Just Fuckin’ Walk

This blog is in reference to this article about Kansas City making their public transit free. Check it out and check this blog out…

https://www.curbed.com/2019/12/6/20998617/kansas-city-missouri-free-public-transportation?fbclid=IwAR0_K7MP6l5qZUu6F-4vpXtCc3q6BVtSULfz9pEHsBbyQY-HiGYky3Kay7s

It’s coming up on two years of living in Salt Lake City. Still I am constantly comparing the culture here to home. There are just so many things that define culture in both places that are completely different. One of those ways is public transit… The T (MBTA) in Boston and Trax here in Salt Lake City. SLC much like LA does not have a train culture. You know, if you make a movie about NYC, a scene will happen on the train. Everyone takes the train there… for the most part. You have to.

I grew up on the MBTA in Boston; that is how I got to Boston from where I grew up, which for me was only miles away. So, the T was like, magic… especially when I was in high school. I didn’t have a car, so I’d just walk to the T and then be in Downtown Crossing. It was amazing. It was like I lived inside Boston.

I’d sleep on the train… write on the train… talk to random people. Stories in my life happened on the T like the time that I played wingman for my Emerson friend, Matt. I left him at this Suffolk girl’s house and a young & drunk Spo took the last Green Line D Line to Riverside… accidentally and had to walk and hour to a cab in Newton to get home that night… I had an attachment to the train; to the T.

When I got to Salt Lake City, I was super open to take Trax. I’m not going to hate on Trax at all here… I like Trax. I think it goes to a lot of the city, other than Foothill Drive; a part of Salt Lake City that is at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. Trax has new trains and goes so far out of the city too. Like, the amount of space that Trax covers is like as far as maybe Salem is from Boston.

When I lived in LA I used the train too and people say it doesn’t bring you close enough to where you are going. But, here is the thing and really the point of this blog; Just Fuckin’ Walk.

This article is derived from Kansas City being the first city to make public transit free. Congrats Kansas City… I hear the Missouri side is cooler. That’s just what I hear. For two reasons, 1) why are the poor taxed for not having enough money to transport themselves to work? 2) more people not driving is so important to the pollution issue in this country and really specifically in Salt Lake City.

A part of this article talks about how fares at the moment in KC are $1.50 a ride… which is real cheap. The article begs the questions, is that really what is holding back people from taking the train. I say, “no.” It’s because they are reluctant to walk. I’m sure for many conscious reasons, but really I think it’s because they didn’t do it growing up, so it’s not part of who they are. For me, it was.

My mother didn’t have a car. She was a single mother and she’d tug me along to all parts of the metro Boston area for whatever missions or “errands,” as she would call them. As a young kid, I walked, took the T, took the bus and walked. I walked to school in grade school and walked home in middle school and high school. It wasn’t that far… but, it was like 2 miles. This is where I hung with my friends. I dunno, I guess people walk to school here too… but, I dunno, I just get the feeling to and from Trax is “too far.”

Taking public transit is a lifestyle. Dug of Baluchitherium is always posting the current status of the T in Boston. And, that is real. People rely on that shit and it’s really unreliable. These new cities and it’s people don’t understand how good these new public transit systems are. They are amazing, new and sprawl just like the cities. Although, introducing public transit brings in a variable that you can’t control in your life, you Salt Lakers, and KC’ers, know that it’s state is new and as reliable as possible.

Anyways, I think people should pay for it. I dunno. I just, it’s like, even if it just pays for the system to work straight up. I know that trains, and how they are like private and publicly owned at the same time… I dunno. I don’t want to get into that too much at the moment. But, I just am so trained to pay for the train…

Actually…

Here I am the opposite… I created a game that I stand at the front of each Trax train and try to avoid the fare collectors. ‘Cause like, here in SLC, there are no turnstyles that you have to pay at before you get into the station like they do in Boston, NYC, DC… and The SEPTA and I’m sure others. So, they have these officers go onto trains and look for freeloaders like myself… But, there is a way to dodge them. I’m not going to say how out of incrimination, but it’s insane that that is even possible. But, as this article suggests it’s really costly to maintain fareboxes. So, for that reason, I get it, it’s really not even worth having people pay. But, I dunno, I remember getting MBTA tokens to get on the T and it was growing up and created an ownership over my own future that was supplied by me purchasing that token. Anyways, that’s not here nor there.

I started this game though because I through Ashley, the old singer in Spo, met the head engineer of Trax… or like, I dunno, but she dealt with this very situation. At the time I argued that they should have people pay because it would help them. But, this stat in the article says totally otherwise. It really isn’t worth it.

But, the thing is, more needs to be done to get people to ride public transit for it to be useful. Otherwise, these red states that are engaging in socialism are going to be upset with their socialistic practices don’t garner results. Maybe further tax breaks for regular riders… I don’t know. Maybe make some fucking movies about people riding Trax is Salt Lake City… I dunno. But, just know, public transit is such a useful resource and if you like me are going to help be a part of our environmental change we gotta stop driving and just fuckin’ walk places.

