We just updated our online store here on our website. Featured are all of our albums (physical copies of QQQ are now available, which were previously out of stock) plus NEW SHIRTS. These shirt designs were exclusive to our tour with Thank You Scientist and Moon Tooth, and they are almost gone, so get one if you haven’t yet. We will not be printing more any time soon. To those of you who have ordered ‘Grappling’ comics, they will be shipped this week. To those who haven’t but are interested, the comics will be available on the store tomorrow. On a more personal note, we hope your 2017 has started out pleasantly and continues to be awesome.
I just rediscovered this piece of art that I drew back in 2011… When we recorded “Quickly Quickly Quickly”, we wound up with two albums worth of material. The remaining songs that didn’t make it on to QQQ were intended to be compiled into a companion album that would be released shortly after. Instead, that album was shelved and the songs remain unreleased, although one of the songs, “Wasp in a Wig”, did make it onto our next album, which would become “Grappling” (albeit in a drastically revised form). This piece of art was intended to accompany the song “Planet Moon”, a song that was never released. Our longtime collaborator Kendra DeSimone painted a giant version of this drawing on a banner, which we used to hang behind us during live performances back in 2011. Most likely, that painting would have been the unreleased album’s cover.
Dan McGowan’s Full Tour Diary (with Pictures) from December’s Tour with Thank You Scientist and Moon Tooth!
THE TEA CLUB TOUR DIARY
Our driver last night was the venerable Joseph Charles Dorsey, who entertained us with “Jeb Is A Mess” videos. Patrick McGowan, The Tea Club’s resident Tolkien authority, lectured us extensively on Lord of the Rings theology and whether or not Gandalf could have simply “summoned the eagles and instantly destroyed the ring” (he couldn’t have). Kirby, our trusty merch man, kept the conversation lively by insisting that gravity doesn’t exist.
We arrived at Dan Monda’s house in the wee hours of the morning after a long and treacherous drive in the rain, where Dan Monda unveiled the new band t-shirts to us. After Kirby whispered to Dan Monda “how old is your sister”, we were shown to our sleeping quarters. I slept on a very comfortable bed with a very good dog named Lucian, who is my spirit animal.
Joseph Charles Dorsey did not fair as well. He awoke in the middle of the night to find a lit candle on a table top. Assuming that it was either the work of a candle lighting ghost or a similarly candle lighting murderer, he was unable to sleep for the rest of the night. He unfortunately made the mistake of telling the rest of his fellows about this, and was subsequently mocked.
Dan Monda made everyone bagel and egg sandwiches for breakfast, and Kirby told us an interesting story about a dog. Then Joseph, Patrick, and Kirby left for the venue and I showed Dan Monda a blog about “Y2K Aesthetics”, immediately after which we saw a wild baby coyote on his neighbor’s lawn.
Presently, Jamie Wolff has arrived with a fresh tour cut and fresh boots. He, Dan Monda and myself are now leaving for The Outer Space in Hamden, Connecticut, which will be the first show of our tour. Connecticut locals, come to this show and watch us perform the musics!
It is with a glad heart that I take smart phone in hand and give this report! Last night’s show, the first show of our tour with Thank You Scientist and Moon Tooth, was a success. We arrived at The Space in Hamden Connecticut and were immediately greeted by a pleasant sound man who played “Too Many Dicks” by Flight of the Conchords over the PA system. Soon after, Thank You Scientist arrived for their sound check, and there was much rejoicing and shredding. Odin, sporting an elaborate tongue injury, sang many Disney songs in a pitch perfect falsetto, and Tom Monda was proudly wearing his “glittens”.
The mysterious Moon Tooth then appeared, who are quite cool lads, their lead singer resembling Jon Bernthal as The Punisher. As we ate pasta and salad, Jamie continued to attempt to smile, but couldn’t due to his sev erely chapped lips. We then met Marc, a nice young gentleman who has posted nice things about us on Reddit. We dedicated our song Firebears to him and demanded that the audience applaud Marc and refused to give them any reason why other than that he is Marc. They enthusiastically did.
Moon Tooth took the stage next and played a set of ferocious music that made people violently shake their heads in a most enjoyable way. Unfortunately, Joseph Charles Dorsey, Jamie Wolff, and I had to leave in the middle of their set to get to our sleeping space for the night. Jamie Wolff was spitting many nasty rhymes over Massive Attack in the car as me and Joseph Charles Dorsey tried to inappropriately beat box “trap high hats” to everything.
We stayed at the home of a very kind man who is also named Dan. Kirby, Patrick, and Dan Monda arrived at Dan’s home very late in the evening, and were giggling like small children as they entered the living room, continuing to reference Joseph Charles Dorsey’s “fear of candles”.
