Chad and Sybil here,
After just returning from our wonderful trip to Europe, it is our pleasure to introduce you to the "Mother Maple" music video.
With where this song landed, it resonated with us in a surprising way. Initially it was to really celebrate the Mother Maple in a forest who gives to all maples around her so much so, that eventually she falls apart herself. The life is sucked out of her because of all she gives to keep the ones she loves thriving.
As a mother today it is so easy to have this internal struggle where you want more than you can possibly handle, while maintaining your health, career, relationships and of course being a good Mom. This video was meant to highlight the importance of a woman who respects the need to take care of herself, in order to be strong for those around her.
The idea behind her being naked with a shaved head was a way to tap into her subconscious without the accessories that in many ways define women and also add a lot of pressure to our days. She belongs to herself. She needs to feed her spirit with self care and strength. Yes, this is a personal journey that is intertwined throughout her day but an absolute essential element to her growth as an individual. She is the new, "Mother Maple."
EURO TOUR RECAP
Our trip started by getting to Logan Airport around 4:00 pm - all eight of us. The woman behind the curtain said “if you wait a day and take another plane, we will give you travel vouchers.” We said ok and started to return home. She said, “no, you still have to go to the gate incase there’s room for you.” When we got to the gate, there was room, so we got on. Two 70-somethings, four 30-somethings, two babies.
We arrived in Frankfurt at 6 in the morning, got in a rental car and headed to Wurzburg. We found our little house we'd rented in the woods and settled in.
The first show was in Stuttgart, with the demure opener Joy Astray. We met our old friend Wolfgang who was to travel with us. About half way home on the no-speed-limit autobahn, Willy who was driving, cries out “oh shit!” — I look up as the car slams into a wild boar the size of an ox. We limp to the side of the road to examine the car (and possibly the boar). We learn that folks in Europe have stopped eating
boar on account of the radioactive mushrooms the boars have been eating courtesy of Chernobyl. This boar must’ve had more than his share of shrooms because he was gigantic and totaled the car without a hint of blood - just a little hide.
The next days and gigs went by. Willy, Wolfgang and I hustling back to the shack to catch some sleep before the kids woke up. Willy slept in the kitchen, so he had no choice but to get up with the gang. The woods were beautiful out there and we explored the dirt roads deep into the forest - always with our slightly deflated football in tow. At night while Willy and I were gone, Sybil, the kids and my folks hung out with the good people of Wurzburg on Saints' Bridge in the middle of town - drinking wine, eating ice-cream and even swing dancing as the Main River flowed underneath. This every night bridge hang was a really cool tradition I hadn’t seen in any other city.
We transferred to a bus in Hamburg, and played in an amazing old movie theater on the Reeperbahn called Prinzenbar. After the gig we went to my favorite bar in all of Europe called Rosie’s. As usual, there was a DJ stuffed into a wooded corner playing old 45s of 60s soul. It’s amazing that the place doesn’t fall apart. It basically never closes and often has a bloke or two asleep on the one coach that looks like it’s been there since The Beatles cut their teeth on this street. There were a bunch of huge dudes there who were on a tradesmen’s customary two year walkabout; where in they go around Germany in traditional costume learning their craft and apprenticing in different cities. A few of them were so big they made tall Willy look like a wee child. Rosie’s is a small joint so it only took 6 of them to pack the place - we squeezed in and treated them to some good ol’ American twerking.
My sister Farley and her son Oscar joined us in London. A wild crowd in the Boston Music Room that night! Also some great vegetarian Ethiopian food and laundry around the corner. The next day we went to Normandy. We were astounded by the bravery of those men who came to shore so many years ago to face almost certain death.
Paris was next. We stumbled upon a cafe like no other. Le Pavillon des Canaux: fresh yogurt, granola, baskets of bread for the taking and upstairs people lounging on beds and even someone sitting and writing in an empty bath tub a la The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David. We ran football routes in a turfed and roofed courtyard with the kids while local Parisian kids ran around us trying to dowse each other with one liter bottles that they kept refilling at a nearby fountain. That night my folks went to the classic burlesque show Crazy Horse (definitely more interesting than our own show). In the red light district Willy and I opened up for a Montreal/now Berlin based band lead by Mark Berube and Luciole. Mark and I looked so much alike, that his band mates kept coming up to me thinking I was him and my family vice versa. When the bus picked us up on the narrow street I couldn't stop for long so we synchronized it so that we were ready and as soon as it stopped we all went running out of the club and threw our stuff on and disappeared into the outskirts and then the countryside, headed for Italy.
Milan: curated by the amazing Carlo who took us around to interviews and radio performances - one in a beautiful old studio where a grand piano that was once played by Duke Ellington, quietly stood still like an old racehorse out to pasture. We later played at Biko - a wonderful club filled with wonderful people, named after anti-apartheid activist who died in police custody. Nelson Mandela said about Biko's death, “they had to kill him to prolong the life of apartheid.”
In Graz, Austria we were joined by 12 twenty-somethings on a second bus for Calling All Crow's Alternative Break Tour (number 13) lead by the intrepid Shayna and Nika. In Budapest, Sybil and the gang all rented segways and Willy went out to the "third best" bar in Europe (a "ruin pub" called Szimpla) with ABT13. He decided to forego the spa-arty (spa party - ancient hot spring temples that turn into wet raves every Saturday night). We did get to shoot bow and arrows and cross bows at one of the castles in Buda. For the show, we played in the old Jewish ghetto which is now a total hotspot for night life and all that comes with it — could barely walk through the crowded alleyways and careless streets. We finished up the tour with an amazing crowd in an old slaughterhouse in Vienna.
Willy and I flew to New York for a small show the very next night and met up with our old train hoppin’ gang Nick and Matt, who were on their way to Maine. The next morning we Amtrak’d it home - celebrating the end of tour with some brews in the cafe car.
Thank you to all who came out and made it such a lovely time. We feel so inspired by your presence and outlook. Keep fighting the powers that be.
- Chad and Sybil