Here is one last story about walking… The T closes so early in Boston. The trains are so bad that they really need the time to reset and repair or do whatever they need between 1am and 4am. So, the T is closed. It sucks. It makes going out to rock shows harder and drinking and driving happen more. When I first started promoting shows I worked for this company called, Anthem Entertainment with my friend, Chris Sinclair. He has continued this company, but when I was working for it I was basically promoting shows with his brand related marketing company. It was interesting and way to start, but did not end up working out. Chris would get me shows in clubs. He’d make headway with a club and then I’d go in and tell them that we could bring them drinkers on off nights or off seasons with local music rock shows.

Chris got us this bar to book in the North End of Boston, technically The Bulfinch Triangle near the Boston Garden. It was and is called, “The Greatest Bar,” although is is not the greatest bar. It’s large with three floors and we over time would do shows at some point on all three floors. On this night though, it was a Friday night in the summer and we brought a band to that swanky sports bar that wouldn’t piss people off too much… kind of. It was a loud room with tiled floors. It’s like, it actually didn’t matter who played there; it was going to sound bad.

So, it was a struggle of a show; sound wise… clashing culture wise, since the people who hang at a swanky sports bar aren’t really tryna hear local music. At the end of the night, when the cords were wrapped and all the equipment was put away I walked home. But, in this case, it was a fuckin’ 2+ hour walk to Melrose. It was crazy, but that’s just what people do sometimes when the T is closed. I dunno. I likely, just needed that time to think about things. I wish I had thought more.

… or ride a bike.

Love & Tour

You know that movie, “Love & Basketball,” that came out in the 90’s? That is a cool movie and all, but what is more common is Love & Touring. I used to see it more often in Boston when I’d do a daily show called, “The Underbelly,” that bands literally from all over the world would come in and play and talk with me. What is it? It is It 😉 It in this case, is a relationship within a band… Now, I don’t really want to breach that topic right now. I even infringe upon that with my band, Spirit Machines. But, what I am going to focus on is a relationship in a band when on tour… and also vacationing with a loved one.

It’s like, it can either go great or terrible, but either way it’s tough. If a tour with a loved one, or a road trip with a loved one explodes in your face, I mean, you probably saw it coming… maybe. But, often when it goes great and all needs were met often that is a product of a Stockholm Syndrome kind of situation where both partners are overtly attentive to the needs of the other and in a touring situation, the band so much that it works perfectly… but, can that last forever?

I think it can create a standard that is needed, but may not be realistic to meet consistently. I’m not saying everyone and every band couple is in danger of breaking up if and when they go on tour. It’s worked. It works. But, what I am saying is, touring and vacationing with a partner is fucking stressful. Often these trips happen right before a break up… I’d imagine this is because the stress of the trip even if it goes great is just too much.

Touring in general is a huge step for a band. Is it necessary to do? Maybe. I dunno. In this day of the internet an argument can be made against it. But, what I can say from moving to SLC is that the only way to integrate yourself in another city is to be there. So, I guess, a part of this is a warning to all that their is a cost to every move you make as a band, but this can often be the cost of touring. Just because you rock together doesn’t mean you can spend 2 weeks on the road living together.

Ok. Check this part of it though. A part of it that I love is how these couples never want to be open about their relationship. Is it because of Jack White and Meg White? Did they set the standard for band love? They hid their relationship by saying they were siblings and then it later came out that they were married and… yada yada yada… bands to this day are very very secretive about the couples within the bands. Why?

I dunno. I just feel like the marketing of a band is based on being real. Being authentic about the people who are in the band. But, is this line crossed when a lead singer is sleeping with the bassist? Is this a part of America’s patriarchal structure? That’s probably too deep to go on this topic. I just think it sucks that thats the feeling that couples have when they are in bands and especially when they are on tour. It puts a lot of stress on a physical relationship if you have to hide it. People can tell… glares alone.

Does it make the music better? Sure. I bet it can hurt it too. It is based on how strong the couple’s relationship is. What I really mean to convey now is that America is a tough place to have a relationship at the moment. There was a time that there was a “bread winner,” and then the “home keeper.” Sexism and patriarchy aside, those roles being defined made the sense of self easier to consume. These day’s it’s more like basketball 😉 where you need to learn how to pass these roles… sometimes a bounce pass, sometimes a chest pass and others you really need a baseball pass. What am I really saying though?

