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:

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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.

Weekend Blogging

On weekends I like to spend my computer time on non-Dears stuff…you know, bigger picture things like catching up on back issues of The Economist, on Facebook and MySpace messages, and on my favourite sites: Wired.com, The Onion A.V. Club, Go Fug Yourself, The FAIL Blog, Spacing Montreal, Midnight Poutine and PABLOg. Lots of interesting stuff, informative bits, some cheap laughs (like Hamster on a Piano Eating Popcorn), and the usual drivel. As a part-time blogger, I was especially struck by a piece in the Economist about the retirement of one of the “founding fathers” of blogging, Jason Calacanis (from the story Oh, grow up). His quote on the saturation of the blogosphere crosses genres of communication, but really nails the general attitude on the online community (I’m thinking especially in music circles): “Today the blogosphere is so charged, so polarised, and so filled with haters hating that it’s simply not worth it.” Dead on, Mr. Calacanis. The article also discusses how the entry of blogging into the mainstream signals it’s death (so too, with “indie rock?”); usually meaning that blogging will morph into another form…anyway, I suggest reading the article and casting your own fatalistic conclusions into the cosmos.

Earlier I mentioned “non-Dears” stuff, but that’s kind of impossibility because nearly everything I do, other than domestic shit, is somehow Dears related. That’s just how I roll. Like later I’m gonna update our tour date archive. There are some wrong dates there. The Broph emailed me a link to all the past news stories written on ChartAttack.com so I’m gonna link live reviews to their shows. Also my mom revealed that she had a bunch of stuff that wasn’t online that she’s gonna get my uncle to scan and then I have to give her a tutorial on how to upload a file. You know, things we do so automatically are a big deal to baby boomers sometimes. I’m suitably impressed at how my mom has figured out this whole internet thing. Love ya mom!!!

Potato Surprise

We are home and have totally plugged right back in to domestic vibes. Today was a super domestic day for me: I did yard work. I donned this navy blue 3/4 length pea coat that I used to wear when I was like 21 that I now only use when I have to work outside in the fall. I think I got it at the Salvation Army on St-Antoine and Guy. Anyhow, I put it on and was like: “This coat isn’t actually that bad,” just before handing my work gloves and grabbing a garbage bag. I collected all the trash that accumulates in our yard, cut back the dead iris leaves and tidied up some leaves. In the back yard I put away all Neptune’s outside toys. I also decided to pull the rogue potato plants that will likely die during our next overnight freeze. Point being I was very pleasantly surprised by the haul of new, little cute potatoes:

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I mean, it’s November and – according to Jamie Oliver’s Jamie At Home cookbook – way too late for potatoes. In fact, when I followed his instruction for planting potatoes I got nothing except a bunch of rotted, mushy post-potatoes. Canada certainly does have it’s own rule on the agriculture side and no matter how much I’d like to try, I can’t pretend that our growing season resembles that of the UK in any way possible.

Anyhow, Murray’s gonna roast the potatoes today or tomorrow for dinner. On the domestic side I installed a couple light fixtures today, too. Renaissance woman. I also booked flights for the band to get us home from the Metric tour, and next I’m gonna add a bunch of archival images (we’re talking 1999-2002 styles, courtesy of former-Dear Jonathan Cohen) to our tour history on thedears.org. Boom.

A New thedears.org & Boston

Last night we did our Boston (Allston) show. The venue was in a bustling part of town, but I noticed as Neptune and I walked around a bit looking for a park, that there were three predominant kinds of stores: liquor stores, pharmacies and real estate brokers. Looking for a grocery store, I thought the proportions were only slightly strange.

Even though last night was our first show of this tour, it felt like the eighteenth. We crossed the border very late Monday night. There’s a major flu going around on the bus…Murray and Lisa and now Neptune and I’m fighting it big time. I don’t feel it coming on but my body just feels like it needs more sleep. At some points during the show last night, I felt asleep: keeping my eyes closed to hold my focus, they just felt good there. In all the pacing was good: not entirely fierce/fireball performance but definitely appropriate for the evening.

Why so tired and run down? The trip to London was great but tough on the jet lag…basically we never got into it but our bodies still felt messed with. To top it off, Friday we flew back to Toronto, got Neptune and then stiil had to drive back to Montreal on Saturday. We had two days, leading up to both the album release and leaving on tour. Sunday and Monday was mainly running around all day, on errands, picking things up, dropping others off, then doing laundry, packing for myself, packing for Neptune.

We got it all done, but in the evening, after our daughter’s bedtime, we had to work on the website. With the help of Sumo and Cardboard Box Project, we put our new site together: we wanted it to be be a site that could grow with us but also one that documented our past. This meant LOTS of content management, uploading, fact checking and finding files. At one point Sunday night five people in two cities were working on the site getting it loaded up for launch.

I’m really excited about it: thedears.org. There’s a whole tour archive section where people (like you) can upload their own photos, videos and reviews of the shows they saw. Also Murray started a docu-mocku-rockumentary and the first episode is up. Check it out.

Blog Experiment

I started an experiment today. I call it a “message board in blog form,” and I have no idea if it will work. I swapped out our old forum (which gets a handful of relevant posts as well and some undesirable spammy ones) with, well, basically a blog. We’ve been noticing that: (a) users had to log in to post, and we’re not into that anymore…if someone wants to express their uncontrollable love, or excruciating hate-on, then they should be free to; and (b) people only really talk about a handful of things. So we thought why should there be a million discussions with only one or two replies, when we could centralise it all in a blog? By forcing the discussions into three or four threads, a stream of consciousness style flow will ensue. Won’t it?

I don’t know. Maybe this will work…maybe it requires more careful thought. I feel like I need to organise the flow better, and add some other authors that want to post new topics for discussion. Interested? Suggestions? Am I crazy? Leave comments…here or there.

Tour Dates: An Ultimate Dears List

This is possibly THE most boring and tedious thing I have ever done, but my completist nature forced me into it, and I’m still disappointed because I don’t think it’s truly complete. I’ve compiled a year-by-year list of all The Dears’ tour dates. Info for the more recent years is pretty complete, but 2002 and further into the past, things get a bit fuzzy. I mean, those shows pre-date my current computer and my old, tangerine clamshell Mac is totally fried. This means I have to dig into physical files, deep down in the Tomato Sauce Closet.

I was a little worried that listing all our past shows might come off as, um, masturbatory. But I’ve always wanted to include it somewhere on our site. I think of it more as a testament to our fans, to the people who have (and haven’t) come to the shows: even though that one night can seem fleeting, it lasts in some ephemeral way. It might even be cool to expand the list archivally, where we can all (that’s you, readers, and us, the band) post scraps of memories that we have collected: anecdotal events, show posters, photos and crappy mobile phone films, ticket stubs, set lists, press, your reviews and experiences, even. And in the future we can add content as we go along.

Our site is absolutely not set up to receive this kind of info. So for now it’s just a one-dimensional list, but I’m going to push to have this included when we relaunch thedears.org. I have to put that giant box of old show posters to use somehow. Some of them are really beautiful, others are shoddy photocopy jobs; I do have one from a show in Groningen, NL in Neptune’s room because it’s so cute.

Anyway, just an idea.