when nobody shows up.

i sometimes wonder what would happen if we played a rock show & nobody came.

(came as in, nobody showed up, you sickos)

like, if we were to go on stage in portland, austin, tampa, or buffalo (total a coincidence that i happened to come up with the four cities that are lagging behind in ticket sales for our upcoming tour) & the floor was completely empty except for the bartender & the sound guy who keep giving us the “this happens all the time in buffalo” look. 

jordan decides to take 3 extra long solos in the spoken part of sanctuary & marcus falls asleep & i wallow in misery from then until eternity.

it’s a branch of the “crippling self-doubt” section of my brain that puts the image in my head, but it finds me at least three times a week, some mornings when i wake up & some nights when i’m falling asleep & sometimes even unconsciously when i’m dreaming. i have no doubt that at one point or another in their career, it haunts every performer. i think probably everyone gets it, actually. nobody wants to throw a party & have nobody show up.

when i even imagine it, i feel miserable. my brain shuts down.

it’s not like we haven’t done it before. at the warehouse in la crosse, wisconsin. november 11, 2010. we loaded our gear through the rain & up 3 flights of stairs to play a show for exactly 0 ticket purchasers. there’s a sign on the wall of the warehouse that details how much debt the venue is in, & we had to play directly to that sign, knowing we were part of the problem. i felt pretty shitty most of that day.

i have no reason to believe that will happen any time soon. tickets for this tour are outpacing every other tour we’ve done, so unless everybody forgets that they bought tickets, we won’t be stuck playing to ourselves, even in buffalo. but i think the more important questions are: why do i care? should it matter whether people show up or not? why is it that even imagining people not showing up makes me miserable?

i make music because i love making music. 

that’s what i tell myself at least, & on the most important levels, it’s true. i get excited about writing songs & i get excited when i listen to them after they’re finished. i love rehearsing & performing those songs with my friends, & i love traveling the country, & in a weird way i love the way that shitty, dirty, dusty venue smell. i like to believe that, even if not a single person listened or cared, now & forever, i would still want to live a life in, for, & through music.

if that’s the case, then why is the buffalo nightmare where no one shows up so much worse than the sold out new york city show? aren’t they both just playing music?

is it audience connection?

an audience is part of the experience & that can’t be understated. art is nothing until an audience gives it life. the purpose of live performance is to, through art, open up a glowing & glorious connection between artist & audience. 

the more people, the stronger the connection - this isn’t always true, but in the case of 0 people vs. 500 people, it definitely is. i want to feel like i’m a part of something, & having an audience proves that it is something. 

but that argument only works in the case of small show vs. big show, which is not the actual question being asking, which is: “why do i feel miserable when no one shows up?” strip away the audience, i’m still playing music & traveling the country with my friends.

connection is important, but doesn’t explain my misery.

is it money?

in thank you for smoking, jason reitman posits that 99% of human motivation is to pay the mortgage. i want to summarily reject that, say there are thousands of things i love more than money & that money isn’t my motivator. i want to say that if money was what i was after, i probably could have done other things that would have made far more than i ever will as a musical artist. i want to say that our generation is a new kind with new values, that we do things because we love doing them, not for money.

but i don’t think that’s all 100% true, for me or for most anyone. i worry we use that candy-painted, usually-hollow rhetoric to misdirect & distract ourselves from the shame we feel about actually, on a deeper level, being addicted to money.

i think below our surface motivation lies a deeper attachment to money & to the things it buys, & that attachment prevents us from doing anything that may endanger our longer term financial security, regardless of what other motivations are at play. we say all is justified in the name of ensuring we have “enough” money, & we tell ourselves that “enough” is just a little more than we have now. that’s why most people place career at the top of their obligations list, & only donate money when they have excess. if we really valued humanity over money, we’d give it all away.

so let me at least say this: i don’t care to be rich, & i don’t write & perform music because i think it’s my best method of getting there, but i am worried that no one will buy my record & i’ll have to pick a different career. i do worry about not having “enough” & i don’t know how much “enough” is. 

but one show won’t dramatically effect my financial security. i might be motivated by money on a more macro level, but it doesn’t explain me being miserable if no one came to a show.

