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1 - 8/4/06 - New York, NY – Arlene’s
part of the first-ever tour that The Motion Sick is taking part in;
I've decided to try my hand at doing daily logs of what happened throughout
here's a brief run down of day one.
a frantic morning shopping, doing laundry, picking up equipment, packing.
I definitely did not give myself enough time; but fortunately I was
able to pull everything together.
a little apprehensive about spending 4-5 hours in the car with everyone,
but I have to admit, we got along really well. After some iPod shuffling..
we decided upon listening to Radiohead's The Bends and some Rilo Kiley.
Both put us in a relatively good mood for playing even though due to
some hold ups, we were cutting it very very close to make the gig.
went well; however we had a tiny fiasco with our van/trailer combo;
as there are very few places in Manhattan that will allow you to park
a such a caravan. We ended up parking (fortunately) right in front of
Arlene's (albeit, almost completely blocking a fire hydrant).
after booking it out of the city, we headed over to Queens; grabbed
some cinnamon toast and coffee at a diner, and am getting ready for
bed. Tomorrow, we expect to leave around 12-ish and we have a relatively
short drive down to Harrisburg for our show at the Gingerbread Man.
until tomorrow's next exciting bat-blog...
my last post was created at 3:30 am, I re-read it and found my entry
rather brief. Now that Im more coherent, heres some more info about
a word of advice to all musicians, and everyone else, really. NEVER
bring a trailer into Manhattan if you can POSSIBLY avoid it. We were
running a little late to the gig and we pulled up to Arlenes with about
10-15 minutes before we were supposed to walk on stage. In an attempt
to be efficient, Patrick and I were going to park the van and trailer
while Mike, Jane and Travis set up our equipment.
me tell you, Patrick and I had a hell of a time trying to park that
damn thing We drove to one garage that we got directions to and the
attendant comes out and tells us you cant park that here... So, we briefly
thought about backing out onto the two-lane road with the trailer. Well,
that wasnt going to work. Patrick worked his people magic and the attendant
allowed us to turn around in the garage, also a challenge; but much
easier than trying to back onto the street. Our parking debacle continued
but going to another lot, who wouldnt take the trailer. The attendant
there said he was going to get in a load of shit with his boss if he
allowed us to park with the trailer. After that, we went to another
lot. There were no lights and it looked almost abandoned, but we were
desperate (and about 10-15 blocks from Arlenes). Patrick got out and
peered in the attendants booth and apparently the guy in there suffered
from a few symptoms. Either he drank too much, was sleeping, or was
dead. Patrick yelled at him a few times and poked him to wake him to
now cutting it very close to stage time. After calling Travis, we discovered
that the previous band had a full stage full of equipment, so it took
them some extra time to make their way off. Patrick and I decide to
head back to the club to look for a street spot when Travis calls and
mentions just parking in front and figuring out what to do from there.
Well, fortunately for us, there was kind of a spot in front of the club.
However, a large portion of this spot was directly blocking a fire hydrant.
Im pretty hesitant about parking there, but seriously considering it
since Im had just about had it trying to back up with that damn trailer.
The bouncer mentions to us that the cops havent really been out tonight
so wed probably be safe. With out any better options available I begged
the bouncer to come in and let us know if we were going to get ticketed.
the van parked we hop on stage and quickly got prepared to play. The
club had all of the amplifiers ready so we only needed to plug in our
instruments. The sound guy figured we mustve been a Dub band, because
he took ALL the high end out of my bass. Oh well, I was hoping that
he put it into the front of house (although I still have no idea if
he did). We played pretty well and once we finished the last song I
threw my gear into the case and ran outside hoping that we didnt end
up having a $200 ticket and a boot. Got outside, no ticket, no boot.
that, I tried to hurry everyone out so we could get the hell out of
Manhattan and make it to Queens. After getting lost for about an hour
and a half, we make it to Queens and grab some food.
on the road to Harrisburg as Im writing this, so hopefully later tonight
after the show.
Off to a questionable start, we leave Boston about 3 hours late due
to a delay in getting our trailer.
Travis nearly broke his wrist at our Boston show on Tuesday,
so he is wearing a brace that is stabilizing the whole thing. I’ve been having trouble with my throat all week and a mild soreness
is still hanging on. Otherwise,
we seem to be hanging in there. We spend the entire trip from Boston to New York panicking about
making it on time to play. Luckily,
traffic is light. With minutes
to stage time, a cop at the entrance to the West Side Highway stops
us at the toll booth and says something about how we can’t bring the
trailer on the highway. The following exchange ensues:
have you got in the trailer?
Cop: Are you
kind of music do you play?
Um, the kind that we’re listening to right now (Rilo Kiley is playing).
Cop: I can’t
The rest of
the band shouts out various genres to try to hasten the conversation.
Cop: Are you
going to a gig.
Band in unison:
I won’t detain you then…I am supposed to detain you.
He then shouts
to the toll collector that we have an extra axle. Our delay causes us
to arrive only minutes before we are to take the stage at Arlene’s.
Travis, Jane, and I start setting up on the stage; Meanwhile,
Matt and Patrick are still trying to find a place to park the car.
The garages in the area refuse to accept the trailer. Finally, they give up and park in front of a fire hydrant in front
of the venue and ask the door person to keep an eye on the vehicle. He promises to get one of us if there is a
problem. I.e., someone may have
to hop off stage during the set to move the van. Arlene’s has a small backstage loading area. The venue is entirely backlined, so it’s not
necessary (and highly discouraged) to bring lots of your own gear. The band after us fills the backstage area
with Marshall Stacks and other sundry items that make it impossible
to get through the area or open the door to the attached bathroom.
play a fairly short set to one of our smallest NYC audiences yet.
I guess we had a lot of strong competition that night (my
sister went to see The Rentals instead of us). The show ends and the band after us decides
it’s a good idea to wander around the stage and backstage area
completely making it impossible for us to offload.
After much struggle through the amp-filled loading area,
we get everything off the stage and out the door to the van signifying
the end of Day 1.
– this is my first blog and I didn’t want to do it but the other
guys are putting me to shame.
We’ve also been getting lots of requests to hear the female
perspective on this tour so here I am.
I must admit I don’t know how I feel about blogging. It’s
like writing in your diary except someone steals it and then sends
it to your worst enemy.
Today was a very busy day. I didn’t have as much time to get ready
this week as I would have liked (I closed on my house yesterday)
so I had lots of errands to run.
I had to do laundry, get food, do a CVS run and figure
out how to pack 10 days of clothes and supplies in a small enough
suitcase so I wouldn’t get yelled at. The shoe choice was hard.
If I could have taken as many shoes as I wanted I probably
would have taken 10 pairs, but I limited it to 6 which I thought
was pretty good considering that 3 of them are gig shoes.
I was going to try for the small suitcase, but it couldn’t
be done so I picked my next biggest suitcase. Once I saw the trailer though it was fine because
I could have brought even a bigger suitcase and it would have
been all good. But it’s
pretty heavy as it is and I wouldn’t want to lug around anything
So I get over to Matt’s to meet Mike and Matt around 3. And we’re waiting and waiting for Patrick to
pick us up and we’re getting more and more worried about whether
we’re going to make the show.
Poor Patrick is dealing with the trailer and U-haul and
obviously having issues with it. He finally arrives – a knight
with a shiny white trailer and picks us up and we head over to
Travis’s. Despite brainstorming about various ways we can shave
time off the drive like by having Travis meet us while waiting
at the I-84 toll and transferring his belongings to the van from
his car while we’re both driving we did end up going to his house.
Once back on the road the traffic gods were smiling at
us and we made record time to NYC.
We were actually at Arlene’s in time and the band before
us was running late. But
parking with the trailer turned out to be a big hassle and Matt
and Patrick were denied at parking garage after parking garage
until they finally left it in front of Arlene’s under the watchful
eye of the doorman (thanks doorman!) and they walked in just in
time to play. Despite a small crowd and a stressful day we played good and I heard
that people could actually hear my keyboard and were happy for
it (not Mike of course). Luckily
I didn’t fuck up that much. Thanks
to all the peeps who came out to see us!
after all that drama you’d think it couldn’t get worse, but it
does. I make the wrong
decision and instead of going back with Mike and staying at his
sisters decide to go with the other boys and stay with Travis’s
friend Tony. Now we get into the van and head over to Queens
and run into enormous amounts of traffic which boggles my mind
because it’s 1 in the morning but I guess that’s how it is in
New York. Now we were rushing so we didn’t eat dinner
and anyone who knows me knows that when I don’t eat I get fucking
grouchy so I was on a mission to get some food.
Now Tony and his friends had other plans like going to
a biker bar and getting stabbed so eventually Patrick made the
executive decision to drive us away. But now we’re in Queens and
we don’t know where we are or where we’re going to stay.
I call my friend John who had come to the show who also
lives in Queens and asked if we could all crash there. He graciously
agreed (thanks John!) and after grabbing some food at a diner
we headed over there and realized that Mike was right. Maybe we
should have gotten a GPS. But
we made it there and I got a chance to chat with John a bit which
was cool. Tomorrow should be a better day.
2 - 8/5/06 – Harrisburg, PA – Gingerbread Man
much more relaxing day. This
was mostly a last-minute filler gig, so we didn’t know what to
expect. We arrived in
Harrisburg with several hours to spare and met up with a friend
from college. We all wandered around trying to get a feel
for the city and ended up standing outside the baseball stadium
for the Harrisburg Senators.
While chatting with everyone, a baseball flew within about
a foot of my head, which was quite unlikely because of where we
were standing (outside the stadium on the 3rd base
foul line). So, we ran
off to head for safer ground.
The venue staff were quite courteous and helpful.
We had sent flyers to the club and they had hung them up
in every corner of the place…all the doors, the bathroom mirror,
etc. We played to a small,
but decent crowd functioning as a mix of background noise for
many and fixation for a dedicated few. Fell Upon Thieves performed after us. They are much heavier than we are, but we all
like a wide range of music and enjoyed their set. The bass player broke a string early on and borrowed Matt’s bass.
They thanked us profusely for playing with and loaning
the bass. It was all good
times. I managed to get
to sleep pretty early to try to work on some more throat recovery
as the rest of them did some after partying.
I always forget that smoking is allowed in some places.
I am spoiled by the smoking bans in Boston and New York. That is one thing that’s really hard on my
singing. Overall, we got
some good, relaxing recovery from our New York troubles.
Tomorrow we’re off to DC for what I expect to be a killer
as I sit here in the van on the quick drive to D.C. from Harrisburg,
I’m finding this is the perfect time to reflect on the happenings of
the day/night before… I think
first and foremost we made to Harrisburg without any travel woes or
delays, other than my complete disregard for listening to Jane directing
me to the correct exit. Its
ok, I banged a U-ie.
We spent our time listening to Neutral Milk Hotel and Jane’s
personal favorite, the Gin Blossoms.
I learned that Mike is a big fan, which blew my fuckin mind.
We arrived at the hotel and took some time to unwind, I read
more from the book about The Beach Boys that I brought along.
I learned from my readings that Barry Manilow didn’t write “I
Write the Songs”, Bruce Johnston did.
Bruce Johnston was a replacement for Brian Wilson when they went
Oh, here’s the best part of my day yesterday…
I schooled Patrick on the art of “the dot”.
This lesson will greatly enhance the live performance of The
Motion Sick. I am convinced that I should officially become
the guitar tech of The Motion Sick.
Did I say that out loud?
We arrived at the venue fairly early in order to load in and
spend some time promoting the show through the streets of Harrisburg.
We learned that between the hours of 12pm and 8pm, Harrisburg
dedicates itself to catering to “The American Dream”.
The streets flowed with the blood of the non-believers! Just kidding. But seriously,
with every six steps we ran into families with small children, this
made hitting the pavement to hand out fliers fairly pointless.
Here’s where this blog is supposed to get interesting.
MIKE ALMOST DIED! No
shit, he really did! In our
quest to find people over the age of 21, we ended up crossing the Susquehanna
into a Minor League baseball Park.
The Harrisburg Senators were playing the Philadelphia something
or others. Mike was standing around minding his own business when out of nowhere
a baseball came shooting at his head at about 15,000 mph!! In typical Mike fashion, he took one step to
his right and strategically placed himself out of harms way. I believed it to be Armageddon as I thought
it was a Meteor shower raining down on me, because as Mike stepped out
of harms way, I nearly stepped into it.
I thought to myself “this is fucking bullshit, I’m going to die
in Harrisburg…” No disrespect
to Harrisburg, but I wasn’t keen on either Mike or I dying on the 2nd
stop of the tour. That fucker
can expire in Columbus, but only after we visit the Jesus statue. More to follow on the Jesus Statue.
So the gig was fun. We
rocked out. Patrick and I stayed out and partied with Fell
Upon Thieves until 6:30am, they were gracious hosts, and we’re looking
forward to playing with them in Pittsburgh Monday night. The rest of the band went back to the hotel
and did the right thing by sleeping like normal human beings should. Patrick and I are hung over, but in good spirits
as we are close to arriving in DC.
We’re currently listening to The Sheila Divine (they’re a Boston
band in case you don’t know), and deciding which Rest Stop to pull over
at to let Mike and Jane pee. They
like to pee a lot.
I believe this blog to be long, but I do hope you find it somewhat
amusing. Just read it as if I were speaking it to you,
and for all of you who don’t know what I sound like when I talk, well
I can’t help you there, but trust me its funny.
Time to let the kids pee.
figured out what the "dot" means today. We're
all very happy.
In a nutshell... Mike almost died and Travis was close to becoming
seriously wounded via a baseball. We had a much easier time parking
the trailer in Harrisburg, we found a lot with tons of "No
Parking, Violators Towed" signs hanging up, but we decided
to risk it and said risk was sucessful. The veune was a little
strange.. it was a bar where we had to move some tables and play
on the floor. And there was no sound person. Or microphones, or
stands, or microphone cables. (note to self: next time, bring
essential mic/stand/cable combos, just in case). Fortunately for
us, the following band had the gear we needed, which was super
handy. So, I had to play a little bit of sound man for the evening
(with Travis' valuable assistance) and it ended up working out
alright. Next band goes on and about halfway through the set,
Jane mentions that the bass player was trying to get my attention..
Well come to find he broke his "E" string (a pretty
hard thing to do) so I played the hero to some degree and let
him borrow mine. So, set finishes up, clean up, and we head to
can’t remember anything about the drive to Harrisburg so it must
have been pretty uneventful. It did take us a while to get out
of the city I think but that was about it.
We went right to the hotel and veg’d for a while. I took
a bit of a nap but we wanted to head downtown to see if we could
harass people on the street to come to our show.
We head down to the venue and realize that nobody lives
in Harrisburg. The venue
is weird – there is a bar part with a stage that will only fit
drums. There is also an
attached pool hall which got all the action that night.
A great part about this tour is getting to travel around and meet
up with old friends that I haven’t seen in a while. In Harrisburg a good friend of ours from college,
Evan, came to the show. Now Evan was in Engineering with us so
we saw each other every day in college and haven’t seen him since
so I was really excited about getting to meet up with him.
