Monday, January 31, 2011

Tony's Roma

I talked to Tony on the phone about 1 hour from the club and it was like I had known him for years. We met in front of the bar, del Verme 8, and his smile was so warm his face looked familiar. We loaded in and went for a walk, beer in hand. Rome, with the reputation and all, was easy to fall in love with. Everywhere we went Tony had friends. Bringing beers out to us on the street, introducing their dogs to us, (Tony has a Spuds McKenzie dog named Fetus), and
it was easy to see Tony was the man. We saw lots of cool tags and graffiti, I've been learning more about the tagging culture from Ian of Japanther, and Im getting super into it. We went to a cool record store and were back at the bar in no time. Killer friend #2, Adrea,  arrives after a while with, I shit you not, the very best lasagna I've ever tasted. I don't think I'll even eat lasagna back home anymore. I can't even brag about it enough to explain just how mind blowing this was. We learned later he is a chef in the works, almost done with his culinary training. Later around 2am he tought me about wine and wine tasting- in Italy!
Oh yeah, he also was the sound man and bar tender! The show was so frigging packed!!! You couldn't move through this place. They really got into Shellshag- we had such a good time playing. It's great how close you get to people on a special adventure like this, and we are just loving the Japanther cats and super assistant Hiller. So much fun. 
Ian's even been jumping up and jammin drums with us on 1984. These guys had a killer set, great crowd, and we are up to speed and singing along and dancing now. Another new friend, Roberta was a fierce dancer and singer during the Shellshag set, and also seemed like an old friend. Everyone was kissing on one another and the friendship and fun was so thick, I wish so much to introduce you all at home to these guys in Rome that we spent the time here with. Someday soon I hope. We saw an old friend Hollis from Philly who was there with his friend Drew, and it was like a quick "cheeseburger" ( their words) seeing other folks from the states. We stayed out late drinking Grappa and wine and fuckin Russian vodka- so great!
Toni's house was a short walk away from the bar, and we got there around 3am. We went straight to sleep, and after 6 hours, Jen and I got up and went to the Colloseum. It's pretty incredible. Cappachino, expresso, and a mocchiato later we were loading up and heading out. Pescara is just 2 hours away, and along the drive through the mountains we hit some rain. We drove through, not near, not close to, but right through the brightest double rainbow, and we must of plowed right into the pot of gold. Magnificent drive!
Next up, Pescara Italy-

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lyon to Milan

Grrrnd (ground) Zero in Lyon France is a really cool place. It's in a warehouse area, in a pretty big building with a ton of rooms. The show space is on the first floor, and upstairs are offices and rooms for bands to sleep. Lots of friends have been here before us, and we saw many posters of bands we know and like- Brilliant Colors were here recently I think. Our hosts, Alexione, Camille, and Guam had cooked up another amazing meal, there was so much food, these guys worked really hard for us; they were awesome. The show was really crowded and the opening band Biner(binary) also had a 2 person mic stand. There's was a T shaped stand for 2 guitarists. They were great! Shellshag had a great set, and we dedicated ourselves to some outstanding gear smashing at the end. Japanther had a roudy crowd at this one and the people at the show were so friendly and fun. We saw Elizabeth from Athens, and did an interview with Julian, who knew quite a bit about us and our friends. We slept upstairs at the show space, and awoke to yet another meal!
Running behind schedule we left asap for Milan. Every single place and host has been amazing, but Lyon was the most like home for me so far. Lots of hugs, smoking and dancing. The drive to Milan took a while, there was some traffic. We arrived at 8 and checked into our hotel, which was pretty swanky. Our host, Gian Lucca, was waiting for us there with the promoter Enrico, and these guys were great. Gian Lucca booked 3 of our Italy shows, and like us, is also good friends with Bjorn from the fabulous ZZZ. They took us to dinner at Stella Marine (Starfish), and I had some killer pasta with cream sauce. FYI, Alfredo isnt a real dish. It's a totally fake thing that's just in America- embarrassing when I tried to order it; The waitress kinda laughed even. The show in Milan was at a great place called Plastic Club, and both Japanther and shellshag played short sets back to back in the middle of a killer DJ dance party at about 2am. It was really fun. We were totally in the dark, with almost no lights, in the middle of a raging dance party.
We loaded out and got back over to the hotel around 4am. 6 hours sleep and we were off to Rome, which is where we are now. There is so much graffitti, and it's such a beautiful place. We are about to sound check and eat- it's going to be a wild show, I can tell-
When in Rome- what is it that someone was doing when this phrase was first uttered I wonder?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Night off in Lyon France

