October 15, 2011

The Road To Somerville: The Hush Now Memos Tour Diary Dispatch 4 (Minneapolis to Northfield)

The Hush Now in Northfield, Minnesota
[In this episode of The Hush Now's Memos Tour Diary, guitarist Adam Quane offers a sparkling account of a perfect tour day, when the Boston-based indie rock quintet got some time and space to enjoy smaller town America. The picture above this item notwithstanding, we guarantee you aren't going to guess what fronter Noel Kelly bought at an "antique" store. Let us be the first to welcome the new hordes of The Hush Now's tween fans. THN is taking the long way around, touring a large swath of the U.S. over the next week en route to a hotly anticipated homecoming show at Precinct in Somerville, Mass. Oct. 22 with Soccer Mom and Chandeliers. We reviewed The Hush Now's new record Memos right here. -- Ed.]

Day five of tour brought us to Northfield, Minnesota. It was a short trek from the show in Minneapolis the night before. A day free of eating up the great interstates of America was much anticipated, and Northfield was the perfect place to spend such a day. We came into town and found some lunch at a small restaurant in Northfield's modest downtown, a stretch of three or four charming blocks along Division Street. We drank beer, ate sandwiches, and dusted off a game of Uno we found wedged into a bookcase by our table. After several days spent working together, the friendly competition was welcome. We each took pleasure in our secret fortunes, happy to crush each others winning hands with a Wild Card Draw Four just as a win seemed imminent.

After lunch we explored town. Pat found a store full of pins and took a couple souvenirs. Jon found a corncob pipe and some vanilla-flavored tobacco. I found an old bookstore and picked up a rusty old copy of "Franny and Zooey." Noel found a purple Hannah Montana guitar in an antique store. It was meant to be. (It's been nice to have a little female presence in the van.) Afterward we explored the open spaces outside of Northfield, and we came upon a wonderful spot to enjoy the warm gray air. Stewsie Island was no bigger than an Allston apartment, but was home to giant spiders, hundreds of orange and black caterpillars, a small labyrinth whose path was dead grass framed by imaginary walls of ashen brick, and a couple small oak benches overlooking the pond. We took turns serenading Stewsie and the solemn fish that I imagined swimming around us. We sang songs and wasted the warm October afternoon as best we could.

As evening approached, we found a nice hotel in town and got ready for the gig. Barry and me took a quick moment to enjoy the pool and hot tub, and afterward we headed back to Division Street for a radio performance for KYMN's "All Wheel Drive" with host Jessica Paxton. A big thanks to Jessica for a fun interview and for spreading the word about our gig down the street, where we headed next, at The Contented Cow. The Cow opened up the bar to us, gave us open reign on the menu, and was full of Northfield's friendly locals. I drank Shiraz and Alaskan Amber and ate and ate nachos. Everyone met us with big smiles and genuine enthusiasm. The stage was framed by stone walls and a low wooden ceiling. Its long, narrow layout was reminiscent of a ship's den, staggered to create the effect of having several rooms, and its back doors opened up to a beautiful deck overlooking the Cannon River.

We played a long set, challenging ourselves to give the eager ears of Northfield something special. We started with our ballad "For What It's Worth," which was the first we had played it on the tour. We abandoned our usual structured approach to a setlist and just played what came to our hearts and minds. Afterwards we closed the bar with the staff of the Cow and its regulars. Thanks to Northfield for a wonderful day in a small town in middle America. -- Adam Quane

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Memos Tour
10.06 -- Rochester, NY -- The Bug Jar
10.07 -- Cleveland, OH -- Roc Bar
10.08 -- Chicago, IL -- Miskas
10.09 -- Minneapolis, MN -- Acadia café
10.11 -- Northfield, MN -- The Contented Cow
10.12 -- Indianapolis, IN -- Melody Inn
10.13 -- Knoxville, TN -- Preservation Pub
10.15 -- Asheville, NC -- Fred's Speakeasy
10.16 -- Nashville, TN -- The Muse
10.17 -- Lexington, KY -- Cosmic Charlies
10.18 -- Columbus, OH -- Skully's
10.19 -- Pittsburgh, PA -- Arsenal Lanes
10.20 -- Philadelphia, PA -- The Fire
10.21 -- New York, NY -- Sullivan Hall
10.22 -- Somerville, MA -- Precinct

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