PowerFunk army Turkuaz has just hit the road for their 2015 Fall Tour presented by Live for Live Music. The 9-piece ensemble will be bringing us exclusive content, behind the scenes footage, and all kinds of shenanigans as they make their way across the country. Stay tuned right here to keep up with Turkuaz on the road!


Did you know Turkuaz has one of the funkiest, freshest new albums of the season? Order Digitonium here, or check out our review here.


12/1: Turkuaz Returns Home

“We’re finally back in NYC! The tour was amazing but it’s good to be home for a bit. Thanks so much to everyone who came out to see us all across the country. We have some time now for resting and writing before and after the Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve with Dopapod and Kung Fu. That’s gonna be a blast! We’ll need the relaxation time for sure! But don’t worry.. Just because we’re not on the road for a little while doesn’t mean you won’t hear from us. We have some exciting things unfolding in the next few weeks for this holiday season. Signing off for now. 2015 tour complete. Turkuaz loves you!” 

Dopapod, Turkuaz And Kung Fu Announce Huge New Year’s Eve Celebration (More Info)

11/21: Turk Tour Wrap-Up

“Florida for me will always be where I spent time with my grandmothers, and for this, I always smile when I return to the state, especially when I’m returning to rock out. We got to Freebird Live in Jacksonville Beach a little early and Sammi, Mitch and I wasted no time making the most of those few minutes. I amazingly and sadly did not go to the beach even once this summer, so I made up for it (not really) by kicking off my shoes and socks and getting my feet wet in the cool Atlantic surf. My shirt may or may not have been removed as well in order to soak up the last few rays of southern sun before it set. There were sea gulls and girls in bikinis. It lasted all of ten minutes but it was glorious.

This was the second show in our run with The Fritz. I f*cking love The Fritz. As a band and individually as people, that band is just the best. They have a great Florida following (it’s where they formed) and really got the crowd going each night. I’m glad we got to play Freebird Live before it closes in January. Unfortunately this venue is adding to the ever-growing list of great venues falling victim to development and rising costs. But that could be its own blog post.

The next night we played The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton. This is truly the territory of Snow Owls, that familiar breed of NYC-area Jewish retirees. One such retiree is named Marty Schwartz. He’s my dad and he’s awesome. He and his girlfriend Susan brought out a silver-haired rage crew that stayed a surprisingly long time during the show. My dad and his girlfriend stayed the whole time. They may be retired but they’re still professional fun-havers. The venue was packed and buzzing before The Fritz even took the stage, and we knew this was going to be a special night. The Fritz and us both had killer shows, fueled by the amazing crowd that showed so much love. The mixture of younger heady music fans with older retirees and assorted ‘grown ups’ was quite unique and was really something to behold.

A few of us stayed with my dad and his girlfriend in Delray Beach. It’s hard to describe the banter and style of my dad and his girlfriend, but if you know what George Costanza’s parents were like on Seinfeld, you have a bit of an idea. They’re absolutely hysterical and wonderful and giving and are ultimate providers of food and comfort. My dad greeted us at 3am with fresh pizza, just what this boy needs after a night of sweating and dancing and loading gear. But the best would come the next morning. After being awoken by puppy kisses from little Isabelle (a dog), I feasted upon bagels with cream cheese and not one but two types of lox (if you haven’t had belly lox, you need to reconsider your bagelry choices). I don’t get to see my dad as much anymore now that he spends a lot of the year in Florida, so a morning enjoying bagels and lox with the guy is something I truly savor. I even got an electric toothbrush for the road! (Susan: ‘Josh, you want an electric toothbrush? I got four!’ Me: ‘Sure, but why do you have four electric toothbrushes?’ Susan: ‘They were so cheap, I had to get ’em!’)

Tampa the next night was a great way to end our Florida run. Leave it to Ybor City (the neighborhood in which the venue sits) to come out en force on a Sunday! It was quite refreshing to be offstage by 11:30 and have a great DJ spin afterward to keep the party going. After the show, I realized that during our few days off starting the next day, I could hitch a ride with The Fritz and chill in Asheville, NC (their hometown), and that’s exactly what I did! We spent the night outside Dade City, FL in an amazing rural compound known as Crooked Tree. The Fritz recorded their last album in the amazing building in which we slept that night. I had the honor of waking again to puppies and great food, this time being cheesy grits, toast, OJ and coffee. The puppy game was strong, with two young pups and their mother, but then I got my first taste of a cool goat and almost forgot about the puppies. I’d always heard that goats were ornery and would bite you if you tried to pet them, but this brown goat named Winston was quite the gentleman and truly enjoyed being petted. I wanted to pet the cows chilling next to Winston but they didn’t seem quite as open to interspecies friendship so I let them be. The couple who lived there and provided the wonderful food informed me that previous puppies had been killed by gators. I realized then that I was SO not in Brooklyn, and I loved it. I’d never have heard that sentence if I weren’t living this strange life as a traveling musician. I revel in little moments like that.

The next day was a long drive day to Asheville. It was so exhilarating driving in another band’s van! It almost felt like having an affair. Everything was new and exciting. The Fritz boys make excellent travel companions. After accidentally spoiling the end of the last season of Boardwalk Empire to their guitarist Jaime, we began the 11-hour drive. Their bassist Jake is the ultimate driving machine! I’ve been known to knock out a full drive day, but that usually involves excessive amounts of caffeine and a feeling of insanity by the end. Jake, however, knocked out 11 hours like it was nothing and seemed like he could’ve gone another 11 hours. I asked if I could relieve him of his driving duties multiple times (I didn’t want to be a freeloader) but he politely declined. Men like Jake are a rare breed and should be held onto for dear life.

