Happy New Year!

December 31st, 2010

Hello America, Rob here.

It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it?  Let’s celebrate ends and beginnings tonight.

Blog Wednesdays will resume either next week or the week after next.

Happy Everything! OR: Top Five

December 22nd, 2010

Hello America, Rob here.

Home again.  We’re reaching the end of a wonderful 2010.  Not just The Revivalists, but all of us.  We’ve all had a good year.  Go on, admit it.  Looking back on the whole thing, 2010 was pretty cool.  Sure, some bad stuff happened, but most of us are still here, stronger because we have been tested.

I’m getting all retrospective-y now because I’m not sure if I I’ll be able to Blog Wednesday next week.  We’ll be making a short run through the Northeast leading up to a New Year’s Eve blowout in Andrew’s hometown, so my access to electronic communication might be limited.  I’ll probably have time to get in a quick jab or two from the road, but I’m going to make it a point to promise not to promise you anything.  What?  Anyway, here are my five favorite memories from another wonderful year of being a music guy, followed by several honorable mentions:

1) Jazz Fest – Huge audience.  Trailer.  Backstage-plus-one.  Craft services.  Craft services!  WE CALLED FREAKING CRAFT SERVICES AND THEY BROUGHT US FINGER SANDWICHES TELL ME THAT IS NOT COOL.  Oh yeah, and we shared a stage with Joe Krown, Dr. John and the Black Crowes.  Oh yeah, and burlesque dancers performed a routine with us onstage.  Oh yeah, and some of the guys from the Rebirth Brass Band sat in with us.  Oh yeah, and it was Jazz Fest.  The only first Jazz Fest we’ll ever have.  And we didn’t even suck.  Golly.

2) Deluna Fest – Our early set at Pensacola’s inaugural three-day beach festival came at the end of an intense two-week run.  Our previous show had only been about 14 hours ago, 4 of which were spent driving.  The thing about touring is that you get super tight by the end of it because you’re all just playing every single night.  By virtue of our raw notes, it could have been one of our best performances ever.  On top of that, it was bolstered by Dave’s death-defying climb onto the stage’s scaffolding and an explosive cameo by Big Sam (which even caught us by surprise).  The festival was great, too.  Killer lineup, wonderful staff, even the weather was on our side.  It’s not quite as much of a milestone as our first Jazz Fest, but, for my money, Deluna’s a no-brainer for number two.

3) Vital Signs Release Party – The culmination of, in retrospect, far too much work on our behalf, we released our first full-length album ever, “Vital Signs” at Blue Nile in New Orleans as part of the fledgling Foburg Festival (which, like Deluna, was a resounding success as far as first-year festivals go), and marked the occasion with a capacity crowd and a three-and-a-half hour set.  Plus, some people form MTV were there…

4) The Real World: New Orleans- Those 15-30 seconds or so of our music interspersed with live footage and emotional voice-overs constitute the first time any of us have been on MTV (not counting the now-infamous clip of Zack at Spring Break ’02 in Miami).  It was, in all likelihood, both the largest and least attentive audience we have ever had.

5) Red Dress Revival – This show takes the number five slot by virtue of sheer outrageousness, coming on the night of a 5k charity pub crawl/run where entrants of all genders are required to wear red dresses.  Sometimes you don’t know you’re having a good night until a song or two into the set.  For me, I knew we were good that night forty-five seconds into our first song, when I heard the drunk guy who had been heckling us because there were some technical issues during sound check turn to his friend and say, “worth the wait.”  Plus, we were all wearing dresses.

Honorable mentions, in no particular order:

The Revivalists’ Beach Party Week – We started off our ambitious (by our standards) summer tour with a week in Florida.  We’d made a bit of headway in Pensacola already, but it wasn’t until our weeklong stint as artists-in-residency (read: bar band) that we really connected with Pensacola.  Now, it’s home away from home.

Almost Alice – You think you know what it’s like out there?  You think you’ve been around the block?  Think you’re hard?  Have you ever opened for an Alice Cooper tribute band?  No?  Didn’t think so.  You haven’t seen shit.

Halloween show at Blue Nile w/Big Sam’s Funky Nation – A pattern is beginning to emerge here, where every time we do something at Blue Nile it is awesome.  I loved this show because I got to be a robot and I have always wanted to be a robot (just for a little while to see what it’s like).

Blazzue’s, Pensacola, November 11 – Hey that’s my birthday!  And what’s that?  I’m going to be playing a rock and roll show that night?  In a bar?  Gee, I sure hope I’m not tempted by the evils of alcohol!  Seriously, I’m not sure this one technically counts as a “memory,” considering how little I remember.  If anyone can tell me what happened to me that night, please don’t.  I don’t ever want to know.

Closing for Papa Grows Funk at Fatty Arbuckle’s – During our repeated visits to Shreveport, we’ve been growing fond of all it has to offer (except for those goshdamned casinos).  We thought we were accustomed to playing late nights Fatty’s, which is one of the few bars in Shreveport awesome enough to be allowed to stay open past curfew.  But we’ve never played a show that started at 3:30 in the morning.  And we never would have expected anyone to come out specifically to see us at such an ungodly hour.  Shreveport’s just cool like that.

Banjocake – There was a cake.  It was shaped like a banjo.  LIKE A BANJO.

2nd Annual INExchange Ethical Fashion Show – I consider this show to mark one year of involvement with The Revivalists for me.  That night, I couldn’t help but think of how far we had progressed as a band, how my role in the group had evolved from “that sax player, uh, whatsisname, Zack’s friend…” to a real live guy in a band, and how much of the road ahead we could see.  Plus, this was when we debuted our cover of “Forgot About Dre,” which has since become a mainstay of our live shows.

