Hi. It's Atom. I'm going on a huge U.S. tour for the entire fall of 1999. I thought it'd be neat since I got this laptop computer, to send in tour diary entries while I'm on the road, as things happen. So, if for some reason, you want to know what I'm up to, or if you saw me play in your town recently and want to know what I thought, read on. Hopefully I'll update this on a regular basis. We'll see. Have a good fall. --Atom.
Tuesday September 21st
Tuesday September 21st
Wednesday September 22nd
I got to the club Speak In Tongues a couple of hours early to hang out with Danny and Jake, who live at the place, and I had met and hung out with on previous trips. We ordered pizza and talked for a while. The show was supposed to be me, A Party of Helicopters, and two metal bands, but the two metal bands thought they were playing the night before, so it was just the two of us. A fellow named Beckett (of Beckett and Friends) did drunk-improv rap with a friend over an unchanging beat provided by the package. It was very long and involved saying bad words a lot. Someone called the Speak In Tongues after the show, and explained that she had bought a CD from me, and she took it home, and it was blank. There was nothing on it. Much panic while I found a different CD to make sure that all of the CDs that I brought on tour were not blank. They're not. Well, at least the one I played wasn't. A Party of Helicopters was loud. I haven't gotten sick yet, so perhaps those alcohol swabs that I invested in, to clean the microphone things are actually a good idea. I am going to try and wash my hands compusively, as I still don't really understand how this can be a bad thing.
Thursday September 23rd
I arrived at the IO Coffeehouse very early in the afternoon, about 5 hours before the show was scheduled to begin in typical fashion for me. The guy Carl, who ran the place was really nice, and let me hang out in the back, and read the Wilt Chamberlin autobiography that I found. Apparently, Wilt worked at the resort in the Catskills that me and my family vacation at every year. Very exciting. I walked a few blocks to get food at a recommended place called the Mediterranian Cafe. I ordered some Indian food, and overheard the guy at the cashier taking an order over the phone for chili fries and a hot dog. Usually, it is not a good sign that a restuarant sells chili fries and indian food. But somehow I evaded the diarrhea that I was sure would follow from the food. The diarrhea-less show was shared with Capture the Flag, who were quite good and rockin'. I stayed with the fellows from Capture the Flag in Ypsilanti, and watched the movie Go! with them and went to bed. Goodnight.
Friday September 24th
East Lansing, MI
I hung around for most of the day in Ypsilanti with the Capture the Flag guys. We went out for falafel and went to a really great used CD & Record store named Encore. I bought the Pixies' Surfer Rosa, and Dr. Octagon's CD used. Yay. We were both playing later that night at the Chickenshack, a house in E. Lansing. I had played the Chickenshack last year on tour. It was nice to see everyone from the house again. During the show, someone in the audience asked me, "Is this live?". I asked him to clarify what he meant. He repeated the same question, so I admitted that there actually were not little people in the Package playing all of those hundreds of instruments live. After the show, I whined until people gave in and took me back to an amazing burrito place that they had taken me to last year when I played in E. Lansing. At the burrito fest, I got a call on my fancy cell phone (give me a break, I'm driving around the country by myself) and everyone hated me because of it. After the burritofest, we went to a party in honor of someone named Holly's birthday. The house had a Skate or Die arcade game in the front hallway. An excruciating, unending game of Uno was played. No one won after like 45 minutes, so we decided to self immolate. We're okay now though. I met Scott and Mike from Small Brown Bike and Mike hugged me good night. We love each other. Then, sleep. Oh, I also met the guy Mike Warren(?) from Conquer the World records who flaked out on a show for my old band Fracture and friends Franklin a number of years ago, which left us in a horrible area in Detroit with nothing to do except sit on the piss soaked steps on the church across the street. I am still pissed and plan to force him to play Uno at some point as this will surely wound him.
Satruday September 25th
Grand Rapids, MI
The word "grand" in all of Michigan is abbreviated "Gd". Beware. A sign for Gd Avenue means "Grand Avenue", not God Avenue or anything like that. I of course got to the show many hours early and sat outside and read Heartattack. Wilt Chamberlin's autobiography is a little more entertaining, but I had already read it. The show was great. It was my brother Seth's birthday, so I tried to call him during the show on my fancy cell phone and play Happy Birthday General for him over the phone, but he wasn't home. Afterwards I went back to Yann, Mary Jo and David's house where we ordered pizza. Luckily, even though almost every male person in Grand Rapids has facial hair, none got on my pizza, so I was happy. We played Trivial Pursuit, and me and David got crushed by the almighty brains of Kevin and Jeff. Godamnit. Oh, Mary Jo made a fretless bass from scratch... not from parts of a bass, but from a fucking slab of oak. Amazing.
Sunday September 26th
Right now, I am sitting at Earlham University in Richmond, Indiana. I am almost 5 hours early for the show, not helped by Indiana's weird status of not implementing daylight saving time. I drove around a lot because I got lost, but I didn't ask anyone, not because I'm stubborn or manly or anything like that, but because at that point I was 6 hours early for the show, so I figured I would drive around and find Earlham College myself to kill some time. I started in the center of Richmond, Indiana and drove in increasingly larger concentric circles. Fun. Show was fun.
Monday September 27th
I got into Normal, IL early, of course. I went to a couple of record stores, and a used bookstore, and sat in a coffee shop for a while. At the show, this guy Josh, who set up a show for my old band Fracture in Olney, IL many many years ago came to the show. Nothing too exciting to report today. Tomorrow I go to St. Louis and will scale the arch. That will be exciting to tell you about.
Tuesday September 28th
St. Louis, MO
I woke up and went to lunch with nice people John and Becca (John did the show in Normal, IL the previous evening). We went to their school cafeteria and I avoided fruit very skillfully. I drove through lots of huge storms at 20 mph on the way to St. Louis, but still managed to be several hours early for the show at the Creepy Crawl club. The show was fun, with the highlight being gaining a Tom Jones LP with a Destroy patch taped onto the cover so it looks like "Tom Jones The Destroy LP" from a friendly punk woman, who yelled at me a lot while I was playing. I think she was being friendly, but may have been just making fun of me. I won't be adding to this for the next couple of days as I'm taking a few days off to hang out with relatives in the Chicago area. Bye. I'll write soon. Atom.
