Bonus Spells

hello to the people who hated on me-eee. hello to the people who loved me-eee. hello to the people who trusted me-eee. hello, hello, to everee-bo dee-eee.

i am disappearing from the world for a few days. i’m old, guys. i feel thin, like butter scraped over too much bread. i need to find some place quiet where i can finish my book. seriously though, that’s what i’m doing. i’m going into the woods to work on my Cambion novel. i’ll be back on monday, just in time for our spring tour. i think i can survive without internet until then.

oh, btw Daniel and i have some new music. we’re releasing it in a zine, and we’ll mail it right to your house. it’s called Bonus Spells.

this is a mockup of the first issue of our zine, Bonus Spells (nod to D&D). it was handmade by me and Daniel. The final version will look just like this, but the inside it will contain physical photos, short stories, poems, lyrics, comic strips, song meanings, recipes, set lists, stickers, drawings, road stories, stamps, album reviews, pre-made tweets, DM tips, postcards, general advice, movie reviews, auto maintenance tips, paper footballs, video game cheats/tips/tricks, book reviews, crosswords, word searches, fake advertisements, mazes, artist profiles, real advertisements, one weird tip discovered by a school-mom, and suggested Wikipedia articles.

ok, maybe not ALL that, but a lot of it. and the best part is, the cassette will contain our new music! just GENTLY cut it from the zine, pop it in your 1995 Toyota Camry tape deck, and you’re off to the races. The music in the zine won’t be available online either. Just the cassette.

this will be issue 0. we will only make two hundred copies ever, and they’ll all be numbered. if you’re interested in purchasing this limited edition zine, GO HERE and pre-order it. we’ll use the money from the pre-orders to buy the paper supplies and make the cassettes. we’ll mail them out mid April. Eventually we’ll make this a monthly thing – from issue 1 onward, you can subscribe and every month you’ll get a zine from us in the mail, with playable music that’s no where else but on the zine (which will have a cassette, CD, or 7in vinyl). All of them will be handmade and will be the only way to get those songs. F the internet.

big thank you to Molly Costello for the cover art. See you all in April. <3

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Atlas, Spring Tour, Counting Crows Tour

Haven is found in the bosom of freedom, in her arms, regular and warm. Time is immeasurable and infinite in both directions. New York is stretched out somewhere, like a Death Star trench, high on each side, and I’m finding solace in this banana.

Good morning. It’s been a while since I’ve written on here. The main reason is I’ve been off tour for two months, figuring out how to live in Nashville again, and I just haven’t wanted to write blog posts. If the chaos of tour is physical; running around, problem solving, talking, listening, shaking hands – then the chaos afterward is mental, spiritual. Decompression. I needed to feel right in the head again, or I would have found myself being overly negative, which I hate dislike.

We’ve got a lot of stuff going on, some of it very exciting, so I’m gonna do my best to catch you up in order. Let’s go back to where I last left you, around New Years.

Shortly after our CMJ showcase, we began the process of signing a publishing deal with Atlas Music Group. Thankfully, the folks at Atlas believe in our music and are interested in helping us get it out there to new people. They’re also going to help us make sure we can keep writing and making new music, which is awesome. I met Rich (who signed us) after he saw our set at CMJ, and I knew immediately that he was the right fit. Yay!

Shortly after we signed with Atlas, we holed up for two months in Nashville.

I’ve always felt more centered on the road. Luckily I was able to distill myself at home this winter, and spent the majority of the winter working on new music, as well as the novel I’ve been working on for two years.

I stayed home and was very productive. I got in my head and I wrote too much and I got dark and it was awesome. And then, when I started to go crazy, I booked a spring tour.

As you can see, we will be out from April 1st until May 10th, playing all over the heartland, in many of our favorite cities. We’ll have new music, and some new items at the merch table, which I’ll post in the next week or so. Click our TOUR page for show details, and make sure to follow us on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM for day-of promotions. You know the drill.

Anyway, just as I was finishing the touches on the spring tour, Adam called me up and asked if we wanted to spend the summer touring with them and Toad the Wet Sprocket. We said yes.

Adam has been more than a friend to us. In the last two years he’s been a mentor, and a guiding light in one of the darkest industries there is. I can honestly say he’s one of the kindest, most generous people I’ve met, and I’m humbled to spend our summer playing music on the same stage as Counting Crows (and Toad the Wet Sprocket).

We’ll be announcing dates TOMORROW. Pre-sales begin Wednesday. I don’t know a lot of the other details just yet, but I can assure you that I’ll get them to you as soon as I have them. I don’t know what else to say about this tour. It’s…a dream. I just hope you guys will come out and celebrate music with us every night.

