so the first bands from vancouver played their intense hardcore and only 2 people had paid admission to see the show... so there were 5 bands all sitting around and actually it felt like quite a crowd with all the band folk in attendance. when we played, we decided to spread out through the space of the room, like what the band used to do with acoustic guitars... but this time with amplifiers. it sounded really amazing; ribs was on the far side of the room and the echo through the space was a dream come true for me and i vowed to repeat this experiment in the very near future.
we had to play a short set, 20 minutes, so 4 songs and we were out. other bands were quite a bit louder, too loud for the space maybe but really good bands. michael and flips were at a next-door bar right after the show, catching the san antonio spurs bombing game 2 of the western conference finals.
we loaded up and hit the road, many winding roads out of pittsburgh, drove out to raccoon creek state park, beautiful isolated natural area near border with west virginia. next day we drove and drove and stopped a few times to capture some photos of fine appalachia... my favorite spot maybe on the whole tour was that day, this place called the "creekside golf dome and sports bar." it was this huge inflatable dirty-white plastic dome, 2 or 3 stories high, and you could pay to hit golf balls inside the dome... there were a few targets and hitting the ball against the dome's side made a very satisfying "thwack." maybe i just liked the blend of "golf" and "dome" in the title... middle america's mediocre pastime (which i love, by the way) combined with somebody's idea of futuristic development, circa 1978.
we drove all the way across indiana, illinois, and stopped in chicago at pizzeria due for the genuine chicago deep dish pizza experience. well, the crust was amazing but the sauce, cheese and toppings were perfectly bland, forgettable and mediocre. like somebody had spent all their time working on the crust and had just given up after they'd finished... just went with food-service garbage. so we left chicago, drove out to rock island, crossed the mississippi and watched the full moon gleam on its shimmering waters, and drove off to wildcat den state park in iowa. willis and i drained an entire bottle of wine and went to bed and i awoke the next day to woodpeckers and birds of all sorts and knew this was the only way to tour, forever and ever amen. waking with natural noises and the sunrise... cannot be beat.
drove into rock island, coffee of course, then over to futureappletree studios, run by super cool pat and home of daytrotter, a super cool website that you should check out... they host bands in the studio for a live recording, then post the session along with an article, an interview, and a cartoon illustration of the group. we played 4 songs: "loveshines II," "dear friend I," "when perfect flames expire," and "telephones." they should be up on the site soon hopefully... the session felt great but i couldn't hear my vocals so they might be squawky... we shall see!
after, smoked spliff with pat and crew in the new daytrotter lounge and posed with an american flag... pretending to be asleep, using flag as a blanket, a la the who's "the kids are alright" album cover.
after, drove drove drove into kansas, where we stayed in a trailer park directly across from a state penitentiary... the wind blew so nice that night, and i felt sad knowing i'd be spending nights indoors for the next few months. the trailers in the park had all been decorated with christmas lights and such... it was called el dorado state park i believe.
woke early the next morn, drove hard and fretted over gas prices and continued our exquisite corpse typewriter creations; i will post those soon.
stopped at taco cabana in oklahoma city that has table service and uses real plates and everybody felt full and satisfied for under $4 and maybe even a little impressed and/or blow-away by the place... taco cabana taken to the next level.
drove into austin and just as we pulled into town, the tick head stuck in my armpit fell out... a good sign i think.
so the adventure ends and new ones begin. the next day, i started work again at the texas school for the blind and that's where i'm typing right now.
hope all is well and we shall see each other soon...
btw, i did an interview this morning on 101X and it was strange.