It's New Years Eve in New York City!
I've finally got the details for Dick Clark's Rockin' Eve tonight (strangely hosted by Ryan Seacrest). We're on at 10:10pm Eastern on ABC. We're playing "Start All Over" and "GNO (Girls' Night Out)."
Hopefully you'll put us on in the background of your party. Otherwise TiVo us and go dance the night away!
Apologies for the lack of new blog content lately. I've been extremely busy and having a great time in NYC the last few days. You'll hear all about it when I'm bored in Cleveland tomorrow.
Monday, December 31, 2007
It's New Years Eve in New York City!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
After 835 votes, the "Why Do You Read This Blog" poll is closed. Of all my readers:
-a whopping 45% of you are Jonas Brothers fans
-18% of you are Mike Schmid fans
-14% of you are Miley/Hannah fans (this is shocking!)
-9% of you just like pithy tour blogs
-6% are totally bored
-and 8% of you said "other" and left me fun comments. Some of my personal favorites were:
"I have no life"
"I like sarcasm"
"Mike Schmid is the next Sufjan Stevens!"
Thank you all for voting!
Saturday, December 29, 2007
We just came off stage from night three of our four-night engagement in the NYC area. Long Island's audiences blew Newark's out of the water, enthusiasm-wise. But hopefully everybody was having fun tonight. Jamie said New Yorkers have pretty much seen it all, so I guess we shouldn't feel too discouraged.
The kids were still smiling, albeit in relative silence. And when I say relative silence, I mean screaming really loud. Just not as loud as usual.
Boy are we spoiled.
Friday, December 28, 2007
For the ultra-curious, here's our typical daily rundown:
Anywhere between 10am-1pm - Wake up, scavenge for food (get room service? or go exploring the town?)
3:00 - Hop on the bus, go to the venue
4:00 - Sound check
5:00 - Dinner at catering, then find a way to fill the remaining time (massage, blogging, reading, just sort of sitting around)
7:00 - Show starts (Jonas Brothers go on)
7:40 - We've all got to be dressed and ready
7:45 - We form the Circle of Power with Miley and psych up for the show
Around 7:50 - We go on stage
9:35 - Show ends, we change back into street clothes
10:00 - Back on the bus, have dinner
11:00 - We roll out to the next city. Depending on the drive, this takes anywhere from one to thirteen hours. During this time we watch movies, chat and sleep in our bunks.
5am-ish: We arrive in the next city, wake up a little bit, groggily grab our luggage and head up to our hotel rooms. This is when I take my hotel portrait for the blog (that's why I always look so tired) and post it. Sometimes I'll write an entry too. Then it's off to bed.
And then we do it all over again.
DISCLAIMER: I don't know Miley's schedule, or the Jonases. This is just the band's routine.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
This was a different kind of Christmas. A wonderful no-frills Christmas.
My Mom had just recently gotten out of the hospital after a difficult surgery (she's recovering quite well), so my parents hadn't any time to prepare for the holidays. And being on tour, I hadn't any time to shop either. So on the night of the 23rd, we hit one shop-filled strip and did all our shopping in a couple hours.
We decided to celebrate Christmas on the 24th, since I had such a short time at home, we thought why not spend less time on the anticipation and more time on the celebration? We also decided that wrapping presents was a waste of our precious time, so we put the gifts in previously-used Christmas bags and boxes, and put them under our cute little purple tree (my Mom's name and favorite color are both Violet).
Then our neighbor Susie delivered a boysenberry pie that she baked. My Dad thought we should make that my birthday pie, so he cut up a straw and put the pieces in for candles:
Of course we didn't light them on fire cause who likes to eat melted plastic?
On the 24th, we opened our presents by the purple tree.
We followed that up by doing a little more Christmas shopping, but not very much. Then we returned home and played with our new gifts, which meant much playing of Portal on The Orange Box (the cake is a lie!).