Friday October 1st
A fun show at the Fireside Bowl. The Tom Jones "Destroy" LP was given away as the "No Head" winning prize. I am in the Chicago area until Tuesday hanging out with relatives. It's nice, and I got new sneakers, but midwestern weirdos call sneakers "gym shoes" here.
Tuesday October 5th
Today was quite a hectic day. I had been spending the last couple of days with ladyfriend Jenn, in Chicago, who had flown in from Philadelphia, and we had been hanging out with relatives. Today, I dropped her off at Chicago's O'Hare Airport, and then went straight to pick up my good friend Martha who will be accompanying me on the tour from now until Portland, OR, at Chicago's Midway airport. I would not suggest flying into Midway airport on 1/1/2000. I had never heard of any of the airlines that fly into Midway, and noticed the general disarray that the airport seems to be in. Eventually Martha and myself arrived in Milwaukee. The show was at the Bremen Street house, and was really fun, even though Martha made me listen to a Live song that was on the radio on the way to Milwaukee. Vomit. I made Martha listen to Deadbolt, so we're even. Tomorrow, our goal is to find fresh cheese curd so it squeaks when you bite it. However, we'll probably end up just going to see some shitty movie.
Wednesday October 6th
Martha and I left Milwaukee and got into Madison incredibly early. We stopped at a cheese store and bought what was said to be fresh cheese curds, but they didn't squeak when you bite into them as promised. Somehow Martha convinced me that it would be a good idea to see Adam Sandler's Big Daddy at the budget movie theatre for $1.75. It was horrible, as expected, but we were the only people in the movie theatre so we were loud and it was fun anyway. We walked around State St. and I met the woman, whose father owns Midas. The show was okay even though the p.a. kind of sounded like the "crap knob" was turned up to about 5 or 6. We got to hang out with my mom's best friend from high school Betsy and she's a cool lady... so word. We're off to find squeaky cheese. It's pretty strange though... everyone in Wisconsin knows what we're talking about when we ask for squeaky cheese, but no one can tell us where to get it. Very strange.
Thursday October 7th
Eau Claire, WI
Martha and I left Madison and stopped at our second cheese shop to buy another bag of cheese curd that "squeaks" when you bite into it. To our dismay, the first couple of bites did not "squeak". We then deluded ourselves and thought our cheese squeaked, but in real life it did not. We arrived in Eau Claire early, of course, and stopped in the local co-op, and then sat by a river for a while and wrote postcards to friends at home. I sent a postcard to my dad with naked butts on it to give may brother and sister a chance to catch up to me as the favorite child. The show was at a cool zine library/community space type thing. As with all thinkgs punk rock, the show started way late and I didn't play until after midnight. Many drunk people (not drunk punks, but local bar drunk people) wandered in, and one, about 30, named Sonny convinced me to let him dance behind me as I played. I was amazed at his stamina, as he danced for most of the set, but had to be asked to leave when he fell on the p.a. head, and unplugged the package. He was a good natured drunk guy, so it was okay. A nice fellow told Martha and I that the cheese curds had to be room temperature when you ate them. Aha! After the show, Martha and I stayed with a couple of nice college kids who had the ultimate bachelor pad. They had every video game imaginable, 18 sofas, and even a portible pizza oven. They also had a toilet that smelled really disgusting, but only when you peed in it, and disrupted whatever nastiness was laying in the bottom of th stuff.
Friday October 8th
Keeping in mind the advice the fellow had told us about the cheese curds having to be room temperature to "squeak" correctly, when being eaten, Martha and I ventured to buy yet another bag of fresh Wisconsin cheese curds. We put the bag of cheese on the dashboard in the sun, and turned on the defroster to get the cheese to room temperature. No squeaks. I am convinced that the squeaky cheese is a ploy to get stupid non-Wisconsin people to buy cheese. Very evil, Wisconsinites. You win this time. We got into Duluth early and kicked around a bball outside the community center where the show was to be. Kids sat behind a wall and yelled for us to get off of the field that we were kicking the ball around on or they'd kick our asses. Marth and I pretended the voices came from Jesus, and I yelled to the sky, "Jesus, why are you being so mean to me?" It sucked because we were about to quit kicking the ball around because we were bored when the kids yelled at us to stop, so we had to continue much longer than we wanted to just so the prick kids didn't win. The show was great, and we went back to nice guy Ryan's house and ordered pizza with lots of kids from the show.
Saturday October 9th
Got woken up by boats honking their horns, or tooting their horns, or whatever the hell you call it. We drove down to Minneapolis to play with the Mr. T. Experience. The show was kinda funny, with kids moshing to me and the package... very strange. The singer/guitar player from the Mr. T. Experience calls himself Dr. Frank in the records. He introduced himself to me as "Dr. Frank". "Hi, I'm Dr. Frank." Do his friends call him Dr. Frank? The Mr. T Experience amaze me with their stamina. They've been playing the same stuff for so godamn long. Amazing. After the show, we went back to my friend Bryan's house and made frozen pizza. Yum.
Sunday October 10th
Sioux Falls, SD
On the ride to Sioux Falls, Martha and I stopped to take our pictures in front of an exit sign from the freeway that had an arrow on it directing us to the town of Gaylord. The arrow is pointing at us. We are Gaylords. I played in a basement this evening at some really nice peoples' house, who kicked my ass in Playstation football. The small problem with the house was that everytime someone flushed the toilet in the house, a drain in the basement would bubble up with non smelly, but toilet paper filled water. So, by the time I played, there was a moat in the middle of the basement, so I played standing still on the side of the moat with people and looked stupid. I have a cold too, and I am going to go take a dose of Nyquil and act stupid and then sleep. See you tomorrow.
Monday October 11th
Des Moines, IA
I still have a cold so this will be short. I slept in a hallway last night. I played in Des Moines tonight. The show was good, even if I was made to feel guilty by a friendly, but whining guy named Servo. After the show, we went to a nice place and ate food and played Mr. Do. Now, I'm at nice guy Matt's appartment. His roommate Jay just said something about lesbians just needing a good dick. Lovely (sarcasm). Everyone else has been super nice, non-idiotic and cool here though.
