words and photos by Chona Kasinger
Having recently been announced as the newest contenders on Barsuk’s all-star roster, Spokane four-piece The Globes is currently the talk of the town.
As they finished their Midwest tour with Menomena, I hopped on board for the first five dates of their twelve-date tour with Seattle legends Minus the Bear and lived to tell the story of nights graced with the presence of Winona Ryder and McLovin’, the best Belgian fries on this side of the western hemisphere, the beauty of California state liquor laws, and much more.
Best described as an abrasive sort of accessible quasi shoe-gaze with mathematic tendencies, characterized by wraithlike two part harmonies between vocalists Kyle Musselwhite and Erik Walters, it’s no wonder Barsuk was seduced by this young band’s sound. Musselwhite’s effortless, yet far from diffident dead-pan matched over unexpected fits of distortion is highly reminiscent of acts we haven’t heard in a long time- think My Bloody Valentine and Slint– comparisons I’m sure the band wouldn’t mind. As KEXP DJ Hannah Levin once noted, this band certainly sounds like they’ve been taking their “Fugazi pills”.
With another three week long tour with experimental tour-de-force Maps and Atlases and west coast tour with Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band just around the corner, The Globes appear to have a lot going their way these days.
Eugene marked the kick off show of the tour. While quite possibly the worst name for a venue I’ve ever heard, The Wow Hall was a neat little historical building turned community center for the performing arts in the mid 1950’s.
We made a pit stop at Costco (a tour godsend) just past Salem en route from Seattle and indulged in their dollar-fifty polish dogs before load in and being accosted for “shill” (ostensibly, a popular drug in Eugene) by a less than impeccably dressed man just outside the venue.
A recurring theme I caught onto early in the tour was this band’s insatiable appetite for coffee. The band’s strict tour schedule doesn’t always allow for stops at the finest of fine coffee establishments, consequently forcing the band into what I will call “accidental gas station coffee connoisseur-ism”.
So says Erik Walters, “I can tell you that coffee in the southern part of the country is really, really awful. It’s all horrible but occasionally Loves will have a decent cup when you are in Oregon or Northern California.”
SAN FRANCISCO, CA
The nine-hour drive here was brutal. An absurd amount of Mad Men was screened on this leg of the trip (the band happen to be avid fans), as well as a fair amount of napping. We left Eugene around 7:30 AM and arrived at the Regency with hardly a moment to spare. Navigating the narrow streets of San Francisco will often reduce even the boldest of men to tears, but The Globes are men of immense valor.
The dressing rooms at The Regency are large enough to accommodate standing room for perhaps four people at most. The extremely narrow hallways of this place added to its charm, I truly felt as if I had been transported to some grainy rock documentary filmed in the 1970’s.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
This is the city in which members of The Globes and Tim Kasher’s band truly bonded for the first time… over a magazine graced with the luscious face of dreamboat tween-sensation Justin Bieber.
I walked up to the scene unfolding with mild curiosity and utter horror.
“Is that like… Tiger Beat?” I asked.
“It’s not like Tiger Beat, it IS Tiger Beat,” replied Lois (Kasher’s bassist), with one of the most nefarious nine-year old school girl grins I’ve seen in my life.
Need a Disney Camp Rock question answered? It turns out Tim Kasher’s your man.
What better place to hold a rock show than a brewery? SLO’s Downtown Brewing Co was definitely the smallest venue of the leg I spent on tour, and consequently the most packed. The proximity between band and audience made for a very high-energy night.
Within bird’s eye view of the venue you will find both a gum wall of even more immense monstrosity than the one in Post Alley in Pike Place and and Bel Frites, a Belgian Fry shop with fries worthy of panty dropping. What more could you ask for?
SANTA CRUZ, CA
WHERE DID ALL THESE BROS COME FROM?!
LOS ANGELES, CA
This performance marked the biggest show in Globes history and certainly saw the band in their best form. The Wiltern is a gorgeous, hallowed venue- watching the boys perform from side stage was entirely surreal and I couldn’t help but swell with hometown (sort of) pride for this moment in the men’s young careers.
During a twenty minute trajectory in the night post-show, I shamelessly shot a grand total of four disposable cameras- my hope is that these photographs speak for themselves. For more: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chona_k/sets/72157625124322665/.
By the end of the night, the turnout capped at just about 1,500. Word on the street was both Winona Ryder and the infamous McLovin’ were among the many people present.
For more on The Globes, check out their MySpace page and keep up on their various tour adventures on Twitter. You can pick up their current EP, Sinter Songs, on Itunes. The Globes debut full length on Barsuk is slated for release in the spring of 2011. For more photos by Chona Kasinger: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chona_k/.