Belated Tour Wrap Up

Hey Folks. Two weeks ago we returned from an 11-day West Coast tour. We realize that we’re incredible slackers whilst on tour as far as blog updating goes; However, we will try our best to piece together some highlights for you:

Firstly, we’d like to thank Tim Marcus for taking off a week of work to come on tour with us. This was our first tour with Tim who is an amazing pedal steel guitar player, and an extremely hilarious and knowledgeable dude. We learned quite a bit from him about how mushrooms and American Bison will one day save the world.

Thurs. Nov. 1st. To kick off the tour, we played 12 Galaxies in the Mission with Matt Bauer (SF/NY), Shortstack (DC) and The Parson Red Heads (LA). Musically speaking, we were really excited about this bill. The night felt relaxed and was paced well. Matt Bauer’s set was haunting and captivating, Shortstack picked things up with their loping, jangly, rustic sound, and the family band, The Parson Red Heads, rounded things out with their psychadelic folk pop. Our set included three new songs that we’ll be recording over the coming months.

Friday Nov. 2nd. The Pearl Lounge in Eureka, CA. We played with Strix Vega, and Side Iron. Both projects include former members of beloved Que La Chinga. We always have a good time at the Pearl. They give us free drinks (which includes Great White beer!) and the crowd is always nice and rowdy. This was our third time playing the Pearl Lounge and definitely our most successful night at the venue. The place was packed and we noticed that there were people in the audience who were singing along to our music. Thanks to everyone who came out, especially to Graham and Elizabeth (and the belly), Mullaney, Curtis, Damion, Chris, and Kyle. We had breakfast at the Wildflower the next day. They have amazing local honey and the Marvelous Muffin is just that - marvelous! The drive up to Portland from Eureka is something everyone should see. The redwoods and the ocean views are truly magnificent.

Sat. Nov. 3rd- The Tonic Lounge in Portland, OR. This place is divey - REAL divey. Neon signs, wood paneling, mozzarella sticks, and the distinct smell of smoke and stale beer. One great thing about the place? Their taste in music. They book great bands and the sound was surprisingly wonderful. We shared the stage with Drunken Prayer, and our BFF’s Bark, Hide, and Horn, This show was a lot of fun. We love coming to Portland. We recognize that most people in the crowd are either artists or musicians themselves, or at least are truly there for the music. People really listen- and DANCE! Thanks to Andy, Brian, Dusty, and Peter from BHH for being awesome and getting on stage to play our last song with us. And then later for inviting us on stage to help sing “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac. Also, thanks to Paige, Jessie, and Leon for putting up with our antics. Our Jesse is real sorry about the broken lamp. Thanks and love to the Chabots and Yona and that girl doing that very involved photo-shoot in the park.

Sun. Nov. 4th- Healthy Times Fun Club, Seattle, WA. I think collectively our favorite thing about this night was Grr, the dog. He is a full-sized poodle with polar bear paws. He gives doggy-hugs by putting her face in between your knees and he looks sort of fake - like one of those old-timey stuffed animals with the wooly hair. Rebecca and Jake were our amazing hosts at this basement live/art space. They made us burritos and opened up their whole living space to us for the duration. The show was intimate - it being a small space. But the people who were there were incredibly attentive and supportive. Alex lost his voice the night before at the Bark, Hide, and Horn house singing Michael McDonald songs at the top of his lungs, so we improvised - Matt, Julie, and Lindsay took over some of the leads and it worked out OK. Thanks so much to Daisy and her roommates for housing half the band and for generally being awesome. Thanks to Scott McChane, who opened the night with dark, dreamy folk, and to MiniVan, an acoustic duo just coming home from a five-week tour. These guys were captivating. They used mics on only a handful of songs, and pranced around the room with their guitars, singing tight poppy harmonies, and occasionally beating a drum with maracas or whatever they could find. The next day we went to brunch at the Coastal Kitchen. They do a rotating regional menu every few months and this time, they were featuring food from Basque. Julie and I (Lindsay) split crawfish crepes and French toast with dates, figs, custard, and pistachios. It was pretty freaking great.

