Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On the Road with Victory and Associates, Part 2: Merced

By Conan Neutron
Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 6:51 AM

03/12/2012 — Daylight Headlight House, Merced, CA

After our Starry Plough show and a pretty fun and smallish afterparty that involved the consumption of far too much Voodoo Doughnut bacon maple ale, we get a pretty slow start on the day. Final packing and prep, including buying strings and sticks and such, culminates in the purchase of, among other things ... a cash box and a clip-on light for our merch table. Hey! It’s like we’re a real band. Learning lessons and stuff.

Next show is in the Central Valley, my point of origin. It’s being put on by a pretty crucial dude names Chris Kazoozak. We roll up and get the some sort of creeping dread anytime you enter in a residential area with the intention of playing rock and roll. You feel a bit like an interloper.

That said, the Merced show was a lot of fun! Feeling Gravity’s Pull (named after an REM song) played a spirited set that reminded me of Silkworm, Bottomless Pit, and other fine indie acts. (Note: when I say "indie," I mean indie rock, not like that bland flavorless Pitchfork brand of indie rock.) Their songs were memorable and their riffs were solid. Looking forward to playing more shows with them in the future.

It's always surreal for me to play the Central Valley, a region that helped shape who I am, largely by forcing me to define myself against the boilerplate template of oppression, and fear of anything "weird". But we played a pretty fun and well-received set to an, ah, “intimate” crowd. Switching things up, we kicked it off with "Plausibly Wild," a newer song that is, quite literally, about the idea of a good time — very appropriate for the night, to be sure. We played a Gang of Four cover that we learned specifically for tour and that was assisted by Chris Kazoo from Feeling Gravity’s Pull — awesome! Closed the set with "You Can’t Stop The Signal," which I dedicated to the memory of John Grabski III who recently passed on Friday. You will be missed my man, but your memory and your music will live on.

On to the desert.

Jams in the van: AC/DC — High Voltage, The Cars — The Cars, Gang of Four — Entertainment.

Stuff we sold: 1 These Things Are Facts CD. Hey, house show, we’ll take it.

Setlist: Plausibly Wild / Get Tough, Get Through It / Brothers Doing It For Themselves / Exasperated., Inc. / For Serious / Funundrum / Damaged Goods (Gang of Four cover) / Wildly Plausible / You Can’t Stop The Signal

This is the second installment of Victory and Associates' South by Southwest tour diary, which will continue to be published right here this and next week. For more about the band, visit their website, follow them on Twitter, or like them on Facebook.

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