February 21, 2013
U.S tour day 16: 8/15/2012, Chicago, IL day 1

Of course you’re going to sleep in too late when you get the rare, and winning combination of a bed in a room with no windows. Chicago isn’t that far anyways, but it would have been nice to get in early and beat the traffic. Which ended up happening smoothly anyways. Maybe plans don’t matter. But really, I just wanted to get breakfast with Neil and hang out one last time before he had work. On the way down a plane caught me by surprise when it flew really low and landed on an airstrip right next to the freeway.

The show tonight was at Hotel Earth, a basement in Logan Square. In fact, if you google map “Logan Square” the marker is like 100 feet from the house. My boy Ben just rolled up on his bike and let me in to bring some gear in and stuff. I first met him last time I was in Chicago and we hung out in Los Angeles when Pillars in Tongues came through a month prior so we figured a house show together would be real solid.

Then I went to my friend Gabe’s apartment around the corner. This entry is going to pretty much get hijacked now… Gabe is one of my best friends, we’ve done two tours and several releases together. He runs the excellent Lillerne Tape Club and will be releasing the aforementioned split with Golden Donna that I’m working on. His Vehicle Blues project is just so perfect. One of my favorite projects ever and has gotten me through a lot. The songs and lyrics just resonate so hard. Here are a bunch of amazing songs he’s done as VB and as Gelatin Kids.

Vehicle Blues - “Oscar Bought a Boat”

Vehicle Blues - “OD Plus”

Vehicle Blues - “Sleeping With Tallboy” (East River Pipe cover)

Gelatin Kids - “66 Bus”

Gelatin Kids - “Streetsweeper”

Gabe is one of many people that represents to me why we’re all part of some fringe scene who all support each other and do this stuff. Most people don’t really get it: we’re obviously not making money, there’s like 20 people at shows, our music is probably not that good, etc. So to them, it’s like what’s the point? It’s for our friends and all these relationships we build over years of mailing each other packages and seeing each other once in a blue moon, and the relationships we build with each other’s friends and so on. It’s hard to explain. But I’d rather do this than waste my money on Xbox, and try to make temporary friends at bars and play fantasy football with co-workers or whatever it is that people my age do. In all fairness, there are way cooler things people do too, but it’s just a different world to me.

Anyways, Gabe wasn’t even in Chicago, he was in Wisconsin. We flip-flopped states. So I got the keys from his roommate Kyle who is the most talkative and friendly dude there is. Whenever I’d see him at shows in Chicago he’d just be chatting it up, having a blast. Our friend Drew was gonna be moving from New York and needed to stay at Gabe’s for a while, but if I had the keys, he’d have no way to get back in. So I walked to the hardware store and made copies for him and ate at this amazing Mexican restaurant that Vince from Cousins recommended: Quesadilla La Reyna Del Sur. It’s like a vegetarian Mexican place, kind of a weird premise but really awesome. Their big burrito is seriously like 20” long and thick as a 2-liter soda. Steak quesadillas, awesome. Headed back and couldn’t get ahold of Drew.

It was a bummer cause Drew is totally on the same level as Gabe for me. If it weren’t for him, our whole thing together wouldn’t exist. There really are no words but he is super important to me. He is in a band called Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk, plays solo as Katrina Stonehart and in a bunch of weird things no one knows about, and runs the Solid Melts label. I remember once we finally met for the first time he just said “you should come on tour with us, ya know? It’d be fun.” simple and plain. It’s stupid it took 4 years to happen.

BBDDM/VB/KG roaming the woods in Akron, OH:
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Long story short, Drew missed a train and had no place to store his stuff, so he didn’t move back to Chicago and we wouldn’t get to hang out until I made it to New York. It sucked but I was just glad he was okay and surviving.

As for the show at Hotel Earth, it was really fun but a little too insane for me to handle that night. Chicago is an intense place and I was already exhausted. It was Theo’s birthday so people mostly partied and just being around that kind of drains me real fast. I managed to take one picture, of Ben’s band This Is Cinema:
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My friend Ezra Buchla’s cousin was there and hung out. Teen River Jake aka GORDON and Tom aka Roland Potions swung by and the cops came when it was just about over cause it was too crazy. Kyle helped me carry my gear back to Gabe’s and I tried to read for a bit before calling it a night. It was an exhausting and emotional day in the city.