The next day, Mikey Spice (percussionist for The Fritz), was the ultimate host and tour guide. I got a great taste of this town that is quickly climbing upwards in my list of favorite cities. The amount of breweries, art galleries, boutiques (free spicy honey samples at Asheville Bee Charmer!!) and restaurants in that town is quite staggering. I love that Asheville has a small-town feel but has so much for you to do. After working up an appetite walking around, I threw down on a home-cooked feast with Mikey and his roommates. I made a mixed greens salad with granny smith apples, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and my specialty: homemade sourdough croutons. Mikey contributed delicious veggie kebobs. His new roommie Karen expertly grilled some bacon-wrapped scallops, and his other roommate Jared grilled snowy grouper (which he’d caught himself) with a lemon butter and caper sauce and added a purple sweet potato hash for good measure. A home-cooked dinner is such a rarity on the road, and when combined with a good bottle of red and awesome new friends, it’s truly an event to remember.

We skipped desert and decided instead to dance the night away at the weekly Funk Jam at Asheville Music Hall. Jerome, who sings and plays keys in The Fritz, was leading the jam for the night in place of Derrick (from Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band), and the rest of The Fritz joined him onstage for an amazing medley of Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’ into Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Foxy Lady.’ It’s rare that I get to attend a great show on an off night on tour, and I made sure to get all the dancing out of my system before it finished. Running into two awesome hippy goddesses outside the show that knew Turkuaz from back north was the cherry on top of a perfect day.

Asheville, you’ll definitely be seeing more of me.” -Josh Schwartz

“When you’re on tour life is full of surprises. Sometimes, those surprises validate why you do what you do. It’s a big planet, thanks for spending your time with us. I’m glad we’re still standing to tell the tale. Sweet dreams ponies.” -Taylor Ward Shell

“So on this tour I knew we were going to a lot of states. I decided it would be fun to start a dope magnet connection! Each state we went to, I picked up a magnet. My magnet requirements: had to have been in the state, has to have to state name on it, if the magnet is in the shape of the state, EVEN BETTER!

I did pretty well and got most of the states we went to. It was hard finding magnets in North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Colorado, California and Virginia. I got everything else!

You would be surprised, not many gas stations have magnets. They are hard to find. But this is not the last tour so I still have time to catch em’ all!!” -Sammi Garrett

“It has been a great tour!  Amazing music and so many new friends! Also, Season 2 of Rick and Morty, 3/4 read of LOTR, The Fellowship of the Ring, more Vulfpeck on repeat, Season 3 of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, SNES Donkey Kong Country 2, Clash of Clans wars 3 times a week, and 4am hotel room Family Guy. We’ve put in hard work and many hours of the grind. Success.” -Greg Sanderson

11/19: Raleigh, NC

“Josh just said that Sammi is all about Japanese things. I mean, when she puts her hair in those buns, she looks pretty Sailor Moon-ish. We’re all going crazy. We have two shows left. It sucks that this is our last show with The Fritz. We’re at the Red Roof in Raleigh raging and we’re going to be kicked out any minute, truly. Brouwers just shaved his mustache. Josh is in his Crown Royal jammies. And that’s how you do a hotel hang. Long love The Fritz!” -Shira & Sammi

1:32 AM: “I was cooling out in a dark corner of the club well after all our fans had bought their t shirts and drank their last drinks. Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On began playing and the bands and crew all gave a conjoined ‘wooooooo’. But in my corner of the room there was a whole different thing happening. The janitor on staff that night, unaware of me in my dark corner,  and out of view of the other musicians and crew members, began to sing and dance with his mop. He was surprisingly nimble. He tip toed over to a foosball table and spun one of the rods in time with “there’s nothing wrong with me loving you”. He spun off the table, tangoed with his mop a little more, and got to within two or three feet of me. He got close enough to see there was a guy watching him and his record stopped, dropped the mop, fun was over, embarrassment kicked in. He sheepishly looked at me. ‘Hey’. Continue slowly mopping.” -Michelangelo Carubba


11/7: NOLA!

“We pulled up to House of Blues practically floating in all the water pouring down. Load-in was a three-part system: some of us brought the gear from the trailer to the loading door, where a second group lugged it down the long, narrow hall to the service elevator, from which a third group removed the gear and into the stage area on the second floor. I stupidly thought my rain jacket would at least keep my upper body dry, when in reality my torso ended up just as soaked as my legs and feet, though nothing a quick wardrobe change couldn’t fix once we finished loading.

As we were setting up, an open door leading to the main room of the venue allowed us to be serenaded by the lead singer of Better Than Ezra as they sound checked. They had that mid-90’s ‘alternative’ hit ‘Good’ that went ‘It was good, li-iving with you oh-hoh.’ No one remembers their name but everyone starts singing along that chorus with a smile if you bring the song up. I was glad to know that they still toured and still had fans that come pay money to see them. This made me think about all the other 90’s bands that most of us assumed faded into obscurity but that for all we know could still sell out clubs somewhere here or in Europe.

The show was a blast! The energy of the crowd was palpable to us, especially the group of 40-somethings women up front that were either a bachelorette or birthday party. Either way, they were dancing their asses off up front and helping us get the party started. I was glad to see that a little rain (by a little I mean a ton of rain for hours without end) couldn’t stop us from having a good crowd in NOLA!

After a fun night at the bars and a feast the next afternoon of snow crab (crawfish isn’t in season) and alligator sausage followed by coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde, I headed to a little theater in the Bywater called The Ether Dome to catch a play with some new friends I’d made at our show the night before. All I knew was it was a modern adaptation of a classic Chekhov play. I didn’t know of any of Chekhov’s work, but I couldn’t remember the last time I’d seen a play, and it seemed like it would make for a great story so I agreed to go, and I’m so glad I did. The small stage that had audience seating on three sides was the living room of a Louisiana house and the setting in which a group of 20-somethings would laugh, smoke, drink, dance, argue, and cry their way through their collective ‘Quarter Life Crisis,’ which is the name of the play. It was very cathartic to watch a group of people around my age go through the same existential issues we all face and without breaking into song and dance while doing so; I was raised on musical theater and I love it, but I found this play to be refreshingly realistic and honest. I thought I’d gotten all the tears out of my system in Texas with my birth family, but it turns out I had a few left for a refreshing cry in that small theater.

I was glad to find out after the show that I hadn’t been the only one who was moved so much by the play as my new friends and I headed to a bar called Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits. This place proved to be one of my favorite bars in New Orleans. You walk into a small wine and cheese store, pick a bottle and your favorite cheeses, and find a table in the backyard. As we poured the French Malbec into our glasses, a waiter brought over a beautiful cheese plate from the cheeses we’d selected, complete with fresh bread and olive oil, pecans, and olive tapenade. A local band serenaded the crowd as we feasted on fine cheese and sipped delectable red wine.

The following day and night was spent recording a single at the breathtaking recording studio called The Parlor. I’ll let my other band mates go into greater detail on this, but it was a great time at a great studio with great engineers at the end of a great but far too brief stay in New Orleans. I have new friends, a new found love of snow crab and alligator sausage, and a renewed love of the strangest little big city I’ve ever been to.” -Josh Schwartz

“My favorite city in the world. Had a good hit at the House of Blues. Got to see some old friends. Walked in on my man Maurice “Mo Betta” Brown recording his new record at The Parlor. Went down to Frenchmen and caught Weedie Braimah (Nth Power) playing with Raja Kassis from Antibalas, Sam Dickey, Eric Vogel; all the dudes. Then recorded the next day with Matt Grondin at The Parlor. Such a dope studio. Weedie came through and recorded percussion on the track, killin’ it as usual. Got over served. Stuffed my face. The true New Orleans way. Can’t wait for Jazz Fest.” -Michelangelo Carubba

“New Orleans was amazing and a lot of fun as always. But this time my hand still works on the way out of town! – total bonus. We had an awesome show on Saturday night, followed by a great night out in the French Quarter (apparently we had a great time at the strip club!). Sunday and Monday at the Parlor Studio were a blast and really productive. That place is beautiful! I fear we won’t return here until Jazzfest, so we’ll be counting down the days! R.I.P. Allen Toussaint. Here’s to more great Southern Nights!” -Dave Brandwein

“I fucking love New Orleans! That is all…” -Taylor Ward Shell

“Where do I even start? I got crabs in New Orleans. Snow crabs, mind you. Played a rad show. Got over served. Went to a strip club. Some guy was generous enough to give me his stack of ones, which I then enthusiastically gave to the strippers. Yeah. Then I ate more food. Recorded at The Parlor. It was a beautiful studio, which we made beautiful music in. The end.” -Sammi Garett



11/6: Turnt Up in Texas

“Houston got pretty turnt up. After an incredibly sweaty show we decided that the party shouldn’t end there and the front desk lady at the Holiday Inn Express seemed remarkably unfazed that a handful of hooligans were sipping beers and bourbon in the hotel pool/patio until six in the morning. The night becomes hazy after we made friends with a dude named Chance and his rapper friend, who by the way, had a super sick flow (or we were just really drunk). The last thing we remember is that Craig decided it was a good idea to jump into the pool, and we all agreed. We woke up the next morning with soar necks and a hangover that could kill a goat. ‘Did we chicken fight in the pool last night?’ Next up: NOLA.” -Shira, Mikey, Craig

“Is that a clarinet?” “Wow, an electric saxophone!” “I’ve never seen an oboe like that before!” Best yet… “That’s a harpsichord, right?” As all of these are great guesses, none are correct. It’s an Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI- pronounced EE-wee) from Akai. The EWI4000S, is a breath controlled, dual oscillator synthesizer with built in effects and huge options for sound customization. It allows me to use woodwind  techniques I’ve learned over the years and apply them to an amazing sounding synthesizer. Not only is it a beast on its own, but I’m using it’s MIDI capabilities to control the sounds and filters of a Moog, Slim Phatty. It adds a new level to our live shows for rippin’ solos and synth parts. Turn on the converter, now juice the transformer, it’s EWI time. -Greg Sanderson


11/4-11/5: Josh Schwartz Meets His Birth Family In Texas!

“I was born 30 years ago in San Antonio and was adopted into an amazing family in New Jersey. I returned to Dallas for a few days years ago to bury my uncle. Now I have returned to Texas to rock out in my birth state and meet my long-lost birth mother and sisters. I’ve done both of those things. And my life will never be the same.

Weeks ago, as we were setting off from Brooklyn to Phoenix, a dear friend repeated his offer to help me contact my older birth sister. For quite some time I had discussed how I’d tried to contact both her and my birth mother but could only find disconnected and outdated land lines. I had managed to find my sister’s profiles on both MySpace (8 years ago) and Meetup.com (1 year ago) but she hadn’t logged onto either in quite some time so my messages had gone unanswered. I’ve always known I was adopted and had seen a photo of my birth mom and knew her name and the name of my sister; my parents were always so open and supportive and my father was the one that helped me find the phone numbers that were my first shot at reaching out. Well, seeing as I was going to be in Texas in a month, I figured I might as well take my friend up on his offer. Not expecting anything but hoping for something, I gave him the info I knew about my older sister and got lost in the open road and my world of podcasts (per usual).

A few days later as I was in the back row of the van, I got a call from this friend excitingly telling me to check my email. Sure enough there was a list of phone numbers… cell phone numbers! Holy sh*&^!! I had never gotten a cell number before. Still trying to not get my hopes up and with a pounding heart, I dialed the first number. Ring. Ring. More rings. It went to voicemail and a sweet woman’s voice apologized to me for not answering and asked me to leave a message. Could this be my sister?? No, she sounded much younger than 39. Couldn’t be. Not wanting to leave a message if it weren’t in fact her, I chose to text her instead. I told her my name and asked if she was [blank] Weiss, daughter of [blank] Weiss; I ended with ‘if so, I think we are related.’ I felt accomplishment just hitting send. I didn’t expect a response but I had put it out into the universe. Much to my surprise, an hour later I got a text back!! She apologized that she had been at work earlier but was home now and could chat. She said she was indeed that person, daughter of that woman, and that she was my half-sister.

OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD. For the first time in my life, I had actually communicated directly with someone from my biological family.. and she was down to talk to me! I gathered up my courage, took a few deep breaths and called her back. What ensued was an incredible 30-minute conversation summarizing our life stories (she got a college scholarship for clarinet) and laughing nervously and excitedly. I never thought I’d be making first contact with my birth sister while pacing outside a truck stop in Arizona, but then again I never thought I’d be in a nationally-touring powerfunk band. I told my sister that I really wanted to contact our mother to thank her profusely from the bottom of my heart for giving me to the most amazing, loving, supportive family, a family that also wanted to thank her for the gift of my life. My sister was thrilled to hear this and told me our mother had thought about me every day of her life and they had celebrated my birthday each year. Tears welled in my eyes as I heard this. I asked if she could talk to my birth mother and see if she would be open to speaking with me. An hour later I got a text from my sister saying our mother was absolutely blown away that I reached out and was eagerly awaiting my phone call. This was going better than I could’ve imagined, especially when she told me she would come to my Fort Worth show!

The next day in Phoenix, I went for a walk and called my birth mother. A woman with a darling southern drawl answered and we talked for an hour. It was incredible. She told me how torn up inside she had been to have to give me up and how she had prayed for me every day and hoped I would come back into her life. She informed me that my grandfather was 6’4″ and she was 5’10” (which explains a lot) and in addition to being a doctor, played the piano and sang. Each detail I learned about my biological family was a golden nugget, a priceless piece of the puzzle of my roots that was slowly coming into focus after three decades in obscurity. We ended the call with the plan for her and my younger sister to come to our Austin show. I hung up the phone with the knowledge that in but a few weeks, the theoretical concept of my birth family would be a concrete reality before my eyes and in my arms. Whoah.

After weeks of exchanging photos and tidbits of fun family info, it was time for our Fort Worth show. My older sister and I agreed to meet for dinner at a Thai restaurant called Spice close to the venue after sound check. As I approached the restaurant, I saw her beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes and a beaming smile. What ensued was a 2-hour discussion of everything imaginable over Pad Thai and hot Sake. At points we were both just staring at each other smiling and laughing, both trying to fully comprehend that the other person was finally in front of them. It came time for the show, which was her first concert in a long time. That night my older sister got to see me in my element doing what I love. She had to leave before the end due to a long and early day of work the next day but told me how much she loved it.

The next afternoon we arrived at Spider House Ballroom in Austin to load in. It wasn’t until we finished loading and I knew I had less than two hours until the big moment that the gravity of what was about to happen fully hit me. I found tears coming sporadically as I set up my gear onstage with a big, nervous smile. When I got the text from my younger sister that they were 15 minutes away, my hands started shaking. When she texted me that they were around the corner, I began pacing nervously in front of the venue. Every passing car held my birth mother and sister; the voices of every female passerby was that which would say ‘I love you.’ I realized that ‘meeting my birth family’ could join ‘doing standup comedy’ and ‘performing my Torah portion at my Bar Mitzvah on the list of the times I’d been most nervous. I was shaking. I was smiling.

And then a car passed by slowly and for a fleeting moment I made eye contact with my beautiful, smiling younger sister, and the flood gates opened. I began weeping uncontrollably as the car drove off to find parking. I hadn’t expected to cry before actually hugging them, but then again I hadn’t known what to expect. When she walked around the corner and stood in front of me, I ran to her and hugged her, tears flowing from my eyes. I was hugging my younger sister. Then I laid eyes on my birth mother. Light, kind eyes beamed at me as a big smile opened up as her arms did too and I ran to her. My face buried in her hair, I just cried and cried as we both told each other we loved each other and she thanked God for this miracle of reuniting. Time seemed to stop, the world stopped spinning, and all that existed in the universe was that loving embrace of a mother and son together after 30 years. When I backed away and wiped the tears from my eyes, it was all smiles and we were ready to have fun.

After introducing them to the band, all of whom were almost as excited as I was to finally meet them, we went to dinner along with my sister’s husband who was also incredibly friendly and supportive and reiterated to me how much this meant to my sister and birth mother. Over dinner I learned that over the last year, my birth mother had said to my sister that she felt I was going to be coming into their lives, and boy was she right. I learned that my sister sang and danced quite well, and that, despite her love of music, had never been to a concert! MY LONG-LOST BIRTH SISTER’S FIRST CONCERT IN HER LIFE WAS GOING TO BE HER LONG-LOST BIRTH BROTHER SINGING AND PLAYING SAX IN A 9-PIECE POWERFUNK BAND FROM BROOKLYN!!! HOLY &*(“^!!!!

We got back to the venue, the show began, and I was on cloud 9 the whole time. During our cover of Sly & The Family Stone’s ‘Babies Makin’ Babies,’ I was able to reach down inside myself and bust out some extra high notes, fueled by overwhelming love and gratitude. During my bari solo in Monkey Fingers, I knew that each note was making my birth mother and sister proud. With that song we left the stage to great applause and shouts for one more. Backstage, I looked to Dave to call the play, and with a smile he said, ‘Shape.’ With a grateful smile back at him, we took the stage and I began to sing ‘The Shape I’m In’ by The Band, the perfect way to end the night on a joyous note; I didn’t yet realize that the final cherry on top was yet to come.

As Craig began his chicken pickin’ guitar solo at the end of the song, I stood off to the side of the stage, surveyed the scene, and realized the only thing there was for me to do. As his guitar soared off the ever-building rhythm section and it was reaching its peak, Mikey gave me the nod for me to initiate the whole band jumping in unison as we often to at the end of this song. Seconds before it was to begin, I made eye contact with my sister at the back of the room and beckoned her to join me at the side of the stage. She gracefully danced her way over to me, all smiles, just as I took her hand and brought her to the middle of the dance floor to jump around with the whole crowd as the whole band jumped and played the final melody. I was absolutely in heaven as I danced around with reckless abandon with my sister, both of us smiling uncontrollably as we spun and jumped and shouted, surrounded by so much love from the jumping crowd and the knowing smiles of my bandmates onstage. In that moment all was good and right in the world; I felt complete and at peace.

The end of the night was a slow wind-down from the exhilaration of the show. I got them some Turkuaz gear and CD’s and gave my sister a signed set list and told her that if I did my job right, it would be worth something someday. They in return gave me a photo album they put together of amazing gems of grandpa Leroy as a young buck in the Navy, uncles Bill and Hank (I’m a Jew from New York that now has relatives named Bill and Hank!!) and lots of photos of my birth mom as a child and a young woman in nursing school. It was so heartfelt and thoughtful and I will always cherish it.

