Victory!  No mishaps of the personal, vehicular, or gear variety.  Just good times with good bands and unbelievable support from our dear friends.  When every night is grand, and feels better than the night before, things are hum-hum-humming.  As a consequence, this post may appear overly enthusiastic, but some times there are highs...

Our friends make amazing music.  Chris Bathgate's set Thursday was among my favorite of the year.  Matt Jones is playing new jams that will kill you harder than the deadly old jams.  Sublunar Minds debuted the streamlined 4-piece line-up with supreme effect.  Small Houses hushed the room in two whispered notes.  The Chimneys absolutely floored me Saturday.  As the Voice of Harold would say, "a must."

New friends Magic Bullets are all dreamy energy and punch, and great folks to boot, despite being devoted SF Giants fans (clutch win, dudes).  Christine Hoberg, Christoper Paul Sterling, and Cheyenne Marie Mize are all so lovely and communicative we're lost in their amber.  How to remain depressive, drunken, outsiders in the face of such welcome company?

Here are the setlists.  Hope we mixed it up enough for those who came night after night.  

a winter's tale

evelyn wears a tiara
we swimmers
ain't no weather fouler
no love
a winter's tale
leaving las vegas, reno, laughlin...
the train, the cross
the last desperate stand of the last fair man

fireworks (never tell)
you left the wrong girl
no love
promises end
asshole brother
the train the cross
the real tina turner

seagulls (no fantasies) (fading bones)
the hardest truth (the failing glow of a gas lamp)
time spent underground
international small arms traffic blues
you left the wrong girl
promises end



We're in NYC this week friends. We're going to see if we can end the broken gear/van/psyche streak. Three chances to visit:

@ BRUAR FALLS w/ Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr, Magic Bullets, Comanche, Chris Bathgate
DBD @ 9

@ Sidewalk Cafe w/ Sublunar Minds, Matt Jones, Chris Bathgate
DBD @ 10

@ Surreal Estate w/ Cheyenne Marie Mize, Christopher Paul Sterling, Chimneys, Christine Hoeberg
DBD @ 9:30

The streak began at CMJ last year - our first NYC show - when Greg's guitar broke, then my guitar broke, then the van broke outside of Punjabi. We still managed to play a song...


Pave Them

Remember when Pavement released Brighten the Corners and they wrote the name so it looked like "Pave them"?  That was clever.  I had originally written an overlong piece about my enduring love for Pavement and the millions of associations it triggers.  Suffice it to say that Pavement is special.  Few other bands can waltz up and down their catalog and keep my ear.

It also probably goes without saying that the so-called slacker mentality is of great import to dbd.  You can only give a fuck about so many things.

I bought tickets for the September 21st show in Central Park over a year before the event, which handily beats my now second-place fanboy purchase - Van Halen at the Los Angeles Forum as a pre-teen.  That was a mere six months.

Anyway, I ditched my friends, inched to about 10th row and sheepishly took a couple of videos - Stereo and Grounded.  If you've read the reports, I concur.  The boys never sounded better...


Can DBD Satiate the Springsteen-starved?

Last weekend I found myself in Lake City, a tiny town in the northern half of Michigan's lower peninsula, for an annual music festival called Harvest Gathering. I was playing as a hired gun for Drunken Barn Dance labelmate Chris Bathgate, and I also was able to turn the tables on DBD bassist Jim Roll by muscling my way into his set and securing my fate as the shittiest bassist of the weekend. As is the case with these festivals, much booze was consumed and booze, as we all know, is a consistent foreshadow of many situations: headaches, vomit, staggering, regret, increased volume of situationally "brilliant" conversation, etc. When hanging out with Matt Jones, which I do regularly both as a friend and as the guitarist in his band, there is always another inevitable side-effect of hitting the bottle: Matt's insatiable desire to rock Springsteen. Matt, our friend Lizzie, and I were sitting in the parking area next to my car when the need for the Boss hit Matt with fervor. We didn't have any Springsteen with us, so we kicked on the car radio and sat in the parking lot while Matt dialed information to get the phone number of the first radio station we landed on.