I’m sure I left out a few gems, it’s hard to keep track of a year’s worth of nonsense in my head.  If anyone can think of any glaring omissions, feel free to post them in the comments section.  Anything that won’t ruin any of our future political careers will be posted.

Okay guys, that’s it!  I may get really ambitious and try to do a “year in pictures” sort of thing when I get back to New Orleans (I don’t have everything on my netbook), but please remember that I consider picture-heavy blogs to be a pretty big hassle, and so instead of a photo retrospective, I might do nothing.  Either way.

This may be the last Blog Wednesday of 2010!  I hope the holidays find you well.  Let’s all have a great week and a life-affirming 2011!

We’ve been nominated for OffBeat Magazine’s Best of the Beat award for “Best Emerging Artist”

December 17th, 2010

We’ve been nominated for “Best Emerging Artist” at Offbeat’s Best of the Beat Awards! Please take a minute of your time to vote for us, as well as many of our musical allies in New Orleans.

We recommend checking out our drummer’s little brother’s band New Grass Country Club. They are nominated for best country or folk act.

Also, in case you missed it, we just put online a professionally mixed live show we did over the summer that you can download for freezies. Get it!

In other news. We have been in the studio recording all week and it has been going really well. Ben Ellman and Chris Finney are the production team.  Chris is a phenomenal sound man who works with practically everybody in New Orleans.  Ben is on a really great streak of albums with Galactic’s Ya-ka-may, Trombone Shorty’s Backatown, and his Gypsyphonic Disko project. We’re really excited for this album.

My Georgie Smiles, And Says “Robbie, When You Gonna Put Me In A Blog?”

December 15th, 2010

Hello America, Rob here.  We’re in the studio, where time is not only money, but lots of it.  I’ll keep this short:

That’s what we’re up to this week.  Cheerio!

P.S.  Today is our very own Ed “Steel” Williams’ 27th birthday!  If you see him (which is astronomically unlikely since we are going to be sequestered in the studio until probably about 1 in the morning), wish him a happy one!

FREE LIVE DOWNLOAD!

December 9th, 2010

You can now download  a live set of ours from Tipitina’s this summer. FO FREE.  Go here.

http://therevivalists.bandcamp.com/album/live-tipitinas-7-30-10

Thanks to Woods Drinkwater for his fine mixing skills.

Back In The Mines

December 8th, 2010

Hello America, Rob here.

I’m about to disappear.  As you may or may not be aware, The Revivalists will be returning to the studio next week.  We’ve adopted a fairly heavy practice schedule as of late in order to prepare.  Admittedly, anything is lot of practice compared to how we’ve been the past few months.  At the beginning of the year I bought this bitchin’ Ed Hardy tattoo calendar and we’ve made a big deal of turning every page over at the first practice of the month.

When we came in five days ago, we realized we hadn’t changed it since September.

Which isn’t to say we haven’t been hard at work.  Andrew did some looking, and he determined that by the end of it we’ll have played 111 shows this year.  To put that in perspective, that’s the equivalent of being a band that plays a lot of shows.

But it’s exciting to get to work on new material again.  It’s going to be a rigorous couple of weeks, but this has already been a surprising spurt of creativity.  In addition to the three-ish “new” songs we’ve been kicking around since Jazzfest or so, we’ve all been putting things together individually this year and we finally have the chance to sit down and actually work our ideas.  We already have a handful of songs just about ready to go from the last few days of working, and a few more foundations.  All in all, the material for the new album looks very promising.

Oh yeah, also it is being produced by Ben Ellman of Galactic.  That’s pretty cool, right?

SHOWS:  If you’re in Lafayette, get ready!  This Friday, we’ll be back at Artmosphere to sow the seeds of progress anew.  And tomorrow (Thursday (tomorrow)) we will be entertaining at the Second Annual Bye Bye Hurricane Season Party at Republic. $25 for an open bar and an evening of entertainment, and proceeds go to Evacuteer, a local organization that helps people prepare, evacuate, and survive during hurricanes.  So if two things that interest you are hurricane preparedness and fun, you should definitely come!

After that, we’re all pretty much going to say goodbye to our girlfriends (I hear they’re forming a support group), move into the studio, and play some motherfucking notes.  Wish us luck.

We Pretty Much Don’t Do Anything

December 1st, 2010

Hello America, Rob here.

I feel like I’m in a slump. Last week’s entry was a day late, and pretty bland. And today is also going to suck. Sorry.

Really, I’m sorry.

Normally there would be words here telling you what The Revivalists have been up to, but, as a band, we haven’t done much worth mentioning this week. We took last week off to spend time with like, our families or whatever, so unfortunately I can’t regale you with any tales of our usual laff-a-minute hi-jinks and monkeyshines and general rapscallionry.

As I probably said last week (no, I can’t be bothered to keep track of what I do or don’t write), we’ll be in the studio this month, so we’re not going to be on the road very much until January. We will, however, be doing music guy stuff at Blue Nile on Saturday.

That’s right! This Saturday!  One night only!  Blue Nile!  The Revivalists will be playing one of our last shows of 2010! It’s going to be a free show, so bring your friends! We will be joined by some rad South Carolinans who operate under the name Sol Driven Train, so be sure to come early and catch them as well.  Show starts at 10 probably.

Welp, bye friends!  Sorry there hasn’t been much to relate lately.  Hopefully as we start recording I’ll be able to tell you stuff about things that are happening again.  In the meantime, like, deal with it.