Oh yeah, they also gave me two copies of my grandfather’s studio album he recorded in 1991! That’s right, my grandfather not only had the first non-segregated waiting room of any doctor’s office in Texas, bunked with Gene Kelly in the Navy (I was raised on ‘Singin’ In the Rain’),and was invited by LBJ to be the White House doctor (he declined because he didn’t want to leave Texas), but he also wrote and recorded 14 original songs with a band. I asked my sister what his voice sounded like (he passed around 8 years ago), and she smiled knowingly and told me I’d be able to hear it soon. Well, as I write this, we are listening to ol’ Leroy croon in a deep baritone about ‘The Girl In Your Daydreams’ as we drive through Texas, the land he refused to leave even for the President, a land that gave life to me, a land in which I now have deep roots, a land that I will definitely be returning to where there will always be open arms and big smiles.” -Josh Schwartz 

“So my good friend Sarah told me about this magical rest stop here in Texas, and only in Texas. This magical place is called Buc-ee’s. And let me tell you, this place is PURE MAGIC and rest stop perfection!!!

It’s a place where you can get anything from gas to a beautiful wooden cutting board in the shape of Texas. It was overwhelming. They had jerky, dried fruits, maple syrup, a deli, a place where you can get BBQ AND get a whole new wardrobe!! Not to mention the bathrooms were impeccable!!!!!

Now, if only there was a CVS next to it. I would move in and never come back!!! I love CVS and my new favorite place is Buc-ee’s!!!” -Sammi Garett

“Our first time in Austin was a success. Great crowd and great show. Plus – jalapeño cheddar sausage at Stubb’s, Josh met his birth mother (and sister), and Shira danced on the bar at Coyote Ugly. Now we’re gonna go to Houston and hang with all our oil tycoon buddies before our New Orleans rage.” -Dave Brandwein


10/30: Tacoma!

“Well, on our way down to our Portland show this morning our trailer broke down in Tacoma, WA. On tour, things don’t always go as planned. But of course, we just roll with the punches. We bought a giant stuffed frog while waiting for the repair to be done, and we named him Mr. Ribbitz. Regardless of our troubles Tacoma, we’re doing pretty fucking choice!” -Dave Brandwein

We also want to share the transcription our guitarist Craig Brodhead did of Tommy Lee’s engaging prose. Tacoma!

“Here I come Tacoma!

How the hell you doin’ tonight?
Well you sound like you’re doin’ fuckin’ choice
Hey, check this shit out, man
Since we’ve been gone, Tacoma
I had this Sick motherfucking dream one night
And, uh, well fuck it you just check out this shit out for yourself

Are you fucking with me Tacoma or not?

Are you with me Tacoma!?

And in this fucking dream I had, man
I said “Fuck,
Wouldn’t it be cool to go just a little bit….to the right”

Well i know it’d be cool to go just a little bit..to the left

Let me see your hands!

Well Fuckin’ A Tacoma
You know me man
I can’t fucking stop here
I gotta go ninety degrees!
You wanna go or what?

Well, this is the part of the fucking dream, baby
Where I said – You know what I said?
I said, “Fuck it! Let’s go all the way baby!”


You like that shit huh Tacoma!
Well Fuck!
You wanna go again or what?!
Let’s go!

Let’s take this motherfucker upside down, Chris!


I love you, Tacoma

Hey Tacoma
I said hey Tacoma
I said hey Tacoma!
I guess dreams do come true, don’t they?
Hey man
The motherfucker who’s throwing that shit
Might have to deal with my ass coming down there and kicking your fucking face in
So fuck it!”


10/29: Hangtown Halloween Ball to Seattle

“Last weekend sure was magical. We had such an amazing time playing Hangtown Halloween. So much great music! Lettuce, Kung Fu, Z3, Yonder, Railroad Earth to name a few, then on top of that my family was there. Raging late night with my pops to Lettuce was one hell of a tour highlight for me. Off to Seattle time to light a fire in the Pacific Northwest!” -Taylor Ward Shell


10/28: Bend, OR

“We stumbled in to this paradise a few tours ago playing a show at McMenamins. I’ve been waiting almost two years to soak in undoubtably my favorite place on the planet!” -Zach Zaba


10/23: Moscow to Reno

“It was a long, arduous, painstaking day of nothing. Such is a travel day from Moscow, ID to Reno, NV – some gas station hangs, some snoozing, plenty of Marc Maron and a feast at Panda Express. Finally, after 13 hours in the van we sleepily rolled into Reno at 1am. Naturally, one would imagine that after such a long day we would call it a night and lay our heads down for some real rest. But naturally, we didn’t. In true Turkuaz fashion, we surrendered to the party gods of Reno and persevered. Unfortunately the roulette tables were closed at 2am on a Thursday in Reno so the only logical thing to do was settle into a few good old fashioned games of beer pong in the middle of the casino. We shot, we missed, we scored, we chugged. It was just like college all over again. Thanks Reno, you old pal.

P.S. Speaking of college- en route to a friend’s house tonight we ran into the University of Nevada Reno Homecoming Pep Rally. Drum line and all. Reno’s turning up tonight!” -Shira Elias

“After a great night in Moscow, Idaho (this American ‘Moscow’ rhymes with ‘Idaho’), I was able to sleep in until a leisurely 11am before hitting the road, dreams of playing basketball with Vertical Dave (just a dream, not a memory) still tickling my mind. For those unaware, Vertical Dave is the 7-foot-tall sound engineer at John’s Alley Tavern with a killer ponytail, cool tats, and a wealth of cool factoids, like the fact that the Palouse (I’ll explain this shortly) produces 70% of the country’s wheat. Have I verified that? No, and I don’t need to. Vertical Dave is giant in both stature and character and needs no fact-checking. His home-spun baritone had an oddly soothing effect upon my ears; I truly felt tiny in his arms.

