Animals: We’ve been in cities, so C.H.U.D.’S maybe?
Quotes: I’ll be honest. I’ve pretty much had my headphones in. It’s as close to alone time as I can get. That said, if you say Hotlanta unironically, we are not going to be friends. I think we'll both be fine with that. Not everyone has to be friends with everyone.
SIARPC: Steve Glutenberg*
I woke up early because it would be a crime to come all this way and not get a beignet and some hot chocolate. All great cultures throughout history have produced some version of fried dough and chocolate. Of course this being Saturday I stood in line for well over a half hour. It was like a mini epic journey - the doubt, the sacrifice, the boredom, the rage against all those who would stand in your way. But much like the moment when Liv Tyler shakes down her hair in slow motion, removes her elf ears, and smiles at you in a gentle knowing way before closing the curtains, or the long wait before someone finally made a T-2/Golem** mash-up of them melting in molten stuff, it was totally worth it. And then back in the van for a seven-hour ride to Atlanta. Driving over Lake Pontchartrain is one of my favorite things. The bridge goes on forever. We looked it up and the average depth is only 12-14 feet, which is useful information if you’re planning on practicing your cliff diving or planning to dump a body. (you shouldn’t – there are better places for both)
I wrote the whole time because I really want to wrap up the blog before I get home. As soon as I can I have to switch gears and get ready for the school year. I’m so far behind in my lesson planning it’s been giving me nightmares almost nightly. Out of Louisiana, quickly across just the tip of Mississippi, up through Alabama, and into Georgia. Pretty much the whole band’s nursing their stomachs. I swear I wouldn’t be surprised if we actually had some small bug going through the van. I’ve felt good so rarely this tour I’m quite looking forward to the tour amnesia that will wipe away all the inconveniences both large and small. It’ll be a miracle if we even break even on this leg of the tour. If we do it’ll be almost exclusively credited to the Baltimore house show. It’s a learning process, and everywhere we’ve gone there’s been at least somebody excited to see us. It might not be sustainable but it is amazing to me that in some small way we’ve reached into the corners of this huge country. And even though everyone has given up earnings or time with loved ones, for me to know that I can say to myself that I have toured the U.S. in a rock band is very meaningful for me. There are not that many unbroken threads one can trace back to 10th grade but this is one. As with every time we’ve gone out my experience is that the vast majority of people we come in contact with are kind and accommodating. I think people like to help others out for the most part. John has the admirable ability to quickly circumvent the little social walls that people just naturally have up in public places. They tend to look startled at first but his goofy-ass smile almost always assures them they are in on the joke and not the butt of it. I mean sometimes they are but it is a good smile. The point is people are a hell of a lot funnier and open if you can somehow step out of the roles assigned by work or station. Especially if the fear of, I don’t know, something bad happening I guess, is quickly allayed. It’s one of the joys of talking to people after shows. You’ve shared something communal and for a minute that is enough.
I want to reiterate that the New Orleans show ended up lovely, but we have an ego. We like to play on stages with monitors and lights, and we like to have people show up. The club we were playing in Atlanta had a reputation as being a place where the cops were called regularly in the ‘90s, but it has different owners now and is more of an NPR looking venue with chairs and Brie on the menu. The baked Pimento rounds were actually better. It had a nice red stage that was about one person too small, but there was a good-sized crowd, the sound guy was awesome, and we got to finish the tour on a high note. The staff was great and they blasted Prince the whole time we were breaking down (non-specific on purpose). Prince should be played after, and possibly during, every show.
Chuck, Lisa and I were to be interviewed on camera by a guy named Vic who has a video blog. So chairs were set up onstage after we tore down, and a guy swung a boom mic back and forth. I love this kind of shit because it’s like improv night. You get to think on your feet. Anyway we sat up there like lumps, Chuck looking glum because that’s how they taught him to do it in the ’90’s, Lisa looking glum until she felt a little more comfortable and loosened up, and me lying like a rug.
We then went back to our hotel which should be it’s own TV show. It was a madhouse. There were people making out in the business center, gender confusion, prostitute/not prostitute confusion on our part, vomit in the hallway and pubes in every corner of the bathroom. (not ours – bald eagles all ‘round for this band)
And that was that. Eight hours back to Ohio. We can’t wait to get away from each other but we don’t hate each other either. I think we’re playing better than ever and it is a joy. We’ll see what happens next. Speculating doesn’t mean shit so I’m not going to worry about it.
*Or the Glutenberg Free Bible
** They have haven’t they?