Also, the house was fairly dirty, as I've been gone for awhile, and my sweet parents swooped in (as they do) and made everything nice:
On the 25th, we celebrated my parents' birthdays, which were back in October, by eating yummy Italian food and seeing "Enchanted," which is much better than you might think (quite fantastic, actually).
Also, there was much more playing of Portal on The Orange Box. Delicious.
I flew back to New York after my short three-day break feeling quite rejuvenated. We're staying at a very old hotel with some very strange quirks. Today I turned on the shower and was greeted by brown water. Ahh, New York.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Our final show in Worcester tonight was a giddy festival of fun. It was like the last day of school when everything is exciting and silly.
We all split off to separate buses to our various destinations (as everybody is headed in different directions for Christmas), meaning we got to ride with Ellen from makeup, Tiffany from wardrobe and Gabi from ticketing. This equals fun. We had lots of wine and bonded over all the music we like in common. We were blaring The Pixies, Travis, Royksopp, and other awesomeness for hours. It was nice to listen to something that wasn't Iron Maiden or AC/DC for a moment.
And now here we are at the Holiday Inn and I'm at a crossroads.
Upon entering my room, I encountered this:
It's like pillows in prison. How...different. But my confusion was dispelled when I saw this:
I then tested them all and found that none of them were comfortable.
That movie that I was raving about in July, Juno, has finally been released in theaters, and it's getting rave reviews from everyone with a pulse. It currently has a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. Seek it out. You won't be disappointed.
I can't imagine anyone not loving this movie. It's got something for everyone.
Ellen, Miley's makeup artist, happens to be a member of the Academy, and she lent us her Juno DVD screener so we could watch it on the bus. For two reasons:
- Candice happens to be in it. She's hilarious.
- Ellen knew the whole band would love it. And love it they did.
Friday, December 21, 2007
We played a fairly sober show in Hartford, Connecticut. Jaime, Stacy and Kay demanded Pepe's Pizza, cause I don't know, it brough back fuzzy memories or something. So it ended up on our bus after the show. And it was a good dinner.
And a mediocre breakfast. And a sketchy dinner the next day. Honestly, we'll probably eat it today too. I think it's coming to the end of its lifespan. There sure was a lot of it, though.
Last night we played a rip-roaring rambunctious show in Providence, Rhode Island. That audience was crazy. They even stomped their feet for the encore.
Now we've just got a show tonight and tomorrow night in Worcester (hooray for staying in the same place for two nights! Yay! I can almost move in!), and then we're all flying to our families for a brief (3 day) Christmas break.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Christmas is less than a week away. How did that happen? Last time I looked around, it was October. This tour is like a tunnel.
Now all my friends and family are going to hate me because I won't even have a chance to do any Christmas shopping until the 23rd. Bring on the late presents!
But you, my loyal blog readers, will get your gift on time. Let me ruin the surprise. It's a song. Okay...a sad song. As it does get lonely on the road, I've recorded a cover version of Wilco's "How To Fight Loneliness." I put this one together in my hotel room in Philly the other day.
To listen, just click the link. To download, right click the link (ctrl-click on Mac) and choose "Save Link As."
I know this song's a little bleak for Christmas, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. Just a small thank you for taking the time to read my blog. Happy Holidays to you all.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Breaking news. We'll be playing Dick Clark's New Years' Eve special. So pay a little more attention at your ball-dropping-party-of-choice, as we'll be rockin' your TV screen. And scream "Happy Birthday" to said TV screen, cause I was born on the last day of the year!
Monday, December 17, 2007
I used to make my little Airborne cocktail every morning in my hotel room, in one of the cute little hotel glasses. At the beginning of the tour. Before I was enlightened. Before someone emailed me this video. I highly recommend you watch this if you travel at all. (To turn off the music, go to the bottom of this page and pause the player.)
Suddenly it doesn't seem so strange that I've been sick so long.
It had to happen. Let's all pretend to be surprised. This completely sold-out tour just got extended till the end of January, so you've got a few more opportunities to catch us! For the first two weeks of the extension, Aly and AJ will be opening. The last week's opener is still TBA, but we in the band think we know who it's gonna be (I'm not allowed to say).
