Photo courtesy of The Good Life
Though frequently elusive, The Good Life can be found on stage tomorrow night at Solar Culture. Tickets are $5.
By Kate VonderPorten
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday Mar. 4, 2002
It's always a good idea to keep an eye on The Good Life.
It left Portland, Ore., a few days ago and is approaching Sacramento, Calif., on the first leg of its cross-country tour that began last month.
In this case, The Good Life is a five-piece band from Omaha, Neb., that has been driving across the country in a silver 1999 Ford Econoline 15-passenger cargo van for about a month now.
Ryan Fox, multi-instrumentalist for the band, described the group's daily routine.
"It all kind of meshes together," he said. "A day like today, we drive from Portland to Sacramento. We will get to the club, sound check, eat, and then see the other bands play and that will be it. We don't really see Sacramento - it's unfortunate when we have to see a city just from the stage or from the bar."
Spending extended time in bars while on tour has influenced The Good Life's sound and lyrics.
Keyboardist Jiha Lee described the band's sound as "definitely softer - kind of like a dance band for drunk sad people. Almost all the lyrics come from a bar situation."
In addition to spending time in bars on tour, the band enjoys downtime in the van.
"One of the things that is kind of nice about (being on the road) is that despite the fact that it is work, it is also a lot of vacation as well," said lead vocalist Tim Kasher.
Kasher should know. He's no stranger to the rockstar lifestyle of incessant touring and performance. He's also the leader of another, better-known band, Cursive, and has been singing in public for 12 years.
Despite an otherwise nomadic existence, the band members insist on certain staple entertainment options.
"We usually bring a TV, VCR and the old Nintendo, but this time we brought Sega Dreamcast," Kasher said.
"If we can hit 'Family Ties' and 'Three's Company' in one day, that makes people in the van pretty happy," Fox added.
In addition to enjoying reruns of random TV shows, the musicians often revert to eating fast food at roadside stops.
"I like to eat healthy stuff and nice things like that (so) I end up eating a lot of pizza," Fox said.
"I try to be healthy at the beginning and stock up on natural foods - then I run out and buy junk food at a gas station," Lee said. "It is hard hanging around guys who appreciate junk food."
Lee, the only girl in the band, ("if they didn't know how tampons worked before, they definitely know now," she said) is frequently given the bed by her bandmates and is spared such joys as sleeping on hardwood floors with cats.
"I somehow usually end up in the bed and feel guilty, but when you are drunk enough, you will sleep anywhere," Lee said.
"Staying in hotels is preferred," Fox noted.
Despite sleeping on the floor, both Kasher and Fox agree that "the good life," in addition to being Nebraska's state motto and the band's name, also means touring and playing music.
"Music is something that I have always wanted to do, and I am doing it now," Kasher said. "That is one way of living the good life - getting to do what you want to do."
The Good Life will be at Solar Culture, 31 E. Toole Ave., tomorrow night at 9. Tickets are $5. For more info, call the venue at 884-0874.