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Monday, Feb 19, 2007
by Harlem Shakes

Harlem Shakes w/ Deerhoof
Diary #4


Hey Internets. As we get into the heart of our journey, it’s time we took care of some of the crew. No account of this tour would be complete without mentioning Peter Venuto’s glorious Electronic Rainbow Machine (ERM). Finally, someone has created the thinking man’s pyrotechnics. Each night we watch Deerhoof perform in front of this five-foot diameter circular rainbow, pulsing in time to the music.


It’s an incredible contraption—a three-pronged windmill with multicolored lights on each tab. When the windmill spins, it creates a sentient wall of color that whooshes, spins, and twitches—a perfect complement to Deerhoof’s cheerful paroxysms. His machine is the way we imagine the inside of Deerhoof’s collective band brain might look like.


And then there’s Peter Venuto himself, the friendly longhaired Canadian who operates the ERM live each night. (He got the idea for the rainbow machine, apparently, from early-computer-style player piano reels, and, not surprisingly, Las Fucking Vegas!) Crouched next to the band, wearing striped velvet pants and a zip-up sweatshirt with a tank-top underneath, Peter runs his fingers over a little pad of buttons that triggers the machine’s many subtle functions.


Deerhoof first befriended Peter after they witnessed his “trashlights”—trashcan lids outfitted 250 tiny LED lights that create an undulating, similarly colorful effect—and now he’s part of our big touring family, showing up at every gig with his magical windmill.


The crowd in Tampa Bay—where neither our new tourmate Busdriver, nor us, nor Deerhoof has ever been—was one of the tour’s absolute best. A fan built a purple rubber dinosaur for Deerhoof and gave it to Satomi who beamed with gratitude.


Last night we slept in a motel in Orlando that had a special rate for serial killers. We wistfully recalled the days when four-on-the-floor meant a dance-punk beat, not a sleeping arrangement. We woke up, and more than half the band (Jose, Todd, Kendrick) went to Disney World to protest Disney’s conservative politics and ride totally fucking awesome roller coasters. Lexy and Brent sought quiet places in which to hear the inside of their heads for the first time in many, many days.


Love for now,


 


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Thursday, Feb 15, 2007
by Harlem Shakes

Harlem Shakes w/ Deerhoof
Diary #3


We’re now four days into tour—four shows, four cities, four venues, and what feels like a thousand hours in Thevandra. A pattern is
developing. First, we drive all day:


Then, we arrive at a venue, load equipment into the club, soundcheck (if time and tattooed men permit), and find food.  Then, we play our set:


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Wednesday, Feb 14, 2007
by Harlem Shakes

Harlem Shakes w/ Deerhoof
Diary #2


On Tuesday, North Carolina—land of Blackbeard, Michael Jordan, and prose-master Allan Gurganus—welcomed us with open arms. After a satisfying set at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, we said goodbye to our bearded, Ashkenazi guardian angel, Jon Natchez from the band Beirut, who had been playing bari sax, French horn, and flute for us. After the show, our friend Daniel from 8088 Record Collective kindly lent us his floor.


We met his neurotic timberwolf, Treebeard. Daniel told us: “I swear, the wolf is more afraid of you than you are of it!”  We tried to tell the animal, “dude, you’re the wolf here, we should be afraid of you—in fact, we’re totally goddamn terrified of you! Oh my god! Oh Jesus Christ! It’s a wolf!!”


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Monday, Feb 12, 2007
by Harlem Shakes

Harlem Shakes Tour Diary, Entry #1


Hey there. Not too long ago, we received word that we, Harlem Shakes, would be going on our very first tour with one of favorite-ever bands, Deerhoof. Since then, we have been on a 24/7 giggle binge, smiling and rambling to our friends like drug addicts pre-death, or maybe leprechauns post-mischief.


Todd (guitar) got a tattoo and Lexy (vocals) had a relapse of mononucleosis, but on Sunday February 11th, we set out in our van that we have named “Thevandra Vanhard,” to our nation’s capital, and played at a beautiful venue called the Black Cat. A nice, Black Cat-affiliated fellow named Matt helped us with our equipment, which was funny because usually people treat us with shoe-spitting disgust.


Then we watched Deerhoof soundcheck. In truth, we would have driven to DC just to see them. Instead, we opened for them. We also set up our very first merch table (up until now, we’ve never even had a CD or anything, and now we not only have CDs, but also pins and tee-shirts… like the Stones!). We played well, and met nice people afterwards, kind and attractive DCiopians. We went away from the evening feeling like the luckiest musicians since Duncan Sheik. Tour is awesome! More to come, including pictures, on Wednesday. Goodbye for now internet.


Love,


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Thursday, Nov 30, 2006
by Jennifer O’Connor

Jennifer O’Connor Tour Diary, Entry #4
Friday, December 1, 2006


I’ve been home from the Portastatic and Mountain Goats tours for about 2 weeks now, and I never did tell you how the rest of the tour went.  I’m sorry.


When I left off we were on our way to Austin.  The Austin show was really great, but even more importantly, we ate BBQ the afternoon after we played with Sally Crewe.



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