Friday, October 29, 2010

Chicks Man! (Gear Post in Disguise)

so anyone whose spent about an hour around me knows I'm gonna talk your ear off about nothing and everything at the same time. What can I say, I got the gift of gab. There are two main things that people ask me after a gig. The first is "Dude, what pedals do use?" and the second is, "SO whats the chick situation on the road like?". I'll start with the fist question. When it comes to gear, I'm changing all the time. The guitar player's lament, is that it can always be better. My setup has been pretty similar for the entire year. Thats been rare. When I started playing I bought every pedal and traveled with a 4 foot pedal board that had delays, flangers, tremolos, you name it. I also mainly did a les paul standard. Eventually I got into the tele scene got a smaller amp and turned into a country picker. Now, I dont know what the hell I'm doing. I think I'm just rolling with it. Gone are the superfluous stomp boxes and rack of four teles that make the exact same sound, and in are just a couple of old faithfuls. This big red Gibson 355 is blowing my mind every night and is a joy to play, and the Black Les paul custom just always looks cool. I can really just travel with those two guitars and be happy. I've got about 5 pedals or so, and really the only ones that matter are a reel echo and the gospel bomb by this dude Hudson electronics. Thats the rangemaster clone I was telling y'all about. A couple of fuzzes are mixed in to get really nasty at the end of a set, but I dont use fuzz as much as people think. When I'm asked about the fuzz tone I was getting on stage, I dont have the heart to tell people that my amp is just really really really really loud and I use that treble booster. So there you have it, get a great guitar, play your amp loud, get a treble booster and an echo and thats what I sound like.

And with regards to that second question, I'd like to say "None of your fucking business!" nah, that sounds mean. Look, chicks are great, I love em. But come on, why does anybody care? If you must know, I went on an actual date the other day that was quite lovely. I've never been on an actual date with a chick I met in a town randomly like that. Nice meal, walk in the park, and a hope to see you soon. So there you have it, it aint really like rock of love, and I'm certainly no God damn Bret Michaels. Hope that doesnt let you down anonymous sleazy dude.

These pics are from Sarah Maspero at the Canal Room in NYC. thanks Sarah

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Morning Jacket are Robots!

So we did a gig with my morning jacket at Terminal 5. What can I say about MMJ that hasn't been said already? Lets see, here goes, "My Morning Jacket are actually Robots!". Alright alright, thats not really true. I just figured nobodys said that already. When we rolled into the venue, the jacket was rehearsing the album "At Dawn". they would play it in its entirety that night. This was my first time seeing the jacket live. It was ridiculously good. My sister in law lost her mind at the show. She looked over at me and said "Im not intoxicated one bit, and I am getting this on a level that no one else is right now". I took her car keys just in case. Jim James' voice has been known to mesmerize audiences. I guess it works. Their guitarist carl has some great gear. He's a total les paul dude.

Then theres Papa Dynamite on the drums. Mister Patrick freakin Hallahan. My favorite drummer, check that, my favorite person ever! Sorry mom, he's that nice. The crew was very positive and we played our set to what seemed like a million people. I guess it was really several thousand, but whats the difference. Thier set killed. Check out this review from Brooklyn Vegan. thanks Jacket dudes.

Dante Takes Manhattan

so this current tour has been quite the challenge. Believe it or not there is a limit to how much fun you can have. I'm in the back of van somewhere in central Pennsylvania and I'm sick as a dog. Could it be allergies, maybe a cold, you know the weather is turning. My money is on that I have been up for about 8 days laughing my ass off and drinking obscene amounts of everything.

Rolled into New York with the Hacienda dudes at about 2 in the morning on Oct 18th. Frank and I made a b-line for the city and never looked back. As I mentioned before. There was quite the gang from South Texas that made the trip to the big apple. I've done the New York run now about a dozen times, so I thought I'd hand out some pointers on how to do Manhattan correctly (or incorrectly, depending on your threshold for hi jinx).

New Yorkers get a bad rap for being cold. Heres how to warm them up. Dont stay across the bridge in Jersey. The commute will wreck you. We found a friend with a place in the city and that saved the day. First things first, have a mexican girl wearing sunglasses with you at all times, even if your indoors. People are a lot nicer to you if a chick is by your side. Second, never make plans. You'll break em everytime. Cabs take long, the subway has a wait. Your gonna be late, once you've accepted tardiness as a way of life, just pop into a bar and have a beer about it. If you're in a band do not pander to the audience. They dont like you anyway. Most of them are just there to be cool and talk shit to their friends. Saying shit like, "Go Yankees!" never friggin works. Play your tunes, shut the fuck up, and get the fuck out. They'll respect you for it. Last, the city is crawling with girls, so stay away from hookers. There mostly dudes, anyway, and remember, if you brought that mexican girl with you, chicks will dig you more. Other than that, bars close at 4, get a hot dog from Criff Dog's in the village, and when shady characters say "hey man, can I ask you something" at about 4:30am just keep walking. Do central park, but please dont bring a guitar and you'll do fine. It aint exactly how the muppets did it, but it worked for me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Hangover

So I'm in Cleveland right now, and I have the night off. I am so hungover, I can't even enjoy the jersey shore finale. Its a drag. Not hungover from booze, just New York hungover. I love that city, I do, but its exhausting. I had about 12 people from south texas make the trip to New York for the My Morning Jacket/Hacienda show. I am compiling all the details and I am going to explain it all soon. But sleep is a must, cause that city sure doesnt let you. Here's a preview clip.

and in the "out of left field" department, I thought I'd share a family fun fact. I did this interview the other day, and one question that is pretty frequent is: "You are related to the guys in Hacienda, is your whole family musical?" I usually answer no. Yeah, the Hacienda dudes are brothers, and I'm their cousin, but other than that, I thought that was it. Until...