That night, I apparently kept the entire band awake with my loud snoring. In my defence, I have a cold. The next morning, we watched Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Final Sacrifice and consumed bagels. We leave for Great Scott in Boston, MA in one hour. We will see all of you Boston-ians there!
I awoke this morning to the pleasing sound of Jamie Wolff in the next room, merrily and loudly whistling Christmas songs whilst taking a shower. Slowly, memories of yesterday’s show at Great Scott in Boston, MA began flowing back to me, which mostly consisted of me attempting to take a nap in Joseph Charles Dorsey’s car but never actually sleeping. Also, at some point I drank my first cup of McDonald’s coffee.
The show itself contained an interesting bill of progressive rock bands and stand up comedians. My favorite of these comedians was named Jiayong Li. After the last comedian finished their set, we headed to the stage, only to find that the person doing sound was the drummer from Long Time, the band that we played with the last time we were in Boston with the mighty HAKEN and we sucked the power out of an entire city block with our rocking musics.
While we played our set of musics, a young music lover named Josh was there and was very enthusiastic about our musics and we loved him for it. Our sound guy who is also the drummer in Long Time made sure we sounded very nice and we also loved him for it. We played a song called “I Shall Consume Everything” from our Quickly Quickly Quickly album last night for the first time in 3 years. People seemed to enjoy it, even the people all the way in the back who were heavily intoxicated and talked loudly.
Then we drove back to the house of Dan Monda. Trying to inappropriately beat box “trap high hat” on top of every song we hear continues to be a trend as we drive, of which I am somewhat pleased. Also, extremely introspective and philosophical conversations continue to happen on our drives, of which I am very pleased.
Today, we picked up our tour van, a sturdy road worthy warrior which I am driving in currently as we head over to Underground Arts in Philadelphia, which is the venue in which we will be playing tonight with Moon Tooth and Thank You Scientist. Also playing will be In the Presence of Wolves, a fantastically named and heavily rocking band who we enjoy. If you are in the greater Philadelphia area, it would be a huge mistake to not attend tonight’s show, specifically due to the fact that the bands performing will be life affirming and enjoyable. Do the right thing.
I write to you this afternoon from the inside of a suspicious white unmarked van driven by our bearded merch man Kirby. I am watching Joseph Charles Dorsey play Final Fantasy 6 on his laptop whilst Dan Monda lounges on the designated sleep bench playing Mother 3, and Pat looks out the window, deep in thought. Our destination is DC9 in Washington, DC, where our trusty bass man Jamie Wolff awaits us.
I am fully rested and caffeinated and thinking fondly about last night’s show at Underground Arts in Philadelphia, truly one of the highlights of my life as a performing musician. I am convinced that the show went well solely because my friend Tom Swog Dog gave me a Pog slammer from the early 90’s with Wolverine’s face on it.
When we arrived at the venue, we had a lovely green room where we were able to do vocal warm ups and eat tantalizingly delicious vegan chili made by Ray from Moon Tooth. While there, I also made a controversial statement that Lars Ulrich is the Rob Liefeld of metal. Before we played our set, In the Presence of Wolves appeared, and I discussed at length the importance of Batman the Animated Series with their guitarist Chris (who resembles a young Danny Elfman) and their extremely jacked drummer Mason. In the Presence of Wolves then took to the stage and slayed with their hyper high energy and rocking tunes.
Many familiar faces were there in the audience cheering us on, not unlike the end of a movie such as “It’s A Wonderful Life” in which all of the characters introduced earlier dramatically and lovingly reappear. This rogues gallery include such colorful characters as pastor Ben White (of Circle of Hope), Robert Walton (author of The Mortician), the lovely Kendra DeSimone (artist of all four Tea Club album covers), Dan Brown (artist of Tea Club stickers), Tom and Megan (superfans), Alicia (rage dancer), Shelby and Sam (music lovers and fellow Zelda enthusiasts), Dan Burke (progger extraordinaire) and even Keanan.
Moon Tooth played a blistering set of music so heavy that it may have summoned several actual demons. Later, John from Moon Tooth and I bonded over Neil Gaiman. The night ended with Thank You Scientist playing a set of delicious, head exploding, bone melting, pectoral twisting music. It was the first time I was able to see their set so far on this tour, and it was truly remarkable.
Next up is DC9 in Washington, DC!
P.S. As I was writing this last sentence, Dan Monda was urinating into an empty xxx acai-blueberry-pomegranate Vitamin Water bottle while uncomfortably making direct eye contact with me.
