December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays from the Spinto Band & Friends.

November 16, 2010

Black Friday

People home (home meaning within 30 miles from Newark, Delaware - Ed.) for the hoildays should surely drop by Mojo Main (formerly the East End Cafe) for a momentous event.

This is quite a traditional occasion for us, even if though it's been a while since it's happened. We first graced the stage with The Sin City Band on Black Friday almost a decade ago and attempted to make it an annual event. It was, for a while...but things got busy and venues changed management. Nonetheless, we are reuniting with the Sin City Band the day after this Thanksgiving and it's going to be really special. Please come out, drink & dance to avoid your family...(OR: come out, drink & dance to reunite with your family. - Ed.)

Related: The East End Cafe, RIP

October 28, 2010

We Ought to Autumn.

We've been taking some time off, but things are about to get spicy...A cinnamon / nutmeg / pumpkin sort of spicy.

In addition to mixing of the new record, we've got a couple of things up our sleeve...The most exciting being our first show in Philadelphia in over 6 months!

...And it just happens to be with a bunch of cool bands (would we do anything else?). Yes, the ever so delightful Paper Masques are playing...but also there is a relatively new [SUPER?] group playing who will be celebrating the release of their debut EP! They are called the Daylight Savings and Loan and they are made up of some very good buddies of ours who all happen to have very good bands on their resumes: Mini Band, Portable Folk Band, Sw!ms (all of whom unfortunately require a parenthetical R.I.P). It is going to be a very fun time. We're also going to try to play more songs off of the upcoming record so that should be interesting. So remember:

November 11th at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia.


September 13, 2010

Thomas on Touras

Happy September!

Not really related, but fans of the Spinto Band may like to know...

Thomas is going to be going on tour this autumn under the name Carol Cleveland Sings. He's touring to support our friend Owen Evans and his new musical endeavor ROAR. Owen used to be in a really awesome band called Asleep in the Sea, which we've written about here in the past. His new EP was recorded by Nick and it's by far one of the best slices of music we've heard all year. Give a listen here or here or here.

Thomas will be backing Owen up and playing a couple of songs of his own. Possibly new Spinto Band songs? Possibly some cover songs? Most definitely a ukulele. Here's a list of dates but they are subject to change.

09/20 - Flagstaff, AZ - Mia's Lounge
09/21 - Phoenix, AZ - The Trunk Space
09/22 - Tucson, AZ - Dry River
09/24 - Lubbock, TX - TBA
09/25 - San Antonio, TX - Limelight [with Cartographers]
09/26 - Houston, TX - Super Happy Fun Land
09/27 - New Orleans, LA - Circle Bar [with Native America]
09/28 - Murfreesboro, TN - House Pride
09/29 - Athens, GA - The Go Bar
09/30 - Asheville, NC - BoBo Gallery
10/01 - Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse
10/02 - Charlottesville, VA - Tea Bazaar
10/06 - Philadelphia, PA - Danger! Danger! Gallery [with TRTL]
10/07 - Brooklyn, NY - Cameo Gallery [with TRTL]
10/08 - Bennington VT - TBA
10/09 - Scranton, PA - Vintage Theater [with Langor]
10/10 - State College, PA - Chronic Town [with Langor]
10/11 - Pittsburgh, PA - Garfield Artworks [with the Growlers]
10/12 - Kent, OH - TBA
10/14 - Madison, WI - The Frequency
10/15 - Omaha, NE - The Hole
10/16 - Boulder, CO - Astroland
10/17 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
10/19 - San Francisco, CA - The Hemlock Tavern [with Half-handed Cloud]
10/20 - Santa Barbara, CA - Biko Garage [with Half-handed Cloud]
10/21 - Los Angeles, CA - TBA
10/22 - San Diego, CA - TBA

You should come out and say hi!

August 22, 2010

Bros slimming bros

Our epic tour with Miniature Tigers has reached its end, sadly. It was a wonderful experience and many good memories (and vibes) were created in the process.

