check, check, czech.

i threw myself willingly.

In the morning jack's mom made us cinnamon/wheat pancakes, bacon, eggs, quiche, fruit, etc. it was amazing. We took the short drive to boulder, checked out the venue, hung some posters, and ate some expensive food.

There was another good soundcheck before the show with matt, mitch, and cole running sound. The show was absolutely great, and the response by the audience was pretty fantastic. One guy named james wrote a really cool compliment as a comment on this blog: http://nateshorb.blogspot.com/2009/06/keene-on-apple-miner-colony.html

after the show when loading up the truck one of kyle's back windows shattered. This car has seen some tough times. Cole, anthony, and i rode with matt tillson to his house in fort collins and pretty much just passed out.
When the sun rose we went to big city burrito. This place is amazing. I got a potato burrito on a spinach tortilla with guacamole, grilled onions, cheese, black beans, hot salsa, etc.... sounds pretty ordinary but let me tell you. Far from it.
mike 'f'lawless
matt tillson
cole wilson. Back at the house bluebird pioneers (cole, matt, mike, geoff)practiced for the first time in a while.

Cole and i realized we were becoming alcoholics when we got grumpy about there being no beer. Finally, though, matt and dave arrived with a ridiculous amount of growlers.
Another sound check, an adorable dog, and the show was off. Tristero played first, and ellen guided the dog outside because, and let me just make a little note here: dear humans, dogs ears are sensitive and you should not take them to loud concerts in enclosed spaces and keep them on a leash, pulling them into you when they're obviously feeling uncomfortable. I saw this happen way too much on tour.
Then apple miner played. The audience in fort collins was probably the best of tour. They got really into all the sing alongs and packed into the garage.
Then bluebird played totally unplugged. This was the first time i'd seen them and i absolutely loved it.

colorado colorado...las palmas?

The drive to denver was one of my favorite drives. Everyone's morale was lifted because we were finally leaving the midwest and weren't feeling as soggy and unappreciated. Cole especially had more bounce in his step. In the non-smoking van (piloted by miss patricia and otherwise known as 'the brain' because it holds all the equipment and is countered by the smoking van named pinky) included patricia, wendy, emily, will, maurice, cole, and me. We listened to this american life, a trend in this van, and had long philosophical discussions concerning religion, media, etc.
we stopped at some tiny gas station that was closed. The bathrooms were locked so all the girls and boys that had to pee just went around back. The place was surrounded by wind turbines, which i've developed a fascination with because of their beauty and massiveness. One of the 'wings' is bigger than a semi, it takes one with a very large bed to transport it. I walked around a bit and heard a rattle from the bushes.
at a pitstop somewhere else i wandered off to some fake palm trees that were all tangled in the ropes that held them up. There were a ton of birds chirping and hopping around in them, they didn't mind the artificiality of them.

We arrived in castle rock (near denver) and drove into a gated community that houses the trueaxes (jack's family). They own a beautiful home and were extremely hospitable (once again, thank you!). They had pool, fooseball, beer, food, movies, wifi, a beautiful family, and two adorable dogs. Everyone was so, so very happy to be in colorado and out of the midwest. That night we caught wind that d-numbers was playing in town that night. They are an amazing band from santa fe. We decided to go surprise them at their show. We danced and drank and played connect four and i have to say i was extremely amazed by this band. The drummer reminds me of dylan (amc's drummer.)
the next day was breakfast, laundry, etc. jack's mom wanted everyone to sign a cd, and this was the second thing i've signed on tour- which makes me feel a little weird. Cole and mike sat down and made a really solid setlist. We had a band meeting discussing the plan for the night. We had choral practice for dark feral dogs. Which sounded amazing.
The venue is a place called eliot street collective and it is an absolutely beautiful space in denver meant for performance art, concerts, etc. we had a really effective soundcheck really early on and i started learning more about how to run sound from cole and mitch, and more about all the equipment, which are things that i'm very interested in becoming well-versed in.
tristero played a great set as always, and were followed by dovekins. They are a band including consisting of a found art drumset, upright bass, banjo, guitar, acordian, trombone, kazoos, slide whistles, etc. everyone got their dancing shoes on just for them. Apple miner played and this, along with brooklyn, were my two favorite shows of the tour. It went really, really well. It also continued the trend of boosting morale.
Laura goldhamer (of dovekins) then played a set with just her, her pianist, and a few guests near the end. To each song she made a short film, mostly stop-animation. They were so beautiful and perfect, the first song/video brought tears to my eyes not because it was a sad song necessarily, but just because i'm so glad to see people making such amazing things. Taking so much time to make five minute films to share with people wherever you can. Please please please check her out.


