Geographer - NewsThe latest news from Geographer Session<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>The band and I recently stopped by Rock Island, IL to visit our friends at <a href="" target="_blank">Daytrotter</a>. We did a few live songs while we were there and they are now available for your listening pleasure. You can click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> or on the image below to stream the session.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Geographer - Daytrotter Session" src="" style="width: 320px; height: 320px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 03 Feb 2016 07:05:00 -0800 Tour With The Crookes<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>The band and I will be hitting the road this Spring across the United States. Well have The Crookes from the UK along for the ride. Tickets are now on sale -- you can see the list of <a href="" target="_blank">tour dates</a> and grab yours by clicking below.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 575px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 26 Jan 2016 12:02:00 -0800 David Bowie<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>I had this recording of one of the best songs ever made, David Bowies "Heroes." His vocal performance on that song is one of the best of his career, and one of the most powerful vocals on a pop song Ive ever heard. He was an amazing man. And an incredible artist. The confidence it must have taken to do the things he did, and the generosity with which he used himself as a canvas on which he painted. He changed music forever many times, and he was a brave and intrepid explorer through art and life. David Bowie. One of the truly amazing people thats every lived.</p> <p><center><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></center></p> <p>So this is my plaintive take on his gorgeous and impressionistic lyrics. People often overlook his lyrics as just strange, but theyre so evocative and heartbreakingly beautiful. The optimism and openness of them. This is just my ping out into the universe that has reclaimed its most beloved space alien.</p> <p><br /> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 11 Jan 2016 15:08:00 -0800 Album Covers of 2015<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Was excited to hear that Ghost Modern was selected by <a href="" target="_blank">Redefine Magazine</a> as one of their Best Album Covers of 2015.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Ghost Modern Front Cover" src="" style="width: 250px; height: 250px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" /></a><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Ghost Modern Back Cover" src="" style="width: 250px; height: 250px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>It was great working with local SF artist <a href="" target="_blank">Amos Goldbaum</a> on the project, and an incredible honor to be on a list with so many other incredible artists.</p> <p>You can check out the <a href="" target="_blank">full list</a> of artwork, as well as more in depth commentary on the process of creating the artwork for Ghost Modern by Amos and myself <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 01 Jan 2016 16:05:00 -0800 Motion EP Out Now<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>My new EP Endless Motion is out now! It features five covers of a few of my favorite artists including Kate Bush, Paul Simon, Arthur Russell, New Order, and Felix Da Housecat. Each of the songs marks a unique or special relationship I have with the artists.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href=""><img alt="Endless Motion" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>Cloudbusting was shown to me by a woman I had a fleeting love affair with, and though my romance with her ended, a new one with Kate Bushs music took its place.</p> <p>Age of Consent was one of the biggest influences on the first <span class="text_exposed_show">good song I ever wrote, "Cant You Wait," off my first album Innocent Ghosts.</span></p> <div class="text_exposed_show"> <p>Arthur Russell was shown to me by a coworker when I had a day job as a special ed preschool teacher, and revolutionized the way I thought about the cello and stringed instruments in general.</p> <p>Ready 2 Wear was the anthem and omnipresent crowd-pleaser at kitchen dance parties with my friends when I first moved to San Francisco, it was like the soundtrack to our lives.</p> <p>I Know What I Know represents to me the penetrating power of Paul Simon in my life, from growing up as a child listening to Graceland to rediscovering the power of its lyrics when I had come of age and amassed enough experiences of my own to fathom their emotional weight.</p> <p>You can get Endless Motion on <a href="">iTunes</a>, <a href="">Amazon</a>, <a href="">Google Play</a> or <a href="">Bandcamp</a></p> <p>- Mike</p> </div> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 04 Dec 2015 08:04:00 -0800 2 Wear -- Out Now<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>The second track off my upcoming covers album Endless Motion is out now.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Ready 2 Wear Vinyl" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p></p> <p>Ready 2 Wear was the anthem and omnipresent crowd-pleaser at kitchen dance parties with my friends when I first moved to San Francisco, it was like the soundtrack to our lives.<br /> </p> <p>Stream my cover version of the song <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> or purchase on <a href="" target="_blank">iTunes</a></p> <p>Additionally, you can pre-order the entire Endless Motion album <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> and be entered to win a <a href="" target="_blank">personalized mixtape</a> featuring all the tracks off of Endless Motion, plus 5 additional acoustic covers I recorded.</p> <p>-Mike</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 17 Nov 2015 08:16:00 -0800 Endless Motion Vol. I Now<br /><img src="" /><br /><center> <p>My upcoming covers EP Endless Motion Vol. I is now available for pre-order <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> </center> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Endless Motion EP" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>Ill be creating 5 custom mixtapes featuring the 5 tracks off <a href="http://I'll be creating 5 custom mixtapes featuring the 5 tracks off Endless Motion, as well as 5 unreleased acoustic covers I have recorded. By pre-ordering the record you will be entered to win one of these mixtapes which I will customize with your name, artwork and tracklist." target="_blank">Endless Motion</a>, as well as an additional 5 unreleased acoustic covers I have recorded. By pre-ordering the record you will be entered to win one of these mixtapes which I will customize with your name, artwork and tracklist.</p> <p></p> <center> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></center> <p></p> <p></p> <p>-Mike</p> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 13 Nov 2015 09:16:00 -0800 Know What I Know<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>I Know What I Know represents to me the penetrating power of Paul Simon in my life, from growing up as a child listening to Graceland to rediscovering the power of its lyrics when I had come of age and amassed enough experiences of my own to fathom their emotional weight.</p> <center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Graceland" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <center> <p></p> <p>You can download the track from iTunes by <a href="" target="_blank">clicking here</a></p> </center> <center> <p>Or stream it on Soundcloud below</p> <p></p> </center> <center> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>-Mike</p> </center> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 30 Oct 2015 09:57:00 -0700 Diary - On Tour with Stars<br /><img src="" /><br /><p> I was leaving Chicago after passing it for the 4th time in 3 weeks, after loading up all the gear back into the van after doing a <a href="" target="_blank">studio session</a> for <a href="" target="_blank">Audiotree</a>, and I realized that these are going to be the best days of my life. No matter how much success I achieve, no matter how big this thing gets, these tiny van tours, driving around the country sweating it out with these amazing people, are going be the times I look back on.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Night Drive" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 370px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> Theres something about being on the cusp of your dreams. Thats where humans thrive. When were still searching, still striving. When theres still a hole were trying to fill, an ache were trying to cure, something were trying to prove. Bruce Springsteen before Born to Run, Radiohead before OK Computer, David Bowie before Ziggy Stardust.</p> <p> Right now my band and I are chasing that dream. In the studio Im chasing that perfect song, the song that touches deep inside you without having to break or open anything. you just find that its there, like a ghost. It needs no doors. When Im on tour the band and I are chasing that perfect show. Where we lose ourselves, become bigger than our bodies, than our movements. Where were not just playing an instrument, were creating a fine meal, each of us a different ingredient, not one ounce too much of any one spice or flavor. So you notice no one thing more than another, so you forget youre even eating, and are transported.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Mike Backstage" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 595px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> But these are the days Ill look back on. Spending 3 nights in Chicago, walking around near the Art Institute, being enamored of the big buildings, Im still a kid that way, when Im in a truly big city, a truly tall city. NY scares me. But the same way that looking up into the night sky and understanding a fraction of the vastness of space scares me. NY is like being in the ocean. Youre all too aware that its power can crush you, but you ride its waves and get tossed around close to its shores, and its exhilarating. The threat of total demise, the knowledge of your own small power, to stay alive despite this force, is thrilling, and then the understanding of your own smallness, is at once disheartening and relaxing. In NY you are insignificant. But if you survive...</p> <p> So playing 2 sold out shows there was a pretty good swim! Driving straight across the country for 4 days basically without stopping for more than a bite to eat twice a day, is quite an experience. It does something to your mind. It sets you in motion. You become a traveller and nothing else. Every energy is devoted to traveling well, to making it through the day with your sanity. And then you land in Pawtucket Rhode Island, and all of a sudden youre surrounded by people, and these people are cheering and dancing, and youre playing the electric guitar and pounding out beats. The variety of my days sometimes makes me laugh out loud. How sometimes I spend all day in my bathrobe because I wrote a song in my sleep, and the second I wake up to the second I go back to sleep, Im getting it into my computer. And then the very next day I might drive to San Rafael to play outdoors at a festival with tons of people and a beautiful blue sky behind me. You just get up and do whatever the calendar says, no matter what it requires.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Stage Lights" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 398px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> This tour was also special because I got to be reunited with Stars. I give them a lot of credit for making me what I am today. They gave me my first chance at playing for a lot of people. I had been playing small shows around the Bay Area, an LA or San Diego show here or there. But it was all very much toiling in obscurity, and no blogs were writing about me, nobody was knocking down my door. And then out of the blue my manager tells me that Stars has decided to take me out on a national tour. The only tour I had done up to that point was one I booked myself, which had shows like the one I played in Olympia, WA in the dead of winter, in a shack attachment to a vegan restaurant that was unheated, and had a mixer with 4 channels, 2 of which were dented in and useless, and about as many people in attendance. Those are the kind of shows where you have to meet someone at the show to stay at their house, and its a good thing you played at a restaurant, cause thats your food for the night. So thats the level I was at.</p> <p> But on that Stars tour I was playing to 1,000 - 3,000 people every night. And that set me on my way. I learned so much from watching them too. Just being a part of a big, wild, moving production like that, to see all the inner workings of the show, from how much gaff tape is used, to seeing how to check monitors for the first time, was the education of a lifetime. So to be back with those guys, after I had paved my own way with the tools they gave me, made a name for myself, headlined and sold out my own national tours, felt like going back home to the cool kids and now they werent giving you noogies, they were handing you a beer.