I seriously don't have anything better to do, and presently I am totally okay with it.
Anyway, I am slowly getting my summer organised, and it is going to be bat-shit wild busy.
Next week, I am going to record a few new songs (surprise, surprise) with the wonderful Chris Daley, who plays in Pittsburgh's finest pop-punk band, Mace Ballard.
On July 6th, I am playing a show at the Vadican't in Pittsburgh (Oakland), PA. This show will be a benefit/kick-starter show for Pizza Heart Records. Their first release is going to be Monster Punch on vinyl. Rumor has it that the Monster Punch LP will be available later in 2013. Pretty neat.
After that, I'm going to ramble around part of the US Midwest and play some shows. Everything is being updated for this tour at the Ghostwrite's Midwestern US Adventure. <--- Click that for cites/venues/info.
Upon completion of the Midwestern Adventure, I am going to hop on a plane to Vancouver, where I will meet up with the lovely and radical punk band from northern California, the Shell Corporation. We're going to bomb across Canada and play shows in a bunch of my favorite cities. Everything is being updated for this tour at
the Shell Corporation + the Ghostwrite Canadian Summer 2013. <--- Click that for cites/venues/info.
Eventually, I will say bon voyage to the Shell Corporation, and I will continue rambling around Canada with a few other acoustic punks. Jon Creeden and I are going to combine forces and play a wicked show in Toronto with Mischief Brew on August 15, and I'm also going to tour with that rad London Ontario punk also known as the Drunken Wobblies.
I hope yinz are ready to hang!
Here I had it all figured out. I was going to play this show, and then I was going to drift off into the sunset. I was going to perch myself at that bar (in lovely Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), and then I was going to talk about how my glory years were fantastic... talk about how my best years were behind me.
Here in the present-tense, though, after careful consideration - yes, I pondered (MtG reference, nerds!) - I have decided to not do that. I mean, this has been a twelve years investment, journey, and struggle, yjnz! It seems rather silly to tap out now. Besides, I cannot think of anything else I would rather do with my life. I mean, I am not going to fool anyone. Rambling around this landmass, with a backpag and an acoustic guitar, is a pretty sweet life.
And to verify...
Tonight's show was, hands down, one of the most inspired and kickass shows I have played in quite some time. "Triangle Choke" sounded fucking epic with all those lovely souls singing along. Thank you so very much, Jess (Folk the System!) and the rest of the Thigh High Club House. You are all bad ass.
Okay. Enough. Time to catch a bus back to the Burgh. However, fear not, Canada (and parts of the States)! I will be coming back in August. Super sweet shows will be announced soon.
ps. Living the dream is so much better than dying the nightmare.
A show outside, eventually around a bonfire, happened. The backdrop was filled with trees, mountains, and other nature things. There was also BBQ, complete with veg options. Stellar.
This was my first time in Sudbury, and Roxanne and friends did a wonderful job of making this night pleasantly awesome.
Back to Toronto today. Eventually, I am going to hop on a bus, cross an imaginary line, and stumble back into Pittsburgh. First, though, there is one more show to be had up here in the Great White North.
I have been doing a dreadful job with show blogs.
In late March, I played a house show with a bunch of Johnstown folk. Johnstown shows are a good time, and they have been a good timd for as long as I can remember, way back to those prehistoric times of the late 90s and early 2000s.
After that, in late March I helped set up a house show for the mighty acoustic champion, Austin Lucas, at the Pit-Bull Palace in Pittsburgh PA. This was also a good time.
In May, I played a house show at the Shit Brick in Pittsburgh, which a bunch of Pittsburgh acoustic punx. Sing-a-longs and beers were had.
Later in May, I played a show in Philadelphia with Andrew Winter and the Reckless Dodgers, and Corporate Hearts. Not too many people showed up, but that night was still entertaining. At one point, after the show, while I was hanging with Andrew and friends, a cop car blazed down the road, with his radio cranked (I believe it was that "cut me into pieces, this is my last resort" song) and sirens flashing. I guess that is acceptable in the City of Brotherly Love.
Eventually, I made my way up to Montreal for Pouzza FEST. This weekend was a whirlwind of action. So many tour friends from all over North America converged upon this festival, and it was, at times, quite overwhelming. There are many highlights, but getting to hang with Alice, Frank, and Fanny all weekend sure was stellar. It was pretty neat to lose my mind and scream my lungs out during the Jon Creeden and Audio/Rocketry show. I played a late on Sunday with Mikey Erg, which was a good time, especially since my friend, Howard St. Roy, entered about halfway through and started clapping, singing, and banging on the house piano. Part of my lungs and brain can still probabpy be found scattered along the streets of Montreal.
