This month, Myles Coyne is on the road with his buddies. Bouncing around the country in their purple van – dubbed the “BREADMOBILE” – Myles is bringing us his Mouse Diaries. Here, we present part two of his unfiltered thoughts as Mr. Mouse travels out east and back. Read on below, or click here to catch Myles on his tour.
Chapter IV: Pittsburgh, aka The Old Forest, aka He’s Been Around
We entered Pittsburgh to a setting sun. The city is covered in hills. Every house is an inch away from the next, each oddly built into or around the side of a hill. It seemed like they just kinda made a building wherever there was space. The roads were even crazier. Tons of one-ways and narrow lanes. Close corners. It was like we were in another country. A local Stealers fan told me that the city practically shuts down when there is a snow storm. Also, the cops there speed – rather unsafely. Just saying…
Our boy Jackson (a familiar face) set us up for the night at 222 Ormsby with a ton of rad bands. I got to catch up with some friends from a past TEMPLE tour, Sarah and Rose Savage. We’ve tried to play together for a while down. Jackson also set the show up with this cool cat who lives in the space, Foo. They combined their shows together to help us and another touring band, The Happy Maladies. They were absolutely amazing! Very unique band. Orchestral, Final Fantasy (the game) -style music. It was really something else. Check that band out, for realz.
After the gig, we crashed at 222 Ormsby and kicked it with Foo around his fire pit. Let me say, Foo is a badass mo-fo, and a really swell guy. We swapped stories all night, mostly listening to his epic-ness, really. That guy has done so much. My favorite story would be when he told Jeff Mangum to fuck off. It’s actually pretty funny. You should ask him sometime. It was really awesome getting to befriend this man. Thank you, Foo, for the hospitality and open arms. And thank you to Jackson for hooking us up with a sick gig!
Go to Pittsburgh, people. Don’t ride a bike there.
– that guy
Chapter V: Old Friends in Frederick, aka “Bookends”
Off to Maryland.
As we drove, our other van-mate Eliot pointed out that much of the Civil War had been fought on the hills we drove past.
“Someone died in that field. Cannonball to the face!”
Dammit, I still find those words so funny! Our destination was towards the city of Frederick. Our old friends Thom and Joe were helping us with a little Monday house show. We had originally met them through another band, Silent Old Mountain, when they traveled through Milwaukee on their “magic school bus.” Awesome fucking musicians! They lived above a sick record shop simply called Record Exchange. I caved and bought some used CDs (I told myself I wouldn’t do that this tour…). I grabbed Uncle Tupelo’s anthology and Son Volt’s first album. Yes, it was very worth it. I love Wilco… so I had a record store boner after this first purchase. The store even threw in some extra cash for us by purchasing some of our LPs to sell.
One thing I noticed about the city was now NOT Midwest it was. The city streets had a very “Goodwill Hunting” / east cost vibe. Perfect for the warmer fall weather that had blessed our day.
The show was awesome! Thom and Joe’s pals were all really chill people. This one guy, Jon Paul, was a video game designer. He’s worked on games like Fall Out and Skyrim, and had incidentally moved to the city from Milwaukee. Imagine that – a slice of home. The audience was super attentive and showed much love. After the gig, everyone just hung around drinking and laughing. Good people, good times! I even got to jam on some drums (poorly!). We night-capped the evening with a bowl and some Always Sunny. Kind of odd in the sense that we were on tour watching Netflix… I’m used to Jim Carrey VHS marathons from past TEMPLE tours. But hell, it was late. We kicked back and watched some TV. Steve made spaghetti!
Overall, this was the best show you could ask for on a Monday (or in general). Friends, drinks and tunes. It was all there, with plenty of floor space for passing out. I can’t thank Thom, Joe and everyone enough for the amazing evening! We even sold a few LPS. That said, our album has saturated each city quite a bit!
On this tour: if someone donates to our gas fund, then we give them a free beer kozie. If someone donates $5 or more, then we hand them a CD and koozie. This has been another amazing idea, because we have A LOT of CDs, and almost immediately, everyone donates a ton of cash to snag themselves a copy. (Don’t worry Jon Van: people have been buying the LP.) It’s really a rewarding feeling getting to know that after we play, people are into what we are doing. And we can even send them off with the material. We really are touring the record and leaving a mark… Maybe. *wink wink*
– Merry Brandybuck
Chapter VI: Brooklyn, aka You’re No Longer That Good… Will Hunting
I was, and still am, completely overwhelmed by the size of New York. I knew it was big, but man, that city is nuts. Gondor in real life! So many people in such a small space. Scary, really. We are one of the millions at the center of the world. All the movies talk about it, and there I was: driving under the Hudson River (Jordan drove, really), looking up at sky scrapers, flying down narrow roads, and even hopping the subway for a while. I loved every minute of it, but was completely lost in the idea of how small we really are.
As the sun set, we walked to the shore of Brooklyn where I snagged a sick Polaroid. I hate to be that guy, but I quickly remembered being in middle school watching the events of September 11th happening on TV. How scary it was, yet how odd, because (at the time) I lived in Michigan and was very young, confused by the many effects it would have on our country. Looking across the river, I thought, “that happened right over there… holy fuck.” Honestly, I still can’t really describe my thoughts on being in New York. I’m still trying to figure out all my thoughts on the experience. I can say that it made me appreciate the life I have back in Milwaukee at Chapter III. My cat, family and girlfriend. And I mean that in the best way possible. It was a wake up call for me to realize, again, how small we are in the scheme of things, and that you really have to make your own world to live in. ‘Cause there is so much of it out there. I don’t know… Maybe I sound like some hippy on this one. I’ll get back to you on that.
We played at Pete’s Candy Shop. It’s a classy little dive bar that I found out about through my friend Rae Cassidy. We played with another old friend, Gabe, of Wilder Maker. We met him a year or so ago when they were tour for a few months. After the tour, Gabe said they would relocate somewhere. So, they wound up in Brooklyn. Bada bing, bada boom! It was a good time! Gabe and I sat in the corner laughing to ourselves, proudly boasting back and forth about how one day, when everyone gave up (or grew up??), we’d still be standing, playing our songs. He’s a good man. I only wish we could have stayed in Brooklyn longer. Unfortunately, due to some messed up booking on my end, we had to play Nashville the next day. (The only NOT 3 or 4 hour drive on the road, btw.) As the clock hit midnight, Steven whispered to me, “Myles, this isn’t an option. We have to leave tonight.” And we did. Oh god. This quikcly evolved into the nuttiest car ride of my life. We left at 1 AM. About four hours in, Jordan parked the car in some random city, and we passed out in the BREADMOBILE, where we could pick up the journey the next day.
TO BE CONTINUED…
– Mr. Corn
P.S. As I write this, it should be noted that I am pretty hammered in Nashville.