II. Departures and Returns

I was bitten by the touring bug in 2012, when I was acting as live keyboardist for The Switchblade Kid, and had another go at it in September for a solo project. With the connection made and the reception warm, it seemed a good time to propose that the Girls have a go at it, too.

Seeds sown, we lucked into a residency at The Poplar Lounge, which certainly has helped us sharpen our skills and tightened up the band. It helped, also, that the residency has been on Thursday nights. Still warm from a really fun set, we set off the following day to play in Conway at the new venue/community arts endeavor The Locals.

The two bands who preceded us, Frass and Big Ginsburg – yes, with a “u” – were fun. Frass did this 90s alt-rock thing and I loved that, and Big Ginsburg were young passionate indie rockers. What we are, I suppose, is still up for interpretation. At any rate, I saw lots of old friends (and new ones made when I played Conway in September). Our set was similar to what we played Thursday, only this time we very deliberately did a run-through of the Pulp classic “Common People”. It had been a spontaneous opening moment the night before, but in Conway we got people to sing. That was fun. After some chaos following the show, we ended up at some bar called The Draft and did lots of ridiculous karaoke, drank, and basically enjoyed being a group of people gigging out of town. Had my lovely girlfriend with us, too. Enjoyed that a lot.

We stayed with Robert Jones, who joined us for both Arkansas dates on an ambitious little Korg. His gal (Jamie, also residing in Memphis) was in town to see him/us and made a delicious breakfast. Eric stayed in to read his Stephen King novel, while we wandered out to goof off in Little Rock. Picked up some records, ate some pho, and enjoyed the day.

Vino’s was especially good to us, and we shared the bill with Big Ginsburg who slayed, I thought. We were pretty hot after two previous shows, and the Saturday gig was no exception. We ended the night with a shorter, less chaotic reading of Joy Division’s “Transmission”. I always think maybe we should put that one to bed, but then we end up playing it again. I still enjoy it, but I worry that people will tire of hearing it over and over. I think the Pulp song Thursday and Friday was a wise decision.

Angie and I stopped in before we left to return to Memphis to see my old friend Liz, whom was recovering from removal of a brain tumor. It was so good to see her, and good to see her on the mend. We hit the road and felt pretty fucking great about the tour. I think everyone else enjoyed themselves as well.

– Jack Pneumatic

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