Anya Marina - Dispatches From Felony Flats - Tour Week 1
Wed, 29 Feb 2012 18:46:56
Anya Marina's new album Felony Flats is released on March 13. Anya is on the road now and has provided us with the latest of her "Dispatches From Felony Flats" - tour edition. Read it and weep!
Week 1 of our 4 week national tour began in my new hometown of Portland, Oregon at the Doug Fir Lounge with tourmates (and Chop Shop labelmates) Scars on 45. I'm thrilled to be reunited with the thick-brogued Scars and the band and I play a raucous show, trying out as many new songs off Felony Flats as possible. In spite of being unfamiliar with most of the set, people dance and clap and some even know the words to certain songs (thank you, internet!). Superfan Dennis from Los Angeles (who has a tattoo of my logo on his wrist!) shows up and says he'll see me at multiple cities on this tour. A good omen which can only mean good things (and maybe more tattoos!)
Day 2 January 28th Boise, Idaho.
Portland has made a coffee snob out of me, so I know I'll have to get my fix of the good stuff now before I leave for a month-long tour. I get a coffee before picking up the band and then I get another coffee on the way out of town. Let the addictive cycle begin! Boise, here we come. In Boise, I meet up with Kevin Moran at his well-loved new station Radio Boise, and I do "Notice Me" and "Satellite Heart" live. Boise is nuts--before the show there is some sort of drama with the band wherein a drunk patron of the bar asks my band if they want to fight or be part of a threeway (unclear which one) and I get approached in the bathroom by a 50-something woman in a Catholic schoolgirl uniform who wants to party. I explain that I can't party--I have to play a show in a few minutes--to which she replies, "You should just come with us to the roller rink to do shots."
Reluctantly, I decline, and the band and I rock so hard I nearly chip my tooth on the mic during "Flinty."
It's a great night.
On the drive to Sun Valley, Idaho, bassist Jeff Bond proposes the idea of referring to ourselves as "idahos" and "Idabros," respectively. We consider and discuss. The landscape is gorgeous, snowy, and extra-terrestrial. We arrive in Hailey, Idaho, play a rock show in a brewery (not far from an airport which boasts a lot of private planes) and meet a lot of really sweet people (including Linda, a friend of ex-producer pal Scott Russo in San Diego)--none of whom are Demi Moore or Drew Barrymore whom we hear was in town a few days ago.
Day 4 - Utah to Colorado
The morning of our first day off, I realized I was a few miles from my best friend's parents in Ogden, Utah. I hadn't seen them in years and although I had a 10 hour drive ahead of me, I decided to pop in and see them for lunch. I had grown up with Kay and Murray Wilson (aka "Mom" and "Dad") and little Lisa was like my own little sister, so the visit was extra special. Sometimes I can get so consumed with being in "work mode" and following the tour book itinerary that I forget to be open to adventure, so I was grateful we made the stop.
As we approached Denver, we decided to stop for another impromptu visit with drummer Paulie's brother Doug and his family. In spite of Doug's long day at the hospital, he cooked for us and regaled us with horror stories from the hospital--all told with a huge smile on his face. We got a kick out of the little kids who were so excited to see their uncle Paulie they told jokes and danced and ran circles around us until they couldn't keep their eyes open anymore. We all went around the table sharing stories of paranormal experiences, and little Nathan (8 years old) said he knew how to control his dreams, while guitarist Christian Hurd told us about the time he'd been struck by lightning.
Tuesday Jan 31 I spent all day in the hotel, alternating between mediating and yelling at the Slingbox tech support guy who could not help me watch the episode of the Bachelor which I had missed. Didn't he understand this was life and death? Thankfully, I was able to ascertain who Bachelor Ben had cut in this week's episode on Hulu, after which we all rocked the Soiled Dove, a beautiful sit-down venue where the staff was so nice to us we didn't want to leave. We are antsy after the show, but can't find much to do, so Christian proposes we use the strobe light attachment on his flashlight and we have a psychedelic dance party in the hotel room:
The next day took us to Omaha, where none of us had ever been. I had played Council Bluffs with Jason Mraz before, and even Des Moines, but I'd never been to Omaha. Enter: The Eastmans. The Eastmans (Scott and Kara and their 10 year old whip smart kid Sabine) are what I call a rock family. Scott had played and toured for years in a punk band called Horace Pinker and was now a professor at Creighton University in Omaha. In spite of their academic nature and suburban sprawling home, they were still punk rock to the core. Case in point: Kara had contacted me a few days earlier, noting my tour itinerary and pointing out that I'd be in the vicinity of Omaha. Should I need a place to land and sleep for the night, they would be happy to accommodate us.
Now, I don't know if you know anybody who can easily sleep 4 band members in their home and don't mind staying up until the wee hours on a school night drinking fine Peruvian tequila AND don't mind their 10 year old daughter hanging out with said band members until the wee hours, but I don't. These people, The Eastmans, are the last of a dying breed. Truly stellar humans. Suffice it to say we had the time of our lives living it up with them, eating at Dario's (where I got recognized by a Twilight fan who either hated me or loved me--unclear) and listening to Horace Pinker's new album while hearing road stories from Scott (one involved the time he gave Kurt Cobain a t-shirt when he was backstage at a Jawbreaker show and two weeks later he heard Courtney Love was wearing a Horace Pinker shirt).
An incredible night.
In the morning and after coffee with the Eastmans (during which Sabine let me read her latest creative writing assignment for school which involved a "dead stick" I hope to someday put into a song), we departed for Minneapolis, playing That Dog's "Minneapolis" a bunch of times on the way to the Varsity Theatre to get in the spirit of things. Billy Joel and ELO and The Darjeeling Limited soundtrack also got some spins. At this point, the shows are starting to get really good and the band is getting good and loose (people often say "tight" but I always love it when everyone starts to loosen up a bit, too. you need both). We have a blast at the Varsity, Scars on 45 sound amazing, and we all take a bunch of pictures with fans after the show. I am starting to sell out of my new Portland Bicycle Guy t-shirt and wonder if Portlandia's success is helping my merch sales.
End of an amazing first week!
Stay tuned for more from Anya as she glides across the country to support Felony Flats.
Be sure to check out her earlier Dispatch From Felony Flats.
Hear the audio of "Notice Me" from the new album:
Images courtesy Anya's camera
—The ARTISTdirect Staff