Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fuck! We forgot to make tour lammies! - Tour Journal, pt. I

We didn't come up with a name for this tour. And we didn't make laminates. And we didn't make posters and press kits to send to the booking agents. We didn't even deal with booking agents, just friends. We had some hit us up, trying to drum up business, i.e. make money off of somebody else's passion. Fuck that. We don't need any of that horseshit. We'll do it ourselves.

So we booked a tour as best we could, convinced a friend to come with us to help load gear and sell merch, and begged/borrowed/sold what we could to afford being on the road for 6 weeks. So this is the story of that trip, as I write it 2 weeks after being home, trying to remember everything that happened. If something's missing it's because I forgot, can't remember, or you don't need to know. I'm gonna do this shit in weekly installments, 6 weeks worth is too long to write and/or read all at once.


Day 1, Boise, ID - tour kick-off show:
We had to move the show a week beforehand because nosy neighbors with nothing better to do had put the (temporary) kibosh on Brawl Studio. So we moved it to our good friend Mirce's DIY spot, The Office. Thank you, Mirce. Despite all the last minute phone calls and flier changes we had to make, we were still excited. We'd played with Cascabel a few times before, so we were all excited to see old friends again, and some of us knew Brent from Profits from his previous bands. After spending what felt like 4 hours loading the van and trailer, we made it down to The Office, right as Profits showed up. Cascabel showed up shortly afterwards, followed by a lot of introductions, handshakes, shit-shooting, and, of course, I forgot everyone in Profits name right away. It happens. I know 'em now.

We hung out for a few hours, drank some beers, smoked too many cigarettes, and started to stage the gear for load-in. Before I knew it, there was quite a few people there, and honestly I was really quite surprised. The music scene here can be wishy-washy and it's hard to predict how a show's turnout will be. So this was nice to see. Our friends in Black Cloud kicked the show off. I swear they get better every time I see them. People were already getting into the show. I was feeling good. Profits went on and destroyed. Joe can't sit still and I fucking love it. If you're in his way, that sucks for you. Rad riffage, great drumming, really tight band. Thick gnarly guitar tone. If I had to give a quick comparison I would say they play something akin to Burnt By The Sun meets His Hero Is Gone. Angular crust. Fucking solid stuff.

Cascabel went on next, and they were even better than I remember them being last time we played together. Even without their bass player Nate, who had prior commitments and could only play the Portland and Seattle shows. Brock goes nuts behind the kit, everything sounds tight as hell. Really dynamic songwriting. Lots of energy.

We went on next. The room was pretty fucking full, if I remember correctly. I didn't have much room to move around. Everything went off without a hitch, save for somebody kept getting wrapped up in my cables and unplugging me. Lesson learned: wrap your shit around the drum stands if the room is crowded and people are up in your business. We played a couple new songs, one of which we'd never played before. Show was fun as hell, and hot as hell. Afterwards Unhallowed played a couple songs before something went haywire and they had to stop. Not sure what happened, I was watching through the window as I was trying to cool off. Bummer. But, the show went smoothly, no cops came, no squares showed up and fucked up anyone's fun. An ideal show, and the perfect way to start a tour. Couldn't have asked for a better night.

Afterwards, Profits and Cascabel decided to stay at Patrick's house since he had the most room. I went with Phil and Morgan in the van, thinking we were going to grab a few things from their house and go hang out. Turns out we weren't. That was a bummer, but there was always tomorrow.

Day 2, Portland, OR:
We got to PDX earlier than expected, so we stopped by Brent from Profits house to relax, drink beer, smoke drugs, and shoot the shit. The show was booked at an anarchist book store called Laughing Horse Books. There's always so much revolutionary shit going on in Portland, I'm pretty sure the only reason the city hasn't been burnt down is because it rains too fucking much. I don't know, maybe it's me, but I find the idea of an anarchist store to be pretty funny. But, I digress. It's a cool spot for shows, and it's good that there are DIY all-ages venues there, it seems like a lot of shows are at bars.