The DJ, Mike, answered and Matt put him on speaker phone. This is my best recollection of the situation:

Matt Jones: HEY! We want to hear some Bruce!
DJ Mike: Springsteen?
DJM: Well, this is kind of an underground show, we don't have any Springsteen.
MJ: Well, can you at least sing some to me?
DJM: What?
MJ: Sing me some Bruce!…over the phone
DJM [spoken]: …um, it's a death trap. It's a suicide rap…
MJ: Sweet, man. Good job.
DJM: So, do you have any other requests?
MJ: Do you have any Camper Van Beethoven?
DJM: Yeah, I think so…
MJ: Send it out to Matt, Greg and Lizzie!

Matt, Lizzie, and I sat next to the car in the parking lot listening to the station for a few minutes when DJ Mike came on the air and announced, "This one goes out to Matt, Greg and Lizzie. I'm sorry I couldn't find your request, so this one will have to do…"

Wanna guess what DJ Mike played? If you guessed Drunken Barn Dance, you're right. We called the station back immediately to inform DJ Mike that he had just dedicated "Leaving Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin..." to one of the guitarists on the song.


before the damn done burst

... from the grey buried release hometown jam.

leaving las vegas, reno, laughlin...

no love

island fever

There's no elegant way to describe it.  This summer was fucking hot and stupid humid. Brutal heat and air-water that frequently collapsed us onto the nearest stool straining for the nearest beverage.  

The only real cure we found: Tiki.  That's right, Tiki.  Laugh now.  But when it's tropical hell, live tropical well.

My goal this summer was to hit every tiki bar in the five boroughs.  No chance in retrospect, but I hit a bunch.  Sarah sent me this list of NYC tiki past, present, and future.  Best intentions laid a plan for a communal tiki hunt, but like many things, I ended up going it alone.

Otto's Shrunken Head is grim in all the right ways.  From the music to the sticky tables to the inky skin, Ottos has become a staple.  Fair warning, the drinks taste more like fuel than fruit.  And may glow.

The Zombie Hut is completely solid.  Cheap tasty drinks of the frozen and rocks variety and no one messed with me despite crashing a packed private party and occupying pole bar position.  

The Distinguished Wakamba Cocktail Lounge is, in Middlekauf parlance, the Most Disrespectful Wakamba Bullshit.  Don't go.  Not tiki.

The crown jewel of this lot is Painkiller, which owns the inspired slogan: "Manhattan is the greatest island on earth."  This place rules with deadly handcrafted cocktails, including Zombies authentic to the original 1930s Don Beach version.  I witnessed them take down some extremely experienced pals.

And according to my five seconds of blurry research, more tikis are coming.

The Hurricane Club opens this month and Lani Kai opens in October.  Next DBD tour is towns with tikis only.

Although not a true tiki, the nautical Rusty Knot serves an outstanding Dark & Stormy, and in a touristy tiki mug.  

After painstaking research, DBD officially endorses the Zombie @ Painkiller with the Ultimate Peter Tosh Experience ("give me back me zebra!").

And so we retire the summer of rum punch...



stage right

photo by Jeremy Peters


Greg: "Anyone want to dictate stories of last night to put on the blog?"
Ryan: "I need a day or two to recover."

The Grey Buried CD release was epic. It was so epic that we need to invent a new word, because "epic" is now worn out. Take a look at joyful Ryan:


Also, there's this:

And this:

As well as this:

There is more to come, I'm sure.

Grey Buried is now on iTunes. We will be in your face again soon.

(Thanks to Kelly Bennett and Chuck Sipperley for documenting.)


hometown show friday 8/27.  grey buried is out and we're happy.  see you there.    