Yesterday, we arrived at DC9 in Washington, DC, and met with Joseph Charles Dorsey’s family, who are wonderful people and who treated us to a tasty dinner before our set. When we took to the stage, a young man heckled me about my jacket. However, I think I was able to derail him with a Lady Gaga reference. My powers are increasing.
We played to a very attentive and responsive crowd. Apparently, Joseph Charles Dorsey did a solo behind his back, but sadly I missed it. As always, I have a cold while on tour, and last night I could feel it’s icy grip threatening to destroy my voice, but I was able to smite it with my powers. A young man named Levi appeared to have a near religious experience during our set and he told us as much and we loved him for it.
As Moon Tooth continues to slay, their singer John appears to be transforming more and more into The Punisher from Daredevil season 2, to the point where I am beginning to fear him. I must keep him at a distance, but not so much that he may begin to become suspicious. Thank You Scientist are a true force to be reckoned with every night. Sal’s singing voice and stage presence makes my heart smile. However, Tom Monda‘s on-stage behavior is becoming more and more erratic, leading me to believe that his genius may be consuming him, and I fear that I may watch him actually disintegrate before my eyes in the coming days.
We drove through the night to get to North Carolina, where we slept at Dan Monda’s secret house, which is kind of like Hawkeye’s secret house in Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, only with a constant and possibly dangerous smell of mildew.
Today is our day off, so we went on a trip to Sunset beach, where we collected shells and sang Kokomo and took pictures of Kirby with no pants as the sun set behind him. Later, Dan Monda made a delicious pasta dinner and we watched Modern Family. Tomorrow we will be playing in Florida, where I will most likely see more of the giant elongated pineapples that Joseph Charles Dorsey keeps insisting are something called “palm trees”.
THE TEA CLUB GOES TO FLORIDA:
And so, The Tea Club continues onto day six of our tour with Thank You Scientist and Moon Tooth. Our destination is Backbooth in Orlando, Florida, but first, we must rescue Jamie from something called an “airport” where he is currently being held captive.
A short recap of last night and this morning’s events: Last night, Kirby and Dan Monda “went to the Upside Down”, which means that they went into their sleeping bags head first. When asked what the benefit of this was, Kirby replied, “Well, it’s really hard to breathe.” This morning Dan Monda (aka D Money or The D-mon) made eggs and taught me how to make french press coffee.
We were on the road by 7:30 AM. As expected, I have seen more of these so called “palm trees”, although none of them have had the same effect on me emotionally. While in the van, D Money invented something he calls a “vegan hotdog”, where he spreads peanut butter on a slice of bread, puts a banana on top, and then folds the bread like a hot dog bun. It was both clever and delicious.
We stopped off at a gas station, where a man who resembled a rogue Dave Coulier came up to our van and told us that he had recently gotten out of jail for armed robbery and assault. He told us to be wary of New Yorkers, called Kirby a hippie, asked for 50 cents, and then walked away.
As we we delve further into Florida, the heat increases. How this is possible, science will never be able to explain, but I do know that I love wearing jackets, and I am currently unable to do so. I am in Hell.
After rescuing Jamie from the airport, The Tea Club was fully assembled, and we travelled onward to Backbooth in Orlando, Florida. When we reached our venue, we were treated to a surprise appearance by the one and only Kyle Minnick, who came to see our show with our other good friend Drew. Kyle Minnick played drums in The Tea Club on our albums “General Winter’s Secret Museum” and “Rabbit”. Much reminiscing occured, such as the time that Pat did a flawless acoustic guitar take that was unusable due to his loud nose whistling.
Our set was a beautiful experience. The crowds who have been coming to the shows on this tour are true music lovers. Also, my reference to our song “I Shall Consume Everything” being about Majora’s Mask seemed to go over very well with this crowd. There is hope for this new generation.
Moon Tooth played a particularly brutal set last night. Their music boils with animalistic fury. At one point, their singer John leapt off of the stage and climbed up the balcony to the 2nd floor while still singing. This seemed eerily like something The Punisher might do. The persona of The Punisher looms ever closer to fully taking control of John.
Thank You Scientist are what can really only be described as annoyingly good. Ellis and Andrew seemed to particularly shine. In my eyes, they are like a considerably more talented Ernie and Bert, or maybe even Bebop and Rocksteady. I woke up this morning with the theme song to Family Matters stuck in my head. Anyone who has seen Thank You Scientist’s set on this tour knows why.
We were lucky enough to stay at Joe’s Aunt’s house, which reminded me of Jay and Gloria’s house from Modern Family. Paradise, in other words. There, we met a great dog named Sarah and a great cat named Bo, who reminded me of the orange cat named Baudelaire from the mid 90’s Phantom 2040 cartoon that probably no one reading this will remember. While there, we enjoyed the greatest shower of all time, which Pat described as a “waterfall” and a “baptism of water and spirit”. We also picked our own oranges in their backyard.
But alas, tragedy struck The Tea Club when the alternator failed our van, and we were forced to delay our trip by several hours and go visit a group of chaotic neutral wizards called “the Pep Boys”, who used witchcraft to restore the van to life. While this was occurring, I walked around and spent some time with the literally thousands of small lizards that surrounded the walls and bushes of the Pep Boys fortress. I can only assume that the Pep Boys use these lizards for their van healings.
Although the scenery did resemble a Steve Ditko Spider-Man comic featuring the Lizard, and there were many actual lizards, there wasn’t nearly as much Vaporwave
A E S T H E T I C as I had hoped there would be. All in all, I would give my Florida experience a 3 out of 5 stars.
Now onto Purgatory at the Masquerade in Atlanta, GA!
P.S. Kirby and Dan Monda co-created something called a “Slorkel” (short for sleeping bag snorkel) which will hopefully remedy the situation of not being able to breathe while “in the Upside Down” in their sleeping bags.
It was a harrowing journey to Atlanta. The magic of Pep Boys held our van together, but we had to hurry to The Masquerade. After witnessing a traumatic hawk death, we arrived at the venue, which was a very tall building which somehow had a waterfall, and that resembled an area in which Daredevil might single handedly disarm an entire gang of criminals.
Inside, there was a cool band called The Figurant playing cool music that reminded me of early Smashing Pumpkins. The Figurant featured a cool man named Preston whom I enjoyed. We played our set of original music and it was an enjoyable set of original music to play for people who enjoy original music, many of whom were in attendance. Unfortunately, Pat, suffering a momentary lapse in reality, made a socially questionable misstep and mistook Atlanta for Atlantis.
Then Moon Tooth played. Early in the set, their singer John put the microphone between his teeth, leapt off of the stage, and began running on all fours, prowling like a wild dog. This was both awesome and disturbing, mainly because this seems more like something that Wolverine would do instead of The Punisher. I may have been wrong about John. Regardless, he is a 90’s anti-hero.
Thank You Scientist were excellent as always, and I’ll take this opportunity to say that Ben needs more love. His excellent performing, excellent hair, and overall jolly attitude is joyous to watch.
After the set, we stayed at our friend Nate’s house. Jamie Wolff describes Nate as “the sickest dude”. He is a cool man with a cool dog and a cool basement in which we finally got a good night’s sleep.
Today has been a blur because I have done very little besides playing Ocarina of Time on my 3DS. I am currently in the Forest Temple. I could tell you more, such as how many Heart Pieces and Skulltulas I’ve collected, or whether or not I have rescued Epona yet, but I will not.
Nashville! We are now in you! Come see us play at the High Watt at the Mercy Lounge tonight!
Yesterday, we went into what is called a “different time zone”, which is a confusing and surreal paradox that somehow makes time “easier”. When we arrived in Nashville, the opening band was called Edge of RealityThey were very impressive and cool dudes, and did an amazing job especially considering it was only their singer’s first time singing with the band. Right before we played, Dan Monda became deathly ill, but still played like an absolute boss. We played our set to what was probably the most enthusiastic and responsive crowd we’ve played for so far. It was great to see some familiar faces from when we toured with Thank You Scientist back in 2013 (The Science Club Tour). A man in the crowd was sporting a Majora’s Mask shirt. Legend of Zelda references abounded.
Moon Tooth was amazing. Since the crowd was having so much fun, I decided to jump in and headbang witheverybody, and an excellent time was had by all. As always, I was both astounded and afraid of their singer John, who leapt from the stage and climbed the railing of the bar during a song, where he stood balanced above us all while doing a brief and epic monologue. It was amazing and dramatic, but it also further confused me because it seemed like something that neither Wolverine or The Punisher would do, but rather Batman.
Thank You Scientist rocked the house. A Tea Club/Moon Tooth conga line consisting of Pat, Kirby, Joe, John, Nick, and me happened during their set, and Sal was noticeably laughing. Thank You Scientist also did their incredible cover of “I Am The Walrus”, which they frequently did on the 2013 Science Club Tour.
Keeping up with our rock and roll bad boy reputation, we rented a hotel room that night for 2 people, but in fact there were actually six of us staying in the room. When we got to the hotel, Jamie moshed so hard that he cut his hand on the ceiling.