Look at us, fresh faced at the Cafe Montmartre, 21 years old and ready to go. It’s been a crazy road. I started playing music with Daniel 7 years ago. It’s hard to believe that some of you have been with us the whole way, especially considering how much growing we had to do. Thanks for that. I hope you keep sticking with us on the road ahead. See you in April <3

(more details to come)

Tuesday, April 1st – Asheville, NC @ Emerald Lounge

Friday, April 4th – Chapel Hill, NC @ The Local 506

Saturday, April 5th – Indianapolis, IN @ Do317

Sunday, April 6th – Madison, WI @ The High Noon Saloon

Monday, April 7th – Racine, WI @ George’s

Wednesday, April 9th – Rockford, IL @ Kryptonite

Thursday, April 10th – Milwaukee, WI @ Linneman’s

Sunday, April 13th – Baraboo, WI @ The Al Ringling Theater

Friday, April 18th – Terre Haute, IN @ The Verve

Sunday, April 20th – Green Bay, WI @ Frets and Friends

Monday, April 21st – Neenah, WI @ Cranky Pat’s

Wednesday, April 23rd – Wausau, WI @ Malarkey’s

Thursday, April 24th – Galena, IL @ The Grape Escape

Friday, April 25th – Omaha, NE @ Barley St. Tavern

Saturday, April 26th – Kansas City, MO @ Coda

Wednesday, April 30th – Nashville, TN @ The Basement

Friday, May 2nd – Ann Arbor, MI @ Yellow Barn

Saturday, May 3rd – Grand Rapids, MI @ Billy’s Lounge

Monday, May 5th – Holland, MI @ Lemonjello’s

Tuesday, May 6th – Chicago, IL @ The Double Door

Wednesday, May 7th – Champaign, IL @ Cream & Flutter

Friday, May 9th – Louisville, KY @ The Monkey Wrench

Thursday, May 15th – Nashville, TN @ Communion

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Happy New Year.

hey everyone. i’m at my house in Nashville right now, and it’s about to become 2014. i would be out celebrating, but i had to finish this new song. you understand.

i’ll leave you with a picture from our last tour, and the chorus lyrics. thank you for everything. big stuff coming soon. i love you.


“only road i’ve ever known/i will travel on/if only just to know how far i’ll go/on the only road”


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CMJ, NYC, Portland, and the Full Band Tour.



that’s right. everything. and more than once. on the way to CMJ in New York, the lovely Van Small died on us. we got her running again, as always, but she’s getting up there. *sniff*

CMJ was incredible. lots of hangs with the Outlaw Roadshow homies, as well as our full band.

our set was packed, and we had an incredible time playing the tunes with the full band. nothing compares to a Dan McMahon guitar solo.

and before it felt it had even begun, it was time to say goodbye. we roamed the streets of NYC, and ended the festival with an acoustic harmony jam in Adam’s living room. Miles Nielsen’s songs provided the soundtrack.

in the following days, Daniel and I drove across the country to record some new demos. in the process, we drove all the way through Wisconsin, and I remembered how much I love that state. we took pictures and harvested fallen birch bark. it was cold as hell.

it was worth the cold to find, when we arrived, this wonderful smorgasbord of sonic delights.

we tracked the first song for our Cambion project. then a bunch of stuff happened that we can’t talk about, but will eventually.


boom. that’s right. check it out. if you live in Portland, or you know anyone who does, they have no excuse not to see us. WE PLAY SEVEN DAYS IN A ROW. so literally, they have to come see us. check our tour page for the specific bands we’ll be playing with each night as well. and we will have a blog dedicated to the fabled city of Portland in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

FINALLY – I just want to let you know that we are putting together a tour for the Midwest this December (4th – 16th) so that all y’all can come out and see the coolness of the beastly 6piece. we’ll keep you posted, but until then, here’s a little one take session of On Berlin.

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The Outlaw Roadshow at CMJ 2013, Photography

hey everyone. we’ve been hard at work writing songs and making records, so i apologize for the general radio silence. I’m back to announce that we’ll be traveling to New York City to play The Outlaw Roadshow again this year during CMJ!