It's Alright Mama

My friend Paula gave me Last Train to Memphis and I can't get out of it.  Prior to these pages I didn't know much about Elvis or how he shook hillbilly music until it became rock and roll. 

The cover shot is Elvis reviewing his recent recording session in NYC, just after he left Sun Records for RCA.  The uncertainty of it all.  21 years old.  

Elvis died 33 years ago today, but I didn't much care until recently...


Grey Buried Release

Record release jam, August 27th at the Savoy in Ypsilanti, MI.  Grey Buried is finally in hand.  Yes, yes, we'd love to see you.


sighted and cited

My tour stamina is off.  Five shows in four days is no haul, yet I was battered.  I concede this with the requisite amount of shame, but it is also a realistic by-product of having rejoined the workforce.  It is also a by-product of my advancing age and the blistering pace that a drunken barn dance tour sets.  

We pushed the DBD less-rehearsal-is-more-aesthetic to the maximum this time, with Jim picking me up from the airport right before our show at the Leroy Street No Bummer Zone. 

Applause to all who came to the shows and the lovely bands who joined us each night.  I hope we are able to transmit even a fraction of the joy we feel when playing, seeing old friends, making movies at indian restaurants, dominating slackjaw, and crashing through the drumkit.  I love playing with this outfit more than I could ever convey privately, much less while inching into the blogosphere...

Here's us at the always awesome Mercury Lounge in NYC after the ticket for a cracked windshield but before the ticket for failure to use a turn signal.


What's a DBD to do?

Just before going on stage in Lansing @ Mac's


only the best for DBD

ok...this is a $750 beer served in a squirrel carcass...I got the next round.



shows a comin'

F 7/30 - Detroit, MI - Leroy Street House (contact us for details) - 10pm
S 7/31 - Lansing, MI - Mac's Bar - 6:30pm (EARLY SHOW)
S 7/31 - E. Lansing, MI - (Scene)Metrospace - 10pm (LATER SHOW)
S 8/1 - Philadelphia, PA - the Fire - 7pm
M 8/2 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge - 9:30pm


Northside Fest Show Recap

Thanks to all who checked out the One Sweet Song / Karl Sturk show at Northside Fest.  I missed Ribbons because I collapsed after an all-nighter in Boston the night before, I'm ashamed to say.  DBD played Guilt, Evelyn Wears a Tiara, Promises End, Ain't No Weather Fouler, We Swimmers, the Guest List, A Winter's Tale (Sturk Version).

Here are some of the jams:

DBD - Ain't No Weather Fouler

the Long Eye - Comeback Kid

Palmyra - Cold Coffee


Patient to Patient

The Life Like cassette label recently released a cassette from Patient to Patient, Ryan's solo project.  Limited edition so hustle over here to get one.  I spent two weeks casually tracking down a cassette player (an old walkman, speaking of the 90s) and then hovered in its awesomeness over night.


GSW to the Heart

So good tonight.  Damn, I love the Gramercy Theater.

Hail to the 90s.

feel the barv

Our lovely writer/blogger friends have pointed out a typo in the DBD Grey Buried press release.  They are right, that is unacceptable.  And we are sorry.  There should be way more than one typo in a DBD press release.

Dis BAmd is aweone.  They like drinkong.  No one can touch the, I want all the tequila! What? I'm at work? No way! Tequila! Drunken Bat Dunce, yes.

The flat dance buster improv musc ist far from planted.  Feel the daily rules passed over live got music for.  Just pretension dollar amounts nil.

feel the barv!


100 outside, 90s over here..

Blessed are we who saw 90s music the first go'round.  Last night I caught Unrest at Maxwell's in Hoboken.  So stripped down and angular and confident without the bombast.  DBD could learn a thing.  The next two weekends it's God Street Wine.  I've had my season pass for this reunion train ever since Fred and I caught the Lemonheads do It's A Shame About Ray a few years back...

