Before I go on with this post…
On the night that this post takes place a devastating tornado hit Joplin, Missouri. The tornado has taken at least 125 people’s lives, and even more are currently missing. This is a truly horrible catastrophe, and my heart goes out to Missouri. I can only imagine how scared everyone was, or how it would feel to have lost everything…or even a family member.
Make a donation.
I love you Missouri, every part of you 😦 I’m so sorry.
I was in the midst of a set by Toro Y Moi at the Deaf Institute (I hope this transition isn’t rude).
They played “Go With You” and “Low Shoulder”, the latter of which was an encore. I was very satisfied with their setlist, but it’s relative….I like most of their songs. Toro Y Moi is groovy. I don’t think you can substitute that word for anything else, they’re groovy.
The venue was pretty small but that was cool. Beat Connection was one of the openers. They’re a couple of young guys from Seattle, and they made me move!
Beat Connection (p.s. the pictures in this post look clear only when maximized for one reason or another)
Toro had an oil and water light show. So, so good. I don’t know why more bands don’t do stuff like this! Old techniques are sometimes the best techniques…
After the show, I bought a vinyl of their first record Causers of This. I had Chaz Bundick, the lead singer, sign it. He quickly realized I wasn’t English and asked where I was from. I told him Columbia NOT South Carolina. Some other people came up to get tickets/vinyl signed and/or shake his hand. He told me to hold on. A handful of fans later, he turned back to me and asked if I liked to drink beer. You can guess my response. He then invited me to come drink with him and the band backstage. They were staying at the venue in an “apartment” upstairs. My jaw droppped, per usual, and I said, “are you kidding?” He said, “no”.
I waited by the merch booth for a bit until he came back up to me and told me to come with him backstage. I followed him through the black door and up the two or so sets of stairs. At the top of the stairs we arrived in a kitchen equipped with a couch, the venue’s past gig posters, a table, the band’s suitcases,
and a fridge full of beer (the last two didn’t come with the place. okay, yeah, bad joke).
Chaz and I sat on the couch while Patrick and Jordan, who came in behind us, went to the table and did Macbook stuff. Andy came up shortly after. The entire band was incredibly nice and genuinely good-hearted.
The guys from Beat Connection were upstairs for awhile, and the guy who runs Car Park Records (in Europe) came upstairs to meet the band. He was cool, very sweet. He opened a beer with his teeth! I’d never seen anyone do that before. Kudos to him. The guy with him informed me that Jack White is outrageously tall, and also that he was a furniture maker before he became famous. Apparently there are vinyls hidden in several couches. Who knows which couches or where these couches are…
Myself and the band ended up drinking a lot of Carlsberg and eating Domino’s Pizza. We listened to Dungen and talked about anything. People always say this, but I’m saying it anyway: they’re just normal guys. Normal in the sense that they don’t wipe their blood on the walls after shooting up heroin, and they don’t bath in money (Motely Crüe probably didn’t even do that stuff). Anyway, we had fun, and though, yeah, I was a little on edge because I couldn’t believe the situation, I really did have fun with them.
At one point everyone started blowing into their beer bottles as instruments. For a moment they really had a good mixture of pitches going on. I recorded a bit but missed the best, almost chord like, segment. Chaz kept going for a “jazz flute” (pronounced ‘yazz’) sound.
Jordan seems pretty into film and photography, which is cool. He as well does art and owns his own record label. Even better (ha), he has officially convinced me to get a Yashica- something I’ve been looking into but wanting advice on. The drummer, Andy, is freakin’ cute! He has a good sense of humor. Chaz has great style and great taste in music. He was also very hospitable and really liked the lens on my camera. I told him how cool I thought the “Still Sound” video was. I never foresaw that moment getting the chance to occur…
I listened to a bit of Carole King with the bass player, Patrick, when everyone else had gotten into bed. We talked about how relationships change when you’re gone for long periods of time, and how you miss your family and normal routines. We could understand each other, and it was cool.
It got late, and I had a final the next day down the street (sorry mom, once in a lifetime opportunity). I stayed the night in their room of bunk beds. There was an available bunk. I couldn’t resist.
I woke up early the next morning in order to get to my exam. Everybody got up soon after, and I said goodbye. I received a hug from Jordan which was so cool. He was so sweet. The others were laying in bed, so whether or not they would have done the same, well, whatever.
I didn’t get to say goodbye to Chaz, which still makes me sad. He was in the shower and I had to make it to my final.
And I did: I was right. on. time.
I’m really happy with my experience. They’re cool guys and I’ll never forget that night. Every time I put on their record I’ll think of the oil and light show and the apartment above the Deaf Institute…among other times, places, and people…of which have nothing to do with that night.
Man, I’m listening to Toro now, and I’m thinking about Chaz and his pink Chinos. I hope they know how much I respect them and their music.
I can say that now: their music AND them
hugs and kisses Chaz, Jordan, Andy and Patrick. hugs and kisses.