I'm really excited about these new dates. We're going to some places that were sorely missing from the original itinerary, like Vegas, New Orleans and Miami, and returning to some places that we all loved, like Chicago and St. Louis. Yay!
Fri 1/11 Detroit, MI - Joe Louis Arena
Sun 1/13 Milwaukee, WI - Bradley Center
Mon 1/14 Chicago, IL - United Center
Tue 1/15 Saint Louis, MO - Scottrade Center
Fri 1/18 Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena
Sat 1/19 Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena
Sun 1/20 Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena
Tue 1/22 Glendale, AZ - Jobing.com Arena
Thus 1/24 Austin, TX - Frank Erwin Center
Fri 1/25 Lafayette, LA - Cajundome
Sat 1/26 New Orleans, LA - New Orleans Arena
Mon 1/28 Orlando, FL - Amway Arena
Tue 1/29 Orlando, FL - Amway Arena
Wed 1/30 Jacksonville, FL - Jacksonville Veterans' Mem Arena
Thu 1/31 Miami, FL - American Airlines Arena
See you at the show!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I'm sure Rochester is a lovely city. Well okay, I'm not really sure, but it's possible I suppose. However, I couldn't be happier to leave that horrible weather and those insane fans behind. BYE BYE!!
While getting an amazing massage before the show, I asked the same question I ask the masseuses in every town: "So what's it like here?" Usually I get an answer like, "The culture is amazing." "I love it here," "There's a lot of great food," etc.
Guess what she said?
"Rochester has the highest per capita homicide rate."
Umm...yay? Go Rochester. You're #1!
Warning: This entry contains rants. Miley fans read at your own risk.
We're back in America. Hallelujah. We were welcomed by a thoughtless and mean noreaster. It didn't seem so bad, but we were hearing reports of three feet by morning.
After slogging through several miles of gorgeous snowy ugliness, we arrived at the Hyatt. It seemed nice enough.
The powers-that-be said they'd be deciding by 9am if there would be a show.
I put in my breakfast order before I went to bed so that I could wake to a delicious happy morning around 10:30.
Not so much with that.
11am rolled around and nothing. Around 11:15 a man came in with my breakfast...
Once again not so much.
It was somebody else's breakfast. My first clue was that my bill should have read $9.95, and this one said $55.
I notified the man that this was the wrong order and he started complaining. "It's because of this Hannah Montana tour. They're filling up our entire hotel and it's throwing everything off." I politely(ish) told him that I was part of said tour. His face went white and he slinked out of the room with his big dumb wrong order.
So I went without breakfast. Whatever.
Then I headed to the elevator where I saw Stacy and a bunch of dancers. They said they'd been waiting for the elevator for literally fifteen minutes. They had already sent Vishon down on an elevator without his bags so he could let the elevator empty out and save it for them. He hadn't been seen for at least ten minutes.
See, apparently the stupid Hyatt told all these stalker kids where Miley would be and what time she was checking out. This basically led to pandemonium in the hotel, and all we could hear was hysterical juvenile screaming coming from the elevator shaft.
After another ten minutes, Vishon finally arrived in an empty elevator. We packed the thing full of all our bags and headed down from the 21st floor.
We proceeded to stop at every single floor on the way down, each time the doors would open to the sight of young pink-wearing little girls who were clearly disappointed to see us. Sometimes they would whine "where's Hannah Montana?" And sometimes they would just walk off in disgust. But one thing's for sure: their parents were enabling all this.
We finally hit the first floor and were "welcomed" by a wall of fans that we had to push through (haven't these people heard of moving out of the way?) and then once we got out to the buses, we had to push through another crowd of fans (with their enabling parents who were saying things like, "look, that guy has a guitar case!").
Okay, I would like to add to my List of Rules:
+DO come to the show and party!
-DO NOT come to the hotel and party.
+DO scream like a crazy person at the show.
-DO NOT scream like a crazy person at the hotel.
