Monday, May 25, 2009
We left Chris's house somewhat early to get to Rainfest. Load in was at 1:30 but we weren't playing until 4:30. We waited around and then it was our turn to play. To all of our surprise the crowd filled in and the place was packed. Tom broke a string the first song in and personally the entire performance was an uphill battle. Sometimes you just have bad shows. The other 3 guys were stoked on it and it wasn't that I thought we played badly, I mean fuck I guess you cant really explain these things if you dont play in a band so I'm not gonna try and explain it. We played 6 or 7 songs and packed up our stuff. To my surprise a lot of people were into it. We met some awesome bands and the highlight of my night was definitely Dangers. My buddy Jesse recommended these dudes to me a while back and I knew this was exactly what I wanted from a hardcore band. They killed it. After the show we drove back to Seattle to stay with Chris again and while I passed out early, everyone else stayed up till 7AM. I cant wait till Insub. Fest to get wild again. Good Times.
So today our show is in Olympia, WA and its a house show. I don't really know what were in for but I never do and thats the best part of touring. I heard the house is in the middle of nowhere and someone told us that theres something in the water over there that makes kids go crazy. Nice. The 7" are getting shipped to us Thursday and I'm so excited to finally have a copy of it in my hand. Also we got the word on something I've always wanted to be a part of. Can't say yet but it involves Vietnam and a piece of plastic that measures 7 inches. More on that at another time.
5.21- 5.24 Spokane, Seattle, Tacoma, WA
Thursday was our first show since the previous Sunday and while we were all stoked on living like bums for the last 3 days, (eating nothing but beans and hotdogs)we were ready to head back into civilization and play a show. Thursday's show was in Spokane, WA at a venue called The Cretin Hop. We arrived early and went to a horrible sports bar that lured us in with a large advertisement for a happy hour featuring $1 beers. According to the sexed up bartender, we missed it due to "bar time". "bar time" is when bartenders miraculously send their establishments into the future so they can overcharge 5 kids from the other side of the country for a glass of PBR. It was 4:22 and happy hour ended at 4:30....Damn this hit list keeps growing... After that we played baseball in the parking lot then an aggressive game of wall ball. I think everyone threw their arms out. The show began and we met some awesome people. We played well from what I remember and the kids were stoked. I had a conversation with an older women dressed up like a cat and assured her I would see her tomorrow at the DOA show. Unfortunately I wasn't able to hold up to that promise...
After the show we stayed with our new friends in The Grocery Boys. Sid took us to his house for the night and we did our fair share of partying. After too much whiskey and AJJ singalongs, I decided to call it a night and grabbed a bed on the third floor. The next morning I washed my head in the sink for the 4th time in a row, ate another can of beans, and made a bunch of phone calls. We said our goodbyes to The Grocery Boys and took off for Seattle.
I forgot to mention that we played a show with a band from Minneapolis called BurgerThirst. They too were heading to Seattle until their van broke down on the side of the road. We pulled over and gave 2 of them a ride to the shop. We passed an old van and made a joke about how they should buy it. They did.... Mitch from The Grocery Boys was traveling with them to Seattle so he hopped in our van for the remainder of the ride. I convinced everyone to stop for ice cream and it was the best decision I've made all tour. Seriously. As we got closer to Seattle I forced Tony to listen to Nirvana and we talked about things you'd expect to hear from a bunch of guys traveling/living in a van for the last 8 days.
Our show was canceled in Richland, WA on Friday so we sent out a myspace bulletin and walaaa we had a place to crash in Seattle with our new friend Lee-Ann. We arrived around 7 and grabbed some beers and immediately started drinking. She had a comp. of over 500 90's songs so needless to say Joe and I were in heaven.... Tom Gabel said it best... "Sometimes the party takes you places that you didn’t really plan on going." Needless to say that happened and we ended up at a peep show. That was an experience. After that the highlight of my night came when Lee-Ann surprised us and took us to Kurt Cobain's old house. They ripped down the green house but everything else looked the same. Super creepy looking.... See along with The Clash, Nirvana got me into this crazy lifestyle and to be on the other side of the country staring at his house was an experience. Sounds lame but whatever. No one else was into it but they understood my excitement. We went back home and I passed out. End of story.
