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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Look Mexico vs. Disney World




Okay okay okay!

We’ve been back from tour for a few days, but here’s the highlights!!!

Our show in Lawrence, Kansas was the freakin’ bomb! The Replay Lounge again handed us out our most attractive paycheck of the entire tour, and it’s always a pleasure to play that place.

The next day we drove to Dallas. The show at The Door was pretty righteous. A solid showing of folks there to see us, and we rocked it real hard. I had a drum riser for my drums, which is always kind of embarrassing. I got to see my good friend Jules, who is an amazing filmmaker. Other than that- Matt went down the street and heard a real amazing band that was playing a city festival there. (Sarcasm). They had a song called Tel Aviv in which they shouted Tel Aviv over and over. (Also sarcasm).

After that we drove the crap home! In the middle of the night we found some amazing vegetable oil behind a Chinese buffet that lasted us the rest of the way to Tallahassee.

The tour all in all was a success. We came back with a little green, some amazing stories to tell, and energized and eager to get to tracking this new record. We were so stoked to see our crowd sizes steadily grow from our last treks across the states. And even more encouraging, we played with a number of bands out there that told us that we were one of their favorite bands and biggest influences. That’s a real amazing thing, and it always gets us buzzing to hear stuff like that. A huge thank you to everyone who came out to these past shows, and thanks for bringing friends too. It was one of our most comfortable tours yet.

A few days after our return we headed down to Full Sail (an arts school in Orlando, Florida) at which we spent three days tracking four of our songs with four separate recording classes. The sessions went very quickly, but we laid down real solid demos of three of our new songs, and a new version of “I Like Being a Millionaire, You Will Too Believe Me.” You can expect to hear those demos in a live stream some time in the next couple of weeks on Punknews.com and the new version of Millionaire should be uploaded to our myspace. It promises to be a bit more, how should we say… balls out.

On a day off from recording, our main man Ian got us passes to go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios) through his mother that works at the Disney Parks. A big thank you to the Kutch family for letting us sleep at their place, and getting us those tickets. Also thanks to Slate and Smith’s long time friend Navid, for letting us crash at his place and making us some of the best popcorn we’ve ever had.


We had a real awesome time at Disney. I think all of us have real fond childhood memories of the spot. To mark the occasion, Ian bought us a round of beers inside the park. It was kind of surreal. We saw the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, went on Star Tours (the Star Wars ride), Tower of Terror, and Muppets 3D which is still hilarious after all these years. Dave was real scared on Tower of Terror- even though he likes to think he wasn’t. I put together this little video of our time there. Ian took all the video with his digital camera. Disney World RULZ! Thanks Mama Kutch!!



We came back to Tallahassee and had a few practices where we locked down a fresh new track that will appear on this new record. We also started work on the infamous song two- and may have cracked the case as to why that song was giving us such trouble. (We just needed to speed it the crap up and make it ROCK AND ROLLLLLLLL!) Thankfully enough- our frustration with song two has acted as the catalyst for a number of other songs we’ve written thus far for the new record.

After about a week back, we made our way back down Florida for a show at the University Of Florida Campus in Gainesville. We’re all FSU alums- man did we have them fooled- I’ll punch a gator right in his brain.



It was an awesome show in their outdoor amphitheater. We did feel a bit bad though- the UF students had to set up a huge lighting rig for our show. It was a bit immodest for our tastes, and it weighed on our collective conscience since those dudes had to spend their night setting up and striking lights and sound equipment (sans pay I am sure). The show was nonetheless a bad A success, and we felt for once that we could rock a bigger area with no problems.

That night we made our way over to The Top and The Atlantic where our buddy Cam (No Idea/ Southern Lovin’) let us in the show FO FREE!!! Playing were Anchor Arms, Gatorface, and a few other bad-A bands. Gatorface’s drummer, Richard, used to play for the band New Mexican Disaster Squad, and is also known under the penname Horsebites. If you’re not familiar with him, he does amazing design stuff, and it was my first time meeting the design juggernaut. He’s a real awesome dude. We also hung with our good bro Tony from No Idea Records, where we locked down our spot at this year’s The Fest, and I will again be designing a t-shirt. After the show (again with Ian Kutch and now accompanied by his brother Paul), we partied hard, as per usual when we make our way through Gainesville.

