Elliott Brood Tour Blog
Hey folks, we're back on the blog trail with the "Future Ghost Towns Tour". This tour marks the US release of "Mountain Meadows" October 6, and as such we are hitting the US in full force in addition to a full Canadian tour. Courtesy of Exclaim! Magazine, we will keep you up to date with the details from November (read about October here
PS Due to an unexpected lunch hour break-in to our van in Montreal (beware, touring bands), this blog will refrain from pictures for a few days. But stay tuned folks, another digital camera is in the works, and we'll be hitting hard with the eye candy.
Check out these Exclaim! stories:July 2008 Cover Story"Johnny Rooke" (Streaming) in Click Hear
January 10th, 2010
Well the new decade has begun and Elliott BROOD settles into a warm fuzzy period of reflection and regeneration.
The “Future Ghost Towns” tour was more than a great success for us, being our first real complete North American tour (50 cities in 60 days), most of the Canadian dates sold out. Somehow we managed to enter the whole thing into this blog (East), and http://roadbrood.blogspot.com (West). You will notice that the Western portion (blogspot) is much more pretty, mostly because of the inclusion of photos, before the camera was stolen. The East blog (Exclaim) is populated by more by links and archive shots, like the stock picture of the Asheville Hotel lobby for example.
Washington DC: A necessarily great show with Heavy Trash
St. John’s NFLD: definitely worth the trip
St. George NB: Saturday night in a small town surprise factor
Toronto ON: best and biggest T.O. show ever, but a fateful night for Mark’s guitar
Hot Springs AK: host promoters had all the funk. We shall return
San Francisco CA: strongest Monday night show of the tour. Lotsa people dancin’.
Victoria BC: got the whole church on their feet
Nelson BC: stupidly amazing Saturday Night in hippie ski country
Not so much…
L.A. CA, Campbirdge MA, Asheville NC. Nothing a little advance local promotion can’t cure in these cases.
During our Eastern tour, especially in the US, our media publicist Angie kicked us into high gear with radio recordings and interviews. Hearya, “Your Roots Are Showing” with Franny Thomas The Loft XM Satellite radio, Americana music content at Radio City, Acoustic Cafe, Austin News at noon, KVRX Austin, a Lake Fever Session plus a slew of radio interviews in Nashville just prior to the tour. We also had a few media reviewers come to US shows, like SF Weekly Blog.
Being shortlisted for the Polaris Prize just prior to the tour certainly didn’t hurt with ticketing for the concerts.
This was also the first time we took our man Ryan Fields on the road with us. Acting the true professional virtually at all times, Ryan made us feel cared for onstage, and I can’t say we had any nights with bad sound. He mixed every show except one I think. Plus his enthusiasm made it almost all the way to the lights, helping to get us hooked in with the likes of Sabian, D’addario, SKB, and nearly the deadly Sennheiser.
Ok folks, this is it for a bit, unless you are going to be at the Vancouver Olympics in the middle of February. We are laying low until the spring, getting busy on domesticity and of course recording some new material to attack you with in the summer.
Be well and rest easy,
December 10th, 2009
Day 55 Nov 28 Pittsburgh PA – Thunderbird Cafe
with Ari Hest and Declan O’Rourke . This audience is fantastic. Small but mighty is how to put it. The venue is more of a listening venue, and anyone who was there for the earlier show (Ari Hest) was at first behaving for our show as one would expect: sitting down, clapping politely after each song… etc. Our soundman Ryan told us later that he had conveyed to the other sound person to watch for it; and to his disbelief, by the end of the set all those people sitting down in mellow poses at the back will be up front, clapping and singing along like they’ve lost their personalities. True that. Also two great photographers here took some dynamite photos for their blogs which I expect are somehow searchable on this fantastic tool we call the internet.
December 10th, 2009
Day 54 Nov 27 Detroit MI – Majestic Cafe
First thing in the afternoon, we hit the bigsky recording studio in Ann Arbour to record a session for the Acoustic Cafe hosted by Rob Reinhart, and syndicated to about 80 stations across the country. There is no doubt that with all the upcoming exposure on AAA and satellite radio across the US in coming months, the BROOD will have to make some concentrated visits to certain regions to follow up with live shows.
Because of the Acoustic Cafe session, we were plenty early for set up at the majestic cafe, and get a famous hotdog downtown. We still had ample time to take in a favourite pastime coincidentally offered at the Majestic venue: bowling.
Quite a number of usual suspects out of Windsor for this show at the cafe, plus many others. A little slow to start, but by the end they were on our side. Unfortunately though, we were bombarded by noise pollution from the bigger venue next door by DJs during the entire set. Compound that with extremely limited monitor mixes and you’ve got a band that doesn’t want to play this room again. Nothing against the other venues at the Majestic complex (there are four). We look forward to coming back, but methinks it should be upstairs next time.