You see, I forgot that on my fathers side (opposite from the Hacienda dudes) there is a celebrity musician. I forgot cause I've only met them once. They live in Mexico City, but my Father's first cousin is a Mexican pop star. This is his band. They've actually sold millions of records, and when I went down there for a wedding, there were some poparazzi style phtographers hanging arund trying to catch this dude. Weird, right. The band is called Onda Vaselina, and the dude is Oscar Schwebel. He's the one in the middle with the goatee, and I think he's married to one of the girls. Not sure though. They are a pop group with guys and girls that sing and dance. These chicks are pretty hot. Its probably similar to mickey mouse club or something. I 'm gonna see if we can arrange some sort of intro. So sorry Oscar, this is my attempt to set that straight. Check out this clip of some song that was huge when I was in high school. So strange!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Keepin it Beard

so we spent last night in Little Rock, Arkansas. Its very important that I provide this disclaimer - "Not everyone in Little Rock Arkansas is a meth-head". There I said it. Now that being said. The people in rooms 210 and 208 last night were. We happened to be in room 209. On my way to New York with the Hacienda dudes and we stop for the night at whatever anonymous hotel William Shatner and his priceline Big deal buddy have hooked us up with. Shatner, my friend, I love you, but you fucked me last night.

The hotel was connected to a strip club. At first, you think, "thats cool". But at 4:30 in the morning, the bass line to "Pour Some Sugar on Me" tears your soul out. We were greeted at 8 in the morning by our neighboring meth-heads hanging out in the hall blasting the band offspring from a boombox. Abe called the front desk to complain, and damn! You would've thought that we stole their stash. These dudes were tweakin. They began banging on the walls and general intimidation. When they saw a couple of bearded assholes and Frank Weysos (Filmographer) walk out, they began to play it a lot cooler. They just stood at the tailgate of they're pickup waiving a butterfly knife. At this point of the story, I wish I was embellishing, but they actually sat there waiving a friggin BUTTERFLY KNIFE. We jumped in the van and got the shit out of Little Rock.

The beards a tough look. I was gonna shave the other day, but I think it makes anybody look harder than they really are. (Michael Jackson excluded) The beard may have saved our lives. Had we walked out looking looking pretty, we wouldv'e been in some serious trouble. Truth is, I really just wanted to look like Steve Cropper. Heres a clip of Cropper with Booker T and the Mgs that changed my life. Cropper and a rosewood telecaster, "are you kidding". Nobody would mess with that dude. Thats why I got one of those guitars. Sometimes, someone will tell me, "Dude, you kind of look like a young Steve Copper". I play it cool, and say "Wow, really, sure dude". But inside, I was going for it all along.

So were almost in New York. Me and Frank kicked it off classy with a chug, and we'll see you Yankees this week.

Dont do Drugs, kids!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

AC HELL Festival

So its been one of strangest weekends I've ever had. You see, hacienda had a two week vacation, and I visited ACL Festival. Normally I can still function after a rough weekend. But this one left me bruised and battered. I've been peicing stuff together and here's what I've come up with.

So we played Antone's with Black Joe Lewis in Austin. It was supposed to be an ACL preshow. Kind of odd, seeing as how niether band was actually playing the festival. The show was fun just like any other, except, wouldnt you know Dan Auerbach was in attentance that night. I was righting out the setlist and as he peeked over, I said "And I guess we'll close with Hidden Charms (a song by Link Wray that we always closed the show with on our tour together)." Without skipping a beat Dan replied, "I'm in! What key is it?" So we power throught the set and call Dan up for the last song. I handed him a les paul and cable and plugged into the other channel of my ac30. Dan says on the mike, "I've never shared an amp with another man before". Off we went. Great performance of the tune, and sure enough by the end we had successfully blown this amp up. I dont recommend two loud as shit guitar players sharing an amp. Its dangerous.

Next was the festival, saw SOL faves Those Darlins as well as a ripper Black Keys set. Saw a little bit of Soft Pack. It was hot, it was crowded, and I was tired so, I bounced and crawled into a bar on fourth instead.

Saturday followed my Darlin friends to their show in Laredo where, I hate to say it but everyone over serves alcohol to the bands. The shots dont stop coming to the stage until the music stops. These girls were ripped up. Fun show, but damn if these girls could barely stand by the end of the set.

Anyway, by the end of the weekend I was burned out, I had a couple of close phisical encounters with assholes and was ready to be home. In fact theres one dude that I hope he reads this, cause if I see him again, I promise all of you and him that I will kick his ass. No shit, thats a promise. Not the best weekend, but I plan to make up for it in New York next week.

So to recap.

- The singer of Soft Pack is a good dude. I really like the song Extinction.
- Dan Auerbach and me sharing an amp will destroy it every time.
- If your in a band make sure you have a good meal before you play Laredo. They will try to get you drunk.

So in the best news ever department. Hacienda is going to tour the West coast with The Greenhornes from Cincinnati. I couldnt be more excited about this tour as this is the best friggin band playing right now, period.

Here are the dates

12/5/10 The Casbah – San Diego, CA

12/6/10 The Troubador – Los Angeles, CA

12/8/10 The Independant – San Francisco, CA

12/10/10 Berbati’s Pan – Portland OR

12/11/10 Crocodile Cafe – Seattle, WA

12/12/10 Media Club – Vancouver, BC

get tickets quick cause they'll sell out.