One of the ongoing events were occurrences we call "Bros slimming bros" which involved a never-ending exchange of packaged beef jerky products between both bands. This little joke soon escalated into a war which culminated in this event at our last show together:

July 16, 2010

Going west.

About the only thing more thrilling than wrapping up the new record may be our upcoming tour with pop scientists Miniature Tigers. We've played a number of shows with these gentlemen over the years and have always dug their music, but doing an entire tour with them is just stupendous. We will be pinching ourselves every hour. Just look listen to the kind of stuff they cook up:

...Or the new single, "Gold Skull" from their awesome new album, FORTRESS (not the official video, but some beautiful, if a bit surreal live footage)

The other great thing about this tour is that it will be bringing us to places we haven't been in years (Portland? Seattle?! AKRON?!?!?!) and some places we've never been at all (Well, I guess just Sante Fe, but that's still awesome!).

Tomorrow morning we head west towards Seattle, faithfully following in the steps Lewis & Clark originally made. Come join us on this voyage in a city near you. (All links go to places you can buy tickets!)

07/21/10 - The High Dive - Seattle, WA (21+)
07/22/10 - Mississippi Studios - Portland, OR (21+)
07/23/10 - Hotel Utah Saloon - San Francisco, CA (21+)
07/24/10 - Spaceland - Los Angeles, CA (21+)
07/25/10 - House Of Blues - San Diego, CA (All Ages FREE show!)
07/27/10 - The Rhythm Room - Phoenix, AZ (All Ages)
07/29/10 - Kilby Court - Salt Lake City, UT (All Ages)
07/30/10 - Larimer Lounge - Denver, CO (21+)
07/31/10 - Santa Fe Brewing Company - Santa Fe, NM (All Ages)
08/02/10 - The Loft - Dallas, TX (All Ages)
08/03/10 - Stubbs Jr. Bar-B-Q - Austin, TX (All Ages)
08/05/10 - The Waiting Room - Omaha, NE (All Ages)
08/06/10 - Triple Rock Social Club - Minneapolis, MN (18+)
08/07/10 - The Bottom Lounge* - Chicago, IL (FREE SHOW!)
08/08/10 - TBA
08/09/10 - TBA
08/10/10 - Pike Room @ Crofoot - Pontiac, MI (All Ages)
08/11/10 - Musica - Akron, OH (All Ages)
08/12/10 - T.T. The Bear's Place - Boston, MA (18+)
08/13/10 - The Mercury Lounge - New York, NY (21+)
08/17/10 - The Black Cat - Washington, D.C (All Ages)
08/18/10 - Sonar Club Stage - Baltimore, MD (All Ages)

* = Not with Miniature Tigers, unfortunately.

July 11, 2010


Readers of this blog may not be able tell based on the videos we've been posting, but we've ALMOST finished our new album. The recording process has been exciting, but oddly familiar to us. When the we first began creating music together (over a decade ago!) we were just kids recording in a moldy basement on a four track. Even though we recorded hundreds of songs there, we would always visit "real" recording studios to make our "real" albums. Now that we have a space of our own, we have returned to that similar, moldy basement environment.

There is time to take "sound voyages" in search of that perfect noise to use on the chorus. There is room to completely scrap an arrangement and start over without feeling we've wasted time and/money. There is freedom to take a 4 hour long siesta / BBQ in the middle of the day and then return to the studio. All of this creates a positive environment to work in which has lead to the best music we've ever made together.

Can't wait for you to hear it!

April 14, 2010


We are excited to announce that there is a new Spinto Band song circling the internet. This one is released through the fine folks at buffet libre in order to help benefit Amnesty International. The song we contributed is called Prune Twins. You can stream it on the Peace website by clicking on The North America continent, then scrolling down on the next screen. We are there in between Asobi Seksu and Port O'Brien.

