My last post regarding Prince’s death was a pretty somber moment for this blog. So, I’m happy to report that the past week has entered a more positive tone for the Digisaurus Solo Spring Tour. The south has brought us clear skies, warm weather, and smiling faces all around. Seriously, the people down here are some of the nicest I’ve ever met. Not that anyone has been particularly mean to us on this tour, but I can’t believe how positive and chatty everyone is. It’s definitely rubbed off on me, and I’ve noticed a little twang in my speech on more than one occasion.
We ended last week with a couple of shows in North Carolina. Now before I get into the shows and my experiences there, I want to address something about North Carolina. This state is going through some stuff right now with HB2, and it’s a proposal that I’m fundamentally against. I can’t imagine what it feels like to be unfairly targeted with discrimination from your government, and I think it’s an awful bill. A lot of big musical acts, businesses, and other local governments have reacted to this proposal in various ways by canceling shows, moving jobs/investment, and canceling travel. I applaud them for using their large platforms and influence for addressing the issues in such a public manner and bringing attention to it. For me as a young artist, I felt like I could make a stronger impact by going to the state and showing some solidarity with those who are fighting with their state government to get HB2 repealed, and even engaging in discussion with people I don’t agree with. I have to say I had some great conversations and I’m glad I went. There’s a lot of people fighting the good fight, and I encourage you to help them in whatever way you think is best.
This was my first time in North Carolina, and driving through I was struck by the beauty of scenery. It’s rolling mountains and hills were lush and green, and my curiosity was instantly peaked. My first stop was in Asheville at the Altamont Brewing Company. It was fitting to be playing a brewery in a place fighting for the title of “Beer City USA.” The libations were quenching and the folks were forward thinking and very talkative. We stayed at a campground that night which helped amplify the mountainous surroundings of the city.
The next day we did some exploring around the town after breakfast and ended up taking a tour of the Moog Synthesizer factory. What a remarkable experience. I don’t own a moog, but Bob Moog is the father of the synthesizer and to see all these people building these historic machines by hand was mesmerizing. I felt like Charlie in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. The most striking part was the team of three people working on the huge modular synth systems. I think they make them in lots of threes and it takes them about a month to complete. The waiting list is over a year and will run you as much as a a decent new car. This one was reportedly being made for Massive Attack:
That night we made a quick stop in Gastonia at Zoe's Coffee House for a ashow. A man named “Too Short” dressed in a leather jacket and a leather cowboy hat came storming in right before my set as I was blasting “Kiss” by Prince over the PA. He busted out some spectacular moves throughout my entire set, and the whole routine left me in awe.
I’ll give you a further update later this week on my past weekend in Alabama. For now, I’ll leave you with a bit about my show last night at the World Famous Milestone in Charlotte. The Milestone has been around since 1969 and is housed in a building that hasn’t been touched since it was built a hundred years ago. It’s a charming dive haunt scrawled with graffiti and band stickers all over the walls, ceilings, bathrooms...wherever. The venue is beloved on the DIY tour circuit and has hosted some huge bands before they took off (rumor has it Kurt Cobain slept on the floor after Nirvana’s show there in 1990). Anyway, we had a great little Tuesday night show there with some new friends, but the place is in desperate need of some new renovations. They’ve got a Gofundme campaign running to help repair and buy the building. If you get a chance, check out their story and consider helping this place to keep going.