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Indie electronic pop duo Claudeo recently returned from a U.S. tour that included dates in Stanley, Idaho (pop. 100), New Orleans, and an impromptu festival date in San Antonio, Texas.

Cue up Claudeo’s debut Sing it Out EP as half the band, Ivan DeYoung-Dominguez, talks to The Reader about bald eagles, Christian goths, and ice cream across America:

“I’ve never been on tour before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Sure I’d traveled a little bit through Spain and Argentina to help perfect my command of Castellano but nothing as large scale as touring across the United States for the whole fall.

“A couple moments stand out in my mind. We played at a wedding in Stanley, ID which was supremely beautiful. Red Fish Lake was a color of blue I’ve never seen outside of a tropical setting. While at the wedding I saw a bald eagle (in the wild) for the first time. During the reception at the wedding in Stanley some of the other guests pointed it out as it circled the area we were at. It dropped down and snagged a fish from the creek next to the building were the reception was happening. I’ve done my fair share of backpacking and camping but I didn’t realize how large bald eagles really were. It’s pretty unmistakable. As the eagle flew off the girl next to me turned and said ‘Merica.’

“In Cincinnati, OH we met a woman who is affably referred to as Goth Mom Donna. She’s super active in the Midwest Christian Goth community. We were kinda blown away because we didn’t know much about goths, and even less about Ghristian goths. She runs a ministry called the Grave Robbers. An unfortunate effect of conservatism in the Christian community is that people who choose to dress differently than mainstreams norms are ostracized, picked on, and bullied. As if goths were poorly understood anyways, Christian goths even less so.

“While in Cincy we ate at Jenny’s Ice Cream. We made it a thing to eat all kinds of ice cream across America (I gained 10 pounds on tour) and I can say with some certainty that Jenny’s is hands down a cut above all other gourmet ice cream makers.

“We played in New York the weekend before Hurricane Sandy hit. It was a bit disconcerting when Sandy hit because we had literally just been there. Fortunately we were already in the South, safe and sound.

“In New Orleans, after we played at the House of Blues, we went and saw Soul Rebels Brass Band perform at Le Bon Temps Roule. Those guys put on a hellava show. The jazz tradition can be a bit cumbersome because some people choose to follow the musical formulas as they were established by the first jazz musicians. Soul Rebels chooses a different method. Instead of playing the music of our jazz forefathers, they seek what they sought. An eclectic, technical, musically dynamic soundscape that isn’t bound to pre-established genre specific boxes and labels. Those guys are definitely working on a different level. They’re a brass band, but they’re more than a brass band and they’re pushing the boundaries of what music played by brass bands can be.

“While on our way out of New Orlean (Nawlens), we stopped by Best Stop (kinda outside of Lafayette). It’s a butcher shop that specialized in all kinds of delicious meat specialties of the South. We had cracklin, boudin, and boudin balls. Boudin balls were my all-time favorite because it was like eating a fried donut hole with meat in it.

“When we got to San Antonio, TX the gig we had fallen through but a local band, The Lost Project, totally helped us book a gig at the main stage on a festival that weekend.

“The night before our gig in San Antonio, TX I went to a warehouse art show party with my buddy Leif Ashman (who was working at a nearby farm). We got invited to go hang out at some natural hot springs because a friend of a friend was the groundskeeper for the hot springs property. I was the first person to get to the property, which was down some dark road, across railroad tracks, and behind two unlocked gates. It was like something out of a scary movie because of how sketchy it seemed. The property was the ruins of San Antonio Hot Wells Bathhouse that had its heyday sometime around the early 1900s. The hotel has burned down multiple times, but the stone and brick bath house pools still stand and the well still produces hot well water. I was the only member of the party to jump in the sludgy sulphurous hot tub (probably because of the smell) and it was quite enjoyable.

“Driving between Dallas, TX and Santa Fe, NM we saw: 1 chemical plant fire (literally it had exploded), 1 car fire, and a commercial semi-truck with its merchandise on fire (they stopped the freeway and made us drive backwards to take a different route).

“In Santa Fe, NM I didn’t realize we were at elevation (7200 feet). I tried doing my usual morning workout and could not do anything. I actually thought it was the ice cream that finally had caught up with me, but our host cited the elevation. We hadn’t yet acclimated yet.”

Welcome them back at The Griffin tomorrow Thursday, December 13 with Oliver Trolley, We Are Sirens, and Dr. Seahorse - $5 at the door or free with RSVP.

Bring Ivan your favorite scoop of ice cream (or diet pill) – show starts at 8:30.

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