Tuesday, August 21, 2007

You guys are awesome!

We made it past the first round! Thank you so much, you are awesome! We could never make it there without your support!

So now it's in the hands of celebrity judges who pick their favorite 20 to make it to round 3 which is more voting. We find out on August 24th. Keep you hopes up and your fingers crossed amigos, and we'll be at Zilker in September.

Thanks again, and know that Moxie Loves You!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vote for us for ACL fest!

I want to say thank you to everyone - for voting for us, for supporting us this summer, housing and feeding us, coming to our shows, and for listening to me and following up and taking my thoughts to the next level.

Click on this link http://acl.mp3.com/feature/soundandjury/?band=MOXIEPLEASE and vote for us, spread the word, etc. We didn't win the lollapalooza contest - but this time we're starting at the beginning of the contest, with a month to go, instead of ten days before the end so we have an even greater chance of success.

And I think this is perfect for the metaphor of changing the world - we just have to keep trying and remain eternally optimistic - other opportunities will present themselves. But of course we have to learn from failures so I'll be trying a few new things with this effort as well.

I'm so grateful to all of you and hope you all muster the moxie to make your dreams become reality as well. Let me know if you need any help along the way and I'll be there (unless of course I don't agree with your dream, in which case I'll probably try to dissuade you and shift your efforts elsewhere). Anyway I've created a new facebook group for "Vote Moxie to ACL fest" since the "Tour for Poverty" is over.

One last plug- check out these sites which people have shown me in response to my last post that include small things you can do to make change.
The Hunger Site
Generation Engage

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The last hoorah

We pull up in the Funkwagen to the last neighborhood bar in Jefferson City, Missouri – an oasis called Paddy Malone’s – and walk into a living room sized and classically decorated Irish Pub. There’s a table in the back of the room with a sign: “Reserved for Moxie 8:00 from Houston TX,” which is to be the stage once we are done eating. I know it is going to be a perfect finish for the tour – a tiny, awkward stage but an incredibly fun time with tons of people and positive feedback. And I am correct.

The owner, Allen, is the life of the bar. He’s as jovial as the come and we love him. It would be hard to explain how great and friendly he is, and how much he loved us as well. Plus he gives all of us (the band, Jane, Megan, and Jim) free food and unlimited drinks all night long. He gives us a wonderful introduction, “Moxie, an incredible band like nothing around here, is playing the last show of their national tour tonight! And for some reason they chose here.”

Everyone just had an amazing time and it was my favorite show. We played everything we could possibly play and more (a couple impromptu jam songs), we sounded awesome, people loved us, Allen was great, my girlfriend was there dancing and singing along with all of the songs, and in general I feel like everyone had an incredible time. Allen wrote "Where are our heroes, and where are our foes?" on chalkboard behind the bar - he loved our lyrics and we ended up getting into a great drunken discussion about life at the end of the night when everyone else had been kicked out of the bar.

Keep checking back for updates - there are a lot of great stories, pictures, videos, music and characters I want to share with all of you. The tour is officially over, we're all officially impoverished, and we're all officially incredibly sad to be leaving each other and going our separate ways. We'll miss Jamie and Andy and sometimes cry unofficially at night in their absence.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Two more . . .

One night in massive old theatre in Geneva on the Lake, the next in a swanky jazz club in Dayton. Caller number 9 gets free tickets to see Moxie live on their national tour, one night only. Two nights in glorious dives in Chicago. A non-unionized concrete worker tending bar at one, and an jovial, inebriated gent serving at his whims at the other. Two more offers to smoke weed (sorry we're not interested), two more sunrises, two more mornings with a marvelous one-year-old showing us her belly and touching our noses. Two more nights sleeping together on an air matress (jamie likes the gasoline), two more 4PM breakfasts at Panera. Such is the delightful life of Moxie.

Stay tuned for audio from the interview on 99.9 WLQT

Monday, July 9, 2007

for one night only!

Tomorrow we play live on air in Dayton - on WLQT 99.9. We’ve also got a hilarious thirty second commercial running on their online stream, you can Check it out sometime between the 47th and 50th minute of every hour. The only bad news is that the interview/performance is at 7:50AM. We actually considered whether or not we’d be better off staying up all night or getting a few hours of sleep. We can’t possibly go to bed early enough. Sleeping at 1AM for us is like going to bed at 6PM for normal people.

Let me tell you about the show two nights ago. The show “starts” at 9PM, and at 8:50 PM we are lost and still looking for the venue. Only Moxie. Andy doesn’t think the place exists – we drove past corn fields on farm roads for the past fifteen minutes. Evan guesses that we are probably playing in some guy’s back yard and he just calls his house “the Hot Spot” for fun. I mean seriously, the “confirmation email” for the gig said, “juli 7 is daze. can u bring bands, fans?”

Turns out every small town in the area has a “Lake Road,” and I got directions for the “Lake Road in Madison OH instead of Geneva on the Lake, OH. Only Moxie. But – and my faith in mankind’s direction giving capability is restored – a random woman draws a perfect map with precise directions to “the strip” in Geneva, fifteen minutes away, where the venue is probably located (Sidenote: we got impeccable directions to the place we stayed the night before as well).

