The Cloud Room just came back from a pretty extensive tour covering North America and the UK. Front man J was nice enough to put the pencil to the paper and jot down some fun moments that happened to them while on tour. Keep reading to find out what happened. Tomorrow night the guys plan on having a Homecoming show at the Mercury Lounge in NYC with Pela and Foreign Born. Doors are at 7pm and The Cloud Room takes the stage at 10:30pm, so be sure and check them out!
The Cloud Room Tour Diary
June 23 – The Echo, LA
We flew out from LaGuardia on the new Delta Song. We thought it was some sort of anarchist airline. You know…hippie flight attendants, safety-belt-optional seating, and tofu--the whole deal. So imagine our shock when we got there and they wouldn’t even let us bring our guitars on board. We kept saying, “But it’s Delta SONG.” To no avail. We even asked them what B.B.King, their spokesperson, does when he flies with “Lucille” and they said he buys the guitar a seat. To make a long story still pretty long, we ended up having to buy a seat for the four guitars. But when we got on board, the flight attendants (who were not hippies, by the way) thought it was ridiculous trying to buckle in four guitars like they were a person and told us to store them up in the bin like we originally intended.
The LA show was great. We played with some high quality bands, including NYC’s own Say Hi To Your Mom. One highlight was my dancing pregnant half-sister. Another was spotting Frankie Muniz, also known as Malcolm In the Middle, in the audience. He bought a CD and took a photo with our guitarist, who, it turns out is a huge MITM fan. Both Spy Kids movies are actually really excellent, by the way.
June 24 – Streetlight Records in-store, San Jose
My hometown and the record store that formed most of my musical tastes. I remember the exact moment I stumbled upon the impossible-to-find cassettes of Sister and Slanted And Enchanted.
The greatest moment of the entire tour occurred not at any of the clubs, but at a little family-owned pizza parlour in San Jose called Angelino’s. My mom took the band there to eat, and it struck me as some sort of turn-of-the-century Italian Chuck E. Cheese. They had an immense pipe organ with pipes jutting from every corner of the restaurant. It was loud as fuck! The organist played movie themes, and traded off with a house band that played 60’s and 70’s hits, including the soon-to-be-famous cover of Clapton’s “Cocaine”, re-titled for family ears, “Rogaine”. But the magic started when the band finished their set. I got to talking with the guitarist and mentioned we were a band and he immediately asked us to come up and play a song. We thought it was a great idea, took the stage and started playing “Hey Now Now”. The cooks all came out of the kitchen and started dancing with those big floppy hats. The families all stood up and clapped along. The keyboardist joined in on the towering pipe organ. My mom sang really loud. I couldn’t stop smiling. We finished. Everyone cheered. It broke my heart how wonderful it was.
June 25, 26, 27 – San Francisco, Portland & Seattle
I’m going to keep it short considering how long-winded this has gotten. Great, sleepy and great. Live performance on KEXP, also great.
July 5-7 – Columbus, OH, Newport, KY and Chicago
This began our tour with NYC wunderkinder Benzos, fantastic guys who play equally fantastic music. You must check out their live version of “Ideal Magnet”.
We played live on WOXY and talked about the Frankie Muniz thing for a long, long while.
In Kentucky, we played the Southgate House, which a lot of people have claimed is haunted. Apparently during the Civil War, Mrs. Southgate was waiting the return of her husband when she spied what she thought was his riverboat catch fire and sink. She hung herself right then and there in horror. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Mr. Southgate’s boat. My question is, is her ghost haunting the house because she discovered her mistake and is trying to cover up her embarrassment by scaring people who might otherwise be laughing at her, or does she still not know what actually went down, and haunts just because that’s what The Man has taught ghosts to do? Anyways, when Spoon played there, the bartenders took them up to the attic and told them the story. Right when they got to the part about Mrs. Southgate’s ghost, someone jumped out and scared the living shit out of Britt.
Long after our show ended, I stumbled away from the Benzos/The Cloud Room Bourbon-fueled jam session and went hunting for the ghost. Apparently I was found in the attic mumbling, “Just come out. Let’s be friends.”
July 12-14 – London, UK
We arrived two days after the first bombing in London, and I honestly didn’t know if we should even play. It suddenly felt completely trivial. But everyone was so resilient there, it seemed like the best thing would be to carry on.
We played three consecutive shows supporting our first UK single, “Blackout!”. The Barfly show was all-ages, and man, do those Brit-kids love their rock n’ roll. They lined up before the doors opened, then ran to the front of the stage and immediately packed the place. Things seemed to go over well.
Later, at our hotel, we ended up hanging out with none other than The Exploited, drinking beer and trying to outdo each other’s dirty jokes. Honestly, I think our keyboardist’s joke won, hands down. It’s awful. Don’t ever ask him about the baby joke.
Thankfully, we only had one “American” moment, which occurred when two of the band mates (who adamantly require their names be withheld) went to visit Big Ben. Unfortunately, they happened to arrive at noon during the two minutes of silence commemorating the attacks. I say ‘unfortunately’ because they didn’t know about this. So when band mate #1 pulled out his camcorder and tried to film the chiming clock (and the camera naturally didn’t work), he did what any sane person would do: he cursed at it, repeatedly. Band mate #2 started singing the riff to AC/DC’s song “Hell’s Bells”, because, I mean, it samples those exact bells. This went on and on until someone finally informed them of what was happening. So the 2 minutes of silence turned into 1 minute and 12 seconds of silence. My God did they feel bad.
July 19-29 – Albany, Philly, New Haven, Boston, Pittsburgh and Norfolk, VA
The last leg of our tour was loads of fun, and we were back with our pals Benzos.
In Pittsburgh we met Fran and Anton, who had flown from San Antonio, Texas to see us. We tried to buy them drinks, but Anton only drank chocolate milk, which we couldn’t find anywhere. You’d think that Pennsylvania would have an abundance of chocolate, but no, my friends.
Let me leave you by saying that our first tour was a phenomenal blast of rock n’ roll fun. I guess our next step is to (hopefully) get a residency at Angelino’s.