Hoag’s Tour Diary (entry #8)

A little while ago we decided that anybody who has hosted 2 living room/house shows is automatically inducted into the Full Service Fansaw Hall of Fame. Kind of like hitting 500 home runs pretty much guarantees your entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Now, ladies and gentlesaws, we are proud to announce Ryan and Stefanie as new inductees into the FSFHoF. They first hosted us back in April of 2012, and now—just 16 months later—we are back in their vibed-out basement playing for them and their friends.

When you put on an event twice, the special things you did at the first event that carry through to the second receive “tradition” status. So I think it’s safe to say that Ryan and Stef have created a tradition of decorating the basement with homemade crafts. Last time it was a crazy octopus banner type thing, and this time it was a foam rocketship, little tiny cutouts of all the members of FS, and—the centerpiece—personalized logos to hang above each member onstage. (Depending on your point-of-view, they are either personalized superhero capes, personalized UFO’s, or personalize salt-shakers. You decide).

We were pretty loose at this show, for whatever reason. Mistakes a-plenty, but none of which really bothered me (and they usually do, as surprising as that may seem). One of the reasons we flubbed some stuff was because we played songs we have never or don’t usually play acoustic, such as “Dumb Angel” and “Better Back Then”. We also played some new ones like “Evergreen” and “Cleepies”. But the crowd was friendly (notable cruise alums Chris and Olga made the trip in), and we had a great time bantering with them.

Also of note? On Dumb Angel, I landed a pretty sweet stick flip at the end of the song. You can see it (and how surprised I am at the achievement) in the accompanying video. (James, did I spell “surprised” correctly?)

Also in the video, you will find a Yankees collage hanging in their kitchen. Ryan is a huge fan. But I give him considerable grief for the inclusion of A-Rod in said collage. Sorry dude, but the guy’s a bozo!

Vitali didn’t make it to the show, he stayed back in Philly with Momsaw and Dadsaw, but he was well-represented on a shirt Ryan had made back in May when he and Stef came to the Circus. (Again, see video).

Anyway, great time out there in the woods of Milford, PA. You always gotta keep an eye out for bears during load-out, but I’m happy to say there were, and never have been, any incidents. Let’s hope that’s a streak that continues when we play at Ryan and Stef’s for a third time, whenever that may be. (Begging the question, is there a level higher than the FSFHoF? And does a third hosting guarantee entry into that?)

Hoag’s Tour Diary (entry #7)

When we were home for a day off my mom busted out this record player she got for me at a garage sale. It was a steal at only $10. I’m digging the wood and compactability (?) of it. The side latches are cool too. And best of all, you can actually crank the volume on it pretty high.

After Momsaw showed it to me, I went down to the basement to check out her and my Dad’s old record collection, which until now was useless in the absence of a record player. GOLD mine. The Tempations, The Supremes, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper and White Albums. Frank Sinatra, James Taylor, Carly Simon, John Denver, George Harrison, Mozart, Bach, and soundtracks to The Empire Strikes Back, the first Muppet Movie, and even the “Sounds of the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies World Series Champions”.

I know I’m way late to the party on the whole record player thing, but there really is something exhilarating about it. It’s tactile. You take the big square sleeve, pull out the big round vinyl, place it under the big straight needle, listen to the needle to vinyl contact scratch; it’s a whole process. That’s what’s fun about it, there’s a process. There’s no process in the digital listening experience. Point-and-click, or finger-to-touch-screen just doesn’t cut it. The listener doesn’t DO anything to help make the experience happen. We are not complicit in the experience, we are removed from it. With a record, there’s a flow of involvement from creation to listening experience: The artist writes the song, the microphones in the studio record it, and the listener unpacks the product and places it onto the mechanical record player.

Can’t wait to bring this sucker back to Austin.

Hoag’s Tour Diary (entry #6) Aug. 2013

Today we had a day-off at my parents’ house in Gwynedd Valley, PA. Among the day’s activities–2 games of frisbee golf (when we were kids, Bonesaw and i designed an 18-hole course around our 2-acre property, complete with a Constitution of rules regarding game-play), one game of basketball against some high school kids with mad skills but without the intangible of really knowing how to pull out a “W”, one game of wiffle ball (ended on a sac fly, leading to a red-team victory), and a trip to the farmers market with Momsaw. It’s been a great 24 hours here. i’m pretty bummed to be leaving, but the next show at Ryan Helms’ place out in Milford, PA is one to look forward to, so the pain of leaving won’t be too bad.

Breakfast with Smell

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Frisbee Golf!

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Brucey

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Me and Momsaw picking flowers

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Hoag’s Tour Diary (entry #5) Aug. 2013

My best friend growing up was named Jeremy Menkowitz. I’m talking Kindergarten. This is a dude who, because he was Jewish, when he was about 6 years old asked his mother what the deal with the whole “Santa Claus” thing was, and after his mother told him it was a myth, kept the secret from me for a good 4 years because he didn’t want to ruin the magic of christmas for me. THAT’S a friend.

Today, “Rem”s parents hosted a show at their house, the one where he and I ate pizza, played video games, swam, played wiffle ball, went sledding, etc etc etc. Man, it was kind of a trip going back there to play a concert as an adult. Not only that, but many of my old friends who still live in the area came, and a lot of them have little babies! I’m looking out into the pool where we all used to splash around, and I’m seeing them with the MINI version of them watching ME play music. My friend Pete’s little girl Quinn even requested a song: “The Wheels on the Bus”. (We obliged).

