Monday, September 27, 2010

The "My Blog is your Blog" Contest

So this blog is about to hit the 6 month period right around the time of Hacienda's show at Stubbs in Austin. When I saw Mishka Wetsell's poster design for the show, I thought it would be great for a contest. I started thinking of how to do a blog contest of some sort and got bored, so I figured out something more interesting. You see, touring is hard work. I know it seems like we're just goofing around, cause we are. But its physically demanding and you miss your friends and the main thing that gets you through the tour is when you see people becoming fans. Its something that never gets old. I was the guy at the show with a sharpie and a camera and bunch of questions. Pete Anderson was my favorite gutar player. Heres me hanging with him at a gig in Austin, where I talked his ear off about telecasters and steve cropper licks. check him out here in this clip where hes shredding for Dwight Yoakam.

Since we've started traveling, people have responded to the bands I've played with, and I have found myself meeting people that wanna talk to me. Its mind blowing! I'm just a dude. So I figured it out. Instead of some contest, I o.k.ed it with the Hacienda dudes and we are going to be giving away signed copies of the new poster to those who have been so supportive along the way.

And the winners are.......

Sarah - from Austin has attended 9 shows that I can remember and she gave me the idea for this blog.

Vicente and Jose - These dudes have a band called Bam Bam and the gigalos in Madison Wisconsin and have been to 4 shows in Madison, Chicago, and Milwaukee, no matter how cold it was outside.

Eric - from Birmingham has been to 3 shows with his wife Stephanie. great to talk gear with.

Sergio and Adrian - from Laredo. play in a band called automatic weekend, and always spread the word and hook us up at home. they even opened for us down in Laredo. It was great!

Will - from San Fransisco. Always represents with his Hacienda gear and is our biggest west coast supporter.

Mirby - Jason is his name, and hes been to a bunch of shows. Hes the worlds biggest Black Keys fan and has Hacienda's back as well. He even shouted out happy birthday at our show in chicago last June. Nice touch.

The Indianapolis crew - This group keeps getting bigger and bigger. These dudes are in a band called back action, and you can see them in Frank Weysos tour video.

Vishal - this one might seem unfair seeing as how this is my best friend. But this dude has been to over 50 shows and he never lets me guest list him. He's also traveled the most miles of any fan. He lives in the valley in south Texas, but has been to shows in Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, and everywhere in Texas. So he's legit. Check him out watching the show from the stage at lollapolooza he's the one with the blue v-neck and bono sunglasses in the begining from side stage.

Mystery Chicago girl - Theres a girl from Venezuela I think. Shes a student in Chicago and has been to multiple shows including an acoustic performance at the old town school of folk music. Shes been very supportive. I can't remeber your name, but if your reading this and you think I'm talking about you contact us and we'll figure it out.

So here are the rules:
If you are any of these people contact us at Put "blog contest" as the subject. Then I will ask you a question that I think only you can answer to authenticate your identity. Once thats figured out, we'll send you your signed poster. Easy as pie. We can only send one poster per winner. i.e. only one poster will go to the indy group and the same for The madison and laredo crew. You guys can put them up in your jam space maybe.

Theres no deadline for this contest. I'll save one until you contact us. I have a feeling you already keep up with us and will find out that you've won.

You see, a true fan isn't someone that wants to get high with you, or buy you booze. Its someone that enjoys the music and the band, period! These people are great examples of those that support music.

thanks for all your help everyone and we'll see you on the road.

Dante and the Hacienda dudes

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Home is Where My Beer is

So to cap off the last tour, Hacienda finished with three shows in Texas. I was tired. Check that, I was on friggin "life support"! I just hadnt been home for six weeks at this point and it was starting to show. My clothes at this point could walk on their own. My guitars were water logged in sweat, and my sanity was questionable at best. So being in Texas was very comforting, but no less chaotic. We ran down to Laredo and were greeted by a rainbow, so I hoped that was a good sign. Played a great joint with Jeff the Brotherhood from Nashville. I like to think I can keep an objective opinion when it comes to shows, and I am in no way embarrassed to say that Jeff the Brotherhood stole the show and smoked that place. Very difficult act to follow. Its straight up riff rock for the entire set and they crushed it. It was a god damn guitar showdown with the brotherhood. Different styles, I guess I'll leave it to everyone else to decide. I love the shit out of that band. they are heavy and really nice. We hit some late night mexican food with the brotherhood and set off to Marfa. Great night, I hope everyone really enjoyed it because I truly enjoy going home. We might have been a little too loud. Check out this clip and you be the judge. I wish we could have played longer but judging by how late the show was and with the time approaching last call we didn't do an encore. I hope no one was terribly disapointed about that. It was late and we made a judgment call there.

