If it's true when they say "you are what you eat", then the 10-hour drive back from this weekend's EXPLONE mini-tour has left me a nasty ass DNA makeup of lemon bars, twizzlers, Chex mix, and Whatchamacalits. Gordon, my sugar worm feels like it's Christmas morning. Oh sorry, I mean "Holiday". Never can be too careful you know...
On Friday, my new tenure in the band was tested (I talk a lot in the car) with a few shows over The Pass to the town of Rosyln, WA. If you're not from Seattle, you may know that town name from the tv show "Northern Exposure" that was filmed there. And man, they don't let you forget it. Tried to jack one of the signed posters on the wall but a young svelte and pre "Sex In The City" John Corbett shamed me with his judging eyes. Plus we didn't have room cause the 15-passenger van was packed with guitars, drums, amps, and my assortment of road ready metrosexual travel products.
After a little hairy of a drive over The Pass now beginning to see some of the first heavy snowfall of the year (Patrick's knuckles were understandably white), we arrived at "The Brick" for the show. I had never been to the venue, but it's the one big bar/music venue in town and a beacon of entertainment in an otherwise seemingly sleepy town. As expected, the small town niceties and politeness seeped from the locals and we enjoyed a much needed meal before the show. Both nights of the tour we opened for WILL WAKEFIELD & THE CONGRESS HOTEL; guys I've been acquaintances of for years but never got to talk to much so it was nice to do that. We played well, and the crowd was attentive and into it. Also there was a HUGE drum riser to climb on, spin Josh's cymbals for no reason but to entertain myself (oooohh...shiny), and then jump off of trying to get record air without blowing my knees out of the tops of my thighs.
After the show we were lucky enough to be put up in a loft above the venue for the night where until wee hours of the morning we fell into hysterics making fun of each others lyrics. Truly a traditional music guy pastime and for those who aren't offended like a baby, a testament to how much they are respected...if only to be torn down by goobers trying to make each other laugh. Again, more innocent eyes than mine occasionally read this blog but lets just say that a chorus changed to rhyme with a horrific metaphor including an "amputee and bus pass" left me choking on tears. Good times.
The next morning we packed the van and went to breakfast. Drummer Josh made fun of me for ordering herbal tea and asked if I'd like some pink slippers to go with it. That was ok, until the waitress laughed too and said she'd get them for me after the meal. Tear.
Hit the road again passing in and out of consciousness and listening to Prince on the iPod. I always enjoy listening to non-rock stuff on the day of a show. It helps me personally to make the music I'm playing that night sound fresh. Rarely do I listen to harder or heavy metal-esque music the day of cause it just makes me feel like I'm playing Lisa Loeb tunes no matter how hard I hit the strings. She does have hot glasses though and sang to me personally through the tv as a 14 year-old. Moving on.
That night we booked ourselves a hotel before the show and got a chance to shower off the road funk. I always get accused of taking too long of a shower by tour mates so since I'm not the Dad in the band (Patrick is), I kept the water hogging to a record minimum. Lack of sleep has me operating from a place of unnecessary details so please indulge. Off to dinner at a Mexican restaurant we went before the show and I had to take a look at my morals. What morals? I have a hard and fast rule of no mexican before I play. A food poisoning experience when I was much younger has led me to believe that though chips and salsa are ok, the burrito no cometh between me and a pop song within the same 3-hour period. Awesomely, the best chicken burger I've ever had came out of the deal and momma was satisfied. We then arrived at the venue and refreshingly unpacked the van in 28 degree weather into a cool venue called "John's Alley". The sound guy was called "Vertical Dave" and yes he was...more than 7 feet of vertical at that. If I was in jail, this is the guy whose pocket I would hold to give you a better idea of how tall he is. Protect me, Dave.
The second show went well and despite a table of frat guys giving us stink eye for the first 3 songs I think we won the crowd over. The best part of performing with Explone besides the cool songs and camaraderie is that I can jump around like and idiot without running out of breath to sing. Yeah, pass the donuts. I'd like to think I had a possible Olympic moment that would make Bob Costas proud on the final song. Right before the last chord of the final tune I pulled a big scissor kick, and at the height of the jump, my strap came off which left my body descending and the guitar floating up. From what I can remember I threw my arms up to grab it and came down on one knee proposal style (no tears though) with guitar in had. History has shown that in past instances when this type of thing has happened, I end up playing a chord for the final hit in the key of diarrhea. This time though the prickish French judge may have surprised everyone cause a B-minor bar chord crunched down just in time. Pure reaction then had me stand up fist in air shouting, "YES!" to the confusing of everyone around me. Embarrassing but mentally strutting the rest of the night. If you set your standards low, it's easy to impress yourself. Try it!
The next day we went to breakfast and set out on the 10-hour journey back to Seattle stopping over in Portland for dinner before the final leg back to the Emerald City.
Great trip all in all.
I have the WILLOWS LODGE winery this Wednesday and then a trip down to L.A. for the weekend so that will be fun. Next week, I have my show at KISS CAFE in Ballard with Scott Andrew opening for some overdue All-Ages action and catching up with the influx of people in town for Thanksgiving.
Practicing stomach expansion in anticipation of gluttony,