HOUSTON (we have a problem)

Okay I know we’ve had some problems in the past, Houston TX but now all is forgiven.  A fan who works at NASA’s Johnson Space Center offered us a VIP tour of the facility this morning, and we took full advantage.  Here are the top 5 things I learned about NASA today:

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1.  Being in space is a lot like being on a tour bus.  You sleep in these little coffin-sized spaces, you Instagram pics of yourself and then everyone thinks your life is awesome, there’s nowhere for your pee and poo to go when you flush, and if you get sick of someone else traveling with you TOO BAD they’re about a foot and a half away from you, and they know what you’re thinking.

2.  NASA wants you to know they are still there, and it is the job of rock n roll bands like ours to spread the word.  Ever since the Space Shuttle was k’bosh’d in 2011 people think they fell off the map when really they go to Mars ‘n shit.  We go to Dallas on Friday.

3.  Luke asks the hard-hitting questions:

4.  Beginning in 1998, they’ve assembled their International Space Station piece by piece WHILE IN SPACE, Gravity style.   Think about that.  It’s hard to do that.  You gotta dock your Russian Soyuz rocketship first.

5.  The “water reclamation” system used in space means you kind of drink your pee.  They didn’t outright say it, but I was picking up what they were putting down.

Here are some bonus pics.  The first one is of the crazy ‘bots that roam on the planets.  The second one is Luke, standing in the actual control center where they landed a guy on the moon in 1969.  It looks like a room from the 60’s because it is one.  I had a sip from the water fountain and the tour guide lady said DON’T DRINK THAT WATER!

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Lost in Translation

A quick scroll through the Twitterverse and I’ve noticed that Guster tweets are popping up in strange languages.  Guster:  Videoklippet!  Needless to say, this is pretty exciting for a band that’s been around the USA a few times while traveling overseas like, never. I think there are some German reviews in there, some Italian and Dutch ones too — but it’s not important because I have Google Translate, and I can just zap the reviews into coherent perfectly understandable English.  For example:

Evermotion: Ottanta Colpi di Fulmine

This translates to “Evermotion:  Eighty Shots Lightning” and the review goes on to say… Let it be clear to everyone: we are talking about a group of alt rock or the edge alt pop but still a group outside the box of ‘mainstream easy, so do not expect rubbing or ballets fucking.
 
Let it also be clear to everyone that this next German review from Musik Express is really positive. Or maybe it’s not.  What does it mean that we’re “not as irrelevant” as Maroon 5?  Because those guys just roll along in convertibles showing up at weddings, giving “sugar” to whichever maids of honor they please, and in our country that’s the very definition of relevance.  
 
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Meanwhile, what the hell is going on in this picture?
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Is that our very own Adam Gardner, blizzard-locked in Utah for a week, hanging out with the guitar player from Bon Jovi, a dude from the Sopranos, and John Popper?  What the… and I took a red eye home so I could shovel snow and change diapers!?
Come see us in Europe in March!  Eighty shots of lightning!
3/3 – Manchester UK – Deaf Institute
3/5 – London UK – Bush Hall
3/5 – Paris, FR @ L’International – (Free) | Info
3/6 – Brussels, BE @ Witlobar at Botanique – Tix | Info
3/8 – Rotterdam, NL @ Rotown – Tix | Info
3/9 – Hamburg, DE @ Prinzenbar – Tix | Info
3/10 – Berlin, DE @ Privatclub – Tix | Info
3/12 – Cologne, DE @ Blue Shell – Tix | Info
3/13 – Frankfurt, DE @ Nachteben – Tix | Info
3/14 – Munich, DE @ Orangehouse – Tix | Info
3/14 – Vienna, AT @ Chelsea – Tix | Info
3/16 – Zurich, CH @ Kinski – Tix | Info

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SALT LAKE CITY RECAP – 1.24.15 – kainoa

We made it to Utah.

Last night’s show at The Depot was the band’s fifth of the Evermotion tour, and my fourth and final show with them.

The room was packed, and full of fans last night which is always a pleasant surprise when you’re thinking a place might not exactly be a hub of Guster fans. Apparently Utah IS.

A few photos for you all.