a big long post, post -tour.

the ride was pretty hilarious because cole and i were in very close quarters in the backseat with ryan. ryan is fairly hyper all the time anyway, so needless to say he was very high energy rolling into his hometown. tristan and mike up front chugged redbulls while ryan read every sign in funny voices ("hot soup? you bet!") and described all the sites with accompanying stories. my personal favorite was when he pointed to a house and said "that lady's house used to be covered in shit [then immediately]- that over there's the marina-- " and so on and so on. no real explanation.
we stopped at his house and met his puppy then headed to mike e's house. the home was absolutely beautiful with a huge backyard/baseball diamond and we were fed and pampered to the max (thank you guys!). we played frisbee and baseball, drank beer from a keg that was there, ate some great pulled pork/wild rice, and overall loved life. cole and i got a bed again which was great.
The next day a group of us just hung around and watched planet earth (we probably watched close to the whole series at mike's house) and did some work. Then it was time for the show at sister's camelot. The guy showed up late then didn't have the key, so in the meantime we all had a beer. The space, when we got in, was really cool. It was a potluck which was nice. This was one of the most efficient load-ins/break-downs in my opinion. The show was great. cole and i got some good dancing in, and we headed back over to mike's.
morning number two in minneapolis we hung around in the driveway for way too long and i talked to people who tease a lot about the importance of kindness.
on the drive to omaha i shared the backseat with maurice and danny to work out some harmonies because i really wanted to sing with tristero. we got a total of one song worked out between all the other distractions/me being slow at these things.
we got to houston's house there where the first things we saw were an adorable dog named cosmo and a vat of boiling grease with a turkey inside. we caught wind that the party tonight was going to be up to 100 people. soundchecks began then suddenly it seemed like the party just sort of appeared. not at the door, but scattered around, drinking beer, talking... out of nowhere. everyone only played and i had to go upstairs because the dog was being held down there where it was too loud and it was really sad to me.
the show began and the audience was really into it and the basement was packed. overall it was a great show though a little later into it the audience started getting too drunk and chatty. it seemed to be acceptable to walk on stage and grab the mic. tristero played a great show but they didn't play 'unstuck' so i didn't get to try out the new part (which was probably a good thing.)
afterward color chart, the film crew's improptu band, started their 'set.' it started with the hit, "guy in the coonskin hat says please be careful with that." then something magical happened, i started hitting a cymbol and told ryan to start up again, he started singing about kyle's truck being weighed down by all the equipment. then the subject of el rojo terrible (the trombone player, john) got brought up. so ryan's saying, "waaaay down, waaaay down" (still in reference to the truck), and i started saying, "roooojo, sleepin' on the stove. rooojo, sleepin' on the stove." and it turned into this crazy chant with harmonies and rounds and everything. this is a song that would pretty much get sung everywhere else we went from then on.
houston came downstairs and scared the crap out of me and yelled at everyone for being too loud. cole and i set up our tent and crawled on in, it was loud and hot oustide. cole was hilariously drunk and cranky but we eventually got to sleep.
the next day was stupid hot and i was feeling sick. we went to a slightly unpleasant breakfast then thriftshopping where i found a skirt, an extra tank top, and a dress all for $6... then a sweet coat for $10. having new clothes when you've been wearing the same things for a month is the most glorious feeling. when we got back to the house we took a vote on whether we wanted to stay in omaha or drive to kansas city that day. the majority (by one vote) wanted to stay in omaha which i wasn't happy about. then, miraculously and due to cole, we found out that the show was that night and not the next. so we loaded up and headed into KC.
cole and i drove with dave which was awesome. dave avoided killing us when a car in front of us slammed on its breaks, though we could smell burning rubber for a while. thanks dave!
driving into kansas city was the most beautiful thing i'd seen on the tour so far. it was full of abandoned bridges and buildings, and weird 'trash' (such as plastered torsos and old movie signs with big red arrows that should be lit up, trains, etc.).

