New York, Ethan Hawke, & Seven Crooks

Within our ten hour visit to New York, we almost hit a famous celebrity, played two shows, witnessed a topless “working woman” on the street, and ate a slice of famous New York pizza…twice.

On our drive into The Big Apple we quickly realized how difficult and expensive it actually is to drive a twelve-passenger van and trailer into the city.  After maneuvering through traffic and almost getting assaulted by a smug, aggressive New York driver we had finally made it to the Holland Tunnel.  After twenty minutes of waiting in line, we had finally reached the teller.  “You can’t bring that trailer through here,” she said.  Well, @#$%…now what.  She contacted a large, tattooed NY Policeman who rerouted us to find the Lincoln Tunnel; apparently this tunnel accepts vans with trailers.

After finally making our way into the city we now had to deal with the traffic that comes along with it.  Both of our gigs were in Greenwich Village, where finding a decent parking spot in the proximity of the venue was a challenge.  Keeping our eyes peeled for civilians stepping out in front of us, we had a standoff with a jogger.  Cody braked, then gassed, then braked again.  The polite jogger gave us a smile and wave and motioned for us to ‘go ahead.’  “Dude, it’s Christian Slater!” Cody said, as we drove past him.  “No, that’s Ethan Hawke!”  No joke, we actually had a run in with the actor Ethan Hawke while he was out for a jog!  Wow!  If you’re not familiar with Mr. Hawke he has starred in such films as: Dead Poets Society, White Fang, Hamlet, and Training Day.

After finding our way around the busy metropolis we pulled up to our first venue.  Kenny’s Castaways is a unique venue with a bar that has been there since 1962.  We played a fun set with several attentive listeners.  The gig was a music Showcase put on by a company called Music Gorilla and had an A&R Representative from Columbia Records in attendance.  After playing, we quickly wrapped up our gear to get to the next gig.  The heat was on!  Because our van was parked in such a convenient location, our friends Lawrence and Alexia, who also happen to be the owners of Music Gorilla, offered their vehicle for us to use.   So, Cody and Eric drove our gear, Greg, Aaron, and Chris flagged a cab, while Joe and I had a brisk ten block walk.  We made it right on time.

The next gig: The National Underground at 10pm.  Unfortunately, we could barely hear anything on stage.  Regardless of this misfortune, we still played our hearts out.  We even had a friend in the audience from Wenatchee, WA.  Great seeing you Ali!

Of course we finished the night off with some NYC pizza slices before getting on the road to our hotel across the water in Jersey.  What a night!

Next stop: Washington D.C. @ Bloombars

-Ty

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New York, Ethan Hawke, & Seven Crooks

Within our ten hour visit to New York, we almost hit a famous celebrity, played two shows, witnessed a topless “working woman” on the street, and ate a slice of famous New York pizza…twice.

On our drive into The Big Apple we quickly realized how difficult and expensive it actually is to drive a twelve-passenger van and trailer into the city.  After maneuvering through traffic and almost getting assaulted by a smug, aggressive New York driver we had finally made it to the Holland Tunnel.  After twenty minutes of waiting in line, we had finally reached the teller.  “You can’t bring that trailer through here,” she said.  Well, @#$%…now what.  She contacted a large, tattooed NY Policeman who rerouted us to find the Lincoln Tunnel; apparently this tunnel accepts vans with trailers.

After finally making our way into the city we now had to deal with the traffic that comes along with it.  Both of our gigs were in Greenwich Village, where finding a decent parking spot in the proximity of the venue was a challenge.  Keeping our eyes peeled for civilians stepping out in front of us, we had a standoff with a jogger.  Cody braked, then gassed, then braked again.  The polite jogger gave us a smile and wave and motioned for us to ‘go ahead.’  “Dude, it’s Christian Slater!” Cody said, as we drove past him.  “No, that’s Ethan Hawke!”  No joke, we actually had a run in with the actor Ethan Hawke while he was out for a jog!  Wow!  If you’re not familiar with Mr. Hawke he has starred in such films as: Dead Poets Society, White Fang, Hamlet, and Training Day.

After finding our way around the busy metropolis we pulled up to our first venue.  Kenny’s Castaways is a unique venue with a bar that has been there since 1962.  We played a fun set with several attentive listeners.  The gig was a music Showcase put on by a company called Music Gorilla and had an A&R Representative from Columbia Records in attendance.  After playing, we quickly wrapped up our gear to get to the next gig.  The heat was on!  Because our van was parked in such a convenient location, our friends Lawrence and Alexia, who also happen to be the owners of Music Gorilla, offered their vehicle for us to use.   So, Cody and Eric drove our gear, Greg, Aaron, and Chris flagged a cab, while Joe and I had a brisk ten block walk.  We made it right on time.

The next gig: The National Underground at 10pm.  Unfortunately, we could barely hear anything on stage.  Regardless of this misfortune, we still played our hearts out.  We even had a friend in the audience from Wenatchee, WA.  Great seeing you Ali!

Of course we finished the night off with some NYC pizza slices before getting on the road to our hotel across the water in Jersey.  What a night!

Next stop: Washington D.C. @ Bloombars

-Ty

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Dela Where? Newark…that’s where.

