Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wags' 2005 Tour Diary: Deluxe Expanded Reissue Vol. VII

Outside Las Cruces, NM
What a weekle! Where to start? New Orleans is tremendous fun but very dangerous for someone like me. I knew there was a reason I live in a city with no 24 hour bars. We rolled in about 10:00 Sunday night intending to wander around and visit some bars all night, and then get a motel room the next afternoon. The first bar we stepped into, THE ABBEY, was just like home. Just a total dive w/a great jukebox.* J and I were in heaven. We pretty much stayed all night while Liz slept in the van. Our bartender Gillian was a badass. Way out of control. As the sun came up, about 2 hours after we became officially stupid, I overheard the dude on my right talkin' to his friend: "Man, those are some heavy glasses". His friend said: "Well, I have mass." I decided to interrupt. (Backstory: for a couple of years in the late '90s I was in a band in Cols. with my friends LOU POSTER and BETH SHAFFER.** POST went on to form GRAFTON with another bandmate of mine. Stealer! Anyway, our band was named I HAVE MASS.) I don't know why I felt compelled to interrupt - after all, it was such a random comment; it could've meant anything - but I was pretty curious. Long story short, this "friend" is named LLOYD MILLER and he's a Cols. expat with whom we have several mutual enemies and friends and he was indeed referring to my old band and do you guys need a place to stay or at least a run-on sentence? Is this a crazy world or what?

Lloyd is a stand-up guy. If you see him give him a kiss on the cheek. Or if you are a germophobe, give him your ATM card. He deserves it.

Road rule #48: If you leave New Orleans early in a Tuesday morning, don't leave your video camera at Lloyd's house. You will regret it as soon as you realize what you've done. And by "you", I mean "Justin".

Yeah, NOLA is pretty much a tourist trap, no 2 ways about it. But the people there (at the bar, where we were) were friendly. "Where we were" - that's an interesting phrase. Same letters over and over, with no hard consonants. Dig on that, Jack.

Texas is big. I mean, you see that junk on a map, you be like "Damn shit is big!" But you just don't know until you get there. That fucker is HUGE. And it's true. Everything IS bigger in Texas, except me.

When we got to Dallas, we slowly realized that "oh yeah, we're a band on tour!" It seemed like a year ago back in Florida. Here's some fun trivia for the kids: How many people came to see Earwig in Dallas? How many people even came into the bar for a beverage? If you said "more than zero" you need to back up, buddy. Dallas fuckin' sucks. Didn't make a dime. Hell, I feel bad for the bartender, door guy, sound guy for wasting their time. Maybe if there had been a local band on the bill? I mean, I'm no expert. Why didn't we play Austin instead? Yup - you guessed it. Jerks. Tex-Ass.

The weather has been remarkably kind to us so far considering our AC lasted FOR ONE DAY. We've been lucky with the temps. I'll talk about New Mexico*** after I catch a little napsky and kill my pen for being SO SHITTY.

P.S. That thing I said about the weather? Too soon. Arizona has changed all that.

*I probably played "Metal Guru" 15 times that night.

**Beth is now known as Eli and he lives in New York City. We are friends on myspace.

***You'll notice that I won't.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wags' 2005 Tour Diary: Deluxe Expanded Reissue Vol. VI

Earwigay Ourtay Iaryday
Ever been to St. Augustine, Fla? No? Let me save you the trubba. Ever seen the RIGHT side of the tracks? St. Augustine hasn't. I ain't tryin' to complain, I'm just serving you some facts. That town is no good. Even Jeff Foxworthy would make fun of it. And he's a giant poop-anus. We played last night at the Fusion Grill and Bar. Sound guy was a big Ding Dong Lik-M-Aid. He kept telling Liz to turn down, and when we were done he blasted "Master of Puppets" at ear-splitting levels over the PA as if to say "You should've played real quiet-like because I'M AN ASSHOLE!" There was a lady there, Dina, who really wanted to party with us and I guess we really disappointed her 'cause we had to leave right after our set to drive 3 hours to Tampa. She was acting weird, like maybe she had just gotten into a fight with her husband or something -- real desperate. But sweet. She bought a couple of CD's, so she is worthy of note.

Some people refer to Tampa as "the city by the bay". Does Journey know about this? We are staying at Justin's dad's house. It is my first time meeting him and he's a pretty nice guy (heck, he's J's dad. Ya gotta be an ax-murderer not to raise someone as nice as Justin). Liz and Jr. are going over the atlas and it is dawning on us that we're royally fucked. The distances between the places we are playing are too far to reach in the time we have between gigs. This is a big ol' trainwreck. I would like to meet the person who booked this tour so I could hit this person with a pie. No, a brick. We drive a million miles on no sleep only to play at some podunk-shitstick-"y'all ain't on the bill"-sub-pizza-hut-outhouse-in-the-middle-of-nowhere. And maybe we'll get $20. Like I said, I ain't complaining. I'm just here for the beauty of the ride.

Lizard is obsessed with seeing Alligators while we're here, but all I've seen so far are tiny Lizards, ironically enough. Tomorrow we practice.

More later, honey. -> Me.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Wags' 2005 Tour Diary: Deluxe Expanded Reissue Vol. V


7/28/05 Between Charlotte and Florida
There is an island off the coast of Virginia named Assawoman. Modest Town is next to it. There is a Dairy Queen in Bland, Va. that totally lives up to its name. There is a band called Drunk Horse that will rattle your testes loose, serve them to you and there will be no second helping but you will want more. Turns out the Melvins/Skynyrd comparison is right on. Their leadey singey guy, Eli, looks a lot like our friend Will Foster. They are good.

Road rule #47: Don't charge your cellular telephone at the club. You WILL forget it. And by "you", I mean "me". This pen is not good for left-handers. Smeary. I will see my phone in ALBBQ,NM when I see our friend Karl.

The last two nights we stayed with our friends Ryan and Brianna and last night we played with Ryan's band, Tonka Kong. They have a song called "The Human Robot". R + B are wonderful people and terrific hosts. I am so exponentially tired after last night's marathon of southern hospitality. It's all a kind of family thing down here, and most people are really eager to please. ------> Fun, Fun, Fun.

We are listening to a christian country radio station. Suddenly, life doesn't seem bad at all. Hey, southern radio sucks, but guess what? We got air conditioning, so feck it.

Somewhere there is a photo of Liz and I sleeping angelic-like in the same bed. Somewhere there are lots of photos. It is so hot down here. It's like the cover of Bebe Le Strange (<-another weblink perhaps?). We may stop at Bojangles' Chicken while we're out here.* I have made some new friends, including the Duchess of York.** She is nice. I look forward to some delicious sweet tee. And a nice nap.
Meet you on the other side-
Open up my mind, I'm Matt

*We didn't.

**Not the actual Duchess of York.