Fifteen more minutes of residences and cornfields, one more bathroom break (all of Moxie + Megan gets out and runs to the woods while Julie and Henrik laugh in the Funkwagen) and suddenly we’re at a town that can only be described as a carnival. Neon lights, funnel cakes, people walking about everywhere, music, honking horns, the whole bit. We drive down ‘the strip,’ but “the Hot Spot” is nowhere to be found.

Second pass through I finally notice a tiny sign at chest level the says, “open mic Wednesday, the Hot Spot, live music, pool, air hockey” or something of that nature and I yell for Andy to stop driving. Julie and Henrik must think we’re absolutely insane at this point. We run inside, a solid forty minutes after the posted start time, and find the woman in charge.

To top everything off, we’re playing in an auditorium: an old theatre setup with a massive stage, and audience space that can probably fit 1800 people; and the bands playing before and after us are hardcore death metal bands.

The sound was awful and the microphones consistently shocked both Evan and me, but needless to stay we enjoyed the hell out of ourselves. Julie, Henrik, Megan, the three early teenage girls and the four or five other audience members seemed to really enjoy the show, I got hoarse (Sidenote: talking trash is pretty hilarious when you have to whisper), and we annihilated the Photohunt high score, so all in all I think it was a great success.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

thoughts and tirades

I’d like to direct you all to another blog by Christina Lagos, a friend of mine who is doing health care work in Lesotho right now. I have an incredibly amount of respect for her and want to share some of her stories with you. I also draw a great deal of inspiration from people like her who dedicate their time and energy to this sort of project. I wish her and Rachel and Tessa and all the others doing that this summer the best, and I find a lot joy in knowing that they’re making a difference in someone’s life right now. It’s pretty moving stuff.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, and I’m especially inspired by a collection of Noam Chomsky talks entitled Understanding Power.” Thus far this is my basic summary: the United States has utterly anhilated many developing countries and purposefully impeded their growth by any means necessary in order to maintain the best business conditions possible. Our media outlets, regardless of where they point their political compass, support this institutional empire by only reporting what supports business interests. Whether or not you agree with this thesis, the sad thing is that it is impossible to ignore the facts - that our government has historically slaughtered hundreds of thousands of innocent people and that these stories are not told in the media. They are simply facts often verifiable by declassified government documents. And this book was written before 9/11, so it's not talking about Iraq - it's talking about Nicaragua and Cambodia and events people my age don't ever learn about in history class.

That being said we are not powerless against the system. The first thing we have to do is educate ourselves - not buying into it with college and a degree but instead waking up and seeing the world and ourselves from a different point of view. I recommend checking out http://www.democracynow.org/ and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting to complement you normal news site. Also, ask yourself what is truly important in your life. If you're happy making a lot of money and living the standard american dream with your yahct and country club membership, that is absolutely fine - I would recommend thinking about the negative externalities and minimizing them (by using green energy and gas, less water, etc), but if you're not happy or that is not your overall goal in life then do not be fooled into thinking that is the only life that is valuable.

More Moxie stories tomorrow.

Friday, July 6, 2007

in entirety (flat tire pt. 2)

the continuation from the previous post . . . the AAA guy could not lift dear old Funkwagen high enough to get off the tire. "I just need about three or four more inches man," he tells us at about 5AM. "Do you have any 2x4s?" he skeptically asks.

"... no ... but let me check that trash pile over there and see what I can find ..." the anabatingly sanguine Jordan proposes while the rest of the Moxie crew laughs bitterly. Why would there be wood in a pile of trash?

Serendipity smiles upon her most trusting son yet again, and he manages to uncover a three to four inch block of wood! Yet Moxie's troubles are not yet over. Each pump that thrusts the jack higher is accompanied by a splintering sound and a slight compression. The jack reaches its end and there is just enough room to remove the old tire . . . but the spare simply won't make it. It needs literally millimeters.

It's 5:30AM and we're at wits end. Our friend Reshon the AAA man is out on the morning of the 4th of July and he's ready to head home; he's certainly not very hopefull. "It's just not gonna cut it." He says. But then he pauses, and off-handedly mutters, "you said you don't have a jack, right?"

"No, but do you have one in your car?" Jordan proposes bouyantly. Reshon responds, "I think so ... I guess we can try it."

This jack does the trick! But we have to let out a dangerous amount of air to get the spare on - we're only at 55 psi and we should be around 80. This tire also supports all the weight of our equipment. Plus, Reshon can't tighten the lugnuts enough to make Funkwagen safe enough to drive. "You need to take this thing to a tire shop first thing, 'fore you head anywhere else," he admonishes before he heads out.

So that's what we do. We drive her (slowly) to the closest place, park her, and walk to Julie's, finally arriving at 7AM. Everyone passes out, and at 1PM Evan and Jordan get up and take care of business. Luckily, this tire place is open on the 4th of July and we're able to get everything in order to head to Cincinnati to rest and celebrate. And that's the entire story. Time to retire.