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Be specific: Magic Kids on between tour activities

By David Malitz

magic kidsMagic Kids to-do list: Mowing lawns, eating Mexican food and writing poetry. (Alejandra Sabillon)

In rock-and-roll, there is no shortage of tales about life on the road. But what about life in between those times on the road? What happens during the downtime between tours when a band finds itself at home with a few days to kill?

We asked one of our favorite discoveries of 2010, Memphis’s wide-eyed pop classicists, Magic Kids that very question. The band comes to Rock & Roll Hotel Thursday night in support of its soda-fountain-sweet debut album, “Memphis.” After completing a European tour, the band enjoyed five days at home before starting its next journey across America. We asked each member what they made sure to do -- or at least tried to do -- during their time off, aside from hanging out with friends, family and significant others.

Bennett Foster, vocals/guitar: It was supposed to be mowing the yard but I didn’t end up doing that. It rained, so the grass was still wet ...I really enjoy [mowing the lawn]. It’s like any kind of manual labor... repetitive. It’s really meditative for me. Those activities are generally when I write and come up with ideas. I clean houses when I’m not playing in a band. I guess I haven’t done that in a while. To be in a big, empty house and there’s a good reverb going on in the rooms, then you can just write songs while you’re working. Because you have a rhythm going on anyway.

Will McElroy, keyboard: I meant to see two bands in Memphis (Bake Sale and Kruxe) that are pretty new that I’m excited about and I always miss them every single time we’re in town for a couple days. So I went to go see them on Halloween and somehow I arrived too late to see them. I’m excited about our next break being longer and maybe I’ll catch them a couple of times. I feel like exciting things are happening in Memphis but they’re happening without us, lately. So I like to check back in and see how things have evolved since the last time we were in town.

Michael Peery, bass: I’m trying to work on a whole manuscript of poetry. And I got the first chapter done on last tour. And I had a workshop before we went on our last tour. And so I revised it based on those workshops, did all my final edits. So then I started typing out the next chapter and went up to school a lot and talked a lot to the teacher I’m working on it with. It still hasn’t been work-shopped. Most of them don’t even have titles. So I’m still trying to work on the next chapter. I also tried working on writing new songs. Working on lyrics to songs that have already been written, where I’m trying to revise the lyrics. I guess I did a lot of writing when I was home.

Alex Gates, guitar: Right before our last tour in Europe, I worked in a museum for ornamental metal and I left my job to go on tour. So a lot of [the days at home] I was just trying to figure out what I’m going to do for money. But I didn’t really have any luck. Just applying for jobs that will let me take time off. Which is not easy.

What are those possibilities besides service industry?

I think that’s about it. A lot of museums in Memphis will give you time off. A lot of people I know clean houses, work in coffee shops. There aren’t a lot of options.

Ben Bauermeister, drums: Eat Mexican food was definitely on my list. Because they don’t have Mexican food in Europe. Well, they do. But it’s expensive and not as good. So I ate some delicious Mexican food. My favorite is called La Guadalupana but I didn’t end up going there. But that’s definitely the best one in town.

Alice Buchanan, violin: I make sure to take my dog [a miniature dachshund] out and take her to the park and have quality dog time. I bring her treats and we hang out and she barks at everyone. She’s very easily excitable.

By David Malitz  | November 11, 2010; 12:34 PM ET
Categories:  Be specific  | Tags:  Magic Kids  
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