Monday Nov. 5th- Someday Lounge, Portland, OR. This venue is fairly new and is the sister endeavor of brothers Kris and Eric Robison. Their first business located next door is called backspace - a cyber/gaming café complete with vegan prepared food, coffees, and a live dj. The cool part about playing this venue is that we got a discount on food, free gaming (Matt got computerface from many free hours of Portal playing), and we could generally relax in there with friends before the show. They also have a shower! (not that we used it, but we COULD have used it). Our soundcheck was long and slightly chaotic, however when we eventually played, both the on and off-stage sound were really great. We shared the night with The Meredith Brothers Band (who have a member in common with Drunken Prayer, with whom we played at The Tonic) and The Clampitt Family. Thanks to Erik Clampitt, Jessie and Andy, Yona, and everyone else who made our Monday night feel more like a Wednesday or Thursday.

Tues. Nov. 6th- The Tractor Tavern, Seattle, WA. The Tractor is a pretty well-known and respected venue in Seattle, so we decided to pull out all the stops and put on the best show we possibly could. The set order was switched at the last minute, which was kind of a bummer since we had some friends coming out, but there was a healthy audience to hear us. We shared the night with local artist Carrie Biell, Dax Riggs (formerly of Deadboy and the Elephantmen), and Beaten Awake. Carrie put on a great show - she has a heart-piercing raspy twang, and her lyrics are poetic, but accessible. Dax Riggs is a creature all his own. Coming from a punk and metal background, he has matured into a rock/blues style, but has still managed to keep the metal aesthetic apparent in his lyrics (lots of blood and death), and his fanbase (lots of black clothes). His voice is unlike anything we had ever heard. Love it. Thanks so much to the Sam and Ben from Ghosts I’ve Met for hanging out on Wednesday and for introducing us to some people at KEXP (and for sharing that weird blue cheese, potato, and jalapeno concoction with us. You saved us from our impending digestive doom). And also thanks to members of Conrad Ford and family April and Molly, Jordan, and Andy, for coming out, housing/feeding us, and carting us around town.

Wed. Nov. 7th- ABC House, Olympia, WA. We had been hearing about the house show scene in Olympia for some time, so we booked a show with Margaret at the ABC House. This show was weird, but fun. Apparently there were a host of other events going on as well as an anti-war protest happening on this particular night. We shared the night with two other acts - one guy singing songs on his ukulele and a really cool/trippy cello and violin duo making odd sounds through distorters as a live soundtrack to projections of shapes cut into old film. It was really cool and made me wish I were into psychedelics. Our crowd was “intimate” and extremely appreciative. We had a little jam session with our host Margaret at the end of the night, and then a little jam session the next day at the New Moon Café (they make their own homemade blackberry jam, and we were pounding it.)

Thurs. Nov. 8th- Stonehenge, Eugene, OR. Picture a college party house with its dingy furniture, empty beer bottles and food containers, bongs and pipes, mountains of dirty clothes, and lots and lots of college-aged people milling about. That’s Stonehenge. They put on basement shows almost every week and usually bring in some pretty impressive acts. On this particular night, we shared the stage with Muke, a local girl/guy duo and World’s Greatest Ghosts from Portland. The crowd was really great. They were really into it. One guy was playing along on his acoustic, trying to figure out the songs on the spot. Thanks to Jim, Rebecca, Ben, and Katie (happy 7th!!) for making the trip out. We actually ended up crashing at the house….it was interesting. In the living room there are two huge spiderwebs complete with gigantic house spiders. Some of us had to sleep in this room. I slept in a room with a broken window. There was one of those dirty clothes mounds on the floor, so I just stuffed the window with some jackets. Oh college…