We arrived in Lyon around  midnight after a long drive day. A little worn out we were happy to see that Alexione's place was big and we could spread out and get some space. They had a killer meal and a small party waiting for us which was so nice. I crashed at around 3am, I was tired and wanted to be alone. I watched some of Serial Mom and then had the weirdest dream- I was half man half tiger, wondering through a jungle full of my friends trying to decide who to eat! I'm awake early and i'm alone in the kitchen having coffee and smoking a French cigarette. Today I will get some gear fixed up and write a new song, probably about that dream!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rosenhiem Germany

We arrived in Rosenhiem Germany at around 3pm. It was a bigger city than we expected. All we knew about Rosenhiem was that Jen Shag's mom was born there. It was very pretty, and snow covered. We went to the city center and had a walk through the park and down streets with shops. Jen called her mom and her brother, and mailed postcards. We took some good pictures. It was only 1 hour more to Innsbruck, and the entire drive was through the Alps- Innsbruck is surrounded by mountains, really incredible views of snow covered mountains in all directions. The show was at PMK, a club Screaming Females played a few months ago and that the Pharmacy has played a few times. Our hosts were really sweet; got us everything we asked for, cooked us an amazing dinner and took us out for breakfast. The PMK has great sound, it was a super fun gig! Super host Beate put us up at her house, which was really grand. We had a really nice bed, showers, and she hooked Jen up with some clothes. It was killer-
Today's drive to Lyon France was the first long one of the tour; which we made longer by going  around Switzerland, which we did, to avoid paying taxes on merch. We would get them back at the other side, since we have no show there and wouldn't have had any earnings or merch sales for them to tax.
So the added time to the drive was about the same amount we would have spent doing paperwork at the swiss borders anyways. The drive was about 12 hours, but with the night off, it could have been 2 six hour drives over 2 days. Since we went all the way to Lyon France, we don't have to drive tomorrow at all!
Je suis Shellhead,

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Went for a walk in Vienna. Went to a graffiti shop, a drum shop, a shoe store, and I bought new shoes. They are warmer than my old ones. We went to the market and bought falafel and olives. We went to an art gallery and a tattoo shop. I can tell we will see these places again, we are comfortable in Vienna. We went by a museum and then we loaded up and drove to Graz. It was a clear night, a short drive, and we found parking right by the venue in Graz. The place was called HSG10, the address is Hans Sachs Gasse 10, so there you go.
There was an opening band, Gold Soundz, inspired by the Pavement record. We played in a stairwell with people spiraling up around us- we finished early and scored a hotel- watched some of Austria's "cops", same ole thing. 
Slept good, good shower. Now we are driving to Innsbruck Austria, and we are going to stop in Rosenhiem Germany where Shag's mom was born- cool.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Final Club in Praha is a private club. All night, even during the show, you'd have to ring the bell and someone would let you in. It's in an old building, a little bar and chill out area on the 1st floor and an old brick basement with arches and little nooks all over where we played. Brother Jay came, it was great to see him. We drank absinthe and talked all night. I didnt get to meet baby Carla though- The only drag so far. Praha was pretty crazy and surreal; They spoke less English than anywhere else so far, and only a few people seemed to know what the hell I was saying. It was so much fun! We needed a crazy night; the music was over by 1030, but we stayed and made friends til 2am. Shag was a hit with all the fellas, I made a good friend in the downstairs bartender Cevianne, she was nice and helped me chat with everyone. They use Krowns instead of Euros, so I had to bum drinks all night cause I never transfered any Euros. Our friend Rado let us have his flat for the night. Hiller cooked up the rice and veggies, slept like a rock. They snow set in on the way to Vienna the next afternoon. We drove around Praha first to get a daytime look, then about1/2 an hour into the drive it started snowing. It gradually got heavier as time went on, but we rose above, took our time, and we made it to B72 in Vienna safe and on time. I was a little whipped after focusing on driving; snow in the dark, so Riley took over and parked and drove the rest of the night, getting us to our spot to sleep. A good friend of Japanther loaned us his house; it's huge and really nice. That is where I am now. Japanther had just been here a month ago doing an 84 hour show on a round spinning stage at an art gallery here, so we made friends fast and everyone here seems like an old friend already! Our best set and our best sound so far! B72 is a cool bar with great sound. Today we drive to Graz, and the snow is done, the sun is shining, it's a beautiful morning. Euro tip of the day- You need a sticker to drive on the highway in Austria. It's like a toll, but there is no booth, or even an alert. You have to go to a gas station near the border, and buy this vignette (sticker) for 10 euro or less and put it on the windshield. Without it, could be a 500 euro ticket. Thanks Bloomie for the heads up, saved us on that one. That's all for now-

