October 7, 2011

The Road To Somerville: The Hush Now Memos Tour Diary Dispatch 1 (Boston to Rochester)

The Hush Now at The Bug Jar in Rochester
[It is with great pleasure that we present The Hush Now's Memos Tour Diary. The Boston-based indie rock quintet is taking the long way around, touring a large swath of the U.S. over the next couple weeks en route to a hotly anticipated homecoming show at Precinct in Somerville, Mass. Oct. 22 with Soccer Mom and Chandeliers. The first dispatch is penned by Hush Now fronter Noel Kelly, and it is -- knock on wood -- surprisingly devoid of the sort of mishaps and mayhem that typically attempt to confound the band. Let's all keep our fingers crossed, shall we? Memos, last we checked, was charting at No. 25 on the CMJ college radio charts. We reviewed the record right here. -- Ed.]

The day started abruptly at 6 AM. Finish packing, throw out the garbage, one last sanity check and then out the door to make the rounds in Boston to pick up the band. At 7:00 AM I'm idling out front Barry's apartment. The phone rings. "What time is it," Barry groans. "Oh man, I’ll be out in a sec." A long night at All Asia will be cured later with a Dunkin Donuts sausage and egg sandwich. Off across town we whip to Mr. Adam Quane's abode and then backtrack to Somerville where Pat is waiting patiently on his porch steps. Morning Boston traffic has us a little behind schedule.

We meet Jon (new keyboardist) and Joel (sound man extraordinaire) at the rehearsal space and begin the science experiment of trying to squeeze 10 lbs into a 5 lb sack as we strategically survey our gear sprawled across the parking lot in front of the Boston docks. We also find out that Joel has married his girl of 20 years a few days prior. After 20 years, it's about time, I say. He's glowing. 45 minutes later we're on the road, cocooned within our beastly van. A name for our lovely mistress van is not yet decided. With the engine and transmission replaced in the last few months, she's riding nice, if only pulling slightly to the right as we glide through the changing roadside colors of MA and into Upstate NY.

Our first meal finds us at a truck stop eatery by the name of Knuckleheads. A better-suited name was hard to find. Hunched around a table of the log cabin, we plot the course of the next 17 days while Adam settles in on his French dip sandwich and the rest of the band pilfers Barry's fried ravioli.

We pull into Rochester around dusk and find our way to The Bug Jar. The world seems turned upside down…literally. Couches, stoves, sinks, TVs and dressers adorn the ceiling. Barry passes the time throwing THN magnets at the hanging metal objects. We meet Jordan and Adam (also in Doctor Doctor) from AM Static as well who will be playing with us that night. Concerning AM Static, at one point during their show I think I saw a pony and a light saber being wielded like the last great fight of a Sith Lord not to mention their painted monster drummer Freddie (literally a painting as AM Static programs their drums). Awesome!!! We played 9 songs, mostly from the new album. It already feels pretty good at this point. But there are more important issues at hand. First, Bruins opening night against the Broadstreet Bullies. And now, A-Rod is facing a 1-2 count, down a run at the house Steinbrenner built in the bottom of the 9th of the divisional playoffs. Alas, the Mighty Casey strikes out once again. We pack up the van just in time to avoid the throngs of folks there for the DJ dance night. Where were all these people an hour ago? We had a great show regardless and want to thank Tim, Adam and staff from The Bug Jar for being incredibly gracious hosts. We look forward to a return next spring.

After driving and hour we hunker down at a motel somewhere between Rochester and Cleveland and sneak 5 guys into a single room while I take up floor space in the van. I don’t remember it being that cold on previous tours, but then again, the old bones feel the oncoming winter chill a bit more sharply these days. We’ll see you tomorrow, Cleveland. -- Noel Kelly

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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 -- Milwaukee, WI -- Frank's Powerplant
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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