Fri. Nov. 9th- Crux Arts Collective- Chico, CA. This day was probably the most grueling drive-wise, so when we pulled up to the Crux Arts Collective, we were a bit road-beaten. We had heard good things about the live music scene in Chico, but it was still early and seemed slightly deserted. The Crux is a really interesting venue. It’s also an art gallery and artist collective. After the live music, they hosted a 48-hour art-making event, open to anyone with a paintbrush. We assume lots of coffee and other substances (like soda and cookies) were probably consumed to help keep the creative juices flowing. We got tacos next door, read the paper, and snoozed in the car until the show started. Around 8 PM, more and more people started filing in. Local bands Sleazy Earl Ray and the 2 Drink Minimum, and the Shankers book-ended the night. Thanks so much to Brian Kreb and Christy for coming out to the show (and for buying up our merch!).

Sat. Nov. 10th- The Prospector, Long Beach, CA. What a quirky venue this place is. At first glance, it looks sort of like a sports bar with hokey cowboy paraphernalia on the walls, but like The Tonic Lounge in Portland, this neighborhood spot comes to life at night. The staff was wonderfully accommodating and the sound was pretty decent. We played with Jessica from Deep Sea Diver (solo set) and Greater California. Both bands were incredibly interesting. Deep Sea Diver is sort of like moody pop, and Greater California plays surfy, folk-pop with amazing harmonies. Go check out these Long Beach bands!! Thanks to Matt’s friends Greg and Lindsay and Greg’s parents, and to Julie’s pals Leah and Chris for coming out and housing/feeding us.

Sunday, Nov. 11th- The Robins’s (Alex’s parents’ house) Del Mar, CA. So after lots of back and forth between San Diego bookers and bands, it turned out that we could not get a show together in Alex and Matt’s hometown. We decided to take advantage of the fact that Alex’s parents are awesome and suggested we play in their living room. Alex’s mom invited neighbors, friends, and family, and some of Matt and Alex’s friends who happened to be around came by for this impromptu show. Also our friends Parker Street Cinema, an awesome instrumental band from San Francisco who also happened to be on tour in Southern Cali, showed up for the show/party. Before the party, we relaxed and watched America’s Next Top Model, where for half of the show Tyra Banks talks about how great she is. Julie and I relaxed in the hot tub while the guys went out to see Darjeeling Limited. The show was pretty laid back. Julie played the piano and Jesse stripped down his kit. We played a mellower set and the carpeted warm room lent itself well to our adapted sound. Afterwards we had drinks and food, and everybody basically cleaned us out of merchandise. Thanks to Amy and Mitch Robins, and everyone who came out!

Monday, Nov. 12th- The Echo, Los Angeles, CA. When we arrived at the Echo we still weren’t sure if we were actually on the bill or not. We originally booked the show with a local band that had to drop the show at the last minute, however they assured us that we were, in fact, on the bill. We showed up and the sound guy told us that four other bands were scheduled to play that night. The thing is, we had like 30 or 40 people headed to the show. We found a Performer Magazine that happened to be sitting outside the venue. We flipped to a blurb on us with our LA show listing and showed it to the sound guy and he called the booker. It was all very strange. Eventually we got confirmation from the booker and were granted a 25-minute quick and dirty set. The other bands on the bill included The John Walter Johns- an experimental/improvy group. Their singer stood in back, and their drummer sat in front. They had a bassoonist, and other odd instrumentation. They gave out their CD, which consisted of about 30 or so minute-long songs (more like sonic ideas). Before they played, there was a solo act. I forget his name, but he sang to beats and played one song on guitar. At one point he put a Louis Vuitton scarf over his head and sang a cappella. Later in the night he went around asking if anyone had seen his Louis Vuitton scarf. Weird. The headliner was a bluesy/garagy duo called Restaurant. The lead singer had an incredibly raspy New Orleans twang. They were pretty captivating. Thanks to all of our friends and family who came out. Especially to Matt’s dad and and Lori for putting us up and feeding us, and sis Autumn for being our t-shirt model.