I’m standing outside of the place waiting for the boys
and I hear someone call my name – it’s Evan with his wife (who
is very nice)! It was so great to see him and to get to chat.
For the first 15 minutes it was a little weird, but then
it was like no time had passed since we had seen each other and
we caught up on each other’s lives.
We decided to try and find where the people in Harrisburg were
so we walked around. The city is pretty and has a nice park on
an island in the river and we walked over there.
Everyone was at a baseball game and we tried to hassle
people into coming to our show and gave out a few flyers. But
most everyone we saw were families with kids and I didn’t think
we could convince them to take their kids out to our show no matter
how much we might rock. So we’re standing around outside of the baseball field when a baseball
zooms over the wall and narrowly misses Mike’s head. We decide
that Harrisburg is cursed and we should leave the ballpark before
someone actually dies. That
would really cramp our style on the tour. We had back over to
the venue where we had dinner. The name of the place is the Gingerbread Man
and they put these cute gingerbread men cookies on the plate. They were very tasty – I ate mine and Matt’s.
I haven’t had a gingerbread cookie in a LONG time because I thought
I hated them but I might have to check them out again.
for some actual band stuff. We start setting up the equipment and there is no sound guy there
so Matt is taking care of all the sound (and doing a great job)
and we start setting up my keyboard.
My amp sounds like shit and after testing out a few things
we realize that it’s broken. Only Day 2 and I have no amp. I can go direct on the shows but it might be
hard for me to hear myself. Even
though it’s hard when I can’t hear myself it’s also kind of fun
because I can’t hear if I’m fucking up or not so I can pretend
like I’m playing awesome. We decide to play What I Get because Evan
requested it and as they were the only people actually listening
to us we wanted to give them what they wanted.
The room was weird in that it was very long and most of
the people were far away and watching the game instead of us.
But we still rocked out and I had a good time playing. And we
did got some good response from the back during some of the songs.
we played we watched Fell Upon Thieves who we’re also playing
with us in Pittsburgh. A
little heavier then I like but they had some good sounds. Part way through the bass player tries to get Matt’s attention but
he’s staring off into space so I let him know that they’re trying
to talk to him. Turns out that they guy broke a string and wanted
to borrow Matt’s bass which he of course let him do.
This worked out for us because they let us use their stuff
in Pittsburgh. Now I want to be a good rock star and go out
and party but I was just too tired that night!
After the stress of the day before I just wanted to go
back to the hotel and relax, but Patrick and Travis were ready
to hang with the Thieves so Matt drove the losers (me and Mike)
back to the hotel. We got a chance to relax and get some sleep which was nice.
3 - 8/6/06 – Washington, DC – The
Red and the Black
We had a great day in DC. First,
we stopped at the Air and Space Hangar Museum near Dulles. It is amazing to walk into such a huge hangar
and see all these famous aircraft…The
Enterprise test Space Shuttle, The
Enola Gay, The Global Flyer, The Concorde, a piece of radiotransmitter
dog poop (used in Vietnam), etc.
There was someone denied entrance to the museum carrying
a stack of flyers about how the museum is monstrous because they
display The Enola Gay and make no mention of the fact that the
plane was the vehicle by which some 60,000 people were killed.
braving the heat and walking through the parking lot back to the van,
we drove down to Georgetown to get pizza at Pizzeria Paradiso.
I wanted to go back here this time because I enjoyed the soy
cheese pizza last time I was in DC. It was very good, but the crust was a little
dry, so I ate around it so I could dip it into olive oil later, which
led to the disclosure that Patrick calls pizza crust, “pizza bones”
and offers it to his dogs.
We head on
over to The Red and The Black after. It looks like it’s in a pretty sketchy neighborhood,
but we make our way inside and find that the place has a great vibe.
We met the staff, Bill and Karen and they were very nice to us
the whole night. Person was
playing before us. He was a
solo act, so he graciously allowed us to set up our stuff on stage and
do a soundcheck before he put his gear up there.
We chatted quite a bit with Miguel (Person) and the guys from
The Roosevelt over the course of the night and found them all to be
really awesome. We played well,
exhibited a few new rock star moves including when I accidentally headbutted
Patrick’s glasses off (ROCK N ROLL!!!), but I did pick them up for him
at the end of the song. We had
a great time playing and the crowd reaction was really nice.
A lot of people approached us after with gushing reviews and
many bought CDs. In general,
the audience, the bands, and the staff were all great and we had an
awesome time. There was also a bar next door that had some
crazy circus theme. I didn’t
get to look at it really, but they had some kind of unicorn and other
wonders…apparently worth seeing, but I never got around to it. Our friend Pia very graciously let us stay
with her and provided us fresh-baked goodies and allowed us to settle
for the night in the room with her pet bearded dragon.
ride in the car was rather enjoyable actually. We listened to some tunes
that we pretty much all could agree on (Gin Blossoms, Sheila Divine,
Flaming Lips), had some good laughs at Patrick's expense and made our
way to the Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport. Our main goal was
to see the space shuttle that was there (and yes, Jane, you were correct:
it was the "enterprise"). Saw some great stuff in addition
to the shuttle; The Concorde was there, some cool old planes (WWI era),
some Satellites, and the best one of all, some radio-transmitting poop
that was used in Vietnam for counter-intellegence (sorry I have pics
of almost everything else, except the poop). What I did get was some
SPACE FOOD! It was a freeze-dried Ice-Cream Sandwich. The taste was
actually half-way decent, but the texture was what I imagine eating
old styrofoam would be.
got to the gig, and while it was in somewhat of a sketchy neighborhood,
the venue was really great (it is a brand new room, only about 3-4 months
old). The first performer was an individual named Miguel Lacsamana who
did a great laptop/triggered performance (and was also a great guy).
We went on second and the last band was a group called the Roosevelt
(also a great bunch of guys) and they played a great set too. The room
was packed for all the bands, the bartender was awesome, it was a great
way to get us really rolling on the tour.
sure that I'm missing something interesting; I'll try to fill it in
tomorrow. But, its 2:30am and we need to be out of here by 8:30am in
Also, see our whirlwind
3 in the van with all the boys and getting to see what guys really
talk about. Apparently
it is all about shit – actual shit.
I think we talked about shit and other bodily functions
all day today. At least we’re not talking about sports.
With shit I occasionally have things to contribute to the
conversation. We also
talk a lot about music.
do have a cooler which has helped us save on money so we can each
lunch and breakfast. But today is the day no one steps up and
takes responsibility for the ice so everything starts to go bad.
Mike and I went to DC last year and went to the Air and Space
museum in DC but we didn’t go to the big hanger one near Dulles
so we had some time today so we wanted to check it out.
I’m a big fan so we headed down there and it was awesome.
We got to see the shuttle and satellites and lots of other planes. I missed the dog poo though! And
in the car we had discussed the name of the shuttle in the van
and I said I thought it was the Enterprise and everyone made fun
of me and said I had too much Star Trek on the brain. We get to
the museum and lo and behold it is the fucking Enterprise – take
that! So I took a picture
of myself pointing at the name.
we were in DC before we went to this awesome pizza place in Georgetown
called Pizza Paradiso – they have vegan cheese and awesome pizzas
so Mike suggested going there again and I was totally for it. I got the potato pesto pizza and it was delicious!
Then we headed over to the venue.
The venue is in an up and coming neighborhood that is closer to
the down then the up at the moment and we drove down this street
of boarded up and abandoned buildings until we saw these two bars
next to each other. Due to the fact there wasn’t anything else
around we did find street parking across from the venue. Now the
place itself is awesome! It
was so cool. It had a New Orleans theme and it had great
wood floors and great walls and ceilings. I don’t know what’s
it called but it’s like a repeated tile pattern on the wall that
was painted. The stage had red lights and the size was great.
We had a great crowd that night and played with some bands
I really liked. Person was up first and he was a lot of fun. I
particularly enjoyed his last song which he called his big hit.
Then we played and I fucking rocked man! I’m trying to figure out how much I can dance
around and still play without messing up. I was also wearing my new crazy black and white striped mini skirt.
I wasn’t sure I could pull it off but I got some compliments
on it. The staff was great there as well and thanks to Karen who
did a great job doing sound and tending bar! The last band was
the Roosevelts and I really liked their style.
I will definitely be checking out their stuff in the future.
Julie’s sister Sarah came to the show and her husband Joe (hehe
– husband, they just got married).
It was great to see them and I think they really liked
it. Joe bought a CD – thanks Joe!
It’s always nice to look out in the crowd and see friendly
faces especially when you’re far from home.
Mike’s friend Pia also came with other friends and she
was letting us crash at her place.
After the show we drove to Pia’s in MD. We passed her street the first time because
it doesn’t have a sign but we called her and she directed us to
some great street parking which we had to leave by 9 which was
fine because we had a long drive the next day. Pia’s place is
great and I really love the way she decorated it. She also made
us cookies and let us use her French press. And she has a pull up bar – Matt was showing
off his mad pull up skillz and Mike had to see if he could compete.
He did 3 and then hit his head. I think he just hit his head so
he had an excuse not to do anymore.
4 - 8/7/06 – Pittsburgh, PA – The
is day five of our tour and we are heading into our longest day
of driving thus far as we leave Pa. for Chicago on 3 hours of
has been interesting to see some new sides of my bandmates personalities
who until Friday afternoon had not ever been in the same car together
at once. Each of us has also fallen into or taken on some role
or another. Jane is the navigator and though we don’t always go
the most “direct” route we always get to our destinations on time
and she seems to adapt well to unplanned stops. Sadly she refuses
to give all directions using the voice of “Hal” from 2001. Matt
is the worried parent and the voice of much reason when it comes
to parking the van and trailer, he is the only one who seemed
to think it was a bad idea to park in front of a fire hydrant
in Manhattan. Travis is most adept at backing the trailer up and
apparently he also has the ability to shit on someone’s tooth.
That is no small feat. Thankfully he only uses the latter skill
when pissed off to the point where shitting on one’s tooth is
the only way to express him self. Mike has established him self
as the guy that head-butts unprovoked, he is also the most likely
of us all to get choked out, that being independent of him head-butting.
As for me I have the humble job of being the jackass of the band,
I am sure you have all read about my guitar tuning woes. I also
burnt my fucking face off with some hellfire cheese from a Moon
over My Hammy.
So Yesterday was my birthday and the gang bought me dinner at
a place called Kelly’s lounge in Pittsburgh. The best part of
the day was getting to rock out at one of the coolest venues I
have ever been too. If in the area I recommend finding the Shadow
Lounge, owned by Justin Long who comes from a family of women
who marry the wrong men or maybe its men who marry multiple wrong
women. For those of you who grew up in the Boston area reading
this you may remember an anchorman by the name of Lester Long,
well Justin is his nephew. We also shared the bill with our new
friends Fell Upon Thieves who we previously rocked out with and
partied like rock stars with in Harrisburg.
I am generally optimistic about the good of strangers and
this trip has done nothing but reinforced that feeling. The amount
of good hearted and cool folk that we have met has been overwhelming.
The genuineness of their desire to be helpful and first class
hospitality is fuel. Even the authorities that often think their
jobs are to harass and make life generally difficult for bands
on the road have been considerate. I am wondering if everyone
on earth did exactly what they loved to do as we are for this
week then everyone you met would be like the folks we have been
meeting but before I wax philosophy on you all let me leave you
with one question, does the singing caged bird make a sound if
there is no one there to hear it?
For Pittsburgh, we didn’t get a chance to do much promotion.
We sent out some flyers and did a little radio and press
work, but we were really dependent on the two local bands to draw
well to help fill the room. We arrived at The Shadow Lounge and found it to be one of the best
rooms we’ve been in. The
décor was excellent and the sound and feel of the room were exceptional. The owner, Justin Long, was one of the nicest
guys we’ve encountered on our trip.
We had some really nice chats with him about the venue
and the Pittsburgh “scene.” Spencerlane
opened the show. We thought
they had a really solid sound and well-crafted songs.
Then, we were to play, followed by our Harrisburg companions
Fell Upon Thieves. The
crowd was very light and Spencerlane, except the singer who stuck
around a little while, took off immediately after playing, which
was not really so cool in our book. Of course, Fell Upon Thieves didn’t give Spencerlane
a listen either. Perhaps
I didn’t match the bill up right or something, but neither of
the local bands did anything for draw, so we were left with just
our own limited promotional work. A couple came to see us who had heard us play
live on WMFO, which was very cool.
We played for a small number of people and used it as an
opportunity to try out some new things.
I added a coda to Satellite and played using a distortion
pedal that I borrowed from Patrick in a few songs.
In the end, I had a lot of ideas about what I want to continue
doing and some ideas about what I don’t want to continue doing.
I’ll be using the Rat pedal for the rest of the tour, but
I’ll likely switch to the good old big muff when I get back to
Boston. Justin invited
us back anytime and we took a photo
with Fell Upon Thieves, who, again, were great guys.
We stayed at Mike’s friend Pia’s place on Sunday night in DC.
Pia had a chin-up bar in her apartment, and Mike did 3
pull-ups before he banged his head on the ceiling.
Our drive to Pittsburgh was fairly uneventful; I drove pretty
much the entire way. I
forgot how much I like driving in situations like this, especially
early in the morning when everyone is still sleeping/comatose.
I learned how to change the MPG counter from average to current
usage. It’s fascinating
to see your MPG change from 1 to 99MPG depending on whether you’re
driving up a mountain or down a hill.
It keeps Mike occupied.
we got to the hotel, took a shower, checked my emails (I had a
lot of work emails). Mike
updated the website where you will see this blog and we also posted
some pictures, so make sure you go the http://themotionsick.com.
We made our way over to the venue and we were reminded that it
might be slightly useful to have a GPS in the car. There was some grumbling before the trip that there was no need
for one, but after New York and unexpected detours along the way,
it would be nice to have the GPS lady telling us which turn to
we get to the Shadow Lounge, and this place is really cool.
It was just a large room, probably approximately 45x35
with at least 20ft ceilings. One of the guys who worked there,
or had some connection with the club helped us back the trailer
into 2 parking spots, which was amazing.
It was later discovered that he drove 18-wheelers for a
spell, and had much experience backing up with trailers in tow. After loading all of our equipment in, we found this diner/restaurant
and quasi-celebrated Patrick’s 29th birthday. (On an aside, this particular area of Pittsburgh
seems like it’s an up and coming area. I was very impressed with the vibe of the restaurant, the club, and
some of the other restaurants, bar, etc that we walked by).
got back to the club and watched the first band play; they were
pretty good, but the draw was a little light. We were hoping for a few more people; especially
considering that both of the other bands were both from Pittsburgh. When we finished, I was a little annoyed that
the first band kinda, took off when they were finished… I mean,
I know it’s a Monday night, but honestly, as most people in bands
know, there’s an unwritten rule that you tend to support the other
acts on the bill (unless of course, you’re a bluegrass group playing
with a death metal act). Oh well.