We were surprised at the turnout - we've had less than stellar experiences before in Portland. Poor turnouts, getting kicked off of shows, etc. Especially for a Sunday night. The show was just us, Profits, and Cascabel. Short, sweet, and to the point. Joel from Elitist stopped by, always good to see him. Some other friends, Ross, Jamie, "Boise Mike" (nickname doesn't apply anymore dude) also stopped by. Always nice to see familiar faces.

Afterward, we cruised back to Brent's house, and Brock and Jamie and I got too drunk and talked too loudly outside, and Brent yelled at us. Sorry dude.

Day 3, Seattle, WA:
We got up what seemed like it was fairly early, considering the short length of our drive. Maybe I just felt that way because I was up so late, and slightly hungover. I was pushing for a stop at Voodoo Doughnuts; I wanted that fucking dick-and-balls doughnut I've heard so much about. I was outvoted. It probably tastes the same anyways. We stopped across the river in Vancouver, picked up Phil, and grabbed some "lunch". And on this day, the dashboard burrito was born:

I ordered one too many bean burritos, and set it on the dashboard, thinking I would save it for dinner or something. More on that later.

We got to Seattle, milled around in a park for awhile, and skipped out on meeting Profits and Cascabel dudes at a restaurant. I wanted to go even though I wasn't hungry, but everyone seemed to think it was a better idea to go to the venue early. Oh well. I'm just happy to be in Seattle. Probably my favorite city in the whole country. We get to Galway Arms, order a few beers and watch some football. We've played Galway Arms one time before, as a last minute replacement for a show that fell through. It's an Irish/Pirate themed bar. I dunno. You'd think it would appeal to the lame, exceedingly NON-Irish "I-just-need-an-excuse-to-be-a-drunk" Flogging Molly/Dropkick Murphys crowd, but they get a lot of different types of people in there, and everyone who works there is a total badass. The last time we played there was with pop-punk bands, and had to play at 1:30am on a Monday night. And, surprisingly they fucking loved us, even the drunk guy in a fedora hat who kept telling me a tuner isn't punk-rock. Some lesbians beat him up later on.

Anyways, the Galway was excited to have us back, and we were excited to be there, seeing as how our experience there last time was so colorful. Our best good friend Ricky showed up a little while after we did; it's always so fucking good to see that guy. He's the best dude. After several hours of just hanging around (we talked for way too long about juggalos, and Joe had everyone in stitches with his experiences and impressions), Mercy Ties, the local opener, showed up and started the show off right. Everything went well, and everyone played awesome. After stopping at Ricky's house for a minute to hang out with him and his badass dog, Papi Chulo, he sent us off with 2 dozen maple bars and we stayed with a friend. Again, everyone had to split up this night, as nobody had enough room for 11 people in one place. Bummer the bands couldn't hang more, especially in a town that feels like a 2nd home.

Day 4, Spokane, WA:
This show was at The Cretin Hop, a sweet all-ages venue that also has a bar. We rolled up, loaded our gear into the back area of the venue where they have a theater set up for movie nights, and then Morgan and I went on a long-ass hike to go find coffee. Eventually we found a 7-11 and settled on shitty gas-station coffee. When we got back, Kasey and Phil had noticed that our plug for the trailer lights had come loose while we were driving, and we'd lost the plug and quite a bit of the cable. So no trailer lights. Good excuse to get pulled over. We said fuck it, we'll fix it in the morning; the drive to Missoula isn't very far, so we'd have time.

In the meantime, Mike, our merch dude that came with us, gave away an old t-shirt to a crazy cat lady that was hanging out at The Cretin Hop. She was wearing cat ears, had on leopard-print pantsuit/unitard thing, had a leopard print shawl draped over her shoulders, and was carrying around a little cat figurine. Bitch was out of her fucking mind. So if you're ever in Spokane and you see a cat lady wandering the streets wearing a Bone Dance shirt, say hello.

We played with Alex's new band, Losing Skin, which also has Chase from Whalelimb on guitar, and a few dudes from More Than Heroes, I believe. Metallic hardcore, cool shit. Alex is a solid dude, always comes through. Chris, who used to be in Behold, came by the show, and gave us and Profits a place to crash. Cascabel couldn't stay the night, they had to drive overnight back to Seattle because Garret had to work first thing in the morning. Sucks to be you, dude. After spending a long time saying goodbye to Cascabel, and taking gigantic band photos, and trying to stop Garret from wrestling everyone, we headed to Chris's house and crashed.

