July 10th, 2008: Brooklyn.
Who knew that there were houses in New York? If you take the Q train to Beverly Road in Brooklyn, you'll find yourself walking through neighborhoods not unlike those in any Midwest city or town. Houses with lawns, not brownstones, but separate houses, one after another.
The first full US tour by The Physics of Meaning was a huge success! Thanks to everyone who came to see us play and cheered and smiled and bought our CDs and t-shirts. We played 37 shows in 38 days and lived to tell the tale. Endless thanks to my bandmates, Dylan Thurston, Wil Wright and Wylie Pamplin, for their superhuman patience with my craziness, my controlling nature, mediocre tour managing and reckless driving. I left the tour feeling strong, feeling a great sense of accomplishment. Wylie and Wil both said they wanted to keep going. I wanted to tell them that they were insane, but then there's this saying about a pot and a kettle...
After doing some more touring (with St. Vincent) and traveling in Europe, I have returned to native soil once again. I find it much the same as when I left, except for one big problem: the guy working at Shabu Shabu today wouldn't make me a sesame bubble tea smoothie. "Oh no, we can't do that," he said. "We can make you sesame milk tea," he explained. "But you can't add ice and put it in the blender?" I said. "Oh no," he said "because the sesame is a powder." I wanted to say, "First of all, I've had a sesame smoothie here before. One of your co-workers has made it for me. And second of all, I know I look like an ignorant fool, but if I have enough knowledge to ask for a sesame smoothie, don't you think I know it's a powder? It's always been a powder. It was a powder at Rising Tide in Philly when they made it for me. It was a powder at that bubble tea place in Berkeley when they made it for me. It was a powder at that other bubble tea place in Dallas when they made it for me. I accept it's powder form. I don't blame it, I don't expect it to change. I just expect you to understand that if you put powder and ice and milk and simple syrup into a blender, it's going to taste great, or at the very least, it's not going to hurt anyone." But instead, after a few more questions followed by denials, I said, "OK, thanks" and walked out the door.
I just recorded some strings for the new Buried Beds album in Philly yesterday (I should've gone to Rising Tide while I was there). Their music is incredible. Please go listen to them.
But the big news is this: The new Physics of Meaning album is coming out this Fall, September 16th! "Snake Charmer and Destiny at the Stroke of Midnight" will be co-released by Trekky Records and Bu Hanan Records, and we here in Physics couldn't be more excited about this new partnership. Some of you picked up one of our advance tour copies of "Snake Charmer" on our tour this past May and June. The official new album will have some new artwork included and a few other goodies, and will be available (thanks to Trekky) digitally as well, through iTunes, Amazon, etc.
We worked on this record for a good part of last year. It was very meticulously engineered by Mark Paulson (Bowerbirds, The Rosebuds) and beautifully mastered by our own Alex Lazara. We brought in a whole string section, winds, brass, harp, and a choir of friends to realize this new album. We're very proud of the way it has turned out and are very excited to be sharing it with you very soon.
We'll be touring the US again this Fall in support of the release of "Snake Charmer". Tour dates are forthcoming and will be posted on our myspace page as they materialize.
Until then, be well, friends.
Daniel and Physics
April 23rd, 2008: Los Angeles.
St. Vincent February tour across the US followed by Physics Spring tour to SXSW followed by John Vanderslice Spring tour supporting Malkmus and the Jicks. All done now. Resting up at Rachel's in LA before Coachella this weekend, playing with St. Vincent on Saturday.
Got the flu at the beginning of March. Yuck. Flew up to NYC at the end of the flu to play the Plug Awards with St. Vincent. Met hero Patton Oswalt and tried to talk to him with my hoarse voice. Felt like an idiot.
Just got back the posters for the Physics May/June tour. They look really good. Thanks to Josh Godin of www.sour.org for the design.
Alex Lazara mastered the new Physics album in January and it sounds really good. Thanks to Alex for that.
We're kicking off the five-week-long jaunt across the US with a show May 8th at Local 506. Please come hang out. Fun times to be had by all.
Tour schedule up on our myspace site: www.myspace.com/thephysicsofmeaning
Tell your friends across the US: Physics is coming, it's coming, it's coming!
I've come up with a new phrase: vabin fever. Vabin fever is like cabin fever, except that it starts in a tour van. Then it spreads to everywhere, so that even when you're walking down the street on a clear, sunny breezy, beautiful day, birds chirping in your ears, folks smiling at you as you walk past, you still feel like the world is crushing you, coming in at you from all sides and pressing down on your brain. Vabin fever can only be cured by not touring for a while. Most people who suffer from vabin fever do it to themselves and will keep doing it to themselves (and that's what really hurts) because they've been driven crazy by vabin fever and so can't think of any other way of existing.
BUT: I am so thankful to have had these opportunities to tour with Physics and these other bands over the past year. I am one of the few lucky people in the world who gets to do what they want to do with their lives (in my case, that's making music I care about). So, thank you to the powers that be. Once I figure out why me, I'll take some action in accordance with repayment of said luck being given.
As you can probably tell, still a little crazy folks. Thanks for your patience. Thanks for making time to hang out when I was only in town for 12 hours and thanks for coming to all the shows.
Let's have some lemonade and sit on a porch somewhere.
See you soon.
older journal entries can still be read here