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Stars on Stage" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 445px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> When we were at the first NY show I was in front of the stage during Stars soundcheck and I overheard them saying, ve gotta hire a saxophonist to play on Trap Door and I said, No you dont, Ill do it! And I dont think they knew I could play the saxophone, so they were like, okay, well, hop on up here and lets hear what you got, and after that I played sax on two of their songs every night. And the greatest part was, for one of the songs they just wanted to me go crazy, they wanted me to play as many notes, and as fast and as loud and wild as possible for 2 straight minutes. Which is every saxophone players dream. So I was basically making feedback with my saxophone, by pushing the reed to its limits, and making it vibrate in ways it wasnt meant to, hitting high squealing overtones and low buzzing squawks. I would finish my show, get all the gear off stage, then eat dinner as quickly as possible, while listening to the show in my in-ear monitors so I would know what time to come downstairs, then bust out onto the stage amid all the lights and noise and energy, wail on the saxophone for 2 minutes, then go back upstairs and sit there by myself, or with one of my band mates. Which was the funniest part, because I had just hit you know, 11 on the saxophone, played as hard as you can possibly play, and then just as soon as it began, I was back in the green room with my chest pounding, like, coming down from that stage high. And then I went back out for one more, more traditional, but no less energized, solo, and then I was done for the night.</p> <p><center><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" showinfo="0&iv_load_policy=3&controls=0" src="" width="420"></iframe></center></p> <p> It wore me out pretty good at one point, I came down with a bug too, and playing my own show, then blowing all the air left over inside me through that horn as hard as I could night after night, kinda laid me out, so I had to take a break for a few shows, but as soon as I was better I was back at it. Cause when your shows over, youre pretty bummed, in a way, cause you dont get to play anymore. And I got to keep hitting the stage, AND to share that stage with Stars, a band whos song Elevator Love Letter was one of the biggest influences in my first rock band in college. So it was pretty crazy for me to be there, to have these people be my friends now, and to be contributing to their music in a small way. When they left for Canada in Michigan, on the last night, they wanted me to hop on the bus and play with them on their last three Canadian shows of the tour. How cool would that have been!!!! But I had an Audiotree session back in Chicago the next day, so I had to stay on my own train.</p> <p> Chicago was really the crown jewel of this tour. Ive played Chicago a lot, but never really spent any time there. I got to catch up with my friends Sean and Aaron from Empires, and we stayed in these apartments downtown, near the art institute. The real luxury was that we didnt have to pack up our stuff after the first night at Lincoln Hall, since we were doing two shows in a row there. That also meant that we had our own mini production crew for 2 days, cause the venue staff there is so great, that they took the opportunity to really dial in the sound and the lights. The first show was our favorite one of the tour, and then the second show was even better. Not sure why, really, I think we just played great, and we really played WITH each other. It was more about playing together than playing for the audience. We just had a blast up there. And I love opening for people because the audience has no idea what to expect, and in fact, they probably think youre going to suck. And its fun to watch their faces, the expression of excitement when they see that not only does this band not suck, but it might actually even be really good!</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Mike and Joyce at the Hancock building" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> Then every morning before the shows I walked around through the big buildings and by the docks, saw the Bean, did touristy things. At night I went up to the Hancock Tower and loitered in the restaurant so I could check out the views.</p> <p> I also drove by the Wilco building, which is what I call it, the one from the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album cover. That must feel so cool, to put a city back on the map. Chicago hadnt really been a music mecca since the time of Muddy Water and the blues, and people actually moved there because of Wilco, just cause they were amazing</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Wilco Building" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 711px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p>So I was great to get to spend a few days in one of Americas greatest cities. I couldnt believe I hadnt brought my book with me, which I had been reading, Dangling Man by Saul Bellow, which is set in Chicago in the 40s, because the city really felt old to me, it felt like a heritage site of America. Not in the way that NY does, where everything is piled on top of itself, buildings upon buildings, where you can feel the lives lost and pulsating underneath the bricks and the subways. But more like you could feel the dream of America in Chicago, you can feel the way America felt in the 30s and 40s, when it was large, when it was a teenager, when it felt invincible and in the right.</p> <p> In Cleveland we went to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, and it really depressed us. The only things that were in there were the useless vestiges of the people we long to know. Their shoes, a suit jacket that Bruce Springsteen wore in 2004, David Bowies jacket, a guitar. These are not the things that make a musician great. These are the interchangeable tools, the parts you can order online. What made them great lives in them and can never be extracted for display. They dont even know it themselves, and thats probably why they kept creating, partly, to drive closer and closer to themselves. But you can never know another person like that, not your lover, not your neighbor, not a rock star. So its a bit of a sham. But there was a great quote by Roger Waters written on the set of the Wall: You can check it out <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Mike on the water" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 336px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> It also depressed us, I think, because the dream of Rock N Roll, that we, me and the band, have, is dead. We dont live in that time anymore. There are no more rock stars. Jack White does a pretty damn good job. Wayne Coyne. But these are even guys from a different generation. The music industry has changed so much since they became famous. We live in an age where the artist is revered but not respected. You dont steal from someone you respect. We also live in the age of message boards, where in an attempt to reach someone we admire, the quickest way to their heart is through a cutting critique. We know that our adulation will be lost in the piles of other laudatory statements. But no matter how big you are, every critique stings. And thats a kind of relationship you can have with a star. If you hurt them youve gotten to them. I truly do believe, though, that the people who write those things are actually wishing they could express their love for those people.</p> <p> So the dream of rock n roll is dead. Or is it...? Were still out here doing it. And like Kurt Vonnegut says, No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious and charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful. An audience member posted that on an instagram she took of us at the Cleveland show. And thats why we do it. Because we have to. Because its magic. Because they cant take it away from me, and they cant take it away from you.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Mirror" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 225px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /><br /> </center> <p></p> <p>When you get everything you want, when youre comfortable, you do lose your edge. And Im not saying Im going to strive to be uncomfortable. Like all people, I cant help but work towards comfort. But I find that a certain amount of discomfort, actually, quite a large amount of discomfort, if it can be put up with, is the brother of great joys and highs than safety and ease allows us.</p> <p> If youre with the same person for 10 years, romantically, youre less likely to say to that party out in the hills of Oakland, or to taking a bus all the way out to the ocean with a bunch of people you dont know. And those people might not end up being people you like. But the next ones might. But we all want to settle down. So I guess the trick is to just keep saying When you have to choose between the couch and the trip to the ocean, the uncertainty of an evening, say </p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Mike" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 714px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p>- Mike</p> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 21 Oct 2015 10:44:00 -0700'm Ready - Music Video<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Excited to finally release the music video for Im Ready. We shot this over the course of a few days before leaving on tour and it was really fun experience to get to be involved in the experience from concept to execution.</p> <p></p> <p><center><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></center></p> <p></p> <p>When youre sitting in a huge warehouse and someone is painting blood on a ballerina, and youre saying, "more blood!" you cross your fingers that everybody will be down. And they all were. This was a really close collaboration between myself, my manager, and the 2 directors. It started in my managers head and it was so fulfilling to make it become a reality. Sitting behind the camera, telling the ballerina what we wanted from a particular scene, and just covering the poor girl with blood. When her boyfriend showed up at the end to pick her up, he didnt even bat an eye. She was a real powerhouse. So strong, so elegant, so vulnerable. I got chills in the moment, when we were shooting her exultant dance at the end, with her hair whipping all over the place. I love making things. I feel really alive when Im doing that. And Ive never made a video before. It was a crazy process, so much goes into it. It was very exciting to be behind the curtain.</p> <p></p> <p>-Mike</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 20 May 2015 07:25:00 -0700 Modern Tour Playlist<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>We have to do a lot of things to keep occupied on long drives on tour, sometimes its podcasts, movies on our computers, reading, etc. and obviously we like to share music with each other and talk about it while were driving. Usually the driver or the person riding shotgun selects the music. Thought I would share a little glimpse into what weve been listening to on the road during the <a href="" target="_blank">Ghost Modern Tour</a>. Check it out below:</p> <center> <p><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="380" src="" width="300"></iframe></p> </center> <p>When you wake up real tired, and you gotta drive 6 hours to the next venue, and theres no good coffee for an hour, you gotta pick it UP! So thats what "Mr. Blue Sky" is for. Just let it all hang out. Then you kick into some tasty up jams, dont be afraid to play U2. And EVERYBODY wants to rock out to Jimi Hendrix. Now that everybodys blood is pumping, I can play "The Wild One, Forever," to try to get the band to fall in love with Tom Petty. If that works, Ill play "Atlantic City," the gateway drug to Bruce Springsteen for those not baptized in the church of Bruce. Dont play then "Born to Run!" Thats like starting with Mushrooms. Too much. Too soon.</p> <p>After that, you gotta him em with a standard, and lay them flat with Aretha. Then Ill play the Father John Misty song with my favorite lyrics, so we can all marvel at him. Then you have a little fun. Put on "Lightning Crashes" and shock everybody back to middle school. Theyll be singing along by verse two. How many people have put the word "placenta" in a top 20 hit!!!? 1. And you can talk about this. It will bring you closer together. After that, you keep it silly with "What a Fool Believes." But lest they think, "oh great, Mikes gonna keep playing weird songs," you NAIL em with some modern shit (sort of), and then quickly a string of 80s hits, peppered in with some conversation pieces (Robert Fripps guitar solo on St. Elmos Fire and the fact that Prince wrote Nothing Compares 2 U (you might break a heart or two with that news). Then goddammit, you play the Eagles!!! But its Joe Walsh singing.</p> <p>From there its a free for all. Dont forget to sing Karaoke with Harry Nilsson, and impress your friends by telling them that Badfinger wrote that song. If youre still listening, you can enjoy my favorite beat to freestyle to, which gets everybody through those really long drives. And if you listen to that, you are rewarded with Steely Dan. Which yes. We listen to. A lot.</p> <p>-Mike</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 13 May 2015 10:56:00 -0700 Modern Scavenger Hunt<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Today were heading out of SF en route to Portland to kick of the <a href="" target="_blank">Ghost Modern Tour</a>. To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to play a game over the next month to help make our North American adventure even more fun.</p> <p>The artwork on Ghost Modern was done by artist <a href="" target="_blank">Amos Goldbaum</a> and contains hundreds of tiny images that represent the cocophony of people and things that exist in all of our realities (some profound, some seemingly ordinary). I thought it would be a fun challenge to try and capture photographs as many of these things that I can while we drive across the country. Even better would be to get the fans to snap shots of the items featured on the artwork that present themselves in their daily lives.