Our set was awesome; and I don’t try to be a braggadocio but the
sound in the room was great and it helped our playing quite a
bit. Mike experimented with a distortion pedal on
Jean Paul and Grace Kelly. That
rocked. We also discovered that we had some fans that
came out to see us after listening to our performance last month
on WMFO. That was a very
rest of the night I was basically fighting sleep and exhaustion;
and alcohol. I do need
to put a shout out to Justin and all the staff at The Shadow;
they were all really awesome and we excited by the show.
They hooked us up with one of the strongest Jack and Cokes
I think I’ve ever had. It’s
like that scene in Scrooged (the one with Bill Murray) where he
taps the can of Tab into the scotch.
Even if you haven’t seen it; the drink was tasty.
the gig ended up; we loaded our gear, took some pictures with
Fell upon Thieves and folks from the Shadow. We headed back to the hotel and had some late-nite Denny’s action.
Fortunately for us, Patrick got the Moons over My Hammy, which
I was really hoping that someone would get.
I got onion rings and put Tabasco on them.
needed to get up super early; we have a radio interview with Fearless
radio today at 4 and it’s a 6-8 hour drive from Pitt to Chicago.
I got Travis a coffee, but apparently, I didn’t make it
“light and sweet” enough for the man. I thought 3 creams and 3 sugars was enough.
Some people are having intestinal distress from the Denny’s.
I’m not looking forward to this drive.
So I’m sitting outside the venue here in Chi-Town waiting for
someone to come and open the joint up.
I’m illegally parked in a loading zone, and I quite honestly
don’t give a shit. The Po-Po are inside the restaurant right we’re I’m parked, enjoying
their shift time meal, and until they come out and tell me to
move, I’m gonna sit here and type away with my Iced Green Tea
I took the drive from Pittsburgh to Chicago today.
It took about 8 hours.
We left on time at 7am, and stopped frequently to pee and
poop. The drive wasn’t
terribly taxing on me, other than I was forced to look at the
worst “scenery” EVER!
We did an in-studio interview and an acoustic performance
at Fearless Radio, which is an all internet based radio station.
It was cool, we played “Losing Altitude” and “Satellite”,
I ROCKED the tambourine! It’s 8:30pm and the venue is still closed,
we’re getting worried and agitated…
I’m having a good time out on the road with the boys and
girl. We laugh a lot,
which makes me happy. I’ve
apparently become an expert in parking the van and trailer. I aint gonna lie, that shit is mad hard, but
I seem to have a knack for it.
Props to me.
I’m looking forward to not having a long drive tomorrow.
I’m hoping to do some laundry as my shit is starting to
smell pretty funky. We
should also have a chance to take our time getting to Madison,
and hopefully sleeping in. Patrick likes to sleep a lot. Matt likes to eat Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwiches
and Mike ate a ton of Caramel Corn today. Jane likes Math.
Last night in Pittsburgh I ate some Kielbasa and Pierogies.
I also drank a few Jack and Cokes at the venue, which were
particularly strong. I’m
not complaining. I played well and my wrist held up until we
played “God Hates Kansas”, after that I felt like shit. Have no fear, I was still rockin like Dokken.
Well, it’s almost 9pm, and still no one has shown at the
venue. Shit is locked
up like Pandora’s Box. No
one in the surrounding businesses seems to know if and when the
joint opens. So be it. I’ve rambled on long enough. The battery on the laptop is dying so I’ll
end this blog. God Bless
you, and God Bless The Motion Sick.
we had heard that Pittsburgh was an underrated city. (I had read
that in the AAA tour book and then one of the guys in the Roosevelts
said that as well.) Well we don’t really get a chance to find
out anything about it because even though we had intentions of
checking it out once we got to the hotel room we couldn’t leave.
Everyone took some time to go online, check email, do some work,
etc. We finally head down
to the venue which is also in an up and coming arty area, but
this one was a little more up then the area in DC. We find the Shadow Lounge which is another awesome room. It is one
big room with lots of cool art and furniture. You can see some
of it in the pictures. The
owner is also super cool. He was so friendly and helpful and very
funny. He told lots of good stories. He cleared out a space in front for us to park
the trailer and we were assisted by some guy on the street on
how to back it up. Travis
is the man – he’s got mad skills at parking this thing.
We went to this place called Kelly’s to get some food – it had
been recommended to us as a good place and I quite agree. It had
some BBQ options but I had Mac N’Cheese and a salad. They also
had a deal on Mojitos.
were playing with two local bands so we were hoping they would
bring a lot of people but the crowd was small. But hey – it is
a Monday. Even though we’re such rock stars we keep forgetting
what day in the week it is because we’re not at work. There was
this couple in the back that I thought had come for the first
band but it turns out they were there to see us. This woman used to live in Somerville and worked
at the radio station where we had our interview and had heard
us on the air. She checked out our website and saw we were coming
to town and came down to check us out. It was pretty cool and
she was really nice – thanks for coming out!
There were also some other people there and this one woman
looked exactly like my Mom so that was weird.
been in contact with the first band’s drummer about the show (spencerlane)
and I was looking forward to seeing them. I really liked their
sound as well and quite enjoyed the show. Then we played and the
stage we pretty wide so I had space to rock out and dance around. And we got to check out Fell Upon Thieves again
and I was grooving on them a lot more this time. We got a picture with all of those guys and
the guys from the venue. It’s
been really great to travel around and meet all of these cool
people and to visit these cool venues. Everyone is really nice
and that part is a lot of fun. The bartender also hooked us up. I saw him
make Matt’s drink and I can say it is exactly like that scene
in Scrooged. There really was just a splash of Coke.
So we head back to the hotel – no partying with the Thieves tonight.
We should really go to bed because we have a long drive
tomorrow to Chicago but we go to Denny’s instead. I had hashbrowns
covered with cheddar cheese which I LOVE so I was very happy.
5 - 8/8/06 – Chicago, IL – Fearless
Radio and Lilly's
rest of the trip was relatively uneventful. We stopped so Mike,
Jane, Travis, and I could get some more coffee. Patrick was passed
out in the back of the van for a large portion of the ride. That
man sleeps more than my old friend crazy ray.
We had a radio
interview scheduled at 4 at www.fearlessradio.com. Just an aside,
I have been very wary about parking the damn trailer ever since
NYC, so I had emailed Kris the co-host of the show to see if there
was ANY place to park. They totally hooked us up, and allowed
us to sit in the (15 minute) loading zone for an hour and a half.
The interview itself was pretty awesome; they actually had a real
on-air studio and the Host for the New Music Binge, Rocco gave
one of the best radio interviews that we've done to date. Check
their site out, as they have signed copies of Her Brilliant Fifteen
and tour posters that you can win by listening to the show. They
pod-cast all their shows, so check them out later in the week
to hear an acoustic version of Losing Altitude (unreleased) and
we really needed to get some strings for Patrick. This guy has
been breaking, on average 2 strings on 2 guitars a night. And
he only brought 2 extra sets. We've played 5 shows. Do the math...
We headed over the Guitar Center to take care of the strings.
Jane also bought a new keyboard bag, since the old one was breaking
itself up every time we tried to carry it. I forget how much wankery
there is at music shops. This was a relatively well-stocked GC,
but the chaos got to me, so I tried to usher everyone out as quickly
us his stable of middle finger gags I was a big fan of the lipstick
and the compact, especially.
After, I think
about that time we had spent just a little too much time together;
so we split up for dinner. I had one of the greatest dinners of
the trip; I had some steamed vegetables with tofu (in a ginger/molasses
broth) with rice. Walked around, got some coffee, some Jim Beam,
some Red Bulls, etc. We went to the venue and although load in
was at 8, when we arrived around 7:15-ish, we figured that someone
would be there, as all the other bars/restaurants were open. Well,
no such luck. 8pm comes and goes; and by this time all of us have
gone into Starbucks a few times to buy coffee/lattes and use the
9pm comes and goes and I leave to use a restroom thats not Starbucks.
At this point Im really thinking, Damn this fucking gig is going
to be canceled. I was trying to justify our stopping in Chicago,
and decided that the radio gig was worth the trip. Just then,
Jane calls and tells me that someone FINALLY shows up. Only 2
hours late But when I walked in, I knew why. I think the owners/proprietors
finally crawled out of their purple haze and were upright enough
to open the damn doors.
Any way, we
setup our shit; I think after this tour I will be quite a bit
stronger. All the gear seems to be getting lighter and lighter
(although my back is probably going to give out on day 7). One
thing Ive really noticed is how comfortable weve all gotten to
playing. The gig was certainly not ideal as far as sound goes;
no monitors, the stage was 20ft wide and about 2ft deep, so we
had to line up almost single-file horizontally so there was no
way in hell Mike or Jane could hear Patrick (who was all the way
across the stage), and both microphone stands were pretty much
broken down. But, we still played a really solid gig; remarkably
better than I wouldve expected considering the circumstances.
The gig was
essentially an open mic that gave us the opportunity to play (I
guess thats why punctuality probably was on the top of the owners
minds) and we stuck around to listen to a few of the people play.
I took a little breather (both literally and figuratively as smoking
is still allowed in bars and restaurants around here) and walked
down to a 7-11 to grab a soda since I was the designated driver
(again) so I wouldnt fall asleep at the wheel. I could tell that
Mike really wanted to leave and in an effort to be as accommodating
to everyone, Travis and Patrick took a cab to the hotel and I
drove Mike and Jane to the hotel.
how Ive lost all sense of days and time, especially after being
stuck as a 9-5er. I knew it would happen since the only thing
we have to do is be around at 7-8 at night; but its still very
strange. I got a coffee next door at McDonalds (since there is
NOTHING near this hotel) and it was odd seeing guys eating hamburgers
and fries, and it feels like 9am. So I get my coffee and head
back over to the room and I guess were deciding whether we should
drive to Madison and do laundry/shopping there or do it here near
the hotel. Guess we'll figure it out.
We had our longest drive thus far. We only slept about 3 1/2 hours
before we had to rush out of Pittsburgh to make a 4 PM Fearless
radio appearance in Chicago. I was so tired, I even managed to
pass out in the car for about 20 minutes of the 8-hour trip. We
arrived at Fearless radio and they had very kindly arranged for
parking for us. They are a really cool Internet station with a
great studio and staff. Kris greeted us and helped us get settled.
Then, Rocco did the live interview with us. We played 2 stripped-down
songs, "Losing Altitude" (currently unreleased) and
"Satellite" and they played a few songs off our CD.
It was interesting to try to change the arrangements without any
rehearsal, particularly the percussion. I am interested in hearing
how it came out. We also did a fun interview and then signed a
couple of CDs and posters for giveaways and for the studio. They
were really nice to us and the show was recorded and will be posted
we went down to the Lincoln Park area and ate dinner and ran to
a music store for Patrick to pick up some strings and Travis to
pick up some sticks. After that, we parked outside the venue around
7:15. Load-in was supposed to be at 8, so we were early. We panicked
a bit as no one showed up to open Lilly's until about 9:15. We
set up and played a set as an opener to an open mic. It was kind
of strange. A lot of people were clearly there for the open mic
and were not so interested in listening to us. Still, there were
a bunch of people sitting about 3 inches away from us who seemed
to enjoy our set a lot. We were reminded again that we need to
bring our own mic stands (even though all the venues provide them)
because a lot of times, the venue's equipment isn't in the best
After playing, we listened the open mic for a while, but I was
really tired so I decided to just rest in the van while the rest
of them hung out. I am definitely the only one in the band who
just wants to go to sleep every night after the show and not hang
out or "party" too much. I am trying to keep my voice
in good shape and it has been getting rougher and rougher as we
go along. I've had a mild sore throat since day 1, but I am hanging
in there. I'm so used to non-smoking venues from playing in Boston
and New York, so the smoke in these places is really killing my
voice and throat. Anyway, I got my own hotel room so I could have
continuous, solid sleep. I am not a very good sleeper as it is
and we've been sharing space every night, which has been more-or-less
fine, but I wanted a night of calm, uninterrupted sleep. That's
sort of the toughest thing for me. I never want to really stay
out late at the venue or go out drinking because I just don't
enjoy it and they all want to. I think mostly, I could normally
stand to do it, but I know I have 4 nights of singing ahead and
I already feel pretty crappy. The band has been good about accommodating
me, but I feel bad about it. Of course, we're staying in hotels
far away from the venues, so it's not even like I can just go
back to the room and go to sleep. I am sure they are sick of me
not wanting to "party." Anyway, now, I am laying in
bed in my own room after some decent rest. I've got to do laundry
before we get on the road today. I think we've been through the
tougher part of the tour in terms of not having connections in
town. Okay, off to launder...
I'm back a little later. The rest of these guys are laundering
in Madison. I'm feeling good today. I think it was nice to have
a good night's sleep and feel refreshed. We had a fun trip today
and stopped at the biggest
rest stop I've ever seen. Fun times. I'm excited to rock it
tonight in Madison.
drove from Pittsburgh to Chicago yesterday and now we are headed
to Madison. Last night’s show went well, if you want to tighten
up your band nothing does it quicker then playing ten shows in
a row. It has been a great experience to watch and be a part of
songs evolving with subtle changes over the past days. When we
get back to Bean town you will all be in for a treat (Mike just
scolded me for touching his computer screen just one more reason
to stab him in the kidney.)
The band vibe has been pretty jovial with just a few threats of
getting shit on, stabbed, or choked out. Overall I think we are
getting along pretty well. Matt amused us all with a story of
a forgotten Thanksgiving Day turkey that sat in a freezer for
six years and his dad blowing chunks.
We continue to meet really cool peeps. Last night we met some
great musicians in Chicago including a saw playing liaison and
a stand up bass player so it was a musical treat for my ears.
forgot to mention that Mike had a beer on my birthday!
Wednesday and it feels like a Sunday. Actually, everyday has felt like a Sunday.
I’m at a Laundromat in Madison, WI, its fairly empty minus
the blond attendant who is currently folding some towels.
She’s cute. My clothes smelled so bad, I mean just god-awful.
Between the smoke, sweat and spilled beer I can only that
the smells resembles a Kodiak Bear's ass.
had a fuckin awesome time in Chicago!
I met many cool people and many musicians.
The venue that we played at also hosted an open-mic when
we completed our set. A lovely lady named Sarah played a saw… Yea, the kind you cut wood with. It was tremendous. The venue also graciously fed my beer habit for free all evening,
needless to say I took full advantage of it. Patrick and I closed down the place (big surprise) and then headed
a few blocks for some burrito action!
Shit was yummy.
up taking a cab to the hotel.
I passed out for almost the entire ride and when I awoke,
the meter said something like $45.80…
I had no idea that we were so far away from the hotel!!
Fuckin cabbie didn’t cut a brotha a break.
Jerk off. I slept
on the floor while Patrick slept in a windowsill…
I woke up with NO HANGOVER, which makes Travrad a happy
and I flipped a coin to see who was going to drive to Madison
as we both wanted too. You’d think after driving for 8 hours straight
the day before that I’d have no desire to steer, but I’m weird,
I like it. I won the coin
toss and took the rather short trip to Madison.