This morning, we ate at a Waffle House where Dan Monda did something unspeakable. We are now entering Colombus, Ohio. This of course sparked conversation about Christopher Columbus, during which Pat, true to the character of Pat, told us that Christopher Columbus reported seeing an alien spacecraft in one of his journals. We also saw our first snowfall of the tour.
It is now time play music!
I take a break from my normally facetious posts to say this… I think all three bands might agree that last night was the best night of the tour. It was a sold out show of attentive music lovers who came to see three bands with very different sounds perform their sets, and they were extremely supportive of all the musicians. I played some of Epitaph by King Crimson in honor of Greg Lake’s recent passing, and it was a moving experience. Everybody seemed to have a great night, and I was certainly feeling the love. Colombus, Ohio, you rule. We also finally got to meet Thomas Hatton from Proglodytes, who came to the show and hung out with us!
On a more comical note, this morning we listened to Dan Monda’s classic absurdist Christmasalbum, “Dan Monda For the Holidays”. Listening to this album has become a Tea Club holiday tradition. It features such hits as “Imagine There’s No Christmas” and “I Will Always Love Christmas”.
We are in Chicago now, where it is currently snowing and it is lovely. We will be playing at Beat Kitchen very shortly, so I must make this post short! If you’re in the area, come see us and hang out on this snowy chilly evening!!
I must make this entry short, because we are about to go on stage in 10 minutes. Here is a list of key bullet points:
-Our set last night in Chicago was very delightful and the people who were in attendance were also delightful.
-Pizza in Chicago is very cool and delicious.
-It was the first night of the tour in which I did not listen to Moon Tooth or Thank You Scientist’s set because I was very tired. This was upsetting.
-Dan Monda, Kirby Franklin, and Jamie Wolff drove in the snow last night for many hours and it was perilous, but they are all excellent drivers and we are safe.
-This morning, Joseph Charles Dorsey was quizzing us with elaborate riddles, not unlike a more handsome Jim Carrey as The Riddler in Batman Forever.
-Minneapolis is lovely. It is now time to play inside of it.
Daniel McGowan is currently suffering from an ailment of unknown origin, disabling his ability to speak, write,or communicate in any way. Thus, I have taken up the duty of “tour chronicler” until a cure is uncovered.
Yesterday we arrived in Minneapolis after a long and perilous journey through the snowstorm. It, however, did not end our journey. No mere storm can stop The Tea Club. On arrival, we parked our vehicle in a large above ground garage, where we cooked 6 cans of veggie chili on Dan Monda’s portable gas stove. While the sustenance was much needed, the chili did not fare well with our stomachs later. Kirby was indeed the largest sufferer of this problem.
We violently took the stage at the 7th Street Entry. Despite the tiredness of our bodies and minds from the preceding drive through harsh conditions, we performed with ferocity and the audience responded well. We met several new fans, including Rob and Bryce, who were singing along to The Magnet. We also met Don, a wonderful and excited gentleman who live tweeted during our set.
Moon Tooth shredded as furiously as they have been each day. Although I am unaware of John’s metaphysical changes as Daniel describes them, I did notice Nick attempting to place various cups and other items on our own Dan Monda as he was asleep in the green room. I suspect he is up to something sinister, though I have no proof.
After a hearty meal next door to the venue, we wandered back to the venue. Then, Thank You Scientist made their presence known. The crowd was about as lively as ever so far, and the band played an amazing set. I have a feeling the Shamisen that Tom plays is going to be very present on the next Scientist record.
After the show Thank You Scientist lost all energy from their Bandwagon generator. We managed to restore power using the Energy Hexing Ritual that was taught to us by the Wizards at Pep Boys. They were up and running in no time!! Once we arrived at our hotel, my bandmates attempted to wake me, as I was fast asleep. I must have been sleepwalking…or in a deep trance… as I resisted to enter the building claiming it was “Equal”. Not only do I have no memory of this incident, I do not know what that even means.
We left this morning heading back across the great state of Wisconsin. I write to you now under a near-full moon, and viewing a sunset that’s contrasted beautifully with the white, snow covered plains. Today is our day off, but that doesn’t mean Grand Rapids will be safe from our conquest tomorrow. Until then, stay warm friends.
Joseph Charles Dorsey
This is Daniel McGowan, taking back the reins of this tour diary after the venerable Joseph Charles Dorsey filled in for my ailing self yesterday. Although I feel Joseph Charles Dorsey is perfectly qualified to fill my tour diary writing shoes, I should warn you that the other members of The Tea Club reported to me that the entry Mr. Dorsey wrote yesterday was done while he was sleep walking, and so none of it actually happened.
