Miracles of Modern Science: MOMS by MOMSWest Day 13 & 14

Posted March 30

 O Music Awards Unboxed has made its triumphant return from SXSW, having unleashed all manner of music/tech/weirdness on poor unsuspecting Austin and finishing up with a barn house raver featuring Miracles of Modern Science. We’ve made it back safe and sound but MOMS have more tales of their multi-city musical odyssey to share with you in this here handy Tour Diary. Keep up with the latests and greatests in their travels here on the O Music Blog!

It was Monday morning, and MOMS were getting ready to head off to New Orleans for a bit of a break. SXSW was an amazing experience – from the festival, to the people, to Austin itself. Our six-day fling with the place had worn us out, but left us begging for more.

We treated Ben to a bottle of something special as thanks for putting up with a houseful of MOMS for so long (the man has the patience of a SAINT), and packed our gear back into the car in what seemed to be becoming an increasingly involved ritual. Tyler was the master of loading ceremonies, and woe be to the MOMber who upset “the order.”

Although robes had not yet become involved in the load-in procedure, a certain reverential silence was maintained out of respect for the mysterious process by which everything was ultimately made to fit into the minivan. We were the envy of clown cars and Doctor Who aficionados everywhere.

Our trip from Austin to New Orleans was uneventful, but filled with picturesque scenes – so overwhelming beautiful that not a single one of us managed to capture any of it in picture (yes, we’re useless…). Swamplands and bridges told us we were on the right track… a sign reading “Baby Alligator Petting Next Exit” made us briefly question whether choosing that track had been wise. A vague image of baby alligators being dangled over an enclosure of excited adult humans came to mind… probably inaccurate… possibly not. Since we didn’t follow it up, we may never know.

All fears were allayed with our arrival at the family home of Tyler’s aunt Stacey. We were spoiled rotten.

Marinated chicken, corn (on the cob), red beans and rice, salad, sausage, wine… amazing.

We had the luxury of sleeping on real beds again, however the presence of an X-Box Kinect meant we didn’t end up using those beds until well after we should have… it turns out that until you’ve experienced the thrill of using nothing but your limbs and cat-like reflexes to slice in half as many virtual fruit as possible in a single elaborate flourish, you haven’t lived. Oh yes, you may scoff, declaring that you’ve PLAYED Fruit Ninja on your iPhone or iPad or other i-device and think that, though compelling, it really isn’t “all that”… but there, in that moment, through an X-Box Kinect… you WERE the ninja. Your body was transformed into a lethal thing, a living weapon, the bane of fresh fruit everywhere. Where your shadow was cast, only juice and pulp remained! The strings of fate lay in your hands alone as did the choice to destroy or spare!! YOU WERE A GOD MADE FLESH WITH LIMITLESS POWER!!! A RAVENOUS ELEMENTAL FORCE OF GOOD OR EVIL BEYOND REPROACH, BOTH GATEKEEPER AND KEYMASTER BEYOND MERE MORTAL UNDERSTANDING!!!!

Of course, hitting the bombs took us down a notch or two… they always seemed to crop up when things started going well… oh, the bombs… always too many bombs….

That fruit was already sliced… it just didn’t know it yet.

Stacey and her family looked after us extremely well, we were well fed and had a pleasant and relaxing evening ahead of our next day of driving to Gainesville with a show at the end of it at a venue called The Bull.

We headed off from New Orleans in the morning ready to plunge ourselves MOMS-first into Florida. A friend of ours at Grooveshark pointed us in the direction of Vishal at Garage Mahal (amazing name) who helped us put together the show at The Bull that night. The Bull is a small but very cool beer/wine bar that hosts bands on a regular basis.

As it turned out, Josh’s dad was in town for business and he very generously put us up in a nearby hotel continuing the unexpected luxury to which we were hesitantly becoming accustomed (BRING ON THE PEELED GRAPES!). He treated us to a bite at a local pizzeria, a place that prided itself on serving New York style pizza. The pizza was great, though the style was just another reminder that the sun over MXMW was beginning to set, the dream would soon be over…


We headed back to The Bull, uncertain of the response and turnout (given we’d been told Tuesday nights are typically the slowest of nights), but determined to do as only we MOMS can do when faced with a situation like this (and well, any other situation): rock our hearts out, go musically berserk, and hope people come with us on the adventure.

At the last minute, we decided to go with our side-project: Miracles of Modern Science
(we were happy to find the posters for this gig were all over the place! It was very much appreciated!!)

Our fears were unfounded as locals (and some who’d driven several hours to reach the venue as we found out after the show!) gradually filled The Bull to capacity and then some. Opener Patrick David Koch and his group put together a mellow ethereal set – of particular note was the incorporation of a didgeridoo. As an Australian, they could do no wrong in my eyes from that point on.

Our set at The Bull was one of the most enjoyable of the tour. The people of Gainesville are a wonderful bunch. Vocally appreciative and more than willing to come with us on the MOMS ride – we had a ball. At some point during our secret track (affectionately named “Didit”), which tells a tale of the perils of drunken dart-playing and adulterous misadventure (yes, we can cross those images off our lyrical to-do list), I broke my E string – the first time I’ve done that at a MOMS show in recent memory. In an equally surprising first, the venue just happened to have an acoustic violin on hand and available for such an occasion, allowing us to play our other (and somewhat less dark) narrative epic “524″ unplugged. I thanked them then, and I’ll thank them again now for making that possible – it was a lovely end to a fantastic evening.

We loved Gainesville and we’ll come back as soon as we can.

We hung out well into the night with new friends before finally calling it a night ahead of our next port of call: Athens and Atlanta, Georgia in the next installment of….. MXMW!


Kieran of MOMS