The city looks cool and we’re playing across the street
from the Capitol Building. The building is a great piece of architecture.
our travels today we stopped at a Walmart to replenish some supplies. Bought some more food, ice, and the new Gin
Blossoms CD. So far, I
don’t like it but maybe after Jane forces it down my throat a
few more times, I’ll be more receptive to it.
Mike and I rocked out to The Killers for awhile today,
I like rockin out with Mike.
thought I played like shit last night (Chicago), so I’m looking
forward to pushing myself tonight in hopes that I redeem myself.
I also smashed my middle finger and the swelling doesn’t
seem to be going down. It’s
purple. I don’t like purple. I’m still ready to rock this bitch and plan
on using a few of my “rock faces”!
so I am the official Pack Mule of The Motion Sick.
This is in addition to being the new guitar tech. I carry as many bags as possible in one trip
and I also pack the trailer real well, so it’s a double whammy. I like the bag gig better. So, I will end this little rant with this one
question for you to ponder… Why
does Illinois make you pay tolls every 10
miles, but they don’t provide any scenery??? Tonight, we rock Madison!
is the marathon driving day – 8 hours to Chicago. Thanks Travis for driving it! We managed to
leave almost at the time we wanted to and got on the road. The drive was long but not that bad. We didn’t
run into too much traffic and listened to some good music in the
car. We had to be there
at 4 for a radio interview at Fearless radio and we were actually
early. I took the opportunity to go take a walk around for a bit.
It’s Day 5 and after spending all day together in the van I needed
a little break from the boys. I get back and Patrick is reading
the birthday book that talks about your personality based on when
your birthday is. According to that anyone who is born on my birthday
is very challenging to Mike. I’m sure he would agree.
fearless radio was really cool. It was a great looking office
with lots of cool stuff on the walls. Kris who was helping us
out was great and Rocco did a fantastic interview. He asked some
good questions that I think really made us think.
He really kept things moving and I hope that people found
it interesting. We also played Satellite and Losing Altitude live
with Travis on the tambourine. I can’t wait to hear the recording.
that we head over to Guitar Center to get some strings for Big
Daddy because he beats too hard on his guitars and is breaking
multiple strings each night. Travis decided to get some more sticks
and I decided to get a new keyboard bag. My old one was falling
apart and it is a pain in the ass. So I got a lovely new bag which
is smaller and more manageable and not falling apart.
We parted ways to go grab dinner and I had some Pad Thai.
Not as good as Wonder Spice, but good none the less.
Now time to head over to the venue. After driving in circles for
a while to figure out how to get on the same side of the road
as the venue we pull up in the loading zone in front of the place.
We are a little early and the place is dark. I was pretty tired
and a little grouchy so I took a nap in the minivan while we waited.
And waited. And waited. It’s now 9 and still no one is there. We accost people on the street
to ask them if they know if the place is open and we get lots
of different responses. Finally they get there and let us in.
I like the vibe of the bar but it’s kind of awkward to play there.
It reminded me of this bar I had been to in Seattle. The placement
is weird in how people can watch the stage. They are either right
on top of you or far away. The stage is also small so I’m standing
directly behind Mike. All I can see is the back of his head. I’m
also right next to Travis who goes kind of crazy so I’m worried
that he’s going to hit me with his sticks.
We played around with the set a bit tonight which was fun
and I think we played well. It was hard to dance around because
I didn’t have that much space but I took the opportunity to play
around with my volume pedal more.
We were drinking Miller Lites for free which was nice and after
being in a bad mood all day after we played I was feeling better. I chatted with a few people who had watched
us and talked to this one girl who was going to be playing the
saw later. Playing the saw is sooooooo cool. And it was
also so nice to talk to a girl after all the time with the boys!
There was an open mic at the bar after and we hung out for a bit
and watched. You could tell that it was a really tight group of
people at this open mic. Everyone knew each other and were very
friendly. They were very supportive of other people’s playing
and shouted out requests. It’s cool that they have this place with a
great atmosphere that people can get together and jam and have
a good time and play music with each other.
I was feeling a little more like staying out tonight but
someone had to drive the trailer back to the hotel which was far
away. It’s hard to find a cheap hotel in Chicago so we were by
the airport. Mike also
wanted to go back so Matt drove me and Mike back to the hotel
again while Patrick and Travis hung out with all the open mic’ers. It was a long day so I certainly didn’t mind
getting to go back early (well earlier – it was still 2 in the
morning). But I was a little jealous of Patravis being
out and partying, but we made up for it in Madison.
6 - 8/9/06 – Madison, WI –
was an interesting evening. We went to Madison, did some laundry
and Travis and I ate at a Laotian restaurant. I had some veggie
duck. It was very tasty. (This discussion about food was for Jane's
benefit.) Speaking of Jane, I think we may have actually gotten
her to agree to write some entries here...coming soon I think.
We arrive at the venue and the bartender at the upstairs section
said he thought there was no show tonight. So, we panicked momentarily
and then he admitted that he probably had no real idea what was
going on. So, we get there. The show starts pretty late for a
weeknight (10:30). The first act, Cedarwell were pretty cool.
Almost like an Iron and Wine thing, but a little more rocking.
The mix for them, particularly the vocals, was pretty bad sounding.
We played second. The venue didn't have any DIs and they only
had 3 channels on the snake, so we had to drop Matt's backing
vocals and I had to borrow an amp modeler from Cedarwell so I
could get some acoustic guitar and still have the keyboards go
through the board. We almost just threw a mic on the keyboard
speakers, which wouldn't have sounded too hot. For the 1st song,
I seriously struggled with distortion on my guitar to the point
where I could barely play it. By the 2nd song, I managed to get
it in order. We played fairly well, though I thought overall,
the sound of the room was not as clear as it could be. Such is
We were followed by a rock-posing band from Oklahoma. I honestly
didn't catch their name. We were impressed by their rock star
looks and moves. The bass player in particular made awesome faces
and looked like Derek Smalls from Spinal Tap. Jeff Caissie closed
the night out. He played some cool stuff with a bass player and
a drummer. He made fun of the band for trying to pick up a couple
of girls (his friends) that were hanging around us. Jane pointed
out that Matt must have been hitting on them or Jeff wouldn't
have said it from the stage. Then, I said that it was nonsense
because he also said the same thing about me from stage...however,
Jane correctly pointed out that Jeff accused the girl of hitting
on me. "I like lead singers," he had said mockingly.
Anyway, none of us was really hitting on anyone, at least not
until we arrived back at Yogesh and Jodi's house where we're staying...
We were unloading our stuff to go in and some VERY drunk 40ish-year-old
woman was walking by with 2 fistfulls of flowers. Travis asked
for one. She gave him one and then walked over to me and basically
smacked me in the face with the flowers and then tried to hug
me. I ran away screaming and then she moved on and tried to shove
her flowers up Patrick's butt. Anyway, it was a bizarre day and
I feel like I was a little bit molested, but I am okay. I am definitely
at the point where I feel like I would like to sleep in my own
bed in my own apartment with my own Sophia. Three more days. I
think they're all really promising gigs, so I am excited for them.
It's 3:45 AM now and we have to be up at 7 tomorrow to drive to
Indianapolis...but everyone is still making loads of noise in
the living room, so no sleep for me...no point in even trying.
I had a hell of a night, or morning to be slightly more specific. But here are some observations from the day:
said “we’re rock stars this week, not tourists” in response to
Jane’s request that we stop at an outlet village.
stopped at the greatest rest stop that I think I’ve ever been
to. It was like a strip mall/food court all bundled into one.
I also bought some stick-on “Bling” which I’m not 100%
sure what I’m going to do with it yet.
remembered why I hate Wal-Marts.
We had to buy some more food and some other materials for
the press kits.
after Wal-Mart, we continued to drive to Madison. Jane is getting somewhat grouchy at this point, but I don’t blame
her. I think that traveling
with 4 guys was really starting to grind away at her.
However, unbeknownst to her, while we were at Wal-Mart
Mike picked up the latest Gin Blossoms CD (which she had been
anxiously anticipating; for months) and we were sneaky enough
to import it onto my laptop and load it into my ipod.
We threw that on randomly, and she was very pleased.
did laundry after that and tried to find some internet, but for
some reason only Jane’s machine could get any type of signal. Damn wireless networking.
decided to get some promo work done by labeling the demo CD’s
that we’ll be giving away at the Music Summit.
I’m sure that someone will mention it in their blog, so
I should mention it here so my side of the story is represented
somewhere. I make a pretty
stupid mistake in my haste of printing all the thousands of pages
that we needed. I misspelled
a word on the CD labels. Somewhat
fortunately, it was fixable since only one letter was off and
was fairly easily transformed.
But I certainly felt like an idiot; and performed my penance
by correcting all 100 labels and pressing them on to the discs.
I’m sure that someone else will mention the
gig; the only thing that I think is important to mention is the
poor FOH sound that we had to deal with; I’m not quite sure the
guy even knew how the gear worked.
Oh, and the fact that the bassist from the 3rd
band had the greatest bass-moves I think I’ve ever seen, but he
could’ve backed it up a bit with some more bass-playing…
night was a slight departure from our previous shows, where our
place to stay for the night wasn’t 20+ minutes away.
Knowing that, I preceded to party down a bit. Mike and Jane’s friend Yogesh (who we were staying with) bought
us some drinks at the bar and after loading out we went back to
their place and drank some more, and etc.
I missed the entire flower-incident.
I think I was still in the car).
passed out at some point on the couch; I remember waking up to
have some pizza, but don’t remember a damn thing until Mike kicks
me at 8:15 and tells us we’re leaving in 10 minutes.
I have not felt this bad in a very long time….
Head kills, nauseous, eyes all blurry, just terrible in
every way shape and form. I
try to sleep in the front seat and I’m feeling all right until
somewhere on I80 where I really needed to throw up.
So, run into the bathroom (fortunately there’s private
family bathroom where I’ll have little privacy) and unleashed
a fury into the toilet. Still
don’t feel much better; but at least my stomach is empty. It took me until around 2-ish to feel better.
on the road to Indianapolis and once again we’re traveling through
the great state of Illinois…
I really don’t like traveling through Illinois as they
really try to squeeze every dime out of you.
They call their highways “tollways”, its freakin ridiculous. We’re listening to R.E.M and Matt is assed
out in the passenger seat. Matt
partied too hard last night and is paying for it today. Jane is driving.
Mike says “I’m not hungover”, I told him to shut his face.
He punched me in the nose.
No, he really didn’t, but I can imagine he wants to. I kept him up last night, I was being louder than most people should
be at 3am. I can only
imaging what he must think of me at this point, I’m fairly crass
and I’m infatuated with poop and pee.
We did however have a really nice dinner together last
night in Madison, it was quiet, reserved and we spoke freely about
music, food and about the tour. I often feel that Mike and don’t take the time to just sit down
one and one and converse about things other than business. It was a treat for me.
I partied pretty hard last night.
Not as hard as Chicago or Harrisburg, but I held the torch.
I’m probably giving the off the illusion that I’m out every
night getting shitfaced, but in reality just staying up late and
drinking more than 2 beers is “partying” for me at this point.
I live so far away from Boston that when we have gigs there,
I can’t really get my drinkin groove on, so it’s been a nice change
of pace not having to drive home.
We stayed with Jane and Mike’s friend, Yogesh.
I’d like to say thanks for everything as he and Jodi were
So Madison… Very small city. Lots of public drunkenness. Matt
and I almost lost our ties to 2 beautiful young ladies who were
so shitfaced that I was concerned for their safety, but mostly
concerned for the retrieval of my tie.
Also, Mike was assaulted by a woman with flowers.
I can’t even begin to describe the scene because it was
so fucking bizarre, but the woman had the “crazy eyes”, so I let
her have her way with Mike until he literally ran away.
Picture Mike running away from a woman with flowers, guitar
case in hand. Quite comical. Patrick and I just stood there and laughed at the scene.
The venue in Madison reminded me of these shows I played
in college with my band Serdody.
We used to play in the basement of the complexes as that
was the cool and hip place for the good bands to play.
The venue really just looked like someone’s basement or
an V.F.W type of hall/bar. The sound and set up was shitty, but I rocked that bitch. I played really well, probably the best of
any night so far. Some
jerk off threw up in the urinal, which made my rage meter turn
to 11… I was full of rage last night.
I graciously allowed the first band to play my kit, which
turned into a big mistake. The drummer didn’t really understand the concept
of using his own cymbals and snare (unspoken agreement amongst
drummers) and he adjusted every possible thing that could be adjusted. Fucker even proceeded to PUNCH my bass drum
during one of their songs, who punches another man’s bassdrum??!! I wanted to stab him. I honestly felt insulted.
I didn’t particularly care for any of the bands who played
last night, but one band had a bass player who focused a little
too hard on their “rock moves”, and not on their playing…
It happens. I’m sure we’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but
playing well is REALLY important to us, its not always every other
Jane just flipped out on me for criticizing her driving.
She’s probably right, I should just shut the fuck up, but
it’s making me nervous. I’d
drive, but I’m blogging and putting together promo kits.
I’ve grown to hate Starbucks.
I’ve never liked Starbucks, but now I truly hate it.
Matt just announced that he’s going to throw up. We’re pulling over to allow Matt spewing privileges.
Ok, we didn’t stop, but I have a feeling we will be soon
because Matt does NOT look good. Patrick is sleeping (another big surprise).
Wait, now he’s awake, nope he’s back to sleeping again.
I’m looking forward to playing tonight, but mostly I’m
looking forward to not sitting in this fucking van any longer.
I hate being a passenger.
I’ve come to realize today that I can really be obnoxious.
I don’t typically try to be, but there’s something in my
personality that allows me the freedom to do so without putting
any effort into or hesitating to do so. I’m not sure how to cure my disease or if there
even is a cure, but I should probably still take Jane’s advice
to “shut the fuck up!”. I’m
done blogging for now, on to making more promo kits.
I hope this didn’t bore you, peace out homies!
today we did not have to drive that far so it was a relaxing day.
We got to sleep in to 10 and take long relaxing showers.
Despite all that I was still pretty grouchy when we got
on the road and by that time needed a late lunch. I was jonesing
for a sandwich and was looking for a Subway and there were others
in the car who were fiending for soy lattes and coffee who wanted
to go to Starbucks. Now
the rest stops in Ohio were pretty poor but today we found the
mother of all rest stops. I
don’t know whether it was in Illinois or Wisconsin but it was
the bomb. We were driving
by the signs and we saw one for Starbucks and for Subway so I
was super excited. And
there were tons of other places there. So I was able to satisfy
my Subway craving and get a sweet smoothie to boot. They also
had a music/book/movie exchange store so I picked up some $1 books.
So we decided to try and resurrect the cooler idea but with the
promise of being more vigilant about keeping the ice on track.
Since I wanted it the most I cleaned out the cooler which I didn’t
seem to find as gross as everyone else did.
