The First Week Is Done
I’m writing this to you from a very low budget, yet bed bug free motel room in the town of Sweetwater, TX. A small town where we obviously stick out a little bit. We got some stares and such when we grabbed a bite at a cool little BBQ joint near the motel. Nothing we haven’t dealt with before. Touring at this level and in these smaller markets you make long drives and often find yourself in the middle of NOWHERE! We had a day off on our way from Albuquerque, NM where we just played a bomb ass show at Low Spirits, to Austin, TX. A long 12+ hour drive filled with State Routes and and long desolate country roads. We’ve driving among the nothing for so long and so much that at this point we’re just quiet. A serine silence in the van. We’re focusing on the night’s performance, projecting continued positive outlooks on our live choices to go the nomad musician route. There is a joy in the silence. Every so often during these tedious drives we’ll look over and one another and just say, “Hey, I love you..” I couldn’t tell you why. Enjoying the moment I guess. We feel the most at home in this 1996 Ford Windstar with the broken driver side window and the engine that makes a weird whistling sound. Playing on stage, expelling demons, and exposing our most precious feelings is what we LIVE to do.
This tour has been going alright. We started off in Oakland at the Uptown. A late add to a show with a cool Manson/AFI esque band called, Sorrow Church. Good performance and a great light show! Got to see some family and old friends, it was fun, and the Uptown is a dope venue. We had some time off and we did a little job to make a little money cause, when you’re traveling across the country in a used vehicle, you might want some “just in case shit happens” money. We then drove down to the Central Coast to stop off and say hi to our great friends that let us live with them so we could continue our musical dream last year. It broke up the drive down to Anaheim, CA where we were to perform at the Doll Hut. The Doll Hut is very welcoming to us, and they treat us well, but California in general is a HELLA hard place to make money. It was a great show. We had a bunch of friends come out and even one of the other band remember us from when we played there a few years ago. If you’re ever in Anaheim (that’s where Disneyland is) go check out the Doll Hut. It’s like CBGB’s but for the West Coast.
Then were off to San Diego to play Lestat’s with another Bay Area duo, Sit Kitty Sit. Super cool people , super cool band. The one local that was on the bill dropped off last minute, so the place wasn’t packed, but again, we had some old friends come out and support, and we got a bit of walk in traffic. All in all, I wish we could’ve had a local and really filled that room up. It had great lights, and sound, we will be coming back…
Then we made the long ass drive to Tucson, AZ. I got Tucson confused with Yuma, AZ and I thought it was A LOT closer than it actually was. We stopped for a time in El Centro, CA to grab a bite at the local mall where we met some dudes at the Verizon booth. Usually those people ignore us, but these dudes knew we weren’t from around there and took some time to talk to us. Not only did we find out we can keep our unlimited plan in an upgrade, we got some hook up on shows in Mexico. They dug the music, and we also talked about how Mexicans are treated in El Centro and they’re take on illegal immigration. I wish I was recording the conversation. The last US run I would ask people in smaller cities what it was like to live there, and the conversation always went into a racial discussion. I started to record it, and at some point we’ll start piecing it together, but there were some real interesting things these kids had to say about race relations in their areas.
The Tucson show was bad ass. A good turn out, a great line up, sound was awesome, Plush where we played was a great venue. We loved it. We WILL BE BACK. We met a dude the night of the show that offered us a place to sleep and a shower. He said he had roommates, so we kinda expected the place to be a mess. We’ve been in some horribly messy punk houses on our travels so we stay ready armed with industrial strength disinfectant, etc. The house was clean and they were all musicians. A Tucson band called Rotary Speed Dial. A jazzy soul outfit they told us they were gonna “jam” in the morning. We didn’t know what to expect. We woke up, and actually played some LFADM tunes with a full band. Someone there recorded some of it on a camera phone, we’re still waiting to see what it sounded like, cause it HELLA FUN. After a bit of “jamming” they made us breakfast and we head on to Scottsdale, AZ.
Our 3rd time at a place called the Rogue Bar in Scottsdale, AZ. A Sunday night, but we had people come out to see us. We got there early, cause we are ALWAYS at the venue hella early. As I was walking in, I guess the people in the bar were trying to kick out a drunk guy. It was early, like 5:30pm. Waaaay too early to be that drunk. They were fighting in the doorway, but it wasn’t getting to physical. Just a lot of macho posturing. I said excuse me and walked right through it. I walked to the bar that was directly in front of me to let the bartender know we were there, and to see if we could at least load our stuff in. As I start talking to her the man getting kicked out yells out, “NIGGER…”
I was shocked, cause I didn’t say shit to the dude, and had nothing to do with his getting kicked out. As soon as the dude said the entire bar looked at me, but I know his “NIGGER” wasn’t directed at me. It was directed at the Latin man that had just thrown his bike out the door and told him to “fuck off”. I turned around to tell the guy easy on the Nword, but he looked away. I think he felt bad? Anyway, the bar was really apologetic, (It’s Arizona, they don’t have the best reputation with Brown people). Later that night a homeless drifter looking guy came up to me to apologize on behalf of the guy that yelled out the Nword, and that it wasn’t directed towards me and and he didn’t want me to feel bad. Other people came to later that night and told me that I guess that guy calls everyone Nigger. It’s his thing. This was just the first night an actual “Nigger” was in the place. The Nword incident aside, the show went great, and we were asked back.
Albuquerque, NM was next. A place called Low Spirits. A real cool little venue, a spot I could imagine in downtown Oakland or the Mission in SF. We played with some real cool bands, experimental and some new wave. We met this girl a year ago in South Dakota who made the move down to New Mexico, and saw us on Bandisintown that we were going to be in Albuquerque. She hit us up on Facebook and told us we could crash with her and her roommate. Awesome. Just freaking awesome. She made us breakfast when we got in the morning, it was rad. Now we can add another city that is a little bit of “home”. To say we appreciate the hospitality would be a bit of an understatement. Thank you so much for opening up your home to us.