is it validation?

i don’t want to care how many people appreciate what i’m doing, because i’m doing it for me. 

that’s a lie.

with the rush of fear about no one showing up comes a wave of other fears. people will find out, & as a result, they won’t like me. critics won’t like me, venues won’t like me, the bartender from la crosse wisconsin won’t like me, the band won’t like me, friends won’t like me, strangers won’t like me, she won’t like me, no one will ever want to hang out with me or have sex with me ever again, all of these plans & goals that i had for our band & for music & for my future are shattered because all i am & all i will ever be is the guy who played to nobody in buffalo.

then i go on twitter & realize my last tweet only go 29 favorites & so i rush to tweet about pizza or One Direction because i need to be retweeted to be reminded that maybe there’s hope for my life yet. some people would call it “good business,” or “market research,” but i’ve come to call it by its birth name: “addiction to validation.” i’m obsessed with everyone being obsessed with me. i need everybody to love me.

this is why the image of an empty venue shoots crippling terror through me. this is why we think we’re alone if we’re not being contacted by anyone at any particular moment. we’re addicted to ourselves & addicted to each other.

i need to feel validated, & i wish i could stop needing that. i wish i didn’t need everybody to love me. but i do. so now what?

reunion (a song for my early 20s)

it’s so damn good to see you,
how’ve you been?

what kind of car do you drive
how do you feel about the government
shutting down?
i guess it’s fine.
i guess i’m fine.

& we all look so damn happy,
even though we’re all so lonely,
and we’re standing close together
cause we think that it’s the only
way to feel
like we’re not alone.
like we’re not alone.

so we raise our glass,
pretend we’re fine,
apologize a million times,
we drink ‘til we,
can’t feel ourselves at all.

& maybe then,
once we’re 10 drinks deep,
we’ll finally say some things we mean,
like, “oh god,
i’m so lonely,”
but at least i’m not alone.

alyssa’s getting married,
& alexa got engaged,
& i think tyler’s got a ring inside his pocket
just in case.

i guess some people grow up fast,
i guess some people never change,
i guess some people just become themselves a little more with every day.

& we all look so damn happy,
even though we’re all so lonely,
and we’re standing close together
cause we think that it’s the only
way to feel
like we’re not alone.
cause we’re not alone.

so we raise our glass,
pretend we’re fine,
apologize a million times,
we drink ‘til we,
can’t feel ourselves at all.

& maybe then, 
once we’re 10 drinks deep,
we’ll finally say some things we mean,
like, “oh god,
i’m so lonely,”
but at least i’m not alone.

i guess some people grow up fast,
i guess some people never change,
i wonder if in 10 years, will i still be here the same?

i don’t wanna be lonely.

hear it for the first time this fall: http://www.tinyurl.com/LiveForeverTour

at least we’re dancing.

decided to try a different kind of story, a different kind of writing, & a different kind of character today. not sure why.——-

at least we’re dancing.

on a day soon when everything is miserable, your instinct will be to go do something you love, to fix it, so you don’t feel terrible anymore. here’s my best piece of advice: fight the urge. don’t do something you love. because you will ruin it.

as it was, heidi & i were in the process of ruining a carnival.

everything was terrible because of the car repair bill & her fourth speeding ticket & the goddamn chicago cubs & all we wanted to do was fix it. so we went to a carnival, because every good romantic movie has a carnival scene & i wanted ours to have one too.

but the lines were too long & the snacks were too expensive & the kids were too loud & the carnival was just too much carnival for us that night.

at the height of our misery, we stood in line for the solar system ferris wheel, all the gondolas made to look like planets & in the center, the sun.

“today is a miserable day,” heidi said.
“yes.”
“we shouldn’t have come here, we’re too miserable,” heidi said.
“yes.”
“days like today, when everything is miserable, we should just avoid each other altogether. never raise an issue, just steer clear. i don’t want to see you like this, and i don’t want you to see me like this,” heidi said.
“yes.”

sometimes with heidi, when i would say nothing at all, i would say the wrong thing.

“yes? really? that’s all you have to say? you’re supposed to want to see me every day!”

“oh—”
“honestly, sam, do you even think this is working?”

it was a complicated question that I don’t think I was supposed to answer honestly.

“i don’t know—”
“YOU DON’T KNOW!?”

& she was angry, but i didn’t want her to be.
she wanted to know if it could work.
she asked me if it was working.
just because it’s not working doesn’t mean it’s not supposed to be. i wanted it to work, i just wasn’t doing a very good job. 
but neither of us was winning a fight tonight. because today was a miserable day.

“we’ve got room for 1 more!” called the carnival worker. one of the two seats in the gondola sat open. the other was occupied by an attractive man who might have been from brazil. i could see his accent from 15 feet away.

heidi smiled at me with her tongue between her teeth. 
that smile was the best and worst part about her. 

she spun and raised her hand. “party of one!” she shouted, & they ushered her into the gondola.

i approached the carnival worker alone, hat in hand.

“how many in your party?” he asked, but before i could even answer, his face was overcome with pity.

“boy. wish I could say it was the first time i’d seen that happen. fucking ferris wheels, man.”

I nodded. He nodded to an open gondola, the other seat occupied by an older man. for the first half of my ride, i tried to find the gondola with heidi and, more importantly, her brazilian.

after 5 minutes of fidgeting and silence—

“so she’s sitting somewhere else, huh?”
i stopped fidgeting to look at him. “how’d you know?”
“i just do.”
“it’s been a miserable day.”

he nodded for a few moments. he smiled out the window, then smiled at his watch, then finally smiled at me.

“life is too short for miserable days. my wife told me that,” & he smiled when he said the words my wife. “we could be buried in some dirt somewhere. at least we’re dancing.”

“dancing?”

he shared a soft laugh with himself. “i’m sorry, i don’t spend much time around other people, i forget that i have to explain these kind of things. it’s more wisdom from my wife—” another smile. “—in our younger years, she was as a dancer, in a country where there was a lot less glory in the profession. but she loved it. & i was stationed over there & i would go watch her every night, & all of the other dancers would complain, but not her. they would complain about the hours, or complain about the demands of dancing & when i asked her how she felt about it, she would always say the same thing.  she’d say ‘hey! at least i’m dancing!’ so it became something we’d say when the chips didn’t fall right or the money didn’t come in. at least we’re dancing.”

the gondola hung in silence for a moment.

“smart woman, that one.”

“what of your wife?” i asked him. “couldn’t talk her into the carnival? has she gone off and found herself a brazilian as well?”

for the first time in our full rotation of the sun, our eyes locked & we truly saw each other. he smiled, & suddenly he was a million miles away from me & i could the bottom dropping out of my stomach.

“i’m so sorry, I didn’t realize—”

he stopped me. “how could you have known?”

our journey around the sun together continued in silence, until he finally looked back to me.

“she used to love the ferris wheel. that’s all. that’s why i come back. to remember what it was like. that’s all.”

the gondola jolted to a stop. we had made our way around the sun twice & i had barely noticed. we nodded to each other & climbed out.

heidi approached me right away. she had been waiting for me.

“i’m sorry.” 
“i’m sorry.”
“i’m not mad.”
"i’m not either."
"we’re here. that’s what matters, right?"
“right,” i said, & i looked out after the man, walking alone through the dim carnival light.

virtual reality.

what a strange species they had become, so obsessed with documenting their thoughts and actions on a matter-less, amorphous cloud of shared information, they forget those thoughts & actions were happening in a physical reality.

ben sat alone at the coffee shop. just sitting.

he wasn’t typing on his laptop, posting a stream of his conscious thought. he wasn’t toying with his tablet, watching footage of someone else’s experiences. he wasn’t holding out his cell phone, taking a selfie.

selfie. a generational word that had grown to such prominence, it had been added to the dictionary. the real dictionary of real words.

the technological uprising hadn’t hit him with the violent force with which it had consumed the rest of his generation. he had survived, for the most part, unscathed.

but he was one of the few. the revolution had come & it was televised; in fact, the television had leadthe revolution: the television & the smartphones & the social media & the likes & the selfies.

