Following our growing series of tour blogs (previously with The Lonely Forest and Hey Marseilles), Seattle band Head Like a Kite is on the road heading to L.A. and sending updates on this mini- mini-tour. They’ll be back in Seattle for a show New Year’s Eve at the Crocodile. But for now, HLAK mastermind Dave Einmo is sending a few updates from their southbound trek:
Head Like a Kite flew to San Francisco today for a show at Milk Bar and then we are on to Los Angeles tomorrow at Spaceland. Then we fly home so I can immediately jump back into the studio and finish writing and recording a new HLAK album. Am I crazy for agreeing to fly down here and do these shows right in the middle of recording? Probably. But a diagnosis of my mental state would probably have provided the same conclusion if I had stayed home. Crazy is Crazy. December is my month to track the new HLAK album, so I’ve spent the last several days draped over a Moog synthesizer, a guitar, my beat box, and a slew of analog boxes and buttons shaping what will become the fourth HLAK album. Yet here I am, taking a short holiday to play SF and LA. My rationale was that doing a few shows in the middle of recording would energize me to write the kind of upbeat, party record I have lurking in my head. By partying on the road, I’ll be bringing some of that festive flavor to the new album. Besides, Trent, Tilson, and Asya Smoosh are here. Fun is guaranteed.
We just finished sound check, playing parts of “She’s Wearing that Costume,” “We Were So Entangled,” and “Director’s Cut.” It felt good. It felt a lot better than flying down here. I hate to fly in airplanes. Maybe it was the emergency landing I experienced when I was a kid and we suddenly dropped several thousand feet and then touched down at the Atlanta airport with fire trucks escorting the plane on the tarmac. Yeah. Probably. So now every time we fly my armpits are like swamps. When we toured Japan, the 13-hour flight to Tokyo was like an anxiety marathon. We toured Guam in August and that plane shook for 12 straight hours like a Jimmyjane Eternity vibrator. But in order to get back to Seattle to finish the record, I needed to fly down to save travel time. Normally our US tours are far less glamorous as we typically tour in a soccer mom minivan. So a Boeing 727 felt like a limo. And this time the armpits were only mildly perspiring. Maybe there is hope yet.
That’s the great thing about touring. There’s always an unexpected surprise that invites you into a new adventure. Maybe this will be the tour that cures my anxiety with flying. Or maybe this will be the tour where we meet a booking agent that adds us to an opening slot with the Gorillaz or LCD Soundsystem or... Styx.
But whatever happens tonight, just being on the road is going to spark some interesting flavors for the new album.
Mystical Seizure opened. They reminded me a bit of the thunder of Trans Am. Foreign Cinema played next. Echo-drenched guitars swirled about booty bass and synths. They were channeling some The Verve and 120 Days. We closed the night and I was drenched in sweat once again by the end of our set. I need to get a Tom’s of Maine sponsorship.
After the show we stayed with a friend we met on the road from a previous tour. One of the nicest guys in San Francisco. When it was finally time to sleep we each picked a couch and snuggled into our new cocoons. But it turned out to be a record cold night in San Fran. We wrapped ourselves like burritos in the provided throw rugs. But I was shivering, so I put on all the clothes from my suitcase and pulled my hoodie over my head and drew the string. Still too cold. I confiscated every bath towel in the apartment and wrapped up inside. I even put my shoes back on. The only part of my body exposed was my nostrils peering out from in between the hoodie opening and the towels. Apparently, Trent was also going Eskimo in the other room. Not sure how Tilson and Asy were doing. My teeth were chattering too hard to see that far. Ahh, the glamour of indie tours.
Alarm clocks just went off. We are loading the van. LA is next. It will be warmer in LA. It has to be.