Monthly Archives: October 2010

10.28.10 – And the winner is…

Seems fitting to announce this one after a great homecoming-show-of-sorts at the State Theater in Portland ME.  Whereas most of Easy Wonderful is about the usual Guster lyrical topics (catastrophes, depression, drowning, loneliness, troubled relationships, armageddon, general insecurity, biblical floods), the one song we asked you to submit videos for, “Bad Bad World,” is actually hopeful and optimistic.  I don’t know what got into us (Ryan) on that one.

And that’s why we chose Nora McCormack video as the winner…

Her simple idea was moving and inspiring and brought the best out of the lyric.  We’re happy to put her work in there among our other videos, like the one where the paper mache pig with the ear that looks like it was burned off floats away with balloons, and the one where we are cartoon mimes.

I would be a horrible person if I didn’t mention that this was a difficult decision, and the creativity in all your submissions was humbling.  Here are a few honorable mentions, with a special shout-out to the Candyman Crew, because we want your smiling, mustached protagonist on stage with us as soon as possible…

HONORABLE MENTION:

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10.27.10 – Ithaca

Ithaca NY — Ryan was under the weather and didn’t have much of a voice at this show, which usually isn’t a huge problem because we can lean on our other singer to step up whenever this happens.  Except that Adam had a cold and a froggy voice too.

So we went out there and just tried our best.  We didn’t let the drummer sing, but we did resort to other tactics (Ryan “crowd-surfed” while singing a Neil Diamond song for the first time in like, five years) to make sure the crowd was entertained.  We are entertainers.  Here we are now.

And I felt like it was a great show.  It was one of the tightest Do You Love Me’s we’ve ever played, except for the fact that our vocalists sounded mid-puberty on every chorus.

Before the show I wrote “Scooter is GORGES” on the keyboard-chalkboard, as a nod to the omnipotent green t-shirt that’s one of the most famous exports of the town we were playing in.  I thought I did a good job.  And Adam thought he did a great job adding Scooter and a can of Sunkist into the mix.

Later we realized that while we were going for something like the famous smiling Scooter in this photo….

… we came closer to recreating Little Black Sambo the famous smiling racist stereotype in this picture.  Apologies.  We are slowly improving as chalk artists.

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10.24.10 – D.C.

We’d played the DAR Constitution Hall once before, opening for Mayer in 2002.  I remembered it was carpeted, seated, and generally felt like you were playing to Congress.  I remembered it was located amongst the buildings you see on the back of your paper money.

So last night I was impressed that our show felt great.  Much less sterile than the one with Mayer.  It was like a rock show in a mini C-SPAN arena.  I liked it.  We sort of disappeared into the middle of the crowd for a rough, barely audible “Jesus on the Radio” at the end of the night.  I played my shaker while standing on a seat though.  Thanks to whoever put this photo up on my Facebook page.  I’m still going to remove your tag though.

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10.13.10 – Wood Men

Omaha.

Because the venue we played was right next to Greenstreet Cycles, we got our broken bicycles fixed in exchange for guest list spots, and I got to ride my bike to McFoster’s Cafe, where I ate an eggplant sandwich and didn’t even mind the soy cheese, and along the way I noticed the Omaha skyline, which doesn’t leave much of an impression, except for the one WOODMEN building that I put on the new keyboard-chalkboard on the stage, minutes before our set started.

I didn’t really leave enough room for the “N”…

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10.09.10 – TOP 5 THINGS I SHOULD HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT IN THE ROAD JOURNAL OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS

It’s Saturday October 9th.  I’m stealing internet from the lobby of the Moonrise Hotel in St Louis, and I actually have a window of time to compose a road journal for the first time in a while.  The powers that be have had us on a busy promotional frenzy — lots of airports, lots of stripped-down-acoustic-performances-of-do-you-love-me, and one Whole Foods Wine Tasting.

There are so many things that ought to have been documented in a road journal but weren’t.  I will do my best to remember.

TOP 5 THINGS THAT I SHOULD HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT IN THE ROAD JOURNAL OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS

1.  Luke Shows Up For Work Covered in Poison Sumac

Or, as we like to call it, Toxicodendron vernix.  Poor Luke, all he wanted to do was take a break from learning 55 Guster songs and go for a walk in the VT woods.  Instead, he ends up showing up for rehearsals drenched in Poison Sumac, all the way down to his amaze-balls.  Apparently there’s very little you can do to minimize the itch except wait. Twelve days.  The rash is gone now and Luke absolutely tore it up on Captain last night.  Movin’ on…

2.  Ram Dass Plays the Glockenspiel

We were in Berkeley CA standing outside Alice Waters’ restaurant Chez Panisse in late September.  Our record label was paying.  Sitting on the grassy median on Shattuck Ave was a barefoot, bearded, Berkeley-looking guy on a blanket.  He approaches us because he recognizes us as Guster.  He says his name is Ram Dass Khalsa.  Naturally, we ask him if he plays keyboards.  He says yes.  Next thing we know he’s on stage rocking the glockenspiel like a gangster.

That’s Ram Dass on the far right in the pic below.

We had a great hang with Ram Dass and his friends, and it turns out that he tours with the same New Age group that Luke recorded guitars for.  I think that’s how it went.  Either way, they were instantly spiritually bonded from that experience.  As were we from ours.  After the show we went over to some massive food court for Afghan food, and I blew the biggest bubble of my life from one gumball.  Don’t worry, it’s forthcoming as a special vanity merchandise item with the word ROSENWORCEL on it:

3.  Watch Your Back Lil Dwayne Here Comes Guster

Amazingly, our album came out on Tuesday and lived for a brief moment at #2 on the overall iTunes sales charts.  Ryan caught a screen grab:

We’ve since fallen out of the top ten, but it was nice to be in there amongst the Lil Wayne’s, Toby Keith’s, and Mr A to Z’s of the world for a moment.  Thanks for the thrill, legal digital downloaders .

4.  The River 15th Anniversary Party in Boston

Chad Carlberg, who directed the video for “Do You Love Me,” blew in like a tornado and dressed up the stage for this show with art from our video.  And captured his daughter, Maggie Blue, in a magic pre-show photo:

You can see more cute footage of Maggie at the end of Chad’s Treatment Proposal for the video, which is an awesome explanation of how the video went down (or, was supposed to go down).

And you can see a damn cute photo of my daughter Jolene in her Halloween bumblebee suit (a hand me down from Maggie Blue) here:

5.  Security and Sportsmanship

Thursday night we played an event for WXRT in Chicago — it was at the Cubby Bear, right across from Wrigley Field, a place where we used to open up for Lynyrd Skynyrd cover bands when we first started touring (1995).  The format for the show was a slightly awkward interview-twice-on-stage-mid-show thing, which is how they do it for some CBS show that the performance is taped for.  I think.

Anyway, while dealing with some guitar issue, we launched into a spew song called “Security and Sportsmanship” that we pray sees the light of day, awkward as it might be for a high profile radio show to air a sloppy made-up-on-the-spot song for three minutes.  Okay, seven minutes.

After the show, I watched Rodd Tuffcurls & The Bench Press slay the crowd for three sets of covers, including a few that Gus(ter) used to play back when we were, umm, covering Tiffany and Madonna.

If the Cubby Bear didn’t make their bands play for four hours a night, we could have gone over to Ian’s for mac & cheese pizza with those guys.

6.  Midnight Visit to City Museum in St Louis

Oh wait, that’s tonight…

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