Family of the Year released their second album Loma Vista a couple weeks back and their sweet and harmonious brand of pop hits a sweet spot between the folksy troubadours of today like the Mumford Foxes and the singer/songwriters of yesteryear like Jackson Taylor. Add in some Beach Boys-styled sunshine and a ampload of jingle jangle, and you've got something guaranteed to please a wide range of guitar pop lovers. The band is out on the road now and they sent along a list of tour necessities....

First here's a video to get you in the mood....


If that sounded good to you, their label was kind enough to send along a link to stream all of Loma Vista.

Things that keep us sane on tour? Tour staples? Tour necessities? Tour stuff we likeā€¦

Podcasts
When you're on the road long enough, it's easy to get sick of every playlist you ever made, so we listen to a lot of podcasts. We've really been into Mysterious Universe since the start of the band. It's these two Australian dudes who talk about all things paranormal. It's great for late night drives when you feel like getting kinda spooked.
We've also been listening a lot to Here's the Thing, where Alec Baldwin interviews other celebrities and interesting people. He interviewed Chris Rock and it was pretty cool to hear him talk about his secret fantasies of wanting to be in a Woody Allen movie. It's just super honest.

Doing cool things on days off
It's not too often when you get a "real" day off. Lots of times it's spent driving or doing laundry of the remote nether regions, so when we have the opportunity to do something cool or fun with our day off, it makes everything in our world so much better. A couple years ago we had a couple days off between shows, so we went camping in East Texas somewhere. We cooked food, sat by the fire, and totally chilled out somewhere other than another motel chain.

We also had a chance to go to a Brewers game in Milwaukee. We tailgated in the stadium parking lot, which is a luxury we don't have at Dodger Stadium. The Brewers lost, but we're told they always do and it was fun anyway.

Tomorrow we're going to Barton Springs in Austin, TX to catch some rays and go for a dip. If we have time off in the Northeast we'll usually make a beeline for Martha's Vineyard to visit Joe and Seb's mom and grab a bucket of fried clams (number one best food ever).

Bill Bryson
We all read his books/pass them around. We love this guy. The book that's currently making rounds in the van is "In A Sunburned Country." This one's about Australia and his ramble down under. He's a fun writer because he mixes adventure, humor and fact. He has written a ton of books, most of which have graced the van at one point or another. We have an audio book of his "Short History of Nearly Everything" that usually grabs everyone's attention for an hour or two at a time. Recommended.

Hotel San Carlos in Phoenix
Super rad little hotel. It was built in the early 20th century and was the hotel of choice for movie stars from the 30's to the 50's while they were in town or shooting films in the surrounding desert. Last time we stayed there we had the Clark Gable room. There is also the Marilyn Monroe suite, which is right next to the door to the rooftop pool. It's the bomb, plus we can afford it, which means it's affordable. Doubly awesome. FYI: never stay at an Extended Stay. They all smell like boiled onions.

Extra tip: Cantaloupes stink up the van even though they are delicious.