As It Ends

It has come to that point in life where band members are growing up and taking on the adult world… (well, Pat is, at least…haha). Married to beautiful nurse Emily, nurse Pat and his nurse wife are going to do some travel nursing TOGETHER! (Spectacular, really!) They’re at the prime time in their lives to take the bull by the horns and go see the world a little bit. We are happy for them, truly (minus the gut-wrenching sadness about some of the best years of our lives coming to an end. Alas, new “better” years must ensue, right?!).

Please note:

There is no bitterness involved in this ending. Nobody is mad or holding grudges. We aren’t quitting out of petty negotiations (or lack thereof). We simply have reached a point where life is taking over, rather than letting the music lead the way.

So, for our last hurrah (if you haven’t already been invited) we’ll be having a food drive/last show! We just feel lucky that we’ve had SO much together as a band, together as friends, together as family. So why not give a little bit of that back to those who need it more?! Check out all the details here:

http://www.facebook.com/events/319145574777618/

We seriously have been in love with this whole experience. We are appreciative of ALL of the support we’ve gotten by friends, family, lovers, and especially our fans. We climbed the music ladder and landed ourselves on an MTV music blog once(!), so I’d like to say we’re pretty happy with our accomplishments! Far more important than winning awards or climbing any ladders though, the four of us have built a bond that absolutely no one can break. We are family, we are best friends, we have been through so much together, and we have OUR music, recorded and saved forever, to prove that we existed. It’s a powerful feeling.

While I feel terribly sad it is ending, I’m realizing I feel much happier that it ever even started. It has shaped me as a human being, made me humble, made me forever thankful, and it has allowed me to express myself freely through an art form that will never die. I got to do all of that being surrounded by LOVE, best friends and family. I am glad that I was allowed to be a part of it all. I am happy that I have met such amazing people… I am thankful that the audience ever gave us a chance. My heart is swelling with adoration.

I hope to see you all December 23rd, 2011, at the Red Room Lounge in Spokane WA.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

xoxo
Caroline
Mon Cheri

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Seattleton, A (sort of) Home away from Home

Dear Reader,

After an all day drive from LA to Eugene and a much needed night’s rest in a Red Lion (mmmm, thanks Jimmy) the band had yet another trek in front of them. Eugene to Seattleville. Ol’ MC was quite excited about this, as a lot of our friends/family live in the area, AND we wanted to do some hanging out before the gig + get a nice band dinner before the tour was over. Boy did we ever. In Ballard there is a Mexican Restaurant called Señor Moose. Wow. I’ve been there 4 times now and I order the same thing every time: Bistec de Cerdo enchilado. MMM MMM MMMMM. The rest of the band got some good eats as well. Caroline got a very interesting drink that had a pepper in it, kind of a spicy/sweet tequila lime thing. So good.

So the show at Conor Byrne that night had 2 other acts named Thornton Creek and Tremoloco which were awesome! Thornton Creek had some pretty fun songs and brought some peeps on such short notice! Thanks guys :) The guitar player in Tremoloco was out of this world! Dude is seriously on another playing field, wow. Caroline was asked to come up on stage and play with Tremoloco, she killed it. Mr Robles on guitar was a little too intimidating for me to take their invitation to jam. It’s sad, I was probably the worst guitar player in the room that night. Haha! During our set we brought the heat, it was great. We had a very tight, up-tempo setlist planned for all the townies and we literally left them SEAriddddddled with bullets :) . We had a little street fair to contend with that night but it turned out to be pretty choice for us as we decided to enjoy the ride and the last night spent with our Tour-Manager-at-Large and my personal Attorney Zack Dahmen MD. We left the venue with a few albums sold and a few more hearts in-love with the MC darlings. Thanks Conor Byrne, thanks friends, thanks family, thanks fans for coming out. PEACEattle! <3

Love Pat

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TOUR DAYS 6 and 7 – DRIVING, L.A., MORE DRIVING

Rolling out of bed after a good night’s sleep in Vegas, we decided it was time to hit the road and make it to our next destination, Los Angeles, in time for our show at Café Cordiale in Sherman Oaks. Walking out to the trusty Rav4 & trailer, we were once again met with the sweltering ‘blow-dryer’ heat that was quite unbearable for us Pacific North-Besterners. We were quickly on our way after a quick visit to the Starbucks across the street for breakfast.