Bruce and Shelly (Rem’s parents) provided a huge platter of Hoagie sandwiches (that’s right), and they had this amazing wooden cutout thing with a long-haired wig, bandana and baggy shorts, and a tip-jar affixed to one of the arms. I kept seeing it out of the corner of my eye and it kinda freaked me out. In a good way.

Another highlight was having my friend Poop’s dad (long story) play mandolin on “Tennessee Traveler” with us. We asked him to do the rest of the tour with us, but he has obligations to fulfill out in Quakertown, PA. It’s a standing offer, Alfred!

Many thanks to the Menkowitz family for inviting us back. And nice touch providing that plate of Philly soft pretzels.

Set list was:

(Vitali introduction)
I Wanna Go Home
Lately
Carousel
Wheels on the Bus
Greetings
Blueberry Farm (Hoag voice crack, apology issued)
Late January
Ramona
Evergreen
Tennessee Traveler (Poop’s dad Alfred on mandolin)
Blueglass Lake
30th Anniversary
Hoag Drum solo
Coconuts
Ice Cream Cone
Gymnasium
Apples
Roaming Dragons
Cleepies (tentative name)
Rocketships

Hoag’s Tour Diary (entry #4) Aug. 2013

So there are these dudes in West Chester, PA. A guy named “Hammer” is the one who booked us, but it’s a whole big brotherhood they’ve got going on, and they throw this thing called “Ahk-Stock” for their friend named “Ahmed”. Only the video recap can really do it justice, but the following words and phrases will give you a quick idea of what this thing was like: a neighborhood, an old speed limit sign on the corner that had the “2” of “25 mph” painted over (5 mph), lawn games, cup-holders that stick in the lawn, food, big open field, canopy tents, dogs, a river, fishing poles, small-mouthed bass, a homemade raft with a makeshift motor and steering helm attachment, home-made stage involving branches and leaves and bamboo, a huge game of ultimate frisbee, lots of Eagles and Phillies clothing, a fire-pit, a girl who could throw a football like freaking Terry Bradshaw, a group of marines, a trio of linebackers from Shippensburg University, and two sets by Full Service (one electric and one acoustic).

Hammer and his core crew treated us very well. They loaned us equipment for our electric set (since it’s the only electric set of the tour for us). They provided Bonesaw with gluten-free beers (he drank two!). They got us t-shirts commemorating “Ahk-Stock”. They even hd spare bathing suits out just in case one of us bozos forgot their suit (I did). And they way they organized an impromptu 4-team Ultimate Frisbee round robin tournament was impressive and I might even say inspiring. (side note, for anyone keeping score…Bonesaw, Hoag, and Smell’s team took first place).

Hammer made set-lists for both our electric and acoustic set, so it was pretty much the perfect Full Service experience for him I suppose. And it was great playing some rare ones like “Eyes Like Snow”, “Subterranean”, “Laundry on the Line”, “Like a Pony”. Plus, we hadn’t played an electric set since The Circus (!!), so that felt really good.

All in all, what a ridiculous time we had. You know it’s gonna be a great show when there’s a dude in the crowd with an Allen Iverson Sixers jersey on. And when the whole crowd boos Smell for being a Cowboys fan. Enjoy the video!

Oh and here’s the sweet Iverson jersey I mentioned. This dude was cool.

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Hoag’s Tour Diary (entry #3) Aug. 2013

Just finished a backyard set at the Steffy house outside of Baltimore. First show of the tour! Actually first we went to the wrong house. Some rowdy-lookin’ dude with a barking pit bull and lots of tattoos answered the door. Not the Steffy’s. Oh wait, hang on, we are in the van now and about to try to hold our breath driving the length of the tunnel under the Baltimore Harbor. Be right back…

…ok we’re back. Sunny and I were the only ones to succeed. Bonesaw could have done it but he was driving and he didn’t want to put is at risk. Yeah so anyway, that first house wasn’t the Steffy’s. We were joking that when Joe Pitbull went back inside and was like “baby I thought you told me you stopped selling drugs” and he was like “I did, baby! Those people were lost!” and she was all “Oh REALLY….That group of long-haired tattooed hippies in sleeveless shirts was NOT here to buy drugs?!” Hahaha. Oh well. Hope that didn’t happen.

So we finally got to the Steffy’s. Great set-up. Bruce opened the show, as he will for most of the tour, and then we played 24 songs and I did a drum solo. Not improvised, it’s more of a composition, or a drum conversation I guess. It’s dedicated to Max Roach and I call it “Brushin’ Up”…get it? Because I use brushes in the acoustic show! Haha oh man I’m good.

Anyhoo, Vitali made an appearance this evening as well. He was a little scared of Z-Bo the big brown dog, but he managed to put a little monologue together. Other special things about this set? We played a new song called “Evergreen” from the upcoming album for the first time ever. When we played MJ, Bonesaw whispered “no guitar solo” just before we started the last chorus. But I didn’t relay the message down to Smell, who in turn–I guess–would have relayed it down to Sunny. I didn’t know we were playing freakin’ “Whisper-Down-the-Lane” tonight. Plus, by the time the message got down to Sunny it likely would have changes. Perhaps to the opposite. “Sweet! Bone’s gonna play a longer guitar solo! Right on!” Alrighty folks, here’s the set list from tonight, and some videos.

Ramona
I wanna go home
Lately
Carousel
The Pieta
Hi Ho
Black is Back
Evergreen (debut)
Greetings
Hoag Drum Solo
Coconuts
Chickens
30th anniversary
Gymnasium
Pizza Song (first time in 8 years) Revisited
Sloop John B
Blueberry Farm
Vitali Interlude
Trumpets
Apples
Huge Gray Blue

ENCORE
Rocketships
Hallways
Circus Freak