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Road dogs: stories from Counterpoint Culture's summer tour

"At this point, I realized that we were really in a strange crowd. I mean, I can barely describe how strange it was."

Counterpoint Culture is a four-piece beach/alt-rock band from San Diego. They are vocalist Cameron Pappas, Andrew Krause on lead guitar, bassist Dylan Streshly, and Carlson Miller on drums. Recently, the band returned from a grassroots summer tour. They played clubs and shows in 18 cities across the country, a journey they all described in terms of the extremes of life on the road. Rock and roll adventure? You be the judge. What follows are some of the high points, as told by the band members themselves:

Northern California: After playing three shows in San Francisco, we headed north. We found shelter at Crater Lake before sunset. Crater Lake is at 6000 feet, which means it can get really cold. We got to the camp at about 6 p.m., ate dinner, set up tents, and got into our whiskey supply. We ended up drinking about a third of we had provisioned for the whole tour in one night. We made it to our tents and passed out. I slept until about six in the morning. When I awoke, my sweat had frozen and my fro was stuck to the pillow. I made my way to the fire pit, but I was too incapacitated to figure out how to work my lighter. Luckily, Mark arose from the tent shortly after. He and I finally got the fire started, but we were both numb for hours.

North Carolina: About a week before leaving Wilmington our guitarist got into a little wreck after he dropped his girlfriend off at the airport. We told the mechanics to fix just enough so we could make it back to San Diego. They fixed the bent axle, and left everything else. The massive dent above the wheel and the spent air bags were left un-repaired. Right as we pulled out of the driveway, we heard this horrible noise, like something ripping apart on the bottom of the car. We pulled over and saw the problem. The weight of all five of us in the van had pushed the tire up into the massive dent. Our bassist ran back to the garage and borrowed a huge pair of bolt cutters and a metal saw. After about an hour and a half, we had managed to cut out the entire dent. We were able to make it to the next show but to this day, the van still has a large piece missing.

Colorado: We arrived in Colorado on July 1st. We had shows scheduled for the third and the fifth, but nothing for the fourth. So we put an ad on Craigslist and heard back from some people who were throwing a house party. When we got there, we met Doug, Amanda and Paul. They were each in their early forties. We helped them move all of the furniture out of their living room, which would be our stage. The beverage of the night was honey mead, made by Paul. At first, there weren't many people at the party, but a strange and very diverse crowd started to flow in around sunset. They started vibing to all our grooves, and danced all over the house. But something was different about these people. After playing for about two hours, we took our second break. One of the hosts, Doug, called for the band to come downstairs. He told us everybody was tripping their faces off on mushrooms. After our next set, it was time for a "fire show". Many towns in Colorado had banned fireworks that summer so instead, Paul provided a show. He was wearing devil horns and he started off spitting fire. Then he lit two spheres on fire and started swinging them around.

Texas: We had always heard good things about Austin, so we made sure to include it on our tour schedule. We arrived on a Friday but our show was not until Saturday night so we took some time to explore the city. We grabbed some food and then went in search of the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue. After, we hit the infamous 6th Street, the hub of Austin nightlife. The entire street was lined with bars and clubs and there were people all over the streets, kinda like New Orleans' Bourbon Street. We started hitting up every bar that we could find with live music. Normally, we try to do street promotion before our shows by handing out demo CDs and fliers. After nine or 10 drinks, we were stuffing demo CDs and fliers in everybody's face and telling them about how revolutionary our music is. Around 2 a.m. we decided we should probably head back to the house we were staying at. We stumbled towards a gas station to get some munchies when all of a sudden a car came barreling into the parking lot with at least eight cop cars following. The cops all jumped out of their car and pointed their weapons at the vehicle. One of the cops looked over at us and shouted CLEAR THE AREA! Three of us jumped into a cab. The other two ran back to the house, which was four miles away.

New York: Getting lost in any city can leave a person feeling helpless. Getting lost in NYC nearly broke me. I was stranded after leaving a girl's house. I had no phone, no money and 25 blocks to go. Needless to say, I was inebriated. I searched my bag for my last $2.50 and got a corner falafel. I will forever remember how horrible that street falafel was. I sat there on the street corner with no idea what time it was or where I was in relation to my final destination. After another hour or so of me wandering and asking directions, my savior waltzed around the corner. It was my old roommate from Mission Beach, Sean, who was living in Ocean City, NJ. For a few mellow Ocean Beach and Encinitas guys, this kind of city life rocked us down to the bone.