“social media,” which seemed intent on redefining the “social” experience as anything but “social,” as an experience best had alone, staring at a screen.

ben met a girl once. a real girl, not a collection of carefully airbrushed photos and carefully edited posts and carefully thought-out text messages. he was pretty sure at least. she had stood behind him in line at the coffee shop. she held a book under her arm; a real book, not a PDF.

he asked her about it. she laughed. not “lol”-ed, but laughed. she was beautiful, without a filter. she spoke and it was unrevised and imperfect and so palpable ben could almost taste the thoughts as they came out of her mouth.

he walked her home, certain that he had just had a real experience. but as he leaned in to kiss her goodnight, she went for her smartphone instead.

come on, let’s take a selfie. i have to post about this.

& ben knew it was over. he knew it had all been a mirage. & that’s when he knew that reality had lost & the smartphones had won. 

people were no longer slaves to the state, but rather slaves to their favorite characters on the television, the psuedo-celebrities from whom they received their information. slaves to their own idealized images of themselves. slaves to the lives they had created for themselves in the cloud.

so now he sat alone at a coffee shop, a lonely human in a sea of robots.

he didn’t have a profile. he didn’t want a profile. he wanted real life validation, but that kind didn’t exist anymore. he couldn’t connect, & he didn’t see the point anymore. he had no interest in existing in this virtual reality. 

he knew immediately what he had to do. he made a profile. he took his selfie. he carefully chose his hashtags. he carefully edited his post. & he threw himself off of the geroge washington bridge.

no one mourned for Ben. there was no funeral. the detectives were too busy on their phones to investigate it, and the news anchors were too busy on their phones to report it. 

but his suicide note got 200 likes, so i guess it wasn’t a total loss.

sadness, excitement, angst, & cause: a blog about my best friend.

my best friend is no longer a part of an amazing thing that we started together,
& it’s reminding me of the soul’s awesome ability to feel a lot of things, all right at the same time.

lucas, the drummer of paradise fears of four and a half years, is going back to school to get a civil engineering degree so he can take to the third world where he feels like he’s needed. 

if you haven’t read it, i strongly suggest his post about it, “sadness, excitement, angst, and cause: a commentary on change” here: https://www.facebook.com/paradisefears/posts/10152096738591761

emotions are complex because they almost never occur in singularity.
i’ve had friends lose band members and seen them feel relief, excitement, annoyance, inconvenience, & anger.
me, i was put in the incredibly human position of feeling joyful and devastated, in the same moment, reacting to the same thing.

i couldn’t be more proud or excited for my best friend. lucas is two years younger than me but is such a rapidly evolving human being that he might be 45 by the time i turn 23.
i think we’re all out here looking for truth, and he has some of the purest eyes i’ve ever met. he wants to know what’s going on. he wants to understand why it’s going on.
he wants to know how he feels. he wants to understand why he feels that way. 
and then he wants to understand everyone else around him too.
understanding is the root of compassion.
lucas is the most compassionate person i know.

i’m reminded of four years ago, in a tiny vehicle on the way to a shitty show, when i saw that he had started carrying cigarettes to smoke. i saw his pack, and, being a good friend, threw it away, because cigarettes are a terrible idea. 
he never got mad at me for that, but he probably should have. he told me he liked smoking but if i didn’t, he would do his best to keep it away from me. we could co-exist. i told him i didn’t want him smoking AT ALL. he told me he’d make that decision for himself.
i still think cigarettes are a terrible idea. lucas might say the same thing. but i can guarantee he would never decide someone’s morality for them and throw away their cigarettes, at least not without trying to connect with them about it first. he doesn’t want to judge or decide or rule or conquer - he just wants to understand. compassion.

i’m also so, so unbelievably sad
this is the kind of change that rocks your world, tears away photos of what you thought the future would look like & replaces them with dark, blurry, unknowable futures.
we experienced every emotion, every condition possible together. we drove a hundred thousand miles together. we walked into the living rooms of hundreds of strangers together. we got drunk in five different countries together.
one day after a girl broke up with, lucas drove nine hours so i could drink all day.
one night lucas & i drove the entire length of iowa through the middle of the night, discussing an idea for a book that i hoped to one day write. 
these things are very, very unlikely to ever happen again. the bond that the six of us have built goes beyond my understanding of “friends” or “family”… it’s something in a category of its own. and now i don’t know what it’s going to be.