After stopping at a Walmart we stocked up on some staples
and headed off in the minivan again.
Now this might seem like a theme but I was a little grouchy
in the van. We’ve been having Ipod wars about what to listen to
and today I was particularly picky. Ok they are not really wars
– at least not for anyone else. Matt started playing a song which
sounded very familiar. Now
those that known me know I am a HUGE Gin Blossoms fan.
I loved them and I was devastated when they broke up. But
luckily for me they got back together and started playing around.
I got to see them a few times since then, the best show being
the one I saw for free at City Hall Plaza in Boston. They played
every song off of New Miserable Experience. Listening to Mrs.
Rita live – that’s the bomb.
Anyway they would also play some new tunes and their website
always promised a new album but they were always working on it.
But I guess they got it together and the album was released on
August 8th. I’ve been talking about it for weeks and Mike
sent me a link to a site where they were streaming the new album
so I got listen to a few tracks.
But I was really looking forward to getting the new album.
At our Walmart stop we had discussed trying to find it but I was
off getting groceries. After a phone call telling me to hurry
the fuck up we met at the registers. I wanted to check for the CD but I was assured
that it wasn’t there so I thought oh well and we got in the car.
After listening to the Killers for a bit (which I like) where
Mike lectured me about my keyboard playing we were ready for something
else (ok – he didn’t lecture me but he phrased the wording of
his request for me to listen to the Killers keyboarding because
he liked it poorly, in my opinion). So anyway – back to the story.
Matt starts playing this song and it’s really fucking familiar.
So I’m thinking it either is the Gin Blossoms or another band
that sounds just like them (which is fine because I dig them and/or
have no taste). And I ask what it is and then they start laughing
and I realize that it is the new Gin Blossoms CD that they bought
for me and snuck it out of the store to be a surprise. Well it
was really fucking sweet and I appreciated it. I immediately felt
guilty for all my bitchy behavior and promptly promised to do
a tour blog. Which is why you have to read thousands of words
of my boring shit.
have an old friend in Madison (old in length of time knowing,
not in age) and luckily he’s letting us crash at his new house.
It’s a great house with tons of rooms so I’m looking forward to
getting some SPACE from the rest of the boys.
We need more space in this band.
After doing some laundry we headed over to Yogesh’s house and
he gives us some good recommendation for food near by. We head
to a taco place where I had some great fish tacos – fried tilapia.
Then we drive down to the venue.
It’s a steak house and the bartender is confused because
he thinks the room we’re playing in is closed that night.
But we search out other people and find out that it is
indeed open that night, but not open yet. They open it up for us and we start loading
in. The place is in the
basement of the restaurant and actually looks like someone’s basement
that they converted into a rec room. But the staff was really
nice and I got to chat with the guy in the band before us who
had lived in Boston for a while. I thought they did some interesting
stuff – the best part being when the drummer started punching
Travis’s drum. And the
band after us had the most rocking out bass player ever.
He kept me entertained the whole time.
But it was fun hanging out and I had a blast talking to
Yogesh and Jodi who I hadn’t seen in a while.
There was an issue with some ties though.
The girls in Madison are apparently tie hungry.
far as our playing the sound did not sound so good on the stage,
but we heard it was good in the house and I think we rocked! As has been mentioned by others nothing gets
you into playing shape like doing it every night for a year –
well it’s only been 6 days but it feels like a fucking year!
Amazingly enough I’m not sick of any of the songs - just
all my bandmates. Just
kidding – you know I love you guys.
Oh and I guess I really used to suck when I used to play
in a band with Yogesh and Mike back in college.
Yogesh complimented my timing (which was nice) and said
I’ve gotten so much better since those days (also nice, but implies
that I sucked back then).
7 - 8/10/06 – Indianapolis, IN –
CD and Vinyl
(note: Jane entries have been added back to day 1)
Note: our photo was featured in the schedule
is more fun than getting up 2 hours after you fall asleep on a
couch. But thanks to Yogesh
and Jodi for letting us stay at there house. It was so great. And they made us pizza last night – which was
quite tasty. And I stole
some cereal for breakfast – thanks!
And thanks to everyone who came out to see us last night!
I drove for the first time today and did a very bad job – I almost
got us killed twice. I
drive a small car on purpose – I have a hard time with a minivan
and a trailer when I can’t see anything.
There is also lots of traffic, construction and tolls so
I was getting pretty stressed out. Patrick took over for me (thanks Patrick) which
gives me time to write this.
And we’re trapped in traffic for hours – why is everyone
going to Indiana??? Now I’m really glad that Patrick is driving.
We’ve started telling bad jokes.
We’re still trying to get to Indiana in time to go to this party
before our show so we can recruit people to come. But the traffic is insane. After chatting with
the toll gate lady we find out that the next highway we want is
20 miles away but it could take hours to get there.
I couldn’t imagine living there and having to deal with
that traffic all the time. She
said it had been like that all day. So
we decide to change our route to try and avoid all the traffic.
Even though this does involve some driving on local roads and
all we see are corn fields. That is all Indiana and Illinois are
– a bunch of fucking corn fields.
finally arrive in Indianapolis and go right to the part of the
city where the festival is. It was pretty cool – there were all
these restaurants and clubs and tons of people around. We check
out the CD store where we are playing and then I head down to
the opening party to get our badges and to recruit people for
a show. I get down to
the bar where everyone is and there were tons of people there. I grabbed our badges and a beer and then started
networking. I talked to
a bunch of people and gave out our stickers and some press kits.
I talked to a bunch of cool people like this girl who is taking
her burlesque show on the road. In general everyone is really
nice and ask lots of questions like where we are from and how
the tour has been going. I talked to another girl who was also
in a band with all guys and she gave me a hug because she knows
what I’ve been going through.
Even though there are still people I haven’t talked to
there I head back to the store because we’re going to go on soon
but still handing out stickers along the way. I gave stickers to one group of people and
they said – yeah we saw you on the schedule. He shows me the schedule
which I hadn’t seen yet because I was in a rush to get to the
party and there was our picture on the schedule for Thursday.
It was so awesome and I was so excited about it. I then stop a
group of people and give them out sticker and they ask where I’m
from and I say Boston. Then they say that they are from Boston
and turns out they work for Sonicbids and live in JP.
One guy just moved from where I live now to right by my
new house so we’ve been neighbors for years and now we’re neighbors
again. It was so exciting to talk to people from Boston!
head back to the CD store and we hear the end of the band before
us and they sounded really good.
It was definitely weird to play in a store. Patrick and
I were standing off to the side and it was really hard to hear
anything. But I had plenty of room so I was dancing around. I saw a lot of the people I had talked to at
the party come in and check us out. I also saw a lot of people
taking pictures – so if any of you are reading this please send
them to us! Thanks everyone who came in to listen! I think this was the first show where we didn’t
know any one who was there so it was nice to look out and see
all these new people enjoying our music and to be able to recognize
some of them that I had talked to before.
After the show we grab some food (Qdoba – nothing exciting) and
then just walked around to check out some of the other bands. We walked into one bar that had a cool sound
and saw three guys playing (The Singles) who were wearing ties
like we do and listened to the end of their set.
At that bar I also some guys in another band (Lorenzo Goetz)
that I had talked to outside of where they were playing and they
had put our stickers on their badges – awesome.
I decide to start networking again and talk to this one
guy who is the singer for the band (Modena Vox) that is playing
a little later. Turns out that they are from Columbus and are
going to be back in time for our show. So we promise to come back
for their show and they said they would try to get some people
out for ours. We then go check out The Vogue which is the
big venue. It’s a very
cool venue - kind of looked like The Roxy mixed with Axis. I liked
the band that was playing – Silversun Pickups.
I spent some time walking around and saw a bunch of the
people who came to our show so I talked to them and gave out more
stickers. I also saw one of the guys who was taking pictures and
he showed me them on his camera.
I head back to see the band from Columbus who I also liked. And I saw some more people who had come to
our show so I talked to them and handed out more stickers and
press kits. Our final stop was Rouge to see the Local H.
And I saw even more people who were at our show and chatted
with them. One group of guys asked who had made the animated video
on our website. They had checked out our website before they came
to the show and actually seemed pretty excited to talk to me and
introduced me to a bunch of other people some of whom were also
at the show. Eventually we head back to the hotel which
was definitely the sketchiest place we have stayed at so far.
But I was SOOO glad to go to sleep.
It was a long day but I had a blast. The music fest was a lot
of fun and I’m looking forward to Nemo because it’s in Boston
so we’ll be able to go see other bands and some of the events. A lot of people gave us flyers to their show but we weren’t going
to be there so it will be cool in Boston because we will be able
to check out a lot of stuff.
wake up really cranky today (after 3 hours of bad sleep) with
a swollen eyelid. I suspect it's from my cat allergy (there were
cats where we were staying), but it could have also been a black
eye from being beaten in the face with flowers the night before.
We can't afford to sleep more because we have a long drive to
Indianapolis and we need to make it for the 4 PM meet and greet
party at The Midwest Music Summit, where we're playing. Jane started
out driving. I napped for a minute in the back of the van and
woke up looking out the window at a giant red truck about to smash
into my head and then jumped about 30 feet when the truck full-blast
honked at us. Jane had switched lanes without looking in the side
mirrors. She refuses to use the side mirrors. "I don't use
them when I drive my car." I think we all secretly decided
that she isn't going to be driving anymore...but don't tell her.
Our goal for the Summit is to bust in and meet people and let
people know about the band. In a lot of ways, our showcase performance
is less important than the connections we might make. We're only
sticking around for the one day, so it's a little tricky to get
a lot done. We're all feeling terrible...me due to lack of sleep;
everyone else due to lack of sleep and non-lack of drinking the
night before. We stop regularly for Matt to throw up (sometimes
he leans out the window). My stomach feels like it might fall
out of my body when I'm not paying attention. On our way to Indianapolis,
we hit completely halted traffic. We're stuck for a long time.
Finally, we get off the highway and take back roads that run straight
through the corn fields. For something like 2 hours, all we did
was drive through corn fields. It was mind numbing. I was convinced
we'd end up in some quasi-existent town like in the movie _In
the Mouth of Madness_. Jane and I argue about the director. I
say it's John Carpenter; she says it's Wes Craven. We haven't
yet looked it up, but I am pretty sure it's John Carpenter. Okay,
we looked it up...John Carpenter.
Anyway, we arrive in Indy too late for the party really, but on
time for our gig. The band before us, Shirock, is really late
also, so everything is running behind, which is bad because our
time slot was early enough not to conflict with the big concert
of the night, but now we're going to overlap some. Shirock plays
and they sound really clear and good, so I start getting excited
about the show. The store's owner Rick and an MMS volunteer help
us get settled in back; both very nice people. We found out earlier
that we had our picture featured on the Thursday schedule for
the MMS (the only picture on the page). So that was really cool.
We get everything set up on "stage" (it's a corner in
a music store) and I realize that there are no monitors. For anyone
that has played in a band, you know that having no monitors is
very frustrating. It amounts to me not being able to hear my guitar
or vocals at all and doesn't allow me to do the self correction
that comes with that audibility. Anyway, we play (what in my mind
is) terribly. People flow in and out of the store. It's naturally
an awkward situation to be playing in a fully lit room next to
a rack of Husker Du CDs, but the people who were flowing in and
out seemed to generally have interest in what we were doing despite
the fact that I felt like we sounded like mud. I broke a string
3 songs from the end and kind of faked through it anyway. At some
point, Matt stepped on his cable and lost signal. It was definitely
one of those shows you don't really feel great about. After, we
met some people, including a couple of guys from Sonicbids (Benji
and Ben) and then loaded everything out to the car.
We went to get some dinner and all I could eat was rice because
I still felt so sick. Then, we went to see some shows and hand
out stickers and postcards. Jane worked the crowd really well.
The rest of us were balls of crankiness and exhaustion, so we
didn't do much. We saw some pretty cool bands: The Singles, Modena
Vox, Murder by Death, and Local H. I was too tired to enjoy much
of anything at that point and we headed to the motel. Though,
while I was waiting outside, a limo pulled up, the window rolled
down and two girls started heavily making out. I was on the phone
with Sophia and just sort of laughed and looked away. Then, they
started taunting me. "You know you were watching. You know
you like it." I laughed again and they drove off.
We are staying at a Knight's Inn in Indianapolis. I have probably
never been to a less nice place. When we arrive, some guy outside
keeps talking to us, but he just keeps mumbling nonsense. It's
almost out of a horror movie. Early this morning, we got a phone
call with the same mumbled nonsense. I am scared of this dude.
I made sure the door is chained when we went to sleep. This place
is mad gross and has no shampoo. I can't wait to leave. I expect
the next two shows to be close to the best of the tour.
ran into some serious-ass traffic on I80 in Illinois. Patrick asked the toll attendant how long it might take to get the
I65, and she said probably a few hours.
Being that we didn’t have a few hours to sit in traffic,
our navigator extreme (Jane) takes us on an alternate route.
I think she found it in the tour guide under “Scenic Sights
of Corn” since that’s about all we saw for 2 hours.
I never realized how much genetically modified/species
of corn is out there, or at least I assume so since there were
signs posted near each field of corn.
I suppose that since such a large portion of our diet,
pets’ diets, fuel, etc is made out of corn it would make sense
that they need to have fields of different types. I wish there was a book about corn I could
to our detour we made it to the gig right at load in time (late,
but had we stayed on 80, we’d probably still be there).
There was an opening party that we had intended on attending,
but clearly that wasn’t going to happen.
Jane heads over to the party to work her womanly charms
to get people to the gig and get our name out.
unloaded most of the gear while Mike and Patrick went to Starbucks. The other band (who was playing first) was
also late; I assume due to the same traffic snafus that we experienced. Watching them unload their gear, I realized
how many levels of professionalism there is to touring. They had a real van, a big ass trailer and
all their gear was in real road cases.
The drummer even had a huge trunk on wheels that he put
his kit in. I was quite impressed. Hopefully someone will give us some money to
get cool road cases.
first band was actually really great, but the venue wasn’t really
designed for a performance. Think
of a mom and pop record store, and put a band in the back (with
no monitors, a very tiny PA, and all the lights on).
We play fairly well considering some of the technical hurdles
we faced. A lot of people come and go (which I figure is the nature of such
an event since it was free).
Jane had apparently chatted up a lot of folks over at the
meet ‘n’ greet party. We spoke with some guys from Sonicbids, (which
is based in Boston come to find) and live in Jamaica Plain and
they invited us to a big party in JP.
Oh yeah, and they thought that we played well too.
was the first music conference I’ve ever attended where I wasn’t
either a presenter or an engineer.
I felt the need to chat up other bands and “important people”. Fortunately, it was easy to find such people since we all had fancy
badges to imply that pretty much everyone there was part of the
conference. I tried to
hand out a bunch of postcards and stickers, pretty much to no
avail. I think the night before and the hectic pace of our traveling had
really started to wear me out.