--Lindsay and Or, the Whale


SF Weekly Music Awards 2007

Tonight is the awards show for the annual SF Weekly Music Awards. We've been nominated for the Alt-Country/Folk/Singer-Songwriter category. We're up against some pretty stiff competition in Emily Jane White, Willow Willow, and Greg Ashley (of the Gris Gris). Honestly, it's just great to be nominated. There was a really nice little blurb on us in the Awards segment of this week's Weekly. Should be a fun evening regardless of who wins.

We finished a new song last night; it sounds really cool. Sort of a pseudo Bobbie Gentry/Dusty Springfield blues song. Can't wait for Julie's organ on it. I have a tattoo appointment I must get to. Adieu!

Alex and Or, the Whale


News, News, News

So we sort of got caught up in the long drives of the end of our tour and suddenly, it was over. And we didn't even update the blog! Needless to say, from the last post until now, we've played some unbelievable shows and met some incredible people. Our homecoming show at the Great American Music Hall was one of the most wonderful experiences of my (and our) life(s). Many thanks to all of you who made it out and to the other bands (Birds and Batteries and Social Studies) for being wonderful and making great music.

Since then, we've played the Tour Kickoff for Low Red Land (hope the road is great, dudes!) and, just last week, a great show with Nina Nastasia & drummer extraordinaire/mad scientist Jim White. Coming up, we have a tour kickoff of our own at 12 Galaxies with the Parson Red Heads, Short Stack, and Matt Bauer. Then we embark on a 12 day, 11 show West Coast Tour up to Eureka, Portland, Seattle, Olympia, Eugene, Chico, and down to Long Beach and Los Angeles. Details can be found at www.myspace.com/orthewhale.

We're writing new songs and will be heading into the studio at the end of the year and beginning of next year in preparation for our new record. It's good to be back.

Also, Julie is out on the road with Birds and Batteries (www.myspace.com/birdsandbatteries) right now. Please go out and support them or give them a listen and say hello.

Alex and Or, the Whale


notes from the eastern seaboard

Despite our rather abrubt arrival and departures to most of the cities we have gone through we try to experience one local thing that the area or city is well known for. . . in Texas it was BBQ, in Memphis it was BBQ, in Chattanooga it was fireworks, in Louisville it was baseball bats and whiskey, in New York it was bagels and pizza, and in Philadelphia it was cheese steaks. After scrambling around NYC trying to find some replacement tuning hardware for my bass we stopped for some bagels in the outskirts of Brooklyn. The service was typically New York . . . i was convinced the "gentleman" behind the counter was going to kill me if I said something wrong and the "gentlewoman" at the register looked annoyed that we were trying to get bagels. Despite the apparent gruffness and thick new york accents we were served and the bagels were oustanding. "Oh", i thought. . . "so this what real bagel tastes like." Alex was so taken by the delectable bagels that he devoured two and as we pulled away lamented that he had ordered, "six, no twelve, no, a bakers dozen!!!!!" (anyone???). Our drive to DC was mostly uneventful. . .we did see Baltimore in the distance and decided that Gram Parsons had never actually been there. . . it didn't seem as beautiful as he had claimed. As we pulled into DC and saw the memorial piercing the humid sky I felt a fleeting twinge of patriotism. . . then Matt suggested that we go launch bottle rockets at the white house and we all laughed and my building sense of national pride crumbled as quickly as it arose. Actually folks. . . this tour has built a certain modicum of national pride for all of us. We live in a great country that is full of some wonderfully supportive and genuinely caring people. It is refreshing to pull into a new city and feel so welcome. Enough sappy drivel. . . lets get to the meat of this blog. That meat, folks, is the meat of Pat and Gino's in Philadelphia. . . Pat and Gino's are the mecca of cheese steak fanatics. . . they have both been around for decades and are involved in a bitter feud that has created a classic rivalary in the hearts of sandwich fanatics. . .think Red Sox Vs. Yankees, butter side up or butter side down, Montagues Vs. Capulets, werewolves Vs. vampires, Army Vs. Navy. . . the list goes on and the allegiances are generations deep. So I ask you this. . . are you a Pat's man (or woman) or a Gino's man (or woman)??? We all had both which was a big mistake. . .it was like "crossing streams" and the resulting combination was toxic. The volatile sandwich feud continued through the entirety of our digestive tracks. . . i won't go into details for the sake of everyone reading this but the following hours were not exactly fun. The show in Philly was great, however, and the venue treated us like proper rock stars. . ..nothing wrong with that. We all wished we could have explored a bit more as is usually the case. . . .next time. Boston was a like a homecoming and it was awesome to see so many family and friends out at the show. . . thank you so much for everyone that made it out. . . it was much appreciated and we look forward to playing for everyone again. . . as we drove from boston we realized that we will no longer be heading east and today we begin the homeward leg. . . . Great American Music Hall here we come. . .
justin fantasy and OTW. . . . love you all


