Skiba by William Karmis
Untitled by William Karmis
For many years I’ve been saying I wasn’t quite sure I gelled with the East Coast vibe. I’d been to NYC, Philly, and Boston in my previous travels, and it was just different enough that I didn’t think I could grok it. I can happily say that after a week long jaunt through the States with my wonderful friends in Zoo Brother and Twin Cabins that I understand what I was missing.
(As we toured the country Zoo Brother and Twin Cabins created a little collab playlist with me called "Cruel Summer" on Spotify; pop it on and listen along, for that full 3D experience.)
The story of how we came to know Twin Cabins, AKA Nacho, AKA (insert Nacho’s secret real name here) deserves a novella in itself. We have the unwavering musical fandom of the brothers Asani to thank for that one. I can’t even begin to imagine their excitement at discovering his music years ago, to having him practice brand new material in their living room over dinner. One thing led to another and soon enough he was flying in to play the first date on the tour with us. Big props to him. Now on to the things:
This tour has a long pre-history story of false starts, bad bookings, and personal bitterness, but without getting into mucky boring details, everything after that made up for it. First date was a hometown test run.
To Savage Sister: you rule, plain and simple. Go check out their stuff.
Acid Dungeon, home to Modern Vices (good friends of ours too). Last chances to chill before we hit the road.
In case you were wondering what it looks like when I drive. I would say I spend a decent chunk of my life in this exact stance criss-crossing the states. Can’t put in 20,000 miles in a year without a little sitting.
Some of us on this tour really loved just being able to get out of town, more than you would think. You should have seen the joy on William’s face driving into Morgantown.
Thanks to Jet for hosting the first show in his place in Morgantown. Dude smoked out his French teacher so that’s all you really need to know about how cool he is.
One day, when I’m older, I really do hope I have the enthusiasm of this aged Indonesian guy. Not only did he want (several) pictures with us, he also wanted to take pictures with the security guards (who said no) and with Ahmad, who he claimed looked like Obama.
I promise there’s no more intentional phallic imagery in this post.
Our nation’s capital is a weird place, the kind of place where you get stopped on your way to dinner by important foreign dignitaries leaving their dinners. That’s all I have to say about that.
The Crown has to be one of the nicest venues I’ve ever spent half a day in. Really chill dudes and really chill beers. Check it out if they’re having a show.
The East Coast was the closest thing to a vision quest that the bands and I were ever gonna get. Not only did we crawl through the cradle of America, we ended up in a lot of music landmarks as well. To mention a few: Baltimore, MD, home to Animal Collective and Dan Deacon; Calyer St., the eponymous Beach Fossils song and residence of ____; and of course New York City itself, inspiration for a million and one songs.
Under different circumstances this might have been a historical sightseeing tour, but as it stands we put in a solid afternoon for that instead. Antietam and Shepard’s Ferry, to be precise.
OK, I was lying about the phallic imagery.
I’d forgotten to take any photos of the home of our gracious hosts for a huge chunk of this trip: Dan and Marshall. Shout out to them and their two fat cats. Especially you, AIDS cat.
If you’re ever in Hagerstown go stop by Krumpe’s Do-nuts at 1AM and get yourself some donuts and walk around smoking stale cigarettes to get that full tour experience, trust me on this one.
NEW YORK CITY, NY
What is there to say that hasn’t already been said? It was nice to return to what I certainly consider the weirdest place on the planet. As tired and cliched as it is to say, New York City really is like nowhere else you’ve ever been. You just have to be there and feel it. Maybe it has something to do with packing millions of people onto a small set of islands; maybe with the most friendly and racially homogeneous group of locals you’ll ever meet; maybe it’s even the unrelenting heat and stinking garbage of the urban heat island effect. Whatever it is, it really, really works a number.
And what’s New York without a visit to Times Square…
… and cheap pizza? )
(Fun fact: pizza and MTA fare have historically matched in price.)
Perhaps the only non-candid in this entire set.
One last shout out to our final gracious host, Andrew. Your studio was lovely and comfy, as were your fellow apartment dwellers. Well, maybe minus the comfy part for them.
Insert missing picture of Bruno here, one of our flatmates. He was perhaps the most New York-ian person we met during our whole stay. Former limousine and current garbage truck driver, he had just enough accent and jovial character for all of us. When I asked to take a photo of him he declined (the only person to do so), stating that “I’m in my work clothes, and that just ain’t presentable.”
He later returned to make chicken cutlets in the kitchen while shirtless.
Some closing thoughts.
Overall tour was really fun but also at times stressful AKA when I didn’t have my coffee in the morning. It’s really amazing how in just a week you can form really deep bonds with people over the craziest shit.
I guess I look like Justin Long, too.
