Sheboygan, Madison, Chicago, Grand Haven … ahhhh the exotic destinations of the upper midwest … These are the cities and towns that made up half of my last tour, which I titled “The Partial Great Lakes Tour” (didn’t see Lake Erie on this one!) In this blog we’ll continue on our way with attempt #2 at a travel blog and head to Detroit, Calumet, Marquette and back to Duluth, Minnesota just in time for the snow …
Be personal. To me, travel blogging is most compelling when you put yourself out there and open up. Share your struggles and passions … – La Carmina
Do you have any touring tips or road trip stories burning to be shared? Please enlighten us with a comment below!
1. Detroit, MI – Union Street Pub 10.21.14
I get by with a little help from my (twitter) friends … no, SERIOUSLY, I have connected with some rad rad people through a sweet web community called GoGirlsMusic.com. GoGirls hosts weekly twitter & facebook “chats” where you are hanging out with whoever chimes in – musicians, industry pros, novices, dreamers, wheelers, dealers and the occasional heckler. I performed in the “Invasion of the GoGirls” SXSW showcase last March and met this incredibly badass band called White Shag who rocked my knee highs stockings off at 11:30 am. The front-woman, bassist Laura Mendoza is a raging hottie who flings that bass around like it’s late on rent (in a rough-love kind of way). Humanoid & me bought a bunch of their merch (like the sweet shirt shown below) and totally want to hook them up with a cool rock show in MN when they tour through.
Marinated and deep fried tofu triangles served over lettuce, our cucumber, carrot & jalapeno slaw and topped with our homemade peanut sauce & chopped red peppers. Served on an open faced toasted bolillo bun with veganaise. – PJ’s Lager House
Tip. 1: Keep the business cards you collect (or, make business cards and have them always on hand, duh)! You never know when you’re coming through Detroit … or when you’ll meet a blues legend or a bad ass bassist …
2. Calumet Township, Michigan – Shute’s Bar 10.22.14
Tip #2: Don’t drive 12 hours to gigs. In fact, don’t drive sleep deprived! Have a buddy, take a nap at rest stops. Coffee & red bull work but are no replacement for sleep – sometimes can make you even more loopy. Be safe out there on the road!
3. Marquette, MI: Ore Dock Brewery – opening for Chris Bathgate 10.23.14
A quick stop at the Keweenaw Coop recommended by Christa (Kim Chi tofu soup, anyone??) and we were off to our last stop in Marquette, MI. I was thrilled about this gig from the get go. Opening for Chris Bathgate – fantastic!!! The show got off to a late start, we didn’t take a sound check (rookie mistake!) and halfway through my second song my keyboard sustain pedal stopped functioning. If you listen to my music, you know that my sustain pedal is VERRRRRRY important. I started sounding like I was missing notes, like an absolute nutcase on the piano. Humanoid was like, “WTF???!!!” I switched to guitar and my damn tuner screwed me up – I couldn’t tune the freakin’ guitar!!!! At this point, I was an absolutely failure in my mind and making a complete ass of myself. I mean, after 8 incredible shows, THIS has to happen????? Of course it does! Well, maybe it doesn’t HAVE to but it did. And I probably didn’t make as much of an ass of myself as I thought I did BUT it certainly wasn’t my top performance. A gal told me the next day that I handled it well with my positive attitude & sense of humor, so I guess that’s something … Gahhhhhh
Tip 3: ALWAYS SOUNDCHECK AND CARRY BACK UPS in case your gear malfunctions. Classic Boy Scouts motto: BE PREPARED.
Anyway, Chris was so gracious and sounded incredible solo with his loop pedals & sweet effects. We went to a dive bar with a few folks and Ore Dock awesome people in spite of my head full of gremlins and heavy heart … but Chris B. even bought us a shot of whiskey and how can you turn that down? Thanks CHRIS!
The next day, my dear pal and Pilates instructor Allison Cherrette, owner of Bird On A Perch Pilates combined our teaching efforts for a Yoga/Pilates lunch power hour class at Ore Dock Brewery. The brewery smelling sweetly of fermenting barley in the morning, we rolled out the mats and had a sweet class. This was such a positive and healthy way to end an epic mini-tour! Thanks Allison – can’t wait to do it again.
The drive home along the shore of Lake Michigan was balm for our eyes. Autumn leaves, blue sky. We ate tons of tortilla chips. We basked. We talked about the next tour …
SO GRATEFUL for Humanoid/aka Kyle MacLean for being my musical partner in crime and allllll the new friends and old friends we met along the way. Thank you so much for reading.