Analog Tour Recap

It came through on September 10th 2023. 

Lightning struck at a gig we’d done on November 23rd the year prior. I’d had the sudden urge to turn a regular New Zealand bar gig into a “Thanksgiving Show”. Pseudo American venues had been asking me for “Thanksgiving music” all month – a thing which doesn’t exist, but I was happy to oblige and I was feeling nostalgic. I populated a set list with Americana and songs of thanks (like Dido’s “Thank You” and the Golden Girls theme…) and hoped for the best. 

Walking into the raucous bar venue, I announced in my most obvious American accent, “it’s Thanksgiving back home and we’re all going to sit down and give thanks!” For some reason, everyone was immediately on board. Micky and I sang and chatted for three hours to a fully attentive room. 11pm came and we were due to wrap up, but the crowd called for more. One patron got up and took a glass from the bar, making a show of putting $50 into it and placing it in front of us. Suddenly, in a country where tips are uncommon, we were making more in tips than we did on the gig! We played more, digging into the dredges of our shared repertoire and even taking requests we didn’t fully know, laughing as we stumbled clumsily through them. When the venue became concerned about the local noise ordinance, I unplugged and joined people at their tables. We talked, shared what we were thankful for, and sang everything we could think of. Think all six verses of American Pie, my inner preteen who once upon a time memorized this song crying “this is what we train for!!!”….It was magic. 

Cut to a few months later, and a couple who’d been at that show got in touch about booking us for a private party in Michigan [of all places!] in December [of all times!]. Now, people offer all kinds of things at gigs and most never come to pass, but we agreed and hoped the deal would go through. When the deal and the funding did really truly actually come through nearly a year later on September 10th, I had approximately two months to turn one ‘anchor gig’ into a tour. 

From then on, we’ve been full tilt. 

Tour Schedule

November 17th with Bonnie Schwarz at ONEONESIX, Whangarei NZ                          (AUDIO RECORDING)

November 19th with Bonnie Schwarz at Turner Centre, Kerikeri NZ                   LIVESTREAM SET ONE  –  LIVESTREAM SET TWO

November 22nd with Bonnie Schwarz at Lopdell Theatre, Auckkland NZ                     

December 1st Clif Payne’s Very Cool Band at The Backroom, Berkeley CA

December 2nd Sezane, San Francisco CA

December 3rd Sezane, San Francisco, CA

December 3rd Tupelo, San Francisco, CA                                                                              
Itches to Scratch  –  Juice  –  Havana

December 4th Tupelo, San Francisco, CA

December 5th Mastering with Piper, Nashville, TN

December 7th Tour Record Plant Facility, Nashville TN

December 8th Co-write with Blue Foley, Nashville TN

December 12th: Creative Civic Engagement with DWHIN, Detroit MI

December 12th: Singers In The Round at Aretha’s Jazz Cafe, Detroit MI

December 13th: Big Leap Podcast, Troy, MI

December 14th: 11 Mile Sessions Video Podcast, Ferndale MI

December 15th: Creative Civic Engagement Workshop at Granville Avenue Arts and Humanities, Grand Rapids, MI

December 16th: Private Party, Grand Rapids MI

December 18th: with Anthony Marchese at The Ark Ann Arbor, MI

December 19th: Jack & Jules VIP, Wyandotte MI

December 22nd: Music Mavens of Michigan, Detroit MI

Christmas & NY: Family & COVID time

January 11th: Vic’s Winehouse, San Francisco, CA

January 12th Studio Session, San Francisco, CA

January 13th: Cafe Bazaar, San Francisco, CA

January 26th-31st: Auckland Folk Festival, Auckland NZ

February 16th: Cultural Conversations, Nelson NZ

February 24th: ArtBeat, Whangarei NZ

February 25th: Bunker Hill Unplugged, Auckland NZ

Note to patrons: Micky and I are documenting as much as we can of the Analog Tour and processing it as we are able between gigs, lessons, and the necessaries. See Micky’s (unless otherwise noted) pictures in the gallery above and tales from the tour below. I thought we’d give you both of our perspectives on the various stops.  As we process we’ll add pics to the gallery, video/audio links to the respective tour dates above, and stories below. You will get a notification when new content is added to this thread 🙂 

New Zealand Part I

Micky’s eyes: I’m not going to lie. I cried, sitting at the back of the audience for the first show of this tour in ONEONESIX. I was in awe of all that has been accomplished over the past few years with this project. I’ve been a mix of the roadie, photographer, sound guy, front of house, and even as an artist for Like a Moth. I’ve been Maggie’s emotional support human throughout the lengthy and at times arduous analog recording process. I heard these songs evolve in response to the energy and interaction of the audiences and artists in the multimedia shows. In the moonlight I have listened to the layering and mixing of the cello tracks and marvelled at the imperceptible skill with which Maggie as producer and Alex Selman, sound engineer, crafted the subtly nuanced mix. Yet that did not prepare me for just how dynamic and powerful the first live performance with Maggie and Bonnie would be. The second set, put together in a rehearsal the day before the show, was remarkable considering it was the first time they had met and played together in real life. The other North Island shows were amazing too, but for this first show I got to sit, listen, and be, surrounded by the aroha (love) and wairua (spirit) of our kiwi whanau (family) at the venue where we held our wedding reception.

