Still younger than springtime, the Wild Moccasins are getting to be old hands at this touring thing. (If you missed their set at BestFest - it was way early - you missed something special.) Lately it seems like the sunny Houston five-piece is either just getting off the road or about to go back on. That's the case Saturday, when the group headlines another tour kickoff show at Fitz before heading east to the Athens Pop Festival in Georgia and New York City's famous discoveries-in-waiting CMJ bonanza.
Now with several tours under their belt, the Moccasins know by now what traveling musicians should never go without on the road and what to leave at home. We asked the group to each pick a couple of essential touring items, and for good measure, to give us a couple of artists that, in a perfect world, they'd like to support.
John Baldwin, drums
- Clean socks
Nicholas Cody, bass
- Nail clippers (and not the little baby ones): Can't play with long nails and I hate buying something on the road I already have at home.
- Sleeping bag: Because sleeping on apartment floors is just one of the many glamorous experiences of touring.
Zahira Gutierrez, keyboards/vocals
Dry shampoo: For those who don't know, dry shampoo is a powder you use for your hair to make it appear clean. I didn't have this for the first tour and it was very frustrating. Do I want another 30 min of sleep? Or should I wake up before everyone to get in the first shower? I don't really worry about that anymore. It's not that I don't want to shower, but it's hard to find the time when you are sleeping on peoples (who you met the night before) floors. I rely on dry shampoo every other day now when I'm on tour!
Singers Saving Grace Throat Spray: I'm not really sure what's in this, but I know it helps when singing every night.
Andrew Lee, guitar
- Watch: 'Cause of the time change! Fall back, spring forward.
- Belt: always want to keep your slacks at waist level.
Cody Swann, guitar/vocals
- Note pad: Whether I am working on songs, writing set lists, or crossing through bullet points on a to-do list (no better feeling), I would feel a lot less put together without a note pad. As you can see, I'm definitely not OCD.
- Poker book: A great amount of time is spent driving while we are tour obviously. As much as I would like to spend that time in conversation with my fellow bandmates, we all need time to relax. When those times come around, I usually have a poker book on me to remind me of all the things I do wrong while playing. At this point I may have spent more money on poker books than I have actually made from playing.
Read on for the Moccasins' choices of ideal touring companions.
- The Clash
- The Clash: I would like to tour with The Clash when they supported Sandinista!. I really like the music they had by this point, and I imagine on that tour they would have only played the really great songs from that triple album, along with songs from their first three albums. They had such a varied, global sound by then it would be fun to watch them every night of tour.
- Talking Heads: My other pick would be Talking Heads after Remain in Light was released. The additional musicians they brought for that tour must have cost them a lot but the videos I've watched from those shows is amazing. I guess the early 80s is one of my favorite times in music at the moment.
- Blondie: I would have loved to do the UK tour of Parallel Lines. But as much as that would have been cool, playing with them at CBGB's when they first started would have been even better for me. I just imagine The Ramones and Talking Heads all there, and how amazing it could have been to be a part of that.
- Queen: I'd want to tour with Queen for their A Day at the Races album, just to watch them play "Somebody to Love" and "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy."
- Pure X: They are this new-ish band - formerly known as Pure Ecstasy - from Austin, Texas with a record called Pleasure that I've been obsessing with lately. I don't really know much about them, but I think our shows would provide an interesting contrast if our bands toured with each other because their music is so hazy and melancholy.
- Dr. Dog: They are one of the few bands I really enjoy live because they are really super-intense but not trite, and they sound so much better than their already great-sounding records.
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- Voxtrot: I would like to have toured with Voxtrot right when their Raised by Wolves EP came out in 2005. This band and their EP really meant a lot to me when I started attending their shows while I was still in high school. I am in love with the lyrics and simple but catchy melodies.
- Belle & Sebastian: This one is a no-brainer. If I had a choice though I would love to have toured with them when The Life Pursuit came out. The thought of getting to see them perform songs from this album almost every night could send me into an epileptic fit.
With the Mathletes and Little Lo, 8 p.m. Saturday at Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak.