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moosebutter news and musings

Tim Tim - Fri, 28 Jul 2006 9:40 am

Cruisin' the Hi-Line

Highway 2 -- North, north, north United States. The furthest North freeway in the US. We followed it East from Shelby, MT, all the way to Minot, ND -- it continues further to the East, though I don't think anyone has actually dared to see JUST HOW FAR IT ACTUALLY GOES. To the West, it stretches all the way to Hawaii. Or so I hear.

Monday we booked it on over here to Minot. Weston, Chris and Jorge traveling in one vehicle got here a couple hours ahead of Tim and his pretty little family, who drove through a massive thunder storm. Blowing-construction-signs-across-the-street massive.

Minot is a pretty big city, evidenced by the requisite population of fast food chains and a super wal-mart. The North Dakota State Fair is pretty massive -- big grandstand entertainment including Carrie Underwood, Steve Miller Band, Keith Urban and the like; 10 free stages, one of which has us doing our happy little act three times a day.

Fairs, especially the carnivals, are interesting places. The only carnival-esque experience I had growing up was at Lagoon, an amusement park in North-Central Utah. There you have the rides, the games, the booths, the food stands and the everything else, I think deliberately set up to imitate a carnival, but with a few major differences: it's paved (so no dust), it's pretty cheap (because you pay for most of it at the gate), and it's staffed by teenagers. Real carnivals are dusty, hot, expensive (five bucks for two dart throws?), and staffed mostly by old, craggy, chain-smoking dudes. Scary to walk the kids past. No wonder these places are dying out -- it's gross.

That being said, it's a totally different beast than Lagoon, or even the carnival that rides through our part of Colorado every year and sets up camp in the mall parking lot. People in the Boulder area are not hurting for things to do. Even the poorest are pretty well off, and most laborers are not hard laborers. For a town like Shelby, MT, the fair is a big thing -- possibly THE big thing all year. They don't have Lagoon, or Six Flags, or the local water park to hang out at all year; there are not big events a few miles away happening every weekend; they work hard, and amusement is a different thing than to us cooshy lifers. The fair is the big thing -- they enjoy it when it comes.

It was interesting to see the confluence of cultures -- the older folks still wear the boots and wranglers and flannel shirts; younger, you still get boots, but they're usually wearing gap on top, or cowboy hats and nike airs. And we saw a group of highly-pierced punks hanging out at the rodeo. Cool.

Speaking of rodeo. Watched some regional competition rounds of calf roping and bronco riding. I always thought it was bizarre when they did rodeos at the Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake City. Now I get it a little more -- plain country, Montana, that's how people up here survive. I don't know how much calf roping actually gets done anymore, but at least not long ago this was a living -- if you couldn't catch a calf, heard cattle, tame a horse, and master the elements, you dead. The community celebrated the skills that kept them alive. Not to mention that people like to show off, and you show off in ways that can be measured -- everyone rides a horse? Everyone can tell who's best at riding a horse, so let's have a contest.

Medieval / Renaissance, you got what? Pageants, jousts, sword fighting -- celebrating the skills and abilities that kept kingdoms strong and armies powerful. Fencing: a sport that grew out of a martial art. Even the Olympics originally started with events that mirrored war, both ancient and modern -- javelin, discus; equestrian events, rifle shooting and archery.

And, of course, ballroom dancing.

Tim Tim - Sat, 22 Jul 2006 11:37 pm

Havre, MT July 22, 2006

News from the Road deux

Day two at Shelby was cool - three afternoon shows in the scorching heat, glowing neck sunburns to show for it. Lots of fun stuff with the audience, great requests, excellent sing-a-longs.

This morning we drove to Havre... if you can't have 'er in Havre, ya know... three shows today, too! And got to watch the curly blonde haired magician in between!


So we walk through the lobby of the hotel Saturday Night and Jorge has, I lie not, FIVE GIRLS sitting on the couch next to him. We had driven into this town less than twelve hours before and he had already managed to collect a harem of cool, smart girls. There must be swarms of broken hearts in Massachussets since he left (can hearts swarm? Why not?) because he's a ladie's man -- not in a bad way, but he's funny, easy going, and completely devoid of that sickening macho-man swagger that makes many a high school/early college-aged boys so dopey. He's not shy, either, and he's genuinely interested in other people and in ideas; so no wonder the smart girls want to hang out with him.

Tim Tim - Thu, 20 Jul 2006 10:01 pm

Shelby, MT July 20

News from the Road:

We're up here in beautiful Shelby, MT, kicking it at the Marias County Fair. Had a show tonight at the horse track/mud wrestling pit (actually mud racing but who's splitting hairs?). We were performing at the front of the bleachers with the audience in the bleachers right in front of us. Interesting trying to navigate our stage movement by jumping from bleacher seat to bleacher seat. Girl who did interpretive dance actually fell down a couple steps. Grooooovy.

Highlight of the show #1: the dude who sang the amazing solo on I Will Survive - dude, all I can say is, dude. Wow. Dude. Highlight of the show #2: Weston swinging his coat around his head and knocking Chris' mic out of his hand, which spun crazily and was somehow caught by the deft fingers of the Chris.

Then Weston and Tim played hoop with the stud kids of the hoop yard (Jorge played the first part and did well for only having three toes).

Now we're enjoying a lovely summer night in Shelby. Woot.

Tim Tim - Wed, 5 Jul 2006 10:44 pm

Bring moosebutter to your town! (pt. 2)

Last time we told you about the first strategy to bring moosebutter to your town.

Remember the principle -- to get us to your town, the people doing the hiring have to have a favorable impression of us

This time we're giving you two things to try.

  1. First, after you've checked with the theaters and concert series, CHECK IN WITH ALL YOUR LOCAL SCHOOLS -- go through the same thing; you'll probably want to personally talk to just the school people you know. Use the same approach, but tell them that we do fascinating and educational school programs (which we do -- we wouldn't make something like that up). You and they can find more information about our school programs at
  2. The second thing to do is to INCREASE THE NUMBER OF POSITIVE CONTACTS. Have all your friends -- who also naturally adore moosebutter and want as much as you do to bring us to town -- contact the same people. Remember, be nice and cool -- they don't need to get assaulted. But send them emails; send them a letter describing a great experience you've had with moosebutter; ask them about us when you run into them on the street. Think big -- have your parents, or a teacher, contact them, and tell them why they should pay moosebutter to visit. If you are a parent or a teacher, elaborate on how important moosebutter has been in your childrens'/students'/your own life. Give them a positive impression -- so that when we send them more information, they've been prepared!

Muchos Gracias.

Tim Tim - Wed, 5 Jul 2006 10:40 pm

Bring moosebutter to your town! (pt.1)

moosebutter is beginning a vigorous and rigorous traveling and performing schedule and we want to do a BIG show for a BIG crowd in YOUR TOWN. Problem is, we just
don't know your area, your people, your town the way you do. We don't always know who to
contact, or how, to get scheduled for a concert. And when we do, we can't be there to do
lots of pre-show advertising.

So, here's what we need you to do:

If you want us to play in your town, keep your eyes open for venues, events, activities,
and companies that have entertainment. Find out who schedules that entertainment. Then
-- and this is the most important part -- contact that person(s) and recommend us. Don't
be pushy, don't be fanatical, don't be weird, just say -- "hi, my name is ____, I live
here, I like the _____ (summer concert series, shows, parties) you schedule. I know of
this great group called moosebutter -- have you heard of them? They'd be perfect for your
event! Can I have them send you more information?"

That's it. Then get their email address and phone number, and pass them along to us;
recommend that they visit moosebutter.com to see who we are -- and that's it! We'll take
care of the rest! Until we come to your town, of course, when you'll get to help us do
other things in exchange for excellent moosebutter prizes!

There are lots of things you can do to get us to your town, but the most important is to give the people who hire entertainment a favorable impression of us. You can do it! You're on the front lines!
You're like the bring-moosebutter-to-our-town-freedom-fighters-force-squad!
Non-violently! Of course!

More information to come!