After this, Alice and I hopped in Greg Rekus and Lyndsay Penner's van. Off to Ottawa we went. A house show at the soon-to-be legendary Robot House happened. Ottawa friends, food, and music. It t'was lovely.
Eventually, after saying farewell to all those wonderful Ottawians, I crawled back in the Rekus mobile. Off to Toronto we went. After catching Greg's set that night, I told these lovely Winnipeggers goodbye. Off to hang with Folk the System Jess! and Brent.
A show in Toronto happened with pop-punk maniacs, Wringer (from Bloomington, Indiana). Hangs, cheers, and hugs were had. After wiping the crap from my eyes the following morning, Brent and I ate a Buddah Vegetarian fest. Delicious.
Now, I am killing time, gathering my energy and hoping I will be able to give her at these last two Ontario shows. After that, I am going home, where I will stew on the idea of packing up my guitar and bag, hitting the road, and chasing punk rock glory, or if I will, instead, hang up my guitar and try to carve out a life in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Maybe I will leave it up to a coin flip. Maybe I will call it in the air, once I get home.
About fourteen years ago I purchased my first guitar, with the sole intention of starting a band. I didn't have any real plans for that band, outside of writing original music and playing local shows. I mean, the few friends I had who were in bands seemed to be having a goddamn ball, and it seemed like a grand way for any youth to escape the boredom of rural life.
That summer turned out to be frustratingly excellent - the summer entering my senior year of high school.
Instead of organising keg parties in the woods or tracking down drugs to eat or smoke (two favorite pastime activities for the youth of my small mountain-coal-mining town), I spent countless hours holed up in my bedroom, fumbling around with that guitar. Day after day, I would wake up and battle with that beat-up axe, and most nights I would fall asleep with swelled, bloody hands and frazzled thoughts, as that guitar giggled itself to sleep.
"Give it up, kid. Can't you see? You can't win. Your hands are clumbsy. Your rythmn is horrendous. Your ears are deaf."
For whatever reason, I never threw in the towel. My brain simply would not allow it.
"You're not really going to let this six-stringed demon defeat you, are you?"
I suppose I was endlessly ambitious and idealistic back then. However, my skills on that guitar were developing at a snail's pace, and I was losing faith that I would ever becoming a guitar-playing ninja. Eventually, after pissing and moaning about how absurdly and ridiculiosly hard it was to play guitar, my friend whom had been playing drums since he was in diapers, Chad, suggested switching to bass.
"You can borrow mine. You look more like a bass-player anyway."
From here, we spent the next year making noise in his attic, and eventually things started to click. Slowly, I began hearing notes and understanding the mathematics behind music.
As I entered my freshman year of college, I switch back to playing guitar. Simply put, I found solo bass-playing to be quite obnoxious, and it also seemed impossible to write complete songs with said instrument, not that I actually knew how to do that.
After spending a month or so trying to organise one of those college bands, a friend suggested that I reach out to one of his drummer friends.
"He's still in high school, but he's probably better than anything you'll find around here. You should give him a call."
This is where the legend of Devon began.
I think we were completely oblivious to what we were actually getting ourselves into. Within six months we had a semi-functioning three-piece band. Our original goal was to make music that sounded like blink or Saves the Day or the Get-Up Kids or something like that. What we actually created was a hot mess of angst and frustration. We stopped calling ourselves a pop-punk band after a few friends suggested that we dig deeper into the world of punk rock.
"You don't sound like any of the bands you think you sound like."
They were right. We didn't.
By the spring of 2001 I had dropped out of college. By the summer of 2001 we were a full-blown dysfunctional touring band. By the summer of 2003, after nearly 200 shows and a fistful of New England and Midwest tours, we were a hot mess of drama and broken dreams.
Devon went back to college. We moved to Baltimore.
Somehow, I managed to keep the dream of touring alive, even if that meant keeping it on life-support.
Fourteen years after first picking up a guitar, through a whirlwind blur of beauty and insanity, I somehow managed to tour mostly all of North America, in a fairly wide array of musical projects- well over 20 tours and 500 shows.
On Thursday, I will embark on one more tour, quite possibly my last, that will take me through my favorite place to tour: Canada. It seems fitting to end this on a high note. If yr around, come hang. The festivities kick off in Montreal at Pouzza FEST on May 17.
Once I get back from Canada who knows what will happen? I mean, my feet are endlessly itchy, and I have been known to change my mind. However, as of right now, this will be my last tour for the foreseeable future.