The setlist (which as pictured, does NOT include the SECOND encore of One Man Wrecking Machine, and Jesus on the Radio):

Setlist 1.23.15

(The building’s fire alarm went off during the outro of Ruby Falls, but the band played through the announcement and the alarm was shut off after about a minute. To be honest, I’m not sure they even noticed.)

Brian from behind the curtain:

Brian 1.23.15

Adam on trumpet:

Adam 1.23.15

 

The view from the balcony:

Balcony 1.23.15

 

I didn’t get any pictures of my friend Pat falling out of a rickshaw on our way back to the hotel from the venue, but trust me, it was INCREDIBLE.

Again, it was a pleasure and a privilege to see the new songs evolve and change over a very short period of time. Everything is only getting better. And the crowds have been supportive and impressed by the new music. Ryan described the new album as a grower, and that seems to be true. But the fans are definitely onboard with it.

As I’ve said before, the band is performing really well right now, and the setlists have been really well crafted. For most of you, there will be a concert near you at some point in the next few months, and it’s really worth your time to get out and see the band in this era. You won’t be disappointed. Promise.

I want to give a quick thanks to Josh, the Tour Manager for helping to facilitate my getting in to all the shows I went to, giving me the access, and being really nice and accommodating in general. Thank you Josh.

Brian, thanks for letting me get all up in your Road Journal and on Instagram. I had a blast and I can’t imagine another band that would let and old fan/friend do what you let me do. Thank you Brian.

To the rest of the band. Thanks for letting me all around you and take pictures and for being supportive of this little project.

To the crew. You’re doing a hell of a job and executing a show on a level that if I didn’t know better, would think was the work of at least twice as many people. The lights, the sound, the merch booth, and the techs are killing it. Good job, and thanks for letting me get in your way a few times.

Thanks to any of you that read this, and bigger thanks to those of you that read this AND enjoyed it. There are many more photos I want to share, and maybe we’ll figure out a good way to get some of them out to you in the coming days/weeks.

It was a lot of driving and with not a lot of sleep, but I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.

Go see Guster play the next show near you on this tour. Do it.

That’s all for me. I’m handing the reigns back to the Thundergod.

Starting… NOW.

-Kainoa

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LAS VEGAS RECAP/SALT LAKE CITY PRECAP – 1.23.15 – kainoa

Yesterday started with a drive from San Diego, on which I almost crashed into a TUMBLEWEED the size of a hippo that came across my lane about three seconds before I passed through at a speed that was probably (definitely) over the speed limit.

It was huge, dusty, dried-out bush the size of a Fiat, and it rolled with authority and a complete disregard for those that might be barreling down on it while listening to R&B jams from the ’70s.

Arriving in Las Vegas in a car during the day doesn’t have quite the oomph that landing in a plane at night, or even coming over the pass and seeing the lights slowly reveal themselves does. It’s just kind of… blah. But Vegas is Vegas, and shortly after checking in to my hotel, I made my way to the casino, where I quickly won a little money on a slot machine.

Not content with the possibility of leaving the casino with a few extra dollars in my pocket, I met up with Brian at a blackjack table, and in less than an hour had lost my winnings, and then some more. Then I came back up! But then I lost that. I ended up just south of even, but not too south. A short bus-ride south of even.

The show. The House of Blues Las Vegas is located inside the Mandalay Bay, just yards from where I won at the slots, and lost at the table.

A shot from soundcheck:

Soundcheck1.22.15

A shot from the soundboard during the show:

Soundboard 1.22.15

A shot of the men’s room sinks:

Soap 1.22.15

Highlights of tonight’s show (for me) were:

– “Endlessly,” which has evolved every night over the past three, and each time has sounded incredible. It’s been a lot of fun to see the band tweak it in subtle ways each day. It’s one of my favorites off the album, and I am certainly not tiring of it.

– “Ruby Falls,” which was stunning. I knew it was coming, but it still knocked me out.

– My two favorite songs from Keep It Together that are named after women. “Diane” and “Ramona.” They sounded as good as ever.

– A voicemail from Uncle Skipper.

Tonight’s show in Salt Lake City is the last of this stretch, and my final night with the band on this little mini-tour of mine. My best friend and my brother will be joining me, and it’s going to be a nice way to end my time with Guster. I’ll have one more recap for you tomorrow, and then I’m handing it all back to Brian.

Time to get in the car. Come on out to The Depot in Salt Lake City if you can. Apparently, the band is playing Goldfly from start to finish*.