Once out of the city, we were met with more barren desert area heading south on I-15. We were in fact, closing in on the Mojave Desert on one side of us, and Death Valley on the other. We were excited for this drive though, since it was only about 5 hours and were curious to see what L.A. had in store for us. Before long, the band was crossing the CA border, and we were ready for the typical checkpoint this time around where they ask if you have any produce or animals (last year was a bit of a surprise). However, we were many miles in to California before we even got to the checkpoint. The apples and carrots were covered up in the back, and Rav got through with no problem.

Of course, as with any road trip, the band needs to make bathroom/gas breaks. So after a couple hours the need for bladder relief was expressed and we exited the first chance we got. The Rav rolled into what we thought was a gas station and store out in the middle of nowhere, a little ways past Baker, CA. It was called Desert Star Ranch Market, but just with a giant sign on top that read, “Market”. http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll=35.070223,-116.408622&spn=0.011363,0.022724&sll=35.41665,-115.584165&sspn=0.072763,0.128059&t=h&z=16
There was no gas to be found, but instead small wire sculptures and random old things laying about. We were greeted with music blasting out of some giant speakers mounted to the old building – the whole situation made us a little uneasy. It reminded Kurt of some post-apocalyptic movies or games like Fallout. Wanting to take care of our business, we all proceeded to use the restroom, make calls, or buy beverages. Everything turned out to be fine; in fact, once the cashier saw Patrick’s guitar picks from his pocket, they got into a discussion about music. The cashier showed Pat some strange contraption of a guitar he was building that lights up, and the fact that we were on tour was brought up. A copy of Mon Chéri’s new CD was retrieved and the store immediately put it in the stereo, blasting for all to hear outside. A scraggly old man with a beard was hanging out there too, and was interested in the band. He took some pictures of us with his camera, and then we were on our way again, surprised and amused at our experience.

The band made into the L.A. area right when rush hour was beginning, so that was a concern, but perhaps since we were heading INTO the city, it wasn’t so bad. Patrick handled the traffic well, and we made it to the venue early enough for a grocery store stop for dinner and rest. It was decided to kill some more time by finding a park to hang out at. A close one was found on Google Maps, so we drove a little ways south, and made our way onto smaller and curvier residential roads – WITH the trailer. We were all skeptical how it would end up, but we trusted the map. Brandon was handling the iPhone map (‘Ravigating’) and made a mistake with a turn (Gloria Drive vs. Gloria Road or something…) which led is right into a residential dead end, and nowhere to turn around. Instead of attempting to back the Rav4 and trailer all the way down the road, Patrick maneuvered the trailer back and forth in front of a couple houses and managed to get us turned back around. But we weren’t done – one more turn and it would take us to the park. At this point, it looked like it would be nothing but a ditch with trees, and thought it wasn’t a good idea. But Patrick decided to make the turn so we could see for ourselves – and we drove right back into a dead end. Once again, Patrick had to maneuver back and forth to turn the whole rig around. Embarrassed, disappointed, and disheartened, we finally gave up, drove back and found a good spot on the side of the road for refreshments. Not our best moment on tour, but at least it’s a testament to Pat’s improved trailer handling skills.

The gig at Café Cordiale was an acoustic set, and the band has played at the café last year on tour. The set was between singer-songwriters Alex Rhodes and Skee. We all thought we played well, wrote a better setlist than normal, and even made “She’s So Heavy” into a chill number. Donovan, who booked us, always treats us great, and it was fun to be back. We sold a cd and made our way to Glendale, where we would crash at our friend (and one of Kurt’s bestest friends) Eric’s apartment.

Eric and his girlfriend treated us well, and while the rest of the band slept a few hours, Kurt stayed up most of the night to enjoy time with Eric. It wasn’t long before 6 am rolled around though, and we had to get up to start the next leg of the trip: L.A. to Eugene. Approximately 850 miles and 15 hours of driving.

Brandon, who is used to working on little sleep, got the first drive shift while Kurt and Zach slept like logs for 4 hours. The L.A. traffic wasn’t bad that early in the morning, and we started the long trek up I-5. Not much to mention on this drive, except that we knew we had to make one stop: The Liquor Barn just before the Oregon border. Warehouse prices + cheaper liquor tax than WA = mandatory band stop. We quickly snatched up a few quality selections and made it to Eugene by 9:30ish. That Red Lion was certainly a welcome sight (thanks Jimmy!)
Up next: Seattle

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TOUR – DAY 5 – VEGAS BABY

Highlights: 110 degree weather… (okay, not a highlight, but an extreme thing to note none-the-less), Swimming, Drinking on the streets, Penny slots and free beer, Bellagio Fountain Show, Creepy Elvis, Photos photos photos!