</p> <p>At the end, I have created a unique and special gift to send to all of the top participants. Seems simple enough, right? Heres how we can play:</p> <p></p> <center> <p></p> <h3><strong>GHOST MODERN SCAVENGER HUNT</strong><head3></head3></h3> <p></p> </center> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Ghost Modern Album Art Front" src="" style="width: 265px; height: 270px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></a><a href="" target="_blank"> <img alt="Ghost Modern Album Art Back" src="" style="width: 270px; height: 270px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p><strong>1. Check out the artwork for Ghost Modern and examine all of the items that you may encounter in your world.</strong></p> <p><strong>2. Take a photo of the item and post to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #ghostmodernhunt</strong></p> <p><strong>3. Tag me @geographermusic in the photo</strong></p> <p><strong>4. Post as many of the items that you can find. There is not limit to the amount of submissions you can make (the more, the BETTER)</strong></p> <p><strong>5. Have fun! After the tour, I will calculate all the entires and the best creative and most diligent participants will receive a special gift that Ive put together that relates to the album artwork.</strong></p> <p>Heres an example of the first photo I took for Instagram to give you some inspiration</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 537px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> <p>Cant wait to see everyones submissions. I can only imagine all of the creative and cool things that you guys will find. See you on the road soon!</p> <p></p> <p>-Mike</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 06 May 2015 11:25:00 -0700 Remixes I'm Ready<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Pretty excited about the new remix of Im Ready by our friends <a href="" target="_blank">Vacationer</a>. They gave the track a totally different feel, and its always really cool to hear something youve created reinvisioned by another artist that you respect.</p> <p>The remix premiered today over at <a href="" target="_blank">Indie Shuffle</a> and you can stream it right <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>. Enjoy!</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Geographer - I'm Ready - Vacation Remix" src="" style="border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; width: 575px; height: 575px;" /></center> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 15 Apr 2015 10:45:00 -0700 Modern North American Tour<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Im excited to announce that we will be heading out on a North American tour in support of Ghost Modern.</p> <p><strong>Empires </strong>and <strong>Idlehands </strong>will be supporting us on these dates. Check out the cities below and <a href="" target="_blank">click here</a> for more details and ticket links.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Ghost Modern North American Tour Dates" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 575px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Thu, 09 Apr 2015 11:16:00 -0700 Tour Recap<br /><img src="" /><br /><p> 1st leg of the Ghost Modern tour is over. Ive never been more excited to get back out on the road. We were pulling into San Francisco after the last day of shows, and we said, "I wish we were playing a show, doesnt feel right to drive so far and then do nothing!" SXSW was extremely exciting and extremely I still dont know how we played a single song. Simply plugging in 24 different instruments (yes, 24, thats how you make a Geographer show sound the way it does) and making sure they all work alone usually takes 30 minutes. And then youve got to put each of those separately into each persons monitor so they can hear what theyre doing. A lot of the time I was just going off muscle memory, cause those synthesizers do not make sounds unless theyre monitored, so it was a pretty fly by the seat of your pants situation. Pile on top of that playing one show with my keyboards and the drum pad underneath a clear plastic pncho, cause we were getting rained on, and setting up in the mud under "tents" that are dripping. It was almost comical -- but only because we pulled it off, thanks to our incredibly talented and dedicated crew. So, we were able to play 6 shows in 4 days, outdoors during a rainstorm. Thank you to everyone who attended and got soaked to listen to us play. That really pumped me up and gave me the push I needed, to see that people were braving the elements to see the band. Thank you guys.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Muddy Stage" src="" style="width: 369px; height: 500px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p>That was also the first tour with the new backing band. After months of auditions, and even more months of grueling, relentless practice, it was such a relief to actually be playing live for real humans and not just the walls of my rehearsal space. The band was electric. Their talent is an inspiration to me, and I feel very cushioned by their combined prowess as musicians up there, the swirling mass of sound that is the Geographer live experience. Im proud to have them behind me, making everything sound so good. The highlight of each show for me was "Too Much," when Duncan (guitarist/keyboardist/backup vocalist/bassist) and I traded off solos during the ending vamp, and "Keep," which is just such a rolling, churning train of a song, its a unique moment in the set. Im really interested to see which songs from Ghost Modern prove to be peoples favorites live.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Geographer on stage" src="" style="width: 509px; height: 500px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> Speaking of which, Ghost Modern was released in the middle of the tour! We had to postpone the release of the vinyl, which was a real bummer. But I just couldnt bare to put out the record as it came back from the plant, after years of tirelessly pouring myself into it, to see it compromised at the very end, the simplest part of the process, the actual physical production. I was surprised, but the label and everybody were 100% behind me. So much credit is due to them for not caring only about making money, and actually wanting to put out the album that made them sign me in the first place, and to do it right. Not every artist is lucky enough to have that kind of support from the business people in their lives.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Test Pressing" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 431px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> Another treat of the tour was getting to play on a bunch of radio stations, and doing some stripped down arrangements of the songs. It was fun to brainstorm with the band, to see what part could go where, who could do what. And to strip the song of everything but its essentials, it reminded me a lot of the writing process, when it was just me and a piano or an acoustic guitar. Never forget where you came from, Ghost Modern songs.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 441px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> A lot of long drives, and a lot of shows. After we left SXSW we were so relieved, on a lot of levels. Sound checks again, a roof over our heads, Geographer fans. But theres nothing like the excitement of that festival. You really feel in commiseration with all the other bands, like youre all working so hard for your dream, and everybodys there all at once, working their own dream, but somehow it all becomes one big dream for 4 days, and its a beautiful thing. The first show after leaving Austin was Denver, sold out, and that was very exciting. I got to catch up with some family, and have a square meal.</p> <p>Seattle was another highlight. The main room sold out so they opened the mezzanine, and we were able to pack some extra people in there. Neumos is a great venue, and I got to have my favorite homemade Kombucha, on tap at a restaurant around the block. It was funny, I was being followed around by a film crew during SXSW, day and night, they were in the house we were staying in, riding with me to interviews, there when we were setting up at break-neck speed. And it was a little intense, but when we parted ways I kind of felt like, "oh, well, is anything I do important now?" Like if no ones watching, what does it matter. Thats definitely a theme of Ghost Modern, it was interesting to experience it in that way. Its strange to measure yourself by how many people are watching you. the worth of your songs, of your vision, of your self. It can be hard to keep your head on straight, but Im determined to. Im just chasing the great song. Theres got to be another one out there, and I want to write it. And if I get to spread a little joy to some people in the process, thats all the better.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Video Interview" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 630px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> Speaking of the house at SXSW, the first night we were there, were all tucked into bed, and my sound guy sees a light flashing outside, and then sees someones face right outside the window, and sees that the bathroom window, which was closed when we all went to bed, is fully open and this dude is shining a light inside. He yelled at him and the guy ran away, but everybody was really freaked out, and we didnt sleep at all that first night, just waiting for this dude to come back and take whatever it was he was after. Not the kind of night you want to have before the first day of the craziest music festival there is. Our landlord figured it was just a drunk dude from the unit next door, who stumbled home drunk, forgot his keys, though our house was his house. I hope he was right! But there were no more shenanigans after that.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Namaste House" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 323px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> I got sick in Seattle, which is my worst nightmare. I really really dont want to cancel a show, and so far Ive been able to sing through every sickness, but the shows are definitely not as good. I cant sing as long, and I cant sing as well, and I feel bad giving people a less than 100% show. I worked my whole life towards this moment, to be able to tour the country, the world, and share my songs with people, and it kills me when I cant do it to the best of my ability. But thats life. Cant let that pressure get to you.</p> <p> So here I am at home, resting up, writing new songs, teaching the band the rest of the Ghost Modern ones, working on the Im Ready music video and keeping this machine rolling forward. Im very anxious to get back out there and hit the rest of the country and do what I most love to do, sing my songs to people. Thanks for being there with me. Cant wait to see you when we <a href="">hit the road</a> again in <a href="">May</a>.</p> <p></p> <p>-Mike</p> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 08 Apr 2015 11:12:00 -0700 Modern on Rdio<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Ghost Modern has been featured on <a href="" target="_blank">Rdios</a> New Music Weekly! You can listen to the record in it entirity by clicking <a href="" target="_blank">here </a>or the image below.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Ghost Modern on Rdio" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 776px;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p></p> <p>Its always a thrill to see something youve put so much heart and soul into get recognized. Thanks to everyone who has purchased, streamed, shared or enjoyed the record so far! See you all soon!</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 24 Mar 2015 17:49:00 -0700 Release on iTunes<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Releasing an album can be both incredibly scary and overwhelming joyful. Woke up this morning to see Ghost Modern featured among iTunes top new releases!</p> <p>Also, for a limited time, you can download Im Ready from iTunes for free or purchase the entire record as a digital download. Click <a href="" target="_blank">here </a>or on the image below to grab the new album.</p> <p></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Ghost Modern on iTunes" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 400px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 23 Mar 2015 10:17:00 -0700 Modern Out Now!<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>So today is the big day. Its been a long time coming, but Im extremely proud to announce that Ghost Modern is now out on <a href="" target="_blank">Roll Call Records</a>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Ghost Modern" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 491px;" /></a></p> <p>You can purchase the album at your favorite local retailer, or grab the digital dowloads from <a href="" target="_blank">iTunes</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Amazon</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Google Play</a>.</p> <p>The album will also be available soon in a limited edition transluscent colored vinyl. I have to say, I love colored vinyl and think this one is especially beautiful.</p> <p>Its going to be a busy year, and Im looking forward to touring as much as possible in support of this record. Thank you to everyone who made this release possible. Cant wait to play these new songs for you guys live. See you all soon!