Maybe bands have more couples in them right now for two reasons… 1) more women are playing and touring than ever, which is great, but also sad that it’s not just 50/50 2) Economically America is requiring couples to lean on each other. If one of those couples is a musician, which is at the very least an expensive hobby or at the most one of the lowest paying jobs it requires some real cooperation. So, to me it’s not surprising that musician’s are leaning on each other musically and then in relationships too. It’s just like, if you spend enough time with each other and open up emotionally as music makes you do then more is often possible. But, the stresses that come are life, work, family… and when that get’s put into a band; it’s just more stress. So, when you add the road to this…

But again, people, couples do it and do it well. In fact, the most of the bands that I see cross America right now in the effort to tour have a relationship within it. I think that is very much because the lifestyle of touring and leaving your romantic partner at home is maybe even more stress than touring with a partner. So, if you can take this variable off the table for half or in a duo’s case, the whole band then it makes touring more realistic.

Not sure what else to say. Maybe a story… Here is one. In 2016, Will Deek’s & my ex-wife toured America in a 2011 Toyota Prius packed with so much gear. We drove through Rochester, Chicago, St. Louis, Austin, New Orleans, Nashville, DC and then back to Boston at the time. In Austin, during SXSW, the band, Spo met us down in Austin to play at The Aquarium on 6th. It was awesome and after the show we randomly, but not that randomly met up with a friend from Boston, Bryan. We all packed into the Prius… 5 of us… and upon getting on I-35 to head to the AirBnB the front right tire popped. Bryan was elemental in getting the car up on the jack and putting the dummy wheel on.

I knew at that moment that that tire popping was some energy that was released and was meaningful. I now believe that it was that trip that me and my ex-wife split paths. I knew what I wanted and she then knew what she didn’t want. Love & Touring… is fuckin’ hard.

Please comment. If you’re in this situation or were… I obviously am only one side of this topic. But, it’s something that doesn’t get talked about and is a huge part of the lifestyle of being a musician.

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Fuck You Spotify

First, I’m gonna lay down some positive vibes… Here is a EP like, 5 song playlist of acts that are killing it on and off of Spotify in 2019…

Grand Commander

Talia Keys & The Love

Chris Moreno

War Twins

Folk Hogan

I just, I dunno. I hate things that everyone posts independently, but together on social media… or really just facebook. Conformity… maybe it bothers me. I dunno. It’s mostly that there are some people who have posted these images that I’m guessing Spotify delivered to them that shows their plays for 2019… Out of the 20 or so that I saw posted yesterday I’d only say 2 of them were worth showing off the numbers. It’s like, if 1.5k people streamed your music last year… maybe don’t post that. I think that’s embarrassing. Break that down; that’s about 3.3 streams a day. I mean, yeh, that’s not bad, and every fan should count, but I dunno… is it something to brag about?

But, that’s not even really why I hate it. I hate it and all of these kinds of trends because they are just marketing ploys that a bunch of disconnected, in this case, Spotify employees decided it would be fun if everyone did their job for them. I stayed with these Spotify employees in like, I think 2016 at Ryan Spaudling’s luxury condo during SXSW… Those people suck, but mostly, they really don’t care about independent music.

What this campaign for Spotify really says to me is how much they actually value those 1.5k plays a year by small artists. Might it be those smaller artists that are paying to be on the platform that really keep them afloat? I mean, afloat is a vague term, because Spotify doesn’t actually profit financially. Like, they take in money, but they do not claim a profit at the end of the year. You could say that that is because these disconnected fucks take too much money, but at the end of the day it’s because selling music isn’t a real thing and radio, which is what they are is supposed to be free. Spotify is the new radio… so, why isn’t it free… because they have to play ads in it to make it so… I guess. So ultimately…

The thing that this campaign really urks me about is how it re-opens the at least century old question of, can music really be sold? We know that albums can be sold, and tapes and cds, but what I’m getting at is, the industry was actually trying to sell you the mediums in which you listened to those records, tapes, cds and ect. Like, if you look back at the history of like, Victrola Records, you will find that these guys were not trying to sell music, they were trying to sell phonographs; the original at home music listening experience… shellac records and all. They didn’t really care about the fidelity of the records that they were putting out. They just pulled up to a performance, recorded it and printed it on the shellac… which, is what they used to make records out of until there was a lack of shellac in the 30s during the depression.

Shortly after that, Philip Sousa attacked the phonograph industry, which was comprised of a Victrola and a few other companies for not paying the musicians who they recorded. Thus, we had the first Lars Ulrich on our hands. Philip Sousa was the among the first musician’s to demand royalties for his performance on the recording of him. Now, we all know that that sounds fair, but the fact of the matter is that the record industry at that time wasn’t really trying to sell those records… they did, but their real profit margin was on the actual phonographs. What I’m getting at is, there was never a model to sell music. From the get go, recording music was just an advertisement to sell the medium… which, in this case is Spotify. Fuck Spotify.