Day 5, Missoula, MT:
So we wake up and try to find a trailer shop in Spokane. We find one, they tell us they don't have the correct replacement parts and send us don the road. We go there, they give us what we need, and what they have is exactly what we do NOT need. So after struggling trying to repair the missing trailer connection, we return the items, and go back to the original store. They end up actually having what we were initially looking for, and I set to work stripping wire and reconnecting a new trailer end. Turns out the wrong one had been attached to the trailer to begin with, and were needlessly using an adapter. I finally get the thing repaired for a grand total of $4 and we are on our way to Montana.

We stop by our buddy Matt's house for a minute, and then after a quick stop at a liquor store to grab some medicine, we go to the show. We were supposed to play with a band from there called The Lion, The Tamer, but they had to cancel. Justin was there though, still running the show. A guy in his underwear and a Zorro mask was wandering around outside with an acoustic guitar, kicking a beachball and singing songs that sounded like he was making them up on the spot. Apparently, he was the opening act.

After he got done, the band who lived at the house played next; they were a 2-piece called Have A Nice Coma and played noise-rock/pop stuff. The show was in the garage of the house, and there was a solid turnout, with a decent a party-type atmosphere; I think every person there was drinking a 40. Stay classy, Missoula. After HANC finished, we loaded in the garage, closed the thing up, and the place fucking ERUPTED. People went bonkers, and the show was a lot of fun. Morgan was crawling all over furniture, people were climbing all over us and each other, it was a lot of fun We added another song towards the end of the set, everyone was really enjoying themselves. I'm surprised the cops didn't show up; the show was in an average neighborhood, and all the other houses next to and behind were really close together, and we were loud as fuck compared to everyone else.

We slept upstairs in the apartment above the garage. It was crammed tight but was a lot of fun hangin' out, talkin and watchin movies. This very nice girl whose name I can't remember bought us all pizza. I wish I could remember her name. Thank you very much, nice girl from Missoula.

Day 6, driving:
Couldn't get a show in central Montana, so we spent the entire day driving to Cheyenne. We stopped by a dude's house who was growing weed in his garage, Montana has legalized it, so that's pretty rad. Never been to a pot farm before. We stopped somewhere in Bumblefuck, Wyoming in the middle of the night, and crashed.

Day 7, Cheyenne, WY:
Cheyenne WY kind of feels like a town Stephen King would write about, in some senses. Kinda desolate, small-town vibe. Everybody stares at you as if you don't belong. A crazy old man yelled at us from a bus bench, and it felt like he was warning us to leave. But fuck that, we had a show at Ernie November Records with our friends in Reproacher. Fuck you, crazy old man; fuck you, rancher guy in pickup truck that grits his tobacco-flecked teeth at us.

Ernie November Records is a rad place - Keith from the band Deadspeak runs the show, and it's cool as hell. All the shows they do are free. And people come out. They move all the shelves and clothing racks in the back of the store out of the way, set up a PA, and there you go. It was just us and Reproacher, so we played first to make sure kids would hang around. We were really stoked on the turnout, and apparently the turnout wasn't as good as it should have been; there was a high school football game that night. Oh well, the ones that care about music showed up anyhow, and that's what counts.

It must be mentioned that a few hours before this, Kasey ate a weed muffin that sent him to outer space. He couldn't think straight, and was convinced that he was too hot, and if he played without his socks on, he would be able to stay cool. Whatever. He said after it all wore off (which I think was the following day), "That will go down in history as the most intense show I will ever play." Lesson learned: Don't eat weed before the show.

We went to a bar across the street for a few drinks with Keith and some of his friends. Pat had an expired ID and hung back at the van. We drank beer. He accidentally drank piss from a van toilet, i.e. Powerade bottle. Lesson learned: Green Powerade doesn't come in the blue bottle.

We went to a house to hang out with Reproacher dudes and a bunch of friends that came to the show. We stayed up late, drank whiskey, Joel and I talked about deep philosophy shit, people listened to Justin Bieber for some reason. I passed out in the laundry room next to Merch Guy Mike.

That's it for now. I'll post about the next week, next week.

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