After pulling out of North Carolina on Tuesday we made our way north toward Virginia.  One of the advantages of being in a seven piece band is the collective network between all of us.  A lot of times, no matter what city we are playing in one of us either knows someone, or knows someone who knows someone, who will be attending our show.  This also reigns true in terms of lodging.  So far, we have been very fortunate to have such a large network of friends and family who are able and willing to house seven full grown, stinky men.  We had arranged a visit to stay with a good friend of Eric’s mom, MaryLynn and her ultra-scholar husband, Mehdi.  On our seven hour drive up to Lorton, Virginia we had to make a pit stop so Chris could get his fill at Hardee’s; a sister of Carl’s Jr.  He was thoroughly and beefily  satisfied.  Upon our arrival we were greeted with smiles, hugs and a large home-cooked meal that we’d been longing for.  Our stay was outstanding!  Can’t wait to see you on Sunday when we play in D.C.

The next morning we were greeted with a big breakfast and then were off to Newark, Delaware.  The drive couldn’t have gone better.  We were greeted with sunshine and rolling hills of deciduous forests.  It was awesome.  We really hope to return in the fall to see those trees in their autumn colors.

During the drive I had been charging my phone in the front of the van.  Upon our arrival I unplugged it only to find six missed calls from my fiance’, Mo and her mother.  “Holy %^&! I hope everything’s alright!”  I called the both of them back only to find out that Mo’s half brother lives in Newark!  I couldn’t believe it.  Carlos and his wife Amy even invited the band to crash at their house for the night…a big expense-saver for us!  The early evening was going great.  They took me out to dinner and I was able to get to know them better.  The night couldn’t have been going better until I found out that Mo’s other brother Danny and his wife Karice were driving up from Baltimore to see the show! Karice is 8 months pregnant, what a trooper! Next time you think you are too tired to come out to a show, think of  Karice!!

So it turns out that Delaware, the first state to ratify the American Constitution, is also one of the first places to visit if you are ever out east.  It’s a beautiful place with intriguing people and copious amounts of diversity. The Crooks will be sad to leave.

Next Show: Mojo 13 Wilmington, Delaware 10 pm Thursday, July 14th

-Ty

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On The Road Again…

Wow!  What a crazy last few days it has been!  I would like to start off by saying thank you for your patience as it has been many moons since my last blog entry.  Cody’s vocals are feeling better and the band, as a whole, is ready for our next chapter on the road!  Let’s go to the East Coast!

Considering the mouthful of memories as well as the 3500 miles we have accumulated on our odometer thus far, I’ll just get us all caught up to where we are now.  And then, I promise to keep the posts rolling in as we roll across the East Coast and beyond.

We started the tour off in Yakima, WA where we played for some old friends at the Yakima Arboretum.  It was an awesome evening and somewhat of a class reunion for a few of us.  The next morning it was up and at ‘em with a drive down to Sun River, Oregon to perform at a wedding.  The wedding performance was unlike any other gig we have done.  Not only were we the main entertainment at the Reception, but Aaron and Greg held down the Processional and Recessional with some easy listening.  I had the pleasure of being the M.C. for the night, announcing the bouquet toss and all of the other traditional events that go along with a great wedding.  What a night!  A special thanks to the Graf family!

We spent the next few days in Montana with a few old friends and good laughs.  Not only were we able to catch an incredible fireworks show at Seeley Lake, we also had the pleasure of trying our luck at wake boarding and surfing…Aaron, you’re a natural…me, not so much.  After making new memories in Montana and meeting new friends, including our new little pal, “John (The Dragon),” a young boy who started the dance party at Seeley Lake, we were off to Indiana.

We spent a few days driving across South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois.  We caught ourselves in one of the biggest thunder and lightning storms a few of us had ever seen, the Hozzington hit it’s first deer (it was only a tap…she’s probably ok…just gave it a little tappy) as well as it’s first few hundred fireflies, and saw more corn fields than…well, we didn’t know that much corn existed in the U.S.

We played in Bloomington, Indiana to a crowd of adoring Hoosiers.  For our first Midwest gig, we wouldn’t trade it for anything.  That night, Eric’s Birthday celebration!  It was awesome.  I was the D.D. and had the pleasure of making sure we all got home safely.  Eric had the pleasure of enjoying himself in a celebration of his 27th year on Earth.  Next stop, ‘Ol Kaintuck!

Lexington and Louisville (pronounced LUH-Vull) was a blast!  It was about 85 degrees with 90% humidity.  The shows went great and the Kentucky Bourbon, even smoother.  Driving through Kentucky is pretty much how I pictured it.  Pristine grass pastures filled with thoroughbred horses surrounded by white fences.  Awesome.

 

Next stop, North Carolina!  We had the pleasure of staying with a friend of Eric’s, Molly.  She gave us the true Southern Hospitality a boy could only dream of.  When we arrived we were greeted with BBQ burgers, fresh goat cheese, and grits…MMM…mmm!  After driving through the Biltmore Estate (the largest home in our country) and attempting to sneak through a field to get a closer look (it’s $50 per person…we’re starving artists) we played at a local brewery.  Great night!

Stay tuned!  More to come…  Up next, we hit Delaware, New York, and New Jersey.

-Ty

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