Hey gang. We are back home now after a very magical and memorable weekend in Florida at the Tampa AM skateboarding extravaganza, but more about that later. The previous weekend was yet more magical, as we made our first visit to Ireland and took in its many charms. We got to ride a boat as a band for the first time, most certainly a great rite of passage (literally). We had our spirits stirred by news of one of Ireland's largest ever demonstrations, where some 50,000 citizens took to the streets to demand more equitable treatment from their government, or so I understood it. We emerged from the musty heat emanating off of the rowdy and lovely Dublin audience to the bitter cold of that city's lowest recorded temperatures ever, a triumph of Old Man Winter punctuated with a heavy snowfall just as we had to make our departure from the club. Wild stuff. A scenic drive through the majestic Irish landscape followed the next day, as we journeyed to Cork. Still more warm friendship and generosity to be found there. The less said about our arduous journey back to America the better, but certainly a memorable experience, to visit the land of mine and Dave's ancestors, and a place whose musical spirit has been a constant source of inspiration.
Speaking of beloved music from Ireland, we are thrilled beyond words to reveal that in March of the New Year, we will embark on a short tour supporting The Pogues, culminating in a St. Patrick's Day concert in NYC. Wow, what to say about an impending honor such as this? I have read a lot in the papers that Titus Andronicus might very possibly get many of their ideas from the Pogues, and their is no denying a certain truth to these allegations. So yeah - pretty fucking psyched about that! The dates are these:
3/3/2011 - Chicago, IL - Congress Theatre
3/4/2011 - Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Theatre
3/7/2011 - Baltimore, MD - Ram's Head
3/8/2011 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
3/11/2011 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
3/12/2011 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
3/15/2011 - New York City, NY - Terminal 5
3/17/2011 - New York City, NY - Terminal 5
Yes, very exciting prospect indeed. Why not join me in my excitement about this seminal band and check them out in the below video, playing "I Fought the Law" with yr boy Joe Strummer. Neat!
It is convenient for me that March 10th happened to be a day off on this schedule, for that night, a band calling itself 'Crass' is going to be having a concert at Santo's Party House. Further research has shown that while Steve Ignorant is the singer of this band and they do play Crass songs, the other four members weren't members of 'Crass' as such from 1977-1984, the time period which is the focus of the current group's repertoire. Is this going to be good? Probably! I mean, come on. The music of Crass is no artifact, not something to gather dust in some stuffy punk museum - we should all get together and enjoy it and listen to this guy sing it! Right? At the same time, Crass always had kind of a "fuck-the-past" sort of attitude, which may have been a big part of what made them great - can a version of the band looking to the past have the same effect? Or does the appearance of a band like this really demand that we take pains to contextualize it, or is it possible for us to accept the performance on its own merits, as songs about human issues being sung in an effort to increase critical thinking? Or are we so jaded by this point that any sort of revisiting (or revising?) history tour that we have to dismiss it outright as just another 'crass' [tee hee] capitalist money-grab?' Is that something that somebody like Steve Ignorant would do? Would that take away from the power of Crass' songbook if it was? I dunno, lots of questions, not a lot of answers. All will be revealed though, and I am pumped.
Speaking of bands that have returned after long hiatuses (hiati?), one of the most magical elements of our Florida getaway was the presence of the seminal indie rockers Superchunk, with whom we played, along with Florida punks New Bruises, at a place called Czar Ybor. These folks really knew how to kick ass, and we were fortunate to get to hang out with them a little bit and food them a quite good-hearted and amicable sort. Another band that I was thinking about this weekend was the Hold Steady, who, as you may know, set a lot of their greatest songs in Ybor City, which appeared to us this weekend as sort of a Florida version of the Jersey Shore, a true party paradise. Anyway, with all these thoughts swimming around, upon arriving back home, I spent yesterday afternoon recording this song, a cover of a Hold Steady song in the style of Superchunk. Sounds sensible, no? This particular song is called 'Crucifixion Cruise,' from their 2005 album Separation Sunday. I know that this is the internet and you guys like up-to-the-minute content, so please enjoy.
Speaking of people whose integrity was apparent, at the skate contest, a group called Girls Riders Organization had a table at the event, and were hard to work trying to make the skateboarding world a more inclusive place, besides providing resources for some fun arts and crafts. Perhaps you could look at their website, GirlRiders.org, to learn more, if you are so inclined.
Okay, I guess that is all for just now. We shall have some more announcements soon, about shows and stuff, and there are plenty of others things to discuss too. Until then!