Zoë + The Mischief: Notes from California Mini Tour

 

For several years now, I've held a dream in my heart. That my band would go on tour - first to the US, and eventually other parts of the world. Now that Zoë + The Mischief is a duo - me on vocals and guitar, and Lucas on drums, the idea of a tour is less daunting. Just us, and Emilio, in a vehicle, hopefully, a van.

After I told Lucas about my dream of going on tour, he decided to make it a shared dream, and to do everything he could to help me make it happen. (Yes, I married well and I am grateful.) So this summer, we decided to drive up from southern Baja to do a mini tour in California, as a trial run. It was a bit of a last minute decision, so we didn't have a lot of time to plan. We had to scrounge and borrow money. We spent our savings. We contacted every one we knew in California, and tried to set something up. It was like jumping off a cliff. I really had no idea if we could really pull it off. But in the end, we did it. We packed up our equipment and our son, and drove 1200 miles from Southern Baja up to LA and then to the Bay Area.

Our friend Jules, of Jules and Johnny Nation (who I met at my very first gig in Todos Santos, a locals' music night that Tim Lang created when it was announced locals were not allowed to play at theTodos Santos Music Festival, 5 years ago) came through for us and created a three act event at Froggy's in Topanga Canyon, California. Froggy's was just our style. Unique, large, full of vintage furniture, dusty, and in between owners. It used to be the town hall. A local woman made delicious tamales and gazpacho to sell at the event, but sold out of food within 10 minutes. It felt like we were home. The gig was on July 7th, which happened to be the hottest night of the year. And there was no A/C. We had to keep the door closed because a waterline burst on the street in front of the venue and there were men with jackhammers working through out the night. Luckily, there was a fan on stage with us. I loved the feeling of the fan blowing my hair while I sweated over my guitar. I felt like I was in a Beyoncé video. A fan is going to have to be a new must for me on stage. 

I was so excited to have close friends from college, grad school & even preschool there for our show. I was ecstatic to be reunited with Jen Gherardi, the drummer for my former band, Social Service, who was there with her whole family. Also, my friend Laurie, who was hosting us at her house in LA, and who has been my friend since we were three was also there with her whole family. I dedicated When I Grow Up to her daughter Mia, who was the inspiration for that song.  

Our next gig was in San Jose, California. A few months back we met Dana Albany at the wedding of our friends Sam & Holly (where I was DJing as well as assisting Lucas with the photography.) Dana, who is an artist, told me about her latest sculpture, Tara Mechani, a 15 foot Thai Goddess Boddhisatva Robot. She is representative of peace, and the coming together of the ancient and the cutting edge. As soon as I saw Tara, I knew that I had to do a performance next to her. We got in touch with the San Jose Department of Cultural Affairs, and then it was set as a public gig! 

After a quick thrift store stop (we had to go to every thrift store possible) and a new look, Emilio decided he would be band manager. He didn't realize it would involve doing anything other than sitting around looking cool in his new thrift store clothes and chewing gum.

After the first few songs, my Fender Blues Jr. amp dies (which had been my amp for 15 years, Lucas gave it to me as a gift back when we lived in Brooklyn) so I have to plug in directly to the PA. Luckily, we had just gotten ourselves the PA speakers, otherwise there would have been no rock and roll.

Here's a little video of our Tara Mechani gig:

 

After our gigs on the West Coast, I flew East with Emilio and Lucas drove back to Baja. I brought my beloved ukelele and did a couple of unexpected shows - an open mic in Wellfleet, Massachusetts and an impromptu chamber concert with my sister in law, the cellist, Justyna Jablonska Edmonds in my parents' living room. I adore Justyna's cello playing and the combination of instruments is inspired. I can't wait to collaborate more with her.

Every experience was great learning for next summer, when we hope to do a 2 month tour across the US. We have a year to dream, plan, raise money, record an album and transmit the rock-and-roll love! 

 

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