Prune Twins was recorded last summer in Highlands North Carolina with some friends who go by The Beast Pageant Orchestra. All the music was recorded one night, then the lyrics came to Nick in a dream... about prune twins.

The boys describe the whole project nicely in this press release:

PEACE, a unique initiative co-produced by Buffetlibre and Amnesty International Catalunya, is finally available, including more than 180 exclusive and unreleased songs by artists from more than 50 countries. The compilation is digitally available worldwide here ( and can be downloaded after making a donation to Amnesty International Catalunya. The collected money will be used for AI’s investigation and action campaigns aimed at preventing cases of Human Rights abuses around the world.

Among the 182 artists participating in this project there are acclaimed musicians and exciting new talents from countries and territories such us USA, England, France, Spain, China, Mali, Japan, Congo, Senegal, Venezuela, Cuba, Israel, Palestine, New Zealand, Tibet, Turkey or Thailand, to name only a few.

All the songs included in PEACE are available for streaming at as well as information on all artists participating in the project. The full compilation, downloadable through a donation to Amnesty International Catalunya, includes all the songs in 320Kbps mp3 format.

Dance around the world. Enjoy PEACE.

Enjoy this song and please contribute to the cause and spread the word. Thanks.

March 27, 2010

Tui's Play-Doc Festival

Last week we were fortunate enough to do what we do in Galecia's Tui. We flew over as part of the town's amazing Play-Doc Festival.

Besides the amazing people, delicious food, and delightful friendships we found around every corner, we also managed to see some great films. Play-Doc is a festival built around documentary films. Filmmakers from all over the world flood the small Spanish town with the sorts of films that tell the best stories... true ones.

As I had not heard of these films before the festival, I figure a lot of you may not have heard of them either. So, here are the fraction of the films I was able to enjoy during the festival:

Perhaps the greatest pleasure of the week were the creations of a New Yorker living in San Francisco. Jay Rosenblatt was a featured artist at the festival and I was able to catch 5 of his short films. Jay uses found footage and manipulates it to tell stories from his own life. Bullying, suicide, impending doom and the personal lives of dictators were 4 themes he took on. The fifth was a bit different. It was called 9 Lives. 9 Lives is simply footage of Jay's cat dreaming of its past lives.
Being able to see a collection of films by Jay Rosenblatt made each individual film stand out. Using found footage from old propaganda films, student instructional films and nature programs in all his work had a much lerger impact than I thought it would. He reimagines the footage to make it his own. Scenes in which Hitler is standing above the German masses would be soundtracked by a German voice actor, playing the role of Hitler, discussing what foods gave him gas. It was great. I wish I could have seen more of his work.

Sweetgrass won the best feature length documentary at the festival. It documents a year in the life of a sheep farmer. The main chunk of the movie shows the crazy trip the farmer takes his sheep on so they can spend the summer grazing upon greener pastures atop a Montana mountain range. The film had long stretches in which little to no dialogue or music existed except for the sound of hundreds of sheep clopping up a mountain in a wave of wool. During a Q and A after the film, the director, Ilisa Barbash, mentioned that each shot was edited to be a bit longer than anyone could stand as it helps reflect the lifestyle of the cowboys featured. I got a kick out of that. There was also a great joke in the film that you will have to hear for yourself.


The first film I was able to see spoke on the chaos of urbanized China. It was an effective film in that it made me fear life in an overpopulated city. It was basically the opposite of Sweetgrass. This picture was a collection of a few different documentarians showing the ridiculous difficulty of cramming millions of people atop millions of people in urbanized China. Pollution, insanity, and corruption within the police force are all shown. The most powerful scene is when a filmmaker captures an abandoned baby in a park. Many people gather and discuss what to do, but when the baby won't drink the milk they are offering, the crowd slowly dissipates until no one is left to help the baby. I had a friend living in China who had told me similar stories, so this film, unfortunately, left me being truly afraid of China.

