Monday, April 20, 2009

Two Conferences in Two Days

It was another full States weekend -- Dewey Beach Pop Fest in Dewey Beach, DE on Friday night and the Launch Music Conference in Lancaster, PA on Saturday. Dewey is always great -- we started going to the Dewey festivals in 2007, and Vikki, who runs them all, is always super nice and always runs a really tight ship. I don't think we've ever been to a festival with better sound, too. Including SXSW. (Most of it, anyway.) We played a late set of almost all new stuff right out there on the beachfront stage at the Rusty Rudder, then packed it in at the hotel -- after stopping at the good old Golden Arches on the way back.

In the morning, we consumed large quantities of IHOP pancakes and eggs and, properly fueled, headed north towards Lancaster, PA. Unlike most of our drives, it turns out that there aren't any major highways between Dewey Beach and Lancaster, so we spent most of the drive on the back roads, driving a lot more slowly than we're used to. (Probably a good thing.) About 10 miles from Lancaster, we had our first Amish sighting: a family in a horse-drawn carriage going the other way on Route 30. I should add that the entire countryside around Lancaster smells sweetly of manure, or probably more accurately, of farming. It's actually quite moving for a bunch of city kids to drive through what I consider to be the "real" America -- the parts of the country where people still work the land with their hands. New York is amazing, but it's also a city run by the "high" human arts: finance, fashion, entertainment. Going to the farmers market or growing a little plot of flowers on your roof is about as close as we get to the land.

Anyway, I don't mean to wax philosophical; it's not like I want to *be* a farmer. It's just that lately I've been thinking a lot about the industries that built this country. Farming, manufacturing, steel, many of those industries are wasting away, if not already dead and gone.

We made it to Lancaster, in any case, checked in to the conference hotel, ate some free pizza and drank some free beer at the Launch party, hung out with the Jeffs from Black Lodge PR (who were also involved in organizing the conference), and then loaded in our gear to the Village, where we would be playing later that night:

After load-in, Pete and I went upstairs to nap (aka watch several episodes of House on TV). Beer and pizza in the afternoon will really do you in sometimes. We roused ourselves around 8 to go check out some of the bands, and then it was time to play. We switched up the set a little bit to accommodate some loud requests for "Be Good Tonight," which was actually a lot of fun to play after playing many shows of just new stuff, as we've been doing lately.

After loading out, we got ourselves involved in a videotape interview with some of the Launch promo folks. I hope they got even a little bit of usable footage out of it. Our attitude towards interviews (at least the ones we do after shows) is basically, Hey, we're going to have fun, so the interviewer better be good at extracting information from us, otherwise there's gonna be a whole lot of footage of us laughing and not a lot of usable stuff otherwise. I think we did ok. Then: we watched Armed Forces at the Chameleon Club. Then: bed. Then: waking up to Pete's amazing snoring. Then: waking up to Joe's amazingly loud 5:45am alarm. (Why? Why? Why?) Then: coffee, and the drive home.

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