We’ll be playing at the Bowery Electric at 8:00pm on Thursday, October 17th. The best part is that we’ll be bringing our full 6-piece band! That’s right, we’ll be joined by legends Dan McMahon and Darren Garvey, co-producers of “Death Head,” as well as Miles Nielsen and Adam “the dark lord” Plamann. If you’re in NYC, don’t miss this show. it’s free - all you have to do is RSVP here. Ryan Spaulding and Adam Duritz have spent months curating the showcase, so I highly suggest just sticking around and watching all the bands.

lately i’ve been celebrating the wonderful people who zip in and out of my life like lightning bugs. when you’re an artist sometimes it feels hard to hold onto anything, so i’ve started taking photos of those people with this camera.


it’s given me a sense of peace and permanence. i’ll post some from the last six months at the bottom of this post. and if i ask to take your picture, now you’ll know why. see you in NYC <3


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the night is mine and mine alone. my best kept secret. every part of it sinks in like perfect teeth, and it’s in that moment that i heavily doubt the early risers. let them have their breakfasts and their traffic and their daybreak. i have the night.


the basement show was amazing. thank you to everyone who came out and made it possible. we’ve got a few more shows coming up, and we’ll post them soon. i got to spend my birthday with a lot of my favorite people on the planet. i also got a new vinyl, which i’m excited to spin while i do work tomorrow, which is technically today (google Caroline Rose, who played the first set of the night. her song “America Religious.” and read the lyrics). now we’re off in Nashville for a couple weeks before we hit the road once again, this time to Indianapolis to play Gen Con for our third year straight.


i may overdose on magic and pizza. today we learned some mario and ocarina of time music for our set. ocarina of time probably has some of the best music there is. respect.

we’ve got a lot of recordings coming out soon. a couple of singles, an EP toward the end of the year. maybe two. and our 3rd full length. which you’ll learn more about as time goes on – we’re very excited about that. we’re keeping busy down here and hope you guys are too.

maybe if i could sleep, i would. and wake up in the morning like everyone else. maybe i would. but i think this works for me. and there are certainly perks – after all, vampires have such great complexion.


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Art, Nashville, and Bardic Knowledge.

i’ve lost my mind. in a good way. how about you?


we’re playing a slew of shows upcoming, including a show in Madison at the High Noon Saloon. we’ve added them to our tour page here.

in other news, we’ll be playing Gen Con in Indianapolis again this year, this time with a six piece band. the one and only Ryley Crowe will be returning with his three brothers, creating one big family band of amazingness. They’re also all very good at games, which helps given the circumstances. We will be playing music and magic and everything in between, and would love to see some friendly gamer faces. Join us in Indy, fellow nerds, from Aug 15th through the 18th for the best 4 days in gaming.


i’m going to spend some paragraphs blabbing. i’ll post pictures from tour too. feel free to tune out if you want.

we’ve been touring around this summer in a slightly different way. rather than driving all over the US, anywhere we can, we’ve been splitting our time: on the road in the midwest, and off the road down in Nashville. we’ve also been emphasizing opportunities to record some of the special songs we’ve been writing. there’s a lot of exciting music on the horizon, and I’m not just saying that – I am, myself, more excited by the music we’re making than ever before. in fact, it’s more exciting to me than Yeezus, which is pretty exciting.


our shows have been changing. since moving, less people have been showing up. and we’ve been playing better. it’s a good feeling. the only people who come out are the ones who actually want to connect, to hear the music, to take part. I see them singing in the crowd and it brings both me and Daniel a lot more satisfaction to know that our tribe is small, but strong. “Final Night” felt very meaningful to write and I think that most of you get what we’re doing. it feels good.


people ask me a lot what I think of Nashville. well, I love it. but I see both sides of the city. one side is very different than me, and it challenges me daily to understand the intentions of the people I allow into my creative process. perhaps it’s the element of intention. of art. on the one side, you have this transient city of folks who made great art in their small hometowns and have come here to show it to the rest of the world, and grow into their full potential. it is very earnest and real. then there is a different culture, one that still draws off the dying constructs of the industrial revolution. And there is a remnant of that edifice, a monolithic top-down approach, that in music is still very profitable. But art is drawn from a different font. Art is saying “here, I made this.” which is very powerful and terrifying at once. It is what I seek to do. I have certainly burned bridges here saying what I believe to be true – that money cannot be the purpose, nor can mass connectivity. I’ll probably burn more.

Frankly, I don’t care. many bridges in this life look beautiful and lead nowhere you want to be. The people who encourage us to be artistic, or share our music with their friends, or care enough to write us and tell us how we’ve connected with them – those people are the people we care about and always will. and the art. pushing our boundaries, tearing down walls, and pulling up from the earth glass and stone that it would stand in place as water locked in time. building something beautiful, saying something real. that’s what I care about.


Luckily, there are a lot of real artists down here in Nashville. it’s not as obvious as the establishment, but it exists in pockets, tribes. we’re lucky enough to be a part of some of those tribes, and I hope that as we continue making art down here, we can shake things up for people. Always further, always faster.