The company that even sweet Taylor Swift plays the role of Lars and Philip Sousa in attacking for how little she makes off of streams. I don’t know what the percentage is, because I’ve never really seen profits from it, but it’s under a cent per stream that the artist gets. So, this whole campaign that independent artists are laying out for Spotify is really just using independent music to market their medium that takes advantage of just that, the independent musician and their music. Again, Fuck Spotify.

I just feel better using Bandcamp and SoundCloud. They are mediums that pretty much do the same thing, but less over-handedly. Bandcamp gives the fan the ability to directly support the artist. SoundCloud, is just a place that you can spin tunes without ads or having to buy a subscription that goes to some disconnected higher ups. And, Bandcamp really presents the image of the music beautifully as far as a website goes. You know, like when you listen to an album on Spotify or even SoundCloud it just feels homogenized. Bandcamp gives you the ability to really design their page in an original way. It feels… It has a feel. It’s great.

Ok, so, basically, what I want you to take from this is not that we can change the world or anything like that by stopping the use of Spotify. I mean, it’s a good product and musicians should put their music anywhere that people are playing it. But, here is the issue to think about, is the medium of recorded music a product that actually has value that you can sell? Was it ever sellable? Or, was it the same as the toy that McDonalds gave you with your happy meal; the reason you decided to put commercialized capitalist cow in your gut. Is recorded music just the bat mobile that comes with your happy mean? Maybe? Maybe think about that when you are deciding to record a record… maybe it will help for you to decide what is really best to do with your money because… Fuck You Spotify.

Long Live Napster!

(although, Napster’s creator, Shawn Parker, owns a piece of Spotify… ala JT in the movie, “The Social Network.”)

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INVERSION THERAPY


(The pollution does make for an oddly uniquely beautiful sunset where the only slightly defined horizon upon the mountains is nearest the sun’s descent)

There is something sexy about the pollution here in Salt Lake City, UT. Some people don’t even know where Salt Lake is, but they will. It’s this place in Neo-America that people are running to or I guess coming to because life has got to, it just has to be better somewhere, right? But, upon arriving here I learned of the, “INVERSION.”

The Inversion, for ya’ll that aren’t from SLC is a process that the colder air in the higher atmosphere pushes down the cold air closer to the ground and compresses it. Thing about the cold air close to the ground is it has pollution in it from I don’t know, cars, coal mines, other things… So, that pollution just compresses and compresses further into the collecting cold air… And, the valley that is Salt Lake City keeps this air in it’s bowl. And, that’s the process of Inversion… for dummies.

Most would say, OMG, get out of Salt Lake; the air is as bad as China. But, this is the thing… it’s beautiful to see. Because, this is happening all over the country. Everywhere in America are we pushing these burned gasses that cost way too much in the first place into the sky. It’s just here in Salt Lake that we cannot be ignorant of it. So, I find myself like a communistic Chinese citizen, wearing a gas mask.

I don’t wear one of those like, nuclear gas masks, or the ones that you wear to hit a bong and keep the smoke in. It’s cute. Like this one…

Ok, technically it’s a surgeon mask. Whatever. It does the same thing… kinda.

Anyways, the point of this little piece is to say, “WOW.” What an amazing time to be living in. People keep saying that we are killing the earth and here it is, in my lungs getting me sick. And, to think that this won’t change is ignorant. At some point, probably close to now, something will be done. Already do I see digital signs on the highway saying, “DRIVE LESS THIS WEEK.” Soon I’m sure they will read, if you’re driving a car made between 1970-2000, don’t drive this week… And, so on until cars are banned…

That is a bit much, but it’s definitely possible. This city could use to do a few things that change it’s habits in this way. People complain about the TRAX (which is the train system). They say it doesn’t get you “close,” to where you’re going. FUCKING WALK. You take the train to the closest stop and you walk. That’s just life in the big city. Sorry. Or, bring your bike onto the train… Or if you’re that lazy, or it’s that far, take a LYFT. Don’t take Uber, you’re not that classy, especially if you’re taking TRAX.

Anyways, there are things that can be done by people to alter their lifestyles. It may take longer, but it may not. A serious ride sharing app could be useful too. Something that connects people that are going to work in the same place to ride together. This way there aren’t a bunch of solo-dolo people driving to their 9-5’s in Draper, UT from SLC.

This could be the end of Corporate run, homogenized America. If people have to live closer to their jobs maybe local economies are able to grow more. Maybe? I don’t know. Either way, the point of this is to say, “WOW.” Watching this time in this country is crazy. I mean, we’ve seen some shit; 911, Obama getting into office, The Red Sox becoming the first team in the new millennium to win 4 World Series titles, just utter ground breaking shit… I guess, Trump and then his impeachment too ;<}

Let’s change. Or, let’s watch the change, or be a part of it or whatever. It’s crazy, but it is happening and it’s amazing to be in the face of it here in Salt Lake where I’m being rained on my toxic gasses.

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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…