Monday, March 22, 2010

Tour Life

In addition to the five people making up the musical members of TMR, Lyrycyst, and Adam Cappa there are also five other people on the road with us. One is the wife of Lyrycyst, one is a band manager, one is a baby (literally a two year old), one is a photographer/videographer, and one is a Husband/Chef/Handyman/RV Mechanic/Source of Much Needed Reason; we’ll call him Nick Bellanca. All of these people united create a night of folk rock, hip-hop, and worship. It is a random mixture of musical genres and personalities, but somehow it works. We are all still working out the kinks of loading ten people in and out of an RV day after day, shoving luggage into small spaces, fandangling musical gear into the small undercarriage compartments on the bus and finding places to sleep ten bodies at night. These ridiculous games of “Bag Tetris” have been one of the most challenging aspects of the trip thus far. Oh and then of course there are ten different opinions to weigh, consider, hear out, and acknowledge before any forward progress is made. Let’s just say that we’re a slow-moving crew. In spite of our turtle-like pace we’ve been accomplishing great things.
We’ve had a fair share of sight seeing thanks to the boundless energy and curiosity of Adam Cappa. We’ve captured priceless memories in the form of video and photos thanks to the artistic eye of Jerome Love. We’ve rocked a crowd of 900 crazy kids in the Skydome at Northern Arizona State University thanks to the booking expertise of Steven Cooper. We’ve found one of the greatest cafes in the west at Macy’s CafĂ© in Flagstaff, AZ thanks to the recommendation of National Public Radio. We’ve strolled the strip in Vegas on St. Patrick’s Day thanks to luck of the Irish I’ve got flowing through my veins. And this has all happened within the first week of our tour.
The wide-open road lies before us. Right now we’re driving north out of Flagstaff to gaze upon the most majestic hole in the ground that this planet’s got to offer; The Grand Canyon. From there we head east to land of Dorothy and Toto. We play a show in Kansas and then for the entire month of April play shows five, sometimes six, days a week. April is going to be completely filled with music.
As we move forward keep us in your prayers. We’ve been taking a hefty thrashing in regards to health, comfort, and predictability, but hey that’s what being a musicianary is all about! The further we travel the more I realize that this tour isn’t about our music, or the advancement of any of our individual goals. This tour has become a gauntlet of trials, valleys and mountains, satisfaction and desperation. This tour and its unpredictable nature have forced everyone of us to let go of our selfishness (no room for that in this RV), our pride (no room for that with nine other ego’s to deal with), and our schedule (the road is narrow at times, and sometimes it’s not even paved). We push on like one big turtle on a mission to finish the race set before us. Godspeed this turtle on.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Our New Wheels!

We’ve finally united with the RV that is destined, God-willing, to carry us an estimated 18,000 miles across the States. It has been quite an ordeal in getting it to where we were (Sacramento) from where it has been stored for the last six years (Denver). I don’t have all the nitty gritty annoying details about what went wrong in getting the RV in driving shape in time for tour. There were a number of things that went wrong, were ill-prepared, and unfortunate. I’m treating all of that as a stinky stream of water under the bridge. The positive news is that the RV has finally reached the nine people who have needed it; who just so happened to be waiting for it in Las Vegas at this point in the tour.

A man named Rod Rasmussen (Lyrycyst’s manager’s father) and daughter Sarah (Lyrycyst’s manager) drove a mammoth 45-foot Overland cruising machine from a mechanic’s shop in Colorado out to the craziness of Las Vegas getting pumped for St. Patty’s day. We are incredibly grateful for the willingness of Rod to not only drive the RV to us, but to also take our van we’d been using previously back to Sacramento before flying back to his home in Colorado.