The next day we woke up and went to Rainfest in Tacoma, WA. Rainfest is a hardcore festival located about 40 minutes outside of Seattle. We had no idea what was going to happen since we are pretty far away from even being able to attempt to pass ourselves off as a hardcore band. Turns out everyone in the scene is super nice and really supportive of what we are trying to do as a band. We met some awesome people and I can honestly say I had a blast. Highlights of Saturday for me were definitely Ceremony and Cold World. They blew my mind. After the fest we took the drive back to Seattle and stayed with our new friend Chris who Broadway Calls hooked us up with. I knew we were gonna hit it off with Chris right when I called him about crashing. "you can only stay over if we prank Toby". Totally my kind of guy. Turned out to be an awesome night and we stayed up till 5 listening to Springsteen's live record (side 10 is clearly the best side) and every pop punk record ever made. Today is Sunday and I have no idea if anyone is going to like us or even watch us. That should be an experience.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
We’ve been out in the wilderness for a few days, so we’re going to filter out all of the posts we missed over the next few days, bear with us!
I can't quite figure out the right way to use the formatting on this blog interface, so you'll all just have to guess where paragraphs end and begin.
Man, talk about an experience. I guess that’s what I’m attempting to do. We’re still at the beginning of this trek, but the last few days were themselves a microcosm of self-realization. I’m not hotboxing your computer screen. It’s just that a few days in the woods of Wyoming can do a few things to your sense of self. A couple thousand miles, way too many cigarettes, a whole lot of mountains, and a class B Federal Misdemeanor later we’re back in civilization.
So Carly left us for Wisconsin on Sunday. Everyone should have a friend like Carly. You know, the kid that cuts through awkward silence with the wit and finesse of a creative word machete. The kid with the quirky, catchy observations that don’t reveal their true genius until you kick them around in your head for a bit.
The next fifteen hours were spent in the van. Iowa has cows and farms. A lot of cows and farms. The same goes for Indiana. South Dakota was full of….well….of nothing. I’m pretty sure we also drove through Minnesota. It’s all a blur of gas stations and rest stops where everyone talked like a cast member of Drop Dead Gorgeous or had a southern accent, or both. Everyone was absurdly polite though.
We arrived at Mt. Rushmore at like 3:00 AM and drove straight to the top only to find it was closed. A park ranger whom (go ahead and correct me I dare you) we assumed was a police officer ever so humbly followed us around then back down into the town, if you want to call it that. Our assumptions of the humble, submissive, environmental studies major total pushover federal park rangers were to get turned on their heads a few days later…
So we crashed in the van across from the holiday inn at the foot of the mountain. I had too much caffeine and wasn’t about to sleep sitting up so I read “ISHMAEL” on a park bench dressed all in black listening to Chopin (snob alert) on Eric’s ipod. I was concerned about looking like a total creeper all hood up and mangy hanging out at a picnic table at 4 o’clock in the morning in a town with a population of 311, but believe it or not 3 cars continually drove around acting way shadier than myself. Ishmael is an incredible, and thus far has shown to be strangely relevant to my current situation (Thanks Larson!).
I went to sleep for about an hour, then woke up and indulged at holiday inn’s cont. breakfast. Greg and I walked around the mini-town while everyone was sleeping.
Some dude who was more appropriately framed at a Larry the Cable Guy listening party than where we met him walked in on Greg and I in a public bathroom charging cell phones while Greg washed his hair in the sink and I was rolling a cigarette.
“You travelin’ boys?”
“I saw an Indian doing the same thing in the sink last week, and I walked out before he took his shirt off.”
“My Son plays in a band in Omaha, his band Go Motion plays with the Faint down there.”
“This is the greatest town in the world.”
“Don’t worry, them tight pants, nobody here will call ya a bum or a queer.”
He said a lot more, but I can’t really directly quote him and he rules.
We did the tourist shit, Joe conquered a mountain goat, and we saw the beginnings of the Crazy Horse monument and its going to rule when its done in 2050. Then it was off to Wyoming.
On our way to Yellowstone we took a route recommended by my friend Larson who claimed it was the most beautiful drive he’d seen in America. It was. It was breath taking and incredible. It took us all completely by surprise. It was part of route 16 in Wyoming.
It became apparent that we weren’t going to make it to Yellowstone, so we got a bit nervous. We grabbed some supplies in Cody, Wyoming and decided to try and find a campsite before dark.