Green smoothie in hand (kale, banana, avocado, almond butter, berries, chia powder, protein powder and green powder, courtesy of my life-saving Nutribullet), I was ready to take the helm of the van and trailer and start the long drive to Reno. It was this day’s drive that truly cemented in my mind the fact that I, and probably most of the country, have been sleeping on Idaho. It’s f*cking beautiful! Northern Idaho, I discovered thanks to a facebook comment and Wikipedia, falls in a region called The Palouse (rhymes with ‘caboose’), known for beautiful rolling hills and its production of wheat and legumes. Well, the drive out of Moscow had me navigating through wildly-undulating hills of a bright golden hue, with large patches of lush brown, freshly-tilled soil that for some reason seemed comfortable enough to lie down on. Two other bandmates echoed my strange desire to lounge on the soft, fluffy soil as we drove past. These geological are actually silt dunes left over from the ice ages, a random series of humps and hollows stretching out as far as the eye can see.

The rolling hills of gold and brown gradually disappeared as we entered a narrow valley running along the Salmon river. More of a creek at times, this pristine body of water had seemingly carved a long, winding slice out of a plateau over thousands of years and we had the pleasure of driving alongside it in the bright October sun. This is a stream that, in the summer months, must be ripe with fly-fishers and lazy tubers; a few kayaks and row boats dotted the water on this particular fall day. Being surrounded by two steep rock faces on either side of the river was a nice contrast to the open and endless landscape from earlier in the day. As we passed through lovely Riggins, nestled between the Seven Devils Mountains and the Gospel Hump (I couldn’t make that up) and nicknamed ‘Idaho’s Whitewater Capital,’ I imagined wild days waking with the sun, setting off down a river frothing with adventure, returning to town triumphantly at sundown to drink the night away in the local watering hole, trading tales of danger and woe with passers-through and comparing scars like battle trophies. In another life, perphaps. My brush with death during my one whitewater rafting experience was a thrilling experience I don’t need to replicate anytime soon. I’m very top-heavy.” -Josh Schwartz 


10/21: Missoula

“Playing Digitonium top to bottom for the first time was really disarming, but ultimately an enjoyable experience. It’s like trying to recreate a studio album that has its own unique challenges and it really puts you to the test mentally to do your best in a completely different way. It forces you to support the music in a way that is different than improvisational music. You end up using skill sets that aren’t as muscularly toned as some of your other musical muscles are. It was fucking tight.” -Michelangelo Carubba


10/20: Drive to Missoula, MT

“Sometimes you gotta buy a dope, white, clothe, sparkle hat at Cracker Barrel when your driving through a a rain storm in Montana. Missoula we are coming for you!!!!” -Taylor Ward Shell

“Randomly running into yet another friend 2900 miles from home…sweet! Finding out he has the day off to check out our Missoula show…super sweet! LD Ronny Redrocks soaking in some Montana nightlife.” -Zach Zaba


10/16: Back to Denver

“Guitars are green. Roses are blue. Denver you crazy f***ks. Turkuaz loves you. Digi-digi-digi-tonium. The day has come.” -Dave Brandwein

“Drove from Fort Collins (great show). Got in early. Got some bagels, again. Dopapod is in town. So is everybody else. Euforquestra, Quick and Easy Boys, they are pros. Do everything right. SICK crowd. Played a bunch of new tunes from the new album and a bunch of classic bangers too. Feeling vulnerable but honest playing new music. I’ll take that show every night of the week. It’s even beyond that. It’s fucking awesome. Denver is a new capital of music. Yeah I think that’s true. There ya go. That’s it.” -Craig Brodhead


10/16: Fort Collins, CO

“Ft. Collins knows how to throw down! After a couple days of rehearsal in Denver, it was a blast to get back out on stage and do some brand new tunes off of Digitonium at the Aggie Theater last night. Ft. Collins once was known for its sugar beet farming, as was Turkuaz before our foray into the music scene.. Denver tonight at Cervante’s Ballroom!” -Dave Brandwein


10/15: Let There Be Bagels!

“Second full day in Denver, CO. Day seven of tour. 1,797 miles (27hrs of straight driving) from Brooklyn. That means no good bagels or pizza for us. And being a Jew who grew up on Long Island, I LOVE my bagels! Long Islanders definition of bagels: The only bread product of ANY importance. Scientifically proven to be WAY better on Long Island. When a little seagull told me about Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen I HAD to see if this was the real deal. And let me tell you, that was some good bagel!! They actually fly in water from New York! They had the whole spread. Belly Lox, baked salmon, pickled herring, knishes, rugelach, chopped liver!! Oy I could go on for hours!

Turns out my good friend Alex Wolff who I went to high school with on Long Island is the manager! Not only was it a little bit of home on the other side of the country, there was a familiar face to go along with it.” -Sammi Garett

Later on…

“Right now we’re in the middle of a debate as to whether or not to meet an unnamed band member at famed Denver strip club, Shotgun Willies. We’re gonna do whatever Eli wants…Eli?” -Michelangelo Carubba


10/12: On To Colorado

“During this trip so far, I’ve watched the three original Star Wars movies, back to back to back, read The Hobbit on paperback, listened to the new Vulfpeck album many times, checked out season one of Ricky and Morty, read through numerous Marvel comics, watched the first two movies in the Alien franchise, and took care of my guys in Boom Beach. It’s a strong start, and I know with some hard work and dedication, by tours end, I’ll be able to accomplish some amazing things.” -Greg Sanderson

“Got into Denver around 10:30 with some fire in my belly. I needed to go out and see someone do what I do. Sometimes you need to be reminded why you chose the life of a touring musician. Ryan Jalbert from The Motet had his Monday residency at Quixotes with his band Jalbatross. They sounded killin. Saw some old friends, met some new ones, then bounced out to an after party at a friend’s house. That’s about where my brain stopped creating memories for the evening. Woke up at the hotel, got a coffee, and headed to day one of Turkuaz rehearsals. Few of us were a little banged up, others took it easy, but we all brought it together, and knocked out some new tunes. Same story for tomorrow’s rehearsal. Then a day of chill. In Denver. So you KNOW it’s gonna be chill. Like so chill.” -Michelangelo Carubba


10/11: On To Albuquerque

“Sleep? Who needs it? Albuquerque how are ya? Where is Marc Maron? Who has that blue stuff? What time is it? Smell that? This must be the place.” -Taylor Ward Shell

“It’s hot out. This hard cider is cold. Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh.” -Sammi Garett

“Having followed Rt 66 on our initial westward push from Oklahoma City, this is actually the second time seeing Albuquerque this trip. The first was with a fraction of the band but this time the full cast of Turkeys would be in attendance!

