From The Vault Part 5: Jared Mees and the Grown Children – 2010 Tour EP
October 20, 2016 Leave a comment
If you fine readers will allow it, I am about to go full blown obscure on your asses. The album (and show) I am about to tell you about was technically “reviewed” at Fensepost.com way back in 2010. The album is just a touring EP that provided a great sample to one of my favorite albums of all time, Only Good Thoughts Can Stay, which I already covered. And I actually did review the show at Fensepost as well, both of these still live on the Internet. But, with this rejuvenation of TWS, I feel like I need to tell the story in a new way. Also, I am just such a huge fan of Jared Mees and everything he has done in his lifetime that I will use any excuse I can to write about him. So here we go!
So, back in 2010 I went to see one of my favorite bands at a burrito bar. Yes, that is how this story is going to start. Spokane Washington in all of its hopes to be more like a couple of different cities on the other side of the Cascades houses an intentionally tiny bar that is attached to a burrito, both of which are connected to a motel. That’s just how they do things around there. It is what some show goers would call “intimate”. The type of place where you could have 15 people in attendance and it would appear to be a “good turn out”. I honestly and truly loved this venue for this reason alone.
So I arrived at the bar a bit early to grab a burrito and gear up for some great tunes, but not without first taking a quick smoke break. And there he was! Well, I honestly didn’t fully recognize the man I had been listening to consistently for the last two years, until he asked if he could bum a smoke. As I was obliging, that was when it hit me. Jared Fucking Mees was standing right there asking me to aid him in his journey towards lung cancer (Actually, he made a point to let me know that it was just a the occasional drag on tour, but you get the joke). But the hipster king had fooled me gravely when he was without his signature (or so I thought) cluttered and bushy facial hair. I was shocked! Could this be? A musician from Portland, Oregon in 2010 with NO BEARD?? What a revolutionary this guy was!
But in all honesty, this became an amazing experience. We chatted a bit about the other side of the Cascades where I am from and he currently resides. We talked about Spokane and how much potential the city could have if it were better located, but how it makes a great little pit stop on certain tours. He also gave me a tour of their very cool Tender Loving Empire van/mini bus/camper thing and introduced me to the rest of the band and just shared a few laughs and bits of small talk and I was feeling like a fucking Make A Wish Kid meeting Spider Man! Now, I am perfectly aware that the idea of getting amped about meeting a touring indie folk band that was to perform in a tiny burrito with the same excitement one would with hanging out with Keith Richards or something is probably pretentious and/or sad. But, fuck that. I love great music. I’m not concerned with what level an artists is on, if they are creating magic, I am going to worship the shit out of them. And Jared Mees has amassed a damn good following and has managed to be able to remain creative as a profession. Which is
And magic is what they definitely brought! The band rocked the old dried salsa lining the walls of this place. There was not a disappointed face in the crowd (I know, I was searching for one). They played some of the new tracks from their then upcoming album, as well as a great selection from their previous album Caffeine, Alcohol, Sunshine Money, and I became giddy to hear “Tallest Building In Hell” in person. It was just a down right beautiful experience, and definitely lives on as one of my favorite show going experiences I have ever had. And definitely the best I had experienced in the city of Spokane.
And when it was all over, there was a feeling of deep sadness. My show was over, but theirs had to go on. We shook some hands, took a photo, and moved on with our lives. I eventually covered the show as a professional, but there was no real way to convey how important their work was to me and how thrilled I was that this night happened. Therefore I am very excited to be able to finally find the nerve to it now. And when Jared handed me the 2010 Tour EP, I left Cloud 9 and shot up to 11. And I know for a fact (thanks to iTunes) I burned through each of these 5 tracks at 100 times each before Only Good Thoughts Can Stay was finally released. This EP is a complete embodiment of the idea of physical reminders that I have spoken of previously in this series. I will never let this one go. Also, I do have to mention that the version of “Shake” that was used for this EP is a bit stripped down from the one that appeared on the LP, and while I love them both, I find myself a bit more passionate about the stripped down version. But, that’s just my love for acoustic guitar sounds.
So there you have it! My bit of geeking for you all! I’m honestly not certain if you can get this EP anywhere, as it was obviously a promotional tool. But, Tender Loving Empire is still alive and thriving in the City of Roses. If you have been following this series, you may recall my writings about Gratitillium, which was a TLE release. And I have covered and loved many other releases they have put out into the world, including the AMAZING group known as Y La Bamba. Seriously can’t say enough great things about them. So, head on over to the Tender Loving Empire website to to check out more!
Oh and check these out! A few shots I took at the show: