Monday, October 24, 2011

Nova scotia to nyc. Holy crap.
Farewell Nova Scotia you sea bound coast!
Farewell Nova Scotia you sea bound coast!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hanging with our omaha friends tonight :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

"scholastic gig in WV!" live on Ustream. Come watch and chat! - ustre.am/fYWd (6:28pm)
West virginia mountain mama. Take me home.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Broadcasting from the mix studio! http://t.co/SFo8rtuI
saxo-ma-phone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

AQUARIUM!!

WOWWEEEEEEE!! we had the greatest stroke of luck last night in Minneapolis - we were doing our intro to 'sharks', in which heather typically mentions something about her life-long fear of the terrifying deep sea predator, and there happened to be an aquarium educator named dana in the audience. after the show she propositioned us - "meet me at the aquarium tomorrow" she said, "and i will teach you not to be afraid of sharks!" so what could we do?? we agreed!!

and what an amazing decision it was. here is our trip - in photos:

here we are entering the "SEA LIFE" exhibit - it was in the mall of america! another first for most of us.

this is a super creepy jelly-belly-fish!

that's a slimey grimey eel-man hiding there!!

this is a super sweet adorable sea horse!!

THIS WAS THE PART WHERE HEATHER WAS THE MOST BRAVE!! and the most terrified...

video

it was such a fantastic trip!! look how happy we are (also pictured is Lennon, the drummer from Ha Ha Tonka and recent inductee into the Spring Standards Top Pals Hall of Fame):

SUCH GREAT TIMES! THANK YOU DANA!!
love,
jhj

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Zenith Cafe, Pittsburgh PA

hey folks, heather here.
i love my new iPhone for many reasons but mainly because it lets me take pictures of lovely places - places like the zenith cafe in pittsburgh, PA, where we enjoyed an absolutely delicious lunch yesterday. formatting this blog is a headache so i'm gonna leave it a bit haphazard, but you'll get the idea. observe:


each table had its own unique, colorful aesthetic, complete with tablecloths, place-mats and vintage dinnerware.


look how you can see me in the mirror through the front door! oh and the bathroom was all owl-themed. we were OWL about it!! PUNS!!



oh and did i mention there's a flea market-style vintage shop attached to the restaurant?? yeah. it was really awesome. you should go here next time you're in pittsburgh - it's a no brainer.

that's all for now friends.
xojhj

Thursday, April 14, 2011

the skinny

ok so now we're gonna tell the story now of how we got kicked off of a tour once. if you're in the know then you already know who this tour was with (if you don't know, just scroll through our facebook wall...), but in the interest of maintaining some semblance of professionalism we're going to call the party in question "JENNIFER". you know, to protect the innocent. like in dragnet.

full disclosure: we're not gonna tell the whole truth, nothing but the truth so help us god right here on the internet. too dangerous, too immortal. we'll tell bits and pieces here but the full play by play must remain protected. cause it's just the right thing to do.

basically, JENNIFER thought we were too chatty. we were flappin' our lips too much with nice fans and people who wanted to buy things from us and one night she decided to make a not very nice comment about it during her set. obviously, we were not very happy about that decision. so we talked about it after the show and both parties simply could not see the other's point of view. it was like that scene in 'translations' (a brian friel play) where the two lovers are talking in different languages, except minus the romantic part. now you get it!

so the next night, after playing a rockin' second-to-last show with JENNIFER, we found out that she didn't want us to play the final show in Charlottesville. we had been kicked off! we felt like rebels, we bought motorcycles immediately and began carrying switch blades. but here's where the real triumph began - we happened to know we had some pals coming out to the show in Charlottesville, including some members of a middle school class whose teacher introduced them to our music and was going to accompany them to the show. so we had to act fast - we immediately started calling anyone and everyone we knew and within a few hours of being kicked off the show in Charlottesville, we had another show booked in Charlottesville!! SWEET SWEET VICTORY!! it was awesome. and we lived happily ever after.

so there you have it folks! bet you didn't know we were such badasses.

sugar sweet kisses and ponies forever,
jhj

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ha Ha WWWHHHAAAAAA???? Tonka.

Some things must be said,

Ha Ha Tonka is the name of the band that we are currently on tour with.
They are comprised of four incredibly kind and talented individuals.
Their Tour Manager/sound engineer is named James.
That makes three James' on one tour.
This is too many.
Two of them will have to go.
May the longest haired, beard-having-one with the last name Smith win...

just sayin'.

On another note... we played 'The Intersection' again last night.
and fewweeeee... what an interesting show.

Here's my impression of the first 3 songs...

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOEeeeeeEEEEEEEOoooooOOOOOoooEEEEEee..

(thanks supposed to symbolize ear bleedingly loud feedback...)

After we climbed that mountain, the show started to look up.
Then we got to hear Ha Ha Tonka rock out.
they sure can sing and play.

If you are coming to any of the shows on this tour, get ready for an mind melting eye popping music loving fest.

Well, that's it for now. short and to the point...
well, I guess not straight to the point... but we got there in the end...

~JHJ

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Denton.

Has anyone ever met another James Smith?
People tend to laugh when Smith introduces himself using his full name.
Well, laugh, or say "wait, really?...James Smith?"
sometimes followed by... "like John Smith?..but James?"

James will respond... "Yeah, sounds common, but have you ever, in your life, met another one?"
Then there is a pause, and "hey wait, yeah, never"

He still holds true to this response. But last night came pretty close to debunking his entire defense.
The sound man at 'Dans Silver leaf'?

... Jimmy Smith.

But he does not go by James.... FEW.

We had actually met Jimmy the last time we came through Denton. A really nice sound engineer. And an engineer through and through. He was all about sound the last time we came through...a perfectionist, if you will.

The last time we were in Denton he came up to us after the show and said, "you guys were really really great... when you first came in, and were all so nice, I was like... 'ah crap these guys are gonna suck', cause the bands who are really nice, usually suck"

We became fast friends, and when were were back this time (though he wasn't doing sound for us) he set us up with an incredibly competent sound guy, by the name of Coy.

We got permission to set up early (always a plus when your set up is a musical version of the popular children's game "Mouse Trap") and even had time afterwards to go and check out some other music before we did our sound check.

The show went great. One for the books in fact. It was one of those shows where the sound, energy of the crowd and tightness of these three squid and the guppy (Noah) all came together and felt great.

After the show, we went to see more music.
such good music.
This is the second of three festivals that we're played with Mavis Staples.
We're basically best friends by now.

And now some pictures.

Silver Leaf stage.


Mavis.Mister Heavenly (Michael Cera on bass)

no explanation necessary

Until next time,
~JHJ

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Arkansas, cigarette smoke and a one mand Band.

Here we be.
We fearsome three.
In Arkansas to play for thee.

the end.

What a Nutso Showzo. We pay homage to all of the bands and singers of the past that had to play in smokey clubs. If you kept your voice...we bow to you.
After a 17 hour sound check with "Buzz Galore" (our new touring companion), we started playing our first show of this SxSW tour.
Not bad. Not bad at all.

After the show, we cleared some of the stage so that the next band could set up.
The next band was called "Noise Letter." In this band was a hug-friendly, kind spirited, young man, his guitar and an ipod full of pre made garage band tracks.

Watching this gentleman play was a site to behold. You could almost picture him in an arena playing to thousands.
just to list a few of the rock n' roll moves...

The 'tongue out' move, the ole 'foot up on the monitor' move, the 'in the crowd with just a mic' move, the 'sexy stare to the girl in the front row' move, and the ole 'thank you Fayetteville' move.

He was a generous and kind spirited guy, and his company was much appreciated and enjoyed.

We found out that we were going to stay upstairs with our new friend/promoter, Haley. Again, another kind spirited generous individual.

Let it be known, Fayetteville, we like your people. Not a bad egg did we meet in our 16 hours there.

When we awoke in the morning there was a chill in the air, but buds on the trees. A beautiful cloudless day.

Before we left for Denton, TX, we needed our coffee and 'in-town' experience.
Off to the pre discovered "Kafe" down the street. We downed a delish cup of joe then off we set to a grocery store for more breakfasty goods.

Look what WE found.

It's a Basketball...

Thanks Fayetteville.
Denton... You've got your work cut out for you.

~JHJ

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

you know it's bad when...

...23 hours of driving in 2 days feels manageable.

HELLO! we are currently in missouri. yesterday we were in new york. skies were blue yesterday but today they have been overcast. we ate a sit-down dinner at wendy's last night - it was romantic. we stayed in a very inexpensive hotel and ate a delicious continental breakfast this morning, completely with oddly dented hard-boiled eggs. we saw the st. louis arc thing and drove right past it. that was sad - we like st. louis.

tonight we are playing in fayetteville, AR - we've never been there but it seems like a pretty rockin' place. or anyway it will be once we done with it. BOOYAH.

this tour will be fun because we get to be both musicians and super-fans. we've been pouring over the schedules of 35 Conferette and SXSW, circling shows we want to see, making lists and strategies for maximum intake over the next 2 weeks - so many talented people in one gigantic state. how did texas get so lucky?

like you lots,
JHJ

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Inselhaus

The skies were cold, the college streets were deserted, the frat yards were filled with last nights empty miller lite cans and we were searching for our gig in "the parking lot behind the old abandoned cinema" (direct quotation). We eventually found the deserted (haunted) cinema, which led us to our destination. We were going to do some ghost-busting but then we realized we forgot our proton packs - and furthermore, we had a gig to play.

Cleare assembled gear while Heather proudly tagged our new road cases with spray paint (the seed of street art having been planted during a recent viewing of 'Exit Through the Gift Shop'). Meanwhile, Smith did an inventory check (isn't this fascinating?!) and Noah spoke to the promoter of the next nights show in Milwaukee, only to find out that the gig had to be canceled for ambiguous reasons. Sorrow.

We played the show and had a grand ol' time. Smith became the secret crowd favorite because he had unknowingly worn a hoody that wielded the initials "V.I.T." which was a local school at which a few of the audience members were currently employed. Smith claims it was an incredible coincidence and that he had received the sweatshirt from a friend a few years ago. Pshh-yeah right, we all know it was planned. Brown noser...