we played at a place called the foundation which was just as stunning inside as out. i took a ton of pictures.

when we were unloading, trish and i lagged behind a little bit to take some photos of those weird torso statues through a fence. this car pulled up with two guys inside. the driver leaned his arm outside his window and yelled "hey, may i ask you girls just what in the hell you're doing?" and we replied, taking pictures. he said "what in god's name is so interesting in there?" and we just sort of mumbled about it, trying to avoid getting harassed any further. "who lives here?" he asked, and we said we didn't know. "well why don't you find out who lives there, go in, ask him if you can look at that stuff from inside rather than peering through a god damned fence?" i remarked that we were playing a show that night and his mood completely changed. "oh, alright! well, see you later." and he drove away.
there was definitely not much a crowd there, but that allowed for the cameras to capture the band playing in such an awesome space. the first bands that played were really loud, punky, and expressive. adam tramposh played an amazing electronic set.
right before apple miner was up something strange happened. two men stood up. the first was dressed completely in pink sans orange shoes. the second was mostly in black and white and was wearing clown make up on his face. they pushed around a strange cart filled with pink drums and other contraptions. they banged the drums and yelled out nonsensical "philosophy" and a song claiming, "I WANT TO BUILD A HOME" over and over. at one point the man in black started concocting some pies in tin made with whipped cream and strawberry flavorings. it was a very long process. ryan filmed him doing this while james followed the pink man around the room, still yelling. finally the pies were complete. man in black smashed one in man in pink's face. the remaining pie flew past his head and onto the monitors/some equipment. everyone gasped. man in pink kept walking and yelling. man in black realized the weight of the situation and turned serious, "wait, we need to clean this up." i watched patrick the soundman power walk up to the man in pink and grab him by the neck. he didn't say anything at first, just stared into his soul. i grabbed some paper towels and we cleaned up the mess.
the clowns were allowed to stay and the apple miner colony began. it was a good, solid set as always.
afterward i was still feeling sort of bad physically. we got to adam's house (thank you sir!) and it was hot as balls. cole and i got a bed again, right next the air conditioner which helped. the next day was the worst of all, i felt absolutely awful and couldn't stop sweating.
tensions were still high and had been since chicago. there were several arguments that morning. we tried to decide where to go and what to do. do we just cut our losses and cancel the show in wichita? and just head straight to denver? or do we plug along, be as professional as possible, and head on down. eventually the latter was settled upon. the drive down to wichita is a long one, so we found a motel between wichita and kansas city (in ottowa.) ryan called and totally sweet-talked the lady, being the ladies man he is. he somehow got 7 rooms, for 28 people, for $220. so it was like $8 a person.
we drove in and it was small and sort of dirty, but still heavenly. everyone's mood got better and energy came up. it was air conditioned. the people were nice. cole and i roomed with maurice, mitch, and matt.
A group decided, somehow, to go bowling in lawrence, kansas because it was only thirty minutes away. I was excited about this for several reasons. 1. i love bowling. 2. my sister is moving to lawrence next month. It will be our first time living apart and i've been thinking a lot about it. I even started writing a song the other day. 3. lawrence is the place where i had the dream that inspired me to call cole in the first place. 4. that night was our six month anniversary.
Bowling was absolutely fantastic. This was actually the most fun night of the tour in my opinon. We all picked bowling names, danced, and bowled. The juke box was linked to the internet so it was easy to play any music you would want. Cody w mainly djed. I was at the bar getting a pitcher and overheard the bartenders complaining about the awful music, when in reality it was probably the best music that place had heard in years.
We headed home fairly late and our room attempted to watch nightmare before christmas. It took too long to load and i cashed out. Soon after so did everyone else. The next day we checked out and went to a gas station to clean and vacuum the vans. We then had a very pleasant ride to wichita.