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Twisted Robot

Killer! The Berlin show was killer! Paul at Twisted Robot puts on a great gig, it was sold out; people had to be turned away. Pablo was there DJing, it was so good to see him and here the awesome sides he was spinning. He played Amy Jahn, which reminds me, 50 million bass player Bloomie came to the show! He trained up from Lipzeig and we were hangin together all through the night til this morning. He came and crashed with us st the 36 rooms hostel, my first hostel experience. It was a big room with bunk beds, like we were in the army- we had to put all the linens on ourselves and return them in the morning- towels were an extra 2 euros- it was different, fun. We just had breakfast and I had French toast- it was good. I guess all the traditional German dishes are in the south, and Berlin doesn't really have anything specific they are known for. Nope, not even the Berliner, which isn't called the Berliner in Berlin- go figure. We are off to Prague, 


The show was packed in Lisbon! The most fierce show so far- lots of energy! We had a great time in Portugal, and now it's back to Berlin. We play at a place called West Germany that is an old doctors office. We played there a few years ago, it will be fun to be back with new songs. I've got a bunch of pictures, but I can't load them with just the phone, so when I get to a computer I will get some up. It's great being here with Japanther, they are a great band, great guys- They had a really good performance last night. The crowd was so into it! The last time we played Berlin we were with ZZZ- I wish we had been able to do a show with them again this time- Im hoping to see Pablo from SF tonight in Berlin- maybe a few other friends. Berlin is a bit like a Brooklyn show, or it was last time. Tomorrow in Prague I will see my brother Jay. He is stationed nearby in Germany, he is a helicopter pilot in the Army.
I've been getting pretty good sleep, and the eating has been good- but Im not getting enough time or I'm not doing a good job of making time to try killer items. A lot of wierd sandwiches, bread and cheese, salads. It seems it's always snacking and not pigging out- the latter is the american way I'm used to- I had pork cutlets in Porto and Sea Bass in Lisbon and those were killer!! Our home cooked meals have been awesome too, guess I just wanna get down on a few more traditional dishes if I can.
Looking to have some Brautwurst for breakfast! Gettin down German style tonight, it's our last Germany show of the trip!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I am back at the beautiful ZDB after a killer trip north to Porto. We took a great train ride to get there and back. We got to see the countryside and the ocean, it was beautiful. Our Porto host and promoter was waiting for us at the station and we piled into this tiny van like car with no windows and drove to the venue. It was hilarious to see Shag, Ian, Matt and Alex in the back of this thing, I rode up front. We went straight to sound checking, and then we checked into some great hotel rooms right next door. They took us to dinner which was delicious- they take care of everything for us here. The show was incredible! A band called Throes opened, and they were really good- We had a really fun set that Ian was a dancing banner for, holding the shellshag banner and dancing for the entire set. I was inspired to also be a dancing banner when the Japanther banner went done early in the set. The people were great and we had so much fun afterwards, talking and making friends. We trained back to Lisbon, and now back at the ZDB, I realize I actually may have understated how great it is. It is a villa, an entire little village we are inside of, with our own little mansion for hanging out, several floors of art and artists, a music room; it's all in the same big building with patios and galleries. It's pretty impressive. The organization running things here has been active for several years and they are very professional. We are being treated so well, and included in something much greater than rock music. We have always seen ourselves as more of an istallation piece of art than a band, and here it seems they do too. Soon we will be installed for viewing, it's so exciting-