The next day we spent about five hours in a Tire Kingdom getting some simple maintenance done on our bus. After that we made our way down to Tampa for our show at The Crowbar. The show went real well. And it felt good when the crowd that for the most of the night had been clinging to the walls, made their way forward to get close and comfortable to us. We played with our long time buddies In Passing, to whom we owe a great deal to for getting folks out to our early shows in the Tampa and Brandon areas. We also played with this real awesome band from the area called Anthony and the Grapes. Solid musicians writing solid music. Hope to play with those guys again soon. We drove all night back and arrived around eight the next morning.

Dave, Matt, Smith and Slate returned to their glamorous restaurant jobs. Here you can see some little characters Matt fashioned with a coworker on a particularly "busy" night.



I head out to L.A. this week to get some work done with a friend, and when I return we’re going to start laying down the drum tracks for the first five songs for our upcoming record. We’re freakin’ stoked! We have all of May, June and July basically off , but might take a little run through Florida some time in June/ July and a Tallahassee show there in the mix too. Our main man Phil Martin is giving up any partying until this baby gets done, and our good buddy Auggie (ex One Small Step For Landmines drummer) is going to be drum teching on the record. (The same production team behind Gasp Asp).


In other news:

I ordered a new drumset from C&C drums. They make amazing kits. It’s going to be turquoise sparkle. I am so pumped about it, I could punch a whole bunch of idiots in the face. Sadly- it won’t be done for a few weeks, so it may not appear on the next record.

I have a play I wrote going up in Amherst, VA this July at Sweetbriar College with Endstation Theater Company (www.endstationtheatre.org) It’s called My Brother’s Knife and it’s about an old rock and roller whose suicide attempt is thwarted by a loose cannon cop that forces the suicider to start a rock and roll band with him. It should be awesome. If you’re in the area- hit me up, and I’ll get you tix.


All right, dudes. Thanks for reading. More soon.
+joshua

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Look Mexico vs. Frank Turner



Wassssuuuuup? Here’s a video of some of our time in California and a look at our studio session for Lujo’s Choose Your Own Holiday comp- for which we recorded Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman.”

We played Thee Parkside in San Francisco. It’s one of our favorite places to play. Always a good crowd, super professional staff, and killer sound. My childhood friend Tony showed up, as well as our friends from Tallahassee Kenneth, Dave Geis, the Say It Twice boys John and Matt and friends. It was our last show of the tour with Steve Soto and the Twisted Hearts, and we bid them farewell and thanked them for an insight at true musical professionalism. In our few conversations with them they unloaded a wealth of knowledge and insight of being self-sustaining musicians.


That night we crashed with a friend of Frank Tuner’s and Ian, Matt, Smith, and I slept on the bus, tired enough to make it quite comfortable. We woke in the morning, found some coffee and began the long haul to Portland, now with our British tour buddy Frank Tuner riding along. From our few days out west last summer with Frank, we knew we’d like him, but the coming days with Frank riding along would only fan the fire of our infatuation with that “chap”. Highlights: we talked about important things with Frank like Dame Judi Dench, how sad he was when his British mate The Crocodile Hunter took that sting ray barb to the heart, British Office vs. American Office, why British people call fries chips and chips crisps, the amazing British cartoon character Rocko from Rocko’s Modern Life, popular British idiom like “jog on” and “quit bitchin’ my shit” among a slue of fun cross cultural topics. Needless to say, we are deftly keen to all things British. Thanks, Frank Turner.


We made it to Portland in the early hours of the morning and holed up with our friend Jordan. We made quick work of making his nice new pad smell like bum pants. Our buddy Jordan is one of those rare souls who open their doors completely and whole-heartedly to us every time we cross paths, and we are lucky to know him.

After about three hours of sleep we headed over to the Wieden + Kennedy advertising headquarters for a radio interview set up by my Florida State friend Simone (who is now interning at the advertising juggernaut’s headquarters). That gal is going places. The interview went very well, and you’ll be able to hear it online here.

That night we played a killer coffee house/ venue called The Backspace. They treated us very well and the show was awesome. Lots of attentive applauding folks. Frank closed out the night with a killer set, and was accompanied by our very own David Pinkham who played a ripping harmonica solo on one of Frank’s new songs.