</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 23 Mar 2015 08:32:00 -0700 Tour with Wild Ones<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Hey all,</p> <p>So were ready to hit the road and debut some new songs from <a href="" target="_blank">Ghost Modern</a> live for you guys. In March well be doing a short run through the U.S. with <a href="" target="_blank">Wild Ones</a> from Portland, OR. Check out the dates below -- you can get more info and <a href="">buy tickets</a> over on the <a href="" target="_blank">events</a> page. Cant wait to share the new tracks with you guys and hopefully meet you as well. More 2015 dates soon to come!</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Spring 2015 Poster" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 618px;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Thu, 29 Jan 2015 08:06:00 -0800 Album Release Date, New Single<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Hey guys, so its been a while since Ive had some new music for you. Excited to finally announce the new record, <a href="" target="_blank">Ghost Modern</a> will be released on March 24th 2015 on <a href="" target="_blank">Roll Call Records</a>. Cant wait to share all the new songs with you -- really proud of this one!</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Ghost Modern album" src="" style="height: 403px; width: 400px;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>On the subject of sharing songs -- the first track off<a href="" target="_blank"> Ghost Modern</a> is called <a href="" target="_blank">"Im Ready"</a> and its now available to stream and purchase. You can check it out on Soundcloud below:</p> <p></p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p></p> <p>Additionally, if you pre-order <a href="" target="_blank">Ghost Modern</a> through the website, youll get a free download of "Im Ready". The album is available on CD, Digital Download, or beautiful, limited edition Transluscent Red Vinyl. Click <a href="" target="_blank">here </a>to reserve your copy and get the free download now!</p> <p>Cant wait to take these new songs on the road. Hope to see you guys all in the Spring when we hit the road. Until then...</p> <p>- Mike</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Thu, 22 Jan 2015 17:41:00 -0800 Southern California Tour<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Excited to be heading down to Southern California for a few shows in January. Well be debuting some more new songs from the upcoming record that were extremely excited about getting to share with you guys. <a href="" target="_blank">Haunted Summer</a> will be joining us for support in Santa Cruz, Pomona and Los Angeles. Additionally, we will be playing the <a href="" target="_blank">Noise Pop</a> Festival in February. Be sure to check out the dates and grab your tickets below.</p> <center> <p>Jan. 16th - Pomona, CA - The Glasshouse - <a href="" target="_blank">Buy Tickets</a></p> <p>Jan 17th - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theater - <a href="" target="_blank">Buy Tickets</a></p> <p>Jan 18th - Santa Cruz, CA - The Catalyst - <a href="" target="_blank">Buy Tickets</a></p> <p>Feb. 27th - Oakland, CA - The Fox Theater - <a href="" target="_blank">Buy Tickets</a></p> </center> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 23 Dec 2014 14:31:00 -0800 Remixes Lover's Game<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Our friend <a href="" target="_blank">K.Flay</a> remixed Lovers Game in honor of our upcoming <a href="" target="_blank">Noise Pop </a>show together at The Fox Theater in Oakland, CA. You can stream the track below or sign up for our mailing list to get a free download.</p> <p></p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p></p> <p></p> <center> Sign up for our mailing list below to get a download link for this track.</center> <p></p> <center> <form action="" method="post"> <p><label for="fieldName">Name</label><br /> <input id="fieldName" name="cm-name" type="text" /></p> <p><label for="fieldEmail">Email</label><br /> <input id="fieldEmail" name="cm-fjhdlt-fjhdlt" required="" type="email" /></p> <p><button type="submit">Subscribe</button></p> </form> </center> <p></p> <p>Additionally, were hitting the road in January and will be playing some new songs live for you all. Check out the dates below and get ready for some new music on the horizon!</p> <p></p> <center> <p>Jan. 16th - Pomona, CA - The Glasshouse - <a href="" target="_blank">tickets</a></p> <p>Jan. 17th - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theater - <a href="" target="_blank">tickets</a></p> <p>Jan. 18th - Santa Cruz, CA - The Catalyst - <a href="" target="_blank">tickets</a></p> <p>Feb. 27th - Oakland, CA - The Fox Theater - <a href="" target="_blank">tickets</a></p> </center> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 12 Dec 2014 12:15:00 -0800 Tour Dates<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Were heading out again for a few weeks in June. Well be headlining a handful of <a href="" target="_blank">shows</a> en route to the <a href="" target="_blank">Firefly Music Festival</a> in Delaware, then catching up with Canada and the Pacific Northwest on the way home. Well be road testing some new songs before taking some time off this summer to wrap up a new record.</p> <p>Hope to see you all in June. Details and ticket information can be found <a href="" target="_blank">here </a>or by clicking on the poster below.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 888px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 27 May 2014 11:34:00 -0700 City Music Festival - Monterey, CA<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Were happy to announce that we will be a part of this year<a href="" target="_blank">First City Music Festival </a>in Monterey, CA. The festival takes place August 23rd and 24th at the Monterey County Fair and Event Center. Presale tickets on sale now! Pick yours up <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 450px; height: 632px;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 09 May 2014 09:00:00 -0700 Dates Added!<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Weve added some of our own headlining dates while were on tour with Tokyo Police Club and Said The Whale. You can see the dates below or click <a href="">here </a>for the complete listing of dates.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 230px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <center> <strong>NEW SHOWS ADDED</strong> <p></p> <p>04.30.14 - Long Beach, CA - <a href="" target="_blank">The Federal Bar *</a></p> <p>05.11.14 - Asheville, NC - <a href="" target="_blank">Grey Eagle *</a></p> <p>05.18.14 - Hamden, CT - <a href="" target="_blank">Outer Space *</a></p> <p>05.19.14 - Brooklyn, NY - <a href="" target="_blank">Glasslands</a></p> <p>05.22.14 - St. Louis, MO - <a href="" target="_blank">Off Broadway *</a></p> <p>05.23.14 - Kansas City, MO - <a href="" target="_blank">The Riot Room *</a></p> <p>05.24.14 - Oklahoma City, OK - <a href="" target="_blank">The Conservatory *</a></p> <p>05.26.14 - Tucson, AZ - <a href="" target="_blank">Club Congress *</a></p> </center> <p><br /> * w/ Special Guests</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:24:00 -0700 TOUR WITH TOKYO POLICE CLUB<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Were happy to announce we will be supporting <a href="" target="_blank">Tokyo Police Club</a> on their upcoming US dates in April and May. Well be playing 2nd of 3, with <a href="" target="_blank">Said The Whale</a> opening all of the shows.<br /> <br /> A lot of the shows are selling quickly, and a few have already sold out, so be sure to grab them while theyre still available. Check out the dates below, or click <a href="" target="_blank">here</a> for ticket info.</p> <center> <a href=""><img src="" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 18 Mar 2014 11:00:00 -0700 - Year In Review<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>2013 has come and gone. It was a big year for Geographer, a big year for me as a person, as an artist. I learned a lot about performing, about people, about music. I still dont really listen to that much new music. It really takes a standout to hit me hard. I gravitate towards classics from the 60s and 70s. I still feel I have so much to learn from them. New music gets me excited, gets me out of my seat and over to the keyboard. But old music is a teacher. A lot of people do Best of 2013 lists, but I cant really do that, since But I can tell you the best things I listened to, watched, went to, did, in 2013, regardless of when they were put out themselves.</p> <p></p> <p>Albums that I listened to constantly:</p> <p>Born to Run. I watched a documentary on the making of it, and it really turned the fire up on the album for me. to realize that it wasnt just capturing a great band and a great man doing their thing, that it was painstaking, meticulous often to a fault, overdubs upon overdubs, worrying over every sound, every guitar tone, every draw bar on each organ sound. thats how I make records, and I had always thought it was faulty. Like weve lost something of the "live" in recording. But the recording process has always been a process of illusions. How can you create the <em>impression</em> of a live, spontaneous creation, sprung form genius, not hard work. But to do that it often requires tremendous energy, revision, exasperation. To see Bruce Springsteen looking totally downtrodden, lost, wasted, trying desperately for one last shot at the bullseye before, essentially, Columbia dropped him as an artist. Thats very far from the smiling, exuberant shaggy-cherub-rock-god-regular-guy weve all grown to know and love. Your heroes are people. Youre a person. Its a wild thought.</p> <p></p> <center> <iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="2" height="380" src="" width="400"></iframe></center> <p></p> <p>Paul Simons <em>Paul Simon. </em>I come back to this record again and again. For its simplicity and beauty. This record, Cat Stevens <em>Greatest Hits</em>, <em>CSN</em> and <em>D vu</em>, get me through the long drives on tour. <em>OK Computer</em>, <em>Graceland</em>,<em> Kid A</em>, Kate Bushs <em>The Dreaming.</em> These are the REALLY big guns. Late night, gotta push through kind of material. Your mind will never go cold listening to these. Especially Kate Bush. The music is so strange, As rich and bizarre and frankly disconcerting as a jungle. Not so good for an idle listen, but it keeps you engaged, like shes leading you through a fun house, and you turn to the right when you hear a scream, and theres a hallways that leads to a room and theres a whole world there, but you only look for a second, continue on the path shes leading you down. Tributaries. Thats what makes good art. Pop singles like "Wrecking Ball" are not horrifying. They pull your heart strings, they <em>make</em> you feel. But they are one dimensional, 2 sometimes. They have one message, one trajectory, one function. Go straight for that thing in people thats sleeping and give it an adrenalin shot then vanish as quickly as it came on. And it leaves you standing alone and wide awake in the dark. Which is a completely shitty feeling. Thats why we feel empty when we see a blockbuster or listen to a teeny pop song. But a real, lasting pop song, a Beatles song or a Paul Simon song (<em>Sounds of Silence</em> was a number one hit!), they have tributaries. They have other things floating in the river as you drift by. You dont latch onto them, but you know theyre there. Its the illusion of fullness, of a whole world inside the song. And Paul Simon has that ability. With <em>America</em> he is able to create a whole character, a whole relationship through just a few words: "Cathy Im lost I said, though I knew she was sleeping." Holy. Shit. Thats everything you need to know about that couple, about that man. Hes as real as you are. More vivid than you are.</p> <p></p> <center> <iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="380" src="" width="400"></iframe></center> <p></p> <p>A few movies captured my attention viciously. <em>The Master </em>and <em>Tree of Life, </em>and <em>The Gambler</em>. <em>The Master</em> is the only movie I watched again immediately after finishing it. Ive always thrown movies away after watching them once, thinking that the experience is dependent upon surprise. Which was definitely true for <em>The Master</em>. But what was lost in the story was gained in appreciating the acting. In my opinion, Joaquin Phoenix dwarfed Phillip Seymour Hoffman. His gnarled looks, his wild, animal movements. Ive never seen anything like it. He WAS Freddy Quell. And the idea in the movie that we are all animals, trying to suppress our urges, looking desperately for a master who is more just than randomness, than fate. Freddy wants to fall in line. But for all his faults the one thing he cannot be is dishonest. And Lancaster Dodd knows that that is the very thing he MUST be if he is to cope with existence. But Freddy cant do it. He has to get drunk on paint thinner concoctions, he has to drift with the wind, like a boat marooned on the sea, with its sails still up. Its the most honest way to live. No walk in the park of course, but honest. The image that captivated me most was the way P. T. Anderson shot the ocean, churning behind a ship. The whole of the ocean is a roiling mass that we stare into but cant see through. But we get a sense that beneath it lies an entire world, full of monsters, beauties beyond compare, dangers, secrets. But on the surface it all looks the same, from here to China. If only we could get INTO it. But that image also represented to me the roiling insides of people. That outside we are placid, we keep up appearances, we try to fit in, Like Lancaster Dodd, but inside we are wild like Freddy, as deep and profound and turbulent as the bottom of the ocean. How do we reconcile these two sides of ourselves? So thats what was keeping me up sweating late into the night watching the Master over and over again. Thank you P. T. Anderson.