We rolled into Vegas around 5PM, giddy with excitement and only slightly irritated from sitting in the car for 7.5 hours. Upon opening the doors to the car, we realized why this was considered “off season” for Vegas… 110 degree sticky weather hit us like a hot blowdryer. We all groaned and complained in disbelief, deciding we wouldn’t hit the strip until the sun set behind the mountains. Instead, we hit the pool and drank some beers, and of course ordered Pizza Hut to curb our hunger.

Finally, 7 o’clock hit and we were out the door faster than you could say “Vegas, Baby”. Cruising to the strip, we talked about how much time we had to really get the Vegas experience, deciding the Bellagio fountain show was a must see. After some debate about where to park, Caroline (the only person of the bunch having been to Vegas) swore that parking in any of the hotel lots was free. So, we tried it and just drove right into the Bellagio parking garage, still feeling like we’d be stopped or have to pay someone at some point… but Caroline was right! Parking in the lot was free! (The band LOVES anything that’s free). Right away we started having sensory overload: You walk into the Bellagio and everything is so grand, rich, colorful, ALIVE. We sort of stood around gawking, taking photos, then we realized “Wait, this is just the inside of the Bellagio! Lets go explore!”

As soon as we walked out we were there: the site of the infamous fountain show! People crowded the wall hugging the water, but we found a place where all of us could see it. Almost immediately, Kurt says “Wait, something’s happening!” and sure enough, the show began. Again we found ourselves standing there, gawking, smiling, taking photos, soaking in the Vegas experience. It was awesome! but beer was obviously the next priority on our list, and trust me, Vegas is the easiest place to get it. On the street you can buy it ($7 – $9 for a bottle…) so Pat and Caroline indulged while Brandon, Kurt and Zach decided that free was better. It was so weird being able to walk around OUTSIDE on the sidewalks drinking, it felt so GOOD :) (Seriously, it shouldn’t ever be illegal…ha). After chatting up a former Cirque De Soleil performer (who was attempting to get us into a “risque” version of the show) we walked into Caesar’s Palace and plopped ourselves down at penny slots. Almost immediately a girl came by asking us what we wanted to drink, and BAM, free beer was in our hands as we pulled the handle on our penny machines, spending only a $1 here and there, grinning ear to ear.

Next on the list was finding a table to play Black Jack at (per Pat’s request) and we decided Bill’s Saloon might be the best place for that. Lights, people, street performers, traffic honking, music playing, cigar smoke filling our noses, we walked to our next destination. Before entering, a girl staggered up to Kurt asking him for a condom… “WTF?!” we all thought?? But it appeared that she was on a “scavenger hunt” for her friend’s bachelorette party (riiiight). Being the drunken sex crazed band that we are… we had to turn her away empty handed. Better luck next time?

Then Pat realized that he also wanted to see “Elvis” and maybe experience a bit of the nostalgic Vegas. Our hunt for him turned up empty until a drunken/drugged Elvis stumbled in front of us, asking for “tips” to take photos with him. We’re suckers and succumbed to the ridiculous request, getting our one touristy photo and moving into the Saloon where Pat proceeded to lose $$ at a Black Jack table, and the rest of us purchased $2 Blue Moons. By this point we were getting a little tired, but we forged on to the Flamingo in search of a Pai-Gow table for Caroline (however, it’s Vegas where only “high rollers” gamble and there weren’t any tables below $10, boo). We still sat at the penny slots in there and got more free beer, but decided it was getting late and that heading back to the Bellagio was probably best.

We ended the night sitting at a couple penny slots in the Bellagio, all of us only down a couple bucks. Caroline ordered herself a dirty martini and the boys finished off some free beer before sadly leaving the Vegas strip back to the hotel. Drunk and happy, we slept soundly that night, dreaming of fat Elvis, free beer, and the sound of winning money on our penny machines.

Vegas to LA tomorrow, lets do it!