Tuesday October 12th
The show was at The Ranch, which is a house full of really awesome people who put shows on in their basement. Before the show, Casey, who lives at the ranch got me and his housemates free pizza from the shop he works at. I made a jackass out of myself during dinner by receiving a phone call on my cellular phone (I'm allowed to have one. I have several good reasons, so there) from my friend Brian, and proceeded to drown out everyone else speaking, because I talk REALLY loud on when I'm on the phone for some reason. When I got off the phone, no one was left in the room. I am loud prick. The show was fun, and I'm beginning to feel better, so stuff is good. I didn't almost get beat up like the last time I played a show here, so that's good too.
Wednesday October 13th
Today, we woke up and ate lunch at the local Indian buffet lunch in Columbia, MO with David and Scott from the ranch. I traded some of my records for some new and used records that I thought I would want, but actually don't at the local cool record store. Martha seems to have caught my cold, which sucks. I played a show at my friend Vince's house tonight in Lawrence, and had a good time. People dressed up in scary costumes, and I got to wear this huge plaster squirrel mask while I rapped Meatball tonight. Tomorrow, we drive to Denver which is only like 600 miles from here (I know I know... it's not the metric system), so I will have a chance to listen to the new CDs I got that I probably won't like. Everyone in Lawrence is sweet.
Thursday October 14th
Martha and I awoke at 7am, and drove the 10 hour drive to Denver. The place in Kansas that advertised having an 4 ton prairie dog was closed. Liars. The show in Denver was in a cool punk record store called Double Entendre. There was traffic coming into Denver, because the police shut off a lot of the streets downtown because a man had strapped dynamite to his chest and climbed some sort of monument. The show was fun, even though I inadvertantly spit a lugi (is this how you spell lugi? I don't think I've ever written that word before) (I'm still getting over my cold) on myself. Tomorrow, I have the day off because apparently some band in Laramie, WY hates me so much that they got my show cancelled. I am not even kidding. You'd think that if they hated me or thought I suck, that they'd just come to the show and fuck with me or or just ignore the fact that I was playing a show in their town. Apparently not. Well, sorry if you had planned to go to that show. Actually, a day off doesn't sound so bad right now. I can recover from my cold, and get a good night sleep.
Saturday October 16th
Salt Lake City, UT
Check this out. If you read the above entry, you learned that my show in Laramie, WY was cancelled due to some band there hating me so much that they got the show cancelled. Tonight I was supposed to play with Goober Patrol and Pinhead Circus in Salt Lake City, but they cancelled because they were coming from the Laramie, WY and they got snowed in. Martha and I, since we had a day off, took a more direct route from Denver to Salt Lake City, so we beat the snow. So, actually the band that got my show cancelled in Laramie, WY saved me from getting snowed in. I love it. We arrived in town early after spending the night halfway in between Denver and Salt Lake City in Grand Junction, CO. We saw Fight Club, which wasn't horrible, but was not, by any means, good and was really long. We met up with Gavin, who was doing the show in Salt Lake City, and he showed us around the Mormon sights of Salt Lake City and took us to a restaurant where each table has a phone, and you phone in your orders, and then the employees call you back when it's done and you pick up your food from the counter. The show was fun. Booga.
Sunday October 17th
Twin Falls, ID
We slept in and went out to breakfast with Charise and Dominick, the people we stayed with and Gavin, the fellow who set up the Salt Lake City show. All three, very nice people. Martha and I left the Mormon city, and headed up to Twin Falls, ID, where we ate at a crappy Mexican place that sold Corn Dogs, along side of Bean Burritos, and french fries. I should have known. My bowels were instantly destroyed. The show was in the basement of Donna and Blair's house. Midway through the second band, the cops came and told us to shut up. Donna and Blair figured that I was quiet enough to play a short set, so I did and no cops came. So, now it's after the show, and we're just sitting around. My bowels are apparently intact again. Word.
Monday October 18th
Martha and I woke up and drove to see the huge waterfalls outside of Twin Falls. We then visited a huge gorge and threw a gross, old banana (all fruit is disgusting) into the 400 foot canyon. We then drove to Boise, and arrived really early so we decided to go see Three Kings. A few (no longer) reliable friends, including my Harvard alumni sister, had recommended it, but it sucked. It was worse than Fight Club, which, as I said, was not horrible, but was not good, and really long. The show was at a house in Boise, where my friend Bug used to live. The house was not as clean as when the house was ruled under Bug's fist, but I had a good time hanging out with Jasmin, and Brian, and the Yankees won.
Tuesday October 19th
On our way out of Boise, two guys who lived at the house where the show was, showed us where a cheese factory was, and we decided to give it one more try, and I'm glad that they did, because they had SQUEAKY CHEESE!. Martha and I ate tons of the samples, and bought a bunch of it and squeaked the cheese in our mouths for a good hour of our drive. Yum. We got to Spokane, WA really early and searched for an hour and a half for a good restaurant, but couldn't find one, so we settled on a shitty Chinese food restaurant. We were less pissed at ourselves, when we met up with some people at the show who claimed that there actually aren't ANY good restaurants in Spokane. The show was at a nice guy named Stewart's house who I had met before on previous trips. The first thing he said about the show was, "I don't like to flier for my shows." This isn't the best thing that you could possibly hear while you're on tour, 3,000 miles from home, but people turned out anyway, and I understand that it was a house show, and he didn't want to attract police attention. Note: this is the second house in an as many days that we've slept in that has no heat.
Wednesday October 20th
Martha and I woke up at 6am, after actually being woken up at 3am, and 4am by different people knocking on the door visiting Stewart in Spokane, to get to Bellingham as early as possible because my friend Chris and Amy, originally from Philadelphia moved out to Bellingham. Chris and Amy have two babies, Connor and Finn, and 5,000 pets, so we got to hang out with everyone for a while. It was of course wonderful to see them, as Chris is one of my closest friends. The show was at Western Washington University and I hung out with cool dudes and dudette from Vancouver, cool guy Frankie and Chris. Fun. After the show, we hung out at Chris and Amy's house and went to sleep.