As I have mentioned in my previous entries, I have been battling a cold that has threatened to destroy my role as singer in The Tea Club. So I was forced to undergo a process of hibernation yesterday, much like Young Link in Ocarina of Time, who had to sleep for seven years because he was not yet ready to wield the Master Sword.
While in my hibernation state, I recall vague memories of last night, such as weeping while listening to Susanne Sundfør, and seeing Swamp Thing’s face in the steamed up window of our tour van. When we arrived at our destination of Joe’s Uncle’s house, we met Joe’s Uncle, who is actually Superman. He took us to a tavernin which I drank pure tonic and ate the greatest quesidila I have ever encountered. When we came back to Superman’s home, I was quarantined to a bedroom where I slept for 10 hours straight.
I awoke with a sore throat, but using ingredients I found in Superman’s house, I was able to concoct a Phoenix Down from apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and warm water, which cured me instantly. I was treated to a delicious breakfast prepared by Jamie Wolff, Dan Monda, and Kirby the Merchman. I was also able to do some much needed laundry, including my poor orange jacket, which smelled indescribably bad.
We are now driving through Chicago, which is the location of Gotham City in Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies. Remember how intense it was when Christian Bale Batman said “SWEAR TO ME”?! I keep thinking about that and becoming frightened and intimidated. Speaking of intimidated, did you know that the working title of Batman Begins was “Intimidation Game”?
Anyway, we’re playing The Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids, MI tonight at 8:00 PM!
GET OVER HERE.
It has been two weeks since we departed for life on the road. Although I must admit that I do feel the pangs of homesickness piercing my heart, I am in good company and in good spirits.
Last night’s show at Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids, Michigan was a great success. The venue itself contained many pinball machines, including a Twilight Zone themed pinball machine, and most perplexingly, a Metallica pinball machine which featured Beavis and Butthead-like caricatures of Metallica shredding on guitars.
Inside, everyone was very warm and welcoming. The audience was very good at watching and listening to our music as well as applauding it, which was appreciated. At the end of our song “The Magnet”, Jamie Wolff rocked with such fervor that he broke a bass string, but quickly recovered due to the sudden and welcome appearance of Vin, Moon Tooth bassist extraordinaire, who offered up his own extra bass string to save us.
After the show, we met a dreadlocked young man who said that we “looked like we were gonna suck, but we didn’t”, and added “Good job on not sucking.” There was a young lady in the audience named Ally who had a birthday that night, so me, Patrick, and Dan Monda very poorly attempted to sing Happy Birthday to her with 3 part harmonies, in which Dan Monda sang his part in a voice similar to Gilbert Gotfried.
As Moon Tooth took to the stage, we ate some of Ray from Moon Tooth’s delicious vegan bean and quinoa concoction, and I attempted to sabotage their set by stripping down to my long johns and seductively dancing on the side of the stage. The placement of this side stage proved to be equally unfortunate for Thank You Scientist, for as they played their set, Dan Monda blatantly walked on stage and fed cinnamon raisin bread to Odin as he drummed. Kirby the Merchmam suffered a knee injury while rocking to TYS’s set, but was able to continue to rock and sell merch.
As we were loading up our gear, a beer induced Jamie Wolff laid down an unbelievably fresh free style rap smack down for nearly half an hour, then promptly fell asleep. I had just entered the Shadow Temple in Ocarina of Time 3D under last night’s Full Cold Moon when we arrived at a quaint hotel, where we stayed the night.
We have just now arrived at Mahall’s in Cleveland, Ohio. It was a pleasant drive except that the van nearly broke down. Fortunately, Dan Monda, who is masculine and likeable, was able to restore the van back to life in an unrealistically short period of time, leading me to believe that he may have actually harnessed electricity within his own body to power the van, which he is still doing even now.
Come to see the show in which we are playing this evening, which is a show that is at Mahall’s in Cleveland, Ohio!
Yesterday’s show at Mahall’s in Cleveland, Ohio was a memorable one. Before the show started, Kirby the Merchman wrote a song with lyrics that are unrepeatable. Then we took a brief trip to Lake Erie, which we admired while reciting Dan Deacon’s classic “Drinking Out of Cups”. Then Patrick, Kirby the Merchman, and I went to Angelo’s Pizza, where Kirby took a picture of me in which I look like Fievel, the beloved mouse from the 1980s animated classic “An American Tail”. While there, I attempted to convince our waitress to let us sleep on the floor of her house so we didn’t have to pay for a hotel. This was unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Jamie Wolff, Dan Monda, and Joseph Charles Dorsey enjoyed a scrumptious meal of Thai food at a place called Thai Thai. At this point in the tour, nearly every band member is sick, with the exception of Dan Monda, who has an excellent immune system bordering on mutant healing factor.