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Tour Day 3 & 4

“Day 3” or “How We Feel About Driving Through Utah”

 

With nothing to do on the morning of day 3, the band joined Noah Beumer at a sports bar in dowtown Boise called The Huddle. It was the Women’s World Cup Final and we were all showing our support for team USA. Apparently, our support isn’t worth much, as Team USA lost to Japan.

Before we could get on the road to Salt Lake City, we had to stock up on groceries. We quickly looked up a nearby Albertsons on Google and took off. However, we followed the directions only to arrive at the Albertson’s headquarters in Boise. Needless to say, they have no groceries to purchase there. We found a real Albertsons and took off along I15 towards Utah.

There are some intensely beautiful landscapes in southern Idaho. But most of the drive was spent trying to keep the 95-degree heat out of the car. Combined with a 7 hour drive, we might have all become a little cranky. Oh, and the Rav’s transmission fluid overheated, forcing us to take a longer-than-usual pit stop at a tiny gas station. After the engine cooled down, we were on the road again and didn’t stop until Utah, where we found out beer is not sold on Sundays: The first of many Utah surprises

We pulled into Layton, a city just north of Salt Lake City where we would be spending the night in a hotel. It was roughly 9 p.m. and it appeared that nothing was open. Being hungry and restless, we were afraid we would be eating a dinner of baby carrots and hotel soap. But off in the distance (a block from the hotel) was an Applebee’s. Certainly not our first choice if given other options, Applebee’s was the only chance at sustenance. We sat down to surprise #2: THEY DO SERVE BEER ON SUNDAYS IN UTAH! but only at select locations. We gorged ourselves on happy-hour appetizers and $1 PBR and headed to karaoke next door, where Pat and Caroline gave rousing renditions of “Fat Bottom Girls” and “Proud Mary”. Then we crawled into bed, excited for surprise #3, a show booked just two days prior at the Piper Down.

 

Chapter 2…er 4…day 4 Utah chapter 2.

 

The boys decided to sleep in while Caroline enjoyed the Super Target’s reasonably priced apparel. We all met up at noon to take the Rav to a JiffyLube, where the “technician” told us that the transmission fluid would need to be flushed, a $120 affair. We sat in the lobby and waited for 45 minutes when Pat went to check on the car. He discovered that they had used the wrong fluid for his engine type and that they were sending another “technician” in a jacked-up chevy pickup to a different JiffyLube to obtain the correct fluid. In lieu of waiting another hour in the well-furnished lobby, we instead walked half a mile to the closest restaurant; A taco stand that served giant burritos. Having eaten our fill, we got the Rav back and headed to the hotel to change for the evening’s show at the Piper Down. Salt Lake City was a 20 minute scenic drive from the hotel and we used that time to play one of our favorite road-trip games, which I will explain here.

 

1.) Take two movies that can be connected through one word in their respective titles:

example: A Few Good Men : Men in Black

2.) Create a plot synopsis in which both movies are described as one film.

example: Tom Cruise plays an attorney who is attempting to defend two marines from being wrongfully accused of a crime they didn’t commit. The marines, played by Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, also happen to investigate alien activity on earth in matching suits and dark sunglasses

3.) Wait for someone to guess :)

example: Oh! That’s a Few Good Men in Black.

 

 

After checking into the Piper Down, we went across the parking lot to eat at Ho Ho Gourmet, a Chinese restaurant that could have used a decent cleaning, but the food was fine and no one fell ill (Utah Surprise #4). Then it was back to the venue where we set up and sound-checked with a soundman who was actually a 2007 Central Valley High School Graduate (Utah Surprise #5). We talked about the strange coincidence of running into other people from Spokane on the road, which awkwardly trailed off into silence.

I can’t forget, there was a giant goldfish that appeared to be trying to give kisses when you got close to the glass, but our tour manager found out that the goldfish was actually trying to attack you; It had killed and eaten every other fish the bar employees tried to put in the tank.

The show went really well. It was our first chance of the tour to play the “rowdy sets”, or “rock”. The bar stuff was wonderful and treated us amazingly. The crowd was loud and energetic and even shook a little tailfeather. We packed up and headed back to the hotel, appreciating our experience in Utah and eager to find out exactly what Las Vegas had in store for us.


