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Takin it Easy, Health Care, NYC, & What The 54 is All About.

So here we are again. It’s Walt with The 54, and I gotta say… we’ve been somewhat taking it easy since we’ve gotten off tour back in April, at least as far as shows go. So far we’ve but performed a charity show about a month ago called 500 Songs For Kids, which was great, as it always is. It’s a big event in Atlanta; we performed last year… but it’s not a full show, even though I personally managed to headbang a huge knot into the back of my neck (which I couldn’t go to the doctor cuz of freakin  health care! It’s all good now though)… I mean, the whooole tour and no injury amongst the whole band, and then we perform one song for this charity event… Anyway, sorry I’m off topic.  So we haven’t by any means been inactive, but we’ve been off the stage for several weeks now- which is cool. We did see a lot of each other for those two months. Honestly, it was a lot of fun- being out on the road seeing new cities, meeting new fans. Performing with Janelle Monae for 10 dates was great as well. And ya know, ever since that tour ended, she has been really tearing up the talk show circuit!… Yeeeep it’s really great to see how her young career has blossomed after getting a boost from being on tour with The 54… But ya know things like that are what The 54 is all about- so good for her.

So what’s going on with The 54??? We’ve been in Atlanta, composing, recording demos, a little practice to make sure we don’t get rusty, and honestly trying to take care of a bit of band business… but we’re all really excited about hitting the road again! Which brings me to my next point…
The 54 is hitting the road again! That’s right! Black Betty (our van) is in the shop right now getting ready for her next trek. This time- we’re heading back to the Big City- New York, New York. We’re getting our toll and parking lot money ready and we’re puttin it in a big ole pot cuz we’re goin to Gotham. Yeahh word son. From 3:00 to 3:30 on June 26th we’ll be performing in Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn on day one of The 2010 Afro-Punk Festival! We’re going on a few slots before Bad Brains- pretty cool right? So if you’re in the NYC Metropolitan, check it out! It should be a pretty awesome return to action. And that’s what The 54 is aaaall about.

Thanks for reading. Till next time!

Grillin’ with The 54

Hey it’s Walt. So… you may not know this about us and it does not apply to all of us, but among us in The 54… are foodies. Yes, foodies, and foodies like to prepare, cook, taste, and scrutinize food- fine foods, and at any and every chance they get. Several posts ago, I referenced that we were going to customize the van. Well, we drove out to paint it at our friend’s shop over on tha west side, shawty… Ahem. Anyway, so you can imagine that when our friend suggested we bring food and beer… it was going down. The grill was brought out and we threw some steaks on and everybody just got really crunk instantaneously. That’s how it really happened. And that’s how you paint a car.

Here’s the video with our song Throw it All Away playing in the background. Enjoy.

Tour Footage: Detroit

What’s up people.  It’s Walt from The 54, freshly back from a touring  for about 2 months both independently and with our favorite android/singer, Janelle Monae which was in a word- great. Anyway, we got some video evidence. Here’s some footage of one of the shows with JM in at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit. There will be more vids to follow. The song in this video is called Throw It All Away.

Tetris (The 54’s Version)

Tetris Style

Tetris Style

No trailers here buddy!!! We have everything in this Tour Van aka ‘BLACK BETTY!’

As you can see here we have: Merch Bins, 2-Guitar Amps, a Bass Amp, 2-guitar Cases, a bass-guitar case, Drums, a tech bin, and two banners (and that’s just the back of the van). Not to mention water bottles, Fruit, Sleeping Gear, and other Misc. stuff. We were able to fit all this into one 12 Passenger Van…

My advice to touring bands (especially to the bands going on their first tours, like ourselves) sometimes you don’t need those huge Mashall Cabinets especially if you’re only playing on small stages. This helps to cut down on a lot of space, AND GAS!!! Note: we are a 4 piece band so if you’re rollin’ with 5+ than a trailer maybe necessary…lol

-Mike-Mike (Drummer, The 54)

The DrummerDiet – “0:30min workout”

Hello World! Its Mike (Drummer, The 54),and talk about a common issue I hear from many drummers especially those drummers that have day jobs and may not have enough time to get personal practice in the evening. So I want to introduce the first of my many tips.
GEtting right to it, most musicians lack organization in personal practice. With good organiztion I promise you will begin to see results! So here’s a peek at what my practice usually looks like:
Warm up (0:05)
Foot Technique (0:10)
Hand Technique (0:10)
Jam out to a Difficult Cover (0:05)
This looks very elementary, but the point is the organization! And it works!
Showtime!!!