We stopped at a bar/campsite and I got out to ask some local people where a cheap/free campsite may be where we could get rowdy. I love it how rednecks hear “any of you guys from around here?” then flock to you like seagulls on a hot dog bun. Turns out one of the overly southern accent-laden caricatures spent some time in D.C. and won a prize from the Bouncing Souls at a B.S./ Groovy Ghoulies show in 1993. Crazy. They also liked FEAR. Either way, they gave me directions to a rowdy friendly camp ground, then tried to get us to stay. “We gon’ shoot us some critters tonight, WOOOOOOT” He may have been putting on a show for the yanks from PA, but he may not have been. I hope not. There are few other things in the world I would rather be doing than shooting at ‘critters’ in a field with some drunken Wyoming boys.
We found the campsite. It was a half hour away from any city, no one was there, and there were at least a dozen grizzly warnings posted all over the place. We managed to get a bitchin’ fire going (thank you Troop 50, West Scranton, booya) and we cooked some burgs and drank some beer. The highlight of the night was when somebody thought they heard a noise then started a chain reaction of all of us running to the van in fear of being mauled to death by a large bear.
We got drunk and slept in the van. Greg and Joe stayed up and finished a flask talking about life and girls and it ruled to listen while trying to fall asleep.
I was thinking about how we hadn’t had cell phone reception in a while, and that no one that we knew had any idea where we were or where we were going. On top of that we were on the other side of the country viewing strange wildlife and landscapes left to the movies. It was heady to say the least.
We’ll talk about Yellowstone tomorrow, for now I need to take in Seattle…..
Sunday, May 17, 2009
5.14- Pittsburgh, PA/ Cleveland, OH
Thursday was our first day of tour and we left Philly around 2 for our trip to Pittsburgh. We had a nice "going away" party Wednesday night that got pretty rowdy and ended with broken lawn furniture and Metallica. Needless to say Dave and Jon got pretty rowdy. I miss them already....So we got to Pittsburgh around 6 and Eric, Joe, and I took a walk to probably the cheapest bar in the entire world. I got 10 perogies for $1.50 and beers for $1.00. Cant complain. The show was at our good buddy Franks house in the Polish Hill section of town. The crowd was great as it always is in Pittsburgh and I'm always overwhelmed with how nice everyone is there.
We played pretty good from what I remember and American Armada ruled as usual. After their set we said our goodbyes to them, Dan Rock (Lock and Key Collective), and the Incommunicado dudes and took off for Cleveland. We decided to break up the drive a bit and stay with our buddy Matt from The Sidekicks. If you've ever met Matt you'd know that he is hands down one of the nicest dudes on the planet and is totally cool with 6 dudes rolling in at 3:30 on a Thursday. Everyone at this point passed out while Matt and I stayed up till around 5am drinking awful beer and talking about music. The punx were clearly upped that night.
5.15 Chicago, IL
So I forgot to mention that my friend from Lake Ariel is working at a golf course all summer in Wisconsin and came out with us for the first 3 dates. I've been riding shotgun in his new $700 Ford Ranger and while I'm currently hundreds of miles away from home, there's something so familiar about sitting in the front seat and attempting to listen to every song The Mountain Goats ever recorded. Not to mention arguing about what kind of fish were in every lake we passed. See I've tought Carly a few things in my day about ranglin largemouths and tacklin rainbow trout in my time spent in Lake Ariel.... Anyways we left Cleveland fairly early and got to Chicago around 6. We met up with Toby and had a few beers at his girlfriends bar before heading over to our show at Ronnies. The show went really well and we had a great crowd despite it being our first time in Chicago. Also Brendan Kelly made it a point to get us wasted before, during, and after our set so we were all at a solid party level. After party ensued till the early morning and I somehow managed to get the futon. Sick. The next day Carly and I bought scalped Cubs tickets while everyone else went downtown to some art musems. The seats were incredible and of course we managed to sit right in front of the rowdy drunk bad dad who was ready to jump on the field when Kevin Gregg gave away 4 runs in the 9th. Cubs won and after we celebrated with the rest of Chicago.
After hanging out with Toby all day we took off for Rockford, IL with absolutely no clue what we would be getting into. Heres the deal..... Basically every show on this tour was easy to book except for Milwaukee. We had no contacts whatsoever so we met an awesome band who helped us get on this show in Rockford. We played at a bar called Marys Place for a girls birthday. Half of the bar were old regulars and the rest could care less about us. We opened up with "Sunday Morning" and I couldnt stop laughing during the set about how completely unpredictable touring can be. During the song an old drunk mexican was dancing in circles while spinning his cowboy hat. He later tried to get us to cover "La Bamba" and play his daughters birthday party the next time we're in Rockford. You got it buddy. After the show we found a cheap motel and got some much needed sleep.