The Marina Experiment

I wanted to briefly mention that one of Tom and Sam's favorites was the Marina Experiment. We ate a meal and had some drinks with the star and director, Marina Lutz, who was fascinating and friendly. She mentioned that the film will be up in its entirety on her website (linked above) for a few more days, so take a deep breath and see it for yourself.

Goodbye, How are you?

I just wanted to briefly touch on this film as I don't really know what it is about. I caught the final 20 minutes of it, but it was not in English. That being said, the audience laughter and the vivid cinematography make me want to track down an English version. Check out the clip on the Play-Doc site, it is beautiful.

Finally, we need to give a shout out to Chryde and La Blogotheque. He was another featured artist at Play-Doc for the body of work that is known as Takeaway Shows. If you are unfamiliar with Chryde and his takeaway shows, you most definitely have to watch at least a dozen of them. The Spinto Band were the first band to be featured on the site, thus our invitation to Play-Doc, and ever since Chryde and V-Moon have been filming some true gems. Plus, Chryde is a great dancer and is starting work on something he calls Takeaway Chef.

There are clips of all the films up on the Play-Doc website. Upon leaving Tui, I had a new appreciation for documentary film and the love and devotion that is put into it. It exists happily in the center of art and storytelling and history.

March 23, 2010

Show Announcement

Young and old alike... Come join us during a quieter kookier performance for a fun-tastic afternoon with the awesome kidrockers. This event is focused on youngsters. So if you are a youngster or look after a youngster, come on down to the world cafe in Philadelphia on April 10th at 11:30 am.

March 14, 2010


Well we are pretty excited to be taking a break from playing nintendo recording our album to perform at the 2010 pLAY-dOC Festival in Tui, Spain. It's an international documentary film festival so we hope to catch some good flicks as well. Sam's been practicing his Spanish, but he can't remember how to say "pleased to meet you" (it's "mucho gusto", by the way - Ed.) so we may be running the risk of seeming impolite.

If any readers of this blog are in the area that weekend, they should seriously stop by. I really hope that kid in the red cape and yellow crown is going to be there.

March 7, 2010

The East End Cafe, RIP

Last week we said goodbye to a great part of our rock n roll childhood. Newark Delaware's East End Cafe, the first bar to ever allow the spinto band on stage, closed its doors forever. As you can read about over at Ryan's Pulp Culture, the final hurrah of the bar became quite the send off for a Main Street staple for everyone that has spent more than 8 semesters worth of time in the U of D town. We all loved those early East End days, and it all came rushing back when we spent one last night and had one last round of drinks. We were able to collect on the stage for one last photo before all mayhem broke out. When I got home that night, I wrote Scott Birney (of the Sin City Band) ... I figured I could paste in those words with some photos Tom had as our own little ode to the East End:

Hey Scott- just wanted to write as I stumble onto a computer tonite. The East End holds a great spot in my mind. I shed a few tears on the way home as I thought about those good old days. I remember getting all caught up in how high I should turn up my guitar just in case people caught me messing up...

back in the 7 man spinto band I used to struggle with another thought of whether or not to have a beer to help get rid of the butterflies in my stomach. Would the beer effect my shitty playing? probably... I better hold off.

The East End Cafe for me was an entrance to some sort of realm of adulthood. I don't know if that's an accurate statement, but it seems to speak the truth. The Spinto Band always had the East End. We played shows there before we knew how to play shows and its all thanks to you. You ushered us on stage and the whole audience knew they better not be too harsh as those were Scotto's boys on stage and that meant a lot.

We may never have stepped on stage in a bar if it weren't for the east end. After all the bars in all the lands, that statement seems preposterous, but I think its true. Everyone was perfectly content just hanging in the basement with the four track. In those early days, we had no desire to play live. But then those packed east end shows took place and all Jeff and Joe's friends were shaking their newly developed bodies all over and, upon that stage, we all became men.

I put that last sentence in as a chanelling of Albert Birney. Him and Moses always pull the "This used to be a hell of a country" Card and I think it stands true in the parking lot of the East End Cafe on closing night.

