Miracles of Modern Science: MOMS by MOMSWest, Conclusion (Day 17 – 19)

Posted April 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!

The drive from Atlanta to Charlottesville was long, but the show we were set to play there wasn’t happening until the following day – so at least we could look forward to a bit of a breather on the other side of it. Charlottesville was Evan’s old stomping ground. We’d be staying in his family home with his parents, and as sad as it was to be just a day from the final show of our tour, we were looking forward to seeing them again.

Continuing our barely communicated but unanimous need to sample previously unknown truck stop fare, we turned off the road to do Waffle House. After having seen a Waffle House in Athens that claimed to be “the largest Waffle House in the world,” the thought had stuck with us… not only would they have waffles (admittedly, that was just a guess), but who knows what other world records they might be looking to break. Our curiosity had been piqued.

We headed into the establishment where we were tended by our lovely hostess, Demetra, who took it upon herself to teach us the error of our ways – not having been to Waffle House before. The hash browns: a must. The waffles? A maybe (kind of thought they’d be a bigger deal). Also, as it was our first time there, she treated us to a free bowl of grits! The grits were fighting a losing battle against a sea of butter – but we were no strangers to living fast and clogging arteries young. We were very well looked after.

While we were tucking into it all (HUGE portions), we met a very friendly local who went by the name of “Homie.” Homie wouldn’t be pinned down – after much prodding, he told us he lived somewhere vaguely between Atlanta and Charlottesville in an area he called “the country.” Homie loved music.

We talked for a while, he’d pegged us as musicians by the look of us (unkempt, road-weary, unemployable… wait! No!… I mean… by the way we effortlessly oozed cool… despite looking unkempt, road-weary and unemployable), and after hearing our instrumental line-up managed to guess what half of us played. He had a keen eye. Homie was sad but proud to let us know that unfortunately, no matter how good we might be, we’d never be as good as Elvis:

“You know, they called him The King?”
We could see in his eyes this was a life-long love – we felt no shame in losing out to Elvis.

Something about Homie struck a chord with us, so to speak, and we had a good chat as we tucked into our Waffle House fare.

We said our goodbyes and as we headed back to the MOMS mobile, Homie called out to us:

“How much further would you’ve gone if I hadn’t called you back?”
“… sorry, what?”
“How much further would you have walked – if I hadn’t called you?”
“… About 12 feet I guess…?”
“…. GOTCHA!”

Homie had indeed, just made us look.

With a mere 6 hours of driving left before we hit Charlottesville and buoyed up by our Waffle House experience, we pressed on, finally arriving at Evan’s parents’ place in the early evening.

Any sadness associated with the end of our tour was washed away by some long overdue reunions…

Long-lost MOMber Geoff returns!
Suso (band dog): the coolest dog there ever was.

Ally and Elizabeth also drove down to join us – both of whom had been wonderful in helping us plan our tour and sorting us out with places to stay along the way.
We were made extremely comforable as guests of the Youngers, and after a lovely dinner, everyone took and appreciated the opportunity to sleep in a real bed.

… but not before taking pictures of dogs and us, while taking other pictures of dogs and us. Things were getting out of hand.

The next day was the big one. We were determined to see our tour out in style. Our show in Charlottesville was happening at The Haven, a multi-purpose community space and non-profit organization dedicated to giving shelter and food to the homeless – their ultimate goal being to get people who desperately needed help back on their feet. Proceeds from our show would go towards helping their cause. There were even more reasons than usual to feel good about playing music for people.

The turn-out at The Haven was great – we hadn’t been led astray by all the lovely things we’d heard about the Charlottesville music scene. Of course it helped that Evan’s parents had been so dedicated to getting the word out that one of their very own was coming home – many thanks to them!

The Haven used to be a church, but being old hands at the gigs-in-a-church scene at this point, MOMS was unphased. An en-pewed audience only presented us with even more incentive to get them on their feet. Our main concern was that given all the hard surfaces and vaulted ceilings, the space had a lot of reverb… sound just kept going and going. Many human bodies in a room will act as sound dampeners, but even still, to make sure our music didn’t turn into an unintelligible jumble we’d be keeping our notes as crisp and short as… fairly small chips… or starched shorts. We hadn’t settled on an appropriate simile. We had, however, settled on the need to play our collective fingers off.

Opening for us were local band Nettles, who played soothing and pretty folk with a large assortment of instruments. The cavernous acoustics suited them down to the ground (as it were) as they played their sweet and ethereal set.

Shortly after, we hit the stage…

Launching into our set, all five of us!

A storm was brewing outside The Haven as we began. Lightning cast MOMS-shaped silhouettes across the stage, sparks spontaneously flew through the air, animals gathered to bear witness, babies spoke their first words – and the meaning of those words would forever be ambiguous to their mothers. More or less.

The show went as well as we could have hoped. We met a lot of the crowd afterward and added Charlottesville to the growing list of places we’ve promised we’ll be back to.

Charlottesville, we love you too.

The next day, the dream that had been MXMW slowly began to evaporate. We were on our way back to Brooklyn.

All good things…

We’ve come out of the experience of touring a different band, for the better. Wholly reinvigorated in our purpose and excited for the next opportunity to get out on the road and play music for people.

The worst part about MXMW was that it ended, but we’ll be out on another adventure – and soon. Thanks for following us along on this one, and to Brenna and the O Music Awards for hosting us as we told the story of it.

Until next time!


Kieran of MOMS