I'm sitting in the motel watching the most disgusting/amazing show ever: Daisey of Love. We've got 5 days to make it to Spokane, WA and 20 hrs till Yellowstone National Park. I'm pretty sure we'll be camping in South Dakota tonight which should be a trip. Eric just got punxed hard by thinking we needed to check out of the motel. Silly Eric, my computer never switched time zones. Thats all I got today.
Monday, May 11, 2009
5.15- Chicago, IL
5.16- Rockford, IL
5.21- Spokane, WA
5.22- Richland, WA
5.23- Tacoma, WA
5.24- Tacoma, WA
5.25- Olympia, WA
5.26- Portland, OR
5.27- Eugene, OR
5.28- Redding, CA
5.29- Reno, NV
5.30- Berkeley, CA
5.31- Watsonville, CA
6.2- Fresno, CA
6.3- Hollywood, CA
6.4- Riverside, CA
6.5- Las Vegas, NV
6.6- Phoenix, AZ
6.7- Flagstaff, AZ
6.8- Albuquerque, NM
6.9- Denver, CO
6.11- Austin, TX
6.12- Houston, TX
6.13- Houma, LA
6.14- Tallahassee, FL
6.15- Atlanta, GA
6.16- Knoxville, TN
6.17- Johnson City, TN
6.18- Wilmington, NC
6.19- Richmond, VA
6.20- Wilkes Barre, PA
6.21- Philadelphia, PA
This is our longest tour ever. Tom and I made a pact that we wouldn't shave till we got back to Philly. You can see in exhibit A that Tom's tour beard gets pretty gnarly. We'll see what happens. We leave for tour this Thursday and while we've been planning for this since February, all of us have waited till last minute to do everything. Tony is currently in New York City selling comedy tickets in Times Square to make rent for the month. He used to work at a cool little Indian restaurant but a new boss came around and completely screwed him over. Needless to say Tony told him off and is now in this position. Tom and Eric brought their amps to a repair shop last week and the guy said he'll "try" to get everything fixed before we leave. Great answer.. I found out last week that my car needs a shit ton of work done and Larry the transmission guy said he'll "try" and get it fixed before we leave. Another great answer... This happens before every tour and somehow everything always works out.
Now none of us have ever been to the west coast before so I'm assuming we're all gonna be snobby tourists and take pictures of buildings that have absolutely no significance. Oh America.. Heres what I'm beyond excited for (besides the obvious of playing the shows) on this tour in no particular order:
1. Yellowstone National Park- Erics parents let us borrow a 12 person tent so we'll be camping for a few days before we meet up with Broadway Calls. I got a new pocketknife and got my sights on a grizzly.
2. Chicago- Never been there before but heard great things. Plus my best friend is driving from Lake Ariel, PA to Wisconsin for a summer internship so I'll be riding shotgun in his truck for that part of the trip. Also we get to hang out with Toby from Red Scare who we only drunkenly met at Fest 7 last year and somehow ended up on his label. Figure that one out...
3. Driving through the desert- It better be like the movies.
4. Las Vegas- We're playing 2 shows here (all ages and a 21+) and I convinced everyone to take the money from one of the shows and blow it all on red. Plus the promoter from the 21+ show is giving us free booze and hotel rooms so we'll see where that night takes us.
5. 924 Gliman- I dont think I have to explain this one.
6. Talahassee, FL- Our buddy PRS is driving up with Spanish Gamble from Ganiesville for this show. PRS's nickname means Punk Rock Steve and if you've ever met him you'd understand why hes aquired that nickname.
7. Richmond, VA- We've played Richmond more times then I can remember but every time we roll through its great. Chris and (soon to be!) Lisa Moran are without a doubt 2 of the greatest people we've had the pleasure to meet while doing this crazy band thing and its really awesome at how close of friends we've all become over the years.
8. Hollywood, CA- Our buddy Scott from Philly moved out there last year to further his film career. Hes definitely the best person to show us a night on the town.
9. Portland, OR- a group of our friends from Scranton just bought a mini-bus and are driving across the country to move to Portland. Unforunately we'll be there a week too early but they're putting us in good hands. Plus our good friends Colin and Nicole live there so it'll be a great to see them again.
10. Eating chocolately foods all the time.
I've run out of ideas but I'm more than stoked on everything. We're gonna try to keep this blog going while we're on tour to the best of our ability. See you soon!