November 30th, 2009
Day 51 Nov 24 Brooklyn NY – Union Hall
Actual Brooklyn welcome signs:
entering; “Brooklyn… believe the hype !”. leaving, “Brooklyn… Oy Vey !!!”
I like Union Hall. We came here to visit last time we were in NYC, after our Bowery Ballroom show with Do Make Say Think. The music venue at Union Hall is downstairs, but I have good reason to stay upstairs for a bit: The Onion/A.V. Club is putting on a bacciball tournament, and even better, it is sponsored by Hendricks Gin. One of my favourite magazines and drinks… all under one roof!
Anyways, back to the show downstairs: It is great that we are finally back in NYC. There is a good level of anticipation in the room and rightly so because we haven’t been to this little town in awhile. Some have come from far and wide and/or they have been waiting for the BROOD to play here for some time. This is encouraging. Our (amazing) US publicist, Angie is in the room, and she is impressed with this Tuesday night turnout. It is a pretty small room, but the crowd is mighty. New Yorkers can see any show at any time, so one would think they might be a little more blase (like Boston was, or LA). Nope. No way.
November 30th, 2009
Day 32 – Oct. 31 – Thunder Bay – the Roxy
So we’re back at the Roxy, after just two weeks (remember the T-Bay blog?). Our main man in T- bay, Frank Loffredo had asked us to come back for this show just three weeks previous, during the actual “Future Ghost Towns Tour” date. on short notice, and working against another popular Halloween event in town, I think he did a pretty good job at garnering an audience.
I really wish my computer had not been stolen, because I had some excellent shots of our Halloween costumes. After much deliberation, the BROOD finally decided to go out for Halloween as ZZ Top. Mark and Casey obviously fully bearded as Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill. Yours truly as the beardless Frank Beard. I was stoked, since I hadn’t shaved my beard in ages, and I got to done a silly wig and a stick-on moustache which proved to be trouble.
If ANYONE has pictures of this night, could you please send them up so that I can post something here ?
And thanks Frank for sending us up on such a comfortable airline, Porter.
November 30th, 2009
Day 31 Oct. 30 – Toronto, ON. Opera House
Go to WGTS.com for more pics
This show was so much fun. In our hometown on Friday night before halloween, virtually sold out (800 capacity). There was excitement in the air. Openers the Beauties and Warped 45′s put on outstanding sets. I love watching the Beauties. They are an all-star band. Each man holds his own onstage and yet they have this real unified group feel.
The encore of the show was nuts, and we got fellow opening bands, plus The Wooden Sky all up on stage for rousing versions of WIADFY and Miss You Now. In there somehow was a pivotal moment where amidst all the excitement, a dear friend managed to lose his footing and do some damage to Mark’s 1932 Gibson that was sitting on the edge of the stage. That guitar is a rare artifact that can run upwards of $10000 in good condition in a vintage guitar shop. Arrangements are being made for just how to fix it. Done and done. In the meantime, Mark has been using another somewhat similar guitar, and might even be eyeing a Gretsch electric hollowbody.
After the Opera House show we must get home to our own beds and cuddle for a few hours, for in the morning we will fly to Thunder Bay to do a halloween show proper.
Here is an interesting link from whatweseeiswhatyouget, which features a new BROOD song in rehearsal at the Opera House soundcheck, and an interview. They did an outstanding job of candidly filming without us really even noticing.
November 29th, 2009
Ed. note: this entry (and Toronto/Thunder Bay) actually happened earlier in the tour, and are being entered out of order in the blog.
Day 33 Nov 6 – Montreal – La Sala Rossa (and the dirty thieves)
This city is one of my favourite and, as one friend noted, the social atmosphere here is very immediate, and there is always a willingness to go out for meals, drinks, shopping, whatever. When I speak of Canada to Americans who haven’t been I always recommend Montreal as the must see. It is a Euro-style cosmopolitan mecca with lots of great shopping, dining, nightlife, etc.
The show itself was a triumph. Recorded by CBC2 as a make up date to Winnipeg, when Mark had lost his voice. The room was full, and they stopped letting people in fairly early. It is great to have audience support like this in Montreal, which is not the easiest place to break in. We did indulge in the nightlife after the show and celebrate, tying one on across the street with friends at the cozy and intimate cafe, Casa Del Popolo. Thanks Montreal. It keeps getting better here. We also received a cd from “Les Dales Hawerchucks“. The entire program is in French, and fast paced, I’ll call it power punk. Well produced with interesting arrangements, good melodies & rhythms. Nice work boys. This cd made it right through (and many don’t, believe me).