Our set went well and the audience received us well. I enjoyed a lively conversation post-performance with Gabrielle (who is a Leo) and Julian (who is an Aries), and their two friends. This conversation was wide-ranging, entertaining, and insightful. We also conversed at length with Alex, a fine strapping young man with a great passion for music who attended our recent show in Columbus, Ohio. He joined the rest of The Tea Club for a bowling session while I shared deep thoughts with Vin from Moon Tooth. I continued to drink straight tonic (a beverage that Kyle Minnick introduced me to that I am now quite taken with) in the hopes that it really is a magical cure-all potion, like the one sold by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney in the video for “Say Say Say”.
As the night progressed and everyone ventured further into flu-like symptoms, fatigue, and alcoholic beverages, unusual behaviours began to manifest themselves in all the band members. An intense Moon Tooth Tea Club bowling session occurred. Bowling balls were thrown under toilet stalls. Sal sang Thank You Scientist’s set through a megaphone while placed directly in the middle of the audience.
Our drive from Cleveland was extremely perilous, as an intense snowstorm stopped our drive to a grinding halt. Dan Monda, an intensely masculine and likeable man, navigated the storm like a true hero to the nearest hotel. Unfortunately, this meant that we were forced to stay at a crime ridden hotel room which one Yelp reviewer described as “Basically a trap”. A suspicious man was wandering from door to door, peeking in windows, dressed as a fireman for some reason. When we complained of this, the management assured us they would “call the police”, but in reality, they sent someone out into the raging snowstorm with a megaphone to chase them off. Patrick, Jamie, and Kirby the Merchman opted to sleep in the van in sub zero temperature in their sleeping bags. They faired much better than the rest of us.
Fortunately, we all survived this harrowing experience. And now, it is time for us to enter Canada. Toronto, here we come!
(ONLY 3 ENTRIES REMAIN)
Yesterday we arrived in the beautiful land of Canada. We decided to immediately make an impromptu visit to Niagara Falls, which was a spiritually and emotionally moving experience. It was the polar opposite of the hotel we stayed at the night before, which one Yelp reviewer described as “basically a trap”. Instead, it was basically Narnia.
We arrived at our venue in Toronto which was called Hard Luck, which we then proceeded to play at and which also had an audience of presumably Canadian listeners, who listened to us as we played our music. I made a reference to The Final Sacrifice on stage, which fell flat, but which Kirby the Merchman enjoyed. The opening band was called Earth’s Yellow Sun, who blew us all away with their 3 saxophone strong blend of prog metal. I was able to confirm that their band name is a Superman reference. For those who don’t know, Superman, or “Kal-El”, was born on the planet Krypton, which had a red sun. Just before the planet Krypton exploded, Superman’s parents jettisoned him into space, and subsequently to planet Earth. Earth’s yellow sun interacted with Kal-El’s cells, granting him powers beyond anything man had seen before. Anyway, that band ruled. After the show, we met a young lady named Nebula, who painted an impressive and beautiful picture of Andrew, the trumpet player from Thank You Scientist.
There has been much driving in the snowy landscapes of Canada, which reminds me of the place where Wolverine escaped the Weapon X project. We just recently arrived at Montreal, where it is cold and beautiful, and where we are going to be playing a venue called Bar Le Ritz very shortly. We are currently eating a succulent Vietnamese meal in a restaurant which has beautiful art work displayed, and which is playing music that the venerable Joseph Charles Dorsey describes “Legend of Zelda Shooting Gallery music”.
(ONLY 2 ENTRIES REMAIN)
This will be the first entry I’ve done immediately after we played a show, so I am currently on a post-show high. But first, a little bit about last night’s show at Bar Le Ritz in Montreal. The sound in the bar was very loud and Dan Monda may have suffered permanent ear damage as a result of it. But there were some fans that we met named Jeremy and Tristan, and they were awesome people who loved our music and worth coming all the way to Montreal to meet.
The drive to our next destination was supposed to be 5 hours, but instead was 10 hours because of inclement weather. Dan Monda drove us across the border back to the USA. The gentleman asked us what kind of band we were in, and Dan Monda said “progressive rock” and then asked him if he wanted our CD, to which the gentleman replied, “no.” After sleeping in the arthritis-activating seats of our tour van, we arrived back at Dan Monda’s house, where we slept more soundly.