February 27, 2012
Spring batch out now / label showcase tourdates announced

Hi everyone, on the eve of departing for the label’s first showcase tour across the USA through April 2012, here are 4 new releases and a re-issue of Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk’s first album. I’m really excited about this batch and the tour. For anyone who can make it to the shows, there will be plenty of surprises and new releases you won’t see on the site. After I return, leftovers and several new albums including the label’s debut vinyl release will be available.

ordering info/package deals/tourdates: http://www.bridgetownrecords.info

Download a free sampler mixtape: http://www.mediafire.com/3hap8unz1r6xyeh

RSVP for FREAK CITY ALL-STARS aka the Bridgetown label showcase tour:
http://www.facebook.com/events/267598619986396

Kevin Greenspon - Maroon Bells C20

In support of two comprehensive USA tours this year and on the heels of splits with Former Selves, Sky Stadium and Trudgers, Greenspon has finally offered his first official follow-up album to 2010’s Unveiling and the Common Objects 12” LP (restocked below in the distro). Greenspon effortlessly transforms gentle progressions of soothing guitar notes into a graceful choir of blurry tape collage. The six pieces on Maroon Bells are concise recollections of a very specific set of personal memories: those first times you had dreams of disappearing, seeing a city from the mountains, being dwarfed by the skeleton of a skyscraper, and the deafening railroad tracks that threaten the hope of sleeping to dream once again. Limited to 100 chrome cassettes dubbed in real-time and 100 stamped CDrs in full-color printed jackets.

Chasms - The Science of Consciousness C14

Cody Kirkendall’s recent releases as Chasms showcase a very refined take on contemporary synth composition. His craftsmanship of briskly paced sci-fi miniatures are brief but highly personal doses of kosmische electronica. These documents place the inner self under a microscope, revealing a wide spectrum of fine details that flicker in and out of focus for mere seconds at a time. While much of the current crop of sci-fi synth obsesses over the infinite bounds of outer space, Kirkendall’s work serves as a reminder that there is more to us than meets the eye, and that perhaps our exploration of the cosmos should begin inside ourselves. Limited to 100 chrome cassettes dubbed in real-time.

Aurland Gruvan - mixtape #2: Emerald Ocean C30

Based in Gothenburg and Oslo, Aurland Gruvan dismantles the core components of electronic songs in house, trance and other club-friendly genres without the use of key/beatmatching or automated DJ software. His ongoing mixtape series serves as a calculated exercise in using manual and hands on editing/mixing techniques to reassemble their beats, frequencies, vocal patterns and structures. Gruvan avoids the petty indulgence to include tracks found on pedestrian dancefloors or to experiment with free-form ideas, opting for a more refined mix with mainstream production values. Limited to 90 chrome cassettes dubbed in real-time.

N.M. - C10

Crashing onto the Los Angeles noise scene while still in his teens, Nial Morgan’s explosive live performances and sporadic output as Wrong Hole are a prime example of how to raise the bar and then proceed to destroy it multiple times… all before even graduating from high school. Morgan’s raw approach molds vintage styles into a youthful vessel, beckoning a much-needed renaissance of harsh textures and attitudes in classic form. These two side-long pieces are the real deal: menacing, energetic and unforgiving doses of contact mic punishment committed to tape.  Limited to 50 chrome cassettes dubbed in real-time.

Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk – Jam Packed Full of Awesome C30 cassette tape

Hazy indie rock tunes bridged by a smooth veneer of ambient and experimental instrumentation. Recorded years ago in Kansas at the onset of Chomp Womp fever, BBDDM are now nomads roaming the country from rural California, the Midwest and East coast. This is a long overdue reissue of their first album, just in time for the Freak City All-Stars Bridgetown label showcase tour. Limited to 60 chrome cassettes dubbed in real-time.