the final emotion, perhaps the one that struck me with the most gravity, was guilt. lucas turned a mirror around on me and i stood before it without answers. 
my best friend is going to go change the world. he’s running right at the thing that we’re trying so hard to run away from (poverty, change, reality, difference - there’s a lot that we’re afraid of). what the fuck am i doing?
am i helping? am i hurting? what am i building towards? what am i chasing? instead of immersing myself in technology & entertainment & self-obsession & money, what good could i be doing for humans who don’t have the luxury of being able to care about those things, because they weren’t born where i was born, into the body i was born into.

the last time we talked, crowded out onto yet another hotel balcony, lucas told me my job was to keep telling stories. that he would be upset if i stopped telling stories.
so that’s what i’d like to do. some people will read this blog, and i’m excited by that. i want to write songs & stories & blogs & words, but i want them to mean something. more than that, i need them to mean something.
a little self-reflection is wildly important, for anyone who is 1/7,000,0000,000 of the world’s population (that’s all of us).
so i wanted to include something that lucas & i talked a lot about— a couple of questions to ask yourself throughout life to make sure you’re seeing the whole picture as best you can.

i start my day with this—
why do i care about the things that i care about?
why do i have the things that i have, & do i deserve those things more than someone who doesn’t have them?
in ten years, will i be happy about how i spent my time today?
what am i gonna do about it?

i’m still full of a sadness i can’t control, overwhelmed by a pride i can’t explain for a friend i’ll never fully understand.
but i’ll try to. because he taught me to.

so…what are you gonna do about it?

SUPPORT FOR THE LIVE FOREVER TOUR!!!

***check your date below to see who’s playing with us! tix are on sale tomorrow!***
w/ Hollywood Ending & William Beckett
Aug 6 | Chicago, IL | Bottom Lounge
Aug 7 | Pontiac, MI | The Crofoot
Aug 8 | Milwaukee, WI | Rave Bar
Aug 10 | Akron, OH | Musica
w/ Against the Current & William Beckett
Aug 11 | Buffalo, NY | Waiting Room
Aug 12 | Toronto, ONT | Mod Club
Aug 14 | New York, NY | Highline Ballroom
Aug 15 | Philadelphia, PA | World Café Live
Aug 16 | Boston, MA | Middle East Downstairs
Aug 17 | Hamden, CT | The Space
w/ Nick Thomas & William Beckett
Aug 19 | Washington, DC | Jammin Java
Aug 20 | Washington, DC | Jammin Java
Aug 21 | Pittsburgh, PA | Rex Theater
Aug 22 | Columbus, OH | Basement
w/ Hollywood Ending & William Beckett
Sept 3 | Iowa City, IA | Blue Moose
Sept 4 | Omaha, NE | Waiting Room*
Sept 5 | Denver, CO | Larimer Lounge
Sept 6 | Salt Lake City, UT | Complex
Sept 8 | Seattle, WA | El Corazon
Sept 9 | Portland, OR | Hawthorne Theater
Sept 11 | San Francisco, CA | Bottom of the Hill
Sept 13 | Los Angeles, CA | Roxy
Sept 14 | Phoenix, AZ | Joe’s Grotto
Sept 16 | Dallas, TX | HOB Cambridge Room
Sept 17 | Austin, TX | Empire
Sept 18 | Houston, TX | HOB Peacock Room
Sept 21 | Orlando, FL | Social
Sept 22 | Tampa, FL | Crowbar
Sept 23 | Atlanta, GA | Masquerade
Sept 24 | Nashville, TN | Rocketown
Sept 25 | St. Louis, MO | Firebird
Sept 27 | Minneapolis, MN | Mill City Nights
* also w/ Nick Thomas

SUPPORT FOR THE LIVE FOREVER TOUR!!!