The Cracks

So much has slipped through them. Much time has passed since we last joined you. To tell you the truth, we've been very busy and have had some great times in the past few days. Louisville, Athens (Ohio), Pittsburgh, and New York City have infiltrated our hearts, minds, and maybe some other parts not worth mentioning. There were some amazing highlights in all of them:

--Shoney's and Billy in Louisville
--the amazing crowd and bands at Casa Cantina
--the amazing tofu fries at Casa Cantina
--the Athens County State Fair and Roller Derby
--Misha and Ryland's wonderful families and hospitality
--power outtages in Pittsburgh
--sandwiches with fries and slaw on them
--Local Honey and front step jams at the Thunderbird
--the smell of Jersey
--all of our wonderful, amazing, incredible friends in Brooklyn and Manhattan who made our stay there absolutely unforgetable
--the beautiful weather we were granted in NYC

The only real lowlights were the oppressive heat and humidity of the Midwest (which ended in Pittsburgh), our unsuccessful first attempt at entering NYC through the Holland Tunnel, and all the goodbyes we have to make to more new friends and plenty of old ones as we head down to Washington DC in the morning. The shows have been great and we can't wait to get back to these towns and enjoy more debauchery and rock.

Alex and OTW


Midwest Leg

Cracker Barrel. Sounds a little scary, doesn't it? Well fear not, good people. Or, the Whale will eat at said establishment and report on it. Driving up from Knoxville through Kentucky, we had to stop at this 8th Natural Wonder of the world. Our wonderful server, Becka, helped us peruse the extensive menus.

"Does this have meat in it?"


"Is this cooked with butter?"


Ahh, oh well. Turns out their salad is plenty good sans bacon and a plain baked potato with some BBQuay sauce hits the spot. Alex is fed! Mmmm. The gang got meatloaf sandwiches (Jesse and Justin, typically together), chicken and dumplings (Julie, typical), grilled catfish (Lindsay), and some chicken sandwich thing (Matt). Everything was surprisingly good, especially the endless Diet Cokes (floating away....) and the wonderful service. Then, Jesse and Justin played checkers afterward. Fun!

After a long drive, we arrived just in time to set up for our radio show on WEFT in Champaign. We have the set recorded and if anything is decent, maybe we'll put it up on the site. Afterwards, we hung out with Mike Ingram at Cowboy Monkey (the venue we're playing at in two weeks) for some beers. Lindsay and I ended up singing a couple songs on stage with Matt, Jesse, and Justin heckling us. You get up here and try it, pricks!

We'll be playing in Muncie, Indiana with a couple great bands tomorrow at Village Green Records. Should be fun. Then on to Louisville, Ohio, and Pittsburgh. I'll get someone else to blog next.

