Before Rad Hos was ever a thing, from spring 2008 to pretty much December 2009, I had a band called Cookie Bumstead. It started out as just me and my best friend, but later expanded to a revolving lineup of 9 people, just a big folk band with a few strings, an accordion, lots of fun stuff. We played a ton of shows, mostly in western MI, and it was a very important time in all of our lives.
The band fell apart after we all got out of high school and everyone’s plans shifted. Some of us had other bands we were in together, like Winter Break and Scabburger. Cookie Bumstead fell apart largely because it was such a big band, but also because we started it when we were very young and we didn’t really know what we were doing. We did a tour out east which was really fun but sort of a mess, and I wasn’t writing and people in the band’s interest seemed to fade and shift, so it felt like a good time to end it.
In July of 2008 I started seeing the love of my life and that August she moved a few states away. Most of our songs (and to a certain extent, every song I’ve ever written) were about falling deeply in love but having circumstances beyond your control fucking things up. In early 2010 when I made the first Rad Hos record, it was largely to try something new, and force myself out of a few month period of writer’s block/ depression/ disillusionment. The last few CB songs and that first ever RH tape came from a pretty dark place of feeling lonely and lost and numb and not knowing what to do. As is usually the case with those things, they ended up being some of the best songs I think I’ve written.
Unfortunately, I was never happy with how CB got recorded. It’s hard to get a band of that size to sound good, and we rushed through a lot of things and didn’t know what we were doing. I wish we could go back and record the band how it should have been recorded, but in lieu of that, I did the next best thing, and recorded them Rad Hos style. I still like these songs and think they are pretty good and I hope you like them. Here is a link to the CB record, decide for yourself if you dig it or not! oh and the link to the rad hos versions is at the top of this post: http://cllct.com/release/skittledreamsthecookiebumsteadsaga
Life has been crazy lately! In the past week I moved in with my parents (for a couple weeks before I move in Sept), played a couple of shows with the awesome Emperor X and Stephen Steinbrink, rode to the upper peninsula in the back of a pick-up truck, and rode back in a tour bus!
First up were the shows with Chad and Stephen. The first was at the DAAC on Monday and was way fun but unfortunately sparsely attended. I have no idea how to get people out to shows in GR anymore, especially to experience new things. I haven’t played a solo show since April, and these dudes are the cream of the crop of DIY pop, so I thought some people would show. There’s no way to predict these things though, and there are tons of shows this summer so whatever. Then Wednesday we played in Kzoo at No Fun House and it was a total blast! Tons of buds came out, tons of rad food at the potluck, everyone’s sets ruled (Benji Meyers also played and is a total sweetheart), then we watched one of my top 5 fave flicks Repo Man afterwards so I mean you can’t really beat that.
Then Friday me and my sister and John drove to Traverse City and picked up Tizzy to head to the U.P. to play at Farm Block Fest! It was a total blast, so many awesome bands, so many true blue homies, so much awesome food (brownies baked by monks! veggie pasties!) and so many rad swimming holes! Michigan’s upper peninsula is truly another world, so much beauty and fresh air and majesty. On Sunday me Marlee and Tizzy hitched a ride with our buddies The Soil & The Sun in their amazing bus. They just got it, and Will their guitar player is amazing and built bunks and a table and all this awesome stuff and hooked it up. We got stuck in a little town called Engadine for about a day and though it was frustrating for everyone who had to miss work, it was a total blast hanging out with some of Grand Rapids’ best folks. We couldn’t have been stuck in a more beautiful place and with better people!
Anyways, long story short my life rules. I also recently found my tape walkman so I dug out my best “road tapes” for the trip. my top 5 American Road Trip Tapes are, in no particular order:
Key Lime Pie by Camper Van Beethoven
Murmur by R.E.M.
Lolita Nation by Game Theory
More Fun In The New World by X
It’s Alright by Chris Stamey
Photo credit Mikey Newsted