I didn’t even drink anything, although I’ve developed a
new fondness for club soda and lime (plus it was free at most
every bar that we stopped at). I’m positive that the others felt the same
way (with the exception of Jane who was on fire; she gave away
tons of press kits, stickers and postcards).
We saw a few bands at different clubs and headed back to
probably the grossest hotel I’ve been in since last time I went
on tour. It could only
have been worse had the room been a smoking one. I was afraid that I would catch something from
the bathroom and to make matters worse when I opened the door
the entire knob pulled off. I
looked at it for a second and wondered if I’d be trapped in there
all night. I realized at this point if I was able to pull
the damn knob off, that I could put it back on, which of course
I did and got out. Even
though we went to bed at around 2-ish, I was able to wake up at
9:15 and felt very rested. I was a little worried about the van and trailer
though. The hotel didn’t
have the most respectable clientele and I was just a little concerned
about some drunken hooligan with bolt cutters wandering over. Took a shower and went out to the van; everything was totally cool.
11 we’re all ready to go and this is the first morning (aside
from yesterday where I was totally unable to consume anything)
where I have not had any coffee right away.
I have to admit; I was expecting that I would be drinking
coffee, red bulls, and soda constantly but it has been surprisingly
light. I have about one
cup of coffee a day (some days two, but never more than that)
and have had a total of 4 red bulls and 2 sodas thus far (and
its Friday!). Nevertheless, I do wish I had coffee. For the first time in my life, we stop at a
Waffle House (I totally missed going to one on the last tour). What I was unaware of was Travis is a HUGE
Waffle House fan. He even
knew all the additions to the hash browns that were available
(covered, diced, scattered, blah, blah).
He went to town on that stuff too.
back in the van and driving to Columbus.
This entry stops… here.
8 - 8/10/06 – Columbus, OH –
We wake up in the morning and stop at The Waffle House. There
is almost literally nothing I can (or would want to) eat on the
menu, so I don't eat. The drive to Columbus wasn't too
bad. We arrive in the early afternoon and stop at our hotel for
a little while. I was anxious to get going and see a little bit
of Columbus. After a brief rest, we head over to the Arena District,
where we're playing. We go walk around a little and search for
some Internet access to check some e-mails and update this site.
We decide eventually to eat at the most amazingly decorated Italian
restaurant ever. The whole place is covered in framed "Italian"
pictures ranging from scenery to The Pope to Frank Sinatra to
(in the men's room) a bunch of pictures of little boys peeing...no
joke. The place is like a huge maze covered in these decorations...but
we decide to eat outside. Jane and I get into a minor argument
about food sharing that really was just a result of exhaustion
and hunger (at least for me). At this point in the trip, I had
not really eaten much of anything in two days. We enjoy some giant
TV advertisements (with sound) on the arena that help us feel
like we've entered a Philip Dick novel.
We head over to the show. The room is a really long bar with a
stage at one end (with a pit in front of it). They disallow stage
diving and moshing, so we just hope our fans won't be disappointed
by that tonight. It's an all-ages venue, which we're really excited
about. We hang out and talk to the guys from Death in the Midwest,
who had brought us onto the bill. It's pretty funny because it's
pretty much a straight-up metal/hard rock bill with us thrown
in. After we see how heavy the opener, From Parts Unknown, was,
we decide to bring our full-on rock. So, we play as hard as we
can. I tried to jump around and scream as much as I could fit
in. We had some good audience reaction. A lot of people were dispersed
throughout the bar and not in the pit area. Our attempts to get
them closer were relatively unsuccessful, though it appeared that
many were very attentive throughout. We felt like we played well
and the sound was great...probably the best we've had in a long
while. The sound guy was extremely nice and helpful. While playing,
we noticed a guy with a "Love Will Tear Us Apart" t-shirt,
so we brought out a little Joy Division and dedicated it to him.
Overall, we more or less brought what we could bring in terms
of "hard rock" and it was a good time.
When the show was over, the rest of the guys decided to have an
all-out wrestling war in the parking lot. Travis dropped Matt
over his knee and practically shattered his ribs...at least that
is what Matt is still saying 12 hours later. I guess he is sore.
For a moment, I saw myself playing solo today in Kentucky after
Travis climbed up on top of the trailer to drop an elbow onto
Patrick's head. In the last instant, he realized it was a bad
idea and climbed back down. Patrick said that is the difference
between being 22 and 29; you know better than that after 7 years
We returned to the hotel and went to The Waffle House again. We
had a pretty strange waitress, but she was also pretty efficient.
Patrick ordered lemonade and she said she'd bring him a sample
to see if he liked it. She brought him half a glass and he tried
it. When she asked if he liked it, he said, "Yeah. What year
is it?" Wise ass.
I slept on the floor and got the best sleep I've had thus far.
Exhaustion really helps.
Off to see the giant Jesus and go to Kentucky today.
here it is, the final day of our little tour.
It’s a sad day for me as I wish that we could just stay
on the road and play more. I
don’t think everyone else feels the same way, but not everyone
is a road warrior, ya know? My neck is real stiff today, I think I thrashed
too hard last night.
Columbus was a pretty cool city.
Its real small, I’ve found that to be the case with a bunch
of cities we visited on this trip. We played at a nice venue with good sound.
I heard everything I needed to on stage, which is a rarity.
I’ve been dropping sticks lately; I think my hands are
tired. We played with 3 other bands, all of which had a much heavier sound
than us. We still seemed
to entertain the good people of Columbus and managed to sell a
We all went to Waffle House after the gig, it was right
next to our hotel. Waffle House is my fave place in the world
to eat, so it was nice to sit with everyone, laugh and eat some
greasy ass food. Oh I’m
skipping an important part of last night’s activities…
Matt, Patrick and myself played a nice game of grab ass. We started having a wrestling match in the parking lot of the venue.
I ended up “bruising” Matt’s rib, but I just think he’s
a bitch ass and needs to put some meat on them their ribs…
Needless to say I won the 3-way dance, as I’m a pro-wrestler
on the side, many of you may not know that.
Last night Jane flipped out at dinner and left.
She came back 10 minutes and half a glass of wine later. It was a Pinot Noir. Patrick
threw pebbles at the patrons.
Mike was intrigued with the bathroom décor and Matt drank
Pellegrino. I was physically
exhausted yesterday and had an opportunity to nap for a few hours,
but I was forced to get in the van and go downtown with the other
ass clowns so they could find a wi-fi spot.
The only thing they could find was a Starbucks, but you
had to pay for it. Mike and Matt revolted but Jane paid. I sat on a bench and listened to my iPod and sang out loud for the
people walking by. It
was probably obnoxious, but I didn’t care because I was not able
to take a much-needed nap.
So I figure I’ll take a moment to reflect on some things
I have learned on this trip. First, its always better to bring soap and
a soap dish as opposed to a bottle of leaky shower gel that you
have to tape down the cap for each time you use it.
Other states SUCK at doing daytime construction, it makes
for hours of delays. Jane LOVES food and work. Matt can’t always hold his liquor. Patrick takes getting his balls busted in stride,
I think his constant state of slumber has something to do with
it. Mike is a funny mother fucker, but he doesn’t
always come across that way until you spend hours upon hours locked
in a van with him. Me,
well I’ve learned that I like to talk about poop way too much.
I’m not really sure why human excrement is funny, but somehow
I’m feeling sad again.
Not spending all day with these guys is going to be a tough
transition. I’ll probably
be depressed for quite some time. As much as it sometimes sucks that you can’t
get away for 10 minutes and be by yourself, I’d still rather be
doing this everyday and nothing else.
I’ve really had so much fun being on the road with the
band, playing the music and meeting lots of new people.
I’m really going to miss this.
So, we’re on the way to Kentucky I believe.
I hope to have an opportunity to write again after today
is done. I’ll probably have more to reflect upon at
that time. “Get up, get,
get down. 9-1-1 is a joke in your town”
I’m sitting in a Starbucks in Columbus. The internet costs 6
bucks to use, so I’m not quite sure if I’m willing to pay that
considering there must be SOME free internet in this city. Our
hotel is part of the same chain as our hotel last night (the sketchy
one) but this room looks remarkably cleaner, but no Internet.
walked around Columbus for too long, and all of these capital
cities we’ve been in have been boring cookie-cutter style cities.
I hope there’s some type of scene here.
I made a realization
that I packed too many clothes. I didn’t think before I left
that I packed too heavy. I was anticipating wearing at least
two t-shirts a day (being sweaty and gross in the car was inevitable)
but I really haven’t. Plus, I’ve been wearing the same shorts
and pants the entire time. It’s a good sign that I have too much
and it all fit into a reasonable sized duffle, but frustrating
nonetheless that I have to carry around all this stuff I don’t
just killing time, I actually feel motivated to write. It was
my intention to try and keep up writing throughout the entire
tour, but I was apprehensive about being able to do so for 9 straight
days. I have to say I’m impressed that I’ve been able to capture
every day on the tour (even if I’m compressing entries on one
day) in writing.
Btw: I’m aware
that this is a random stream of consciousness. Please bear with
We ended up
waiting around for Jane for about an hour (she was taking a breather
from us I imagine). Mike, Travis, and I sat around and I think
that Patrick talked to his friend Julie about 4 times. We had
made a decision to grab some food at an Italian place (which coincidentally
happened to be right below us). There was outdoor seating and
Patrick had been throwing rocks (not intentionally, I think) into
the patio seating. Fortunately, that did not affect our level
of service when we sat down. There were two highlights from this
meal (and it wasn’t the food itself)… First was the bathroom.
Well, actually the entire décor of the restaurant. There were
all these crazy black and white pictures everywhere; huge colored
Christmas lights strung all around the place (including the naked
lady statues outside the restaurant as well), pictures of Madonna
and God, etc. The bathroom was completely tiled with pictures
of naked babies and men (and a few statues) peeing. Well placed,
I must admit. It made me want to go. The other was this crazy
fight that Jane and Mike had. While I was admiring the décor
in the bathroom Mike and Jane were arguing about what food we
should get. I guess Mike’s stomach had been upset and add into
the equation the vegan factor and its usually very difficult /next
to impossible for him to share anything (with the exception of
myself, since I can survive quite well on a vegan/vegetarian diet).
Jane mentioned something about sharing and Mike said no (from
hearsay) but all I get is Jane storming from the table and saying
she would eat at the bar. Wow was all I had to say. Eventually,
Mike went over to apologize and Jane came back. Disaster nearly
On our way
over to the club we heard a stadium show (I guess we were in the
Stadium district of Columbus… who knew) and we found out later
that none one but “The Gin Blossoms” were playing later. Jane
was excited and spent a pretty much the entire time before we
were to play outside listening to them.
Once we got
into the club; the dudes from Death in the Midwest greeted us.
They were great; directing us to where we could store our gear,
load in places, etc. It was a marked change from the last few
gigs where no one knew what the fuck was going on. The other
big plus was it was a real stage with a pit (no diving though;
as it was posted EVERYWHERE) and a REAL SOUND SYSTEM complete
with Competent Front of House engineer and individual monitors
for each band member. There was no way in hell we were going
This was the
first gig where we didn’t get any drink tickets of any type, but
they had dollar beers for band members. The club had dollar Natural
Lights for everyone else, but no one but Jane would drink that
shit. Makes me think of high school.
The bill was
a little eclectic; I saw one of the other bass players rigs, and
it was an 8x10 cabinet with a bass next to it that had a gigantic
skull on it. I was really hoping he’d play the gig with the skull
on his bass (but alas, he didn’t. On an aside though, he did
look like that Marvel character Sabretooth). We totally rocked
the room; and there was this kid in the corner who showed up for
Death in the Midwest who was totally digging us. I happened to
notice that he was wearing a Joy Division shirt that said “Love
will Tear us Apart” and when we played it, he went nuts. Pretty
much we rocked the place, and I was very pleased, especially considering
the demographics of the room was more attuned to Metal than to
Indie Rock. Anyway, I head back to work Merch and our friend
(who’s name is Kris) came up to us and we chatted with him for
a while, nice kid (Keep practicing man!)
Once we had
loaded up the trailer (and becoming more and more thankful that
we would only have to do it one more time) Travis, Patrick, and
I decide to perform some hard-core wrasslin’ moves (a’la UHa 1999/2000).
I forgot how physical that shit is, even though you’re not actually
hitting people. Travis picked me up (I guess he chose me b/c
I was the lightest) and proceeded to try and break me over his
knee. This is the kicker… he says, “trust me” so I do. And then
he hits me so hard in the ribs; I think I have a bone bruise.
The shit still hurts and every time I have to lift something or
laugh it kills. However, I “sucked it up” and tried to complain
as little as possible to appease “The Travis”.
We head back
to the hotel and head over to the Waffle House next to the hotel.
I have a waffle and some terrible coffee. Mike gets some wheat
toast and asks for it dry and gets butter on it (which coincidentally,
happened to me when we went to Waffle House earlier). The waffle
was all right; I certainly have had better but it was enough for
the time being.
the way to the last gig I’ll wax poetically about the experience
in my Tour Epilogue.
Not that far of a drive to Columbus so we could hang at the hotel
in the morning and relax. Of course it was pretty sketchy so we
didn’t really want to hang out there that long, but it takes a
while for all of us to get ready and take a shower. And only
Matt was getting internet so the rest of us were looking for some.
Now we needed
a place to stop for food and we saw a Waffle House. Travis apparently
loves the Waffle House so we decided to go. I had never been to
one so I was looking forward it. Travis claimed that the hash
browns were better then Denny’s and while they were good I still
think that Denny’s was better. But I didn’t get a waffle. We
get to our hotel and it was nicer than the one we stayed at the
night before but still no internet and lucky for us it was right
next to another Waffle House.
Some of us
take short naps and then we decide to head into Columbus and walk
around and get food. We find the venue and there was a parking
lot there so we parked the van and started walking around. Found
some internet and Mike updated the blog. After a lot of time with
the boys I wanted some time alone so I took a walk for a while.
It did not seem like there was much to see in Columbus. It was
after 5 on a Friday and I was in the business section so there
weren’t many people there. But the boys were hungry so I headed
back. We went to a decent Italian restaurant with lots of crazy
Italian pictures. We sat outside where there were some statues
that were into bondage and had chicken parm and spaghetti. There
was of course the slight tiff I had with Mike and stormed inside
but I got over it. 7 days together and we were getting on each
As we walk
back to the venue we can hear music. There is an outdoor venue
near by and we could hear it pretty clearly. We think it’s KT
Tunstall. When we get to the venue we find out that the Gin Blossoms
will be playing later! I had looked at their tour dates and I
didn’t think they were playing anywhere we were but I guess I
missed it. They would be playing the same time that we were but
I was going to try and catch some.
was pretty cool – it was very long, but right in front of the
stage was a pit and I’d never played anywhere like that before.
There were lots of signs up telling people not to stage dive –
I don’t think that would be a problem for us. When we walked
in Tom from Death in the Midwest greeted us and showed us where
we could store our stuff and all the details about the show. It
was so nice to have someone there who knew what was going on and
helped us out. He was also really nice, very friendly and seemed
like a cool guy.
