Monday, November 22, 2010

Awesome Texas

The last week in Austin was superb. A run around town lake would have been nice but exercise aside everything about the week was really nice. Austin is a great place, throw in great friends from all over, throw in a Wolf Parade gig and throw in a meeting with said band. Mix this with joyful evenings and no hangovers and you have the recipe for a happy Kelrock. This new song by Cut Copy kind of reflects my mood and feelings about the week. Cut Copy have been quite since their In Ghost Colors record from 2008. I listened to these songs a lot when I started this blog and its nice to see them back with some post nu wave happiness.

Cut Copy - "Take Me Over" (Radio Edit) Premiere by modularpeople

So first night down I bump into my main man the AAA Jay Romasco. He is town for Tifosi, bringing fantastic eye-wear to athletes at every level. I know, because he gave me some, and I banged out 3 hours on Saturday wearing them. Joyful.

Anyway the first night was Wolf Parade. I know I talk about this band a lot but they happen to be touring and this truly was a coincidence, not that I would be embarrassed about traveling anywhere in the globe to see these guys. The night was made even more special by the presence of many great friends. Most of the Reebok team came along with my bros John Clarke, Kris Hartner, Henry Guzman, Cody Hill, and Adam White. There was another guy along but in the whole panic I feel before any show I go to I didn't meet him. We met up with Ryan Hall, as in the cool ass Ryan Hall who loves music, not the fast marathon runner. I also met up with Brian Hanley and his lady friend, Courtney. Brian is the guy who got me into Wolf Parade when he played me I'll believe In Anything back in the summer of 2006. I bought Apologies To The Queen Mary when I got back to Boulder and its been a strong relationship ever since.

The show was as expected, breathtaking. More and more I appreciate the chemistry on stage between Dan and Spencer. Usually I just loose it to everything Spencer sings and I somewhat recover during Dans songs. And that is not a knock on Dan. Spencer just sings in a more epic style and his songs are longer, more intense, and for me simply better. A lot of people would disagree and thats all good because if there was no Spencer I'd still love Wolf Parade. Dan is fantastic and brings a wonderful energy to the stage. They blitzed through a typical set with all the tunes I want to hear played. Kissing The Beehive may be my favorite closing song of any show. Its long, its almost too much, and the feeling of being completely melted after the song is rare and matched by maybe one or two songs by other bands. Another song that come to mind, Idioteque by Radiohead. Its on that level.

It was great having our retail partners at the show and I'm glad they enjoyed it. They could be just telling me that but I know they liked it. Its impossible not to like Wolf Parade live. So a few scoops and it was bedways. Next morning we woke feeling inspired and alive so we took a trip to Mellow Johnnys for some Juan Palota coffee (yes Lance Armstrong, I don't care, he is a pretty cool guy and his shop is amazing) and upon returning to the hotel we saw Arlen Thompson sitting down chatting with another dude. Arlen is the drummer in Wolf Parade and I was excited. Coxy told me to go over and chat with him but I decided I'd leave him talk, didn't want to interrupt. By the time I reached my room I changed my mind. I wanted to see who else from the band was around and I wanted to tell them how great they are and how their music has been a massive wind in my sails over the last 4 years.

I sat down next to Arlen and a representative from Sub Pop Records. They were awesome. So nice and friendly and contrary to what I thought Arlen really appreciated my stopping by to thank him for his music. I joined them for coffee and we casually chatted about touring, about playing in Ireland and Europe in general. My own experiences on this tour etc. Fantastic. Next Dante arrived, he plays guitars and keyboard and he was dying with a hangover. In fact he uttered the magic words, "I'm never drinking again". I laughed and told him that its a weekly ritual of mine to speak such words with little intention. We laughed and he napped on the couch. It was at this point that I realized Dan would not be around, he was staying elsewhere with friends. There was no sign of Spencer but this was fine. It was at this point that I was confronted with a major decision. The Sub Pop rep and Arlen told me I was welcome to "Hitch a ride to Dallas on the Bus". As in, sit on the tour bus with the band and go see them perform that night in Dallas. Panic washed over me like a tsunami. I had the stutter and the shakes. Here was a once in a lifetime opportunity to hang on a tour bus with a band that sits comfortably in my top 3 of all time. But I couldn't go. I was in Austin for work and my job paid for me to be there. To hang with our retail partners, to be part of our very important team. I thanked them, told them I'd regret it, and said I had to work. It was all good. I told Arlen it would be like me asking him to skip out on a gig to go on the beer. He laughed. Casual and very friendly. A couple of minutes later Spencer Krug walked out of the lobby Starbucks and I can admit without any shame that I was genuinely lost for words. Don't know why, I was really enjoying the conversation, but it happened. My heart rate elevated and I was not sure what to say such is the respect I have for his talent. The Reebok crew arrived at this point also since we had to leave for expo set up. I shook hands with Spencer, introduced myself and thanked him. I told him I was a big fan and I thought he was exceptional. Coxy told me he has never seen me so nervous. I mean I'm 33 I should not be acting like a bloody teenager but thats what happened. OK maybe I wasn't that bad but you get the picture. Spencer was super cool. In fact, he was more intrigued by our Reebok team and he wanted to know what we did etc. When we told him that we worked in running his response was "we have a song called, I am a runner and I am my fathers son". No shit Spencer, I know every word and note of the song. More handshakes and more respects paid, a few questions about the future, about Moonface and Sunset Rubdown. Spencer thanked me for listening to Moonface and said not many people know that project. Wardy told him that he too loved Moonface. Spencer was happy. And like a click of the fingers it was over. The bus sat across the street and I walked away with the team. No pictures, no signatures, just a conversation with 3 of the 4 members of Wolf Parade. One of the best moments of the last few years.

A couple of nights later and we found ourselves out on the town again. This time hanging with Rich Verney and Mike Rouse, super guys from So Cal via New Zealand and Texas. The Reebok team was out in force and the good times rolled. We bumped into Chris Macca McCormack who recently won the Ironman in Hawaii. Great guy as was his buddy MG. We had BJ from Salt Lake along for some free scoops. Macca is a bit of an animal and a great guy. Loves his running. My respect for he and his team rose significantly when we had a 15 minute conversation about distance running in the 1980's. They have a wealth of knowledge. I will always take my hat off to the Aussies, they know their sport. Later on in the night Macca introduced us to a shot called a Stuntman. It involved drinking a shot of Patron, snorting the salt, and squeezing the lemon in your eye. Silly I know. But I did it and it hurt, it was horrible, and I laughed hard.

Next day we were alive and kicking and back on the floor hanging with retailers, catching up with JC and Guz and generally having a great time. The Reebok booth has been quite in recent years but not 2010. We met lots of new people and thanked our old friends for their continued support. Great week. Below is some Wolf Parade. One last video just to hammer home the point. I'll leave Moonface for another time.

Peace and Love



  1. such a great story, thanks for posting it!

  2. Thanks Maria! Someone just told me it made the forum. I love your site, thank you for everything you do!