Alex and OTW


A Day Off

But before we get to that, let's recap a bit:

August 1st--Denton

Thanks to Jimmy, Scott and Spitfire Tumbleweeds, and 100 Damned Guns for a wonderful North Texas evening. The show was fun, the beer was cheap, and the weather was hot. Thanks to my buddy Ian for showing up and for the old lady from the post before this who informed us that in 1947, Floyd Tillman was "hot." Yeesh. Also, thanks to my Aunt and Uncle in Irving for putting us up at 3am and feeding us a wonderful breakfast in the morning. And, of course, to Pepper.

August 2nd--Memphis

Young Avenue Deli is a wonderful, wonderful venue! Thanks to Giant Bear (especially Mike for the floorspace) and Arma Secreta for playing great sets and showing us the Tennessee we've all heard so much about. Just as nice and hospitable as advertised! And the BBQ! Let's just say that Logan has a bottle of The BBQ Shop Hot Sauce coming his way when we get home (courtesy of Gabe).

August 3rd--Chattanooga, TN

What a great town! The Blue Ridge Mountains really look blue and they really smoke! As does literally EVERYONE in the South. We were persuaded by the large "FIREWORKS!" signs and bought many, many bottlerockets and M-90s as well as several "Tennessee" trucker hats. A gigantic thank you to John from the Black Diamond Heavies for helping us out with our Chattanooga show. This led us to JJ's Bohemia. "JJ" stands for John and Jenny, the wonderful and accommodating couple that run the place. The initial "5 Band Bill!" was nothing compared to the rock that would ensue within its little room. Great bands from Tennessee (Knoxville, Memphis, and Chattanooga) and another band from Brooklyn filled the place up and PBR Tall Boys reigned supreme. After chasing the bats from the trees with loud shouts of "Horse Apples" and "WHEY!" we took the stage and everyone went nuts. Most of all, George sexy-danced throughout the room and made everyone feel like they were at a family reunion: familiarity, drunkenness, slightly awkward conversations, hilarity, and total embarrassment. All that was lacking was the Potato-Sack Race. The other bands (Westside Daredevils, Ghosts I've Met, the Glass Mondays, and Antenna Shoes) were all awesome and lots of dancing would take place throughout the night. We all swapped eternal love and email addresses and hopefully will be playing shows with many of them at later dates. Thanks to all of them and to John and Jenny for having us on the show and letting us sleep at their house (and their neighbor's unfinished house).

August 4th--Athens, GA

After a late morning and into the afternoon in Chattanooga (a beautiful river city we must get back to very soon), we rumbled down the highway towards Athens. Athens is a college town, usually hit or miss in the summertime when school is out. This night would be a hit and the Caledonia Lounge would be lots of fun. We had some friends come out to the show (Ryan McCullough) and one of them, Hunter, would be the host of our debauchery for many hours after the show. I'll get to this in a second. Amanda and Jeremy from Tin Cup Prophette are incredible and playing with them was a big highlight of the trip. The opener, Vulture Whale, were also awesome and we hope to get together with them in their hometown of Birmingham, Alabama on our next tour. Thanks to Kevin for making the sound the best we've had so far on tour. After the show, we headed over to Hunter's house where we proceeded to light off all of the fireworks we had previously bought the day before. Between the bottlerocket duels and my bandleader firebombing, it was tons of fun. And no one was hurt! Yay! Well, besides Jesse who has a little burn on his neck from a rogue bottlerocket. Chin up there, buddy. Then we formed what will now be the great noise rock band of all time, HORSE APPLES. Look for us to open up some shows starting in the fall. Damn! Oh, and Lindsay recorded an album. And we ate vegan/vegetarian food (finally!) for breakfast.

