Thursday, April 28, 2005

Chapter Forty-Two: I'm Only Sleeping
After two lovely shows in Houston and Dallas (and probably the best ribs ever at Williams Smokehouse), I groggily arrived at LAX airport last Friday and somehow made my way to a warm and comfy bed. That's the last thing I remember, as I'm just waking up now. We'll be taking a few weeks off to re-charge and get ready for some serious business with the Kaiser Chiefs. They have some amazing songs and are one of the most British-sounding bands I've ever heard. It's the best skiffle out there. We've only got nine-or-so dates with the Chiefs, so if you live near one of the venues, definitely come out. Here're two extra words that should entice you: new dance.

In the meantime, I'll be poking my head in here for random comments and all-out heart-to-hearts. We'll see what my mood is in the coming days. Also, keep checking back here regularly as Jorge will have some good stuff for you all.

Now, I'm going back to sleep.

Love,
Rusty

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Chapter Forty-One: Rounding Third, Heading Home
Well folks, we're in the home stretch of the Farewell Andy Duncan Tour 2005. Two more shows in the Lonestar State; one in Houston, one in Dallas. Being the baseball freaks that we are, Mike Clark and I insisted we all go to an Astros game during our night off in Houston. With the beautiful weather and the beautiful hot dogs and beautiful beer, we could not have made a better call. The only person not in attendance was one Damian Kulash. He was in LA doing a nudey naked photo shoot for a major magazine. I'd give out more details, but I feel like torturing you guys a little bit.

Love,
Rusty

Friday, April 22, 2005

Chapter Forty: The Big Easy
New Orleans is a beautiful city... if you only count the 15-block heavily-touristed French Quarter. Put a zillion tourists in an extremely impoverished city and you get some interesting situations.

For example, after our set at One-Eyed Jacks, a guy came up to me with a huge gash across his eye-brow.

Dude: "Aw shit man, I'm soooo sorry we missed your set!"
Me: "That's ok... we'll be back."
Dude: "Yeah, I mean, we were on our way over here and some dude came out of nowhere and just decked me" (pointing to the gash on his forehead).
Me: "What?!"
Dude: "Yeah man, I went down hard. I'm really sorry we missed your show."
Me: "Are you OK?!"
Dude: "Huh? Oh yeah sure."
Me: "Well, what did you do? Did you fight back? What happened?"
Dude: "You think I was gonna fight THAT guy?! What are you, crazy?!"

I can only imagine our friend had about 27 drinks that night. If that's not a perfect introduction to New Orleans, I don't know what is.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Chapter Thirty-Nine: The Manhandle
I haven't been to Florida's panhandle since a spring break trip with my college's ultimate frisbee team. That's right folks, my fore-hand my be a little rusty (no pun intended), but I can certainly toss the disc.

There was a fan at the show who wanted to be mentioned in the blog (to protect her identity, I will place a random letter somewhere her name to prevent you from divining the actual spelling: LeanXne). Anyway, I told LeanXne that she wouldn't be mentioned without a good story. Her response: "Well, my boyfriend got in a car accident and the first thing I thought was, 'Oh My God!! My OK Go CD was in that car!!'. Does that count?" Yes it does! It's so sad when innocent OK Go CDs get caught up in tragedy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Chapter Thirty-Eight: No Space Mountain For Me

Photo is from a Flickr set of unhappy people at Disney World. Found on BoingBoing

That's right, and I'm pissed about it. No Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, No 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea, No Huge Golfball-shaped ride at Epcot. I'm pretty sure all this anger comes from the time when I was too young to go on Space Mountain myself, so my dad and brother went and rode it before I woke up. Oh God, I'm crying again... dammit this Florida thing is taking me on an emotional roller coaster ride (pun intended).

The Social in Orlando is a rectangular place with a stage that's about 100 feet long and 5 inches deep, which means our jumping and jostling was restricted, which means I almost fell over a bunch of times. Note, I said almost. But hey, the tour's not over yet!

Still upright,
Rusty
Chapter Thirty-Seven: Young Angst Vs. Angus Young*
I was remarking the other day that it seened like the era of stale modern rock had finally passed. You know what I'm talking about:

Take Pearl Jam, strip away anything good, then add anger. Taste. Then add way too much melodrama. Stir for nine years. Spit up.

Indeed, empirical observations throughout the tour showed that rock radio was less cringe-worthy than it had been in years. My theory was coming along nicely... Enter Florida. I realize that a lot of the heavy-hitters from this era were spawned in the Sunshine State, but that doesn't excuse you. The radio station we listened to during our soundcheck dumped a noxious stream of unlistenable angst into our tender ears. I cried, smashed a chair, and cried again. And then I lifted both fists to heaven and let out a long, deep-throated howl because people don't understand me. And then I cried some more. And then I smashed another chair.

Regardless of my pessimistic outlook, the Tampa/Seminolians at Boomerz were the real deal, unafraid to rock despite our lack of fake rain or a long list of non-specific dissatisfactions. And for that, I, of course, salute you.

