First part of the news: we have a new video! I’m not sure why, or if I’ve said this before, but videos are very difficult and take a long time for us to make, so this is a big deal. I worked with Erin Fleck (one of the creators of the Black Shadow video) on the treatment. The Way We Run is about how oppressive the city can be if you don’t have the time or means to enjoy it. In the video, Beams has to escape the city. Each member is only allowed to bring three things with them, and we choose snorkels, wine, cats, snakes, gameboys, special photos. What would you bring? My original choice was trail mix, water and toilet paper, but then we decided to go with things that were more sentimental than sensible.
The Way We Run was directed and edited by Luke Higginson (who did the trailers for Just Rivers as well as the video for I’m Not Human) and shot by Cabot McNenly with his assistants Tyler Shoemaker and Andrea Krepelka. The animation is by Aaron Long, who’s recently had a sweet gig storyboarding Bojack Horseman.
Now for the tour news. We had originally planned to play Nashville on August third, Bowling Green on the fourth, and Nashville again on the fifth, but as things sometimes go, our plans were foiled. Our visas took longer to process than originally thought: after waiting the standard forty-five days, we found out that there was an additional twenty-six day backlog, meaning that we would get our visas after the last date of our tour. The options seemed stark: either shell out another grand to expedite them (and still get them two weeks late), or convince one of the venues to ask their local congressman to request it be expedited. It was a long shot but Marty from Mohawk Place in Buffalo came through for us and his congressman in New York helped us out!
We thought that we’d have our visas by Monday the third, so we played a last minute set in Windsor at the Phog on Sunday night so that we’d wake up nice and close to the border, but Monday morning we got an email saying that our visas would actually be ready Tuesday afternoon. So, we had to cancel our first Nashville gig, which was a bummer. We made the best of it though. We hung out at our friend’s place, played Settlers of Catan and Euchre, went to a local pool, had dinner; we made do.
We woke up on Tuesday morning to see that we had been approved on the visa website but wouldn’t get the papers that we needed for a few days because of some sort of bureaucratic shenanigans. Mike fought hard for us all day, and someone working in the office did eventually take mercy on us, but even her powers did not manage to get our papers to us on Tuesday, so we had to cancel our Bowling Green show. By this time we’d also learned that our second Nashville show had been cancelled. So, although we were quite disappointed, we set out on a mission to get another gig in Windsor while we were there, and ended up playing a pretty fun gig at the Windsor Beer Exchange.
Finally, everything came in Wednesday morning and, after not too much time at the border, we got over to Detroit (USA! USA! USA!) where we were welcomed by Robocop.
Since our show at BLDG in Nashville was cancelled we decided to visit PJ’s Lagerhouse to make the best of our day off and our expectations were greatly exceeded. We made friends, ate delicious po’boys, Heather had a beer that she actually liked (I had a mango habanero cider!), we got to play with an incredible band called Mountain Animation, and slept for free, courtesy of our gracious hosts at Trumbullplex.
Thursday morning found us on the road to Buffalo after a little brunch, and when we got to Mohawk Place I knew it would be a good show. The audience actually threw down to some of the songs, Mike’s mom came, we made even more friends, and then got to sleep in our own beds that night. Score. Buffalo is not just a place to get cheap Levi’s.
Our tour continues even though we’re home: on Saturday we woke up super early to drive to Boler Mountain in London to play Mantis Eco & Arts Fest. I am a sucker for playing outside, and as we played the songs I was reminded of the environmentalist themes that live inside them. Then, in the evening, we played at the Manantler brewery in Bowmanville. I suppose that has environmental themes too – buy local!
We’ve got lots of stuff coming up! This is what’s set in stone so far:
Aug 14 @ Junction City Music Hall (Toronto) w/ Run Coyote
Aug 16 @ Arlene’s Grocery (New York) w/ Floating Compass
Aug 20 @ The Boathouse (Kitchener) w/ Run Coyote
Aug 21 @ Mahall’s (Cleveland) w/ Shawn and Shelby
Aug 24 @ The House Without a Name (Columbus)
Sept 11 @ The Blacksheep Inn (Quebec) w/ Shawn William Clarke
…and now some more photos!