Showtime!!!

YO!!! Can the Fans Get Some Luv’

Dominate

So today we thought we let our fans be heard!

Byron McCray: You guys ROCKED Joe’s Pub tonight! My life is forever changed thanks to a little band I like to call THE 54!! I’m definitely at the next NYC set!

Cherrye Davis: Just saw you guys at Joe’s Pub, and you blew mine. Excited for your presence in Music, cant wait till u come back to NYC…Just Dope.

Eric Gar: First time saw you guys last night at the highline ballroom. Great opening! At the end of the night I was still singing Bi$?: Mot$erF_’.#r , Dominate is so catchy.

Shane Spacey Sweetwood: One of the dopest sets I’ve seen in a long time @ SOBs on tuesday nite. u doods are officially the most known unknown. have a good show in ny!

Todd Clark: The 54 put it down in Motown!!! Damn!!! Ya’ll need to come back to the “D” real soon! “Let’s get Crazy”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! St. Andrews Hall will never be the same ;-)

Michael Tekhen Strode Hey! I know those guys! THE 54 can call Chicago home whenever they damn well please! I always need a good excuse to say *****! You ************! And it just don’t sound the same sitting in the sanctity of your own home or car spouting off such obscenities to yourself. *chuckles*

Thanks again to all fans from the south, Midwest, and east-coast!

On the Road

We told you we were gonna black her out... Her name is Black Betty, aka the Swagg Waggon... just kidding.

We told you we were gonna black her out... Her name is Black Betty, aka the Swagg Waggon... just kidding.

So being on the road, makes it a little less convenient to update but we’re filming as much as we can to make a little documentary, so as soon as we get the chance to edit all this, we’ll probly have a good 10 esipodes of videos for you all.

We’re in Jackson, Mississippi right now at my grandmother’s house. We got in yesterday at 8 somethin in the morning, fresh off ripping up a show in New Orleans and then hangin out with some of our friends, and having a little too much fun- stark contrast bein here, but the food is much better. Safe to say we just chilled most of yesterday, but now we’re up and getting ready to eat one last homecooked meal before we head to Memphis to perform…

Anyway, breaking news… SXSW is CRAZY. Honestly, we’d heard all the talk about it, but we really didn’t give it credit… Well any doubt was put to rest as soon as we exited the freeway. Can’t wait to go back to Austin.

So… the last two legs of this tour we’re on may end up looking a little different by the time we get to them but for anyone out there who want to see us in your town (and sorry for the delay on posting this), the first leg of our tour post SXSW looks like this:

Mar 22 2010 9:00P
Bank St. Bar New Orleans, Louisiana
Mar 24 2010 7:30P
Nocturnal Memphis, Tennessee
Mar 27 2010 8:00P
Lager house Detroit, Michigan
Mar 29 2010 8:00P
Schubas Tavern w/ Janelle Monae Chicago, Illinois
Mar 30 2010 8:00P
Schubas Tavern w/ Janelle Monae chicago, Illinois
Mar 31 2010 8:00P
The Varsity Theater w/ Janelle Monae Minneapolis, Minnesota
Apr 2 2010 8:00P
St. Andrews W/ Janelle Monae Detroit, Michigan
Apr 5 2010 8:00P
Smith’s Old Bar w/ Janelle Monae Atlanta, Georgia
Apr 6 2010 8:00P
Smith’s Old Bar w/ Janelle Monae Atlanta, Georgia
Apr 9 2010 8:00P
National Underground New York, New York
Apr 10 2010 8:00P
The Knitting Factory New York, New York
Apr 12 2010 8:00P
North Star Bar Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Apr 14 2010 8:00P
Asylum D.C, Washington DC
Apr 16 2010 10:00P
Half Shell Virginia Beach, Virginia

Ballin’

Sooo we’re going on our first (semi) national tour in the spring. So we went out and bought a van…

Straight cash homie. Cuz that’s how we roll… Ballin!

Ford Tuff

b00ty shot

Ohhh yess….

Can’t wait to name this beauty… (and paint her black).

Anyway, holla.

Walter Chastang,

The 54

Who??