+DO wait outside the buses after the show (if you REALLY want to)
-DO NOT wait in front of the buses before the show.
Miley is a huge star, and deservedly so. She's very charismatic and cool. I can see why you'd want to meet her. But people...let's just use some common sense and be courteous of others.
Oh and also, shame on you Hyatt, for 1) not knowing how to handle a large group, and 2) telling little girls the location of Miss Miley Cyrus. That's just a no-brainer.
Friday, December 14, 2007
...If by "strange," you mean "there's a surcharge for using American money." Otherwise, it's pretty much the same. Although people are oddly kind here, which I love. Nobody has said "eh?" yet, but everybody does say "oot and aboot."
I've been to Toronto before, but I mostly forget that experience as a result of a massive mindwipe.
However, some things never change. For instance, the Westin still wants $20 for a sandwich. So I bundled like an Eskimo and froze my away across the street to a tiny little deli. I got a sandwich, a drink, some soup and a muffin for $12...well, $13.52 after the "we hate your money" surcharge.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
So I saw a doctor in Lexington. It was less of a diagnosis and more of a guesstimation. He glanced up my nose and mumbled, "Allergies. You have allergies."
I've had allergies all my life and they've never made me cough up a gizzard like this.
He prescribed some antihistamine nasal spray called Astilin (catchy!) and an antibiotic. Seemed pretty standard for him. In fact, he had a little cough of his own and was taking Astilin himself. He also prescribed it to Kay. Cure-all, anyone?
But whatever, I'll try anything once. Well, okay that's not true at all. There are a lot of things I won't try: squid, cocaine, ritual blood sacrifices... Astilin, however, is fine.
And surprise of surprises, it's been helping. I sprayed an unpleasant spritz into my nostrils once last night and once this morning and I think the clouds are clearing in SinusLand. I'm still coughing like a seasoned smoker with a deathwish, though. I'll let you know in a few days.
Kay warned me against taking the antibiotic, cause I've already taken two courses of antibiotics since I've been on this tour and I don't know, my head would probably explode if I took another.
Best to be safe with these things.
Last night we stayed at The Cincinnatian. It was really cool, but in creepy way. The lobby was all decked out for the holidays with soul-less little animatronic people welcoming us. In the room, somebody left me a cookie...just sort of sitting out:
There was also Christmas music playing. How charming, right? Except the volume was so low that I didn't notice it at first and then I thought I was hearing a choir inside my brain cells. It took me a few minutes to discover where it was coming from. Clock radio.
I thought this was sweet though:
And I really liked the giant window:
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Wow. It's been a couple days. I haven't been fulfilling my blogligation. Trying to get well. Failing. We're having a doctor come in today to examine the Cough That Never Dies.
So what have you missed? Let's see.
- Well, we headed to Indianapolis, Indiana and stayed at the Conrad. A man was brutally shot in the doorway of our hotel, and Kay Hanley was on the scene to investigate. The man lived. We played a show to celebrate.
- We headed to Columbus, Ohio and had a day off with little to do. Wrote a bunch of songs. We played a show to celebrate.
- We headed to Lexington, Kentucky. Wrote some more songs. Finally wrote a blog entry. I think we'll play a show to celebrate.
- Oh, and I saw this sad sight on the news:
Monday, December 10, 2007
As opposed to the cold that's going around, there's one bug everybody's been happy to catch: the blogging bug. In addition to me, Kay, Greg and Iggy, Candice just started a blog today. Check it out. A permanent link is joining the others on the right-hand side of this page for future access.
Chicago was lovely. And cold.
My first order of business was to get some heavy outerwear. Just the walk to H&M in my old thin coat was excruciating. The heavily-bundled walk back was cake, though.
I saw my dear friend Kurt, from high school. We talked politics and he enlightened me on even more horrible things our government is doing, and how I should vote for Ron Paul.
And we were off to Indianapolis. And I got sick...some more. Which made that show very challenging. As in, "I hope I can stay on my feet for this next song" challenging.
As King of the Land of Obvious, I'd like to remind you that I did not intend on spending this entire tour sick. I'd like to think I was getting better, other than the Cough That Never Dies.
But now I've adopted this brand new cold/flu "friend." Possibly happened during that H&M walk. I'm trying to drink lots of liquids and sleep and spend this day off in Columbus getting healthy. The whole Jonas Brothers backing band is sick too. Solidarity!
To add injury to insult, I sliced my finger in a big way, which has been fun to slam all over the keyboards. Luckily, Kay lent me some stylish Band-Aids:
So it turns out, the other night after my little run-in with John C. Reilly, Jaime ended up hanging out with him in his hotel room along with band members Mike Viola, formerly of the Candy Butchers (of whom I'm also a big fan) and Inara George (who we just interviewed for the Samantha Murphy Show in August). Small world. Apparently, they're touring as a band, promoting the Judd Apatow-produced movie "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" (which I saw back in July - funny stuff).
Why do I always miss the good parties? Oh right, cause I go to bed early.
Friday, December 7, 2007
We just arrived at the delicious James Hotel in Chicago. It's like a building made of candy. This place reminds me of the Curtis in Denver.
And guess who I saw in the lobby?
None other than THE John C. Reilly. I'm a huge fan. It was profound, but I won't bore you with the details of my inner experience (though I'm usually so happy to do that). Needless to say, I didn't open my mouth... We all know how I react in these situations.
A few minutes later, I was cramming myself, some dancers and our bags into the elevator. I was face up to the door. As it was closing, John C. Reilly tried to get in, but I just looked him in the eyes as the door closed.
There was literally no room in the elevator for one of my heroes.
I do wonder what he's doing in Chicago though. Maybe he's coming to our show. Stranger things have happened!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
We had to say goodbye to the Royal Park Hotel in the snow, knowing full-well that our next hotel was a Radisson. Goodbye, my love.
Last night, at the Rochester show, I noticed that the stalls in the bathroom were made by:
Yes. It does say "Hiny Hiders."
While backstage, I had a terribly depressing phone conversation, and I really wasn't feeling very happy, with only three minutes to showtime. Jaco turned to me and said, "But now you get to go play in front of 15,000 people! So life is good."
And life was good again. It's hard to be too depressed when you have the best job in the world.
We all went out and played like little kids with a License to Rock. And so I experienced the healing power of Hannah Montana.
After driving about 120 miles in the snow, watching season one of Dexter all the way (Candice and I want to get the band into it, and it seems they're quite enjoying it), here we are at a semi-dumpy Radisson in Grand Rapids. Once again, as with the Radisson in Moline, my Sleep Number bed is broken. Do these things ever work?
And I realize I sound like a hotel snob, and I have become a hotel snob.
But would it really kill them to just get a nice TempurPedic? And leopard bathrobes? And marble sinks? I mean, come on.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
After the longest drive of the tour so far (approx 850 miles), we're here in blustery Rochester, Michigan. I walked off the bus this morning to the delightful/alarming sight of *gasp!* snow. We all knew it was coming but none of us were prepared for it. Some of us in the band have a pair of gloves or a scarf or a hat, but nobody seems to have brought all of the above. Facing winter seemed like a far-off notion to me...yet here it is. So I scuffled as quickly as I could into the hotel, while feeling like my skin was being ripped off by the cold air. Well, okay it wasn't quite that bad.
We're thankfully staying at the Royal Park Hotel, which is basically what you'd see if opulence threw up on luxury.
I was very psyched about my room:
So I went about my normal hotel christening ritual, the bed jump:
In the middle of this, I got a phone invitation to join Candice and Jaco on a wintry odyssey about town. Despite the fact that I couldn't seem to find my gloves or hat, I threw on a hoodie and headed out. Jaco was much more bundled up:
He only looked a tiny bit like a crazed psychopath. So out we went. The impossible had occurred. The weather had actually cooled down since I was last outside. We all linked arms like schoolchildren and braved the icy sidewalks of Rochester.
