Seth Anderson is going to Fest. The Calgary-based singer/songwriter, signed to Joey Cape's One Week Records, is on the road touring with labelmate Yotam Ben-Horin of Useless ID. They're headed across the U.S. on a journey of self-discovery and rock'n'roll, making the month-long trek to Gainesville, Florida to appear at The Fest. As they make the voyage, Seth'll be sharing his road diary with Punknews.org & Some Party. This is entry four in our series.
Tour Diary #4: The Way of the Road - Sept. 30, 2017
Any touring musician will tell you that things have a way of working themselves out when you are on the road. Whether it be someone offering a couch to sleep on, a free meal, or a van repair, good people are everywhere and seem to reveal themselves when they are most in need. This also applies to the law of seven degrees of separation. The music community isn't really that big, and usually after discussion with people you are connected in more ways than assumed.
Over the course of the tour so far, Yotam and I have talked a lot about Elliot Smith. I have not been a huge follower of his career, but Yotam is a big fan and considers him a major songwriting influence. Being a fan of his records, he had also become familiar with his producer, whom he had confessed to contacting a couple times a year or whenever he has been in Los Angeles over the last half-decade. In the beginning, there were no responses. Eventually, turning into aggravated one line replies such as, "Sorry, I'm too busy.". Persistence paid off as their exchanges evolved into almost welcomed invitation returns, though still never able to connect.
Like most of the shows on this tour, it is my first time playing, or stepping foot in many of these cities. However, in Los Angeles, I knew somebody. She had dated one of my best friends a few years back and had messaged me before my entering the states, saying that she was excited to catch up and would come to the show in LA. We had lost contact once I crossed the border as my Canadian cell phone was acting crazy and not receiving some messages as we approached the city. Of course, sitting at the bar prior to the opening band, I feel a tap on my shoulder, and there she was. Along with some conversation catching up on each other's lives, she offered us a place to sleep that night. We also spoke of her husband. It turned out that he too was a musician, and worked in the music industry, and also had recently purchased a recording studio space. New Monkey Studio. The studio which Elliot Smith had owned and worked tirelessly at in the three years leading up to his untimely passing. After just hearing about Yotam's attempted communications that very day with Elliot's producer, I couldn't believe the close connection. Once pulling him into the conversation, it turned out that the producer was a close family friend as well. The next day we were treated to a tour of the studio. Yotam quietly absorbed all of the info that was presented to us. Surely picturing Elliot sitting at the piano, or grabbing a guitar off the wall. Or even better, sitting, jotting down lyrics to a new masterpiece.
These types of occurrences give me hope. Good things are around the corner, and if we just let things flow and let go of control, we will end up in the right place. Or at least somewhere that will leave us with a story to tell.
Album of the Diary:
Elliot Smith - XO
Photo by Schovanek Photography.