Bad Nerd

Aaaaaah…haven’t written since I listened to Vauxhall and I a few weeks ago while rolling in the back of a van down North America’s West Coast. There’s not much to add. I intend to write a thing on my awesome SXSW Accelerator experience, but we all know the road to Hell is paved with good intentions*. Also, we have tour dates. We have interviews (I especially promote this one I did recently with PopMatters – it got kind of intimate). Here are said tour dates. Please join us so we can sweat on you and/or shred in your face. 2gether-ness.

Mon March 28, 2011 – Pawtucket, RI @ The Met
Tue March 29, 2011 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg Tickets
Wed March 30, 2011 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall Tickets
Thu March 31, 2011 – Philadelphia, PA @ North Star Tickets
Sat April 2, 2011 – Laval, QC @ Salle Antonine Labelle Tickets

Wed April 13, 2011 – Berlin, Germany @ Frannz Club Tickets
Thu April 14, 2011 – Brussels, Belgium @ AB Club Tickets
Fri April 15, 2011 – Paris, France @ Le Fleche D’or Tickets
Sat April 16, 2011 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Melkweg Tickets
Mon April 18, 2011 – London, UK @ Borderline (SOLD OUT)
Tue April 19, 2011 – London, UK @ Borderline Tickets
Wed April 20, 2011 – Manchester, UK @ Ruby Lounge Tickets
Thu April 21, 2011 – Glasgow, UK @ King Tuts Tickets

Unrelated, I was thinking of trying to claim the term ‘Bad Nerd’ because that is what I am.

Poll: Build Your Dream Set

Listen, while we’re working over here, help out by telling us the songs you’d like to see The Dears play live (poll). We’ll keep this open for a while, until we start touring for real. Vote as many times as you like, but only once a day. I think you can make 5 choices per vote. Who’s gonna be first??

Shows Coming Up…You Going?

I’ve spent the past few days working on these shows we have coming up. I forget that things like long weekends and moving day can affect the things we do: hotels in Peterborough are completely sold out. When I asked why, one hotel concierge gave the reason: “Dog show.” Also Peterborough is in the heart of cottage country in Ontario so I guess that’s what people do on the weekend. Next was finding a trailer for the van. I forgot that this weekend is when the entire city of Montreal moves. Someone came up with the genius idea to have all leases begin and end July 1st, causing traffic and vehicle rental mayhem. Anyway, I had to call around but finally found one. It’s all sorted.

So we hope to see you out this weekend. Come and say hello:

July 3 – Live Lounge, Ottawa, ON (w/ Amos the Transparent)
July 4 – Montreal House, Peterborough, ON (w/ Amos the Transparent)
July 6 – Club Soda, Montreal, QC (Montreal Jazz Fest)

Also Yellow Bird Project has released the t-shirt Neptune designed. I have to admit it was odd seeing her drawing on a shirt worn by a fancy model. Check it out and get your own…they’re super nice and all the proceeds are given to the Pablove Foundation.

Mexico: The Real Blog

I’m so embarrassed…I was so obsessed with getting over the vacation part of our trip that I never mentioned how frigging incredible our two shows in Mexico were.

Number one: being out of winter initially was rad. The first day we arrived in Mexico City and then had to drive for 6 hours directly to Guadalajara. I fainted at a truck stop just outside Mexico City but that was nothing a glass of juice and marlin tacos couldn’t cure. Also we got ‘nized.

Nobody knew what to expect of the Guadalajara show; whether or not there would be anyone there. The room was pretty big and the metal roof made the sound on stage totally unbearable. So I was hoping the place would fill up to kill all the bounce. The room seemed pretty full, and the people that were there sent some crazy energy up onto the stage. Since our last Montreal gig we’ve been tweaking the set, playing longer which is always fun and starting the show with Saviour. I don’t want to kill the mystique so all I will say are these two words: wireless microphone.

For dinner the promoters Armando and Andreas took us to a restaurant near the basilica which was really beautiful to see. As we were leaving I heard some dude with a guitar in another cafe singing “More Than Words”…I called over Laura and Chris and in two minutes everybody was over there backing him up on the harmonies. It was hilarious…and kind of an inside joke.

The next day some of us decided to fly back to Mexico City…just to stay a little sane. That van was really crowded with 11 of us in there and three seats having no seat belts. Us Canadians get nervous about stuff like that.

The Lunario in MexicoCity is tucked in behind the Auditorio Nacional, right next to an army training base that had one of the biggest flags flying we had ever seen:

big_flag

Apparently there are two giant flags in Mexico City. Awesome. I’m not sure there are any flags that big anywhere in all of Canada. We went for a walk with Juan Luis from Kontrabando/Arts & Crafts Mexico who showed us where to get really awesome quesadillas. I shared a Coke in a glass bottle with Laura…man that was good! I think that’s when I Tweeted about looking for fish tacos…so we never found those but what we had was just as delish.