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="the master poster" src="" style="width: 350px; height: 593px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p><em> The Tree of Life</em> is equally as beautiful but in a very different way. Ill say less about it cause I just went off there. To me, it is the only piece of art I have ever seen that attempted to say "what is life," and actually got really damn close. It is, simply, life, a depiction of existence. The wild, baffling, inner life coupled with the outer experience of the universe and creation, the forever impossible to comprehend fact, the mere fact, that we are here at all. And you transition from that universe to the inner thoughts of a young boy as he begins to grow through puberty. But not the overt sexual angst that is usually explored. Or rather, it is, but in <em>The Tree of Life</em> it is done with a gentle touch. The stealing of a womans dress and the shame of it. But its the large strokes, the father, the mother, the child, that penetrated me so completely, that I am so in awe of. I heard that Terrance Malick had a film crew at Fun Fun Fun Fest. But I dont know if well be in the movie. How wild would that be.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="tree of life poster" src="" style="width: 350px; height: 552px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> Lets get to the shows. This year marked our first headlining tour of the US And it was almost completely sold out. What an amazing feeling. To be working away at home, and then you check in with America to see if they like what youve been up to, and theres lines out the door at every show, wild crowds. When we played the Getty we were more exhausted from signing t-shirts and CDs afterwards than we were from the actual performance. That was a beautiful show. A night in LA at one of the best designed museums in the world, playing to thousands of people. Magic.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="mike at the getty museum" src="" style="width: 350px; height: 250px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p> This was also the year of the crowd surf. Every time I play a show, I want so much to connect with the crowd. But it can be really hard. Youre standing there behind a ton of gear, doing your best to pull off your songs, and the audience is so separate from you. So I spent a lot of time figuring out how to break down that wall between us. And eventually I just started jumping over it. Theres nothing like launching your body at a mass of hundreds of people, thousands of people. Each one was a different ride. I think I only got dropped once, but they picked me right up again. Its just such a release of energy, and for me, you never know whats going to happen, and thats very exciting, especially since we run our tours tight. Very little room for error. And to step out of that controlled chaos into actual chaos is a great ride.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="mike crowd surf" src="" style="width: 350px; height: 263px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p> Another memorable show was in Austin, at the Mohawk. They didnt really know what we could do in Austin, so we didnt get booked for ACL on our previous tour, and they put us in the small indoor stage at the Mohawk, maybe 150 people. But the show sold out so fast they put us outside, and then that one sold out too! We couldnt believe it. We always had great shows in Austin, but they were always other peoples shows, not ours, so there was no way to gauge just how much of that love was for us. It was so exciting to pull into town and realize that there were at least 1,000 people there who couldnt wait to see a Geographer show. So we put everything we had and then some into that one.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="geographer mohawk austin" src="" style="width: 350px; height: 280px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p> It wasnt a great book year for me. I read a couple biographies, which were great, but Im really a fiction person. But towards the end of the year, I picked up <em>The Naked and The Dead</em>, which Im still reading and is just amazing me. It turns the army into a soap opera of the mind. Everything thats said to an individual is mulled over and churned and colored by the particulars of their mind, whoever it is. Whether its the genius General, the disaffected rich guy, the dim-witted private. Everyone has their own thought machine, and its so powerful against the backdrop of such terror and destruction. Life doesnt stop for a war, and the war doesnt stop for life. Its an intense book, but worth the read. Not what I expected from Americas most notorious writer.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="naked and the dead" src="" style="width: 350px; height: 508px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> <em>Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia</em> continues to be a masterpiece, San Francisco is still beautiful, <em>Mission Chinese</em> is still my favorite restaurant, and Im still writing new music. 2013 was amazing. But 2014 is going to be the year. Very exciting things are under way, we cant wait to share them with you. See you in the stratosphere.</p> <p></p> <p>-Mike</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Thu, 02 Jan 2014 15:44:00 -0800 Tour Journal<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Just got back from another great tour. We got to hit the southern United States a lot of places we havent been to in a long time, and a lot of old favorites. Houston brought their unique and raucous energy, doing step dances in the audience. That doesnt usually happen. "Go Mike, go Mike." Its amazing the different ways different cities enjoy music. There were a lot of shows on this one, let me see if I can remember them.</p> <center> <a href=" "><img src="" style="border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; height: 400px; width: 400px;" /></a></center> <p>We got a big hunk of sage in Tuscon. Someone left it between our wiper blade and the windshield. We put it on the dash, and a few days later we were driving through some nasty weather and the windshield was fogging up so we turned on the defroster. And suddenly spirits lifted in the van, people felt refreshed, renewed. Whats going on, we thought? And then we realized that the defroster had heated the sage and was diffusing it throughout the van. So it was like a little spa on wheels for 5 minutes. Whenever we were feeling depleted, someone would request some more sage. So thank you Tuscon!</p> <center> <a href=" "><img src="" style="height: 400px; width: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p>In Nashville, we were in heavy traffic, apparently blocking this intersection, and a guy with his window down started yelling at us to "pull up!" And then he said to himself, "Dayamn!" which made all 5 of the people in the van crack up. When he heard the sweet sound of laughter he forgot he was angry for a second, and looked towards the sound to join in. Then he remembered, and just sort of drove off looking confused. Theres a lesson there, humanity.</p> <center> <p><a href=" "><img alt="Backlit Nate" src="" style="height: 400px; width: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p>Best meal? I love Italian food. Its my favorite food. And it is NOT easy to find good Italian food in most of this enormous and busted out country of ours. Its not even easy to find it in a city. But when you play the Casbah in San Diego, youre 3 blocks from Little Italy. When I went to the Montreal Little Italy, they wouldnt let me into the restaurant cause I had a tank top on. No collar. We yelled at each other in Italian, and then I left. Good experience. Just not the one I was after. But in San Diego they cast no judgment on vagabond rockers. Nice, simple, delicious, tacky. All the great stuff about Italian American food. Plus there was a blues band with an extremely out of place guitarist ripping jazz figures and playing extremely anachronous and complicated licks. The perfect garnish to a little marinara.</p> <center> <a href=" "><img alt="Santa Barbara Sunset" src="" style="height: 400px; width: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p>Memphis wasnt bad either. The venue wasmodest. The sound system was held together by chewing gum, and there was a pair of womens underwear on the floor that no one, including the staff, felt like touching, so its probably there still. But what they did boast was a dude who rolled up with his own oil drum BBQ setup and stuffed everybody before the set. Got to talk to a bunch of people who had driven up from towns around Memphis to see the show. Thanks for making the trip, guys.</p> <center> <a href=" "><img alt="Mike Acoustic Guitar" src="" style="height: 400px; width: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Fun Fun Fun Fest</a> in Austin was great. <a href="" target="_blank">Thurston Moore</a> played before us. He broke a couple strings and went over his set time, so I couldnt bust out the saxophone for that one. Sorry Austin. But its cool. Cause one of the strings was on the stage when we were setting up, and I snagged it for my friend whos a huge <a href="" target="_blank">Sonic Youth</a> fan. Someone had Paris lyrics on a big sign. I read it at a different part of the song and it fucked me up. Ha! Great to see stuff like that.</p> <center> <p><img alt="Geographer at Fun Fun Fun Fest" src="" style="height: 400px; width: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></p> </center> <p>Starting the tour off at the <a href="">Echoplex </a>was amazing. Wed never headlined a place that big in LA and it was very exciting. Theres always nothing like that first show. Even though youre really polished by the end of the tour, and you might put on a more flawless show, the first show is always so wild and exciting. Cause youre not practiced enough, and you dont have everything that could go wrong and how to deal with it in your head, and youre really flying. Great staff, great crowd. That was the first night we met <a href="" target="_blank">Royal Bangs</a>, too. Its cool to look back on that first meeting of the bands where youre like, "are you guys gonna be dicks? Are you good live?" and then two weeks later youre all friends for life. And the answers were no, and hell yes. So fun to tour with. We were sad to leave them, but happy to be bring <a href="" target="_blank">Bad Suns</a> around for a few shows at the end. Very talented guys, look forward to seeing what they whip together in the future.</p> <center> <p><img alt="LA Underground" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></p> </center> <p>The shows were great. They keep getting better and better. People seem to be catching on that they dont just come to a Geographer show to stand around. They come to get something, to do something, to be a part of something. I felt a lot more energy from the crowds right off the bat. They didnt need as much cajoling. We just had so much fun playing. Even got a few crowd surfs in there. Its great to break down everything and just jump onto 100s of hands. When else is it appropriate for a man to be carried on his back in a crowd? And to think that once those doors close and the lights go out, were making something. Were going to another dimension where things like that happen, where people yell, and feedback screams and people forget their lives and remember themselves.</p> <p><center><img alt="Mike Crowd Surf" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center></p> <p>Until next time,<br /> Mike</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Sun, 01 Dec 2013 19:33:00 -0800 The Road Again<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>So were headed to <a href="" target="_blank">Fun Fun Fun Fest</a> in Austin, TX next month and have just confirmed additional <a href="" target="_blank">tour dates</a> through the southern US and back home to San Francisco. Were getting to play in a few new cities weve missed previously and also returning to a couple of our favorite spots.</p> <p>Joining us on this trip will be <a href="" target="_blank">Royal Bangs</a> from Tennessee. Were excited to get to spend a few weeks on the road getting to know those guys as well as <a href="" target="_blank">Bad Suns</a> who will be picking up the last leg of the tour with us.</p> <p>Check out the dates below, or <a href="" target="_blank">click here</a> for more info and ticket links. See you all soon!</p> <p><center><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="geographer november tour dates" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 719px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center></p> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 30 Sep 2013 17:11:00 -0700 Tour Roundup<br /><img src="" /><br /><p> There were a lot of places we missed on our tour last winter, so we tore ourselves away from the studio this month, picked up <a href="" target="_blank">GRMLN</a> from So Cal, and set out for the East Coast. Luckily, theres an enormous swath of country between here and there, and a little place I like to call Canada, my home away from home. On our way up to the north country, we played <a href="" target="_blank">Summer Meltdown</a> in Washington state, where there was a distinct free love vibe, as illustrated by this table covered with food.