Love,
Rusty

*Angus always wins.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New Podcast Ready To Go
There's a new podcast all loaded up in the podcast hopper for you to download and listen to. Also, I fixed the podcast link so it should be easier to access. If you don't know what a podcast is, I suggest that you click here. You can't run from the future, knuckleheads.
Audioblog: Texas (unreleased songs!)
If you're going to the Dallas or Houston shows, boy do I have a message for you:

HOUSTON SHOW:
Real Audio
Windows Media

DALLAS SHOW:
Real Audio
Windows Media

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Audioblog: New Orleans
If you're going to the New Orleans show, I've composed this special message for YOU:
Real Audio
Windows Media
Chapter Thirty-Six: The Thrill of The Hunt
OK Go got back in the game last night. Jack Rabbit's, the venue we played, had Megatouch's Photo Hunt game (suspiciously missing from the clubs we've played the last several nights -- perhaps they had caught wind of the photo hunting havoc we leave in our path.) I feel like a professional athlete after the long off season.

Speaking of sports, our lovable merch-man Mike "Milosh" Clark and I watched the latest installment of the Red Sox-Yankees drama prior to the show. The internal rivalry is wonderful: Milosh loves the Yankees and I love the Red Sox. Things got a little out of hand when Milosh decided to deck himself out in full Yankees gear for our Boston show.
Us: "You're going to affect our merch sales!"
Him: "I don't care... I hate these people!"
People of Boston: "Ahhh! Look! He's so cute!

In the end, Mike just seemed more loveable then ever. I guess that's what happens when li'l sweethearts play tough.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Chapter Thirty-Five: Miss Me With Your Best Shot
Our show in Hotlanta was only mildly Hot, but it was certainly lanta. Before we went on, I was devastated by a five-month old black lab mix that someone was selling. I totally would've gotten her, but our vehicles already smell bad enough. Plus, I could tell that dog partied too much... she might have destroyed our professional edge.

We're currently in Jacksonville, FL, and I'm sort of on edge: a friend alerted me to a bill just passed by the Florida legislature. It's nicknamed the "Kill Bill," and it makes it legal to shoot people in public if you feel threatened by them. I'm not asking much of you sunny Floridians, just this: PLEASE DO NOT SHOOT ME.

Thank you in advance,

Rusty

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Chapter Thirty-Four: Capitol Rock
Not only did we play a mighty fine show at the Black Cat in DC, we also got to crash at the boyhood home of one Damian Kulash (complete with parents and fully stocked fridge!). DC is a truly beautiful city... it's too bad that a certain Texan has to inhabit it. Oh, and we got wonderful audioblog and other post-show gifts (hint: even if you don't follow the audioblog, giving us stuff is still awesome! I'm new! And greedy!). Special thanks for the yo-yo; I've been addicted to it all week.

Sunday night left us a little teary-eyed as we said goodbye to The Sun, with whom we'd been touring for the last few weeks. Chris, Brad, Brad, Brian and Sam are all very nice fellows, and you should definitely check them out when they're in town.

Love,
Rusty
Chapter Thirty-Three: OK Gotham
New York City. It was nice to return to my old stomping grounds for a couple of sweet shows in the metropolitan area. Maybe my skin has thinned since I headed west, but I found myself getting super annoyed super quickly at the super people--my people--of New York. Well, not all of them. Just those who took cash from me. If there's one thing New York does not do well, it's customer service. Do I need to feel like I'm putting someone out by giving them money? I don't think so. I'm not that kind of guy.

On the positive though, I was able to hit Grimaldi's Pizzeria for the best pie in the world (carnivorous tip: get the pepperoni... they make it by hand there).

Our Hoboken show was off the charts. The post-show meet'n'greet was a long, lovely parade of photo ops... so much so, that I'm officially awarding Hoboken, "Best City in America to Have a Picture of You Requested." Click here for your certificate. Congrats. North Six was similarly blown up the next night. You came through on the rock end of things, New Yorksey, but next time, just give me my sandwich and say "have a nice day."

Love,
Rusty

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Audioblog: Florida Shows
Going to one of the Florida Shows? Boy, do I have a message for YOU!

JACKSONVILLE SHOW: Listen in Real Audio or Windows Media

SEMINOLE SHOW: Listen in Real Audio or Windows Media

ORLANDO SHOW: Listen in Real Audio or Windows Media

TALLAHASSEE SHOW: Listen in Real Audio or Windows Media
DOWN WITH OPP*, VOL 2

Photo courtesy of Patricia

Patricia has pictures of OK Go in Burlington on her blog.


And here's a photo of Damian, taken and manipulated by Heather Perry. I'm guessing it was at the Iowa show. Or the Chicago one. As a bonus, check out her photo of Pelle-from-the-Hives. He's dreamy.

*Other People's Postings, of course. Email me yours with OPP in the subject line.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Audioblog: Atlanta
So, for some reason our AudioBloggity technology is down. I think we broke it. We never should have tried Audioblog: Underwater.