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Smashed Glass

Where did we leave off? Ah yes, we packed Sunday for Hamburg, turned our back for a second, and someone broke the window and stole a bag- nothing too important was taken, but for 2 days we drove with a duct tape window- very american punk yes? - this made us late to Rote Flora, a famous squat in Hamburg, so we missed a great dinner, but we made it in time to play, and all the fans had stayed and waited, so it was great. These folks danced. I smoked hash from a half an apple while dancing with Shag and Fredricka to Japanther- We slept at our host Marcus' house for 3 hours and awoke to pancakes and mashed meat for breakfast at 8am- Matt and I had already gotten up and tried the 2nd place so far to get the window repaired, but they couldn't do it fast enough, so we went back and got the crew and gear and were off to Berlin to stash the car. Jan, our friend in Berlin stored the gear for us, and he's so cool, he kept the car and is getting it fixed while we are here in Portugal. We trained to the Berlin airport and flew to Lisbon, which is where I sit now in a 18th century building called ZDB. We basically have a little house to ourselves here, in the ZDB, which is where we play tomorrow- today we train to Porto Portugal to play at Cafe Au Lait tonight. It is beautiful here. We were out walking the tiny streets til 4am last night. I navigated my way through a seedy hash purchase that once done was a success- it's crazy on the streets here at night! It's so peaceful this morning, what a wonderful place Lisbon is, and we have hardly begun to explore- We started writing a ShagPanther song last night that will be a gem. I wish we had you all with us on this experience, I will try to keep telling our story- that's all for now- Shell

Monday, January 17, 2011

Here are some pictures of Shellshag in Amsterdam, and a pic of the half battlebot we have with us!! Hamburg tonight at a famous squat, Rote Flora- killer!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Killer Cologne

SOLD OUT! That's what was said to me right before we started playing last night at Aetherblissment in Cologne. There was a lot of cigarette smoking going on, we were loud and smiling a lot- they don't really dance there, at least not last night, not even to Japanther, but they cheered so loudly, I figure they just didn't wanna dance- it was packed! The drive, our first one of tour, was pretty easy- I took the wheel-Amsterdam was hard, hard to tell if you are on the right side of the 2 way, in a bike lane or not, on a sidewalk or not- I hit a curb or two- once we were on the highway it was cake- and Cologne was like driving in America- The gear fit good- we have the top half of the shellshag battlebot with us- we are having a really good time, and we are killin it at shows!! All for now-

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Im sitting in Amsterdam at Backstage Hotel, which is a killer place. Our stay here was so perfect- The show at Paradiso was packed, they took such good care of us- and here at the Hotel we have been fed non stop, laundry, and bomb ass weed! Last night we played on Red Light Radio, in a window just like the ladies use- it was hilarious. Seeing old frinds from ZZZ and Malkovich- Its been really fun. This morning we pack up and head to Cologne Germany to play at Aetherblissment! Hopefully we'll have some pictures and videos up soon- thats all for now, killer-

Japanther Shellshag European Adventure 2011

Japanther Shellshag European Adventure 2011 -FACEBOOK INVITE WITH ALL TOUR DATES-

January 13 Amsterdam NL at Paradiso
January 15 Cologne DE at Aetherblissment
January 17 Hamburg DE at Rote Flora
January 19 Porto PT at Café Au Lait
January 20 Lisbon PT at Ze dos Bois
January 21 Berlin DE at West Germany
January 22 Prague CZ at Final Club
January 23 Vienna AT at B72
January 24 Graz AT at HSG 10
January 27 Lyon FR at Grrnd Gerland
January 28 Milan IT at Plastic Club
January 29 Rome IT at Bencivenga Squat
January 30 Pescara IT at Mono Club
January 31 Trieste IT at Tetris
February 2 Toulouse FR at Le Saint des Sains
February 3 Barcelona at Sala La [2] De Apolo
February 4 Bordeaux FR at Le Saint Ex
February 5 Paris FR at TBA
February 7 Halifax UK at Bar Up
February 8 Sheffield UK at The Harley
February 9 Manchester UK at Islington Mill
February 10 Glasgow UK at Captains Rest
February 11 London at Tufnell Park Dome
February 12 Brooklyn at Williamsburg Music Hall BUY TICKETS

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