My friend Chris (whose birthday it is tomorrow!) has many remarkable traits; one of which is that he finds a time, place and way to accomplish his goals in any kind of situation. One of the places he works very hard is in the car. He really milks that T-Mobile unlimited data plan and types away on his laptop, shooting emails to and fro. I usually sit limp in the back, napping, on my phone, listening to music, or reading, but since I sit behind him I’m often reminded that I could be doing more. So hey, maybe this tour will be the tour where I’ll keep up with some tour updates!
Lots of things happened since I last wrote in September. In the fall I played in the pit for two musicals at Ocean State Theatre Company, the holidays came and went, I visited Japan by myself, worked as an interpreter and assistant for my mom’s Fukuoka Dance Fringe Festival, and I worked on Murder Ballad for my first production as a musical director.
Bent Knee was signed with Cuneiform Records for the new album, with Paperclip Agency as our exclusive European booker, and with Girlie Action Media as our North American PR firm. We were written-up in Consequence of Sound, The Boston Globe, and The Wall Street Journal.
The fall was pleasant and a much-needed recovery after the brutally long summer tour. The winter wasn’t too bitter, but I missed my chance to enjoy the milder temperatures worrying that winter’s other shoe would drop. The spring went quick; lots of work, but oddly in limbo. Since the “Say So” masters were finished n January, by the time we were in the release cycle in May, the “NEW ALBUM DONE” adrenaline had totally worn-off. Though, there had been no reward of sharing that finished music with the world, so I found myself rather introspective with a slightly curbed enthusiasm. I was almost caught off guard once the album was out, and I talked to so many friends and fans who were animated and excited by the music. Now, after three weeks of the album being out, the bizarre dysnomia has dissipated, and I feel fully charged and inspired by the reception and the feedback. Things seem to be falling into place, cautiously and carefully.. Bent Knee seems to be at a point where less questions have obvious or tried answers, and the waters are deeper. It’s an exciting time to be Bent Knee.. The band feels relaxed, mature, grounded, and unified.
Our smattering of weekend shows in May were wonderful. The second week we were accompanied by the one and only Anil Prasad, and he graciously subjected himself to three shows worth of the the indie band grind; from load-in to load-out. The third week was explosive. We sold out the ONCE ballroom in Somerville for our Boston release party, and had powerful shows in DC and Baltimore.
Now we’re on the road for three weeks, which feels like a casual jaunt compared to last summer! Our first two shows in Mount Joy and New York were great.
Thursday in Mount Joy, we shared the bill with our friends Something Like A Monument. We met SLAM on tour exactly two years ago, and we've played six or seven shows with them since. They are one of our favorite bands to play and hang out with. If Bent Knee is my band family, they would be our band cousins. I love their music, and their attitude towards their art. They had a whole batch of new songs since we last played with them, and… oh boy! I can’t wait to hear the new album. Jamie also built Ben a very awesome pedal board. :)
Yesterday in New York we played at Bowery Electric with Iris Lune; another one of our band cousins. The show was packed and we played our tails off. Iris Lune was majestic and beautiful as always. The musicianship of each of the four members is startling, and my lips curl up every time I hear a slick lick or a unique idea. I was standing in the front, listening and swaying naturally, with my brain fully engaged.. Sometimes when I’m at shows, I feel fidgety and I don’t know what to do with my hands. I end up spending a lot of time feeling self-conscious, wondering whether I’m standing straight in a not-awkward way.. Listening to Iris Lune, I didn’t feel this at all. I was relieved and happy when I realized halfway through their set that I felt natural and normal in the sound waves they were making. The show was a stark contrast to the first few shows we played in New York, when we were still in college. We would take the bus from Boston to New York, and play to a room barely populated with friends and family whom we begged them to come. Now, it feels great to be able to pack a room with people so excited about our music.
We have some exciting things brewing; sort of. I hope that things come through, and we’re able to share good news!
Right now we are in hour 9 of our drive from New York City to Orville OH. We have a house show at our friends’ dad’s house, with a great bill of bands! We’re low on sleep, but feeling pretty happy after a strong start to the tour.