I can’t really describe in words what happened during our show in Mexico City. It was probably the best show The Dears had ever played – musically and vibe-wise – and backstage post-show we all agreed that that was the most fun any one of us had ever experienced in our lives. I mean, even Lisa was rocking out. The best way these gigs could be recauptured is by checking out the vids on YouTube and pics on our website (tour section) and on Facebook (I linked the albums to my profile). Here’s Murray’s fave YouTube moment:

And then also this one is fun/me-fest but also check out the guy who uploaded it…his profile pic is AWESOME!

After the Mexico City show we signed autographs for about two hours. Lisa started drawing cats instead of signing her full name. The fans were all so cool and awesome and we all had a great time. Thank you to everyone who came out to the shows!!! And who waited so long to meet us after! Until next time…all our love, The Dears.

Three Down…

…hundreds to go. Last week was like a dream. Our first three shows were great. I mean, personally not my most perfect performances, but also not total major mess ups (like the time I forgot how “We Can Have It” starts when we were opening for Morrissey). Anyhow, I don’t even know where to start or what to say. It’s too early for that: I still need you to decide for yourselves. I need to read what you – and by “you” I mean the audience, the listeners, the bloggers, the readers – have to say. So far, I’ve assembled this:

The Dears at Hamilton, ON (by rafapf) – Photos
Imprint Online – Review of show at Waterloo, ON
Montreal Gazette Words & Music Blog – Review of show at Montreal, QC

There’s probably more stuff; about to be written, not yet written, not ever to be written, things people are saying, or not saying. Can’t wait to read it, hear about it, learn as we go along. Krief and George came out to see the Montreal show which was really awesome…spoke to them both a bit afterwards and they were very supportive. That was great. Apparently the Toronto shows are both sold out so more to come…

It’s Happening

We are playing our first shows in about a week, and I never anticipated that this would happen, but I’m getting nervous. I mean its not like there should be any surprises: the machine is fired up and chugging along. I did my first interview in a long time on Thursday and Murray’s been doing a few every week. I get the Google News/Blog Alerts. I’ve got my finger on the pulse (kind of).

I’ve been sleeping on it. Sleeping on the idea of being in front of an audience again, of reconnecting with the real-world. My head is definitely in a different place: it’s been grounded, with a place for the errant electricity to flow. I feel like the last year of being in the “old” Dears was corroding my soul. At one point I remember thinking: “Who am I?” Like my identity had been so confused with the concerns of others that I’d forgotten who I was, why I was here, what I was doing. You may be reading this, thinking: “Gimmie a break. You play in a rock band. Get over it.” But the personal investment I put into The Dears is enormous. Our band breaking down was unfortunate but it had to happen, and all the pain and hurt and shittiness aside, I’m glad it did.

Now the liberation of today is exhilarating: sometimes I feel like it’s “End of A Hollywood Bedtime Story” all over again. We are diving head first into an unknown. But I feel really optimistic, grateful for all the support from blog readers, from fans, from family and friends. Big thank yous to all.

But now the shows. Rehearsals have been great: everyone is such a good musician and they’ve all really embraced the songs. We have fun, have lots of laughs, play with enthusiasm. It’s definitely not a stressful atmosphere, there’s no pressure, no expectations, just giving life to songs. This week we are not rehearsing and I think that is what’s making me nervous: like I’m going to forget how to play everything or something. The Dears are definitely a new band, a new vibe. We’re not just a bunch of people trying to replace other people: these are killer musicians with their own personalities, their own style. So fingers crossed. You kids in Waterloo, ON are in for a spicy one!

What’s Going On: April Calendar

So there are some dates to remember in April…mainly for Montrealers:

April 3rd: Ibi Kaslik‘s book launch for “The Angel Riots.” Though I’ve yet to read it, from what I gather it’s a spicy, fictionalised account of hipsters from Toronto mingling with Montrealers. Indie rock just got a whole lot sexier. The word on the street: “I hope I’m not in it.” At Caigibi, and maybe there will be a top secret, solo set from Murray.

April 16th22nd: Production on The Dears album will be finished (mastering is the day before). Rejoice and jubilation.

April 26th: Krief names his band and officially releases the album he’s been slaving over for the past few months. I heard the mixes and it’s really frigging amazing – it embodies the ferocity that is Krief. Musically and emotionally. It’s a huge, dynamic album and his launch show should be rad with additional musicians. At Lion D’Or but check his MySpace for details. I’ve already booked babysitting.