There’s something incredibly moving about Sigh No More, the newest release from London’s Mumford and Sons. Perhaps it’s the naturally gritty vocal delivery of singer Marcus Mumford. Maybe it’s the dark, lush melodies and the rich lyrical storytelling. Or is it the folky textures and multi-part harmonies? Whatever the case may be, Sigh No More is a mesmerizing record, full of romanticism and geniality.
Formed in December of 2007, Mumford and Sons quickly rose to prominence in the London folk scene, and has since captured the ears of listeners around the world. While the band enjoys success abroad, they’re relatively unknown in the states. With the release of Sigh No More this is sure to change, as the record is destined for “Best Of 2009” lists everywhere, including mine.
…cause I think I did that last night. At least I kept it under control… No typos! hahah
Hahaha. I have definitely done that before. Drunk twittering, drunk facebooking, drunk texting, drunk ap.neting. Haha. I’ve done it all. It’s always a good feeling to see it the next day and 1) have no typos and 2) not be embarrassed by it. Hahaha.
This could be your tour van after some scumbag rips you off.
It seems like there’s been a rash of band robberies lately. Kill Hannah, Poison the Well, Noah and the Whale, Valencia; maybe it’s just coincidence, maybe it’s the tough economy. Whatever it is, I thought I’d help my fellow musicians with some advice and tools on how to not get robbed on tour.
I remember going to see my friends Daphne Loves Derby at The Loft in Poughkeepsie, NY. Also on the bill was The Rocket Summer, Paramore, and Brandtson. Aside from feeling super old in that crowd, there are two things I remember about this show: Hayley Williams being super tiny, and Brandtson’s trailer. The trailer was just your average cargo trailer, but on the side there was a stenciled logo that said, “Brandtson Pest Control,” and it looked legit. It’s pretty ingenious actually. So that’s step 1.
1)Disguise Your Trailer - I looked high and low for a photo of that Brandtson trailer, but I can’t find one. I think the idea is clear though: every thief wants to steal a trailer full of valuable equipment and money, but they don’t care as much about trailers full of bug poison and fumigation tents.
2)Tire Lock - You think these things are just for cops? Think again. You can buy
them online for relatively cheap. I think the one pictured retails for under $200, which is a small investment for protecting your livelihood. If you want to get really crazy, you can buy a super heavy duty one with spikes for around $400. Either way, affix that baby to your wheel and your van’s not going anywhere. You can find smaller ones for trailer tires as well. Buy one here: Tirelock.com or here: TrailerLock.com
3) Hidden Shackle Padlocks - That thing you had keeping your locker closed in high
school isn’t going to keep thieves out of anything. They can snap those off with heavy duty cable cutters like it ain’t no thang. These hidden shackle padlocks keep the shackle, well, hidden, and inaccessible. Additionally, once the locks are on, they can’t be moved, making it tough for anyone to manipulate them. Buy them here: Padlocks
4) Hitch Locks - I’ll keep this brief. If you don’t have one you’re a moron, because I really
shouldn’t have to mention these things. However, I do remember being on tour and a band we were out with caught a guy just jacking up their trailer and unhitching it. Keep your trailer attached to your van! Buy one here: Hitch Locks
5) Lojack - This one is a little crazy, but if you’ve got the cash, pony up for it. Lojack is
a vehicle retriever system with a 90% success rate. Have Lojack installed and when you report your vehicle stolen, the Lojack system activates emitting a silent alert that police track right to your van. Most vehicles are recovered in a matter of hours. Pretty sweeeeet. Buy it here: Lojack
6) Sleep in the ‘Burbs - Staying in a city or urban area is asking for trouble. There’s always a kid at the show with rich parents that’s willing to put you up, so find that guy and stay with him. Or grab a hotel out in the suburbs. If you absolutely MUST stay in the city, have two people sleep in the van in case some one tries to get in.
7) Keep Track of Your Valuables - Bring your laptops, ipods, and merch money inside with you at the end of the night. Make sure anything that you don’t bring in is hidden and out of sight. If you have a detachable face for your stereo, detach it. That’s what it’s for. You don’t want to be kicking yourself in the morning because you didn’t feel like making that extra trip down to the van.
I know some of these sound like no brainers, but I’ve seen a lot of vans get stolen because bands didn’t follow advice like this. Additionally I’ve never met a band with a tire lock or LoJack and I’ve never seen any other band besides Brandtson disguise their trailer. I believe this officially makes Brandtson the smartest band ever. Too bad they don’t exist anymore.
So point your band friends to this blog post and then never let them forget what you did for them. If you’ve got any other ideas for preventing theft on tour, let me know. Oh and don’t suggest “never tour in Detroit.” Everyone already knows it sucks there.