Founding Fathers and Big Gorgeous Wrapped Up Tight 2019 Tour

When living in the dystopian nightmare that’s 2019, there’s only one escape and that is Big Gorgeous. The San Francisco based duo are at their purest part metal theatre and part pervy pop goodness. They write songs about outrageous situations that are so catchy and infectious you can’t help but smile.

Big Gorgeous by Ben DeCastro

Big Gorgeous by Ben DeCastro

I first saw Big Gorgeous when they played an off venue gig at Iceland Airwaves in 2018. I had been told to check them out and loved that they had a local musician Eric Johnson of Cincinnati’s Founding Fathers along for some backup vocals and stage prop management. The show was about 25 mins in Lucky Records and was a raucous, over the top, fun time.

Big Gorgeous performing at Lucky Records during Iceland Airwaves 2018.

Big Gorgeous performing at Lucky Records during Iceland Airwaves 2018.

Big Gorgeous is coming back to my hometown for a short but ambitious tour with Founding Fathers who are releasing their 2018 album Mating Rites on vinyl. I recently had a chance to chat with Young Potatoe, half the duo of Big Gorgeous about what an adventure this whole musical performance art project has been so far.

To start at the beginning, the artist behind the moniker, Young Potatoe, outlined the birth of his stage name/personality. Spawned as a bit of an expansion of his childhood dream to create a professional wrestling personality, when he arrived to college aside from his academic studies he pursued his dream of entering into wrestling school. His bit of acting experience and theatre talents also came into play when after writing a few songs with his other half, the Big Gorgeous, and the dream to play live versions of their material came to fruition. The Big Gorgeous was initially concerned that just he and Young Potatoe alone performing wouldn’t be enough to carry the show, especially as he gently reminded Young Potatoe that he doesn’t play any instruments. But as everything else he does in life, Young Potatoe made a deal with the Big Gorgeous that he would come up with a show that just the two of them could put on and make this dream come true.

The Wrapped Up Tight 2019 tour kicks off tonight in Wisconsin before they’ll make it down to Cincinnati on Sunday for the Founding Fathers vinyl release show, “I am so excited for the show in Cincinnati because it’s their hometown and our first time playing there and we’re really hoping for a big fun night” said Young Potatoe. Founding Fathers and Big Gorgeous are terrific on their own but when the two groups get together the energy is off the charts. You can see a little of this in the guest spots of Founding Fathers members in the Big Gorgeous video for “Puddles” which debuted two weeks ago on Youtube.

You can follow Big Gorgeous and Founding Fathers on this ambitious 20 shows in the next 23 days and support them here and here.

And don’t forget to come seem them live on Sunday May 26th at the Northside Tavern for the Founding Fathers vinyl release show!

circles and circles and circles again

When I last posted here, I had no idea that in just two short months following, my mother would die in a sudden and traumatic end. I couldn’t write for the longest time after that, then I picked up working on short fiction again. The escapism of fiction has always been a nice release, but the mental and emotional toll that losing her took on my well being was just too great.

It’s been nearly a year and a half since that happened.

This blog was inspired by my life and love for Iceland, a country that’s been so healing and so hard to be in for different reasons. When I first traveled there, I carried the enormous weight of having suffered rape at the hands of a friend who I trusted just six months earlier and still couldn’t even process that I experienced that trauma, not even to my partner. When we returned home after that trip, I spent the rest of the summer very much in a healing process and supported by a partner who is and always will be at the core of who I’ve become as an adult.

We didn’t return to Iceland for two years after that, but when we did it felt even more like home to be back on that rock in the middle of the ocean. That trip was a beautiful exploration of the entire island, but not without the heartache of arriving at a small farm in East Iceland, only to receive messages that my mother was suffering from a stroke and it would be days before we could travel home. She recovered, thankfully, but those hours where things weren’t certain as we tried to assess from thousands of miles away were extremely difficult. I had no idea that it would be nearly a year later and she’d be gone forever.

Surviving the loss of a parent is a bizarre and almost unnameable experience. But because we had made it through 6 months of this hell, I suppose my partner wanted a break and he certainly deserved it. So even though it was going to be November and colder than ever when we had previously visited, he booked our return home to that emotional rock in the middle of the ocean and we attended our first Airwaves festival. We made some of the best of friends and saw incredible artists and I thought a lot about what had happened with my mom last time we were there. It was a trip of a indulgence and reward for having made it through the things we had made it through and for that I am forever grateful.

I’ll celebrate my birthday this year when we return to Airwaves. This time of year is always one that is wrapped up in feelings of new beginnings and fresh starts, with the change of seasons and as I start another revolution around the sun. It’s also marked with trauma, however, and we actually depart on the anniversary of my assault, the one I carried with me in silence the first time we traveled to Iceland. And to be sure, the political climate here in the US with the recent confirmation of a known rapist to the Supreme Court nominated by another known rapist has become one of the most difficult daily reminders of this awful experience. But, this time of year is mine, it’s my new start, my renewal, my enduring, and my survival.

So I guess this post is to say, I’m back, I think, here for a while to share again the things I’m reading, writing, listening, and enjoying. Thank you for being here with me.