After the show we headed on a serious mission for food. Heather was on the verge of collapse and was threatening to eat all our faces if she didn't get some grub in her tummy asap. We went into one of the only places open in town and were greeted with the words "kitchen's closed". Heather went on a murdering spree with her eyes (we all joined at this point). Luckily, not too soon after we found a diner and got to ordering far too much food for not very much money! (holllaaaaaa)

After our bellies were full we headed to our digs for the night. It was a lovely Bed and Breakfast called "Inselhaus." If we were B+B reviewers, we would give it an 5 star, A+ rating. We were greeted by Dorothee (the owner/operator), told where to park and directed to our rooms.

What service. What nice rooms. What delicious food. It felt like we were home, and on the road that is hard to come by.

So if you are EVER in Macomb, IL, you have to look it up. It's amazing and relaxing and beautiful and special.

In the morning we had coffee brought to us in the living room - picture Smith reading "Treasure Island" fireside in a huge chair with a piping hot cup of joe. Pretty great, right?

Then when everyone was up it was breakfast time...

just a visual taste for ya...



Oh yeah did we mention robes?



All we're saying is...stay there.

That's it for now,
~JHJ

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pancho.

Yesterday at 6:30pm - we pull up in front of a Mexican Restaurant with enthusiastic Christmas decorations still shining from every window.




Smith: Is this the place?
Noah: Yeah.
Smith: Do we know the parking situation?
Noah: I'm.....no...

Enter Pancho

**Loudest Whistle ever**

Pancho: You. park. HERE.
Us: oh, ok.

After a forceful, yet pleasant greeting (strong handshakes all around) we were led into the venue and given a tour.

Pancho: The stage, bar and you come with gear. Here.

Then, with a slight smirk, he extended a single finger, said something that none of us could understand and walked over to a few switches on the wall. Not taking his eyes off us for a second (still smirking) he flicked the switch and said "if you like..."

In an instant the small Mexican bar/restaurant/venue was transformed into a hip hoppin' laser light showin' club. Multi-colored lights dancing and zooming across the walls and ceiling. Lasers shooting all over the bar, reflecting off and through the liquor bottles. Pancho was very pleased.

Later that evening we would see the very same Pancho dancing behind the bar while playing loud rhythmic instruments slightly off beat (to the chagrin of whichever band was playing live a few feet away). He had many other surprises up his sleeve, including some of the strangest bar tricks we had ever seen involving two glasses filled with water, a lolly pop, 2 pencils, 4 straws, 2 tooth picks and 2 forks.

The climax of the night was when Pancho insisted we do shots with him and proceeded to pour glasses of possibly the most repulsive yellowish liquid we have ever tasted. He would not tell us what was in it. It was a secret recipe.

First day of tour. Hitting the ground running.



Until next time,
~JHJ

Sunday, January 30, 2011

this weekend

this weekend was incredible. completely unforgettable and humbling. singing 'forever young' behind the swell season and alongside so many folk legends, looking up at the 3rd balcony and listening to 3,500 people join in on the chorus - just perfect. a perfect moment in life.

thank you all for listening to us, and supporting us as much as you do all the time. we never could have made it to a weekend like this one without all of you - we are so lucky.

eastward ho,
jhj

Friday, January 28, 2011

michigan!

hey everybodies,

we are in michigan! drove here straight through snow and sleet yesterday, after a battle with brooklyn's unleashed winter fury and the over-priced hardware store snow shovels. the highlight of the 12 hour drive (at least for me) was the twizzlers i ate and the heated twitter debate about the merits of twizzlers vs. twix. interesting stuff...

whenever we play in southern michigan we stay at the summer camp my grandparents have been running for the last 50+ years, located 30 mins outside ann arbor. it's really strange to be there in the off season, when it's completely empty and covered in snow and looks like this:



camp was always the highlight of every summer, my brother and sisters and i would spend a whole month there just living the dream. it's kind of amazing how my life has brought me back there so much over the last year - just have to get a killer game of capture the flag going one of those times and then my life will be truly complete.

we are driving towards ann arbor right now - SO excited for tonight's show! we're only playing 4 songs but we're sharing the stage with THE AVETT BROTHERS, vienna teng, susan werner, the paper raincoat and a slew of other insanely talented artists. is that really how you spell "slew"? what a weird word. EXCITEMENT!!

we're gonna try to make it to zingerman's today, one of ann arbor's finest offerings according to many reliable sources (including sean watkins of 'nickel creek' fame, who first told us of its glories). saturday night we get to kick back and enjoy another amazing lineup, including the swell season and mavis staples. what an unbelievable weekend!

later gators,
heather

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

EP

Guys, guys, guys, guys!!!!

We're actually doing it!
it's OOOONNNN!!!

We are in the studio recording some tunes in the hopes of finishing the first installment of a two ep collection so soon.

So far, so amazing. We have been losing sleep over the excitement.
So now that we've checked in.
How are you all?

yup. we're asking.
how are you?

~JHJ