Thursday October 21st
We hung out with Chris, Amy and the babies all day and drove to Olympia, WA where we had Indian food, that I am still burping up. We got harrassed by two Dungeons and Dragons type dorks who wanted us to get Tarot cards done by them. Martha impaled them on their cardboard tube swords. The show was in an art gallery space and with a cool, fun band called Witchypoo. I am cranky because my Roseburg, OR show on Sunday just got cancelled. Great. Martha and I will sneak into the Omega Code and laugh at its movie-ish ass.
Friday October 22nd
In the afternoon, I played at the Sub Pop record store, which is kind of barely a record store. It carries lots of the Sub Pop releases and some K Records stuff, but that's about it. Apparently, they make most of their money from tourists coming in and buying Sub Pop shirts with Nirvana on them, and their lack of too many records or anything else would make the name "The Sub Pop Megamart" a little bit misleading. Anyway, that show was a little weird, but it was nice walking around the market area, and Martha and I had some great clam chowder. I played an evening show at an amazing place called the Old Redmond Firehouse, which is about 20 minutes outside of Seattle. It is, as the name implies, an old firehouse that has been converted into a teen center. The space is awesome, the people who run it are really great and friendly, and apparently, it's one of the last places in the Seattle area that does all ages shows. The show was great. 8 Bits did rock versions of video game songs, and they were great, and a band tentatively called Surrender Dorothy played really nice, catchy pop songs and were great too. The show was probably the best of the tour so far. After the show, Martha and I went out for dinner with my friends Ean and Rebecca to Denny's. Apparently at this Denny's, you can order beer and cocktails. Is this normal for Washington? For the rest of the country outside of Pennsylvania? Weird. A really good day.
Saturday October 23rd
The show was at kind of a warehouse space that was a few floors above a big rock club where L7 was playing. Our show featured five one-person solo acts. One of the acts, The Thrones, consisted of Melvins bass player Joe Preston. At some point in the evening, I went to throw something out in the kitchen and walked behind Joe. He said, "Oh, sorry." I said, "For what?" Joe replied, "Because you just walked through my nasty fart." Yum. Everyone was really nice, and people stayed around to the very end. We have today off so we're going to drive to Crater Lake National Park. Martha's last day with travelling with me will be on tuesday, and I'm not looking forward to that, as she's been great company and we've had a lot of fun and laughed a whole lot. Word.
Sunday October 24th
My show got cancelled for today, so Martha and I drove pretty far to see the Crater Lake National Park. It was pretty impressive, but after 10 minutes of looking at it, we were ready to go. We listened to Enya reallly loud as driving through the beautiful mountains and stuff.
Monday October 25th
I played in a big room with about 15 people sitting, cross legged around the perimeter. Martha and I penned some excellent Haikus though. So, even the though the show was kind of weird, the guy who did the show was really friendly and it was part of a theatre that he, and a few friends had started. Pretty impressive, and a very cool place.
Monday October 26th
I dropped Martha off at the bus station in Chico this morning. She was headed back to San Francisco, where she's living now. It was sad to see her go. I met my friend David in Reno, and we went to the casinos and spent the $35 in change that I had saved in a jar. I actually played Blackjack for a couple of hours, so as far as I'm concerned, I kind of got my money's worth. Take into account, that the only other time I really went gambling was when drove to Atlantic City, and I lost $20 in 10 minutes and turned around and went home. The show was in a cool record store called Resurrection Records. It's a cool punk record store, and it's collectively run by a bunch of really nice people. After the show, a few of us went to David's house and played Taboo, NHL Faceoff 2000, and then watched a video of lots of people getting shot. It was gross. I'm flying to Chicago tomorrow for about five days to meet up with my ladyfriend Jenn. It will be great to see her, and Franklin is playing in Chicago while I'll be there, so I'll get to go see those guys too. I probably won't be entering stuff into the tour diary, until I fly back to Reno, and continue the tour from here on November 1st.
Tuesday November 2nd
day off outside of San Francisco
I returned from Chicago last night, to Reno, where my friend David met me at the airport. My trip to Chicago was good. I got to hang out with Jenn and her family, and among other things, we went to a minor league hockey game,saw Franklin play and hung out. Last night in Reno, we went out to dinner with some of Dave's friends and then watched Conan the Barbarian. Today, I got up and drove to my aunt and uncle's house outside of San Francisco.
Wednesday November 3rd
San Jose, CA
I hung out all day with my uncle, aunt and my cousins. I got word that the Fracture CDs are finished and are at the record plant which is outside of Los Angeles, so hopefully I'll be able to pick those up when I'm down there early next week. So, we all went to Berkeley, where surprisingly, I could not find anything I wanted in their huge awesome record stores (I am looking for Queensryche's Operation : Mindcrime USED, and the new Deadbolt record). I picked up Martha, and my friend Ramsey and we headed down to the record store in San Jose, where the show was to be. Lots of friends that I had met last year were there, and even though the p.a. was the crappiest one of the tour so far, so it wasn't too much fun playing, it was really fun hanging out with everyone. Oh. This is kind of funny/stupid. For some time now, I've had a few recurring dreams about getting my ears pierced. In the dreams, it's always really fun. Well, while I was in Chicago, I got them pierced, which is totally unlike me to do. Well, it still hurt after a couple of days, so I took them out last night. People always told me, "Oh, it didn't hurt when I got my tongue (or lip, or head of my penis, or whatever) pierced." I must assume that they are lying. Piercing my ears hurt. The ear pierced era of me is over. I have entered the "Big Swollen earlobes with little cuts on them" era.
Thursday November 4th
San Francisco, CA
I picked up Martha in Berkeley and we headed into San Francisco to the AK Press warehouse, where I had had a bunch of shirts, and records shipped to me from various places. We counted them all, and then went to eat sushi in the Mission district. The show was at an all ages bar/club type place. The first band type thing to play was Captured by Robots, which was comprised of a guy who built robots that he controls and makes the play along with him. I can't explain it, but it's really quite amazing, and definitely should not be missed if you have the chance. The show was almost overwhelming. I ran into almost 25 friends, who I hadn't seen in years, so it was hard to talk to everyone. It seems like everyone moves to San Francisco. Are there people who are actually originally from San Francisco?