***check your date below to see who’s playing with us! tix are on sale tomorrow!***

w/ Hollywood Ending & William Beckett

Aug 6 | Chicago, IL | Bottom Lounge

Aug 7 | Pontiac, MI | The Crofoot

Aug 8 | Milwaukee, WI | Rave Bar

Aug 10 | Akron, OH | Musica

w/ Against the Current & William Beckett

Aug 11 | Buffalo, NY | Waiting Room

Aug 12 | Toronto, ONT | Mod Club

Aug 14 | New York, NY | Highline Ballroom

Aug 15 | Philadelphia, PA | World Café Live

Aug 16 | Boston, MA | Middle East Downstairs

Aug 17 | Hamden, CT | The Space

w/ Nick Thomas & William Beckett

Aug 19 | Washington, DC | Jammin Java

Aug 20 | Washington, DC | Jammin Java

Aug 21 | Pittsburgh, PA | Rex Theater

Aug 22 | Columbus, OH | Basement

w/ Hollywood Ending & William Beckett

Sept 3 | Iowa City, IA | Blue Moose

Sept 4 | Omaha, NE | Waiting Room*

Sept 5 | Denver, CO | Larimer Lounge

Sept 6 | Salt Lake City, UT | Complex

Sept 8 | Seattle, WA | El Corazon

Sept 9 | Portland, OR | Hawthorne Theater

Sept 11 | San Francisco, CA | Bottom of the Hill

Sept 13 | Los Angeles, CA | Roxy

Sept 14 | Phoenix, AZ | Joe’s Grotto

Sept 16 | Dallas, TX | HOB Cambridge Room

Sept 17 | Austin, TX | Empire

Sept 18 | Houston, TX | HOB Peacock Room

Sept 21 | Orlando, FL | Social

Sept 22 | Tampa, FL | Crowbar

Sept 23 | Atlanta, GA | Masquerade

Sept 24 | Nashville, TN | Rocketown

Sept 25 | St. Louis, MO | Firebird

Sept 27 | Minneapolis, MN | Mill City Nights

* also w/ Nick Thomas

a driving lesson.

i used to be annoyed by disruptions to my universe.

humans are creates of habit & routine & calculation, right?

we prepare and share remedies for all of our ills- 

if you’re hungry, go get food.
if you’re sick, go get medicine. 
if you’re lonely, go get netflix.
if you’re sad, go get something to fuck up your head a little bit.

but my favorite is the somewhat contrary advice we give each other for poor road conditions:
if you’re driving and you slide out of control, steer into it.

sounds like the kind of thing you should absolutely not fucking do, but the idea is that if you turn toward the direction you’re sliding, you’ll still be moving in that direction, but you’ll straighten out and regain momentum forward and you’ll have control again.

the problem with so many of those first remedies is that they all are based on the assumption that our lives are to be lived for comfort. we’re invested in this notion of purging anything that disrupts our routine or makes us uncomfortable or puts us in a situation where we don’t know exactly what we’re supposed to do.

i understand that. and i understand the desire to be happy & excited because that’s what people tell us we’re supposed to be all the time. i don’t think i like feeling sad or angry or agitated or uncomfortable.

but sometimes i am.

i like sad songs. i like listening to them when i’m feeling an emotional low. i connect with them, they stick with me, and ultimately, i forge a lasting sensory memory of them. in trying to figure out why that is,  i remembered something my dad told me after i got my heart broken by a middle school girlfriend that i barely remember the name of now. he said, “be sad. times when you’re  most sad, times when you feel the most, those are the times when you’re the most full of life.”

here’s what i decided:

if you base your own emotional understanding of yourself on comfort & happiness, i think you’re missing the point of having feelings at all. 

if you think you’re failing yourself any time you’re not happy, then you’re missing out on a lot of beautiful, wonderful sadness. 

i don’t think the goal of life should be constant contentment, but rather the goal of life should be emotional extremes. 

we’re not meant to feel joy constantly, we’re meant to feel.

i now crave disruptions.

life is a slippery road & sometimes it rains 1000 days in a row & sometimes we’re forced to live through terrible conditions.

we can’t see past our headlights, we have no control over what’s going on around us, outside of our own universe, all we can do is try to drive.

so stop trying to get rid of the ice underneath your tires, & steer into it.

