at about 9, and started shortly after that. opened with that quintasential free form jazz jam, adding a bit of tripped out trance like techno sounds from the swamp, thanks jesse. and then that went into "in the eye". things get a bit fuzzy after that, but i know they played, "weeping candy", "brush dance", "franklins tower", and "dark star". could have been more, but not too sure. either way the set rocked full of mixed up danceble trances and funky grooves. a fairly short, but still rockin' set. then we broke down and stopped dropped and flew, and of course went to check out ekoostik hookah rip it up once again, and they did. both sets were absolute, with jamie masfield coming out for a few jams. very nice!! definitely looking forward to jamming with them up at hookahville, and looking forward to the next sunshine daydreamin' special way of bein'. it's a lovely place up there, and i thank tripp and emily for letting it be. "there will be an answer, let it be"...
walk in peace,
Friday, August 17th
The Ordinary Way played with Robbie Krieger of the Doors tonight, and it was wild. Someone said to me that they expected everyone to get naked, and someone on stage to scream "Fuck your mother in the ass, brother" or something to that nature. Kind of expect that when the name The Doors is mentioned.
Robbie was a nice enough person. Signed autographs after he played, and play he did. LA Woman, Light my Fire, and just about every other hit you could think of. His newer stuff was really cool as well, and his son was playing guitar and singing.
The Ordinary Way hit the stage late, around 1 a.m. and proceeded to tear the house down. One of the best shows I had seen in a while. I think they only got in around 6 songs. If I remember correctly, it was
No Place I'd Rather Be / Bad Season
They stopped playing around 2:30 in the morning. Over 30 people had to wait outside for over two hours because of the delays and I hope they know the band truly appreciates it. We were so pissed off, and had no options due to the magnitude of the other act on that night. He went late, and in all reality, there is nothing any one of us could have said. It was a member of the Doors.
The entire show was video taped as well as digitally recorded on CD, and it will be web cast soon. I'll let everyone know as soon as I do all the details.
Sat, Sept 1 2001
Well, I'm writing this on the 10th but had to put something in because of what happened at Club Boyd's on the first of September. First off, TOW rocked the shit out of Fat Tuesday's the night before on Friday, August 31st. Ubiquitone opened up and tore it up, and then The Ordinary Way took the stage till they turned the lights on. It was a great show, but paled in comparison to Boyd's.
Club Boyd's is a hidden hippie campground in the hills of Maryland. The show started around noon, and had a bunch of regional heavy hitters. The Next Step, Sam's House, Cathy Ponton King, The Awakening, Joe Dicey and Jamnation just to name a few.
The Ordinary Way were scheduled to hit the stage around 1 a.m. and were for the most part on time. If I could remember a set list I would be very happy, but there is no chance of that. The show started off at a decent pace, drawing all the people in that had meandered back to their tents during the change over. Things really started ripping as the band started into a Lightbulb Forest and a flute player hopped up on stage. That is when things started getting a little out of hand.
I can only compare what happened to The Grateful Dead at Hampton in 1989. The energy level was so high, it was hard to speak. Everyone in that room knew what happened. "It" happened. That magic that occurs when all the right elements are in place. That feeling that you have been there before, that you were meant to be dancing, that everything is just the way it is meant to be in the world. People happy, singing, dancing, with no cares in the world.
I invite any comments over time of people who were in the room. Write me with a review and I will post it here under this date. Amazing fucking show...
Dec 5th, 2001
It's been a while since I've written in the tour journal. Life just got in the way for a bit, but I'm glad i'm back in here. There is a lot to let you know about.
The Ordinary Way are in Relix Magazine this month, and we are all happy about that. Not to mention that Death and Taxes is reviewed in Music Monthly in December as well. I still haven't seen the actual review. The Washington Post is doing an article on the band soon as well.
The band played Fat Tuesday's last Friday and played Rocky Raccon, and Gordon and Jesse did While My Guitar Gently Weeps in honor of George Harrison. Alison is back playing, and it feels right. I miss Joe, but I wish him luck in whatever he decides to do. The next night TOW played Sunshine Daydreams with Ekoostik Hookah, The Plaid Iguana Project and The Davidsson Brothers. Heard that was a great show as well, including Gordon pulling yet another Gordon :-> I'll leave that one up in the air. Those of you there know what I am talking about.
