04|08|09   US Tour: Simple Days – Bloomington, IL (April 3rd, Day 1)


Simple Days house in Bloomington, IL.

Bloomington, Illinois, is quite charming really. A tad sleepy, a few small colleges in the area, with its fair share of American suburbanite residents. Apparently, Bloomington is host to a reputable Shakespeare festival, was ranked by Forbes as one of the 25 smartest communities in the United States, based on the college degrees of its citizens, has some choice golf courses, and it lies in one the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the US.

Evan and I arrived about an hour early in Bloomington, but since Mapquest totally stuffed us on the actual street address, we were quite glad we had a few extra minutes to find the house we were playing at (Mapquest placed the house a few blocks away from where it actually stood, confusing the living daylights out of us).

Anyhow, we eventually found it alright by comparing a previous Simple Days poster that had the house on it to the houses on the street. The marvels of the wired world…

John, from Bloomington's Simple Days house.
John, from Bloomington’s Simple Days house.

The house itself was totally super. John, who lives there and organized the show, also plays in a band and so the downstairs lounge doubles as their practice space as well as part-time venue. There was fantastic punk/street-style artwork hanging everywhere, and all sorts of music gear was piled mile-high in every corner of every room. The people there, the house, the neighborhood, all of it just gave off this really good vibe.

The show itself was also quite interesting. Nick Hoffman played a pretty rad noise set with an old-school drum machine and distortions and delays. Nick and I had talked to each other a bit before the show, and he is just the sweetest guy – you know, a good-natured quite-type sort of guy. Seeing him perform a pretty full-on noise set just minutes later was really crazy. Very much enjoyed that experience of momentary cognitive dissonance.

There were plenty of other solid bands on the bill (Maltross and Njck Cowboys), but the one I enjoyed most, aside from Nick, was Colin and his mate, who perform as My Dear Alan Andrews. Colin and I spent a lot of time talking to each other that night. I liked him a great deal. A real free spirit, funny, smart, you name it. Ha. Just all-around good company.

Colin playing late at night as My Dear Alan Andrews.
Colin playing late at night as My Dear Alan Andrews.

In fact, the thing I loved most about that night, aside from the fact that a lot of people seemed to enjoy our music, was that I met so many awesome people. The guy I spent most of the evening with was a guy called Nicholas. To describe his character would be close to impossible, but suffice it to say that I totally loved hanging out with Nicholas. We shared plenty of beers together and chatted all night about all sorts of geeky and devious things.

Nick Moore
Nicholas (aka The Nick Show)

When the bill finally wrapped up around 12.30 AM, John even cooked us pasta – and not just any old pasta, either! John’s pasta sauce was totally superb. Piles of tasty, simmered vegetables in a thick tomato sauce. Good thing, too, since Evan and I were starving by that point.


Crappy picture of Evan, Nicholas and I out in the garage.

After a delicious feed we crammed into the TV room with John and his other roommates, watched some Adult Swim, and eventually went to sleep. Evan and Nicholas took the two couches, and I rolled out our foam mattresses and took to the floor around 2.30 AM.

My only gripe about the whole night:

Nicholas, you f’ing snored like nothing I’ve ever heard!

Alright… *hugs*. But seriously…

I eventually moved my make-shift nest into the hallway, where I slept soundly for the rest of the night. Evan and I got up at 9 this morning. Everyone was still asleep. We packed up, left a thank-you note on the table, and headed north toward Madison, Wisconsin.

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Old Pick-up truck in John’s garage on our way out.


Yay! Check out the new Enright House Shop I just finished making! Even if you’re not the type of person who buys music anymore, do take a look at how pretty and shiny it is! :)

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  • http://mamrecords.com Pushmi-Pullyu

    From my visits, I’d say that your description of Bloomington is accurate. I’m glad the show went well and the people seem great.

    Too bad I couldn’t make it down to see the show.

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