LIVE FOREVER TOUR

GA TICKETS: http://www.tinyurl.com/PFLiveForever

VIP: http://www.applauze.com/tours/paradisefears

w/ Hollywood Ending & William Beckett

Aug 6 | Chicago, IL | Bottom Lounge

Aug 7 | Pontiac, MI | The Crofoot

Aug 8 | Milwaukee, WI | Rave Bar

Aug 10 | Akron, OH | Musica

w/ Against the Current & William Beckett

Aug 11 | Buffalo, NY | Waiting Room

Aug 12 | Toronto, ONT | Mod Club

Aug 14 | New York, NY | Highline Ballroom

Aug 15 | Philadelphia, PA | World Café Live

Aug 16 | Boston, MA | Middle East Downstairs

Aug 17 | Hamden, CT | The Space

w/ Nick Thomas & William Beckett

Aug 19 | Washington, DC | Jammin Java

Aug 20 | Washington, DC | Jammin Java

Aug 21 | Pittsburgh, PA | Rex Theater

Aug 22 | Columbus, OH | Basement

w/ Hollywood Ending & William Beckett

Sept 3 | Iowa City, IA | Blue Moose

Sept 4 | Omaha, NE | Waiting Room*

Sept 5 | Denver, CO | Larimer Lounge

Sept 6 | Salt Lake City, UT | Complex

Sept 8 | Seattle, WA | El Corazon

Sept 9 | Portland, OR | Hawthorne Theater

Sept 11 | San Francisco, CA | Bottom of the Hill

Sept 13 | Los Angeles, CA | Roxy

Sept 14 | Phoenix, AZ | Joe’s Grotto

Sept 16 | Dallas, TX | HOB Cambridge Room

Sept 17 | Austin, TX | Empire

Sept 18 | Houston, TX | HOB Peacock Room

Sept 21 | Orlando, FL | Social

Sept 22 | Tampa, FL | Crowbar

Sept 23 | Atlanta, GA | Masquerade

Sept 24 | Nashville, TN | Rocketown

Sept 25 | St. Louis, MO | Firebird

Sept 27 | Minneapolis, MN | Mill City Nights

* also w/ Nick Thomas

stories in the dark.

everything i know about myself, i know because of the stories my dad told me when i was a kid.

rudy to charlie brown to jesus, the heroes of his stories became my basis for understanding what it means to be a human, why we’re all here with each other, what we’re striving for. i want to somebody’s hero.

and my dad is my hero. so that works out.

we took this song to one of our favorite architects of human emotion— Ace Enders of the early november and i can make a mess like nobody’s business. we live-tracked the song, rather than splitting it up and perfecting it, letting it exist as it is.

happy father’s day to my dad and everybody else’s heroes everywhere.

(p.s. because i know some of you won’t understand the “cats in the cradle” reference: it’s a song by harry chapin that you should check out if you like crying on some TFIOS shit:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUwjNBjqR-c)

It’s New Years; What Are You Waiting For?

VIDEO: http://youtu.be/vxEZbxjjHAo

Remember December 12, 2012? When you told yourself that by the end of this year, you were going to have it all figured out? That by the end of this year you were going to be completely without a doubt and your path was gonna be clear and your future was gonna be easy and love was gonna be near and your back was gonna be breezy, from the wind at it? do you remember that?

Me neither. So come on from all that. After all, it’s gonna be 2014.

Like an explosion of possibility.
Like a reborn reality.
Like a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, two-thousand, fourteenth chance.
God damn.

We’ve all got it, this year,
all those thing that we said that we’d be,
we’ve got it, this year,
I’ll be bold and I’ll be in love and I’ll be 23.

isn’t this the same schtick that we planned but were wrong? 
isn’t this the same old damn December 31 song? 
what did I do this year, was I even awake?
what kind of time did I spend? what kind of dreams did I chase? 

2013 was great. 
It was the best of our lives,
and of these things I am sure: 

Some people are gonna fall in love.
Some people are gonna fall out of it.

Some friend out there will be Jesus,
Some friend will be Judas Iscariot.

Some one will come in our lives and change everything,
even if we’re not aware of it,

But just know that this year will belong to the people 
who decide that they’re not gonna be scared of it.

We’ve got it, what are you waiting for? 

Happy 2014.



Available now on iTunes



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