We’ve only been on the road for six days and already this trip has been packed with copious amounts of travel, sightseeing, and music. We’re now heading into unknown territory. From this point on we head east, east and more east. The landscape is slowly becoming more and more unfamiliar. We have a few days of shows in Arizona, and hope to catch a glimpse of the Grand Canyon before we leave this rusty red state. Some highlights thus far are that we experienced mayhem and stupidity of Las Vegas on a holiday associated most often with drunkenness and drunkenness, we waded through the tide-pools at Cabrillo point in San Diego, got a panorama of Los Angeles from the top of the Griffith Observatory, and this morning crossed our beastly mother of transportation across the Hoover Dam.

Some things to keep in your prayers would be our health (we’ve all been sick in TMR with a nasty cough, sinus infection, and other ailments detrimental to singing). Pray for our safety driving this beast (who has no name and remains gender-less, but in my mind is a motherly woman). Pray that we will communicate well with one another, and be patient, respectful, considerate and humble as we’ve got no choice but to be in one another’s company from here on out forever and ever amen. Thanks!

PS: As soon as I posted this blog, much more interesting stuff has occurred. How will I keep up? Please be patient with me as I attempt to document as much as possible about this journey we’re on. -Dane

Monday, March 15, 2010

Southern California

So we've been without our RV now for over a week. In fact none of us on tour have yet even seen this RV, perhaps it doesn't even exist. Perhaps. So instead of jam-packing 10 people, musical equipment, and luggage onto an RV we've been packing into a 15 passenger van. This van has two rows of seats taken out of it to make room for the luggage, so if you do the math you'll realize that we're not exactly comfortable while driving. Everyone has caught a cold of some kind. We've just passed it on to one another, out of love of course. The plan is that we'll soon meet the RV in.... I don't know, but soon hopefully.
Our logistical situation sucks, but all in all we ARE having a great time.
We played a show in Torrance and La Mesa down here in SoCal. Both shows we're very small in size, but great in response to our music. Every show has been really encouraging so far.
Fortunately we've now got a couple days off to chill before we play a show again down in Arizona. Our plan is to get over our sicknesses, and wait for our beloved RV to come rescue us from the laps of one another.
Continue praying for our safety, our health, and our mission to spread hope and love through our music and the relationships it enables us to make.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

TMR's Census 2010

What kind of audience does The Music Room draw? Well, in the spirit of this year’s census, I’ve hunkered down, crunched some numbers, and did a little research to find out who listens to our music. The following information was gathered with permission from the powers that be, and has not been manipulated or skewed in any way to further the private interests of The Music Room Inc.
To simplify your reading of our analysis, we’ve broken it down into four unique categories. We were awed by the diversity among our listeners.
Category 1 represents “What People Do” when they listen to our music.
Category 2 represents “Gender, and Human Developmental Stages” at which people listen to our music.
Category 3 represents a list of “Food People Sometimes Eat” while listening to our music.
Category 4 represents a behind the scenes look at “What People Think About” when listening to our music.
Category I: WPD
Pull Weeds/Till Soil
Plan Weddings
Answer Telephones/Make Plans
Drive Public Transit Vehicles
Earn Degrees (GED and BA’s)
Train in Boot Camp
Clean Teeth
Design Buildings
Plant Gardens
Breed Horses
Collect Unemployment
Category II: G&HDS
Fetuses in-utero (depending on mother)
Baby Boys
Baby Girls
Male Toddlers
Female Toddlers
Adolescent Girls
Adolescent Boys
Grown Men
Grown Women
Old Men
Old Women
Senior Citizen Varieties
Category III: FPSE
Carne Asada Burritos
Peanut Butter-filled Pretzel Squares
Girl Scout Cookies
Mashed Potatoes
Jimmy Dean sausages
Power Bars/Tiger Milk Bars
Pad Se Ewe
Naan Bread
Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies
Category IV: WPTA
Other random female vocalists
We sincerely hope that this census has improved your understanding of the demographic that listens to The Music Room’s music. If you find yourself fitting into one of these categories but have not yet listened to their music, I urge you to check out “Lesser Loves” their debut album on iTunes, or any other major song-downloading site for that matter. This census has helped us know how to better serve you, the fan and audience, whether while you’re eating curry or thinking about eternity. Thank you!