Ok the topic of this link may be a little late. I’m actually somewhat surprised no one has said anything about this yet. Of course I’m talking about the Super Bowl!… more specifically, the halftime performance by The Who. It’s obvious why this choice was, yet again, highly debated by a lot of people. The NFL, since the foreeeever infamous “wardrobe malfunction” incident with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, has taken the safe senior citizen approach to music… Lets take a look at the list; since the controversy in 2004 we’ve seen:
2005- Paul McCartney 2006- The Rolling Stones 2007- Prince 2008- Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers 2009- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and now 2010- The Who.

The Who Superbowl Halftime Performance

Now lets look at these guys’ ages. With the exception of Prince (and those mystery/auxillary/replacement members all these bands seem to have now…) every single one of these guys is in their 60s!!! (Prince is a mere 51). Prince, or honestly, any of these acts would have been an OK selection… but that’s if it were just one of them and the other years had different acts! Otherwise, they’re just lumped in with what seems to be the AARP Brigade!

-”Hold on! What are you sayin?? These guys are legends!”

That’s right. Every one of em is. I do not dispute their musical history of greatness. They’re just too old now. I mean, who wants to see, year in and year out, performers who are mere shells of their former selves? Nothing against them, but they just can’t perform like they could 40 years ago… that’s just the way it works when you’re a human being!

-”But the NFL is just giving fans what they want. Think about the average NFL fan. It’s not just a bunch of young people!”

Well I’m glad you mentioned that. All you have to do is Google ‘average age of NFL fan’ and you’ll see that Experian’s market research reported that around Superbowl time, the average NFL fan is not in his/her 60s… in fact the demographics are pretty even. Here are the numbers.

35-44                           21%

45-54                           20%

25-34                           18%

65+                              16%

55-64                           15%

18-24                           10%

And just so you don’t have to do the math, it’s only 51% above age 44 compared to 49% under. And this data doesn’t even include those under 18. I know I didn’t wait till I became a legal adult to start tuning in to the Superbowl.

-”Well who do you wanna see anyway? These young new auto tune people? Taylor Swift? Jonas Brothers?? Lil’ Wayne???”

No, no, and no. There are two things that I’m glad has changed about the Super Bowl Halftime Show since 2004: 1) That they aren’t trying to squeeze something like 7 acts and 13 chopped up songs into 12 minutes, and 2) That they aren’t doing pop music anymore cuz pop music kiiinda sucks right now.

So who do I propose play these shows? Well look. Someone who’s 40 now… was 20 in 1990… 20! So I say it’s at LEAST time to move up a couple decades out of the 60s and 70s and into the 90s.

-”Well you can’t just have these legends for 5 years in a row and then go to some 90s non-hall-of-fame act. There will be a huge drop off.”

Well we can even eeease into it maybe with an act that has had success throughout the decades. U2 and Aerosmith have already performed so they’re out, but someone such as Santana who is in his 60s but has managed to stay relevant with each generation up through the 2000’s would work just to ease us out of antiquity. But look, can we eventually get a Pearl Jam or somethin? They’re back together. Soundgarden is back together. Alice In Chains is reformed. Smashing Pumpkins never left. What about Red Hot Chili Peppers? Foo Fighters? These guys sold a looot of records! Metallica is one of the best selling bands of all time too, though they might be a little too aggressive for the NFL. I could even be ok with eventually seeing Nickelback (who I’m not that big on), or Linkin Park or even Jay-Z perform. They’ve all sold enough records to qualify.

I’m not saying never let an old guy perform in the Super Bowl ever again… Just don’t ONLY let old guys perform! There are other generations of music lovers watching the Super Bowl! It’s time for the NFL to get younger or else the NFL is going to go from already being called the No Fun League to being called the Nothing Fresh League or the Needs Femurs League. I’m just sayin…

and by “I,” I mean

Walter Chastang… of The 54.

Ok I’m through bashing old people now. Comments are welcome. I’m out.

High Flying

So we just got back from South Carolina at 8:00 this morning… but more importantly, The 54 has a NEW record for Scariest Trip Home Ever. A Quasi Hurricane that blew us from side to side while driving over miles of bridges over the Atlantic Ocean while dodging epic lightning bolts nudging our truck threatening to break down in the pitch black Appalacian forest. So it was exciting…

We try to find interesting ways to keep ourselves physically engaged. Also, we usually do this on wednesday mornings. B-)