Spo-Giving

On the night before Thanksgiving, after a kick ass show at The Metro Music Hall, Spo hit up Park City TV with this really fun performance. We will be getting some more videos up from this, but this will have to suffice for now. We managed to get Terry Burden, the local legend to play on our last song, “Gypsy.” So, wait with bated breath for that…

At this moment, this is looking like one of the last shows that Pat will be playing with us, but who the hell knows. Winter is here & so is Pat. Meanwhile, we do still have a big one coming up on December 14th at Kilby Court. This show gonna be sick. We are playing with “>Skating Polly & Western, Mass band that I used to spin on air all the time, Potty Mouth!

Hog of a Time


written by DAve Crespo

It’s been an amazing past four weeks for Spo. Since September 12th we’ve played Portland, Seattle twice, Park City, Moab & last weekend at The Hog Wallow in Little Cottonwood Canyon… Sounds sick right? A f’n canyon! I would really experience the canyon later in the weekend… Read on to hear about that though.

I also play with Scenic Byway, a trip hop band that’s been rocking SLC for around a decade. I’ve done this before… This is my third hip hop band & I’ve played with many more rappers in ad hoc situations too… I love it. I think it’s my love for Aerosmith that truly burns my blood in regards to rap-rock. It was ruined by Fred Durst & eventually Kid Rock when he went country, but whatever… Yeh, I said it, Kid Rock was good before he went country… well, to a point. “Devil Without A Cause,” is a great record… I mean, as good as anything that like Coldplay put out in that time frame… I’m gonna stop this actually.

Scenic Byway @ The Hog Wallow on 10.12.18

Spo finished practice on Thursday in our new space, Sweet J is what it is going by, and I said, “damn, this is the first weekend in a month that we won’t have a show to play.” Things change quick in SLC. Back in Boston, they have a saying; if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute… That really is more true here in Salt Lake, and even just situationally. Things change fast here in the desert. Last weekend they changed at about 5pm when the trip hop band I play in, Scenic Byway asked Spo to open the show at The Hog Wallow.

Now, I kinda feel like I manipulated this situation to happen… that’s not true, but it went like this. Tyler of Scenic asked me on like Sunday or something to ask Zach if he’d open the show. Zach does a sick set of beats that he makes under the name, Miirut. But, by the time I’d asked Zach and he gave me an answer it was Thursday night… on Friday afternoon Tyler was like, is Zach opening… and he couldn’t… Zach had some other raucous plans for the night… I asked a few acts to play, but nothing turned over, so Spo played sans bass…

In Night Mayor, a band I played with from 2013- 2016 or something I played without a bass. I had an elaborate set up to make this happen. When I drove back to Boston in August to get Pat, our drummer I grabbed a bunch of equipment including all my stuff to do this bass-less guitar set up. For a wedding gift, Sam Damask of Grand Commander gave me an AB pedal. This splits the signal. One side goes to a mixing board that washes out the high end & compresses the sound then it goes into an octave pedal, which Sam also gave me and then into a bass amp. The other side goes into all my guitar pedals… mostly distortion pedals, but now-a-days thanks to Novak also a cool delay pedal… It’s a lot of cords and I really should get a pedal board for the set up… Maybe soon.

So, we open the show and I’m all pumped to use my AB pedal set up. I did this slightly in Portland when we played at Twilight. The sound guy there was so good… He knew exactly what I was trying to do and it sounded great… The dude at The Hog Wallow was not as knowledgeable though. I’m not hating… they have what I call a Cover 2 defense going on sound & door. This is when you have a sound guy that also does door. This is important to be able to do at a venue. It saves money and if you add that up over the course of 100 shows each weekend night of the year it adds up… but, sometimes it hurts the sound… I’d seen SuperBubble at The Hog Wallow back in February and was wa$ted at the show. I didn’t notice what their set up was, but SuperBubble fuckin’ killed it, and it sounded awesome. I thought they had as legit of a set up as like, The Middle East back in Cambridge, MA… and they do, but I dunno. That place is great, I just went in with a bad game plan… I should have brought my bass amp…

The set started and there was pretty immediate feedback in the bass frequency. It was the kinda feedback that just never stops. The whole club was stuck in a feedback loop. Pat & Ashley looked at me as if I had the answer… I did, but I wasn’t gonna go and do sound as we played. Feedback loops happen when feedback occurs within an instrument but then that frequency is picked up by other or all other mics. The frequency that is feeding back comes out the monitors and then back into the mics and this continues over and over and over… it can amplify too and be real rough. If it’s a bass frequency it can even make you $hit… ok, that may not be true, but whatever.