Today, our first day off since we started, we drove up to Knoxville, Tennessee to stay with Jess's dad. We traveled through the Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee Reservation of North Carolina and let me tell you, I have rarely seen anything so beautiful. Mountains and rivers and truckers, oh my! We're now laying low and trying to get to bed before 3am for the first time since we started the tour. We have officially finished our Southern leg and I can confidently say that we did rather well and had a blast doing it. We all miss our significant others and friends dearly and we hope they are thinking of us too. Sorry for the brief recalling of the first few days since the last blog (too much grain alcohol I guess). Anyway, we'll do our best to do this more often. We're driving up to Champaign, Illinois to start our second week and our Midwestern leg of the tour tomorrow. Cracker Barrel and Wafflehouse await. I'm gonna go sit on the porch and watch the fireflies. Enjoying the South.

Alex and OTW


A Vegan in Texas

It's Wednesday night, prior to the gig at Dan's Silver Leaf in Denton. This place is charming in that sort of "I knew you were coming, so made you a delicious dinner of spam fried in bacon grease on a piece of white buttered toast" sort of way. Tommy likey. But we all recall, Tommy is a very large boy.

The boys just had a conversation outside with an adorably drunk 76 year old woman who, from what I could gather, was telling them about some hookup of hers 35 or so years ago on a houseboat. After the punchline, where she discovered the man was the best friend of her son, she said "Take care, children!", and then more than lovingly tousled the curly mane of lucky Mr. Semler, the (older) ladies man. "Ma's been drinkin' again," was the response from a man out the window of the bar. I hope she sticks around for the show and gets rowdy.

We left the cradle of Ausin, and of dearest cousin Shelley today at midday after one last lingering dip in the pool. That stay was sort of a reward for the first two days of our trip. Shelley was a most fabulous host, and we will miss her! And I will miss sleeping in a bed where I can practically make a snow angel, and I touch no one and nothing besides Egyptian cotton. Oh sweet King size.

We got in the car (not van, it's hard to adjust to the new terminology) around 2, and headed off to fix the trailer connection. We've discovered the night lighting on the trailer doesn't work, so we've been driving with our hazards on at night. It's a quick fix, but the all night drives with flashing lights are bringing me back to the days of DJ Dan and Green fuzzy pants, and it's a place I made myself promise I would never go again. We happened to stop right next to the store of Gram Parsons' daughter, Polly Parsons, and we went inside for a peek. It's a vintage clothing and more store, and we discovered the "and more" involves a back yard porch-like stage. The nicest lady in the world greeted us, and offered us a 20% discount on everything in the store. She even told Jesse if he didn't have the cash, he could mail it to her later. We were all pretty excited to be talking to THE daughter of Gram Parsons. We shortly discovered, however, that this was a new owner, a woman named Kelli. We still gave her a CD and said we'd like to play there the next time through Austin. She may not have been Polly Parsons, but she was still the kindest woman any of us have met in a long time.

The rest of the drive to Denton was fairly straight forward. A sign of homemade beef jerky lured us off the freeway to yet another BBQ meal, but the rain and traffic kept us on track for time reasons. This is our last show in Texas, sadly. Alex may be happier about it than some. There was literally ONE thing on the menu at our lunch time stop that he could eat, and that was a plain baked potato. The cream was corned, and the string beans were in something super tasty that had to be made from some sort of delicious animal fat.

We should be taking the stage soon. We'll be housed tonight by Alex's aunt, Nancy, and then tomorrow the training wheels are off, and we'll probably be sleeping in the gutters of Memphis. Just kidding, mom.