Friday November 5th
I had meant to go to see Being John Malkovich with my friends Martha, Claire and Wiley, but ended up hanging out with my uncle at his house. After a nice spicy Indian food meal, Martha and I headed over to the show at Gilman St. Tonight was the first night of many that I'll be playing with my friend Sean, who does a thing called Sean Na Na. He's playing most of the shows with me from here until Fayetteville, AR. The band Your Mother, who I had been playing with the previous two evenings rocked especially hard, due to some amazing back up dancing. The show was fun... the highlight being when my friend Robert called me on my cell phone from somewhere else in the Gilman Street club while I was playing, in order to embarrass me. Godamnit, I was proud of the cellularness. I will miss being in the bay area, as tons of friends live here, and it was great seeing them again. After the show, I dropped Martha off at the house that she's staying at, in Berkeley. That was the last time I'll be seeing her on this trip. I'll miss her. She's a cool lady, even though she has burping problems. Here's a picture of me playing at Gilman Street, that Mark Hanford took.
Saturday November 6th
Santa Barbara, CA
Tonight, I played with 7 Seconds. The show was nice, as I got to hang out with friends that I haven't seen for a while, but it felt kind of silly watching 7 Seconds play predominantly songs that they wrote 15 and 16 and 17 years ago. I mean, they played them really well, but it just was a little bit silly. However, I got a shout by Kevin Seconds, so what I meant to say, was 7 Seconds was great and flawless. After the show, some friends and I ate burritos. Yum.
Sunday November 7th
San Diego, CA
I'm playing the next two weeks worth of shows with Sean Na Na, which is comprised of Sean, Ben and Jeremy. We arrived at the Che Cafe and set up the record table, behind which, Sean placed the newly stolen, back of bus stop bench advertisement for the new Ol' Dirty Bastard record. A nice fellow, who has been reading my tour diary found me a used copy of Queensryche's Operation : Mindcrime, and to top that nice act, it was autographed by the Seattle rockers. Rockin'. The show was nice, as the Che Cafe is a rad place. Word.
Monday November 8th
Santa Ana, CA
I woke up, and went to a cool record store where I found the Deadbolt record. After record shopping, I drove up to Orange County, which is somehow affiliated with Los Angeles, but I'm not quite sure how (It IS near it, at the very least). I met my friend Kevin for lunch, and then we played video games for a really long time. We found a House of the Dead 2 game with 20 credits on it, so we played for a whole 15 minutes before we had used them up. I kicked Kevin's ass in air hockey, car racing, video basketball, and virtual batting cage. I am a stud. I headed over to Coo's cafe afterwards, which is hands down, my favorite place to play. It's a volunteer run cafe, that's staffed by enthusiastic, friendly, and fun people. The show was one of the most fun I've ever played, and now, I'm at one of the nice people's houses, who helped set up the show that I'm playing tomorrow at a high school, in the cafeteria, during lunch hour. This should be interesting.
Tuesday November 9th
Fountain Valley and Long Beach, CA
Today, I played at Fountain Valley High School to students at their lunch time on a big concrete stage with stadium seating around it. It was kind of like a an eighties version of an old Roman amphitheatre. It didn't go as I had expected. I had thought back to my high school experience and had expected to get made fun of etc, and thus have good story to tell friends. Well, no one made fun of me. Not too many people paid attention to me while I'll played, but no one was mean, so it was kind of embarrassing, but not enough so that I have a good story. Sorry. I will do my best to embarrass myself more next time. The kids who arranged the show were really really nice and cool. Afterwards, I picked up the newly completed Fracture (my old band) CDs from the pressing plant. They look great, and it's nice to finally have them. There was nothing to do, and a few hours to kill, so I spent time reading at the Borders cafe, and then met my friend Danny for dinner and headed over to the PCH club to play a show in Long Beach. Early wake up tomorrow to go to Phoenix. Sleep.
Wednesday November 10th
I met up with cool dudes Andrew, Chicken and Matt, who took me out to dinner, while Andrew proceeded to give me records from his record collection that I wanted, and he didn't. Very generous. The show was at a cool art gallery space. The opening band cancelled, so the club pitched in money to get Chicken a 40, so he could be coerced into doing his free style rap/Embrace covers thing. After the show, we all went to a 50's diner, and we (me and Sean Na Na dudes) all went back to Andrew's house and played video games.
Thursday November 11th
The show was fine, but that's not what's important. What's important is that after the show, me, Sean, Ben and Jeremy from Sean Na Na and Ray and Jon from Arizona went to a crappy bar where this band called the Dali Llamas was playing. They describe themselves as "surrealistic rock band" (from the flier for the show). For some reason, we all took a liking to a song they played called "Shopping Spree". We kept yelling for them to play it again, and got them to play the song 3 times. We would get up and dance each time, and then go to the back when non-Shopping Spree were played.
Friday November 12th
Me and Sean Na Na played at a cool record store, but I am getting sick. I think it's in my brain, and I subconciously know that my music fails in comparison to "Shopping Spree" by the Dali Llamas, so my brain is faking sick. I heard a song by Metallica on the radio called Tuesday's Gone, or something. My, how the mighty have fallen. Goodnight. Long drives tomorrow and the next day. Doo doo.
Saturday November 13th
I met Sean Na Na at the appartment of the fellow Jospeh, who was doing the show. We were supposed to follow Joseph to the show, but he took off without us, leaving us in his appartment building's parking lot. We eventually found the place, and the show was small but fun. I covered "Shopping Spree" about 6 times this evening. I also used nasal spray successfully for the first time in my life. Last time I turned the nasal spray bottle upside down, and tilted my head back and got nasal spray all over myself. I'm glad I'm still learning skills at this point in my life.
Sunday November 14th
Awfully boring drive from Lubbock to Austin. Ben from Sean Na Na lives in Austin, so we hung out at his house, and ate a nice dinner, and then went to the show at Emo's. The show was cool. I did a lackluster version of Shopping Spree. I will do better. My apologies.