We turned the monitors off and closed the loop. But, before that happened the Cover 2 sound man/door man had basically reset all of the mic settings on the board. So, we played the next two songs whilst the sound guy messed around with the board trying to get the original settings back. You’d think that this is a disaster, but this here… this is rock n’ roll. And, I think the audience could tell that we kept our composure through the rollercoaster ride…

I say this because we made 2 fans at the show. They loved us… and, when someone loves you when you are down a band member it’s like someone saying you look sexy or hot or cute when you have a cold… it just makes you feel a whole lot better. These two fans got our information and were blowing up our bandcamp the next day.

Performance is subjective. It really is important to not let your own opinion of your performance to not get in the way of it while it’s happening. My mother always says this in her yoga classes…

“We show up, burn brightly in the moment,
live passionately, and when the moment is over, 
when our work is done, we step back and let go.”

In baseball, when I was a little kid, I’d get so mad at myself for making errors on the field. It would cause me to make more errors… In music, this happens sometimes, but I dunno at this point I’ve played so many bad shows, or what I think are bad shows that I revel in them. I revel in every show. You really never know when it’s going to be your last and it’s my favorite thing to do. Pepper Rose says I’m only happy when I’m on stage… but, life is a stage.

 

And, we made 2 fans… at least two. Making fans is huge. Connecting with people and making them feel something in this world that is filled with false connections. Mainstream music itself is one large false or at least forced connection. When a person gets down with what you are doing and saying in a song it is a true connection; person to person. Not Lady Gaga making up some bullshit that she can get millions of people to feel a way that she supposedly feels.

I know this one is kinda pointless… this blog that is. But, it’s more of it has many points. To sum it up though;

1) we’ve been playing a lot & it’s awesome 2) we played a last minute show at The Hog Wallow thanks to Scenic Byway… thanks dudes and; no hate to The Hog Wallow in regards to sound. That set was so fun and The Hog Wallow is one of the best places to see music in SLC 3) Each show & each fan is I guess a blessing… I don’t wanna use that religious word, but I’m grateful for each one. When you gain one fan it means that there could be another out there, and another and another and another 🙂

Lastly, I said that I’d explain how I really experienced Cottonwood Canyon… On Sunday, Scenic Byway shot a video in that very snowy canyon. We spent hours in our costumes, which were not warm in the 8 inches of snow that is already up there. I can’t wait to share that video out when it’s done.

Hasta Hasta! Eat More Pasta!

Desert Spo; The White Scorpion

written by DAve Crespo

I don’t really wanna make this post as much of a thing as the last one about The Cabin mostly because it would be some self aggrandizing explanations of how I did a shit ton of drugs in the desert and how I know how myself better… so that is enough of that. But, what does need to be said is, Spo played on a f’n bus. Suspension Syndicate, which is a mountain bike suspension shop next to the new Spo practice space in South Salt Lake has a bus; we played on it.

Cody from Suspension Syndicate walked into Shades of Pale, where I do a little bartending or at least have a few months ago and mentioned to me that he wanted some bands to play at his wedding in the desert. He had me at desert, we were there! Spo had just played a wedding on the water in Jamestown, RI in July of this year. We had to do it.

Rain has been in the forcast all week, so the four of us were wondering if it was still going to happen; it did.

Playing on a bus was hard because we couldn’t really look at each other to communicate. Just imagine playing in a band with 3 other people that are communting home with you on trax or the Metro or MBTA or something… You can hardly communicate with people on a bus as it is. It’s so awkward. But, this was amazing…

I have been searching for the underground scene in Utah since getting here. I believe I found it in the desert. More on that I hope… but before I go I must announce….

– BAP BA BAHHHH –

The next Spo show in SLC will be on Saturday October 27th with my friends from Boston, Tall Heights at Kilby Court. Check them out! This will be our new record release show! More info on that soon! Here is the event page…

https://www.facebook.com/events/1620181304770516/

— ok wait —

I know I was like, I’m not going to tell a drugged out story, but I think I really have to tell at least a story from the party….

The wedding as these pictures depict were in a beautiful desert scape in Moab. The rain was phenomenal in the worst, but really best way possible. I always say that the people that go to your birthday party mean something to you and they really want to be there. This was the same for this wedding for the bride and groom. The rain really made people make a conscious decision to go to this party of a wedding.

Spo {the band} gets off the bus, done from rocking an hour set and Pat & Penny depart for their four hour ride north to SLC. I though, I find myself embracing the party imbibing and deciding to entertain that that is put in front of me. The colors swirl. The time meets it’s match while Pepper and I find ourselves keeping the fire going that is not covered.

Now, I fucking love fire. I’m not a pyromaniac or anything, but I like to keep fires going. Years ago on the 4th of July, I spent the night after watching fireworks fall keeping the bonfire lit. It was and is a very animalistic thing within me. It’s the caveman in me. So, too, at this uncovered fire in the desert rain in Moab I kept the fire going.

As I did, characters kept sweeping through the fire pit that I tended. Upon meeting Josh’s, Nissa’s and Brock’s my phone falls into the fire. Now one may ask, why do you have your phone when you are tripping your balls off… The pictures dude; the fuckin’ pictures. I like to be able to look back at what I was seeing when my perception was quite different… And because of that there is this picture.

