A few weeks ago we metioned our latest feature, Tourist. Fittingly, the first New York band to write about their tour for us...never even left New York.

Heth and Jed are a couple of musicians who you may also call buskers - though they'll bring their gear indoors briefly to play Mo Pitkins on August 30th (see full details after the jump), you've probably seen them rocking underground at some point. Their shows around the city, as well as the internet, have allowed them to reach out to many - gaining a fan base, selling cd's, living off what they love. Below is a tour diary of their more recent shows, which brought them all the way to 34th Street!

2006_08_touristhj.JPG.jpg

We decided to stay in the city for the latter half of the summer but we didn't intend to just sit around. All told we'll do about 65 shows this summer. A combination of clubs, street corners and subway stations. Let the glamour begin.

The following is an account from August 7th thru 12th.

August 7th - Union Square subway. New York City – 6pm

The trains seem louder than usual. Is that even possible?

Heth’s laying down the beat into his LoopStation. The beat starts looping but at a little slower tempo than usual. I think it’s because of how hot is, 600 degrees at least. Today the songs seem mostly like sonic explorations. Which is all we can muster in this heat.

"Hey! You suck…", "You guys are awesome!" That seems to be the consensus at today’s show. You suck! screams some dickhead on his way to the L train. You guys are awesome! From some woman who comes over and says that she’s having a really rough day and that our music turned it around. Instant feedback is one of the cool things about performing in public spaces.

During a street/subway show people stand unusually close to us. That used to throw us off but not any more. People are milling around, dodging our amplifiers and our guitar case, open to catch tips and sell CD’s.

This is our 2nd gig of 4 this week. Just paid rent and feeling broke again. Today we played for 3 hours, no breaks. Lot’s of people signed up on our email list. Contrary to world belief, New Yorkers are generous and maybe the friendliest people of all. Lots of smiles coming our way today. Later, it felt good to get home out of the scrutiny and into the aircondish. Time for a smoothie.

Dreading tomorrow, 34th St. Under the Manhattan Mall.

Much more, plus YouTube video of their 34th Street performance after the jump (as well as full tour show schedule).

August 8th - 34th St. subway. New York City – 5pm

OK. 34th street is fucked up. Not because it’s the hottest station in town, but mostly because it’s been appropriated by break dancers. These guys don’t take kindly to anyone performing in this spot beside them. Shit, we wouldn’t even attempt it if we didn’t have a permit today.

So it’s our turn to perform. We’ve got the 6pm slot. The cops are afraid of these guys. We aren’t. The cops begrudgingly help us to get our spot. Being moved out pisses them off. And boy does that make us happy. It’s orgasmic seeing these guys get a taste of their own medicine. For the first time in a while, 34th street will not have the familiar strains of MJ’s “Beat It”. Sorry guys… NOT!

(The dancers came back an hour later and threw bottles at us. The cops came back and blah, blah, blah. Just another day at Herald Sq. Whatever. )

People are gathering around, tipping and buying our CDs. There will be food on the table tonight. Sometimes it’s a very symbiotic relationship and sometimes it’s combative. If you’re ever lonely, just come on out on the streets and play. You’ll not be lonely for long.

We turn our amps up really loud blowing off some frustration. (Note: if you walk by us with your fingers in your ears we will turn up).

August 10th- Times Square subway. New York City - 9pm

Busking has given us a sweet fan base.

Tonight some fans from Germany (thank you internet) are here on vacation, and since we don’t have a club gig during their trip to the city, they spent their night in the sweaty, smelly subway with us, singing along. We are in awe. Also, another guy who comes to a lot of our shows is here and he is bonding with our German friends. It’s a cool feeling to be a part of something that brings people together.

The Dianetics dudes have set up a table up about 20 ft. from us and they are screaming something about a Free Stress Test. It begins to bother us on so many levels. Our next song is a new number called Free Cult Test. We loop it in to our guitar pedals and jam over the refrain. The Dianetics guys seem a little stressed out from our song. It’s Dianetics vs. the bigger, much louder religion of Rock N’ Roll.

We take a lot of breaks, taking it easy and talking with a lot of super cool people.

Lone Wolf is the performer up after us. The guitarist/panfluter has a Poland Spring bottle filled with vodka to get him through his set and the night. He asks if we want a swig.

August 12th – L.I.R.R./PENN Station. New York City - 9pm

Tonight we don’t really feel like performing.

We set up and slide in to the set with a nice spaced out jam. We get a gigantic crowd! Now we feel like performing.

Once again everyone is standing like a foot away which is making it pretty intense. It feels good to connect with the audience. They’re so enthusiastic and generous. We’re feeding off their energy. They’re driving us. Some people watching that we don’t even know are calling out tunes that they want to hear from our CD’s. It feels like all the hard work is paying off. We’ve sold over 10,000 CD’s this year. One fan at a time.

Tonight we came up with a new song we think will be on the next CD. We hope we don’t forget it by the time we get home.

Busking is like graffiti art. It’s kind of spur of the moment. A little bit renegade. No one said we could play here tonight, but we did. We came and we conquered and we made some money to live another day as musicians, doing what we love.

Upcoming shows:

Aug 16 2006 5:00P
34th STREET- HERALD SQUARE

Aug 17 2006 8:00P
7/17 - 7/19 crnr of 45th Street and Broadway

Aug 18 2006 8:00P
7/17 - 7/19 crnr of 45th Street and Broadway

Aug 19 2006 8:00P
7/17 - 7/19 crnr of 45th Street and Broadway

Aug 22 2006 6:00P
GRAND CENTRAL STATION

Aug 23 2006 9:00P
Times Square 42nd Street Subway

Aug 24 2006 6:00P
Union Square, 14th Street

Aug 30 2006 9:00P
Mo Pitkins