Some Unrest for your heat wave:


The Elbow Room

We've all written and expressed elsewhere our love for Andy and the Elbow Room. The liner notes of Grey Buried reference the joint. If we take the closing as a given, then it was a ridiculous joy to play the closing night. Here's a bit of the chaos. Stay tuned to the last frame for an image of our favorite whiskey purveyor that says it all.

The Elbow Room - Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Winter's Tale
The Last Desperate Stand of the Last Fair Man
Evelyn Wears a Tiara
Leaving Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin
Asshole Brother
Ain't No Weather Fouler
The Train, The Cross
Promises End
We Swimmers
No Love
The Real Tina Turner


Moonlit Forest - No Sleep From Brooklyn

We just played in the warm and embryonic Pennsylvania woods with a bunch of new and old friends and some rum punch we brought.  Long live the Iris & Shibley Fest and everyone that conceived of it and made it rule.

Photo by Steve Brun.  More photos here.

June 12, 2010 - Moonlit Forest, Fleetwood, PA
We Swimmers
A Winter's Tale
The Last Desperate Stand of the Last Fair Man
Evelyn Wears a Tiara
Fireworks (Never Tell)


TOUR PRACTICE, pt 1. (Sleepytown)

When I joined Drunken Barn Dance in 2008, I signed up for a lifestyle and don't think for one red second that it is not a lifestyle that I take seriously. I drink hard and I dance in barns even harder. With the upcoming release of the full-band debut, Grey Buried, and the impending tour to support it, I decided to step things up and challenge myself, so in February of this year, I found a couple to sublease my apartment and decided to start practicing the touring lifestyle without actually touring. The couple that took over my lease never actually changed the electric and gas bills over to their names, but I decided to ignore that fact because that's what I would do if I were on tour. TOUR PRACTICE!

Top Five TOUR PRACTICE! Sleeping Spaces:
5. Under the bushes in the park over by Third Street in Ann Arbor
4. Matt Jones's living room couch
3. In a house I lived in a couple of years ago, lovingly called the Franch, on a couch with cushions that remind me of over-cooked French toast
2. Under the stars in the parking lot of Ypsilanti's finest liquor store, The Keg
1. In my white Le Baron convertible (It has sexy red interior, which makes it the perfect place for tour practice because, as anyone who has toured before will tell you, touring is the sexiest time of all for anyone ever.)

I encourage comments and questions about the lifestyle I have chosen for the next episode of TOUR PRACTICE!. TOUR PRACTICE! CAPSLOCK.


lie awake the evening

Stray Films made a rather beautiful short using Seagulls as the soundtrack.  Check it out here.  Appears to be one two takes, appropriately.  We love this shit.  And the PBR can.


our new record is called grey-buried.  the street date is august 3rd, 2010 via quite scientific records.

1.   the last desperate stand of the last fair man
2.   tapo canyon drowning
3.   a winter's tale
4.   ain't no weather fouler
5.   no love
6.   time spent underground
7.   leaving las vegas, reno, laughlin
8.   evelyn wears a tiara
9.   the guest list
10. you left the wrong girl

our first full band effort.  we can't wait for you to check it out.


the last time

I met Andrew Oldham Thursday night after which my friend sent me this picture with the words "file under: every impresario's dream."


Snow, Salami, and Meganutz (the van)

I should probably edit this to be tighter. Maybe I will and re-post it tomorrow.

In other news, Keith Thompson explains why so much hair left town this week, including my own.


why we drive 10 hours

Zero My Hero

Keweenawesomefest Day Zero Pics from our friends at Mostly Midwest here!  


Drunken Barn Blog #1

So, I don't have a decent camcorder yet, but I'll be getting one soon, hopefully. This is from my crappy phone, so it'll have to do for now. Oddly, the beer shampoo helped the volume of my hair reach new heights (ahem...). It seems that booze helps for styling almost as much as it helps for making intensely gorgeous rock albums.