Let’s see, it’s been since the summer before last since we last had a record out and did our first touring outside of the east coast and around home. We’ve done some jaunts east and such since, and I tried to keep the blog going but couldn’t. It was different. We were going places we’d been before and as much as I love the east coast it’s not much to look at; the Norma Desmond of coasts as it were. Zero wildlife, the Appalachians are like a card catalog. Beautiful, staid, and from so long ago as to be pointless.
Shit, I’m sorry, that’s no way to start this. Bad joke, worse metaphor. Look, I prefer the east, it’s just that the west is so freaking gorgeous. There was a strong chance we were going to tour Europe in the summer and I was super psyched to write about that, seeing as that’s right at the tip top of the dream catcher pyramid. That didn’t happen because it turns out no one actually gives a shit about us over there. I know. We were shocked as well. The new record is being released on the Damnably label in Europe so maybe we’ll get there yet. Anyway, I just couldn’t find anything to write about other than reciting, “Shit Chucks Says.*”
Well we’ve got the new record coming out now and Rene’ is booking us an actual tour of the United States. I mean, we did a pretty good job of it last time, but it was haphazard. The whole west coast thing was about to fall through until Rene’ came in and rescued it. Then the Afghan Wigs and Heartless Bastards slots were offered. It all worked out pretty well and I feel lucky to have gotten to go out and do all those things I'd dreamed of for so long. (all except for that bout of Whipworm) Tonight we’re starting a short first leg, or first stump** I guess is more accurate, before the record is even officially out, and we’re heading east on a slightly different route than usual. I don’t know if I’ll hit the same wall of familiarity or not, but I’m excited to be starting all this up again. I can’t explain it but travelling to promote a record feels different. We’re still Wussy though, masters of the dollar short, and our plans to get to Boston, Providence, and some other spots didn’t work out. Even when we plan ahead we’re still too late. That said, we’re heading north and west in June and then south and east in August. That’s a pretty good covering of the old contiguous states I think.
On this run we’re playing three shows in upstate New York, where we have no idea if we have any fans. Could be lonely but it’s cool to go places we’ve never gone. We started out in Columbus at the Ace of Cups. A bank converted into a club by the glorious Marcy Mays. She’s not glorious because Scrawl was and remains a mighty band. (Because they really are a great fucking band.) Still, assholes make great music too so it doesn’t necessarily get you a well-maintained tombstone. No she’s glorious because she’s super kind and cool as hell. She always gives us all big hugs, makes sure we’re fed and don’t lack for liquid. She also has the rare ability to be matter-of-factly honest. For instance, we played like all kinds of shit this night. After the show I shook my head and said to her, in what I assume was an adequately rueful manner, “opening night jitters.” She just said, “well, it’s to be expected – you playing a lot of new stuff?” “Yeah.” “You might want to mix a few more up-tempo numbers in between ‘em.” Yep.
So back to us playing like shit. Missed chords, painfully long gaps between songs, a set list that seemed to die on the vine. The crowd was so excited at the beginning and about half way though you could just feel them slipping away. It’s practically a physical feeling. First the phones come out, then a few people start drifting off, and by the end, when hopefully people are hooting and hollering for one more song they just kind of sigh, as if they’re not happy it’s over but they’re not exactly displeased either, shrug on their coats, and go pay their tab. 15 minutes later the bar is empty except for the friend of the girl who puked earlier who is sleeping at a table. The puker now being perky and ready to resume partying while the presumably reflux challenged chick has to be guided out. (how someone could just up and puke on a crowded floor is a mystery. Vomit isn’t exactly like an unannounced guest. And how much do you tip the staff when such an event occurs? The bartender was pretty pissed so I’m guessing they tipped like a spinster ordering oatmeal after Sunday church), To a certain extent everything felt awkward and rusty; from packing for the trip, to loading the van etc. Oh well, we’ll get it back.
*He so crazy
**We’re calling this tour Eileen