As we depart Flagstaff, the terrain resembles that of its northernly neighbor, the Grand Canyon. The areas high elevation limits any of the stereotypical cacti that come to mind when one thinks of Arizona but instead opens up to endless Alpine clusters. The road itself to Albuquerque is a steady decline of 2000 feet, winding through the area’s original residents, the Pueblo nation, and even passes where “the bomb” was created in the 40s, at Los Alamos laboratories. 

I think it’s safe to say that Albuquerque’s two king claims to fame are balloons and the blue meth. We’d be getting a double dose of that today…well kind of. Our destination and home for the night is Marble Brewery, known not only for its “Heisenberg Dark Brew” but also for its appearances on the show Breaking Bad. This was also the closing day of the annual Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, which draws thousands to the area and launches over 500 hot air balloons. Events include the mass ascensions  as far as the eye can see and night launches that illuminate the city sky. Nothing like standing in a basket on a large fire propelled bag floating through the air!

As for our show, Sunday can often be a roll of the dice, but I think for this occasion Albuquerque really delivered. The crowd was super appreciative for the two set show and beyond pumped to have us for the night (including Mom Zaba). The show started at dusk and the gang began fast and hard with a “classic” first set of originals paired with Sly cover “M’lady”. With a few Marble beer samples at set break the second half ramped up the crowd intensity where newcomer “Generator” and the crowd pleasing “Shape I’m In” closed it all out. A complete success!

As we left town we did a quick green chili feast at the famous Frontier Mexican Restaurant and headed out for our next adventure.” -Zach Zaba 

“This is Martín, boxing trainer and fight promoter in Albuquerque, NM. He’s currently training famed UFC champion Rhonda Rousey’s next opponent. It was great to reminisce with a fellow boxer about the fight game.” -Michelangelo Carubba


10/10: Flagstaff, AZ

“On our way out of Joshua Tree, traveling on historic Route 66, we rolled through Amboy, CA which is pretty much just an out of service gas station, which also happened to be the cover art of our last album Future 86. You can see what we did here. Pretty cool to see it in person!” -Craig Brodhead

“Flagstaff, AZ although we’ve only been in you thrice, what we can say for sure is that your Thai food is dope. You go from level 1-5 in spice. We won’t say who’s a 1, but we will say Taylor takes the 5 (and the sweats). But for reals, The Orpheum Theater is a beautiful venue with A+ hospitality and the Members Only scene is strong.” -Shira Elias


10/9: Joshua Tree Music Festival

“The last hour or so of the drive from Phoenix to Joshua Tree was on a nausea-inducing roller coaster road snaking through the desert. Up and down, up and down we went, our lunches rising higher and higher in our bellies with each rapid dip. To make things even more interesting, the gas meter began dipping dangerously low, with nothing in sight but a strange convenience store called McGoo’s. ‘We can’t stop here. This is bat country.’ Hunter S. Thompson said it best. Luckily a gas station arose on the horizon like a mirage, and we could once again put the AC on.

Being a Joshua myself, and being a Burner (I’ve attended Burning Man twice), I was very excited to see what Joshua Tree Music Festival was all about. All I knew is that it had my name in it, and that it was a festival in the desert, hence my Burner excitement.

What I didn’t expect was a beautiful oasis in the sand, where each structure is unique and just as much a piece of interactive art as the many sculptures and murals that dotted the festival grounds. The main stage (Indian Cove Stage) area brought me back to Center Camp at Burning Man, with the beautiful canvases stretching overhead, and a wonderfully eclectic group of beautiful people engaged in various forms of dance, painting, or just plain being silly and enjoying the evening. I caught Ben Miller Band doing a bluegrass rendition of “What’s Going On” by 4 Non Blondes onstage, which in theory shouldn’t work but somehow actually worked really well.

The festival really felt more like a big village that was built with love and built for play; children ranging from 4 to 64 ran around doing somersaults and wearing capes, you know, standard playtime activities. We were fortunate to have Yak Attack playing on the other stage while we set up. Their music was new to us and was the perfect soundtrack to a somewhat-hurried but positive load-in. It reminded me of “Stepping Out” by Joe Jackson, and harkened some of us back to the days of playing Pilot Wings and soaring through the skies. The drummer and synth player were particularly killing it, and got us even more pumped to play.

For our set we were all smiles. Our brightly-colored jumpsuits seemed to be the appropriate desert attire, and indeed they were perfect for the warm desert evening. The crowd had amazing energy and were so nice to meet at the merch table afterwards. We may have only said this because we didn’t have to deal with what I’m told was the very unforgiving daytime heat, but before we left we were already talking about coming back again. West Coast festivals have a special something to them, and this was a particularly special West Coast festival. It made me proud to be a Joshua.” -Josh Schwartz

Setlist: Chatte Lunatique, Future 86, Percy Thrills The Moondog, Tiptoe Through The Crypto, 20 Dollar Bill, Everyone’s A Winner, Lookin’ Tough Feelin’ Good, Gogo Mr Dodo, Coast To Coast, Hold On I’m Coming, Doktor Jazz, King Computer, Bubba Slide


10/9: On To Cali. But First…

“If I know one thing in this crazy world it’s west coast food. I’ve been crushing In-N-Out all over the west since I was a wee lad. So when I saw that magical sign on the side of highway 10 I was quick to cut across four lanes with no regard for human life to make the exit. Now as I sit here with the animal style innards dripping all over the table all I can say is fuck yea! See you soon.” -Taylor Ward Shell


10/8: Phoenix!