Later that night Jordan and Ian treated us to a wild go at Portland’s night life. We will leave it at that. Ian caught a cab to the airport around six A.M. for his return flight to Orlando after three months in the northwest. Sad to see him go, but so nice to see him walk away. Not sure if that applies…


After about another three hours of sleep, we woke up again very early to make our move to Nampa, Idaho. We spent all day in the van, and arrived to The Flying M a bit late. Our performance wore our tired van suffocated personalities like campfire smoke in a sweater. After the show, we took our time loading out, desperate to not get back into the cave of our bus to again hit the road. The venue again treated us very well, and I recommend stopping through if your tour needs a stop in Idaho.


We drove all night to Salt Lake City and again arrived, in the words of the great Bob Segar, strung out from the road. Somewhere between 5 and 6 a.m. with Smith at the wheel, we were caught in a nasty snow storm that took our road visibility to about zero. One cavalier truck driver tried his luck, and we later saw him t-boned on the side of the road. We had a quick interview at the Weber University radio station with our new buddies Matt and Shay, at which our Slate and Matt plucked out acoustic versions of “You Ever Been…” and “You’re not Afraid…” I played the knee slap and the scotch tape holder.

We played our first show of two a few hours later to a mild but attentive crowd, and had a solid show. Following that show we rode over to our second show at a bar down the road. And there in the crowd of about fifteen, four of which were the other band, four of which had seen us earlier that day, and the rest could care less if a band was playing or not, we were struck with the stinging backhand of hubris. With no real local support, beers that only pack a punch of at most 3.0% alcohol (due to Salt Lake legislation), and the realization that Salt Lake is not a town anyone should try and play two shows in one night at, we packed up our stuff and checked into a motel down the way, much more bloated than drunk from the six pitchers of water-beer the bar offered us as consolation prize. High point- we got to play with the tight band Shark Speed.

The next morning, we helped ourselves to Super 8’s continental breakfast and hit the road again for another blistering drive. At this point we’re so excited about making it home. The routing and time frame for this tour has been disastrous, and if we weren’t running veggie oil, we’d be coming home in the red. But thankfully we like each other enough, the shows have been encouragingly attended, and our shuttle bus is supremely comfortable.



Shortly after we arrived in Denver, we stopped off at our friend Virgil’s place, the Vinyl Collective/ Suburban Home headquarters. It was our first time at the spot, and Virgil snapped a photo of us with our favorite records he carries. The spot is staffed by an awesome group of folks, and Virgil is yet again another one of those dudes we are lucky to know.

The show in Denver at The Marquee Theater went very well. We were treated exceptionally well with drink tickets, food vouchers, a green room, an amazing guarantee, and a real healthy welcoming crowd. We played one of the most energetic rocking sets of the entire tour, and I broke a cymbal. Sometimes things like that can quickly be under-rug-swept in the face of an amazing show, and so it was.

Here are a couple vids Virgil took!



It was our last show with Frank Turner, and we stood front and center singing at the lengths of our breath to all the words we learned and a few we didn’t. Dave again played a ripping harmonica solo, and Frank finished to very pleased audience. Denver rocks. After a few hugs goodbye, Frank, that amazingly hard working Brit, was again out of our lives. Ah, what a dude. Hopefully we will make it to his side of the pond later this year. More on that to come post recording our next record.

Dave has a number of family members that live in Denver, and so we stayed with his warmly welcoming Aunt and Uncle. We shared a Jameson whiskey and ran each other through our favorite youtube videos. Patrick Stewart on Extras, David Goes to Dentist, The amazing rock band from Fort Worth Texas Complete, and Dave’s uncle- a long time musician- delivered a special gem of youtube hilarity in the video “Korean Drummer Steals the Show.”



With a big thanks to Dave’s aunt and uncle, we set sail for Lawrence, Kansas for our show at the replay lounge.

In other Look Mexico news- our best friends Fake Problems are about to embark on a supporting tour with The Riverboat Gamblers. And recently confirmed our other best bros Bear Colony just picked up a string of dates with mewithoutYou and The Dear Hunter. Two amazing tours, and plenty of opportunity to catch some great music near you.

Thanks so much for reading. More soon!
+ joshua

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Look Mexico vs. The Road Again

Back on the road! We made it out of Austin catatonically tired from the three full days of partying, and headed deep into the long stretch across west Texas. If you’ve never had the displeasure of taking the trek across that part of the state, it is safe to say it’s one of the straightest most boring drives one could subject themselves to.