Maggie’s eyes: My island home has been a womb and refuge for my development as an artist and person. It was an emotional experience to perform Like A Moth for the people and places that have been pivotal in its recent evolution. You’ll see and hear that a few tears were shed. From start to the end of this tour, my main takeaways have been the moments of connection when I can feel myself and the art resonating with friends and audiences. Everything about these first shows seemed momentous, setting the tone for the rest of the tour. If even the title of a review from this leg of the tour is anything to go on.  Maggie Cocco and Bonnie Schwarz headed confidently to the top of their game with Science for Sociopaths.

Thank yous: Scott Wynne for recording audio of the ONEONESIX show, editing, and gifting it to us (attached below). Your kind words and generous friendship mean the world to us. 

San Francisco.

Micky’s eyes:  In New Zealand we virtually did not have a summer the year before, and it was hard to leave as our sub-tropical southern hemisphere summer was starting to kick in. It felt crazy being back in the Bay again. It is such a beautiful, magical city and the last time I was there was over Christmas 2019 and the start of 2020, visiting Maggie. We hit the ground running and didn’t really stop the whole time we were there. Maggie performing Missing You For Christmas on the grand piano in the Backroom in Berkeley and dueting with Prof. Clif Payne on “I’ll be Home for Christmas” brought out all of the Christmas vibes and really set the tone for the outstanding depth of musicianship characteristic of San Fran’s music scene. [The other pianist on the gig plays with Sting. Clif arranges backing vocals for the Grammys. The caliber and experience of the SF music scene is unreal.] We were based in San Bruno and got to meet up with friends in North Beach, Pacific Heights and Oakland.

However, the musical highlight for me was playing FairyTale of New York with Maggie under the tree lights in my friend’s living room. We had lost touch over twenty years ago, but I’d learned through a “hometown boy does good” type article in The Irish Echo that he was running a successful cafe franchise in San Francisco. I managed to contact him just the day before we arrived. It was great craic reminiscing and filling in the details of our lives over dinner with his beautiful family and a few glasses of poitin (“Irish Moonshine”).

Maggie’s eyes: I’d heard things. I was afraid it wouldn’t be the city that I’d left. And it isn’t. 4 years and the fallout from COVID have changed it. But it’s not as different as I feared. It may bustle less, but many of the people I came to love are still here. Many venues have closed, but new and familiar ones have welcomed me. Just like my time living in San Francisco was too little to really say that I knew the city well (2 years, give or take), my time visiting SF was too little really to say that I noticed much of the changes I’ve been hearing about. It was blessedly long enough to remind me of the people and places I’m connected with there, and to stoke my flame for the city that was my first adopted home. There’s no place like it. This was the city where I proved my metal performing alongside some of the most accomplished musicians in the industry. You know their work even if you don’t know their names. The often unsung music hero. They live in places like San Francisco, picking up the kind of corporate gig where they’ll meet more people like them just making money between tours, contracts, and opportunities. Playing in the band of even a really famous person is still just a pretty average paycheck most of the time. We all do gigs for money, but few of us do it for THE money. Gigs like Clif Payne’s Very Cool Band at The Backroom in Berkeley and the Tupelo jam – lowkey and featuring a mindblowing level of musicianship – remind me what I’m capable of and what its all about. Even as I’ve left that particular scene behind to pursue music from a different angle, I carry a torch for this scene that so deeply impacted me. 

Thank Yous: Mike Ofeish for your generous hospitality. Professor Payne for your mentorship, then and now. The old Tupelo crew for coming out. Friends who made space at this busy time of year to catch up, especially Lilan, Dillon, Elaine, and Milo. Mícheál and Lauren for the craic. 

Next Addition: Nashville

Reminder that the Limited First Edition Like A Moth vinyl, artwork & CDs on sale now are only available until April 1st!!! Thank you to everyone who has already purchased ✨ Spread the word to all your vinyl and art loving friends! Our goal is to sell 200 of these fancy limited edition boys. When we hit our minimum, the album gets added to pitch lists for record stores around the world – thank you, Diggersfactory! – and we’ll  purchase stock with the proceeds. One more month to do the thing, don’t wait!!!!

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