After the Marfa gig I mentioned before, we ran home to San Antonio and played the Lone Star Indie Bash at the Brewery. I had no expectations good or bad for this show. I just figured it be another gig. Thankfully, I couldnt have been more wrong. The place was packed and rowdy. Other acts included TExas Tornados and Bob Schnieder, but the best part was all around bad ass, Dale Watson. He's the real deal. Cool as ice and a true original. He plays all the time, so find him and you'll hear what I mean. Seeing Bob Schnieder was cool, because their bass player bought a custom hand-beaded guitar strap from my mom. I couldn't find a picture where her hair wasn't covering the strap, but if I do, I'll update this. You see my mom made guitar straps for me and Dan Auerbach, check out this video and you'll see them both. They always look great in the lights.

Great vibe, great beer, and an all around great time. It also marks the end of that set. Now that we have a few weeks off, we are putting together a new show for the next tour. saying goodbye to a set that we have done for about 140 shows is a good feeling when you feel like you really maximized it. So be prepared for a lot of songs we dont normally play to be mixed in soon.

Thanks to miss maspero for taking these photos in San Antonio and Edgar for the pics from Laredo. And to Jeff the Brotherhood, I look forward to dueling again. Vacation starts............NOW!

Blog in a Coma

So you know that fortune cookie game "in bed", where you read fortune cookies and at the end you say in bed? I'm thinking that this band should incorporate that somehow. The band I'm talking about of course is Girl in a Coma. They are San Antonio's favorite band. Hacienda did a couple weeks with these girls and I didnt know how we'd fit. Turns out we fit like a brand new pair of socks. As soon as their tour manager Michelle opened her mouth and said the most foul-mouthed uncomfortable thing I'd ever heard (I cant even write it down much less say it) I knew we were in for quite the tour. These girls are all kinds of fun people to hang with. Very different personalites but all very creative. Thier audience didn't seem to quite know what to make of Jaime's new racially insensetive and sexist drum head. We love it though. We ate Jambalaya at Yatz' and did some thrift store shopping in Indianapolis, all night festivities in Iowa for Mexican Independace day, and hopefully made some longtime friends with these girls. Its great to have a new crew to run with at home. Phanie is tough as nails on the drums and Nina's voice is very dynamic. Jen plays bass and sings sweet backup vox. She's also a film maker. She makes movies on the road. I'm not talking tour movies. Actual scripted films that star her band mates. they are are great. I'll try and convince her to share one with me for you guys.Crazy festival in Marfa called El Cosmico with us and Girl in a Coma. A great mix of DIY ultra creative and ultra talented hippie artists in the middle of the west Texas desert. Next year mark your calender and figure out how to get to this boutique festival and camp for the weekend. It will be worth it! Trust me. The West Texas desert is amazing looking. Way better than Nevada, in my opinion. We filmed a video for Dan Auerbach's tune "Heartbroken and Disrepair" out there in Marfa, so it was great to return.

Check out GIAC doing David Bowie's song "When the World Falls Down" from the movie Labrynth.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Nashville Cats: Part 3 (Finale)

So whadyaknow, it can't all be partying with friends when in Nashville. You may as well get some work done. Lucky for me I've got some great friends who like to work. Seth Kauffman was in town and it was a perfect opportunity to try and play some music. Bryan Cates plays bass in Floating Action with Seth. He also has his own music and is on tour with Band of Horses. You should give it a listen. These guys are kind of the shit! We hung out at Bryan's house. (thanks to Bryan and his roomates Logan and Keegan for letting us make noise.)

Seth has a four track with him at all times I think. We demoed some tunes, ate good food, and now I got some new ideas for the next Hacienda record. Now I just need this current tour to go buy lightning fast.
Seth plays on a bad ass firebird, wears green shoes, and carries a fulltone tape echo on his person. I had my Epiphone Frontier, some motorcycle boots and a bag of peanuts. So that should tell what the music sounds like. Bought his record at Grimey's and you should too.

Floating Action is a band I truly respect and Seth is sort of a genius. Check out these clips.

