With the release of my first post into the world last week, my KRILL bandmates Aaron Ratoff and Jonah Furman now reference “creating content” every time we put any solid into our mouths, often preemptively accusing me of “not telling it like it is” if we are eating something particularly mundane. So to clear the air before I really delve into our week, I wanna shout out to the handful of old-ish green grapes we ate for lunch at Jonah’s friend Doug’s apartment in Baltimore, I wanna salute the Waffle House we stopped at outside Fredericksburg, Virginia for smothering, capping, peppering, and covering our hash-browns with style and grace, and last but not least, thank our buddy Garrett for bringing back tepid fish and chips, potato salad, and a spinach/pear/blue cheese/walnut salad from his job at a golf course. We ran train on that before our Chapel Hill show. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Our shows in Montreal and New York were punctuated by stops at my friend Cayla’s farm in northern Vermont (thank you for the salad, see photo above) and in Amherst to stay with our friend Darl (bassist in the incredible Speedy Ortiz). Our show in New York was at a new-ish venue in Williamsburg called Muchmore’s. It straddles the line between being a DIY venue in the vein of places like Death by Audio and more traditional venue.
Muchmore's in Williamsburg--a great new place to play or see a show.
They have (four) beers on tap, and the eccentric owner actually practices construction law by day; he makes it very clear that they have all their proper permits. We had a blast there -— tons of our friends came out, and we played with some great bands, most notably Sweet Tooth, the punk side-project of Ava Luna’s singer Carlos Hernandez (he plays drums in Sweet Tooth). Foodwise we did quite well in New York, and of course that’s to be expected. Some standouts were a bizarre vegan/gluten free baked good (hazelnut-blueberry-bitter chocolate-caraway) called a “v-bar” from the awesome bakery Scratchbread in Bed-Stuy (they also gave us tons of free “pizza bread” cause we went at the end of a shift. Amazing); white pizza (lemony ricotta, mozzarella, parmigiano Reggiano, caramelized onions) from “Best Pizza” down the street from Muchmore’s (not the best, but is such a thing as “best pizza” even possible? Discuss.); and Aaron and Jonah had some falafel somewhere that I think they liked?
The next day we drove to Baltimore, where Jonah went to school. We got very little sleep in New York (the city that never etc. hahahahaha), so we spent most of the day sleeping except for the grape episode that I mentioned earlier. The only thing I really ate there was a “breakfast quesadilla” at 4pm at Golden West in the funky Hampden neighborhood. I got it with “tofu chorizo” in the interest of exploring what a vegan or vegetarian might do in a situation like that. They nailed it! Soft, cinnamony, and pretty sultry all things considered. I didn’t miss the meat. In addition to being a good Southwestern restaurant, Golden West is also supposedly a notable place to see shows. We wouldn’t know because they didn’t fucking book us.
I had this "breakfast quesadilla" at 4pm. It did not wake me up. The guacamole was particularly good.
We played at a centrally-located coffeehouse called Bohemian Coffee House which, while not the ideal venue for us, was still fun. After our set was a quirky Baltimore band called Raindeer, whose music could simplistically be described as “80’s.” But I’d say that it’s somewhere between 1980’s and 2080’s music. So that would make it 2030’s music. You can either wait 18 years to know what I’m talking about our go to their bandcamp and experience it now -— I’d suggest the latter. Jonah described them as “alien circus music” and I think that’s pretty on-point too. Very representative of what’s going on in Baltimore right now, and very much something to be listened to loud while dancing and beaming because of how euphoric it all is. Their set was something special.
Baltimore band Raindeer killing it. Hello, camera phone photo quality!
And now we get to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, one of the country’s very best cities to eat in. Our show was at a dive-bar called The Cave, and was sparsely attended, to put it in euphemistic terms. We were the only band. Chapel Hill quite wrongly has a reputation for being a happenin’ music town; it’s not. Merge Records is headquartered in nearby Durham, but that vibe doesn’t seem to manifest itself much on the ground, and our friends who live there are consistently disappointed with the lack of a dynamic local scene. Anybody who has contrary information or opinions on this matter is encouraged to get in touch and share. One dude did come in off the street because he “heard delay” and ended up buying our CD and t-shirt, so our show wasn’t a total bust.
There are too many things to say about the food in Chapel Hill (and neighboring Carrboro, where we stayed), so I’ll run through some highlights quickly: Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen is a divine gift of a restaurant, and no trip to Chapel Hill is complete without a visit there for an egg-and-cheese (or any variation thereof) biscuit (starting at about $2.50).
Bacon, egg, cheese, tomato, and grilled onion biscuit at Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen. This place doesn't mess around.
Neal’s Deli is a somewhat “bougier” option—my biscuit there had egg, cheddar, sausage, and fried apples and it was incredible, it’s worth going both places. Mediterranean Deli and Weaver St. Market are both fantastic vegan/vegetarian options—we enjoyed the grape leaves at both locations, and Weaver St. Market has the added intrigue of a killer salad bar with lots of local produce.
Us holding court at Weaver St. Market, casually enjoying grape leaves and other meatless delights. SuP ? ?
Never thought I’d say “killer salad bar.” We got our barbecue fix at Allen & Son in Pittsboro —- Aaron (pescetarian) and Jonah (n/a) both got fried catfish sandwiches and I got a combo plate of pulled pork and Brunswick stew (basically barbecue scraps, potatoes, and corn in a tomatoey broth) which came with hush puppies and the most nuanced and surprising coleslaw known to man. Incidentally I threw it all up later that night, a clear punishment for eating pork on Yom Kippur.
Off to the Midwest!
For real-time updates on Krill's tour adventures, follow Luke and the band on twitter: @krilliamhmacy