So, my phone falls into the fire. In my head a moment when my phone overheated while sitting on top of my oven back in Medford, MA. So, despite my trippiness, I remember that I only have moments until my phone is melted away. I fuckn’ reach into the fire as if it’s a game of Operation and tweeze my phone out. Pepper says, “That’s my boyfriend!”

(This is happening at night though…)

In my triumph & moment of savior I bring my bottom, my butt to a chair. OWWWW!

Upon sitting down I felt a pinch inches from my balls; INCHES. I don’t give a fuck what it is. I open up my pants, which are really tights. I was wearing like, hot yoga ass pants. I dip into them again tweezing out whatever it is that is pinching me… I look down at it and see a very oval-like body. It feels really bubbly and full; I don’t squeeze it. Instead, I throw it right at the fire with a flick of my wrist like a catcher throwing a ball back to the mound. In my head I ask, “what was the score of the Sox game,?” whilst in the depths of the Moab desert where service and help even is far, far away…

What was it that pinched me or whatever; a white scorpion. I was fucking touched at the very least by a white scorpion. People there and even you probably don’t believe me, but I have a fucked up rash from it.

What local rock band do you know goes into the desert, rocks a set on a short bus then gets poisoned by a white scorpion; only Spo.

See you on October 27th at Kilby, Salt Lake!

-DAve

Wazzzap Cabin!

written by DAve Crespo

So, on Friday night we were debating, should we play the next night at The Cabin in Park City, UT. It wasn’t as much of a debate as to if we wanted to, it was moreso, would I get work off… It happened & it was fuckn’ amazing. I will elaborate…

These shows


“Yerba Mate” – 9.29.18 @ The Cabin

The Cabin is different. The Cabin is different because they or someone there or they believe that original music can get people dancing & partying (in that order) just as much as cheesy cover bands playing Brittney songs from 1999… and usually with dudes singing the lead part, which is like, ah…

I’ve played these shows before… at Sports Bars. Usually there is a dude who wants to fight me at the end of the night because I didn’t cover Pearl Jam, or because I didn’t sing the right lyrics to “Sweet Home Alabama.” Seriously. It can be scary.


ol’ Spo back in 2015 at Maggy’s Lounge in Quincy, MA

Back in 2015, Spo, in it’s original carnation had a, at the time, 10 song record ready to be tracked. I talked to the dudes of the band at the time and was like, “we were offered the opportunity to play one of my best friend’s mother’s wedding… for 1K.” Their faces were squished as if I farted. I said, “Guys, if we learn 30 cover songs and play this wedding we will be able to fund our record.”

And, we did it. But, then later that year there were some cover band opportunities available that we were now ready to take on… and we did them. It was gruesome each time. It’s just, at a lot of these bars, they just wanna hear what KROCK played in the 90s. This is funny to me because our sound is basically a rip off of 90s rock… I mean… Luckily, Zach takes us out of that a bit, but, that is what naturally comes out of me.

Last Saturday at The Cabin though, fuck. I talked to Zach at the beginning of the show and I was like, “this is going to be interesting. It’s gonna be sink or swim.” And, it really wasn’t like that. We got up there and perked some ears and people not slowly, but eventually were up on the dance floor doing just that.

I’m up there playing and the dissociative part of myself is being like, “Are these people really dancing to songs we wrote?” And, the answer was yes… it was fucking nuts. I’d literally had to create escape plans for shows like this before it started and the complete opposite was happening at The Cabin in Park City…

Maybe the band is different and more equipt for a show and situation like this; that is very possible. With Penny up front, it definitely soothes an edge that we once brought. Like, when you roll into any bar with 4 other dudes it’s kinda like you’re a little gang and other little gangs will look for that…

But, also and more importantly, I think, we too are that mainstream mooch that I illicitly explained sports bars as earlier in this piece. Our music these days is doing a lot of things; maybe too many at times, but I think it, too, like The Cabin has it’s eyes on things that many people like… Which is what I think is to DANCE… DANCE motherfucker DANCE!

via GIPHY

… oh & party…

The Sorta-Rican side of me supplies this… the dance and the, I guess, fiesta. For years I’d been relying on the angst that is my British side, but now, I must unleash the fury of the Puerto Rican side to dance with ya’ll…

Ok, I think I’m tapped. That show was a blast. The Cabin is amazing… Wazzap Cabin! It harbors an audience that doesn’t but could exist throughout America… it’s really something that can revitalize not only local music, but local bars across the country.

-DAve Crespo

Spo likes Spud

On Thursday September 20th, we rocked at Washington’s best indie radio show, The Spud Goodman Show… It was awesome & set up an specialv weekend of shows in Seattle. Check out a video of us playing on the show…