Turns out that wichita is an insanely religious place. On a walk from the venue (a christian coffeeshop/venue) to get some food, we spotted 18 some-odd churches. There was a group of four sisters who called themselves Shel hanging out playing some music when we first arrived at meads corner. They played mandolin, piano, etc. it was full of really tight and cute kitten harmonies and their parents were with them managing. The local band that opened called themselves a christian hardcore band, and they were definitely christian. I sang with tristero on one song for the first time which was fun. The apple miner set was well played but there were some major sound problems and a general sour mood eminating around. A large group of people including Shel left a few songs in. the people who did stay, of course, were glued to the stage and very attentive. Afterward mike and cole had a very productive talk about how to make the last four shows of the tour the best they could possibly be.
The gallery that we were supposed to stay at fell through so becky, the one who helped set up the show with me, offered up her small house (thank you!). We crammed in like sardines but managed quite well. We pretty much just cashed out then took off to denver.


minor turbulance among the minor miners.

it was a long drive into columbus, ohio. dave lewis set a show up for us vic's midnight cafe. there was a solo act covering great old country tunes, followed by yet another cover band much more strange. a very... flirtatious...woman in a red evening gown singing foo fighters along side a bass player wearing a fuzzy hat, turned up way too loud, standing on the amplifiers, falling to his knees, thrusting, etc. we all teased cody d that if he started taking drugs now, that could be him in 40 years.

here's ryan being smeepy after the show.
we all camped out in a tiny yard which was sort of fun and sweet. the next morning we bought some amazing fresh fruit from a stand across the street, upset some dogs in the next yard by existing, and dave blessed all our vehicles (and gave an extra blessing for cole... said "he'd know when it comes up.")
we drove into chicago, and yes, listened to the sufjan stevens song. tristero had a show booked at a bar that i don't even want to mention because it was really impolite. cole and danny got cross with each other and danny ended up getting a little bit too upset and got kicked out. the army that is the tour talked to the bar about what a good guy he really is, and he apologized. they let him back in and they played a great show. we had a little band meeting in a parking lot and almost got towed. we got in pretty late to sam quinn's house and cashed out pretty soon after arriving. the next day we took the train to a nice but expensive breakfast place. chicago, to me, is one of the more beautiful cities we were in. all of the buildings are brick but they're all different kinds of brick. most of them look really old- and there's a lot of wood, metal, chain-link, etc. debris lacing them. cole and i went back to sam's to get some work done and pretty much stayed there all day until it was time to load up for the show.the show was booked at an absolutely beautiful bar/lounge called the whistler. they had this really neat blown-up image in a bunch of little frames. i really, really liked it. on the drive over, however, we got a phonecall that the people in the band under 21 were to absolutely not be allowed through the door. there were no exceptions, and none of the typical hooplaw of putting black X's on their hands so as not to serve them alcohol.
we contemplated playing without them, but that is not really the style of apple miner. anthony and i wandered to an amazing coffee shop and tried to set up a show there. we actually did get it rolling, but then about fifteen minutes later the owner changed his mind. finally we found a basement about a block away that we could play in. cole and ryan wore suspenders to assist with the hanging on of the britches.
the opener, angel olsen, followed us there and played the show with us. and thank god. she is absolutely amazing, visit her page and listen to all of it. my favorites are "lonely universe" and "who cares, i'm not a moralist." the space was small and a bunch of people left after angel, but the people that did stay were really attentive and excited about the music, as is pretty much every person who has the patience to stick around for apple miner. i got to sing "dark feral dogs" for the first time.