Anyway, there's about 2 hours before the Atlanta show, and there's no way that Tim will see this blog posting before then. So, if you're heading to that show (tonight at The Earl) here's your AudioBlog command. Pretend I'm reading it to you in a soft but manly voice:

"If you're going to the show tonight, you will bring the bassist, Tim Nordwind, a photograph of a famous person that you have ripped from a magazine. Be sure to decorate that photograph with a handlebar mustache and a speech bubble that says 'Atlanta agrees: Tim Nordwind is kind of cute, in a pet turtle sort of way.' Please refrain from using exclamation marks in crafting your message."

Monday, April 11, 2005

Chapter 32: This Week in Rock
Les bloggerables,

It's been a while. Too long, to be honest. My apologies, but sometimes access to the internets can be a little tough to find. There's also this abstract idea of laziness, particularly Jorge's. I asked him to post this for me days ago, so I wouldn't be late for soundcheck. Send him hate mail. Anyway, here's a rundown of Last Week in Rock:

Portland, ME (3.30.05)
Something was definitely in the air in Portland. It may have been our most "unfortunate" show yet: Damian was battling a resilient cold, we broke a grand total of four guitar strings (forcing not just the singing of Les Mis, but also Tim's heartfelt performance of his rap hit, "Magic Combination"), plus my handkerchief/pocket square wouldn't stay in one place. We fought through these challenges, though, and came out on the other side. The solution... steroids.

Cambridge/Boston, MA (3.31.05)
I was proud to see how much Boston appreciates the rock. A packed house greeted us and the still-juicing Kulash. They witnessed not only a fine rock performance, but one of the most awkward drum solos ever, capped by a fan screaming, "What the fuck is this?!" Ahh, Boston, I love and hate you at the same time.

New York, NY (4.1-4.05)
We scheduled some days off in New York for a photoshoot for the upcoming album. We shot some wonderfully obnoxious photos. If you think the suits we wear at the shows are indulgent, prepare to be blown away.

On Friday, I made a cameo appearance with my old band the Unsacred Hearts (for which I played bass). Their music could be described as "drunk," a relevant subgenre because it almost contains the word "punk", which is a far better descriptor, and also because it contains the word "dru", which isn't a word, but points to the fact that they drink a lot. They are carrying on wonderfully without me, and have been for a while. In case you're wondering, I left the band, not because I joined OK Go, but because I moved across the country. OK Go may poach hearts and minds, but never bass-playing keyboarder/guitarists. Not that it matters--Unsacred Hearts quickly got another bass player, a guy named, and I'm not making this up, Andy.

Toronto, Canada (4.05.05)
I've learned there's one thing about tour that totally isn't cool: getting sick. Damian had been battling a cold for the last week or so, and we all sort of watched with a healthy dose of fear that one of us would be next. Well, I won the lottery on that one. Fighting illness requires rest and liquids. It does not need 11 hours in a stuffy Dodge Magnum. (A quick note on the 11 hours: our tour manager estimated the drive from New York to Toronto to be 5 hours. It is not. It's a lot longer. I believe our tour manager holds maps upside-down when he reads them.) I apologize if I wasn't my usual chipper self after the Toronto show; I just really needed to get home, get jacked on Vitamin C, and pass out.

Montreal, Canada (4.06.05)
I wasn't expecting Montreal to be so French. But it really felt like another country (though not like Toronto, which also felt like another country--Canada). It was great. The crowd was small, but enthusiastic nonetheless.

So that was the week. Tonight we're playing at Maxwell's as the headliner of the early show: there's a late show after us. I'm sort of excited about the late show as John Davis, formerly of Superdrag, is playing. Davis became a born-again Christian at the end of the Superdrag days, so I don't really know what to expect, but I was a big Superdrag fan, so we'll see.

Love,

Rusty

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Audioblog: Washington, DC
If you're going to the Washington, DC show, this message is for YOU:
Real Audio
Windows Media

Friday, April 08, 2005

Shameless Self-Promotion
I've got a long story on the public radio show This American Life this weekend. It doesn't have much to do with OK Go, but it does have to do with a rock band and an improv group. If you get a chance, take a listen. The TAL website can tell you when it's going to be on in your neck of the woods.
Audioblog: Brooklyn
If you're going to the Brooklyn show, this message is for YOU:
Real Audio
Windows Media
Audioblog: Hoboken
If you're going to the Hoboken show, this message is for YOU:
Real Audio
Windows Media

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Audioblog: Montreal
If you're going to the Montreal show, this message is for YOU:
Real Audio
Windows Media
Audioblog: Toronto
If you're going to the Toronto show, this message is for YOU:
Real Audio
Windows Media

Friday, April 01, 2005

Chapter Thirty-One: Drive Me To Firenzi
We played a place in Burlington called Higher Ground, apparently owned by Trey Anastasio of Phish. I was disappointed that there weren't thousands of fans selling "space cakes" and "looking for miracles" outside our show. Maybe we just don't put out that vibe. I guess we could try extending Get Over It to include a 45-minute jam, but that would probably dissuade the fans we did attract. The Burlington crowd was like a habanero pepper. Small, sure, but damn, they were on fire. Fun.

Love,
Rusty