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="summer meltdown food" src="" style="border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; width: 400px; height: 467px;" /></center> <p></p> <p>We played our first headlining show in Vancouver to an extremely enthusiastic crowd, and had to talk a drunk guy wandering down the street out of packing the van for us after the show (theres a system). Surprisingly good sushi in Vancouver. The purists were turned away by the brown rice, but they missed out. I just love Canada, man. They yell things at the stage like, "Great job, guys!" "Oh, man, that was a great song!" and one particularly awesome fan from Toronto left us a detailed list of great restaurants in the area. Thank you Canada! And thank you Montreal for letting me speak French at you. In Montreal we linked up with our friend Mikey from <a href="" target="_blank">M for Montreal</a>, and he took us around town. We went to Godspeeds bar/restaurant/venue, got some Montreal bagels (which are a thing, and should be), heard a really bad Kramer impression from some enthusiastic baristas, and went to a great record shop. Pat from <a href="" target="_blank">Stars</a> actually rode right by us on his bike randomly, and we flagged him down for a quick chat.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> Then, alas, it was time to leave Canada behind, and drive down memory lane through Vermont. I took the wheel, and just relived every memory I could think of from college. After that moving experience, we stopped in Burlington for some hometown organic farmers market grub, and then it was time for New York. The <a href="" target="_blank">Bowery</a> had sold out earlier that week, and we know what to expect from NY, so we were really excited. Plus I got to see the fam and have some good home cooked Italian food. And it was such a great show! Thank you NY, you brought the energy as always, we fed off of it and gave it right back. Those are the best shows. When the crowd is feeding the band and the band is feeding the crowd. Its hard sometimes to manufacture all the energy in a room on your own. Some people need that. But its nice when youre making something together, when its as much an experience for us as it is for the crowd. And the Bowery, as always, such a pro staff, its always a pleasure. Got my favorite pickles in Brooklyn (three tubs for the road) and it was on to Philly and DC, two more awesome shows. Got to meet <a href="" target="_blank">Bob Boilen</a> from <a href="" target="_blank">All Songs Considered,</a> at our show in DC. I mean, if theres anyone to talk about music with, its him. That was fun, and a real honor that he came out to the show.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="hotel lights" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 476px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> We did some river swimming in Missoula, experienced the temperamental weather out there, sunshine/torrential downpour/sunshine. A big theme of the trip was "save the life of a tollbooth operator." Our sound guy told us about a study linking the tollbooth operator suicide rates with how few words they speak in a day, so we made valiant attempts to engage our tollbooth operators in stimulating two-sided conversations. Not as easy as it sounds, but sometimes you get a real live wire.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="missoula blackfoot river" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 225px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></center> <p></p> <p> Played a great hometown show in Detroit for Brian, were invited on a tour of the <a href="" target="_blank">Rock N Roll Hall of Fame</a> in Cleveland. I had my doubts about it, but it was amazing! Looking at the guitar that Howlin Wolf played, or a lyric sheet that Paul McCartney wrote on. It was so powerful! The guys could hardly get me to leave. Chicago was another incredible show, great fans there, and then it was onto Denver to say farewell to GRMLN. Despite the subwoofer at the club sounding like an old muffler, we had a great time, and then we got to rest at home for a day before finishing it off at the <a href="" target="_blank">Launch Festival</a> in Sacramento.</p> <p></p> <center> <img alt="" src="" style="width: 275px; height: 327px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin: 2px;" /><img alt="" src="" style="width: 275px; height: 327px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 2px;" /></center> <p></p> <p>It was great to say hi to all our Sacramento people, and I must have lost about 10 pounds sweating it out in the 102 degree heat. After the show I just stood under the AC vent in the backstage bathrooms while people gave me weird looks. Luckily the event was sponsored by Coconut water so we survived. Spoke Italian to the twins from <a href="" target="_blank">Blonde Redhead</a>, made some new friends with <a href="" target="_blank">St. Lucia</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Washed Out</a>, and finally got to kick back at home that night. But no rest for the weary, were diving in hard to finishing the new songs.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="geographer live kaleidoscope" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 247px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>Thanks for coming out to the shows and stepping out of your shells with us. If we missed you this time well be out in <a href="">November</a>!</p> <p>-Mike</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Thu, 12 Sep 2013 13:30:00 -0700 Cover - Arthur Russell<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Weve been busy working our new material and prepping to head out on <a href="" target="_blank">tour in August</a>, but we did have the chnce to record a cover of one of our favorite tunes. Heres my version of Arthur Russells This Is How We Walk On The Moon.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> <center> <p></p> <p></p> <p>love,</p> <p>Mike</p> </center> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Thu, 01 Aug 2013 08:07:00 -0700're playing Fun Fun Fun Fest!<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>We are pleased to announce that weve been asked to be a part of this years <a href="" target="_blank">Fun Fun Fun Fest</a> in Austin, TX. The festival will be taking place November 8th-10th at the beautiful Auditorium Shores. The festival in general is pretty awesome -- you can check out the full musical lineup below. Were excited to get to see so many bands that we love all in one place -- truly one of the biggest perks of being part of a festival. 3-day passes are now on sale and you can grab them <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Fun Fun Fun Fest Lineup Poster" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 600px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p>Cant wait for November and to be back in Austin again. Should be a pretty fantastic way to head into the holidays. Hope to see you guys there!</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 10 Jul 2013 08:27:00 -0700 Tour - We're coming to see you!<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>I know weve been keeping a low profile for a little while, but weve been busy. ve been writing the next album, and will be recording a few new things in July. After that we hit the road in August, headlining most of the places we missed on our landmark tour last January. We couldnt go everywhere, cause we gotta get back and finish this record, but we squeezed in as many as we could. t wait to play for you guys again. Along for the ride will be <a href="" target="_blank">GRMLN </a>who were excited to have out with us.</p> <p>The list of dates are below and you can get ticket and show info over in the <a href="">EVENTS</a> section.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href=""><img alt="geographer grml tour poster" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 618px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <center> <p>Dont see your city on the list? Demand it! Just head over to <a href="" target="_blank">WeDemand </a>and tell us what were missing. See you all soon!</p> </center> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 01 Jul 2013 15:37:00 -0700 SXSW Experience<br /><img src="" /><br /><p></p> <p class="p1">After doing <a href="" target="_blank">SXSW</a> with a broken ankle in 2011, and playing 3 to 4 shows a day in 2012, I wanted to experience SXSW as a spectator instead of a sweaty and fried participant. Playing shows there is so exhilarating, the crowds bring large festival energy to small rooms, but by the end of that whirlwind three days, with 10 shows behind you, you can get a little warn out. And you realize theres so much music happening around you, but you havent gotten to see any of it. So I got myself a plane ticket and flew down there with my manager to link up with friends and actually have time to see some bands.</p> <center> <p class="p1"><a href=""><img alt="plane flight to Austin" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p></p> <p class="p1">A big highlight was <a href="" target="_blank">Icona Pop</a>, who I had met in San Francisco at <a href="" target="_blank">Popscene</a>, but I didnt get a chance to see their show. Their unique and honest energy was the perfect icing to their pop perfection future rulers of the world music cake, and it was great to hang out with them again.</p> <p class="p1"></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Watching Icona Pop at Lustre Pearl - SXSW" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p class="p1">The next day I was getting my 8th taco of the week at my new favorite taco truck in Austin when I heard some familiar dulcet tones coming from across the street. I wandered over and my suspicions were confirmed, and I was able to rock out to <a href="" target="_blank">Ra Ra Riot</a>s amazing set at Clive Bar. I hung around afterwards to say hi and ended up bumping into them again in front of the ChiLantro food truck (which had a longer line than many showcases). They were on the road with <a href="" target="_blank">Freelance Whales</a> old tour manager, who we became friends with on our tour with them last fall, and it was great to meet the rest of Ra Ra Riot and contemplate the benefits of adding Kim Chi to everything.</p> <p class="p1"></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Grub time at SXSW" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p class="p1">Another great show was <a href="" target="_blank">Toro y Moi</a> at the Mohawk. We had made friends with the inimitable stage manager Josh when we played there in January. He had taken me aside to tell me that he brought his dancing shoes for <i>Kites</i>, and I said, "Oh cool," like he meant he was looking forward to dancing. But after I made the synth loop at the beginning, as I turned to Brian to start the song, I saw he had actually CHANGED SHOES into literal dancing shoes! So that was cool. He also said he had to grab someone by the throat and remove them from the show without starting a fight, which is pretty badass. So we like this man. The Toro y Moi show was totally sold out, so I walked to the back and found the stage manager, who got me in behind the stage. Said a quick hello to <a href="" target="_blank">Austra</a>, who had just finished (so mad I missed their set, "Lose It" really took me by storm), and made my way upstairs. I bumped into Chaz on his way to the stage, wished him a good show, and got a spot on the banister in the VIP. Their tones are picture perfect. Im so impressed with how dialed they have everything on stage. Each guitar tone, every keyboard, the drums, bass, everything.</p> <p class="p1"></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Toro y Moi at The Mohawk - SXSW" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p class="p1">I also got a chance to catch up with Braids, who wed met a few years ago at this amazing show in Tempe we played on the way home from SXSW with <a href="" target="_blank">Foster the People</a>, Toro y Moi, and <a href="" target="_blank">Braids</a>. The bands were all relatively new then, and its amazing how many of them went on to have an amazing year. Heres to the <a href="" target="_blank">Windish Agency</a>! Braids were debuting some new material at the <a href="" target="_blank">M for Montreal</a> Party, and it was awe-inspiringly powerful. I hail them as the electronic art band of the decade. Cant wait til they come to San Francisco.</p> <p class="p1">After the festival was over I went to Barton Springs. I had just seen <a href="" target="_blank">"Tree of Life"</a> and was excited to see that amazing human-structures-incorporated-into-nature swimming area, but alas, it was closed off. apparently the water is freezing because it gets its temperature from the earth rather than the sun. Ahhh, the earth. Then it was a long plane ride home, which I passed futzing around with some of our new songs, and back to normal life.</p> <p class="p1"></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Obligatory SXSW wristband shot" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p class="p1">Thanks to everyone who came up and said "hi." while I was in Austin -- I hope to see you all soon!</p> <p class="p1">-Mike</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Thu, 11 Apr 2013 15:29:00 -0700 Tour Roundup - Part Two<br /><img src="" /><br /><center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="KDHX Studio Vinly Collection" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 225px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p>After St. Louis, and a quick radio session at <a href="" target="_blank">KDHX</a>, we finally had a day off! So we took a Geographer field trip to go see <em>Django Unchained</em>, which I reviewed for Jonk Music <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>. It was the second time for me, and it had lost none of its power. So after we demoralized ourselves with extreme violence, it was on to Texas. I dont know what it is but weve had some of our weirdest and best experiences in Texas. They are a people of extremes -- a zest for life, ready to get down. Dallas sold out and we had the honor of having <a href="" target="_blank">Daniel Hart</a> open for us, fresh from partying with celebrities out at Sundance supporting the film <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Aint Them Bodies Saints</em></a>, which he composed the score for. One of the speakers in the venue was blown, and the house engineer almost decapitated our own sound guy with feedback during sound check, but come show time the energy in the room was overwhelming. Thats the kind of crowd you dream for, and it was a true joy to play for them.