Julie and OTW


fried pickles

Fueled by a basket of fried pickles and "lone star" beer we took the stage at Hole in the Wall. After what seemed like an eternity of driving it was great to play some music and remember why it is that we embarked on this tour in the first place. Some drunk guy in the back yelled something that was mostly unintelligable except for a rather distinct "y'all." (I think that is slang for "you all". . . can anyone confirm this??) His brazen missile of southern slang hit home in our urban hearts and we dedicated the next "countryish" tune to the drunk guy in the back. . . thank you drunk guy in the back. . . we love you. After a much needed night of horizontal sleep and a proper texas lunch of delectable BBQ'd ribs, chicken, brisket, pulled pork, and an array of salads that all had bacon in them, we are ready to dominate Austin. We almost lost Matt "Bald Eagle" Sartain this morning when Jesse and myself, Justin Fantasy, threw down for an epic longboarding session. Matt was pushing hard and couldn't hold on so he bailed and hucked his meat onto someones manicured lawn. The skateboard kept flying down the hill while Matt, somewhat gracefully glided through the air and rolled onto the grass to amazingly land on his two feet. . . 9.9 points matt. . . well done. Tonight is going to be fun and we are thrilled to be playing in a city that has such a rich musical scene. Until next blog. . .
justin fantasy


A Deep Breath and a Lot of Driving

For those who came out to our San Diego show at Scolari's only to be disappointed by our no-show, we apologize immensely. Hopefully the other bands explained our situation; if you have any other questions for us, please email us at orthewhale@gmail.com or at www.myspace.com/orthewhale.

We are all very tired and as I'm the only one of us not sleeping at the moment, I'll try to explain as succintly as possible:

We set out for San Diego at around 10am from San Francisco. At around 12:45, with all going well so far, we smelled a burning smell. We assumed for a second that it was coming from the truck in front of us. Unfortunately, we were wrong. A few seconds later, someone noticed smoke coming through the vents and out from behind the van. We pulled over quickly onto the shoulder and jumped out of the van. We don't have an exact cause but basically, we think Cleo just had had enough. It was hot, she was beat up and dragging a heavy trailer, and she simply gave out. Some fluid (transmission fluid or oil) leaked out onto one of the pipes underneath the engine and started a small fire. Luckily everyone's quick action and some help from a nice trucker and another awesome driver helped put the fire out and make sure that everyone and everything were under control. After a while, we were joined by two fire trucks, a helicopter, and two low flyings planes coming to make sure everything was safe and put out.

After towing the van and trailer from the middle of the I-5 to Matt's great uncle's house in Fresno (60 miles or so), and realizing it was already 3pm, we conceded the fact that we would have to cancel the first show of our big summer tour. With a ton of help (and a 5 1/2 hour drive up from San Diego) from my parents, we procured a new vehicle and at 3am on Sunday morning we set out for Austin, Texas.

After a long, arduous, fun, ridiculous, and slightly insane 20 something hour drive, we are here in Austin. Here are some highlights: "hey baybay", Matt's chupacabra rap, Lindsay falling asleep with her mouth open, the Thing?!, Patton Oswald and the Chipmunks Christmas record, our new nicknames, our new ride, our new trailer, the smell of West Texas, the crazy lightning, the plagues of locusts, toads, and blood, Dr. Terrence Noseworthy (our favorite Texas stray dog), and oh so many more. We've been taken in by Julie's cousin and her family and we'll be staying here for the next two days.

Can't wait to go play our first show of the tour tonight. Seems like we've been on tour forever and we haven't even played. Weird. Anyway, thank you to everyone who's helped us out in anyway (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, girlfriends, boyfriends, random people, firemen, cops, etc). Looking at this list, I can't even imagine how many people will continue to help us. If you're in Texas, come see us in Austin tonight. Hopefully I can find some barbequed tempeh.

Alex and OTW


Towards Thee We Roll...

And Call to Landlocked Masses!

We will be embarking on our tour at around 9am on Saturday morning. Hold tight, San Diego. We'll be coming to rock your britches and shake your hands. For more info on all the shows check us out here and here. The latter website has pretty damn efficient information on each show (directions/venue websites/bandwebsites/price/ages/etc). Thanks Julie for all your hard work!

For now, we'll be packing and buying loads and loads of strings. We'll update this as regularly as we can but the first few days will have lots of driving involved so please be patient. Hope to see you soon!

Alex and OTW