Now here’s the downfall of our Montreal experience, and the reason, gentle readers, that there are no tour pictures anymore in the blog:
The next day we load out and have lunch across the street from the club at Casa. Someone must have been watching the load out, because within that short hour on this Saturday afternoon on busy Rue Saint Laurent, we were robbed. Some professional thief(s) got away with jimmying our driver’s side lock and pulling four backpacks out of the van, politely locking the door behind themselves. Well this put us back by around $7000 in mostly electronic goods like laptops and ipods etc. and a couple of passports. Bands beware of this ugly scheme someone has going on around La Sala Rossa. The band Ohbijou was hit just one day previous but nobody warned us of the danger.
And to all potential thieves of Elliott BROOD; don’t bother with us… there’s nothin’ left to take.
November 28th, 2009
We wake up in New Brunswick PA, which is theoretically less then an hour south of NYC. We have a mid-day session at Premiere Radio in Manhattan, so we leave in the AM, with plenty of time to get there. I type in the address to our GPS as “2700 6th Ave., NYC”, thinking that the GPS will understand that I mean Manhattan. Shortly into our trip we discover that GPS took me to mean Queens, not Manhattan. Kind of a drag, since by now we are on Staten Island, about to cruise through Brooklyn to get there (not to mention the toll bridges).
GPS units set your ETA based on having no traffic delays, which is particularly comical in the NYC area. The first traffic sign on the I-278 North proclaims, “heavy delays, take Williamsburg bridge to Houston”. Ok great, we get to drive all the way up through Manhattan to our midtown address, which is in Rockefeller Square, up near 51st St. This is one of those times when intuition and good old fashioned maps would have been the way to go. We would have gone straight up the I-95 and exited at the Lincoln tunnel to arrive within 45 minutes (estimated) instead of 90 (actual).
Rockefeller Square (Radio City) is another piece of work. For those who don’t know, here resides NBC headquarters, where the Letterman show was taped throughout it’s heyday, and more recently it is the backdrop for the outstanding up-to-the-minute reality sitcom, “30 Rock”. There is barely one iota of parking, especially for a 15 passenger van trying to unload musical gear. An advance call to our contacts at Premiere Radio had confirmed this fact.
Our best option is to send just Mark and Casey as the sole delegates, with just a handful of stringed instruments, while Ryan and I stay with the van to negotiate the stopping-free insanity down below. As it turns out, we did eventually find a metered spot in the 30 Rock block, not before being advised to fuck ourselves a few times by some already angry NYC motorists.
Ryan and I chowed down some street donnair and waited until Mark and Casey finally emerged back on street level, with our uber amazing Brooklyn based publicist Angie in tow. Apparently this taping was Great success ! Premiere Radio, incidentally is a content provider for all kinds of radio programs in the US, and our interview and performance will likely be filed in their Americana section for any broadcaster who might be in need of instant BROOD content.
There was one unanimous sentiment about us, amongst Angie and all the Premiere Radio people: We were crazy to drive. Next time take the subway.
November 27th, 2009
Folks… it’s time to get over to CBC3′s Bucky Awards website and vote for Elliott BROOD as best live act 2009. Time is running out.
Also on the link front… Whatweseeiswhatyouget managed to catch the BROOD rehearsing a new tune before the Opera House show in Toronto Oct. 30. They did a marvellous job of capturing it, wouldn’t you agree?
Also on the link front… as promised; you send ‘em we’ll post ‘em. Here are some cool pics from Baba’s in P.E.I. . If you happened to have read that post, here’s the evidence of how close we were.
November 27th, 2009
Day 50 – Sirius/XM
The day after the Washington show we arrive early at Sirius/XM Satellite Radio headquarters to record an hour long set. Grant Lee Phillips is just packing up, which is a joy for Mark, who is a giant fan. For those with satellite radio subscriptions, our recording will be dispersed throughout January on a weekly Friday night feature on “XM50 The Loft” called “Your Roots are Showing”. The host is a young gal named Franny Thomas. She and her cohorts treat us excellently, with Franny traipsing several fellow employees through the control room to have a listen while we record. The entire Sirius/XM headquarters is in fact quite impressive. I take a walk down the hall of fame, past DJ booths for each of the satellite stations, sports, wedge, loft, etc…(no sign of Howard Stern though). Autographed posters of stars line the walls, like Katy Perry, Pink, Bryan Adams, REO Speedwagon… Sirius/XM don’t discriminate.
I am excited to hear our upcoming feature in January, which will include a fave song from us in each episode, purportedly tracks that influence us. I can’t tell you exactly what the other boys picked, but I was happy to advocate the following as influences; “Alabama Shamrock” (Hackensaw Boys), “Dreams” (Fleetwood Mac), “I and Love and You” (Avett Brothers) and “Stories Often Told” (The Sadies)*.
*this song has also been recorded under it’s original title, “Palace of Gold”, by it’s original songwriters Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor on the Blue Rodeo album “Palace of Gold”.
Techtalk: Sirius/XM is unsurprisingly well equipped. they use a sweet Sony Oxford desk in the control room and each band member gets to mix their own headphones via ethernet controller. The facilities are aptly equipped for video too, but we did not videotape the session.