“Paw Paw eaters are dumbasses.” - Chuck
“It’s like playing in someone’s bladder.” Chuck (see below)
After playing Little Rock we decided to drive to Memphis to get a jump on the drive to Nashville. We were scheduled to play Grimey’s record store in the afternoon and it made sense to drive off the post-show hyperness. Then we could maybe sleep in a little the next day too. The downside is not getting to bed until after four a.m. That’s another one of those differences you have to deal with in a band. Staying up until four screws me up for a day or two. Getting up early does the same for some of the others. Either way, we pulled into the back lot of Grimey’s only kind of late, got out of the van into the hottest day in Nashville history(109 degrees), stared up at the two flights of metal stairs we were going to have to carry all our gear, and respectively sighed (“sigh”), grumbled (“Jesus Christ”), swore (“motherfuck”), wept just a little (“mommy”), and experienced a harsh hypnopompic state (“kittens?”). We climbed the gallows with at best a piss poor attitude and were once again proven wrong. Grimey’s it turns out is one of the best independent record stores left. Tons of vinyl, great vibe, good beer for the band, (PBR for the customers. Suckers!) and as I’m pissing (in the bathroom – I’m not a savage) I started looking at all the posters on the wall and began to realize that pretty much every cool band has played either the record store or the stage downstairs (called The Basement). For the love of God Metallica recorded a live record there a few years ago. So when Rene’ said we were lucky to get to play there she wasn’t just full of shit. Who knew? So we loaded all our crap up the stairs, felt rivulets of sweat gently tickle places untouched since kitchen sink sponge baths and set up. There was a nice crowd waiting for us and I said in a way that was not intended to be a legally binding jinx, “There will probably be more people here than at the show tonight.” It was really cramped so I was right up against Lisa’s amp, firmly taking another huge leap towards lip reading and ASL. Had fun, checked into a hotel with signed pictures of Lorrie Morgan (Don, Thanks for everything you do!!) on the wall and went off to find the club.
We came around the corner of a rather shack-like rambling affair into a lunar parking lot. (an inch of dust sprinkled liberally with rocks - like shit sprinkles on a piss cream cone) We found ourselves gazing at a patio encased with chain link fence and three battle-scarred tables, a few bikes and random shit lying around. There were three men at one of them. The only intelligible words from these men were firmly entrenched in the lexicon of lechery. I’m still deciding whether to print the worst, but most were mercifully slurred.* We were told we could load our gear onto the patio and that, “no one would fuck with it there.” Jeremy from the Sundresses said he’d do that after the men on the patio were done doing blow but I’m going to go to my grave assuming he was kidding. (It’s for the best really) We decided to leave our gear locked in the van and go get dinner at an Indian place, where I ate yellow Malai Kofta with deep-fried vegetable balls. When we got back I was forcefully reminded how much I hate clubs that allow smoking. The amazing thing is that this was our first and last one on the entire tour. Wasn’t that long ago I associated rock shows with stinking clothes and scratchy throats.
You may have noticed I haven’t printed the name of the club and I wont. Because this was a place where not only hope went to die, but if it wandered in, blissful in its naivete, someone would break a bottle and jam the broken end with a twisting motion into its throat. The room we played in was almost pitch dark and you could still see the dirt. Three fans showed up, two sitting erect at the bar trying to look inconspicuous and one who stood in front and danced. They had two mics and no monitors and wouldn’t allow us to sell merch. It was the only night of the whole tour where we made 0 dollars. (breaking Spokane’s record of $25) That said we played a pretty good show, feeling once again like a band that can handle the occasional dive bar. Hell, we didn’t play Rawhide once.
For the record, I love Nashville.
Tomorrow is the last show. Louisville bound.
*I didn’t actually hear the quote so I called John who had, and because he said it had been burned into his brain. As he was recounting it I was groaning with the horror and John said, “Oh yeah, I was just standing there thinking my God, I’m next to a grubworm.” Anyway, without further ado.
“My lower abdomen is too soft for a girl to sit on. So I like to come at her from behind like a hummingbird. Like a rectal hummingbird if you know what I mean.”
“Rectal Hummingbirds? That’d be a good name for a band. (No it wouldn’t. Besides, I think Wilco already owns it)