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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Taking Years off Our Lives Or Keeping Us Young

posted by on November 20 at 12:58 PM

backstage%2C%20Baltimore.jpgBackstage, Baltimore

Here comes the 44-hour slow-down drive from Philadelphia to front door, punch drunk with a bog of ruminations and don't know where to start, don't know who's still asking. Got a few funny calls from the last one and kept them. Thanks. Wish I could've talked more in person because these entries are always full of post-deadline yip-yap and they probably weren't what you asked for. Sorry about that.

How can we turn this around? I could talk about the endless miles of fireworks and highway sex-shops in God's country, Country Buffet epithets, how we got sick and then set straight by boogie-woogie in the big bus with new friends, how we dropped calls, spent our minutes, slept face down on hardwood floors and wondered if it was taking years off our lives or keeping us young, how we gawked at the golden leaves croaking, pissed in the fog, ran our drunken beaks, apologized in mornings, swore off last calls, New York City with sun almost rising, low brows, maniacal beards--all wrapped up and exchanged for the promise of sexing our own sheets for two weeks before Bellingham, Boise, and into the snow. I could talk about this dead duck that's now over, traded in for new and dear friends, unforgettable...

But we could also talk about the show that hasn't happened yet with the Coconut Coolouts and the Thermals in our town, together. It's always important to have something to look forward to. Know what I mean? And if people thought our soft-rock waltz was a funny-fit with the BSS, just look at THAT marquee. But, if anything has become even clearer to me through these weeks, it's that any opportunity to spend a night with friends in music (especially if the bands you get to play with are making some of the best music around, period), you get right and get up for it. Gonna be a fun one. Can't wait. Sleep first.

Until then,
Arthur & Yu


Monday, November 12, 2007

Shaving the Mustache Was Bad Juju

posted by on November 12 at 1:50 PM

backstage%20with%20kevin%20drew.jpg

Blow-out: Off with a new tire and extended warranties, Sears waiting rooms, coffee-stained Field & Stream magazines, Buffalo, NY. Runny noses and snow in our mouths. A couple of shows that fell off with a thud, where instead of putting on the safety we would've been better off just shooting ourselves in the foot because there's at least some HUMOR in that. Know what I mean?

I don't believe in the end of the world and hopefully this is merely a funny freckle that you're supposed to keep an eye on, call it cute, or believe that maladies breed "character" and all's-well-that-ends-well. I told Mr. Howrey (bass player) that shaving his mustache after our first few shows would be bad juju and now I feel like I was only half joking. Gotta get out of the mojo vacuum. Heave-ho.

This is not meant to be a sad-sack letter to friends and strangers, so sorry if it sounds like it. We'll figure it out. The answer is blowing in the wind. What was the question? How is the tour going? Really, much better than it sounds. Got good friends at arms length and we get to open for a band that makes our heads wag every single night. But we could talk about more important stuff if you wanna. Feel free to call me at 291-4089 if you'd like more. Honestly. Hope things are going well for everybody.

Take care!

Your friends,
Arthur & Yu


Monday, November 5, 2007

Heebee-Jeebees to Bee-Gees

posted by on November 5 at 11:27 AM

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Seattle soft-rockers Arthur & Yu hit the road last week for a three-week U.S. tour opening for Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene. We'll be posting dispatches from Grant Olsen (Arthur) and Sonya Westcott (Yu) as we receive them. Here are the first...

So far we've managed to avoid the Cracker Barrels and Waffle Houses on the way to Boulder, CO. After a pleasant stop in Boise and a very chilly night in Cheyenne, we were ready to play our first show—especially after I had assaulted everyone's ears with the soundtracks from Xanadu and Labyrinth.

Boulder is beautiful and we lucked out on great weather. Grant lived there before and he showed us around for a bit. Fortunately, we had some time to check out Boulder before we loaded in. Finally, we met Kevin Drew and crew for the very first time, and they seemed to be a very sweet bunch. Immediately we got down to the important subjects: Where can we eat in this town other than a burger joint? Who has tequila? And will there be a late night dance party after the show? Yes! I think we will become fast friends!

For not having played with each other for a couple of weeks, our first night went pretty well. Having family and friends in the crowd helped ease the nerves—or maybe magnified them. Whichever, it was fun. We have 12 more shows to look forward to!

Broken Social Scene presents Kevin Drew played a super great show. Even with fewer members, they sounded incredible. Faces were definitely melted. I'm still amazed that we're on this tour and lucky enough to watch them play night after night.

c30 c60 c90 go!

--Sonya

Hello Stranger,

I always feel better after the first show is done and the heebee-jeebees turn to bee-gees. As Sonya said, Boulder is old stomping grounds, which made it a big deal (personally) to play on the same stage I had watched old-whips like Lee Scratch Perry play when I was under 21. Boulder is full of friendly ghosts, one of which I made mention of before we played our song about Bull Lee--a different Lee--who lived a few doors down from the theater in the early '90s--a ridiculous and fitting place for a dirty old man to take residence. Regardless of what Dave Eggers wrote about William S. Burroughs in the forward to his book everyone went ga-ga for, he made his way into our song and I still think there's cause for trying to raise that ugly spirit from the dead on a dull day. It's yet to work, but maybe we'll give it another go in Chicago where I find myself right now, writing this dear-diary to who-knows-who, which brings me to another first: I'm just getting my feet wet in the blog pool, so I apologize if these are rough reads. I am a shit-nostalgist with ugly grammar and we'll see how it goes.

If I'm to reminisce on anything that has happened, I would tell you that we drove through the vagrant roads of eastern Colorado into Nebraska and as we sat down to eat at a restaurant full of Budwiser-Baptists, a group of a dozen transvestites took the table across from us and we were reminded that America is not just beautiful on the outside.

Yours truly,
Grant