Ephriam Nagler Tour Diaries: Installment IV
Hello! Wait!!! Where am I again? I think I’m somewhere between the 85mph swerving truck lane and the 35,000 ft. seatbelt sign blinking off. My life is a rush of Route 66 doomed-for-hell billboards dot dot dotted by hawks and highway patrol cars. Marc Maron and Kendrick Lamar provide the narration while Zeus’ turbulent temper rains down and the gods of fast-food deal out their Subway punishments. All the while I’m praying for Mission burritos, decent coffee, and Levi’s that stay forever clean. Tour’s not over yet though.
01 St. Petersburg, Florida Ok, so here we are, swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. (Mind you, one-week prior, I was eagle-watching and eating fresh caught salmon in Alaska.) I happily joined everyone for the annual sun baptism and received my burn acknowledging that summer happened and could now begin its retreat.
02 New Orleans, Louisiana I had several days off surrounding my Alaska show, but the dudes powered through that week (34 shows in 37 days for The Velvet Teen.) New Orleans was one of those days off, where our good friend Alison Green (amazing photographer who’s website you MUST checkout) took us to THE Country Club. Drinking Ham’s in the pool while blasting Top 40 might be the best no-fucks-are-given-here vibe ever.
03 That night I slept on the ceiling. Within my dreams, I was given many opportunities for flying, falling, floating, jumping, swimming, tumbling, etc. But my lucid logic kept my locomotion limited, light and on the ground.
04 Santa Fe, New Mexico Bear with me… We’re flying fast now. Texas was great. We made our way through Austin and Dallas and had a mini reunion with This Will Destroy You. I stepped on my glasses during “You Were the First,” but it was fine; they still worked. We went to Santa Fe for only one night and still managed to see eight different sunsets. Which I deeply appreciate now, as those were the last images my brain printed via those glasses. I set my glasses down on my amp that night and never looked through them again.
05 Pretty much, everything I see looks like this now. Luckily, I’ve seen Adventures in Baby Sitting and knew better than to pick up this “friendly feline.“
06 So much van life. You get these little glimpses of how beautiful the Earth can be. Even through the glare, the grimy window smudge, and the dead bugs, it can seem a wonderful place. But all of that pisses the photographer/explorer in me off. We tried to capture what we could of the passing canyon lands of New Mexico and Arizona. But in the end, you see these small photographs detailing just what amazing hikes and adventures you missed.
07 San Diego, CA Ok, only six days ago, we were swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. But here, in San Diego, we said hello to our home, the Pacific Ocean. I get to consider all of the West Coast my home, as I’ve lived in all three states. Nothing else feels quite like it. But this visit will be short!
08 The stage was cramped but nonetheless fun. The bartender bought me a shot. I didn’t close my tab and had to get a replacement card the next day. Idiot. But if I could change anything about the night, I would have ordered more fish tacos.
09 San Francisco, CA For whatever reason, Cancun on 19th and Mission is dear to my heart. I used to work late nights in the Mission and Cancun was always open when I needed it, bumping music from their jukebox well after last call. I know I know, don’t worry. El Farolito is in my Top-5 for sure. But I’m sentimental.
10 Bottom of the Hill This is home. Bottom of the Hill taught me so much when I worked here in 2004. This was a homecoming to the best family ever. Familiar faces, big hugs, lots of love, The Owl Mag fans and all! So many experiences over the years on Potrero Hill! And I know San Francisco has been changing, but as long as BOTH and Cancun are still standing, then I can consider my heart unbroken.
11 Petaluma, CA – Phoenix Theater Speaking of homecoming… Jesus, Tom Gaffey is the best. I mean, Jesus can’t touch this man’s kindness. He runs The Phoenix Theater, which might be the single most important vehicle in my musical life. I’ve been coming here since I was 12? Every show I’ve seen and participated in has been a complete dream. But this was the first time I got to be on THIS stage with my brother. Monumental, to say the least!
12 Here’s Judah and an old best friend of ours, Nicholas Wolch. I haven’t seen Nick in several years. But man, it was so good hanging out with him on this trip. Nick’s an amazing drummer / composer and his next musical endeavor sounds like it’s going to shred so hard. Tour is easily the best excuse to see old friends across the globe.
13 Phew! Day off in San Francisco! What?! My mom has never hung out at the batteries on the North side of the gate? Fixed that immediately.
14 J/k. Not truly a day off. Got some audio work farther along. Finding free time, power outlets, and some reliable WIFI is a constant struggle on the road. Hotels are total hit and miss. Crashing with your friends makes for the best makeshift road offices. Leslie of The Owl Mag is one of the best 🙂
15 Hamden, CT Flying at incredible fast forward speeds. Day off in San Francisco was so I could catch a flight and meet up with The Good Life! They also put out a new record this year! Oh my god it’s so good! And guess what?! I first started mixing The Good Life back in 2005! That totally blows my mind. 10 years of working for my favorite Nebraskans.
16 Ryan Fox and I share a love of fuzz pedals. He’ll give you a ride outta town in search of a sweet $40 craigslist pedal find. This might be the coolest pedal of them all, for obvious reasons…
17 New York, NY – The Bowery Ballroom Another favorite place on the map! Bowery Ballroom rules! But this NY trip was the fastest one I’ve ever been apart of. We were here for less than 12 hours! One slice of pizza was all I ate, and I didn’t even need it. Nonetheless, I love NY.
18 Chapel Hill, NC Ok, so everything that happened today was completely trumped by Magic Mike at the Arcade later that night. I grew up learning magic with my brother, and funny enough, one of my best audio buddies here in Raleigh gifted me The Adventures of Kavlier and Klay way back in 2009 after sharing a Cursive tour. Anyways, I saw two specific magic tricks that I’ve never heard of or seen before. Mind blowing! I’m usually good at spotting tricks, but god damn, I was crying during his performance.
19 Taco truck?! Try taco bus! So bummed I wasn’t hungry when I saw this. Should have gone for it anyways.
20 Atlanta, GA Day off! As in yet another computer workday! But I got everything done and was able to go out with the dudes and see Straight Outta Compton. That’s Ice Cube’s son right?! Oh and we slept on the 14th floor of CNN HQ. Super weird. K bye :).
21 I love whiskey and burritos FYI. Thanks for the photo Leslie!