I got ready
and went outside to listen for the Gin Blossoms. They opened with
Mrs. Rita which was great and then played Alison Road and Follow
You Down. At that point I had to go inside to play. But it was
cool because we were playing at the same time in the same city.
The show went well. The stage was decently sized so we could all
move around. There was also a decent crowd and a lot of people
came down to the pit. There was one kid there with a Love Will
Tear Us Apart T-shirt who seemed into us and then when we played
that cover he loved it. All in all the crowd seemed pretty receptive
and we had a pretty rocking show.
After we sold
some CDs and chatted with the other bands. The next band had a
guy in it who looked like Sabertooth from the X-Men. And I enjoyed
Death in the Midwest (I keep wanting to say Death by the Midwest).
It was some good rocking music to end the night with especially
when you’re a little buzzed. Everyone we met was really nice
and we talked to some of the bands afterwards. Both of the bands
that played after us were really heavy and we had been concerned
about how we would fit in with that bill but they all said they
really liked us and enjoyed the show. Some of them even bought
out to the parking lot and I guess the guys still had some more
energy to burn. They started a crazy wrestling match, slamming
into the minivan, jumping off of the trailer, beating each other
up, etc. Well not Mike – they chased Mike while he was on the
phone. I just watched laughing hysterically until I realized
that I needed to take some pictures. They didn’t come out that
great but there were a few good ones. I did get a great shot of
Travis breaking Matt’s ribs.
death match we went back to the hotel. Once again instead of going
to sleep we decided to go to the Waffle House. I’d never been
before in my life and now I got to go twice in one day – I am
so lucky. This time I did have a waffle, but this Waffle House
could only make 2 at a time. What kind of Waffle House is that?
I was not so impressed with the waffle – I was expecting better
from a place called the Waffle House.
9 - 8/11/06 – Covington, KY –
This was the final day of the tour. I was really excited to be
done and get to go home. I've had a great time, but I am completely
wiped out. My body isn't responding all that well to the travel,
lack of decent eating, and complete lack of sleep. Performing
every night for 9 days in a row has been an amazing experience,
but waiting around for the other 23 1/4 hours of the day that
you're not on stage is fairly torturous. So, we have a relatively
short drive from Columbus to Covington (which is basically Cincinnati).
We plan to stop on the way north of the city and see a 64 foot
Jesus bust coming out of a reflection pool at an Evangelical Church
of some kind. So, we drive on over and park the car at the neighboring
Traders World. Traders World was full of bizarre things and people...the
entrance is flanked with some statues of animals including "Buffy,"
a giant buffalo. I am sure we stuck out like sore thumbs at Traders
World, but we had a good time there. Jane bought the first season
of Hercules on DVD and a giant Hercules carboard cut out. We didn't
really want to be seen walking near her as she carried it around.
The fellow working at that shop tried a little to sell me a pretty
awesome Conan The Barbarian sword. It was definitely a quality
sword, but because present-day marauders can't easily be chased
off by a fancy longblade, I decided I'd pass on it. Of course,
I used it as an opportunity to segue into my favorite Conan quote
about what is best in life: "to crush your enemy, see him
driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women,"
(Arnold voice included). I believe we got some good photos of
other fine things we saw there that should be posted soon.
After "shopping" (which really consisted of gawking
rather than purchasing), we walked through the parking lot and
climbed over and through a gate (probably trespassing), crossing
a field to get a side glimpse at the giant Jesus statue. It was
a decent view, but we wanted to get a little closer, so we decided
we'd go back to the van and just pull over on the side of the
highway to get some better pictures. After our time with Jesus
had become tiring, we headed on down to good ol' Kentucky.
We parked in the lot behind the venue and were offered tips on
where to go by the police officer monitoring the lot. He sent
us to "Main Strasse." I guess I was the only one that
understood what he was saying when he said, "Strasse."
Still, I had to wonder when the Germans might have occupied Kentucky
long enough to justify using a German name. This one is still
a mystery. Covington is a cute little town where we saw lots of
dogs and kids without shirts on. I thought maybe you had to choose
between owning a dog and owning a shirt and everyone went with
dog. There were really a lot of dogs. We saw one guy sitting with
a large dog outside a restaurant completely still wearing reflective
sunglasses and proudly carrying his mullet. The dog made a pretty
nasty bark at someone passing and Travis asked him what kind of
dog it was. Without moving any part of his body other than his
mouth, he said, "It's a wolf." We think he was lying,
but it was a big dog...probably a husky; possibly a hybrid wolf.
Anyway, we wandered around. The
bridge into Cincinnati is really nice. We ate at a pretty
expensive place where we talked them into letting us order off
the lunch menu for dinner. Then, we headed on over to the venue.
The Madison Theater (photos
from their web site) is quite literally the nicest room we
have ever played in. It's a gigantic 400 capacity theater, which
apparently expands to about 1500 capacity (don't quote me on the
numbers) when the tables are all removed and the balcony is opened.
The stage is enormous; the sound system is pro; there's a nice
drum riser, etc. etc. The staff at this place was amazing also.
They were excited that we came from out of town to play there
and they treated us really well and gave us the scoop on the theater
and the town. The theater is one of the few really big, truly
independent theaters that still exists. I would hang out there
all the time if I lived in the area. We knew it would be tough
for us to get a huge draw as it was our first visit there, but
we figured with 3 local acts on the bill, the place should be
pretty hopping. Something that we've learned from this tour is
that this is not a safe assumption. We actually managed okay for
ourselves with the draw considering the circumstances, but that
place deserved to be filled with 100s of people, which it wasn't.
Nonetheless, we enjoyed listening to the other bands and chatting
with the staff and with some new people we had just met and we
were thrilled to take the stage there. It was the best stage experience
I've ever had. I had enough room to really move around. We play
a lot of venues with decent-sized stages, but with 5 band members,
it's still tough to really cut loose. Here, we had some opportunity
to jump around, leap off the drum riser, and just generally rock
out a little more than we traditionally can. We played decently
and upon announcing our last song, were met with demands to play
more, so we expanded the setlist. In general, we had an awesome
time there, loved the staff, and really hope to make it back there
sooner rather than later. In general, I am not much for hanging
out after shows at the venue, but I would have been glad to sit
around this place all night. Unfortunately, 2 AM rolled around
and we had to head back home.
We drove for about 16 hours, making a few stops for snacks and
bathrooms. I was in a serious sleep-deprivation trance the whole
time. We actually sold a CD on the interstate in PA at a rest
stop. A very nice woman came up and asked if we were in a band
and if we had a CD for sale. So, we sold her a disc and signed
it for her kids. We're used to selling discs at shows and online,
but this was a definite first.
I can’t believe it.
I got up a
little early and decided I needed a little more time to myself
before we finish up. I took a walk tried to find some coffee.
I saw a gas station, a Burger King, a McDonalds, and figured that
maybe I’d hold out for a Dunkin’ Donuts or something. Starbucks
would’ve been perfect, but I figured the chances were pretty slim.
Low and behold, I found a Tim Hortons! I don’t think I’ve been
to one of those since I was 10 or 11, but I knew that it was a
donut and coffee shop, so this was probably my best chance for
a halfway decent cup of joe. It was nice to get a little walk,
I don’t think I’ve done really any exercise at all this trip (and
for those of you who know me, I tend to do so a lot) and even
though it was a short trip, it was very nice.
to drive and we started to make the trip south to the greater
Cincinnati area. On our way of course, was our trek to see the
giant bust of Jesus coming out of the ground. We weren’t totally
sure where it was (there was definitely some fighting between
Jane and Mike about its exact location). We do end up finding
it, and we see this gigantic flea market called Trader’s World.
I figure that the Jesus could be part of the Trader’s World, at
in the least, accessible from it.
was quite an experience; an incredibly campy warehouse of cheap
shit. I think that traveling throughout the Midwest gave us an
interesting view of America that is not represented on the East
(or West) Coast. I think the pictures of Trader’s World will
say more than I can write. Although, Jane bought a life-size
cardboard cutout of Kevin Sorbo from that Hercules show along
with the complete Season 1 DVD. We did not carry Hercules but
we did have plans to have him rock with us on stage later that
night (which, alas did not happen).
find the Jesus, and he’s actually pretty far away. There is this
relatively large field in front of us, and we hop the fence and
walk over to it (thinking that we’ll be able to traverse the field
and some other land to get close to the Jesus). Well, no such
luck. There was a very large marshy area and none of us really
felt like getting wet. What we could see were people stopping
on the highway to take pictures of it, I assume that we can get
close enough to get some good shots. We make our way back through
Trader’s World (and the doll heads) and hop in the car. I can’t
tell you about the Jesus, you just have to see it.
We had a relatively
uneventful drive to Covington. When we got there, we tried to
kill some time by walking down town; which involved us walking
by many men and boys with no shirts on, and lots of dogs. It
definitely felt like the South. Both Mike and Patrick were on
the phone so Travis, Jane, and I killed some time by grabbing
a beer in a pub and when Mike and Patrick are ready we try and
look for this place that Mike’s friend recommended for food.
We finally find it, but it’s closed (looked like for good too).
Our food destination ended up being a bar (which actually had
a very expensive menu), but they allowed us to eat off the lunch
menu (albeit, somewhat limited). I had my first red meat of the
tour and one of the few meals with meat at all (a hamburger, which
coincidentally did not sit well for the rest of the night). Once
we finish, it’s off to the venue for the last time.
Load in went
well, nothing too out of the ordinary. The venue was freaking
huge though. It was certainly the largest theatre I’ve ever played
in (in a rock band mind you; I have to discount all the days of
being in Jazz Groups, Orchestras, and Symphonic Bands). I worked
the Merch table pretty hard, sold about 4 T-shirts before the
show started. We were technically headlining the show, so it
was a very very long wait. I was super anxious to play this gigantic
stage. Once we were up there; we rocked that place to the floor.
I had some crazy rock moves, most of which included me doing the
“on the knees, leaning back all the way to the floor” action.
Mike went totally crazy; I don’t think I’ve EVER seen him rock
so hard in my life. All in all it was the perfect venue and place
to end the tour. After we finished playing, the owners of the
theatre and all the staff were awesome; they seemed super pleased
with our draw for the night and the show that we brought. If
it works out, I would love to play that stage again.
At this point,
we’re all pretty much exhausted beyond belief, but we had made
the decision to drive back to Boston right after the show. While
we knew it would be tough, it would get us back into town in the
early evening so we could possibly function Monday morning (since
all of us had to work). I drove the first leg and just about
when I’m about to totally pass out from exhaustion (I had been
driving for about 2.5 hours, and since I also drove all day, I
did not have the opportunity to sleep in the car) Jane took over.
The rest of the trip was totally unmemorable except for Travis
wanting to stop at Arbys (what disgusting crap that is) and some
kid who bought a CD at the rest stop. The exchange worked like
: (walking to buy soda)
Woman in car: Are you guys in a band?
MG: uh, yeah (looking totally disheveled from wearing the same
clothes for 16 hours)
Woman: What’s the name?
MG: uh, The Motion Sick (pointing to chest, since I was wearing
my Motion Sick T-shirt)
Woman: Do you have a CD?
Woman: Is it full length?
Woman: My son was really wondering, but he was to shy to ask.
Could we buy one?
So, I walk
back, and grab a disc from Mike. Also, she wanted us all to sign
it and some notebook of her daughters. Now there are 3 discs
that are signed by all the members of the band. That’s certainly
a first (selling a disc at a rest stop) for me. Very perceptive
of the woman and her son, but I guess it could be a reasonable
assumption after seeing 5 people who are like walking dead with
got back and my freaking car was towed. Fucking Boston.
– the last day with a show. Playing shows was fun, but the driving,
unloading and loading the van and no privacy was getting to me.
I’m sure the guys will laugh when they read this because while
I did help with the loading I certainly did not do as much as
they did. Again the drive was not that long so we took our time
in the morning.
also the day we were going to see the big Jesus statue that Mike
had been talking about for weeks. We weren’t exactly sure where
it was but I knew the general location so we head over there.
We see it from the road and think that it’s at Trader’s World
which is this huge indoor flea market so we head over there.
We wonder around the flea market and I’m reminded of a sign that
I saw earlier in the day – Hell is Near. I think they were talking
about Trader’s World. Now unlike the rest of the band I was not
fascinated by this wonderful display of middle America – I had
seen it many times before while growing up. We had a flea market
every Sunday in my town and as there wasn’t much to do we often
went there. And my grandmother loved going to flea markets so
we went a lot when on vacation at her house. So I couldn’t wait
to get out of there and find Jesus. There was only one shining
moment in the flea market – I was walking by a stall and I saw
a cardboard Kevin Sorbo as Hercules. I stopped and they also had
Hercules season one DVDs for cheap. I bought a DVD and asked how
much for Kevin Sorbo. The guy said $10 which was good enough for
me. I already have a Xena cardboard cutout and now I have Hercules
as well. I need to figure out where to put them in my new house.
Then we finally
head out to see Jesus. It is not actually at Trader’s World,
but at huge church next door. We try to walk over there and while
a fence didn’t stop us the fence with barbed wire did. We saw
a few people pulled over on the highway and we decide to do that
instead. As you can see from the pictures we got some shots of
the Jesus. It was big, it was weird. It was also oddly proportioned.
As one of the guys said – it’s not even a good statue. If you’re
going to make a 60 foot Jesus you might as well do a good job!
Anyway – on
to Covington which is a suburb of Cincinnati so we had to drive
through that to get there. The town looks a little sketchy and
we find the theatre pretty easily which looks cool from the outside.
There is a parking lot nearby and a cop tells us we don’t have
to pay. He also tells us how to get to the “happening” part of
Covington even though I wasn’t really sure he was speaking English.
I think I could understand his directions so we head over there.
There are some bars and restaurants and also a cool record store
which has our flyer up. I tried to recruit some people there to
come to the show, but I don’t think any of them did. We head
back for some dinner and find this restaurant that was actually
open. There didn’t seem to be a lot around the theatre except
for pawn shops. The food was ok and we enjoyed some tunes on the
juke box. It’s at this point that I started to get really tired
and was almost falling asleep at the table.
back to the venue to check it out. It is really cool inside with
a huge stage that has a big dance floor in front and then lots
of seating above that. It also has a balcony. I know I should
have gone in and mingled but I was feeling really tired and I
wanted to be able to drive that night so I went and took a nap
in the van. When I woke up I was totally disoriented and I had
no idea where I was for a second. Little did I know that it would
be the last sleep I would get for 24 hours.