Here we are- a great monument of so much falls in newark, undoubtedly to be replaced by some sort of intolerable cement block and all I can think about is how you trusted a bunch of teenagers atop that stage and helped build our confidence in what has eventually shaped into a career. That stage is the most memorable part of everything for me being in the spinto band.

Thanks for giving us that opportunity. It really became something more than I imagined tonite. While I regret not hanging out at the east end cafe more during the last few years, I can undoubtedly say that the fondest of memories bellowed from its floorboards and resonated within its walls tonite. When I was in a time where hanging out in bars seemed like the coolest thing a dude could do, it was playing at a bar that set me straight and helped make me whatever the heck I am today.

So whether it is the era or the bar or just the whole process of growing up, I think we all owe one or two to that dingy bar.

The Pictures below were taken on the final night of the East End Cafe. March 1st 2010:

We were able to share the stage one last time with Sin City.

the marquee

the last time the spinto band took the stage at the east end cafe.

February 15, 2010

Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

A few months ago we dropped by the ultra cool Art in the Age boutique in Philadelphia to perform some songs. Video footage of this event has just recently surfaced! Check it out here!

If you're ever in the Philadelphia area, you should check out their store. They make really neat things, such as this original liquor called ROOT. It's truly one of a kind spirit, made with a variety of wonderful spices such as birch bark, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg (amongst others). It's apparently the stuff original ROOT BEER was made of, which is exciting for beverage enthusiasts such as ourselves. It's perfect for keeping warm during the snowpocalypse.

January 3, 2010

One weird thing leads to another...

A couple years ago, we were flattered (and a little bit confounded) when DJ (or DJ's?) Them Jeans' decided to mash up Rich Boy's hit "Throw Some D's" with our song, "Oh Mandy". We were so pleased with the results that we even incorporated lyrics of the rap into the bridge of the song during live shows for a brief period of time (a Daytrotter session later immortalized this, however!).

What a strange thing it was to be providing music for Rich Boy to sing about girls having pictures of his dick "on they walls". The only thing that could have made it stranger would be a YouTube video of four dudes in animal hats dancing to said mashup.

Well, the internet is awesome:

January 2, 2010

Thomas' musical faves of 2009

I don't know what it is about "year end" lists. I'm always intrigued to see what people put, but inevitably I get frustrated because of how incorrect they are. Luckily for anyone reading this, I've narrowed the year down the last year in music to the true winners.


Cryptacize must know how to read my mind. They seem to have taken all of my favorite elements (or "tricks") in music and effortlessly seam them together. This entire record sounds like a minimalist Roy Orbison production with minor psychedelic tendencies. They have a Deerhoof-like propensity to wander around traditional song structure but without the tarnishing the integrity of a really good, if strange, pop song. The "lead" singer Nedelle has a beautiful, strong, and incredibly controlled voice. Kind of like a more subdued Neko Case? And I'm usually not into talkin' up musical instrument chops, but Chris Cohen's guitar is a delight as well...It's like the second lead singer of the band? The instrument...I mean, although Chris sings too...Maybe I'm not describing it correctly so here's a tune from the album so you can hear for yourself:


(From left to right, top to bottom):

Alvin Band - Mantis Preying
Au Revoir Simone - Still Night, Still Bright
Broadcast and the Focus Group - Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age
Franklin Bruno - Local Currency - Solo 1992 - 1998
Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
Circulatory System - Signal Morning
Drug Rug - Paint The Fence Invisible
Generationals - Con Law
Half-handed Cloud - Cut Me Down and Count The Rings
Jonathan Mann - Barefoot in the Family Tree EP
Nellie Mckay - Normal as Blueberry Pie
St. Vincent - Actor
The Sw!ms - Itemlord


Apologies for the bootleg video. I'm not sure if I listened to any other song this year more than this one. So good.

2010 is the new 2009. Let's do it!