Your friend in Guster,
Kainoa

*The band is DEFINITELY not playing Goldfly from start to finish. Ever. But you should still come.

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POST-SAN DIEGO/PRE-LAS VEGAS – 1.22.15 – kainoa

Wednesday night’s show was at the House of Blues in San Diego.

The streets surrounding the House of Blues San Diego smell of urine. The House of Blues San Diego itself smells of popcorn and beer.

I didn’t manage to get any pictures that are particularly interesting, but head over to Instagram and do a search for @guster, and you’ll find plenty of tagged photos of the show taken from all over the venue.

So, instead of images, I am going to offer you super-exciting statistics.

Number of songs played (by album):

Parachute: 0
Goldfly: 0
Lost & Gone Forever: 3
Keep It Together: 3
Ganging Up On The Sun: 2
Easy Wonderful: 5
Evermotion: 9
Total number of songs: 22

Number of improvised songs not included above: 1 (Special Tuesday Night/So Fuckin’ Stoned)
Number of songs on which Kishi Bashi guested: 2 (Kid Dreams & Satellite)
Number of songs played live for the first time: 1 (Never Coming Down)
Number of songs on which Brian played a trombone: 1 (Never Coming Down)
Number of guys drinking PBR tall-boys that kept shouting for “Ruby Falls”: 1

(PBR guy didn’t get his request, but he DID get a guitar pick from the band, so it’s all good.)

The band is playing its third House of Blues show in Las Vegas tonight. You should probably come. And you should gamble for a few hours before and after because we all need to do our fair share to keep the casinos in business.

On a personal/historical note, tonight’s (1.22.15) Vegas show marks fifteen years TO THE DAY, since I was at another show. Another GUSTER show. This show:

15 Years

It wasn’t my first Guster concert, but it was memorable for a few reasons. I had broken my left wrist snowboarding and had a cast. Also, it marked the last night on tour for Brian’s former drum tech, James Ragsdale. He (James) celebrated the occasion by joining the band for a song*. He sang a ROUSING cover of Quiet Riot’s classic, “Cum on Feel the Noize.” To celebrate the anniversary of THAT show, I am going to go to another. But only after I take a bath in the casinos, and then take a bath in my hotel room which, depending on my losses downstairs, may involve some gentle weeping.

It’s a(nother) long drive to there from here, and I need to get going. See you in Vegas?

*If you’d like to hear James’ guest spot with Guster, it can be found here:

https://archive.org/details/guster2000-01-22.shnf

EXTRA SPECIAL BONUS CONTENT:

The following picture is a REAL screencap from Guster’s website in the year 2000:

Guster2000

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POST-ANAHEIM/PRE-SAN DIEGO – 1.21.15 – kainoa

Gustericans! Gustifarians! Gusteroids! Gus… I… I got… nothing. Nothing else. I’m no Maron.

Hello from the West Coast stretch of Guster Tour 2015.

It’s Kainoa here; the weirdo that introduced himself Monday, and is going to be hopping on top of Brian’s beautiful Road Journal for four shows.

So. Your intrepid guest road journalist had wanted to arrive in Anaheim a lot sooner than he did but for reasons like traffic, traffic, and also traffic, he ended up in the car for seven hours on his way to this; his first show of his stint, and didn’t have time to do much before the show except shower (and poorly at that). And now he would like to stop writing in third person.

[Sidenote: Are you following the band on Instagram? Brian and I are going to be posting selected shots for the next few days, and then it will be all his again. Go. Go now. Follow Guster on Instagram. Thank you.]

Let’s talk about the show last night.

First. Kishi Bashi. If you are planning on showing up to the show late. You are doing everything wrong. You need to see Kishi Bashi. He destroyed Anaheim. Really. Here is a not good picture:

Kishi Bashi 1.20.15

Get yourself to the show in time to see Kishi Bashi. I’d listened to his music before, but had never had the chance to see him live until last night, and it was awesome. He’s doing something truly special.

The setlist:

Setlist 1.20.15

Old stuff. New stuff. All GOOD stuff. The band sounds incredible and you are DOING YOURSELF A DISSERVICE if you skip out on the chance to see them on this tour.

