Blogging from the backseat.
Dub is the soundtrack to our highway. We joke we drove Karen crazy with it last time through the States, but Lee Scratch Perry ushers in the official start of this tour.
We sold out The Hideout last night! I even unwittingly helped someone sneak in through the back door when I cracked it for air before we played.
Jesse Rose and Phillip took the train in from St. Louis to see us, backpacks strapped on. She changed into a sequined flapper dress in the bathroom and they wild danced all night up front. The first show of ours they came to ended in a giggling dog pile in a Kansas City living room. I rolled around on the carpet and brought kids down by grabbing at their ankles. One girl lost a battle with her pants and quickly pulled them back over her ass as she got up. Our friends Mythical Beast were in on that show too, shaking the adjacent room with their reverberating spell.
That night Jesse Rose was flailing on her knees and had her forehead pressed into the floor. How can you explain what it is like to take this thing out of your self and see it manifest in another person in a way that is physically and emotionally moving? How ridiculous and fortunate it is to be able to make something invisible, but tangible in this way and to commune with them at the richest and most transcendent point of both yourselves.
So, Chicago. We’re still all a bit puffed up from the show. Bird Names pulled up the same time we did and we shouted greetings and mock obscenities at each other out the windows of our vans. Nora suggested we all have a fake stage fight, but I think the idea seemed too complicated in the end. Plus she bought us gala apples from Stanley’s and it’s hard to fake fight with someone who does that.
We are so lucky to have the friends we do in Chicago, and it’s very much home for all of us, even though it will be a minute before we’re parked there again. Bird Names played a sick set. They’re like ping pong in the mind of the most hyper and brilliant five-year old, wrapped up in David’s love for Fifties girl groups, and tossed with sprouts and rainbow sprinkles. We love Collin, Al, David, Nora and Phallin heartily.
The stage of The Hideout is really high and framed with Christmas light strewn wood rafters. Total funhouse clubhouse. For some reason it makes me feel like I am looking out on everyone through a dizzying fisheye lens. The new jams went over right well and we had so much sweat-covered fun.
We crashed at Bill’s parents house, waking the cavalry of small dogs in the kitchen. Everything was warm and clean in the way that parents’ houses are, and we took well-deserved showers. His mom made us a spectacular breakfast this morning with lots of fresh greens, berries, eggs and organic chicken sausage. We are serious…about our breakfast.
Someone wrote “slugs and snails are after me” on the toilet paper dispenser in the women’s bathroom of The Lava Lounge. The place is decorated like the forgotten psychedelic room from the Flintstone’s house; with watch batteries and gears embedded in resin and drippy plaster stalactites everywhere.
The disco balls are motorized rocks decorated with mirrored pieces. That cracks me up.
Everyone is smoking. A lot.
Italian Ice play a raunchy dual drum and space invaders from the bottom of a well set that is awesome. Heavy psych in an artificial cave, with rave lights is good. We are not heavy psych, and seem to hit a wall despite our best efforts. The room thins a little. Diehards stick it out, and women seem to outnumber men up front, which is pleasant.
Melissa St. Pierre and her boyfriend Rich are our gracious hosts. She apologizes for a lack of beer and weed, but offers tea, which is perfect. We sleep on couches and an attic floor; there is a prepared piano in the dining room that Melissa is using to practice a John Cage piece. Screws and tape pepper the wires and a pink ribbon is tied in a bow on the arm that is propping open the lid.
It is a mad dash out of Brooklyn; we literally nab a practice space subletter at the last possible minute, while we are packing the van in the morning. We get to Philly with hours to spare, and just wind up killing time in the food court of the grocery store down the street from Marvelous Music. Note to us, next time--more sights, less lukewarm soup.
Marvelous gives us quarters to feed the parking meter. Bill narrowly averts a ticket by adding more just as the cop walks up. Inside, people are crowded in between racks of CDs and records.
Karen is doing a bang up job of working the door. Sliding scale tonight.
We drink homemade beer at the show. U.S. Girls squalls from the tile floor. Meghan’s got everything in a suitcase, which I appreciate.
Her sound simultaneously lulls and grinds like a steel wool blanket.
It’s a good first show out of the gate. One guy hops up and down almost the whole time on Pat’s side of the stage. But a lot of folks are shy to dance in a music store. Usually Philly is a drunken mess for us, like happy embarrassing wedding reception drunk, but with punk crust and face tattoos.