 

 

 

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TOUR – DAY 2 – Boise, Idaho @ The District Coffee House

HIGHLIGHTS: Playing at one of the coolest coffee houses we’ve ever been to (check it out, seriously: The District Coffee House in Boise, ID); Eating the best breakfast burritos ever, at said coffee house; BarDeNay – coolest bar, attended by the coolest people (Brian and Sara!) who paid for our drinks and shots of whisky; Learning how to correctly pronounce Bulleit; being convinced that the redhead sitting across from us was Bryce Dallas Howard (think Victoria from Twilight, Lady in the Water etc.); Playing another awesome set, in a cool environment, with a neat backdrop, getting all intimate with the crowd (that’s how we like it)!

So, after picking up our new tour manager in Lewiston (who did indeed drop everything for the week to travel the rest of the way with us, then proceeded to buy us PBR!) we drove the scenic 6 hour drive to Boise, Idaho. Though we had heard the city itself was a flat place, you wouldn’t know it by the mountainous, gorgeous drive.

Arriving in Boise around 6PM, we called up Noah Beumer who booked us at The District Coffee House close to the heart of downtown. He is literally the nicest guy with quite possibly the best mustache…ever. Even better is the fact that all of his time spent at the Coffee House is volunteered, as is such with all employees who work there. It’s a non-profit coffee house, providing live music, amazing food, great coffee, and a posh place to sit and enjoy yourself, all the while donating any extra money left over from bills to charity (read about the place and it’s mission HERE: http://www.districtcoffeehouse.com/). Already feeling good vibes, we set up, sound checked, then went to check into our cheap hotel room at the Red Lion (all thanks to Caroline’s husband Jimmy, we got a friends and family discount in a hotel that was supposedly “full”… gotta love it when people pull strings for us!). We then proceeded to drink a PBR before heading back to the coffee house to enjoy the local opener: Michael Gill (who sang with a lot of heart and played a really great set!). Surprisingly, everyone he brought stayed to watch us play too, and they were an awesome crowd! They sang along, had really good hand-clapping techniques, and even bought CDs! It really was a good, intimate set, and everyone was just so gracious and thankful after the show. That’s the best feeling, when people aren’t afraid to approach you and talk to you after a set, let alone go as far as to invite us out to one of the best bars in town (BarDeNay) which we all didn’t know also existed in Coeur d’Alene?! Awesome, Boise, just awesome :)

Check out a video from the show, already posted by a fan! Thanks!!!

I don’t think we got back to the hotel room until 1 am, where the boys then proceeded to have another PBR and express their brotherly love for each other, and Caroline just went to sleep. Perfect second day? I think yes.


Salt Lake City, see you tomorrow!!!

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TOUR – Day 1 – Lewiston Idaho @ La Boheme

HIGHLIGHTS:
Playing a SOLD OUT SHOW at La Boheme (best way to start tour!) that also happened to have the absolute best coffee; Having the bar owner Nathaniel get up and play violin with us on a couple songs (he killed it!); Picking up our new “tour manager/roadie” Zach; Having quite possibly the most attentive audience we’ve ever had; Playing one of the most heartfelt shows we’ve had in a long time; Realizing why we do this.

The drive to Lewiston is short, so we were pretty amped when we arrived into town to set up for our acoustic sold out show :) We knew immediately it was going to be great, seeing as how upon walking in the owner offered us Cutthroat Porters and wine, telling us anything and everything was on them tonight! LaBoheme is such a neat little place, VERY intimate, but comfortable and nostalgic. I was a little thrown off at how NICE everyone was, smiling and waving and telling us how excited they were to see us! This of course was all thanks to Zach and Nathaniel, who not only booked the show, but told anyone and everyone they knew to come AND got them amped in the process! It was so cool knowing that everyone was there to see us, excited to see us, and we had never even played in Lewiston! To top it off, Zach had a couple guys come in to record the show with their fancy HD cameras (which will probably be up on our Facebook soon, so keep your eyes peeled!).

 

It was so fantastic. We played a set that I don’t think a lot of people have ever seen: completely raw, no sound system to mess with, really just playing our hearts out, feeling like we were so damn lucky to have each other and the people sitting in front of us. It really was sort of surreal. We sold more merchandise at this show than ever before, too, and the purchasers were genuinely excited about it?! We even had someone buy a pair of the American Apparel undies that we never got screen-printed, which he then asked us to sign! Haha, so fun!

 

Needless to say, this show beat every one of the shows we played last year on tour. It really set the precedent for TOUR #2, and it has left us all in extremely high spirits. We are damn lucky, thank you all SO much for helping us getting here. Cheers!

 


Now off to Boise :)

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