Also. Ryan held the microphone like Bono for a little bit:

No Mic Stand 1.20.15

Tonight the band plays San Diego. If you’re in San Diego or anywhere in the county, and not planning on it already, you really should get yourself to the House of Blues tonight for the the second California show of the Evermotion Tour. Got kids? Get a baby-sitter. Don’t have anyone to go with? Call up your friend Sharon and make her come with you. Or come alone, that’s fine too.

At this point I am realizing that I am sounding like a big advertisement. Well… I don’t know what to say about that. Should I say something not nice? How about this: Brian had a stain on his pants tonight. I didn’t say anything to him, but I feel like we both knew what was going on, and chose to be better people and not acknowledge it.

(Did that make me sound less partial? No? Fine. I can live with that.)

Keep your eyes on the Instagram feed. I may have a fun (see: dumb) contest for those attending the show tonight, if I can get the band on board.

Time to hit the road. Anaheim is a strange place.

Stay tuned, and thanks for coming by.

(And since it might need to be said… My name is Kainoa. It’s pronounced “kai-noah,” but “quinoa” is normally what people think of at first… stupid super-grain… maybe let’s become better friends before you call me that? But I’ll probably respond if you say it that way…)

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FOUR SHOWS. FOUR DAYS. THREE STATES. ONE GUSTER… (guest journalist: kainoa)

FULL DISCLOSURE: THIS IS NOT BRIAN. (I AM NOT BRIAN.)

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(Top; Brian. Bottom: NOT Brian.)

(And for that I am sorry.)

Before I start explaining myself, who I am, and what I’m doing here, I want to to thank Brian for sharing his space on the internet with me for the next week or so.

“WHAT? What’s that? An intruder on the Road Journal? How DARE he. This space belongs to the ThunderGod. And he’s not even in the band or crew?!? NOPE NOPE NOPE.”

I can hear your dismay from here. And I accept that, and I understand. Now quiet down.

Yeah. I get it. I know. You are all correct. This is NOT my space. But, I’m going to borrow it for a few days and for a few shows…

­

Here’s the deal. Brian is going to update the Road Journal as he usually does, but I’m going to hop on board for a little bit and supplement his posts, and bring you, the tens of Road Journal addicts that span the globe a little more content. For a short while, I’m going to be all over it. I’m going to document my own travels chasing the band across a swath of the West, and report back to you my thoughts on the trip, the venues, the set lists, and the shows. I’ll also be posting pictures and video from my travels, from these first shows of the tour, and if they let me, of the band while they are sleeping.*

I’ll get you a tour of the GusBus, some pre­ and post­show shots, introduce you to some of crew helping to make this tour happen, and hopefully throw in some surprises along the way.

­

I’m going to attend 4 Guster shows in 4 days, in 3 states. It’s about a 2,000 mile loop I’m headed out on, so expect some interesting, and often not interesting, tales from the road. I’ll be driving myself, going to the shows, seeing some sights, and I may be joined along the way by friends and family I have in the cities I’ll be visiting.

­

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram… I’ll be all over them. Follow the band on all of those platforms, as well as here on the Road Journal and you’ll get a nice (and comprehensive!) view into the world of Guster, from both their, and my perspective, for a week. Like, favorite, and share what you see in any of those places if you feel so inclined.

So. Let’s get to know each other. My name is Kainoa. Nice to meet you. I’ve been a fan for a long time, and I’m really looking forward to bringing all of you some fun stuff from the road. When I’m about to hit the road, I’ll have more information for you about how you can follow me, and contact me with questions, requests, and comments on the tour and what I’m doing.

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(Couldn’t find my stubs from before ­2000, but I’ve been going to Guster shows for A LONG TIME… This was a pool hall show in a suburb of Sacramento where the locals refused to stop playing pool during the concert, and saw the band cover U2, The Beastie Boys, Bon Jovi, The Doors, AND Fleetwood Mac. A special, SPECIAL night… )

So. Thanks in advance to all of Guster, their management, and crew, for giving me some access, and again to Brian for letting me step on his toes and get into his space on the internet for a bit. I hope you all enjoy the… stuff I bring you.

It’s going to be a fun week. Guster has birthed a new album, and is back on the road. I think we can all agree, those are wonderful things.

See you on the road,
­Kainoa
(*Brian says that sleeping pics aren’t cool. I won’t be taking any of those. Sorry.)

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