Wednesday, August 25, 2010

8.2010 Mini-Tour Part 1: Shenandoah Pizza

So, Shenandoah Pizza is one of our new favorite places.  We arrived about 3 hours early and it's a good thing we did because even that wasn't enough time to really soak up the place.

You walk up to their charming stone storefront where they had very kindly posted a sign for our show that night.

You enter into a sparkling clean room full of bright green tile, gleaming wooden tables, colorful posters speaking of Staunton's lively music scene, and one of the friendliest staffs we've ever encountered, all of whom are either musicians, music lovers, or both.

John and Cheryl, the owners, are as warm and accomodating as they can be, recognizing everyone that walks in the store.  They are organizing all kinds of musical events in the area, including a big Summer Blues Fest this past Saturday that we sadly had to miss (although Lexington was a thrilling substitute :D).

Right away, we got all giddy when they told us we could order any pizza and beer!  They have over 200 varieties (!!!), all bottles because the building is from the 1800s and it's near impossible to drill through the thick concrete floor to put in taps.  And anyway, you can have more variety with bottles.  We tried all sorts of amazing brews, including Pyrat, Baltika Russian Lager, Starr Hill Jomo Lager, Stone IPA, Old Peculiar, Legend brown ale, Blue Mountain Classic Lager and more.

Our awesome waitress, Brooke, kindly chose all my wild flavors for me.  (She also left us the biggest compliment ever on a note in our tip jar:)

*Seriously, Brooke, if you only knew how much that made our life!  They are our favorite band!!!*

All the beers were incredible and the perfect compliment to their gourmet pies!  In fact, gourmet doesn't even do it justice- their pizzas are some of the most delicious food I've ever eaten!
Meet Pizza Gypsy Hill (tomato, mozarella, avocado, feta, & sunflower seeds):

And Pizza Margherita (tomato, basil, fresh mozarella, wheat crust):

The wheat crust is made with local wheat ground at a mill just a short drive from the shop.

So, bodies full and satisfied, we dove into a smooth, easy set.  No need to push that night- we were feeling good and enjoying every minute.  The time flew and then it was the good Captain's go.  He turned heads with a bunch of awesome new numbers, including Pirate Jesus, I Stole Your Beer, and Robot Housewife (very jazzy!).

The crowd was appreciative, laid-back, and very fun to play to.

We got to meet some awesome local musicians from killer bands like Secret Ninja Death Squad and JD & the Shenandoahs.  And John told us about a great Charlottesville group, The Judy Chops, who've been playing at Shenandoah Pizza for years.

We're checking out The Staunton Music Guild  to find more Staunton bands and we highly suggest you do the same because that valley is hopping!

We can't wait to go back and any Marylanders are welcome to hitch a ride- everyone needs to go to Shenandoah Pizza as soon as they can!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Awesome August

This month has started out GREAT!
It began in Richmond, VA with some old friends seeing a show at an awesome venue called Strange Matter where we had our minds stomped by Whatever Brains and Catacombz- check them out.

That very night we were linked to a show in DC by our dear buddies, The Nice Trys.  We confirmed it over the next couple days and thus spent this past Friday night screaming and shouting to our hearts content at the lovely H St. NE residents as we played a 3ish hour set outside of Gallery O/H, which EVERYONE should check out.  It's a beautiful and cozy space run by the nicest people you could ever hope to meet.  They have a varied and unique collection of art- this particular display focuses on the female form.
We set up on the street in front of their gorgeous courtyard, which features a 16' tall rocket sculpture made from recycled metals, among other magnificent creations.  We had a blast hangin' out with all the cool people, watching cars stop in the middle of the street to watch us (some of whom very kindly pelted us with change), and playing as loud and sloppy as we liked.  It was casual and crazy, which is our favorite type of show.  One awesome guy came up and put a cigarette in Willie's mouth in the middle of a solo.  It was pretty impressive on both their parts- especially getting it lit.  Thanks to Steve and Dolly for having us and to Michael, Luwanda, and Mo for facilitating!  We can't wait to do it again.

The next morning featured an extremely traffic-y drive up to New Jersey for the Elephant Talk Music Festival.  A HUGE thank you to Shannon Bailey for bringing us in and to Jerry Ryan for throwing the whole event.  It was truly incredible- we got to rock out to so many awesome bands, including The Echo Wall, Mittenfields, The Callen Sisters, and many more.  We were there in spirit for Mind Grenade.  Longboard beer on draft was also a highlight.  We met so many amazing people (shout out to Rudy & Jill :D) and got to walk around bizarre and sparkly Atlantic City.  We had a late drive home- I pounded MK's amazing pasta salad the whole 3+ hours to stay awake.  Mmmm.  And the driverside window got stuck in the down position, which we were going to get fixed today except it started working again so the car dudes couldn't figure out the problem (but they still had us wait 3 hours and charged us for having them look.  Great.)

Jerry taped some of our set from the festival- thanks, Jerry!  The footage is on his channel:

So that's our killer month so far.  We're playing at Chloe's Coffee on the 14th- check out this blow-your-brains-out-awesome flyer that Dan Ellis made for us!  I can't stop staring at it and have started writing a song based on the toothy guy.

So, we've had a shyt-kickin' month so far and it's not even half-way through.  Oh, and we have 3 new songs: Helen Morgan, Your Mama, and A Little More.  AND today we recorded foundation tracks for our CD that will hopefully be done by the tour- at least in preview form.  The official track-list (in no particular order) is: Trouble, The Worm, Barfly Betty, Cabin Fever, Chopo, Sailing, Glass of Scotch, Damocles, Take Me Home, Chinatown Special, Free Fall, and Curtis Turner.

So stay tuned, folks!  This is gonna be a busy month.  And we're going to Kentucky in a week!  WEEEE!