afterward, though, the mood changed drastically. we had another band meeting underneath the deafening train tracks. the racket was fitting for the storms brewing. some people, myself included, were very happy with the show and our resourcefulness in the face of troubles. but the vast majority of the band had felt like the whole night was a failure in many ways. turmoil ensued and feelings were hurt. not a good moment, but every tour must have those.
once back at sam's, cole and i learned that the best way to make things work to leave town the next day to minneapolis would be for us to leave at 6am with the film crew. it was actually sort of a relief, just to be able to leave before dawn and get away from the previous night with neutral parties.



(mo and i with synecdoche "tattoos" by me. mine: "everyone" and "everything," his: "somewhere" and "maybe somday" )

on the drive into ithaca, mike and dave's homeland, we passed schenectady. it of course had me thinking of synecdoche, new york (charlie kaufman, probably the best movie of all time). when maurice joined the tour in new york we almost immediately connected over this film and now we've probably clocked a couple of hours dicussing it. and possibly that much time singing "little person" (written by jon brion, performed by deanna story in the film). if you haven't seen it, rent it. watch it when you have plenty of time with little possibility for interruption either alone or with a friend or two who are sure not to talk at all during the movie or laugh at sad things.

we got to dave's dad's house and dave made us all some amazing spaghetti. most of us just sort of ate, drank beer, chatted, and went to bed.
the next day we wanted to go swimming so we set out on foot for a crazy trek to the swimming hole. eventually we found one with condoms, panties, and a few other things that i won't mention. needless to say we were not in the right place, but eventually found our way down to a magical little gorge at the base of a waterfall. the waterfall poured out from underneath a road above and right next to an old abandoned building built into the huge rock cliffs. this buildling had trees bursting out of the brick through the top, broken windows, and looked like either the wall had been swallowing it for years, or like it just somehow always existed within the hills and the water finally wore away enough to expose it. it was sort of post-apocolyptic. the rocks were really slippery and uneven everywhere but right by the building they were higher and flat and i wondered if it wa a parking lot or driveway years ago.
i saw a little turtle and swam like a fish in the little pools with emily, cole, and the constant thought of crocodiles underneath me (i'm the kind of girl who's afraid of sharks in pools.) we swam up to the waterfall and fell underneath it's illusions. we pretended to run up it on all fours, then to fly over it with our arms oustretched. i promise there were no drugs involved despite how it seems. i held my hand under it and resisted letting my arm plunge into the water. it looked like it was constantly coming closer to consume me but i trusted in its kindness that it would not.

later on that night we played a show at the nines. it was yet another noisy bar but a decent amount of people were paying attention to the music. dave and mike both call ithaca their home so they brought some dedicated audience members out. the major downfall of the show came when the sound person blasted a sound like all the souls of hell screaming up through the vents right on stage. the music had to be delayed while we assessed whether or not cole had been actually deafened in his left ear. i wasn't even on stage and one of my ears was ringing for days after. if i didn't know the band and cole well, i'd have not noticed a thing and been really happy with the show, but i could tell that the level of really 'putting on a show' had been somewhat sullied. the lyrics to "hooray for bailey moore" got changed to "hooray for mike and dave."
the next day cole and a few people needed to stay behind and practice, namely geoff. he wasn't able to bring his upright bass on tour for obvious reasons and has had sort of a difficult time finding one to play in the cities we've visited so he brought a viola instead. he picked it up for that very purpose a few months ago and impressed everyone with how good he already is at it. the rest of us headed back over the the river to with a car full of instruments and played on the rocks. i picked up a saxaphone for the first time since i made it squak as a child and learned a little riff for a tristero song. i'm now sort of addicted to the saxaphone. and the violin.