Monday November 15th
We (me and Sean Na Na dudes) hung out at Ben's house all day. I still feel a little crappy, but I'm feeling better. The show was really good, although only in the 3rd ward (not the 5th, where my buddies the Geto Boys reside). Bushwick, Willie D. and Scarface didn't show up, but it's still cool. We drove back to Austin after the show, and didn't get back until like 3:30 am.
Tuesday November 16th
Last time I played in Denton, I ended up playing for 2 people, and the p.a. was crappy, so I wasn't particularly looking forward to coming back, but the show was really fun, and I claimed ownership of the song "Shopping Spree" for Sean Na Na and myself. Now, we don't even know who the Dali Llamas are. We played with !!!, who were quite entertaining. After the show, we went back to a nice guy named Jon's house, who I kept up with my snoring.
Wednesday November 17th
Norman, and Oklahoma City, OK
Sean Na Na, !!! and I were to play 2 shows today in Oklahoma. The first one was at the Univeristy of Oklahoma. Unfortunately, it was not to take place in a building named after Brian Bosworth, but in a cafeteria, facing a Sbarro's and a Taco Mayo food court. It wasn't the ideal place for a show, but the people who did the show were really nice, and a nice student bought me dinner on her meal card. It was my dad's birthday, so I tried to call him on my fancy cellular phone, while playing to sing the Happy Birthday General song for him, but he wasn't home. One year, this will work. Oh well. Right after the show, we drove to a record store called Music Dimensions and played the second show. This show was nice, and was with a new wavish band from Omaha, NE called The Faint, who were great. I felt shitty (and kind of still do, and hack up lots of bright yellow stuff), so I went directly back to a guy named Brad's appartment, who works at the record store and went to sleep. Sean Na Na and co. went to someone else's house to hang out.
Thursday November 18th
A few years ago, when I was tagging along on a tour with my friends' bands Goodbye Blue Monday and Franklin, we attempted to play in Tulsa and had such a bad experience that we collectively decided to boycott Tulsa. I broke the agreement, and in turn, received punishment. The show was at a really nice high school senior's parents' house in a pretty fancy part of town, and a bunch of people, most of them high school aged, showed up. A lot of the kids, mostly crusty-type punks brought beer and 40's of malt liquor into this kid's parents' house, even after he repeatedly asked them not to. Why the hell would you do that? If there's nowhere else to do all ages shows in Tulsa, and someone's parents are willing to let a show go on at their house, why the hell would you fuck it up? A bunch of them were really obnoxious, and the p.a. made feedback no matter where the microphone was placed, so it was kind a frustrating, not too fun show. On top of all that, I wasn't feeling too good. The best part came after the show. Two of the aforementioned drunk punk girls got into a fight outside (after the fellow had asked them to leave repeatedly), complaining that the other girl had slept with the other's boyfriend and she now had genital warts. They wrestled each other in the middle of the street, screamed about who was a "whore", "coochies" and "genital warts". Someone's head got bonked on the pavement. Eventually, the poor fellow, who had put on the show's mom came out, and asked them to leave. Another guy, who was trying to be mean to me for no apparent reason and whom I suspect was the boyfriend role in the whole fight between the two girls, screamed for a while and stormed down the street. It was pretty depressing actually. I felt bad because there were some really nice people there, and the fellow who put on the show was really nice, but it got all messed up due to a few dummies. I wonder if those same people who screwed it up will complain how there's nothing to do in Tulsa, and how no shows happen. Hmmm. Afterwards, me and the Sean Na Na fellows decided to get the hell out of Tulsa, and head to Fayetteville, where Ben had some friends. We got there at 230 am, and I went to bed, in order to try and sleep off the remaining sickness, and the Sean Na Na guys attempted to find, and vandalize Rainer Maria's van, as they had played in Fayetteville, AR that evening, but they couldn't find it.
Friday November 19th
Fayetteville was great. A lot of friends I had met in Little Rock, AR previously, have moved up to Fayetteville, so it was great to see them. The show was really fun, with lots of dancing. After the show, the Sean Na Na guys, myself and the really nice people tha we were staying with went to a really fun party, that ended up with us getting quite a few people to sing "Shopping Spree" with us.
Saturday November 20th
Little Rock, AR
It was sad to say goodbye to the Sean Na Na guys, as they had played the last show of their trip, and they were all headed back home. I had a wonderful time with them and will definitely miss them. Little Rock has always been a favorite place of mine, and the show was fun, but it was strange being back here because almost everyone I had been friends with from Little Rock had moved. After the show a bunch of us went out to a diner and ate corn fritters. This is an especially interesting entry into the tour diary, isn't it?
Sunday November 21st
The P.A. at the show had a really interesting feature where it would turn off about 25 seconds into each song that I'd play. Eventually, we plugged the package into the bass amp, and that somehow solved the problem. Unlike most shows where the p.a. sucks really bad, this one was actually fun anyway. After the show, Sleepy Hollow was seen by me, and my friend Jonathan and company. It was okay. Not great though. Now I'm off to New Orleans.
Monday November 22nd
New Orleans, LA
Long Drive. I hung out with cool guy Bryan, who does a funny ass zine called Hatemonger. The show was at an independent movie theatre, in one of the theatres, after show times. Fun show, and afterwards, I hung out with Bryan, and some kids who were nice and went to Tulane. I fly to Chicago for Thanksgiving on Wednesday and return Friday to play a show in Mobile, AL so I won't be updating the diary until then.
Tuesday November 23rd
no show, but hanging out in Mobile, AL
Today was not a wonderful day. At some point during the day, I was driving and I felt the transmission slip, while I was accelerating. I decided to get it checked out. The transmission diagnostic place, that so kindly looked at the car at the drop of a hat, without charging me anything, said that something is wrong with the second gear of the transmission. Apparently, this will take about $1800 and a long time to fix. The fellow said that the car's driving will degenerate (slowly, or quickly, he did not know). This is bad obviously. I talked to a friend's father, who knows everything about cars, and he suggested that I get the transmission fluid flushed, and get a new filter, as the car that I'm driving (a 1998 Ford Explorer) should not have transmission problems just yet, and see if that makes the car perform okay. The slippage only happened once, so I'm holding my breath, and hoping that the car doesn't die on me on the last leg of this trip. So, friday, after I return to Mobile, AL via plane from Chicago, I shall drop off the car to get its work done, and then somehow get to the show I'm supposed to play that evening (the people who are doing the show are VERY VERY nice, as are their friends, who are shuttling me to and from the airport/car repair places). It's kinda unfair. Here I am, driving around in my mom's car, which is pretty much the unpunkest auto on the road. If I'm going to look super unpunk, you'd think that it would only be fair if I reaped the benefit of driving such a vehicle, and that would be: 1. You do NOT need to worry about your car breaking down. So, keep your fingers crossed for me, and I suppose if you want to see me at any of the upcoming shows, it may not be such a bad idea to call/email the person who set up the show to make sure I'm not broken down somewhere.