I got ready
and head into the venue. Mike and Matt are in the back with the
merch so I go help them for a while. We sold some T-shirts and
chatted with some people who had come to see us. Once again even
though there were other local bands on the bill we still brought
more people. Thanks mostly to Mike’s friend Sharon who got a bunch
of friends out and myspace. I missed the first band because I
was sleeping and from what I could hear the second band sounded
ok. The third band had an interesting look and I really wanted
to know what their story was.
get to play and I think it was our best show yet. The stage was
huge and we totally rocked out and I think we played great. The
sound guy was awesome and we could hear so well on stage. We
totally rocked out. We were getting ready to end and the crowd
called out for more songs so we played What I Get and then ended
with Grace Kelly and I had never seen us rock out more. Mike
jumped off of the drum riser more than once and at the end Matt
was on his knees in a back bend so deep his head was practically
on the ground. I was very impressed with how much we all rocked
out that night and the crowd seemed to love it. They were very
enthusiastic and were dancing a lot.
After we played
instead of packing my stuff (which was done for me – thank you!)
I chatted with the staff at the venue. They were really cool
and nice and I found out from the bar manager that her family
owns the theatre so they have a bit more freedom about the kind
of shows they can do. She also bought me a beer and we did a
Pineapple Upside Down Cake shot together. I had never had one
before and it was really tasty. I really like hanging with all
the people who worked there and I wished that we could have stayed
longer and hung out with them more. They bought our CD and said
how much they loved us and now that they know our sound would
love to put us on another bill that would have a good draw. I
would love to play there again!
It’s a long drive back from Cincinnati to Boston so we decided
to drive overnight and leave right after the show. I was really
ready to go home so I’m glad that we were leaving. I took the
2nd shift and drove from 4 to 6:30 in the morning.
We switched drivers at a Waffle House on the road and I grabbed
some coffee. It was one scary Waffle House, but they at least
could make 8 waffles at a time. I wasn’t really that tired and
I was enjoying the drive. I love to drive late at night because
there’s no one on the road and you can just cruise. Everyone was
sleeping too so I got total control of the Ipod with no one to
complain about what I picked. That was the best part. I got to
see the sun rise while I was driving and see the sky turn purple.
I don’t see the sunrise that often as I like to sleep in. Usually
the only time I see it is because I haven’t gone to bed yet.
and Travis drove, then Patrick, then Matt again, and then Travis
to his house. At one of the rest stops this women came up to
us and asked if we were in a band. She wanted to buy a CD for
her son and asked us to sign it and to sign this notebook for
her daughter. Crazy.
I didn’t get
that much sleep and read one of the books I had gotten at the
insanely huge rest stop. The guys were back to the shit talk
and talking about whole tour, but I was ready to get home and
not be in the van anymore. The ride was actually not that bad.
We got to Travis’s and dropped him off and then headed into Boston.
Of course the only traffic we hit the whole time was on the Pike
right when we were about to get home. We got to Matt’s and my
car was still there but his had been towed which sucked. I helped
him pick up his car and then finally got to go home and take a
shower. It was so nice to be home!
was a little sad that the whole thing had come to an end and I
was pretty excited that we managed to get through it all without
any serious disasters (or really any non-serious disasters). The
hardest part of the whole thing is being away from those who are
close to you. Eventually, the phone calls just make it sadder.
As for the band, I think we actually all got along pretty well
and did a good job to compromise when our desires differed. It's
really exciting to be creating music with a group of dedicated,
talented, hard working, serious people. I very sincerely appreciate
each person's very substantial contributions to make this tour
and this band possible. They all worked hard to match my eating
needs, my "occasional" crankiness, my general lack of
desire to party, and my dislike for driving (I didn't drive at
still have a lot of hard work ahead, but I feel like we're definitely
always leaping forward. This band really is a dream come true
and I am thrilled to be a part of it...See you all next time on
Finally, thanks so much to all the people who let us stay with
them, the bands we played with, the venues we played at, the people
in the audience who gave us a shot, and really, everyone we met
on this trip. None of this is possible without all of you.
(As an aside,
because I am a musical snob, I tortured everyone a little with
my rants about music, disdain for bands they liked, and intimidation
that prevented Jane from admitting that she wanted to give a little
listen to The Wallflowers. Throughout the trip, I listened a bit
to my non-podular mp3 player...it was fun and I got to keep my
indie cred-I wish.)
are some brief observations and thoughts from the tour.
- If it looks
like there are a lot of pictures of me taken by me and a lot of
everyone else except me was basically because I had the only real
camera and was trying very hard to take as many pictures as I
- I learned
a lot about my band mates during this tour. I have to say, I
am impressed with everyone’s attitude and willingness (most of
the time) to make concessions to keep the peace. This could’ve
been a total nightmare but I have to say, I didn’t get totally
sick of anyone the entire time.
- We listened
to a TON of music in the car. Here’s a rundown of most of the
things (courtesy of my iPod).
Temple Pilots: Tiny Music From a Vatican Gift Shop
n’ Roses: Appetite for Destruction
Smog: Weird Tales
A Rush of Blood to the Head
Crows: August & Everything After
Ok Computer (incomplete album)
Nirvana (incomplete album)
Blossoms: New Miserable Experience
Halen: Best of Both Worlds (incomplete album)
Waits: Rain Dogs
Artists: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
A Ghost if Born: Bonus EP
Beatles: Abbey Road
the Wet Sprocket: Dulcinea
Ray O’Vaque: Demo’s of Saturn
Blossoms: New Album
at Work: Business as Usual
Gaye: What’s Goin On (incomplete album)
Killers: (can’t remember the name of the record)
Division: Substance (incomplete album)
Wallflowers: [Mike’s Fav] Bringing down the Horse (incomplete
Televangelist and the Architect: Diaries of the Intelligentisa
Blue Screen Life
Postal Service: The District Sleeps Along Tonight EP
Folds Five: Whatever and Ever Amen
Folds Five The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner
Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy (incomplete album)
Cube: The Predator
Parachute (incomplete album)
Being There (Disc 1)
Goo Dolls: Dizzy Up the Girl
Weezer (The Green Album)
Sheila Divine: New Parade
Flaming Lips: The Soft Bulletin
Pumpkins: Siamese Dream
Milk Hotel: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Kiley: Take Offs and Landings
just the stuff off my ipod. I know that Travis has a big list,
as does Patrick. Listened to a lot of great stuff though.
For those of you who care, here is a run down of all the coffee
I drank while on tour:
Always welcome. I’m not a huge fan of the ‘Buck, but given the
options out there, I always enjoyed seeing one on the horizon
(especially while on the highway)
Waffle House (both): God-awful, sour/bitter crap.
Your standard diner coffee. Drinkable, but nothing to write home
- Gas Station
in Harrisburg: Surprisingly good. I was expecting really weak
- Tim Hortons:
Honestly, I was expecting more. It was like a sour-ish Dunkin’
Even more surprising. I actually had two coffees there. I guess
they’ve extended their “premium blend” to most of the stores.
It wasn’t very strong, but I didn’t have to choke it down either.
It had halfway decent “coffee” taste.
- Shell Station
in Ohio (driving back to Boston): there was no creamer/milk or
anything in this store so I had to drink it black. I probably
would’ve dumped it out if I didn’t desperately need it to stay
- Diner in
Queens: Like Denny’s standard diner coffee. But they were very
attentive about refilling my cup when it was empty.
- Bagel Place
in Queens: A Good Solid Cup of Coffee. It wasn’t like a nice
boutiquey coffee shop cup, but WAAAY better than probably anything
else in that area of Queens.
- Pizza Paradiso:
Espresso, and man was it welcome. Probably the best coffee of
the entire trip.
- Hotel in
Pittsburg: ugh. Two Sips. Enough Said.
I was totally thrilled with the experience to travel around the
country playing music. It is so hard nowadays for bands to try
and put together tours all by themselves and I am pleased an honored
to be working with such dedicated musicians and friends. Without
everyone’s hard work, there is no way we could’ve pulled this
off. All of my goals for this tour were met and we had some amazing
experiences and a lot of fun. I expect things will only rise
an aside, I would like to thank UHaul, Luna Bars, Red Bull Energy
Drink, The Rest Stop in Illinois, Apple Computer, Free Wireless
Internet, Starbucks (the whole bands thanks you; especially the
one in Chicago), Milano Cookies, Trader Joes, and beer.
A very special
thanks to everyone who put us up for the night, all the bands
we played with, all the venues we played at, our hosts at the
radio station, and everyone who came out to see us and support
us. You guys ROCK!
the tour was interesting. There were parts that were very fun
and then parts that sucked – mostly all the driving and being
tired. I do think that we got closer as a band and certainly
saw sides of each other that we hadn’t seen yet and managed to
not kill each other and/or hate each other at the end. I also
think that playing so many shows really improved our performance
and how comfortable we are playing together. I’m looking forward
to our next show in Boston because I think we’re going to blow
everyone away. I’m also looking forward to working on some new
songs. I don’t know if I could pick my favorite show or venue
because I liked most of the shows and the venues. We met a lot
of cool people and have hopefully forged some good contacts for
future tours and places to play. It was also great to see some
old friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. Thanks to everyone
who came out to see us and who are checking out what happened
at our blog! Hope to see you all again in the future!
I sit 2 days after the tour ended and I am completely depressed.
It's such a weird feeling, I can't even begin to explain it.
You would think that after 10 days of non-stop gigs, long drives,
no sleep, shit food and being smelly that one would want to have
nothing to do with any of that. Truth is, I loved every second
of it… I'd do it day in and day out if given the opportunity.
Don't get me wrong, it's really hard work on so many different
levels, but nothing compares to the comradere', the zen of being
on-stage and the great people you win over at each stop. I feel
lost and empty, I hope this feeling escapes my body soon.
of my body, I gave it a hell of a beating on this tour. It didn't
hit me until I got home. I certainly didn't prepare myself properly
to go out and play 9 straight shows without any days off. I learned
the hard way that I really need to step up my conditioning and
stamina. Need to start eating healthier too. I don't want to
see another McDonald's for as long as I live. You can convince
me otherwise on Taco Bell though. I feel like ass, and it serves
me right. I should have worked harder to get myself in better
playing shape. I might try to start Yoga again or something.
I have to
give Matt credit for doing such a great job on being paranoid
about parking our van in tow zones… Meanwhile Matt parked his
car in a tow zone while we were on tour and was towed and ticketed…
Way to go. Just kidding Matt, I had to get one last dig in there,
you know you're my boy Blue! I wonder if he still thinks I broke
wait to play again. It feels so weird not having a gig, I am
going to go stir crazy for a while. I noticed that I don't miss
watching TV. I miss watching Sox games, but everything else is
pretty blah. I'd rather be reading or writing a song or something.
I want to isolate myself until I write the greatest rock record
the world has ever seen, what are the chances I can pull that
off?? Slim to none I would say.
just realized that this is pretty boring, so I'll end the torture
now. I just want to thank you for reading our little blogs and
for supporting our cause. I'd also like to thank all of the great
people who watched us perform each night, we loved doing it for
you, and we hope we made fans out of you if you weren't already.
Spread the word and the love of The Motion Sick, we're YOUR band
and we'd like to stay that way! I also want to thank Mike, Matt,
Jane and Patrick for putting up with my shit for 10 days, I know
it wasn't easy.
really had a great time and for all of those who have asked about
the experience since I have returned, give me some time and all
that happened will slowly leak out. So far all I can manage to
say is, “It was good.” It’s tough being thrown back into reality.
Though now I have even more fire to work harder and get back out
I really want
to thank everyone we met out there and hung out with and of course
all the folks who gave us a place to stay for a night. Its so
cheese but it is also very true that with out the help and support
of folk like you it would be next to impossible for a band at
our level to go out and tour.
I am going
to give a shot at thanking by name as many people as I can. I
apologize if I forget someone or call someone a different name
but apparently I slept a lot in the van…
cop at the west side highway who could have but didn’t detain
us and of course thanks to Tony who comes to all our NY shows
and always has a floor to sleep on and a toilet to shit in. We
guys from Fell Upon Thieves, Dave, Barrett, Mike, and DJ (these
are the guys you want around when acting like rock stars) Evan
and Kristen thanks for coming out too see us and making that long
drive. Cynthia and Karen/Katie it was fun hanging out and thanks
for the ride back to the hotel even though we had no idea where
we were going and it was in the opposite direction you should
have been headed. Also thanks to Bob at the bar, hope you are
a gracious host and a kick ass show promoter, you rock. Tell Sid
I want my trunks back. The owner of the Red and Black, you have
an awesome club and a great vision. Thanks for coming on out Sarah
(Julie’s sister) and Joe. To the guys from The Roosevelt and Miguel
and Stacey we will see you soon I am sure.
to Justin Long for also owning and operating a kick ass venue,
The Shadow Lounge, and thanks to Emily and her man who heard us
on the tufts radio show and came out to hear us. Thank you to
DJ who got some slime on our windows, which we then laughed about
a good 2,000miles later.
Wow this list
is going to be long.
and Rocco from Fearless Radio, Jimmy from Lily’s and a whole bunch
of other folks from there as well. Let’s see… Alexis hope your
hearing is back, the modern dancer I don’t think you had a problem
with hearing and hopefully you still don’t anyways you two were
great active audience members, and I should remember your name
but I don’t so I am sorry…wait I think it is Sarah…either way
thanks to the saw playing liaison you are awesome, great voice
and I love the 30inch. Clint (the guy who ran the show and also
played some awesome songs) hope you are enjoying the CD and that
cab driver who brought me to my hotel and windowsill. Also thanks
to the band playing at Cheers down the road from our gig who was
going to let us play during their set because we didn’t think
anyone was going to come and open the venue we were playing at.
and Jodi you were the best hosts I am sorry I was so tired and
couldn’t hang out but I sure did appreciate your hospitality and
promoting efforts. Jen Bohm from Jeff Caissie thanks for your
guitar strap. Jeff Caissie thanks for playing good songs and having
drunk friends who wouldn’t talk to me. Cedarwell you guys rock.
Very cool stuff.
miserablely exhausted but the parking lot attendant was pretty
cool and the folks at Indy vinyl were really cool, thanks for
hosting us. Also thanks to Jane for saving our asses and being
the only one too rally and do some promoting.
(joy division guy) you rock. I am glad you enjoyed our music so
much in spite of the fact that some members of the band wear tight
So it is at
this point that names become extra fuzzy…Bill or Bob from Parts
Unknown it was great meeting you and Aaron cool guitar sounds.
Thanks to Tom from Death in the Midwest for setting up the show,
Hope your DVD came out good.
and Andrea thanks for promoting and bring so many friends with
you, double thanks for having friends that are fans of ours. Thanks
to Chrissie the door girl at the Madison theater and Dennis and
the women in blue, I want to call you Jodie… basically the whole
staff at the Madison theater were completely awesome and made
our last night on the road better then we could have asked, the
sound guy rocked too. Special thanks to the guys in The Myths
for setting up the show, it was great meeting you and seeing you
play, next time I am going to use one of your line 6 amps. And
another special thanks to Crystal and Carissa (hope I got that
right but you know who you are) for sticking around all night
to hear us play even though you were getting a little bored and
of course thanks for dancing, your box step did not go unnoticed.
And of course
thanks to the other members of The Motion Sick, thanks for not
giving me such a hard time because I didn’t know how to tune my
guitar or because I slept a lot and I am fat or because I lost
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