Things look really good right now. We are planning the Winter / Spring Tour and plan to just hit the East Coast from Savannah, GA to Burlington, VT. We are picking 25 major markets on this side of the U.S. and saying hello to as many people as possible.
I'll write again after the shows coming up to let everyone know how they were. Everyone is looking forward to getting some time to work on new material and get some down time. Happy Holidays everyone.
Saturday, February 16th 2002
Well, The Ordinary Way are back. I got the night off unexpectedly on Friday night, so my good friend Doug and I went up to Fredrick to see them. I've known Doug for 12 years now, and it is hard to believe how quickly time goes by. He and I went to high school together, and who would have thought we would be where we are now. I should be probably be in jail somewhere, dead or crippled. Somehow or another, I am still here, and still trying to find the answers in life.
Old Town Frederick Maryland is like most other old towns in Virginia. Completely backasswards, and we must have turned around 14 times before we finally found Bushwallers. It was my first time to this bar, and I didn't know what to expect. Pretty simple layout. Walk in, bar to the right, dance floor in front of you, stage in front of that, and bathrooms and pay phones in the back of the house. You don't need much when you have people, booze, and music.
This was TOW's first show in over a month and a half, and it has felt like a lifetime. Drama's come and go, but somehow we all know that there are paths that still need to be walked. I was curious to see what the crowd would be like, given that this was the second time in Fredrick, and the area was still getting used to the band being around.
There were probably about 100 people in the room. I didnt' get there until about 12:00 due to the fact that the FRICKIN STREETS MADE NO FRICKIN SENSE. Of course, we briefly considered the fact that our pea sized brains might have been the true reason we kept getting lost. Then we came to our senses and blamed it on the idiotic city engineers again. Apparently, the room was packed earlier, but some folks had left a bit earlier.
The music was incredible. I saw many good friends scattered throughout the room, and I said hi as I settled in. John Trupp was on drums, and he blew everyone away in the room during the percussion solo. Ryan and him were swapping beats, and playing the hell out of the crowd. I had walked in while they were playing Lightbulb Forest. They did a Rocky Racoon that was really good. There was a Flicker sans Jesse's organ solo, but the jam that ensued in its place was outstanding.
The main thing I noticed was the energy of the show. I felt like all the time that had passed since the last show had been converted into experience, the experience fueled the music, and the music had visibly or I should say audibly grown. Aged. It was the next step, phase, level, whatever you want to call it. I felt it, like I have felt it every time since the first time I saw the band. It. "It" The it that lets me know that I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing, and this music is meant to be played.
The best news of the night came when Amy told me that John had been taping the show. This show ended with a jam that had all of what I spoke of in the last paragraph. I hope that all of you out there can get a chance to hear it, so see what I mean.
Sunday, February 17th 2002
I missed the Tom Batchelor Band altogether, but I am psyched to see them next Saturday up in Morgantown. I am leaving Friday night, or early Saturday morning with Ryan. We are planning on hitting Canaan Valley and Timberline on Saturday before the show, and getting some good skiing in. Supposed to be cold, with snow. If anyone reading this would like to come, just shoot one of us an e-mail and come on.
The show in Morgantown is on Saturday, Feb 23 and it is again with the Tom Batchelor Band at 123 Pleasant Street. I heard from several people as I came in that I missed some great music.
Fat Tuesday's was packed. The Ordinary Way shows have become almost like Dead shows for me. It is a place I can see all my friends, and I saw a lot of old friends at this show. There were over 200 people in a room with a capacity of 140. Luckily, a lot of people kept going outside getting air, and then coming back in so it was never uncomfortable.
The show again was incredible, and it only affirmed what I had felt the night before. People were grooving, and gettin down in a big way. The band felt it, the crowd felt it, the staff felt it. Good shit... A huge First Tube closed things down at the end of the night, and once again, the jam to close the show was an ace up their sleeve. Solid performance.
This show was taped by two people, including at least one through the soundboard. Another disc I'll try to work up. I want to try and get a setlist page going on the TOW site. Maybe I can harass Jesse into fitting that in, along with all the other work he has to put into this site. I've told him, and I'll tell you. He does an impressive job on the TOW page. Takes a lot of time to do it, and I appreciate it.
There, Jesse. I love you man. Now where the hell is the new pictures? I want some more live stuff man. Where is the Art Forum. I needs my updates man. my brother. c'mon man. shiiiiiiiiiiiit. damn. Boy. Man God. Shit.
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