Counterpoint Culture performs at Gallagher's in Ocean Beach on October 12th

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Counterpoint Culture is a four-piece beach/alt-rock band from San Diego. They are vocalist Cameron Pappas, Andrew Krause on lead guitar, bassist Dylan Streshly, and Carlson Miller on drums. Recently, the band returned from a grassroots summer tour. They played clubs and shows in 18 cities across the country, a journey they all described in terms of the extremes of life on the road. Rock and roll adventure? You be the judge. What follows are some of the high points, as told by the band members themselves:

Northern California: After playing three shows in San Francisco, we headed north. We found shelter at Crater Lake before sunset. Crater Lake is at 6000 feet, which means it can get really cold. We got to the camp at about 6 p.m., ate dinner, set up tents, and got into our whiskey supply. We ended up drinking about a third of we had provisioned for the whole tour in one night. We made it to our tents and passed out. I slept until about six in the morning. When I awoke, my sweat had frozen and my fro was stuck to the pillow. I made my way to the fire pit, but I was too incapacitated to figure out how to work my lighter. Luckily, Mark arose from the tent shortly after. He and I finally got the fire started, but we were both numb for hours.

North Carolina: About a week before leaving Wilmington our guitarist got into a little wreck after he dropped his girlfriend off at the airport. We told the mechanics to fix just enough so we could make it back to San Diego. They fixed the bent axle, and left everything else. The massive dent above the wheel and the spent air bags were left un-repaired. Right as we pulled out of the driveway, we heard this horrible noise, like something ripping apart on the bottom of the car. We pulled over and saw the problem. The weight of all five of us in the van had pushed the tire up into the massive dent. Our bassist ran back to the garage and borrowed a huge pair of bolt cutters and a metal saw. After about an hour and a half, we had managed to cut out the entire dent. We were able to make it to the next show but to this day, the van still has a large piece missing.

Colorado: We arrived in Colorado on July 1st. We had shows scheduled for the third and the fifth, but nothing for the fourth. So we put an ad on Craigslist and heard back from some people who were throwing a house party. When we got there, we met Doug, Amanda and Paul. They were each in their early forties. We helped them move all of the furniture out of their living room, which would be our stage. The beverage of the night was honey mead, made by Paul. At first, there weren't many people at the party, but a strange and very diverse crowd started to flow in around sunset. They started vibing to all our grooves, and danced all over the house. But something was different about these people. After playing for about two hours, we took our second break. One of the hosts, Doug, called for the band to come downstairs. He told us everybody was tripping their faces off on mushrooms. After our next set, it was time for a "fire show". Many towns in Colorado had banned fireworks that summer so instead, Paul provided a show. He was wearing devil horns and he started off spitting fire. Then he lit two spheres on fire and started swinging them around.

Texas: We had always heard good things about Austin, so we made sure to include it on our tour schedule. We arrived on a Friday but our show was not until Saturday night so we took some time to explore the city. We grabbed some food and then went in search of the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue. After, we hit the infamous 6th Street, the hub of Austin nightlife. The entire street was lined with bars and clubs and there were people all over the streets, kinda like New Orleans' Bourbon Street. We started hitting up every bar that we could find with live music. Normally, we try to do street promotion before our shows by handing out demo CDs and fliers. After nine or 10 drinks, we were stuffing demo CDs and fliers in everybody's face and telling them about how revolutionary our music is. Around 2 a.m. we decided we should probably head back to the house we were staying at. We stumbled towards a gas station to get some munchies when all of a sudden a car came barreling into the parking lot with at least eight cop cars following. The cops all jumped out of their car and pointed their weapons at the vehicle. One of the cops looked over at us and shouted CLEAR THE AREA! Three of us jumped into a cab. The other two ran back to the house, which was four miles away.

New York: Getting lost in any city can leave a person feeling helpless. Getting lost in NYC nearly broke me. I was stranded after leaving a girl's house. I had no phone, no money and 25 blocks to go. Needless to say, I was inebriated. I searched my bag for my last $2.50 and got a corner falafel. I will forever remember how horrible that street falafel was. I sat there on the street corner with no idea what time it was or where I was in relation to my final destination. After another hour or so of me wandering and asking directions, my savior waltzed around the corner. It was my old roommate from Mission Beach, Sean, who was living in Ocean City, NJ. For a few mellow Ocean Beach and Encinitas guys, this kind of city life rocked us down to the bone.

Counterpoint Culture performs at Gallagher's in Ocean Beach on October 12th

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I can always count on Good, for good stories!!!!!

Oct. 14, 2013

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