when i got back a group of us went to see UP, a very sad and charming pixar movie. my favorite moment is when doug the dog says, "i was hiding beneath your porch because i love you" after being yelled at by an old man. then we went to a bar with 48 beers on tap and played some pool.

the next day i went out thriftshopping with cole to look for a dress but couldn't find one i liked. everyone but cole, dave, and i left for syracuse to watch tristero and everyone only. isntead we rented let the right one in and wall-e (sort of an interesting combo) and made awesome sandwiches after we ventured to the grocery store. they were rosemary bread, apple smoked cheddar (toasted), avocado, cracked chili hummus, sauteed red pepper/garlic/shallots/spinach, and simmered pastrami. we also got some sun chips and brownie ice cream and stayed up until around four thirty in the morning.

funny games

whenever we get a chance to run around after being cramped in vans or tiny sleeping areas, we take full advantage. the competitive spirit runs high with the colony. here's a little montage of fun and games.


north hampton

we drove into north hampton and arrived at chris jenning's house (holla). we threw our stuff in the barn, played some basketball, took some showers, ate some food, i went on a walk, then we set up for a backyard show. of course the music brought the rain, but everyone crowded underneath the tarp until it stopped and it didn't seem to phase the audience one bit. it was ellen's birthday, so "hooray for bailey moore" became "hooray for ellen brand" for that night.

cole at this point was pretty ill. i layed him in bed with some blankets and kleenexes and water and my cell phone. the gang was going out dancing so i decided i'd go out while cole slept. i walked with the film crew and a few others to a nearby dance club/bar. inside we were all barefoot, sweaty, and dancing in no time. i was very impressed at kyle's dancing ability to dance and i am determined to one day have a dance off with him. i couldn't figure out how ryan dances for like a half hour then i finally realized it was a mix of ska and the running man only on a really small scale. ellen had angel wings on that i kept flapping for her. i stole mitch's hat several times for badassery purposes. basically we made the party.

cole called and i needed to get back so i tried to rally people to walk back with me, and by the time i got people out of there and got back it was really late and a man in a wheelchair had cornered me in a parking lot trying to get me to play his guitar.
the next day we got cole to a doctor but not without a few reminders of why america's healthcare system is fucked. but, he got some antibiotics and mike got his toe wrapped up (he got a pretty gruesome toe injury), we found out the receptionist went to CSF and had a class with cole (one of many, many coincidences such as this), and we were on our merry way.


"sad song, last dance

and no one knows who the band was." except all you awesome people!
unless some outside force as strong stormclouds and the seas combined overthrows the destiny of this band, the last show forever for apple miner colony as we know it will be in santa fe, new mexico on june 27th at warehouse 21 (1614 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe, NM 87501). it will be epic, there is no doubt in that. i recommend you drop some money for a plane, train, or fuel plus somewhere around $5 for the cover and come see this end of eras.

peachy keene

we got home late then woke up the next morning pack up and head out to keene, new hampshire. the traffic was way worse getting out than it was getting in. the city did not want us to leave. keene was yet another sharp contrast to new york. people were almost creepily polite. everything was spotless and green. cars always stopped for pedestrians and the roads were wide and cushy. the show was at a place called armadillo burrito. bandera (above) got to play here and it was very nice to hear. they are one of my favorite bands including people i know personally.

apple miner played and the strings walked around the room playing rather than sticking to the stage. el rojo's family was there and gave some very generous donations to the band (thanks again!), and show generally was a success.

afterward we stayed at sort of a strange house where we were told we weren't allowed to use the restroom, but there was a nice campfire and plenty of places for tents. the next morning some did some garden work as payment for using space in the yard while the rest of us packed up. we found a great little diner for breakfast, walked around a bit, then headed out to north hampton.

for the record, we are in minneapolis right now and i am really that far behind in updating this blog. i promise i will catch it up one of these days!