</p> <p>Someone enjoyed themselves a little too much though, because when I came back out to tear down my gear after everyone was gone, I found my mic cable mangled, and discovered that someone had ripped my microphone out of it for a keep sake. Kind of an expensive keepsake!! Come to the merch table for a hug or a guitar pick next time. Luckily the rest of the venues on the tour had a mic for us to borrow for the remaining shows.</p> <center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Broken Mic Cable" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p></p> <p> Didnt have too much time to be bummed out about that though, because then we went to AUSTIN, the jewel of the south, the oasis in the desert. Last time we were on tour we couldnt didnt get a show at ACL because they werent sure how many people we could get out to a show. This time through we booked at the Mohawk on the indoor stage.</p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Austin Mohawk Indoor Stage" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 534px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a> <p></p> </center> <p>The show sold out <u>a few days</u> after it went on sale, and we thought, great, a sold out show in Austin, cant wait. But the venue moved the show to the outdoor stage, which seats 800 - 900 people, and we were excited that more people could come to the show, but worried that it would be half full, and not as exciting as a tiny, cramped, sweaty room. But when we showed up to Austin, the stage manager Josh (who was a total badass by the way) told us that he only had a few tickets left and there was a line out the door. Austin! Fucking yeah. Looking out at all those people in the open air, the balcony and the packed area in front of the stage, people on all sides, some dude yelling at me cause he saw me at dinner asking me how my fish tacos were between every song (they were chicken, is how they were), it was an amazing show.</p> <center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Austin Mohawk Outdoor Stage" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 279px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p>We gave you our all Austin, cause you always give us yours. Also -- Eric Clapton was playing right down the street! Love it there. Then it was a short trip though New Mexico, where, oh yes, of course, why not pull us over for no reason -- wouldnt be a tour without it. Phoenix was an extremely pleasant surprise another sold out show. One of the most attentive crowds of the whole tour, you guys won my heart. Then San Diego, they love to party, and finally we were en route to San Francisco. So excited I couldnt sleep the night before.</p> <center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="San Diego Hardbor near Casbah" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 534px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p> Wed played the Fillmore before, opening for <a href="" target="_blank">Stars</a> back in 2010. Wed been playing to 150, 200 people at that point, and I was scared so shitless I barely remember it. When we showed up we just looked at each other and said, "Wow. This place is going to be filled with people in 3 hours." But what we were most excited for was to play with the Magik Magik quartet for the first time! We had planned something special for San Francisco, and were going to perform 5 songs with the Magik Magik Quartet, a spinoff of the <a href="" target="_blank">Magik Magik Orchestra</a>, that arranges and performs achingly beautiful orchestral arrangements upon request for such acts as the Walkmen, Death Cab for Cutie, John Vanderslice, and the Dodos. We had met with Minna, the brains and creative force behind the orchestra, before we left on tour, to play her the songs we wanted to do. While we were on the road, she would send us emails with updates on the arrangements, and recordings of their rehearsals. But sound check the day of the show was going to be our only time to rehearse with them. Luckily, when youre dealing with world class musicians, thats all you really need. It felt like a free concert when we were supposed to be working. Hearing your songs transformed in your absence into beautiful music, it was by far the most moving sound check, well, the only moving sound check weve ever had.</p> <center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Songs for Setlist" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 534px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p>On An On played a particularly powerful set, <a href="" target="_blank">Midi Matilda</a> amped the crowd up, and it was time to go on. What a sight that was. It was so powerful to be back in San Francisco, to go from a 600 person venue the last time we headlined to 1200, to feel like we were all part of the same machine, to think back on all the shows I had seen at the Fillmore wondering if I would ever get the chance to be up there myself, to remember all the stops along the way to getting there.</p> <center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="On An On on stage at the Fillmore" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 225px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p> Magik Magik was heart-breakingly beautiful. We were particularly excited to be able to play our new cover of Kate Bushs <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Cloudbusting</em></a>, which Nate layered six different cello parts on in the recording. After the five songs we were sad to see them go, and we felt the only way to recover from their absence was to launch into Verona. I like to go into the audience during that song but there just wasnt any room, but nothing was going to keep me from diving into the crowd after Kites. That was a wild ride. Standing backstage waiting for the encore with Nate and Brian, covered in sweat, feeling like we could do the whole thing again. It was great to share that moment with each other.</p> <center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Geographer with Magik Magik at the Fillmore" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 218px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p> Then it was down to LA for a farewell to On An On, and a wonderful, sold out show at the Echo to wrap things up with style. So. On to the next one. Cant wait to see what happens next.</p> <center><p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Geographer at The Echo LA" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 265px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> <p>Love, Mike</p></center> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 15 Feb 2013 10:04:00 -0800 Tour Roundup - Part One<br /><img src="" /><br /><p> Were back in San Francisco, reunited with friends, loved ones and synthesizers, enjoying a little down time after our first headlining tour of the U.S.! Of course for us, that down time lasted about 2 days, and were back in the studio working on new songs. But thats the way we like it. We didnt really know what to expect at a lot of the shows, a lot of places we had never played before, and America, you blew us away. Thank you for not snowing so much this time! Though it wasnegative six degrees (!!!) in Madison, WI the night of our show.</p> <center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Geographer Portland Set List" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p></p> <p> One of the most exciting moments was when we were driving on our way to Portland and heard from the promoter that the Seattle show had just sold out. Then when we got to Portland, that one had sold out as well. We felt like that was a real affirmation from people that they were ready for Geographer. Those two shows, and the following night in Bellingham, were some of the most energetic of the whole tour, likely because we were buzzing off what we were about to do. Portland was the most proficient crowd-surfing catch, the softest landing. Bellingham was the highest drop (I climbed up on top of a speaker on the left side of the stage during Verona, picked out some particularly hearty looking fellows, and jumped on them. Ive never been lifted so high, they must spend a lot of time outdoors).</p> <p></p> <center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Geographer On An On Sold Out Seattle Barboza Show" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 225px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p></p> <p> Then began the portion of the tour with the long drives. You know how towns used to crop up because of industries like oil and railroads? We need to have that happen with music to make touring in the midwest easier. But this was our first time headlining, playing 90 minute sets for people, our own show, and we didnt want to skip anyone if we could help it. But that meant no sleeping, lots of coffee, and really feeding off the crowd for our energy -- which turned out to be a pretty good arrangement. In <a href="" target="_blank">Boise</a>, people rushed the stage after the show to get hugs. One girl almost knocked me down the stairs, and I passed her down the line so I could start the encore. We started it with a song called, "Take the Moonlight," which Ive been playing for a few years now, and do with just voice and guitar. It was nice to let the gadgets fade for a song and reminded me a lot of how I started out, playing acoustic songs at open mic nights.</p> <p> <a href="" target="_blank">On An On</a>, the band we had supporting us on the tour, is so good. It was a true pleasure to listen to their songs every night, particularly my favorite, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Hunter</em></a>, and we were thick as thieves by the end. Weve been lucky enough to surround ourselves with truly good people who are fun to work with, and On An On fit right into that.</p> <center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Geographer On An On Poster - Portland" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p> In Chicago we played the <a href="" target="_blank">Tomorrow Never Knows Festival</a>, and the very talented Family of the Year was main support. Chicago has always been good to us, and we had a great show. Dont crowd surf when you havent slept for 7 days though. Not my best technique. Got to the hotel room and just passed out, but got up early to do a really cool studio session with <a href="" target="_blank">Audiotree</a>. The interview was pretty funny. I love any opportunity to tell a large amount of people that were all alone.</p> <center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Geographer Mike Nate Picture Time" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p> I think it was around this time that we heard we had sold out the <a href="" target="_blank">Fillmore</a> in San Francisco. When I first moved here about 6 years ago I used to walk around at night in the hills that overlook the city proper, with the Bay Bridge and Market street lit up like a Christmas tree, and I used to say out loud to myself that one day I was going to be a part of that city, that people were going to know my music, that Id be <em>in</em> those buildings, not outside of them. So for me, selling out the Fillmore was truly achieving a very concrete dream. After the show, after all the gear was packed up, and I was back at my house for a short 6 hours, I took some time to stand out on my back deck and look up at the place I used to walk around to tell Mike Deni of the past that he did it. Thank you San Francisco for taking us into your hearts, and trusting us with your true selves. More on that show and the rest of the tour later</p> <center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Geographer On An On Midi Matilda Fillmore Poster" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 710px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> </center> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Wed, 13 Feb 2013 10:03:00 -0800 Kate Bush - Cloudbusting<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>In my downtime I had been working on learning a few new cover songs and decided to record some of them. Heres my version of Kate Bushs </p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Enjoy!</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 08 Jan 2013 09:21:00 -0800 Of The Year - 2012<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>So it marks the end of yet another year. Lots of people posting Best of 2012 lists and the like. Since plenty of the records that were released last year have gotten lots of love, Brian and I decided to put together our Soundtrack of 2012 playlist. Theres some newer songs/artists in there, but also plenty of old stuff that were part of our collective soundtracks for the year. Sometimes a year is defined by the choices weve made, or the events we participate in. In the end, though, the year is always soundtracked by those songs that played in the moment, that inspired us, or simply found their way into our consciousness like a new friend. Below is a collection of some of those songs for us over the past year.