Something that was of use to me on this tour: former Swans drummer Thor Harris has some interesting thoughts on the trials and tribulations of touring in general. I happened to read it right before leaving, and his rules definitely applied to this tour.
Zoo Brother and Twin Cabins both have neat things going on so keep abreast of what they’re up to. Twin Cabins has his next EP coming out soon so watch out for that, maybe even pick it up on vinyl.
And as for next tour? Can’t really say for sure but let’s just leave it at, things are in the works, bigger, better, more planned out. Life is good.
Until next time folks.
@twincabins from cali practicing in my living room. high school akeem would be freaking out right now ❤️
Straight up ate dinner to esteemed California dreampop dreamboat Twin Cabins (AKA “Doc Nach”) practicing a new live set. The future is here, and it’s surreal.
Been busy lately, especially with the ZB+TC tour coming up. Mega summer slash tour post coming soon. That is all.
Anonymous said: do you have snapchat ?¿
I do have (I also du hast.) It’s “askiba”.
Anonymous said: You're a very great looking person
Well, gee shucks, thank ya. I bet you are, too!
late june / early july 2014 (aka my favorite summer)
I never knew my upstairs hallway could be so “painting of french girl.”
Thanks for coming out yesterday folks. Video of the Zoo Bros incoming.
Holy shit guys! No whole posts for the entire month of May! I know, I’m terrible. Perhaps I should backdate this post and try to fool myself into thinking I could actually do this once a month. But I digress.
The fact that I’m finding the time to write this post to all of you is both a relief and an utter shock. My past couple of weeks have been one big blur of traveling and other such shenanigans. Hell, I’ve hardly had time to whip out the trusty old Canon between bouts. I’d be lying if I said “laziness” wasn’t the number one reason this post took so long though.
A lot of these shenanigans produced photos that aren’t fit for publishing. Well, at least not for another few years until all the parties involved can invoke the good ol’ statutes of limitations. So keep your eyes out for that eventual post.
In this special case though I would suggest that you let your mind fill in the many sultry gaps. Doesn’t mean there aren’t a shit-ton of good photos left over though, so without further “me talking”:
Let’s just say two things: 1) the cabin earned the name, and 2) a shocking amount of the photos from this trip are unpublishable, see point one, but not for the reasons you’d think. You dirty bastard.
I had grass in my grass.
Nothing like a chaser of “Vegetable Medley” to get the taste of crippling debt out of your mouth.
Here’s the truth: drugs are
fun dangerous, kids! Don’t do ‘um.
But onto Colorado.
A note to future generations: putting a large brick into an open fire and putting a freezer pizza onto said brick does not, in fact, a “brick oven pizza” make. I’d say it makes more of a “smokey, cardboardy piece of shit.” But I’m no food critic.
Unrelated fact: my new favorite drinking game is now slap cup.
Cabin in the so-called woods.
Not pictured: small white rat.
_____ and starving.
Nothing beats a snowball fight in almost-June.
See you in a couple of weeks/fortnights/months, kids. Got some big news coming up that I think you’re really gonna dig.
P.S. miscellaneous site news: I bought the domain kingcitr.us a few days ago because seriously, nobody took that? Score. It’s a parked domain page right now but eventually it’ll be a redirect to this blawg. I eventually plan to port everything from here to that site but in the meantime, your days are numbered Tumblr, sweet blog name and all.
(To top this post off here’s Will in a Taco Bell.)
Spring is here, school is over. It’s been an exciting (if tiring) series of weeks over here in Chicago town. I have a massive back log of photos even if I haven’t been able to bring the camera wherever I’ve wanted to lately, so this will have to do. Let the pictures speak for themselves.
When the inspiration for ice cream strikes…
The third eye.
So we met Mac DeMarco (aka Macklemore aka Mac Miller) last night. I promised myself I wouldn’t fangirl but I totally did. Unfortunately the camera was out of commission so you’ll have to settle for shaky, “real” phone snaps. But really the best memories are in your head and not on a lens. OK, so I got my free Salad Days and wallet signed too, but hey physical things only last for so long, right?
Jimmy Whispers huggin’ Robocop. Dude was drunk.
Juan Wuaters wuas a reual dreuam bouat.
Chicago: famous pot holes and famous pot hos. (Pot hos not really pictured)
We had a crew.
zoo brothers 2nd home ❤️
It lives again!
ZOO BROTHER (LIVE) SUPER SECRET SHOW
@ T H E L O V E N E S T
byobaa (bring your own b____ and angst)
8PM social, band whenever, party til dawn
I can’t be held responsible for any of the regrettable things that you do at this show, come at your own risk
there may potentially be an opening band????
[text my # or any of the zoo bros. if you can’t, big shame]