“Here we are again in Phoenix, AZ. It’s hot, but that’s ok. The only thing better than playing for our Phoenix fans is eating tacos around the corner from the venue. The key to knowing you’re at the best taco stand: 
1. None of the staff speak English.
2. None of the customers besides Turkuaz speak English.
3. You can’t find it on google.
4. Five tacos, a quesadilla, a burrito, & two sodas are under $20.

Unrelated: Michelangelo has been on an airplane puking all day. I think he needs some tacos.” -Dave Brandwein


“What, you think you know Tennessee whiskey? These boys do. And don’t you forget it…

Also, look at Craig’s hand. What is he doing, casting a spell?

He’s like the whiskey wizard Jon Snow.” -Chris Brouwers

Setlist: Drum/Synth Intro, 20 Dollar Bill, Percy Thrills The Moondog, Tiptoe Through The Crypto, Introduction, Murder Face, Nightswimming, Coast To Coast, The Generator, Chatte Lunatique, Future 86, Doktor Jazz, Lookin’ Tough Feelin’ Good, Gogo Mr Dodo, King Computer, Pickin’ Up, Ballad Of Castor Troy


10/7: Making Our Way Cross-Country

“After a run of shows in the northeast, the first stop of the tour proper is at the Last Exit Live in Phoenix, AZ. That’s 36 hours away, and a lot of America to cover. Our goal is to break it up into three long (12+ hour) chunks.

Outside of Memphis we briefly and unwittingly stopped at this rest stop on I-40 (so-called “Music Highway”) commemorating Issac Hayes, Tina Turner and Booker T and the MG’s. It’s refreshing to see some parts of the country seem to have an appreciation for American musicians, and when you’re on the road, things like this give you the feeling that you’re following some trail that’s been blazed before you and you’re following in the footsteps of other great artists.

After catching a little sleep in Amarillo, TX we were treated to some of the beautiful and vast landscapes West Texas is known for. Although we’ve traversed the country many times now, this particular region is pretty new to us and we enjoyed taking it in. It reminded me a bit of some of the imagery from “No Country for Old Men” by the Coen Brothers. 

Also outside of Amarillo is the “Cadillac Ranch”, a little tourist trap destination featuring this collection partially submerged cars. It’s sorta like Stonehenge, but with old Cadillacs instead of big rocks. Complimentary spray paint is provided, allowing visitors to add their own flavor to this odd formation. 

Halfway through the drive yesterday, I got a call from Josh Myers, bassist of Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds. He saw a post of ours realized that we were traveling on the same highway and would be passing each other going the opposite direction. We did a little number crunching and realized that we would be able to meet up in Carlisle, Arkansas within ten minutes of each other. A little further searching revealed a place called Nick’s Barbecue (four stars on Yelp, 120+ reviews. Seemed legit) and we met up there in the late afternoon.

The Dirty Birds have been some of our best friends for awhile now. Being a large band, in the same scene and based out of Brooklyn – in addition to being big fans of their music – we feel a lot of camaraderie with them. They are five weeks into a long tour out west and we’re just starting a long one so it felt great to sit down with our old friends, see how things were going, tell some jokes and eat some ribs and brisket. This kind of thing doesn’t happen often, and touring bands really can feel like family when you’re away from everything and everyone else. In this case it really did feel that way, and it was a great way to break up the monotony of seemly endless driving. Hope to see them again soon.” -Craig Brodhead


9/29-9/30: Back Home at Brooklyn Bowl

“Our first two night run at Brooklyn Bowl, our home town venue, was a total success. It felt great to release our album to so many people in the city that’s been so good to us. I wish we had more time to just chill in Brooklyn and relax, but the Digitonium album release tour is now in full force. I had to get some Brooklyn Bowl fried chicken, some Anna Maria’s late night pizza. And as always, we raged the Gibson late night after our shows. At this point it’s our Brooklyn after show tradition. The bathrooms there are so cozy!” – Michelangelo Carubba

[Photos by Scott Harris]



Digitonium Fall Tour Dates

09/17 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theater*
09/18 – Hancock, NY – Catskill Chill Music Festival
09/20 – Hancock, NY – Catskill Chill Music Festival
09/24 – Portland, ME – Port City Music Hall**
09/25 – South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground Ballroom*
09/26 – Northampton, MA – Pearl Street Ballroom
09/29 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl**+
09/30 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl*+
10/01 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club*
10/02 – Ardmore, PA – Ardmore Music Hall*
10/08 – Phoenix, AZ – Last Exit Live
10/09 – Joshua Tree, CA – Joshua Tree Festival
10/10 – Flagstaff, AZ – Orpheum Theatre
10/11 – Albuquerque, NM – Marble Brewery
10/16 – Fort Collins, CO – Aggie Theatre@
10/17 – Denver, CO – Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom***
10/20 – Missoula, MT – Stage 112
10/21 – Moscow, ID – John’s Alley Tavern***
10/22 – Boise, ID – The Reef***
10/24 – Placerville, CA – Hangtown Halloween Ball
10/25 – Placerville, CA – Hangtown Halloween Ball
10/28 – Bend, OR – Domino Room***
10/29 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern***
10/30 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom***
10/31 – Eugene, OR – HiFi Music Hall***
11/04 – Fort Worth, TX – The Live Oak Music Hall
11/05 – Austin, TX – Spider House Ballroom
11/06 – Houston, TX – Last Concert Cafe
11/07 – New Orleans, LA – The Parish at H.O.B.
11/10 – Birmingham, AL – Zydeco
11/11 – Atlanta, GA – Aisle 5
11/12 – Charleston, SC – Charleston Pour House&
11/13 – Jacksonville Beach, FL – Freebird Live&
11/14 – Boca Raton, FL – Funky Biscuit&
11/15 – Tampa, FL – Crowbar Live&
11/18 – Charlotte, NC – The Rabbit Hole&
11/19 – Raleigh, NC – The Pour House&
11/20 – Richmond, VA – The Broadberry%
11/21 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage%

* with Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band
** with Polyrhythmics
*** with The Quick & Easy Boys
@ with Punch Drunk Munk Funk
& with The Fritz
+ with PitchBlak Brass Band
% with ELM

Get tickets to all upcoming Turkuaz shows here.