Note: this is the second installment of the tour journal written by our friend Chase DeMaster, aka Houston chillwave-jam specialist Children of Pop, about his and homie Gabe Lopez's recent pre-#snowpacalypse trip to the Eastern Seaboard. When we left off, the pop-children were headed to their gig at Lower East Side indie room Pianos to meet up with one of their people from back in H-Town. We are now #veryjazzed to bring you Part 2.
My friend Ben Godfrey gets to the venue early. Ben and I have played music together for a few years now; he a songwriter and me his guitar player. His band is the best band I had the pleasure of playing in. Ben and I find harmony in our conversation, and we are making the best of the evening.
Most recent is his sarcastic Twitter account where he spells things incorrectly, and gives tips on how others can spell incorrectly. It's great. Like young people with trading cards, we show each other our most recent emoji screen. I think he is impressed with my layout. It feels good. I show him Gabe's "Whale Fart" algorithm and we laugh.
Please don't steal our spellings
— How 2 Spell (@spellhow) January 10, 2015
After the show, I meet a producer interested in having CHILDREN OF POP music in his new TV show. We exchange emails and he later sends me this huge script. Feels like work. Nah. Thanks though, Simon from after the show. ("GET A JOB" by GET A LIFE) Our friend Jay suggests a 24-hour Korean BBQ spot he knows and we jam. He covers the bill and we are all grateful. My takeaway was the seafood pancake pizza. Yeah. Seafood. Pancake. Pizza.
We sleep in, grab a bite, and pick through the Goodwill/secondhand store by Jay's place. I claim a rad baseball hat that makes me look like a fiery coach. I think Gabe finds himself in a Mets hat + jacket (he's been borrowing mine and the pockets are ripped out). We go back to Jay's and he shows us some music he has been inspired by as of late + stuff he has been working on. We drone for a while. Feels good to just drift.
Back on the subway, my mind is constantly provoked with, "Where are all these people going?!'' "How did we get here?!" "Are they even real?!" "Did I produce this situation via my own forecast and energies?!"
Jesse from Young Yeller gets to the venue just after we do. Exchange IRL introductions. As I love his voice, I am very jazzed to be making music with him tonight ;) Gabe and I run sound check. Quiet + my voice isn't quite warmed up = We'll turn up later + I'll keep that in mind when I am talking.
Have a fun time catching up with Jesse, we have a lot in common. Music school + Full time musician + Musical Theatre = now we are here. We wonder off to grab a bite and share perspectives/jokes. We trade off vamping on a bit about billing acts as "Live" or "DJ" and spin it out for a while...LIVE DJ set w Vocals + sampling solo acoustic with live drums.
My buds from Houston, Grant and Ben, get to the venue and we get to kick it ;) After we get stiffed from the door, THE ROCK SHOP in Brooklyn, we squeeze into a cab back to Ben's side of the street. Gabe and Grant, both percussionist + computer producer types, get deep into all of that and Ben and I discuss growing up. His dad [was] a mechanic; mine works for the Parks and Recreation Department. We just ping pong how our dads were such hardasses coming up.
For some reason I start on a memory when money was tight and I started to cry. Ben gives me a big hug and we try and pretend everything is fine. We deal with things completely differently. I pretend to smile. Ben pretends life isn't happening. And our music is diff too. I am grateful for the energy (clothes) he sends my way. He is kind of like a big brother, but we'll never talk about it.
Story continues on the next page.
I beg Ben to take us to the sandwich shop on the way home and he finally bends. He has work early in the morning. "Make it fast," he says. I race into the spot, and pronounce, "I want the X and Y ratio between the FASTEST and BEST sandwich IYO!!!" This approach doesn't seem to work, so I reboot my plan and settle with my classic, "Surprise me!" While I am waiting a young girl buys a kindness bar and I announce, "My friend Ben designed that bar!!! Ben, my friend, right outside!"
(He actually didn't design it. He is a designer and his company does hosts Kindness bar as a client, but he didn't design it...lol, it was tough to express that idea clearly.)
I meet another customer named Bill and tell him about Ben's new sarcastic Twitter account where he teaches people how to spell. We share some laughs and find out we follow each other online. The universe is smaller than the inner net. Or maybe just the same size?!
I get a turkey w avocado. I am kind of(?!) surprised... but it's still so good tho lol. I get a turkey w avocado. I am kind of(?!) surprised... but it's still so good tho lol. I get a turkey w avocado. I am kind of(?!) surprised... but it's still so good tho lol. I get a turkey w avocado. I am kind of(?!) surprised... but it's still so good tho lol
Gabe and I stay up all night talking musical ambitions + romance. Gabe is single and gets attention from a few pretty girls. We get deep and end up crying and then mellowing out. Paper/Rock/Scissor and the couch is mine (that's 2/3 my way this trip).
I def miss my girl and am getting the homesick feels. Bump over to Main Drag Music...they don't open till 11 a.m. I sneak onto the Bolt Bus to D.C. without having to show a ticket. We zone. Decode the route/$/ticket/direction puzzle that is the D.C. subway system (Jeeez it is so luxe tho) and get to the Electric Lady Community something.
FB has 14 people RSVP'd and they all seem rad ;) The venue has the blue foldout chairs, 15 in quantity, and the space seems very inviting and honest. Peter, Poppy Patica, [who] was at our show in Oberlin in 2K13 opens and is spectacular. He sings with this ribbon-like long tones fueled by plenty of air and reminds me of Elliott Smith. I can't move. He looks like him too.
We start unpacking our gear at our seat (the curator makes it very clear we are supposed to sit and listen while someone is performing) and end up performing from our seats in the audience. It works well. As we begin our set I read some text messages from Holly. I miss her and she is telling me her dinner plans back home: houstonsteaknight.com, a poorly managed Web site for cheap steak specials nightly in Houston.
We start with "Taking Over" and my voice is working okay, so I try to use it. The song is going in some way. I am reading their energy and we are working together to have an experience, I can feel it. I feel v alive. I try to sing the second verse, "We could get lost, we could share something new." But I think about Holly and start to cry during the first refrain through the end of the song.
I cover my face and peep towards Gabe. He is laughing at me. It makes me laugh at myself and I can then come back to this place. We move into "Physical Attraction," our Madonna cover, and I take out my phone, locate an archived screenshot of some existential ideas realized by Dolly Parton, and pass it through the audience. I think everyone reads it all the way through, which is pretty cool. They seem so engaged in this kind of cult/religious way. It is wild and free.
Following through our progression, I bring out my drone box (3 triangle oscillator waves) and rip some wild leads. Having a ton of fun. Before we open into "Charge," I pass my drone machine to Dan (we got to hang after the show) sitting in the first row and I hear a girl say, "This is the one I like!" to her gf. Dan is super-musical and ends up playing the drone machine the duration of the set. Adds a ton to this moment.
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