Thursday, May 27, 2010

Minne to Ploortland to Ausome


Greenest of greeneries, Pac Northwest sceneries...

After a lovely (read: 'lengthy') drive from Minneapolis across the great northern hills and plains...

we find our (immediate and collective) selves among the redwoods contemplating how a week of tour has already passed us by...

..after hours on end spent in the van a healthy amount of stretching is
necessary... here's our Tour God's basic routine:

... Ahhh.. nothin' like a good stretch...
... On to colorful Portland...

Look! The northwest holds old friendships!

... and new ones...
(canadians laugh too!)

..and not to be forgotten; the surreal, misty beaches...

...and golden gates...


AUSTIN - a beautiful city with its priorities in order.
(recreation is second only to music. brilliant!)

We can actually park AT THE VENUE
(unheard of in most cities)

...Practice our fireballs...
(from both ends)
...and cooool down au natural when the humidity brings on the
'cheese sweats'... gotta love The Greenbelt...

... stay tuned for more photoblargh from leg two of our journey...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Life in the limovan, or Tales of a Blind Vessel

We are very happy to join you today from the rugged-dusty-sunny streets of Little Rock, during a right fine survey of the southwest. As the end of this first leg (yes, we term lengths of tourism in terms of appendages) draws ever-so near, we here at laura have finally been given to a very necessary deep breath, and in doing so, have found ourselves in a state of reflect.

Traversing the Midwest, out-west, Pacific Northwest, West Coast, and southwest has left quite a taste in the collective mouths – not just of we six, but us nineteen – as well as a picture in the mind! Traveling entertainment can be a tricky, not to mention tacky, situation… so it is with great relief to have stumbled upon one which all at once encompasses new and old friendships, life lessons and.. well... great entertainment! But lets focus for a moment on the fondest recollections from the band in the green van:

J-Cub: The west coast really does it for me, and the IT i’m referring to is totally getting done. New and old friendships be flarin’ up like desert wildfires. And so it is with fires, this one too was put to control by hometown slip ‘n’ slides. Houston came through as the unexpected success of the tour so far. Radiohead b-sides keep me going all the way through Tejas.

Mitch: ... and Tejava! I’ve not been prone to cross-dressing up to this point in my life, but a trip to an old-timey photo booth amongst the utter consumerism muck that is Mall of America was certainly a moment… I ended up as the prudish school teacher front and center, proof coming soon! I also had the opportunity (read: we snuck in) to view THE most amazing concert of my adult life: Flying Lotus, featuring Ravi Coltrane, etc. at the Echoplex in Los Angeles... Galaxy in Janaki, indeed! Tacozone for life!

James: I’m having trouble recalling the past two weeks….AHH! wait… my mind jumps to Bus Driver Danny’s slalom through the Redwood forests of Northern California.. most lovely. Star Wars-esque. Oh my.

Greg: Yes! Northern California and it’s redwoods in the summertime was quite a thrill! Bathing in a forest mountain stream one minute and running on an ocean beach the next... California, you’re the tops!!! Yes, even you L.A..

Danny: The most touching moments for me are the first moments a great city skyline becomes visible through our great green windows of our great green van.

Tony: HA…welcome to the Tone Zone! A stunningly witty phrase coined by the intelligent mess that is the rest of this tour party. One knows that he/she has entered the said zone when an overwhelming feeling of relaxed easy-ness has encompassed the immediate crowd. “No worries man…you’ve entered the Tone Zone!” People…it is truly all about the people!

Thank you, thank you… that was quite an exhilarating look back to say the least. More pics, more about the fantastical ‘Texas’ and fin de cette partie to come!


Friday, May 7, 2010


For some years now, we here in lauraland have been graciously honored to have one of the best tour managers in the biz working with us. Luckily, we managed to steal some of his preciously sacred time for an exclusive interview. We present our tour-god, Tony Kitmitto.

Hello Tony!


What does a typical day on the road look like for you?

Well, typically, I’ll start the day off bright ‘n early around 5:30 in the a.m. I like to start a few hours before my travelmates, it helps me clear my mind. After a refreshing 5 mile jog or some sort of muscle building activity I’ll jump on my blackberry and super cool netbook to make important connections with important people. When the time is right I wake up the gents to some fresh locally grown fruit and a warm pot of coffee. Once we have all energized ourselves I somehow make the drive from one city to the next feel seamless to the band, typically filled with rants of extremely hilarious anecdotes and jokes. In the new unexplored city I quickly make a mental assessment of our surroundings and find the most open, free and secure spot for our wondrous rig. Upon venue arrival I locate the people that matter and plan the rest of the evening around a most sock-rockin’ 40 minutes of musical bliss, get paid and, more often then not, meet a gaggle of people that would most graciously be open to hosting a hootenanny with a rock band full of 6 very interesting long-hairs. Before I close out the night, I sip on an extremely expensive, most definitely smooth bourbon in the brisk open air and sing to the moon….just kidding, I don’t do any of that. I usually just sit in the back of the van and read the Rolling Stone wishing I was on the inside.

Some people go so far as to say tour managers are glorified babysitters for spoiled rockstars…how has your experience in lauraland been?

I’d say that’s a very fair and right on assessment of my position. Lauraland has been a journey of life and love and exploration into previously undiscovered paths of my existence.

Do you carry any protective weapons on your person?

I have a box cutter in my backpack…does that count?

What’s the craziest thing you’ve had to deal with so far in your travels?

One afternoon on the road somewhere between the Earth and Saturn I figured, while everyone else was sleeping I would stop to get out and stretch. I noticed something up ahead of me that I just couldn’t not explore. Upon closer investigation, I noticed I had stumbled upon a solo train car, just sitting there. I jimmied the door unlocked and discovered it was a whole freight car full of various circus freaks and animals! Not some Barnum n Bailey circus blokes though… this circus had to have been from some sort of po-dunk town that actually revolved and thrived off the abnormality of these characters. I sat and talked with ‘em for a bit and found out that they were all very sad, having lost their way and the rest of the circus train! I immediately felt their pain and wanted to do nothing but help them find their friends. So I did what I figured anyone would do, I hooked their car to the back of our trailer and towed them all the way home, which indeed was po-dunk. There, we found the rest of the circus preparing a grand celebration for their arrival. It was pretty epic! But everyone was sleeping so, still to this day, no one believes me!

Really great, Tony… really great… congratulations and best of luck!

. . . . .

Stay tuned for more in-depth profiles of the people that inhabit lauraland, as well as a new column we like to call ‘… by the time I get to Phoenix’; which will either be dedicated to Isaac Hayes or our mother city, or both!

that dotted white line

Touring season is finally upon us! We fueled up Hair Force One, checked the tires and hit it.

Tom says 34 hours 32 minutes to Grand Rapids MI, where we'll politely cavort with some kinfolk before trekking to Pontiac for the first show of this Annuals/The Most Serene Republic shindigger.

So far it's been a lot of this...

...and this...

...and everyone's favourite past-time, shutting up...

So, needless to say, it's quiet...

Tony, our Tour Manager (pronounced 'tOOr • gAwd*) would like me to note that thusfar the snacks have been of decent portions...

...and let's not forget the dancers...

'whoomp there it is' indeed.....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

welcome, welcome

Hello… greetings… check, check, check… 1… 2… 1….. 2…….

We here in lauraland would like to formally and graciously welcome you to this here blog of ours, appropriately dubbed ‘what laura says thinks and feels’ in loving remembrance of who WE are.

Please find this space to contain the MOST official and up-to-the-date information on the band; including, but not limited to: personal health, horoscopes, tour dates, recipes, recordings, pict-o-grams, brain teasers and riddles, vids, shout-outs, jeers, and other anecdotes. In other words, this is yours as much as it is ours!

. . . . .

At this point, we’d like to shift focus to the moment at hand… spring touring with Annuals and The Most Serene Republic!

Ahh the great stink of the open road. It seems too long since we’ve strolled along the great American highways aimfully in search of stages and free beers, but today sees us off in grand perfect-weather highfives for a month-long jaunt. First stop is good ol’ Motown, Michigan; which, as I’m typing this along the good ol’ interstate 17 about 100 miles south of flagstaff, seems years away. No worries, however, when you got a vanfull of good spirits and toddies, speakers blarin’ the kings and the stones (in no particular order), and a playstation hooked up and functioning… we’ll be there in a day or 2, ready to rock the motor-city faces. The last time we took a trip to Michigan, in a January, our van’s digital thermometer froze at negative 9, so fingers crossed this go-around will be more pleasant in terms of body warmth. So far, so good…

(To pass the time with grace)

3 issues of rolling stone

22 crossword puzzles

“Naked Lunch” by William s. Burroughs

“Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse

1.5 bags of peach rings

1 melodica

1 box of colored pencils

1 organically recycled no preservatives sketch book (thanks heather!)

“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” by Hunter Thompson

3 bottles of O.J.

1 bottle of Chinese ginseng extract

2 bottles of Kava Kava extract

… More updates and tales to be told from our travels and from our minds, frequently. Want to know? Please ask!

Bonjour et au revoir pour le moment plus tard, aime!

~ lauras