We rolled into Phoenix for our show at Chyro arts. It was probably the worst shows of the tour thus far, and to follow at the heels of such an awesome SXSW weekend, it was straight up saddening. When you’ve been a band for four plus years and have seen your audiences steadily grow- to be suddenly faced with a sparse attendance of around 13, it’s a bit hard to take. Our good friend Tracy showed, and it’s always nice to see that bro. He’s sports one of the few Look Mexico tattoos out there so far. And one of my best friends Clint, with whom I played in Kids Like Us with, and who now is studying entomology at The University of Arizona, also was in attendance. We stayed the night at Clint’s- which was pleasingly uneventful in comparison to our first visit with him at which we battled a black widow spider and a scorpion that we found in Clint’s yard. The black widow won. Insects are freaking awesome. Clint is freaking awesome. The next morning we picked some oranges from a tree in his yard. They were delicious.



Our next stop was San Diego. We rolled in very late (due to a few curvy mountain passes) to the show and ran one of the quickest set up, play, take down cadences we’ve ever run. We played a solid show to a very attentive crowd. We were again floored by the musicianship of Steve Soto’s backing band the Twisted Hearts and the bitingly witty lyrical stylings of Frank Turner.

The venue, The Flying Elephant, which is owned by a member of Flogging Molly treated us very well, and the folks there were freaking awesome. We also met up with our main man Ian who had just finished a job working as a marine fisheries observer on a crab boat out of Dutch Harbor Alaska. Ian is one of our dearest friends from Tallahassee. Matt crashed in his bed for a few months when he was between homes. He is the most solid of scoots. He took this amazing picture at sea that I’m trying to convince him to enter into photo contests.



That night we rode up to L.A. buzzing from the show and excited to have Ian riding with us to Portland. We crashed the night at another one of my best friend’s, Travis’, place. Travis handled the animation on our “You Come Into My House While I Sleep?” video as well as cam-opping for our “Guys I Need a Helicopter” video. He’s one of my favorite people to work with professionally, and I think he will be a lifelong collaborator.

The next day we woke, saw some sights around L.A. including the Hustler building which features a towering bronze statue of John Wayne at its entrance, simply epic. Then we made our way to the show at the infamous Viper Room. The place was packed, and we had a guest list of over twenty folks. A few record label dudes, and a whole butt load of my friends from Florida State. Most of the folks I had met through the school of theater and film schools at FSU. We played a real fine set, not perfect, but a very solid show under the given stressful circumstances. We had all intentions of making it to the Cha Cha Lounge in Silver Lake for the after party, but I got caught up handling money stuff and had to turn our bus into in ipso facto party lounge, booze supplied by Trader Joes and their amazingly economically baffling two dollar bottles of wine; the “two buck chuck”. For the record, Jenn Oakley, Ben Hayes, and anyone else who went to the Cha Cha that night- I am so sorry we didn’t show. The night wailed on as Travis, Ian, and the Look Mexi-bros did it up L.A. style. Needless to say, we were wrecked when we woke in the morning to begin our trek to San Jose. We always have an epic time in Los Angeles. Oh L.A., like the statues of a cinema hero sbronzed outside the megaplex of pornography, you are a veritable buffet of unabashed decadence and American splendor.

It’s always a bittersweet thing to leave L.A. On the one hand it is the epicenter of entertainment brimming with some of my favorite friends I’ve ever known, but on the other hand- it’s one of those cities that fall in the ranks of places we could never live because we would get absolutely nothing accomplished.

After a deathly tedious drive up California’s torso, and a short stop for a bit of strength training, we arrived in San Jose for our show.

It was all right, but not a whole lot to speak of other than our label heads, and dear friends, Erik and Jocelyn showed up with Jocelyn’s amazing folks with whom we crashed the night in the most comfortable digs we have had all tour.


The next day we woke up early and headed over to a close studio Erik had contacted to record a rendition of Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” for Lujo’s annual holiday compilation. It was a long day in the studio, but we had a killer session, and think the track will make a real fine addition to the compilation that will hit shelves later this summer. Ian, Smith, and I took advantage of the bay scenery, taking a nice jog around the surrounding lake and bay area. Real beautiful. Special thanks to Erik and Jocelyn for buying me some killer comic books (for research of course), stuffing our bellies, and Jocelyn’s parents for housing us an treating us so well. Jocelyn took some photos of the recording session and us getting some oil. You can see those here!

In other Look Mexico news- the second edition of the blog I wrote about our veggie van is up at inconvenientyouth.org – check it out!

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading, dudes! More to come.
+joshua