Friday November 26th
Today was very hectic. I woke up in Chicago, went out to breakfast with Jenn and her Dad and went to the airport and flew to Mobile, AL, changing planes in Atlanta. Two friends of Chris and Steve (who were doing the show in Mobile), Blakely and Misty picked me up from the airport, and then led me to a place where I could drop off my car and have the stuff done to it as previously discussed in the last entry. After that, we headed back to Chris and Steve's house, where the show was. The show was nice, with the exception of lots o' moshing that ended up breaking an innocent bystander's glasses. Hopefully, the car will be okay tomorrow. The plan is to ignore the problem even if they tell me the transmission is shot. I shall drive it until the transmission is really dead, and the car doesn't move. I mean, if I have to replace the transmission, I might as well run this one into the ground, right?
Saturday November 27th
The word from the Ford dealership, where I brought the car to be looked at is that the transmission has a broken solenoid. I have no idea what a solenoid does in the transmission but I know that it's fixed, and that fixing it is significantly cheaper than the $1800 estimate I was given at the first place. So, in the newly fixed car, I drove to Pensacola, FL and played an early show with XBXRX and the Fucking Horribles. The Fucking Horribles consisted of about 10 people who made lots of noise, and were dressed up in goofy costumes. It was actually pretty entertaining. I played a ton of pinball, and after the show, hung out with some Pensacolaians, and sat around a fire in a firepit that they had in their backyard.
Sunday November 28th
I arrived in Tallahasse, and went out to dinner with the fellow Andy, who helped put on the show. I'm pretty tired, so I'll make this short, but basically the show was really fun, and I'm going to sleep now. Oh... everyone I've met in Tally, as they like to call it here has been really nice. Tomorrow, I head to Gainesville, where I'll bug the people at No Idea for a while.
Monday November 29th
I left Tallahassee to hang out with my friends at the No Idea Records and Distribution warehouse. I got to go record shopping at the warehouse, and left with a huge stack of CDs and LPs. The show was at a cool cooperatively run record store with Born Dead Icons. Before the show, some people were running a pirate radio station from the record store. Pretty fun stuff. The p.a. at the show was stinky but the show was fun anyway. The first band that played called the Jackson Family Reunion covered Happy Birthday Ralph, which made me feel kinda embarrassed... but flattered. I am studly.
Tuesday November 30th
I went out to lunch with Var, Jennifer, Matt and Jason who all do stuff at No Idea Records and Distribution. Afterwards, I hung out at the No Idea warehouse and bugged the a whole bunch and caught up on answering some email. I headed down to Sarasota to the Atari Info Shop, which is a cool space that a bunch of kids rent out to do shows. I somehow broke the zipper on the tan pants that I've been wearing for the entire tour, so I had to change into pants that don't fit quite right. I guess it's time to throw out the tan pants as they have 2 and 1/2 months of filth on them, and a gaping hole in the crotch. The show was with Combat Wounded Veteran and Scrotum Grinder. Scrotum Grinder grinded my scrotum. Good thing I had those new pants on! Tomorrow, I drive across a section of highway called "Alligator Alley". I will keep my eye out for alligators. Yum.
Wednesday December 1st
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Tonight's show was kind of annoying. I got to the skate park, where the show was to be, and the people at the skate park said that they were not informed that a show was happening that evening. They said that a ton of people had called, and they had told them that no show was happening. Great. They said that if people showed up, then we could still have the show, so that was nice of them. People did show up, and were treated(?!) to a ton of bands (at least 5 or 6 because bands would play, and then friends of theirs would pick up their instruments and practice and then play a song or two). It was really kind of annoying. The people who were supposedly in charge of the show were nowhere to be found for most of it, so bands took forever to set up and play, and then with the addition of a few bands made the evening really really long and drawn out. By the time I got to play, one of the speakers to the p.a. had been completely broken, and it was really late. I was pretty cranky, so even though a few enthusiastic people stuck around, it was a really long and not so pleasant evening. Plus, someone stole a CD that I had sitting on the table while I was playing. On the other hand, there were some really nice people to hang out with at the show, and it was funny/neat seeing some people who had homemade Atom and His Package shirts. The fellow I'm staying with this evening is also quite nice, even though there is absolutely no parking anywhere in his Ft. Lauderdale neighborhood. Tomorrow's show was cancelled, so I'm going to go up to Orlando, and hopefully make it to Disneyworld. Yowza! The last time I was there, I was with my granparents, and I got sick and vomited the whole week. Fun in the sun.
Thursday December 2nd
Day off in Orlando, FL
I drove up to my friend Brian's house in Orlando. We went a little holiday shopping for his friends, and girlfriend. Afterwards, we went out for sushi. We're trying to figure out whether we want to wake up early and go to Disneyworld tomorrow. Sleeping in sounds nice though, and apparently they replaced the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride ride (ride) with a Winnie the Pooh ride. Hmmm. There's a picture of me and an article previewing tomorrow's show in the Orlando Weekly which I am quoted not once, but twice saying "fuck". My grandfather will be upset when he reads this entry in the tour diary. Where did I get such a pottymouth? Shit.