We woke up hours later to find that Dan Monda’s father whose name is Grill had made us a delicious pasta lunch. We emptied out the van and said a final goodbye to it. It was a good van, a noble white steed, not unlike the horse that tragically dies in The Neverending Story, and we will never forget it. The venerable Joseph Charles Dorsey then drove us into Brooklyn flawlessly.
The show that we just played was a beautiful experience. I signed a young man’s Majora’s Mask edition 3DS. Moon Tooth just absolutely destroyed their set. Thank You Scientist has just taken the stage, and I must now go because I am being beckoned to dance my ass off. Tomorrow is the final day!
(DAWN OF THE FINAL ENTRY)
And so, our epic tour with Moon Tooth and Thank You Scientist concludes with tonight’s show at House of Independents in Asbury Park, NJ. I am experiencing a variety of emotions at this point… joy, nostalgia, regret, relief… mixed with the usual feeling of “oh shit, I’m actually going to walk onto a stage and sing in front of a crowd of people”. But mostly I am experiencing terror, because I can only imagine what kind of antics the Punisher-meets-Wolverine-meets-Batman cryptozoological creature known as John from Moon Tooth has in store for us tonight.
I feel like now is the time to bring up something that has been weighing on my heart for some time… For as long as I have been a performing musician, there has been one constant at every venue I have ever been to… human phalluses drawn on the walls of backstage green rooms. Last night, I decided that it is time for the dawn of a new age, an age where performers can enter a green room without being exposed to these graphic and sometimes extremely realistically rendered images. So I took it upon myself to take sharpie in hand and creatively transform these phallic images into harmless drawings of animals. Last night I successfully turned a drawing of a penis into a penguin, a turkey, and, perhaps most challengingly of all, a moose with a beard. I plan on doing this at every opportunity I have.
But really, it is weighing heavily on my heart that, after tonight, it may be a long time before I see the wonderful people in Moon Tooth and Thank You Scientist again. I will save the extreme sentimentality for tomorrow’s “Tour Diary Epilogue”. For now, it is time to bask in the musical love and companionship of tonight’s final show.
THE TEA CLUB TOUR DIARY
And so, the adventures of The Tea Club, Moon Tooth, and Thank You Scientist has come to a conclusion. Last night’s show was an emotional farewell. The picture you see is of everyone from the three bands sharing the love after we all took to the stage to sing Thank You Scientist’s seminal closer, “My Famed Disappearing Act”. (Not featured in this photo but pivotal to the tour are Kirby The Merchman and Merch Jesus.)
The last show was quite possibly the best. Among the other wonderful attendees, special thanks to our supporters Dom and Nikki, Chris and Andy, Kendra and Jen, and all you people who were dancing up a storm and feeding me with your frenetic energy so that I could amplify it and give it back. It was very special to have my Mom and Dad there for my final tribute to the late Greg Lake with the “Epitaph” section that I’ve been singing.
To the ferocious Moon Tooth: John, Nick, Ray, and Vin, you played with an animalistic fury and from a place of passion and primal spirituality that inspired us night after night. Not only that, but you’re some of the sweetest guys I’ve ever met, including Garrett, the band’s merch man, rage dancer, and fellow Banjo Kazooie enthusiast. You guys rule.
To the mighty Thank You Scientist: Sal, Tom, Ellis, Andrew, Ben, Odin, and Cody, we were honored to share the bill with you again, and so proud of the immense musical force that you have become since our first tour together back in 2013. Your boundary pushing, bizarre genre melting, impeccable musicianship, and hilarious sense of humor was truly a spectacle to behold. And Merch Jesus, thank you for the many laughs and many blessings. We’ll miss you everyone, it sure was fun, the times we all had.
To my fellow brothers in The Tea Club: Patrick, Jamie, Joe, and Dan, we didn’t kill each other. In fact, we became stronger musicians, and dare I say stronger people on this tour. I was overjoyed to share the stage with you every night. Can’t wait to make new music with the band who accomplished this tour. And Kirby the Merchman, you were more than just a Merchman, you drove hours and hours through treacherous conditions, gave us honest ideas and constructive criticism, and kept us laughing. I love you guys.
2016 may have sucked in a lot of other ways, but I will always remember it as the year that I had the privilege to spend two and a half weeks of my life on tour with these amazing people.
John “The Punisher” Carbone from Moon Tooth just shared his tour diary from our tour together earlier this month with Thank You Scientist. John is a lovely, talented, and passionate man, and says some very nice things about The Tea Club. Check it out! We love us some Moon Tooth!!! <3
Check out Bucket List’s show review from our gig at Bar Le Ritz in Montreal, QC!