</p> <p></p> <p>-Mike</p> <center> <p></p> <p><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="380" src="" width="300"></iframe></p> <p>Or click <a href="" target="_blank">here </a>to play it in Spotify</p> <p></p> </center> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Sat, 05 Jan 2013 12:08:00 -0800 For The Road, Making Music<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>We were very excited to announce our first U.S. headlining tour! ve had so much fun playing for everyone across the country supporting other tours. ve been great shows, but SHORT! Now we finally get to put together the set weve always wanted to play for you guys. ll be playing essentially everything on Myth and Animal Shapes, and there will be some oldies and unreleased material in there for the die hards.</p> <p></p> <center> <p><img alt="Mike Deni crowdsurfing at Outside Lands 2012" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 266px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /><br /> Photo from Outside Lands 2012by <a href="" target="_blank">Paige Parsons</a></p> </center> <p></p> <p>Weve been working hard on new songs, throwing everything at the wall, learning new techniques, new technologies, and it will be nice to go out on the road again to gain some perspective before we sift through the puzzle pieces on our hard drives. </p> <p>We will see you out there, America. Bring your hearts.</p> <p>-Mike</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 04 Jan 2013 13:41:00 -0800 Tour Announcement<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>We are very excited to announce our first U.S. headlining tour! ve had so much fun playing for everyone across the country supporting other tours. ve been great shows, but SHORT! Now we finally get to put together the set weve always wanted to play for you guys. ll be playing essentially everything on Myth and Animal Shapes, and there will be some oldies and unreleased new material in there for the die hards. </p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_self"><img alt="geographer winter tour poster" src="" style="width: 575px; height: 889px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p><br /> Weve been working hard on new songs, throwing everything at the wall, learning new techniques, new technologies, and it will be nice to go out on the road again to gain some perspective before we sift through the puzzle pieces on our hard drives. We will see you out there, America. Bring your hearts.</p> <p>-Mike</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 18 Dec 2012 09:03:00 -0800 Wrap-Up Pt.2<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Nashville was the hottest show by far. ve never sweat like that in my life, and the Freelance Whales said that was our best show of the whole tour. I gotta say, theres nothing like that San Francisco reception. We came out with guns blazing, and they were with us from the beginning. God bless you, San Francisco. What a home.</p> <p>We finally made it to the Bluebird in Denver, where we got snowed out of our show with Stars back in 2010. It snowed this time too, but not much, and the weather didnt stop us this time. </p> <center> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></p> <p>It did catch up with us though in NY. The hurricane hit a few days before we were scheduled to play in lower Manhattan, and the venue flooded and lost power. We convinced them to postpone the show rather than cancel it, and we hung around in NJ for a few days waiting for NY to get back up and running. We just happened to reschedule the show for the night a noreaster hit Manhattan, as if they hadnt been through enough with the Hurricane. It seemed that the gods were against Geographer playing in NY, but we did it anyway. The venue still didnt have heat, there was a half foot of snow on the ground, and our gear was a little fried, but we made the most of that one. I havent had to work that hard on stage in a long time, but weve only played NY a handful of times, so we wouldnt have missed that one. We were happy that some proceeds from the show could be donated to hurricane relief.</p> </center> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p>A lot of times when the gear fails youre forced to rely on other things, and that can lead to some exciting moments. My vocal looper wasnt working, I finally realized about halfway through the show. Every time I hit a button on it, the whole song wouldnt freeze up, so when we started Original Sin I said, "Im not gonna touch that thing. But what am I going to do instead of looping my voice and chopping it up," which is one of my favorite parts of the whole show. Instead I used my real voice live like a looper and got lost at the front of the stage. I was pretty excited after that. Reminded me of the old days playing blues and jazz and soloing.</p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 400px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; height: 400px;" /></a></center> <p>After that it was a long four days drive back across the country. We stopped off with some friends along the way, but thats a hell of a drive, after all that. In Nebraska it was about midnight and we were ready to find a motel. The fog was so thick on the sides of the road you couldnt see more than a few feet. But the road itself was perfectly clear. It was the eeriest thing I ever saw. It was like being on a boat in the ocean. We pulled into this town and we could barely see what it looked like until the next morning (which was a good thing cause it was kind of scary).</p> <p>When we hit California we let out some whoops and hollers. It was great to be back home, and there was a foot of snow on the ground through Donner Pass. I took a little walk into the woods at a rest stop, which was surprisingly beautiful. Just like walking around in the middle of nowhere, I couldnt even see the road, just mountains.</p> <p>Had a good nights sleep that night back at home, but to be honest we wished we had another show. Thanks to everybody we met, everybody who came out to the shows, and most of all our crew for making it such a fulfilling and memorable tour. Cant wait to do it again.</p> <p>- Mike</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 04 Dec 2012 23:53:00 -0800 Wrap-up Blog Pt.1<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>We just got back from our longest tour yet, with the <a href="" target="_blank">Freelance Whales</a>. What do we have to show for it? New friends, new fans, new feelings about Nebraska, and a lot of new music.</p> <p>Id been hearing about <a href="" target="_blank">Scott Walker</a> for years from people, and I finally got a chance to hunker down in the back of the van with the documentary about him, <a href="" target="_blank">"30th Century Man."</a> Then of course I downloaded every album he ever made from Spotify. Not the kind of music you want to idly listen to on a drive, so I got shot down on that one. Plus our van speakers are not the best way to appreciate a nuanced string arrangement. So I saved Scott for my down time and headphones.</p> <p></p> <center> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="225" src="" width="400"></iframe></center> <p></p> <p>I also watched a movie called "<a href="" target="_blank">Little Murders</a>," directed by Alan Arkin and starring Elliot Gould, from the 70s. Its based on a play of the same name, and takes some getting used to, especially if youre used to the crappy swill they put out like styrofoam cups and call movies these days. And I have to admit I was antsy at first, but there was such a major payoff. Real movie literature. Speaking of literature, Ive never read Lord of the Rings, so I was reading that in the van. Our own journey was paltry in comparison, but it lent an air of valiant urgency to our own quest.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 267px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>Every show was packed, and we were especially surprised about the turnout and reception in a lot of the places wed never played before, like Salt Lake City, Madison, Minneapolis, and Nashville. These were some of our favorite shows. Smaller venues, all ages, people really bringing a lot of energy. Sometimes I had to coax the crowd and stir them up a bit, but by the end they were always with us.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 267px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>We learned a lot about performing on this tour. It was a benchmark for us in that respect. Weve always wanted to do more than just play our songs for people, weve always wanted to put on a show, to go at least one step beyond, to tap into something with everybody there.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="" style="width: 400px; height: 710px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid;" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>Each show is extremely important to us, and the mantra of this tour was, "Theres nothing outside those doors. This is the only room in the world and were the only people in it, so lets make something happen in there tonight." I tried to impart that feeling to the audience. I think a lot of times people, myself included, can feel reserved in social situations. Theyre so used to bottling up their true selves all day long; trimming off this excess string here, smoothing over that ragged edge there, so that they have a version of themselves that can function in the day-to-day world, but is not necessarily a pure portrayal of themselves. Its a version of yourself, all tied up nice with a bow. And I think one of the reasons for rock and roll, or music at all, is to let all that fall to the floor, to tap into something more raw, more magical, less safe, less reasonable, if only for a few short hours.</p> <p>More soon...</p> <p>-Mike</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 04 Dec 2012 23:42:00 -0800 Video for Lover's Game!<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Pleased to announce the release of our newest music video for s Game is out now. The video was co-directed by the talented Tony Benna and Ethan Indorf and shot on location in the deserts of Reno, NV. We had a lot of fun shooting this and made a bunch of new friends in process. You can check out the finished project below.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <center> <iframe frameborder="0" height="345" scrolling="no" src="" width="600"></iframe></center> <center> <h4>You can also head over to the <a href="" target="_self">Video Gallery</a> to check out this video and more.</h4> </center> <p><br /> Wed also like to thank all the people who volunteered their time to make this thing come together. A lot of them volunteered their time and without their skills, kindness and effort, this would have never come together. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.</p> <p></p> <p>Co-Directed: Tony Benna, Ethan Indorf<br /> <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br /> <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br /> <br /> Producer: Tillman Frick<br /> <br /> Production company: FLF<br /> <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br /> <br /> Agency: Mekanism<br /> <a href="" target="_blank"></a><br /> <br /> DP: Ethan Indorf, Ryan Baker<br /> <a href=""></a><br /> <br /> AC. Lawrence Coleman III , Scott Horn<br /> AD: Mike Benna<br /> Art direction: Thomas Guyer<br /> Associate Producer: Kean Levrealut<br /> Wardrobe: Sea Pony Couture<br /> Gaffer/Grip: Dominic Lopez<br /> Production Assistant: Mike Benna, Brian Benna, Kean Levrealut<br /> Editor: Tony Benna, Ethan Indorf<br /> VFX: Ethan Indorf, Tony Benna, Kean Levrealut, Mike Benna<br /> Color: Ethan Indorf<br /> <br /> Special thanks. Ericka Frick, Jerry Dugan, Charity Baker, The Holland Project, Ravi Anne, Ryan & Scott Gold, and all our new Reno Friends.</p> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Fri, 12 Oct 2012 00:05:00 -0700 new store is here<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Our new web store has officially launched! This is the first time that all things Geographer have been available all in one place. You can check out all the shirt designs, music releases (CD, Vinyl, etc.) at the link below.</p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_self"><img alt="Geographer Web Store" border="0" src="" /></a></center> <p></p> <h4></h4> <center> <p>We will be adding some more items in the near future as well as holding webstore-only sales in the near future. Until then, you can check out some of the designs we have currently <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>:</p> </center> <p></p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Innocent Ghosts Shirt Green" border="0" src="" /></a></center> <p></p> <center> <img alt="Kites Shirt White on Black" border="0" src="" /></center> <p></p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="Kites Shirt Orange on Heather Grey" border="0" src="" /></a></center> <p></p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="" /></a></center> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Thu, 04 Oct 2012 12:50:00 -0700 Tour with Freelance Whales<br /><img src="" /><br /><p>Were hitting the road with Freelance Whales beginning Oct. 4th in Chicago. Well be playing 20+ shows in a ton of cities all across the United States. Were very excited to see some familiar faces and especially delighted we get to play to play some cities for the first time. You can see all the details below the jump.</p> <p></p> <p></p> <center> <a href="" target="_self" title="Tour Dates"><img alt="Freelance Whales Tour Poster" border="0" src="" /></a></center> <p></p> <p></p> <center> <h4>You can click the above tour poster to get more details and ticket information, or click <a href="" title="Tour Dates">here</a> to go to the Events page.</h4> </center> <p></p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Tue, 02 Oct 2012 00:35:00 -0700 To The New Website!<p>Excited that today we are launching our new home on the web. We will be rolling out more features as we go along, but for now weve got a few goodies to tide you over.</p> <p>From <a href=""></a></p>Mon, 01 Oct 2012 00:35:00 -0700