Friday December 3rd
Well, we didn't end up going to Disneyworld, as it would have meant getting up pretty early. Instead, I slept late, and went out to lunch with Brian and co. to a Chinese food buffet that had french fries and onion rings among other things. The show was in the back of a record store, and was really fun. I went out to dinner before the show at a burrito place that had tons of hot sauces. Being stupid, I tried the hot sauce marked with not one, but two red stickers, and it melted my tongue. I was expecting some CDs to arrive at the record store from the Mountain Cooperative people up in New York, but they didn't arrive, so I'm going to stop in Gainesville and pick up some more of those CDs from No Idea to hold me over until I get home. I'm looking for that AIR Moon Safari CD used. I shall find it in Louisville, KY, the home of many great used CD stores. Ya ya.
Saturday December 4th
I stopped in Gainesville on the way up to Valdosta, GA to pick up some CDs from Var and Jennifer (No Idea dudes), so it was nice to see them, even if it was a short visit. The show in Valdosta was with a band from Tallahassee, of whom I had met several members of when I had played there a few days ago. It was nice hanging out with them, as they were really friendly and they did a funny song about Wesley Willis that was written in the style of a Wesley Willis song. So it went something like, "You are a huge schizophrenic black man. You whupped the donkey's ass. You are a rock n' roll star." After the show, we went to the dreaded Steak n' Shake. They don't have these up north, but they're pretty disgusting. It combines the elements of fast food that are gross, but also takes a really long time, even if it's completely empty. Here, a young punk kid in the group explained that his mom wouldn't let him watch the Smurfs when he was little because "the people who did their voices were obviously homosexual". Uhh.... okay. Not completely sure that everyone thought this was as weird as I did. After that we went back to nice guy Russ's house and I was exhausted, and tried to find a place where I could go to sleep, but he lives at the hang out house in Valdosta, so I got bugged a few times by people carrying broken dolls and waking me with them. Everyone here was really nice though. Word.
Sunday December 5th
I got to Atlanta early to hang out with my uncle Mike, and his family. We ate a nice dinner, and then he accompanied me to the show that was to be on the Georgia Tech Campus. There were two shows scheduled to be in Atlanta for this evening, so they were kind of scrunched together. This meant that five bands were playing. It was a very long show, and everyone there was really quiet.
Monday December 6th
In the morning, I dropped by Oglethorpe University, in Atlanta to do an interview with two women who had emailed me a few weeks ago, and who did a radio show there. I got to the station, which was in the student center, next to the student dining hall, and one of the women who was to do the show was sick. The station was basically a closet, with a speaker right outside the door. It actually wasn't a radio station, as it did not transmit the stuff at a frequency, but was broadcasted over the internet, and the speaker right outside the door. I imagine that most of the audience were students walking to and from lunch. The host had a "radio name" which was "Boom Shanka". I was instructed to call her this over the air. It was funny. Afterwards, I got some burritos and was off to Athens, GA. I called a fellow named Robert who emailed me, and forced him to hang out with me in Athens. We had a good time getting the oil changed and playing playstation hockey. The show was in a big warehouse that may or may not have been condemned, and friends from Atlanta came, so it was awesome hanging out with them too. A good night. Yay!
Tuesday December 7th
Ate Indian food. Played show. Went back to the house of people I had stayed with last year when I was here and hung out with friendly Nashvillians. Sleep. Checked email. Received mean email from more people telling me I suck and that I am a loser.
Wednesday December 8th
I got to Louisville, KY early because they have some really good record stores where they have tons of used vinyl and CDs. I actually didn't really find anything that I want used, but it's nice to look through stuff anyway. The show was at a big arcade called Pandemonium. I spent a couple of dollars playing the South Park pinball machine and one of the shooting games. The show was quiet but fun, and I borrowed someone's guitar which had a wireless thing, so when I played the guitar solo for the metric system song, I bugged people who were playing pool on the other side of the arcade. I want one! Waaah. Actually I don't. The singer from Good Clean Fun, Issa has a wireless microphone. Hahahaha!
Thursday December 9th
I went over to my cousin Sandy's house for dinner in Lexington. He teaches philosophy at the University of Kentucky and it was really fun hanging out with him, his wife and 3 children. The show was at a place that I thought would be scary to have a show in, at first glance, but all the people who came and the people who worked there were super sweet and it was a really fun show. The place where the show was was right across from a club that featured a performer who was described on the fliers as "reggaedelic". This apparently is quite enticing to the frat boy/girl crowd. I'm at the fellow who set up the show's house, and he has a really sweet dog. It is late. I sleep now. I can't believe that there are only two shows left on this tour.
Friday December 10th
I arrived in Columbus, OH at around 5 pm and went out with some friends, who live at the Legion of Doom house, for Ethiopian food. The show was supposed to be at the Legion of Doom house, but some other people were doing an high school chapter of Amnesty International benefit so both shows were combined. The show was in a huge VFW type hall. There were 8, yes 8 bands playing. I was playing last, and it had to be over by midnight, and the band that played before me ended at 11:40 pm, so I played about 5 songs and then had to stop. After the show, I went back to the L.O.D. house and my friend Jon played me songs from this band called the Mountain Goats. It's just a guy playing acoustic guitar and singing, but it was really awesome. Now, I shall buy all of their records.
Saturday December 11th
State College, PA
I drove 6 hours to State College and went out to dinner with Chris and Emily (the people who were putting on the show). A few hours after dinner... actually right as I started playing, I started to be overcome with nausea. After my somewhat unenthusiastic song playing, I puked in Chris and Emily's bathroom just a little bit, and decided to drive home. I had to stop at a rest area, where I threw up all over a bathroom stall. One thing I can say for vomiting, and nausea is that it keeps you awake at the wheel. It's natural too, so I say forget that No-Doz stuff. I suggest either licking uncooked chicken breasts or just ordering a caesar salad at the restaurant "Corner's" or something like that at State College, if you're in town. So, I arrived at my appartment at 3:30 am, after having not showered or shaved for a week and having vomit crusted on my face, but I still got hugs from Books my dog and Jenn. That's why it's wonderful to be home. I had been gone for 83 days, during which I had played 67 shows, including one at a high school lunch, driven over 15,000 miles, met a guy with "taco" tatooed across one set of knuckles and "bell" tatooed across the other set, met a lot of great people, saw a lot of old friends, and met some really stupid people too. It was quite a trip, and I can't really believe that I'm home. I'm amazed if anyone is still reading this at this point, and if you are, thanks.