I hope that each of you in your own way are making art. saying something. we live in a completely different world. we’re no longer nuts and bolts, pulleys and counterweights. we’re people. we each get to say what we believe, immediately and for free. let’s say something worth it.


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Final Night Release, New Merch Release, Everything Release.

Well well well, what have we here. You’ve likely come to see what’s up, and knowing that I’m quite bad at updating this blog, you’re expecting nothing. GUESS AGAIN BUD.

Here’s our new EP, “Final Night.”

Here’s our new merch associated with the new EP, as well as some new package deals.

Here’s EVERY RECORDING WE’VE EVER RELEASED AS DANIEL AND THE LION, most of it free, for only 2 days. It’s coming down after the 4th of July.

ENJOY, KIDS. and remember – Marhala.

Tshirt CD
Final Night CD
FN Poster
DH SA poster
DH SB poster
Music Package

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The “Final Night” EP.

Good evening, folks. I’m excited to announce our first EP on Rotown Records is called “Final Night,” and will be released at Summerfest on June 28th.


I’m very proud of this EP. It was produced/engineered/mixed by Dan McMahon at The Midwest Sound in Rockford, IL. We wrote the first track, “No Ghost,” with our friend Zach Johnston, of Sonntag and Phox. The influences on this EP are about as wide ranging, but the songs all come together sweetly and justly. I’m excited for you to hear it. In fact, come to one of our June shows, and we’ll play some of these new tunes. See you there.

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Borrowed Air, Tour Dates.

Jimmie here, coming at you from a car going 70. Life’s weird, eh? Well, I have cool news. Like a new EP!


This EP, “Borrowed Air,” is a collection of four tunes Daniel and I created this winter with VTL and Darren Garvey at the VTL Studios in Chicago, IL and our own home studio in Nashville, TN. It was a blast working with Darren, even though we didn’t actually see him apply most of his magic sauce in person. He also co-produced Death Head as well, which is one of my favorite things in the world. Here’s the “Borrowed Air” track listing.

Borrowed Air
Good Boy Bad
Carry It In Rome
The Movies

You can get the EP one of two ways. First, you can go here and pre-order tickets online to our show at The High Noon Saloon tomorrow with Miles Nielsen and Corey Hart. It’s going to be an amazing show. After the show, I’ll send you a free download link.

The other way is just wait a while. I’ll eventually post them for a day or two on here, and then take them down forever. These are special songs meant just for the people who want them, and I fully intend to make them disappear from the internet into your iTunes collection forever.

Here are the rest of the tour dates, for those interested in seeing us while we’re around. I miss you guys. <3

(check our tour page for more info, and follow us on facebook or twitter for extra updates)

Tuesday, April 30th – Iowa City, IA @ The Mill
9:00pm, 19+ (after 10pm), $8 – w/ Minus One Member (Chase Bealer), Anna Vogelzang, TBD

Wednesday, May 1st – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
8:00pm, 18+, $10 – w/ Corey Hart, and Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts

Friday, May 3rd – Green Bay, WI @ Frets
9:00pm, 21+

Saturday, May 4th – Maquoketa, IA @ Codfish Hollow
5:00pm, All Ages, $22 ($18 online) – w/ Dan Bern, Field Report (solo), Pomegranates, Twin Tigers, and Chasing Shade

Tuesday, May 7th – Milwaukee, WI @ Linneman’s
9:00pm, 21+, $8 – w/ East of Free, Stephanie’s Stolen Wheel

Thursday, May 9th – Baraboo, WI @ Boo Bash
5:00pm, All Ages, Free – w/ TBD

Friday, May 10th – Racine, WI @ George’s
8:30pm, All Ages, $5 – w/ Katie LaFond

Saturday, May 11th – La Crosse, WI @ Bodega Brewpub
9:00pm, 21+, Free

Tuesday, May 14th – Chicago, IL @ Double Door
7:00pm, All Ages, $7 – w/ Stephanie Rearick Jr., The Crooked Mouth, Mitch Mead

Thursday, May 16th – Nashville, TN @ The High Watt
8:00pm, 21+, $12 ($10 adv.) – w/ Cameron McGill and Seryn

Friday, May 17th – Louisville, KY @ Zazoo’s
9:00pm, 21+, $5 – w/ Cameron McGill and Karsten Nelson (full band)

Saturday, May 18th – Champaign, IL @ Cream & Flutter
7:00pm, All Ages, Free Show – w/ Cameron McGill

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