Shaking Through: Floating Action from Weathervane Music on Vimeo.

What a week in Nashville. thanks to everyone who helped me out there. You all know who you are.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nashville Cats: Part 2

So if chicks dig guitar players, then what do guitar players dig? Well I dig chicks who play guitar, go figure. One of my favorite players and all around people is Kelley Darlin and the rest of her band in Those Darlins. they have a new 7" out and new record coming out next year. We're good friends so when in Nashville, you may as well go guitar shopping. Thats exactly what we did. She plays guitar and bass and that band has cool gear. Kelley and Jesse both play Epiphone casinos, but Kelley was looking to mix in something new, so off we went. Believe it or not the guitar center in Nashville isn't terrible. They actually have some cool shit.

We started the test with a Gibson es 339. It was cool. Its a slightly smaller body than a 335 and has a good sound. Plugged into a loud as shit Marshall it was kind of lifeless. If you remember before I told you she was mixing in a telecaster I had, so we tried a semi hollow tele. It was better than the 339 for what she plays, and we thought it might have been the one until, I convinced her to try a les paul. Now I became a Gibson convert in the last 2 years, and the les paul is a very versatile guitar. More versatile than most people might guess.

Well, she picked up a light one, plugged it in, and wouldn't you know, that thing just started to sing in her hands. It was ALIVE! It threw us both for a loop, and with a price tag of about 4 grand, it was going to take some serious rethinking on how to get this guitar in her hands. Go see Those Darlins on the road right now with my favorite band The Strange Boys right now, and keep an eye out for Kelley to mix a Les Paul soon. Fingers crossed.

p.s. Kelley grows Pumpkins, and squash and all kinds of vegetables in her back yard. Its about the coolest thing ever. She made me cookies on a Saturday night and showed me all around town. Thanks Kelley Darlin. Alright now seroiusly, I got to do some work while I'm here in Nashville. Standby........

Nashville Cats: Part 1

So theres this tune by the Lovin Spoonful called Nashville Cats. Its a fun tune and a favorite of mine. Its about how everyone in Nashville is a bad ass guitar player and its in a country twang style. Very cool, and almost dead on.

Hacienda had one whole week off, and because I have a hard time sleeping in my apt cause its boring, I got on a plane headed to music city U.S.A. I planned a couple of things along the way but really was just winging it. It might've been the most fun trip I've had all year. I'm still piecing together exactly what happened.

Nashville is an interesting place. I've been a bunch of times, but never really settled in there. Theres so much industry that it can have a hint of an L.A. vibe. Trying to figure out whose full of shit can be difficult. Some people that are not full of shit are the dudes in the Greenhornes (nice segue huh!). The Greenhornes are from Cincinnati and are amazing musicians with great soul and vibe. You have to experience them live. Unfortunately they haven't been playing much since jack white recruited members of that band for his various projects, dead weather, racuntours etc... so imagine the excitement around the band now that they are back together playing shows.

The show was ridiculously sold out at the basement, a tiny club in east Nashville. Thankfully my friend Kelley new the doorman and got us in. Their gear is great, their songs, are great, people dance, what more could you ask for. Check out my favorite song called "End of the Night". Go see this band and dance your friggin balls off, everyone!

Guitarist Carl Broemel, of My Morning Jacket, opened the show and played a great set of mellow atmospheric music that was very cool. When in Nashville go to the basement underneath Grimey's record shop and see a show. Its a great hang.

We got pretty bombed and figured how to get home. Day one in Nashville and it already exceeded my expectations, now it was time to get some work done...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The South Will Rise

So sorry I havnt updated this, but Im in Nashville on a work/vacation. Its been great. I'll tell you all about it. But first things first. I'm happy to report that Jose Canseco went deep in his second at bat as well. Dudes on fire down there. Finished up our run with the Black Joe Lewis and Honeybear dudes. It was a great tour and those dudes are great. Very enjoyable. We hit up Charleston on the hottest night of the year and drank Omegang Abbey. Its a beer from upstate new york but I only get to drink it at the Pourhouse in Charletson, SC. Go figure.

If you live in Birmingham, visit the Bottletree because it is a great place for bands to play, and every band appreciates the staff at the Bottletree. Thanks to everyone who came out. We wrapped up with a show in Austin at Mohawk's Red River on the Rocks. It was great to be in Austin, and lucky for us we'll be in Austin 2 more times before the end of the year. It really is a great place to be.