[there would be pictures of snow and holiday decor here, but it was far too cold to take my hands out of my pockets to photograph anything -- so use your imagination]
Candice was looking for a specific restaurant with some sort of legendary bread, but she had forgotten the name, so we wandered for a bit and stumbled upon an oddly-named, overly-facaded joint on the main drag:
Looked good enough. More importantly, looked warm enough.
It turned out we'd accidentally stumbled into exactly the place we were looking for. And the bread was very good. Even better though...was the absolute best cup of warm cider I've ever had:
Yes, that is cinnamon on the rim, and I died a little knowing that no cider will ever make me this happy again.
Then we called a shuttle back to the hotel and promised never to go outside again.
This tour has a massive cast and crew. I'm still meeting crew members I haven't seen before. Two weeks ago I met Iggy at dinner. Very cool guy.
As a crew member, he's got a very interesting perspective on this tour, and he's begun writing his own truly behind-the-scenes blog. I've added a link to it on the right-hand-side of this page. You can also get to it HERE.
We band members just show up and take for granted that the set looks the same every day. But Iggy's entry for today shows just how much work goes into putting it all together. A fascinating read.
Monday, December 3, 2007
People have asked about the song playing on this page. Yes, that's me singing. This song, called "I Wanna Get Along," is from "Snow Day," the Christmas EP that I released last year. You can read more about it here, and you can buy it on iTunes. Click the button to go there:
If you'd like to buy the EP for someone special, click "Gift This Music" in iTunes. Make this wintry season a little more musical for under six bucks, and the songs "Snow Day" and "I Wanna Get Along" are also available as ringtones, if you're so inclined. Enjoy!
The Oklahoma show was a good time. Jamie (guitarist) took a little impromptu trip to Schmid Island today during "Old Blue Jeans," which is wonderful, however it was the worst possible spot in the whole show. That's the only time where all the dancers and the background singers are crammed all around my keyboards and they barely have room to move around. Today they had to maneuver around me and Jamie. It was very tight, and Jamie and I were laughing the whole time. The dancers seemed extremely surprised.
Hopefully Jamie won't be discouraged from taking future trips to the Island.
On the bus ride to Kansas City, I was feeling very sleepy so I basically just passed out in my bunk. To my dismay, I woke to find the band had watched "Magnolia," my very favorite movie of all-time, and I missed it. Oh well. Next time.
Now we're at a super-swanky Hyatt in Kansas City, MO. So very fancy. And ultra-decorated for Christmas. It's the most wonderful time of the year, lest we forget.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
The Little Rockers were pretty rowdy. We had a great show, despite the hardships.
The hardships being: Stacy (drummer/musical director) and Charlie (road manager) both enjoyed some chow at yesterday evening's aforementioned Benihana experience. And then they proceeded to throw up all night. It was the lobster. They both looked like ghosts this morning and were sick all day.
Stacy had to keep a giant trash bag by his drumset during the show, just in case. And I only saw Charlie once, which is very unusual, cause he gives us our show calls ("twenty minutes," "five minutes," etc). Hopefully he was napping somewhere.
Also, I'm still sick. It just never ends. I occasionally go to sing and let out a hearty cough instead...which I try to play off as a laugh.
But at least I don't have food poisoning.
No offense, Arkansas, but your capital is mind-numbingly dull. Little Rock is a wasteland. And we had our day off here. Candice and I were going to take a cab to see a movie, but this town just sapped us of all our energy. So we took naps instead.
Most of us just stayed at the hotel the whole day, which fortunately has an adjoined Benihana's. So we had a lovely dinner, and then for me it was an evening of getting my work done in my hotel room. At least we had free internet.
Hopefully the crowd will be super-energetic for our matinee show today.
I was nominated for a Los Angeles Music Award in the category "Best Pop Artist," as well as for my song "Dear Me." The awards ceremony was last night.
Anybody know who won? (I mean, I'm assuming if I haven't heard anything yet, that it wasn't me. But I'd love to know who did win).